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Old Jan 29, 2009, 06:50 AM   #1
pagansoul
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Show me your Aquarium/Fish Tank

I figure many of us have some type of Aquarium/Fish Tank in our homes or at work. I have a few friends with little Betta bowls. I just recently set up a 30 Gallon in my bedroom. In it I have about 19 Opaline Gourami (female). When I first got them, all tank mates, I figured I would loose about 1/4 but low and behold they all lived. They tend to be a bit aggressive so nothing else is in the tank. My cat, Hammy, thinks its wonderful. Yes, I watch him. I also have a 10 gallon for 'time-out' or what-ever but have not needed it. I also have a small iMac Aquarium for Betta.
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Old Jan 29, 2009, 06:52 AM   #2
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More pictures.
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Old Jan 29, 2009, 07:09 AM   #3
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I have none now since moving countries but I've had several in the past. The biggest was a 125 gallon with a huge variety of tropical fish. I almost got into saltwater but chickened out. I got the next best thing in a 55 gallon full of African Cichlids. Bright coloured aggressive little things that they are. My favourite fish ever were "parrot cichlids" / "blood parrot cichlids" because they had such personality. Seriously.

How much do you know about aquatics? I don't mean to get preachy here but I'm slightly worried that if you just recently set that up that appears to be way too many fish for that tank. You need to introduce them slowly (like 5 or 6 fish) so that the gravel (which is looks like you got sand, that's going to be difficult, especially to clean) can build up beneficial bacteria to break down the fish waste. I've always heard that once a tank is established, after a couple months, that about 1 inch of fish per gallon of water is about right. Sometimes less sometimes more depending on the fish and their aggressiveness and potential to grow and poop.
Maybe you're aware of all this but I just thought I should say.
Aaaaanyway, it looks good and best of luck.
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Old Jan 29, 2009, 07:18 AM   #4
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Small pond that I made about two summers ago



Probably increase the size later on.
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Old Jan 29, 2009, 08:30 AM   #5
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i had these cardinals for a long while. they are really great fish. i'm about to get some more. the angels are certainly beautiful too. the guppy's were good fish to. i've got lots of growth now. i made my own canister filter out of some pvc. it works well. its just so tough to force myself to change it all out.

40 gal tank.
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Old Jan 29, 2009, 11:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by iBlue View Post
How much do you know about aquatics? I don't mean to get preachy here but I'm slightly worried that if you just recently set that up that appears to be way too many fish for that tank. You need to introduce them slowly (like 5 or 6 fish) so that the gravel (which is looks like you got sand, that's going to be difficult, especially to clean) can build up beneficial bacteria to break down the fish waste.
Yes, I asked how many can be in my 30. Since they are all female and were also all tank mates to begin with they are very mellow. If I added a male, all hell would break loose. There is nothing else in the tank but my girls. For now they are fine and as they grow we will see if they need to be split up. I have several tanks at home. I do not like gravel at all and prefer sand. I have a water vac to collect waste as I feel a need. My back screen is actually cork which gives off a soft brown glow. It's been a month so I'm not very worried about my being off on the temp or PH. I have read that they prefer more plants but thats because when you have a bully they like to hide. They use all levels of the tank but breath air off the top like bettas. They are used to living in shallow water and need it to breed but I have no interest in that. I just like looking at them swin.
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Old Jan 29, 2009, 11:17 AM   #7
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Yes, I asked how many can be in my 30. Since they are all female and were also all tank mates to begin with they are very mellow. If I added a male, all hell would break loose. There is nothing else in the tank but my girls. For now they are fine and as they grow we will see if they need to be split up. I have several tanks at home. I do not like gravel at all and prefer sand. I have a water vac to collect waste as I feel a need. My back screen is actually cork which gives off a soft brown glow. It's been a month so I'm not very worried about my being off on the temp or PH. I have read that they prefer more plants but thats because when you have a bully they like to hide. They use all levels of the tank but breath air off the top like bettas. They are used to living in shallow water and need it to breed but I have no interest in that. I just like looking at them swin.
Excellent, glad to hear all this. I've just come across a fair amount of people who get fish tanks and aren't sure what they've gotten into.

I have to admit, the sand looks awesome.
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Old Jan 29, 2009, 11:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by pagansoul View Post
Yes, I asked how many can be in my 30. Since they are all female and were also all tank mates to begin with they are very mellow. If I added a male, all hell would break loose. There is nothing else in the tank but my girls. For now they are fine and as they grow we will see if they need to be split up. I have several tanks at home. I do not like gravel at all and prefer sand. I have a water vac to collect waste as I feel a need. My back screen is actually cork which gives off a soft brown glow. It's been a month so I'm not very worried about my being off on the temp or PH. I have read that they prefer more plants but thats because when you have a bully they like to hide. They use all levels of the tank but breath air off the top like bettas. They are used to living in shallow water and need it to breed but I have no interest in that. I just like looking at them swin.
Still a high bioload. See if you can't get some plants in there anyway to absorb the waste, otherwise in a couple of months you'll have a very green tank. How often are they at the surface? Go they gulp or just swim about?

