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Hello From Cardiff, Wales

Author Topic: Hello from Cardiff, Wales  (Read 6362 times)

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Offline BT Bob

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Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« on: March 16, 2018, 06:02:34 PM »
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Hi everyone - I'm new to this Forum, and new(wish) for fish-keeping.
Quick background - Had an aquarium 20-odd years ago when my kids were little, but had to get rid of it when my then-3-y-o daughter decided it would be a hoot to try to climb into the tank!!

Fast-forward to January and I'm on honeymoon in Australia, staying with my brother who has an aquarium and we got quite enthralled with it, especially the new Mrs BTB.

So, when we got back home, we started to research getting one. After some furniture re-arrangement and lots of finger-tapping we bought a Juwel Rio 180, put some sand, a few plants and some rocks in filled it up and left it for a week. I also bought a lump of bogwood which I left soaking in the garage in a bucket of water for a week with a water-change every 2 days.

Then began adding fish: starting off with 5 Harlequin Rasboras.
A week-on, we added 5 more and a pair of Bristlenose Plecs. Around this time, we spotted a snail, despite washing, it must've sneaked in on one of the plants. Looks like there's still just the one, and he seems pretty happy - he's growing and zips about all over the tank.
About 10 days after (would've been a week, but got snowed-in ;) )we added 10 Neon Tetras and a pair of Black Corydoras.

So, this is where we are now.

Going forward, I'm thinking we should a couple more Black Corys - everywhere I've read (after the event) says they should be at least 4 of them. Then we'd like some "specimen" fish - I really like the look of Red-Tailed Black Sharks, but not sure how compatible they might be - even just a single one. we're also very taken with Electric Blue Rams - a pair would look great - and the Bolivian Rams - again a pair would be great.
If we went own the Ram-route, not sure if we could have a pair of each - I'm not certain how territorial they would be.

Anyway - that's me for now. Glad to be part of this community.

Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Bristlenose Plec (2) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Neon Tetra (6) - Dwarf Chain Loach (3) - Salt and Pepper Catfish (2) - Platy (10) - Angelfish (4) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline TopCookie

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2018, 06:53:49 PM »
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Greetings Bob and welcome to the forum... 

I have family in Cardiff myself, in Llanishen there...  :)

Offline Sue

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2018, 07:08:20 PM »
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And I went to university in Cardiff, many decades ago - that's where I met my husband  :)

Red tailed black sharks are difficult to build a community around http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/epalzeorhynchos-bicolor/ Personally, I would rather avoid fish that dictate what else I can have  ::)

Only one species of cichlid in this sized tank. Which type of ram will depend on your water. Unless it is soft and acidic, go for Bolivian rams. This species is hard to sex in juveniles - fish in shops are juveniles - and rams must choose their own mates. Unless their breeding tubes are visible, you will need to select a pair carefully. The recommended way is to stand in front of the shop tank, motionless. Eventually the fish will forget you are there and behave normally. The males will be pushing at each other. The females will just get on with life. Any female is allowed to stay near a male without him showing any signs of chasing her away is more likely to be a bonded pair. More likely, not guaranteed.
If you do have soft acidic water (I lived in Cardiff in the 1970's and didn't take much notice of hardness back then) rams would be OK. These are easier to sex in the standard blue form as females have a pinkish belly. Gold and electric blue are trickier.



Don't worry about snails - they are an important part of a tank eco system, unless they take over. Too much fish food is the usual cause of too many snails. I have nerites and Malaysian trumpet snails (which I paid for) and tiny ramshorns and 'pond' snails (which came on plants).

Offline fcmf

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2018, 07:48:47 PM »
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Welcome :wave:

How lovely that you and the new Mrs BTB are both enjoying this new(/ish) hobby. The tank and its inhabitants sound great and you're correct, corydoras are usually advised to be kept in numbers; as well as our own Fish Profiles section on this website, another reliable but more up-to-date source is Seriously Fish and it recommends 6+ for the particular species you have (http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/corydoras-semiaquilis/).

