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Disease/Pest Information:

Fish Hyperventilating - Oodinium (Velvet)
Fluffy "fungus" on driftwood
Hole in the Head treatment Metronidazole Dose and Usage
Pop Eye
Scratched Eye
Velvet disease?
Worming Fish
Clown Loach White Spot
Preventative Medication
Floating aquarium/pond plants and their noxious status
Algae Problem
Black Hair Algae

Filtration and filter materials:

Cheap Filter Wool?
Cheap Biological filter materials
Fluidised Bed Filters
Overflow noise
Wanted: crystal clear water?

Food and Feeding:

Cheap Fish Food
Worm Farming
Breeding Feeder Fish
Daphnia as live food
DIY Brine shrimp hatchery
Feeding frozen prawns & minces/heart
How do you culture blackworms?
Meal Worms
Mosquito larvae as food - Culture information
Pellets v Flakes
Using whiting/whitebait as fishfood
Blackworms

General Information:

Fishless Cycling
Cooling tanks
American cichlid community setups
Java Fern and Anubias
Filling up on CO2
Should CO2 be Shut Off at Night?
Metal Halides
Lighting for Plants
Mixing Plants and Cichlids
How to post a picture on he forum!?
Is there a Canberra Cichlid Society?
Painting/Backing for tanks
Mixing American and African Cichlids
Shipping and Transporting fish
Water changes straight from the tap?
Where to get Bogwood
Discolouration from wood
Suitable rocks?
What are Sea Monkeys?
Tank Backgrounds

DIY topics:

Fixing Leak's
Overflow noise
DIY Lighting
Lake Tanganyika Water Recipe (Cheap salts & buffers)
DIY egg tumbler

Breeding/Fry Rearing Issues:

Which fish are good fish to breed?
Breeding triggers
Stripping Mouthbrooders
Feeding New Fry

Line breeding/Hybridisation Issues:

Cichlid hybrids and line bred species "morphs"
Inbreeding cichlids
Line bred Aulonocara (Eureka, Red Rubin, Turkis)
What are the effects of inbreeding?

Species specific Information:

Australian Catfish?
Pleco and Bristlenose
Peppermint Bristlenose
Cone Snails/turning or oxygenating gravelbeds
Freshwater Shrimp
Labidochromis freibergi
M. Chipokae
Neolamprologus multifasciatus
Steatocranus casuarius - Lion, Lump or Blockhead
Tank Mates for Altolamprologus

Cichlids Australia

The Forum FAQ

The following text transcripts are reproduced with kind permission from the ACE Forums. All information provided here is exclusive to the ACE website and may not be not be reproduced without the written of the webmaster of ACE Forums or the original author.

Explanation of symbols:

This refers to the original question posted on the forums.

This refers to the original answers posted on the forums

This symbol refers to additional information or dialogue on this issue.

Cheap Biological filter materials


Index

Posted by Tim
Biological Filter Material

Hi Guy's just after any suggestions for filter media?? i need it to fill quite a large volume and also for it not to be too fine so as it clogs up, i need it to fill 2 x250 L barrels, i was thinking the plastic Orange Onion bags would be a good idea but i don't know where you would find a large amount of these?? any other ideas??

Tim

Posted by Matt
Biological Filter Material

Fishing Line isn't bad as it has lots of surface area when you whack a stack of it in there, it doesn't clog and since the actual quality or strength of the line doesn't matter as its only the surface area you're after just get a cheap line and it shouldn't cost you much. Think about it, you can buy a big roll of 500metres or so for pretty cheap and 500 metres is a fair bit of surface area and you can really pack it in to quite a small space.

Matt

Posted by Tim
Biological Filter Material

i would need a lot of fishing line to fill 2X250 L drums, it's a good idea for smaller filters though oh k Andy i know the stuff you mean now, it wasn't what i was thinking but it might do, if it's cheap, i was actually thinking of the big onion bags , like what you see at the markets not at the supermarkets, i was also thinking fly screen would be good, or even shade cloth??

Tim

Posted by Robert
Biological Filter Material

Ah my speciality! Shade cloth is uv treated so i would have to say that it would be toxic to fish. It has to be treated to last in the sun. As for fly screen, i don't know.

Posted by Tim
Biological Filter Material

On the shade cloth i have used it many times, mainly as covers for filters and stuff like that but never had any problems, i actually ended up going with Shade cloth and made some shade cloth balls, kinda like big bio balls, i think they will work great, i never really thought of it being toxic mainly cause i have used it before, are you positive that it's toxic?? or just assuming??

Tim

Posted by Mark
Biological Filter Material

I have used shade cloth inside my box filters for some time now, without any problems, permanently submerged, mainly to keep the bio balls in order and to stop them from floating to the top.

Mark

Posted by Tim
Biological Filter Material

The stuff (shade cloth) i have is low UV, but i thought the UV rating would be gauged on how fine the cloth is so low UV big holes, the stuff i used as a cover for the filter actually went in the tank/pond and was under the water, anything that went through the pump had to go through the shade cloth, and that stuff was high UV, it was to stop fry going into the pump.

what about Styrofoam packing?? i herd it was really good as it has lots of holes all through it, but do you guy's think it would break down at all?? i have access to a lot of this so it makes sense.... anyone used it before??

Tim

Posted by Mick
Biological Filter Material

G'day Tim,
from what I have heard Styrofoam is OK, it won't break down but it has been known to get waterlogged

Mick

(Editors note: The issue of whether shade cloth was toxic seems to be a little unclear... I have used 90% shade cloth in a few DIY filters with no problems... some shade clothes may be toxic though. )


Cichlid hybrids and line bred species "morphs"


Index

Posted by YeW
Hybridisation/Line breeding issues.

Hi All,

I am wondering why the OB peacock and the 'Neon' Hemichromis seem to be much more widely excepted by cichlid keepers than the red blood parrot... I realise that the red blood parrot is quite badly deformed etc. etc. However, it seems to be the other two hybrid cichlids pose a greater and more insidious risk to the hobby... After all, it is difficult to imagine when a red blood parrot could accidentally be hybridised back into pure central or south american cichlid lines...it is very possible that a well meaning breeder could accidentally mistake Hemichromis sp. 'Neon' for a good coloured or possibly line bred lifalili or cristatus...

I would really like to include some discussion of this topic in the forum FAQ and I would love to hear what others think of these issues.

Cheers,
YeW

Posted by Bill
Hybridisation/Line breeding issues.

It is beyond my comprehension as to why some hybrids are acceptable to certain parts of the hobby. It has reached such dangerous levels in Melbourne that a couple of LFS are claiming that the "neon" hemichromis is a true species described by some French scientists (how far will people go). I tested this theory on a couple of scientific mailing lists that I belong to...naive me to even consider it a true story.

The ACA has a fairly straightforward policy on the subject of hybrids - any hybrid is not welcome in the hobby. The latest BB that I got the other day has another article on hybrids. I believe that I could legally scan the article onto here if you like - or could just send you the article if you wish.

Though not a cichlid, the latest "mutant/hybrid/?" I saw yesterday was the short pink gourami - in my view makes the blood parrot look respectable. And why does the LFS keep it - because people want it...

Posted by Magica diSpell
Hybridisation/Line breeding issues.

...The OB peacock or blood parrot (and I guess I had better add the Neon Jewel to that list) I believe hybrids are undesirable. I guess the Blood Parrot is worse by some degrees because of the deformities that don't seem to occur in the OB peacock for example. So besides the hybrid issue there is also a humanity/animal lover issue.

If we are serious about cichlid breeding and keeping, then I believe we should also see ourselves a little as Noah's Arc. Some, if not most of these species are strongly under threat due to destruction of their habitat. If that habitat should ever be able to be restored, our cichlids might contribute to the restocking (I know this sounds like a farfetched scenario, but there is nothing like a contingency plan, is there!). So, therefore I also strongly believe we should look after the genetic health of our fish.

To sum it all up, hybrids are out - IMHO!

Posted by CID
Hybridisation/Line breeding issues.

with Blood Parrots it is more the experiment gone wrong disfigurement that has been thrust on them than the fact they are hybrids the OB Peacocks are the same deal but at least they retain the shape of the type species they imitate the Neon Jewels are the same Genera if different species - They Are All Aquarium Industry Products !!!! - No sales means no market means no experimental fish ... BUT how do you factor out the new people that only see a fish as a fish ????????? The standard rule appears to be "Make it coloured or bent or both and it will sell!" Discus keepers have been doing it for years and its considered the normal practice .... so who's right ??? Maybe it comes down to conservationist V capitalist... So lets keep it civil and see what we get!

Chris D

Posted by Luke
Hybridisation/Line breeding issues.

excuse my ignorance but what's is meant by line bred , is it the same as man made ?...

Posted by Tim
Hybridisation/Line breeding issues.

it means it has come from an original species but has fish have been chosen to breed from because of there colour, so say for Eureka Red's they breed Jacob's pick the ones with the best red colour, breed them and pick the best with the red colour out of that batch, until the red increases and you have a fish that has a different colour or markings, this is the way i understand it anyway

Tim

Posted by Simon
Hybridisation/Line breeding issues.

On convicts... Line breeding depends first on deciding what 'improvements' you want to make and sticking to that goal ruthlessly. My goal was to increase colour and improve form of both males and females ( you can also breed out the deformities that plague our LFSs these days with careful line breeding or selective breeding and culling ). It involves breeding individuals that you think will help you achieve that goal and can involve inbreeding and outbreeding ( as opposed to cross breeding which means interspecific breeding which is to be discouraged by all except Tyler ! ( sorry - in joke ) lol ). First you must understand the difference between inheritable characteristics and environmentally influenced characteristics. Colour can be largely influenced by the environment that an organism lives in- e.g. nutrition, disease, competition, water chemistry, dominance etc. One thing that people would commonly make the mistake of assuming is that, in the case of the convicts, that if they used a good coloured female to start their breeding program then they will get good coloured females in successive generations. It will probably help but the pics I put up clearly show that the female I have now is by far better than the starting female. This, IMO, is because of the male I had. The male ALSO contains genetic information that will affect the look of the females too. At a chromosomal level the only thing that makes a male convict ( or us for that matter ) a male is the presence of a Y chromosome. Genes that affect the expression of gender type characteristics are influenced by the genes that are found around them. If the individual contains a Y chromosome then they will be expressed in a different way than if they had two X chromosomes. They are still the SAME GENES but because of the presence of either XY ( male ) genes or XX ( female ) genes they will be expressed differently. So the male also contained genes that would have contributed to improving the females colour. Successive males have also shown a lot more colour and have developed small spots like eggspots on their anal fins with a beautiful green sheen. You can breed siblings together for a few generations without too much trouble. Deformations are NOT caused by crossing related individuals - it only increases the probability of a recessive characteristics appearing- so if serious culling takes place then it is not a problem because the deleterious recessive gene is effectively being removed from the genepool. It is in fact necessary once you reach your standard to 'fix' a line. Outcrossing is a method in which you source new blood periodically in and attempt to broaden the gene pool by introducing new genes. This could be a catch 22 situation as you may also bring in new recessive genes but again if careful culling goes on the overall effect is generally positive. This has the effect of boosting the vigour of a line too. In breeding circles this effect is called hybrid vigour and is a widely used method in lots of animals such as cattle whereby different breeds o


Fish Hyperventilating - Oodinium (Velvet)


Index

Posted by LAKA
Fish Hyperventilating

I have a 450l brackish tank with 3 large sliver scats and a mangrove jack. Once a week i feed the jack gold fish. Two days after his last feed he began laboured breathing. I tested all water parameters with different test kits and all water quality checks out OK.

NH3-0ppm,NO2-0ppm,NO3-20ppm,temp 25 degrees celsius,Cu-0ppm,specific gravity1.005.There is a large air pump and the outlet of the canister filter is above water level to provide max. water agitation.

I suspected gill ectoparasites and raised marine salt content to 1.010 .Sunday morning the jack died. It's mouth and opercula were wide open. It died from O2 deprivation but source unknown. There were no other symptoms. The pectoral fins were clamped with mild flashing. No physical changes to scales.

The only other residents-3 silver scats are now hyperventilating and just below water level. Treated with 3ppm praziquantel Sunday.24hrs later still heavy breathing. Running out of time and ideas. Beginning to suspect not a parasitic infection but bacterial?? Will treat tonight with 7mg/l metronidazole. Any suggestions much appreciated.

Posted by AndrewP
Fish Hyperventilating

I had a similar thing happen when I had my marine tank. I fed my marines some feeder mosquito fish (like guppies) over the next fortnight I had the exact symptoms you describe. My fish died one by one with gills opened etc. They also swam in front of the outlet. Go to your LFS and get something that kills flukes/ich/other parasites. There are so many medicines for these things I wont recommend any as I don't know the exact problem. If you have another death get a magnifying glass and examine the gills. You may be able to see some white round disks/ovals/ or worms. I worked in an aquarium shop for a number of years and the amount of parasites we used to get in on the gold fish was unreal (I'm not saying the ones you bought had parasites as I am only guessing but it seems strange), Live food is excellent but remember that you run the same risks putting live feeder fish into your tank as you do putting a new display fish in, in my experience the feeder goldfish are put in the crappy tanks and looked after the least, this may not be the case with your ones you bought but I have had the first hand experience. Frankly I would never for any reason put a feeder gold fish in the same tank water as my cichlids.

Posted by LAKA
Fish Hyperventilating

That's exactly what my scats are doing. They're right next to the filter outlet. There are just so many parasites that without positive identification i am just using a shot gun approach. Praziquantel for flukes, metronidazole for protozoal infections and columnaris disease and tomorrow erythromycin for other possible bacterial bugs. I am not a subscriber to polypharmacy but these scats are on death row.

And you're right live feeders are just not worth it unless you breed them yourself.

Posted by LAKA
Fish Hyperventilating

My silver scats have Oodinium. Only today they have developed a thick velvety appearance all over their scales. It all makes sense now. Typically there is very heavy breathing for a few days, followed by a skin outbreak. Apparently labyrinth fish and cyprinids are excellent hosts to this parasite even in this dormant state. The feeders were the host that introduced it to my tank.

Am treating with copper sulphate and acriflavine. Hope it's not too late.

Posted by YeW
On feeders...

Hi LAKA,

I concur with most of the other posts and your own assumptions (continue to use that shotgun and cross your fingers)...
Hopefully others will read your post and conclude as you have that feeders are not a good idea and not worth the risk to your prize fish (unless you breed them yourself). Gambusia can be readily bred in a outdoor pond and are generally quite "clean" two or three generations from collected stock...

Good luck,
YeW

Posted by LAKA
Fish Hyperventilating - Epilogue

I finally diagnosed what the scats and the late mangrove jack were infected with and with the appropriate medication all the scats are returning to health. On the third day of heavy breathing i noticed that one of the scats experienced a skin outbreak. It's as if it was rolled in icing sugar-but it was hard to pick and you had to view the fish from a specific angle, ie. velvet disease. The offending micro organism i am unsure. In fresh water it's Oodinium, in sea water it's Amyloodinium and my water has a SG of 1.010. Irrespective of the species involved treatment is the same. I dosed the water with Ichonex that contains CuSO4 and malachite green, and Wardley's Fungus AIDE that contains formaldehyde and acriflavine among others.
Within 24hrs the hyperventilation reduced dramatically but it took another 3 days for the white plaque to disappear from the skin. The pectoral fins are no longer clamped to the bodies and they are no longer hiding in a corner and they have got their appetite back.
I will be treating the tank for 14 days to ensure full eradication of the parasite. I raised tank temp. from 25 to 29 degrees Celsius and at the same time did a 50% water change which reduced the salinity from 1.010 to 1.005.Apparently hypo salinity causes an osmotic imbalance in the Oodinium cyst resulting in rupture of the cell lining and death. The biological filtration has not been affected with all the above medicine. One untoward side effect is the silicone lining in my tank has gone blue all over. I hope this doesn't lead to problems down the track.
Typical symptoms of ectoparasitic infestation include hyperventilation, clamped pectoral fins, "private parties" in the corner of a tank, loss of appetite and sudden jerky mouth movements as if the fish is eating. Visible presence on the skin follows but quite often the fish will already be dead-as was my jack. Apparently labyrinth fish and cyprinids are excellent vectors (hosts) for parasite transmission which probably explains my route of entry into the tank.

So what lessons have i learned?
prevention is better than cure. Always quarantine new additions, irrespective of whether they are feeder or new inhabitants.
where possible avoid feeders, it's just not worth it. If they are unavoidable then a 2-10 minute saltwater bath in 2.5-3% salt under heavy aeration will eliminate any ectoparasite from the skin.
early diagnosis is critical. I have decided to invest in a microscope. A gill Bx. of the jack may have meant he may still be around today.


Floating aquarium/pond plants and their noxious status


Index

Posted by Richard
Floating plants

supposedly these (floating plants) are illegal to sell here in Sydney, could anyone "lend" me some, or enlighten me on this topic?

- Thanks in Advance
Richard

Posted by YeW
Floating plants

Sadly this is true, it is a NSW government piece of legislation to prevent water hyacinth/salvina/duckweed and similar species from ending up in the water ways. Sadly it is irresponsible pond keepers/hobbyists who are responsible for this law - the same applies for the reduced number of ornamental fish species that are legal to import.

You can readily obtain water/hyacinth/duckweed from naturally occurring "stocks" around Sydney. Riccia is available at some aquariums who order their plants from interstate sources.

Hope this helps,
YeW

Posted by Magica diSpell
Floating plants

Water hyacinth grows quite tall and is not really suitable for aquariums, it is illegal to keep besides. I used to find it around Sackville (on the Hawkesbury) a few years ago. If you do decide to get some and later decide you don't like it, make sure you destroy it (dry it out completely before throwing it inot the garbage bin) it really is a very nasty weed. So nasty it has taken over something 1/3 of Lake Victoria and is not yet kept in check. So, I hope this turned you off this plant completely.

Valisneria is quite cheap to buy in shops and we probably shouldn't collect it from the rivers. First, from a fish keeper's point of view, you can introduce disease into your tank, and second, if everyone did that, these plants would soon get onto the endangered species list, like so many of their land-dwelling relatives.

Duckweed is great with South Americans, they love to eat it, and I find it doesn't grow fast enough to keep up with them, so I grow it in a tank of Tropheus, that don't seem to like to eat it very much and transfer some every now and then.

Other really nice surface plants are Banana Lillies, Lotus Lillies, and Pennywort.

Hope this helps
Magica diSpell


Fluffy "fungus" on driftwood


Index

Posted by URNEW2ME
driftwood fungus??? Posted 7-5-2001

i have some driftwood in my tank and for months had no dramas.....but it got some kind of fungus on it over a few day period so i scrubbed it off and let the wood dry out before putting it back in ...... it has grown back in a few day as bad as it was...????? any ideas??? its really white fluffy stuff and seems to be worse in the shade ??????? fish seem ok


Posted by Terry
Driftwood Fungus = Catfish food Posted 8-5-2001

Most sucker mouth cats will eat this fungus and it is an ideal food for catfish fry.


Hole in the Head treatment Metronidazole Dose and Usage


Index

Posted by Justin
Metronidazole usage for Hole in the Head

Can someone give me a rundown on the instructions for the use of Metronidazole please?? And most importantly do I have to increase the Temperature to achieve results as you do with Discus??

Posted by Bill
Metronidazole usage for Hole in the Head

The dosage that seems to be recommended is 250mg to 50 litres of water and then filtered out after three days (do not have any other medications in the tank at the same time). Dissolve the tablet in water before adding it to the tank and I have never raised the temperature when treating fish though apparently you can.
If the fish are eating you could crush the tablet up in the food and feed it to the fish dosing them for a few days - that way the medication gets absorbed more.
If treating for hole in head, suggest you also feed earthworms or food which has been rolled in brewers yeast - contains various vitamins which helps cure HIH and helps prevent it recurring.

 
Posted by Cichlids_au
Contrary to others, I would recommend that you give three treatments every second day, with a 20% water change before each dose is given. To "filter out", you should add activated carbon to your filter and discard after your tank has been filtered out for one full cycle.



Posted by E4G13M4N
The way we do it is . Defrost 100grms frozen food (depends on fish which is used) crush up 5 tablets and dissolve in a small amount of water, then mix it in to the food. Refreeze it and feed it to the fish.. Make enough to last 7 days of feeding, I usually make up extra in case it needs to be fed longer and have it ready made at all times in case its needed.

(Editors note: Just as a quick note for the forum FAQ - Metronidazole can be purchased through your local vet or doctor. If you go to you GP to get Metronidazole for Hole in the Head - you can get either a 250mg or a 400mg preparation. Most doctors and vets are willing to help in this matter. YeW)


Pop Eye


Index

Posted by ed
Pop Eye

Pop Eye

What is the cause of Pop Eye ? How is it cured?

t.i.a. ed

Posted by MagicaDiSpell
Pop Eye

Hi Ed,
I subscribe to a fish-health e-mail list and this topic was brought up the other day. If I pasted the entire "conversation" I would probably be banned from the board, so I'll try and give a little overview of the theories.

Popeye (exopthalmia) can be environmental, but can also be a side-effect of systemic bacterial infections such as fish TB. It seems that bad environment (water quality) is the cause more often than not, and is easily rectified with water changes.

However, as fish get older, their immune response may diminish, and they are less able to fight off infections which they may have had most of their lives in a "controlled" dormant state. The author has seen elderly zebra danios succumb to TB at the end of their lives, and we weren't even aware till then that there was TB in the tank. In situations where adult fishes die but fry remain healthy, it is rare for water conditions to be the problem. So I guess this problem is simply a case of old age.

On that e-mail list it was also suggested that deficiencies of certain vitamins (especially A and E) will result in Pop-eye-like conditions. This would be consistent with it's occurance in older fish.

It is also possible that the fish suffer from another form of nutritional cause: Imagine that Riboflavin deficiency were to blame. For example, if you are using predominantly dry foods, and Riboflavin is (if I remember ) sensitive to heat, light, and air. So it may be possible for a fish to run deficient over time.

On the other hand.... perhaps a mineral could be involved, similar to the cases of nephrocalcinosis caused by an imbalance of calcium/magnesium/phosphorous. Some trace elements such as zinc are prone to being bound up by excesses of these other cations. In this case you might wonder if the buffer you are using is inadequate. And even with all the L-ascorbyl-polyphosphate being used I still see signs of vitamin C deficiency in fish. (I wish I had better information handy on this. I'll try as soon as I get a chance.)

So, as you can see the experts are divided. But let me say, that I had popeye in my colony of Ophthalmotilapias, one female after the other would get it and eventually die. We treated with Octazin, because that was recommended somewhere on the net (can't remember where exactly). And it didn't help at all. In my case I think the fish where getting old and their immune system broke down. But, the causes seem to be as varied as the fish that suffer from it.

I hope this helped a bit and didn't confuse too much. Sabine



Posted by astromatt
Pop Eye

I had a corydoras which got popeye. My lfs owner told me that it is normally due to a gas imbalance i.e. too much of a dissolved gas in the water and this imbalance (ie. greater gas pressure inside the fish than outside in the water) causes the eyes to bulge outwards. He said that filtering over activated carbon would remove the dissolved gases (this sounds a bit dodgy too me!!) or alternatively put the fish into a quarantine tank with new water in it. I initially filtered my water over activated carbon but ended up putting the fish into an ice-cream container floating in the main tank ( i also put a little salt in there). This cured the popeye.


