Adventures in Fishkeeping or A Fish Tale

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Apr 2, 2002
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I did say this thread was a fish tail right?






 
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Rbishop

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There is still some dry crystal water treatments out there, one is by Pond Max.
 
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Apr 2, 2002
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Since i have great well water, I never used dechlor except after bleach dipping plants. However, I know that at least SeaChem offers a dry dechlor product:

Safe™ is the complete and super-concentrated dry conditioner for both fresh and salt water. Safe™ removes chlorine, chloramine and detoxifies ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. It is non-acidic and will not impact pH. A further bonus for the reef hobbyist—Safe™ will not over-activate skimmers.

https://www.seachem.com/safe.php
 
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FreshyFresh

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Jan 11, 2013
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For sure on the Seachem Safe. I use that on one of my 75s and 55s. It's more of a fine grained powder than the old blue crystal-ish stuff.
 

fishorama

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When I was a kid, my uncle had a "big" tank (20g?) full of guppies & nothing else, colorful but kind of boring. Our dentist also had a tank in the waiting room. It had plants & different fish to find. Then in HS a friend got a used 55g!!! It came with a RT shark, tiger loach & blue gourami. She had had a tank when younger & knew what other fish & plants might work...not the pretty neons! I was always attracted to spotted pim cats but I have never yet kept them.

We got a 10g as apt. allowed pets & it had a corner box filter. I got to have neons, platys & corys! We also killed lots of fish, clown loaches several times (sniff). Within a year we had several more tanks (cichlids!) & used to make the rounds of lfs regularly, cheap entertainment. Then our CA cichlids bred (often) & lfs would trade for store credit! Whoo hoo! Strange children would come over to see our "zoo" of fish & lovebirds (neither was really allowed in campus housing). We graduated to a big Dynaflow that came with a used 55g & invested in a Vortex Diatom filter. Restarting them became my husband's job. My thumbs were too small for the Dynaflow & my patience too short for the diatom. My husband still thinks those are the bomb, lol.

Since we we poor during husband's college years we always felt lfs were just trying to sell us more & expensive things like filters, test kits etc. 1 had a gazillion tanks, carpet & a room of just African cichlids. The best was when 1 suggested dwarf chain loaches instead of clowns. She only had 2 left, I think they were right before sids were red listed & no longer able to be imported. We loved them! But gave them away along with "almost" all of our fish when my husband got a real professional job. We did try to move our favorite cichlids, blue acaras & firemouths, a pair of each...not a good idea...We did finally keep clown loaches successfully for many years. UGF were our usual but with Aqua Clear & Whisper HOBs too, so cool to be able to spend $$. We were among the obsessive, changing 10% or more water every month or even more. We often had 10+ gallons of water aging in milk jugs. Not need to use dechlor, the chlorine would offgas.

When we moved to the east coast we asked about sids at our new lfs. No, they're endangered...we thought that was just BS, but it was more than 10 years until we saw them again. We joined a fish club, that was fun! When we moved again, we checked out new lfs. I literally ran across a shop, it's sids!!! But no, they were similar nigrolineata...but they did sometimes get sids! By then I was a true loach convert & kept setting up more tanks so I could have more & more!! & a foray into discus raising...no, I didn't work then...& we finally took the canister filter plunge. Wow!

Then we moved to CA almost 10 years ago. A new start with new fish options. I finally tried hillstream loaches, joined a plant club, but I miss my botia type loaches. If only I could shop & get my act together to maintain them, I have 4 biggish tanks (2x 55g, 75g & 120g long) but only 2 have fish in them...all have plants...& have hand me down fish for the most part. I need new more exciting fish soon...Just weeding, feeding & water changing is getting old (sniffle).
 
Apr 2, 2002
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It turns out I was wrong about what died. When I receive fish shipped in, I do not acclimate them, I plop and drop. When this box arrived it was not on good shape. The bx came in under 24 hours and the 72 hour heat pack was cold and had come off the lid and was sitting atop a bag containing 6 fish. I spotted a floater upside down in the breather bag (i never use these when I ship).

So I got the fish out of the bag into fresh clean water in a good temperature. it turns out that 3 fish were doa. I then got the other 3 bags opened and into clean water in buckets. The fish were pretty stressed and I thought that I had 3 danios and 3 shiners. When they colored back up and I looked the next day, it turned out the 3 DOAs were the shiners and the six fish were all orange fin danios. They are all doing fine and are very active and eating like pigs.

The CPDs were all OK and they have done fine as well. Unfortunately, the gold white clouds did not fare so well. They were active in the bucket although one was very thin. I found two dead bodies and though one was the thin guy. Turned out it is still alive. But I can only see two of the five so I am thinking the last one was eaten by the assassins and the amanos in that tank.

