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Category: Tropical

Author: gemmagem (7:52 pm)
So for having my first tank for about two weeks, my glowlights have laid eggs and they have hatched. 120 ltr tank with plastic plants three tall and three bushes, with stones and other ornaments, and a sand substrate.

I managed to save the four that i have found. but one is much darker than the others im thinking this one is a guppy, (as I have them in the same tank).

the LFS was surprised that i have glowlights fry when i went to get some food for them.

Now just waiting to hope i managed to save more and the fry i have grow up nice and healthy. I have read that once they are over 1 cm long they can come out of the nursery.

How does it sound so far....
Category: Tropical

Author: Ruruo (11:37 pm)

Overall I learned so much while preparing this soil tank. The soil part was the most troublesome, because there are also so many great ways of getting it done, but nothing very definitive. This is my humble take at it:

The first thing to decide was the kind of soil I wanted to use for the substrate. From researching online, the most mentioned tried soils that worked were:

Miracle-Gro Organic Potting-Mix
John Innes No2/No3
Mineralised Topsoil

I decided against Miracle-Gro for two reasons:
1. Impossible to find. It's possible to import from overseas, it's quite expensive because of weight.
2. There's many cases, I've read, of people from people who used Miracle-Gro and found the soil to be too rich. If it's added straight into the tank without mineralizing, it will take awhile for the soil to decompose and settle while in the water. There is also an increased risk of the subtrate becoming aenrobic because of gases from decomposing.

(Quick note about mineralizing: from what I can gather, mineralizing soil is the repeated process of wetting and drying the soil to allow organic matter (such as chicken manure) in soil decompose into nutrients. It would need to be repeated 4 -5 times. When I was thinking of making this subtrate, I didn't want something that depended on this process, because it summer ended in the U.K, and nothing will dry.

I almost used John Innes No3, but didn't:
1. The soil has a high peat content (about 50%). Peat is acidic, and I've got hard water. Although it sounds good I didn't want to risk messing with the natural water chemistry (my fish and shimp has done well with the local hard water; no point fixing something that isn't broken).
2. It suffers from the same richness problem as Organic Potting mix. Some articles from aquarist planters have suggested to switch No2 instead of No3 because it is less rich and works better.

Using Topsoil:
In the end, I choose Wicks basic topsoil. There's a pretty cool hobbyist on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN9CC2QoIDs) who used topsoil. I came to this decision thanks to the the video and from articles I've read while researching**. From the back of the pack it seems pretty good: sterilized, and chemical-free which is a must for soil going into the tank (there's even a little caution to keep it away from chemicals and fertilizers). After bringing it back home I performed the jar test* on it, and found that a good precentage of the soil was silt, which I think is very good because a lot of riverbeds are known to be made of silt.

I spent just over a week washing, removing floating organic matter, colloidal clay and airing the soil getting it as dry as possible. It was quite fortunate that there was showers during the week, I think it helped soil mineralized a bit. When it got dry enough, I mashed it through a sieve to get larger bits and rock out.

[b[Eventually when I put the soil into the tank: [/b]
1. I considered adding Potash and Dolomite to provide extra fertilization as recommended by some articles, but also read that it wasn't necessary because hard water already contained a minerals that that is provided by those two fertilizers. The way I see it: the less chemicals the better. Anything that I don't have to add I'll not add.

2. I didn't add sphagum peat moss as it seemed to be impossible to find. I would recommend adding it, because almost every article I've read about soil set ups mentions it.

3. Was unsure about how trustworthy craft clay was. It seemed a lot of airdrying clay isn't 100% clay. The only two brands I think may work is DAS Terracotta, or the Hobbycraft basic terracotta clay, neither had a label for 100% pure clay. DAS Terracotta had mixed reviews, and Hobycraft is untried So instead, I used cat litter by SaniCat. The litter is made from 100% red molar clay, which is great. The downside is that it's scented and I had to soak an wash it for two weeks to be be confident that the scent is washed away.

