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f13.net General Forums => General Discussion => Topic started by: CmdrSlack on October 10, 2010, 09:55:05 PM



Title: Fish Tanks
Post by: CmdrSlack on October 10, 2010, 09:55:05 PM
So my lazy-as-fuck brother-in-law promised my daughter a fish tank. That was three months ago. I broke down today and purchased a ten gallon tank (which is best for our space) and talked to the person at the pet store and my buddy who has loads of fish.

So far, I've been sold on the following fish:

1. Some kind of molly. Perhaps two.
2. Snails, which I understand don't count towards the fish to water ratio.
3. A catfish, for bottom feeding goodness.
4. Three to five guppies for maximum fish to space ratio.

Any other newbie level starter fish? My daughter will be 5 in February, and we're working on responsibility skills right now, so fish seemed like a good idea. Also, she's been on about it for three months.

Suggestions would be welcome.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Pezzle on October 10, 2010, 10:53:12 PM
A very simple guideline for freshwater fish is 1 gallon per inch of fish.  For a beginner you can go with the Molly or Platy (They come in amazing color ranges, and are live bearing, they are also inexpensive).  Bottom feeding fish are only useful for extra food, not waste, if that is your reasoning.  Snails will multiply multiply multiply!  I suggest you get a timer for the tank light as it makes life much easier.  Good lighting is important.  You should start your tank up at least a couple of weeks before adding fish.  Get used to how the filtration system works.  Introduce fish in small numbers to a new tank and keep a good supply of various water treatments on hand.  You want to establish a proper bacteria balance that will break down waste and other contaminants.  Get a bucket and some kind of water removal/exchange hose system.  Your local shop should have all you need. 

It is very easy to overfeed fish.  They do not need much to eat!  There are multitudes of guidelines with a simple search. 

If the water gets cloudy you need to be doing water changes every day or two.  10-20% at a time. 


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on October 10, 2010, 11:32:41 PM
The quick and dirty way to cycle a tank to make it almost immediately ready for fish is to have someone with an established tank and sponge filter squeeze that filter and all the crap in it, out and pour that into your tank and let it work into your filtration system. That is a quick bacteria seeding. Other than that, keep in mind new fish die quite often until you get the tank water parameters set. I concur with Platys as they are a fairly hardy livebearer species and the mickey mouse ones are quite attractive. Mollys are a nice looking fish as well but are not as hardy. Corydora catfish are pretty easy and a cute fish as well.

Water changes are crucial for maintaining a tank long term, so keep that in mind. A 10gal tank will need more frequent water changes due to the small volume, however its easier to change out a gallon or two than say the 15gal changes I used to do on the 72gal bowfront.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Hawkbit on October 11, 2010, 12:13:28 AM
Lots of good solid advice here, though my personal opinion is to go with less than 1 inch of fish per gallon.  I tend to be more successful with 3-5 1" fish in a 10gal.  It's overall less waste and easier to clean. 

Never did saltwater, but I've done brackish/Mbuna, goldfish, simple tropicals, piranhas, tutles and amphibian/tree frog setups in anything from 1.5gal to 75gal variants.  The only real problems I had were the tree frogs, which I never could keep in the damn tanks.  Only one mild case of ick in all my 15 years of tanks... I strongly recommend using someone's filter to establish a bacterial colony first.  You can also get kits that have stress coat/water cleaner drops in one bottle, and bacteria in another to get you started. 

Mollies are great starters.  Tiger Barbs and Danios are good, too, but I've had both types become aggressive in tanks.  Neons are too fragile, imo.  Don't bother with them until you get the tank setup for six months.  I'd keep the snails out, if you can.  I've been pretty successful with them, but I had one tank that they took over. 

Only tank we have now, sadly, is a 1.5gal for my daughter's goldfish.  We've been wildly successful with the 1.5, but if I had it to do over again I'd just buy a 10gal... it's a lot easier on the fish. 

Keep the tank out of sunlight - you'll have temperature fluctuations and it will go batshit crazy with algae growth. 

Dont dump fish down the toilets, either.  They don't go to some magical happy rainbow stream down there.  If you need to euthanize one, put it in a cup in the freezer.  They just go to sleep that way.



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Hawkbit on October 11, 2010, 12:20:33 AM
Also, my kid is 5 and she's been really, really good about feeding her fish daily.  You're likely right in the perfect age for her to get a tank.  It's how she gets up in the morning... if she's waking up rough, all I say is "it's time to feed Goldie!" and she jumps out of bed and runs right in to do it.  Pretty awesome. 

Tinker with small, hardy, live plants, if you can.  They add a lot of realism to the tank.  I did a tank setup for a friend that was FULL of plants with little guppies.  It was awesome to look at.



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: TheWalrus on October 11, 2010, 02:43:12 AM
The only thing I can add is that a couple of live plants will really be nice. I have a 155 gallon tank and it's damn near an automatic ecosystem. I don't have to mess with tank cleaning very often at all because of the mix of fish and plants I have. (I also have the tank in direct sun and have no algae problems. But this is due to fish selection)

As fish additions, Cichlids can be fairly hardy and colorful, but they aren't really a community fish.

Bumblebees are awesome but I also call those North American Jerkfish, because being only a quarter inch long, one claimed half of my tank and ran all the other fish out of the area. This went on for 8 months till he got fatter and more content. Still a neat looking fish though.

Fish are great. The larger the tank, the easier your life will be. Honest.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: K9 on October 11, 2010, 04:46:30 AM
I had pet fish when I was around that age, in addition to guppies and such, I always liked Siamese Fighting Fish (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siamese_fighting_fish), they look really impressive and you can get them to display using a mirror. You can only have one male at a time though, otherwise they will fight each other.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on October 11, 2010, 07:09:25 AM
Salt water tanks aren't really feasible @ the 10gal range. Way more trouble than they are worth - esp the mess. 35+ is usually a good rule of thumb for those tanks mainly due to being a bit more forgiving on the water parameters on changes. Way easier to fuck up any number of things on a 10gal salt tank. That said, nothing comes close to the vibrancy of color of a salt water tank.

As for betta splendens - they are a solitary fish but great color variations. My xgf was raising out a few yellow dragons before I left and I really loved the color on those fish. If you go that route, definitely give places like aquabid a peek given that most big box pet stores are bottom of the barrel in terms of fish.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Lantyssa on October 11, 2010, 08:22:41 AM
Any of you dealt with a pond before?  The house game with an approximately 160 gallon pond, with water lilies and a few other plants.  We had four goldfish, one died due to a pre-existing fungal/bacterial condition, but the others are going strong and we have five babies now which are doing well.

Mainly I want to cut down on algae, but other tips for an outdoor pond in a fairly temperate area would be useful, too.  It can get hot and sunny during the day (trying to bring shade to the area, which may take years).  We don't get a lot of freezes, although they are a possibility.  Neighborhood cats love to drink from it, but tend to leave the fish alone.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Bunk on October 11, 2010, 08:53:23 AM
The fact that you still have fish in the pond puts you well ahead of the pond my neighbor had. The average lifespan of any fish he would put in it was two days - that's how long it would take the local blue herons to notice he had restocked it.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: bhodi on October 11, 2010, 09:48:29 AM
Get a Plecostomus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plecostomus). They are awesome looking (the inside of the sucker mouth), eat algae, and live through almost anything. They are a good alternative to snails.

Mine LOOOVES zucchini, as a treat; we attach it to a little magnetized clip to the side of the tank and he just devours it.

They can ultimately outgrow the tank, but it'll take 2-3 years for them to go from 3in to 8in. Then, you can give them back/re-sell them to the fish store for a profit and get new ones!


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on October 11, 2010, 10:15:10 AM
Get a Plecostomus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plecostomus). They are awesome looking (the inside of the sucker mouth), eat algae, and live through almost anything. They are a good alternative to snails.

Mine LOOOVES zucchini, as a treat; we attach it to a little magnetized clip to the side of the tank and he just devours it.

They can ultimately outgrow the tank, but it'll take 2-3 years for them to go from 3in to 8in. Then, you can give them back/re-sell them to the fish store for a profit and get new ones!

Plecos love veggies. Well, the non-acidic ones. Get some fresh peas and split them and drop them in. you'll have to suck out the skins, but they love those as well. Had mild success with seedless cucumbers as well. Keep in mind plecos also should have a piece of drift wood to gnaw on as well. And if you want to breed them, provide a single entry tunnel - when the male seems to be stuck head first in there and is constantly moving, he'll be most likely sitting on eggs. In a few days he'll clean out the shells / dead eggs and you will start seeing tiny little guys moving out in a few weeks. Talk to the local pet stores to get rid of them for credit.

For ponds and algae - yeah, its a very common problem until you get the filtration under control. More than likely, the filter is the cause - either its not big enough for the load or the water is not moving enough. You can treat it with a fish friendly algaecide but that is only temporary. A bio-box filter for a 200 gallon pond and an equal pump should do well in the long run, but it will take some time to level things off - the more surface area the better. Shade works to keep the temps down, but being outside, you will never avoid all the ambient sunlight that lets algae thrive. More plants (water lilies, irises, etc) will also reduce algae since they are at the top of that proverbial food chain and will "starve out" the algae by reducing the nutrients algae needs.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Musashi on October 11, 2010, 11:40:56 AM
Convict Fish.  They are awesome.  Get like seven or eight of the mother fuckers.  They'll breed and keep you in fish forever.  If they breed too fast for the tank causing too much competition for food, they'll eat the weakest fish.  Nom, Nom, Nom.  Only drawback is you can't have any other kind of fish in your tank, because they'll perceive them as a threat when they lay their eggs and eat his ass too.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: sinij on October 11, 2010, 11:51:52 AM
#1 - let tank settle for at least a month before you introduce fish, 3 month if you use live plants.
#2 - introduce fish slowly, 1-2 at a time
#3 - don't cheapen out on filter
#4 - explain your daughter what overfeeding does to fish


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Lounge on October 11, 2010, 11:55:49 AM
Plecostomus are generally a bad fit for a 10 gallon tank.  They start out small but get VERY large pretty quickly.  You can get the same effect out of an otocinclus.  Add me to the list advocating a few live plants.  They go a long way to helping the ecosystem of the tank and generally look about a billion times better than any plastic crap.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Lantyssa on October 11, 2010, 01:22:43 PM
For ponds and algae - yeah, its a very common problem until you get the filtration under control. More than likely, the filter is the cause - either its not big enough for the load or the water is not moving enough. You can treat it with a fish friendly algaecide but that is only temporary. A bio-box filter for a 200 gallon pond and an equal pump should do well in the long run, but it will take some time to level things off - the more surface area the better. Shade works to keep the temps down, but being outside, you will never avoid all the ambient sunlight that lets algae thrive. More plants (water lilies, irises, etc) will also reduce algae since they are at the top of that proverbial food chain and will "starve out" the algae by reducing the nutrients algae needs.
Currently it is mostly unfiltered.  I've gotten the tiny fountain they had in there working again and put a filter in it, but other than a little aeration, I'm assuming it's doing squat when I run it.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CmdrSlack on October 11, 2010, 02:20:46 PM
Wow, lots of good advice here.

Does anyone have experience with these products that help promote the development of the bacteria, etc.? I've read some stuff on various fish tank websites (had no idea there was an aquarium blog, but sure enough...), but it's hard to know if the opinions are biased by free goods, etc.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Hawkbit on October 11, 2010, 03:05:11 PM
Like this stuff:  http://www.amazon.com/Tetra-3-Ounce-AquaSafe-Conditioner-BioExtract/dp/B000HHM4T6/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1286827091&sr=1-2-fkmr0

I use API brand and never had a problem.  You should be able to snag a Stress Coat + and Stress Zyme 4oz combo back for $4.00 american at a local petshop.  Just follow the instructions and it's all good. 

Once the tank is established, if you forget about the Zyme once in a while, that's no big deal.  But every time you change water you have to remember to add Stress Coat + (or some other similar product) to get the chlorine out of the water. 

If you REALLY want to go crazy, get a ph test kit so you can balance the water out to perfect test levels, and an ammonia test kit to check how often you're getting buildup in the tank.  But it's really not necessary for a 10gal setup with some guppies. 


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CmdrSlack on October 11, 2010, 03:11:03 PM
Yeah, I'm just trying to get this going with 24hrs of running time.

My daughter is only patient to a point, and I don't want an empty tank running for a month before adding fish. If there are a few dead guppies at the outset, no big deal. It's not like I'm using expensive fish. If this effort is successful and it turns out that she's really into aquariums, we can get a bigger one later and go for more exotic fish. Right now this is a "is the kid responsible enough for pets" test. The wife won't let me outsource cat litter sifting to her yet, so fish it is.



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on October 11, 2010, 03:44:08 PM
Yeah, I'm just trying to get this going with 24hrs of running time.

My daughter is only patient to a point, and I don't want an empty tank running for a month before adding fish. If there are a few dead guppies at the outset, no big deal. It's not like I'm using expensive fish. If this effort is successful and it turns out that she's really into aquariums, we can get a bigger one later and go for more exotic fish. Right now this is a "is the kid responsible enough for pets" test. The wife won't let me outsource cat litter sifting to her yet, so fish it is.



Like I said, you can "seed" a tank if you can get an already used sponge filter's water. I know most mom and pop fish stores will be happy to squeeze out the stuff into a bag at little to no cost. Other than that, you can minimize dead fish by changing the water frequently the first month (3-4 / week). If not, buy some throw away guppies/platys and let them cycle your tank. A quick and dirty way would be to set the tank up, start your filter and drop a few sinking food pellets in and let the tank sit for a week then add fish.

Considering my xgf had a fish room with 40+ tanks going for breeding, we never had a real problem cycling tanks and in fact never had a problem starting a fresh tank when a leak developed or a new breeder tank was needed. We used Prime (http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=4057) exclusively and never had an issue. 2-4 drops in a 2 gal bucket neutralized all the chlorine and provided slime coat supplement.

Just be weary choosing your fish. Mom and pop shops tend to have a healthier selection than big box stores since they don't deal in the bulk fish. I have seen fish at Pet Co and Pets Mart with the worst cases of ick I have ever seen which also get past throughout their stock due to a common water source/catch nets used. Likewise for the other diseases like velvet... blech. Smaller stores control it better and have more of an interest saving their stock and keeping the crap contained.

Pro-tip: you can get rid of ick relatively quick and painlessly by adding aquarium salt to the tank and raising the temp, albeit very slowly, to 86-87 degrees. Salt has to be marine salt and I seem to recall using 2 tablespoons per 5gal. Now that was doing a 25% water change on a 20gal tank so YMMV.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: sinij on October 11, 2010, 04:19:02 PM

My daughter is only patient to a point


Alternative is dead fish and tank overrun with green goo.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Merusk on October 11, 2010, 04:28:20 PM
All this is much much more work than "Glue fish pictures to cardboard, set on wires hanging from the lid" that I did for my son.   I hate fish, though.  Smelly, suicidal bastards.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CaptainNapkin on October 11, 2010, 05:20:15 PM
24 hours is tough, if you can stretch to a week before adding fish you'll be better off. Tetra's are a very hardy fish and can survive a LOT. Cardinal Tetra (http://www.aquahobby.com/gallery/e_Cardinal_Tetra_Paracheirodon_axelrodi.php) is a nice small fish for a 10 gallon, they are about an inch long and have awesome coloration, and 6 or more together will swim in a school which is neat. Besides they are usually only about 2 bucks each at my LFS (local fish store, I point that out as it took me a while before I knew what that meant on forums). Tetra's are a great fish to help cycle a tank.

Snails are cool but make sure it's the type of snail that needs a mate to lay eggs or you'll be knee deep in them in no time. Plecos are also neat and will typically grow as big as the tank/environment allows, though there are types that will stay fairly small. A clown pleco was the first fish I ever bought, in a 10 gallon at the time, and he's the only original fish I still have. Name's Art... Art Pleco  :rimshot: Yes, I'm a geek and I name some of my fish. Check out Oto Cats (http://www.fishlore.com/profiles_otocinclus.htm) for tiny sucker type fish, cute little dudes and also cheap.

Regardless on the bottom feeder/snail thing, don't get one for algea control. Maintaining water conditions and light will control your algea. Live plants can and will help a lot. As someone else mentioned too, my 75gal planted freshwater practically runs itself at this point. Can't say when the last time I even bothered testing the water was. I can tell by the stress of my fish, visibly, if something is going wrong in there.

Some tips and/or hard lessons learned along the way:
1) - Find a good local fish store and buy there. Make sure the tanks look good. Do NOT buy from the big chain pet stores unless you know they are crazy about maintaining their tanks. The only times I've had diseases introduced was after adding fish from a chain pet store, and it ended up almost a full wipe of my tank after battling it.
2) - If you enjoy it, be prepared to upgrade soon, it can be addictive! I started with 10g to see if it was something I liked, and 8 months later I had all running a 10g, 29g, 75g, and 4g biorb.
3) - So When you go bigger than 10 gallon, get a Python (http://www.pythonproducts.com/aqprod.html) with a longer hose than you measured the distance to be. Your back, carpet, floors, marriage and free time will thank you.
4) - Stable and consistent water conditions are much more important than target values.
5) - My #1 chemical - Prime (http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/Prime.html).
6) - Fish keeping is like opinions are like a-holes... There are so many conflicting opinions on every aspect it will drive you insane and kill your fish at the same time. [/li][/list]

Do we need a 'post you tank pics' thread?


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Hawkbit on October 11, 2010, 05:58:21 PM
Post up the pics here...  I'd love to see some setups.  My wife will freaking strangle me if I get back into it. 

That Prime stuff looks sexy - never used it but I like what it offers.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on October 11, 2010, 06:42:59 PM
I can provide a few... some pics are blurry, sorry, ISO was set wrong.
(I'll spoiler them for brevity sake)

back wall.

side wall.

overflow from the breeding stock tanks

we were in the process of setting these betta shelves up and moving the cds/dvds else where.

72bow front before cleaning. Stocked with twin Oscars - one of which has died which we expected. Also stocked with her Pimodella cats. Primarily used as a culling tank.

full shots of the room - not shown is the 72 and 36 bowfronts.

air supply pump for the room.

Planted show tank in the office upstairs. the "L" tanks were limited editions and had leak problems, but we snagged it at an auction for $50 with the stand.

some of the prize winners - sorta

1st place winner - blue marbled dragon

my baby I got from her first fry - gold dragon male - had to leave him with her though... :cry:

Another male juvi from the second fry - he'll be a breeder as well, mainly for the fin rays.



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: K9 on October 11, 2010, 06:51:57 PM
This is what I love about this place, always something new and interesting.

Fascinating setup, do you breed to sell?


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on October 11, 2010, 07:06:04 PM
This is what I love about this place, always something new and interesting.

Fascinating setup, do you breed to sell?

She does now.. her gig, and now I am miles away. I think she sells to some distributor for her big fry, the other stuff I want to say goes up on aquabid.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CmdrSlack on October 11, 2010, 08:38:32 PM
So we ended up with three fish. I'm glad I decided to go to our local pet shop that has been open since at least 1985, when my family moved to this town.

The guy was really cool and after I admitted I had purchased the tank at a Petsmart, and was told 24 hrs was fine, he gave me a schooling on the fish.

I now have a plan for adding fish gradually, etc. We will eventually yank the fake plants for live plants.

For now we have two guppies, a male and a female. He told me the blueish male and the yellow-tailed female were a pair as far as being the ones you'd want to hopefully generate more fish. We also got a striped damio.

The damio is tiny, and looks a lot like a minnow to me. We're currently letting the bag o' fish hang in the tank and then releasing in a few more minutes. We added tank water to the bag at 10 mins of soak, and we'll be letting them loose in about five more minutes. He and I both explained to el kiddo that these fish might die, but they'd be sacrificing themselves for the greater good of a healthy tank down the line.

I guess the next additions come in about two weeks. He told me that I don't need a bottom feeder until mid-November. Still debating what to add for bottom feeding and algae eating, but this place seems like the right place for us. I'm glad that I remembered it was there -- it was where the entire senior class bought crickets for our class prank.

Here's hoping this works out.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on October 11, 2010, 10:21:04 PM
For a cool bottom feeder I highly recommend an Ancistrus (http://www.scotcat.com/loricariidae/ancistrus_albino.htm). My X bred veil tail albinos and they are pretty cool fish. They don't get too big for a 10 gal (her alpha male was around 5" tip to tip), but they are a tad on the shy side in bright lights.