If you don't have one already, then I'd strongly advise buying a test kit which measures ammonia, nitrite, nitrates and PH. Monitoring these regularly helps ensure that the tank water quality is in optimum condition - this isn't visible to the eye - and will be particularly helpful at this stage as you're adding more stock to your tank and may need to monitor more regularly than usual. Once the tank is more established, then you'll be able to reduce monitoring water quality to weekly pre- scheduled water change. Any liquid-based test kits are good eg API, JBL, Waterlife, etc.

Looking forward to seeing some pictures in due course.  :fishy1:

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2018, 09:07:13 PM »
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Hi there and welcome to the forum.  :wave:
I am originally from Cardiff and head back their to visit family & friends on a fairly regular basis.
I'm also looking forward to seeing pics of your tank.  :)

Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2018, 10:02:55 PM »
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Greetings Bob and welcome to the forum... 

I have family in Cardiff myself, in Llanishen there...  :)
Thanks for the welcome. I know it well - I'm in Culverhouse Cross area - nicely close the the Maidenhead Aquatics store in Wenvoe :)

Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Bristlenose Plec (2) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Neon Tetra (6) - Dwarf Chain Loach (3) - Salt and Pepper Catfish (2) - Platy (10) - Angelfish (4) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2018, 10:03:59 PM »
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And I went to university in Cardiff, many decades ago - that's where I met my husband  :)

Red tailed black sharks are difficult to build a community around http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/epalzeorhynchos-bicolor/ Personally, I would rather avoid fish that dictate what else I can have  ::)

Only one species of cichlid in this sized tank. Which type of ram will depend on your water. Unless it is soft and acidic, go for Bolivian rams. This species is hard to sex in juveniles - fish in shops are juveniles - and rams must choose their own mates. Unless their breeding tubes are visible, you will need to select a pair carefully. The recommended way is to stand in front of the shop tank, motionless. Eventually the fish will forget you are there and behave normally. The males will be pushing at each other. The females will just get on with life. Any female is allowed to stay near a male without him showing any signs of chasing her away is more likely to be a bonded pair. More likely, not guaranteed.
If you do have soft acidic water (I lived in Cardiff in the 1970's and didn't take much notice of hardness back then) rams would be OK. These are easier to sex in the standard blue form as females have a pinkish belly. Gold and electric blue are trickier.



Don't worry about snails - they are an important part of a tank eco system, unless they take over. Too much fish food is the usual cause of too many snails. I have nerites and Malaysian trumpet snails (which I paid for) and tiny ramshorns and 'pond' snails (which came on plants).

Hi Sue - thanks for the advice - excellent.. :)

Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Bristlenose Plec (2) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Neon Tetra (6) - Dwarf Chain Loach (3) - Salt and Pepper Catfish (2) - Platy (10) - Angelfish (4) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2018, 10:05:50 PM »
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Welcome :wave:

How lovely that you and the new Mrs BTB are both enjoying this new(/ish) hobby. The tank and its inhabitants sound great and you're correct, corydoras are usually advised to be kept in numbers; as well as our own Fish Profiles section on this website, another reliable but more up-to-date source is Seriously Fish and it recommends 6+ for the particular species you have (http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/corydoras-semiaquilis/).

If you don't have one already, then I'd strongly advise buying a test kit which measures ammonia, nitrite, nitrates and PH. Monitoring these regularly helps ensure that the tank water quality is in optimum condition - this isn't visible to the eye - and will be particularly helpful at this stage as you're adding more stock to your tank and may need to monitor more regularly than usual. Once the tank is more established, then you'll be able to reduce monitoring water quality to weekly pre- scheduled water change. Any liquid-based test kits are good eg API, JBL, Waterlife, etc.

Looking forward to seeing some pictures in due course.  :fishy1:
Thanks for the advice and link.
Yes - I have the API kit and keep a close eye as we add new fish - slow and steady is the way forward, I think.

Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Bristlenose Plec (2) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Neon Tetra (6) - Dwarf Chain Loach (3) - Salt and Pepper Catfish (2) - Platy (10) - Angelfish (4) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2018, 10:08:08 PM »
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Hi there and welcome to the forum.  :wave:
I am originally from Cardiff and head back their to visit family & friends on a fairly regular basis.
I'm also looking forward to seeing pics of your tank.  :)
Thanks for the welcome.

Yes - I'll get some pics up over the weekend.

Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Bristlenose Plec (2) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Neon Tetra (6) - Dwarf Chain Loach (3) - Salt and Pepper Catfish (2) - Platy (10) - Angelfish (4) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline Matt

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2018, 10:08:45 PM »
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Welcome  :cheers:

I'm also a massive fan of rams  :fishy1:

Can't recommend getting a test kit highly enough...  it sounds from your description like you may be mid way through a fish-in cycle.  The plants will be helping keep your water quality ok but I would also strongly suggest having a read of this:
https://forums.thinkfish.co.uk/fishtank-filtration-and-cycling/fish-in-cycling-with-fish-how-to-do-it/

Any chance we could see a photo of your setup??  (Its not like anyone has mentioned this already lol)

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2018, 11:55:26 PM »
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And I went to university in Cardiff, many decades ago - that's where I met my husband  :)

What were you subject(s) Sue...?  My father was a lecturer at Cardiff Uni while you were there...  :)

Any chance we could see a photo of your setup??  (Its not like anyone has mentioned this already lol)

Ditto that...!!!   :D

Offline Sue

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2018, 08:43:19 AM »
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If your father was there in the 70s he would know that the Faculty of Science had an unusual degree structure - 3 subjects equally in Part 1, then choose your degree subject based on the end of year exam results not what you applied to study. For single subject degrees: in Part 2.1 - two subjects split two thirds (degree subject) and one third (auxiliary subject); then Part 2.2 one subject only.

Part 1 - chemistry, biochemistry, zoology
Part 2.1 - chemistry, biochemistry
Part 2.2 - chemistry

My husband was also a chemistry student  :) (but with physics & maths, then physics)

Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2018, 01:12:37 PM »
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Welcome  :cheers:

I'm also a massive fan of rams  :fishy1:

Can't recommend getting a test kit highly enough...  it sounds from your description like you may be mid way through a fish-in cycle.  The plants will be helping keep your water quality ok but I would also strongly suggest having a read of this:
https://forums.thinkfish.co.uk/fishtank-filtration-and-cycling/fish-in-cycling-with-fish-how-to-do-it/

Any chance we could see a photo of your setup??  (Its not like anyone has mentioned this already lol)
Thanks for the welcome Matt.

No - I made sure the tank was cycled before I put any fish in.
I've also used Quick Start when I've added fish, and Tap Safe when I've done water changes. I've been recommended Seachem Prime going forward, as apparently it's good stuff, and great value as you only need a small amount.

I'll post some photos - got some on my phone so need to post from there. :)

Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Bristlenose Plec (2) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Neon Tetra (6) - Dwarf Chain Loach (3) - Salt and Pepper Catfish (2) - Platy (10) - Angelfish (4) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2018, 01:34:54 PM »
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Some photos, as promised...

Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Bristlenose Plec (2) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Neon Tetra (6) - Dwarf Chain Loach (3) - Salt and Pepper Catfish (2) - Platy (10) - Angelfish (4) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline Sue

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2018, 02:11:09 PM »
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The problem with Prime is that it contains a whole ton of chemicals and Seachem won't say what's in it. While it is fine for use during a fish-in cycle to protect the fish from ammonia and nitrite poisoning, it is not something I would use afterwards. All the chemicals we add to a tank end up inside the fish, so the less we add the better.

