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Re: Hello

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  • Patrick Timlin
    Sorry for the week+ delay responding to this... PT http://faq.thekrib.com/ Lori Nice Link! I looked it over and added it to my long list of other ... Ya
    Message 1 of 27 , Feb 2, 2007
      Sorry for the week+ delay responding to this...

      PT>> http://faq.thekrib.com/

      Lori > Nice Link! I looked it over and added it to my long list of
      other
      > such sites. There's a mind boggling amount of information on the
      > 'net, and a lot of it contradicting!

      Ya that is the one thing about this hobby, lots and lots of opinions
      and viewpoints. While there are some "wrong" ways of doing some
      things, on most things, there are often no wrong ways, maybe
      unorthodox, but different things work for different people.

      The FAQ at The Krib I think are very good. There are some things in
      there I don't agree with 100%, but I don't consider them to be wrong.
      In other words, there might be something in there that says this or
      that is not a good idea and should be avoided. I may be of the
      opinion that you can do this or that if you know what you are doing,
      but certainly not doing it will avoid problems and you can not hurt
      your animals following their advice.

      But as you said, lots of contradicting info where you really do need
      to read many opinions and try to come to a concensus or make your own
      choice. Clearly if a topic is a 50/50 split on opinion, then either
      way is probably fine. If on the other hand 9 sites agree and there is
      one site that has a different opinion, well that site might simply be
      run by an idiot! :)


      Lori> But all that research is how I managed to make it
      > THROUGH my cycling w/o losing any little scaled buddies.

      Fortunately, fish are pretty hardy creatures in general, especially
      ones commonly sold in pet stores. They often can weather through a
      lot of abuse from unknowing new aquarists. What is frustrating
      though, is you often get people who insist of doing something or not
      doing something that most people would agree is one of those "wrong"
      things to do, simply because in their experience their fish have
      always been fine. This tends to be a case where the fish have dealt
      with a bad condition or survive in it and the stubborn hobbyists
      thinks their way is ideal. Or they have selective memory such as "My
      fish tank has been running for years without a single water change
      and it is doing fine" but fail to notice or realize they tend to have
      to fish out a dead fish on a weekly basis and over the course over
      every six months or so, probably have turned over the entire
      population at least one. They chalk up the weekly dead fish as "Oh,
      fish don't live long anyway" or some such self-validating statement.

      By the way, a good reason to keep a small notebook and note your
      animal purchases in it. Which fish, when you bought them, & where.
      You do lose track of how old fish are (you always tend to think you
      have had them a lot longer than you have) but also you can often spot
      trends with this info. For example, I noticed I was getting premature
      deaths in a tank I was slowly stocking more than I thought I should.
      But many of the fish were fine. When I reviewed my log of what I had
      bought, it turned out the dead fish all came from the same store,
      where as the other fish that did fine generally came from other
      stores. I was getting bad stock from this one store and once I
      stopped buying from them, I stopped getting dead fish.


      PT>> My only suggestion right now is with the Tiger Barbs. These are
      >> great fish but when kept in low numbers can start acting aggressive
      >> and nippy towards other fish

      Lori> I've in fact had the opposite problem with them. The whole
      reason
      > they are there was one of my early big mistakes. It was suggested
      > that they make a good fish to cycle the tank with, so they've been
      > with me from the beginning, but after I put the Gourami in the
      > tank, he started bullying them around something fierce. I *hadn't*
      > done enough research (or in fact even really decided) on what I was
      > going to have in there in the long run. I have since decided to
      not go
      > with the Barbs, so I've had to spend some time looking for a home
      > I'm happy with for them.

      Male gouramis can be a problem sometime. One big rule with them is
      one male gourami per tank. That your gourami is attacking the barbs
      is a bit odd, but perhaps he is a lot bigger than the barbs? Although
      if you did make the Tiger Barb community larger, like 6+ fish, I bet
      you wouldn't have much more issues. The Gourami might still go after
      them but would spread the aggression out over a lot more fish who can
      probably out swim him. But also Barbs in a larger group might be more
      confident and comfortable and not be as skitterish of the gourami.
      They may still stay out of his way, but probably wouldn't be very
      stressed by his presence.

      Your call though. If you want to find them a new home, that is
      certainly a solution. Maybe you can set up a ten gallon tank just for
      them somewhere?

      Patrick
    • Andrew
      Hello, I just joined. I live in the UK and have kept fish now for over 20 years. I ve had various types of fish over the years including goldfish, various
      Message 2 of 27 , Apr 22, 2007
        Hello, I just joined. I live in the UK and have kept fish now for over 20 years. I've had various types of fish over the years including goldfish, various types of cichlids, catfish and quite a few others. I'm actually registered blind but do have a small amount of sight, enough for me to enjoy looking at my fish. Obviously the fish I keep need to be fairly large for me to be able to see them. My favourite types of fish are fancy goldfish, angelfish, discus and any other large cichlids. I also like some of the larger catfish (plecos, etc). I was just wondering, what is veryone's oldest fish? I've got a striped talking (raphael) catfish who has been in the tank now for 19 years. Some of my plecos are also pretty old. I've got a huge sailfin who I've had now for getting on 11 years and he was pretty big when I got him so I don't know his exact age. I've also got a fish that was sold to me as a horned pleco (think from what I've been able to find out he's probably a !
        rhino pleco) who I've had for about 13 years. I lost a blue eyed pleco last year who I'd had for 10 years - he got beaten up by my buttikoferi cichlid. Anyone else got any really old fish?
      • Patrick Timlin
        ... My current oldest fish is a Silver Dollar that a friend gave me when he moved. I am not sure exactly how old it was when I got it, but estimate somewhere
        Message 3 of 27 , Apr 22, 2007
          --- In freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com, Andrew wrote:
          > I was just wondering, what is veryone's oldest fish?