Good luck man... and welcome to the fray.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on October 18, 2010, 09:15:25 PM
Be aware that guppies (and other livebearers) can multiply fast.

Your danio will like to school with other danios. The longfin ones are particularly nice, and they come in stripes and spots. Don't get the large danios, they will not fit your tank.

Avoid "chinese algae eaters". They grow and turn carnivore.

Seconded on the corydoras. We have 4 in our 80 gallon.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Samwise on October 18, 2010, 11:35:39 PM
Be aware that guppies (and other livebearers) can multiply fast.

This is half the fun!  But you do need to have a plan for what to do with all the extras.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CmdrSlack on October 18, 2010, 11:44:29 PM
We lost the male guppy to stress. We waited a week and added another damio to school with the larger one, as well as a (apparently) lyre tail molly.

Ammonia is holding steady at 0.25 ppm. I expect a spike any day now.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Samwise on October 18, 2010, 11:54:08 PM
When I had guppies I found that they lived much longer when I had two females for each male (i.e. maximum breeding efficiency).  One female isn't quite enough to satisfy the male's libido and they both end up getting stressed out.  More males than females is even worse, obviously.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: TheWalrus on October 19, 2010, 02:36:59 AM
When I had guppies I found that they lived much longer when I had two females for each male (i.e. maximum breeding efficiency).  One female isn't quite enough to satisfy the male's libido and they both end up getting stressed out.  More males than females is even worse, obviously.

QFT. If you buy the right colors, the females can be pretty too. I like the metallics because of what they do in the light.

If you're going to keep danios, I recommend getting the long fin. They're pretty, they'll mingle with the normals just fine, and they're pretty.

Whatever you do, DO NOT BUY AN ELECTRIC BLUE LOBSTER. Yes, they're fucking cool looking, but they will eat every damn fish you own. Except red tail sharks. The sharks like to fuck with them. This was your final warning. (Lost 220 bucks worth of fish to this fucker. He also tore up all my live plants to the point I said fuck it and bought fake. The day the shipment arrived, he died just as a final fuck you to me I'm sure. Cocksucker.)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Samwise on October 19, 2010, 12:22:16 PM
Sounds like given a big enough tank the lobster and the guppies would make fine companions.   :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Reg on October 19, 2010, 12:36:15 PM
Almost any fish will happily munch on a baby guppy - including their parents.  It's the only way to keep the population down.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Samwise on October 19, 2010, 12:37:45 PM
Well, I mean, look at them.

(http://i51.tinypic.com/2m6222o.jpg)

They are the popcorn chicken of the fish kingdom.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on November 12, 2010, 07:13:26 AM
well, that's really nice of you. But dear sir, i have very less knowledge about fishes and fish tanks. I only knew, that it look good if it would have been in my bed room.

Umm...yeah I see where you are going.  :uhrr:


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on November 12, 2010, 09:30:52 PM
Corydoras are actually pretty fun to watch, for being a "plain" old catfish.  Much more active during the day than the Plecostomus, which looks cool but is mainly nocturnal, iirc.  One trick to keeping Corydoras happy that isn't widely known (or didn't used to be, back in the day) is that they are social and really appreciate having one or more of their own kind to hang out with.

Guppies and other live breeders will actually NOT overpopulate if you fail to provide ample hiding places for the fry, as baby guppy is a favorite food of adult guppies.  Unless you go with a birthing cage thingy and keep the younguns separate from the adults you will need lots of plants in clumps, ideally including some floating on the surface.

I don't know how stable the current guppy strains are, but the males tend to loose most of their fancy tail shapes and colors after a few generations unless you specifically keep them separated as breeding pairs.  That gets into needing several tanks though.  On the other hand, a swarm of even plain guppies is fun to watch, as it is non-stop action unlike many of the more spectacularly colored fish.  Granted most of the action is the guys chasing the gals (poking em with their very obvious male genitalia), but hey, it's a great way to introduce a 5 year old to the topic.  :awesome_for_real:

I think snails are a real bad idea, though some swear by them.  They are only needed if you have too much algae, and in the long run you are much better off adjusting the light levels appropriately to control the algae rather than trying to deal with a bazillion snails and all their egg clusters coating every available surface if they decide they like it in your tank.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on November 12, 2010, 09:40:14 PM

I think snails are a real bad idea, though some swear by them.  They are only needed if you have too much algae, and in the long run you are much better off adjusting the light levels appropriately to control the algae rather than trying to deal with a bazillion snails and all their egg clusters coating every available surface if they decide they like it in your tank.

Very true on the snail part. Before I left though, my X got a hold of a dozen assassin snails to take care of the problematic snail populations in some of her tanks. Those things are cool as shit.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CmdrSlack on November 13, 2010, 10:27:42 AM
Since a now-deleted spam post necroed this, here's been my results so far.

I'm into about week six (I think) on the 10 gal. tank. Lost two guppies, one to stress, one to an ammonia spike. That tank is now fully cycled and contains two mollies, five zebra danio, and a red tailed shark. I have a few clusters of hornwort that I've already had to trim.

This is good because some random side-work gave me the dough to start a new tank. We now also have a 29 gal tank that is fully planted. I went with 1" peat moss, then 1" play sand, then 1" gravel as my substrate. Planted it with about 7 bunches anacharis, some annubias, a couple of swords and some random potted types. I also got a planted piece of driftwood.

So far it has 2 mollies and some interesting/confusing water levels. I get low amounts of ammonia (.25-.5 ppm) no nitrite, but 5-10ppm nitrate. The science bits to this are making it really addictive. I will probably migrate the fish from the cycled tank over once this one settles in.

If this guy sends me more side-work, that 10 gal may become my first attempt to mess with saltwater and live rock/coral.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Reg on November 13, 2010, 12:13:44 PM
10 gallons is pretty small for a saltwater set up. With saltwater the bigger the tank the easier it is to keep it stable. Saltwater fish are so expensive that a tank wipe can be a bit painful.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on November 13, 2010, 06:34:16 PM
10 gallons is pretty small for a saltwater set up. With saltwater the bigger the tank the easier it is to keep it stable. Saltwater fish are so expensive that a tank wipe can be a bit painful.

The man speaks the truth. I would not go salt in anything under a 20 and even that is pushing it. A 55 is the sweet spot for salt though bigger is always better, but not in terms of expense. If you are in no rush for it, check out the local fish clubs and see when their auctions are. My X was in two, GPASI and PVAS. PVAS is a bit pricey due to the area, but GPASI routinely had 55s going for $20 in the auctions. Hell, her 90 gal corner "L" tank was only $80 with the stand.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Reg on November 13, 2010, 08:04:25 PM
I've always been fascinated by the live rock/coral tanks but worried that it was vaguely bad to be tearing rocks out reefs for them.  Is there an environmentally friendly way to do it?


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on November 13, 2010, 08:20:02 PM
I've always been fascinated by the live rock/coral tanks but worried that it was vaguely bad to be tearing rocks out reefs for them.  Is there an environmentally friendly way to do it?

AFAIK, live rock can be cultured in tanks from dead rocks out of the ocean. It's the raping of the corals on the reefs that hurts. To that end, you can ask any knowledgeable pet store owner if they get their corals/shrooms/worms/etc from tank stock (breed/spawned/etc) or from ocean farming. My X was very specific in buying only coral fragments clipped from overgrown tank corals. Some do well, like her frogspawn and torches, others not so good like brain coral. That probably had to do with area of the tiny 15 gal tank more than anything, but she got the torch to branch and sold a few fragments from it over two years.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CmdrSlack on November 13, 2010, 11:20:46 PM
I've been reading a bunch about doing these so-called nano reefs. I'm just likely not really ready to fuck with saltwater at this point.

Odds are that I'm going to take the 10 gal tank, stick with freshwater, and either swap out the existing fish for other, less community fish, or save the water + gravel + ornaments, and restart with a substrate similar to my 29 gal.

I really like this fully planted look, and my planted tank with the "natural" substrate has been working well so far.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Numtini on November 14, 2010, 08:41:24 AM
If you want to do something "weird" with the 10 gallon, try Shellies (http://www.shelldwellers.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=607c226ee2d280196921bf930f9c46ab&). Tanganyikan cichlids who live in little shells as nests. You can do a pair of Brevis, Similis, or Multifasciatus in 10. They have the classic "cichlid" shape and they are pretty entertaining going in and out of shells and digging a lot. They also breed like crazy. Since they live on the bottom, you can probably put a couple of zebras or something like that in that would own the top part of the tank.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on November 14, 2010, 09:21:25 AM
If you want to do something "weird" with the 10 gallon, try Shellies (http://www.shelldwellers.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=607c226ee2d280196921bf930f9c46ab&). Tanganyikan cichlids who live in little shells as nests. You can do a pair of Brevis, Similis, or Multifasciatus in 10. They have the classic "cichlid" shape and they are pretty entertaining going in and out of shells and digging a lot. They also breed like crazy. Since they live on the bottom, you can probably put a couple of zebras or something like that in that would own the top part of the tank.

Just be sure to balance your buffer on these since that Lake is a higher pH. I strayed away from that but the X had those. Very cool fish and funny to fuck with since they dart into the shells on threat then slowly peak out after a few moments.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Miguel on November 18, 2010, 05:24:17 PM
Quote
I'm into about week six (I think) on the 10 gal. tank. Lost two guppies, one to stress, one to an ammonia spike. That tank is now fully cycled and contains two mollies, five zebra danio, and a red tailed shark. I have a few clusters of hornwort that I've already had to trim.

I just did a fish-less cycle on my new 29 gallon freshwater tank.  Worked like a charm.  I'll never set up a tank any other way at this point it worked so well.

If anyone is interested I can detail the process I used.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CaptainNapkin on November 21, 2010, 09:42:43 PM
Decided to use my move as an opportunity to make a big change, so I tore down my 75g planted, gave the fish/plants away and trashed the substrate. Sort of forced myself to start fresh. Now the question is do I stay freshwater and go Cichlid/agressive, or go reef? I'm leaning toward reef, always loved the way they look. I'm in no real rush to fire the tank back up, so plenty of time to research and decide.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on November 21, 2010, 10:25:08 PM
Decided to use my move as an opportunity to make a big change, so I tore down my 75g planted, gave the fish/plants away and trashed the substrate. Sort of forced myself to start fresh. Now the question is do I stay freshwater and go Cichlid/agressive, or go reef? I'm leaning toward reef, always loved the way they look. I'm in no real rush to fire the tank back up, so plenty of time to research and decide.

Reefs are $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, but nothing compares to their beauty. Nothing in freshwater comes close to the colors. That said, some freshwater can be pretty and much cheaper to maintain.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on November 25, 2010, 12:26:44 PM
Our 80 gallon is overgrown with that green hairy algae. The fish do not seem to mind, but it's not very appealing. Nothing seems to get rid of it.

We are moving the tank soon anyway, so I figure the best thing to do is tear it down, park the fish in another tank for a little while, and rebuild with enough substrate to make it a planted tank (we screwed up and didn't put in enough to make it viable for plants originally). Then move the fish back in.

Anyone got any advice on this process?


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on November 25, 2010, 06:34:08 PM
Our 80 gallon is overgrown with that green hairy algae. The fish do not seem to mind, but it's not very appealing. Nothing seems to get rid of it.

We are moving the tank soon anyway, so I figure the best thing to do is tear it down, park the fish in another tank for a little while, and rebuild with enough substrate to make it a planted tank (we screwed up and didn't put in enough to make it viable for plants originally). Then move the fish back in.

Anyone got any advice on this process?

Assuming freshwater, more plants will tame the algae just through competition. I am not planted tank savvy though so you'd have to do some digging. My X used this site for the show tank upstairs... http://www.plantedtank.net/


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on November 25, 2010, 07:43:06 PM
Yeah, we tried that and the algae won, I think because there was not enough substrate for the plants to take hold. That's why I am thinking of stripping it down.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CaptainNapkin on November 25, 2010, 11:29:44 PM
Anyone got any advice on this process?
You're on the right track. Likely something you already know but... Don't empty your filters, just move them to the tank you are temporarily storing your fish, even if it's too much filter for it. Keep the beneficial bacteria in the filters alive and you shouldn't have to worry about any cycling or spikes. Fish will be stressed so be sure to put "stuff" in the temp tank too so they have their hiding spots and whatnot. Don't be suprised if they don't eat or barely eat during the move.

Our 75 planted just about ran itself. I had it set up with Eco Complete for the substrate, a moderate amount of plants & fish (not over stocked) and low light, but a quality fixture. Complete low tech planted tank that ran great, only dosing we ever did was a cap and a half of Seachem Flourish Excel each morning and a cap of Flourish Comprehensive once per week. 10% - 20% water changes every 1 or 2 weeks. Rarely tested water, it ran stable.

I'll also second the recommendation for plantedtank.net (http://www.plantedtank.net), pretty much learned everything there. Do a search on moving tanks in the forums there, you will find many detailed threads.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on November 29, 2010, 02:56:02 PM
A thorough water test showed very low PH and very high nitrates, so we have done a massive water change (30 gal of an 80 gal tank) and thorough vacuuming, yanked all the stuff in the tank and scrubbed it by hand, plus buffered the water to 7.0. It is likely to take several cycles to get back to normal. PH being so low is downright bizarre to me, our water comes out of the tap at like 8.0.

But the tank looks much nicer, and we'll retest water daily, and do more water changes every 3 days or so. With any luck this will take out the bulk of the algae and get the balance back under control.

Then we'll add in a fleet of otocinclus to tend it. The tank is pretty lightly stocked right now... 1 pleco, 1 t barb, 1 rainbow, two pictus, and two diamond tetras. We haven't been replacing lost fish, so probably ended up overfeeding for those who were left.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CaptainNapkin on November 29, 2010, 11:18:06 PM
Yeah overfeeding will get your water specs out of wack, and definitely contribute to algae growth. Stable/consistent PH is much more important than a target value. I wouldn't sweat the difference unless it's a moving target. Sounds like you're on top of it all. Oto cats are a great choice, active, hungry, interesting and hard working, they are one of my favorites.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on November 30, 2010, 12:58:56 AM
Googlng around, we have "old tank syndrome"... This tank has been running for 7 years, and was started off a bacteria bed from a tank three years older than that. So basically, too much mulm building up over time. No plants in there either so slowly nitrates pile up.

The 30gal change didn't even make a dent in the nitrate level. Am thinking we may need to toss some floating plants in there or else it will spike now that we took out the algae overgrowth that was using it!


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CaptainNapkin on November 30, 2010, 09:27:39 AM
You mentioned replacing substrate in an earlier post, you did not go that route I take it?
You could disturb/mix up the substrate and do big daily water changes for a week or two.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on November 30, 2010, 10:13:25 AM
Can't stress enough getting into a local fish club if you have one. The people are strange and creepy, but they know their shit about fish and tanks.

edit: I should also add clubs have auctions to supplement the club's funds. Those auctions bring in fish you might not normally see in shops and also tanks/stands/pumps/etc. for CHEAP. If anyone is in the Pittsburgh area, hit up GPASI's spring and fall auctions. 55gal tanks drop for $20-30 easy and if you wait till the final tables, most shit sells for a dollar. Knowledge and cheap good stuff/fish. Clubs are where it's at.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on November 30, 2010, 12:28:52 PM
No, we went and talked to the guys at the best local fish store, total aquarium nerd, and he recommended not doing a full stripdown but instead a series of moderately heavy water changes, like 1/3 tank every 3 days, until it normalized. Some sites on the web recommend doing much more drastic changes than that -- like, two 90% changes one immediately after the other.

The fish look WAY happier already, colors are brighter and there is more activity. But nitrates still show crazy high. I am adding another filter to the tank to circulate the water more and then I'll disturb the substrate and churn up the crud. And i'll do another massive water change tomorrow probably.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Draegan on November 30, 2010, 02:42:17 PM
Fascinating thread.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on December 05, 2010, 12:58:33 PM
Nitrates are now at 40ppm finally, after many large water changes. Azoo substrate added, doubled the filtration, replaced lighting, and added some plants, nothing fancy -- anacharis and vellisnarias. Tank looks gorgeous, algae is going going but not quite gone.

Have not added otocinclus yet because I read they are particularly sensitive and want <20ppm.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on December 20, 2010, 01:28:55 PM
Update: Nitrates down, pH now actually slightly high (somehow) and tank is planted with the above plants plus moneywort and giant hairgrass.

But... added a couple of plants from a local fish store, and bam, had my two six inch pictus cats belly up within six hours! Loaches started flashing (rubbing up against rocks and stuff, like they are trying to scrape their gills).

So I had to scramble for meds, since this sure looks like a parasite of some sort... not sure what else it could be, honestly. Dosed with both Melafix and Parasite Guard. So far, haven't lost any other fish, but two of the loaches are definitely looking pale. Wish I knew what was going on.

Had those pictus cats for years, they were huge. On the other hand, also the most aggro things in the tank, so maybe it frees me up for more mellow fish.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CaptainNapkin on December 20, 2010, 02:29:05 PM
Wow that sounds nuts. I don't know what would cause that quick of a bad reaction that attaches itself to plants. And cats are hearty fish. I typically do a quick bleach/rinse on incoming plants before adding to tanks. I learned to do that after a massive snail infestation resulted from my first live plant purchase.

Sorry to hear that, wish I could offer some insight.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CmdrSlack on December 20, 2010, 10:53:04 PM
Dunno if ich can attach itself to plants, but it's a parasite that goes to ground in the substrate. The flashing is one symptom, and shows before the white spots.

I just managed to pull an oto cat through ich with this stuff called Ich Attack. I lost two mollies, but a red tailed shark and an oto cat both survived having the spots, etc. with this stuff. I also cranked the heat to 82 deg during the process.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on December 21, 2010, 12:17:06 AM
Easiest way to get rid of ich is to up your tank temp to above 80 (can't recall the exact number offhand, but ich can not gestate at a certain temp) and add aquarium salt. Obviously not a lot, but the salt does a number on it. And yes, it can travel on leaves of plants, roots, little bits of substrate in the root systems...all that.

Also watch out for velvet. Similar to ich, but trickier to diagnose and treat. Best stuff to treat it actually my xgf found at WalMart of all places. Some cheap looking eye dropper type bottle (no clue what the name was). But she save her entire fry of betta dragons save two using that stuff. Odd and amazing stuff.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CaptainNapkin on December 21, 2010, 08:47:39 AM
Ich won't kill within 6 hours of introducing it into the tank. That doesn't mean it's not ich that was present and just finally reared it's ugly head. Everyone you talk to will tell you a different chemical / salt dosing approach to killing it, the only constant being upping the temp like others mentioned. The higher temp just quickens the life cycle of the ich making it quicker to eradicate.

Ich is no fun, typically takes out half your tank when treated well, and when treated poorly...

I'd still rather battle ich than blue-green algae.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Reg on December 21, 2010, 08:50:50 AM
Yeah having them die so quickly was very unusual. I'm guessing they were extremely stressed and vulnerable because of all the other changes that were made to the tank.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on December 23, 2010, 12:12:48 PM
Seeing white fuzzy stuff now, so it may be ich or fungus. Raised tank temp and added yet another med to the list. Sigh.

Haven't lost any more fish though.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on December 23, 2010, 12:34:32 PM
Seeing white fuzzy stuff now, so it may be ich or fungus. Raised tank temp and added yet another med to the list. Sigh.

Haven't lost any more fish though.

White fuzz is almost always fungus. Treat accordingly. If I still talked to the X, I'd have her post to the thread... but she refuses to speak to me so sorry I can't tell ya more.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on December 24, 2010, 12:53:59 PM
Yeah, and fungus is almost always secondary, which means the mystery of what originally triggered this might remain. But we had two courses of the Parasite Guard, and they're getting Melafix and Ich Attack daily, so maybe the original cause is toast already. I'm dosing with antifungal now... hate throwing so many meds into the tank and with limited filtration (no carbon bc of the meds) but it sure seems like the alternative is worse.

Really feels like a water change is necessary though... even though it is stressful and will also set back the meds some.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CmdrSlack on December 26, 2010, 11:56:00 AM
I've only had experience using the Ich Attack, but I held off on the water change until the signs of illness went away. It was worth waiting, or at least, I figure it was -- the fish are now fine.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on December 27, 2010, 09:16:24 PM
48 hours and no more fish deaths. Ich attack dosing ends tonight, so does the fungus dosing. Tomorrow I put the carbon filters back in. Temp is up at 83-84 or so. Tomorrow I also start bringing it back down a bit.

