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kiiarah

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Everything posted by kiiarah

  1. Well I finally decided to just bite the bullet and put together a full aquarium kit with all the meds and supplies I should keep on hand. I had been reasoning that I could just go out and get what I needed when the issue came up, but I don't want to be stuck with lesser brands. What would you guys say are the best brands and products to have available? I am ordering from Foster & Smith Aquatics, so any good or bad experiences with them would be helpful too. These are the supplies I have currently... Water Maintenance: SeaChem Prime water conditioner (what I normally use) Tetra AquaSafe water conditoner (back-up) Start Smart biological agent API Ammonia liquid test kit Medications: API Super Ick Cure (powdered) Wardley Essentials Ick Away Melafix Mardel Maracyn 1 & 2 Jungle Parasite Clear (not sure how old it is, got it free with used fish supplies) Jungle Fungus Clear Aquarium Salt These are the items I am thinking about purchasing, but could use some input about whether they are trusted and effective. API nitrite liquid test kit API nitrate liquid test kit Paraguard by SeaChem (never heard of this but am curious) PraziPro API Furan-2 powder Is there anything I am forgetting? I am pretty much just trying to round out my available treatments so I have every possibility covered. I looked for bettafix since I have both bettas and goldies and have read that Melafix can be dangerous for bettas, but didn't see it. Is there anything recommended to have for bettas that is different? Thanks a ton everyone.
  2. No I don't have a test kit for nitrite or nitrate, just for ammonia. I do take water samples to the LFS which is what indicated that the tank is cycled. My understanding is that in a cycled tank, sparing something like a cycle crash, the only levels that should build up would be ammonia. I think I read that nitrates can build up over time, but that shouldn't be a problem with weekly 50% water changes, at least as far as I know. I don't live far from the pet store, but I haven't had a chance to get over there before they close since I noticed the hole. : / The tank has never been allowed to go longer than a week without a water change, so I don't think anything would have had a chance to build up after it stabilized.
  3. Thanks Ashlee, the artificial plants may not have been visible in the video. There are two fake amazon sword, neither are sharp though. There is also a bunch of fake grass but the tops of the blades are rounded. I don't have a test for nitrites or nitrates, but he is not displaying any signs of discomfort or stress. He got a 50% water change last night. Somebody suggested that it could be a blown fin, could that be the issue?
  4. Hi everyone. Last night I noticed that my veil tail boy, Claude, had a tiny hole in his caudal fin. Today he is missing a half-oval shaped chunk from the end of his tail! All of his other fins look great except a tiny big of a ragged edge in one small area of his dorsal, but it is possible that it was like that before and I am just looking more closely now. His tank is a cycled 10 gallon, heated to 78 degrees and filtered. He does not have sharp gravel and his artificial plants are soft. He also has some live amazon sword plant in his tank. I do 50% water changes once a week and refill the tank with conditioned tap water (treated with Prime). He is fed a pre-soaked pellet diet, 2-3 pellets twice a day. I feed Nutra-fin Max and Omega one pellets and he gets frozen (sterilized) blood worms and brine shrimp once a week. I just filmed this video of him so that you can see exactly what I am talking about. Later in the video I was able to get the camera closer so it is easier to see. The night before last his fins were all fine, then the tiny hole last night, and this is how he looks this evening. He has a great appetite, is active, and his ammonia levels are at 0 ppm. I do not have readings for nitrite or nitrate. On second glance, it looks more like the hole widened and came open than a chunk having been taken out. His tail is sort of hanging open where the hole was like the edge came apart. I do not see any white fuzz or anything like that on him and he has no history of illness. I have had him for about one month. He was awake later than normal for the last couple of nights since we have had a friend over from out of town, but that is the only stress I can think of that he has been subjected to. Does it look like I should start treating him for anything? I have Maracyn and Maracyn Two powder on hand. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys!
  5. I actually have two new bettas, one new fantail, and two corydora catfish to introduce, but I don't have pictures of all the new guys yet. I got this excellent shot of Ryuu today and figured it is about time I got pictures posted here. Ryuu is Japanese and the name's meaning is dragon (or dragon spirit). He is a half-moon betta that I found at the big box pet store. I couldn't believe his colors. I figured there was a reflection on his cup when I saw him out of the corner of my eye, I just couldn't believe he was actually so vivid. I was there to buy Corydoras that day, but came home with him instead. He is by far the most brightly colored betta I have seen outside of the auction websites. I was a bit worried that he wouldn't make it at first because he was so much more shy than Claude or our newest boy Axol, but he is really settling in well now. I have had him for about a week and a half. Should have pics of the rest of the gang up in a day or two! He always turns his head when I go up to the tank, makes for some darling photos. ^_^
  6. Congratulations Koko! They are beautiful. ^_^
  7. Awesome, sounds like I am doing what I need to then. I have been turning off the filters and air wall to feed them and they have been getting the Omega One with feedings of Nutrafin just for variety. They do both seem to be picking up on the whole pellet thing. It looks like they would have such a hard time sucking up little pellets with such large mouths (the gravel always comes with the food) but I guess that is sort of what they are designed to do isn't it. Good advice about the shrimp rotting in the filter, yikes! I had been turning the filters off just so the shrimp fall straight down into the bare bottom area, but that is another very good reason to. Thanks for the reassurance, it helps to know that they will work it out and I don't need to do anything crazy to make sure they eat. ^_^
  8. kiiarah