If you want a concentrated dechlorinator, and your water company uses chlorine rather than chloramine, the best one is API Tap Water Conditioner. All this contains is a chemical to remove chlorine and another to bind metals. Nothing else. But when the water company adds chloramine, you do need a dechlorinator which also detoxifies ammonia until the filter bacteria have had chance to 'eat' the ammonia from the chloramine.
Smaller bottles of API Tap Water Conditioner(1 ml per 60 litres dose rate) need 1 drop per 3.75 litres. Larger bottles (1 ml per 76 litres dose rate) need 1 drop per 4.75 litres. I use 2 drops per bucket (I can't lift a very large bucket of water)
The only problem is that not many shops stock it so I get mine on-line.

Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2018, 04:16:56 PM »
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The problem with Prime is that it contains a whole ton of chemicals and Seachem won't say what's in it. While it is fine for use during a fish-in cycle to protect the fish from ammonia and nitrite poisoning, it is not something I would use afterwards. All the chemicals we add to a tank end up inside the fish, so the less we add the better.

If you want a concentrated dechlorinator, and your water company uses chlorine rather than chloramine, the best one is API Tap Water Conditioner. All this contains is a chemical to remove chlorine and another to bind metals. Nothing else. But when the water company adds chloramine, you do need a dechlorinator which also detoxifies ammonia until the filter bacteria have had chance to 'eat' the ammonia from the chloramine.
Smaller bottles of API Tap Water Conditioner(1 ml per 60 litres dose rate) need 1 drop per 3.75 litres. Larger bottles (1 ml per 76 litres dose rate) need 1 drop per 4.75 litres. I use 2 drops per bucket (I can't lift a very large bucket of water)
The only problem is that not many shops stock it so I get mine on-line.

Thanks @Sue - really useful advice. :)

Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Bristlenose Plec (2) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Neon Tetra (6) - Dwarf Chain Loach (3) - Salt and Pepper Catfish (2) - Platy (10) - Angelfish (4) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline Matt

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2018, 05:35:26 PM »
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Nice tank!  8)

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2018, 06:49:26 PM »
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Thanks for posting pics of your lovely tank.  :cheers:

Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2018, 07:57:40 PM »
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Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Bristlenose Plec (2) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Neon Tetra (6) - Dwarf Chain Loach (3) - Salt and Pepper Catfish (2) - Platy (10) - Angelfish (4) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2018, 07:58:17 PM »
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Thanks for posting pics of your lovely tank.  :cheers:

Thanks :)

Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Bristlenose Plec (2) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Neon Tetra (6) - Dwarf Chain Loach (3) - Salt and Pepper Catfish (2) - Platy (10) - Angelfish (4) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline TopCookie

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2018, 09:40:36 PM »
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Looking good there BT...   :D

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2018, 10:03:39 PM »
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@Sue

The old man is the Frenchman from where my name comes...  His subject was, unsurprisingly, French...  Although, business French to be precise...  A secondary role at the uni for him was as the Curator of Arts... 

I remember going into the uni many times as a pup and one of the funniest things that tickled me back then was that in all the toilets, the loo roll was stamped on every sheet with something along the lines of:  "Property of Cardiff University" or something like that - can't remember exactly now, but it didn't half make me laugh at the time...   :rotfl:

My mum, also a teacher, her subjects were physics & maths funnily enough, albeit at Cardiff High back then, rather than at the uni... 

Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2018, 10:51:10 PM »
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Looking good there BT...   :D
Thanks :)

Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Bristlenose Plec (2) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Neon Tetra (6) - Dwarf Chain Loach (3) - Salt and Pepper Catfish (2) - Platy (10) - Angelfish (4) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline TopCookie

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2018, 11:02:39 PM »
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Lovin' the tank backing you have there...  :)   I got one for my tank and literally "forgot" to put it on until after the tank was positioned and filled up...  Consequently, it's sat unused now  :(   Yours looks smart, I like it...  :)

Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2018, 11:03:22 PM »
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@Sue & @TopCookie  - as we've moved into "All Our Yesterdays" territory ( ;) ) I was born & grew up in Roath - so not far from Cardiff Uni (assuming you're both talking about the "proper" Cardiff University (which, from the proper subjects you both mention, I assume you are) and Cardiff High School. I went to Howardian High School (sadly, no longer there), so big rugby rivals with CHS.
I didn't go to Uni, but did study as an apprentice in the late '70s at the old South Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education in Llandaff - formerly Llandaff Technical College and now part of Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Bristlenose Plec (2) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Neon Tetra (6) - Dwarf Chain Loach (3) - Salt and Pepper Catfish (2) - Platy (10) - Angelfish (4) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2018, 11:06:23 PM »
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Lovin' the tank backing you have there...  :)   I got one for my tank and literally "forgot" to put it on until after the tank was positioned and filled up...  Consequently, it's sat unused now  :(   Yours looks smart, I like it...  :)
It's the Juwel one. Must admit I'm pleasantly surprised how natural it looks (once we got all the bubbles out).
It' be pretty hard to fit to a full tank - we laid the empty tank on its front and poured the gel onto the glass - even that was tricky... Worth the effort, though, I think.

Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Bristlenose Plec (2) - Harlequin Rasbora (6) - Neon Tetra (6) - Dwarf Chain Loach (3) - Salt and Pepper Catfish (2) - Platy (10) - Angelfish (4) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline TopCookie

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2018, 11:35:01 PM »
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Blimey, I used to go fishing at Roath Park lake...!!!  Was many moons ago though...  :)

Cardiff Uni became UCC several years ago now, amid much controversy,  if I recall correctly... 

Offline Sue

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2018, 09:21:54 AM »
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I agree with the others - your tank is looking great.
Can I make a suggestion? I have Espei's rasboras, which are closely related to harlequins. They are not fond of bright light, and I discovered they are happier with floating plants over their heads. Floating plants are also great at sucking up ammonia  :)



It was University College, Cardiff (Coleg y Brifysgol, Caerdydd) when I was there. UWIST (University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology) and the National Welsh School of Medicine and Dentistry were separate institutions back then. I think they are all now Cardiff University. The University of Wales had 7 colleges back then - 4 university colleges (Cardiff, Swansea, Aberystwyth, Bangor), UWIST, NWSMD, and St Davids at Lampeter. My degree is from the University of Wales not Cardiff University.
As an undergraduate I was in digs for 3 years in what was officially Pen-y-lan but was one of the roads running south east from the playing fields section of Roath Park. As a post grad student I shared a flat in a converted house overlooking the garden section of the park.



Offline fcmf

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2018, 10:05:46 AM »
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Photos are lovely. I would echo Sue's suggestion about floating plants; although my harlequins don't seem to be particularly perturbed by the bright light, they do love it when there is Amazonian frogbit as they love to rest between the dangling roots.

[Sorry I can't contribute much to the Cardiff conversation. I've only visited once - but it has brought back a memory or two which has made me chuckle.]

Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2018, 12:14:46 PM »
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I agree with the others - your tank is looking great.
Can I make a suggestion? I have Espei's rasboras, which are closely related to harlequins. They are not fond of bright light, and I discovered they are happier with floating plants over their heads. Floating plants are also great at sucking up ammonia  :)

Thank you, much appreciated - I'll look into it :)


As an undergraduate I was in digs for 3 years in what was officially Pen-y-lan but was one of the roads running south east from the playing fields section of Roath Park. As a post grad student I shared a flat in a converted house overlooking the garden section of the park.

I spent countless hours playing in and around Roath Park - Waterloo Gardens, the Rec (I went to Albany Road primary school and we played all our home rugby matches at the Rec, and played baseball there in summer), the Flower Garden and the Lake. Then, when I had children of my own, we took them there too. We regularly walk round the parks, as do my girls now they're grown up. It's a fabulous part of the city..