Final toll:

2 ten year old cory cats.
1 5" clown loach.
2 smaller clown loaches
1 6" T-barb
2 6" pictus cats
1 5" rainbow shark

What remains:

2 six year old diamond tetras
4 fairly new rosy barbs
2 ten year old cory cats
1 7" sailfin pleco

I'm thinking, don't add anything back in for a week or so until after the tank is stable back where it is supposed to be.

And in the future, I will always ALWAYS bleach dip plants. This was the worst fish disease attack I've ever had, and I have been keeping aquaria for 15 years. :(


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CaptainNapkin on December 27, 2010, 09:35:05 PM
Ouch. The time I had ich it took out about half my fish after all said and done as well. No fun at all.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CmdrSlack on December 27, 2010, 10:53:31 PM
So here's a random one.

I think I have a bored oto catfish.

He lives in my 10 gal tank with 2 phantom tetras, 2 red eye tetras and 3 serpae tetras.

The tank is planted with some hornwort and not much else. There is a bit of rock with no algae (yet). He doesn't seem interested in the bottom of the tank. I toss in algae wafers for him. But it just seems that he hangs out under the heater or on top of the heater.

On the other hand, I have a quite active and happy oto in the 30 gal, heavily planted tank. I'm tempted to move the oto from the 10 gal to the 30, just to give him something to do. I have to think that this lack of activity is due to just not enough algae in the tetra tank.

It seems like making the move is the best idea. Or not?


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on December 28, 2010, 12:56:15 AM
Try giving him some blanched or microwaved zucchini first, see if that attracts his attention.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on December 28, 2010, 07:21:21 AM
Could also pick up a small piece of driftwood for cover and for him/her to pick at considering the surface area on driftwood is substantial.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on March 09, 2011, 12:14:58 PM
By the way, my tank is all happy now. Added a school of 15 neons, got four rosy bars in there, rebuilt the cory cat school, and replace the diamond tetras. Have still been trying to get live plants to take, and having challenges. Just ordered a significantly nicer lighting setup than I had on there, after discovering I was way way under the recommended watts per gallon.

We recently moved house, and had all the fish in a tmeporary 20 gallon. While in there, the barbs spawned, though we didn't notice until after we had moved them back out. We were running behind on stripping the 20g back down, and now we can't because there's four dozen baby rosy barbs in there now.  :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CmdrSlack on January 13, 2013, 10:36:38 AM
RISE!

So I've consolidated my tanks down to a 30 gal riverbed tank. I have sparghum, sand, and rock in layers for my substrate. It is fully planted and most of my fish have been going strong for a little over two years now. I think perhaps that I have too powerful of a light on the tank as I cannot seem to prevent algae growth; I've even tried only turning on the lights every other day. I managed to defeat the stringy algae, but I still have these brownish algae tufts on my rocks. Some of the plant leaves get a fine layer of greenish algae. Oddly enough, the fish and the tank seem to keep stuff mostly pruned down and shoved to one end of the tank where I can easily vacuum it out.

This tank was designed to require minimal water changes (I basically only add water to deal with evaporation and when I have to vac the gravel), and I'm pretty sure that my plants are a big part of this. I don't want to kill 'em off, but it sure seems like a return to the stock lightbulb (as opposed to the ZOMG PLANT GROWTH one) would be a good idea here.

At the end of the day, the algae isn't a big deal, but it's annoying at times. I'd get a bunch of snails, but my loach would make short work of 'em.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 13, 2013, 10:44:52 AM
Pics! Mainly because I am curious and it has been 3 years since I have seen some fish tanks.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CmdrSlack on January 13, 2013, 11:20:52 AM
I recently pruned back the swords along the back wall because the big leaves had an algae coating/were half-eaten -- also, they were choking off new growths.

Ok, finally figured out the flickr thing. Here's some photos under the spoiler tag



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: ghost on January 13, 2013, 02:47:39 PM
We just bought the kid a 46 Liter Fluval.  This will make for an interesting new experience.  We've only ever had saltwater tanks and are going to go freshwater this time. 


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 13, 2013, 05:21:21 PM
Here are pics of our two right now.


80g fresh, 1 12" pleco, rosy barbs, diamond tetras, clown loaches, otocinclus, corydoras julii, one longfin danio. One bug clump of waterpsrite got dug up yesterday and I haven't replanted it, but pretend it's in the back left corner. :)


16g fresh w co2, cardinals, panda corys, otocinclus.

Both have swords, anubias, watersprite, java fern. All live plants in both.

And the big one has black brsh algae and the small one has a bad case of cyanobacteria :(


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 13, 2013, 05:43:07 PM
Fuckers. Now I miss my x-gf's fish hobby.



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CmdrSlack on January 13, 2013, 06:56:28 PM
If memory serves, that many tanks exceeds "hobby."


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: ghost on January 13, 2013, 08:10:53 PM
Can anyone recommend some cheap, hard to kill fish that look cool?  What about the 1 cm of fish (excluding tail) for every 3 liters of water rule?


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 13, 2013, 09:23:20 PM
Can anyone recommend some cheap, hard to kill fish that look cool?  What about the 1 cm of fish (excluding tail) for every 3 liters of water rule?

Damn metric system... I only know it by inches per gallon - and that is really only a loose rule IIRC. Cheap? Hard to kill? Killifish are pretty hardy and come in some different colors. We had some mickey mouse ones that were interesting. Well, SHE had... They also like to breed a lot and are livebearers so you might wake up one day and notice a cloud of them in the plants. They'll usually get eaten pretty quickly, so if you want to keep some, get the net and float a nursery corral in the tank to put the ones you catch in. Barbs are damn near unkillable if you want to go for a nippier fish. Guppies are a good standby and now-a-days come in pretty freaky varieties.

This is off of memory so YMMV but I think those are right. 


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CmdrSlack on January 13, 2013, 09:23:42 PM
Most tetras. Danio are also fun. I like the zebra danio.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: TheWalrus on January 14, 2013, 12:10:08 AM
Gouramis. Badass fish. They breathe air a bit too, and are pretty neat to look at.

As an aside, I'm getting rid of my 155 gallon tank, if anyone in the Seattle area is lookin.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 14, 2013, 01:40:54 AM
When they say tetras, that does NOT include neons, those are fragile these days.

Mollies, swordtails, black skirt tetras, diamond tetras, tiger barbs, rosy barbs, guppies are all sturdy fish. DIamonds are sometimes not as cheap, rosies depending on availability. Mollies and swordtails and guppies are ALWAYS cheap.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 14, 2013, 05:49:47 AM
Well, store bought guppies maybe. But they are one of the more pricier fish if you are looking for genetic strains...

http://www.aquabid.com/cgi-bin/auction/auction.cgi?fwguppies&1358214604


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 14, 2013, 12:55:00 PM
No, generic fish store guppies.

Of course, as soon as you go through a few generations of them in your tank, they will have all reverted to mud color. :)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Slayerik on January 14, 2013, 01:21:01 PM
This thread has me missing my old fish tank. African Cichlids. I used to love their interactions (mainly fighting and territorial disputes). I used to have a badass Electric blue. And the Yellow and black striped one. Pricey fish for their survival rate, though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fF5x9wEJK0

 :ye_gods:

I think I used to have maybe 5 in a 30 gallon tank. Very pretty freshwater fish.

Yay you tube! Fights! Or makeout sessions...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w38iMLIJC8w



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Samwise on January 14, 2013, 02:26:05 PM
No, generic fish store guppies.

Of course, as soon as you go through a few generations of them in your tank, they will have all reverted to mud color. :)

When I kept guppies I got some really pretty ones, even after multiple generations.  It might help that it was a fairly small starting population and they were all horribly inbred.   :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 14, 2013, 02:39:50 PM
When my x-gf actually bought a betta for $50 I almost cried. However, it was by far the prettiest fish I have ever seen - fascinating to watch for hours. Then I looked at my Steam library and called it even. That said, I don't think I could pull the trigger on that kinda cash for a fish unless I would travel down the breeder roll and recoup that cost with my own broods. (which my x-gf did and made quite a profit on some of the fish she used to breed)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 14, 2013, 04:20:48 PM
Cichlids are gorgeous, but if you keep them, you pretty much only get to keep cichlids. It's like there's freshwater, saltwater, and cichlids. They don't mix very well with other fish.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: ghost on January 14, 2013, 04:25:28 PM
I guess what I mean by "hard to kill" is really "easy to replace without my kid knowing it is a different fish".   :ye_gods:

Oh, and he wants a bearded dragon now too.   :oh_i_see:


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Samwise on January 14, 2013, 05:31:53 PM
I think I was about eight when I killed my first goldfish.  Important rite of passage IMO.   :why_so_serious: 

Not having access to any real aquarium equipment, I kept it in a gallon pickle jar with marbles in the bottom and changed the water every week with a turkey baster.  I think it lasted a couple of months.  If I were going to teach a kid about fish I'd let him start out that way; it's a good way to learn the basis of the fish-length:water-volume rule.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 14, 2013, 09:34:08 PM
For a single fish, you can't go wrong with a betta. Crowntails, half moons, etc., they last forever and have the labyrinth organ to breath so if you miss some water changes, they won't croak. They also adapt well to GRADUAL temp changes and can survive in slightly colder water than they are used to. Single male in a 2.5 gal or 5 gal tank with some substrate and maybe a plant - should be fine for years with bi-weekly water changes and feedings.

Other than that, cichilids are tough fish and some school if you ahve the space for the numbers.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: ghost on January 15, 2013, 08:27:44 AM
Don't you need a certain number of cichlids though, or they'll start eating each other?


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 15, 2013, 08:39:35 AM
Don't you need a certain number of cichlids though, or they'll start eating each other?

Yes. 2-4 cichilids and you'll eventually have 1 left. +5 and you might be ok. All depends on the cichilid though. Off the top of my faulty memory, Barbs do well in groups, and most angels. If you want schooling fish and have the room, I'd stick with tetras - lots of them, like 8-10. Fascinating to watch. 


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 15, 2013, 12:55:00 PM
With barbs you have to worry about the proportion of male to female. 2 males and one females will equal one dead male in a couple of weeks. If you get to six or more, it stops being an issue. And you can have 5 if it, say, two males and three females. Basically, never get it to where males are fighting over the females.

I second tetras, they are supereasy. :)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Samwise on January 15, 2013, 01:12:43 PM
I remember guppies follow a similar rule, although it's not so much that the extra males will fight as much as they'll gangbang the female to death.  (I think the cause-of-death euphemism used in the literature is "exhaustion.")


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Numtini on January 16, 2013, 12:26:33 PM
Quote
Don't you need a certain number of cichlids though, or they'll start eating each other?

You either need to give them enough space to develop separate territories which is like one fish in a huge tank or crowd them enough that they don't develop territories at all. I used to have a 55 packed with mbuna. It makes for a nice visual effect because you have a really ludicrous number of fish for the size of the tank and they get out and about instead of hiding in their lairs.

I mentioned this on the thread a few years ago, but if you want easy to care for small tank compatible cichlids, try Tanganyikan "shellies" like Brevis or Multifasciatus. They have the classic shape, similar to mbuna, but they only grow to be an inch or two and are relatively peaceable. They do the whole cichlid pushing the sand around thing, but the really cool part is is they nest in shells. You get a few dozen escargot shells and they back themselves in and curl up in them. I've heard of people going as small as a 10 gallon with them which is kind of unheard of for cichlids. With 20 more bigger, you can also mix them with a pair of something else smallish, but more territorial. You do half the tank in rocks, the other half in shells and they'll split the tank. I have a 30 with multies and Julies (julidochromis). The shellies all breed like crazy as well.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 16, 2013, 12:34:34 PM
Quote
Don't you need a certain number of cichlids though, or they'll start eating each other?

You either need to give them enough space to develop separate territories which is like one fish in a huge tank or crowd them enough that they don't develop territories at all. I used to have a 55 packed with mbuna. It makes for a nice visual effect because you have a really ludicrous number of fish for the size of the tank and they get out and about instead of hiding in their lairs.

I mentioned this on the thread a few years ago, but if you want easy to care for small tank compatible cichlids, try Tanganyikan "shellies" like Brevis or Multifasciatus. They have the classic shape, similar to mbuna, but they only grow to be an inch or two and are relatively peaceable. They do the whole cichlid pushing the sand around thing, but the really cool part is is they nest in shells. You get a few dozen escargot shells and they back themselves in and curl up in them. I've heard of people going as small as a 10 gallon with them which is kind of unheard of for cichlids. With 20 more bigger, you can also mix them with a pair of something else smallish, but more territorial. You do half the tank in rocks, the other half in shells and they'll split the tank. I have a 30 with multies and Julies (julidochromis). The shellies all breed like crazy as well.

Now there is a memory prod. The X had two tanganyikan tanks, one with the shell dwellers, the other with her catfish (leopard spotted... synodontis or some genus name). The water conditions need a little more attention to those tanks with an additive - I think it was more acidic and harder than normal tap. I am sure it is online somewhere... When you start getting into water chemistries, you start sliding into the realm of becoming a fish keeper person.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Tmon on March 02, 2013, 01:40:13 PM
This thread got me to fire up my first tank in 15 years.  It's a 25 gallon and right now it has 6 Panda Coryadoras and Bristlenose Plecostomus.  I plan on adding a Dwarf Gourami and 6 or so harlequin raspboras eventually.  I also decided to try live plants for the first time, the water sprite is turning into a nice Jungle and the Java Fern, dwarf sag and Cardinal Plant are doing pretty well also.  My banana lilly doesn't seem too happy but I suspect that it is getting shaded out by the water sprite.  Any way it's a nice addition to the office and gives me something to look at while I'm on the day's 5th conference call.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Signe on March 03, 2013, 11:15:03 AM
Everyone should post pics.  I'd like to see.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on March 03, 2013, 02:35:16 PM
Older, not very good pics, but

The 80 gal:
(http://www.raphkoster.com/images/fish/421.JPG)

The small 16 gal with CO2. Almost all of these plants died. :)
(http://www.raphkoster.com/images/fish/IMG_0862.JPG)

Two close ups of the 80 gal. You can just see the eye of the 13-inch pleco lurking here.

(http://www.raphkoster.com/images/fish/IMG_0871.JPG)

(http://www.raphkoster.com/images/fish/IMG_0872.JPG)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Signe on March 03, 2013, 04:45:48 PM
What a pretty thing to have in your home.  I wonder how insane my cats would go... probably very.  It would be exciting!  If I had a tiny spec of room, I'd get one.  But I don't. 


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Arinon on March 03, 2013, 05:36:07 PM
Clown loaches are the best.  Super entertaining fish.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on March 03, 2013, 06:15:26 PM
The biggest of those clown loaches is probably 4 inches long by now! :)

Our dog does occasionally jump at the tank, Signe... :)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on March 03, 2013, 08:46:35 PM
I have no tanks... the pictures from earlier will just have to do.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on March 10, 2013, 12:48:34 AM
Added three glass cats and two algae shrimp to the small tank (joining 3 otos, 3 pandas, and three cardinals). One of the cats was nearly dead in the bag, and he didn't make it through the next few hours. Shrimp and other two cats seem to fine, but the cats are just sitting on the ground not moving. All the ones I have had before always sat in the current from the power head waving in the water. Not sure what's up, but they've made it several days and DO move from place to place when I am not looking.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Kitsune on March 11, 2013, 08:06:40 PM
I would love an aquarium, but am just retardedly lazy.  Be better off cooking the fish and giving them a quick death than subjecting them to the terrible results of my ignorance and halfassed care.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on March 12, 2013, 03:35:18 AM
Turns out the glass cats are zipping around like crazy at night. So I guess they are strongly nocturnal. During the day, they act like they are dead. I need to get more of them, they are supposed to be in groups of 6. But if I get tat many, I will need to put them in the other tank I bet.

Shrimp seem OK. May need more of them too, apparently they add almost no bioload, and the rule is 1 per gallon. But this is a small tank and I need to watch it. Currently at 3 cardinals, 3 panda corys, 3 otos, 2 shrimp & 2 glass cats.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Tmon on March 12, 2013, 09:50:22 AM
Here's my tank 35 days in (fish have been in a week)

(http://imageshack.us/a/img824/8250/tankat35days.jpg)

Here's my very young Bristlenose Plecostomus cleaning the cardinal plant.

(http://imageshack.us/a/img594/916/walteronthecardinal.jpg)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on March 12, 2013, 03:47:34 PM
You're going to want to break up that water sprite. For one, it grows like mad, as you have probably already noticed. For another, though, it actually starts growing root systems up top, that's how it spreads. So prune aggressively, and when you see that happen, break that off and replant it elsewhere. With it that dense and breaking the water surface, it's going to trap all kinds of floating fish food and crud and turn into an algae breeding ground.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Tmon on March 13, 2013, 07:41:33 AM
Thanks for the advice, I've been planning to prune it for a while but it keeps doing new strange things so I thought I'd just let it go for a while.  I'll probably compost the trimmings since I don't think I want more than a couple of them in the tank.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on March 14, 2013, 01:07:21 AM
I did a water change today and saw no sign of the glass cats or the shrimp :(


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on March 14, 2013, 08:53:54 PM
I spoke too soon, found the shrimp and the cats. No idea where they were hiding!

Got the plants to pearl yesterday after doing a really thorough cleaning of that tank. And there was no sign of them whatsoever. Dunno!



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on March 18, 2013, 03:43:37 AM
I know I am talking to myself here, but it turns out that the cats that are just sitting there are either a) a different species of glass cat or b) missing their whiskers/barbels. Hard to tell which. There's one with long whiskers who does swim around plenty.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Reg on March 18, 2013, 07:06:24 AM
How would a catfish lose his whiskers like that? Do they fight amongst themselves or something?


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Numtini on March 18, 2013, 08:46:15 AM
That's weird, those are all very peaceable creatures and I'd expect the shrimp to disappear first.

We're about to reconfigure our house so our daughter can get out of our room and I'm thinking of trying a nano-tank in the new office with plantings and shrimp. Usually I keep cichlids who dig up and/or eat the plants and I've never tried shrimp before.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on March 18, 2013, 11:20:02 AM
I think they lost the whiskers while in the pet store. Who knows what fish they were kept with along the way, you know?

I also have read a few reports of them losing them with overly sharp gravel, but that wouldn't be in my tank either.

For the nano-tank: peacable tetras or hatchets, otos, those would also work fine there with the shrimp.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Slayerik on August 01, 2013, 01:52:54 PM
So, back into this hobby!

I have a 75 gallon craigslist special that came with two 4" african cichlids, and a 14" pleco. I have been slowly adding cichlids, until we seem to have reached the magic number of 8. Anything else I have added is now killed, so they have told me that the tank is full. I love the interactions and hierarchy of africans.

Got a 55g craigslist special and started a tank for the kids. 3 Silver hatchetfish, 3 sunburst (?) platys, 3 cool see through tetras, 2 algae eaters, and a Redtailed shark.  Just ordered a large blue LED, and may try out a few GLOFISH genetically altered ones that look really cool. Any recommendations on number of small fish before i go too crazy?

Tank Boss: Socolofi ?
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/247598_10200331350741713_286153103_n.jpg)

Tank Bully - Red Zebra?
(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/485436_10200331350981719_197255847_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/1003990_10200331351621735_293424786_n.jpg)





Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on August 02, 2013, 02:15:35 AM
You said algae eater? The fish sold as "Chinese Algae Eater" is bad news.

1) Only eats algae when little
2) grows a LOT -- like, 6 inches or more
3) will start sucking on other fish and killing them
4) unsure that two will get along, either.

If what you have is a Siamese Algae Eater, that's a whole different thing, peaceable and nice.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Slayerik on August 02, 2013, 09:23:20 AM
Looks like it's the Chinese variant. I think I may take your advice and just return them for a pleco or something. The last thing I need is some killer fish once I bite the bullet and spend a bit on these overly priced GLOFISH.



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on August 02, 2013, 10:10:04 AM
Zebra snails are great for algae and uneaten food, if you want something other than fish in the tank. However, keep in mind if you have to treat your fish for any outbreak that uses copper, you will kill them.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Arinon on August 02, 2013, 10:21:29 AM
I have several SAE in my tank.  They are great and get along with everything.  I remember when I went shopping for them I had to literally tell the pet shop guy which fish to scoop out of the tank they'd labeled "Algae Eaters".  He wasn't impressed and acted like he didn't believe me.  Wish I had better fish shops close by but at least this way I can keep my desire for a second tank in check.   One of these days  I'm going to make a river tank just for some Hillstream Loaches


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on October 28, 2013, 01:54:25 AM
So it looked like that small tank had sprung a leak. Panic time. Ran to get a replacement 16g tank and transferred everything over. Then did days of leak tests and cannot find a leak anywhere. We now suspect that water had wicked up the plastic clip that holds the glass top up.