    Fin Clamping?

    Would you believe I don't even have a blender? I will have to watch for a cheap one so I can try that out. I bet the goldies would love it. I am lucky to have gotten a fairly accepting betta. I hear they can be very picky eaters but Claude seems to like whatever I give him. That is, unless it sinks too low in the tank before he sees it. He refuses to eat anything that isn't at the surface.
  9. kiiarah

    Fin Clamping?

    I have been a bit scared to feed the brine shrimp too often because I thought I read somewhere that they are high in fat and low in vitamin content and should be used only as a treat. The ones I have are soaked in spirulina to increase the nutrient levels, so that helps a bit I guess. I do have frozen bloodworms, but they are by San Francisco Bay and they do not say anywhere on them that they are guaranteed parasite-free. The brine shrimp are by Hikari and are three-step sterilized. Unfortunately my LFS doesn't carry Hikari bloodworms, so I am afraid to feed the ones I have since the company doesn't even claim they are free of nasties. I have two different pellet brands that I feed the goldies, along with frozen treats and fresh veggies.
  10. kiiarah

    Fin Clamping?

    Well I had the heater set to about 78, but with the hood light on it tend to put it up to around 80. So I raised the thermostat on the heater to about 80, which should put it at around 82. Does that sound on target or would higher be better? It occurred to me that setting it to 80 would be the same as 82 during the day but at night it would drop to 80, so not sure if that is too low. Blasted light, makes things so much more complicated but the plants need it. Also, I am looking at him now and he does seem a bit calmer with that side of the tank covered so he can't see the other tank.
  11. kiiarah

    Fin Clamping?

    I could definitely turn the temp up. I was afraid to go too high before finding out what is best. He normally gets 2 Nutrafin Max pellets in the morning (pre-soaked) and 2 Omega One betta pellets in the evening (also pre-soaked). Once a week he gets frozen brine shrimp, which happened to be this morning, but he was doing this before he ate those. He also gets fasted one meal a week, just because I am a big softie and he always convinces me to give him dinner on fast day lol. So is it somewhat normal for fin positioning to change from day to day since stress levels may change from day to day, depending on food, sleep, temperature etc? He really isn't acting sick, just more tense than usual. The flaring makes me think he feels more tense and defensive than normal too. I do wonder if the moors moving in next door doesn't have something to do with it, but I covered that end of his tank and he doesn't seem much different. Not sure how long it would take for him to calm down if that was the problem.
  12. kiiarah

    Fin Clamping?

