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ageofaquariums

Staff tip of the day.

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The easiest way, to make a trees day, is to tip a bucket of aquarium water that has had a filter squeezed out in it, all around the trees base.

Its the best fertilizer on the market.

Destroying a filters bacteria colony by cleaning filter media in straight tap water results in 2 weeks of ammonia and nitrite smashing your fish.

Best case scenario you get stuck doing epic water changes every few days and wasting hours testing water. That is the best thing that can happen. The worst is you lose your fish and just give up.

The tiny mistake of cleaning filter media in tap water is something we see every day at AOA.

And.... every day we help people go into damage control, and get themselves back to the point where they can be lazy again.

Its not even like its a big mistake, its just a little one with big consequences.

Long ago, someone pulled me up on cleaning filters in tap water.

Gave me a lecture.

And that marked the beginning for me of keeping fish long term, rather than just buying them.

When I stopped treating my filter like something I had to get clean.... and instead realised that gunk growing in the filter was the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU NEEDED TO HAVE TO ACHIEVE AN AWESOME AQUARIUM.

All filters are just homes for bacteria.

Cleaning a filter means pruning back the bacteria culture so that water can flow through the media. It does not mean killing it all and making the place sparkle.

The most reliable way to maintain good bio filtration, is to clean filters in a bucket of aquarium water taken from the aquarium the filter was running on.

Its a small thing, but it decides the fate of the little underwater world you have created :)

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When a problem is environmental it will effect ALL fish in the aquarium. So if ALL the fish are doing something strange, here are some tips to trouble shoot the issue.

When fish are gasping at the top of the tank

+ Check filter is running.

+ Ensure water surface is disturbed/rippled, and air pump is on.

+ Water temperature is not too high.

+ Did you use chlorine neutralizer drops?

+ Test water for AMMONIA, does water smell?

+ Are fumes/pesticides/smoke in the room being pumped into aquarium via the air pump?

+ Is there a scent dispenser (eg ambi pur) in the room?

If fish are on the bottom gasping,

+ Check water is warm enough

+ Did you use de-chlorinator?

+ Test for high nitrite

+ Are fish just asleep?

+ Did you just feed?

Are fish twitching, flashing or scratching?

+ Carefully check for electrical leakage (damaged cords, broken heaters, blown pumps)

+ Inspect fish for parasites like whitespot, velvet or flukes

+ Has GH just changed (eg adding rift lake salts or water change)

+ Test for high Nitrates

+ Test for pH drop

If in doubt, a 50% water change will often save the day, unless the problem is low temperature.

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African cichlids are generally easy fish, it can however be tricky to add new fish to an established display. At the very least its a stressful experience for the new fish.

To help them settle in there are a few things you can do.

+ First float the bag in the aquarium to allow the temperature to equalise.

+ Next move around a few rocks or ornaments. This will distract the fish you already have and prevent them focusing on the new fish 100%.

+ After an approx 15 minute float it can be a good idea to roll down the fish bag sides and add some aquarium water to the bag. Doing this 3 times about 5 minutes apart will allow the pH in the bag to equalise with the pH of the aquarium. This is called staging the fish, and is more important the longer the fish has been in the bag. CO2 from the fish can cause the bag water pH to drop, so by staging the fish we prevent pH shock.

+ If the established fish attack the new fella, add some food and consider turning out the aquarium light for a few hours.

+ If the biological filtration can handle the sudden bio load increase, consider adding more than one new fish at a time. This will spread the aggression.

The first day is always the most stressful for new fish, once they find the hiding places and get to know the other fish they usually settle in well. It doesn't always work out though, sometimes the only way to avoid murder is to put in some research on compatibility before you buy new fish. Taken to an extreme you can even make a list of species you wish to keep, and have some experienced cichlid keepers look it over for obvious incompatibilities. Then sort them out least aggressive to most aggressive. Adding the least aggresive species first and the most aggresive species last will give the more timid fish a chance to settle in.

+ No matter which fish you want to mix, growing them up together will give you your best chance of one big happy family.

+ Try to match the scape to the fish, or the fish to the scape. Have lots of rocks? Get mbuna! Just went bare sand? Consider Haps or Peacocks. Get your biotype on G!

