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My fish!

Fresh, Salt, & Pond fish. Aquatic inverts, jelly fish, shrimp, octopus, etc.

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Re: My fish!

Postby TamanduaGirl » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:38 pm

There is no edit button after a set length of time. It avoids less scrupulous people from tampering with things or deleting all their posts.

One board I'm on will automatically combine a double post into one post but I'm not sure that's possible or not with this board.
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Re: My fish!

Postby Juska » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:53 pm

That combining thing sounds quite useful. That would definitely cut down on double posting and having to moderate it. I realized that after posting my second post, the edit button was on that one but not on the last one. So I figured out why then :lol:

Thanks Ash! You're very kind :) Fish keeping isn't that hard, you just gotta learn a lot about it first, like most pets (especially our exotics!). I started with my 3.5 gallon and the goldfish, which you really shouldn't do, but since he's a little runt of a goldfish it worked well. Goldfish should be given at least 10 gallons to themselves if they're normal sized. Bigger ones run up to 29+, which is what I had when I had Zoltan, my giant red Oranda. He was over 8 inches long and boy was he a monster!

Fishkeeping does seem intimidating at first, with all the parameters and chemicals and whatnot, but if you get the right information and the correct tools you should do just fine. The only problem that worries me is the power going out because of the filters and lights. I'm trying to save up to get one of those "UPS" devices that keeps your computer or other components running after an outage or simply keeps them from shorting. It's pretty much a giant battery that you plug your electronics into. That way if the power went my filters would stay on. They run kind of expensive though for the good ones that actually run more than a few minutes after switching.

The only advice I can really give is, don't cheap out on equipment and supplies. It can be an expensive hobby, so if you're really dedicated you should get the good stuff to start out with. I think my 20 gallon's entire initial setup, minus fish, was about $146. That's including decor, gravel, rocks, bulbs, the tank and the filter. I bought a kit that contained the hood/tank/filter, which made it a few bucks cheaper, and it also has a lifetime warranty through Tetra.

Unfortunately, most of the people that come to me at work asking about starting a new tank, want the cheapest, smallest thing and don't want to spend more than about $40. Then they wanna cram 8 goldfish in it >:| But alas, people who don't heed our advice can be barred from buying fish, so we can sleep easy knowing some person isn't going home with 10 guppies to put in their 1/5 gallon plastic tank with no filter. But anyway!

What really got me back into fish was working at PetSmart. Everything I got for my 20 gal setup was from there (the 15% discount isn't bad either, haha). Working in pet care means I get to stand by the fish podium all day and look at them, so when I saw my little Midas for the first time, that teeny weeny goldfish, I just had to have him. Then eventually I gave in and got my big setup too, lol. Just couldn't resist. I've never had a tank this big of my own!
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Re: My fish!

Postby BB » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:56 am

I have to agree with everything Juska said above; fishkeeping can become quite addictive. My main advice is take your time when you purchase your equipment, set it up and let it run, test the water, put in some plants, generally cycle the tank BEFORE you put fish in it. It is possible to cycle the tank with a few cheap fish, but you run the risk of killing them off.
There is a lot of trial and error, so don't get discouraged if you loose some fish. Quite often there was something wrong with the fish before purchase.
But having a great set up is soooo rewarding, I find it way better then TV.
Also, a lot of petshops haven't got great fish knowledge, always ask when the fish on sale have arrived. Normally they should be at least kept at the shop for three to seven days before selling. Also it always helps to research first which fish go together, not only if they eat each other but also ph, temp range, and so forth. Some shops will sell you oscars and guppies together without a flinch.... :roll:

And finally, I totally agree, the bigger the tank the better! :mrgreen:
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Re: My fish!

Postby Ash » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:50 am

Thanks for the advice, guys. I really appreciate it.

That's great that you're still working at Petsmart, Juska (15% discounts would be nice!). I remember that you were having a difficult time due to some co-workers, so I'm glad that it's worked out for you. It was my dream job for a while (I didn't get hired), so I'm envious, lol.