    Claude usually holds his fins closer for a bit right after waking up, but this morning he did it longer than usual, and his fins still are not as wide as they normally are. The temperature in the tank dropped to 76 yesterday which prompted me to return the junk heater we had installed. He now has a more expensive one that seems to be working, and is holding the tank at about a constant 80 degrees. That is the only change I can think of. His appetite is great, he had brine shrimp for breakfast. His activity level is normal. The only other weird thing is that he flared today. I know that doesn't sound weird, but I have never seen him flare at anything, not mirrors, food, he just never does it. I have had him for about two weeks and he seems very healthy, alert, and active. I am just concerned because his anal and caudal fins seem so pointy today compared to other days. His caudal fin usually looks like more like this shape http://www.google.com/imgres?q=cherry+leaf&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&tbm=isch&tbnid=s4j51I5qcjS3AM:&imgrefurl=http://www.hainaultforest.co.uk/5Bird%252520cherry.htm&docid=3IkaINYwxJfVDM&w=633&h=342&ei=H7o1Tq_lHqbmiAKa3PnDCA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=721&vpy=309&dur=3835&hovh=165&hovw=306&tx=171&ty=78&page=1&tbnh=102&tbnw=189&start=0&ndsp=28&ved=1t:429,r:10,s:0&biw=1599&bih=815 and his anal fin is usually less slanted. However, his dorsal fin and pectoral fins are normal, dorsal still pops open and tall when he stops swimming and he is not bottom sitting. Any thoughts on whether this seems like alright behavior or whether I should be concerned would be very helpful. Ammonia levels read 0 ppm last night, unfortunately I can't test nitrite or nitrate until at least Monday since the LFS is closed. Thanks guys! Edit: I just realized that we did put Toshi and Hiro's tank about a foot away on the same wall as Claude's tank. Could he maybe be stressed out by seeing the other fish there? Do they often clamp fins when stressed? I also noticed that the photo of him in my signature shows some of the same pointed fins, this was also taken after the new tank was set up by him. Here is a video of him from a few minutes ago, you can see that he isn't holding his fins to his body but isn't really fanning them either. (his belly is full because he just ate breakfast.)
  13. I actually have a couple feeding questions. I just gave the Toshi and Hiroki some frozen brine shrimp. Toshi especially seemed to like them, while Hiroki had a bit more trouble. I am able to get the shrimp to fall into the bare area in the tank so they can find them more easily, but they seem to have a very hard time noticing them still. Half of the time it looks like they are just mouthing around the general area where they smell them and not actually aiming for any. This causes problems because their movement knocks the shrimp around and they don't get any. Also, Hiroki is big enough that every time he circles over the area the current kicks the shrimp up into the water again. So long story short, I will be doing quite a bit of siphoning later today to get the leftovers out of the tank, lol. I am just at a loss for how to get these guys to eat their food before it gets lost in the gravel or rots. Felix and Apollo both get all their food out of the water as it is falling, but these two seem to have a really hard time finding it. The other problem I am having is that they were kept on a flake diet until I got them. Of course, I would much rather they eat pellets and I have gotten them to eat the Omega One and Nutrafin Max varieties but only the smallest size. They suck up the bigger size pellets I got them, but spit them right back out, even after they have soaked for a half hour. They just seem totally confused by large food. This creates two problems, one of which is having to drop so many pellets in the tank just to get Hiroki enough food since he is so large. The other is how to know if he has eaten enough. Toshi is faster and just generally more enthusiastic than Hiroki is, and even caught one pellet mid-water, but Hiroki usually just knocks them around instead of eating them. He does eat at least, but it is just a small pellet or two every couple of minutes. At that rate, Toshi gets most of them. I have noticed him pooping at least once a day (decent size and everything) so I assume he is eating but I don't want him to be hungry all the time. I am hoping some moor parents have some advice about how to make sure they get enough to eat without turning the tank into soup in the process. Thanks everyone!
  14. Thanks guys. The tank set up seems to be helping out a ton. They are finally starting to recognize the pellets as food without having to accidentally suck one up. Toshi even saw one dropping from the surface earlier and chased it! Usually they don't actually see them fall into the tank, and if they do they don't realize that they can go after them. I think they are making great progress adjusting to their new life. Hiroki still won't eat the medium sized pellets. He sucks them up but them spits them right out, probably just too different from flakes, but he is doing great eating the smaller ones. I just hope he is getting enough. I have been having to feed them about 15 pellets at a time, 2-3 times in a row since they are so small. Hopefully they will eventually start eating the larger ones. They have also decided it is great fun to swim through their bubble curtain.
  15. Thanks everyone! They are just wonderful. Every twenty minutes or so I find myself looking over at their tank and smiling. It is just so nice to see them with room to swim and clean water. It was just killing me thinking of them in such nasty conditions. I can't even describe how relieved I am that they are finally part of our family. Now that they are here I can't imagine not having them. ^_^
