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Newbie & Avid Seeker Of Knowledge

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Offline Macghillie

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Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« on: August 27, 2018, 04:17:34 PM »
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On requesting to join, Rob suggested that I just post what I typed to him (although that was about 3/4 weeks ago and things have kinda moved on a little), however, this was my original email, as requested ........


Female / Scotland / Aberdeen / dangerously close to almost old / cat lover / plant lover (both indoor and outdoor) / fish lover

Aquarist for 7 years, tho more accurately, unknowledgeable fish keeper with too small a tank for 7 years, blossoming aquarist and avid seeker of knowledge for 9 months. My interest piqued due to finally being tired of high mortality rate in a Fluval Edge (is it any wonder, when I bought the tank I was told I could keep about 12 smallish fish in it (12, TWELVE!!!! OMG!!!) and so usually I did!), and exchanged to Fluval Flex. Has to be said, now knowing (what still little I know, but about 100x more than I did), I'm not a lover of the Flex, feel it's almost square shape does not allow for much freedom of swimming, other than in small circles! And it's not a happy tank, but more on that in a forum date! So I branched, and bought a more traditional rectangular 60ltr for another room, it is an extremely happy and thriving, lush green tank full of happy corys, extremely cheeky, greedy and happy fresh water shrimp and happy, happy plants ..... I adore this tank and I have become a confirmed cory lover and sooooooo

I bought a 125ltr tank for the front room, (much deliberating and a 3 to 4 month decision process ..... really trying to get another foot out of my room to upgrade to 200ltr, but sadly, room was not obliging) this is currently cycling and awaiting inhabitants, and thus the research goes on, for as much as I could happily fill it with more 'just' corys, I'm determined to have a diverse and colourful community tank. This, sadly, will be my largest tank possible because, unless I get rid of the sofa (or the bath!!!!), there is, most definitely and absolutely, no more room, "sigh"

Things I would like to discuss/help on, possibly, if allowed?

Stocking of my 125ltr
wish list but numbers I ain't got a clue on
Harlequin Rasboras and / or Normans Lampeyes (another love but so hard to get) for middle
Hatchets for the top
Corys (now there's a surprise haha) and a couple golden bristlenoses (m & f) for bottom
Cherry shrimps
Had wanted wee shoal of otos, IF that isnt overcrowding the bottom, but these were on that list as being starved before sale ...... why on earth??? (see below)

Ethical Fishkeeping
In my research I happened across an article (Not in My Tank) on dyeing, bleaching, cutting, modifying, starving, at risk species, extinct species and swim problems due to over modification of fins (as in veil tail guppies and male bettas) etc etc .... and was horrified! And sadly, one on my wish list, made this list. However, that was one article so would like the thoughts from the experts. (to explain part of outrage, ex veterinary nurse, was and am still, outraged (some 25 years later) at what fashion is doing to dog and cat breeds, most especially to the brachiocephalics)

Would love input and more importantly advice please and thank you (sorry for tardiness, but life just gets in the way) :fishy1:

Mac

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2018, 04:36:14 PM »
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Hiya Mac...  and welcome to the forum... :)

Offline Sue

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Re: Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2018, 04:46:23 PM »
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Hi, welcome to the forum  :wave:

We've all been there - in my case 3 fairground goldfish (1 common, 2 comets) in a 60 litre tank, till they outgrew it in 9 months and were given away to someone with a pond.


Scotland - do you have soft water as most of Scotland seems to have? This does affect the fish you can keep. Apart from Norman's lampeye, the fish you list are soft water fish. The lampeye is not listed on Seriously Fish, and the other reliable site, FishBase, does not give it's hardness range. One site does say 5 to 15 dH, so if you have very soft water like some of our other Scottish members, your water may be too soft for them.
I'd go for the harlequins since they are easier to find, or one of their smaller lookalikes. They have several common names - Trigonostigma espei is the espe's rasbora, slender rasbora and lambchop rasbora; T. hengeli is the hengel's rasbora, copper rasbora and pork chop rasbora.

We have a member with a male and female bristlenose and they had to be separated because they bred and bred, and there's a limit to how many baby bristlenoses you can find homes for. Just a warning of what can happen  ;D

Do you have sand on the bottom of the tank for the cories?