If using cat litter, be sure to find one that is made from 100% clay, is non-clumping and if it's scented wash the heck out of it. Clumping litter will turn into gunk, and cat litter clay will also melt into gunk in water.

*The Soil Jar Test:
Get a timer. Get a jar with a lid.
Half fill the jar with the soil you want to use.
Add a dash of washing detergent.
Shake the heck out of that mixture.

Start the timer:
30 sec: sand
2 min: Silt
2 hours: clay
Over night/24 hours: If the water is clear, and possibly slightly tinted, no worries, it's froml organic matter, and doesn't do any harm.
If the water isn't clear then there is colloidal clay, which is tiny tiny clay particles suspended in the water via the Brownian effect, which is very bad. If there's a lot, then either be prepared to wash the water a lot or use another soil source.

I was quite fortunate that, although the Wick's soil had a lot of colloidal clay, I was able to wash it away until it was clear.

** internet bookmarks:
can post more if necessary. Many articles had reoccuring suggestions on soil:

Chemical free and steralized soil.
Red clay (good CEC - nutrition retention, and a source of iron for plants)
Sphagum peat moss (good CEC, decays to nutriets)
Potash and Dolomite - potash is needed for potassium, dolomite is a type of limestone.



Category: Tropical

Author: Ruruo (1:06 pm)
My first attempt at a planted tank with soil subtrate. I have a planted 23 l Lovefish tank from Pets@Home at the moment. Since I'm upgrading to something much larger I thought to try out using soil as substrate.

It's still at the planning and preparations stage. So far, this is what I will do:

100 l Clear Seal (30"x12"x18")
Filter: Fluval U3
Heater: Interpet Deltatherm Aquarium Heater - 150W
Lighting: n/a - personally I think the room this tank is in has decent light. The plants in my current tank have done well for over a year without additional light.

Silica sand (1/2 inch)
Gravel (1/2 inch)
1" soil* mixed with red clay**, and left over eco complete (100ml)
Handful of peat moss

* (soil will likely be either Wick's topsoil which is sterilized with no additives, john innes no3 or some form of organic potting soil. I haven't had a chance to check for option at a store yet.)
** (will also need to check stores for availabilty/appropriateness... it'll either be Hobbycraft terracotta, 100% molar clay kitty litter, or akadama bonsai soil)

So it'll have a scattering of peat moss at the very bottom, since the peat has good nutrient retention (CEC)Then I'll put the soil mx on top of the moss. Then the gravel and sand over that.
I think I need both sand and gravel as cap, because the gravel will have the weight and substance to hold the soil down and the fine sand will be good the cory cats I plan to add to this tank.

I haven't started sorting this out yet, since I've just finished researching the substrate. If anyone has suggestions le me know :)

It will get anubis, amazonian swords, dwarf sag, and java fern from my current tank. Bronze crypts and baby drarf tears looks good.


Fish this tank will definitely have:
5 Harlequin rasboras from current tank
3 Amano Shrimp from current tank
4 Cory Cats (always wanted them^^)
Malyasian Trumpet Snails to help with sifting sand

Fish I want it to have but am unsure:
1 Pearl Gourami - they're gorgeous but I've read too many conflicting articles on how best to house them. If a 100l is enough for 1 then I'd love to add this fish to the tank. Otherwise, and suggestions for a centerpiece fish?

3 swordtails - 1 male 2 females?
3 additional Harlequins?
Red Cherry Shrimp - Will the gourami eat them?

once agan suggestions welcome :)

Total fish - 16

(the large tank looks smaller because of distance... The small tank used to be where the large tank is.)
Category: Coldwater

Author: KMJMP (1:23 pm)
I started doing a fishless cycle two months ago for my 55 litre coldwater tank.I have been getting regular water checks and my ammonia is always either too high or too low. recently the guys at pets at home have said just to empty the tank and start the cycle all over again.

Before I do that does anyone know how to fix this or maybe what I am doing wrong?

I add food regularly and remove it a day or two later. I had used tetra safe start as well as tetra biological bacteria.

