Anyone else into aquariums here?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by PatrickM, Oct 22, 2001.

  1. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    I recently started an aquarium again. A small one, 10 gallons, for my son who just turned two. I had a bigger one before and so did my wife but neither of us were really ever big aquarium/fish people.
    So, this time I decided I'd do it right and read up on how to setup an aquarium. You can sure find everything you need to know on the internet. Who says the internet is only good for porn and shopping?
    Anyway, its been seven weeks and my aquarium is finally cycled and at equilibrium. Low ammonia, low nitrite, medium level of nitrate and a pH of 7.0 with no casualties including the starter fish. Its actually nice to know that it isn't likely that I'll have fish die and not know why given that I have 4 different testers for the water and lot more knowledge about what to look for and to care for.
    For reference, the tank is basically full now and I have:
    1 Zebra Danio
    2 Red Eye Tetras (along with the zebras these were the starter fish)
    2 Albino Corydoras
    2 Dwarf Gouramis
    1 Celebes Rainbow
    3 little Neon Tetras
    It sure is relaxing to watch them swim around.
    Patrick
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  2. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Great, it's nice to read that somebody in the aquaria world actually did research *before* getting a tank setup!!! Way too many stories of people who go whining back to the LFS (local fish store) saying my 50 fish in my 5 gallon all died about 3 weeks after setting up my $200 filter. Waaahhhhhh...
    Fishkeeping is cool, although much more work than keeping my spiders, the fish are more active than them and it's very stress relieving. (Plus, if i get pissed off at a fish, I feed them to my spiders..... JUST KIDDING!!!!.. [​IMG]
    I think there are already a bunch of us on the HTF into fish. My fish all love the Aquaria DVD18 DVD too, although my spiders are more into "The Attack of the 50foot spider" kind of movies.
    BTW, that's alot of fish in there, I'd really monitor those nitrates a bit.
    I used to have some albino corys, I named them larry bird and Dr. J cause they would every once in awhile, make a mad dash to the surface and back down... But that was when I had a 20g when I was really young.
    Jay "I love loaches" H
     
  3. Brian Mansure

    Brian Mansure Second Unit

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    Definitely good to know there are a few other aquarists/HTFers out there.
    I started out years ago with freshwater and have since then moved onto saltwater aquariums.
    My first tank was a 30 gallon community freshwater tank with 2 angel fish, 5 cardinal tetras, 1 pleco and a bala shark. I really enjoyed watching the fish in the tank for hours sometimes. It is peaceful and a wonderful stress reliever for my wife and I.
    For awhile we had the 30 gallon fresh and our current 65 gallon saltwater tank but as we got more involved into keeping saltwater fish I decided to sell our freshwater tank to my brother, so now he can enjoy it.
    We've had a 65 gallon FOWLR (fish only with live rock) marine tank for 4 years now. The tank is right beside our HT setup in our finished basement. It's not a great pic but here's what our tank looked like about 2 years ago:
    [​IMG]
    I've recently considered starting up another 30 gallon fresh water community tank so that I can have one upstairs.
    I'd also like to second Jay's warning about water qaulity, be careful with that many fish in a 10 gallon. You might want to step up to a 20 or even and 30 gallon to give the fish some room to grow.
    Good luck!
    Brian
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    [Edited last by Brian Mansure on October 23, 2001 at 09:00 AM]
     
  4. Craig Chatterton

    Craig Chatterton Stunt Coordinator

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    (In Yoda Voice)"10 gallons leads to 29 gallons. 29 Gallons leads to 55 gallons. 55 gallons leads to suffering..." [​IMG]
    My favorite fish has to be Oscars. Those guys are just so adorable. They know who you are and will constantly stay on the side of the tank closest to you. You can feed them out of your hand and I've heard some people have trained them to come up to the surface so you can pet them! They get huge too (need 55 gallon at least).
    I had a nice 125 gallon Oscar tank for a while, but currently my tank is sitting in storage waiting for me to get a house. Sigh. It's an incentive to save money at least. [​IMG]
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  5. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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    That's a fair amount of fish, and some of them are schooling fish. You might get some "I'm lonely" deaths.
    Aquariums for Dummies is a wonderful starter book, BTW.
    My new aqauarium hobby is breeding bettas. :)
     