Scratched Eye


Index

Posted by Juneau 95
Scratched Eye

Hi all

One of my O. nasuta I believe has scratched one of his eyes. The eye appears to be slightly cloudy in one spot. The eye may or maynot also be a little enlarged.
I think it is right to treat with salt, but at what dosage and which salt to use?
Also should this fish be separated or treatment in the main tank is OK?

Thanks

Posted by matti
Scratched Eye

Hi Juneau,

My blue acara scratched his eye and it became enlarged also. I treated with Myxazin by applying it direct to the eye with a cotton bud. I treated him in the main tank.

Hope this helps,

Matti


Velvet disease?


Index

Posted by oscar
Velvet disease?

Hi guys, just need some help. I brought a adult Red Terror a week ago and i noticed today that it looks a bit like a velvet covering on it. Is there a such thing. Please answer soon as this fish cost me a small fortune
Thanks
Tim

Posted by MagicaDiSpell
Velvet disease?

Hi,

Velvet disease looks a little like white spot. Only the spots are much smaller and denser, resulting in a velvety look. When I once had an outbreak in my tanks (due to a mass death of snails and the resulting ammonia spike), the fish showed extreme respiratory distress and they were lying on their sides, looking like they were about to keel over - literally. Velvet disease progresses very fast. Fish may not seem effected at all and eight hours later they are dead.

Octazin was incredibly effective in treating Velvet disease. We added it to the water and literally within one our the fish that looked like they might not make it through the next couple of hours were swimming around happily like nothing has happened.

Posted by blue gularis
Velvet disease?

Hi all,
The best cure for velvet (Oodinium) I have found is raising the temp 5-7 degrees and add 1 tablespoon of salt for every 10L of tank water. For fish badly affected a sea water dip works well you can see the parasites fall off.

Gary H-H

Posted by Cichlids au
Velvet disease?

Hi Tim

Gary is spot on with this but be careful of the salt bathing. It's dangerous, so get some help if you haven't done it before.

Up the temp, add some salt and then you can treat it with ANY White Spot treatment or a broad-spectrum antiparasite treatment.

Here is what I can pass on about it.
Velvet disease or Gold Dust disease is caused by a single celled organism (dinoflagellate). Oodinium in fresh water and Amyloodinium in salt water

The parasite moves from fish to fish as flagellated spores (that's a spore with a tail for swimming) and can live away from the fish for at least a day.

Heavy infestations can occur in the gills killing the fish without showing any other signs. Long-term control can be hard if the parasite establishes itself in the internal organs.

It?s persistent in killifish, goldfish marine coral fish and some anabantoids.

Oodinium?s life cycle is like this.
1/ Dinospores form a root like structure and become parasitic on the fins, skin and gills. (You can treat the fish at this stage, in tank for slight infestations, separated if heavy)
2/ After 3 to 7 days the mature parasites fall away and swell up.
3/ Each cell divides inside a cellulose cyst, producing about 200 spores.
4/ The spores are released and have 2 tails (flagella) You can treat the tank here by removing the fish and cranking up the temp.
5/ The spores mature (and develop only 1 tail) and infest fish. That completes the cycle.

Obvious symptoms are
Yellow ? grey coating in the skin and fins, fish may scrape against rocks and show an increased gill movement. As it gets worse they go off their food and lie motionless. Skin may peel away in strips.

Although this disease may be confused with other conditions like white spot (Ichthyophthirius multifilitis), velvet infested fish often look like they have been sprinkled with gold dust where as white spot makes the fish look like they have been sprinkled with salt or sugar.

Lucky white spot treatment works for both


Cichlids_au


Worming Fish


Index

Posted by Bruce and Anita
Worming fish

Has anyone ever wormed their fish?? If so, what did you use and what was the dosage?? I have 2 female Fusco's who eat heaps and have hollow bellies. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. Anita

Posted by LAKA
Worming fish

...Intestinal parasitic infections can be caused by tapeworms-cestodes, that will lead to emaciation of the fish even though it has an appetite. Praziquantel is the drug of choice that can be purchased from a vet as Droncit 50mg or from a medico as Biltricide 600mg. Dosage is 5-10 ml of stock sln. to live blackworms for a 10 minute soaking then feed to fish-may need to be repeated a few days later. Stock sln is 100mg of drug dissolved in 1.75ml ethanol and 3.25ml distilled water.

Posted by Tim
Worming fish

...but you dont mention how much black worms you add it too?? and also what size fish it treat's?? or if you can add it to different types of food?
i know the fish she wants to treat are relatively large ...
she also will be treating them in a 2ft tank does it matter at all on tank volume??
Tim

Posted by LAKA
Worming fish

Tim
According to "Fish Medicine" by Stoskopf, the actual dose is 400mg/100 g of food fed daily for 5-7 days. It doesn't matter what type of feed is used as long as it is eaten and the tank size is irrelevant as we are aiming for oral administration of the drug.The frequency of feeding is anybody's guess but i would say as a starting point feed the medicated food once daily in the amount that will be consumed entirely without any leftovers.

Posted by Thomas
Worming fish

I uses similar method, but instead of the real drug (praziquantel), I uses dog's all wormer tablet. Dissolve in a container of water with live blackworm for 30 mins. before giving them to the fish. Got rid of tapeworm infection in my discus in several applications of it.

Posted by @nthony
Worming fish

You can actually get a Praziquantel wormer specifically designed for fish. It is called Worm-Rid and is made by CPV. I know Auburn Aq (9648 5200) carries it. I think the dose rate is 1 tab per 20l. Personally I would prefer to use a product specifically designed for and tested on fish rather than guessing dose rates using medications intended for dogs.
Just my thoughts
@nthony

Posted by George of Boronia Aquariums
Worming fish

For the last 5+ years the standard treatment is Ivomectin. It is very safe, easy to dose and very effective. You can get it from your local vet.
George

Posted by LAKA
Worming fish

George
My understanding is that Ivermectin is ineffective against cestodes-intestinal tapeworms, this is where praziquantel is highly effective. Ivermectin is a macrolide antibiotic with a broad range of anti-parasitic activity but in ornamental fish its mainly used for Camallanus infections...


Cheap Filter Wool?


Index

Posted by K
Cheap filter wool

where can i buy filter wool in large quantities?

Posted by Raycam_01
Cheap filter wool

Hi K dude, mate the best way to go is to buy off cuts of Dacron from material shops, i run my room on Dacron powered filters, and it costs me about $5.00 every 4-5months,,,,(Dacron is cheap up here)

Posted by Bruce and Anita
Cheap filter wool

Hi, any haberdashery store (Spotlight etc) will sell it to you by the metre - it's as cheap as chips. Ray, I'm surprised you replace yours. It can be washed out when dirty and reused. Anita


Fluidised Bed Filters


Index

Posted by matti
Fluidised Bed Filters

Hi all,

I have a few questions about fluidised bed filters. Can they run a tank on their own or is some mechanical filtration needed as well?

What tanks are they suited for?

Can the sand be removed and replaced with other media?

What do people think about them?

Thanks, any info will be great

Matti

Posted by Cichlids au
Fluidised Bed Filters

Hi Matti

"Can they run a tank on their own or is some mechanical filtration needed as well?" Mechanical is needed also

"What tanks are they suited for?" All

"Can the sand be removed and replaced with other media?" Yes

"What do people think about them?" They are excellent


Posted by steph
Fluidised Bed Filters

Having said that the sand is removable, I think it defeats the purpose of running an FBF. The idea of the sand is to create a massive surface area volume for the bacteria to live on, which I doubt you would get with any other media with out increasing the amount of space the filter takes.

Steph

Posted by fishybizness
Fluidised Bed Filters

Their one downside is, due to the fact they have such a huge surface area, they also have the potential to house massive populations of bacteria. This might have the effect of removing large amounts of 02 from the water, returning 02 deficient water to the tank.

I also happen to think they are great, but all filters have their pluses and minuses.

They must have a prefilter, as they are only biological.

I would think really only necessary if you have a large fish load, and particularly if you population fluctuates.

I don't know what you would replace the media (sand) with if you removed it as Mark suggested?

Posted by MagicaDiSpell
Fluidised Bed Filters

Fluidised bed filters are fantastic. They are particularly suited to large tanks or tank systems with fluctuating stock levels.

I agree with Steph. Sand is the optimal media for this type of filter. Why would you want to change it and what would you replace it with. If you are experiencing loss of filter material you can always add some more, but unless you have a better material (larger surface to volume ratio) you should not really change the material for another.

As Craig has already mentioned, the BOD (biological oxygen demand) is quite high in these filters, so be sure to provide a reasonable amount of aeration to the tank and or filter.

Posted by Calldrick
Fluidised Bed Filters

Roel

Where do you get the clear PVC pipe from? As I have been looking but the Plumbing supplies, BBC hardware and the pool shop could not tell me where I might be able to find a length of it.

Regards
Steven

Posted by jaaasgoed
Fluidised Bed Filters

Hi, Steven, I don't know if I can help you, I Live in The Netherlands, (don't know where you live). My dad works at a swimming pool and they use it for their filter system as well, so he can get me a length of it. An other source for them is one of those water pipe lamp things with air bubbles for in your living room. (hope you know what I mean, not lava lamp) They are also made of PVC, I think (some sort of plastic anyway) Can't think of any other source to get them. It seems odd that a pool shop can't get them for you.

Hope this is of some help to you,

Roel


Overflow noise


Index

Posted by Baz
Overflow noise

I'm like Starrey in that I have just set up a new tank which has an overflow and reef filter. I also notice a lot of noise coming from my tank now, but mine seems to be coming more from the overflow itself and not the filter.
I am interested to hear about different methods of setting up an overflow. I've seen some with sponges, standpipes with holes drilled in the side, standpipes with no holes, no standpipe at all....

What works for you in keeping the noise to a minimum?

Posted by Dawson
Overflow noise

With the noise, is it coming out of the pipe draining to the sump? If so, I have actually heard of people putting a smaller diameter pipe through the main one. This APPARENTLY stops the gurgling. Also, what about pipe noise insulation? I know that they use that kind of thing for a lot of air conditioner stuff, so perhaps a look in a local air conditioner place wouldn't go astray...

Cheers

Aaron

Posted by AndrewP
Overflow noise

How about trying shoving a big sponge down the over flow, the water will then hit the sponge and the noise will be muffled, we did this with a drain pipe in my old house that made lots of noise, it was very effective.

Posted by starrey
Overflow noise

I have a green bristle like sponge in my weir the water hits that first before hitting the white filter sponge that surrounds the perforated tube. This green sponge is kinda wiry there is no way that it could disintegrate, perhaps you could try that Baz.

Sarah


Wanted: crystal clear water?


Index

Posted by GREEN TERROR
Wanted: crystal clear water?

i have a 3foot tank with a via aqua 350 canister filter and water never seems to be clear?
i am just starting in this hobby and really have no idea.
i have a piece of driftwood (runs length of tank) is this problem? Water not brown but seems cloudy with lots of tiny suspended matter.
also i am not sure what to put in the filter? i have just got what it came with - white wool, black spongy stuff, black bally things and white tubey things (sorry i have no idea what there called) is there something better to put in to make water clearer?

ps: i suppose it is important to say i have approx 15 fish, maximum size 3 inch, including- firemouth, cuban, jack dempsey, brasiliensis, rivulatis, silver sharks, blue acara and a couple of bristle-nose catfish (all get on ok so far) is this an issue to water quality?

much appreciated if any knowledge can be shared.

Posted by Smokey Jewel
Wanted: crystal clear water?

Green Terror,

Firstly your unclear water conditions and white floaty particles sounds very familiar to me. I also have a Via Aqua filter its the biggest 750 I think. When I first set up the currant tank I put an old piece of driftwood in that had not been used for aprox 8 months. First after getting water logged again it started to get white film all over the underside & shady bits of it, these then started to come off & float all around the tank. I took out the wood and washed it under the tap on full & scrubbed it with my hands until it came clean. Now no problems.
Carbon in filter: used to remove heavy metal & other chemicals in the water, doesn't work straight away (or so I've been told) but should help at least until you get a stable tank.

Good luck

Smokey

Posted by AndrewP
Wanted: crystal clear water?

Green Terror,
The fish you have are all fairly messy, they eat like pigs and cause a lot of suspended food particles. These fish also constantly move the bottom around so any stuff in the gravel will be disturbed. I'm not familiar with the filter you have but you stated it was a canister filter so that is a good start. You have obviously already had your tank run in through the tanks setup nitrogen (bacteria) cycle. If you want to keep the water cleaner there are a few steps that will work well.

1) Get another filter, make sure it is a power hang on filter. An aquaclear 300 would be perfect, your canister filter is not designed to clean the water efficiently as far as particles go, these hang on filters do an excellent job. It is normal to have small particles floating around, it is not detrimental in any way as long as it isn't effecting the look of the tank. Getting one of these filters may cost you an extra $100 bucks but it is the best money you will spend, you will be surprised what a difference it makes. You can also get things that sit in these filters called "Bio Chem Stars". These are excellent and add extra biological surface area to your filter for only about $10. You need 6 to 8 of those.

2)That white tint you mention is often caused by a bacteria bloom. Don't worry if this is the cause as it is harmless, it will go away by itself in a couple of weeks. Occasionally I get them in my tanks and they last only a day or two. Recently one of my tanks went very milky, I panicked and check for all the regulars, but the fish were fine. I left it go and the next day it had completely gone. Make sure you test for Ammonia, Nitrite, Ph. With these in their correct levels your water will be fine.

3) Make sure your tank has gravel only about 1 inch thick in depth, the more gravel you have the more crap that is stored in it, The gravel in all my tanks is only about .5cm thick and it stays a lot cleaner than deep gravel, which also attracts anaerobic bacteria if not regularly turned over. The only basic reason I have gravel is to cover the reflective glass.

4) The fish you have in a 3 foot tank are putting a fair load on the filter and are fairly dirty, make sure you regularly clean the gravel using a gravel siphon cleaner about every two weeks, you should change 1/3 of the water during this process.

5) As far as feeding goes, make sure you use good quality foods and only feed as much as they will eat in about 1 minute, a fishes stomach is about the same size as their eye. Crap foods add more crap into the tank. Feed the fish only twice a day.

6) Using carbon is a good idea but you will find the best way to keep your water clean is to have ample biological filtration. Using the two filters will achieve this. I have never used carbon in 10 years, except when I first started, the water in my tanks is crystal clear with no tints to it. I'm not sure but that black sponge you have may have activated carbon impregnated into it. I know the black sponge you get with EHIEM filters is made t


Cheap Fish Food


Index

Posted by Dan
Cheap food for cichlids

Hi all,

I was just wondering if anyone knew of a cheap place to buy food for my cichlids. Currently i am buying brine shrimp (32 frozen pellets) for around six dollars. My LFS also sells small packets of Hikari pellets for five dollars each. Any advice is much appreciated.

Dan

Posted by YeW
Cheap food for cichlids

I use:

100g whitebait/fish
200g prawn/crab
100g squid/octopus
500g or so of chopped frozen spinach
a couple of sheets of Sushi Nori.


Blend it all up (best in a food processor) - add to this about 2-3 cups of hot water with gelatine in. Spoon the mixture into the ice cube trays with the small cubes (these cost about a dollar each - buy four or five)
Freeze and empty the trays into an ice-cream bucket... I pay about $10 for about a kilo of the stuff which lasts me and my four tanks about 3-6 months. (Depending how much I give away) If you are concerned about parasites (and I don't think you really need be as the ingredients are for human consumption after all)... you could boil the fish/prawns/squid for about 1/2 an hour first... If you have Africans use more vege's... if you have south Americans you can add more meaty products (eg beef heart etc etc)

You can vary the quantities and products in this preparation easily, in the past I have used fish fillets, krill, zucchini and other vegetables. Your best bet is to research the feeding habits of the fish you are interested in - and tailor the recipe accordingly. In terms of percentage protein vs vegetable matter. YeW



Posted by Anon
Cheap food for cichlids

Hi Dan,

The cheapest place (that I've found) to buy flake and pellet food is the NSW Cichlid Society. The Society runs a trade table at its monthly meetings where they sell food (and other items) that they buy in bulk and re-package. Most of the members that I have spoken to use it with no problems at all.

At the last meeting I bought a 250g packet of flake and a 500g packet of medium sized sinking pellets for $12.50.


Daphnia as live food


Index

Posted by Fishybizness
Daphnia as live food

Let me start off by saying, I don't consider myself an expert in daphnia culture, and I'm sure it could be done better than the way I do at home. My way of doing it has evolved primarily from a lack of time, and using what I had handy at home (100L barrels). Daphnia are small reddish "water-flea" like crustaceans. It is my understanding that as a food source, a large part of their benefit comes from what they have been eating (that is, what is inside them when they are themselves eaten). And that a daphnia that has been of a "diet" (stored alive before it has been frozen for commercial purposes, and given the chance to process and evacuate stomach contents?), has little nutritional value to a fish. The advantage to growing them at home is that you will be taking them straight from their home to a fish?s stomach, with no unknown "middleman" or "process", possibly reducing a daphnia's nutritional benefit. As a side benefit, wrigglers (mosquito larva) seem to thrive in the conditions that are beneficial to daphnia. I don't necessarily advertise this area of daphnia culture to my neighbours... Daphnia is very easy to cultivate. I use 100L barrels, I know of another who uses old concrete laundry tubs. The advantage the 100 L barrels have, is their depth. In the summer, the water can get very hot, hot enough in fact to cook the wrigglers (which must come to the surface to breath), which is a loss, but no drama as these deaths are soon made up for by other mosquitos. The daphnia is another matter. If I lost them, I would have to resource them. But with the barrels the daphnia simply go lower down in the water column, thereby choosing their own temperature. After about 25 cm or so, the water is dramatically cooler. Daphnia tend to go through ?boom/bust? periods, having several containers will even out their supply, plus give you a safety net if all daphnia in one container happen to die. The containers themselves should be situated in a reasonable sunny location, enough sun to encourage green water (but not full sun), as the algae is a food source for the daphnia. Their main source of food, and this is what makes a big difference to live food generation, is with the addition of yeast (used in making bread). It really seems to pull the mossies in (judging from how many wrigglers I get out, and the fact I'm still doing so in winter), and is able to support a huge population of wrigglers and daphnia. I tend to rely more on the wrigglers in summer, as if I don't use them, they hatch out, which I don't particular want - I imagine, nor would my neighbours. And even though I am still getting wrigglers at this time of year, I need to use the daphnia to make up for the shortfall. I use about a teaspoon of yeast per barrel, which I pour into my hand and squash/dissolve under water in the barrel itself (the water is freezing in winter - "oh my aching hand") Another way is to pre-dissolve it in a separate container, and pour it into the water. I add yeast when the water starts to become clear, or if I feel the live food supply is dro


DIY Brine shrimp hatchery


Index

Posted by Devo
Brine shrimp hatchery

In the aquamail catalogue they sell a hatchery for brine shrimp...does anyone know where i can get it in Sydney???

Posted by Yvonne
Brine shrimp hatchery

You can easily make your own brines shrimp (BS) hatchery with two 2 or 3L coke bottle, all you have to do is cut off the bottom part of one bottle, and the top part of the other so the fist bottle can sit upside down in the second bottle...

then all you have to do is get an air stone, and some airline, and put the air stone down the bottom (neck part) of the inverted bottle, and viola, instant BS hatchery

I've heard that the commercial types of hatcheries aren't that wonderful anyway... but I've never owned one so i wouldn't know

Yvonne


Feeding frozen prawns & minces/heart


Index

Posted by Oscar
Feeding prawns

Hi all This is probably a stupid question but do you feed your fish with the prawn head on or off? That spike could do a lot of damage couldn't it? Can you also feed them raw mince or not?
Thanks

Posted by Bill
Feeding prawns

I would tend to "skin" the prawn completely before feeding it because the shell can cause digestive problems with fish - anyway just my thoughts.

I never feed my fish any animal meat at all (eg beef heart, mince etc etc) as it contains saturated fats which fish cannot digest. There are plenty of fish meats around now and they love a raw fillet of whiting from time to time

Posted by Alex (WA)
Feeding prawns

I feed my Red tailed catfish whole prawns and beef heart and he is very healthy. But Bill is right about the saturated fat part, you have to be very careful don't over feed with beef heart and never feed ox heart. (Editors note: Red tailed catfish should have a day of fasting (eg: no food) every two or three) It depends on what fish you have, if you have cichlids it is probably better to take the shell and head off so that they can get to the meat inside but if you have large fish I would just feed them whole I don't think that in the wild fish have people shelling all the small crustaceans that they eat.

Thanx Alex

Posted by Anita
Feeding prawns

I've tried feeding whole prawns and peeled prawns and my fish didn't like either version. When I make a batch of food as I did today, I put in whole green prawns - unpeeled, heads and all - but they go through the blender first and my fish love it.
Anita

(Editors note: When I make up prepared frozen food as detailed in the FoodFAQ I also use whole unshelled prawns. )


How do you culture blackworms?


Index

Posted by quinnie81
How do you culture blackworms?

How do you culture blackworms? I was told to put them in the fridge and feed them a fish pellet or two. I have them in an ice cream container in the fridge. What should i do with these things? Thanks

Andrew

Posted by crabros
How do you culture blackworms?

Hi i just keep them in the bag they come in from the shop and every 3 days i empty there water and replace with water out of my tank they last a long time by doing this but you must keep them in a fridge tie the bag up like if you where bagging your fish for sale as this also keeps oxygen in the bag hope this helps you out.

Posted by Tim
How do you culture blackworms?

i keep mine in a kitty litter tray and feed it old banana peel, haven't run out yet...i don't change the water too often maybe once a week. keep um in an old fridge and have been that way and alive for over 1 week so far can also see that they have eaten the peel... there seem to be breeding also...although i don't think you can really know if they are unless you have been using the 1 culture for over 1 year

Tim

Posted by Alex
How do you culture blackworms?

That technique sounds familiar Tim
My culture has been going for about 2 years now, I only take worms out once or twice a week and I keep them outside. I also give them some fish food every now and then, as well as the banana peel.
Oh, and a good way to get them out is to use one of those filter pipe cleaners-leave it in the water and the worms will wrap around the black brush end, take it out and shake in the water.


Meal Worms


Index

Posted by koolabah
Meal Worms

I was told that the occasional meal worm for my Americans is good/ok. My garden is running out of earth worms and blood worms are expensive. So i have been feeding Meal Worms every 3-4th day, only a couple in each large tank. Thats expensive too!

So my question is:
"what are the conditions to breed meal worm?" Do I just put bran into a larger container and just grab the worms when I want to use them?


thanks
kelly

Posted by Griffin
Meal Worms

Hey Koolabah,
I breed mealworms for my frogs and you're right - it's pretty much 'just add bran'.

The worms will turn into beetles and then breed in the container. Just an observation, but adding something moist to their container like a chopped up potato triggers the metamorphism, which can be a pain as you end up with too many beetles and not many worms! I find keeping a few ice cream containers half full of bran and the odd bit of pumpkin or potato works well.