          My current oldest fish is a Silver Dollar that a friend gave me when
          he moved. I am not sure exactly how old it was when I got it, but
          estimate somewhere in the 6-12 month old range. I have now had it for
          a good 12 years or so.

          Patrick
        • Eric Roberts
          We have an albino cory that is about 16 years old, giver or take a few years. I think my fiancé said it was twelve years old when we got it(as well as a 55
          Message 4 of 27 , Apr 22, 2007
            We have an albino cory that is about 16 years old, giver or take a few
            years. I think my fiancé said it was twelve years old when we got it(as
            well as a 55 gallon tank and a few other fish) from her ex-hubby and that
            was 4 years ago.



            Eric



            PS…anyone see the segment on the Lake Malawi cichlids on the Fresh Water
            episode of Discovery Channel’s Planet earth? It was pretty cool…awesome
            series, if you haven’t been following it,

            From: freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com
            [mailto:freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Patrick Timlin
            Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2007 9:13 PM
            To: freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [Freshwater Aquariums] Re: Hello



            --- In freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com
            <mailto:freshwateraquariums%40yahoogroups.com> , Andrew wrote:
            > I was just wondering, what is veryone's oldest fish?

            My current oldest fish is a Silver Dollar that a friend gave me when
            he moved. I am not sure exactly how old it was when I got it, but
            estimate somewhere in the 6-12 month old range. I have now had it for
            a good 12 years or so.

            Patrick





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • jon.charron
            I am new to the group and I am just looking into starting up a small aquarium for my two boys. We want to start small, but there are so many products out
            Message 5 of 27 , Oct 11, 2008
              I am new to the group and I am just looking into starting up a small
              aquarium for my two boys. We want to start small, but there are so
              many products out there. Anyone have anything good or bad to say about
              the biOrb aquariums? We aren't looking for anything too sophisticated,
              but something basic and interesting would be nice. We will probably
              just get some goldfish.
            • Patrick A. Timlin
              I am not familiar with biOrb aquariums but looking at their web site they seem like nothing more than larger bowls with a basic air driven sponge filter. Which
              Message 6 of 27 , Oct 13, 2008
                I am not familiar with biOrb aquariums but looking at their web site they seem like nothing more than larger bowls with a basic air driven sponge filter. Which is fine, but they seem a bit pricey for what they are.

                The problem with Goldfish is that they really need a lot more room than people commonly think. The old notion of a 1-2 gallon bowl is basically a short term death trap for a goldfish and you really should be thinking of about 10 gallon PER adult sized goldfish (most goldfish sold are far from their top size, so don't let the small size in the store fool you). At a minimum, I would not start with anything less than 5 gallons per fish.

                That said, if I was going to get a biOrb for goldfish, I would get nothing under the 8 gallon model ($129) for a SINGLE goldfish or a min of the 16 gallon model ($209) for a pair.

                While the biOrb is an interesting looking tank, you can go with a more common rectangular tank for a lot less money. 10 gallon "kits" are often available, but really I would suggest you look for a 20 gallon kit or put it together yourself. Goldfish do not need heaters so all you really need is the tank itself, a cover with light is optional (goldfish are not jumpers), and some form of filtration. You can probably put together a 20 gallon basic setup for about half the price of the 8-gallon biOrb.

                If you do like the biOrb look and want to get one, and especially if you were eyeing the smaller ones due to price, I would think about different fish than goldfish for such a tank. Depending if you want to heat the tank or not, we can make suggestions based on heated/unheated and what size you are looking at.

                Patrick Timlin

                http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/

                --- On Sat, 10/11/08, jon.charron <joncharron@...> wrote:
                From: jon.charron <joncharron@...>
                Subject: [Freshwater Aquariums] Hello
                To: freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Saturday, October 11, 2008, 1:34 PM











                I am new to the group and I am just looking into starting up a small

                aquarium for my two boys. We want to start small, but there are so

                many products out there. Anyone have anything good or bad to say about

                the biOrb aquariums? We aren't looking for anything too sophisticated,

                but something basic and interesting would be nice. We will probably

                just get some goldfish.


























                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Andrew
                Some good advice there. Just one slight disagreement/warning - single tailed goldfish will sometimes jump out of a tank. Fancy goldfish won t/can t jump with
                Message 7 of 27 , Oct 13, 2008
                  Some good advice there. Just one slight disagreement/warning - single tailed goldfish will sometimes jump out of a tank. Fancy goldfish won't/can't jump with their fat bellies, but the longer shaped, single tailed varieties have been known to end up on the floor! I remember years ago my grandad had a couple of goldfish in a fairly small tank with no lid and they jumped (can't remember if it was just one or whether they both ended up high and dry). After that a net was put over the tank. As stated, goldfish need more space than most pet shops say. If you do decide to get goldfish though you'll get a lot of enjoyment from them. I've kept fancies for over 20 years now and I still get a lot of enjoyment out of keeping them.
                  >>
                  The original message was:
                  I am not familiar with biOrb aquariums but looking at their web site they seem like nothing more than larger bowls with a basic air driven sponge filter. Which is fine, but they seem a bit pricey for what they are.