Good choice of rock, that's got a very high surface area so will be breaking down dangerous nitrates. Have you got a filter? I can't see one.

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Old Jan 29, 2009, 11:56 AM   #9
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The sand is bio-reef and starts out with living bacteria, cool stuff. I started with 3x10 gallon tanks with 6 in each. Then moved them group at a time into my 30 gallon. I still have a 10 gallon up and ready if I had to remove any but that didn't happen. They pop when they eat, funny as hell. About 5 are only 1 inch but the others don't rag on the shrimps. They eat anything. I have been told they can live 5 years and grow as much as 5 inches if they are given the space. The biggest I have ever seen a male was 3 inches.

Yes, I have a 30 gallon filter but you can't see it because of the cork backing. They need softly flowing water to be happy. Sometimes the small ones swim sideways or upside down. The larger ones seem to have outgrown this habit. I do like watching them school.
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Old Jan 31, 2009, 07:42 AM   #10
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Old Jan 31, 2009, 03:34 PM   #11
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[img]snip[/img]

[img]snip[/img]
is that even healthy for the fish :|
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Old Jan 31, 2009, 07:03 PM   #12
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Low maintenance aquarium- All I do is change the water every month or so. I love it!

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Old Jan 31, 2009, 09:06 PM   #13
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My girlfriend and I are fish fanatics. Admittedly she knows a lot more than I do about the ins and outs of fish keeping, however I consider myself fairly knowledgeable. We have 12 tanks and keep mostly bettas and livebearers. We are huge advocates for improving fish husbandry practices, especially the standards surrounding betta care. Aquatic plants are a huge part of our obsession, too. Here's photos of some our tanks. If you want more info on tank inhabitants or anything shoot me a pm:


20 gallon low-light, low tech. Contains Girardinus metallicus, show guppies, shrimp and a variety of snails:
FTS:


Yellow shrimp and clithon corona



Girardinus metallicus and their fry (These guys have gorgeous blue eyes, unfortunately my crappy camera does them no justice):


20 gallon high-light, high tech. Contains some female bettas and guppy fry. This is my favorite tank. My girlfriend wants to preface by saying the aquascaping is far from completed. We plan to eventually stock this with pygmy cories, and some kind of microrasboras:


Rack with 5 gallon tanks for various male and female bettas, most of which were rescued from their walmart death sentence:


All contain plants and driftwood, and look similar to this:


Some of the fish






And last but not least our favorite fish, Wall-e! We found this guy in a spits worth of water covered in ich. You can see his videos too:


Bare with me, his tank needs some 'scaping....

10 days after we got him:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3szAr0SNFdM
Couple months ago (look at those gorgeous fins!!):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrs0gUg3cIQ
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Old Jan 31, 2009, 09:14 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by pagansoul View Post
Yes, I have a 30 gallon filter but you can't see it because of the cork backing. They need softly flowing water to be happy. Sometimes the small ones swim sideways or upside down. The larger ones seem to have outgrown this habit. I do like watching them school.

Your fishtank made my girlfriend cry. I can barely fathom the pain and suffering those fish are going through. The funny swimming patterns you just described are textbook symptoms of ammonia and nitrite poisoning. For the love of god buy a liquid comprehensive freshwater test kit and start doing daily water changes. Next time you walk into a big box pet store never listen to an employee, they have duped you. You would thoroughly research before you bought technology, why did you not do proper research before buying a living creature?

Sorry if that sounded harsh, but I am honestly disgusted.
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Old Jan 31, 2009, 09:33 PM   #15
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Here's Mine

This is a 55 gallon show tank. Have had it for over a year and half. It is my first tank I have ever set up and it has had it's fair share of unfortunate deaths. I have a about 19 fish including 6-loaches, a Bala Shark, and the chocolate placastimus (image top left) and my south american dragon gobi (image top right) who is a lot smaller in this image. He was supposed to only be 12", last measured he was 18". And yes, it is tin foil as the background. Sorry for the blurry pics.
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Old Feb 3, 2009, 07:46 AM   #16
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Your fishtank made my girlfriend cry. I can barely fathom the pain and suffering those fish are going through. The funny swimming patterns you just described are textbook symptoms of ammonia and nitrite poisoning. For the love of god buy a liquid comprehensive freshwater test kit and start doing daily water changes. Next time you walk into a big box pet store never listen to an employee, they have duped you. You would thoroughly research before you bought technology, why did you not do proper research before buying a living creature?