You'll know if the bran needs changing as it will have been processed into a sawdust like substance by the mealworms. When you change the bran use a sieve as the baby mealworms are tiny.

All up, I think it's a few months to cycle through one generation. 'Living Jungle' at Rocky Point, Sydney has a decent sized tub (the medium round take-away sort) for 9 bucks. I have 3 ice-cream tubs going - with about 2 of the above tubs of worms split between them and take out about 20 per week with no problems.

That's all I can think of but please ask if you have any questions.

Cheers,
Julian

Posted by Anita
Meal Worms

Hi Kelly,
I bought my mealworms out of the paper in the bird section. A lovely old man in the bush cultivates them and I got a box chocker block full of them for $40 including postage. Came with full instructions etc and mine were going great for ages till the rats feasted on them (keep a lid on the container). Even that was ok as none of my fish particularly liked them, but it was THE most economical way to buy them in bulk.
Hope this helps
Anita

Posted by YeW2001
Meal Worms

I keep mine in almost the same way - you can culture them on oats/bran/corn/lentils - just about any grain. I have heard it said that using carrot instead of potato adds to the nutritional value of the worms. I make a grain lasagne (three or so layers- it's not critical) with pieces of newspaper/plain paper (which the beetles seem to live in)... I have been culturing these guys for around 3 years now and always have plenty - they are the easiest live food to culture short of vinegar eels....

All the best -
YeW

Posted by CID in OZ
Meal Worms

Hi Kelly
just put a feeder container in the fridge in the fridge and keep the rest of the culture going 'cause if they don't turn to beetles they don't lay eggs and don't make little worms.

Best time to feed them is when they are shedding their skin. All the other recommendations are on the button.
Chris D


Mosquito larvae as food - Culture information


Index

Posted by Mick
Culturing mosquito larvae

G'day.
From my earliest fish keeping days I can remember feeding mosquito larvae to my fish, 12 years later I still do. Mosquito larvae used to be just a once in a while thing ... if I got some great but I NEVER thought about breeding them until recently .....
Lately I have been trying to breed my fish and as we know live foods are the best for inducing spawning. I 4/5 fill a large ice cream container with water, add a small amount of dry yeast to the water (something for the larvae to eat) and put it out of harms way, well away from the house (the smell is TERRIBLE!). After a couple of days you should see small black masses floating on the surface ... these are egg rafts, they can be stored in the fridge in a small container of water for a week or two until they are needed, when needed just take them out and put them in a container of water out side.
After about 4weeks the yeast will die, you can tell when this happens because the smell goes, when it dies, mozzies stop laying their eggs in the water.
I have found that using leaves and other vegetation is far less successful than yeast (don't know why)
If you choose, remove all of the egg rafts from the yeast water and put them in a container or tank water, this will eliminate the risk of contaminating your fish tank with yeasty water I don't know if it does any harm as I rinse all of my larvae under the tap before feeding them to my fish.
The new born larvae are the perfect size for first food for fry because of their size and they are packed with protein.
Mick
I originally got the idea from an 'Australian aquariums and water gardens mag' (not sure on the name)


Pellets v Flakes


Index

Posted by starrey
Pellets v Flakes

I have just been reading an article in a US site that pellets are not an ideal food as they swell and can cause bloating and irritate their digestive tract and that they should be soaked before hand and fed in very small quantities. My larger cichlids love the pellets (brine) but should i stick to the flake variety. Is the Malawi bloat common. It also stated to feed them zuccini and peas and lettuce. Should the zucchini and peas be cooked and then cut into tiny pieces or is it a mash which is then frozen into cubes. Thanks Sarah

Posted by zam1
Pellets v Flakes

I have heard the same information about soaking pellets before feeding.

I don't soak pellets before feeding, however, when feeding pellets I only feed them a little at a time but often. Unlike flake where you can feed them more in one sitting.

I think provided you feed your fish a variety of foods eg: frozen, live, pellet, and flake you should not have any problems with bloat or the like.


Cheers

Posted by Arj
Pellets v Flakes

Hi Sarah,
I feed my fish, Sera Granu green (vege granules), Wardley color flakes, HBH vege pellets, frozen blood and brine shrimp, zapped peas (microwaved on high for 30sec and then peeled) and fresh zucchini (they love the zucchini). so they get a variety and they don't complain (more variety than i get!)
I haven't heard anything about pellets being bad for fish. I generally don't like them because they make a mess when the fish eat them. it crumbles after they eat and the then some get spat out clouding the water. but they like the HBH stuff. apparently the cichlid attack by HBH is supposed to be good also. If you can, please give me more detail on this article you read. can't learn enough in this hobby!
Malawi bloat is caused by too much protein. I think. so as long as you don't give your fish too much of it, some pellets have lots of crude protein - see the label or like black worms (they are also known to carry lots of bacteria - but i used to feed them to my fish once a week - not anymore) you should be ok. so with the vege mix and pellets you should be fine. use the frozen food recipe on this site.
by the way hows the fish doing? time is near for you to buy more fish eh?

Arj.

Posted by Arj
Pellets v Flakes

Best thing to do is get a bottle of Melafix and add a dose to your tank. especially since your tank is new etc. It is very good and keeps your tank smelling nice too! hahahaha
I just cut the zucchini in half (length wise - like a trench - exposing the white inside) and then say cut into half or into quarters depending on size and attach a rock to it and drop it in the tank. after about 3 hrs, they would have made the zucchini into a trough!
i put the raw zucchini in and they like to scrape it off. you can zap it in the microwave to make it softer. when i make the vege mix, i zap it in the microwave (whole thing) and then it goes into the food processor. oh yeah, just roughen the zucchini before you put into the tank. makes it easier for them to scrape off and eat. use your grater. they are used to scraping off algae and they like to do the same to the zucchini - instincts i guess!


Arj.


Using whiting/whitebait as fish food


Index

Posted by Justin
Whitebait

Whiting and Whitebait Posted 6-5-2001

Hi all,

Just looking through the seafood section at the local supermarket ,they are selling a product called Whitebait. This seems to be very tiny fish. Has anybody ever used this as a cichlid food, also does anybody use whiting fillets cut into small pieces.... What are your results and thoughts????

Justin

Posted by YeW
Whitebait

Hi Justin,

I have never used whiting (whole) but have regularly used whitebait with my central and south american cichlids... like all fresh foods they may be a little uncertain at first, but my oscars/central American cichlids did enjoy whitebait quite a lot. I have used whiting in various frozen food recipes.

See: FoodFAQ

Hope this helps,
YeW

Posted by Tim
Whitebait

I use it as the main food for my Cichla's Posted 6-5-2001

White bait is extremely handy for fish that are hooked on feeders, i seriously doubt if my Cichlas know the difference between a whitebait and a live feeder, both are taken to quickly, the white bait is gone almost as it hit's the surface as ar feeders and as White bait is almost the same size as a good sized feeder and look like a fish they don't even hesitate, i at first tried chopped up prawns and it took them a while but they slowly ate it, now they wont touch worms offer whitebait, lol, it also happens to be some of the cheapest food, being around $5-$6 a kilo you can save a lot of money, if you want variety chopped up whiting would be fine, but the whitebait will almost always be cheaper.

Tim


American cichlid community setups


Index

Posted by Davies
American Cichlid Communities

I've been keeping fish for about 20 years, including general communities, discus and African cichlids. I have a new 200 litre tank (50 US gall) and was wondering whether I could set it up with a community of American cichlids.
Is this a complete no, no ...or is it feasible. I'd prefer a number of fish average 6 inches each. I'm not interested in breeding them. If its a goer, what would be a good selection of species and how many could I keep. Would a single specimen from each of several species reduce aggression? i.e. no breeding or pairing up going on.
Thanks in anticipation.
Ian

Posted by Tim
American Cichlid Communities

Hi Ian, a 50 gal would be great for a South American setup, you could start with some Juruparies, or Surinamensis type Geophagus's, the Blackthroats would be better as they stay smaller, even some Balzanii although they are a little shy and get picked on easily, choose 1 of them i don't think it would be really wise to have 1 of all 3 but 2 or 3 of 1 species would be good, then you could go maybe some Microgeophagus altipisona's, or some Guianacra geayi (if you can find any, hopefully mine will spawn soon) then maybe some of the more outgoing Apisto's like Bitaeniata, Nijesseni or Panrurini , again only chose 1, or have only males then you could also maybe add something like the festivums they add a lot of top water movement to the tank
it's even plausible to breed all of these in the same tank without problems as all of them are pretty easy going when spawning especially with this sort of mix,

Tim

Posted by YeW
American Cichlid Communities

Hi Ian,
I would suggest much as Tim has done... stick to the south American cichlids as they are generally more peaceful than their central American cousins... Some good fish would be Geophagines - stick to the smaller species, Mesonauta (the flag cichlids) and perhaps some of the more peaceful fish from the "Aequidens" complex (Port acaras, Laetacara (hump head acaras), Keyholes (Cleithracara maroni) etc)
Good luck with it,
YeW

Posted by Magica DiSpell
American Cichlid Communities

We are currently keeping an American community tank with several Geophagus surinamensis (blackthroats), golden severums, a couple of G. braziliensis (they are still growing up) and a pair of Aequidens rivulatus (Green terror), that keep breeding regularly (and so supply their tank mates with some extra protein). Oh, and of course we have a few catfish in that setup: a pictus catfish (for looks), a clown loach (for snails) and a bristlenose (to keep the glass clean).


DIY egg tumbler


Index

Posted by jess
DIY egg tumbler

Hi

could someone kindly provide me with info on how to make an egg tumbler please. thanks

jess

Posted by AndrewP
DIY egg tumbler

You need
1) A sponge filter (with air pump)
2) A breeding trap
3) A stainless steel tea strainer

1) Set the breeding trap up on the side of the tank, in the tank that has the adults, or in a tank with freshly drawn water from the breeding tank.

2) Rest the tea strainer on the top of the trap so that the mesh part is under water and the rim resting on the edge of the trap. The tea strainer must be stainless steel, plastic ones have microscopic imperfections that are sharp and may burst the eggs.

3) Set up the sponge filter next to the trap so that the water coming out of the outflow of the filter flows directly onto the edge of the strainer and into the strainer itself. Experiment with the amount of water coming out by using a air tap, you don't want the eggs being blown around but a little movement is good. You don't want the outflow bubbling too much, if you get air bubbles forming on the eggs it will kill the eggs, in my best setup I found that sticking a length of pipe into the outflow caused less bubbling by the time the water flowed out of the pipe, compared to flowing straight out of the outflow.

The benefit of this setup is that the water flowing onto the eggs is oxygenated and freshly filtered. By the water flowing into the tea strainer and therefore the breeding trap, it forces water to move out of the trap thus pushing and wastes out and away from the eggs, thus preventing fungus.

Regards AndrewP

Posted by 00 MooRRii 00
DIY egg tumbler

Yeah just make sure you use a nylon sieve not a stainless steal one because the steal ones grate your eggs and will kill them. This had happened to me a couple of times.

Posted by hyperdive
DIY egg tumbler

I find my tumbler a bit more "fry friendly" than a bubble strainer type.

Take an UG filter tube, A little bit of netting and an air stone.

You simply section of the bottom part with the netting, and put the air stone at the top so it drags the water upwards through the sectioned off area, tumbling the eggs and keeping the eggs in a sectioned off area, so there is no chance of them sticking to the side and drying out.

As you can see, it is a simple design, and you don't get the trouble of bubbles on the eggs, or eggs getting flipped up onto the side of the strainer.
The bubbles simply pull the water up through the bottom, through the eggs, which are trapped in between two bits of netting. The fry can remain in there until they use up their egg sacs.

            | o o  ||   o  |
            |  o   ||  o  o|
            | o o  ||   o  |
            |  o   ||  o  o|
            | o o  ||   o  |
            |  o   ||  o  o|
            |   o ----o    |
            |    o|o |  o  |
            |  oo |  | o   |
            |    o| o| o   |
            |     ----     |
            |              |
            |      A       |
            |              |
            +--------------+  <--- joiner
            |              |
           ~|~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |~  <--- net
            |              |
            +--------------+
            |              |
            |      B       |
            |              |
            |              |
            |              |
            |              |
            |              |
            |              |
            |              |
            |              |
            |     O     O  |
            |   O  O    O O|
            |  O O  OO O OO|
           ~|~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |~  <--- net
           /                \
          /                  \
         /                    \
         |          C         |
         |                    |
        ~|~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |~  <--- net


Andy

Posted by CiChoDude
DIY egg tumbler

What type of netting material do you use, Hyperdrive?

Posted by AndrewP
DIY egg tumbler

I bought all the bits today, I'm going to use panty hose. I'm also going to put some sponges in the base of the tubes so that the panty hose will not clog attracting fungus causing material to the eggs.

Posted by hyperdive
DIY egg tumbler

Sorry it's been ages since I saw this post, and I forgot about it. I use simple netting from a fabric store. Pantyhose or similar will do the job too.

Sorry Andrew I can't think of a single simple way of making the water filtered.

I'm thinking though!


Andy



Filling up on CO2


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Posted by Neill
Filling up on CO2

Hi

Just wondering if there is anyone here who owns a bottle for co2 purposes? I have been told that there is a three week waiting period minimum for getting your bottles refilled by BOC gasses. Does anyone know where i can get a refill within days???

Regards
Neill. J

Posted by zerospel1
Filling up on CO2

stores that stocks co2 systems should be able to do that.

Posted by fishybizness
Filling up on CO2

If it is of any interest.

The CO2 regulator put out by Sera (aquarium company) is a compatible fit with the CO2 bottles sold by Soda Stream (home made soft drink company). The Soda Stream bottle is purchase for around $25 (a lot cheaper than other CO2 bottles) and is replace with a full one each time you take back an empty, for around $6.00. They can be bought from places such as Big W and Hardware House, which means they are also extremely accessible.

I've been using this system for about two years without problem.

Posted by Dan
Filling up on CO2

How often do these soda stream bottles last on average for and what is your bubble rate?

Posted by fishybizness
Filling up on CO2

The bubble rate is really dependent on the Controller. Once the pre-set pH is reached, the solenoid valve prevents co2 entering the tank, and bubbles stop going through the bubble counter. Personally I like to have the water well buffed, so the co2 has a constant battle to bring the pH down (I've got it set at 6.8, and when I looked last night, the pH was 6.9, with lots of bubbles going through.

The actual co2 bottle (Soda Stream) last weeks and weeks. And is cheap enough to have a spare on hand.

Posted by fishybizness
Filling up on CO2

I forgot to mention, Sera is sold by the wholesaler "Aquacenta" (the company that imports Eheim). If you rang them they could tell you who is your closest aquarium. When I say Sera, I am talking about the same company that produces fish food, so it shouldn't be too hard to come by.


How to post a picture on the forum!?


Index

Posted by YeW
Post a picture on the forum

Hi All,
Here's a quick rundown on how to post a picture to the forum:
1. Upload the picture to some webspace, most ISPs will give you some webspace with your DIAL-UP contract. If your not sure give your ISP a ring/or look at their homepage for info on how to upload files to your webspace. Spaceports, Yahoo, Geocities and lots of other companies provide free webspace which you can also use. Once you have uploaded your picture you should have a URL for example:
http://www.geocities.com/bianca/fishpic.jpg or http://www.ozemail.com.au/~bob/picture.jpg
2. Posting a picture on the forum:
Ezsupporters: Type: <IMG src="http://ozemail.com.au/~bob/picture.jpg">
Make sure to include your URL not the one I just listed above, also make sure you check the URL is correct. Make sure to select the "Post as HTML" option.
Hope this helps,
YeW

Additional information (Added April 2003): Non-ezysupporters can only use Ezcodes to call pictures to the forum. To do this you need to type [image]http://ozemail.com.au/~bob/picture.jpg[/image]. Alternately, you can post a link on the forum to your picture by typing [link]http://ozemail.com.au/~bob/picture.jpg[/link] - this is particularly useful in situations where the server on which the picture is hosted has bandwidth restrictions

(Editors note: Just as a quick note for the forum FAQ - You can get detailed instructions on this topic here. Cichlids_au).


Is there a Canberra Cichlid Society?


Index

Posted by Richard
Canberra cichlid societies?

Hi,
I am to move to Canberra in a couple of weeks and I was wondering whether there was a Cichlid society in Canberra. Also, what dealers are recommended in the nation's capital?
Cheers,
Richard

Posted by Magica DiSpell
Canberra cichlid societies?

There is a "Canberra & District Aquarium Society". They can be contacted under (02) 6252 5523. As far as I know they meet on every second Monday of a month.

Posted by Clarkie
Canberra cichlid societies?

Welcome to Canberra and good luck with your impending move. Magica is correct - the Canberra and District Aquarium Society (CDAS) meets the second Monday of every month at Room 1, Griffin Centre, Bunda St, Civic. Meetings commence at 8pm, with trade table and library open around 7:30pm. You are very welcome to come along as a visitor. I am the public relations officer and we have trade table, library, guest speakers, mini auction at meetings. We also have 'fish buying' excursions to Sydney and Melbourne.
There is no cichlid society in Canberra but there are an increasing number of us CDAS members that keep cichlids. I might also suggest that you join the NSW Cichlid Society as a correspondence member if you are dead set keen on cichlids.
Canberra has around 5 shops of varying quality (i.e. from good quality to mediocre) that sell cichlids, but pretty much mainstream stuff, although there is the occasional surprise. Jem Aquatics at Belconnen would be the best for quality and range of cichlids and others, but also quite expensive. Sydney has much more variety and is easy driving up the expressway.


Lake Tanganyika Water Recipe (Cheap salts & buffers)


Index

Posted by Dave
Rift Lake salts & buffers

Hi, could someone please help me with what I need to make good water conditions to suit Malawi and also Tanganyika cichlids.

I had a web site with these details but for some strange reason I didn't book mark it, and do you think I can find it again.

I have some Epson salt/rock salt/bicarbonate of soda. I would be very interested in what works for other people as I am trying to find a recipe that is cheap and has good results. I have tried seachem salts and buffer which worked fine, but have heard that people have different and cheaper ways of doing things. I'm interested to hear peoples ideas and opinions.

Regards Dave.

Posted by Bill
Rift Lake salts & buffers

Brichard in his book on Lake Tang published a chemical analysis of Lake Tang water based upon a Belgium expedition of 1948. From this analysis, one can generate a chemical mixture which is much cheaper than the commercially available preparations and which closely approximates the composition of Lake Tang water (which contains very little chloride).

The following products are purchased form either a supermarket or hardware store:

Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) - baking soda

Potassium chloride (KCl) - (a salt substitute)

Magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) - Epsom salts

calcium chloride (CaCl2) - (a pool water hardener)

Assuming a level teaspoon is about 5g mix:

3 teaspoons NaHCO3

1 teaspoon KCl

3 teaspoons MgSO4

1 teaspoon CaCl2

Ths will treat around 50 litres of water and will give total hardness of around 350ppm, calcium hardness of around 150ppm and a pH of around 8.5.


Posted by Brian
Rift Lake salts & buffers

I have just tried the lake tang water recipe on the faq page and am having trouble dissolving this when it is mixed together should all the parts be added separately or am I doing something wrong all the components dissolve readily on there own but when mixed goes hard and has trouble dissolving completely thanks in advance for any help
Brian

Posted by Bill
Rift Lake salts & buffers

I would dissolve each ingredient separately and then add them together...like the commercial stuff that is available, the salt mixture is very hydroscopic and once it comes in contact with water tends to form reinforced concrete


Metal Halides


Index

Posted by Baz
Metal Halides

I'm looking at getting a metal halide light for my new tank and I need some advice please. The tank is 3x2x3 (yep square!) and will be housing mostly Malawi's and no plants. BUT... later on down the track the plan is to turn it into a Marine tank. Could someone recommend what size light I will need? They come in 150, 250 and 400 watts. I obviously want something big enough to do the coral and stuff later on, but at the same time I don't want the entire room to glow from this one tank.
I was also wondering... Are they energy efficient (compared to flouros)?
Do they create a lot of heat? Will I need ventilation in my hood?

Any help is appreciated.

Posted by Venomous
Metal Halides

I would suggest you get the 150 or the 250 but 150 should be sufficient. You will need Ventilation for your hood as they get quite hot. Hot enough that if water were to splash on them they may just blow up but then I've never really heard of anyone's blow up yet. I was planing on setting up a marine tank so let me know how it goes I'd really like to start one so if it goes all good for you then i will set one up. Live rock seems to cost allot But you can buy it in bulk it's about $200 for 25kilos. As with cost efficiency than i think for a 400watt it was about $12 a month but then I'm not so sure..

Well Metal Halides are best bought at Hydroponic stores or at light warehouses they are so much more cheaper than the aquarium. Aquariums sell 150 watt with ballast for $500 approx and hydroponic stores sell 400 watts for $150 with ballast

Posted by Dan
Metal Halides - Bulb Life

How long do halide bulbs last for on average?

Posted by Venomous
Metal Halides - Bulb Life

Generally IT is recommended that you change your bulbs once a year. Although you might want to change it earlier so as to reduce the shock. But that's only someone's personal preference. They will last longer just that to keep Coral you should keep the intensity constant so it's better to change it.


Mixing American and African Cichlids


Index

Posted by Dobermann
Mixing cichlids from American & Africa

I have my convicts and firemouth in with some ps. zebra and elongatus At first the African cichlids dominated but now as the fish mature the centrals are taking over The Firemouth dominated the ps. elongatus, and the ps. zebra and constantly harasses the ps. zebra and the convict pair dominated the ps. elongatus but are being constantly harassed by the ps. zebra.Can this mixture work I have them in a 100 gal with some other cics. Have any of you kept similar mixtures with success?

Posted by YeW
Mixing cichlids from American & Africa

Hi DoberMn,

As far as I am concerned, not in the long term. Here are my reasons:

Mature African cichlids particularly mbuna are much more aggressive than American cichlids

Malawi cichlids require a higher pH, kH and gH than American cichlids

Malawi mbuna also require large amounts of vegetable matter in their diet, while firemouths and convicts require higher protein diets.

The behavioural signals for defeat are different between American and African cichlids - this leads to increased fighting.

YeW



Mixing Plants and Cichlids


Index

Posted by Manitee
Plants & Cichlids

Will african cichlids ruin plants, like bite them up or pull them out. i dont know what kind of Africans i have but i do have a jack dempsey and a jewel and some others that are pike looking.

Posted by YeW
Plants & Cichlids

Hi,

It is mainly Malawi mbuna that really destroy plants (Pseudotropheus, Melanochromis etc) The Aulonocara are much better, not great but better on plants in general. Plants in general don't like hard alkaline water either... If your keen to mix plants with your Africans Neolamprologus and Julidochromis are generally good choices with plants. As for plants I would only use a few types: Indonesian fern, sometimes called java fern or rock fern. java moss or spawning moss and Anubias species.

Hope this helps

YeW


Painting/Backing for tanks


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Posted by Ben
Painting/backing tanks

I was wondering what is the best way to go about painting the back of a tank. i have a 6x2x2 which i cant get a back ground big enough for but all my other tanks have them but they just get wet and look ?!#@. What colour blue or black? Any way is spray paint the answer or what is best? Thanks

Ben

Posted by HP
Painting/backing tanks

you can get self adhesive colour backings from sign shops. All you need to to is spray on the adhesive side with soapy water, put it on the tank and smooth it out with a sponge. The backings are 2ft wide and can be cut to any length. I did my 6x2x2 for $20.