+ Have a good King of the tank in Malawi setups and he will break up any fights before they get too bad. A king who is too aggro or too wussy will not work as well as one who is just right. A king is a fish who is significantly more intimidating than any other fish. Evenly matched fish squabble. Heavily out gunned ones usually give respect.

+ On the other hand, keeping fish of the same aggression level and ability to take punishment together is also important. Mbuna are actually well suited to living with Mbuna. They fight a lot but there are not usually many deaths unless you get a rogue Stalin. The secet is to provide lots of broken up territory. Out of sight, out of mind style.

+ Once you add one really agro fish to a cichlid setup, each new fish will need to be that agro or even more so. Consider these purchases well. While an auratus may flush your fish out of the rocks so you can see them, watching it harass the whole tank in it's never ending quest to get them away from it's rocks gets tedious.

+ Best to aim for different shaped bodied and coloured fish if less aggression is desired in your display. Malawi cichlids will often vigorously attempt to drive fish that look similar out of their territory. When they consider the entire aquarium their territory it can be stressful on the victim fish and you. Often the victim will need to be removed, that may involve setting up another tank.

+ Fish with the same body shape will be seen as competitors for the same food and feeding territory.

+ Fish with the same colours as rival dominant males will be seen as sexual rivals trying to cut his grass. Cichlids that look similar to females of other fish in the aquarium will often be courted by males, especially if they have no females of their own to chase instead. Dominated males will often show colours very close to females to avoid more beatings. Dominant males may even force shows of submission like playing the girl in a game of doctors and nurses. In these cases consider removing one of the males or leave the poor guy as a safety valve to take aggression off the females. He is never going to be pretty while being dominated though but does make a very attractive target fish for the alpha male to chase.

+ 2 males of the same species will often fight to the death. Where as 6 or more males of the same species will often just spar, resulting in some tattered fins. If you keep aggressive species, either 1 male or 6+ males, is the safest strategy.

+ If you want an African cichlid aquarium with very little murder/death/kill consider setting one up with only female fish in it. They are not always as brightly coloured as males BUT sometimes the fact they are not complete jerks to each other makes up for it. I started with an all female aquarium I used to fatten back up females after they had held fry for a few weeks. It quickly became one of my most interesting to watch displays.

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That's a very thorough rundown on keeping Malawis. Good work Dean [ I think ]. Why the hell did I keep and breed them??

Oh yes because they are the most colourful fish second only to marines.

Do Africans keep Australians?? Very funny.

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Use google language tools to translate foreign websites into kinda readable english. You can get the gist anyway. This opens up much of the fishweb previously closed to english only speakers. You can pick up some great ideas on German, Japanese and Dutch forums. Sure some things like Hamburg Mattenfilter, floating reefs and dude tanks may seem strange initially.... but its only so long until they become the next big thing here.

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What fish eats poo and will keep my tank clean?

None of them will.

Seriously.

No fish really eats poo, that’s the filters job.

Filter bacteria break down fish poo into much less toxic chemicals. With water changes it's then easy to keep these less toxic chemicals in the water at levels safe for fish.

Most fish tank filters are based on ones used to treat human poo. Icky as that sounds, they work very well. This is because vast amounts of money have been spent trying to work out what to do with the waste of vast quantities of humans.

A big plus is that as long as the filter has a healthy population of good bacteria, it is unlikely to be colonized by dangerous ones. This makes disease much rarer. The first step to healthy fish, is to keep them in a tank with a healthy cycled biological filter.

But what about pleco?

No.

Seriously mate, they produce more waste than they consume.

At best they convert algae into poo.

But what about catfish?

Yea they need to be fed fish food too.

Also if they do eat some poo...... they then poo.

Because they have a hole at each end yea?

Keep catfish because they are cool. Not because you expect them to save you effort.

So..... filters.... the answer to fish poo.

Worth getting a good one!

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How about snails? I think some will clean up poo? I guess I was thinking more of Malaysian trumpet snails which are said to be great for turning over substrate and wondering if they do really make a big difference.

Although on bare bottom tanks I've seen snails produce large amounts of waste as well.

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Good to see people enjoying the thread :)

Nice one for you today, although you will need to wait until tomorrow for the final part of it.

