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ageofaquariums

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You can heard small fishes into a clear gravel vac tube. I learned this by accident trying to use the vac to heard the fish into the net. When they start following the same lines just set it up there

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[MENTION=2383]ageofaquariums[/MENTION] ..............Can I suggest a topic for your staff tip of the day by any chance.

How to get rid of Black hair algae?

I have it in three of my tanks and its starting to bug the hell out of me.

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[MENTION=2383]ageofaquariums[/MENTION] ..............Can I suggest a topic for your staff tip of the day by any chance.

How to get rid of Black hair algae?

I have it in three of my tanks and its starting to bug the hell out of me.

[MENTION=7778]TED[/MENTION] Flying fox will slowly get rid of the black hair algae

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[MENTION=7778]TED[/MENTION] Flying fox will slowly get rid of the black hair algae

Do these fish just control it or will they completely get rid of it.

I don't mind the look of these fish but I don't think they will go well in a tank of yanks.

They will go ok in two of my tanks but one I will need to treat differently.

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Do these fish just control it or will they completely get rid of it.

I don't mind the look of these fish but I don't think they will go well in a tank of yanks.

They will go ok in two of my tanks but one I will need to treat differently.

[MENTION=7778]TED[/MENTION] They will get rid of it completely in the end.

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@ageofaquariums ..............Can I suggest a topic for your staff tip of the day by any chance.

How to get rid of Black hair algae?

I have it in three of my tanks and its starting to bug the hell out of me.

Touched on it a few times,

#66

~ Hair algaes in planted tanks are most commonly solved with true Siamese Flying Foxes. In tanks that can handle more aggression, the florida flag fish can be a solution. Less efficient but more suitable for out door hair algae, the humble rosey barb may snack on your hair algae IF hungry enough.

There is a definite art to adding algae eating fish. Add too many and they will rapidly consume all the algae and then need to be fed algae! Its also worth noting that algae eating fish in general often produce a lot of waste. This waste may or may not be easier to take care of than the algae! Algae is basically made of Nitrate and Phosphate. Fish that eat algae thus produce waste that is high in Nitrate and Phosphate. While algae is generally an aesthetic problem, nitrate and phosphate are water quality problems. If you add algae eaters to an aquarium full of algae, ensure you water change the aquarium once the algae eaters have cleared the tank of algae. That way we dilute the nitrate and phosphate. This prevents the algae from just growing straight back using the nitrates and phosphates released by the algae eaters!

#78

Solving an algae bloom has 3 parts.

~ ID the algae

~ ID the trigger for the bloom, move to prevent it happening again.

~ ID the algae weakness, treat the symptom.

8 ) Black beard algae BBA - RODOPHYTA LEMANEA

~ Excess KH

~ Calcium deficiency

~ CO2 deficiency

As far as spot treatments go, one can use any of the liquid carbon products (eg API CO2 booster) and either squirt it directly onto the algae OR dose the whole tank. The trick is though, that for it to be effective we do dose more than is recommended. The catch is that as a shop, we have to be careful about recommending people do things not recommended by manufacturers. At the very least, a glut overdose can melt val and crypts. Another option is to use hydrogen peroxide, which I am not going to go into as its something people can get wrong. Give it a google if you are interested as it is used by some of the diehard DIY guys.

There are non-glut based algaecides on the market such as the Azoo stuff.

http://www.aquariumproducts.com.au/catalogue_products.php?prodID=3214

Its effective but you should look at the conditions that let BBA flourish in the first place.

To do that we need to look at the water chemistry.

Always interesting to see test results on tanks that have BBA.

GH, KH, nitrate and phosphate.

Data on these can shed a lot of light on why BBA is running rampant.

Edited by ageofaquariums

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Thanks [MENTION=2383]ageofaquariums[/MENTION]. I will have a look at these posts. I will have a chat to you guys when I'm in there next time.

I didn't mean to hi jack your thread. I may even start my own thread where everyone with experiences can post and add to for future info.

All I know is I'm happy that there is at least hope in getting rid of it.

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Don't lose your balance.....

