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Intro: 21/06/2015

Hi all, I am starting this thread as a fish journal for my small fish room, feel free to comment and give suggestions. I will try and give a few updates of my fish room via this thread, be it issues, breeding, tanks, new products and DIY.

I am in the process or will be in the near future planning on expanding (my tanks), insulating (my room), breeding (the fish), and installing some DIY Hamburg Matten filters.

This thread should help me keep my stuff together for posterity.

I currently have approximately 14 tanks, not all of which are in use, and I keep a few odds and ends, Malawi cichlids, L# Catfish, Apistogramma, and my latest project Discus.

Have to start somewhere I guess…

Dan(danfishy84).

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It certainly ticks all the boxes.

Couple reasons why I am thinking of it.

Fry always hiding under sponges at point of sale, move the sponge too hard or take it out the water and out pours the gunk. HMF with hidden heater means (fish in a barrel).

Less chance for fish getting burnt or damaged running into them, or squashed under sponge filter.

If I install on the side walls that's two less pieces of glass to clean. (paint them).

I have enough spare air not getting utilised, so I could potentially reduce my power bills on the tanks not run via sponge.

Bullet proof even with a power outage as sponges are still affecting the water to a degree.

Can better manipulate the flow into tank dead spots.

Cost of spare parts and maintenance?

Less chance of water catastrophes.

Less hosing and equipment lying around.

Just a few, probably missing heaps.

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I bought the poret foam from NZ and it has worked really well...in the process of setting up a 40G planted..am going to be using just a corner mounted HMF..like this one...post-14718-14711633721443_thumb.jpg......to filter the tank.....will attach some java fern to it to disguise it some more...not that you really notice it if you have a black background..looking forward to seeing your progress/journey.

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Yep, that looks great, what PPI is that? Poret foam isn't cheap, but I can see myself buying a lot. I am probably going to install corner hmf's in my fry tanks, a side wall version in my breeders and a dual side wall one in my display. I will do up some plans and post them sometime this week.

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I use the 20 PPI (medium) it is 5cm thick...I paid around $150 for a sheet which was 1m x 1m ..which included the postage...I still have more than half left...It is durable and after a good rinse I just reuse it. .. What impressed me with the poret was how it seemed to get better the longer it was left in place. It has a period where it looks gunky but that clears up after a bit and it just seems to eat anything that comes in contact with it after that..probably about 3-4 months I think was when it began to hit its sweet spot. I could use a double layer, however I am just using airpump to move water and so single layer seems to be working fine for rate of flow through the media.

Edited by ORANGEMELLY

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Poret foam is just a brand name.

I bought filter foam from age of aquariums that was alot cheaper when i had a mattenfilter tank.

They carry a few different ppi types.

I'm sure tech den would carry it as well and is a bit more local to you.

Mattenfilters work amazingly well and the slower the flow the better it does.

I will be setting up a couple more tanks with them soon, i use the filter foam as a divider for the tank and pump water from one side through a hose/pipe to the other side and the foam filters the water on its way back to the pump.

Cheers mick

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I decided to put it to the test, I have purchased some 30 ppi poret foam and some coarse local foam (probably 10-15 ppi) and will be seeing how they hold up in either end of the same tank. If it was just breeders I wouldn't worry so much, but it is a display. (Whether I can pull off a nice hmf display tank will be another story).

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Update 26/06/2015

The Keeping

Big week this week, I went a little crazy and I am still working on my HMF plan. A couple of projects/issues have spurred me on into getting my crap together; there was also a bit of fishy violence. Unfortunately no GPG’s/crocodiles real or fake in my fish room so don’t get too excited!

I cleaned out my fish room and did a bit of repositioning; this has led me to the conclusion that it’s possible to fit more tanks :beer:, and If I’m putting in more tanks than why not revamp and make things easier as I go?

At the moment I have one wall of tanks, a mix of African and American, I am looking at putting in an aisle with African on one side, American on the other and my display in between at the end.

To do this I have to get more racking, and shift about the ones already in place.

I put the fish from my display in a couple of rubber maid tubs I had, and made sure to do the move at 2pm so it wasn’t as cold. I emptied rocks/gravel and water and moved the display tank a few feet to get it in position, I will use it’s positioning as the point to run my aisles off of.

The Fish

- A bit of damage this week to one of my female Apistogramma hongsloi, she was all coloured up but the male had taken an extreme liking to her tail, I have put her in a fry saver to give her some r&r.

- I released my male Aulonocara mbenji from time out again, and overnight he has savaged my sub dom male, and nipped several females tails. The sub has been put in a healing tank for the moment, and the male is back in prison, I am thinking of making it permanent and only letting him out for conjugal visits, speaking of which, he has managed to do the deed overnight as a female is now holding, all in all, a busy 24 hours for him.

