Adventures in Fishkeeping or A Fish Tale

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fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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SF Bay area, CA
You've now surpassed me in tank technology! I have solar panels & LEDs all around my house in most places (TY power co.) but not over my tanks. I even know what 1s I'll try but just haven't done yet it in almost a year. I hate shopping of any kind & I'll play the Covid, general laziness & cheapness cards once more. It's more those issues for me than privacy, but I value that too. I really don't care if everyone on earth knows where I drive, shop or what I search online...well, mostly ;)
 
Apr 2, 2002
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New York
I had no choice here. A 5.5 is a very small tank and it needs a very small strip light with a 14 inch Fluor. I have had the T-8 light on this tank since I set-up the tank about 15 or more years ago. The bulb was the second or third.

I am not sure what fried- the bulb, the starter or the balast. But the white reflector part was disintegrating, So it was a new ight for me. The only thing i could find was an LED and it was a lot cheaper than a strip. The blue is useless, but the rest is fine.

I still have T-8, T-5 (regular) and even some power compacts from the now defunct AH Supply. All my T-12s are finally gone. But I now special in the lower light plants= anubias, crypts, hygro, Java ferns one lone dwarf sword I have had for about 16 years. I have many anubias hitting the surface in tanks.

One of the lessons I learned early on came from something written by Karen Randall. Basically, the most important factor in light is to get some over the plants and do not worry hugely about all the spectrum, wpg etc. unless you are going high tech. She also wrote that if one had 3 wpg (over most tanks) and cannot grow pretty much anything under it, look elsewhere for the reason why. Of course wpg is no longer relevant.

I only run lower intensities on all of my planted tanks. They are all jungles and only one has an algae issue I have never been able to control in over 17 years. I upgraded the contents of a 75 to a 150 and the algae moved right along with the contents and the inhabitants. I think it relates to stocking. I am now experimenting with only using the Tropica Premium Fert. plus a small amount of SeaChem Potassium added. I have cut out the nitrogen and phosphorus. The tank only has a pair of 3 ft. T-8 full spectrum bulbs. (ZooMed Ultra Sun 25w, CRI 98, 10,000 hour useful life.) I have a bunch on the shelf I got in anticipation they would be discontinued eventually. I also have a few power compact bulbs for the same reason.

One more thing I noticed. The directions for the LED fixture were quite explicit about not getting the fixture wet and if it fell into the tank to unplug it before retrieving it. Over the past 20+ years I have had strip lights turned on go into tanks. none has ever become fully submerged as I usually grab them before they are 1/3 that way. I have never been shocked nor, to my knowledge, were any of the fish or plants. I guess it has been a lot of luck to date.
 

fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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SF Bay area, CA
The only "eletrocution" fears I've had have been from heaters... a hard/uncomfortable tingle to the submerged arm with the old clamp on malfunctioning heaters. But I've don't think I've ever dropped a light fixture into the tank...yet... Almost all my tanks have had center braces so that's less likely. I'm pretty sure no lighting likes to be dunked but I'd go with unplugging before grabbing it out...but I might panic & do something dumb. Brief 110 isn't likely to kill unless you have health issues...but I'd rather not test it.
 

Rbishop

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Dec 30, 2005
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It only takes a tenth of an amp to do you in. With a low body resistance around 300 ohms, that equates to only 30 volts needed. With a wet arm (in the tank) and your other hand or feet connecting to ground, you could be history.
 

fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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SF Bay area, CA
Thanks Bob, you're so helpful to us klutzy folk, lol. Luckily both my shoes & slippers have rubber/man made soles...& I don't have clamp heaters any more or any heaters at all. Shouldn't circuit breakers trip first, unless your arm is in the tank & feet bare when shocked? I don't think I could have 1 arm in a tank & ground the other... Maybe I'm just not engineering-minded enough.

I do remember being worried about lighting falling into the only rimless tank I had. I had the glass shop guys make wide strips to keep that from happening. They even rounded the edges without my asking so I felt safer in many ways :) I think they enjoyed a novel project, they charged very little. Might be the charming older woman thing ;) or they were bored silly, lol
 

Rbishop

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My highest zap was with 4160 volts...higher voltage has a tendency to blow you away...
 
Apr 2, 2002
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New York
Do you worry about the long term impact of inbreeding ?
I assume that was addressed to me re the plecos I with which I work. If so, the answer is no for two reasons.

First, I work with groups and that gives me more potential diversification than pairs or reverse trios.

Second, when I began working with zebras in 2006 I asked the person who mentored me if I should worry about inbreeding if I managed to get a second or third generation. I was told this should not be an issue for at least five generations. Considering the average time for a zebra to spawn for most folk who succeed is about three years. Some go sooner some later.

-My original zebra group was assembled over 3+ years well before I got them on 06.
-My second zebra group were farmed in Indonesia and should be genetically diverse as their breeding stock was acquired before the permitted list came into being. My understanding is they have well over 100+ breeding zebras
-My primary 173 group are wild fish assembled by an importer/exporter over a number of years as tjhir private collection.
-My second 173 group are tank raised fish and i cannot speak to their level of genetic diversity.
-My primary 236 group were offspring of the fish bred by Robert Budrovacn and are likely less genetically diverse than my average group. They were all wiped out by a heater malfunction and I used 10 of their offspring from 26 I had in a growout tank. I had also sent 23 of these to a friend to sell.
-My second 236 group are tank raised fisj from am assrtment of parent qwho rabge from standard 236 to a couple of generations along the way to creating a super white line. I cannot speak to their diversity at all.
-My super white 236 group were purportedly from the Budrovan super white line. While they are very pretty fish and cannot verify this beyond being told this was he case. I cannot say anything about their genetic diversity.
 
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