                  The problem with Goldfish is that they really need a lot more room than people commonly think. The old notion of a 1-2 gallon bowl is basically a short term death trap for a goldfish and you really should be thinking of about 10 gallon PER adult sized goldfish (most goldfish sold are far from their top size, so don't let the small size in the store fool you). At a minimum, I would not start with anything less than 5 gallons per fish.

                  That said, if I was going to get a biOrb for goldfish, I would get nothing under the 8 gallon model ($129) for a SINGLE goldfish or a min of the 16 gallon model ($209) for a pair.

                  While the biOrb is an interesting looking tank, you can go with a more common rectangular tank for a lot less money. 10 gallon "kits" are often available, but really I would suggest you look for a 20 gallon kit or put it together yourself. Goldfish do not need heaters so all you really need is the tank itself, a cover with light is optional (goldfish are not jumpers), and some form of filtration. You can probably put together a 20 gallon basic setup for about half the price of the 8-gallon biOrb.

                  If you do like the biOrb look and want to get one, and especially if you were eyeing the smaller ones due to price, I would think about different fish than goldfish for such a tank. Depending if you want to heat the tank or not, we can make suggestions based on heated/unheated and what size you are looking at.

                  Patrick Timlin

                  http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/

                  --- On Sat, 10/11/08, jon.charron <joncharron@...> wrote:
                  From: jon.charron <joncharron@...>
                  Subject: [Freshwater Aquariums] Hello
                  To: freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Saturday, October 11, 2008, 1:34 PM











                  I am new to the group and I am just looking into starting up a small

                  aquarium for my two boys. We want to start small, but there are so

                  many products out there. Anyone have anything good or bad to say about

                  the biOrb aquariums? We aren't looking for anything too sophisticated,

                  but something basic and interesting would be nice. We will probably

                  just get some goldfish.


























                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


                  ------------------------------------

                  Yahoo! Groups Links
                • Ladyelf
                  I have to agree with Patrick on this. Just remember that goldfish are very, very dirty. The larger the tank the better for them and you do need a really good
                  Message 8 of 27 , Oct 13, 2008
                    I have to agree with Patrick on this. Just remember that goldfish are very,
                    very dirty. The larger the tank the better for them and you do need a
                    really good form of filtration for them.

                    Deb
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "Patrick A. Timlin" <ptimlin@...>
                    To: <freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Monday, October 13, 2008 12:11 PM
                    Subject: Re: [Freshwater Aquariums] Hello


                    >I am not familiar with biOrb aquariums but looking at their web site they
                    >seem like nothing more than larger bowls with a basic air driven sponge
                    >filter. Which is fine, but they seem a bit pricey for what they are.
                    >
                    > The problem with Goldfish is that they really need a lot more room than
                    > people commonly think. The old notion of a 1-2 gallon bowl is basically a
                    > short term death trap for a goldfish and you really should be thinking of
                    > about 10 gallon PER adult sized goldfish (most goldfish sold are far from
                    > their top size, so don't let the small size in the store fool you). At a
                    > minimum, I would not start with anything less than 5 gallons per fish.
                    >
                    > That said, if I was going to get a biOrb for goldfish, I would get nothing
                    > under the 8 gallon model ($129) for a SINGLE goldfish or a min of the 16
                    > gallon model ($209) for a pair.
                    >
                    > While the biOrb is an interesting looking tank, you can go with a more
                    > common rectangular tank for a lot less money. 10 gallon "kits" are often
                    > available, but really I would suggest you look for a 20 gallon kit or put
                    > it together yourself. Goldfish do not need heaters so all you really need
                    > is the tank itself, a cover with light is optional (goldfish are not
                    > jumpers), and some form of filtration. You can probably put together a 20
                    > gallon basic setup for about half the price of the 8-gallon biOrb.
                    >
                    > If you do like the biOrb look and want to get one, and especially if you
                    > were eyeing the smaller ones due to price, I would think about different
                    > fish than goldfish for such a tank. Depending if you want to heat the tank
                    > or not, we can make suggestions based on heated/unheated and what size you
                    > are looking at.
                    >
                    > Patrick Timlin
                    >
                    > http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
                    >
                    > --- On Sat, 10/11/08, jon.charron <joncharron@...> wrote:
                    > From: jon.charron <joncharron@...>
                    > Subject: [Freshwater Aquariums] Hello
                    > To: freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com
                    > Date: Saturday, October 11, 2008, 1:34 PM
                    >
                    >
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                    > I am new to the group and I am just looking into starting up a
                    > small
                    >
                    > aquarium for my two boys. We want to start small, but there are so
                    >
                    > many products out there. Anyone have anything good or bad to say about
                    >
                    > the biOrb aquariums? We aren't looking for anything too sophisticated,
                    >
                    > but something basic and interesting would be nice. We will probably
                    >
                    > just get some goldfish.
                    >
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                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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                    > ------------------------------------
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                  • William
                    In my humble opinion, I would not put a fancy (double tailed one) goldfish in anything less than 20 gallons for the first one and 10 gallons for each
                    Message 9 of 27 , Oct 14, 2008
                      In my humble opinion, I would not put a fancy (double tailed one)
                      goldfish in anything less than 20 gallons for the first one and 10
                      gallons for each additional one to make sure that they have enough
                      room to grow to their full size and life span. That along with the
                      needed water changes and good feeding will help to ensure that the
                      fish will live long healthy lifespans that you can enjoy instead of
                      making the fish suffer a slow and (probably) painful death. Can you
                      imagine if you had to live in a closet with several other people and
                      not have a toilet but only a container to use and when the "owner"
                      wanted to he/she would empty this container. You would also have to
                      be at his/her mercy to feed you and in that small place you would not
                      be able to exercise like you should.Since goldfish are dirty fish
                      they tent to pollute the water very fast and that is one reason to
                      have the larger tanks to be able to keep the pollution for building
                      up too fast between water changes.

