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New To Fish Keeping, Would Like Some Help :)

Author Topic: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)  (Read 9696 times)

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Offline Alostangel

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #50 on: May 13, 2019, 03:53:53 PM »
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I just tried attaching a large photo (3.54 MB) and I got the error message because it is over 3.0 MB (ie 3000 KB)

Have you tried resizing the photos? Most laptops come with Paint already installed, right click on the photo, down to 'open with' and select Paint.
If you can find Paint on your laptop, I can tell you how to resize a photo to make it smaller - that is, fewer MB.

The file is already under 3mb though, itís about 2.5mb...

Also, Iím feeding Tetra Micro Crisps (complete good for small tropical fish)

Offline Sue

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #51 on: May 13, 2019, 04:05:41 PM »
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I think the size requirements must be stated incorrectly. I just failed to attach a 2.29 MB photo.

I'll PM the site owner and ask.

Offline Sue

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #52 on: May 13, 2019, 04:43:56 PM »
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I've just had a reply from Robert and he can't get it to work either. He doesn't know why the server won't allow photos just under the limit but says that 2000 KB or lower should work OK, so photos resized to that should attach OK.
He also gave a link to a site that can be used for resizing http://www.picresize.com/

Offline Alostangel

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #53 on: May 13, 2019, 05:28:26 PM »
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I've just had a reply from Robert and he can't get it to work either. He doesn't know why the server won't allow photos just under the limit but says that 2000 KB or lower should work OK, so photos resized to that should attach OK.
He also gave a link to a site that can be used for resizing http://www.picresize.com/

Alright, awesome! Iíll give that a go later then and try and upload a now and before photo

Offline Matt

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #54 on: May 15, 2019, 10:31:17 AM »
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Also worth checking the file type is one of those listed if your still struggling... I know I had a problem once with a file named *.jpeg rather than *.jpg

Offline Alostangel

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #55 on: May 16, 2019, 11:33:29 PM »
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Also worth checking the file type is one of those listed if your still struggling... I know I had a problem once with a file named *.jpeg rather than *.jpg

Iíll try that as soon as I can!

Offline Alostangel

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #56 on: May 17, 2019, 07:31:07 AM »
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Also worth checking the file type is one of those listed if your still struggling... I know I had a problem once with a file named *.jpeg rather than *.jpg

Ah ok! Iíll give that a try too then

Offline Alostangel

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #57 on: May 19, 2019, 11:04:32 AM »
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So I have the LoveFish Panorama 64litre tank from p@h and it comes with a built in feature of a light connected to the filter which flashes every 28 days to remind you to change the filter insides. I had a look on the YouTube tutorial for this but it makes no sense to me?? Surely you should be leaving it alone and not changing it constantly as thatís where the good bacteria is??
Should I be changing it or leave it and ignore that part? I can link the video if itís allowed (not sure if it is, let me know)

Offline Matt

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #58 on: May 19, 2019, 12:00:47 PM »
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You should absolutely leave it alone. I've disconnected my reminder light...

Be warned though that the tank doesnt actually come with proper biological media. Only the algaway pad (which compacts quickly so flow doesn't pass through efficiently) and the carbon media. I replaced everything quite quickly to a block of plain filter sponge once I learnt about proper filtration and would recommend you do the same before too far set up.

Otherwise it is actually a very good set up!

Offline Alostangel

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #59 on: May 19, 2019, 12:09:40 PM »
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You should absolutely leave it alone. I've disconnected my reminder light...

Be warned though that the tank doesnt actually come with proper biological media. Only the algaway pad (which compacts quickly so flow doesn't pass through efficiently) and the carbon media. I replaced everything quite quickly to a block of plain filter sponge once I learnt about proper filtration and would recommend you do the same before too far set up.

Otherwise it is actually a very good set up!

Thank you! I noticed it came on last night but left it as I got in quite late after some wine aha and checked on it this morning but didnít want to do anything until I had a check with you guys

Offline Matt

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #60 on: May 19, 2019, 12:13:58 PM »
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It's like printer cartridges, they are just trying to sell you more stuff!