Posted by Baz
Painting/backing tanks

I've done mine in black paint. I think that looks more natural than blue paint. Use any general purpose paint, and just use a brush. There's no need for a spray can as you will only ever see the paint through the glass. So if the surface of the paint has runs and brush marks, who cares right? The side you look at will always be nice and smooth.


Shipping and Transporting fish


Index

Posted by TIM
Moving fish

to all can anybody tell me how to ship fish by mail? or keep them alive on very long car rides thanks Tim

Posted by CID
Moving fish

Shipping depends on size of fish and bag - water ph don't over pack high ph fish - have you purged by not feeding for 48Hrs - use oxygen if possible - use Prime or binding agent for ammonia build up - do they come from a reef filtered tank (high oxygen level, more susceptible to oxygen deprivation) - rule of shipping fish in bags 1/4-1/3 water and the rest air or oxygen - if transporting by car same deal with size & numbers take water to do changes with every 4-5 hrs - large fish are harder to move - in a bag packed & gassed properly in styro box 24 hrs is not overly excessive but the less time the better

Posted by Bill
Moving fish

Tim

Wondering how LONG a car ride that you do mean. Fish have successfully travelled from Sydney to Melbourne with me. I ask the shop to put oxygen into the bags and pack the bags into a polystyrene box which I then seal and cover with a blanket. The fish successfully travel at least 12 hours with me. They would probably last longer in this as the introduction of oxygen and packing in polystyrene seems to be the method used to send fish from Germany to Australia - well in excess of 24 hours



Water changes straight from the tap?


Index

Posted by Ash
Water changes straight from tap

I'm thinking of doing my water changes through a long hose, siphoning straight from the tank outside, and refilling from the tap through the hose straight to the tank. I'd mix water treatment chemicals and buffer salts in a bucket and add periodically during the refill.

Would this approach be safe? Does anyone else do this? If I can, I'd love to eliminate the buckets from my water changes ;).

Posted by Anita
Water changes straight from tap

Hi Ash,
I am semi paranoid about my water. We have a 200lt drum out the back and we put the hose into that but also put it through a dual filter first. The water can sit there until we need it (we don't aerate the water, hence I say 'semi paranoid') or we use it straight from the drum. We also have a feral frog living in the drum so I reckon he will eat any bugs that decide to live there LOL. We have a powerhead in the drum connected to a hose for refilling purposes so as we are emptying the drum it is getting refilled. This is really handy when we change the big tanks.

I know some people fill straight from the tap and they do have trouble occasionally. I used to do this years ago but would rather be safe than sorry. Isn't there a water filter that can be connected directly to the hose - like an extra joiner. I'm sure someone in Qld was using this method.
Hope this helps a bit,
Anita.

Posted by Alex
Water changes straight from tap

I use the hose method on occasion, when I feel it's time for a big change (which is probably small by some people's measure-15-20%) on a big Tanganyikan tank, but I let the hose refill the tank VERY slowly. I add dechlorinator and buffer salt as you said, from a bucket containing warm water to counterbalance the cold from the hose. It works for me but I do it rarely, preferring the ol' bucket most of the time.

Posted by Cich_o
Water changes straight from tap

Yeah I'm a lazy changer too.
I trickle the water in directly from the tap, and add dechlorinator at intervals. I'm lucky the water here is good. It must be ok, as I maybe lose 1 fish a year if I'm unlucky, and they are constantly spawning. The speed of the fill is dependant on the time I have. If I'm home all day, I'll do it over several hours in my 180 gal, but if I'm in a hurry, I'll do it quicker.

Andy

Posted by Thomas
Water changes straight from tap

I use a dual hose, one for siphoning and the other for filling. The filling hose is connected to a dual filter system (fine mesh filter plus active carbon, the one fitted underneath the kitchen sink). I've been doing this for 3 years+ already with no ill-effect. So far the only chemical I add to the tank after water change is Seachem acid-buffer (as I keep South American). I keep discus and they cope with this well, so my guess are other fish should be able to cope as well.

Thomas.


Which fish are good fish to breed?


Index

Posted by Deanman
What to breed?

I am having a lot of fun breeding my Malawi cichlids. I have at the moment a 4 foot and a 2 foot tank full of babies, but most of them are Blue Zebra babies, which the pet shops don't want. I have lots of electric blues and yellows, and some jacobfriebergs, which I don't think I'll have much problems trading them for food at the LFS, but I might have to shop around to pass off the Zebras. Any way, now for my question : I really like the fun of watching all my fish breed, but there's no point in breeding what I can't do anything with. So...... can you all give my some tips on some fish I could try which aren't too hard to breed, and if they are 'peaceful' (for a cichlid)? Thanks in advance..... Dean

Posted by Ray
What to breed?

My personal belief is that if you like the fish, breed it, or keep it, far too many people are interested in the quick buck, how many times have i gone into a shop to get some so called easy fish, only to be told havent seen them for a while, most of the tangs are pretty easy to sell, but a hell of a lot of Malawi's also are in demand, and thats basically it supply and demand, hang on to those zebs you never know one day they might be back in demand

Posted by Jordan
What to breed?

Hey Dean, If you a truly rewarding experience from your cichlid keeping, move on to Tanganyikans, I kept a tank full of mbuna and utaka for ages and all I got was bored. I now keep midsize lamprologous species and will soon move some cyprichromis in. The pair bond formed by these species makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside (kidding, but it is cool) and you will rarely run into aggression trouble if you play your cards right. Also, these fish aren't nearly as common as standard Malawians and you can sell them for a good price... ...forget Malawi Jordan

Posted by James
What to breed?

I'd have to completely disagree. Lamprologus species are hardly practical to breed for resale in a community style environment. Also 90% of the Tanganyikans actually worth breeding for resale potential are on the allowable import list anyway. My suggestion to you is pick a couple of types of fish that YOU like and stick with them. Too many people these days breed fish to chase a dollar. A good case in point is hajomaylandi's. They were as common as dirt once upon a time as as per usual everyone decided they were too common to keep and got rid of them. Three years later and Hajomaylandi were all but extinct in this country. Guess who made the money? That's right the guy that hung on to his common old Hajo's.... At the moment it sounds like your doing everything just right. So keep doing it!

Posted by Graham
What to breed?

As you can see everyone here thinks that what they keep is the way to go be they Malawi - tang - Americas - there are rare ones in all these types if your after the money (personally i keep them all not just one group - its interesting to see the different behaviour and breeding etc) but hay just get what you like but look hard dont just buy the first thing you see that's colourful do some research !! learn about the fish - its worth it ease/difficulty of breeding conditions there supply and demand etc etc ppl who say don't buy common fish are just plain kidding themselves eg. electric yellows v's rare sand dweller tangs - probably more e yellows sold in this country than any other cichlid - but there is a good demand for them so if your after money you can turn over a good 150 - 200 fry a month with a colony of say 10 fish out lay 200ish bucks and depending on the size you sell em you should get at least $2 each - get yourself a rare rare sand sifter that are much harder to keep and breed - many ppl find 2 years down the track they only managed to get them to bred once or twice and half there original stock died - sure they got $20 each for there 10 fry and remember there original outlay may be as high as $70 - $150 a fish you do the math yourself having said all that - its not about the $$$$$ pick stuff you like BUT with a little though and research you can get something that still gets you a good price that's my 2 cents worth


Breeding triggers


Index

Posted by Alex
Breeding Triggers Posted 6-5-2001

I think I read here that doing a water change with slightly cool water and not immediately buffering the water can trigger spawning-I'd like to thank whoever it was that posted the advice. I did it the other week and all of a sudden I've got more calvus, lepto and T. brichardi fry than I know what to do with! The whole tank spawned (almost)...


Inbreeding cichlids


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Posted by Craig
Inbreeding

I just want to know if it's not a good idea to breed siblings. i never even thought about it until i found a frontosa site that told me mixed bloods look better and fetch more$. do we have to worry about this stuff?

Posted by Anita
Inbreeding

Some people don't worry about this stuff and don't think it is important. I think it is critical. Find the type of fish you want, know what it is supposed to look like, then buy some fry, after seeing the adults if possible. When you buy a group of fry, chances are that they are siblings. Laws of nature tell us this is not a good gene pool for breeding. Of course, with the number of species being lost in Australia, this is not always feasible, however it should be done wherever possible. I suppose with species like Frontosa, this is more visibly important because of the bars but with other species, the signs are less immediately obvious eg less colour, thick lips begin to disappear (could be food), distinguishing marks spots etc are less visible. So yes, I think it is important. So many of the fish we have here may be the only ones we ever have of their type and we have to preserve that and not be flimsy in our approach. :)
I shall get down from my chair now - thanks for reading this.
Anita

Posted by Simon
Inbreeding

*climbs up on his chair*

When asking this kind of question I think you need to decide what to do based on what fish you are deciding to breed. If the fish is on the allowable imports list then IMO extra effort should be made to find unrelated individuals for breeding purposes - BUT - if the species is not on the allowable imports list then more attention should be given to selecting good parents irrespective of their heritage.
A phenomenon that occurs in naturally isolated populations of animals is called the founder effect. When a very small number of individuals ( as small as one male and one female ) somehow become isolated in a new environment where they are able to breed without competition, they are able to overcome any affects of inbreeding ( called inbreeding depression ) by producing large numbers of offspring which are allowed to mate randomly to also produce a large number of progeny. The theory being that there are a massive number of genes present in the parents and these genes separate randomly during sperm and egg formation ( for example a human male and female can produce over 800,000 genetically different combinations of their genes during formation of sperm and eggs - when fertilisation occurs the combined probability that any one individual will be genetically identical is more than 1 in 1.5 million ! ), so that a huge number of genetically dissimilar individuals representing nearly every possible combination of genes in the original founders can be produced from a single pair of individuals. Thus, variability may be lost to a certain extent to start with but as time goes on variability can again be re-established to over come the bottle neck effect that can happen ( a loss of variability ). In nature it is survival of the fittest ( aka natural selection ) that determines who lives and who dies and who gets lucky thus ensuring that serious malformations and other deleterious recessive genes are selected against and therefore removed from the gene pool.
I feel this has implications to the way we breed our fish - especially those that are no longer on the allowable import list. As large a number of these fish should be breed and allowed to mate randomly ( logistically difficult but not impossible ) and so on - people complain that the red in firemouths might as well be called pink now - well that, I am certain, is due to the fact that people don't spend enough time breeding a particular line of fish until quality is what it should be ( because you CAN improve quality even when starting with visually average fish ). To give you an example - I have been breeding a particular line of convicts for about 3 years now - and am up to 5 generations - the initial parents were good - but my final female is far and away superior to the initial female in terms of clarity of the bars, parenting ability and over conformation.
Anyway, I'll get down off my chair now and would hope that people considering breeding their fish would take a little more time to try and understand simple genetics concept


Line bred Aulonocara (Eureka, Red Rubin, Turkis)


Index

Posted by Tim
Line bred Aulonocara

...i picked up some Red Rubins from Campbelltown today and was a big impulse buy, got 1 male and 4 females , the male was extremely well coloured at about 2" , and all 4 females had mouthfuls, when i got home some had spat in the bag so i ended up with an extra 32 fry and 1 female still has her eggs, anyway just some questions on them like what actually species are they?? I'm told they are an aquarium bred strain but what species was it line bred from??

also a note , thanks to Angus at Campbelltown, he was very helpful and even through in some live Brine shrimp, and i can certainly recomend for the African nut's it's worth having a look out there, and dont say it's to far cause i went there from the Blue Mtns

Tim

Posted by CID
Line bred Aulonocara

He's right about them being a line bred colour form just like Eureka and Turkis are but not a hybrid like OB form. They originated in Germany from A.baenschi "Chipoka Orange".
Chris D

(Editors note: Line bred forms differ from hybrids in that they are selective bred "lines" of fish from the same species as opposed to hybridising different species (eg: Hemichromis sp. 'Neon' or Red Blood Parrots). A. jacobfreibergi 'Eureka' is derived from the Otter Point morph of A. jacobfreibergi while A. baenschi 'Rubins Red' is dervied from A.baenschi "Chipoka Orange")


What are the effects of inbreeding?


Index

Posted by Fleshbait
Inbreeding

What are the effects of inbreeding ?

Tony

Posted by MagicaDiSpell
Inbreeding

There is a short answer and a long one.

1. The short answer: Increased chance of malformations and restriction of the gene pool.

2. The long answer: Fish (like most higher forms of life) have two copies of each chromosome (you might look at it as the book of life). There are always typos in every book, having two copies makes sure that the end result comes out more or less perfect. During the formation of egg and sperm cells a single copy of each chromosome is distributed into the individual cells (it is of course a little more complicated than this). The egg from one individual and the sperm from another individual are then combined in the zygote, which develops into the embryo. The more closely related the mating individuals are the greater the chance that they will inherit chromosomes with the same typos in them, which may (or may not) result in deformities. If you introduce new unrelated individuals into your colonies you also introduce a greater variety of copies, which will help keep undesirable characteristics at a minimum.


Posted by Dawson
Inbreeding

What about desirable characteristics? Can they not increase with a certain amount of inbreeding?

Isn't it because of inbreeding that we have so many different locality varieties of fish like P. Zebra and Aulonocara?


Australian Catfish?


Index

Posted by Venomous
Australian Catfish?

Hey Ppl

Just wondering Do we have an Australian catfish??
If so any one got info and where abouts ??

Posted by ducksta
Australian Catfish?

Salmon tail and tandanus catfishes are aussie natives! And they're so much cooler than them damn stupid foreign catfish... Make sure you don't get the salmon tail confused with the one Americans call a Salmon tail. Check out the Bigfish forum for the sci. name. Its in a topic called Salmon Cats if I remember right...

Posted by matti
Australian Catfish?

Hi Venomous,

Yes we most certainly do have catfish and probably the two most common would be the good old eel tailed cat (Tandanus tandanus) and the Salmon catfish (Aruis graeffei). There is quite a long post on salmon cats in the big fish forum but if you go advanced search on Yahoo for Ariidae, 300 sites will come up with info relating to salmon cats and their relatives.

The two catfish grow large and like alkaline waters with some salt added, as they are found in estuaries. Berney's catfish which is a relative of the salmon gets to about 38cm which is one of the smallest available, so large aquaria for all is needed.

Hope this helps,

Matti

Posted by Tim
Australian Catfish?

Hey Guy's

there are also a couple of different Tandan spp. , but the smaller ones Richard is referring too are Neosilurus spp. these are also called Eel Tail's but only have the eel like tail on one side of there fin, kinda like a knife fish with a catfish head :-) and they tend to stay smaller though it depends on the species, i think some still reach like 30cm ... there is also a strange one called Anodontiglanis dahli...though probably one of those ones you would have to catch yourself.. as to where they are...almost all the Impoundments in Australia (except maybe the more southern ones) have them they are also in a lot of the river systems.. the main one you see is Tandanus tandanus or a similar spp. the Fork tail types are more northern.. i know there is a Tandanus type catfish in the Nepean Hawkesbury River system, but if you want to catch one for you tank try an impoundment.. drop a worm at the base of drowned timber and wait... though a lot of shops sell them.

Posted by aquascope
Tandanus tandanus

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The true Tandanus tandanus is a brown eel tailed cat that has the tail fin go from just behind the dorsal fin all the way around to the ventral fins. This fish is also poisonous and should be handled with care. It has spines on its pectoral fins that contain toxins. On the other hand, the yellow eel tailed catfishes are Neosilurus glencoensis. The difference is that these fish only have a tail fin from the tail around the underside of the body to the ventral fins. Apart from the dorsal fin, there is no fin on the top of this fish. The colour of this fish is grey to silver body and yellow fins. Although these fish have spines on their pectoral fins they are not dangerous.
They handle the pH of a Malawi tank fine but have good lids. One of mine jumped out of the tank on the weekend and died.

Robert


Cone Snails/turning or oxygenating gravelbeds


Index

Posted by YeW
Cone snails / Aeration of gravel beds

Hi All,

Thought I'd write a bit on the much maligned Malaysian trumpet snail or cone snail. IMHO - and I'm about the only person who likes them - these snails are IMHO great :)... I used to have them in all my tanks (although I agree with Sabine) they are best in tanks with 2cm or greater of gravel. They do a great job of aerating the gravel layer, do not eat plants (at least live ones) and will clean up any excess food.

If you overfeed these guys can become a problem... Only loaches (clown & skunk in particular) seem to eat these guys...

If you want some go to St. George and ask for some from the backroom... they will look at you like you are insane but will normally give you 10-20 for $0.00. The price is right :).

Think I may write a cone snail FAQ LOL. Love 'em!
YeW

Posted by Anita
Snails - GOD

Hi all,
Ok they have all these pluses, but I found them to be a nuisance with my fish and ended up buying some clown loaches. Mark, I had a huge amount in my 6x2x2 with the frontosa and my mouthfuls kept getting smaller. When I milked some of these females there was always a snail in their mouth as well. The snail was eating the eggs as was evident by some of the half fry in the mouth. Were these picked up during spawning or at a later stage?? Who knows but they had to go.
Anita

Posted by MagicaDiSpell
cone snails

Now that you mention it, Anita, I remember why we tried to get rid of these snails in the first place. When I was still stripping the eggs of my Tropheus duboisi I noticed that I was stripping more and more snails and less and less babies. I am sure the snails were at least damaging, if not eating, my priced babies.

And then disaster struck. We had a mass-death of these snails in an Eheim canister filter, which was unable to cope with the Ammonia spike. As a result my Cyathopharynx foae colony died. Interestingly, the duboisi, which shared the same tank, were ok.

So, you can see, I am very glad to see the back of a few of these snails. In my experience they have done more damage than good.

Posted by Simon
cone snails

Thanks Sabine. I am coming down form the Ad Konings talk and that would be great. I am a bit apprehensive about these little guys but am assured they are good for the substrate. I'm worried that their population numbers will explode and then do things like clog my filters or when numbers get too high they will experience a classic population crash and then foul the water as they die en masse. I have a big clown loach that I might move into that tank just to keep a lid on things. Another thing I am worried about is how they will affect architectural features of the tank like terraces. Will their borrowing habits undermine them causing them to collapse ? The substrate is very thick in some areas - 10cm at its thinnest up to 20cm in others on the terraces and the substrate is very fine river sand. I have one discus in there atm with the intention of having more and breeding them. So it will be a planted discus breeding tank.

Posted by MagicaDiSpell
cone snails

Hi Simon,
What you are afraid of is exactly what happened to us. We lost our furcifer colony that way. We have a big clown loach in that tank, but I think its snout is too big to actually get into the shells, or maybe they are just to lethargic. Little clown loaches are a bit more active and seem to be able to keep population numbers down, for the moment at least.

I don't know, if they might cause structures to collapse. I guess that is possible, but then digging cichlids might be more effective at that than the snails.

Your gravel bed is quite deep. We used to have as much gravel in the tank. When our airpump failed, we lost a lot of fish within 2 hours, probably, because the BOD in the gravel bed was so high. We kind of think, had the gravel been thinner, the fish might have survived longer. Maybe.

I guess, if you have too much trouble with the snails, you can always use a chemical to kill them. Unfortunately these snails are all through our tanks and that option really is not very realistic.

Anyway, if you like, I will have lots of these little snails for you at the meeting.

Posted by Kanned_Guru
Question About Snails?

How long can either the snails or there eggs stay alive for out of water, I don't mean in a moist environment but rather dried out gravel? I had a pile of gravel that hasn't been near water for at least 6 months and as soon as I put the gravel in the tank these little lightrs turned up everywhere.

Where they in the gravel or has there been alien activity?

Posted by YeW
Question About Snails?

Some snail eggs are probably quite resistant to drying... it would depend on the species. Cone snails are livebearers though.

Posted by Craig
cone snails wanted

I've had a 400L planted tank for going on two years. The last thing I would put in there would be these pests. I understand your reason for wanting them, but I believe you would be making a mistake putting them in (partly because you will never get them out again). Clown Loaches won't be able to handle them because they spend a large amount of their time under the gravel. Aside from that they will also find a home in your filters as well, and the clown will also be unable to reach them. I believe that they are live bearers, and semi nocturnal in their above gravel activities. I believe, more or less, in a planted aquarium you don't want snails, or really anything that will muck about with your substrate.
Craig

Posted by AndrewP
Cone Snails

There is a low voltage gravel heater out by dupla. It costs about $90-$100, that would keep warm water rising from the bottom of the tank and aid in aeration of your gravel. I use one on a plant tank myself, do NOT put those little pests in your tank. I have had them in the past an they over run everything. I have found a colony of about 5-7 clown loaches about 2 inches upward will take car of them, they are far more gregarious, hungry and active in a small school. I am a firm believer that they come in tap water, I have had them pop up in quarantine tanks that were started from scratch with no plants. The eggs also come in on plants.

Posted by MagicaDiSpell
gravel heater and aeration

Hi,
I am not sure that your theory of aerating the gravel with a gravel heater works. Warm water rises and carries less dissolved gasses (like oxygen) to the surface. So, I fail to see how the warm water could aerate the gravel.

I am not sure that these cone snails are the answer though. Maybe using a gravel "vacuum cleaner" gently (or a hose) once in a while will do the trick.

Posted by Craig Thompson
Dupla cable heating / gravel heater and aeration can't.

Thought I would add my two cents worth in regards to the comments about the Dupla heating cables aerating the gravel. Sabine in right in questioning the ability of this system in bringing oxygen to the gravel. I believe that it would be more accurate to state that the cable heating "increases circulation", not aeration. As warm water rises, it is replaced. Its replacement will have some oxygen in it (more than the gravel?), but it will also have what ever else is in the bulk water of the tank, nutrients... oxygen etc. I believe that its main benefit is from supporting aerobic activity (as opposed to anaerobic). Incidentally, a similar effect can be gained from using a water bed heater (between tank and polystyrene), and it at a smaller purchase cost, and also without the plant's roots becoming entangled(?).

I also think putting these snail pests in a plant tank, whatever the perceived benefit is (or isn't), or for that matter, any tank, is crazy.
Craig.

Posted by YeW
In defence of the cone snail...

