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I mentioned that my fish tank finally cycled in the "Random thing you love right now thread" and people seemed interested in talking fish.
Lets talk about fish!
*Above photo is not of my fish tank*
You will see many salt tanks get lit with Metal Halide lights. This is mainly for larger 75+ tanks but it works on small ones as well. These days there are a lot of different lights that are compact fluorescent. When I was last heavily into the hobby, they were quite new. I still have an olde VHO setup from an old plant tank. The blue tint is usually from Actinic lights. When looking at light color, the lower "K" value is whiter. 2-4K is very bright white. Once you get to 8k and above it starts to become blue. I have always preferred the 10k Actinic over the others available. Best mix of bright and blue. Once you get past 12k they start to get purple IMO.
LEDs are growing in popularity many things. Couple of advantages over MH or CFL: More light per watt, so more efficient, and less heat output compared to MH. And a third advantage, they're much more compact.
In LED lights, you generally see a mix of blue and white bulbs to get the lighting required for corals.
For planted tanks, you generally don't have to worry about mixed bulbs, just get something in the 6000-7000K range (6500K being the ideal).
I'm using a 7W LED fixture on my nano planted tank, and really like it.
That light above was a T5 fluorescent 8 bulb setup. VERY bright.
4 of the 8 bulbs were actinic, or into the UV/blacklight spectrum. This is what makes the colors pop. it is also much safer for the fish as the bulbs do not heat the water, much.
Metal Halide is HOT and needs its own ventilation.
The trend these days is moving to LED. A friend of mine is an importer and wholesaler of marine aquarium equipment to many retailers through north america. His sales of LED lighting are going through the roof and his own setup (old one, his new one is going to be much larger) used LED and is amazing.
you can see the tank in this shothttp://marcphoto.ca/muted-beauty/
The nice thing with LED is you can adjust the color spectrum through computer controllers. you can also simulate lightning or sunrise/sunset colors.
The only problem is they are stupidly expensive right now. The prices are coming down, but not fast enough considering the cost of the components.
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I did not even consider LED. Like I said, I have been out of the hobby for a while. I am going to look into a LED setup for my tank as I rebuild it.
You don't have to ask permission, just yoink it! - Demosthenes
I have a little 14 gallon Biocube that was set up as a reef tank a while back. I had a problem with it that I never was able to resolve and as a result, most everything withered and died. I didn't have a ton of stuff in it yet, but it was still kind of heartbreaking watching things die off and not being able to deduce what was causing it. In the end I took it all down, I needed a break.
I'm planning on setting it back up in the not-too-distant future, but I'm going to replace the stock CF lighting with an LED setup. I may even buy an Arduino board and see if I can learn enough about it to build my own controller for the lights, thermometer and such.
My clown fish that I named Captain Spaulding.
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Get a room, history nerds.
The Amano muscles in:
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How much water can you safely change a day? I've been trying to get back into the habit of doing daily changes of about 10 percent.
"Sited for not having a red flag on that ass"-ibdoomed
Depends on the fish. Some do well with 50%, some are very sensitive, and you have to do very small changes.
Some fish will even be stimulated to breed by large water changes that simulate rainy season in their natural habitats.
EDIT: Just noticed in my second picture above that the shrimp (facing left) that has developed the light area on it's back (saddle) is a juvenile female that will start breeding soon. That will be my second. Cool.
The other mature female is the biggest Pumpkin. In that same shot, it's facing away from the camera on the right of the Amano (large, clear, algae eating shrimp).
I picked up a little 4 gallon acrylic Aqueon Evolve 4 from Petco that was on clearance for $34. Figured I'd put my culled shrimp and extra plant cuttings in it.
Going to use organic top soil and some sort of sand as a substrate. That should allow it to be fairly low maintenance in regards to fertilization.
I usually have to heat the water in my tank. I suppose in southern climates you need to cool your water. if that happens I'll be sure to call the AC company.
I had a fish tank with lots of fishes in it but it is very difficult task to maintain them and to keep the tank fresh. Keeping tank water free from any kind of harmful substance is really important and it takes a lot of time to figure out a fish tank.
Maybe he is selling a chiller for a reef tank?
Just romance Kelly some and she'll take of your fish while you're off the Normandy.
Certis: Quintin is both smart and attractive.
Fedaykin98: Good lord, I wouldn't have expected brilliance like that from that nemeslut Quintin Stone!
Yonder: It's weird to say this, but Quintin Stone may be the wisest person here.
Lies. She sucks as a fish watcher.
She's too busy dancing, probably.
Does anyone have experience with buying fresh water fish online? Is it generally cheaper and how has the quality been?
Just 'upgraded' a tank from fresh water goldfish to freshwater tropical. The last of the kids goldfish passed away, and when we went back into the pet store, they really liked the 'pretty ones'.
Completely tore out the old one, and went crazy on the new one. I have had 3 neons swimming around for the last week, in heated water, and two guppies. The guppies didn't last, but I had a feeling they weren't as hardy as the neons for setting up the tank correctly. Any one care to weigh in on that one?
Also, how long does it take for a tank to settle and be ready for further population?
I am also thinking of adding live plants into the new environment (the plastic ones have gotten better, but they still look 'fake'). Any way to stop the fish eating them, or is that part of the whole process?