                      --- In freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com, "jon.charron"
                      <joncharron@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > I am new to the group and I am just looking into starting up a
                      small
                      > aquarium for my two boys. We want to start small, but there are so
                      > many products out there. Anyone have anything good or bad to say
                      about
                      > the biOrb aquariums? We aren't looking for anything too
                      sophisticated,
                      > but something basic and interesting would be nice. We will
                      probably
                      > just get some goldfish.
                      >
                    • jon.charron
                      Thanks for the advice everyone. We don t have to get goldfish, but just wanted to get low maintenance fish. I am certainly open to suggestions on fish that
                      Message 10 of 27 , Oct 25, 2008
                        Thanks for the advice everyone. We don't have to get goldfish, but
                        just wanted to get low maintenance fish. I am certainly open to
                        suggestions on fish that can work without a heater. If we wanted to
                        heat the water, how would we do it if we buy an acrylic aquarium?

                        Assume I know nothing and you would be correct.

                        --- In freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick A. Timlin"
                        <ptimlin@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > I am not familiar with biOrb aquariums but looking at their web
                        site they seem like nothing more than larger bowls with a basic air
                        driven sponge filter. Which is fine, but they seem a bit pricey for
                        what they are.
                        >
                        > The problem with Goldfish is that they really need a lot more room
                        than people commonly think. The old notion of a 1-2 gallon bowl is
                        basically a short term death trap for a goldfish and you really
                        should be thinking of about 10 gallon PER adult sized goldfish (most
                        goldfish sold are far from their top size, so don't let the small
                        size in the store fool you). At a minimum, I would not start with
                        anything less than 5 gallons per fish.
                        >
                        > That said, if I was going to get a biOrb for goldfish, I would get
                        nothing under the 8 gallon model ($129) for a SINGLE goldfish or a
                        min of the 16 gallon model ($209) for a pair.
                        >
                        > While the biOrb is an interesting looking tank, you can go with a
                        more common rectangular tank for a lot less money. 10 gallon "kits"
                        are often available, but really I would suggest you look for a 20
                        gallon kit or put it together yourself. Goldfish do not need heaters
                        so all you really need is the tank itself, a cover with light is
                        optional (goldfish are not jumpers), and some form of filtration. You
                        can probably put together a 20 gallon basic setup for about half the
                        price of the 8-gallon biOrb.
                        >
                        > If you do like the biOrb look and want to get one, and especially
                        if you were eyeing the smaller ones due to price, I would think about
                        different fish than goldfish for such a tank. Depending if you want
                        to heat the tank or not, we can make suggestions based on
                        heated/unheated and what size you are looking at.
                        >
                        > Patrick Timlin
                        >
                        > http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
                      • William
                        Paradise fish are a fish that do not require a heater (they can live in water as cool as 60 and possible lower). If you wish to heat the tank then get a
                        Message 11 of 27 , Oct 25, 2008
                          Paradise fish are a fish that do not require a heater (they can live in
                          water as cool as 60 and possible lower). If you wish to heat the tank
                          then get a submersible heater with suction cups to hold the heater away
                          from the side or bottom.

                          --- In freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com, "jon.charron"
                          <joncharron@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Thanks for the advice everyone. We don't have to get goldfish, but
                          > just wanted to get low maintenance fish. I am certainly open to
                          > suggestions on fish that can work without a heater. If we wanted to
                          > heat the water, how would we do it if we buy an acrylic aquarium?
                          >
                          > Assume I know nothing and you would be correct.
                          >
                        • Dan
                          now worries regular old heater would do it
                          Message 12 of 27 , Oct 26, 2008
                            now worries
                            regular old heater would do it
                          • Patrick A. Timlin
                            Most common fish are pretty low maintenance. Really you are maintaining the aquarium, so unless you buy a fish species that has special needs, for the most
                            Message 13 of 27 , Oct 26, 2008
                              Most common fish are pretty low maintenance. Really you are maintaining the aquarium, so unless you buy a fish species that has special needs, for the most part your maintenance will be the same on the tank regardless if you get a goldfish or a dozen neon tetras.

                              As William pointed out, Paradise fish are an excellent choice for unheated tanks. I suggest not keeping them in anything less than about 2 gallons and not keeping any more than a single one as they tend to fight with their own kind. You can keep them with other fish, but pick fish that swim well so if the paradise fish wants to get nipping, they can avoid him most of the time.

                              Any aquarium heater will be fine. My one main bit of advice on heaters is get a submergible one, not the clip on type. The clip on ones are junk and it isn't if they will fail, but WHEN. And they fail by sticking in the ON position and cook your fish. Submersibles are very affordable if you go mail order.

                              Advantages of going with a NON-heated tank include not having to buy and have a heater in the tank, lower energy use & less water evaporation (especially in Winter). But one disadvantage is their tend to be a lot less choices when considering standard "tropical fish" sold at pet stores.

                              Good choices for unheated tanks include Goldfish, Rosy Reds (normally sold as feeder fish and these are actually North American Native "Fat head" minnows), feeder (non-fancy) guppies, Zebra Danios, Rosy Barbs, Paradise fish, and White Clouds (aka "Mountain Minnows).