WHY IS MY TANK CLOUDY?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Nothing seems to frustrate aquarists more than a cloudy tank. They can be a bit of a troubleshoot to solve too!

Hopefully I can give you a bit of a list to go through to help pinpoint the issue.

We can break the most common causes down into a few categories,

1 ~ Floating debris in the water.

2 ~ Micro bubbles

3 ~ Mineral precipitation

4 ~ Marine tank shenanigens

5 ~ Bacterial blooms

1 ~ Floating debris in the water.

~ Clean your gravel and sand well BEFORE adding it to the aquarium! Even with good cleaning you can expect an aquarium to be a bit cloudy for a few days after adding new substrate. The clearing up process can be sped along by adding fine mechanical pads/matts/socks as well as a flocculant like accuclear to make the small particles blob together into larger chunks. The bigger the chunk, the easier for mechanical filtration to remove it.

~ Another thing to check is dust falling into the aquarium. Lids prevent this of course, but many of us have open tanks in dusty sheds. Add a few fans and all of a sudden you can have some serious dust landing in tanks.

~ Cichlids digging in substrate, especially when getting ready to spawn. Nocturnal fish like catfish or loaches can make a real mess in compressed dirt planted tanks.

~ A good thing to keep in mind is that less gravel = less trapped debris

~ Finely ground food such as algae wafers can cause a lot of clouding when fed in large amounts. This can cause terrible clouding when the wafers are of very low quality. They are often mostly wheat flour which is not easily digested by fish. Clouding caused by indigestible faecal matter can result in nasty disease out breaks, so if your live stock is valuable try to feed good quality food!

2 ~ Micro bubbles

~ Often this is caused by a sump running dry and sucking in air. Easiest fix of all, you just top it up!

~ Canister leak causing air to be sucked in. Check plumbing connections, primer plungers and rubber O-rings. Careful turning a canister with an air leak off, as the release of suction creates back pressure which can result in water leaking out of canister.

~ Check there is not an airstone under the filter intake. It may be sucking in air and then blending it up.

~ Plants can pearl like crazy! Its rare but it can become so extreme it looks like clouding. #planted guru problems

~ Another problem can be with CO2 diffusers putting too many micro bubbles into the water. Generally not a problem, but something that can often be fixed using an inline reactor.

3 ~ Mineral precipitation

~ Precipitation is something reefers are well aware of. You add your minerals separately…. otherwise they bond in the water and it all goes cloudy.

~ The same thing can happen in freshwater tanks. Our tap water is often high in calcium, which is added as lime. When water high in calcium is added to an aquarium that has a high KH it can cause the water to go cloudy. It does generally clear up with time, but can be disconcerting at the time!

4 ~ Marine tanks

~ A skimmer over flowing can create cloudy water bacterial blooms by dumping nutrients back into the tank suddenly.

~ A skimmer can also fill tanks with tiny micro bubbles. Its worth checking and optimizing your baffles to stop micro bubbles making it to the return pump.

~ Caulerpa going asexual can cause green or cloudy blooms. I recommend keeping light on 24 hours a day to prevent this happening. Caulpera die off can also trigger cloudy water blooms, so check that algae and make sure things are ok in there!

~ If you have just trimmed the refugium then its worth keeping in mind that macro also eats ammonia, so if you reduce the macro, then until it regrows you will have less ammonia being eaten by the macro. It can be a good idea to slightly reduce feeding for a bit, otherwise the left overs can be used by bacteria to bloom.

~ Starting up a carbon dosing setup, like bio pellets can trigger a sudden increase in water column bacteria. This can be avoided by starting with a very low dose and increasing it very slowly until you reach the recommended dose.

~ Live rock is a random thing. Sometimes it will be filled with sponges or worms that can suddenly die and rot. This release of ammonia can trigger crazy stench and cloudy water bacterial blooms.

~ Clams and coral spawning. This has become more common with lighting that accurately mimics sun and moon light cycles. Yes your tank can have so much coral/clam egg and sperm in it…. it goes cloudy. #Successful reefer problems

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Edited by ageofaquariums

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WHY IS MY TANK CLOUDY?!?!?!?!?!?!?