Sorry if that sounded harsh, but I am honestly disgusted.
I have removed half into 2 other tanks so there are only about 10 in the 30 gallon tank. The smaller fish are in their own tank and 4 are in my brothers 30 gallon tank. I do test the water weekly but I have read that they need salt in the water so added some in their mix. I was told daily water changes is very bad but removal of a few gallons replaced with fresh water is better. Do you actually change your water daily? I read weekly so it happens when I clean the sand on the weekends and replace that water which is about 20-30% of the tank.

Also, since adding the sea salt the strange side-way swimming has stopped. But since this was only done by the smaller fish and they are in their own tank it may also be the change in the tank. It's only been a few days so I will have to see over time.
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Old Feb 3, 2009, 03:15 PM   #17
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I have removed half into 2 other tanks so there are only about 10 in the 30 gallon tank. The smaller fish are in their own tank and 4 are in my brothers 30 gallon tank. I do test the water weekly but I have read that they need salt in the water so added some in their mix. I was told daily water changes is very bad but removal of a few gallons replaced with fresh water is better. Do you actually change your water daily? I read weekly so it happens when I clean the sand on the weekends and replace that water which is about 20-30% of the tank.

Also, since adding the sea salt the strange side-way swimming has stopped. But since this was only done by the smaller fish and they are in their own tank it may also be the change in the tank. It's only been a few days so I will have to see over time.
Read up about the nitrogen cycle and fish tanks. Essentially, fish produce harmful waste products, and beneficial bacteria converts the harmful substances into less harmful substances. The big three parameters important to the nitrogen cycle in tanks are ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Ammonia and nitrite are very poisonous to fish. They cause those funny swimming problems, death, and other permanent harm. I would venture to guess your gouramis' lifespans have been drastically shortened by the conditions you have exposed them too.

Nitrate is not as harmful as ammonia and nitrites, however it can cause problems in high levels. You need to get a liquid test kit to check all these parameters. Those strips they sell are inaccurate and therefore useless. Since your tank has very little beneficial bacteria as it is newly set up, ammonia and nitrite are going to build up. I suggest daily 50% water changes as you need to keep the ammonia and nitrite levels under .25 ppm. Given your ridiculously high bioload I would not be surprised if you had to do more than one water change a day.

Contrary to the myth floating around, frequent water changes absolutely do not harm your beneficial bacteria colonies. The bacteria grow on surfaces, and do NOT live in the water column! Frequent water changes will slow the cycling process in aquariums, however. The higher the ammonia levels (within reason), the faster the bacteria can grow. Since you are in the middle of a cycle involving fish, you must do the water changes to spare their lives. You can see how ugly this is--as you are prolonging your cycle in order to save your fish. And a longer cycle=even more stress on the fish. A lesson to learn is never ever do another fish-in cycle again! Cycling a tank without fish is much faster, as you can keep high ammonia levels without subjecting living creatures to poison.

You mentioned you had friends with aquariums. If your friend has a healthy tank devoid of parasites or other nasties, you should borrow some of their filter media and put it in your filter. The media will have the bacteria you and your fish need. (Don't take all of his media, or then his tank might plunge into a cycle. Never ever throw out your filter media without first seeding new media) Go over to his house with a plastic baggie, scoop up some of his tank water and a put a portion of his media in the baggie. The idea is to keep the media wet in tank water until you can get it home. (dry media=dead bacteria, tap water=chlorine=dead bacteria)

Since you have removed a number of the fish from the aquarium, you risk a lot of harm returning them all at once to your aquarium. The bacteria colonies only grow to the bioload you have, so a sudden large increase in bioload will result in more tank cycling. In other words you will return to step one and your tank will be a filthy cloudy mess. I don't mean to be blunt, but you ought to take the majority of your gouramis back to the fish store. They grow fairly large and even females can fight amongst each other.

Read some articles on proper tank stocking. And I don't mean go to yahoo answers or the first page google returns. I hope I've made it evident that there is a lot of wrong information circulating about fish care. Consider joining a fish forum, or lurk on some to glean knowledge. What ever sources you are using for information now seem to be very misinformed. (Take for example your addition of salt. You mentioned you read salt can help. While it might temporarily relieve the painful symptoms of nitrite poisoning (i.e. funny swimming), it will not get to the root of the problem. Water changes are the correct solution)

If you have any more questions please don't hesitate to shoot me a pm.

