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Keeping Fish

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Halfhidden, May 15, 2010.

  1. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Well I thought I would start a thread on keeping fish.
    I have never had an interest in fish keeping and always considered keeping fish as expensive and time consuming. Well I was right, but about the wrong kind of fish.
    Andrew, my youngest son wanted to keep reptiles but I really didn't want him to because I understand how much time and expertise this would need. However, he did win me over with the idea of getting a fish. I insisted that he had an easy to look after fish and we ended up with a 17 litre tank and filter. That's it we filled the tank with water a threw to blackmores in and waited. Soon after the tank started to turn misty and then we couldn't find the fish in the murky water... it was time to read up about fish!
    Realising that we should be changing some of the water and perhaps upgrading the filter system we started to take fish more seriously.
    A friend offered us the chance to buy a bigger tank (85 litres) with a built in filtration. Apart from that this tank was heated.
    Once again I wasn't enthusiastic about the idea because I didn't think we had the right fish keeping skills... but Andrew insisted so we gave it a go.
    Since then we have brought another tank from the same friend and this ones a 120 litre tanks and also heated.
    We now have sharks, angel fish, neon tetras, platies, mollies, gupy's, siamese fighting fish and many more.
    We've really enjoyed the task of fish keeping and are finding that tropical fish are really quite fun.
    We are looking to move on up to the more expensive area of marine fish soon and wondered if anyone has any experience with them.
    We are looking to harbour living coral and other marine aquatics in a larger tank (posibly custom built).
    Any thoughts?
     
  2. symons55

    symons55 Moderator Staff Member

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    Can you keep mackeral in them?
     
  3. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    No these tanks as they are fresh water and heated. Makeral is salt water and cold water... so no. But you can keep fish that size in the tanks we have.
     
  4. symons55

    symons55 Moderator Staff Member

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    What a shame.........::11:
     
  5. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    I think you can get tropical mackerel, but they are fighters with other species. They get rather large, some of them.
     
  6. sparky

    sparky Authoritarian Staff Member Administrator

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    Ummm....not sure about moving onto the Marine fish yet?...as they will be a different kettle of fish altogether (sorry couldn't resist! lol) but on saying that, seeing some Marine fish today and the lovely bright colours, and the many different varieties, you really would be spoilt for choice as to which one to buy (be like being in a sweet shop) and they were amazing I have to admit. Loved all the ones I seen today!

    but the prices of some of these fish....are quite expensive, and its not just the fish you have to buy its the tank, the Coral, ( or many small different ones) filters etc, I'm guessing that the fish would eat different food than the Tropical fish...or may be not, I just dont have enough info on the marine fish as yet, so I do think it will be a while before we invest in the marine fish,& all the equipment that will go with it, sorry Andrew394 & HH.
     
  7. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    Indeed a different kettle ... fish can cost some collectors thousands of pounds, just for the one. The fact of getting a matching environment for mixed species, and ensuring that a competetive mix is not selected, as well as ensuring the creation of an environment that repeats nature in miniature, getting the proper support animals, to clean sand, water and glass, ensuring correct temperature and aeration, is no small feat. Some of the fish develop floatation problems with their sacs and comfortably swim around on their backs, but 'spoil the look' of the aquarium.
    Keeping plenty for the fish to do, an obstacle course, if you like, is vital, because despite popular opinion a fish does have a longish attention span, and needs exercise and challenge, forget the Telegraph Crossword though. Fish like circling through coral bridges and clean weed. It is in meeting other fish that they develop a sense of space.
     
  8. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    @treeve, you are referring to swim bladder I guess. This is easily treated with shelled garden peas. Not only do the fish see this as a treat but it sorts out swim bladder. Sometimes cucumber is good enough for them.
    We've had a few things to deal with like fin rot and other fungicide but this has been combated with a larger change of water and a good dose of "tap safe" to remove the dangerous nitrates and other chemicals in tap water.
    Our Blackmore had "white spot" but this was brought on by stress as we changed the temperature from a cold water tank to tropical. Despite common beliefe Blackmore's will lend themselves to both cold and tropical... the only problem is the Blackmore turns gold.... as ours has.
     
  9. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    Presumably Richie Blackmore's Rainbow?
    Not much to Carp about ...
     
