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Thread: Daniel Scutt
05-01-2013, 04:15 AM #1
I'm fairly new to fish-keeping, having bought my first tank about a year and a half ago. I have a friend who turned me on to the hobby, and regularly surprise and shock him with some of the things I do to my fish. I'll explain as I go.
I run two tanks, a community tank and a cichlid tank. I'll probably get a few people yelling at me once I explain what kinds of fish I keep in each tank. But each community has worked out pretty well socially, with a little trial and error, so it's not likely anyone will change my mind on tank-mates. But if you do have advice or recommendations on that subject, I'm perfectly willing to hear you out.
Our Community Tank
We started with a Red-Tailed Shark, a Clown Loach, a Platy, and a Beta. We kept these four fish in a 30-gallon tank, and they lived fairly happily until I attempted to add a few Gouramis. At this point I was buying my fish from "corporate" stores like PetCo and PetSmart. The Gouramis all quickly succumbed to ich, killing my Loach in the process. We later relocated the Beta to our kitchen in a smaller tank, where she died of Neon Tetra Disease after a few weeks. The Platy was eaten a few months later (we still don't know what fish did this), and the Shark remains happily to this day in our newer 75-gallon community tank.
Currently our community tank has 3 medium-sized Angel Fish, an eel (I can't remember the variety, but I was assured this particular species would reach a maximum length of 6-8 inches and is docile), a Red-Tailed Shark, a Pineapple Platy, a few small Barbs, a giant silver Tetra that I can't remember the species of (he's about 3 inches and has a tall body that grows fatter as it reaches his gut - I've considered the possibility of worms or bloat, but his body seems to curve naturally rather than bulge out), 4 Yoyo Loaches, 2 Clown Loaches, a Chinese High-Fin Shark, 2 Golden Algae Eaters (I can't remember the actual species name, but they're about 2 inches long and look albino versions of Chinese Algae Eaters), a small bright orange fish that I can't remember the species of, and some where in there is a clam. At one point we had a Dragon Bichre and a fish that I can't recall the name off immediately.. black, eel-like, with a white stripe, and uses a weak electric field to hunt.
The substrate is gravel, and we've provided several rocks for hiding places. There are 5 plants in there (variety unknown) that have been through various stages of black algae build-up, but none of them have died. The algae eaters seem to be clearing it up, so we haven't pursued cleaning the plants up.
We use a 150-gallon-rated hang-on filter for filtration, with no oxygenation. We did have our air pump running but shortly decided that the air added by the falling water was doing the job (we used plant health as our guide).
We maintain the heater on the tank at somewhere around 78 degrees. It can vary, depending on how cold the room gets. The water is slightly warm to the touch. The High Fin, being a pond fish, isn't naturally accustomed to this temperature I know, but he seems happy enough. The only problem I have with him is that he does not seem to be growing. We've had him about a year, and fish being cold blooded, I'd assume their metabolism and growth rate would be affected by their temperature (specifically that it would increase, but I kind of assumed that).
Our Cichlid Tank
This is where some of you will probably be angry, or astounded that I've been even remotely successful. For a long time I'd maintained a Blood Parrot and a Gold Streaked Severum in this tank (named Piglet and Pooh, respectively). I moved them over to the community tank for a few months, until I thought I'd finally gotten rid of the algae bloom we've been fighting (more on that in a moment). In the mean time the tank has been home to a Tiger Oscar named Tigger, a grey Flowerhorn named Kessie, 3 Convicts (2 male Blacks and 1 Female Pink), a red African (from the assorted section), a Silver Dollar, and, amazingly enough, a Blue Channel Catfish. I've had some people yell at me about the Catfish, but he proved entirely too large and aggressive for our community tank. I've considered dropping him into a stream near bye, but he's just so darned cool in there.
Recently Pooh and Piglet died. Pooh showed no signs of distress or symptoms, while Piglet began gathering black spots and was found on the bottom of the tank dead. We just recently noticed Kessie developing lumpy spots around her face, and she's behaving sort of aimless (thread here).
On to that algae bloom. So this is where we've been messing up for a while. We bought this 150 gallon tank from a guy I work with. It was scratched up but had no leaks and looked structurally sound. It still is. However, within a few days of getting the tank back up and running a green algae bloom showed up. This was last autumn. We've since tried complete water changes, gravel changes, cleaning everything in the tank, algae killer, and temperature changes. Without having any real idea what to call this problem, we didn't know what to look for. And for whatever reason I didn't see fit to explain the conditions of the tank to someone who might know better than I. It wasn't hurting anything, but it did ultimately prevent us from identifying problems with 3 of our fish (Pooh, Piglet, and now Kessie).
A few weeks ago we got rid of all of the gravel and replaced it with fist-sized rocks from outside (we live fairly deep in the woods - about 30 minutes in - so it's unlikely there were any unnatural contaminates). We did not, however, boil the rocks first. So it's probable that I've introduced parasites or fungus to the tank. This weekend I'll be replacing all of the rocks with new gravel, freshly boiled and filtered several times. I'll also be replacing the sump gravel, and then introducing a small number of Daphnia.
The substrate is currently a few dozen fist-sized rocks (our thinking with getting rid of the gravel was that we'd remove anywhere for the algae to concentrate - clearly, it didn't work).
We use an under-tank sump and a 50 or 75 gallon rated hang-on filter.
We maintain the tank at about 80 degrees.
We do not aerate our tank, except for a small filter suction-cupped to the inside of the tank that just recycles water (an air hose is attached to it, that sucks air in as it expels water).
As I said I'm always open to suggestions and even all the way up to harsh criticism, as long as it's constructive. I'm unlikely to respond to anyone who's just being openly aggressive (I say this only because I'm a member of several forums of varying topics, and there's always a troll or twenty).
Last edited by danielscutt; 05-01-2013 at 04:20 AM.
05-01-2013, 04:29 AM #2
Welcome. You'll get more and better suggestions if you break up your post and place int he relevant forums.
The community tank... bad combos which I'm sure you know. That big silver tetra could just be a female.
The cichlid tank... algae doesn't respond much to temp changes, it needs light and nutrients, affect one and you hurt the algae.
If those unboiled pebbles came from somewhere that is not a streambed there's very little chance you introduced something that way.
Do you own a liquid test kit? If not I'd really advice you to get one that can test hardness, ph, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.
05-01-2013, 04:33 AM #3
I do. And you'll hate me for this, but the last time I did a test was fairly early this year. I think comfort and complacency just lead me to avoid doing it. I never once had a chemistry issue except just before we bought our 75gal, where we had to change our water out once every week or suffer some pretty serious pH spikes (lots of fish, 30 gallon tank). I can do one, though, and provide results.
As far as post content, I was just introducing myself and my tanks. Maybe I didn't read the forum subsections very well, though.
05-01-2013, 04:54 AM #4
Welcome to the community
The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of the act
05-01-2013, 05:03 AM #5
Thanks very much. Finally decided I'd stop using my fish tanks as testing grounds and do it the right way (get good advice and answers before I attempt mass murder).
05-01-2013, 05:59 AM #6
Welcome to the forum Daniel.Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit. -Vince Lombardi
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. ― John Wooden
Sandy Hook Elementary......Lest We Forget
05-01-2013, 09:00 AM #7
Welcome to the AC....
You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
05-01-2013, 12:49 PM #8
Welcome to the forum. Be aware that if you are here seeking advice, you might not always like what you see but we are all honest here and like to see fish treated the best way possible.46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, green corys, 1 guppy, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
5 gal QT with green corys & 2 guppies