My results for today's water test are :
ammonia 0.50-2.0ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 5.0-20ppm
PH 7

Any advice is much appreciated.

Category: Tropical

Author: tulu68 (9:00 pm)
Hi Everybody I wonder if anyone can help.
I have a 260 litre fish tank. Using a aqua one cf 1200 external filter. I have an ornament with air stone attached and another air stone at the other end. The tank is heavily planted with real and silk plants majority real. I did have 2 filters in but took one out to start a new tank up.
Since taking the other filter out my external filter isn't doing well. Have a spray bar under the water have changed the direction of the bars one now pointing down the other facing towards the front glass. I've moved the drain basket shape fitting half way up the tank to try and catch more waste I've hoovered. Still lots floating round. Will try and post a photo. I've tried various ways of positioning the spray bar
Thanks for your help in advance.
Category: Tropical

Author: K-M (3:57 am)
Hi there everyone, for the past 6 weeks I was cycling the 60g aquarium and I have just recently started adding fish over past 3 weeks, I'm running two 70 gallon filters on it, one on each side and i have the water temperature balanced at 73 degrees Fahrenheit.

*1st Week*
2: 3" Common Goldfish
3: 2" Comet Goldfish
1: 4" Shubunkin
(All previously in 40 Gallon)

*Last Week*
2: 3" Bala Sharks
3: 1" Cory Catfish
(purchased that day)

1: 4" Weather Loach

I wanted to know if this is gonna work out if I continue to do the 20% weekly water changes plus filter cleaning monthly.
And I'm aware that almost every fish I've chosen will outgrow this tank, I was wondering how long I could sustain them all in this 60g until it becomes a blowout.

Please if you may, offer me any advice or help me out if I've made a mistake with the fish I've picked out for this aquarium.

So far other than the weather loach disappearing in the stones, all the fish are compatible and showing no signs of aggression.

I think the temperature is perfectly adequate for goldfish and Bala's, the water feels warm at the bottom and lukewarm at the top.
Category: Coldwater

Author: KendallKid (9:03 pm)
Please see the photo in Photo Gallery. I have had both these hermit crabs for about seven years. Last week one of them shed and came out with orange legs instead of red any ideas why this could happen..?
Category: Coldwater

Author: crabby platy (3:33 pm)
Hi fellow fish keepers,
I have a query regarding my platys, we have 5 girls and one boy in a 60 litre bi orb tank with fresh weed, and water quality is fine,
when we first put them in they swam around lovely, but the past 3 weeks they only swim when the room is dark , so it's hard to see them.
we have guessed it is because they are scared, but do any of you guys have any ideas to encourage them to swim around again?
Any suggestions greatly received as we have a very bare looking tank at the mo!!
Category: Marine

Author: coffeecup (5:48 pm)
Can anyone tell me how to remove the protein skimmer pump
from my nano tank It is well and truly stuck
Category: Coldwater

Author: El-Finn (11:52 pm)
Any help much appreciated!
I am one week into my tank set up which has two Pearl Scales, two small black moores and two small celestrial eyes! Alls been going well apart from Loki the pearl scale. He appears to be suffering from swim bladder & cloudy eye. He didn't look fantastic when I first bought him but of never come across the colour of pearl scale he is so I snapped him up & figured I'd keep my eye on him! In the last 3 days I have changed a fair proportion of water in the tank twice & treated this with tap safe to ensure they don't become over run with all their waste & filters working great.
I have come home tonight from my 13 hour shift to find Loki floating & cloudy eyed ( was fine last night) and Jo the celestial lookin a little flat in nature at the bott of the tank hence second water change ( changed half of my 55 L tank). I have put some de shelled pea's in for Thor & Loki (both pearl scales) & intend to take a water sample to the pet shop tomo & buy treatment for the swim bladder & cloudy eyes.
Do I need to put Loki in an isolation tank or do I maybe need to get a couple of fish into a new tank as I've got too many of the little guys in one tank? There is a good surface area, water temp is maintain at 22 degrees and the fish appear happy together....
Any help appreciated as I want a happy home for my little chaps!

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