"good enough"

"works for me"

"does the job"

We say this a lot and for most fish its..... satisfactory.

But then one day you find yourself with tetra fry or a fancy dwarf gourami and your standard SOP suddenly equals terrible terrible fry attrition.

~ Clean filters on a different day to changing your aquarium water.

Yes almost all your filtration microbes are in your filter, but your can throw out the populations of larger life and throw the water quality out while they recover.

~ Age the water.

Yes modern dechlorinators can remove the dangerous components of tap water, but its still raw water. Its clean chemically but not biologically. If you can dechlorinate your water and leave it with an airstone for a few days before you use it, its quality improves.

~ Match the temperature and pH of new water.

This is not so bad if you are already aging water, but can be tricky in winter if you are not. An alternative way of getting the same effect is to have a large display tank that you then take water from to top up smaller tanks. As long as you keep up water changes on the display you will have a good source of mature water for your smaller tanks.

~ Stagger filter cleans.

Using dual filters on aquariums, allows you to clean one per week. This means you always have at least one healthy established filtration colony.

~ Feed small amounts frequently.

Larger feeds can result in spikes of ammonia or nitrite. Small amounts are easier for the fish AND THE filtration to digest.

~ Use a net, bucket and hose for each tank.

Avoid contamination with other tanks. If in doubt steralize tech between tanks. Healthy big fish may carry parasites that can kill fry.

~ Do smaller water changes.

While we usually say less than 50% partial water changes, for more delicate species you may find anything more than 10% is risky.

~ Small cleans frequently.

Big tank tear downs are to be avoided. You may be seeing a theme here. Clean a little bit at a time. Keen the tank conditions optimal, rather than letting it get gross and then doing a big clean out.

Optimal fish keeping is the dream, the trick becomes making the optimal methods no more effort than the usual "good enuf" options.

Edited by ageofaquariums

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Get your CSI on!

Noticing a problem and finding the trigger that caused it are 2 different things.

N00bs treat symptoms, gurus find and then fix the trigger event to prevent it from happening again.

It takes time to develop fish eyes, and until then we need to use our equipment to diagnose.

Thus a journal recording new fish purchases can identify where a disease came from. Test kit data can identify if filters are not keeping up with waste. A thermometer can identify temperature stability issues. Even a cheap thumb microscope off ebay can identify a worm type and ensure you only need to buy one of the expensive medications to treat it with.

Identify the issue, discover and fix the root cause.

Then you can focus 100% on the symptoms on the fish.

Its easy to ask for help.

Its easy to be offended by the interrogation that follows asking others for help.

On the other hand, there is a certain satisfaction that comes from successfully troubleshooting and fixing an issue yourself.

It may take some reading, some asking and some testing.... but in the end you will be a stronger fish keeper for it.

And thats all a fish can ask for right?

A custodian who knows their drills and can save their lives when things get a bit crazy.

Don't sell yourself short.

Confidence in this hobby is something you gain, one fixed problem at a time.

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Potential parasite or disease situation?

 

1) ID the nasty.

2) choose best medication to kill nasty AND not kill yer fishy

3) find med and calculate dose rate.

4) if possible test dose rate on one fish in a bucket first.

5) remove carbon and other chemical filtration

6) dose med when you have time to watch for adverse fish reaction to meds.

7) be prepared to water change IF fish react badly

8 )  mark down date for retreatment IF nasty lays eggs

9) test/inspect fish to ensure nasty is dead

10) quarantine new fish AND treat with a prophylactic treatment to ensure no re infestation.

 

A cheap 60X clip on microscope for ya phone is like $5 on ebay and will let you ID the nasty in question. Capturing photos lets you ask other aquarists for help, and makes sure we know the enemy. Theres often no greater danger to a fish, than an aquarist treating them for a disease they dont have!

 

Want more detail, this tip is simplified from here.

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With the warmer water comes an increase in life, some of which can cause issues for your fish. The dreaded flex is likely the most feared, as if it reproduces out of control it can wipe a tank in a very short time. Known by many names as a result of its many symptoms, it can be a very confusing disease to diagnose and treat.