Hi All,
Just to clarify a few points about the cone snail...
firstly: they are livebearers... so there are no eggs involved.
secondly: they can't survive in colder water so the tap as a means of entry (at least in southern NSW) is not an option.
thirdly: I have had these guys in planted aquariums and never had any trouble with population explosions- the population of these guys can be controlled quite well with limited feeding.
fourthly: they don't eat plants.
I have never had any problems with these guys but have never kept any in breeding aquariums... they seem to keep the gravel well turned and clean... just my opinions :)... They seem to be a problem, particularly with Mouthbrooding cichlids.
YeW

Posted by Simon
cone snails - why I'm not getting them- other reasons.

ok- this has generated a bigger response than I had thought it would - and all points are good - but here is why I am not going to get them after all ( thanks Sabine but have decided against it ). I have been doing a lot of research into planted tanks and have found some very useful resources. From this research I have found that algae growth and plant growth can be limited by light, CO2 levels, nitrogen levels ( as nitrates/nitrites ), trace elements or phosphorus levels. Algae levels seem dependent on phosphorus levels above all other elements. So making phosphates the limiting factor will result in almost no algae. The addition of nitrates boosts plant growth causing them to out compete algae for phosphorus leading to the eradication of all algae of all kinds. The agitation and circulation of the substrate resulted in the release of excessive levels of phosphates, which seemed to be stored in the substrate, into the water resulting in almost immediate blooms of algae as it was no longer the limiting factor because it was in excess. So the stirring up of the bed was strongly recommended against - even to vacuuming of the gravel - so the action of the snails would result in a constant release of phosphate into the water meaning I could never make the phosphate the limiting factor because despite them eating a lot of the phosphate containing waste their own waste would be phosphate rich resulting in excessive phosphate levels. That's why I aint getting them lol. I am not sure how correct I am but it sounded logical to me ! LOL


Freshwater Shrimp


Index

Posted by WaSP
Freshwater shrimp/prawns

Hi,
I am looking for live freshwater shrimps or prawns for my tanks. I had yabbies before, but they grow too big in the tank. I am in Sydney area. Where can I find these critters? Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanx!
Mick (Once I saw them in Aquaworld, Manly... but no longer avail)

Posted by Steph
Freshwater shrimp/prawns

Lake Parramatta has them, so do most freshwater rivers, take a small net and go fishing in the shallows. Mine tend to suicide by leaping on the glass above the water line and drying out
Steph

Posted by Dave
Freshwater shrimp/prawns

I have in the past gotten shrimp from the Nepean River at the Menangle Rail Bridge area where the weir is around the rock pools in summer although they are small they will grow in a tank. I know this is not the Parramatta area, but this is the only place I know of. Good luck in your hunt.
Regards Dave


Labidochromis freibergi


Index

Posted by Auscanuckafishy
Labidochromis freibergi

G'day peopez,
Has anyone got any info on these guys? also are they available in Aust? any info would be fantastic!
thanks

Mark

Posted by crabros
Labidochromis freibergi

I have the albino labidochromis friebergi they are very nice 12 come into the country i have 2 boys 6 girls just about ready to breed. they are a beautiful little fish even the other ones still not many around boys are common girls are the problem they also hold there value 2 years ago i placed some in an auction i got 45 for one bag and 65 for the other back then there was non around a few are filtering through now which is good to see a very peaceful little fish

Posted by Arj
Labidochromis freibergi

Peaceful? I had one male and four females and he killed all the females and is chasing my ps. saulosi all over the tank! actually they take turns chasing each other so I'm guessing they are playing some sort of game! They can be very aggressive towards the females i reckon.

Thanks
Arj.

Posted by crabros
Labidochromis freibergi

I have mine in with silver stream ventralis plus A. dwinti plus C. Azureus even when i had the others variety i had them in a 6 foot tank they were fine the reason you are having trouble with the freibergi and saulosi are they are similar in colour (nearly) they both can be territorial over rocks I've never had any problems at all with these guys so in an 8ft tank i see no problem. that's my opinion


M. Chipokae


Index

Posted by ducksta
M. Chipokae

Are they in oz?
Is there many around?
Could I breed them in a 2'? How?

Posted by raycam01
M. Chipokae

Melanochromis chipokae, are available, you pay around $12-$20 in the shops. A 2fter is a wee bit small, how wide and deep? Could get away with a small group, they like lots of rocks and hiding holes, etc. They get alittle nasty around spawning time

Posted by Cichlids au
M. Chipokae

A 2 footer is to small, there size can get up to 17cm. Found around Chidunga Rocks, Nakantenga Is and mbenji.

Prefers sandy patches among the rocks, its a predator.

Recommended aquarium size is 250 litres


Neolamprologus multifasciatus


Index

Posted by Fatboy
Neolamprologus multifasciatus

I'm getting 4 multis on Saturday I have absolutely no idea about them they have just always intrigued me I'm picking up 2 males and 2 females they are $12 each

any info would be appreciated


Posted by Cichlidae
Neolamprologus multifasciatus

Well I'd recommend a pH of around 8.0 or higher (but not too high). Hardness around 400ppm. They are essentially a shell dweller and will breed in shells. Mystery snail shells are probably ideal. Easy to keep and breed, they breed in colonies and seem to look after each other. They only grow to 4cm for males and 2.5 cms for females. They are the smallest recorded cichlid in the world and most would consider them and their behaviour to be nothing short of magic to watch. I personally love them. Good luck with them.

Posted by YeW
Neolamprologus multifasciatus

Hi Fatboy,

These little fish are a treat to keep. My tank stats are as follows:

pH: 8.0 - 8.5

kH: round 10-12

NaCl: 1teaspoon/10L

Lots of shells some from the beach, others are defunct mystery/apple snails. Use some shell grit as a substrate. Lots of rock work. Keep the male: female ration round 1:3

Feed: tetra bits, bloodworm, flake food, mosquito larvae, brine shrimp (almost anything)

YeW


Steatocranus casuarius - Lion, Lump or Blockhead


Index

Posted by Gonopodium
Steatocranus casuarius

Any of you learned people know any thing about the african blockheads or steatocranus casuarius or any informative sites

thanks...


Posted by YeW
Steatocranus casuarius

Hi GonoP,

It is an easy fish to keep:

pH: 6.8-7.2

kH: 4-5

pair bonding cave spawner.

Male is larger with a more developed hump.

Eat a broad diet... live, frozen, pellet etc.

Good tank mates with more rough and tumble community fish eg. barbs, larger gouramis etc...

YeW


Posted by Bill
Steatocranus casuarius

Just a little more regarding lumpheads

- they are definitely bottom-dwellers and hop around the tank so

need a fine blunt gravel (swim bladder not well developed)

- male has longer dorsal and anal fins

- my experience is different to YeWs - I have found them very shy

and even bashful fish and would hide from boisterous mates

- prefer a tank that has a good current in the tank and well

oxygenated

- though cave spawners, they seem to prefer caves open at both

ends and a pair even panicked in a closed cave

- well planted tank

- 10-12 cm in length, females a little smaller

- very good parental protection, for often long times

- dig the gravel extensively during pre-spawning

As well as casuarius, tinanti is also available in Australia - it is lighter coloured, a smaller bulge, a larger mouth and damn difficult to get to breed.


Tank Mates for Altolamprologus


Index

Posted by Pav
Tank mates for Altolamprologus

hey people I'm looking for suggestion as to a good Lake Tang community tank, probably 4x2x2. id like to have a few calvus as the "central" species and any recommendations as to tank mates would be much appreciated, or any other Tang community setups that people would recommend. I'm also thinking along the lines of display rather than breeding at the moment. thanks

Posted by Baz
Tank mates for Altolamprologus

I have a standard 6 which currently houses 5 Mid-sized Frontosa, 8 adult Leptosoma, 2 Leleupi and 2 Bristlenose. Also my newest additions are 10 Leptosoma fry. The tank looks nice and no aggression probs are apparent, except when the Leps breed. It is primarily a display tank, and the fry are an added bonus. I also used to have a few Multifasciatus in the same tank but they were too much of a tasty temptation for the Frontosa.

Posted by CID
Tank mates for Altolamprologus

Leptosoma are the natural food for Frontosa but OK to house together until the Frontosa get to about 10cm (4") juvenile Cyprochromis would be a tasty snack But a Tang tank with A. Calvus group 2M 4+ f with any Cyprochromis type, Pleurospilus, Ectodus Decampsi, Julidochromis spp, Caudopuntatus, Chalinochromis spp, Flavapinus, Macrops - I wouldn't use Tropheus as they are vegetarian while all the others mentioned like higher levels of protein in their food


DIY Overflows


Index

Posted by Nels
Hey,

I was wondering, are overflows meant to be filled up with water like, 3/4 of it or just half or 1/4 of it? I saw someone's pic of their overflow and it has bio balls and wool inside, I'd like to do the same but my overflow is only 1/4 full usually. Also how effective is it when you put filter media in both your overflow and your mini-reef? Last question - where's the cheapest bio ball you have seen so far?

Thanks in advance.

Posted by c2105208
Overflows do not have to be full with water at all. Really the height of the water is determined by the method you use to get the water from the overflow into your sump. If you are using a standard single pipe standpipe with holes drilled or slots along the length of the pipe (filter wool then wrapped around), then having a low initial depth might be better as you'd get longer between filter media changes (more filter media used however). If using other methods then the water level just needs to be kept at a height which keeps the overflow operational.

The advantages of having a high water level maintained in the overflow is that it won't sound like niagra falls with the water flowing over the weir. I myself use a standpipe similar to the 'durso' standpipe design (forget the address on the web), which maintains the water level about 100mm from the top of the overflow. To me this is important, as the tank in question is 2' deep. I didn't mind so much the water level in the 18" and 20" high tanks as it didn't have as high to fall, and the flow rates were significantly less.

There is little benefit to having media both in the sump and in the overflow chamber unless the media in the sump is of significantly finer grade than the media in the overflow. Otherwise the only reason one might put some in the sump is for noise-dampening reasons.

Cheapest bio balls - see www.aquariumproducts.com.au - Ben at Age of Aquariums. Dirt cheap and good quality from what I hear. Personally I am using aquasonic 'ovi-flow' but not cheap - $50 for 250 units (9L worth) compared to $37.50 for 250 from Ben (adds up if you need a fair few units). I am about to put in a few more sumps and will be using the bio-balls from Ben myself in the future.

Hope this helps... any q's let me know or post..

Posted by Nels
Well i don't have a pipe in my overflow so water is not at a high level. However, I'm not aware of any Niagra falls LOL - i think i'm used to it. I have ummmm, think its called a bulk head? instead of the pipe, yep. Well you answered everything i needed to know dude hehehe!

Posted by c2105208
Yeah a bulkhead simply forms a seal... You put a 'standpipe' into the bulkhead to alter the position which you want the water.... And plumb from the other side to your sump...

There is a bulkhead in every overflow regardless of what is in the overflow itself.

Posted by Nels
Oh... I didn't know that, so i'll just go buy a pipe and just connect it to the bulk head to adjust the height of my overflow? COOL!

Posted by Baz
And here is the link to the durso mod which Adam mentioned for those who are interested. I run one and it helps a lot with the noise factor.

Posted by c2105208
Re: the pipe, that's correct.... You will get some unsightly 'sucking' noises however. You can counteract this by having a nasty little 'hissing' sound through the teensy air hole in the top of the durso standpipe if you want to go that way...

Additionally, the durso design seems to fall over when it comes to using the filter modification - with even slightly clogged media the water will rise to alarming levels in the overflow (I once arrived home to find the level in the overflow only 5mm or so below the tank water level, a rise of about 3").

Or...

Do the mod which I am about to embark on.

I am running a wet/dry with overflow on a 5x2x2. Overall turnover rate through the overflow is *designed* to be about 4000lph. The water in the overflow gets drawn into a 32mm standpipe, then through a 25mm bulkhead (using a reducer), then back to a 32mm delivery pipe into the sump. Had to use 25mm bulkhead purely because a 45mm hole was the largest I could get drilled at the time. The bulkhead only accepts pressure pipe so this makes fittings more expensive. However... If standard 40mm NON pressure pipe s-bend (the type you get at bunnings for $10) with compression couplings were incorporated on the underside of the overflow then it would mean that basically no air would be needed in drawing water from the overflow. This is since the principle that a s-bend (u-trap or whatever you want to call it) maintains a constant level of water in it. If a drop of water hits the free surface on one end, a drop will flow through the s and come down the discharge end and so on...

So basically you can use a standpipe cut to whatever length to eliminate the niagra falls effect, with filter media wrapped around it or whatever you want, whack in a big enough s-bend to handle the flow between the overflow and the sump, and then it will eliminate the suction problems and that nasty air sucking sound.

The alternative is to put in a gate valve to regulate the flow between the overflow and the sump such that the water is forced to back up a bit, but I would not recommend this for obvious reasons

Regards Adam

Posted by Baz
I've often considered the s-bend idea, but have never been game to try it. I always figured it would have similar risks to the gate valve.
I suppose if the s-bend was installed correctly as it is under a sink, with o-rings instead of blue glue, it might just be as simple as making it part of a regular maintenance program to dismantle it and remove any build-up of sand or other gunk.

I'd be very interested to see how it works out for you Adam. If it works well, I'll be doing the same I think.

Posted by c2105208
Baz the only complication in my case is that I run 32mm pressure pipe to the sump. This means that I may not get a crash-hot seal between the 40mm non-pressure pipe s-bend and the 32mm pressure pipe (40mm non pressure pipe is about 1mm larger in diameter than 32mm pressure pipe). I am not sure how much tolerance the compression couplings on the s-bends have, and therefore I might have to employ some fibreglass skills to make a custom-connection and then use proper 32mm compression couplings (if I end up doing this I'll send you a photo if you're unable to visualise this).

The s-bend is not as risky as a gate / ball valve, as the head losses purposely caused by the gate/ball valve employ a much greater risk than flow through an s-bend, where the velocities (and therefore flow rate) can simply increase to accompany increased flow without too much losses. You'd have to fine-tune a valve whereas the s-bend would work as is even if a bit of gunk gets all around the inside (negligible friction really, such a short distance).

Anyway.... like I said, when I've completed the exercise I'll post some pics etc.

Cheers, Adam

Oh and I forgot to mention, when buying the s-bend try to find one without the dishwasher inlet on the side - else attach some hose and plug it up otherwise it could be disastrous

Posted by nFish
Sorry if this is a silly question, but what are the risks of using a ball valve to regulate the flow from overflow to trickle filter?

Thx

Posted by Baz
Any obstruction like that may cause something (snail, dead fish) to block the pipe and overflow the tank. You are best to have a straight pipe, all the same diameter so this wont happen.

Posted by Bimbo
i was wondering how many stanpipes (is one enough) and what size for a standard 5 foot tank, i'm thinking of getting one soon and will be making the bucket trickle filter. also what size hole and bulkhead is best for this tank. i am just about to go and price some tanks in the lfs in town.

any help would be much appreciated

james

Posted by c2105208
For a standard 5'er I'm thinking it's about 300L max volume, so you'd be looking flow rates in the order of 1000-2000L/hr using a wet/dry sump, depending on stocking levels etc and type of tank you are intending.

20mm PVC will suffice for the return from sump to tank (if using PVC for this). 25mm PVC will suffice for the overflow plumbing to the sump.


These I would consider ideal, however you could probably get away with a 20mm bulkhead in the overflow, then use reducers either side to convert to 25mm standpipe and 25mm plumbing to the sump.

You will definitely only need one overflow if you used the above parameters. You really only need multiple overflows / standpipes if the tank turnover rates exceed 4500l/hr because this I would consider the absolute limit for 25mm bulkheads in a gravity fed system. I run 3500l/h on my 5x2x2 - 25mm return, 25mm bulkhead with 32mm plumbing to sump and it handles it adequately with my system geometry.

I use Rainbow Lifeguard bulkhead fittings. They are exceptional quality and very easy to use. Rainbow lifeguard is distributed in Australia by Aquasonic, and any aquasonic stockist will be able to get it for you for around $20-25 (don't pay any more than this, there are some rip off places out there) depending on wether you want the complete fitting (including 90 degree bend, strainer etc for flexible tubing) or just the bulkhead itself into which pvc is glued. Aquamail (www.aquamail.com.au) sell these as a mail order supplier. I am yet to find anywhere else which sells these high quality fittings for a reasonable price. It is possible to get cheaper bulkheads from good hardware / irrigation suppliers (sold for water tanks mainly), but I like to stick with RL.

The Rainbow Lifegard 25mm bulkhead requires a 45mm hole drilled. The Rainbow Lifegard 20mm bulkhead requires a 35mm hole.

If you would like any more help either post or e-mail me and I can elaborate on anything I've said above.

Cheers, Adam

Posted by Bimbo
thanks Adam that is exactly what i wanted

also how big does the weir/glass box in the corner have to be if i was to make a durso style standpipe.

Cheers James

Posted by c2105208
No problems



Well, I designed my overflow on my 5x2x2 at 210x210mm I.D. and this accommodates 32mm durso. I had to modify the 32mm bends though and make them more compact by cutting some of the flanges shorter then glueing it all together. I'm abandoning the durso design for a better idea as it cannot accomodate high flow if you use the filter mod and I don't have filter media in the sump itself for simplicity of maintenance. See above for details...

For 25mm durso on your 5 'er, depending on where your hole is, you could probably assume 185x185mm would suffice. Don't want to be drilling that hole too close to the tank edge....

Also I might add those dimensions are for a 1/4 oxtgon overflow (where each dimension is the distance from the back corner along each edge to the inside walls of the overflow). If you were using a standard square overflow 185mmx185mm would be heaps, as you get more space into the corner where the two faces meet than with the 1/4 octagon-style. In any case, the durso can be modified to fit, within reason...

If you don't fully understand the 1/4 octagon idea then let me know and I'll attempt a crappy ascii imitation

Adam

Posted by c2105208
Baz;

I have done my S-P trap modification and I'm happy with the results.

First I went to Bunnings and purchased a 50mm S-P trap for $9.60. I had to fibreglass in a 25mm 'joiner' fitting into the inlet end of the S-P trap (since using a 25mm bulkhead I had to adapt this to the S-P trap). On the outlet side I managed to get an adequate compression seal just using a 32mm 'joiner' fitting which goes straight on to the lid of my sump. The noise is substantially less - no gurgling through the S-P trap compared to the noises I used to have. There is a slight trickle sound when your head is right next to it but that is about all.

I still have the durso going to keep the water level in the overflow high to eliminate the splashing noise, however I will get rid of this and just use a standpipe cut to a decent height instead at some later time....

If using 25mm return plumbing you could get a 40mm S-P trap instead of the 50mm S-P trap like I had to use.

Cheers,
Adam

UPDATE: Just gave the durso the flick in favour of a traditional standpipe with 4 slots cut longitudinally and filter wool wrapped around it. The sucking sound is virtually gone since the s-p trap is in, all that remains is a gentle trickle (made it so the bottom of the slots were about 6" from the tank water level). *ahhhh* I can rest at nights now.


Blackworms


Index

Posted by Beagly
G'day Megan

I was going to email you privately but then I decided that some others may also be interested. So...

Can you tell me a bit about the Blackworms?
In particular;
What living conditions they require?
What food they require?
What temp?
How you harvest them?
And of course anything else that you may think is relevant!

Thanks in advance
Beagly...


Posted by Meagansbettas
I currently have blackworms breeding like rabbits in my bns tank. I fed them maybe 15 live blackworms a while ago... and now have a heap. Basically I have pea gravel (regular aquarium gravel) in a thin layer (one piece thick), I also have a 700l/hr internal with spray bar on this tank (it is a 90L tank)! And that is it!! LMAO... basically the worms feed on what the bns don't eat. They finish the remainder of their algae discs, zuchini and pumpkin.
I find that while the worm population is increasing (from 3-100 ish) teh water will be a bit cloudy, then overnight it clears.. they are cleaning the substrate, and even eat all the bits of bns poop. This tank is a bns breeding tank, it has 1M and 2F bristlies, and their fry.
To harvest from the floor of the tank, I use a turkey baster, fill with water and inject at the gravel, causes the gravel to make a large crater, and the worms fly around the tank, suck them up! Easy done... or you can scoop up the gravel and put into a container and pick them out.

With the harvester it is a modified version of this. there is 1 halved drum with a thin layer of gravel in each half, they are placed above 2 drums that have had the tops removed. One side houses the water pump, the other is the collection area.
You rig up the water pump (1000l/hr or more) to a T joint at the top of the halved drums, the water flows through (and you have made like a riser at the opposite end), and over the gravel (like 5-10cm water over the gravel) down the riser into the collection drum.
The overflow from the collection drum flows into the drum housing the pump. (will be easier with photos).

You feed the worms a vegetable diet, your vege scraps, fish food, or even chook food (which works VERY well). Basically the worms eat the food, and basically reproduce overnight (babies are bright pink), the worms at night come out of the gravel into the water for food and are lightly washed down the riser with the current (which is providing essential aeration).
Once they are down the riser into the bottom collection drum, they start to curl together into a ball, easy to pull out and harvest, and you don't want, you just add back into the trays to reproduce.

The only thing is, daily or every second day you need to change the water (as we all know about blackworms). basically clean the pump, and drain the 2 base drums, refil and you are away (best garden fertilizer too).

Hmmn, I think that is everything... oh, blackworms once breeding either in harvester or in a tank are pink, not black.. they go black from lack of oxygen!!
The best way to keep blackworms from your LFS is in a bucket with an airstone!

TEMPERATURE: Keep them out of direct sunlight, but tank temp is fine.. I find they reproduce fastest in 24-28C water.

Hope this helps,. and I'll post pics once I have the harvester finished!

Meagan


Suitable rocks


Index

Posted by Tluxa

I would just like some recommendations and opinions on which type of rock best suit cichlid tank setup... I've got a few sandstone rocks which are used for gardens... are these any good???

Also any special treatment before putting new rocks into the tank, besides cleaning it up?

Please help...

Posted by Mazimbwe
I wouldn't use Sandstone, just because it may drop too many small particles. Limestone is what I use because it helps maintain the ph in the tank and the capping rock has good holes in it for caves.
You can use some of the dark "moon rock" (I don't know the name of it, but in WA we get it from the NT) which has a great texture and shows up the colours of the fish nicely.
Maybe the folks from your side of the country will have a better idea about what is available to you and where to get it, but I hope I've helped about the Sandstone.

Posted by Tluxa
Hi Mazimbwe,

I don't think it will drop too many particles.... I have just soaked a few in a tub of water, will leave it in there for several days to see how it goes. :)

Checked out some of the rocks in the aquarium, not sure what type it is... but it looks very similar to sandstone... does anyone know what are the common type of rocks sold at aquariums????


Posted by Ducksta
I use sandstone in tanks - I have no problems with it. The gravel eventually gets a bit sandy but my gravel vacuum takes care of that.
And I think the particles are larger than the sand used in most tanks anyway, reducing the risk of it interfering with filters (impellors)

Posted by Tluxa
Just found an article which may interest other forum users.....

How do I make rocks safe for my fish?
Many people enjoy having rocks in their aquariums, and for many reasons. One, they make for a very natural look and setting, not only for your guests and family to enjoy, but also for your fish. Two, rocks create a great environment for many kinds of fish to create territories and hiding places. But a major down set on creating a rock environment is that rocks from your local fish store can be very expensive when your buying in large amounts. So, if you can find rocks where you live, or while your on vacation, you can create a beautiful environment for your fish and enjoyable display for your friends and family at almost no cost. But be sure that you follow the following steps very carefully before adding the rocks to your aquarium.

1. Find a pot big enough to hold at least a portion of your rocks.
2. Fill it no more then half-way with water.
3. Place the rocks in the water so that they are completely covered by the water.
4. Now bring the water to boiling for at least 2 minutes.
5. Once the water has been boiling for at least 2 minutes, remove the rocks and check to see that the water is not cloudy. If the water is cloudy repeat steps 2-5. Once the water is no longer cloudy move to step 6.
6. Rinse the rocks off.
7. And finally, the rocks are now ready to be added to the aquarium.

