Tropical Fish

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  • mentat 2 Mar 2005 11:41:23 5,613 posts
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    I set up a new tropical fish tank recently, and i've got a few little fish in there.

    It's time to do a partial water change, but i've still not quite figured out how to do it?

    I know there's a few fish keepers here, when you do a water change, how do you make the water you are putting into the tank the right temperature?

    I've not figured an easy way to do it thus far!
  • Madder-Max 2 Mar 2005 11:44:54 11,689 posts
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    Fill a plastic bag with the conditioned water you want to add, floatit in the tank until it reaches the same temp as the tanks existing body of water, and then release...?

    99 problems and being ginger is one

  • Deleted user 2 March 2005 11:52:09
    Madder Max wrote:
    Fill a plastic bag with the conditioned water you want to add, floatit in the tank until it reaches the same temp as the tanks existing body of water, and then release...?

    Hmm... this'll chill the main water though... Does depend on how much water you're changing though.

    Just get a 'floating themometer' thingie, fill up yer bucket 1/2 way with cold water and boil your kettle. Add the hot water until you get the right temp, add your tap-safe (I use stress-zime myself - with it's aloe vera to chill out my fish :) )... put it into the tank...

    What fish have you guys got? I have Cichlids (love my Oscar Ozzy! He's getting bug and fat now)...
  • deem 2 Mar 2005 11:54:42 31,641 posts
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  • mentat 2 Mar 2005 11:56:30 5,613 posts
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    Djini wrote:
    Madder Max wrote:
    Fill a plastic bag with the conditioned water you want to add, floatit in the tank until it reaches the same temp as the tanks existing body of water, and then release...?

    Hmm... this'll chill the main water though... Does depend on how much water you're changing though.

    Just get a 'floating themometer' thingie, fill up yer bucket 1/2 way with cold water and boil your kettle. Add the hot water until you get the right temp, add your tap-safe (I use stress-zime myself - with it's aloe vera to chill out my fish :) )... put it into the tank...

    What fish have you guys got? I have Cichlids (love my Oscar Ozzy! He's getting bug and fat now)...
    I think i'll do a quarter change, and i think it's a 70 litre tank.

    That's pretty much the way i was going to do it, but i thought there might be a better way! :)

    At the moment, i've only got 4 neon tetras and 2 sunrise platys. One of the platys (the female) is a bit plump. I thought at first it was dropsy, but it's not getting worse, so i think she might be with child. Though i'm not sure how long she'd be gestating for.

    I might get a couple more fish in a couple of weeks. Not really decided what i'm going to get. Defo want a clown loach and a red tail black shark at some point though. Also quite partial to silver sharks too.
  • Madder-Max 2 Mar 2005 11:59:55 11,689 posts
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    Once knew someone who kept sea-horses. It took weeks to get the conditions right and really high maintenance. Then the touchy lil' buggers would get ill at the slightest change...

    99 problems and being ginger is one

  • ssuellid 2 Mar 2005 12:01:05 19,141 posts
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    Are salt water systems still a nightmare or has some wonderfull technology made life easier?
  • deem 2 Mar 2005 12:05:05 31,641 posts
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  • Deleted user 2 March 2005 12:10:33
    ssuellid wrote:
    Are salt water systems still a nightmare or has some wonderfull technology made life easier?

    Still a nightmare... It's a lot easier nowadays, since they 'discovered' miricle mud (http://www.ecosystemaquarium.com/) but it's still high maintainance, and for the devoted only...

    Silver sharks and guppies and tetras? The sharks'll be very gratefull for providing them with 'live food'...

    (I had that combination, had to take the sharks back cause they ate all my neons :( )
  • pjmaybe 2 Mar 2005 12:14:54 70,676 posts
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    Weird, my silver sharks are HYOOGE and they won't touch any of the other fish. Perhaps they're gay or something and just want to live in peace and harmony.

    Odd that people are that careful about water changes. I bought one of those automatic suction things with the big blue bulb on 'em (careful! It's for the fish tank only!!) - I use this to syphon half the water out, then use it again to siphon the new water in gradually. Saves a HELL of a lot of faffing about with plastic bags full of water and testing temperatures etc (best bet is to leave the water to "stand" for a while at room temp or better still shove it in the airing cupboard for half an hour in this weather)

    Dose the water with some salt and stress coat and bob's yer uncle.

    Only problem with frequent water changes, those fucking plecs and sharks suddenly start growing massive!

    Peej
  • deem 2 Mar 2005 12:16:33 31,641 posts
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  • pjmaybe 2 Mar 2005 12:19:18 70,676 posts
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    deem wrote:
    pjmaybe wrote:


    Only problem with frequent water changes, those fucking plecs and sharks suddenly start growing massive!