I highly reccomend taking the time to read through this link

https://fishlab.com/columnaris/

Its important to know when to turn the heater up or down while treating sick fish.

 

Whitespot turn up

Columnaris turn down.

 

Your 2 most likely disease encounters, know thy enemy!

 

 

 

 

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A common claim is that a good fish keeper, keeps water not fish. And you cannot argue that water quality is a huge part of the hobby. Partial water changes are our standard tool for keeping water quality good, and todays tip is a small one, the final check we do after a water change.

 

Ensure after topping your aquarium back up, that you check that your filter outlets are rippling the water surface. Many of us push them down lower during the initial draining, or just due to evaporation, so its easy on top up to accidentally leave them down low where they are not rippling the water surface.  In most tanks the surface agitation that oxygenates the water is produced mainly by the filter outlets. So the final step to a water change is to re-adjust the filtration nozzles or spray bars, or even wavemakers, to ensure you have optimal surface agitation.

 

This is also important due to many dechlorinators lowering oxygen levels as they remove chlorine, often made worse by tapwater having a low oxygen content to start with. Get that surface ripplin and you degas the CO2 and get that oxygen loaded back up :)

 

 

 

 

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Breeding tetra

 

Tetra, like all big groups of fish, have easy species and tricky species when it comes to breeding and raising.

Due to small fry size they are often disproportionately tricky to raise, compared to the ease with which they spawn thousands of eggs.

With that in mind let us look at the example of the Serpae tetra, a species I have had great success with even as a novice aquarist.

First here is a great link that should answer any detailed question.

http://www.ctsa.org/files/publications/CTSA_1386316728568618675601.pdf

 

Second here is a great tip from a great man,

 

Quote

aquaholic99

 

The bladder in female is much larger and extends well past the dorsal fin if you draw an imaginary vertical line down. 

If you wish to breed, you will have better success with a school of ten + fish and when well conditioned, the difference between sex is very obvious as well as behavior. 

Put fish with java moss over a suspended net bottom or rotate brood stock into new tanks weekly if you want the lazy method. The breeding phase is the simplest as first foods can be tricky. 

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one method of keeping Axolotls in QLD

 

This is a huge complicated hobby, with many many different paths to success. No where does the hobby get more confused than where axo's are concerned. Even while successfully producing Axos for the pet trade, I have been constantly bombarded by people telling me I was doing it all wrong. So....  here goes nothing lol.

 

Axolotyls come from cold highly oxygenated water, so to replicated that in QLD a chiller is required. And of course if you can add a chiller, then thats what you want to do!

 

But, sometimes a chiller is not an option, and thats the scenario we are going to explore.

 

Theres 3 main parts to the following strategy.

1) Aggressive aeration, with a degree of redundancy -> twin airpumps running AND a backup battery airpump for use during power outages.

Aggressive aeration is needed as the warmer water cannot hold much oxygen, so we need to replace any oxygen used up by axolotl or the living microbes in filtration. Having 2 airpumps provides redundancy and means that even if one pump fails the other will keep everything alive. The battery powered aerator is insurance, and ensures that even in a disaster situation we can take care of the immediate threat to axo life. Its worth taking your time choosing the airpumps, a quiet airpump is a beautiful thing and well worth a few extra $.

 

2) Excessive biofiltration -> multiple mature air powered sponge filters

Like every aquarium, we need to establish microbes on our biofiltration before we start adding delicate livestock. This is especially critical with axos as any gill damage from ammonia or blood damage from nitrite will only compound the difficulty of keeping axos in warmer water. I would highly recommend purchasing ammonia and nitrite test kits, these are a very useful tool when "fishless" cycling the aquarium. This is the proccess of adding fish food before adding livestock and then tracking the rise of ammonia and nitrite, and then its fall to the desired 0ppm. By taking your time and then stress testing the aquarium with fish food + ammonia/nitrite testing, we can be sure that when we introduce and start feeding our axo we are not going to get a rude ammonia/nitrite spike surprise.

