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Reg
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Reply #35 on: October 19, 2010, 10:36:15 AM

Almost any fish will happily munch on a baby guppy - including their parents.  It's the only way to keep the population down.
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Reply #36 on: October 19, 2010, 10:37:45 AM

Well, I mean, look at them.



They are the popcorn chicken of the fish kingdom.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
01101010
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Reply #37 on: November 12, 2010, 06:13:26 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.  swamp poop

"I want to watch it all burn in an orgy of smashed Coke machines and weasel rape." - HaemishM
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Reply #38 on: November 12, 2010, 08:30:52 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.

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01101010
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Reply #39 on: November 12, 2010, 08:40:14 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.

"I want to watch it all burn in an orgy of smashed Coke machines and weasel rape." - HaemishM
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Reply #40 on: November 13, 2010, 09:27:42 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.

I traded in my fun blog for several legal blogs. Or, "blawgs," as the cutesy attorney blawgosphere likes to call 'em.
Reg
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Reply #41 on: November 13, 2010, 11:13:44 AM

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.
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Reply #42 on: November 13, 2010, 05:34:16 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.

"I want to watch it all burn in an orgy of smashed Coke machines and weasel rape." - HaemishM
Reg
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Reply #43 on: November 13, 2010, 07:04:25 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?
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Reply #44 on: November 13, 2010, 07:20:02 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.

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Reply #45 on: November 13, 2010, 10:20:46 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.

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Reply #46 on: November 14, 2010, 07:41:24 AM

If you want to do something "weird" with the 10 gallon, try Shellies. 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.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 07:43:01 AM by Numtini »

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01101010
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Reply #47 on: November 14, 2010, 08:21:25 AM

If you want to do something "weird" with the 10 gallon, try Shellies. 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.

"I want to watch it all burn in an orgy of smashed Coke machines and weasel rape." - HaemishM
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Reply #48 on: November 18, 2010, 04:24:17 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.

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Reply #49 on: November 21, 2010, 08:42:43 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.
01101010
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Reply #50 on: November 21, 2010, 09:25:08 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.

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Reply #51 on: November 25, 2010, 11:26:44 AM

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?
01101010
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Reply #52 on: November 25, 2010, 05:34:08 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/

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Reply #53 on: November 25, 2010, 06:43:06 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.
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Reply #54 on: November 25, 2010, 10:29:44 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, pretty much learned everything there. Do a search on moving tanks in the forums there, you will find many detailed threads.
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Reply #55 on: November 29, 2010, 01:56:02 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.
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Reply #56 on: November 29, 2010, 10:18:06 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.
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Reply #57 on: November 29, 2010, 11:58:56 PM

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!
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Reply #58 on: November 30, 2010, 08:27:39 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.
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Reply #59 on: November 30, 2010, 09:13:25 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.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 12:32:31 PM by 01101010 »

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Reply #60 on: November 30, 2010, 11:28:52 AM

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.
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Reply #61 on: November 30, 2010, 01:42:17 PM

Fascinating thread.
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Reply #62 on: December 05, 2010, 11:58:33 AM

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.
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Reply #63 on: December 20, 2010, 12:28:55 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.
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Reply #64 on: December 20, 2010, 01:29:05 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.
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Reply #65 on: December 20, 2010, 09:53:04 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.

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Reply #66 on: December 20, 2010, 11:17:06 PM

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.

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Reply #67 on: December 21, 2010, 07:47:39 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.
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Reply #68 on: December 21, 2010, 07:50:50 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.
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Reply #69 on: December 23, 2010, 11:12:48 AM

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.
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