Please be sure that you NEVER USE SOAP when you are dealing with aquarium items.

Tyler Rice

Posted by Ducksta
Also, if you take a small piece of the rock, and drop it in a little vinegar, it should not do anything, if the vinegar "fizzes" that's bad and don't use that particular kind of rock.
That's something I read anyway.

Posted by Tluxa
Thanks Ducksta! :)

Posted by BlakeyBoyR
I use sandstone was no problems at all, if you do a gravel vac every so often then its not an issue

Posted by mbuna1
I also use sandstone in all my tanks. It looks quite good and is easy to break into suitable pieces.



Tank Backgrounds


Index

Posted by Perspicax
Hi, it looks like that this Saturday we finally set up my timber racks in the garage. I hate to think about moving all my tanks with the fishes of the existing crappy racks to the floor then up to the new racks. That is going to be the biggest job.
Anyway, my question is that do you guys put any background on your breeding tanks or just leave it bare? I so far left it bare.

Thanks

Roland

Posted by Cichlid Boy
I use backgrounds on all tanks except my fry tanks. I believe it makes the fish feel a little more secure/less skittish...

Posted by Dodol
I agree with Cichlid Boy, especially for shy fish. It helps the fish to settle quicker in their new environment. Besides it'll look better.

Posted by Ducksta
The only time i think they are necessary is when there is movement at the back of the tank. When they are exposed on all sides, fish tend to feel more "surrounded" and are constantly being spooked. The background offers them some confidence and hiding space in that situation.

Posted by Perspicax
Thanks guys. I personally would prefer the background as well, but the only problem is that the price is between $3-$4 per foot :(. For a few 4 foot tanks it will be pricey. I still need to sleep on it.

Posted by Ducksta
Roland - what about rolls of black paper? Plain black or dark blue backgrounds look pretty good IMO. If there is any kind of decor in the tank anyway.

Posted by Perspicax
Good idea ducksta, but wouldn't the normal paper stuff up if it gets wet? If not where can I get them from? What about painting the light grey brick wall behind the tanks?

Posted by o0XanaX0o
I just use paint (on the outside ofcourse) lol.
Posted by BengaBoy
Just paint the glass (outside, as said) - I use a flat acrylic paint, less reflection inside the tank. Oh, use a roller - better finish.

Posted by Fishboi2000
I used blue contact on all of my previous tanks it looked pretty good and doesnt get wet as well as easily removed. but be careful when applying as bubbles looks nasty!

Posted by Perspicax
Thanks guys. How long does it take until the paint dries and how many coats do I have to apply?

Posted by Cichlid Boy
Yes, you don't need to buy the pricey background pics, I just use plain black mostly. Painting the back is good, however it's fairly permanent....

Posted by bimbo
I wouldn't say it was permanent, just use a razorblade to scrape it off, comes off really easy.
The paint will only take a few hours to dry, quicker if you use a hairdryer.
On my display tank i used a kitchen sponge to put on some blue paint and when that was dried i covered that with black so when you look from the front of the tank is is mainly blue with black texturing through it, looks cool and breaks up the colour a bit.

Posted by YeW2001
I use black material :) from Lincraft my tanks :) .
Works a treat, hang from the hood, and at $4 a metre you can't go wrong.

I think it brings out good colour in the fish.

Posted by Cichlid Boy
I'd call paint fairly permanent, try scraping it off the tank when it's full of water and sitting against a wall...

Posted by Auscanuckafishy
We've used paint on the majority of our tanks. The drying times and number of coats varies greatly with the type of paint.

We also use black material attached to the hood on a couple of tanks as Dave does, works great.

Posted by MagicaDiSpell
I would use paint instead of a background, simply because it is more permanent. I have a background on one tank and it is starting to crack, now my display tank looks pretty ugly with cracks running up and down through the "plants and logs". No such problems with paint.

If you are concerned that simple paint is boring (which it isn't, if you put rocks etc into the tank) you can always get a number of tones and paint shapes on the glass of the tank. That could look really good - just like underwater.

The other advantage of paint is that the glass looses its reflectiveness (is that really a word?). I usually paint bottom and three sides and leave only the side that I look through clear. That way the fish don't concentrate on fighting their reflection.


Fixing Leak's


Index

Posted by 23Skidoo
I sprung a leak!!!!! PLEASE HELP

My 3 foot tank has got a slow leak around where it has been patched before. The crack is in the bottom corner of the back panel. It's had a glass panel siliconed over it and up until now have had no, problems.

What if any, is the best way to reseal it? At the moment i have fish in tanks where they shouldn't be, and need this one back on it's feet ASAP.

Any advice urgently needed.

Posted by John McCormick
Re: I sprung a leak!!!!! PLEASE HELP

Hi,

Not sure what pricing is like up your way.
If it was me down here in Melbourne i would take the easy way out and buy a new 3ft tank for $40 this would be the quickest and cheapest option down here anyway.

Just a thought.

John.

Posted by Pierced Soul
Re: I sprung a leak!!!!! PLEASE HELP

Drain it, let it dry over a few days, rip off old silicon in the area and re-seal it using selleys window and glass silicon.

Posted by 23Skidoo
Re: I sprung a leak!!!!! PLEASE HELP

Thanks Piercedsoul i just needed a pointer in the right direction

Posted by Devil Cichlid
Re: I sprung a leak!!!!! PLEASE HELP

Go for the new tank........ you seal this one, there will be another leak shortly..... all that water means a lot of pressure, you could probably pic up a new tank for around 50 bucks.

Posted by 23Skidoo
Reply Re: I sprung a leak!!!!! PLEASE HELP

Thankyou all, but not all of us have the luxury of being able to throw a pineapple around whenever the need arises. But i am a very poor student, who is doing a reasonable job at a quite expensive hobby, whatever i can't make myself gets bought on the cheap. My question to Devil and the others is "what do i do when there is no one to pay to fix everything?"

Not bitchin, just poor

Posted by yevrah
Re: I sprung a leak!!!!! PLEASE HELP

just a few tips on re-sealing.

1. Preferably remove all the silicone and re-do the whole tank.
2. Use a razor to thoroughly remove the old-silicone
3. Clean the surface before applying the sealant with some windex/alcohol cleaner followed by a wiping down with water - lint free cloth of course.


When to Strip Mouthbrooders


Index

Posted by BettaAnt
New at this

Hey ive decided to milk my first batch of fry , she has been holding for 7 days now and I'm not sure when to strip the fry. I know its usually personal choice but how long do you people let the female hold for? They are lombardoi if that makes any difference?

More?????

When do i start to feed?

How often?

Is sera micron followed by sera Micropan Followed by sera Micro Granules ok to feed as they grow?

Anthony

Posted by hyperdive
Re: New at this

Let her hold for another week. I find 14 - 15 days is the best amount of time, as the fry will be free swimming and able to eat, but will still have a little egg sac left.

I use finely crushed / powdered OSI colour and growth flakes for my fry with baby brine shrimp every other day. The sera micron sounds like it would be fine (I'm assuming it's a fry specific food?).


Brain Freeze. Frozen Foods


Index

Posted by Other Ed
Brain Freeze. Frozen Foods

My Oscars are sick again, They had only just gotten better. I wonder if it has anything to do with the diy food I feed them (cooked prawns, spirilena and agar) the oscars swim off with as much as they can fit in their big mouth, and end up with a bit of a temperature shock?. All the other fish are fighting fit.
Could it be the nutritional value is too low? I know about a balanced diet, but I ran out of flakes and fed them DIY a few days in a row.

Thanks
Ed.

Posted by mbuna44
Re: Brain Freeze.

Sounds like a pretty healthy food to me. I used to keep Oscars when I first got into the hobby. Have you done a water change lately. The trouble with most home made food is that it can foul the tank (use lots of gelatine).

It is more than likely the water conditions that make the fish sluggish. Oscars will eat anything.

Hope this helps.

Mbuna44

Posted by Link 2 Hell
Re: Brain Freeze.

Try thawing it out before feeding
BTW you can never over filter an Oscar tank due to the amount of waste produced and the mucus they shed

So what are the tank specs (size, filtration and fish size) ?

How often and how much water do you change ?

Posted by DFishkeeper
Re: Brain Freeze.

I seem to recall reading somewhere that prawn shells are treated with something to stop them going black and this substance is not really healthy for fish. I feed my Africans and Americans frozen bait prawns 3 times a week and never have any problems, but I always defrost and shell the prawns first. I also feed them frozen whitebait, which they love & seem to thrive on - just defrost & cut into manageable pieces with a pair of sharp scissors, bones & all (the bones are very soft).

Cheers, Doug

Posted by slotha
Re: Brain Freeze.

I found that whenever i feed my Oscars prawns, they became sluggish like you said. I have since stopped and all is well again. Strange.

Posted by Baz
Re: Brain Freeze.

Get yourself a worm farm. Oscars love earth worms, mine used to get heaps of them! They are not only free, but they also have some kind of magical ingredient which helps to prevent/cure HITH.

Supplement these with some good quality pellets and other bugs and critters and you shouldn't need to use much in the way of frozen food. I find commercial frozen foods to be expensive, and diy to be messy.

Posted by Other Ed
Re: Brain Freeze.

Thanks for the replies.

Baz, Any ideas where to pick up a worm farm? Is that the idea with 2 Styrofoam boxes on top of each other? That's all I can remember about worm farms. Can you send a link?

I will try thawing out the food a bit first to see if that helps. The prawns i used were cooked, but never frozen from Coles, so i don't think they would be treated with anything that might make us sick.

Thanks

Ed.

Posted by slotha
Re: Brain Freeze.

U can pick up worm farms from nurseries, hardware house Kmart and places like that. They will save you a lot of $$$.

Posted by Baz
Re: Brain Freeze.

Mine was given to me by someone along the way, but like Tim said you can get them most places that sell gardening stuff.
They are a great way to get rid of all your kitchen scraps, and I get nice big juicy worms for free.
Just don't put any onion/citrus peelings in there, and no meat either. Sprinkle some dolomite/lime on top each time you add more scraps and they will do great.

Posted by Other Ed
Re: Brain Freeze.

and so you just give the worm a bit of a wash under the tap and then drop him in alive, head and all?

Thanks
Ed.

Posted by slotha
Re: Brain Freeze.

Yep. In the wild the worms are served with head and all as far as i know I just put a heap in a strainer and wash em


what to feed new fry


Index

Posted by aulonacara
what to feed new fry

Can anyone suggest what you would feed new Red Empress fry (7 days old now). I have been giving them crushed flake, and they seem to take this ok. Is there something better?

Aulonacara

Posted by novice
Re: what to feed new fry

You could also try daphnia or liquid fry food. I feed my cobalt blue liquid fry food and they seem to like it + they're growing real fast too.

Posted by vOOds
Re: what to feed new fry

newly hatched brine shrimp?

Posted by CID in OZ
Re: what to feed new fry

I feel Sera Mikropan is the best prepared fry food available on the shelf
But a varied diet and high protein is usually required but think about the diet the fish normally get as a guide line (vegetarian, piscivore, omnivore)

Pepper grinder and some pellets works, crumbled flakes, micro worms, grindal worms, new hatched brine shrimp *I here the wholesale price has come down now* mozzie wrigglers, daphnia, new hatched fry from substrate spawners especially with the yolk sack on

Remember to increase the water changes and have some form of bacterial filtration like a sponge or sand filter for them to pick

Chris D

Posted by aulonacara
Re: what to feed new fry

Liquid Fry Food. That sounds interesting. Is this available commercially. If so what is the brand to look for?

Aulonocara

Posted by CID in OZ
Re: what to feed new fry

Liquid is available under the name Liquid fry 2 types egg layer and livebearer Ok with small fry but dilutes quickly when dropped in water
Chris D

Posted by aulonacara
Re: what to feed new fry

Thanks Chris

Ill look out for this. With the newly hatched brine shrimp you mentioned, is this live food? And is this available commercially?

Aulonocara

Posted by CID in OZ
Re: what to feed new fry

Yes its live food. You have to hatch the shrimps from eggs but the price of shrimp eggs has been pretty dear of late and most guys buy the big tin (was around $180+) rather than the small packs or vials that LFS sell for better hatch rates
Some LFS sell frozen BBS (Baby Brine Shrimp) or plankton
Plenty to choose from
Chris D


Fishless Cycling


Index

Posted by kinerata
fishless cycling

hey all,

I read about this on malawicichlids.com and wondered if anyone has used this to get a tank ready for fish? I currently have two newly set up tanks I would like to make habitable for fish by the auction next week. will also be getting 4 new tanks on the weekend I need to set up. any help on what to use would be greatly appreciated.

thanks!

Gav

Posted by lonezomebetta
Re: fishless cycling

Hey Gav,

Yeah i used this method cycling my 6ft discus tank.
I used the live bacteria that you add in from bottles and yeah i think you know what to do with buying the ammonia and stuff.
mine tok like 2 weeks but that's with the live bacteria I added I don't know how long it will take without using it.

cheers
Richard

Posted by gianniz
Re: fishless cycling

hey if you have established filters from other tank squeeze in the sponge to the new tank and within few days your tank should be cycled...

Posted by Barra
i agree

you can just squeeze the sponge from old filters into the new tank or you can just run an old filter on the tank for a good week or so and start the new filter on the old tanks. hope this makes sense

Posted by kinerata
problem is

I don't have any existing tanks. I guess I will just have to try and get some used filter medium from someone I know with tanks

thanks for the help!

Posted by gianniz
Re: problem is

yup just get them to bring their filter with them and clean there filter in your new tank that should do.. mine got cycled in 4 days but i got sponge from 5 different filters..

Posted by YeW2001
Re: fishless cycling

You can also do a "fishless" cycle with a small dead prawn - the prawn will decay producing (amongst other things) ammonia... the ammonia will cycle the tank... Obviously any dead meat will do - a prawn is just small and relatively low in fats which will pollute your tank.

If you use ammonia and nitrite test kits you can watch (record and graph if you like) the rise and fall of these compounds .

HTH

Posted by Benny85
Re: fishless cycling

u can either add some stuff from a bottle of CYCLE which you can buy from shops or u can get 4 -5 cheapest kind of goldfish and should set up in a week

Posted by gianniz
Re: fishless cycling

i was under the impression that the stuff you buy in bottle are not the same strain of bacteria so in the long run its useless.

fishless cycle just mean you put no fish to accelerate cycling procedure (and to take away the pain of dying fish)

the reason you squeeze in old sponge is to accelerate this procedure as the sponge will have heaps of bacteria, therefore when its in your new tank it can multiply more quickly. Thus cutting down the time require for cycling even further.

Posted by kinerata
so far

well I discovered some cycle in a box of stuff I had to whacked that in the tank. got a squeezing of water from an existing filter and will today whack a dirty little prawn in there. reckon with all of those combined I should do all that I need to

thanks for the ideas though guys much appreciated. now I can hopefully spend lots at the auction this weekend


Discoloured water from wood


Index

Posted by bennieboy
why does wood always discolour water?

I have some wood which i got from lams which i put in my tank and as always it ALWAYS makes the water slightly yellow whilst this looks "natural" in a south American environment, in an "African" environment it makes the fish look dull

is there any way to stop this?

any where to get nice cheap wood too?

Posted by AndrewP
Re: why does wood always discolour water?

Some people use bleach or sunlight to fade the wood, the tannin in wood is what causes the water brown, it has to be soaked in a bucket for a couple of months or you can varnish it with some type of water prof varnish that wont kill the fish, seen this lately in a LFS

Posted by Pierced Soul
Re: why does wood always discolour water?

Yeah Andrews right, tannins naturally come out of the wood and stain the water. If it's in your African tank, keep an eye on the pH as this will likely come down.

Soaking is the best thing, though this takes time, the other thing is to use carbon in your filter as this should help to remove the taninn from the water

Posted by nornicle
Re: why does wood always discolour water?

i used seachem purigen..
took the yellowness out in under a night ;P
I went to sleep and woke up and suddenly things were clear again.. but I think i like the yellowness.
regards

Posted by yevrah
Re: why does wood always discolour water?

Bleaching wood is used for removing parasites but once you place a piece of wood in the tank the colour comes back and tannins continue to leach out..

Soaking is the best method... Preferably in a bucket with a bubble corner filter containing some activated carbon to increase the speed at which the wood will be "cured"... Adding some bi-carb to the water will help matters if your planning on placing the wood into a rift lake tank... Be prepared to soak the wood for as long as 3 months, some pieces of wood just seem to keep on leaching out...

Posted by MagicaDiSpell
Re: why does wood always discolour water?

Some wood seems to leach longer than others. Particularly bad are the the pieces that come wrapped in shrink wrap from some African trees - they are not cured at all and seem to be leaching tannins forever.

On the other hand, pieces of old mangrove roots, that you can sometimes pick up at LFS are pretty good. They have been leached for years and don't discolour the water at all.

Posted by Toad001
Re: why does wood always discolour water?

I have a couple of old mangrove logs, they did leach a little yellow but didn't taint the water heavily.
Activated carbon is the only thing that I used to remove it and it works over night, but now I'm actually putting black water extract in to bring a little bit of the colour back because I like it . And so do the Red Humps, they breed like rabbits with that stuff

Posted by benniboy
Re: why does wood always discolour water?

do Malawians prefer/mind if the water is discoloured?

Posted by starrey
Re: why does wood always discolour water?

I have a nice bit of driftwood in my bristle nose tank and currently sharing the tank are e. yellows and plus the water is still reasonable buffered as i have crushed coral as substrate, the bristle nose just luv the driftwood and the pulu's especially like to hide in it. It does look yellow though and gets a lot dirtier then any of my other tanks. I think the b/nose break bits of driftwood off, at any rate i have to clean the filter more often.
Sarah

Posted by PFKA
Re: why does wood always discolour water?

One method i heard of was to boil the driftwood in a big pot, change the water and re-boil when the water gets dirty until all the tannins have leached out when i tried it on a small piece it worked VERY well.

BTW you need a really big pot !!!

Posted by ajk
Re: why does wood always discolour water?

hey,
I use and recommend as mentioned above "purigen".
works like a gem and after a few months you can take it out the colour will not come back. or if you prefer you can regenerate it by following the procedures on the back of the pack.
ajk


Preventative Medication


Index

Posted by jesso1
Medication

does anyone know about a mixture of medications that are added to tank at water changes to help prevent diseases ?
reg/m

Posted by starrey
Re: Medication

Hi
other then water ager you shouldn't have to medicate unless there is a sickness in the tank. You dont need to medicate a tank unnecessarily.
Sarah

Posted by jesso1
Re: Medication

thanks ! that's what i thought. i just saw someone who cleans tanks & he uses some concoction. each to their own i suppose.

Posted by cichomaniac
Re: Medication

The best way to prevent diseases is to keep the water in top condition with regular water changes and good filtration . In fact the only medication I have used lately is Melafix which contains only natural products and is excellent for torn fins ,open sores or cloudy eyes etc. Luke

Posted by starrey
Re: Medication

i forgot to add, i add some sea salt at water changes. Sarah

Posted by spedwards
Re: Medication

Sarah: How much salt do you add, i've been thinking about starting this to help with torn and nipped fins but didn't want to experiment and go overboard.

TIA Jon

Posted by starrey
Re: Medication

Hi Jon

Ever since i got jinxed with ick a few times , i now dose all tanks with salt 1 tsp for every 10 litres. I have catfishes and a clown loach and doesn't seem to bother them in the least.

Sarah

ps u can only use non iodised salt, i buy just sea salt from the supermarket

Posted by CID in OZ
Re: Medication

Hi Sarah
As mention it is best only to medicate when needed as there is the problem of resistant mutation in diseases especially if the full course of medication is not used
The other problem that happens is the imune system of the fish is handicapped as no resistance is built up by anti bodies
this is a severe problem with fish kept in UV treated systems

The only time you would use a "cleaning agent" is if the tank was getting stripped down because of disease and then the best thing is to use bleach and throw away anything not really necessary or expensive like the gravel or airlines
other than that a quick wipe with some filter mat does a great job to clean the inside glass

Chris D

Posted by spedwards
Re: Medication

Just to make 100% sure

tsp = Teaspoon
Tsp = Tablespoon?

Is there any particular brand of salt you go for or just anything that says sea salt? Sorry bout all the q's

Tank again!

Posted by starrey
Re: Medication

Hi Jon

tsp =teaspoon tbs =tablespoon *use 1 tsp for every 10 litres

i have used different brands in the supermarket as long as its non iodised rock/sea salt its fine. Sarah

Posted by blue gularis
Re: Medication

HI
One thing to watch when picking salt to use in an aquarium is anti caking agents. Not proven yet but it is suspected that these block the gills of the fish over time, and is the real problem with table salt not iodine. This why rock salt is usually recommended.

The reason salt is such a good tonic for fresh water fish, is they spend most of thier energy try to stop salt escaping from thier body tissue. Look up osmoregulation if you want to find out more.

I use salt in my tanks to help control velvet, I keep killies and these are prone to the parasite Oodinium (velvet). The salt stops a lot of the eggs resting on the bottom from hatching.

Adding salt to fry containers is also recommended it keeps bbs alive longer and velvet is the number 1 killer of fry.
Gary H-H

Posted by Ari
Re: Medication

The one and only all purpose treatment i use and recommend is Melafix all other remedies are crap trust me from experience and put fish in seperate tank cleared one off my Aul.stuartgranti "kandi island " female withing 2 days even though they recommend 7days a small bottle will cost you about 11 bucks. or use sera activant which is multi vitamin tablets but watch out your colonies mite also start breeding crazy hehehe
Rgds

Ari

Posted by cichlidgeek
Re: Medication

Yeah, I go with ARI, melafix is good stuff. I am currently using it on some wild Uaru with an external bacterial infection, fin/tail rot. Amongst some others like Oxytetracycline medicated feed etc...the usual...,
Brian


Cooling tanks


Index

Posted by eedward
Keeping Water Temperature down

Hi Guys/Girls,
With the summer heat coming up, just wondering how you guys keep the water temps down. We have a marine tank in the office and it's sitting on a steady 28-29 degrees celcius.

LFS quoted $1800 for a chillier.

Can I put those blue ice packs in the filter part (Aqua One Tank + Top Filter).

Also is 28 degrees tolerable for these tropical marine fish?
Ed.

Posted by Adam Maskew
Re: Keeping Water Temperature down

Ed,

I like to keep my tropical marines at about that temperature, so its not to hot. I've had our tanks with clowns go up to 35oC with no problems. As long as it is a steady rise (or fall) the fish don't seem to mind so much. Its the sudden changes that get them.

Yes you can put ice in the filter but you may need a lot. I use a 12l block of ice in my 300l freshwater tank when it gets to 32oC. this will only take it back to 30oC.

the other option is use your air con in the office to help you. If you have a nifty new one you can set to what ever temp you want.

Adam

Posted by searlesy
Re: Keeping Water Temperature down

If you have any corals or other inverts in the tank, anything above 30 for any period of time will kill them quite swiftly. Even fish don't like anything in this range for very long. If my marine tank gets over 29, I get the ice packs out, and during summer, I have fans running over the top of the tank 24/7 on the hottest days. I try and keep my tank between 26 and 28.

I can believe that a tank of clowns with no corals could stand up to 35 for a very short period of time, but this is very very dangerous, and should be avoided at all costs.