                              Patrick Timlin

                              http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/

                              --- On Sat, 10/25/08, jon.charron <joncharron@...> wrote:
                              From: jon.charron <joncharron@...>
                              Subject: [Freshwater Aquariums] Re: Hello
                              To: freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Saturday, October 25, 2008, 11:09 AM











                              Thanks for the advice everyone. We don't have to get goldfish, but

                              just wanted to get low maintenance fish. I am certainly open to

                              suggestions on fish that can work without a heater. If we wanted to

                              heat the water, how would we do it if we buy an acrylic aquarium?



                              Assume I know nothing and you would be correct.




















                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • blue_lkb
                              Patrick, I saw your mention of aquarium heaters, and was wondering if you have some suggestions on where to shop for one? ... heaters is get a submergible one,
                              Message 14 of 27 , Oct 28, 2008
                                Patrick,

                                I saw your mention of aquarium heaters, and was wondering if you have
                                some suggestions on where to shop for one?

                                > Any aquarium heater will be fine. My one main bit of advice on
                                heaters is get a submergible one, not the clip on type. The clip on
                                ones are junk and it isn't if they will fail, but WHEN. And they fail
                                by sticking in the ON position and cook your fish. Submersibles are
                                very affordable if you go mail order.

                                And you're absolutely right! We bought a clip-on one for my
                                daughter's 10 gallon tank and it failed within a couple of months!
                                Annoying...

                                I hadn't seen any other types in local pet stores (not surprising, I
                                guess) so I didn't realize there were other ones/better ones out
                                there. Now that I know, I think I'll try to switch over to those.

                                Also, on the topic of better quality tank equipment...can you
                                recommend better filters for a fish tank? I have the cheapy ones that
                                hang on the back of the tank, but I have read that they aren't really
                                that great and I'd like to eventually replace all the filters with
                                better quality ones that do a better job.

                                On a positive note...I haven't had a fish die in a long time!!
                                Wheee! I gave up on bettas and dwarf gourami (he passed away, which
                                was a huge bummer because I really, really liked him) and now I just
                                have the zebra danios, cory cats, otto cats, black Kuhli loaches, etc
                                (aside from the one male betta in the ten gallon tank; he is doing
                                fine). I decided it just wasn't worth it to keep buying them and
                                having them pass away...not fun for us and certainly not for the
                                fish. Although, I still really like the dwarf gouramis and
                                bettas...oh, well!

                                Best regards,

                                Laura
                              • Patrick A. Timlin
                                I usually use Drs. Smith & Foster or That Fish Place. I have only heard good things about Big Al s but no first hand experience. All three seem to be fairly
                                Message 15 of 27 , Oct 29, 2008
                                  I usually use Drs. Smith & Foster or That Fish Place. I have only heard good things about Big Al's but no first hand experience. All three seem to be fairly close in pricing and the difference usually comes down to shipping costs.

                                  Generally local stores will charge $10-$15 for the crappy clip on type and then large mark up of about $20-$35 for most submersibles. But when you shop online, most submersibles start at the same $10-$15 range that the local stores charge for the crappy clip on models. I generally go with the Jager line myself, but there are a number of other good ones you can choose from.

                                  As to filters, I wouldn't generalize and say all hang on the back filters are junk. For smaller tanks, my personal preference has been the AquaClear line for many years now. Primarily because they are cheap, durable, and you can run different media in them rather than being locked into an expensive, short lived, proprietary cartridge type system. With the AquaClear line, I only run sponges in mine (I just use two sponges rather than a sponge and carbon). The sponges get rinsed out periodically and reused. I have sponges that I have been using continuously longer than some of my kids have been alive!

                                  For the Aquaclear line, and probably most other brands of hang on the back filters, I find the manufacturer tends to be much to optimistic as to the size tank you can effectively run them on, unless you super understock the tank. So in general, I tend to half the recommended size printed on the box. So a model sized for "5-20 gallons" will go on nothing larger than a 10 gallon tank on my tanks. I think that is where you might be finding a deficiency, undersized filter for the tank and also if you a model using thin cartridges.

                                  For larger tanks, say 30-ish gallons and up, I prefer canister filters, but often still run a small hang on the back if I need extra water movement, as well as a convenient place to quickly add carbon in an emergency.

                                  Patrick Timlin

                                  http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/

                                  --- On Tue, 10/28/08, blue_lkb <blue_lkb@...> wrote:
                                  From: blue_lkb <blue_lkb@...>
                                  Subject: [Freshwater Aquariums] Re: Hello
                                  To: freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com
                                  Date: Tuesday, October 28, 2008, 6:26 PM











                                  Patrick,



                                  I saw your mention of aquarium heaters, and was wondering if you have

                                  some suggestions on where to shop for one?



                                  > Any aquarium heater will be fine. My one main bit of advice on

                                  heaters is get a submergible one, not the clip on type. The clip on

                                  ones are junk and it isn't if they will fail, but WHEN. And they fail

                                  by sticking in the ON position and cook your fish. Submersibles are

                                  very affordable if you go mail order.



                                  And you're absolutely right! We bought a clip-on one for my

                                  daughter's 10 gallon tank and it failed within a couple of months!

                                  Annoying...



                                  I hadn't seen any other types in local pet stores (not surprising, I

                                  guess) so I didn't realize there were other ones/better ones out

                                  there. Now that I know, I think I'll try to switch over to those.



