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DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 17/9/2012 12:13
Re: Set up tank!! #81
You'll need something about twice as big as you currently have- ideally bigger for a pair of goldfish. Common goldfish are really pond fish, and while fancies like Orandas don't get as big, they're pretty big too, and produce huge amounts of waste.

Additionally most fish do most of their growing in their first couple of years, so you'll need to upgrade your tank sooner rather than later.

The sachet you got with the tank is probably dechlorinator, but you'll need a bottle anyway. Most people here use Seachem's Prime, but there are lots of brands available- they're all basically the same, and vary in concentration. Prime is very concentrated, and you will need a syringe to measure it out. Most are rather weaker and usually work out at about a capful per bucket.

Don't worry about the wood- if you have hard water then the effect of the tannins leaching out of the wood will be minimal. Soaking the wood will help it sink, although that can take months, depending on the type of wood. It will help get rid of the tannins which can stain your water a nice tea colour (great for the look of some tropical tanks). It won't make any difference to the goldfish to be honest.

Right now your tank is not ready for fish. You will need to perform a fishless cycle. Buy some ammonia from your local hardware store (Jeyes Kleenoff or Homebase's own brand are pretty easy to find) and an oral syringe from your chemist to dose the tank. You'll need a water testing kit (most of us use the API Freshwater Master, but there are Tetra and Nutrafin versions, and they're all about the same price and do the same job). Test for ammonia daily, topping up as required, and after a week and a half or so you should start seeing nitrites appear, rising to a peak, and then dropping to zero. When your ammonia and nitrites both read zero after 12 hours your nitrates will be through the roof (they're the end product of a cycle, and can't be removed bacterially in a freshwater aquarium, but they're not nearly so toxic, so weekly partial water changes are all that are needed to keep them under control). Do a big waterchange, and your tank will be ready for fish.

The whole process takes about 4-6 weeks, but in that time you can tweak your aquascape, get the plants off to a good start (they'll need it when the goldies arrive, as they'll get demolished pretty quickly).

I would take the plants out of the pots. Anacharis will root into the substrate, but Hornwort will not- you'll need to weigh it down as while poking in into the gravel will work with not particularly destructive fish, the goldies will pull it up pretty quickly. (They'll do the same with the Anacharis if they don't eat it, but the roots will help a bit).

If they're the only fish in the tank I wouldn't worry about keeping the bag water and tank water separate. Float the bag for 15 minutes or so for the temperatures to equalise. I usually add a bit of tank water over a further 20-30 minutes or so to equalise the pH and hardness. If they're very different then you'll need to acclimate for several hours, dripping tank water into a bucket with the fish in it.

As for whether the bag water should be allowed to enter the tank, there's a bit of dispute. The ammonia that's in the bag will be quickly processed by the filter, so I wouldn't worry about that. If you already have fish in the tank and can't quarantine them then personally I wouldn't worry either- any diseases that you introduce are likely to be already on the fish. Netting and releasing is more stressful for the fish (and difficult if they're big) than just gently tipping the bag and allowing them to swim out.
Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!


DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 16/9/2012 20:59
Re: Ideas for biorb life 60 #82
The small footprint is an issue for many of the fish people start with- neons, WCMMs, etc, while small enough for a standard 60L don't have enough space in a biorb to stretch their fins. I keep my WCMMs in a four foot tank (in a fairly large shoal) and they use the full length of it. A tank not much over a foot wide is not going to be suitable for them.

Some of the smaller microrasboras would be OK, but they really like planted tanks with plenty of vegetation to hide in, which is also difficult to achieve in a biorb.

If you want something to fit in a small space the AquaOne Aquanano 40 would be a much better choice- the filter is much better than the biorb, so you can use whatever substrate you like, and it holds about as much water as the biorb does. Its shorter and squatter, but is a much better tank, and comes in at not a lot more than the Juwels. Had they been available when I bought my cube I'd have got one- in the end I went for a bare 40cm cube (also by AquaOne), and bought the heater, lights, and filter separately.
Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!


DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 16/9/2012 20:12
Re: Ideas for biorb life 60 #83
I would not recommend the Biorbs. The filtration system is antiquated, and the tall narrow shape gives both a rather small area for swimming, and a small surface area which reduces the area for gas exchange. The rocks in the bottom are part of the filter, which means you can't replace them with sand (many bottom-living fish need sand to stop their barbels getting damaged), this also makes it unsuitable for all but a few plants- things like Java Fern which grow tied to wood or rocks, or stem plants like Hornwort which don't have proper roots anyway and just need weighing down.