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Old Feb 4, 2009, 03:08 AM   #18
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^ A very helpful post, impreza98. I didn't stick to my hunch on my first post but I'm glad someone has lent a hand there.
That is a really good idea about getting someone else's filter media. (but only "some") I did the same when I first started.

Slow introduction is always key with aquariums. Sudden changes are asking for problems. Follow The Dude mentality, "take it easy". On my tanks with big poo-happy and larger fish I had more filtration power than I needed from my back filter (Emperor) and changed the water once per week, as needed, about 40-50% of the water. My other tanks only required about 30-40% every other week. I used a "python" syphon, it was brilliant.

Live plants are helpful too. My favourite was Anacharis because it's easy and grows like a weed. Even the cuttings (which you will have because of how fast it grows) will root. (they don't root deep so if you have fish that like to rearrange things in the tank, such as my parrot cichlids, it will be a floating plant. haha) A small cluster will eventually give you a big cluster and so forth. I gave so much of that stuff away to fellow aquatics people. Its sale is sometimes banned because it's really not funny if it were released into the wild, but if you can get your hands on it, it's an easy one so long as you have growth spectrum lights. The plants will help the bioload and oxygenate the water to some degree, and they look nice.

Anyway, best of luck and hope this helps.
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Old Feb 4, 2009, 03:42 AM   #19
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That is a very interested looking cat in Pagansoul's second photo...
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Old Feb 4, 2009, 06:15 AM   #20
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I have returned most of the remaining fish and kept the 5 smaller ones. I'm glad I started this thread. The fish I had previously the most contact with were my fathers guppies and I had some tetras a few years ago. My brothers has a large tank with Tetras, Mollies and a few others that I have no idea of. When I went into the shop I thought they were more like the tetras (they had tetras in the tank with them) but after reading up on them they are more like bettas and less is better. Also my tank was new but had two weeks with nothing in it before I ever put any fish in it. I always thought that 2 weeks was enough time to introduce fish. I also never used salt in fresh water tank before. I thought something like that would kill a fresh water fish, not keep it healthy. Live and learn.
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Old Feb 4, 2009, 09:29 AM   #21
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Dont get to see it all the time, at school most of the year but here's the reef my brother and I have at home.



edit: only about 7 months old, and just added a Ca reactor finally so hopefully the little frags will start to take off and grow in soon.
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Old Feb 4, 2009, 05:04 PM   #22
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Dont get to see it all the time, at school most of the year but here's the reef my brother and I have at home.



edit: only about 7 months old, and just added a Ca reactor finally so hopefully the little frags will start to take off and grow in soon.
That's nice. I eventually want to turn my 55 gallon into a saltwater tank. Well, once we win the lottery and all the freshwater fish naturally die...
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Old Feb 4, 2009, 09:36 PM   #23
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Here's mine

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Old Feb 4, 2009, 09:52 PM   #24
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I have returned most of the remaining fish and kept the 5 smaller ones. I'm glad I started this thread. The fish I had previously the most contact with were my fathers guppies and I had some tetras a few years ago. My brothers has a large tank with Tetras, Mollies and a few others that I have no idea of. When I went into the shop I thought they were more like the tetras (they had tetras in the tank with them) but after reading up on them they are more like bettas and less is better. Also my tank was new but had two weeks with nothing in it before I ever put any fish in it. I always thought that 2 weeks was enough time to introduce fish. I also never used salt in fresh water tank before. I thought something like that would kill a fresh water fish, not keep it healthy. Live and learn.
It's a huge learning curve when starting up your first tank. The pics I posted is my first tank I have ever set up and I did a lot of things wrong. I guess I just got real lucky with it. I don't do anything to that tank and all the chemical levels are absolutely perfect.

Make no mistake, with adding salt you need to research any fish you plan on getting. Some fresh water fish do like a bit of a briny tank (adding salt) but some do not. If you go to say Petsmart (which, look very carefully at the condition of the fish in the tanks before buying) some of the labels will actually tell you if the fish likes a bit of salt or not. You are better off going to an actual fish store but even they don't always know. I found that out the hard way.
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Old Feb 5, 2009, 01:16 PM   #25
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2 Pieces of advice for new comers, no matter what style of tank, size, etc.

1. Research, Research, and when you think you've got it down, its always going to be trial and error. Nobody ever gets everything right first time around(even if you've been doing it for years, you screw up and it costs you more money )

2. Take your time, especially in the first 6-8 months. Even if your initial nitrogen cycle looks good (the "cycle"), it takes many months for every parameter to settle down. Add fish slowly and build the bioload gradually, don't use those insta-cycle type products that promise you a happy, healthy tank in a week.

It can be a very consuming hobby once you get into it but you will get a lot of enjoyment and pride from it (frustration too).

edit: More pictures of my 156 if you care...pictures.
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