That's also nice that you can see all the fish and other animals when they pretty much first arrive. That way you kind of have a "first pick."
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas
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Re: My fish!

Postby Juska » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:25 am

Yeah, I've handled the delivery of our fish and small pets a few times now. I also don't have as much issue with certain co-workers as I've pretty much transferred out into pet care exclusively. I only work back in the salon on Fridays, and sometimes other days if they can't get one of the 3 other bathers they have hired to come in...lol. I do like having first pick of the animals though.

Unfortunately our tanks are only out front, so when we do receive a shipment they go straight into the tanks to be sold (after floating them and releasing them of course). But the ones that were already sick or have any other problems go into the "Quiet Room", which is a room for sick/hurt/otherwise unsellable animals. It's temperature controlled and we keep a record of each animal's progress twice a day to see how they're doing. If an animal is injured or has a serious problem we take it to the vet. We also have a large hospital tank for sick fish that we can treat illnesses in. So it's pretty apparent which are suitable and which are not. Sick fish are easy to spot for the most part.

At my PetSmart, the people who work back in pet care are pretty knowledgeable about fish, and they have us study up on them before starting to work out there (we had to take and pass a test with 90% efficiency specifically about fish, reptiles, birds and small animals). We also have picture tags below each tank that say the name, adult size, what size tank and what other fish each type is good with. Our Neon Tetras are in the "tropical community" group, so generally when people ask what they can be with, I tell them that they can go with other fish that have that tag (generally). If I see them eying up an aggressive or other fish that wouldn't work in their tank I let them know what that fish is like. I also get TONS of people asking for Algae Eaters for their tiny sized tanks (one time I got asked for an "allergy eater", lol). I tell them "You know they can get up to 11 inches right? You shouldn't even have algae in a 5-10 gallon tank if you're cleaning it every week."

When anyone asks about our Oscars I always ask them if they know how big they get, and that if they know they'll try to eat everything they put in the tank :lol: I've had people asking if they could get 3 Oscars to put in their 10 gallon! Then I kindly showed them the picture tag where it says they can grow to over a foot long :lol:

And about cycling the tank...most people don't even know you have to do that. Most of the time I get strange looks and then a "well, I never had to do that years ago when I had fish!". Well, you do now, and there's a good chance your fish won't die this time! We try very hard at PetSmart to educate people the best we can (because there's always that know-it-all who doesn't listen) before selling fish to them. We can refuse a sale if we think an animal's life might be endangered by selling it to a particular person. I also don't sell fish to people who are also buying their tank setup that day. People need to learn you can't get everything all in one trip and just throw the fish in there once you have water in the tank. People actually get mad when I tell them that their fish are going to die if they do that, and they still demand the fish anyway. Why the heck would I lie about something like that and NOT sell you something, and not make money for the store? Obviously I'm trying to trick you...or something...yeah, no.

I've heard a good way to get the cycle started (without fish) is to add some fish food every day to get the nitrites up. I used API's Quick Start and that got the cycle going quickly.
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Re: My fish!

Postby Juska » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:48 pm

Nitrites are going down, albeit very, very slowly. Out of the danger zone, down to the stress zone. I'm still not sure what's causing it though. And the water is getting slightly murky (white and cloudy) despite frequent water changes. Any ideas?
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Re: My fish!

Postby BB » Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:37 am

Are you sure there is nothing in the tank what could leech something? An ornament or gravel or something?
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Re: My fish!

Postby Juska » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:25 am

I haven't put anything new in since I started up the tank :( I've moved the plants around a little bit since starting it but they were already in there before the spike. I always thoroughly rinse everything before putting it in the tank as well...

Just did a 50% water change. Hopefully that will bring things down a bit.
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Re: My fish!

Postby Juska » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:31 pm

My nitrites are down to 1.0! Yay! Almost in the safe zone. I cleaned the crap (literally) out of my bio-scrubbers and replaced a LOT of water. I think we're finally getting somewhere.
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Re: My fish!