5 ~ Bacterial blooms

OK, this is both simple...... and complicated. I am going to do my best to to break it down. Yes there is exceptions* to much of what I am going to write, but its worth being brief to explain the essence of the situation.

Theres 2 sorta types of bacteria in aquariums.

~ Ones that float around in the water.

~ Ones that stick to surfaces.

Now, in an aquarium, we want lots of the sticky ones and very few of the floaty ones. This is because if you have HEAPS of the floaty bacteria the water looks cloudy!

~ When you first set up an aquarium, the different microbes battle it out for control of the aquarium. Initially the floaty bacteria have the advantage as they can multiply so quickly. An aquarium can go cloudy over night due to this! In a new aquarium with no fish, you can literally do nothing and the sticky bacteria will eventually win and the water will clear. This is because long term the sticky bacteria are actually more efficient at harvesting the ammonia. The thing is, their rate of reproduction means it can take weeks for them to come into balance with available ammonia, rather than days like floaty bacteria.

~ Once the sticky bacteria are established and in balance with the ammonia being generated in the aquarium.... all it takes is cleaning the filter in tap water to undo all those weeks of them getting established. IF you kill all those bacteria that have bred up to consume all the ammonia.... then all that ammonia is then available to the floaty bacteria, AND THEY WILL BLOOM.

~ The best place to grow dense colonies of the good guy sticky bacteria is on what we call biological filtration media. This includes ceramic rings, marine pure balls, coral rubble, scoria rock, K1 and bio balls. Included in biological filtration is also the coarse style sponges, this is because they can be rinsed (using water taken from the aquarium they run on) and then reused. This keeps a microbe population alive. Examples include matala mat, Japanese matting and the coarse sponging that comes with most internal or canister filters. Try to ensure that most of your filtration media is biological filtration. The next most important is mechanical, as in things to remove particles from the water. Then comes chemical filtration, which is our final polisher to make our water sparkle. Of equal importance to filtration is aeration, so make sure you factor that in, as bio filtration needs lots of oxygen to function efficiently.

~ Don't go replacing your biological filtration media all the time. At the most only replace half the coarse sponge or other bio filter media at once. If you remove it all and replace with fresh, the water will go milky as the sponge bacteria's nemesis 'the cloudy water' bacteria blooms. Keep your filter bacteria alive and they will keep your fish alive, your water clear and the tank smell free.

~ Something many people don't factor in, is their chemical and mechanical filter media. Once this is over a month old it starts to get colonized by sticky bacteria, and thus becomes part of the biological filtration. You need to keep this in mind when changing it. Anything with surface area will grow microbes on it, and potentially cause a water column bacterial bloom if its removed. This is even true for lava rock, gravel and sand! A good rule is, whenever you remove a lot of surface area from an aquarium, drop the feeding levels a bit for a week or so. This allows the filter bacterial to populate other areas more densely to respond to left over ammonia. If you don't drop feed levels, cloudy water bacteria will bloom to take advantage!

~ When cloudy water bloom its a strange situation. On one hand its dangerous to the fish as the bacteria are stripping most the oxygen from the water BUT the floaty bacteria are removing ammonia from the water. So.... the tank looks bad, and the fish are competing with the bacteria for oxygen BUT at least they are reducing the ammonia which does very real damage to fish eyes and gills.

~ Cloudy water bacterial blooms are dangerous because the bacteria remove so much oxygen from the water. They can be controlled efficiently using UV sterilizers/clarifiers BUT if the cause of the cloudy water IS AMMONIA then the UV will convert the cloudy water back into ammonia! Its a good idea when using a UV to test for ammonia after the water clears. If it is at dangerous levels, then its time to get in a water change to dilute ammonia, or to add a chemical filtration media like zeolite. We don't want to create a fish kill solving what is mostly an aesthetic problem.

~ Because bacteria need lots of oxygen to transform toxic fish waste to less dangerous nitrate we need lots! The water coming out of a filter may not contain much oxygen if it has passed through lots of bacteria. These low oxygen outputs are best across the surface of the tank where they can release carbon dioxide and dissolve more oxygen. The amount of oxygen entering the water is related to the surface area of the aquarium. Where the air meets the water is where it all happens. If the surface is rough with popping bubbles and swirling filter/powerhead current it will have a much greater surface area. Ensure the surface of the aquarium is rippled and disturbed to ensure good water oxygenation. The last thing you want is any bacteria competing with fish for oxygen and the fish coming off second best! During ‘milky/cloudy water bacteria’ blooms, the bacteria in the water will be consuming even more oxygen. Reduce feeding and increase aquarium oxygenation.