How big is your tank in the office? Is it one of those 3 ft ish aqua ones? If you are worried, you could set up a fan to run over the water surface from the back, or Ben at age of aquariums I think from memory has a chillier for about $700 that should do the job on a smaller tank.

Posted by eedward
Re: Keeping Water Temperature down

Thanks for the input peoples.
Sorry I forgot to mention there are live corals in the tank.
We have some clowns and a few tangs as well.
Yes it's one of those 3ft tanks. About 130L?

I'll go buy some of those re-usable ice packs
Ed.

Posted by MrRolla
Re: Keeping Water Temperature down

I came home from work the other day to find my tank at 33 degree's....

So now i leave the ceiling fan on all day to keep the temp down...

Posted by matireland
use a fan

Hey
Just put a computer style fan (but a 240 v one) in the hood blowing across the waters surface.

Thanks
matt

Posted by danceswithdingoes
Re: use a fan

Open the lid and turn off the lights during the hottest part of the day and if necessary direct a fan onto the open tank

Posted by collaroy
Aquaone AR980

If you have the above tank which is a little over 3 foot, 99cm's in fact, it is actually 200 litres. The brochure says 215L, but my measurements work out to around the 200L mark (I have one).


Breeding Feederfish


Index

Posted by muchacho
cheap/prolific/easy breeders for my carnivorous mates!

as the title says, im looking for some cheap/easy/prolific breeders like feeder goldfish or something...does anyone have any suggestions as to what fish i should get? they have to be relatively small as I don't want them growing too big while there waiting to be fed to an arowana and an oscar...

Posted by fiona ls
Re: cheap/prolific/easy breeders for my carnivorous mates!

The usual reply to this is get a pair of convicts, hardy, prolific, quick growers

Posted by Melbourne Bill
Re: cheap/prolific/easy breeders for my carnivorous mates!

An alternative would be a pair of jewel cichlids (Hemichromis spp.) - lots of fry and easy to breed also (like convicts)

Posted by Odessy123
Re: cheap/prolific/easy breeders for my carnivorous mates!

I'm not sure if this could be done it simply sprung into my mind while reading your post but anyway here we go. I believe in a small tank 1-2 foot you would be able to raise a small community of shell dwellers. Once they started to breed could you not sell the offspring to your lfs and use your credit there to get feeder fish. I know my lfs wont sell a single shell dweller for less than $30 so your bound to get a bit for the offspring. they don't even need to have many babies because the lfs prob sell feeders for around 50c-$1.00 each. Simply use your credit to keep your oscar happy. You could even swap from week to week from goldies to guppies to mollies to anything else that's cheap?

Posted by Auscanuckafishy
Re: cheap/prolific/easy breeders for my carnivorous mates!

The problem with using feeders form unknown sources, such as those from your lfs, is the high risk of introducing pests and diseases to anything they come into contact with.

I'd say best to breed your own so you know their full history and can put that worry to rest.

Any small cheap prolific cichlid would do the trick, some people use livebearers, but the numbers don't compare to cichlid spawns.

Posted by fiona ls
Re: cheap/prolific/easy breeders for my carnivorous mates!

I would have to agree with Mark on that one, I would not want to risk introducing something possibly fatal into my tank with feeders of unknown background.

Posted by Willy wombat
Re: cheap/prolific/easy breeders for my carnivorous mates!

I agree with Auscan,

buying feeder fish from your LFS is bad biosecurity, and you risk introducing news bugs into your system, that we all try so hard to avoid. I would go with a colony of convicts, they are very prolific and grow fairly quickly. If this fails, perhaps you could consider live bearers like sword tails...

Posted by citypainter
Re: cheap/prolific/easy breeders for my carnivorous mates!

I have a pair of Neets that breed continuously. They are small and have about 60-100 fry every 6 weeks or so.

If I separated the fry from the patents it would probably be quicker.

Posted by eedward
Re: cheap/prolific/easy breeders for my carnivorous mates!

hi citypainter,
Are you talking about these?
N. nematopus

How long does it take before they mature?

Posted by citypainter
Re: cheap/prolific/easy breeders for my carnivorous mates!

Yeah, that's them.
I have never kept the fry long enough. But the young grow very quick.


Java Fern and Anubias


Index

Posted by sillycichlid
Java Fern

With regards to Java Fern, does it need to be planted into soil? We have only shell grit in the bottom of the tank and want to chuck the Java Fern straight into this. Will that be cool?

Posted by Mjack
Re: Java Fern

i'd say that you need soil...use a small pot to plant the fern in and then bury the pot in the shell grit....you won't loose the tank fengshui then..

Posted by Snigglyfox
Re: Java Fern

I keep my java fern on driftwood. I tied them down with fishing line and they took about a month to grow on properly.

Posted by Auscanuckafishy
Re: Java Fern

I've always known it to be grown attached to objects rather then planted in the substrate. Do as Snigglyfox does and just tie it onto something, the plant will do the rest.

Posted by 52xmaxx
Re: Java Fern

When I add Java fern to my tanks I use rubber bands to fasten the plant to mainly bog wood. I have also used this method to fix the plant to limestone rocks and clay pots. By the time the rubber band rots the roots have generally taken hold...

Posted by sillycichlid
Re: Java Fern

OK, that's a great bunch of info guys.

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

As another thought, the Java Fern is in our Cichlid display tank (currently 7 small plants). Our fish so far are 11 Maswa, 2 Catfish, 5 Frontosa, and we are thinking of putting some Anubias (the lfs reckons this will be sweet) in there as well. Do you think that having Java Fern and Anubias in the tank will cause any issues??? We currently do a water change once a week and have two 1200ltr\hr pumps kicking away in the tank. We are mostly concerned with killing the PH levels.

The tank is 72x18x24 and has shell grit for the base. We also have a large pirate ship and are about to place a large piece of driftwood in there. We are thinking that having the shell grit for the base will keep the PH levels fine, but we are open to opinions and advice.

Posted by hungsta
hey

java fern and anubias are commonly attached to driftwood but you can always shove them in the substrate but remember not to bury the rhizomes.

Also cable ties work great for attaching plants to wood.

Posted by hungsta
hey again

You might want to give valisneria a try because i believe if you have hard water it can obtain Its carbon source that way.
I forgot the term, maybe someone can help

Posted by Brett4Perth
Re: hey again

Hungsta, are you referring to biogenic decalcification? That is not really the issue here. I am presuming that the water is hard and alkaline.
Java fern and vallisneria seem to do reasonably well in these conditions. Anubias seem to do less well, but because they grow (and also disintegrate) slowly it takes quite a while to know if they are thriving or not!!

Like Java fern they don't like having the stem buried.


Pleco and Bristlenose


Index

Posted by huyey
Pelco & bristle nose?

I have a common pelco in my four foot tank which does a reasonable job at cleaning the algae. Its about 6-7cm long. I would like to add in some bristle nose catfish to help this guy out. My question is, will the two species be alright in the same tank?

Posted by wazzablunt
Re: Pelco & bristle nose?

The two species should be fine together, the bristle noses are very good at cleaning the algae so if your pleco isnt doing its job well enough. (If you think that its not eating the algae enough, maybe try feeding them less so it gets hungry). Also, get a few and when they grow up you might end up with a pair or trio that could provide alot of fry!.

Posted by huyey
Re: Pelco & bristle nose?

Thanks for the advice. I bought the pelco about 2 weeks ago and have not fed him any of the foods that was suggested on this site (such as zucchuni, pumpkin or wafers), only letting him graze on the algae. However, there still seems to be still some algae left (which is not a lot). Anyway, I will buy some bristle nose.

Posted by wazzablunt
Re: Pelco & bristle nose?

It's good to know that your Pleco is doing its job. I would expect it to be eating a good amount of algae even if you were overfeeding it just a little bit. Remember that the Plecos get very big. So in time it may be better for you to buy a bigger tank. But your tank should be a good size for a long time.

Posted by OLD
Re: Pelco & bristle nose?

They'll be fine,i grew my common pleco up to 23cm along with 4 bristlenose in a 4footer without any problems but when added my 25cm Gibbiceps the common pleco didn't like it, there was no aggression but you could tell he didn't like the newcomer in his tank

Posted by huyey
Re: Pelco & bristle nose?

I did not realise the common pelco could grow that big in a 4 footer tank. OLD, what are you feeding your pelco? I might get the same stuff for mine.

Posted by OLD
Re: Pelco & bristle nose?

I feed them zucchini pieces, use a small rock with a rubber band to hold the zuccini on. I've found that most plecos will grow to almost max size regardless of tank size:)^l

Posted by huyey
Re: Pelco & bristle nose?

How did you prepare the zucchini? Did you have to cook it or anything? I gave mine cucumber but he did not even touch it. Bankstown, NSW huyey@hotmail.com

Posted by c2105208
Re: Pelco & bristle nose?

I have found the bigger the pl*co / BNs get, the lazier they get at keeping things clean or the more picky towards which type of algae they will eat.

It's for this reason that I generally end up swapping my BN's as they get real big (or selling them) in place of smaller baby ones which go for their life on the algae!

As for compatibility -- *shrugs*

Posted by OLD
Re: Pelco & bristle nose?

I usually just cut the zucchini in half lengthways then in half again although it depends on the number and size of your fish but it doesn't take long to work out how much is required, i give them as much as they can eat in one night. I cut the skin off but you don't have to, I then rinse it under hot water and put it in the tank. In my experience it takes a couple of days before they will begin to fed on the zucchini/cucumber but once they do there's no stopping 'em.


CO2 Night Time Shut Off


Index

Posted by masterry
Should C02 be shut off at night

Hey everyone

I have been reading a bit and a few sites seem to suggest that you turn off c02 at night and that you cant have a air stone running during the day or it will get rid of the c02. Is this correct, should i turn co2 off at night and not run a air stone during the day????

Posted by hungsta
Re: Should C02 be shut off at night

Hi my understanding is that the air stone should not be turned on because it creates surface turbulence which is where co2 and o2 is exchanged........so best to minimise surface disturbance.....

Regarding the other issue, you should not turn off co2 at night... because there is no harm in leaving it on (your fish will not suffocate), if you do turn it off the ph fluctuations is more likely to harm your fish...
However since plants take in o2 at night you can add in some current..............

Posted by masterry
Re: Should C02 be shut off at night

Thanks Hungsta

Does anyone else have an opinion to this or disagree with what hungsta said??

Posted by E4G13M4N
Re: Should C02 be shut off at night

My understanding is that the plant don't absorb the Co2 at night, so basically its a waste of Co2 IMO unless your using the home brew

When using the Carbo Plus type of unit they recommend only to use with a timer in conjunction with your lights, so Co2 gas type would be the same..

Posted by MagicaDiSpell
Re: Should C02 be shut off at night

Plants are net producers of oxygen only during exposure to light and net producers of CO2 at night. So, yes from that point of view it would be a "waste" of CO2, if you kept it bubbling at night.

However... (isn't there always one?) the fluctuations in pH could be sufficient to stress your fish, damage your bacterial fauna in the filter and also stress the plants.

Therefore, I would recommend you kept the CO2 bubbling at night also. Similarly you should also keep the air stones either running all the time or not all, fluctuations in dissolved gases will stress the fish. This is one reason for not extremely super-oxygenating your water, because if you have a power/pump failure, the fish are so used to a high oxygen level in the water, that they wont be able to cope with the lower levels. On the other hand fish that have been kept at moderate oxygen levels will be albe to cope better.

Sorry, I digress, but the message I guess is: keep your system as stable as possible.

Posted by Brett4Perth
Re: Should C02 be shut off at night

During the day plants convert CO2 to O2 with the aid of light.
During the night plants use O2 and make CO2.
So I guess it is not really "stable", even if the only change you make is to turn the light on and off.

In practice I don't think it makes all that much difference. My heavily planted tanks have CO2 running all the time and the fish don't seem to suffer, but they are relatively lightly stocked. Theoretically, if you have a heavily planted tank and high fish load, then the fish could run out of O2 at night. This is because the plants are using some of the O2, not due to the CO2 content of the water. Turning off the CO2 doesn't help this, aerating the water at night does. Never seen it happen!!

Posted by PHL0703
Re: Should C02 be shut off at night

I think this has been hotly debated for some time, but the final consensus was the the pH swing was more harmful than anything else. Anyway, top get some results...

Some aquarist in the US measured the O2 saturation levels (which is what is important to the fish, not so much the CO2 level unless it's very high), and it was 108% daytime, and 96% just before the lights came on in the morning. So there is no problems for fish. pH swing was from 6.8 to 6.6, so no problems either. Can't remember the CO2 level, but it wasn't significant, as some will be lost anyway through the surface.

When CO2 was turned off, the O2 levels were not significantly different, but now the pH was 6.8 to 6.7 to 7.2 in the first half hour of the light coming on, before falling back to 6.8; the pH swing was caused by the plants using up the little available CO2 before the reactor could dissolve more CO2, and although it doesn't cause fish death, it might.

So it's probably better to leave the CO2 on all the time, keep it in the 20-30ppm range daytime, and leave it. At least that's what I've been doing.

Posted by c2105208
Re: Should C02 be shut off at night

Firstly, CO2 and O2 levels dissolved in water are independent. That is, if you have high CO2 levels the dissolved oxygen will not be affected and vice versa. CO2 is more affected than oxygen by surface turbulence (presumably due to being a larger molecule).

CO2 stays on at night - Reason being for pH fluctuations. Basically the water will reach a stage where it's not likely to keep any more co2 in the system anyway due to the exchange rate between the surface and the environment surrounding the tank - it will reach an equilibrium. Unless your co2 system makes like a fire extinguisher in the tank and your carbonate hardness is scarily low, you will *not* see pH fall to such a level as your fish will *ever* be harmed if they are suitable for planted tanks. The process of co2 interchange between the water and the air is somewhat between diffusion and advection... the diffusive component is governed by ficks equation which states that the rate of exchange is proportional to the concentration difference between the two media - i.e. when the concentration difference between water and air is at such a rate that the rate of interchange is the same as the rate that you're pumping in CO2. This is also governed by the diffusivity of co2 in air and water and gets complicated but just trust me the fish will be ok under 'normal' co2 induction rates.

If CO2 is turned off at night, all that will be done is that co2 will be lost from the system and none coming in. This creates net imbalance in the morning when lights come back on and co2 comes back on - very low co2 present not good for your plants, and means a large pH fluctuation has occurred (a rise in pH overnight) between when the lights were turned off at night and when the lights came back on. True, plants respire in dark periods, but the rate you will lose co2 from the surface is far greater than the rate of co2 production in the plants through respiration.

In short, leave the CO2 on over night. No the plants aren't using it, but it keeps a better system equilibrium for the reasons above (plus more complicated ones I wont go into).

Regarding air stones - yes leave the air stones off. In general, you don't tend to see air stones in densely planted tanks at all - either night or day - due to co2 loss. So I would say if you *HAVE* to use an air stone use it at night, otherwise don't bother - the plants should produce enough oxygen and there should be enough surface area available on your tank to sustain what fish you have in there. Additionally, you don't tend to see many fish in a densely planted tank for this reason - the focus is then on the plants not so much the fish. Less fish = less need to worry too much about dissolved oxygen and air stones etc.

Hope this helps.

Posted by b3dlam
Re: Should C02 be shut off at night

I would agree with c2105208.

If the tank isn't densely planted, having the co2 on at night will not be a problem. Unless it is heavily planted and heavily stocked with fish, then an air stone (on a timer) at night will help.


Algae Problem


Index

Posted by efc
algae problem

I have a planted tank that receives direct sun in the morning for a short period of time. There is a lot of algae growth on the plants leaves and I am wondering if this will hinder the plants in any way.
The plants in the tank are Java Fern and Anubias Nana.

Posted by starreys
Re: algae problem

well if you cant move your tank away from direct sunlight , how about some bristlenose or siamese algae eaters they will help with your algae problem, but best of all it would be better to have your tank away from direct sunlight.

Posted by o0KatStar0o
algae problem

I had the same problem, in the afternoon a little sun would hit the tank if the blind wasn't shut. I brought 2 otto's and haven't seen any algae since.

Posted by searlesy
Re: algae problem

I have a tank behind some matchstick blinds on my verandah that receives filtered light (still very bright) for the best part of the morning. I just give the plants a bit of a swish over and siphon off the rubbish.

I have a salmon cat in the tank, but what other sort of catfish would be best to munch on the algae? I dont know a lot about catfish.

Posted by YeW2001
Re: algae problem

Add some algae eaters. Otos are good on plants (Otocinclus spp.) and SAE's are good. Make sure you get real SAE's and not the false type.

Posted by searlesy
Re: algae problem

Please pardon my ignorance, but what are SAE's? I wouldn't know a real one, or a false one if you slapped me in the face with it (insert monty python fish slapping dance here)

Posted by hungsta
Re: algae problem

SAE = siamese algae eaters

Also i found this...
Siamese algae eater = real Siamese algae eater = SAE = Crossocheilus siamensis

False Siamese algae eater = Siamese algae eater = Thai flying fox = Siamese flying fox = colourful flying fox = false SAE = Epalzeorhynchos sp. or Garra taeniata (they do not know)

Flying fox = trunk barb = Epalzeorhychos kalopterus

Chinese algae eater = algae eater = Chinese catfish (not a catfish) = Indian algae eater = CAE = Gyrinocheilus aymonieri


And if you want more info, this is the site i got it from.

Posted by searlesy
Re: algae problem

Thanks mate, appreaciate the info I have never been one to know a lot of scientific names, but over the last few months, I have come to realise how useful and helpful they are!

Posted by MagicaDiSpell
Re: algae problem

Are you fertilising your tank in any way? If not you might want to consider adding some plant supplements, and maybe even some C02. One of my tanks is exposed to sunlight to several hours a day, and has lights on from 7 am to midnight. I don't have any algae growing in that tank.

Posted by searlesy
Re: algae problem

I think I might give that a go, I thought that would make the algae problem worse, but from what people are telling me, it will have the opposite effect.

Posted by MagicaDiSpell
Re: algae problem

You would only make the algae problem worse if you added nitrates and phosphates to your water. So be sure to get a plant supplement from your LFS rather than your nursery, because those fertilisers are very high in nitrate and phosphates and will cause algal blooms.

Posted by searlesy
Suggestions?

Thanks for the tip, do you recommend any particular product? Any hints would be appreciated, as I don't know anything about fertilising aquarium plants..

Posted by MagicaDiSpell
Re: algae problem

I use Seachem Flourish and Flourish Iron (hideously expensive, but good and handy), but there are recipes for PMDD (poor man's Dupla drops) on the internet, if you have the time and inclination to tinker around with your own mix.


Black Hair Algae


Index

Posted by ajk
Getting rid of black hair algae!

Hey,

Does anyone have any ideas how to get rid of or stop this annoying stuff. It gets over everything.
I have to be careful treating with medication as i have clown loaches and ghost knife.

Thanks in advance.

Posted by kevkoi
Re: Getting rid of black hair algae!

Get a phosphate remover of some sort, do a large water change and add some true siamese algae eaters, couple of rosy barbs and that should help control the hairy black stuff.

Posted by MagicaDiSpell
Re: Getting rid of black hair algae!

Otherwise, keep up with the water changes, reduce feeding at least for a little while, and introduce some plants that you provide with enough light, and nutrients (from the LFS not the nursery!!!!) and your bearded algae should be a thing of the past.

They are an indication of extremely high nitrate levels in the water. So, that is what you really want to target.

Posted by PHL0703
Re: Getting rid of black hair algae!

The algae is a sign that things are not in balance. Is it a planted tank? If so, there might be a shortage of some critical nutrient that is stopping the plants from growing well, and allows the algae to thrive. Common thought is an excess of phosphate, which can be due to insufficient nitrate (in a heavily planted tank with CO2); I certainly had more algae when my N was 0 (as in Ammonia 0, Nitirite 0, Nitrate 0), which went away when I added Potassium Nitrate (I was already dosing with Flourish and Flourish Fe).

Certainly Siamese Flying Foxes (AKA Siamese Algae Eaters) are helpful in the control of hair algae, as some will still occur in a balanced tank, but much less.

Posted by burundi 6 bar
Re: Getting rid of black hair algae!

Id have to disagree with lack of water changes being contributing factor.
I have a 6ft display tank [as seen with rostratus in my advert] its a little over stocked just now ,but gets a huge amount of water changes to compensate for that.
The tank hasn't been planted for too long , but i have seen on edge of leaves the black hair starting to show up already.
Posted by MagicaDiSpell
Re: Getting rid of black hair algae!

Darryl (burundi 6 bar),

What do you use to change water? Is it tap water or tank water? Have you ever checked the nitrate content of the water you use for water changes. I notice that you are in Adelaide. It is quite possible that your tap water contains nitrates.

You also mention that the tank was set up recently, that may have something to do with it. Reportedly, new tank syndrome in plant terms lasts about 6 months.

Posted by PHL0703
Re: Getting rid of black hair algae!

I have to agree with Darryl; water changes alone will not get rid of hair algae. As I said, I suspect it is more the balance, as for a couple of my tanks, I don't change the water that frequently, perhaps every 2-3 weeks, and there is no problem with algae. But they are both very heavily planted.

Posted by MagicaDiSpell
Re: Getting rid of black hair algae!

You must have misunderstood. You are correct, water changes will only solve the problem, if you are doing them very very often. Otherwise, balance in all things is always wise.

And, Darryl, I just had another thought. Are you adding enough plant supplements and/or CO2 to the tank. The nitrates can only be removed successfully by the plants, if all other necessary elements for plant growth are present as well.

Posted by efc
Re: Getting rid of black hair algae!

Is this stuff bad for your fish? I have a Tanganyikan tank with plenty of Syno. Multis, will they do anything.

Also I was wondering if Tropheus eat it.

Posted by PHL0703
Re: Getting rid of black hair algae!

No they are not, just unsightly. Some fish do eat them, but the best ones are Siamese Flying Foxes.

Posted by goosmurf
Where to buy SAE in Sydney?

I also have this evil black bearded algae problem.

Have tried to find SAE but the 5 or so aquarium shops that I have rung do not have them.

Can anyone recommend a shop in Sydney which does sell them?

Posted by fozzi wozzi
re: SAE

Hi Monaco are the cheapest that I know of they sell them for $3 each however do not always stock them.

Auburn aquariums stock them all the time i think they are $9 or 4 for $32

Posted by PHL0703
Re: re: SAE

There was recently a shortage, but Aquapets at Bondi Junction, in addition to Auburn as stated earlier, should have them.

Posted by YeW2001
Re: Getting rid of black hair algae!

Make sure you get the REAL Siamese algae eater.

See information at: thekrib.com

Posted by PHL0703
Re: Getting rid of black hair algae!

I'll second that; the normal flying foxes don't eat the algae, and the Chinese Algae Eater will attack fish when it gets larger.

Look for transparent dorsal fins, and non-sucker mouth, with two barbels on either side of the mouth. Actually once you see one, you'll know what to look for.


Peppermint Bristlenose


Index

Posted by gaz81
Peppermint BN

I have just bought a couple of small Peppermint BN and was wondering if there is anything I need to do to keep them happy and healthy other than what i do with regular BN.