The Flex would make a nice tank for a betta. Not one of those with huge fins, but a plakat betta has normal fins - if you can find one  :)

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2018, 05:03:15 PM »
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Hi there and welcome to the forum.  :wave:

Yes, we have all been there. My first tank was a fairly small one and the people in the shop suggested & sold me completely unsuitable fish. We live and learn.

I am the person with a male (Bertie) and female (Hari - there was some confusion on gender when young) bristlenose plecs. When they are old enough they breed a lot. Many eggs. Every month. Basically without fail. I had to strip down the tank and separate them all, then grow the babies on until they were old enough to go to a shop. Very cute though.  ;D

Corys are lovely, and shrimp are amazing. We'd love to see some pictures of your tank.

Setting up a new tank is such an exciting time.  ;D

Offline Macghillie

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Re: Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2018, 05:10:28 PM »
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Hi and thanku Sue and TopCookie

Being in Scotland I have soft water (all of Scotland does), being in Aberdeen, the granite apparently!!!!! (so I was reliably?? told) it's even softer still. Also because of love of wood in tank, and piece too big to boil, only soak, it is almost a blackwater tank, consistency of weak tea, but you know what, actually loving it and the colours it creates.

When I said things had moved on, I cycled my tank with the help of an existing and used filter, to help speed things up, parameters were all good (also checked with LFS) and because of sick Flex in kitchen, had to move the fish from Flex to Fluval125 so that I could clean, scrub and start again with Flex. (This adds a whole new gambit of questions ... with knowledge comes the realisation of what a t**t you were in the first place!) ... more on that in a bit. So I currently have some fish in Fluval 125 (with intention of heading back to Flex once fully cycled again). And added to that are now *NEW* 6 Rasboras, 3 very very teeny wee baby C. Trilineatus, 3 very very teeny wee baby C. Duplicareus (I told you I had to get the corys in)  :rotfl:, and 2 (hopefully M & F) golden bristlenoses (a bit worried, despite LFS telling me I would be fine) that this might be a little foolish on my part due to adult size, but OMG I LOVE THEM ALL.

Back to 'Fluval back to Flex' removal ..... I had (have) 4 reed tetras, 6 checkered barbs, 2 gold barbs and 2 pearl danios and one fish I have no idea what he is, but rather pretty. All were in the oringinal Edge!!!! with the exception of the Checkereds.

I would like to remove the barbs, danios and the oddball back to the Flex leaving the tetras with the rasboras, however, now I know the size the barbs can get and wonder if its fair to put them in the Flex, but if I dont, I hamper my ideas with the Fluval. Sense says put the tetras (much smaller adult size) in the Flex, but that leaves the barbs with the corys and more importantly with the stunningly handsome fins of the bristlenoses ....

OMG, am I overthinking this, am I, I'm very much an overthinker, is it too much ..... oh bugger, too much stress  :rotfl:

Thanking you very muchly

Offline Macghillie

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Re: Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2018, 05:18:26 PM »
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Sorry Sue, my substrate is not sand, but it is a very fine gravel (2mm), shrimp and bottom feeder safe, sourced from ProShrimp ..... lovely guy, extremely helpful, hope to get my cherrys from him if they fit with Fluval125

 :D

Offline Sue

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Re: Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2018, 05:25:25 PM »
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There is one option. See if your local shop will take the unwanted fish in part payment for fish that you do want or dry goods.
Or you could always try http://www.aquarist-classifieds.co.uk/ I have rehomed several species through this site; if you give them away - put 'free' in the ad title - they go very quickly.

The problem is that the danios need a much longer tank because they are such fast swimmers. (Unless you mean celestial pearl danios rather than pearl danios. Common names can be so confusing!) Checkered barbs need a tank with a footprint of 75 x 30 cm while golden barbs need 90 x 30 cm and slightly cooler water than most fish. They would be better being rehomed to a bigger tank.



For future fish purchases, the most reliable site for accurate information is Seriously Fish http://www.seriouslyfish.com/knowledge-base/ and it has a lot more species than the fish profiles on here.




You posted as I was typing - while sand is better for cories, small smooth gravel is OK for the larger species. Smooth is the main word as sharp gravel can erode their mouths.

Offline fcmf

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Re: Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2018, 05:57:39 PM »
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Welcome, Mac! :cheers:

I've also been an unknowledgeable fishkeeper, for double the length of time you were :-[ before joining this forum.