Look up the interpret cf2 filter to see the missing cartridge. The love fish brand is knockoff versions of their stuff.

Offline Alostangel

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #61 on: May 19, 2019, 06:44:36 PM »
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So I now have 6 otos. I floated them, then put some of the tankís water in with them, about a quarter of a cup each time with about 5-10 minutes in between. Then they were left for a bit then I used a net to get them in (I ended up pouring the water away into my sink with the net at the mouth to catch them before quickly running back to the tank). The lights were off the entire time and four seem to be happily munching on some algae while two just sat there. I also did a 25% water change as it was due. Iíd done a water sample at the shop before getting the fish and was told everything is fine apart from I think my nitrate (?) levels were a bit high - hence the big water change. I also got given some catfish pellets but Iím not sure if I should feed them to my otos. Iím gonna get some pebbles and grow some algae on them for when thereís no algae in the tank.
My wood is now sinking so Iím just gonna wait until the otos clear the algae up to put them in and I got a stack of three tubes with some green felt ornament so will put that in at the same time.
Also, once I get some more money (I spent it all today on fish 😂) Iíll be getting some more plants with some water sprite being on the top of the list as my chosen floating plant given it doesnít mind condensation, doesnít drop needles like some floating plants and doesnít get too out of control like duckweed apparently does.

Offline Sue

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #62 on: May 19, 2019, 07:10:45 PM »
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Since you have fish, don't swap all the media at once. You do need to change the algaway pad and carbon as Matt said, just not all together. Swap one of them for a piece of sponge, then monitor ammonia and nitrite every day - and do a water change whenever you see either above zero. Any mini cycle will not last long. 6 weeks later, swap the other one, and again monitor ammonia and nitrite daily until they stay at zero by themselves.


Water sprite can grow quite big, then the old fronds start to turn brown. Just remove the old bits but check them for new plantlets growing on the old leaves before throwing them away (mine go into the compost bin)

Offline Alostangel

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #63 on: May 19, 2019, 07:18:45 PM »
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Since you have fish, don't swap all the media at once. You do need to change the algaway pad and carbon as Matt said, just not all together. Swap one of them for a piece of sponge, then monitor ammonia and nitrite every day - and do a water change whenever you see either above zero. Any mini cycle will not last long. 6 weeks later, swap the other one, and again monitor ammonia and nitrite daily until they stay at zero by themselves.


Water sprite can grow quite big, then the old fronds start to turn brown. Just remove the old bits but check them for new plantlets growing on the old leaves before throwing them away (mine go into the compost bin)

Do I swap both for bits of sponge? And if I leave them for two weeks, will that ruin the tank? I get money then so would be helpful aha

Offline Sue

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #64 on: May 19, 2019, 07:31:20 PM »
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Yes, you want just sponge inside the filter. Waiting won't ruin the tank, but do the first one as soon as you can. It doesn't really matter which one you swap first as long as you leave at least 6 weeks between.

Carbon adsorbs things, which means they stick to its surface rather than penetrating inside (that's absorbing). Once the carbon gets full it stop adsorbing things. This is why they tell you to change it. Yes, bacteria will also grow on the carbon - and particularly on the 'bag' part of a cartridge. Assuming the carbon is in a cartridge, when you change that one, cut a hole in the bag and throw away the carbon. Then cut the fabric off any plastic frame and put the fabric back into the filter anywhere it can touch the new sponge.

I can't find out exactly what the algaway pad does - Matt might know - but it probably absorbs something that encourages algae to grow and is aimed at people who do the minimum tank maintenance. The pad probably also gets full and stops working, which is why they tell you to change it. The pad will also grow bacteria on it, but in this case there isn't any of it you can leave in the filter.



I forgot to mention that you should not get any more fish until at least 6 weeks after you change the second one.

Offline Alostangel

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #65 on: May 19, 2019, 08:03:37 PM »
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Yes, you want just sponge inside the filter. Waiting won't ruin the tank, but do the first one as soon as you can. It doesn't really matter which one you swap first as long as you leave at least 6 weeks between.