                                  Also, on the topic of better quality tank equipment... can you

                                  recommend better filters for a fish tank? I have the cheapy ones that

                                  hang on the back of the tank, but I have read that they aren't really

                                  that great and I'd like to eventually replace all the filters with

                                  better quality ones that do a better job.



                                  On a positive note...I haven't had a fish die in a long time!!

                                  Wheee! I gave up on bettas and dwarf gourami (he passed away, which

                                  was a huge bummer because I really, really liked him) and now I just

                                  have the zebra danios, cory cats, otto cats, black Kuhli loaches, etc

                                  (aside from the one male betta in the ten gallon tank; he is doing

                                  fine). I decided it just wasn't worth it to keep buying them and

                                  having them pass away...not fun for us and certainly not for the

                                  fish. Although, I still really like the dwarf gouramis and

                                  bettas...oh, well!



                                  Best regards,



                                  Laura


























                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Eric Roberts
                                  I like the emperor filters. I have 2 400 s on my 55 gallon and the tanks stays nice and clean.I even put some pothos in the filter reservoir to make them look
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Oct 29, 2008
                                    I like the emperor filters. I have 2 400's on my 55 gallon and the tanks
                                    stays nice and clean.I even put some pothos in the filter reservoir to make
                                    them look nicer :-D Bamboo would look nice too. That also adds extra
                                    filtration as the plants use the waste material in the water as fertilizer.



                                    Eric



                                    _____

                                    From: freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com
                                    [mailto:freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Patrick A. Timlin
                                    Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 10:46 AM
                                    To: freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: Re: [Freshwater Aquariums] Re: Hello



                                    I usually use Drs. Smith & Foster or That Fish Place. I have only heard good
                                    things about Big Al's but no first hand experience. All three seem to be
                                    fairly close in pricing and the difference usually comes down to shipping
                                    costs.

                                    Generally local stores will charge $10-$15 for the crappy clip on type and
                                    then large mark up of about $20-$35 for most submersibles. But when you shop
                                    online, most submersibles start at the same $10-$15 range that the local
                                    stores charge for the crappy clip on models. I generally go with the Jager
                                    line myself, but there are a number of other good ones you can choose from.

                                    As to filters, I wouldn't generalize and say all hang on the back filters
                                    are junk. For smaller tanks, my personal preference has been the AquaClear
                                    line for many years now. Primarily because they are cheap, durable, and you
                                    can run different media in them rather than being locked into an expensive,
                                    short lived, proprietary cartridge type system. With the AquaClear line, I
                                    only run sponges in mine (I just use two sponges rather than a sponge and
                                    carbon). The sponges get rinsed out periodically and reused. I have sponges
                                    that I have been using continuously longer than some of my kids have been
                                    alive!

                                    For the Aquaclear line, and probably most other brands of hang on the back
                                    filters, I find the manufacturer tends to be much to optimistic as to the
                                    size tank you can effectively run them on, unless you super understock the
                                    tank. So in general, I tend to half the recommended size printed on the box.
                                    So a model sized for "5-20 gallons" will go on nothing larger than a 10
                                    gallon tank on my tanks. I think that is where you might be finding a
                                    deficiency, undersized filter for the tank and also if you a model using
                                    thin cartridges.

                                    For larger tanks, say 30-ish gallons and up, I prefer canister filters, but
                                    often still run a small hang on the back if I need extra water movement, as
                                    well as a convenient place to quickly add carbon in an emergency.

                                    Patrick Timlin

                                    http://www.geocitie <http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/> s.com/ptimlin/

                                    --- On Tue, 10/28/08, blue_lkb <blue_lkb@yahoo.
                                    <mailto:blue_lkb%40yahoo.com> com> wrote:
                                    From: blue_lkb <blue_lkb@yahoo. <mailto:blue_lkb%40yahoo.com> com>
                                    Subject: [Freshwater Aquariums] Re: Hello
                                    To: freshwateraquariums <mailto:freshwateraquariums%40yahoogroups.com>
                                    @yahoogroups.com
                                    Date: Tuesday, October 28, 2008, 6:26 PM

                                    Patrick,

                                    I saw your mention of aquarium heaters, and was wondering if you have

                                    some suggestions on where to shop for one?

                                    > Any aquarium heater will be fine. My one main bit of advice on

                                    heaters is get a submergible one, not the clip on type. The clip on

                                    ones are junk and it isn't if they will fail, but WHEN. And they fail

                                    by sticking in the ON position and cook your fish. Submersibles are

                                    very affordable if you go mail order.

                                    And you're absolutely right! We bought a clip-on one for my

                                    daughter's 10 gallon tank and it failed within a couple of months!

                                    Annoying...

                                    I hadn't seen any other types in local pet stores (not surprising, I

                                    guess) so I didn't realize there were other ones/better ones out

                                    there. Now that I know, I think I'll try to switch over to those.

                                    Also, on the topic of better quality tank equipment... can you

                                    recommend better filters for a fish tank? I have the cheapy ones that

                                    hang on the back of the tank, but I have read that they aren't really

                                    that great and I'd like to eventually replace all the filters with

                                    better quality ones that do a better job.

                                    On a positive note...I haven't had a fish die in a long time!!

                                    Wheee! I gave up on bettas and dwarf gourami (he passed away, which

                                    was a huge bummer because I really, really liked him) and now I just

                                    have the zebra danios, cory cats, otto cats, black Kuhli loaches, etc

                                    (aside from the one male betta in the ten gallon tank; he is doing

                                    fine). I decided it just wasn't worth it to keep buying them and

                                    having them pass away...not fun for us and certainly not for the

                                    fish. Although, I still really like the dwarf gouramis and

                                    bettas...oh, well!