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Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2018, 12:17:50 PM »
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Photos are lovely. I would echo Sue's suggestion about floating plants; although my harlequins don't seem to be particularly perturbed by the bright light, they do love it when there is Amazonian frogbit as they love to rest between the dangling roots.

[Sorry I can't contribute much to the Cardiff conversation. I've only visited once - but it has brought back a memory or two which has made me chuckle.]

Thank you - I'll look into the floating plant thing. I'm aware there's not much shade in the tank and the LEDs are pretty bright, though I only have them on for around 6-7 hours a day.

I'm slightly biased, but Cardiff is a great city - come back soon, we always keep a welcome in the hillside ;)

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Offline TopCookie

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2018, 12:51:41 PM »
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Big +1 from me on the Amazon Frogbit...  I have some and it grows real well but is also easy to control by periodically removing some...  :)

I do actually come back to Cardiff at least once a year, to visit my old dad...  Always a pleasant trip and I agree that Cardiff is a nice city...  I would like to go and "see" Canton again, which we don't normally do, but that's where I was born and raised...  :)

Offline fcmf

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2018, 01:32:01 PM »
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I'm slightly biased, but Cardiff is a great city - come back soon, we always keep a welcome in the hillside ;)
The hotel I stayed in at the time (20 years ago), for a small conference, was presumably in the suburbs - probably on a hillside as I remember a lovely view from up there. Probably lots of hotels fit that description, though! All I can recall is boarding the train in Scotland with a rather full bladder but being trapped in my seat for the entire duration of the journey and having no time to do so during the change of trains, then availing of a waiting taxi (rather than finding the ladies' and potentially queuing for a taxi afterwards) but which got stuck in commuting traffic while I writhed around thinking that my bladder was actually going to burst. On arrival at the hotel, I didn't bother getting change from the taxi driver, blurted out to staff at the check-in desk that I was in desperate need of the toilet, abandoned my suitcase in the reception area, and ran crossed-legged to the ladies'. I have never experienced such relief in my entire life as I did in the ensuing few minutes. Rather than this, plus an outing to a ?Mexican restaurant near a railway bridge, I recall very little else of Cardiff, so I will endeavour to return some day to rectify that (and ensuring that I don't end up in the situation as I did first time round)!
I'm rather off-topic of the original thread here so I might avail of my moderating responsibilities and delete this post  C:-) after giving you a chuckle - although, if you were able to identify the hotel and/or restaurant from my description, that'd be great for my own curiosity.  :D

Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2018, 02:08:24 PM »
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I'm slightly biased, but Cardiff is a great city - come back soon, we always keep a welcome in the hillside ;)
The hotel I stayed in at the time (20 years ago), for a small conference, was presumably in the suburbs - probably on a hillside as I remember a lovely view from up there. Probably lots of hotels fit that description, though! All I can recall is boarding the train in Scotland with a rather full bladder but being trapped in my seat for the entire duration of the journey and having no time to do so during the change of trains, then availing of a waiting taxi (rather than finding the ladies' and potentially queuing for a taxi afterwards) but which got stuck in commuting traffic while I writhed around thinking that my bladder was actually going to burst. On arrival at the hotel, I didn't bother getting change from the taxi driver, blurted out to staff at the check-in desk that I was in desperate need of the toilet, abandoned my suitcase in the reception area, and ran crossed-legged to the ladies'. I have never experienced such relief in my entire life as I did in the ensuing few minutes. Rather than this, plus an outing to a ?Mexican restaurant near a railway bridge, I recall very little else of Cardiff, so I will endeavour to return some day to rectify that (and ensuring that I don't end up in the situation as I did first time round)!
I'm rather off-topic of the original thread here so I might avail of my moderating responsibilities and delete this post  C:-) after giving you a chuckle - although, if you were able to identify the hotel and/or restaurant from my description, that'd be great for my own curiosity.  :D
That's a helluva journey to hold-on for... ;)
I can't really place any "old" Mexican restaurants in Cardiff - there's an excellent "greasy-spoon" called Ramon's near one, but I doubt it's that, and I can't really picture a hotel on a hillside... sorry. Great story though :D

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Offline Littlefish

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2018, 02:42:42 PM »
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I'm going to guess at the New House Hotel, near Thornhill. It has been the venue for conferences, etc. for many years, and is situated on a hill that overlooks Cardiff, with great views.