I empathise with lack of space for another/a larger tank but am envious of your 60L and 125L (as my sole tank is only a tiny 54L), as well as your C. Trilineatus and reed tetras
[glances over shoulder and wonders whether the chest of drawers housing a QT would sustain the weight of a second, more permanent tank and what to do with all the items on the floor which were previously housed on that chest of drawers...]. I also agree that Pro-Shrimp is extremely helpful and provides consistently good service.

All the key points have been covered but it might also be worth checking out http://www.scottishwater.co.uk/you-and-your-home/water-quality/waterqualitysearch and input your postcode to see what supply zone your water comes from, then check http://www.scottishwater.co.uk/-/media/Domestic/Files/You-and-Your-Home/Water-Quality/WaterHardnessData2017.pdf?la=en to see what the exact hardness is in CaCO3 (this equates to / is often written as ppm) and German degrees hardness (this equates to / is often written as dH). Using these will help you work out which fish are suitable for your water, cross-checking with seriouslyfish.com, which also gives info on suitable tank sizes, compatibility, temperature, etc, for each species.

Offline Rustle

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Re: Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2018, 06:03:01 PM »
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Hi mac welcome to the forum. I thought I would mention as a previous keeper of lampeyes they should really be kept in a species only tank. I was a newbie a year ago and made that mistake i lost them all within that year.

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Cherry Barb (6) - Neon Tetra (7) - Harlequin Rasbora (11) - Honey Gourami (2) - Guppy (male) (3) - Otocinclus (5) - Japonica Shrimp (8) -
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Offline Macghillie

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Re: Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2018, 07:05:19 PM »
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Sue, thanks for that, LFS (2 of) are Pets at Home and Maidenhead, neither of whom take back fish despite selling vastly inappropriate fish at times. Would be sad to see danios, yes pearl danios, go as have been thru a lot with them and they survived ..... a comedy of errors with plug holes, drains and dismantling sinks to retrieve, and flapping around a cooker top whilst singly handedly trying to retrieve and fend off 3 curious Devons at same time .... I kid u not! Man these fish can seriously jump!!! But yet, miraculously, they lived and must be coming up for 3 years old now. Gold barbs around same age, although minus such death defying adventures! However, as much as they survived the Edge, it seems I have no suitable tank for them if I want to stock my Fluval125 with others, so will try advertising, thanks. Ummmm, is that acceptable, it's like, well they don't fit now so will just rehome? Can I do that with my kid???  :rotfl: just kidding, honest  ;D

Rustle, thanks for information. Have had Lampeyes twice and yes lost them all, but that was Fluval Edge days, assumed it was because of limited size and over stocking, but perhaps this wasn't the only reason.

Fcmf, thanku for info ... as to larger tank on chest of drawers .... that is exactly where my happy 60l Cory tank is, in the bedroom on low chest of drawers right opposite my bed, so I get to watch them all evening whilst being a lazy moo hahahah. I thought that was what chest of drawers were made for? I say, go for it    :fishy1:

Offline Macghillie

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Re: Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2018, 07:21:49 PM »
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Hi Donna and thanku for reply, I like the sound of Bertie and Hari  :D Am not 100% that I have a male and female, it just looks that way for now, tho I hadn't given much thought to breeding as any egg layers in the past have just provided a nutritious snack for other tank mates?

Would love to show off Cory tank, tho pics tend to come out better of single fish rather than whole tank, will try tho.

Thanku again

Offline Matt

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Re: Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2018, 09:27:01 PM »
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Welcome! It's great to see someone so excited by the hobby  :)

I'm getting to reading this somewhat late on but I recall you mentioned otos. I don't their these would overgrown the bottom. I don't see otos as bottom dwellers personally... they are more surface dwellers so they will rest on wood branches, stones and plant leaves, most of which may well not be on the bottom!

They shouldn't be starving them before sale though... don't buy from this shop!  You want to buy ones that ARE eating and have nice round bellies. Otos bellies contain a bacteria which helps them digest their food . If the don't eat for a while this can die off and They end up starving to death as they can t process food...

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2018, 10:03:20 PM »
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My Bertie bristlenose is a yellow one with dark eyes, and Hari is a standard dark/speckled. BN eggs are quite big, and constantly guarded by the male, so unlikely to be eaten. If you end up with a male and a female they will breed. After hatching the babies are so cute, they are tiny but with massive eyes.  :)

Going back to your first post, you also mention liking cats. We have a section on the forum for people to post pics and introduce their non-fishy friends. Hint, hint - more pics.