                                    Best regards,

                                    Laura











                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • William
                                    The bamboo is not a true aquatic plant so I would find a true aqutic plant that will not die easily in your tank to act as a filter such as water sprite which
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Oct 30, 2008
                                      The bamboo is not a true aquatic plant so I would find a true aqutic
                                      plant that will not die easily in your tank to act as a filter such as
                                      water sprite which you can either let it float or plant it.


                                      --- In freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com, "Eric Roberts" <woad@...>
                                      wrote:
                                      >
                                      > I like the emperor filters. I have 2 400's on my 55 gallon and the
                                      tanks
                                      > stays nice and clean.I even put some pothos in the filter reservoir
                                      to make
                                      > them look nicer :-D Bamboo would look nice too. That also adds extra
                                      > filtration as the plants use the waste material in the water as
                                      fertilizer.
                                    • blue_lkb
                                      Hi Patrick, Finally got a little time to check out those sites you mentioned, to look for a better heater. Also found some other stuff I have to have
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Nov 8, 2008
                                        Hi Patrick,

                                        Finally got a little time to check out those sites you mentioned, to
                                        look for a better heater. Also found some other stuff I "have" to
                                        have now...lol.

                                        The Jager line heaters I saw on That Fish Place looked like clip-ons.
                                        Below is a link to the pages listing heaters that Drs. Smith & Foster
                                        or That Fish Place have. Can you recommend a model on there? I don't
                                        want to buy a piece of junk that's going to fail again. Also, what do
                                        you think of the ones that you put under the substrate??

                                        http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/cat/info/23891/category.web
                                        http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/pet_supplies.cfm?c=3578+3743
                                        >
                                        > As to filters, I wouldn't generalize and say all hang on the back
                                        filters are junk. For smaller tanks, my personal preference has been
                                        the AquaClear line for many years now.

                                        I tried to find the brand on my filter and couldn't. It came with my
                                        55 gallon tank, which I bought used, so I'm not sure which brand it
                                        is.

                                        Could this be why I'm having trouble keeping my nitrates low? I can
                                        occasionally get them around 10ppm, but not usually; usually they are
                                        at 20, sometimes 20-40. I've tried changing 20% of the water every 3
                                        days and haven't really had much luck. I thought I had read that it's
                                        best to keep nitrates below 10ppm - ? I vacuum the gravel when I
                                        clean it (since I've had the oto cats, etc., even though I only have
                                        2, they seem to keep the algae cleaned up really well so I don't have
                                        to deal with cleaning the sides of the tank) and change at least 20%
                                        of the water, sometimes a little more. My tanks aren't overstocked -
                                        55 gallon has around 8 zebra danios (I lost some since I originally
                                        put them in and they are zippy little guys, so I have a lot of
                                        trouble accurately counting them), give or take, 4 cory cats, 4 Kuhli
                                        loaches, 1 cherry barb and 2 oto cats. I also have plants, which I
                                        read help keep nitrates down but don't seem to be doing that. So
                                        perhaps I need another filter on my tanks?


                                        > also if you a model using thin cartridges.

                                        Yep, mine does.

                                        Thanks!

                                        Best regards,

                                        Laura
                                      • Patrick A. Timlin
                                        Ebo Jagers are fully submersible and are not clip ons. They do come with a pair of suction cups to attach it to the side of the aquarium (and like all suction
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Nov 9, 2008
                                          Ebo Jagers are fully submersible and are not clip ons. They do come with a pair of suction cups to attach it to the side of the aquarium (and like all suction cups in aquariums, will stop working in about 6 months).

                                          VisaTherms have a long popular track record and are a good brand to try.

                                          I don't have a lot of experience with many other brands since my Ebo Jagers tend to last forever and I rarely need to buy new heaters.

                                          Your Nitrate levels sound perfectly fine. Nitrates are pretty much always in the tank and it is only the people with super heavily planted tank that sometimes actually have to supplement nitrates for the plants. Shooting for under 10 ppm is not usually possible. Most tanks are around 10-20ppm AFTER a water change. Many common hardy fish can tolerate levels close to 100 although I wouldn't recommend that long term. But to see your nitrates go as high as, say, 50-60ppm before a water change would probably be typical. You can of course change more water or do it more often or both and shoot to never let the levels get above, say, 25-30ppm, but I don't think trying to keep it under 10ppm is realistic unless you have a lot of plants and/or stock very lightly. Your set up sounds fine.

                                          Patrick Timlin

                                          http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/

                                          --- On Sat, 11/8/08, blue_lkb <blue_lkb@...> wrote:
                                          From: blue_lkb <blue_lkb@...>
                                          Subject: [Freshwater Aquariums] Re: Hello
                                          To: freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com
                                          Date: Saturday, November 8, 2008, 1:06 PM











                                          Hi Patrick,



                                          Finally got a little time to check out those sites you mentioned, to

                                          look for a better heater. Also found some other stuff I "have" to

                                          have now...lol.



                                          The Jager line heaters I saw on That Fish Place looked like clip-ons.

                                          Below is a link to the pages listing heaters that Drs. Smith & Foster

                                          or That Fish Place have. Can you recommend a model on there? I don't

                                          want to buy a piece of junk that's going to fail again. Also, what do

                                          you think of the ones that you put under the substrate??