So now I have an empty tank... wife is already saying "well, we could set it up in the bedroom..."

Pic of the new tank:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BXO3lKfCEAEow_a.jpg:large)

6 ghost shrimp
1 nerite snail
3 panda corys
5 glowlight tetras
That 1 glass cat. Which turns out to be an african glass cat, a whole different species from the usual. Which explains why he acted so weird.

Been replanting... had an outbreak of BGA which killed several plants. A small crypt and the anubias is all that didn't get slimed. So there's an ozelot sword in there and some small ludwigia. I just added hornwort even though it sheds like mad, because supposedly it fights BGA, some sort of natural antibiotic release or something. That's also why so heavy on the cleanup crew....


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on December 02, 2013, 03:26:33 PM
Same tank as the last post. We did add the baby tears and the hairgrass and one other plant in the back, but everything else is what was already in here. I moved the frontmost sword to background though, anticipating it getting quite tall. There's a small crypt there instead. We added in some cardinals too.

(https://scontent-a-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/q75/s720x720/1463086_10152109817251528_2038132399_n.jpg)

The breeder tank is there because there's a mom-to-be ghost shrimp in there. Hope we get babies, because some of the adults have perished.

The big tank is now much more densely planted:

(https://scontent-a-pao.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/q71/s720x720/1456783_10152109817396528_734465024_n.jpg)

Added all sorts of stuff. Several sorts of hygro -- the kind in the center back is supposed to get quite long. The giant plants on the side are watersprite that was in the last pic of the tank, just small. The swords from that pic all got eaten by the pleco. I gave him to the LOFS, he was 13 inches and uprooted everything. Also in there now is rotala, ludwigia, microsword, a giant crypt... and some true SAE's. We see the clown loaches much more now, they come out instead of hiding with the pleco. Would love to get some schooling small fish but not sure what would be OK with the rosy barbs in there.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Hawkbit on December 02, 2013, 04:07:34 PM
Natural looking tanks are awesome; those look great!  My favorite tanks I've done looked like the bottom edge of a riverbank.  The also tended to have the healthiest fish, though that's likely because of how committed I was to keeping them looking good.

Nice work! 


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CaptainNapkin on December 02, 2013, 04:11:24 PM
Looks great!
I've been missing my tanks a little lately and toying with the idea of trying a reef setup. I never got rid of my equipment so I have some of what I need. It's basically whether I want the commitment back in my life right now that I've been debating.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: JWIV on January 08, 2014, 01:14:20 PM
My daughter has been wanting a tank for awhile now (ever since she saw my brother's betta), so I went ahead and picked up a used starter tank from the local listserv and set it up over the weekend. The last time I did a tank was about 15 years ago and it ended pretty poorly with everything dying off from ick and god knows what else. Hopefully going with a smaller tank (2.5 gallon) with a single betta should go a bit better.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-oRNC1sBtik0/Us1fD1Rcj1I/AAAAAAAAet0/-M9KBoFNFDI/s628-no/IMG_20140108_092201.jpg)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Hawkbit on January 08, 2014, 02:36:22 PM
You should be fine with a single betta.  They're fairly hardy. 

Generally speaking, more water is better because changes and corrections happen more gradually.  However, my daughter had a carnival goldfish she kept in a 2.5gal for 2+ years with no issues.  Good luck!

Fake edit:  A few nights ago I had a dream that I built a new 75gal.  (I currently have no tanks, though I've had in the past).  When I was trying to find a place for it, I looked over and saw two other tanks next to where I put it, each with a different makeup.  One was riverbed, one saltwater and the other Mbuna.

I think my subconscious was telling me something.  Something really expensive, that is.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 08, 2014, 03:46:25 PM
My daughter has been wanting a tank for awhile now (ever since she saw my brother's betta), so I went ahead and picked up a used starter tank from the local listserv and set it up over the weekend. The last time I did a tank was about 15 years ago and it ended pretty poorly with everything dying off from ick and god knows what else. Hopefully going with a smaller tank (2.5 gallon) with a single betta should go a bit better.


Betta's do well in small confines generally, since they are territorial. They also don't need nearly the amount of attention other fish do since they are extremely hardy and have a labyrinth organ for breathing - so filters and bubblers aren't completely necessary. That and water changes can be 'delayed' a couple days without too much trouble. I'd say they are pretty great for kids that have some concept of responsibility - and the size of the tank makes changing the water pretty easy. I had 2 bettas in an off room, each in a 2.5 gallon clear plastic tank I got from walmart, when I was with the xgf; every week I'd fish out the betta into a cup with the tank water and then just pour out the tank and refill and dechlorinate with Prime. Poured the betta back in with the old tank water in the cup and I was done. Gratz to getting your little one into the game... hope it sticks with her.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CaptainNapkin on January 08, 2014, 04:18:08 PM
I went to my local aquatic store over the holidays just to see if my interest had any legs to it. Lucky for me and my wallet, the itch did not return. Still can't bring myself to get rid of my equipment though, just in case.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: JWIV on January 08, 2014, 07:06:04 PM
Thanks all. I'm hoping that since I also got the betta from an actually reputable fish store as opposed to the local chain petstore, it'll also be a lot better off since they're known for actually knowing what they're doing in caring for their stock



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: MournelitheCalix on January 08, 2014, 11:01:40 PM
I just broke down one of my tanks and merged my Cichlid stock.  My vics and tamgs seem to be coexisting well so far as I have a female pundamilla holding and a neolamprologous leleupi defending a cave ( which likely means babies).

This means the synodontis cats will be very active in about a week.  Oh also for the fish folks in here lazer pointers work very well :)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 13, 2014, 05:57:57 PM
Been trying to get red cherry shrimp established in the small tank. Failing. I suspect the water simply wasn't hard enough, so they were dying during molts. Just added five more, haven't seen them since I let them loose last night.  :uhrr:

Also had 2/3 of my nerite snails crawl out and die. So now I have mesh across the open spots on the top.

Anyway, here's what has happened in the months since the pics I last posted.



Large tank:
80g

(http://www.raphkoster.com/images/fish/bigtankJan14.jpg)

Plants:
Water sprite. The mother plants here are insane, like 2 feet long. I keep trimming away a pound of leaves every water change. The stalks are a good quarter of an inch thick. I have a little vase with like four footlong babies in a windowsill now.
Hygrophila compacta (front left)
Hygrophila angustifolia (willow hygro, tall grass stuff in the back)
Rotala - a little hard to see, but it's all over the tank.
Anubias -- also all over, including the suction cups stuck to the back glass
Hornwort, most visible on the left
Amazon sword, still small. The ones in the small tank are doing better, so i will probably swap them
Microsword -- the grass in the foreground
Giant crypt -- the big one in the center right, with the really long stalks and six inch leaves.

Fauna
1 ghost shrimp
4 clown loaches
3 corydoras julii
3 longfin danios
5 longfin rosy barbs
3 diamond tetras
1 african glass cat
10 otocinclus
Piles of malaysian trumpet snails that hitched a ride in and are very happy, but get eaten by the loaches

Small tank
16g

(http://www.raphkoster.com/images/fish/smalltankJan14.jpg)

Plants
Two crypts (one regular, one wendtii) in the front
Some microswords you can't see
dwarf pennywort
Ludwigia
Amazon swords (2)
Ozelot sword, on the right
Rotala -- the spindly guys with the small leaves, center right
Anubias
Dwarf hairgrass
One stray willow hygro
Something I don't remember the name of -- on the left side, really tall

I just added a madagascar lace, destined for the big tank once it gets a bit bigger

Fauna:
5 ember tetras
4 neon tetras
5 glowlight tetras
3 panda corys
3 nerite snails
3 otocinclus
5 red cherry shrimp, in theory

Plant growth is with dosing but no c02 -- N, P, K, traces, and Excel. Just added iron to the regimen, and some stuff to boost hardness for the shrimp.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 13, 2014, 06:05:45 PM
Oh! Forgot to mention the other weird thing.

All the Java fern in both tanks up and died. Like, turned light brown and skeletonized, all at once. If they were touching any other plants, they burned a hole in whatever they were touching, but whatever it was wasn't catching.

Nobody at my local fish stores seems to have any idea what happened. The only thing I could correlate it to was a fungus or something that grew out of the driftwood in the small tank, which is why that isn't in there anymore.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 13, 2014, 06:22:31 PM
Oh! Forgot to mention the other weird thing.

All the Java fern in both tanks up and died. Like, turned light brown and skeletonized, all at once. If they were touching any other plants, they burned a hole in whatever they were touching, but whatever it was wasn't catching.

Nobody at my local fish stores seems to have any idea what happened. The only thing I could correlate it to was a fungus or something that grew out of the driftwood in the small tank, which is why that isn't in there anymore.

Something like this?

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=161262


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 13, 2014, 09:14:15 PM
Yea, but the version without the plantlets. No new leaves. I removed most of them from the tank and tried them in a bowl, and nothing, completely dead. Literally only one plant survived. And as you can see from the pics, I am very dubious about it being a nutriest deficiency...


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: MournelitheCalix on January 15, 2014, 06:26:51 AM
Oh! Forgot to mention the other weird thing.

All the Java fern in both tanks up and died. Like, turned light brown and skeletonized, all at once. If they were touching any other plants, they burned a hole in whatever they were touching, but whatever it was wasn't catching.

Nobody at my local fish stores seems to have any idea what happened. The only thing I could correlate it to was a fungus or something that grew out of the driftwood in the small tank, which is why that isn't in there anymore.

have you thought about temperature?  In my past experience temperature is critical for planted tanks.  In my experience nutrient deficiencies do not result in immediate death.  There are stages before death, for instance yellowing leaves.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 15, 2014, 06:37:58 PM
Both tanks are at a pretty steady 74 degrees... seems unlikely it wouldn't cause problems across more than one species though?


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: MournelitheCalix on January 17, 2014, 06:50:53 PM
I think really it depends not on species but where the plants originate from.  If all the plants were acclimated to one environment, and you suddenly gave them an incompatible environment because of temperature, then I would expect that they would die.  Its kind of like what happens to the German Blue Rams (and why people have so much trouble with them).  That being said I would think that 74 degrees should be pretty much ideal for most species.  I had die off any time the temperatures rose above 78.  It certainly is strange that there was no signs of stress in the plants.  Yellowing of leaves as I mentioned before is pretty common when you have iron deficiency.  I believe Amazon Sword sends runners like mad when the main plant is stressed for whatever reason.  Even lighting issues really shouldn't result in immediate death.   About the only thing I have ever encountered that resulted in immediate death of plants is someone putting them in salt water/brackish tanks.  From your stock list I am fairly certain you don't have that problem.

One other observation/suggestion.  As I was reading the past posts I saw that you had problems with Ich.  When I first began in the hobby, I learned very quickly that if you have a large tank, it really does pay to run a smaller "hospital" tank.  The antibiotics really do destroy the biological filtration.   Its both cheaper in my experience and easier to set up a 5 - 10 gallon aquarium as a hospital tank.  I would highly recommend that you set up a hospital tank if you are going to add more stock .  If I was still keeping characins, I would certainly run one in order to try to breed them.

I was curious Raph at one more thing you said.  I saw that you tried Melaflix.  Once or twice a year, I have problems with inter species aggression with the pundamilla nyerei  or the pseudotropheus demasoni and one invariably gets beaten down.  What was your experience with Melaflix?  I ask because I was not at all certain that it was doing anything to help the minor infection that resulted from the torn fins.  I would certainly be curious as to whether or not you saw results with the melaflix.


One more thing:  Man good luck on the madagascar lace.  That has to be one of the most amazing aquatic plants that I have ever encountered when its healthy and thriving.  Hard as can be to get it though and I am told even harder to get it to thrive.  Sounds like a really fun challenge and a potential centerpiece for an aquarium


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 18, 2014, 02:01:38 AM
I strongly doubt the java fern issue was acclimation; it had been in the large tank for literally years, and in the small tank since it was set up. It died off very suddenly just a few weeks ago, after months of doing fine. I wouldn't say it was thriving that whole time -- it's a mix of the windelof and the regular, and it was never very large, probably because the light is too high... it grew bushy instead. I have one of the trefoil kind and it was also wiped out, but it is growing back at a very nice clip now.

Some of the ones in the big tank went down to nothing but rhizome. I left them there, and now I see some green buds on it again... but it's taken two weeks.

The ich issues were a long time ago. The small planted tank was actually intended as the hospital tank for the big one, but it kind of got away from me. :) I haven't had any fauna issues in quite a while, except for my failure to keep shrimp alive.

Melafix is very very gentle. I would compare it to using aloe vera over real medicine, if you know what I mean. The oldest of my rosy barb males is getting up there -- he's ten -- and the two younger ones are clearly outcompeting him now. So he got nipped on the back, small little wound, start of a minor infection. Melafix dosed daily for a week and it closed up nicely without dosing stronger meds. But for anytihng worse, I have not had it give significant results.

On the Madagascar lace, the smallest leaf it had was brownish and maybe an inch long when I planted it. It is already three inches and green. It looks to me like maybe the way it grows is that new leaves are bigger than older ones? That would match the pattern for stuff like water sprite. Each new stalk on the water sprite is longer than the previous by maybe six inches. Luckily, if I trim, it seems to branch instead. If the lace stays on pace, I would expect it to need to move to the bigger tank within a few months. I have one amazon you can see in the small tank pic that is already 12in and probably needs to move very soon.

I do hear that bulbs like the lace need to be periodically removed from the water or something. Dunno when, guess I will wing it :)



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Lantyssa on January 21, 2014, 10:50:43 PM
Really you raise aquatic plants and the animals are just to help them feel more in their natural environment, huh?


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Lounge on January 22, 2014, 01:40:03 PM
Those are beautiful tanks Raph.  Thanks for sharing.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 22, 2014, 03:04:25 PM
Funny thing is, I have a black thumb for terrestrial plants. :P


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 22, 2014, 03:21:51 PM
Takashi Amano. That man is seriously an artist with aquarium plants. When I was living with the X, she showed me a few things of his in a couple fish magazines and I was blown away.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Numtini on January 23, 2014, 09:56:08 AM
I have a 30 (36x12x16) we're going to convert from shellies (moving to a 20) to a community tank and I'd like to plant it. If I stick with low light plants, can one get away with a single element fluorescent or should I be looking at an LED array or something else? It is near a window and oh boy does it grow algae well.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 23, 2014, 10:24:23 AM
I have a 30 (36x12x16) we're going to convert from shellies (moving to a 20) to a community tank and I'd like to plant it. If I stick with low light plants, can one get away with a single element fluorescent or should I be looking at an LED array or something else? It is near a window and oh boy does it grow algae well.

We had a tank in the front room that got a lot of day time light, though none direct. We only ever turned the light, a single aquarium grade fluorescent, on in the evenings and only for 2-3 hours to make sure the platys were still breeding and to check the loaches. The Java moss and ferns along with a few swords in the back of the tank had no issues and even kept the algae down to a minimum. No lights even helped a lot of the Platy fry survive - though the clumps of Java moss did most of that. I'd suggest dropping some plants in and leaving the light off and see what happens in the following 2-3 weeks. If all goes well, the plants should do well and the algae should actually be kept in check due to the higher competition consuming all the nutrients. Just my opinion based on what worked for my x's tank. YMMV.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 23, 2014, 01:36:27 PM
You can get low light LED arrays too, and they are a bit cheaper on the power bill. But I agree, if you stick to low light plants, the sunlight and a regular fixture should be just fine.

You might want to read about dirted tanks or "the Walstad method"... they use dirt for the substrate, and are meant to be left in the sun.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Numtini on January 24, 2014, 11:16:43 AM
I'm going to need to change the substrate anyway as the stuff in there now is to buffer the ph for the cichlids, but I hadn't considered actual dirt.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 25, 2014, 01:47:57 AM
Well, you have to be careful as to what kind of dirt. Organic, no funky stuff, etc. Google for it.

I have a small vase in the windowsill in which I am growing watersprite (not that I need more). It has an inch of potting soil, and watersprite, and nothing else. Plant is thriving.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Signe on January 25, 2014, 11:45:23 AM
Those tanks are so pretty.  The fish, plants, stones, etc.  I would SO love to do this but I know my kitties will worry the tank constantly.  I don't want to have my fish traumatised by being constantly harassed by cats.  I did, however, download an awesome aquarium screensaver for my tv.  I can't take my eyes off of it.  This is your fault, Raph.  You need to come do my laundry.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 25, 2014, 01:37:37 PM
You need to come do my laundry.

 :oh_i_see:


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Slayerik on January 28, 2014, 11:24:17 AM
Those tanks are so pretty.  The fish, plants, stones, etc.  I would SO love to do this but I know my kitties will worry the tank constantly.  I don't want to have my fish traumatised by being constantly harassed by cats.  I did, however, download an awesome aquarium screensaver for my tv.  I can't take my eyes off of it.  This is your fault, Raph.  You need to come do my laundry.

I thought my cats would have issues with our tanks but they just ignore them.

Also, best place for tanks is craigslist. I have made 3 huge scores on there.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 28, 2014, 12:31:16 PM
Those tanks are so pretty.  The fish, plants, stones, etc.  I would SO love to do this but I know my kitties will worry the tank constantly.  I don't want to have my fish traumatised by being constantly harassed by cats.  I did, however, download an awesome aquarium screensaver for my tv.  I can't take my eyes off of it.  This is your fault, Raph.  You need to come do my laundry.

I thought my cats would have issues with our tanks but they just ignore them.

Also, best place for tanks is craigslist. I have made 3 huge scores on there.

or fish auctions... Look into you local fish clubs and go to the auctions.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Signe on January 28, 2014, 02:09:25 PM
Except my Magenta attacks the aquarium on my TV so she'll probably attack the real thing.  By attack I mean she puts her paws on the screen when they move.  Sometimes it's a bit frantic.  I'm assuming fish can be traumatised.  I don't see why not.  Some people even said that there are some kinds of fish that recognise you and even nibble your fingers and come when you tap the glass and look at you lovingly when you feed them.  Or is that a load of tired old bollocks?  Maybe I should buy one little gold fish and a tank and see what the kitties do.  I think the pup would be okay with it.  Are these questions crazy?  I don't think they are regardless of what ever the popular f13 consensus.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 28, 2014, 02:20:06 PM
Except my Magenta attacks the aquarium on my TV so she'll probably attack the real thing.  By attack I mean she puts her paws on the screen when they move.  Sometimes it's a bit frantic.  I'm assuming fish can be traumatised.  I don't see why not.  Some people even said that there are some kinds of fish that recognise you and even nibble your fingers and come when you tap the glass and look at you lovingly when you feed them.  Or is that a load of tired old bollocks?  Maybe I should buy one little gold fish and a tank and see what the kitties do.  I think the pup would be okay with it.  Are these questions crazy?  I don't think they are regardless of what ever the popular f13 consensus.

Had 4 cats in my X's place along with her tanks. My cats were new to the aquariums and took a little interest in the fish early on, but once they tapped the glass a few times, they figured out it was pointless. Just have to be very sure you have good lids on the tanks. Better still if you can get an enclosed hood.

And yes, some fish will get very animated when you are around because they learned when you are around, they get fed. Best ones for this have been the Oscars we had (Just make sure you have a tank for them... they get huge - 120g would be recommended). They would even allow you to 'pet' them which again was a learned response. They are still fish so it is all reactionary and stimulus-response stuff, but... they can distinguish between different types of people. Bettas will also react to humans as well for the same reasons.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 29, 2014, 07:59:11 PM
Clown loaches, same thing. There are definitely fish that come to recognize you and allow petting.

Dogs/cats vs aquariums is definitely very animal-dependent.

Moved the sword plant from the small to the big tank today... it's over a foot tall.

Lace plant is at six inch leaves. I can see it will end up moving over too.

Shrimp seem to have stuck this time, so added more to try to get the breeding going.

Will post more pics for Signe once the sediment in the water settles. :)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Samwise on January 29, 2014, 09:00:51 PM
And yes, some fish will get very animated when you are around because they learned when you are around, they get fed. Best ones for this have been the Oscars we had (Just make sure you have a tank for them... they get huge - 120g would be recommended). They would even allow you to 'pet' them which again was a learned response. They are still fish so it is all reactionary and stimulus-response stuff, but... they can distinguish between different types of people. Bettas will also react to humans as well for the same reasons.