    Peej

    when we moved house and we had to get our overgrown plec out of the tank, i seriously thought he was going to kill me.

    Ditto! Those bloody things are moody as hell and not exactly the easiest fish to net when you wanna move 'em. Had the same problem with mine which grew from a little baby 10cm tiddler into the 40cm behemoth that now skulks at the bottom of the tank looking for all the world like the planet's most pissed off turd!

    Peej
  • Dr.Haggard 2 Mar 2005 12:26:36 4,257 posts
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    Interesting thread, I haven't kept fish in years but I've been thinking about setting up a tank again.

    If I did I would almost certainly get the fish I've always wanted to keep (after tropical marines and Arowana, both of which are out of the question really) namely Archer Fish. Are brackish setups particularly difficult? IIRC from my fish keeping days they're not much more difficult than bog standard freshwater tropical, but I might be wrong.
  • mentat 2 Mar 2005 12:44:21 5,613 posts
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    i think you were just unlucky Djini,
    silver sharks are quite placid, and shouldn't normally eat small fish.

    I guess it may depend how big they get though.
  • mentat 2 Mar 2005 12:45:42 5,613 posts
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    Dr.Haggard wrote:
    Interesting thread, I haven't kept fish in years but I've been thinking about setting up a tank again.

    If I did I would almost certainly get the fish I've always wanted to keep (after tropical marines and Arowana, both of which are out of the question really) namely Archer Fish. Are brackish setups particularly difficult? IIRC from my fish keeping days they're not much more difficult than bog standard freshwater tropical, but I might be wrong.

    Nah, brackish just means you need different stuff in the water - i don't remember off the top of my head, but i think it means it's softer water? If you use stuff like bog wood and stuff that should make it brackish. Though that's from my rather poor memory.
  • pjmaybe 2 Mar 2005 12:49:08 70,676 posts
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    Yup - Usually get some very well cleaned bogwood, and keep plenty of plants in there for a brackish environment. Only drawback is with these type of setups you do get a lot of algae build up.

    Best bet for brackish setups is fine builders sand in the bottom of the tank (which will absorb a lot of the plant material and won't promote algae growth) - Boil the sand in water before using it to kill the bugs.

    Peej
  • mentat 2 Mar 2005 12:57:03 5,613 posts
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    pjmaybe wrote:
    Yup - Usually get some very well cleaned bogwood, and keep plenty of plants in there for a brackish environment. Only drawback is with these type of setups you do get a lot of algae build up.

    Best bet for brackish setups is fine builders sand in the bottom of the tank (which will absorb a lot of the plant material and won't promote algae growth) - Boil the sand in water before using it to kill the bugs.

    Peej
    Cos i've got a new tank there's a massive algae bloom in it at the moment, got any suggestions about keeping it under control? I know it will settle down, but it looks a bit manky at the mo.
  • jiroczech 2 Mar 2005 12:57:52 2,669 posts
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    Everytime we put plants in our tank they get savaged by the fish. Within a couple of weeks they've uprooted most of them and nibbled the rest to pieces. Pain in the arse, cos you think you've got the tank looking nice and the wee bastards trash the place.

    Best 'fish' we've got is a japanese shrimp/prawn thing. He's ace.
  • fergal_oc 2 Mar 2005 13:30:08 2,764 posts
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    How spooky, I was going to start a tropical fish/aquarium thread later on this week.

    Water changes....no more than 10-15% is best it would appear. I tend to use a watering can, I leave it in the house for a bit to warm up and then use the sprinker end to drop the water in slowly. I've only got a small tank (2ft x 1ft) so it's almost perfect size for my water changes.

    At present I have:

    1 guppy (left over from original batch)
    10 neon tetras
    1 corydoras juilie, other two got eaten by the....
    3 pakistani loaches

    My problem at the mo is my plants. When I had the tank bought for me last year it had a crappy plastic hood with only enough room for 1 small bulb. A month ago I bought a new hood and 2 24" tubes. It's made the tank look amazing but had increased the nasty stringy aglae growth ten fold. Now I know that an introduction of CO2 will slowly kill off this particular oxygen loving algae but I'm not sure which one to get and don't want to have to spend a lot of money - sub £30 - does anyone have one of these CO2 bulb shaped things in their tanks?

  • Dr.Haggard 2 Mar 2005 13:32:19 4,257 posts
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    mentat wrote:
    Nah, brackish just means you need different stuff in the water - i don't remember off the top of my head, but i think it means it's softer water?
    'Brackish' means the slightly saline water found in estuaries.