You would be much better off looking at a traditional shaped tank with a similar volume- the Juwel Korall's aren't bad, although the bigger Rekord series have better filters and hoods that are easier to work with. And they're cheaper than the equivalent biorb. Most tanks like this will come with a heater (there aren't many fish I would recommend for 60L unheated tanks, but there are a few- White Cloud Mountain Minnows are an ideal starter fish for example.)

In order to recommend fish we will need to know the pH and hardness of your water. You will need to get a water testing kit to do a fishless cycle anyway, so get one and leave some water out for 24 hours for the various additives the water companies add to evaporate and that will tell you your pH. Hardness can usually be found on your water board's website.

If you have hard alkaline water then livebearers (guppies, platies, etc) would be suitable, and there are quite a few- you will have to take into account that they will breed however- if you get all males a slightly larger tank may be necessary as they can get feisty with each other. If your water is soft and acidic then there are lots of small tetras and catfish that would be suitable.

A good rule of thumb is 1cm of fish per 2L, which would give you 30cm of fish in a 60L tank, although you can usually go a bit over this as long as your maintenance is good. This would give you about 8-10 small shoaling fish in a 60L. Which, given that you need a minimum of 6 and ideally more for a shoal isn't much.

The best advice for new fishkeepers is to buy the biggest tank you can afford (and look at second hand kit, its much cheaper provided you can collect it) and be prepared to move your furniture around to fit it in.
Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!


DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 12/9/2012 17:47
Re: 260 Litre Tropical Tank- Advice needed. #84
Glad to hear you're doing a fish-in cycle. No hard feelings I hope. With hindsight I shouldn't have been so harsh on you.

12 hours may be a bit much- you might find you get lots of algae (or you might be lucky). Lots of fishkeepers have about 10 hours of light, split over two periods- the plants don't seem to mind, but supposedly it isn't good for the algae. The fish don't seem to mind too much- setting your timer for when you're around most. Controlling algae is mostly about getting the balance right between CO2, light, and nutrients- if there's too much of one for the plants relative to the others then algae will take advantage of it.

Most easy plants won't even need a substrate- heavy root feeders like Amazon Swords and Cryptocorynes will, but Elodea, and lots of the "stem plants" will take nutrients through the leaves directly.
Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!


DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 11/9/2012 23:25
Re: Filter help please #85
If you aren't going to use the nitrate sponge then I'd consider replacing it with a Cirax one- its the Juwel equivalent of the ceramic noodles that often come in various tanks, and potentially hold more bacteria than a conventional sponge.

Pond filter floss is exactly the same thing as Juwels' poly pads. (Don't confuse this with Underworlds' "Polyfilter", which is very much more expensive, but does a very different job- its basically carbon on steroids, and will suck up all manner of nasties, and change colour so you know which you've dealt with).

I'm not familiar with the 800's filter I'm afraid, but if you can fit more than three sponges in the media baskets then do so- as an example Fluval skimped a bit on the media when I bought my external- I had plenty of space in the baskets for lots of extra ceramic noodles. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Juwel were the same.
Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!


DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 11/9/2012 22:56
Re: 260 Litre Tropical Tank- Advice needed. #86
Quote:

dismalscientist wrote:
Dave is a very experienced fish keeper and you'd do well to listen to his advice.
Seven species over 3 years. I wouldn't describe myself as being "very experienced", but I'd like to think I've got a good handle on the basics.
Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!


DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 11/9/2012 22:52
Re: 260 Litre Tropical Tank- Advice needed. #87
I am not certain that the fish will die. I am certain that they will be harmed, if not in the long term, then certainly in the short term. Even if they survive there is a very real risk of long-term damage which is completely avoidable.

Lots of people do fish-in cycles on their first tank, and lots of people wash their filter media in untreated tapwater. And they usually stop when they're told why this is a bad idea. The only reason you're getting it in the neck is because you've already admitted that you know how to do a fishless cycle, but you can't be bothered.
Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!


DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 11/9/2012 22:45
Re: Setting up our first tropical tank, need some basic advice :) #88
Some of the mid-sized South American cichlids might be suitable. (I don't know too much about them I'm afraid). The APS tanks seem to be quite deep, so Angelfish might be an option- although anything Neon Tetra-sized will become lunch sooner or later. With many cichlids its best to add them last, and get a small group so they can pair off- unfortunately you'll often have to move the rest on.