Back when I had guppies they did the same thing, coming out of hiding spots and "begging" at the surface when they saw me come near.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: MournelitheCalix on January 29, 2014, 10:55:33 PM
Really you raise aquatic plants and the animals are just to help them feel more in their natural environment, huh?

This isnt as outlandish as it sounds as the fish wastes is what fuels the nitrogen cycle and that in turn provides the nutrients that the plants need to grow.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: MournelitheCalix on January 29, 2014, 11:06:02 PM

or fish auctions... Look into you local fish clubs and go to the auctions.

You also never know what you will find.  A few years ago a guy showed up with some blue rock kribensis in an auction in Cinncinatti.  That may not mean anything to most but that fish isn't believed to be in the hobby anymore, extinct in the wild,  and the only known specimens were in the collection of Shedds aquarium's CARES program.

Aqua bid is also a place that you should keep an eye on for rare fish.  In the last four years a couple of really rare tilapia species from Victoria has also shown up.  Personally I am looking for Enterochromis cf. paropuis


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Signe on January 30, 2014, 09:49:46 AM
They're like beautiful little alien worlds.  It's hard to stop looking.  I feel much the same way about terrariums except they would be better with tiny animals in them. 


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 30, 2014, 07:50:16 PM
OK, here's the pics for Signe. Last pics were just about exactly two weeks ago. I think I may have a plant problem. You can do a direct comparison to the previous pic. Everything is maybe growing too much! :) The real issue is I have a lot of plants in the small tank that are destined to grow large. I will end up needing to swamp big ones and small ones around.

All pics spoilered for size, but shrinking them more made them way less cool. :)

Big tank overview:
I whacked the watersprite (lacy stuff at the sides) way back. A clump of it is also floating on the right side, it got uprooted last night. You can see the Amazon sword from the other tank is now a foot tall and in the middle.

A smaller sword has been moved to the front there. Hoping it takes off some from the light exposure.

Small tank overview:

As you can see on the left, the wisteria went nuts and it touching the water surface. There is now that darker hygro where the sword was in the center left. I also added some luwigia along the back, to give the shrimp more hiding spots. Their favorite spot, though, is under the lace plant. You can see the lace already poking up on the center right. It was only an inch tall two weeks ago.

Here's a better pic of the lace specifically. This plant is weird because it ONLY has veins. Yes, those leaves are full of holes, naturally.


And just for Signe, here's the tiny animals. :) Some of them, anyway. This small tank has a lot of fish, believe it or not.

There are 3 bottom feeders -- you can see one of them on the right. That's a panda cory, so called because, well, they look like pandas.  :sad_panda:

You can see two neons near the top. There's four of them. Not in the pic, five glowlight tetras (mostly transparent, with reddsh neon) and five ember tetras (half size bright orange guys). You can probably make some of those out in the overview pic.

There are also three otocinclus, little sucker catfish.

You can see one of the three snails. These are called nerite snails. They have pretty zebra stripes on them.

Lastly, there are at least eight red cherry shrimp in there. In this pic you can see one of the girls right in the center -- they are bigger and brighter colored. Even bright red, in this tank they are very hard to find.

Yes, I know, there's brush algae on the anubias plant there in the front... legacy from when I had a problem. It isn't spreading, and I was waiting until the plant threw off a few more new leaves before I trimmed and bleach-dipped it.




Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: MournelitheCalix on January 30, 2014, 08:59:48 PM
Is that lace rock I saw?  Also are you using a UV Sterilizer by any chance?


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 30, 2014, 09:35:47 PM
Yes, I do use UV sterilizers in both tanks.

Do you mean the rock in the small tank? It's just some stuff from the LFS, nothing fancy.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Signe on January 31, 2014, 09:05:40 AM
Thanks!  Those are beautiful.  And in the second picture the little bubbles at the top look like stars.  I think I like that one the most.  The last pic... it's coming right at me!! 


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: CmdrSlack on February 05, 2014, 01:04:52 AM
So we're moving at the end of March. I have a 29 gallon tank to move. Does anyone have any good tips? This tank has a peat moss/sand/stone substrate, and I'd really rather not destroy it all to move the tank.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on February 05, 2014, 01:15:45 AM
Remove 5 gal to a bucket or cooler.

Remove fish to the bucket or cooler.

Insert battery powered air pump.

Move over some of the filter media and drop them either in the bucket or at the bottom of the tank. Sponges, whatever. If you use HOB filters, try to avoid pouring them out, so that the mulm remains in them. Basically, you are trying to keep the bacteria colonies alive. So keep them wet.

Remove all but 1 inch of water. If you can save it, or some of it, great. Make sure the substrate remains wet, basically. You can probably leave everything planted.

Transport tank carefully. Water will slosh but will likely not splash out. 1 inch is not heavy enough to break the bottom, generally. Not with a 29 gal, I bet. But be sure to carry it carefully, and if you can, put a plank under it or something when you lift it. It will take two people.

Set back up. Since you are effectively doing a MASSIVE water change, suggest adding in some of the ready-made bacteria you can buy. Get it all set up, and run it all for a day or two with the fish still in the cooler or bucket. They will be fine, unless temp changes a lot or something. See if you get a bacteria bloom, check that you don't get an ammonia spike, that sort of thing. AmQuel or NovAqua or Seachem Prime will help. Prime is easiest on the plant nutrients, if you have the choice.

Experience: moved the population of a 20 gal tank 1500mi in a car. Lost one fish -- he swam into a tube and got stuck and the others fin-nipped him. And have moved an 80 gal tank a few miles. No losses that time. We still have rosy barbs and cory cats from that 1500mi move. It was ten years ago.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Numtini on February 05, 2014, 03:19:07 PM
We moved our 55 gallon from Massachusetts to Maryland pretty much as you said, though we used large bags and those oxygen tablet things. I cringed every bump the U-Haul went over, but the tank and everyone survived. The real pain in the posterior was arriving at 3am after a 12 hour drive and needing to set the thing up right away, somewhat ameliorated by our new housemate babbling quotes about fish free associated from primarily Shakespeare and the Bible.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on February 05, 2014, 07:48:52 PM
I forgot to mention, remove all largish rocks. Those you definitely do not want to roll loose in the tank while it moves.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on February 05, 2014, 07:59:01 PM
Also helps to put something between the tank and whatever you are resting it on in the vehicle. Enough cushion to take the edge off the bumps but stable enough so it doesn't slide off. Also, after the trip, set the tank up and fill it without setting it back up to test for seal leaks. sucks major ass to set everything up and find out 2 days later one of your seals broke... especially a bottom seal.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on February 05, 2014, 10:55:59 PM
We used those packing blankets to wrap it, I think.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: MournelitheCalix on February 06, 2014, 04:16:51 PM
I drove from tulsa ok to illinois with  dwarf petricolas in a bag inflated with oxygen and in a styrofoam box.  I expected to arrive with dead fish but I didnt lose a single one.  Happily for travelers who find must have specimens in other cities some things work to our advantage.  Keeping fish in sealed containers with just enough water and alot of oxygen is a good move because the bumps and turns churns the water allowing for oxygen absorption.  keeping the livestock in a dark sealed container keeps them calmer thereby reducing stress.  Keeping them in a cooler or styrofoam box (sealed mind you).  Helps keep the temperature stable during the trip.

In my years in the hobby it has been my experience that fish can be kept in good condition for days provided that they are properly packaged and kept in insulated, sealed containers.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: JWIV on March 03, 2014, 05:47:53 PM
Kids have been clamoring to each have their own fish (sharing a single betta apparently was not ok).  Saw on a local parent group where someone was offering up a tank and two bettas. I figured it was a 2.5 gallon split tank. Not ideal, but workable for a bit.  Instead it was a split half gallon box (http://smile.amazon.com/Aqueon-01206-Betta-Bowl-Starter/dp/B0045IJ06I/) with the fish basically having no room to do anything but float in place or mope on the gravel.

By comparison, the betta I have in the 5 gallon swims around constantly and is playful.

I got home and immediately ordered new tanks and supplies.

_sigh_

Moral of the story - never ever buy a fish tank. It's a horrible rabbit hole of a hobby.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on March 03, 2014, 06:14:09 PM
Moral of the story - never ever buy a fish tank. It's a horrible rabbit hole of a hobby.

No truer words...

And bettas are a small pool breed - they really don't require larger tanks than 2.5g. Nice, sure. They'll be more active because they have a bigger territory to patrol, but is not necessary - unless you are breeding them and would like to save the female. Swimming with those curtains would be hell regardless of the type of fish. Having said that... I am always glad to hear when kids are getting into the hobby.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: JWIV on March 03, 2014, 07:06:38 PM
Moral of the story - never ever buy a fish tank. It's a horrible rabbit hole of a hobby.

No truer words...

And bettas are a small pool breed - they really don't require larger tanks than 2.5g. Nice, sure. They'll be more active because they have a bigger territory to patrol, but is not necessary - unless you are breeding them and would like to save the female. Swimming with those curtains would be hell regardless of the type of fish. Having said that... I am always glad to hear when kids are getting into the hobby.

Yeah - I didn't want to go too crazy, so I started looking at the 1.5 gallon tanks originally, but then upgrading to a 3 gallon was $5, so I went ahead and got that for each of them.  Should be plenty large enough for them to roam as well as allowing for a filter and the like so I don't have to change the water on a daily basis. 
 


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on March 03, 2014, 07:30:53 PM

Yeah - I didn't want to go too crazy, so I started looking at the 1.5 gallon tanks originally, but then upgrading to a 3 gallon was $5, so I went ahead and got that for each of them.  Should be plenty large enough for them to roam as well as allowing for a filter and the like so I don't have to change the water on a daily basis. 
 

You can get away with weekly changes with bettas given their hardiness and their labyrinth organ, even with standing water. However, if you are trying to get the kidlets into the hobby, best to teach good skills now rather than down the road. 


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on March 06, 2014, 02:49:32 AM
Here's the quarterly update!

In the big tank, I threw out several pounds worth of watersprite. It was a good two feet tall. Whacked it back significantly to make room for the other plants. It was floating on the top and blocking all the light.

The centerpiece sword is doing well. The ludwigia is almost to the top of the tank. The willow hygro (big grass looking stuff) is twice the height. The giant crypt has suffered. But it threw off a baby, which I put in the small tank... we'll see how it does.

Some of the java fern is recovering a little bit.


Small tank, the shrimp are thriving, and I didn't lose any this time! You can just see one in the lower left. The lace is doing very well. The ozelot is slowly recovering. I have thread algae, boo. The anubias is throwing off lots of new leaves, the rotala is going nuts, and I will need to move the sword and the lace over to the big tank in probably another month.

You will notice I whacked back most of the sprite in here too, Also chopped the wisteria in half, it was about four inches taller than the water. It readily sprouts offshoots, so I tossed the part I capped off into the big tank, hoping it can sit in a back corner.

The two crypts have done a little too well for foreground! They block the view farther back. Oh well :)

I also tried out some new hygro stems. They lost all their leaves, and are now sprouting back.


No new fish in the tanks this time around.

I am getting some christmas moss to try out, see how the shrimp like it for hiding. It'll go where the lace and sword are right now, so there's somewhere for the shrimp to hide. (They love hiding in the lace).

Also, I am finally moving to dry powder fertilizers starting tomorrow... new adventure.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: JWIV on March 06, 2014, 07:50:40 AM
Absolutely beautiful Raph. 


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Signe on March 06, 2014, 09:28:05 AM
I love those fish tanks.  They so vibrant.  I get mesmerised.  (http://i.imgur.com/d4LKFA8.gif)  You should set up your own fish tank cam!  I'd watch even if you put on adverts.  Maybe.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: JWIV on March 06, 2014, 07:17:25 PM
Finally got the new tanks set up tonight. Fish are unsurprisingly much happier and active.  I need to even out the gravel a bit (the kids decided to "helpfully" add some more while I was out of the room), but otherwise the bettas took right to the plants and hiding spaces.   Still plastic plants, much to the dismay of my daughter who was very excited to hear you could grow plants with your fish, but we're not ready for that project just yet.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-d5lxi3xsjxg/UxkWADb2_XI/AAAAAAAAft4/6QB5eyHIf8s/w921-h394-no/14+-+1)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Signe on March 06, 2014, 07:24:58 PM
Srsly.  CAVE??   :heart:  Love it to bits.  I used to see a doctor who had a whole wall that was an aquarium in his waiting room.  It's what kept me going to him, I think.  He wasn't the greatest doctor in the world.  He wasn't even a tribute.  But had an awesome wall.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on March 07, 2014, 04:10:33 PM
Looking good!

Just a heads-up though, If you are ever going to do real plants, that gravel is way too large for most kinds.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: JWIV on March 07, 2014, 07:46:10 PM
Looking good!

Just a heads-up though, If you are ever going to do real plants, that gravel is way too large for most kinds.

Good to know!  I mostly grabbed this because I was trying to keep my costs down, and it was relatively inexpensive while still going towards a more natural look for the tank.  I haven't really had the chance yet to research and plan out exactly what we'd want to go with in terms of plants and a tank to go with them.   


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on March 07, 2014, 10:57:49 PM
Yeah, rooted plants need a substrate that has small enough pieces for the roots to grab.  Even small gravel isn't the best. Sand works, for some sorts of plants that don't need heavy root feeding. Soil or dedicated plant substrate is ideal. For gravel, I'd go with plants that feed from the water column or float (you can anchor them down). Hornwort, water sprite, java fern, anubias. They are also good beginner plants and don't need CO2 or high light.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Numtini on March 10, 2014, 05:58:20 AM
What is your opinion on specific plant substrates, Flourite, Eco Complete, and so on?


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on March 10, 2014, 12:29:25 PM
They are all expensive and mostly the same. Some of them can stain the water a bit. They all run out of nutrients eventually. I don't even remember which I got.

I ended up putting small gravel over it because the fish would generate a giant cloud of muck every time they swam near the ground. This hampers growing ground cover, like hairgrass or baby's tears, quite a lot.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: JWIV on April 07, 2014, 06:51:27 PM
In case anyone needs a little inspiration for their next tank layout -

http://twentytwowords.com/fish-tanks-incredible-art-look-beautiful-world-competitive-aquascaping-21-pics/

Each year an intense competition is held that you’ve never heard of — the International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest. The highly competitive event is typically led by participants from Eastern Europe and Asia who vie to create the world’s best aquarium…


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Lantyssa on April 08, 2014, 08:36:57 AM
Wow.  Those are beautiful.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on April 08, 2014, 09:43:27 AM
People have come really far from back in the day...  :awesome_for_real:

Hands down my favorite planted tank guy: http://www.amanotakashi.net/portfolio/nature_aquarium/

I was asking my X about plants in a tank and she gave me a magazine with this guy in it. I was floored.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Hawkbit on April 08, 2014, 02:59:57 PM
When I finish my degree later this year I plan to pick up a non-computer related hobby.  I'm leaning towards a freshwater tank like those, once I get some time back.

I wonder what size would be good to work with.  I've done 55s and 75s in the past, nothing bigger.  In my current place, anything bigger than that would have to go in the basement because I don't trust my old home floor support.  Which somewhat defeats the purpose of having a large plant tank.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on April 08, 2014, 04:14:37 PM
When I finish my degree later this year I plan to pick up a non-computer related hobby.  I'm leaning towards a freshwater tank like those, once I get some time back.

I wonder what size would be good to work with.  I've done 55s and 75s in the past, nothing bigger.  In my current place, anything bigger than that would have to go in the basement because I don't trust my old home floor support.  Which somewhat defeats the purpose of having a large plant tank.

Bow front tanks. 72g bow front is very nice and yields a surprising amount of space.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on April 14, 2014, 02:26:57 PM
A lot of planted tanks are on the smaller side, for a variety of reasons (lighting gets VERY expensive for deep tanks; lighting strongly enough for plants in something over 18" deep is a pain; fertilizers add up too, unless you go with dry powders). Bowfronts also have the issue that it can be hard to get the lighting dispersed to the bow part, because the hoods are basically for the squared version of the tank.

One of mine is 80g, and I run 4x T5 bulbs over it. The fixture cost several hundred bucks and I don't want to know how much it draws in power. :P

Bowfronts do have a cool optical illusion in terms of how big the tank looks.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on September 13, 2014, 02:01:53 AM
Pic from this month. I took out most of that giant watersprite since it was threatening to take over. Have small ones on the right, and wisteria on the left. The hygro grasses have done very well, but the fish dismembered the hygro plant that was in the front left corner. Poor amazon sword right in front also gets beat up by them. I took the grases and cut them all in half and replanted the top for this pic -- they were starting to bend down the front glass.

Spoilered for size. You can see the big clown loach right in front. He's a good six inches.



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Signe on September 13, 2014, 09:27:32 AM
SIX INCHES!  Wow.  That's like dinner or something!  Really awesome looking fish, though.  I have leggings with those exact colours but I never wear them because of the bumble bee factor.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Ironwood on January 15, 2015, 08:12:29 AM
Right, Apologies for the bump, but I'm now desperate.

The fish have White Spot and it Won't Go Away.

Help.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 15, 2015, 09:59:26 AM
Right, Apologies for the bump, but I'm now desperate.

The fish have White Spot and it Won't Go Away.

Help.


Ich. Easiest way is to increase the temp of the tank (just watch the fish for any severe change in behavior and slowly back down the temps). You can also treat with copper, but that will kill any invertebrates you have (snails, crabs, shellfish).  The ex also used methylene blue. I have no idea about formalin but that seems to be another go to.

Pretty common ailment.

reference for temps to raise to that won't cook your fish:
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=16+2160&aid=2421


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Ironwood on January 15, 2015, 10:32:13 AM
I have used Methylene and for all the good it's done, I'd have been as well putting it up my arse.

I guess heating is a way to go now, but knowing my cack-handedness, I'm going to end up with fishsoup.



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Lantyssa on January 15, 2015, 10:40:38 AM
At least you'll get a meal out of it then.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Ironwood on January 15, 2015, 11:00:52 AM
And the eternal enmity of the daughter and wife.

Pass.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 15, 2015, 11:02:35 AM
From my own experience: raise the temp gradually - fish won't really notice if it is done slowly. They may act more sluggish/hyper depending on the fish as the temps get higher, most fish will get hyper though. Think of it this way, raising the temp is you manually giving the fish a fever to kill off the virus (parasite in this case). Of course, this is also a week process with plenty of water changes and substrate vacuuming that you might have to repeat a week or two later. I'd try the formalin after if the fish are still itching after two temp shifts(fish will rub on your aquarium rocks when they need to itch - which is never a good sign).

Also forgot to add that you can treat this with aquarium salt as well. In essence you are turning your tank into a brackish tank. I know the ex had some success with it, but really relied on the temp increase. Unfortunately, aquarium salt comes in huge bags (at least here in the US). The ex had a few saltwater tanks so we had that already.

Another reference article - http://www.aquahobby.com/articles/e_ich2.php

They point out that you will need to increase the oxygenation in the tank with more frequent water changes and/or increased aeration.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Hawkbit on January 15, 2015, 12:57:26 PM
Just stopping to say that everything the binary dude's posting is spot-on correct.  Ich can be tricky, but gradual temp increase, increased aeration and treatment should kick it. 


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Paelos on January 15, 2015, 01:05:09 PM
I have used Methylene and for all the good it's done, I'd have been as well putting it up my arse.

Thanks for this. Made my day.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Ironwood on January 16, 2015, 07:59:08 AM
You're welcome.

So, increased aeration;  how does it work ?


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 16, 2015, 09:06:56 AM
You're welcome.

So, increased aeration;  how does it work ?


Do you have a filter set up or airpump with an airstone?

For the filter setup, IIRC, the easiest way is to lower the water line so the water feeding back into the tank creates a lot of wake on the top of the water - this will provide natural aeration and you'll probably see the fish near the top 1/3 of the tank while this treatment is going on since that is where the most oxygen is found. Granted, your tank will sound like a fountain, but the extra agitation is enough to up the O2 in the water.

You can also do daily water changes of about 25%. Fresh water into a tank always ups the O2 content. If you do the increase temp and chemical treatment, you will probably already be doing this after the initial treatment.