    Thanks for the tips chaps. I've always fancied keeping Archer fish (and perhaps freshwater puffers, which afaik prefer a brackish environment). I wonder if captive Archer fish can be persuaded to shoot down live insects (if you can manage to get them inside the tank hood!).
  • pjmaybe 2 Mar 2005 14:02:28 70,676 posts
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    mentat wrote:
    pjmaybe wrote:
    Yup - Usually get some very well cleaned bogwood, and keep plenty of plants in there for a brackish environment. Only drawback is with these type of setups you do get a lot of algae build up.

    Best bet for brackish setups is fine builders sand in the bottom of the tank (which will absorb a lot of the plant material and won't promote algae growth) - Boil the sand in water before using it to kill the bugs.

    Peej
    Cos i've got a new tank there's a massive algae bloom in it at the moment, got any suggestions about keeping it under control? I know it will settle down, but it looks a bit manky at the mo.

    Whatever you do, don't be tempted to use any of those crappy water-clearing / algae clearing chemicals - they just do not work and can end up giving your fish nasty skin probs.

    What feed are you using?

    Peej
  • mentat 2 Mar 2005 14:12:58 5,613 posts
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    i don't remember pj.
    It's a tetramin one i think.
    looks like bacon bits. Low 'waste' food.
  • pjmaybe 2 Mar 2005 14:16:35 70,676 posts
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    Hmmm you're using the right feed. Those slow-dissolving pellets are horrible because when they DO dissolve you might as well just dump a whole ton of duckweed in your tank...;)

    Do you have lots of plants in there? If so, what sort (leafy reed-type stuff or oxygenating plants will promote algae growth)

    Other than that, what sort of filter are you using? (Foam/Charcoal impregnated etc)

    Peej

  • mentat 2 Mar 2005 14:29:25 5,613 posts
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    pjmaybe wrote:
    Hmmm you're using the right feed. Those slow-dissolving pellets are horrible because when they DO dissolve you might as well just dump a whole ton of duckweed in your tank...;)

    Do you have lots of plants in there? If so, what sort (leafy reed-type stuff or oxygenating plants will promote algae growth)

    Other than that, what sort of filter are you using? (Foam/Charcoal impregnated etc)

    Peej

    There's not lots of plants in there. let me see. There's two bunches of a long spiky grass type thing, two bunches of a bigger leafy plant, and two little small green leafy plants that are more like succulents - thick leaves, grow best on bog wood. I'm afraid i can't remember the names of any of them.

    The filter's a four stage - activated carbon, through two stages of sponge filter, then a ceramic filled filter pump.
  • happytechie 2 Mar 2005 15:13:38 1 posts
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    I've had a few tropical freshwater tanks for years, I've found the best way to cut down on algae growth is just to reduce the light in the tank. I use one sun glo 24" and one power glo 24" the lights are only on for 7 hours or so a day 1pm -> 9pm iirc

    I've found this is better than turning them on in the am when you leave for work and off when you go to bed. I do have them on a timer which helps.

    HT
  • pjmaybe 2 Mar 2005 15:18:51 70,676 posts
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    Yup would agree about the light, also if the tank's anywhere near a window that'll promote algae growth.

    Plants sound OK Mentat, as does the filter.

    Peej
  • mentat 2 Mar 2005 15:56:05 5,613 posts
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    pjmaybe wrote:
    Yup would agree about the light, also if the tank's anywhere near a window that'll promote algae growth.

    Plants sound OK Mentat, as does the filter.

    Peej

    Problem with turning the light off though is that the plants will obviously suffer through lack of light... :/

    The tank's at the other end of the room from the window and doesn't get any direct sun on it or anything.
  • Deleted user 2 March 2005 15:59:33
    Oh and keep an eye out for a 'Royal Plec'... they are geogeous!

    They cost a fair bit mind you (£50 for a 'baby one')...
    Link with pic

    they are south american and they stay quite small (for a plec)...
  • mentat 2 Mar 2005 16:12:58 5,613 posts
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    Djini wrote:
    Oh and keep an eye out for a 'Royal Plec'... they are geogeous!

    They cost a fair bit mind you (£50 for a 'baby one')...
    Link with pic

    they are south american and they stay quite small (for a plec)...

    nice!
    i shall certainly be getting a plec of some sort or other.
  • pjmaybe 2 Mar 2005 16:17:41 70,676 posts
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    That's a beaut.

    Mentat, you're doing all the right things - so no idea why you're getting algae probs...

    One more stab - have a go at lowering the temperature and if the light's on a separate mains feed get one of those cheapo mains timers that switch on and off a couple of times a day and program it to switch the light off for say half an hour every 4 hours...

    If you're going to get a plec get a baby one, it's quite amazing watching the little sods grow from a tiny tank-scraper to a titanic nautilus of a beast!

    Peej

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