                                          http://www.thatpetp lace.com/ pet/cat/info/ 23891/category. web

                                          http://www.drsfoste rsmith.com/ product/pet_ supplies. cfm?c=3578+ 3743

                                          >

                                          > As to filters, I wouldn't generalize and say all hang on the back

                                          filters are junk. For smaller tanks, my personal preference has been

                                          the AquaClear line for many years now.



                                          I tried to find the brand on my filter and couldn't. It came with my

                                          55 gallon tank, which I bought used, so I'm not sure which brand it

                                          is.



                                          Could this be why I'm having trouble keeping my nitrates low? I can

                                          occasionally get them around 10ppm, but not usually; usually they are

                                          at 20, sometimes 20-40. I've tried changing 20% of the water every 3

                                          days and haven't really had much luck. I thought I had read that it's

                                          best to keep nitrates below 10ppm - ? I vacuum the gravel when I

                                          clean it (since I've had the oto cats, etc., even though I only have

                                          2, they seem to keep the algae cleaned up really well so I don't have

                                          to deal with cleaning the sides of the tank) and change at least 20%

                                          of the water, sometimes a little more. My tanks aren't overstocked -

                                          55 gallon has around 8 zebra danios (I lost some since I originally

                                          put them in and they are zippy little guys, so I have a lot of

                                          trouble accurately counting them), give or take, 4 cory cats, 4 Kuhli

                                          loaches, 1 cherry barb and 2 oto cats. I also have plants, which I

                                          read help keep nitrates down but don't seem to be doing that. So

                                          perhaps I need another filter on my tanks?



                                          > also if you a model using thin cartridges.



                                          Yep, mine does.



                                          Thanks!



                                          Best regards,



                                          Laura


























                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • blue_lkb
                                          Hi Patrick, Thanks again, I will check into those heaters and probably buy a couple. ... Oh, awesome! I was kind of concerned about that, since the only
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Nov 9, 2008
                                            Hi Patrick,

                                            Thanks again, I will check into those heaters and probably buy a
                                            couple.

                                            > Your Nitrate levels sound perfectly fine.

                                            Oh, awesome! I was kind of concerned about that, since the only
                                            definitive info I'd read said something like under 10ppm and I just
                                            could not get it close to that. I guess I can stop worrying now.

                                            Best regards,

                                            Laura
                                          • Tom Reagin
                                            How high is too high for NitrAtes?  Realistically how low can they be controlled? Thomas G. Reagin, O.D. 104 Church Street Decatur, GA 30030 Voice
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Nov 10, 2008
                                              How high is too high for NitrAtes?  Realistically how low can they be controlled?

                                              Thomas G. Reagin, O.D.
                                              104 Church Street
                                              Decatur, GA 30030

                                              Voice (404)378-3694
                                              Fax (404)373-0741






                                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            • Patrick A. Timlin
                                              ... Unfortunately this isn t an easy question to answer because it depends on the species of fish you keep. For example, fish that come from slow moving bodies
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Nov 11, 2008
                                                --- On Mon, 11/10/08, Tom Reagin <tgreagin@...> wrote:
                                                > How high is too high for NitrAtes?

                                                Unfortunately this isn't an easy question to answer because it depends on the species of fish you keep. For example, fish that come from slow moving bodies of water (ponds, small lakes, etc.) or from small bodies of water (rice paddies, etc.) will have a much higher tolerance to nitrates than fish that come from fast moving cleaner bodies of water like streams (since the water is constantly turning over in a stream).

                                                So you will find, for example, a fish like Tiger Barbs or Bettas to not really care about nitrate levels if they don't get too extreme. While fish like Clown Loaches are not very tolerant of higher nitrates.

                                                In addition, fish fry are generally more effected by nitrates than older fish, so you want to keep tanks with growing fry low in nitrates with plenty of water changes.

                                                Depending on the fish species, the upper limit of nitrate could be anywhere from 40-60ppm to as high as well over 100 ppm of nitrates, although I wouldn't suggest you allow your tanks to get that high, just that if they did, your tank of Tiger Barbs (for example) would probably be fine, but your tank of Clown Loaches would be in trouble.


                                                > Realistically how low can they be controlled?

                                                Again that depends on how much water changing you do, if you keep a lot of live plants, and how good your water is to begin with. You could keep your nitrates at near zero if you did a combo of any of understocked the tank, fed lightly, kept live plants, and changed water frequently. My comment before about having a tank hovering in the 20-50ppm range normally was considering your standard home aquarium, stocked fully, water changes of only 10-20% on a weekly basis, well fed daily, and little to no live plants.

                                                And my comment about how good your water is to begin with means does your tap water have nitrates in it already. Here in the USA, most of our water supplies are low or ascent of nitrates and I think we have EPA mandated low limits allowed. On the other hand, in the UK for example, it wouldn't be uncommon to measure 10+ppm of nitrate right out of the tap. So in a case like that, without live plants to take up some of the nitrates, you couldn't get the tank below 10 with water changes alone, not matter how much you changed.

                                                Patrick Timlin
                                                http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
                                              • Tom Reagin
                                                Thanks, well thought out reply! Thomas G. Reagin, O.D. 104 Church Street Decatur, GA 30030 Voice (404)378-3694 Fax (404)373-0741 [Non-text portions of this
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Nov 12, 2008
                                                  Thanks, well thought out reply!

                                                  Thomas G. Reagin, O.D.
                                                  104 Church Street
                                                  Decatur, GA 30030

                                                  Voice (404)378-3694
                                                  Fax (404)373-0741






                                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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