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Got The Fish Tank Blues Today

Author Topic: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today  (Read 1847 times)

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Offline TopCookie

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Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« on: May 03, 2018, 04:57:26 PM »
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Major maintenance day with the tank today...  All the usual stuff, water change, filter service, plant trimming and some general cleaning etc...  One minute to write, an afternoon to do...!!! 

So, I've definitely got a little of the fish tank blues today...  Being involved so up close with the tank today has been a reminder of the various "battles" that are going on, and there are many:  sickly plants, green algae, hair algae, pest snails, freshwater limpets... to name a few of the bigger ones, but then there's the issue of stocking and having some fish I don't want and can't have some fish I do want etc... 

It's a battle to ensure that the tank gives more pleasure than grief/hard work...  and it's a very fine line indeed between the two, with the pleasure of it only just ahead of the downside by a fraction...

On a more positive note, things are in place for dealing with the plants and the algae etc and starting to look a little better now again...  Fish stock is always gonna be temporary because of the short lifespan they have etc, so any of the fish I want but can't have could be on the radar in the future of course...  Would just be nice if the positives outweighed the negatives a bit more heavily than they do... 

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2018, 05:45:25 PM »
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Tank maintenance always takes so much longer than expected. It's very easy to spend a whole afternoon on one tank - and sometimes it looks worse after maintenance than before (but that may just be my plant trimming "skills").
Glad to hear that the plants and algae are starting to look better. I'm sure it won't be too much longer until your tank is settled and the positives of owning the tank heavily outweigh any negatives.
We all go through ups and downs with our tanks, and sometimes the responsibility of creating & maintaining a suitable environment for our fishy friends weighs heavily.
Keep at it, you're doing fine.  :)

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2018, 06:07:50 PM »
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Donna, you're a sweetheart...  Thank you...  :)

Yeah, tank always looks a bit cloudy for a couple of hours after maintenance, eh...  But it's getting there again... 

I kinda do know that there are bound to be "wobbles" along the way, but blimey, all these little "battles" that are going on do get to you after a while...  But then you'll see something that puts the smile right back on your face, maybe an Amano running off with some algae wafer or such like...   :D

Offline fcmf

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2018, 06:54:35 PM »
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As I've just written in response to your pic (before reading this thread), I get real tank envy when I see your tank. Honestly, it, the plants and the fish all look great to me. Perhaps I ought to show you a few close-ups of mine, with the extremely BBA-ridden anubias with some awful-looking dead leaves, the massive plant (an online purchase error) dumped in the middle and which won't stay weighted down so has now actually had several of its leaves singed by the light above which it touches (hoping there's not a fire risk with this?!), plant debris across the substrate, pieces of fungused pellets, fungused snail poo, the plants permanently covered in a brown/red dust which is actually from the root tabs after getting disturbed during the weekly maintenance, yellowing leaves due to other plants over-shadowing them, hornwort needing tapped after every feed because it's got pieces of fish-food flake entangled in it, etc. The plant debris, fungused pellets and fungused snail poo and some of the yellowing plant leaves will get removed during tomorrow's water change but it won't be more than a day or so before the previous status returns. Hope that context helps. :D What is most important, in my book anyway, is being able to keep the fish and invertebrates alive, and that provides me with the satisfaction I need, while admiring the aesthetics of others' tanks such as your own.

Offline Helen

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2018, 10:03:27 PM »
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Your tank is still relatively new (ie <1yr) isn't it? It took me a long time for my tank to settle, >6mths and I remember that first year being quite depressing. I'd done loads of research, but my plants were dying and so were my fish.

I found it took me quite a while to understand my tank and it's water parameters and therefore put into context all the research I had done and was still doing.

And it is easy to fall into the trap of being envious of other people's tanks. But you have to remember that tanks don't photograph the same as they look in real life. I can never understand how everyone else's sand seems so clean. Apart from my sand area being spread over the rest of the tank by the inhabitants, it always looks filthy. Even after I've attempted to vacuum it - I seem to pick up more sand than debris. But I took some new photos at the weekend (which I've yet to upload  :yikes:) and was surprised how white the sand looked in the pictures. On the other hand, I'm really pleased with my stocking levels - the tank looks full of life and colour, but that didn't come across in the photos at all. I fed the fish prior to taking the pictures, so they were all rooting around in the plants and therefore really well camouflaged.

So chin up, your tank is looking fabulous, both plants and fish. And you will get to the point where the enjoyment outweighs the work and worry.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2018, 10:57:49 PM »
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Honestly...  You guys are the best...!!!   :)

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2018, 11:31:19 PM »
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Your tank is still relatively new (ie <1yr) isn't it?

It is Helen, yes...  Was originally filled with water on 21st January, this year...  Took the full weekend to get it ready and was well planted from the start...  In terms of cycling, I never got to see any significant ammonia or nitrites etc...  Never have done to this day either really...  The power of plants, eh...  :) 

First fish went in two weeks later, monitored real close and still nothing, couple of days later, some more fish and more monitoring etc...  I used to check very frequently, but the novelty of zero readings wears thin after a while and I check about once a fortnight now - always the same zeros...  There was a time when I had some nitrates for a while, but they've been on zero lately too and are probably instrumental in why I've had the nutrition issues with the plants... 

Still getting substrate bubbles, but they don't put the Corys off rummaging around in the sand even slightly, so I guess it's probably all part of the tank still maturing and settling...?

Offline Matt

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2018, 07:50:01 AM »
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It's all about balance... finding this is a definite art and not a science and it will come with time. I too have a massive colony of tiny pest snails I'm battling at the moment. Im quite happy to keep at it though till things calm down. I find tank maintenance to be a very good distraction from the stresses of daily life...