Or another option is to go buy a cheap airpump/tubing/airstone (http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/301263925579?lpid=82&chn=ps) set up and add it to your existing filter set up. That is probably the best way to go IMHO because then you have a back up air provider if your filter ever takes a piss. I have no idea what you have access to in terms of petshops or fish stores over there, but that link is basically what you are looking for. (just keep in mind, if you add an airstone, make sure you dryloop the electrical cord because airhoses can and do frequently pull water back into them which can lead to water dripping into the pump and down the cord)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Lantyssa on January 16, 2015, 09:25:29 AM
So, increased aeration;  how does it work ?
Stick a straw in the water and blow on it.  Make it a family activity to rally around saving the fish.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Ironwood on January 16, 2015, 09:27:46 AM
Don't make me beat you, Panda.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Hawkbit on January 16, 2015, 10:32:37 AM
Again, great advice above.  Written like a textbook, even down to the cord loop. 

In my experience with sick fish, I only do 10% water changes, but twice per day.  It's overkill likely, but I really tried to make the changes as gradual as possible for the fish. 


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Reg on January 16, 2015, 11:13:24 AM
Has Ick mutated into some kind of killer disease? Years ago when I had fish tanks and got Ick I'd just raise the temperature a couple of degrees and put in a few drops of ick medicine and it cleared right up. I don't think I ever lost a fish to Ick and I never did water changes for it.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Ironwood on January 16, 2015, 11:18:18 AM
I haz followed the usual interwebs (and pet store) advice Reg and I haz medicated and I haz water changed and all that.

It's still eating the fuck out of my fish.  I'm just looking for help before there's nothing left of the poor tossers.

They looked better this morning tho.



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Ironwood on January 16, 2015, 11:18:57 AM
BUT WAY TO MAKE ME FEEL BAD ABOUT IT.  WHY DON'T YOU JUST CHALLENGE ME TO A GAME OF MONOPOLY WHILE YOU'RE ABOUT IT ??!


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 16, 2015, 12:11:19 PM
Life cycle for ich is about 4 days I think. You are breaking the cycle in a specific part of the parasite so this does take at least a week to see the results.

And surprisingly, I do not actually have any fish currently. This was all the stuff I learned while living with my xgf who was a hobbyist - to say the least. You glean a little wisdom when the hobby is as pervasive as it was in her house.

Ich is easy... talk to her about fish tuberculosis. That stuff is horrible and you don't want.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Paelos on January 16, 2015, 01:07:18 PM
BUT WAY TO MAKE ME FEEL BAD ABOUT IT.  WHY DON'T YOU JUST CHALLENGE ME TO A GAME OF MONOPOLY WHILE YOU'RE ABOUT IT ??!

I choose the top hat.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Reg on January 19, 2015, 06:01:58 PM
So how is the infestation progressing?


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: angry.bob on January 20, 2015, 12:02:12 AM
I have used Methylene and for all the good it's done, I'd have been as well putting it up my arse.

I guess heating is a way to go now, but knowing my cack-handedness, I'm going to end up with fishsoup.

I always just skip to whatever the local pet shop has that's got Malachite Green. It's the only thing I've ever found that will get rid of Ick before it kills the fish it's shown up on. Everything else I've ever tried will usually save the other fish but anything that's showing even a few spots ends up dying. You have to hit it quick because fish are really subject to stress causing normally harmless microorganisms to run amok and kill them. And the worse it gets, the worse it gets. It sounds like they might have developed fin rot in addition to ick. You can use Melafix at the same time as the copper based ick meds to help them heal up. It also smells really wonderful since it's mostly Tea Tree extract. A word of warning though, copper based meds will kill the shit out of any invertebrates, so take out any snails, shrimp, etc you care about.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Ironwood on January 20, 2015, 05:07:25 AM
Yeah, my two shrimp, Peter and Carlos, would not like that.

Just to recap, I decided 'Fuck The Instructions' and started dosing, er, more regularly.  Ick is almost completely gone and fish are healing up and looking much nicer.

Clearly, however, I'm new to this and managing to fuck up in ways probably known to all, but I'll keep you advised.

I am also a little pissed off that you buy pets for your child and end up looking after them.  I know that's pretty much standard, but it still pisses me off.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: MournelitheCalix on February 21, 2015, 01:42:25 PM
i have always ran about a teaspoon of salt per 10 gallons in my tanks.  The result has been I have never had a problem with ick.  It has been my experience that fish health is a pretty simple thing to keep.  The keys were salt in the aforementioned ratio, stable temperature, good filtration, and frequent water changes.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Ironwood on February 22, 2015, 05:40:31 AM
Babies happened.  Being Unprepared happened.  Baby snacking happened.

I am prepared for the next time.

 :ye_gods:


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on February 22, 2015, 07:00:33 AM
Babies happened.  Being Unprepared happened.  Baby snacking happened.

I am prepared for the next time.

 :ye_gods:

lmao. Yep. That is a very accurate scenario.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Paelos on February 22, 2015, 10:47:13 AM
Wait they ate the fish?


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on February 22, 2015, 12:08:14 PM
Wait they ate the fish?

Fish are opportunistic... and will cannibalize their young. Basically, few fish will recognize their babies and just see something swimming about that will fit in their mouths.

However, some fish will protect their young for awhile...but even then they will only do so for so long. 


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Samwise on February 22, 2015, 12:50:59 PM
I used to have guppies and am very familiar with the baby snacking phenomenon.   :awesome_for_real:  Supposedly if you provide a lot of hiding places (plants with dense foliage, that kind of thing) a few of the babies will escape their ravenous parents for long enough to outgrow that awkward bite-sized phase.  Otherwise speedy removal to another tank is necessary if you want them to reach adulthood.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on February 22, 2015, 01:09:14 PM
Two experiences: 80g tank with rosy barbs.

One, we had the fish spawn in a small 15g tank. We got about 100 babies. Babies eat each other too. We eventually gave away around 25 of them, and kept four.

80g tank and we let them spawn in there. Lots of hiding spots. Survivors: two.

In other news... I switched to powdered fertilizers a few months back and my tanks suck now. The growth in the big tank has fallen way way back and many of the more delicate plants just died. The small tank is festooned with sme sort of hair or thread algae. Looks like a fert imbalance, but it's been hard to figure out. I don't want to go back to the liquids though, they were so freaking expensive...


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on February 22, 2015, 05:07:08 PM
Mouthbrooders are fun. But my ex had a few that were not relaxed enough to let the babies out of the mouth and had to be forced. Very weird watching her pry open the mouth of her fish and having 30 babies comes forth like the plague.  :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Ironwood on February 22, 2015, 05:12:37 PM
I remember the first time I saw a documentary about the frog that carries the babies under the skin.

Fucking Nature.  It's Fucking Sickening.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: TheWalrus on February 22, 2015, 05:26:55 PM
Anyone want a 155 gal tank n stand cheap?  :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Pezzle on February 22, 2015, 07:25:30 PM
Cannot imagine shipping costs...


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Paelos on February 22, 2015, 09:37:10 PM
Fucking Nature.  It's Fucking Sickening.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ge4oufdIOMc


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: MournelitheCalix on February 23, 2015, 12:53:28 AM
Babies happened.  Being Unprepared happened.  Baby snacking happened.

I am prepared for the next time.

 :ye_gods:

I put baby stations in my african tanks which is a variation of the copeopod strategies that mandarin fish keepers use.  Put simply its areas spread out in the tank that are too small for the big fish to get to.  That strategy works pretty well for me and three to five baby demasoni usually survive to adulthood.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Ironwood on February 23, 2015, 05:16:58 AM
I AM PREPARED !!

 :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on February 23, 2015, 06:14:07 AM
Java moss works pretty well as a hiding spot if you don't really care about breeding. Plop a clump of it in your tank and go about your business. You'll have at least 2-4 babies make it.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Lantyssa on February 23, 2015, 10:14:19 AM
I AM PREPARED !!
YOU ARE NOT PREPARED! /Illidan


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Paelos on February 23, 2015, 01:40:05 PM
(http://s3.amazonaws.com/rapgenius/Gay-fish.jpg)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on May 02, 2015, 11:29:23 AM
So I am getting a new tank set up because I need a pet and a cat is out of the question currently.

I completely forgot about the start up costs for a good tank set up, and I am only setting up a 5gal. Tank, top, light, filter, substrate, water testing kits, driftwood, heater, siphon vac, dear god you take for granted a lot of this when you live with a fish keeper.  :uhrr:

Hope to start a fishless cycling routine tomorrow. Probably looking to get a nice dragon betta from the local fish store since they have a few. If not, I'll be ordering one and will probably go overboard and pay too much.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Reg on May 02, 2015, 01:37:18 PM
Bettas are really tough. Do you really need all that stuff for one?


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on May 02, 2015, 01:57:07 PM
Bettas are really tough. Do you really need all that stuff for one?

Not necessarily, but if I drop $25 on a betta, I want to assure he'll live.  :awesome_for_real:

Besides, I will probably get a +30g bowfront show tank at some point and might as well have a fully cycled hospital tank if I need. “Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.”


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Merusk on May 03, 2015, 10:11:25 AM
Our betta lives in one of those "pour the water in" tanks from the TV with a single plastic plant.  I invested in a thermometer and a $12 heater this past winter since he was very sluggish and I keep the house at 62F.  He seems happy.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on May 20, 2015, 08:40:20 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/dwtP2lF.jpg)

Almost cycled. Nitrites are spiking and the nitrates are slowly increasing. Good thing because I plan on picking up a fish next week.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Hawkbit on May 21, 2015, 12:20:48 AM
Is that the 5g? Regardless, I like your setup. That bug might be biting me again.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on May 21, 2015, 05:01:36 AM
Yeah, that is a 5gal.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on May 25, 2015, 01:36:18 PM
I've been replanting my big tank with various cryptocorynes, and have doubled the powdered fertilizer dose, since everything died back pretty massively when I switched from liquid to powders. The crypts seem to be strong enough to hold up to the clown loaches, who are large enough to cause havoc in there. I can foresee a day soonish when I will have to pass them on...


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on June 27, 2015, 08:59:20 PM
Finally found a fish I liked...


(http://i.imgur.com/e2hfjJc.jpg)



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: MournelitheCalix on June 28, 2015, 12:03:14 AM
Finally found a fish I liked...


(http://i.imgur.com/e2hfjJc.jpg)



Wow, that is stunning.  I just set up a tank myself going to make a galaxy rasbora/neon tetra planted tank.  So far... battling black beard algae on the plants...*sigh* and thank god for Flourish Excel.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Ironwood on August 25, 2015, 02:59:12 PM
What keeps killing my fucking shrimp ???


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on August 25, 2015, 03:12:57 PM
What keeps killing my fucking shrimp ???

Are the shrimp just dead in the tank or are they munched on?



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Samwise on August 25, 2015, 03:14:28 PM
All I know is it's never lupus.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Lantyssa on August 25, 2015, 03:43:13 PM
It's it barbies?  Throw one on for me if so.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on August 25, 2015, 04:07:41 PM
I have killed probably $100 worth of shrimp, and think I have given up trying, to be honest. Even the ghost shrimp don't make it all that long, they start to turn cloudy and keel over after a while.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on August 25, 2015, 05:06:26 PM
That sounds like a water problem, if I am to spitball. You'll have to check the Ph and hardness. Have you guys used anything with copper and maybe have it seeping into your tank now from contaminated filter material? If copper isn't it, it could be acidity or spikes in water parameters.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Ironwood on August 25, 2015, 05:21:19 PM
To be honest, I think Silver just likes fucking eating them.  Every time, without fail, they come to shedding time and then just keel over dead.

Stupid, Stupid little motherfuckers.  What's worse is that when I found this one, four of the other fish were just fucking tucking in.



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Lantyssa on August 26, 2015, 11:35:25 AM
Shrimp are delicious.  If they're in the same tank, you're probably going to need a ton of shrimp with lots of hides in order to keep a stable population.

When I used to fresh water fish for perch I'd catch a net full of ghost shrimp and use that the entire day.  If there was a fish around, the bait was gone in seconds.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on August 26, 2015, 11:29:33 PM
The small tank was actually set up as a shrimp tank, fresh and new. Never had any meds in it. When stuff kept dying I did exhaustive water tests.

Since then I have read shrimp need really really slow acclimation.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on August 27, 2015, 08:14:34 AM
The small tank was actually set up as a shrimp tank, fresh and new. Never had any meds in it. When stuff kept dying I did exhaustive water tests.

Since then I have read shrimp need really really slow acclimation.

Amen. Shrimp are very fragile, unlike snails...  :oh_i_see:

Speaking of which, I really need to pick up some Nerite Snails. Off to the fish store!


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on August 28, 2015, 01:48:20 AM
I think I am giving up on nerites. They keep climbing out, and I have read it is because they are actually brackish water snails that climb in and out by nature. So freshwater tanks are basically guaranteed to shorten lifespan and make them sad snails.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on August 28, 2015, 05:14:01 AM
I think I am giving up on nerites. They keep climbing out, and I have read it is because they are actually brackish water snails that climb in and out by nature. So freshwater tanks are basically guaranteed to shorten lifespan and make them sad snails.

True. But they are only limited to breeding in brackish water. They are fine living in fresh water, though like you point out, little bastards will climb out of a tank when they can.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on December 29, 2015, 07:15:19 PM
Since I have the week off, decided to rescape. Can't wait to get into a bigger place in June and maybe graduate to a 46g bow front.

(http://i.imgur.com/c4UfQqC.png)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: MournelitheCalix on December 31, 2015, 09:14:27 PM

In other news... I switched to powdered fertilizers a few months back and my tanks suck now. The growth in the big tank has fallen way way back and many of the more delicate plants just died. The small tank is festooned with sme sort of hair or thread algae. Looks like a fert imbalance, but it's been hard to figure out. I don't want to go back to the liquids though, they were so freaking expensive...

Raph the hair algae used to be a death sentence for planted tanks.  I had a huge problem with it in mine early on in the setup.  Luckily there are some pretty easy fixes now for that.  What I did was deprived the tank of light for three straight days and treated the tank with Sea Chem Flourish Excel at twice the listed dosage.  At the same time I put into the filters two bags of Phosban.   The result was the algae was pretty devastated.  I cant stress this enough Sea Chem Flourish Excel seems to target the problem Algaes.  After the three day treatment I had two problem plants so I cut the filters and applied using a dropper the flourish excel directly.  I kept the filter off for two hours each day and within two weeks the black hair algae was under control and rapidly vanishing.  I still treat my planted tanks with seachem at a rate of twice a week at the recommended  gallon dosage.  Do yourself a favor, get it and enjoy your tank again.  My neon tetra/ galaxy rasborah tank has never looked better.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 02, 2016, 01:16:09 PM
I've used Excel for years. :)

Current state of the big tank (giant, giant pic)



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Setanta on January 11, 2016, 07:31:24 PM
My daughter won a 10 liter tank 4 months ago that we have 6 neon tetras  and a plant in. I felt bad for them and bought a 90 liter which I'm cycling at the moment. It looks like 2 got hit by fin rot plus have damage to their mouths unfortunately so will treat them as soon as I can move the others out. I think it all came about from adding the live plant (attached to a bit of driftwood). Water parameters are pretty much spot on but when I added the plant I also ended up with a snail infestation - usually I see 7 or 8 which means there are tons more. I've bought Aquaone synthetic plants for the 90 liter and am loath to add a live plant again in case I end up with the same issue.

A few observations on the 10 liter kit:
The filter setup is great.
There was nowhere near enough gravel in the package, something I didn't consider until reading up on setting the 90 liter.
I had a little bit of algae grow but the arrival of snails fixed that.
Tetras need friends - we started with 2 but they were miserable. Something the store didn't tell us.

A few questions:
When I cycle water, I've only been conditioning the new water in buckets that I am about to add. I sit them for 20 minutes after agitating the water/conditioner mix. Should I be conditioning the whole tank? The instructions are a bit obscure on the bottle.

Likewise the biostart that I add weekly: Should I be adding based on the water I replace or the whole tank (I've been doing the latter)?

Is there a trick to ensuring plants/driftwood are free of snails/infection?

Cheers


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 12, 2016, 01:49:14 AM
My daughter won a 10 liter tank 4 months ago that we have 6 neon tetras  and a plant in. I felt bad for them and bought a 90 liter which I'm cycling at the moment. It looks like 2 got hit by fin rot plus have damage to their mouths unfortunately so will treat them as soon as I can move the others out. I think it all came about from adding the live plant (attached to a bit of driftwood). Water parameters are pretty much spot on but when I added the plant I also ended up with a snail infestation - usually I see 7 or 8 which means there are tons more. I've bought Aquaone synthetic plants for the 90 liter and am loath to add a live plant again in case I end up with the same issue.

Bigger tanks tend to have healthier water, period... they are stabler.

Plants tend to only help. It's odd for them to cause an issue like fin rot. They can be a vector for snails and bacteria, of course. You can give them a quick dip in a solution to clean them off -- small percentage of bleach in water, or potassium permanganate, hydrogen peroxide, that sort of thing. There's lots of recipes on the Net.

Quote
There was nowhere near enough gravel in the package, something I didn't consider until reading up on setting the 90 liter.

If you ever do want real plants, you need 3cm or more of gravel or (even better) plant substrate across the whole tank. And watch out for gravel size. Also, different fish like different sizes of gravel... fish with barbels and lots of cleaning the gravel need stuff that isn't sharp, or it can damage the barbels.

Quote
Tetras need friends - we started with 2 but they were miserable. Something the store didn't tell us.

The majority of small aquarium fish (all tetras, all danios) are schooling fish and want friends. 5+ is the usual rule of thumb. The exceptions tend to be solitary fish who should be kept singly, and sometimes that excludes similar species even.

Quote
A few questions:
When I cycle water, I've only been conditioning the new water in buckets that I am about to add. I sit them for 20 minutes after agitating the water/conditioner mix. Should I be conditioning the whole tank? The instructions are a bit obscure on the bottle.

Cycling refers to a process the entire tank goes through. It involves establishing a thriving bacteria colony in the tank and a full biological cycle where that bacteria destroys fish waste and breaks it down, etc. It cannot be done in the buckets. It has to be done in the full tank, because the bacteria bed needs to become established under your gravel and in your filters. Classical cycling involved putting some actual fish in there to generate the waste -- a process that was often fatal to the fish, since establishing a cycle calls for a cloudy water bloom and for potentially toxic rises in various chemicals. These days you can do fishless cycling using stuff like the "biostart" you reference.

The fastest way to cycle your big tank is actually to take the filters and gravel from the little tank and put them in the water in the big tank. Don't wash it first -- the sludge is actually what you want. That will give your big tank a starter colony of bacteria because presumably your little tank is already cycled.

Conditioning water refers to a process whereby you treat new water when it is added to the tank. It can be done to the buckets before addition, or it can be done to the whole tank... a lot depends on what your water is like, but odds are pretty good that you can just add your conditioning chemicals to the tank after you top it off, with no risk. But conditioning the water before putting it in is certainly a best practice.

Quote
Likewise the biostart that I add weekly: Should I be adding based on the water I replace or the whole tank (I've been doing the latter)?

You only need to add biostart until the tank has cycled. Usually you can tell this by watching the water test results, or waiting until the cloudy water is past.

Quote
Is there a trick to ensuring plants/driftwood are free of snails/infection?

The aforementioned dips. For driftwood, some people boil it.

Good luck!


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Setanta on January 12, 2016, 03:08:27 AM
Thanks. That makes a lot of sense.



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 27, 2016, 01:32:41 AM
(http://i2.wp.com/www.raphkoster.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IMG_4972.jpg?resize=768%2C576)

Took down the little tank today and yesterday and redid it. In the process, also moved all the fish and plants that were in there over to the big tank. I am probably about to experience some epic cryptocoryne melt -- they don't like to be moved. On the other hand, if they come back -- which they usually do -- I should get some nice color variety in the tank.

This means new fish stock includes five ember tetras, three panda cories, and three otocinclus on top of the otos that were already in there.

I need to rehome the clown loaches, they are getting way too big for the tank. Maybe swap the SAEs for small ones too.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Mandella on January 29, 2016, 01:32:13 PM
This forum has a little something for everyone doesn't it? I've learned more from binge reading this thread than all the pet store books I've wasted money on.

So anyway, I've got an old 40 gallon bowfront that just had it's last fish die of old age a few weeks ago. I plan to move it to another room and rehabilitate it.