~ If your water is cloudy and your filters are cycled you are probably overfeeding. 'Overfeeding' means you are adding more food than the filters are able to easily convert to nitrates.

~ A common mistake is either adding too many fish at once, OR suddenly increasing feed levels rather than doing it at a pace that allows sticky filter microbes to breed up to match the increased ammonia.

~ Fresh foods such as zucchini, pumpkin and cucumber can cause cloudy water. This is usually because they are greedily fed on by fish which results in a sudden spike of ammonia. Or because they suddenly go soft and rot, releasing large quantities of ammonia. The trick is to only add small amounts, and remove any thats not eaten before it goes soft and rots.

~ A dead fish hidden somewhere in the aquarium is an ammonia bomb that will usually trigger a cloudy water bacterial bloom. You can sometimes look diagonally up into an aquarium and see an oil slick on the water surface. This oil slick is a very good sign there is a dead fish hidden somewhere in the aquarium rotting. Its worth checking the intake screen hasn't come off a canister filter as whole fish going into canisters and rotting out of sight can be a serious problem. Rapid water changes and adding a clay treatment like kusuri to soak up fats/oils can help a lot.

~ The use of bird medications that are syrup based will almost always cause a bacterial bloom in an aquarium. Best to avoid using these.

~ If water conditions do not favour the sticky filter bacteria, floaty cloudy water bacteria can take advantage of the situation and multiply rapidly. Sticky bacteria do not like very low pH or very high temperature. If either of these conditions have occurred, its often best to correct them first. Low KH can be fixed by adding a small amount of pH up or by a partial water change using dechlorinated tap water. Large pH, temperature or oxygen fluctuations may kill many helpful filter bacteria. Try to treat your filter bacteria as nicely as your fish.

~ If a filter is turned off for an extended time period it can cause a good bacteria die off and then a big cloudy water bacterial bloom. So make sure canisters run 24 hours a day when possible. If they are going to be off for a few hours, its worth removing the media to a bucket with an airstone running in it. If that wasn't an option, its a good idea to give media a rinse/squeeze in a bucket of water taken from the aquarium to remove dead microbes.

~ Kids are the wild card here and can be the cause. Its amazing what they can ninja into an aquarium. Milk is a common one, as is yogurt. They do love to help lol. A quick water change can be the solution here. Its amazing how fast water column bacteria can bloom given formula, in fact its likely an awesome starter for those producing infusoria for fry food.

~ If you have just trimmed then its worth keeping in mind that plants also eat ammonia, so if you reduce plants, then until they regrow you will have less ammonia being eaten by the plants. It can be a good idea to slightly reduce feeding for a bit, otherwise the left overs can be used by bacteria to bloom. The initial cycle of a planted aquarium can be complicated, this is because plants and bacteria compete for ammonia. Due to the lack of ammonia available for conversion to nitrite, there can be less nitrite eating bacteria. Keep in mind this balance between bacteria and plants if you have a cloudy bloom. In other aquariums algae and bacteria compete, but bacteria can easily be given the edge in the conflict by leaving the lights off for a couple of days.

~ Never under-estimate the power of a simple cycled air powered sponge filter to solve a cloudy water bacterial bloom in an aquarium. I always have a spare in one of my tanks that I can move to a problem tank to save the day. Its also handy if I need to setup a hospital/quarantine/fry/new tank in a hurry.

* The microbes that cause cloudy water blooms are very diverse group of different animals, plants and 'others'. I have called them bacteria above because..... well it made it easier. But yes, get a USB microscope and explore your aquariums water. The micro-verse is an amazing place and a goldmine for taking sweet photos of really weird.... uh.... things.

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Promise tomorrow we will be back on fun stuff. Had to peel this one like a band aid.