Re substrate bubbles... you should find the start to reduce over the coming months... fits with the timescales on mine.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2018, 07:59:08 AM »
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*guitar*

I got the fish tank blues
Yeah, I got the fish tank blues
I got the fish tank blues
Don't know what to do

*guitar*

Spent the afternoon on maintenance
Yeah, filter clean, plant trim, the works
Spent the afternoon on maintenance
The tank ends up cloudy

*guitar*

There is algea in my tank,
Along with pest snails and limpets
There is algae in my tank
The plants are looking sickly

*guitar*

I have some fish I don't want
And don't have some fish that I do
I have some fish that I don't want
Water suitability and community compatibility is tough

*guitar*

Tank less than 6 months old
Guess it still needs to mature
Tank less than 6 months old
I got the fish tank blues

*harmonica*

I got the fish tank blues
Yeah, I got the fish tank blues
I got the fish tank blues
They're getting me down  :(

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2018, 10:31:31 AM »
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lololol...  Priceless Donna, priceless...   :rotfl:

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2018, 02:00:54 PM »
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I hope things seem a bit better today.   ;D

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2018, 02:37:38 PM »
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Yeah, for sure Donna...  Funny old thing, the way the hassles can get to you...  But looking good today - only thing is the little micro ramshorn snail numbers do seem slightly up at the mo...  Just keep plucking them out when I can see them, being great a believer that manual removal is by far the best control method...

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2018, 03:55:52 PM »
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You have taken a very sensible approach to setting up your tank. I think Matt is right, it's about balance. Hopefully things will start to sort themselves out soon.
I've only been keeping fish for less than 3 years, and although I researched things like fishless cycling and fish compatability, I quickly got carried away, purchased lots of tanks, fish, and plants. I have made mistakes, been distracted by fish that I probably shouldn't have bought. So many times I have felt as if I have been on the brink of disaster, and wondered why I'm putting myself through so much stress.
Then something adorable happens in a tank, and I realise I couldn't be without them.  :)

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2018, 04:46:33 PM »
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The temptation to get a smaller second tank is a killer, for sure...  I could have one in my office room, where the computer is...  Can't help thinking that it would be wise - in my case - to hold fire a little though, and get the main tank on an even keel first...  :)

Offline Matt

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2018, 08:43:50 PM »
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Theoretically what fish would you have in this office tank?? Not trying to encourage... just interested!

Offline Helen

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2018, 11:37:32 PM »
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Another thing to look out for when trying to control pest snails is the eggs. In my tank they look like tiny frogspawn, in 2 lines on a leaf. Total length about 1cm. I don't try to look for them, but if some happens to catch my eye - especially when I'm doing plant maintenance, I quickly whisk them out. Or knock them to the substrate where I'm fairly confident they'll be eaten by one of several fish species I have.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2018, 11:49:06 PM »
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I've never to this day seen snail eggs, but would undoubtedly remove the buggers if I did...  Don't think I would dare take the chance of leaving them in there, just in case... 

Second tank is a tough one...  Various plans appeal, love the Cichlids, also love the idea of ornamental shrimp, and yet one more; a Betta... 

The old rampant indecision would surely strike a major blow if I were to buy a second tank...!!!   ;D

Offline Helen

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2018, 12:10:50 AM »
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Snail eggs are one of those things that are hard to spot. But once you've seen them and learned what you're looking at, they drive you mad because you see them everywhere. At least, that's what happened in my tank.

In my tank I thing (snail) egg predators include kuhlis, rasboras (2 species, 3 if you count the m. Kubato) fiveband barbs and maybe the rainbow fish. Hmm that's everyone except my BN Plec! Maybe that's why the snails no longer bother me.  ;)

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2018, 12:31:22 AM »
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I'd love a fish type that would eat the little ramshorn snails I get...!!!  As things stand, my bunch will gobble up, enthusiastically, any limpets or pest snails that you squish first, but won't take live ones from the glass, plants or gravel etc...

Offline Sue

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2018, 10:10:14 AM »
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The trouble with actual snails is that fish usually suck them out of the shell to eat them, and there aren't that many fish which can do that. Lots more will eat snail eggs, and also the snail body if the shell is crushed so they can get at it.
I have those tiny ramshorns and 'pond' snails in both my tanks, together with nerites and black malaysian trumpet snails which I bought. The betta's tank is currently empty, awaiting work under the worktop in the kitchen before I get a new betta. All that's in there is sand, filter and heater and I am feeding ammonia to keep the bacteria alive. But I do have livestock in there too - MTS and 'pond' snails. Ammonia does not kill these snails. The MTS leave wonderful trails in the sand overnight  :)

We had only dial up internet until about 2004, so all my research was done using out of date books in the library. These books said snails were bad as they transmitted disease to the fish in the tank. So I spent years trying to eradicate the ramshorn snails which were the only ones I had back then, and finally gave up trying. I now know that snails in the tank are a good thing - and not just nerites. So I put up with the two pest species - though I do suck out the ones on the glass during a water change.  I don't know if it's the ramshorns or the 'pond' snails, but one of them lays eggs inside a horseshoe shaped piece of jelly. I suck those out as well when I see them.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2018, 06:01:36 PM »
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My dwarf puffers enjoy snails, but I tend to only give them very small ones, which they suck out of the shell.

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2018, 11:17:45 PM »
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I'd so love one of those DP's, but believe they're really a "species only" type fish rather than a community job...  But that snail munching skill set they possess is definitely enviable...!!!

Offline Matt

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Re: Got The Fish Tank Blues Today
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2018, 08:11:59 AM »
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I have a separate dwarf puffer tank... I surcame to MTS for those little cutiepies.

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