  6. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I am into the hobby, yes. I now have a small tank but have been doing research for some time into a bigger tank. Once I move, I want a 90 gallon tank and fill it with various African Cichlids, a few Red Fin Black Sharks, Clown Looches, and a couple of catfish. I know the Looches and Sharks can hold their own against the Cichlids.
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  7. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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  8. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Hey Ryan, you know that's supposed to be pl*co... [​IMG]
    Jay
     
  9. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    I'm pretty anal about the tank so I'll be watching the nitrates closely. I seem to test bi-weekly for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. And I try to do a weekly 1/3 water change to keep the levels good.
    I'm pretty sure I'll be upgrading to a bigger tank so these guys can grow. I knew I was kind of pushing the limits of the number of fish I could hold in this tank but I figured I was upgrading at some point once I got the hang of maintaining the tank.
    Hope this doesn't start a DD vs DTS type thread but what type of filters do you use for your tanks? I'm thinking for the future when I get a bigger tank.
    Patrick
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    [Edited last by PatrickM on October 23, 2001 at 11:38 AM]
     
  10. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I have 2 tanks a small 10g and a slightly bigger 20g high. I have a Whisper 1 on the 10g which is a great little filter, easy to maintain and very quiet. I have one of those new Fluval MSF 104s on the 20g, which is also quiet but harder to maintain and the flow rate doesn't seem to be that high. The aqua-stop valve on the Fluval is great, especially when you grew up with an older Fluval 202 which you had to siphon with every filter maintanance you did. The MSF line you simply shut the valve on the in/out tubes and remove the canister body. Then you do your maintanance and then reconnect the tube and power it on, no repriming necessary. Works like a charm!
    For a great canister if you have the $$ to spend is Eheim, but Fluval and Magnum also make pretty decent canister filters. I would of bought a HOT magnum which is like a canister filter that Hangs On the Tank, but I didn't have enough room behind my tank so I went with the Fluval which is under my tank. Both of these tanks are in my bedroom so they have to be quiet or else I'd return them.
    Jay
     
  11. Brian Mansure

    Brian Mansure Second Unit

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    Each different type of filter has it's place and purpose IMO.
    For a freshwater tank you could go with three popular types: Canister (bio/mechanical/chemical), underground (biological) or hang-on (biological/mechanical/chemical).
    There may be other types but these are the ones I have experience with.
    I prefer the hang-on type of filter, like the Whisper brand Jay mentioned. I think these work especially well for smaller tanks up to 55 gallons. They can be very quite and fairly easy to maintain. Tanks larger then 55 gallons, you should start looking into canister filtration. You can get hang-on filters for that size tank but it takes up alot of room. Uusually a canister filter can be placed in the stand under the tank and out of site which works well.
    I really only used an ug filter once and really didn't like it that much. Many people assume that an underground filter keeps itself and the gravel clean so therefore they don't siphon out waste and debris which could eventfully lead to an ammonia spike if not taken care of.
    Any of these filter types should work for your purposes though.
    The only one thing I suggest when deciding about which filter to purchase is turn-over rate.
    How much water can be filtered through in gallons per hour (gph). I always try to buy a filter rated for at least 10 gallons more in volume the the tank it will be used on.
    Hope some of this info helps.
    Brian
    [Edited last by Brian Mansure on October 23, 2001 at 12:29 PM]
     