I also put the blue shrimp into this tank with the minnows. The seem to be doing OK but spotting them is not easy. There are a lot of plants in the tank and it takes work to spot the little shrimp. I looked through the front glass trying to spot some and saw nothing. So I opened the lid and looked down only to see two of them on the front glass. I did not see them though the glass even though they were scavenging algae off of it.

I should add, I am not a fan of breather bags and i will not use them. But that is just me. One of the advantage to the traditional bags for shipping is that the co2 the fish generate along the way lowers the pH of the bag water. This means the ammonia they are creating as they breathe will be less toxic.

I am not a big shrimp person. I have amanos to eat algae. I have red cherry shrimp because they went into a planted 5.5 gal over a decade ago and they are still thriving there. Since the blue velvets are a clor morph of the same species, i did not want to keep them together.
 
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FreshyFresh

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I kind of lost interest in the red cherry shrimp I kept, but I do wish I kept a couple just in case.

At one point I had them in most of my tanks, but eventually 'isolated' them into a planted 10gal with some endlers and snails I kept on the counter in the back room. I started with 10 RCS I bought for a $1/ea from a long gone LFS and had multitudes of them for about 7yrs. I would give batches away and/or feed them to my fish that go nuts over them. That 10gal started leaking from a corner seal so everything went into a pail and I gave it away thru a local FB fish group. List something for free and it's gone sometimes within the hour.
 
Apr 2, 2002
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Back on track- the 50 gal high tech, co2 added challenge. O actually spent almost 4 months planning this tank. I made, using white posterboard, a floor plan for the tank. It was to be terraced such that it would have 3 level in total. The challenge, aside from the design, was how to avoid substrate beds deeper than about 3.5 inches. The shape and design I worked out on the posterboard.

I made two stepped terraces that had a base of styrofoam that was the thickness of the gravel bed below it. A stone wall was constructed around the front/side edges. I got some of swampwiz's famous cyrprus driftwood. And this was the initial layout:



Everything is glued together with silicon and there is a large hollowed out spaced in the back of the styro base into shicj a large rock has been placed to help hold things down. But, I was not happy with this layout and it got rearranged. Here is the ginal layoout with the gravel added. The back side of both terraces is glued to the back glass with silicone.



This is the earliest picture I have of the initial planting. But it had grown in some. That sword on the tight side was about 3 or 4 inches initially. I planted both glosso and dwarf hairgrass and let them fight it out for domination. The hairgrass won.



I would redo this tank a few times over the next decade or there-abouts.





This was the tank where my farlowella spawned.
 
Apr 2, 2002
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New York
I ad to leave the site unexpectedly so the rest of the details as follows.

I was limited in space both outside and inside the tank. Plus I wanted to save money on the CO2 system. I purchased a dual guage regulator and a 5 pound aluminum cylinder from a beer company. I purchased a drop counter and top quality needle valve pluss CO2 tubing online and that was it. I dispersed the CO2 by pushing the outlet of of the CO2 tubing into the intake of the Eheim canister. I chose Eheim as I feared other brands might not hold up to pushing gas bubbles through the filter 24/7.

It took me a while to get things tuned. My first setup I did not use teflon tape on the connections and my 5 pounds of co2 mostly leaked out in about two weeks and I had my first insane algae outbreak. So a refill and roll of tape ;later and i was testing to see what bubble rate I could run 24/7 and not crash the pH or deprive the plants. It took some sleepless nights but I finally hit on 1 bubble per second.

I also learned very fast how cold a newly filled co2 cylinder can get. I always brought gloves after my first fill, even in 100F heat wave, you have to wear gloves.

At my peak I had 13 planted tanks, but only the one above ran pressurized CO2. All the rest have and those that still remain still use Excel as a carbon supplement. I have pretty much used tropica fertilizers to the greatest extent possible. When they stopped sending the 5 litre jugs, I began using the Seachem individuals- nitrogen, phosporus and potassium with the Tropica trace/micro mix.

As for the farlos born in this tank,





I ran that tank for about 10 years. I had to pull up, cut in half and replant the top of the stem plants about ever 2-3 weeks. When I did baby tears I would plant individual stalks and three months later I had an island of baby tears rising up off the gravel on roots. I had to pull it all, throw out over 95% and replant some single stems again.

I changed things around to be able to try new plants as well. It got to be that this tank and the plants took more of my time than any of my other tanks and it had to end. But doing was a real gas, if you will forgive the pun.
 
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