- My pigeon blood discus are now approx 5” TL, and have just snacked on their first dither, a black neon tetra (Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi). I suspect it thought it could beat a discus to the freeze dried blackworm.

- My moorii (dolphin) and borleyi (kadango) in my display have both reached 7” had to measure them while I had the chance during the tank shift. They are coming along nicely. :boxing:

THE PLAN.....MAYBE

post-11860-14711633757367_thumb.jpg

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Poret foam is just a brand name.

I bought filter foam from age of aquariums that was alot cheaper when i had a mattenfilter tank.

They carry a few different ppi types.

I'm sure tech den would carry it as well and is a bit more local to you.

Mattenfilters work amazingly well and the slower the flow the better it does.

I will be setting up a couple more tanks with them soon, i use the filter foam as a divider for the tank and pump water from one side through a hose/pipe to the other side and the foam filters the water on its way back to the pump.

Cheers mick

Yes...I was planning on using it in a sump/refugium to divide off the sections..tank is a 48x24x16 (inches) and will be used for my 700 Litre/180G 60x30x24...I want to have either discus or angels (angels would be easier)..as it is so tall it would be problematic to plant so was going to go for hardscape of just drift wood, sand and stone and fill the refugium with plants to help balance the system and help control nitrates. By using the poret as barriers/baffles it will give me a tonne of biological filtration.

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I've played with sponge walls (matten type filters) for a while. Like all filters, it depends on your fish keeping style and what you want from filtration. So these will suit some very well but not others.

On one tank I drilled a 30mm hole vertically in sponge and placed a standard aquarium heater within. As long as the sponge is always wet, there isn't any fire risk. I use slow heat convection to pull water through the sponge. No air or power head required so it's very silent. Not suitable for small tanks as these build a thermocline (warm top layer) but bigger tanks will circulate.

On another tank, I used the sponge to create a display background. If you wet then freeze the sponge, you can easily carve - sculpture - drill until it thaws out. A fine serrated blade is best. You can add colours and sand and texture.

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I like the heater idea, my working plan was to hide air tubes and the heater down in the bottom of the water chamber, then put an extra piece of sponge in the tank front corners so it looks like a black border at the edges of the tank, can even wedge the tank thermometer between the sponge and the glass so it can be sighted but no longer knocked off the glass. Set one side up purely bio (low flow 30ppi) and the other side with the coarse foam at a higher flow for mechanical.

I even had a silly idea of doing a back wall, and cutting the image of a fish into the foam and then filling the image with another colour foam lol.

Edited by danfishy84

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This is great Dan. Let me know if you need a hand shifting tanks etc and I will pop down.

Thanks for the offer Paul, the heavy lifting is done though, made my brother put the shims under the display while I lifted to get it all level, silly man... things reversed I wouldn't be putting my fingers in jeopardy lol.

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Update 03/07/2015

The Keeping

Another big week this week, though It was forced upon me by my own stupidity. For safety…. keep your mobile phone out of the fish room during water changes.

I moved some racks and fish tanks this week, re-sealed an existing divider in a fry tank. I am also in the process of tidying the power lines after not paying attention and getting water in a power board.

Put some feelers out for a brand new IBC for water storage.

Installed some local sponge for a trial HMF run, was getting upwards of 500lph per 20mm pvc uplift pipe. I will be using this size on d-day as I was quite happy with the flow, probably need less if anything which I can adjust at the pump. I noticed way too many bubbles, hopefully putting the jets in the water instead of above (for flow test) will cut these down. (see pics).

I bought some new toys from Bunning’s to keep my power boards safe and mounted them on the end of my rack. (see pics).

The Fish

Stripped a female Mbenji peacock, she was starting to get unhealthy as it had been holding for some time, approx 50+ fry for the effort.

Released the female hongsloi, tail was healed in under a week, the miracle powers of Indian Almond Leaves perhaps?

Viewed a second tetra death in person, pigeon blood discus do not like sharing…

A couple of pics....

post-11860-14711633799181_thumb.jpg

post-11860-14711633798735_thumb.jpg

post-11860-14711633798958_thumb.jpg

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Update 10/07/2015

The Keeping

I am a big believer in new life spectrum, I have successfully used this for the past few years without a single case of bloat and my fish have great colour/health and are always ravenous come food time.

Unfortunately…It recently got to the point when I said enough is enough.

I use NLS 1mm Cichlid and NLS 2mm Thera-A exclusively on my display tank. Since using NLS brown/orange stains started appearing in my Texas holey rock and Pisces Ice white gravel substrate.