Postby BB » Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:01 pm

Awesome news!! Can't wait to see it :icon-wink:
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Re: My fish!

Postby Juska » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:21 pm

Everyone seems to be doing fine, now that I'm home from work after the water change. Unfortunately it seems my two Gouramis aren't getting along. My old one, Roman, has the other's tail fin nipped almost completely off now, over the course of about a week. I'm probably either going to return him to my store and put him in the sick tank to heal, or find someone that has space in their tank for him where he'd be more happy. I hate to see him picked on like that. He's just not fighting back at all, and his colors are starting to get dull from the stress.
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Re: My fish!

Postby Juska » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:43 pm

Nitrites are at a nice, safe zero! Can't believe it took that long to do, even with all the water changes. Water is still cloudy, but the next water change I do will probably clear that up. I plan on tearing all the ornaments out and cleaning them thoroughly. Probably a task for tomorrow.

Midas got a new tank today! He's upgraded to an acrylic 5 gallon bowfront. It's very nice, and has blue and white LEDs built into the hood. Uses the same filter as the 3.5 gallon. Moved Simo (the Betta) into the 3.5, he's really enjoying the space. Though, when I first put him in, he hid and didn't know he had moved into a much larger bachelor pad :lol:

Had one mishap when moving Midas into his new tank. The top parts of his tail fins came off somehow. He's lost fins seemingly way too easily before, so he might just be susceptible to losing them with stress. He actually tried to eat it because I lost it in the gravel and didn't get it out of there right away. I had to pull it out of his mouth because it was too long for him to swallow :P Luckily he's not a total moron and let me hold him while I took it out. I'll post pictures once I can get a good shot! His white/yellow/red decor and white gravel looks really nice under the white light.

EDIT: Here's a photo of Midas' new tank:

Image
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Re: My fish!

Postby BB » Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:05 am

I have to ask...is that someones tattoo next to the tank? Wow!!

Anyway, your tank is WOW also! I love the colours. I'm glad everything is starting to work out. There is really no rule how long it takes to get the right readings, except patience.....
I got a betta too yesterday, I put him in my tank for colour, but I have to see if he is happy over time, it might be a little too much current for him in there.
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Re: My fish!

Postby Juska » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:14 pm

My Betta is actually enjoying the filter on his new tank, and it is a little strong. He's probably never experienced "current" before. He actually freely swims around his tank! For a while I wasn't sure if he'd figure it out. Speaking of the Betta, I named him Simo, after Simo Häyhä. If you don't know who he is, he fought against the Soviet Union soldiers invading Finland during the Winter War. He was a sniper, and they called him "The White Death". Makes sense because he's partly white and he'd probably kill anything else in his tank :lol:

Oh, and yeah, that's a poster of the singer from a Finnish band called H.I.M. (can you tell that I like Finland yet? haha). He has quite a few tattoos, and that whole arm is a big sleeve of thorns.

Midas seems to be enjoying the space in his new tank. He's not madly swimming from side to side like he did in the other one. Right now he's just gently hovering in one spot near the bottom left corner. I'm thinking about getting him a bigger rock to replace the one that's in there now (the coral rock with the snail shell on it). But he's pretty fond of it, so perhaps I'll just switch it up once in a while. He likes to swim under it (you can't see it but that rock sits on three points and there's room underneath for small fish to hide) despite his size, lol. He's a strange one.
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Re: My fish!

Postby Juska » Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:54 pm

Just did a 50% water change in my 20 gallon and the water is STILL cloudy and full of tiny particles. It's a little less murky now that the filter has been running for a little while, but it's still got a ton of crap floating in it that my gravel hose didn't suck up out of the water. I think I need to get a bigger gravel hose and possibly do a 90-100% water change tomorrow. There was no algae on anything, either.

Also, Niko is slowly starting to kick the bucket. He's been laying in the fern leaves for a few hours now, trying to breathe. Poor little guy :(
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