Things I've learned from this thread: 1) Don't just dump out all the water and start new as that will destroy the needed bacteria, but, 2) since the tank has been running over thirteen years and many fish generations it's almost certainly got "old tank syndrome" so I need to get rid of *most* of it. Do you guys think that just draining it down to the gravel would be all right, then refilling? (Well water, so no chlorine problems, but maybe a little hard.)

Also, my wife is "suggesting" we switch over to cold water goldfish. Thoughts? Is that really simpler to maintain, and would I need to completely restart the tank?

No live plants currently, except algae, and looks like I need to replace the hood completely. Wouldn't mind any suggestions for good fish for a 40 gallon, that don't mind plastic.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 29, 2016, 02:03:16 PM
This forum has a little something for everyone doesn't it? I've learned more from binge reading this thread than all the pet store books I've wasted money on.

So anyway, I've got an old 40 gallon bowfront that just had it's last fish die of old age a few weeks ago. I plan to move it to another room and rehabilitate it.

Things I've learned from this thread: 1) Don't just dump out all the water and start new as that will destroy the needed bacteria, but, 2) since the tank has been running over thirteen years and many fish generations it's almost certainly got "old tank syndrome" so I need to get rid of *most* of it. Do you guys think that just draining it down to the gravel would be all right, then refilling? (Well water, so no chlorine problems, but maybe a little hard.)

Also, my wife is "suggesting" we switch over to cold water goldfish. Thoughts? Is that really simpler to maintain, and would I need to completely restart the tank?

No live plants currently, except algae, and looks like I need to replace the hood completely. Wouldn't mind any suggestions for good fish for a 40 gallon, that don't mind plastic.

Beneficial bacteria aren't really in the water column so feel free to drain all of it (some is, but not anything to worry about). The main brunt of the bacteria is attached to everything in the water and if you are just doing a 100% water change, your parameters aren't going to spike...though they will fluctuate a bit. If you are thinking about a complete rescape, then drain the tank water into separate buckets and keep the tank stuff (plants, substrate, fliter materials, driftwood, rocks, etc.) in there until you fit it all back in - then refill with 100% fresh water.

If you are thinking about replacing substrate and most of the 'stuff,' then you might want to use the tank water you have to wash off a few things and keep that as your seed water. It won't last long so make sure you get it in the tank or put the new stuff in that water so the bacteria have a chance to colonize on the new stuff.

Goldfish are messy ass fish and I'd argue will take a bit more to maintain given their "output." For a 40gal bow front (I am currently looking around for a 46g bow), you can do a lot. It really does depend on your tastes. Angels are pretty easy to maintain, but IHMO, I think they are ugly fish (But I am a huge discus fan so YMMV). I don't think may fish care if the tank stuff is plastic. They may nip at it and determine it is not food and ignore it and use it mainly for cover.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Arinon on January 29, 2016, 03:23:56 PM
Goldfish are super messy, take up a lot of room, and are boring as hell, but to each their own!  Lots of danios, barbs, catfish, and some loaches do just fine in unheated if your room temp is stable.

I'm no expert but if a tank has been running for a few weeks with no fish and no feeding wouldn't the cycle basically be broken already?  When seeding a new tank I just make sure the gunk from the filter and any migrating decorations don't dry out.  You still need to watch parameters if you're going to dump a bunch of fish in at once though.  I find it easier to just add fish slowly (over many weeks) rather than monkey around with testing.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 29, 2016, 04:33:56 PM
I'm no expert but if a tank has been running for a few weeks with no fish and no feeding wouldn't the cycle basically be broken already?

Expert level point though - good catch. If it hasn't been too long, you could just throw some fish food in there to maintain whatever bacteria is left.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Mandella on January 29, 2016, 09:28:49 PM
Pretty sure I've still got active bacteria -- the tank was a bit overdue for a good cleaning when the last fish died.

Okay, that sounded bad. But that fish, just some ordinary yellow fish less then three inches long, was the last fish in the tank because he killed everything else I put in the tank, including fish twice his size. Then, he refused to die. It's been like a year with only this one murderfish in the tank. I called him the King in Yellow. I couldn't bring myself to directly kill him, but yeah maybe I let the time drag on a bit between changings...

So anyway, I'm keeping the air and filters going, and occasionally restocking the organics. Hopefully I'll get some more, less murderous, fish, in there this weekend, after I've cleaned everything up.

I'm thinking Molly's and maybe a Plecostomus.

And I agree on both the goldfish and the angelfish. I've always known angelfish to be super territorial themselves and hard to keep with others, although apparently that is a running problem with any tank I have...

Oh, what do you guys think about LED hood lights? More expensive I know, but I figure it might be worth it to never have to fool with the tubes anymore.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Arinon on January 29, 2016, 10:18:27 PM
All my lighting is LED now.  Smaller, lighter, cooler, cheaper to operate, and less hassle.

Would totally recommend them.  I only do low light plants (badly) so I can't speak to that side of things first hand, but my understanding is that the newer LED fixtures will grow whatever you want.

Requisite Pleco warning:  Make sure you don't get one that grows into a monster.  Bristlenose, Rubberlip, and I think Clown all stay small enough for a 3/4 foot tank.  I have two 9 year old bristlenose in separate tanks.  They took a year or two to get up around 5 inches and have basically stayed that size.  Great fish, they get along with everything.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 29, 2016, 11:47:00 PM
And watch out, because people can and will sell you a "rubberlip" that turns out to be a common. :P A lot o plecos can be hard to tell apart.

Mollies are basically swimming stomachs. Also, they are livebearers. If you have a male and a female, you will soon have a hundred. And then they will eat their babies.

I use a Finnex Planted+ fixture on my small tank and am very happy with it.

I just finished the rescape of that small tank btw. Currently five red cherry shrimp and six neons (lost one shrimp... that I know of).

(http://i0.wp.com/www.raphkoster.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IMG_4977.jpg?resize=768%2C576)

Crypt parva in foreground, with one centrally placed crypt lutea in the center back. The flattish rock is curved, so there's actually a cave under there. I figured shrimp would like that. An anubias behind it, with the root structure right there, so there's shrimp hidey spots in it. Tryng dwarf hairgrass again, on the right side. There's crypts planted in the midst of that too, and also on the left (lutea and wendtii). That's a sword on the ridge above it. Then some rotala and a couple random stems of other stuff. I also tossed a baby moneywort and baby water sprite in as floaters, might plant them on the back.

I also just put up tank pics of the whole history of both tanks, so you can see the rise and fall and rise (and in the case of the small one, fall and fall and fall).

http://www.raphkoster.com/fish-tanks/


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 30, 2016, 06:19:05 AM
LEDs are the way to go definitely. Just make sure to keep an eye on them, I had a bad strip which started flickering and it drove me mad.

Plecos are boring fish IMHO. I'd move to a small school of corys (4-5). Panda corys can be quite cute and they are great tank mates.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Mandella on January 30, 2016, 12:25:51 PM
Always nice to see pics of Raph's tanks. They are certainly inspiring -- I might have to try for live plants again. A bed of green with smaller brightly colored fish looks to make a real attractive aquarium. And yes, I am trolling for suggestions.   :grin:

Plecos: Yeah, they are kinda boring, but I do like their prehistoric look. I have been burned on the "little pleco that turns into a monster pleco" gambit before. That thing was getting big enough that I was considering eating him. I'm pretty sure he had the same thoughts about me...

Nobody around here even sells shrimp anymore. I had some at one time, but never could keep them going for much more than a few months at a time.

Favorite fish ever was one of those knife fish. Also started off small and though not social didn't mess with the other fish too much. But in the last year of his life he turned super aggressive, and once again I had a one fish tank. He even killed the current plecostomus.

That's the sort of thing I'm trying to avoid with the new batch. I'd rather have a bunch of smaller schooling fish that eat their young than one ultra dominant piscoid that eats *everybody.*

Glad to hear support for the LEDs. I've already converted all the house lighting to LED, now it's the aquarium's turn.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 30, 2016, 08:02:27 PM
Always nice to see pics of Raph's tanks. They are certainly inspiring -- I might have to try for live plants again. A bed of green with smaller brightly colored fish looks to make a real attractive aquarium. And yes, I am trolling for suggestions.   :grin:

Yeah, I am at the point where I am kinda over big showpiece fish. 13 inch pleco, 7 inch clown loach, 7 inch T barb... heck, even the school of barbs we have. They're destructive of the plants, often hassle other fish, and even though they can have great personalities (clown loaches are really nifty that way) you can get much the same from smaller fish. And then you can have more.

Though I wouldn't mind having another rainbow shark. So... maybe ONE showpiece fish. :)

The secret to plants, it turns out, is to give them fertilizer. :P

Quote
Nobody around here even sells shrimp anymore. I had some at one time, but never could keep them going for much more than a few months at a time.

Me neither, but it feels like I am off to an OK start this time. We'll see! FWIW, same site I linked above sells them for shipment,


Quote
That's the sort of thing I'm trying to avoid with the new batch. I'd rather have a bunch of smaller schooling fish that eat their young than one ultra dominant piscoid that eats *everybody.*

This site has a great list of small schooling fish: https://www.bobstropicalplants.com/shop/en/29-schooling-fish


Quote
Glad to hear support for the LEDs. I've already converted all the house lighting to LED, now it's the aquarium's turn.

I'm eyeing the Finnex 24/7 personally. Local fish store has the 48 inch for $123, which is a fair bit cheaper than online prices I have seen. I'd need two to match the T5HO setup I have on the big tank though.

Edit: fixing broken quote


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 30, 2016, 09:26:16 PM
Spotted Raphael (http://animal-world.com/encyclo/fresh/catfish/talkingcat.php) works for the prehistoric look and the armored catfish look... and they live quite a while. I can recommend those...however, they are not a social fish and will basically live in a cave and only come out to feed... but they are pretty cool - if you can find them.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Arinon on January 31, 2016, 09:15:14 AM
Harlequin Rasboras and Rummynose Tetras are both nice fish that fit the shoaling, non-aggressive, plant safe criteria.  I also really like White Cloud Mountain minnows but they might be a bit bland for some.

Raphael cats look amazing, never pulled the trigger on one because I heard they can be predatory.  No first hand experience with them though.  The bottom of my tanks are always filled with loaches, which are easily the best type of fish ever!


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Mandella on January 31, 2016, 11:44:11 AM


This site has a great list of small schooling fish: https://www.bobstropicalplants.com/shop/en/29-schooling-fish



So then you've had good experience ordering fish off the internet? I'm nervous about it, especially in the winter, but all the local pet stores are chains staffed by sometimes enthusiastic, but rarely expert, teens. The local pet stores suck, is what I'm saying.

That Finnex 24/7 is listing at Amazon for $117.66 right now. Remote, programmable light levels and colors, holy crap I want to play with this!

Thanks 01101010 and Arinon for the fish suggestions. I'm checking out every one. These are all some cool looking critters, although I did first misread that as "Runnynose Tetra."  :ye_gods:


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Mandella on February 01, 2016, 02:24:21 PM
Well crap. This can't be good.

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/48415/BrokenBrace.jpg)


Is that structural? It doesn't look easily repairable, so if that little strip was actually holding the top of the bowfront to the rest of the aquarium it looks like I'd better put a new aquarium on the list too.

That's actually not that bad, since I have all the pumps and heaters and such. Even makes it a little easier to move too. I'll have to exactly match the dimensions since it's on a pretty nice stand, but it's nothing too exotic I don't think...


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on February 01, 2016, 03:11:49 PM
Been there.... only had the center support snap on a 72g bowfront. You definitely NEED that. Over time, your seals will break from the pressure over time. If you are a bit handy, you can order that part (the entire plastic frame on the top of your tank). Take a razor and run it under the plastic along the glass to break as much silicon seal as possible and then carefully pry off the plastic frame. then just scrape off the rest of the silicon completely, then reseal with fresh silicon and press the new top frame back on.

The 72g bowfront we had we got for $20 because of that broken frame piece. We got the piece for $10 from the LFS owner that my X knew. Easy job for a $40 72g. Well worth it.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Mandella on February 01, 2016, 05:44:09 PM
Arrg. Yeah, googling around shows me I either need to fix it or replace the top trim pronto. Don't see a good way to fix it that would look worth a damn, and the tank is 14/15 years old, bought from an out of town chain (PetSmart, if I remember correctly). I have no idea what make it is, or if PetSmart still carries this brand.

I guess I should consider myself lucky that I haven't already had a floor full of fish and water. I'll slap a temporary padded clamp over the top of the tank and see about running to the store tomorrow and maybe just maybe they'll be able to order me another top trim -- although with this place more than likely they'll just try to sell me a whole new tank.

As an addendum, the measurements I made before were across the end dimensions. The tank is actually 20" by 36" by 12" narrow/16" bow. So what is that? Without dragging out my calculus I'm guessing 46/47 gallons?


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on February 01, 2016, 05:53:04 PM
No idea... standard Marineland tanks are 46g (36" x 16" x 20"). Seems like yours.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on February 01, 2016, 06:36:34 PM


This site has a great list of small schooling fish: https://www.bobstropicalplants.com/shop/en/29-schooling-fish



So then you've had good experience ordering fish off the internet? I'm nervous about it, especially in the winter, but all the local pet stores are chains staffed by sometimes enthusiastic, but rarely expert, teens. The local pet stores suck, is what I'm saying.

Never ordered livestock online before this week. I just did so yesterday for the first time and will let you know how it goes. I just happened to be on that site looking for dry ferts.

Quote
That Finnex 24/7 is listing at Amazon for $117.66 right now. Remote, programmable light levels and colors, holy crap I want to play with this!

If you do the automatic 24/7 cycle, you can't program it. If you program it, you have to manage it yourself, or use an Arduino or something and hook up an IR controller to it.

I need the 48in not the 36in, Amazon has that for $152. I can find it locally for $123.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on February 01, 2016, 08:32:14 PM
Arrg. Yeah, googling around shows me I either need to fix it or replace the top trim pronto. Don't see a good way to fix it that would look worth a damn, and the tank is 14/15 years old, bought from an out of town chain (PetSmart, if I remember correctly). I have no idea what make it is, or if PetSmart still carries this brand.

I guess I should consider myself lucky that I haven't already had a floor full of fish and water. I'll slap a temporary padded clamp over the top of the tank and see about running to the store tomorrow and maybe just maybe they'll be able to order me another top trim -- although with this place more than likely they'll just try to sell me a whole new tank.

As an addendum, the measurements I made before were across the end dimensions. The tank is actually 20" by 36" by 12" narrow/16" bow. So what is that? Without dragging out my calculus I'm guessing 46/47 gallons?

Oh and btw, this is THE site for ordering livestock: http://www.aquabid.com/

It's the EBay of fish, but without the cons. Never had a problem with them and my X never did either. She had a few here and there that arrived dead, but the seller was quick to replace or refund as long as you provided proof so definitely photograph or better, video capture your unpacking. Lots of times, sellers will include one or two more fish in a school 'just in case.' Just be wary of ordering in the dead of summer due to the packages sitting in trucks prior to delivery. Winter is less a problem given the use of heat packs - shipping costs a bit more, but still worth it in the long run for the fish you want.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on February 06, 2016, 01:08:34 AM
Added black sand on top of the gravel in the new shrimp tank, and also an airstone running 24/7, and the shrimp are much more active, Still hiding a lot. I think I lost two and have four left.

Hopefully get the 20 more by mail next week.

Plants seem to have mostly taken hold.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Ironwood on February 06, 2016, 08:08:03 AM
I can't keep shrimp.  At all.  If I tot up how much cash I've spent trying, it would just depress the fuck out of me.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on February 06, 2016, 12:57:23 PM
I currently suspect that my issue was water softness. We have a water softener on the house, and the water I was putting in the tank was coming out at 0 KH and 0 GH. So when the shrimp molted, they died because they couldn't rebuild their shell.

I have added calcium in the form of cuttlebone plus I added Seachem Equilibrium, and brought the GH and KH up to what the Internets recommend as target levels.

The shrimp definitely got more active after there was more oxygenation and the hardness issue was dealt with. But it is hard to tell if it was just because they were getting acclimated to the tank. They then got braver again when I added the sand... maybe because it changed the tank from light substrate to dark, maybe because they came from a tank with sand at some point? Who knows. Point is, I can actually see them occasionally now. Dark substrate is also supposed to encourage them to color up more.

The place I ordered the shrimp from also had green neons (half size of regular neons) but they lost the entire tank due to an accident right as I ordered. :( So I am getting more embers and some pygmy cories instead.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Ironwood on February 06, 2016, 06:54:59 PM
Interesting.  Scottish water is some of the softest shit around.

I may think on that.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on February 13, 2016, 01:45:38 AM
I had a successful shrimp molt today, so it may be that my issue there is solved, for now.

The shrimp and fish arrived fine. But in the two days since, I have lost one of the four pygmy corys. Boy, they're tiny, too.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Mandella on February 13, 2016, 10:41:48 AM
I've been playing the "we do our orders on Sunday, we'll order the top frame for you then -- oh that supplier doesn't have it, we'll order from our other supplier Thursday!" game.

Right. It's Saturday no word. Guess I drive the hour to an actual half-way professional fish shop next week and get this taken care of.

Or start seriously checking Ebay and Craigslist.

Either way, it's been long enough now I'm going to have to start a new cycle with the tank to be on the safe side.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on February 26, 2016, 05:55:16 PM
So far, three of the 24 shrimp I got have died. But I have seen many molts. I added two more pygmy corys in that tank, and also a couple of nerite snails. The 16g looks dramatically different already, lots of plant growth.

The big tank: I ripped out a pile of the willow hygro, and sold the clown loaches and grown SAEs to the LFS. I got $70 for them -- each of those loaches probably will sell for $25-50 apiece. To backfill, I got a small shoal of six dwarf loaches -- sidthimunki -- which are quite fun and four tiny SAEs. Continuing the migration towards mostly smaller fish.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on February 28, 2016, 02:37:36 PM
I updated the tank jounral on my site. Pics of the small tank in chronological order:

January setup:


Early Feb:


Mid Feb:


Now:



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Mandella on February 28, 2016, 04:14:38 PM
You could feed a Manatee with all the foliage from that tank.

(And I mean that in a good way   :grin:)

I finally tracked down an actual owner/operator of a non-chain fish store and, wow, what a different experience. Good news is that he has replaced or repaired the top frame on many an aquarium (even texted his supplier while we were talking to get quotes on parts), bad news is that, as the aquarium is over thirteen years old it might just be better to replace the whole unit (that tank is only around $175.00 bare bones -- and the replacement frame would end up being $40.00 to $50.00).

On the other hand, he brought up something I hadn't thought of -- the tank I have can be converted to a terrarium pretty easy and sold for around $40.00 retail, or $20.00 to him. Or I could just get some lizards and keep it. So there is that.

Unfortunately all this futzing around has lost the best window of opportunity this year -- spring always brings a lot of other projects demanding my time. I was hoping to have it set up and going by now and could go into maintenance mode for a few months.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on February 28, 2016, 05:46:25 PM
Here's the 80g... way more foliage in this one. :)



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Ironwood on February 29, 2016, 06:16:52 AM
That's a pretty looking tank.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on February 29, 2016, 10:59:25 PM
I see algae growing on the slate in pic 4 of the small tank. How do you keep it under control and not kill the fish?


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Ironwood on March 01, 2016, 03:04:22 AM
Yeah, I'd like to know the answer to that too...


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on March 01, 2016, 01:32:21 PM
The algae on the slate is eaten by both the otocinclus and the nerite snails. After the snails go through it, they leave little spiral patterns drawn in it. :)

That's not the algae I am worried about. I am more worried about the green spot that you can barely see on the leaves of the higher-up plants, and the hair algae that is growing on the rock in the center behind the slate and up on the algae scrubbing magnet. Nothing I have eats that -- you would need killifish or SAEs, and both of those aren't shrimp safe. I could try Amano shrimp... they are usually safe with red cherries.

I do run a UV sterilizer in the tank, but it's been off for a little while. There's basically a tad too much light, the tank gets indirect sunshine from some windows and the weather lately has been neautiful so the shades aren't pulled. If I stay good about fertilizing and adding liquid CO2 on a regular basis, the plants should outcompete everything, in theory.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on March 08, 2016, 11:17:07 PM
More shrimp have continued to die, or just vanish from time to time. But I think I figured out my problem. It's TDS -- total dissolved solids. Water comes out of the tap very soft -- zero GH and KH -- but adding minerals to get where it needs to be for shrimp raises the TDS too high. Fish don't care very much, but shrimp do.