Carbon adsorbs things, which means they stick to its surface rather than penetrating inside (that's absorbing). Once the carbon gets full it stop adsorbing things. This is why they tell you to change it. Yes, bacteria will also grow on the carbon - and particularly on the 'bag' part of a cartridge. Assuming the carbon is in a cartridge, when you change that one, cut a hole in the bag and throw away the carbon. Then cut the fabric off any plastic frame and put the fabric back into the filter anywhere it can touch the new sponge.

I can't find out exactly what the algaway pad does - Matt might know - but it probably absorbs something that encourages algae to grow and is aimed at people who do the minimum tank maintenance. The pad probably also gets full and stops working, which is why they tell you to change it. The pad will also grow bacteria on it, but in this case there isn't any of it you can leave in the filter.



I forgot to mention that you should not get any more fish until at least 6 weeks after you change the second one.

So keep the carbon fabric and throw everything else, got it.
So once I change the first filter part I need to wait at least 12 weeks if I change the second part on time before getting more fish yes?

Offline Sue

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #66 on: May 19, 2019, 08:24:13 PM »
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That's right.

The bacteria we want to grow multiply slowly. Under their ideal conditions they can double their numbers in 24 to 36 hours. But waiting 6 weeks ensures that a lot have migrated into the new media before you remove the next bit of old media.

The bacteria are fairly static. They don't just get up and wander into new media. But when you remove old media you take a lot of bacteria away with the old media so they have to make more, and a lot of the new bacteria will end up in the new media. It is then a case of waiting till they've properly bedded into the biofilm that grows all over the new media before stressing them by removing another bit of bacteria containing old media.

Getting more fish adds more ammonia to the tank, so it's best not to do that until there are enough new bacteria to deal with the ammonia from the current fish.


Getting new plants will also help as they will remove a lot of ammonia, and they don't turn it into nitrite like the bacteria do.

Offline Alostangel

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #67 on: May 19, 2019, 08:52:48 PM »
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That's right.

The bacteria we want to grow multiply slowly. Under their ideal conditions they can double their numbers in 24 to 36 hours. But waiting 6 weeks ensures that a lot have migrated into the new media before you remove the next bit of old media.

The bacteria are fairly static. They don't just get up and wander into new media. But when you remove old media you take a lot of bacteria away with the old media so they have to make more, and a lot of the new bacteria will end up in the new media. It is then a case of waiting till they've properly bedded into the biofilm that grows all over the new media before stressing them by removing another bit of bacteria containing old media.

Getting more fish adds more ammonia to the tank, so it's best not to do that until there are enough new bacteria to deal with the ammonia from the current fish.


Getting new plants will also help as they will remove a lot of ammonia, and they don't turn it into nitrite like the bacteria do.

Iím planning on getting a bulk lot of plants from eBay, wondering if thatís a good idea or if individual plants would be better?

Offline Matt

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #68 on: May 19, 2019, 10:15:00 PM »
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Nothing wrong with getting plants in bulk  :cheers:

By the way 25% is not a big water change... I do 50% every week, as do most others on here I believe. I would do another 50% water change tomorrow if your nitrates were high...

Offline Alostangel

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #69 on: May 19, 2019, 10:34:09 PM »
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Nothing wrong with getting plants in bulk  :cheers:

By the way 25% is not a big water change... I do 50% every week, as do most others on here I believe. I would do another 50% water change tomorrow if your nitrates were high...

Oh wow. I thought that 10% was a standard weekly water change level!
Iíll do another 50% either tomorrow or Tuesday (Iíve got a job interview tomorrow and no idea how long itís gonna take so)

Offline Sue

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #70 on: May 20, 2019, 12:17:51 PM »
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It used to be 10% a week, then 25% a week, now 50% or more a week is recommended. Some people still go by 10% a week, though; people you speak to and on-line. These people have not kept up to date  :)

Also daily water changes of at least 75% is recommended if the fish start to look or behave oddly. 95% of fish illness is due to poor water quality, and several large water changes can 'cure' the fish without resorting to medication.