As for the Mexican restaurant approximately 20 years ago, it was probably Las Iguanas on Mill Lane. In those days, there were no other hotels or other building to block the view of the railway bridge. If you remember and outside seating area, and 2 for 1 offers on cocktails in glasses the size of a nano tank, then it's the right place.  ;)

Offline fcmf

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2018, 02:58:09 PM »
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I'm going to guess at the New House Hotel, near Thornhill. It has been the venue for conferences, etc. for many years, and is situated on a hill that overlooks Cardiff, with great views.

As for the Mexican restaurant approximately 20 years ago, it was probably Las Iguanas on Mill Lane. In those days, there were no other hotels or other building to block the view of the railway bridge. If you remember and outside seating area, and 2 for 1 offers on cocktails in glasses the size of a nano tank, then it's the right place.  ;)
That is definitely, definitely the hotel! Well done, @Littlefish;D

As for the Mexican restaurant, that is almost certainly it - it's certainly how I remember it was situated but, as you say, I don't recall anything else round about it as it was quite dark up to the view of the railway bridge. I have a feeling it was a very cold evening when we were there, and so I don't recall outside seating, but I do have a vague recollection of drinks offers in large pitchers/glasses that some folk were availing of.

This has totally made my day, being able to account for the names of these places all these years later, especially as electronic versions of any communication, etc, didn't exist back in those days that I could refer back to.  ;D

Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2018, 06:52:03 PM »
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I'm going to guess at the New House Hotel, near Thornhill. It has been the venue for conferences, etc. for many years, and is situated on a hill that overlooks Cardiff, with great views.

As for the Mexican restaurant approximately 20 years ago, it was probably Las Iguanas on Mill Lane. In those days, there were no other hotels or other building to block the view of the railway bridge. If you remember and outside seating area, and 2 for 1 offers on cocktails in glasses the size of a nano tank, then it's the right place.  ;)
Good work.... makes sense now...

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Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2018, 06:58:49 PM »
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Just run a series of tests with my API Master Test Kit:

Temperature is kept around 25oC
PH: 7.4
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5

I think the PH is a little high - I'd like it under 7 ideally, but haven't done anything to change it yet.

The Nitrate's OK, but I was going to do a 40l water-change tomorrow anyway.

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Offline Sue

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2018, 07:28:37 PM »
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Don't do anything to change the pH.

Hardness is more important than pH and as long as your water hardness is within the fish's range it doesn't matter if the pH is outside as long as it's not way outside.

Look at your water company's website, it should give your hardness somewhere on there. They could use any one of half a dozen different units, so you'll need the unit as well as the number. Fish keeping uses just two units so the chances are you'll need to convert the figure to those two. Fishkeeping uses ppm which is the same as mg/l calcium carbonate, and German degrees, also called dH.

The best site for looking fish up - and checking their hardness range - is http://www.seriouslyfish.com/knowledge-base/

Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2018, 11:26:32 PM »
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Don't do anything to change the pH.

Hardness is more important than pH and as long as your water hardness is within the fish's range it doesn't matter if the pH is outside as long as it's not way outside.

Look at your water company's website, it should give your hardness somewhere on there. They could use any one of half a dozen different units, so you'll need the unit as well as the number. Fish keeping uses just two units so the chances are you'll need to convert the figure to those two. Fishkeeping uses ppm which is the same as mg/l calcium carbonate, and German degrees, also called dH.

The best site for looking fish up - and checking their hardness range - is http://www.seriouslyfish.com/knowledge-base/

Amazing - thanks. I'm right on the money it seems... 110ppm/6.16oH ("slightly hard")


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Offline TopCookie

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #40 on: March 19, 2018, 12:28:50 AM »
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Don't do anything to change the pH.