Posted by cichlids rock
Re: Peppermint BN

I feed them zucchini, spirulina wafers and flake, tropical flake, pellets, bloodworm etc. All the things that a normal bn will eat. They are not fussy.

Posted by motor fishman
Re: Peppermint BN

I bought three babies at the auction the other night and put them with my electric yellow fry do you think they will be alright the electric yellows are three to six cm any help?

Posted by cichlids rock
Re: Peppermint BN

Depending on the size of the peppermints (I am assuming they are at least 3cm in size) they should be fine with the electric yellow fry. They are one of the more peaceful africans, but still watch the tank for any potential fin nippers that may harm the peps!

Posted by motor fishman
Re: Peppermint BN

thank you for your reply to my question, ive got another one for those same fish in that fry tank at this time i am changing fifty percent of the water as well and have shells to in crease ph will this harm my pepper mint bristle nose babies I've done it already for two weeks and they still look healthy.

Posted by starreys
Re: Peppermint BN

isn't a 50% water change too much at least i would have thought so i have only been doing a 20% water change on my bristlenose fry tank which also houses 2 peppermints.

Posted by motor fishman
Re: Peppermint BN

I don't know you think it's too much the tanks got e yellows and e blues in it as well and they are doing fine and a hang on filter that get blocked and cleaned every two days???

Posted by starreys
Re: Peppermint BN

well it was just my opinion or personal observation not intended as a criticism.

Posted by motor fishman
Re: Peppermint BN

please don't take offence i need any info yours is welcome thank you

Posted by starreys
Re: Peppermint BN

none taken, I don't know all that much either ,just what i hear from others on how they look after their fish and what i read, other then that im pretty much a novice.

Posted by Molly Man
Re: Peppermint BN

gaz, I guess if they look happy and are healthy all is good, however, if you want to mimic there own biotype for optimum growth, colouration & health they need the opposite to what they have now, as I imagine your pH and alkalinity is higher then neutral... this is not some written rule or anything, and as I say, if they look ok, leave them be...

Courtesy of Yann, moderator at PlanetCatfish.com:
Well the typical natural biotop would be a tank with fine light coloured sand, a lot of diftwood, little or no plants, and black water. Lighting which is not strong but rather low. A filter that will create a little current but not a strong one. T around 27-28c/ ~80F, pH 4.5-6.8

hope this helps in some way, if not at least gives you an idea for a new biotype tank...

Posted by motor fishman
Re: Peppermint BN

thank you that's a great idea I'll put some drift wood in that tank for the little guys
cheers

Posted by PHL0703
Re: Peppermint BN

Driftwood is a very good idea; apparently they need the cellulose. They also like a hidey hole, so if possible, get a holey piece of wood.

Posted by Link 2 Hell
Re: Peppermint BN

Hi All
Just my observations on these fish
for breeding and the raising of fry to what I consider the safe point (2.5cm size) I feel neutral water that is softish >5dkH is the way to go
Once they are around 3cm+ they can live quite happily in high pH water (> 7.5pH), some keep them in harder/higher pH water with no probs, but these are my preferences

I have found mine prefer rock and cave structure to wood but it's a decision for the fish Check the PCS site for the Aust Catfish and Loach forum it has the best thread on Peppermints I have see published yet
Ancistrus hoplogenys spawn chronology. (Large pics)

Posted by Beagly
Re: Peppermint BN

G'day

Regarding 50% water changes. This amount of water should only be changed due to some emergency within the tank.

A better way of changing this amount of water is to change 25% twice a week.

My reasons are:
You minimise the change in water parameters.
You minimise the disturbance to the bacteria within the tank.
You minimise the temperature changes.
It is closer to the way that water would be changed in nature, i.e. slowly.

A lot of people do follow the 50% water change routine, however I have found it to be stressful to the fish and in one case absolutely disastrous to the fish within the tank.

Personally I change about 30-35% of the water in my fry tanks once a week. If the tank becomes overstocked then I separate the fry into other tanks.

By the way my peppermints are in a pH 6.5 - 7.0 4ft tank that is housing some Jurupari that I am also growing.

I do not want to get into a war over this subject. I am merely voicing an opinion on what I have found works well for me and the reasons why I do it this way.


Posted by gswalker
Peppermints Any information at all?

I have tried to find information on the peppermint bristlenose and I cant find anything at all does anyone know any good articles or anything at all?

Posted by Link 2 Hell
Re: Any information at all?

Read through this article from Planet Catfish
Suckermouth Catfish from the Ancistrine Group

Posted by gswalker
Re: Any information at all?

thanks link but i cant find anything on peppermints

Posted by mtchye
Re: Any information at all?

Damn frames! Try these:

www.planetcatfish.com/ico...inae01.htm

Perth Cichlid Society Forums

Posted by Link 2 Hell
Re: Any information at all?

Check the Aust Catfish and Loach forum on the Perth Cichlid Society Forums click the link in mtchye's post above
Some good pics on them breeding

Posted by Alan Caboolture
Re: Any information at all?

Those guys on the left hand side of Australia seem to be doing things right. Some pretty impressive results with peppermints.


Sea Monkeys


Index

Posted by ezat
Sea Monkeys?

Just speaking with a friend of mine,

he said his breeding sea monkeys. Ive never heard of them.

Can someone enlighten us? Perhaps a pic?

*_*

Posted by ducksta
Re: Sea monkeys?

Brine Shrimp. Its what the uneducated call them, and seem to think they are interesting enough to not be fish food...

Posted by ezat
Re: Sea monkeys?

Thank you Mr Duck,

easy to breed? Seems this way......

any pointers on how to get it going? . Sounds good to have fresh brine shrip than frozen stuff.

Heard that you can get a kit of some sort to get one going!

regs,
ezat

*_*

Posted by ducksta
Re: Sea monkeys?

I doubt he is "breeding" them. Rather he'd be buying eggs at a ridiculous price. Look for info on making a brine shrimp hatchery in the forum FAQ then you just buy eggs, hatch em and feed em.

Posted by Willy wombat
Re: Sea monkeys?

Sea Monkeys - A bad fad!

But dont underestimate the power of marketing in today's society people. There is even a sea monkey game for the playstation...

Posted by lonezomebetta
Re: Sea monkeys?

AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH THEY ARE TAKING OVER!!!!

Richard

Posted by cichlid idiot
Re: Sea monkeys?

Wow, seeing that pic brings back memories. I first saw an ad for see monkeys in an old (new then) comic book about 25 years ago. lol

peter

Posted by DLDingo
Sea monkeys?

They are taking over, you should see their website...
www.sea-monkeys.com (been yrs since I looked at it) Lots of gadjets, They even have a travel key ring thingy
My sister bought some very expensive kits from the toyshop for her kids, I could have given her stacks of eggs, but she said the shop told her they are a "special" breed of Artemia, not brine shrimp exactly???, grow bigger or something, she's also brainwashed into thinking they need the special sea monkey food too!!
The kids seem to get a lot of fun out of them though and are now wanting a fish tank for Christmas.
I've had a good look at them and they do seem to grow pretty fast, You can see the adults carrying eggs and breed in the little containers, but there's only around 10 adults at any one time - not enough to feed to anything.

I think they are a great little kit for kids, and easy to set up and maintain but way too expensive if you continue with the "special" food/water conditioner/gadjets.

Dianna(Central Coast)
Edit: found the link, don't let your kids look at it, it's hard to resist the hype

Posted by Pierced Soul
Re: Sea monkeys?

Yeah I used to bug my parents after seeing ads in comic books. Brine shrimp arent exactly easy to breed, maybe also because I've never used proper salt or paid any attention to specific gravity or pH........ if you type in how to breed brine shrimp on the net there will be hundreds of people telling you its not worth it and too difficult...

Posted by Harward
Re: Sea monkeys?

hahahahaha, i had some of them years ago, long before i got my first fish tank. They were pretty cool, giving them light or darkness made them spin around and stuff, they were fun until a couple of cockroaches got into the container they were in...........funnily enough they didn't like that and died.


Bogwood


Index

Posted by Shark Biscuit
Where do you get BOGWOOD?

I have some bristlenose catfish and almost every article I read speaks of the need of bogwood. Could anyone tell me where I can buy some?
I live in Wollongong but travel to Sydney every few weeks, so either location would be fine to buy from.

If it is not essential to have bogwood, could someone please tell me a suitable substitute?

Posted by Link 2 Hell
Re: Where do you get BOGWOOD?

Most LFS sell some form of wood
the better one locally I feel is mangrove
remember to wash and soak it, some pieces may need to be boiled if you don't like the idea of tannins leaching and turning the water a bit yellow

Posted by PHL0703
Re: Where do you get BOGWOOD?

It's really a case of keep looking until you find what you like; I'm usually on the lookout for nice pieces that I can do something with. No one store has the "right" piece all the time, and what's right for you may not be right for me.

Posted by nazm
Re: Where do you get BOGWOOD?

Bear in mind, a lot of the LFS refer to it as driftwood. Expensive stuff if bought through them, but essential for b/n.

Posted by PHL0703
Re: Where do you get BOGWOOD?

I don't think it really matters, except driftwood probably would not leach as much tannins, and are usually lighter in colour. I've found that most bogwood (mangrove I suspect) will need a good scrubbing as those I've got invariably has a coating of mud (of varying thickness).

Posted by searlesy
Re: Where do you get BOGWOOD?

You would be surprised how much driftwood leaches tannins. I collect some off the beach occasionally, and it is very light in colour when dry on the sand, almost white sometimes, but within a day of sticking it in a tub of water, the water is a nice tea colour. I had some n a tank with a silver perch for over a year, fresh off the sand, and with monthly water changes of about 50%, the wood was still leaching tannins.

Posted by Cichlids au
Re: Where do you get BOGWOOD?

You know the well-rotted stuff on driftwood that Bristlenose love so much? Well bogwood is about 80% that stuff. I have not been able to find anywhere in Sydney that sells it.

I source my own from a swamp I know. (When I can be bothered)

Posted by akdod
Re: Where do you get BOGWOOD?

i get my wood from the beach and soak it for about 2 weeks before putting it in with my bristlenose. However i also have one large stump in my tank at present that i bought from my lfs for a reasonable price.


Lighting for Plants


Index

Posted by searlesy
Lighting for plants

This is not something I am too worried about, but thought I would ask anyway.. In a 3 foot community tank, I have a heap of Java moss, a large lump of wood covered in bolbitus, and a recent addition of some wood with a large clump of anubias. Before the anubias I was just running a single 10000k tube in a white reflector, and the plants have been thriving, and when I bought the anubias I also added another polished aluminium reflector with the same tube for some extra lighting. Does this amount of lighting sound suitable for my plants (not considering they have been growing like crazy for a year), and if so, will the extra light harm the Java moss, or will it still be low enough light but be enough to make it go nuts and take over the tank even more? The tank hardly ever needs cleaning the algae off the glass.

Not that this is too relevant, but the tank contains 2 marble angels, 2 black line rainbows, a glass tetra (very nervous), a silver shark (small), a platinum gourami, an eel tail catfish, a suicidal killfish (panchax of some kind?) and an upside down catfish.

Posted by hungsta
Re: Lighting for plants

java moss and anubias are low light plants and do fine with 2 light imo...
they are 2x 30w tubes is that right???
Have u considered some co2 and fertiliser?

Posted by searlesy
Re: Lighting for plants

I had thought about the CO2 and fertilzer, but I dont really see the point. Just with a single flouro, the Java moss needed harvesting every couple of months, and the bolbitus is spreading really quickly. I have only had the anubias for a week, so I will have to see how they go, but if the growth of the other plants is anything to go by, then I dont think I will need any growth aids.

Yep, they are both 30w tubes.

Posted by hungsta
Re: Lighting for plants

just for comparison.. my anubias nana and java moss is doing great in a 2ft with with absolutely no light and they are fine.... just grow a bit slower but the leaves are relatively the same size

Posted by searlesy
Re: Lighting for plants

Thanks hungsta, I will see how they go with the 2 tubes, the tank looks a little nicer with the 2 tubes, and I am sure the plants wont complain. I honestly don't think I could get too much better growth with fertiliser and CO2.

Posted by YeW2001
Re: Lighting for plants

Hi -

I suspect greater light intensity will = greater growth in java moss. I am growing mine outdoors under 50% shade cloth - which is still pretty bright!

It grows like a rocket ;). So I think you'll simply find that your plants grow quicker (it won't harm them).

Posted by searlesy
Re: Lighting for plants

The Java moss is great, even in the last week, as you said, the growth has been visible, whereas normally it takes a while to see it spread. About 3/4 of the substrate is covered with Java Moss, at a depth of about 6 to 8 inches and very dense. I was worried about it choking the bolbitus, but it doesn't seem to be doing any harm.

How do you keep the algae out of the outdoors tank under shade cloth? I have a tank on my veranda surrounded by matchstick blinds, and I am continually cleaning out a bright green slimy algae off the plants and glass.

Posted by YeW2001
Re: Lighting for plants

In 50% shade I dont have algal troubles - but there are no fish in the tubs with the java moss.

Posted by mtchye
Re: Lighting for plants

Hi guys,

I honestly believe ALL planted setups will benefit from CO2. Even though slow growing plants can do well without it, they always do better WITH it.

Algae problems disappear when your plants grow fast enough to out compete them for nutrients. I would fill a tank with water sprite, add co2, and balanced nutrients, and though its counterintuitive to add nutrients to a tank with algae, the good growth of the plants will actually reduce/eliminate the algae. There have been a few reasons proposed for this, including better algae ability to thrive with a nutrient imbalance, and possible allelopathic chemicals released by certain plants, but anyway in practice it works!

Give it a try, most ppl who supplement co2 never look back..

Posted by searlesy
Re: Lighting for plants

The tank on my veranda may perhaps benefit from CO2, but my 3 foot planted tank is fine, I wouldn't want any more growth from the plants, would become a pain in the butt, I don't get any algae growth at all in the tank atm.

Posted by mtchye
Re: Lighting for plants

Yes of course you are right searlsy! When i said all plants would benefit i forgot to take into account that fast growin equals more maintenance lol To some ppl fast growth is definitely NOT a benefit lol

Should have said benefit to plant growth

But yes, sounds like your inside tank is well balanced

Posted by searlesy
Re: Lighting for plants

Actually, now that you mention it, extra growth wouldnt go astray, it would give me the oportunity to trade plants if I can get things moving along. You have almost talked me into it!

So if I set up a CO2 system, will this affect my fish, and will it cause extra algal growth, or as you said, will it make the plants take the nutrients out of the water more effectively, therefore out competing the algae?

Posted by mtchye
Re: Lighting for plants

OK, firstly, there are many good guides on this at thekrib and other such sites.

Usually when you DIY CO2 via the yeast and sugar method, there is little risk of overdosing your tank. The common sense things apply, such as watching your fish for signs of respiratory distress in the first few days of putting it on, and monitoring the pH. CO2 can affect the pH as it complexes as carbonic acid in water, so, higher co2 levels bring pH levels down. The extent of this effect is dependant on the KH of your water, so if your kH is low, you can just add 1 tsp of sodium bicarbonate to buffer your water so that the added co2 does not change your pH much. Like i said before, most of these concerns are for ppl using pressurised co2 gas where there is a much larger risk of overdose, so don't let these concerns put you off..

I doubt it will cause any extra algae growth. However, you may actually need to supplement nutrients if your plants grow fast enough to begin to show deficiencies. In this respect I find it useful to have a fast growing plant in amongst the slow growers. By observing the deficiencies which show up much faster among the fast growers, you can keep the tank in balance, and if you accidentally overdose a little, the fast growers can quickly absorb the excess. Bear in mind though that too much fast growers and they can out compete the slower growing plants. I use riccia fluitans floating in this role, as it is easy to control the mass of it, and easy to see deficiencies.

Posted by searlesy
Re: Lighting for plants

Thanks for that, I will keep that in mind, do you think Java moss would be a good fast growing indicator?

Posted by mtchye
Re: Lighting for plants

No problem. Java moss can grow relatively quick in good conditions, however, its still considered a 'slow grower' by other plant's standards. What you can try if you don't have riccia is stem plants such as Hygrophila sp, Ceratopteris sp (water sprite), etc.. Just be diligent with your pruning or else these often take over the tank, to the detriment of your slow growers (such as anubias, java fern, bolbitis).

To give you an example, I have a 'low light' tank such as yours, its a 2x15x15, with around 45W of normal T8 fluoros over it, DIY CO2 1 2litre bottle, planted with anubias in the foreground, bolbitis attached to wood on one side, java fern 'windelov' on the other on rocks, and riccia floating. Whenever the riccia slows down in growth, or grows smaller growing points, or turns a more yellow colour, i know to up the supplements. The riccia mass is simply divided and taken out every time it gets too large... In addition, the riccia being at the surface does not take out as much of the co2, as part of the plants have atmospheric co2 available to them, this is also the reason why plants grow faster and easier emersed than submersed.


Cheap lighting


Index

Posted by hungsta
Cheap lighting...

i notice a lighting warehouse near where i live, so i would like to assemble together a 3ft double globe light..........

I have no electrical knowledge at all so can someone guide me through it and pics of lights that you have made would be great.

Posted by searlesy
Cheap lighting...

Mate, its very simple. When you buy a double flouro batten, it will cost less than $25, usually with a pair of cool white tubes, which aren't of much use for a fish tank, but fine for your house if you have a fitting. The batten wont be wired up, if you take the cover off, there will be a plastic fitting with three screw that you need to connect up to a 3 pin plug, which you can just buy a cheap extension cable and chop the end off and wire it up.

I have done this before, but I am not an electrician, if you have a mate that is a sparky, it will literally be a 5 minute job for him to show you how to do it.

Posted by hungsta
Re: Cheap lighting...

Sounds easy..
i will give it a try and im also thinking of a timer and getting some fluoro globes there too.

Any advice??

Posted by Baz
Re: Cheap lighting...

I make my own lighting reflectors from timber. They are similar size and shape to the lights you will buy from your lfs, and I just buy a domestic fitting like has already been discussed and mount it in the reflector.
I's a much cheaper option, which works much better in my experience.

Posted by fiona ls
Re: Cheap lighting...

Also sounds like it might be attractive, esp. if you stained the timber to match existing furniture/the stand. How do you get the reflector bit operating? Paint the interior white? Got any pics Glenn?

Posted by hungsta
Re: Cheap lighting...

i have done some research.....however most of the stuff i have read is related to building lights from scratch like buying ballasts, starters, end caps etc....

i have decided to buy the 3ft twin fluoro batten and attach it to the wood reflector mentioned by baz... and also have the would lined with mylar in the inside as a reflective material.

What do you guys think?????

Mylar is found in hydroponics store and looks like this....
mylar

Posted by Davo67
Re: Cheap lighting...

Hungsta,

I lined my 4x2x2 light hood with mylar and the difference in regards to the original lining (white film) was amazing. I just bought some spray on adhesive from a hardware shop (don't buy the cheap stuff, 3M is the best) and stuck it on. I got my mylar from a hydro shop at Bondi Junction for $6 a metre. The roll is about 2ft wide.

Posted by hungsta
Re: Cheap lighting...

thanx for the info dave...will add the spray on adhesive to the list...

I have been to several lighting places today and they do not carry a double fluoro batten for a 3ft... apparently it is not a very common size. Does anyone know a lighting place that has 3ft size???

Also i have seen 30w nec triphosphor tubes for $12 and nec biolux that was labelled 'for fish' and it was $15.

I also saw phillips triophosphor at $6 but they do not have 30 ones.

What do you guys recommend i do???

Oh yeah i also saw 2ft double batten for $27
and 4ft for $35.

I did see one 3ft but it wasnt a bare batten and it had a cover on it. Do you think i can buy that and remove the cover????

Questions!!!

Where to find triphosphor tubes cheap and for a 3ft light?
Where to find a double 3ft bare batten cheap?
Where did you go to get ur batten and tubes???

Posted by Baz
Re: Cheap lighting...

Hungsta:

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Where to find triphosphor tubes cheap and for a 3ft light?
Where to find a double 3ft bare batten cheap?
Where did you go to get ur batten and tubes???
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The answer to all 3 questions is an electrical wholesaler, or a lighting store.
I get mine from a shop called Shaboa but it is up here in the mountains. There are similar shops in the big smoke I am sure. Try the yellow pages.

Fiona:
Mine are currently just made from mdf, painted gloss white on the inside and sprayed matt black on the outside. They blend in well without being too much of an eyesore, but I certainly would not call them a 'feature' lol.
I am sure you could do the same thing with pine or some other timber which would look nice stained.

I am about to make a few more, using 'melamine' (i hope that it how it is spelt) which is that white laminated mdf. That way I wont need to paint the inside at all.

Posted by MagicaDiSpell
Re: Cheap lighting...

Baz,
If you are using melamine, be careful that no water (or water vapour) is splashing at it. Melamine is not very water resistant (as can be seen on my kitchen drawers that showed swelling within 6 months of being installed! Grrrrrr! And they don't get much water on them at all!). Your MDF version with lacquer is probably more water-resistant than melamine.

Posted by YeW2001
Re: Cheap lighting...

I should also add:

The official SCP response is:

Get an licensed electrician to do any/all electrical work for you.

Posted by Baz
Re: Cheap lighting...

Hi Sabine

One of my current lights is actually untreated mdf, and it's showing no signs of swelling 2 yrs down the track. I figure the melamine will just give me an extra barrier

I have glass lids on all my tanks, and am pretty careful not to splash water around. It was never planned as a long-term option, but I am surprised at how long it has lasted.

Posted by bimborocks
Re: Cheap lighting...

for anyone who is thinking of building one from scratch i would suggest using some type of exterior plywood or marine ply as it will withstand the moisture and heat much better, as well as being structurally much stronger.
just a thought

Posted by hungsta
Re: Cheap lighting...

And for anyone interested like me........

I got a 2ft double batten for $27 at bunnings villawood
Phillips 18w triphosphor was $6
30w NEC biolux was $18

At cosmo lighting punchbowl
30w nec biolux was $15
30w nec triphosphor was $12
3ft double fluoro batten was $42

If anyone has anything to add please feel free.

Posted by jamesmcsyd
Re: Cheap lighting...

Wondering if phillips make the 30W triphosphor tubes, and if so where I can get them in Sydney?

Bunnings wharehouse at Alexandria stock a lot of tubes, including the NEC triphosphor. The grow one i think is about $16

Posted by hungsta
Re: Cheap lighting...

Yeah that'll be a bargain if phillips have 30w.

Also i got mylar at accent hydroponics Revesby, 5m x2m for $15


CLown Loach White Spot


Index

Posted by MoliroMan
Clown Loach White Spot!!!!

What is the best treatment for white spot on Clown Loaches?

Posted by starreys
Re: Clown Loach White Spot!!!!

Ickones by Aquasonic is what i used a long time ago when i had ick in a tank containing clown loaches its quite safe to use if u have scaleless catfishes or loaches.

Posted by The Cichlid Man
Re: Clown Loach White Spot!!!!

Turn your heater up to about 29-30 Deg and make sure you have an airpump on to keep the tank well oxygenated. I would use Waterlife Protozin or Wardley Ickaway. But be very careful with the medications as clown loaches are very sensitive to them. I would recommend doing small doses.
Good Luck