I'm told the African Butterfly Cichlid is gregarious and pretty peaceful as cichlids go. It gets to 8cm or so, and in a 4' tank you should probably have enough space for them even if pairs start forming. The smaller African tetras would go well with them too, swimming in the midwater/surfacewater areas the tank. You could have a very nice biotope set-up.
Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!


DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 11/9/2012 22:25
Re: 260 Litre Tropical Tank- Advice needed. #89
Quote:

Sicktrickz wrote:
I do want a plec because it is a plec, I love them!
So do I. But I wouldn't ever keep a fish I couldn't provide an adequate home for. I do not have space for a 6' tank for a full grown Common Plec. So I do not own one.Quote:

It is a common plec i think,
Then the tank is too small.Quote:
And yes i will still use a syphon ofc, But catfish might help you never know,
They may eat any pellets or flake that get to the bottom. But they're big fish, so you will have to feed them directly, wafers, parboiled vegetables, etc. They won't last on a diet of leftover flake.Quote:
As for fishless cycle i say meh, Its alot of hassle,
So? I've done two fishless cycles, took four weeks or so for each, neither was remotely difficult, and that gave me plenty of time to set up the aquascape, research the fish, and build up a knowledge of what this fishkeeping lark is about. Feeding, pruning, and regular waterchanges on three tanks are far more hassle than two water tests and a squirt of ammonia. If your dad has a cycled tank, get some of his filter media to get your cycle going, and don't add any more fish.Quote:
And hard to believe that it would do harm i know all about the nitrogen cycle,
Its hard to believe lots of things. Plenty of people have a hard time with evolution. The argument from ignorance will cut no mustard with me whatsoever. There's a reason fish excrete ammonia. Its toxic to them. If it wasn't toxic they'd not have to.Quote:

But trust me after seeing my dad, You would think the same, So its got filter aid, Its been running for about a week, I think a hardly plec would be fine cycling it,
I don't. You might be lucky and there's no visible lasting damage. Or he might die. The only excuse for a fish-in cycle is ignorance. You're not ignorant. You have no excuse.Quote:

Filter aid removes harmfuls like ammonia and nitrite/nitrate?
No it doesn't. Prime will temporarily detoxify ammonia (and possibly nitrite). But the only way to remove them is to do so physically with daily water changes.Quote:
So i should be able to keep onotp,
Good luck. You'll need it.Quote:

I dont get payed until the 24th, So i cant really buy test kits right now.
You'll need to do the water changes anyway. You won't harm the fish by doing so, and you may just save their lives. I certainly wouldn't add any more fish.Quote:

Im going to my dads tomorrow so i need to know if it is okay for a common plec to be in that size tank,
Depends how big he is already, how big the tank that he's in is, how big your father's new tank will be, and if either of you are going to get something 6' long in the near future. If your tank is bigger than the replacement he'll be better off there (when its cycled). If its not he might be better off temporarily. But not for the rest of his natural life.Quote:
IF not then i wont have him, And hes gonna be subject to a big plastic container with all my other dads fish while he sells his current tank and awaits for his new one.

so if it sells before arrival of new tank then there the plec is gonna be better off with me anyway!
There's no reason why your father shouldn't say "tank to be collected after X date" when selling the tank.Quote:

I will probably take the dwarf plec as they dont grow past a certain size i think, And is much much smaller then a common plec.
A bristlenose would be an ideal size for your tank. They still need feeding their own food however- most tanks won't produce enough algae to feed them continuously.Quote:

Thoughs fishlady?

I wouldn't like to presume on what Fishlady thinks, but I think you're an irresponsible young man.
Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!


DaveGodfrey DaveGodfrey
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  • Posted on: 11/9/2012 20:41
Re: Thinking of getting a bigger tank... #90
I have the Fluval with the pipes that come through the bottom. I don't think there's anything wrong with them- I've had more leaks from the pipes on the Eheim than the Fluval. Its only the 240 that has the pipes through the bottom- none of the others do, as its the only one that comes with an external filter. Probably the most annoying thing is that the inlet and outlet are on the same side of the tank.

I don't like the internals on the larger Juwels as I'd be concerned they don't give you enough media or turnover for a 400L tank- especially as people tend to put large fish with a big bioload in that kind of thing. On the smaller ones I don't have a problem with them, they're just bulky and ugly- nothing a nice clump of vallis won't hide though.
Loaches, Barbs, Minnows & Shrimp! Oh My!



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