That means I need to use RO/DI water in the shrimp tank. Which is rather annoying.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on March 09, 2016, 06:14:51 AM
More shrimp have continued to die, or just vanish from time to time. But I think I figured out my problem. It's TDS -- total dissolved solids. Water comes out of the tap very soft -- zero GH and KH -- but adding minerals to get where it needs to be for shrimp raises the TDS too high. Fish don't care very much, but shrimp do.

That means I need to use RO/DI water in the shrimp tank. Which is rather annoying.

Yeah, that type of system is pretty much when you know you are hardcore in the hobby.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Ironwood on March 09, 2016, 06:24:11 AM
I'm lost.  Too many acronyms, too many dead shrimp.

I mean, seriously.  In Elena's tank I've seen fields, endless fields, where shrimp are grown for 5 quid a time only to die.  It's getting to be pretty much like bread and circuses in that tank.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: brellium on March 09, 2016, 11:12:19 PM
I kinda want to have fish, but I think I'd just go the route of either catfish of a Jack Dempsey, the catfish are frequently nigh impossible to kill.

When my I was a kid my mother had one of those big 80-120 gallon tanks, populated it full of fish and a singular Jack Dempsey. A week or two later it a was tank populated  by a singular Jack Dempsey. She repopulated the tank and a week or two later it was populated by a singular Jack Dempsey.

She was not impressed and put in the tank about a dozen fish that were known to be carnivorous. A week later it populated by a singular Jack Dempsey. A day or two later I had a 10 gallon in my room populated by a singular Jack Dempsey.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on March 26, 2016, 06:53:08 PM
While I was at GDC, not only did all the shrimp die but my wife didn't keep up the fertilizer routine so now the small tank has hair algae. Trying to pull it back from the brink now...


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on March 26, 2016, 09:11:34 PM
While I was at GDC, not only did all the shrimp die but my wife didn't keep up the fertilizer routine so now the small tank has hair algae. Trying to pull it back from the brink now...

Precisely why I go with the low-no maintenance plants and keep the lights off most of the day.  :awesome_for_real:


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on March 27, 2016, 10:29:32 PM
(http://i0.wp.com/www.raphkoster.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IMG_5143.jpg?resize=768%2C576)

Full size link: http://i0.wp.com/www.raphkoster.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IMG_5143.jpg


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on September 07, 2016, 04:28:36 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/7x3ElVL.jpg)

36g bowfront.

Soon....


edit: holy pic size batman... sry


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Viin on September 07, 2016, 04:53:27 PM
Nice! I wish I had a good spot for a bigger tank like that.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on September 09, 2016, 01:02:17 PM
Going to my LFS tonight for some driftwood, maybe some plants, and see what equipment they have. I need a longer intake tube so hopefully they'll have something compatible. Home Depot failed me in that regard. Should be cycled in a week or so since I am seeding with my 5 gal established tank. Dosed ammonia at 4ppm Tuesday and started seeding yesterday so hope I start seeing that come down and the nitrites rise by Sunday. We'll see though. More pics when I start making some progress.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on September 10, 2016, 03:21:28 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/cj1MA24.jpg)

Was going to go with a bigger driftwood piece until I noticed the prices... I need to get into the driftwood business. But this will do for now. Hoping to get some stones from the local streams. Then once cycled... probably some rummynose or harlequin rasboras.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on September 11, 2016, 04:57:25 PM
What plant is that on the right?


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on September 11, 2016, 05:24:26 PM
http://tropica.com/en/plants/plantdetails/Rotalarotundifolia(033)/4447

Came as a single clump from my LFS, but I separated it a bit to space it out some.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on September 14, 2016, 07:46:24 PM
Tank is now in the last stage of cycling. Water change tomorrow and then maintenance doses of ammonia till I find some fish I want. And still need some rocks...


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on September 18, 2016, 02:01:32 AM
I bought fifteen neons on sale at Petco, to add to my school of around a dozen.

In the last week, I have collected around a dozen neon corpses. Did a water change today and found EIGHT.

Probably brought an infection in with the new batch :(

Anyway, current pics are on this tweet: https://twitter.com/raphkoster/status/777324903313702912




Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on September 18, 2016, 06:38:51 AM
I bought fifteen neons on sale at Petco, to add to my school of around a dozen.

In the last week, I have collected around a dozen neon corpses. Did a water change today and found EIGHT.

Probably brought an infection in with the new batch :(

Anyway, current pics are on this tweet: https://twitter.com/raphkoster/status/777324903313702912


Ugh. That is one of my huge dreads. About to go out fish shopping today (maybe). Hoping for the best....


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on September 21, 2016, 09:41:13 AM
(http://i.imgur.com/UpdvQEx.jpg)

Finally have some fish... nothing outrageous, just 6 bloodfins. Took longer than expected (4 hours) to acclimate the pH between my LFS and my water, but they survived the first night. Probably get 8 harlequins sometime this weekend and then figure out if we want something exotic.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on September 26, 2016, 01:43:26 AM
So, the toll so far:

18 neons
1 corydora julii
1 siamese algae eater
1 diamond tetra
2 glowlight tetras

Don't buy fish from Petco, kids.

Antibiotics went into the tank upon my return from Austin Game Conference. No losses in last two days.  I figure I need to give it a week or two before I can call it safe to restock.



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Signe on September 28, 2016, 01:09:50 PM
I googled those tetra fish and they're really pretty.  Whilst googling I saw a Lemon Tetra and have decided it's my fav fish.  Way pretty!


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on September 28, 2016, 02:34:12 PM
What the hell petco are you buying from? Sheesh... They die of disease or shock from differing water parameters? I know a few places around here soften their water and buffer the pH a bit. Sucks to hear though... 


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on September 28, 2016, 05:42:44 PM
Disease, no question. Otherwise only the new neons would have died. Clearly something came in with those new fish. It was the first addition in quite some time.

I've been dosing with Maracyn-Oxy for a few days now and only had one more neon death, so I think we're past the worst of it.

Signe, full grown diamond tetras are prettier than lemon tetras, I think:

(http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/a7/47/76/a747766bfe2b49ff91514ff8aee08f6a.jpg)

 The purple on the fins slowly comes in as they grow, and the scales get more and more glittery.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Signe on September 28, 2016, 09:36:53 PM
That's pretty gorgeous.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on November 28, 2016, 07:42:54 PM
Latest pics:

80 gallon
(https://i0.wp.com/www.raphkoster.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IMG_6225.jpg?resize=768%2C366)

16 gallon
(https://i2.wp.com/www.raphkoster.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IMG_6222-e1480367835352.jpg?resize=768%2C576)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Slayerik on November 29, 2016, 10:40:17 AM
I may have stated this long ago, but I've had amazing success at getting great tanks from Craigslist. People just get sick of the hobby and want to offload it. I got a 75 gallon tank with everything, fluval filters, hood , light, decor...2 African cichlids and a big pleco for about the cost of the fish and the deco if you got it from a store.

Also got a 150 gallon for 50 bucks (and he threw in a 50 gallon just to get rid of it for free - I gave it to my neighbor), just the tank. Still, price one of those out! STEAL


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on November 29, 2016, 01:41:56 PM
I may have stated this long ago, but I've had amazing success at getting great tanks from Craigslist. People just get sick of the hobby and want to offload it. I got a 75 gallon tank with everything, fluval filters, hood , light, decor...2 African cichlids and a big pleco for about the cost of the fish and the deco if you got it from a store.

Also got a 150 gallon for 50 bucks (and he threw in a 50 gallon just to get rid of it for free - I gave it to my neighbor), just the tank. Still, price one of those out! STEAL

This is very true. There is a LFS here that takes tanks off people who don't want them and can't sell them. They do an auction every month to sell off the stuff which you an find real steals that way too. That said, I don't need any tanks at this time since we'll be moving soon and I hate packing them up. So stop putting thoughts in my head.  :awesome_for_real:

I'll have to take a pic or two of my 36 bowfront today now that I got it somewhat set. Sadly, the rotala didn't take and I lost the bunch (only $4 so not a huge loss). Also lost 2 blood fins...still have 4 left and grabbed some brilliant rasboras (6) which are doing well. They shoal all the time which the gf loves.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on November 30, 2016, 12:55:56 PM
I have had really mixed luck with rotala. It thrives only when I diligently add ferts every other day. Otherwise, it just kinda grows smaller and smaller leaves until they all fall off then it dies.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on November 30, 2016, 01:53:10 PM
I have had really mixed luck with rotala. It thrives only when I diligently add ferts every other day. Otherwise, it just kinda grows smaller and smaller leaves until they all fall off then it dies.

Yeah I was having a daily intake cleaning of the filter from all the leaves falling out. Quite sad because I really liked those plants. I am thinking about a plant supplement but I tend to drag out the research before I actually make a decision.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on November 30, 2016, 06:39:41 PM
Liquid supplements add up fast... that's why I switched to dry. A pound of dry stuff lasts a year. A bottle lasts like three months and costs four times as much. I order mine from here: https://www.bobstropicalplants.com/shop/en/

This pack is the basics: https://www.bobstropicalplants.com/shop/en/fertilizers/15-csmb-nkp-combo-pack.html

I do the liquid Flourish Excel for a CO2 equivalent. The really big jugs can be had on Amazon and last months.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on December 02, 2016, 07:06:52 PM
Current tank set up:
(http://i.imgur.com/LlBxOaN.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/hdQemUN.jpg)

And the only really good pic I got of the rasboras... twitchy little shits.
(http://i.imgur.com/nEc2PYd.jpg)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on December 04, 2016, 12:45:37 AM
Looks great! I love the Cthulhu wood. But...

- if those are swords in front, and they take, they'll get over a foot tall. May block your view.

- Do you have any bottom feeders as a clean-up crew? Corydoras or something?

- Watch out with that moss, mine got uncontrollable, it's kind of a pest after a while. Traps dirt, grows like crazy, chokes out other plants.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on December 04, 2016, 07:05:06 AM
Hoping the swords do well and hopefully they will grow taller. I don't mind them blocking a view.

I have nerites - somewhere in there. Damn things are there one hour and then gone for a week before showing back up... kinda like a few roommates I had after college.

And the Cthulhu wood is actually plastic... the only plastic in the tank, but it was black friday sale and I needed a larger piece. Driftwood even on sale was $50+ for a similar piece. Dunno how long I'll have it in there, but for the winter, it'll do.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on December 07, 2016, 08:51:19 PM
So this happened tonight...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wY54l6LNHo8

Still going at it when I went to bed. Hope the female doesn't die from exhaustion. I am not holding out hope for fry though... not enough hiding cover unless they get really lucky and I am able to find them before they get chomped on.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Reg on December 08, 2016, 01:16:29 PM
You need to add a porno movie soundtrack.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: MournelitheCalix on December 11, 2016, 09:04:07 PM
- Watch out with that moss, mine got uncontrollable, it's kind of a pest after a while. Traps dirt, grows like crazy, chokes out other plants.

I have found that the key to working with the Moses is to aggressively cut them back.  Then let them reesyablish and repeat the process again


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 19, 2017, 09:03:36 AM
https://youtu.be/xJBzR2ipRSs

Added to the rasbora stock and moved the bolbitis out of the back. Also got two dwarf gourami who have split the tank - Hatfield on the left side, McCoy on the right. It's hilarious watching them have a standoff, though I do have to keep an eye on them so they don't kill each other. So far some headbutting and little nipping, but nothing that has damaged the fins or scales. Once that happens I'll shift one to the 10gal hospital tank until I figure out what the next steps are.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 20, 2017, 01:24:41 PM
Looking good. You have enough space for those rasboras? Maybe it's that they are staying away from the gouramis in that vid...

Here's the latest on mine.

In the 16g:

In an attempt to keep adding color to the tank, I got a couple of swords and tucked them in the back — an ozelot (the speckled one) and a red flame sword. The existing sword on the right side has stayed small, so who knows whether these will outgrow the tank… normally, they would, but… In any case, if they do, I can move them to the big tank. In the meantime, they’re still in pots and haven’t yet shed their emersed leaves.

(https://i0.wp.com/www.raphkoster.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IMG_6622.jpg?resize=768%2C566)

Well, I tried out some celestial pearl danios. They didn’t do well, apparently because I wasn’t feeding the right stuff. But I added in some habrosus corydoras (a type of dwarf cory) since I moved the pandas to the big tank. They’re cute and lively!

https://i0.wp.com/www.raphkoster.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IMG_6253.jpg?resize=225%2C300

The BGA is all gone, thankfully.

Beginning to think about adding shrimp in again.

The 80g:

Got Finnex 24/7 lights back in September, and am very happy with them. They cycle through a day/night cycles smoothly, and now the tank is pretty to look at pretty much all day. Fish seem happier too. Plants were not significantly affected, though I had to buy two to match the old 4xT5HO fixture. ($350 or so...!)

Believe it or not, this is after I thinned plants out recently.

Haven't really restocked fish yet from the big die off earlier, but gearing up to.

(https://i2.wp.com/www.raphkoster.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IMG_6623.jpg?resize=768%2C341)



Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 20, 2017, 02:06:18 PM
The 80g is nice as hell.

And the rasboras are pretty much fine as long as the gouramis are not grumpy. They try chasing, but the 'boras are too quick. I still have the last Bloodfin somewhere. Dunno how he lived when the rest went belly up. My feeling is he killed them.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on January 21, 2017, 06:36:17 PM
I found green neons at an LFS! They're a dwarf neon species... perfect for the 16g. I got nine, so we shall see how they do.

I also will try Amano shrimp again. They recommended no Excel, so I am doing very very slow acclimation and will give that a try for a bit. We shall see...


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on January 21, 2017, 10:59:48 PM
My betta whose swim bladder was messed up has now developed dropsy. Sad to see him go. My gf is actually taking it kinda hard since we bought him when we started dating.

edit: spelling.  :oh_i_see:


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on March 20, 2017, 06:50:22 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/fMkkUFh.jpg)

So found a replacement for the deceased crowntail that developed dropsy. Been looking for a koi variety since and finally came upon one I liked with a color variation I wanted, and so Gary was acquired. Surprisingly, rescued him from a local Petco - who never have any bettas outside the typical red and blue veiltails.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Merusk on March 20, 2017, 07:57:16 PM
Don't know how many of you may or may not have seen this, but it was on /r/DIY this morning and I thought of you all.

Auto Water-change system via sprinkler system parts.
http://imgur.com/a/71bXn

Guy mentions several zones for multiple 10g/ 40g tanks I imagine he has larger as well if he's gone to this level with it. 

Note of advice that was in the comments thread and even I noticed: he doesn't have a backflow preventer on his lines. If you're thinking of doing something similar you'll need it so you don't contaminate your potable water supply and to comply with code.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on March 21, 2017, 01:38:37 PM
Yeah, I saw this -- it made it near the front page and I browse that maybe once a month and happened to see it.

I do dream of someday having a fully automatic system for it; I've seen some folks who do it with solenoids that detect evaporation and open top off valves, for example. But honestly, the water changer things you attach to a faucet changed my life... I used to have to do it with buckets. :)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on March 21, 2017, 01:42:34 PM
Yeah, I saw this -- it made it near the front page and I browse that maybe once a month and happened to see it.

I do dream of someday having a fully automatic system for it; I've seen some folks who do it with solenoids that detect evaporation and open top off valves, for example. But honestly, the water changer things you attach to a faucet changed my life... I used to have to do it with buckets. :)

I don't particularly like automatic systems like that. I'd be too anxious at first and then when I got comfortable, something inevitably fucks up and I wouldn't know it - then I'd have to fix it and everything it broke. Now granted, if you have +50 tanks, that might be a huge time saver, but for anything under 10 tanks... just get a python. Buckets work for a cheap way out for maybe 3 tanks, but even then... hell with that.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Count Nerfedalot on March 24, 2017, 09:16:05 PM
But isn't that water chlorinated and all? I thought tap water was the devil in fish tanks?  :headscratch:


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on March 24, 2017, 09:17:53 PM
But isn't that water chlorinated and all? I thought tap water was the devil in fish tanks?  :headscratch:

They sell stuff for that... Prime from SeaChem is the best in my opinion.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Samwise on July 13, 2017, 10:07:10 AM
I got this set up yesterday.

(http://i.imgur.com/Av8C4pW.jpg)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on July 13, 2017, 10:36:52 AM
So jelly...   :drill:

I'm too lazy for salt tanks, and WAY too lazy for that insanity. But keep us updated. I am very curious on the home jellyfish tanks.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Samwise on July 13, 2017, 11:28:18 AM
This is my first salt tank -- I really have no idea what I'm getting myself into here.  Kickstarted this thing on impulse a while back (lured by how much cheaper it was than any other jellyfish tank on the market) and it took me this long to figure out a surface in my home that it could live on.  We'll see how it goes!


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: MournelitheCalix on July 17, 2017, 08:48:20 AM
I am not an expert on a jellyfish tank; however, I have done quite a bit of research on it.   It was my understanding that you really didn't want to put anything on the bottom since it interferes with the waterflow necessary to keep the jellyfish suspended in the water column.   You might want to reconsider the choice of putting substrate in the bottom of that.   


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Signe on July 17, 2017, 12:13:53 PM
I didn't even know that people put jellyfish in tanks like that.  It's very cool and outer space spooky looking.  I love it.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Samwise on July 17, 2017, 01:00:11 PM
I am not an expert on a jellyfish tank; however, I have done quite a bit of research on it.   It was my understanding that you really didn't want to put anything on the bottom since it interferes with the waterflow necessary to keep the jellyfish suspended in the water column.   You might want to reconsider the choice of putting substrate in the bottom of that.   

The substrate is there specifically to keep the water flow partially obstructed so the jellyfish don't get sucked into it.  Some models have a sort of grate over the intake to serve that function, but this one just has it open and they give you bags of substrate to cover it up.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Samwise on July 19, 2017, 12:27:16 AM
One week in -- one jellyfish perished of some bizarre jellyfish wasting disease (it just quickly shrank until there was nothing left).   :ye_gods:

Other two seem fine, so whatever it was doesn't seem to have been contagious.  One is very active and fun to watch as it jets around, the other appears to be comatose and just drifts in circles without exerting any effort (it doesn't seem to be withering or injured, though, and I can see food ending up in its stomach at feeding time, so I'm pretty sure it's alive and healthy).


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on August 05, 2017, 06:10:24 PM
So Gary, my Koi Betta went MIA today. I took all the big items out of his tank thinking he was stuck in the plants or something... nope. Fucker jumped out. I found him under the radiator over by the window, 3 ft from the tank. He was full of dust and crap from the floor and dried out. As a send off, I cleaned him up for his funeral but on the off chance I could maybe see if he has anything in him, I put his body in a small glass dish with about an inch of water. Rinsed him off, and dumped the dirty water and put his tank water in the dish and left his body while I cleaned up his tank. It was about 2 hours between me seeing him in his tank and finding him under the radiator so I have no idea how long he was out of the tank.

Either way, I am cleaning his tank when I notice he is not on his side that I had him on after I cleaned him up. So I grabbed the dish and as I am looking, his body twitched. Almost dropped the dish. I rubbed his side and he started thrashing around. So now I am on Lazarus watch... If he survives, it'll be a miracle but right now, he is taking gulps of air and swimming for a few seconds before going catatonic whenever I change his water (with an eyedropper). Glad I remembered they are puddle fish and thought he might have a chance if he got into water again... just hope he didn't damage his swim bladder.


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: 01101010 on November 19, 2017, 07:12:23 PM
So Gary never made it and I completely forgot I wrote that piece earlier.

In other news, finally found a striped raphael at the LFS.  :drill:

(https://i.imgur.com/RRWrDMu.jpg)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Viin on November 20, 2017, 10:31:23 AM
Good inspiration in this thread. I started my planted tank a couple of months ago, with a "dry" start. Here's how it looked after I got it going with more plants and some fish. (Now I'm dealing with some brown algae, sigh). More plants to come, once this algae issue resolves itself!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/TzsKCSZeRH61GxEHK1qLgrPYcGOc_-BXSMSDTs83Khw2XC8HuMCn9DErIZSPutkHAt9KbUIZaGLREJRxBKrClZwJuhBVqCpyYuwFb7sh-p5VzhI-lydonqGUUJK4N6ATny_jLLfE2Q=w1612-h644-no)


Title: Re: Fish Tanks
Post by: Raph on November 20, 2017, 03:55:59 PM
It's been a while since I posted an update. Here's the big tank:

(https://i1.wp.com/www.raphkoster.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/IMG_7491-e1511214528175.jpg?resize=768%2C576&ssl=1)