As for your section on ethical fishkeeping, the dying/bleaching/cutting/over modification of fish certainly tends to be frowned upon within the hobby (to put it mildly). Same as the topic of tank busters - fish that grow to a large adult size that most people can't provide a suitable environment for. There is a bit of a grey area with wild caught fish. I admit that some of the fish that I keep have been wild caught. Part of the problem with otocinclus is that they are wild caught, a lot of them don't survive transport, and (as Matt has mentioned) a lot of them starve.

As for the cats and dogs, especially the fashion for the flat-faced ones, in my personal opinion, if they have been bred to the point that they need an operation to be able to even breathe properly, then things have certainly gone too far and we need to be reversing back up the genetic family tree.


Offline Macghillie

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Re: Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2018, 01:48:41 PM »
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Hi (life again! and 3 tanks to clean  ;D), and thanks all for replys. Matt thanku for info on Oto's, no it wasnt any shop that were starving the otos, it was an article I read (Not in My Tank) on not purchasing Oto's and perpetuating the starvation thing .... I spoke to LFS, they suspect that this may before transport to various LFS's ... however, this raises the question that if they rely on their gut flora to survive and cannot go without food, are the little guys in the various LFS's doomed (if they are starved prior to transport) despite excellent care in LFSs???

Donna, you may well regret suggesting I post pics of my cats, I have literally 1000's HAHAHAHAHA, little curly balls of mischievous gorgeous Devons and a passion for photography  ;). A question on fish genetics for you, if you have a speckled and a yellow Bristlenose, when you get babies, do you (like mammals) get a mix of both, or do you (like shrimps) end up with a muddy green colour  ;). And OH OH OH, I think she may have laid (mine that is), mega clean today and opened up the filter (fluval U3 ... its hinged) and in the hinge were small, tho not that small, orange balls in jelly????? would that possibly be them??? Sorry, they couldn't stay in the hinge, so I'm not sure where they ended up. But if they are, that confirms a male and female then :D.

Back to original post, although I have not as yet rehomed danios or barbs ... however, if I go to my original wish list, what are the numbers I can safely put in there? I currently have 6 rasboras, 6 corys and the 2 bristlenoses ???

Update though, one of my pearls is sick, so the newly cycled flex where he came from in the first places, has become his quarantine hospital tank and, I "think" its dropsy and am treating him kinda for that. I think he may have been sicker longer than I noticed tho, with each tank move he seemed to get bigger, but each tank was bigger so I thought this the norm. He seemed to beef up, get muscly, but then it went downhill, his abdomen became distended, his back arched, red gills and spots then finally raised scales .... he seems to be "looking" better, with treatment, however, he now is not really interested in food, and hugs the water surface???

This raises another question (should I be posting seperately???) ... I still have my Edge, but to be honest, setting it up is time consuming, and for as small as it is in reality, its footprint is much larger ... out and about fish thing shopping the other day, and I saw a little 12l kids tank (all in, filter, gravel, lid etc and a dinky little pack away size) for 30. I was wondering about the suitability of this for a quarantine tank if its required???

Have also discovered, my lush, happy, wonderful cory tank is maybe not so!!!! Plants taking over and minimising swim room, so today, during clean, decided to cut back java moss (greatly) .... discovered java moss is just a giant sponge for fish shit!!!!!!!! Ugggggghhhhhhh. Wanted to empty the whole dam tank and start again!!! But resisted, my immediate future is clearly going to be little and often cleans for the foreseeable!!!!! INEXPERIENCE STRIKES AGAIN "sigh"

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2018, 02:16:08 PM »
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Please post lots of pics of your cats.  ;D

Fish genetics - my speckled and yellow BNs had an approx. 50/50 split of speckled and yellow babies. Yes, the eggs are orange, and larger than cory eggs. Normally the male has quite noticeable bristles. My female doesn't have any, but some females have fewer/smaller bristles than the males.

.... discovered java moss is just a giant sponge for fish shit!!!!!!!! Ugggggghhhhhhh. Wanted to empty the whole dam tank and start again!!! But resisted, my immediate future is clearly going to be little and often cleans for the foreseeable!!!!!
:rotfl: Couldn't help laughing at this. It is good for the plants though.  ;)

One of the more experienced keeps is better to answer your question regarding your sick fish.