Offline Alostangel

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #71 on: May 24, 2019, 04:25:22 PM »
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Is it odd that my fish will suddenly move/start swimming faster when I open my bedroom door? I only noticed it just now. My door has a metal decor on it so makes a noise so wondering if they donít like the noise or do they recognise that Iím coming into the room?

Also, Iíve noticed that my 6 Harlequins look slightly washed out. Normally they have a good bit of colour to them and did this morning (their colour varies but they mostly have at least a tinge) but at the moment they only have the very slightest of colour to them. The black triangle is fine, itís the orange colouring they seem to be lacking...

Offline Sue

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #72 on: May 24, 2019, 04:30:48 PM »
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They probably see movement and think it is something large coming to eat them. Mine do the same when I walk into the room. Also my main tank is in the dining room, and they all rush and hide when we stand up and move round at the end of the meal. I find the Espe's rasboras do it most, more than the rice fish.

In the kitchen tank, the betta rushes forwards whenever he sees me. This is typical of bettas though, they just expect to be fed whenever they see a human  ;D

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #73 on: May 24, 2019, 08:18:18 PM »
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They probably see movement and think it is something large coming to eat them. Mine do the same when I walk into the room. Also my main tank is in the dining room, and they all rush and hide when we stand up and move round at the end of the meal. I find the Espe's rasboras do it most, more than the rice fish.

In the kitchen tank, the betta rushes forwards whenever he sees me. This is typical of bettas though, they just expect to be fed whenever they see a human  ;D

Ahh ok cool!
My mumís looking after them over the weekend while Iím with my dad. Sheís got her light and food instructions and has managed to do ok the last few times (apart from putting on the blue light instead of the white light xD)

Offline Sue

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #74 on: May 24, 2019, 08:26:24 PM »
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It's a bit short notice this time, but one tip for when getting someone else to feed them - get one of those pill dispensers with a compartment for each day, then measure a day's worth of food into the relevant sections. Or a series of small tubs labelled with each day.

If your mother is well trained, that's fine but don't trust anyone else. A lot of people who don't keep fish think we are mean with the amount of food we tell them and add more. Sometimes a lot more. It is not unknown to return form a holiday to find a lot of dead fish in a tank with large amounts of uneaten food. And if you don't trust the person, hide the food tubs so they can't feed more than you've measured out. We have to be sneaky sometimes  ;D

Offline Alostangel

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #75 on: May 24, 2019, 09:34:48 PM »
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It's a bit short notice this time, but one tip for when getting someone else to feed them - get one of those pill dispensers with a compartment for each day, then measure a day's worth of food into the relevant sections. Or a series of small tubs labelled with each day.

If your mother is well trained, that's fine but don't trust anyone else. A lot of people who don't keep fish think we are mean with the amount of food we tell them and add more. Sometimes a lot more. It is not unknown to return form a holiday to find a lot of dead fish in a tank with large amounts of uneaten food. And if you don't trust the person, hide the food tubs so they can't feed more than you've measured out. We have to be sneaky sometimes  ;D

I trust my mum. I told her how much to feed and told her not to feed more, calling them greedy _______s 😂

I had to write it on a bit of paper that goes on my door so she doesnít forget :)

Offline Alostangel

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #76 on: June 03, 2019, 10:36:27 AM »
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https://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/carbon-filter-sponge-x-2

Is this sort of thing the right thing to put into the filter in exchange for the stuff thatís already in there?

I also got some daphnia for my harlequins so theyíll have them once I get home from school :)

Offline Alostangel

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #77 on: June 03, 2019, 12:43:11 PM »
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Pic 1: Before fish were added
Pic 2: Before the otos were added
Pic 3: Yesterday

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #78 on: June 03, 2019, 06:36:07 PM »
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https://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/carbon-filter-sponge-x-2

Is this sort of thing the right thing to put into the filter in exchange for the stuff thatís already in there?