While air powered sponge filters are ugly....  they are perfect in almost every other way. They have no moving parts to break, are very cheap, reliable and provide excellent biofiltration and oxygenation. They are very easy to clean (always in a bucket of water taken from the aquarium they run on, to ensure we trim rather than destroy the good microbe colonies) and reduce the need to have electrical gear inside the aquarium. By using 2 or more, we can run them from different airpumps increasing further the redundancy.

 

Not taking time to "cycle" your filters is the biggest mistake people make, the second being incorrectly cleaning filters in tapwater and the third forgetting to use dechlorinator before topping up with tapwater.

 

3) Stable pH -> using coral sand as a substrate

Coral sand, once cleaned, makes a nice bright substrate. This is good because it means we can use lower lighting and due to the reflection on the sand, achieve a result you would need far stronger lighting to achieve on a darker substrate. Axolotyl prefer lower light so thats a plus. It will also usually be nice and rounded, which is nice for soft bodied axos to crawl over and better when they inhale it while striking for food. Coral sand is made of calcium carbonate, this means that stomach acid will dissolve it! Organic waste is often acidic, but rather than dropping the aquariums pH, it will instead dissolve a bit of the coral sand. This will hold your aquarium at a stable pH of around 7.6, ideal for the filtration microbes we are cultivating in our sponge filters to compost the raw sewrage (ammonia and nitrite) into non toxic fertilizer (nitrate and phosphate). Our testing has shown our local tapwater to be consistantly at or close to 7.6 which is excellent as it allows us to do larger water changes without the complication of having to adjust the pH of the new water to prevent pH shocking our axos!

 

So, good aeration, good filtration and stable pH.

There are 3 other considerations, worth investigating when using the above strategy.

Water changes to keep nitrate and phosphate diluted to prevent algae blooms.

The easiest way is to test nitrates and get into a water change routine that keeps them diluted below 80ppm. While you need a nitrate test kit to be able to test nitrates, you only need to test and record nitrates for a few weeks to have a good idea how much the food is raising nitrates by, and thus how often you need to water change to keep them below 80ppm.

Good nutrition, not just an eternity of bloodworms.

While bloodworms are often readily accepted by axolotls they are not a very nutritionally complex food and so should be part of a varied diet. While they have a reputation for being tricky to feed, as long as water quality is good they will take a surprisingly large variety of food. Live earthworms are likely their favourite but not something that's easy to keep on hand. Frozen foods such as bloodworm, brineshrimp or even beefheart, are usually taken readily. The most difficult feeding happens when freshly hatched and for optimal survival rates requires living moving food such as baby brine shrimp or baby mosquito larvae.

For adults though, you can feed a large variety of sinking high protein pellets. These are not only far more nutritionally complex than single ingredient foods like frozen bloodworms but can be loaded into auto feeders while you are on vacation. The more smelly the food the easier to introduce it, so foods marketed at catfish tend to do particularly well. Many breeders use smelly aquaculture pellets designed for use with salmon or trout. We recently tested ours with ocean nutrition colossus Q2 with great results.

Medications

Being basically frogs with tails, axolotyls are suuuuper delicate to medications. There are not many meds that wont outright murder them! One we have found to be effective and safe is Indian Almond Leaves. These seem to improve tapwater, and help prevent infections on injuries. They work by putting tannins in the water, which many are not a fan of, due to it meaning yellow water. Usually using them would risk rapidly lowering the pH but with a coral substrate buffering the water you can have tannins and a stable pH.

 

 

 

 

 

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Some very good tips on axylotyl keeping there. It's a difficult topic. 

I'd lIke to add that keeping the tank in a coolest closed part of house, perhaps on the floor will help if you don't have any air conditioned rooms. When summer air temperatures reach 32 - 35 degrees for days it becomes very hard but I've had good results slow trickling water down a vertical flat fish sponge wall to get evaporative cooling (and a trickle bio filter). I cable tie the sponge directly to egg crate as a frame and use a small internal power filter with a spray bar to supply water along the top edge of the sponge wall. Take tank kids off. On extremely hot days, use a fan over the tank and sponge too. 

Frozen bottles of ice are a waste of time. 

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