Sometimes, monkey, you say the weirdest things
I like to flop my ass on things for $20
I've done it for a long time. I generally like rarish stuff that doesn't always come into even the quality fish stores near me. But economically it can cost more due to shipping unless you get a lot of fish (I stocked a 75G African Cichlid tank from a breeder this way), or you're getting more expensive fish that local places mark up a lot.
I bought my pumpkin shrimp this way recently, because the local store only ever stocked cherries. I've also bought plants this way, and they're cheaper to ship due to the less critical time frames involved in them being out of a tank.
Anything in particular you're looking for? I'd try to find forums that specialize in it. They generally have a trading/selling section. There's also ebay and www.aquabid.com , which is basically an aquarium ebay.
Another thing to consider this time a year is temperature. They sometimes ship in insulated containers, but even then you don't want a small order of fish sitting somewhere in the sun for hours, so you need to be available when delivered, or have the fish held at the shipping center. And sellers generally try to time their shipping days so that they don't stay over a weekend in a delivery center.
I have done this often. I have, for the last 15 years or so, kept relatively rare Tanganyikan Cichlids and have had more luck buying online and shipping than finding locally. I am careful what time of year I order though. It gets too hot here in TX to ship much past April or so. I don't have a big issue with buying in winter as heat packs work great.
I have bought from www.aquabid.com many times. I have also found several vendors on there I will skip the auction and go straight to their store.
Your pet store will test your water for free. You need to cycle in your tank, probably. Though if there were goldfish in it, you probably have a lot of healthy bacteria. Goldfish are dirty.
Three is probably too few for neons to be happy. I believe they like to school and should be five as a minimum. Again, check with your pet store. If you can, go to a Big Al's, or aquarium specialty store.
Rule of thumb is one inch of fish per gallon of tank.
I've never kept guppies, but I've heard if you have a few mating pairs, soon you'll be overrun with guppies.
Zebra danios are hearty. You could raise most danios in a cup of warm urine. The longfin varieties seem to get their fins torn up unless you have a really docile population.
I've had good luck with Barbs, and Kissing Gourami, for being durable, but they're moderately aggressive. I only ever kept Gourami and barbs alone (except for a bushy nosed pleco who stays small from eating the driftwood, which is supposed to be bad).
Also, you know about water chemistry right? Taking chlorine out of tap water etc?
Scrubbed it clean, 'just incase' there was a transferable fungus or something similar. Will definitely take a sample down for testing though.
They were 'mainly' sacrificial, to build up the bacteria, etc. There will be more in the very near future.
Crazy, non-metric countries...
Is that a square inch of fish, or just length? I image you could get a fair few neons into a square inch...
Thanks for those, I'll keep them at the back of my mind/herd the kids towards those when we are down at the fish shop next.
Check, had to do that for the Goldfish, so all good for the Tropical too. My Dad kept fish for the longest time when I was a kid. He was crap at it, so I got to learn from his mistakes (so many lost souls)...
One thing I am not sure got answered for Monkey: New tanks generally take a month to "cycle" and get all the proper bacteria to break down the fish wastes. If I don't have a tank available with a filter that has bacteria that I can seed from, I generally do "fishless cycles", where you dose the tank with a bit of ammonia and just keep running tests until all the ammonia and nitrates have dropped, then I change the water and add fish.
If you start with fish, they should be pretty hardy. Your guppies would have been hardier in most cases than the tetras, but you never know.
If I was going to do what you did, I would have kept the same filter/media, maybe cleaned the tank out, then gradually upped the temp over a week before buying the new fish. That way you'd have probably kept most of your old bacteria with minimal actual nitrite/ammonia spikes.
The nitrites and ammonia tell you where your tank is, as far as "cycling in"
You can buy home testing kits, but I gave up on all the water chemistry. Our tap water PH is a bit high, but my fish survive, and I didn't like handling the chemicals "known to cause birth defects in the state of California"; thank goodness I don't live in California, and I was already born.
IIRC, your ammonia level rises to near dangerous levels for the fish, until the bacteria that process it, can multiply enough to respond. After that, your ammonia level is an indicator of time to change the water.
I just got used to how long my tank could go before needing a water change. I keep under the max number of fish, and everything works out fine.
***tanhousered by MB**
Crazy, non-metric countries...
I'm in Amer-anada. We get everything from the states, so despite being metric, everything is still done in imperial.
Thanks for the online info. Aqua Bid looks pretty cool and will give it a shot. I plan on buying about 12 Neon Tetras and a clown loach and figured it would be good to buy bulk online.
Be wary of buying clown loaches. If they are wild caught, they will not survive long. Apparently there is an intestinal parasite that is common to loaches from the wild. There is a treatment, but it can be hard to find. I tended to only buy loaches I could see and ask how long they had been in stock.
Never knew that. Thanks!
Has anyone used the Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer?
I am so used to distilling my water in gallon containers before putting it in the fish tank. Something about putting tap water directly in seemed odd.
I have used something like that for many years. Works great to vacuum out the old water and clean. Just add water from tap to refill. Make sure your incoming water is not too hot/cold and that your hardness is in the appropriate range. I am luck. My tap water is hard and has a relatively high Ph. I still add extra minerals for my cichlids.
I used the original Python water changer that's based on for my 75G tank. They're fine.