Offline Sue

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Re: Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2018, 02:30:13 PM »
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The pearl danio - when viewed from above, do the scales stick out like a pine cone? That is the diagnostic sign of dropsy. This is a symptom rather than a disease, and the underlying disease could be bacterial or viral. Dropsy occurs when the fish's kidneys stop working and fluid builds up inside the body.
The problem is that if the underlying cause is viral, there is no cure, and usually by the time the fish's kidneys fail it is too late to treat a bacterial infection.

However, if the scales are not sticking out, there is hope. We can't treat viruses but we can treat bacterial and protozoan infections. We can't get antibiotics without a vet's prescription, but you could try eSHa 2000 or Myxazin by Waterlife for bacterial infections.





12 litres is a bit small for all but the tiniest fish even as a quarantine tank. If you could find a cheap tank around 25 litres, that would be better.
These tiny tanks usually have filters that have nothing but a carbon cartridge, or even a carbon/zeolite cartridge as filter media. Both of these will absorb or adsorb medication (carbon adsorbs, zeolite absorbs  :) ) Should you buy a tank with this type of filter, cut a slit in the cartridge, empty the contents then stuff as much sponge will fit into the casing. Or get another filter which has just sponge which you can fill with media from the main tank.

Offline Macghillie

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Re: Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2018, 04:04:05 PM »
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Hi Sue, thanks for input, pearl did look like a pinecone, which is when I came to conclusion (with help of books (old fashioned) and google) may be dropsy, since quarantining and treating ( Interpet internal bacterial treatment (says for dropsy) and first aid salt additive) his scales have gone done drastically as have red spots and gills but since, surface hugging and no interest in food???

The "literage" for a hospital tank is not so much cost, more so space ...... single mum of horrendous 14 year old ADHD sufferer in small flat, space is of a premium which is why I wondered about a small pack away (for 99% of the year) tank may do???? By the way, will sell kid for fish or catrs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)



 ; :)) :)) :)) :))


Sorry, love kid very dearly, would do anything for him, but just  NOT earth mother kinda shit thing  ;D cats probably higher up on hierarchical shit thing ummmm and fish too, just dont tell him  :-X

Offline Macghillie

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Re: Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2018, 04:14:44 PM »
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Donna

what is the size of the tank you keep Berti and Hari in, as I said before ... when I went for BNs it was because I was sure (from a previous reccy,) that you got dwarf ones? I worry that they will greatly outgrow the Fluval Roma (125ltr), tho I ABSOLUTELY ADORE THEM, ........ we now have cory love, we have BN love and we have rasbora love. OMG, I really need to get a life HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Nah sod it, Curly Devons, Corys, BNs, Rasboras and ummmmmm       "the kid"            ;D

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2018, 04:51:39 PM »
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The fish sold as bristlenose plecs are the smaller ones. Mine are both in separate 125L tanks with other fish.
The plecs that grow huge are often called common plecs, and would usually be found in the large sumps below the general "stock for sale" tanks at a shop.
One of the things about BNs is the way their mouths move, reminds me of a sock puppet. They are cute.
And who could not find a cory adorable, the way they whiffle through the sand.
So many fish - never enough tanks.  ;D

Nah sod it, Curly Devons, Corys, BNs, Rasboras and ummmmmm       "the kid"            ;D
:rotfl:
We won't tell anyone, so your secret is safe with us.  ;)

Offline Matt

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Re: Newbie & Avid Seeker of Knowledge
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2018, 05:45:43 PM »
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Matt thanku for info on Oto's, no it wasnt any shop that were starving the otos, it was an article I read (Not in My Tank) on not purchasing Oto's and perpetuating the starvation thing .... I spoke to LFS, they suspect that this may before transport to various LFS's ... however, this raises the question that if they rely on their gut flora to survive and cannot go without food, are the little guys in the various LFS's doomed (if they are starved prior to transport) despite excellent care in LFSs???

Otos won't eat if stressed and transporting them is stressful, from the wild, on a plane, to a truck, to a fish store, to you house... with varying water quality and hardness along the way. The thought of it is enough to put anyone off their food. If they don't get settled quickly enough, they may well be doomed unfortunately...

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