I also got some daphnia for my harlequins so theyíll have them once I get home from school :)

You want a 'normal' non carbon sponge like this...
https://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/fine-filter-sponge

Offline Alostangel

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #79 on: June 03, 2019, 07:03:02 PM »
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https://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/carbon-filter-sponge-x-2

Is this sort of thing the right thing to put into the filter in exchange for the stuff thatís already in there?

I also got some daphnia for my harlequins so theyíll have them once I get home from school :)

You want a 'normal' non carbon sponge like this...
https://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/fine-filter-sponge

Ahh thank you!

I was looking at plants for sale on eBay but itís baffling me slightly... what key basic things should I be looking for?

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #80 on: June 04, 2019, 03:10:31 PM »
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Hmm good question...
I would want some reassurance they will be well packaged and delivered relatively quickly.
You may wish to look for shrimp safe depending on future stocking plans.
Pest/snail free is something else to look out for (though this likely wont be fool proof anyway!) though you can also treat them yourself once they arrive.
Some sellers may state whether they have been grown emersed or emerged. Emersed is more robust for transport, emerged less robust but will adjust quicker once arrives (can be personal choice here but I personally prefer emersed).

Another good way to go is post a 'wanted' post for your plants on a planted tank forum. The people there will have offcuts they may be willing to give away for free... this way you know they've been looked after too.

That's what I can think of off the top of my head... I'll have a think later on too..

Oh an in vitro... you get a lot of very small plants with no risk of pests, disease etc etc. but they are more expensive.

Any particular reason you are ordering online?

Must dash!

Offline Alostangel

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #81 on: June 04, 2019, 04:18:46 PM »
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Ordering online mostly because the fish shops near me arenít great for plant stock. I got two from p@h when I got my tank and theyíve done really well but have been into several and they donít have a great stock. I was told buying online is often a good way to go by Sue so had a look but got slightly confused aha.

Offline Sue

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #82 on: June 04, 2019, 05:16:00 PM »
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I don't buy plants unless I've researched them first, then I go to Ebay and look for that particular plant. Because I have shrimps and nerite snails, I always look for the ones guaranteed shrimp safe. I don't mind if the plants have pest snails because I have them anyway.
My plants are all the kind that can be attached to decor, or used as floating plants so there are not many for me to choose from  ;D



When the EU banned the import of apple snails, they were also going to ban the import of plants from areas where apple snails abound. They did see some sense, and changed the legislation to banning of the import of plants unless they had been treated with a snail killer. These chemicals also kill shrimps. Plants grown in the EU are exempt from treatment as apple snails are not endemic to the EU.
The trouble is that we can't know which plants on Ebay (or other sites) were imported into the EU and which were grown inside the EU, so looking for a shrimp safe plant is all we can do to avoid killing our shrimps.

After brexit, the UK will need to repeal any laws passed while we were EU members for them not to apply to us any longer, and I can't see any tropical fish related laws being repealed for decades, if ever. So we'll still need to look for shrimp safe plants if we have have any invertebrates in our tanks.

Offline Alostangel

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #83 on: June 04, 2019, 06:10:10 PM »
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Iím guessing that even though I donít have shrimp or snails itís sensible to check for that anyways?

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Re: New to fish keeping, would like some help :)
« Reply #84 on: June 08, 2019, 08:23:06 AM »
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There are lots of reputable on-line sellers, though sometimes you have to pay a bit more for plants that are guaranteed "safe" (e.g. Tropica 1-2-Grow range).
There are other options for treating plants before introducing them to your tank, and if you have a look on https://www.ukaps.org/ you'll find various suggestions for dipping plants in things like potassium permanganate or sodium hypochlorite (bleach) solutions to deal with pest snails/eggs/etc.
Whatever you do with the plants, make sure that they are thoroughly rinsed prior to putting them into your tank. As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing wrong with having them "quarantined" in a suitably sized container (sandwich box/jug/spare tank/anything) for a few days/weeks, as long as they have suitable light and nutrients, and it might be worth doing that if you are dipping/treating them. You'd be amazed at what I've put plants in when stripping down a tank for re-work.  ;D

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