Edited by ageofaquariums

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We are not going to run out of tips in a hobby this big, buuuuuut if you have a request thats not just a troll ;) happy to roll with that too. The AOA crew has all sorts of specialists, we don't stump easy!

Whats the hardest part of any aquarium?

This is an easy one.

Its being able to WAIT to get what you want.

Rome was not built in a day, and either was any of the really impressive aquarium setups.

One characteristic, next to passion for the hobby, every aquarist should have or obtain, is patience.

Patience, next to understanding the basic water parameters, will be put to the test while cycling a tank. The cycling process starts the aquarium. Since an aquarium is an artificial and fragile ecosystem it requires our interference in order to thrive. Our interference starts with providing an artificial filtration system. In short, creating an environment as close to nature as possible. Yes cycling is the worst...... and an established aquarium can cycle at any time, depending on severe changes of the bioload, filtration failure, or any loss of nitrifying bacteria.

But patience will also be tested as you seek out the certain parts you have chosen to make up your perfect aquarium. Do not settle for less if you will not be totally stoked with it later. Hang in there, stay motivated and you will get it in the end!

Do not get frustrated. Roll with it.

But what about that show tanked?

Well ever notice they don't have episodes where they go back and look at the tanks they setup?

We are dealing with live animals.

You need to show some respect, some thought and sometimes...... sometimes you need you need to put the needs of animals health ahead of your need for instant aesthetic satisfaction.

Now the subject of ethics is a minefield in this hobby. Its VERY difficult to bring them up without sounding like you are a preacher on his high horse.

To answer the question though, is that the hardest thing to do in the hobby is to take your time.

Go slow, research the animals you wish to keep. Make the effort to create for them the most perfect setup possible. Their life in captivity deserves to be amazing.

Happy fish are awesome and will repay you a thousand times over.

Don't rush. This hobby is like watching TV, its like the opposite of a race lol.

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Oh, yes - got a request out of interest. It is just theoretical but would I think be handy to know (I swear I've asked this before but lost the notes).

Question is can glut for planted tank dosing be continued with either the disease treatment chemicals like malachite green, Pimafix, etc or the antibiotic types like triple sulpha, kanaplax, etc? Wondering if there might be adverse reactions with fish or antibiotics / anti-bacterials.

Also would glut dosing be somewhat like a prophylactic in a tank? Or too low a dose?

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Don't mercy buy pathetic looking fish at pet shops in the hope of nursing them back to health.

If you buy it they will order in more and probably kill those as well. Make an impact on their future choice by voting with your wallet. A sick fish can often cost a lot more (in meds or if it spreads disease to other tanks) than you had originally factored in.

Don't buy skinny loaches, goldfish that are floating, americans with bulging eyes, silver sharks that are easy to catch, bent live bearers, Africans with open sores, marines with cloudy eyes, tetra with fin rot, betta with velvet!

Buy healthy fish from people who know how to look after that sort of fish.

Now.... I break my own rules. I admit I am a hypocrite.

But honestly, do what I say, not what I do.

Its cheaper and less emotionally draining.

Still, its my tip of the day.

:)

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Can I suggest a description of some of these diseases [possibly with pics] as well to further help noobs and experienced peeps identify diseases.

I understand you guys are time poor but only a suggestion.

And of course Gargle is our friend. Sometimes!

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[MENTION=204]mbunamad[/MENTION]

Great idea, still being a bit of a noob myself and asking stupid questions (although i am told the dumber the question the easier to answer)

We could have a bit of a QLDAF WIKI page or two , maybe start with disease and pics and build on it over time.

It might take some time to build and i know there are differences of opinion on treatments etc,

but i can tell you from the heart that i would trust more advise from here than i ever would from the wonderful world of the web..

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Oh, yes - got a request out of interest. It is just theoretical but would I think be handy to know (I swear I've asked this before but lost the notes).

Question is can glut for planted tank dosing be continued with either the disease treatment chemicals like malachite green, Pimafix, etc or the antibiotic types like triple sulpha, kanaplax, etc? Wondering if there might be adverse reactions with fish or antibiotics / anti-bacterials.

Also would glut dosing be somewhat like a prophylactic in a tank? Or too low a dose?

Thank you for the suggestion. Not sure I could do the subject justice.

Instead I would refer you to chemist guru's.