+1 from me...

Offline Sue

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2018, 08:33:31 AM »
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You'll find fish profiles use one or the other of those two units, now all you need to do is match fish to those hardness values  :)


Your water company's results show nicely why we always want hardness numbers not words. To a fish keeper, 110 ppm/6.6 dH is almost soft; we would never call it slightly hard. Soft to middling at most  ;D





Altering pH has a few problems.
pH tends to swing particularly with hard water. KH is usually high with hard water and that stops the pH altering, so you get an initial drop, then it swings back. This swinging pH is bad for fish
Adding chemicals to a tank is not something we should be doing routinely. Everything we add to a tank ends up inside the fish.
When water is adjusted, we can never do an emergency water change using tap water. There must be some 'altered' water (or the means of altering it) on hand at all times.

Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2018, 09:21:02 AM »
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I have to say, I was slightly surprised at Welsh Water's description of "slightly hard".

Never had a problem getting soap to lather, rarely get any scaling issues with appliances and can make some very nice home-brewed wine and beer here ;)

So, if you'd asked me, without looking at the numbers, I'd have said we were in a soft-water area - one of the things that's kept me from adding guppies, and the numbers now seem to bear that out.

Thanks again for everyone's help and advice - I'm blown away (though that may be related to the Beast from the East ;) )... :)

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Offline TopCookie

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2018, 11:34:35 AM »
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... and can make some very nice home-brewed wine and beer here ;)

I'm, beginning to think we must be related, lol...   :cheers:

Offline Sue

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2018, 11:42:17 AM »
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My brother-in-law did his PhD in hop chemistry, and when he later lived in Pentwyn he made beer from raw ingredients rather than a kit. He did also test kits for manufacturers. Now I know Cardiff water is perfect for beer making, that must be why all the beer drinkers raved about his home brew  ;D

Offline TopCookie

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2018, 12:27:39 PM »
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It's the only way to make great beer, from a proper mash...  :)

I don't do that hobby any more but used to be really keen, would compete at the local wine societies too, with both wine and beer...  Had to stop in the end though, as a deliberate decision...  I would come home from work and it wouldn't take long to go and draw a glass of ale - I absolutely piled weight on and got a little too comfortable with drinking on a daily basis...  In the end, for me and my character type, it had to be done and I quit the home brew completely...

Funnily enough, wine in particular is still an enormous passion for me (son of a Frenchman) but having to pay for it at regular prices creates a self policing thing and so drinking for the sake of it no longer happens...  I do miss those good old days though and have often thought back and been tempted to throw some vino together again...  :)

Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #46 on: March 19, 2018, 05:49:35 PM »
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Blimey, you folks are easy to take off-topic... ;)  :cheers: :cheers:

I do know know what you mean about drinking at home, though. When you can make a half-decent bottle of wine for around a quid a bottle, let alone the cost of a bottle of beer, it's easy to go overboard.

Now - let's get serious, and talk about whisky next.. :D

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Offline TopCookie

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #47 on: March 19, 2018, 06:24:13 PM »
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lolol...  ya can't go far wrong with a wee dram of single malt, eh...   ;)

Ice...  for me, just a little... 

Offline BT Bob

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #48 on: March 19, 2018, 08:20:37 PM »
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lolol...  ya can't go far wrong with a wee dram of single malt, eh...   ;)

Ice...  for me, just a little...

Oh......  :yikes: and we were getting along so well..... ;)

No ice for me, just a splash (literally) of water.

But to each his or her own.. As my late mother used to say, the world would be a very boring place if we all liked the the same thing.

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Offline TopCookie

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Re: Hello from Cardiff, Wales
« Reply #49 on: March 19, 2018, 10:42:16 PM »
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ok then, a large dram...    :))

Actually, I would be happy with a splash of water, just that I like the cooling affect from the ice - which I usually wait for to melt...  :)

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