  10. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    Keeping Fish ... best wrapped in layers of cellophane sheet and frozen. Keeps for months. ::13:
     
  11. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    We lost two angel fish yesterday. One was already dead and the other died later in the day. We think the ammonia spiked up suddenly but can't find a reason for this.
    I checked the water condition and the ammonia was higher than 8.0 and the nitrates were off the scale (higher than 160). This was odd as a 30% water change is completed every two weeks and the water conditions have always been good.
    No new fish were added to the tank and only eight fish in a 120 litre tank is seriously under stocked.

    We did a 50% water change and the ammonia was still at level 4.0 many hours later. Obviously the Nitrates were high (about 100) so I added some tap conditioner to bring that back down to earth.
    24 hours later and the ammonia levels are still way up at 4.00 so I've done yet another water change this time 25% and the nitrate level was still as high as 80 so yet more treatment.
    Several hours later and the ammonia level is starting to come down. Last reading was between 0.25 and 0.50 which is still too high but at least I'm getting the water condition under control. The nitrates are coming down (I guess they would since the ammonia levels are now coming down) and the last reading showed the nitrates at 20 to 40 which isn't bad.
    The tank was pretty clean and despite hovering the tank and aggregating the gravel... not much waste was in the tank. The filter was working well and the filters were as expected.
    Has anyone any ideas why the ammonia level peaked to such serious levels?
     
  12. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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  13. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    To add to my fishy blog. I've just done a nitrite reading and although non of our fish are in any immediate danger of nitrite poisoning, it should be said that certain species don't tolerate high nitrite levels for long and they can die.
    We have to tanks both tropical. One tank is 85 litre and the other 120 litre. The nitrite reading on the smaller tank is 0ppm which is great. Although I will need to supplement my
    Plecostomus as he eats algae and the algae won't grow very fast at this level.
    However, the larger tank nitrite level is very high indeed. The level is now at 5.0ppm which is 5 times higher that natural water. Now I have a Plecostomus in this tank as well (they can't share a tank as they will fight each other) and I guess he's having a party. The algae growth will be massive. I can't see the algae in the tank... but this is probably because the Plecostomus is chomping away and keeping the tank clean.

    I am new to aquatics and have only started to find out what's what. I have discovered that the reason why the nitrite level is lower in the small tank is because I have a live plant in it. The larger tank has artificial plants and therefore the nitrites aren't absorbed by the plant (plants love nitrites)... So the answer is but some plants.
    I've already brought some and they are on there way. These come from all over the world and I have ordered about 25 different types.
    Plants, you would have thought, were simply shoved in the tank and left. Well apparently not. It turns out that plants can be a tricky as fish and need as much attention.
    I'm looking forward to understanding the nitrogen cycle and getting a balance in the larger tank that satisfies all.
     
  14. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    @tabtab13 Thanks anything is useful. I thought I knew it all but then reality hit me lol.
    Although the angel fish were the most expensive in the tank... it's not the money that I was worried about. I am upset at the fact that I didn't know how to save them or prevent this from happening. These fish were in my charge and I let them down...
    So now I'll just have to make sure that I understand everything I need to protect the ones I have remaining.
     
  15. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Ok, I guess I should have trained as a chemist because no matter how much I try I can't balance the nitrogen cycle!
    I'm in a catch 22 situation where as one of my tanks has ammonia dangerously high so the only real cure is to complete a 50% water change. This will bring down the ammonia in the tank but at the same time destroy the bacteria needed to combat the ammonia.
    I've been at this now for too many day and the water quality is fast becoming tap... which isn't good for fish.
    As we had to rush Leo off to the vets we ended up at pets for home. Coincidently they treated Leo as an emergency patient for £25 for the usual 10 minute consultancy...except they took 20 minutes and extra care and asked us to ring them and let them know his condition one way or the other. Now in contrast to this our usual vets were closed and the emergency vet (although open) wanted £125.00 for 10 minutes time... not right is it?

    Anyway, back to the fish! funnily enough I spoke with a member of staff who seemed to know what he was talking about. He recommended API Stress Zyme+. I'm hoping its just what I need. It contains live bacteria and hopefully will propagate the tank for me.... fingers crossed.
     
  16. symons55

    symons55 Moderator Staff Member

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    Stress thing, is that for you? ::11:
     
  17. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    I have my moments. I did think about pouring a few pints of Stella in the tank but didn't ::11:
     

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