[MENTION=3677]Graham CLJ[/MENTION]

or

info@seachem.com

http://www.seachem.com/support/forums/index.php

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Don't worry about what is worth money, keep and breed what YOU like.

Fads come and go and before long you'll probably be the only one with the species in the area. Plus if you put effort into a bloodline you can make it much more than it once was. Breeding something to make money because everyone else is defeats the purpose. Trets used to be cheap, now they are not, fish are like that. I miss my tret pair. I will say the same of my pied convicts. One second I was cursing their non stop breeding..... the next I was desperately trying to buy some back.

Also, a fish is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

YOU may have been willing to pay $40 for a baby pleco, but that does not mean other people will be willing to pay $100 for your crocodile sized adult pleco 2 years later.

The market is fickle.

Some fish are nice blocks of colour, and these are always in demand. Electric yellows are likely the most commonly bred and raised African cichlid...... because there is a never ending demand for them.

Other cichlids are rarer, but more drab in colour. These do not have the general appeal of lecky yellows, and you may find yourself selling only to collectors of cichlids.

Having a niche market makes it much harder to shift stock.

Often breeders of the more common popular species are snobbed as being mere bread and butter or bristlenose breeders.

But its these people who feed the industry side of fish keeping.

They are also the people who make a proper wage from breeding fish.

Personally I think its a noble aim, just to get a breeding operation to the point where it pays for the houses power bill.

And that my friend, that is not easy!

Keep what you like and don't be pressured by others.

Good fish are always worth what you pay. Choose carefully and you will never have buyers remorse.

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Can I suggest a description of some of these diseases [possibly with pics] as well to further help noobs and experienced peeps identify diseases.

I understand you guys are time poor but only a suggestion.

And of course Gargle is our friend. Sometimes!

Cheers for suggestion.

Will certainly do a small write up on some of the more common ones. I don't have a large database of my own photos of fish diseases, this makes it hard to be detailed.

Usually for those interested in fish diseases I recommend a good book. Not only do they have the pages to be thorough, but they are written by vets and medical specialists.

We may have plenty of experience treating fish, but we still turn to the professionals when it comes to what is the current best practice.

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Keep a tank journal.

Yea, I know no one does that anymore.

But hear me out, theres good reason to do so.

Not only will all that recorded data let you track deaths like a CSI team but they make great memento's of the stuff you did right too! With a tank journal and ammonia/nitrite/nitrate test kits you can track any tank cycle. Then work out exactly how lazy you can be with water changes while keeping nitrates diluted enough. A journal can be a note pad or a fancy computer program. What ever, use it to log test results, water changes, breeding activity, new fish additions, births, deaths, adding salt and medications for starters. Even having your tank size/volume and species list recorded in one place is handy. Do you know your filter brand/model if you need a spare part? What sort of bulbs does your light take? Whats the name of that awesome obscure fish/plant you saw and want?

Its the best tool we have for working out;

A) What went wrong.

B) What went right.

Write the scientific names of your fish on a card and keep it in your wallet, that way fish shop people know what you have, better yet remember their names and better still take a photo of them on your mobile phone. A picture is worth a thousand words and can help people decide what medicine you need or plants/fish/equipment would be suitable.

Don't wait for your tank to be completed BEFORE taking photos! Seriously most of us have digital cameras or phones with. Go nuts and record away. The worse it looks in the first photo, the better it looks in the last. This is the montage way!

Record what you do. If nothing else you can look back, and see how far you have come.

Its a crazy thing for a reefer to see a photo of the betta that started it all.

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Edited by ageofaquariums

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Loving this thread I enjoy reading over it and learning things that I have yet to have known, keep up the good work.

I find keeping a journal for my tanks is a great thing, because I keep my water test with dates and when I added new chemicals or anything else into the tank. I find this helps when a problem occurs allowing me to pin down on a cause of a problem fast and more affectively because I'm able to see wat I may have added. Not only does it help with sourcing out a problem u can use it to track trends in the water chemistry like pH. For example when a product like ista shrimp substrate is meant to maintain the pH level low but u notice over the months that ur pH is slowing rising then it's a good indication to change it out or top it up either way, due to the notes u have taken down from previous tests.

Edited by BOLT

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