  12. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I was given a 1 Gal Hexafun for my birthday last November.
    I now have 3 25Gs, 2 20Gs, 2 10Gs and the 1G. Most new tank aquisitions were to suposedly remedy fish incompatabilities (a psychotic opaline gourami who is partially responsible for my second set of fatalities).
    I bought a pair of convict cichlids. Now I have 200 of them. [​IMG]
    Current fish:
    25A: 1 opaline gourami, 5 glow lights, 2 fruity tetras (these were my first fish), 2 black neons, 9 white clouds
    25B: 1 opaline gourami, 3 neons (lots of casualties with these), 2 red eyes (from 3), 7 head and tails, 1 octo.
    25C (partitioned): 2 jewel cichilds, 2 texas cichlids, 1 T barb.
    10A: Hannibal the gourami
    10B: 40 juvenile convicts (down from over 80 as they move to the LFS)
    20A: 2 adult convicts, 70ish babies
    20B: 40 juvenile/young adults (also being sold to LFS as I can)
    1G: Betta
    Due to the high loads I have to do a lot of maintenance, and also filter heavily with UG and hang ons on the 25s, plus multiple foam filters/powerheads or bio wheels on others. I've had a few major disasters with hish casualties (I've been convicted of aquacide on more than one occasion), but also a few major successes recouperating fish.
    I can't classify my tanks as relaxing a lot of the time, as I seem to attract psychotic and aggressive fish who can't live with anyone else, then I need another tank for them. I would have a couple of 72s online if funds were available.
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  13. Todd H

    Todd H Go Dawgs!

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    I've been keeping fish since I was a small child. I recently had to sell my 55 gallon fresh because I moved into a small apartment. Man that was painful! When I find a more affordable apartment that is bigger than my current one, I'll probably go with something bigger than a 55.
    My favorite fish has to be the clown loach. Is it just me or do those things have a personality? And I remember getting a pleco one time and it outgrew my aquarium. I swear the thing got as long as my arm from my elbow to my wrist.
     
  14. Howard Williams

    Howard Williams Supporting Actor

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    I finally got rid of my 55 gallon fresh water tank. Practically gave it away. I just got tired of the maintenance.
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  15. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I'd love some clown loaches, but you need at least a couple to keep them happy, and they can grow to a foot if well cared for, plus, being wild caught they can be sensitive to being moved around. Plecos are notorious for outgrowing their tanks. I wouldn't even consider one under 200G, as they are also messy.
    Once I buy a fish, I consider them my responsibility and I can't take them back. The LFS loves me, as I have turned many a $2 fish into a $300 investment.
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  16. Derrik Draven

    Derrik Draven Supporting Actor

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    I have a 220 gallon tank, never used, not a scratch on it, already pre-drilled for an undertank wet/dry system, with a stand that was custom made from oak, for $550.
    Too bad it weighs about 300lbs empty. There's no way I can ship it. [​IMG]
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  17. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I too love Clown Loaches and I want at least 2-4 when I get a bigger tank. I would combine with a few Red Tail Sharks and the Cichlids (yeah, I like an entertaining fishtank and I'm really not into the passive fish). The one thing about the red tails and loaches is they are more susceptable to ick.
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  18. Leroy

    Leroy Second Unit

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    I've always wondered, how long do fish generally live? I've had a Pink Kisser for almost 10 years. Still going strong. I've never really been able to find any info on fish longevity.
     
  19. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Longevity varies from species to species, but is primarily dependent on the quality of water conditions and absense of stress, but genetic makeup is also critical - some fish are simply weaker than others, and unable to cope with stress. One of my jewels freaks out really easily when stressed, leading to clamped fins and quick onset of fin deterioration (and is now isolated from other fish as a result), the other seems to cope well to stress in a community.
    Captive bred fish, especially those mass bred (neons, etc) are pretty difficult to keep due to the limited gene pool they have evolved from, and are very sensitive to adverse water conditions. All fish harbor parasites and bacteria which can rapidly kill them if they are overstressed.
    A single fish in a well maintained tank may live a long time, provided they are in an environment they feel safe and happy in. I just try to do my best to keep their needs met, but even hand feeding them when they aren't well can't save a fish who has had too much.
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  20. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    Jeff, just curious, how do you hand feed a fish?
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