Now I know there is often a price to be paid for quality ingredients, and I was quite happy to pay the price monetarily but certainly not via extra labour (I’m lazy).

- Tank is an under stocked 5x2x2 malawi hap tank.

- Fish are only fed what they can eat in 1-2 minutes twice a day.

- Filtration (pre HMF) is a combination of an FX6 and a 10,000lph Aquael circulator (on part day) and an air stone all on a good maintenance schedule.

- Water changed 40% weekly

In light of this, my annoyance level hit critical and I have done the following.

- Currently trialling other foods, if anyone has an alternative quality sinking pellet to suggest?

- Removed dirty gravel substrate and replaced with coral sand.

- Bleached the holey rock.

These measures should reset the tank so I can more accurately gauge success of a food trial.

The Fish

Arranging a fish room is so much easier when you don’t have fish…

Moved my A. Hongsloi and L134 this week to their new positions, apisto’s no problem, L134 almost had a fatality…

L134- I moved filters, heaters and wood from tank 1 to tank 2 before going back for the fish.

After moving all the fish I found myself down one 7cm L134, I searched every nook and cranny, sifted my hands through the sand several times until I spotted it out the corner of my eye…lying on the concrete for who knows how long. It obviously hitched a ride with some of the tank décor and only made it half way.

I picked it up practically stiff as a board and placed it in the water, it twitched twice and then came back to life with a vengeance, never seen a cat fish move so fast. It has been fine and eating for the last couple days so hopefully lesson learned without cost.

Picture of stained gravel below, the holey rocks were dark brown/orange when out of the water, unfortunately I dropped them in the bleach before thinking of pics.

post-11860-14711633834234_thumb.jpg

Edited by danfishy84

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I agree on the NLS Thera A+ Dan it just messes the tank up too much. I will be trialing Hikari in the not to distant future. I have heard some good reviews about it recently.

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@danfishy84orwell Congrats on your informative and easy to read posts

Will you be inviting any of us for a looksie when completed? BTW I lerv Malawis and Discus! Do you keep these?? bgomf. and lol

Edited by mbunamad
geez i dunno

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@danfishy84orwell Congrats on your informative and easy to read posts

Will you be inviting any of us for a looksie when completed? BTW I lerv Malawis and Discus! Do you keep these?? bgomf. and lol

Thanks mate, as to the looksie... I will be inserting a limited number of gold entry tickets into random packs of chocolate, I thought it quite original no?

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Chokkies might be ok for some but how about tickets into something like this? I like fishing. bgomf

funny_beer_photo_23_zpse3ajaa7n.jpg

One of these is a must in your fish room!

cooler_zpsrchqjnxq.jpg

Edited by mbunamad
i forget

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Update 17/07/2015

The Keeping

I am weening the fish off NLS at the moment, I have tried Hikari staple which they wouldn’t touch and I am currently using Hikari gold which they like. (Anyone want a free pack of Hikari staple?). So far stains are not present on recently cleaned rocks.

My first HMF attempt went through this week on my 5x2x2. I decided on using a sponge both sides of the tanks instead of a circulator one side, though I may still use the one I own.

I put 30ppi poret foam on one side at 2.5x flow for the bio/fines work and put some coarser local product up the other end for high flow mechanical work. I painted the sides, put the uplift tubes and heaters behind the sponges, cut a strip of foam and wedged it in the front corners of the tank so the water column isn’t visible. End result makes the tank look like it has a border.

I have my FX6 running in conjunction with the HMF until the bacteria has well and truly colonised the foam. Current flow of the HMF via bucket test is approx 2300lph, this outstrips the FX6 which is only rated to 2100lph and actually runs a lot less with the way people (myself included) pack these full of media.

Pros

* Basically the set up (if I didn’t already have spare air to burn) would have cost me less than half of what my FX6 cost.

* Larger filtration area.

* Higher and better positioned flow.

* Less cleaning.

* Less power consumption.

* No fish/heater accidents.

* Some bio filtration possible on power out. (Sponges are in the water).

* Adjustable flow rates

Cons

* Less room in tank for fish.

* A lot more micro bubbles in the water.

* I had to actually do something.

Anyway, will keep you updated. I want to put in some more of these in my breeders and fry tanks (single side styles and corner styles). I figure they will look a lot better than sponges and won’t get in the way of my net all the time.

The Fish

Something in my display is female….the entire tank was playing who can eat the most eggs midweek.

L134’s appear off their food, maybe the cold snap or maybe I need to change the menu.

A. Hongsloi trio have been really active after their move/rescape.

Thanks for reading!

Dan

post-11860-14711633867779_thumb.jpg

post-11860-14711633868162_thumb.jpg

Edited by danfishy84

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