  16. Thanks Oerba! Yes, Hiroki has just those two little holes in his fin. I did some reading and found that they can be caused by ammonia levels that are too high, so I am cautiously expecting them to heal now. Of course they can also be the beginning of fin rot, so I will still be keeping a very close eye on them both in case any symptoms appear or worsen. I am reluctant to medicate just yet, but I am picking up some anti-bacterial to have on hand on Monday. Toshi also has a tiny bit of cloudiness in one eye. They are getting a seven day Melafix treatment to speed fin healing and hopefully help Toshi's eye as well. I figure the water quality in that five gallon was awful, so I am hoping that it is just damage from that. I really should have taken a sample to be tested before emptying and cleaning that old tank. It would have been interesting to know exactly what conditions they were coming from. Hindsight's 20/20 I guess. Fingers crossed that the clean water will have them fixed up in no time.
  17. I just posted a bunch of images of the new black moors, but I wanted to upload a video of them also. I have never had moors before, or any other large-eyed fish for that matter, so I am really not used to their eating habits. I started the tank out with gravel covering the floor, but they didn't like the larger food pellets (they also look like the gravel, same size and color) and the little ones were really hard for them to eat without sucking up whole rocks too. I also found that I had no idea how much they were eating, or if they were eating at all since the food and substrate blend together. I can't quite bring myself to do full bare bottom yet, but I decided to try part gravel and part bare bottom, and sure enough it helped a ton! They had an easy time finding the food, I had an easy time seeing how much was gone, and they have already learned to go to the glass area of the tank for feeding time. Of course, I have to endure jokes from the hubby about making the fish a dining room. I fed them from it once and the very next day when I dropped flakes in (still are being weaned from flakes to pellets) they smelled them and went straight to the middle and started nosing around. I couldn't believe it. So far they seem very happy with their new place. I can't remember if it is visible in the video, but the little bag hanging in the upper corner of the tank is some gravel from the established tank. I cut the netting from an old fish net and stitched a fishing line drawstring around the top to make a pouch. Ugly, but cheap and effective.
  18. Hey everyone! I finally got a chance to take some pictures of my two new moors. I noticed these guys posted for sale in a local ad online about two months ago. They were in being housed in an unfiltered five gallon. I talked myself out of trying to get them because I just didn't have the space and didn't expect to have the funds for another 30 gallon any time soon. They have been posted consistently every few days to a week since then, and every time I saw the ad I would click on it, wish I had a tank, and move on. The other day I saw another ad for them but this time I started thinking that maybe even a ten gallon for a little while would be better. At least I know how to care for them, recognize illness, feed a proper diet, etc. Worst case I could foster them and continue trying to re-home them. I was really worried that if someone else bought them they would live out the rest of their days in that cruddy little tank. The only catch was the family wanted $25 to "ensure they find a good home." I decided to try writing to the poster and suggesting that if they are really just looking for a good home and were willing to give them to me they could keep the tank and sell it and I would take great care of them. I knew it was a long-shot but I figured at least I have offered and maybe if they got desperate they would at least know they had someone to call. A day and a half later they still hadn't responded and I assumed they were just looking to make some money off of them. I was in the process of trying to move on when two new messages appeared in my inbox. One was from the lady with the fish, she was happy to give them to me and only wanted to be sure they had a good home, she even threw in their stuff for free, though I will probably never find a use for it. When I talked to her on the phone she made a good effort to make sure I knew how to care for goldies, asking questions like "Do you use any water conditioner?" I had to stifle a laugh, if she only knew who she was talking to. Needless to say I told her that we would be out to get them that evening. The other email was from a man I had replied to on a whim about a 30 gallon fish tank. It had been posted for $50 and I was really just curious what sort of supplies could be found for that price. I was able to arrange to go look at the tank, which turned out to be immaculate, and came with a full lighted hood, two bio-wheel filters, a new bag of gravel, plants, and even a couple little heaters. I then found a five dollar cabinet that my dad helped convert into a tank stand (of course load tested first). So all in all, the whole thing cost us about $100 including the cost of air stones, pumps, and cycling agent. We decided to name them Hiroki, which among other things means abundant joy and strength, and Toshi, which apparently is listed as meaning various things including valued, unique, and mirror image. That last one is particularly fitting, because Toshi spends most of his day following Hiroki around. I have probably thirty pictures of them mirroring each other's movements. They are just too cute for words. So I am thrilled to introduce the two newest members of the family! (Lots of the images have micro-bubbles in them. I am not sure why but I do know the other 30 gallon did this at first and has since stopped. The bubbles make it look like they have a terrible case of ich in some photos, but the only fin or body damage I have noticed is a tiny hole in Hiroki's dorsal fin.) This is the tank they were in and the photo included in the classified ad. It looks like the photos are old because they even bigger now. This is their new home. It is sort of a work in progress. They were not very social when they first arrived home, but they are learning to come and visit when they see people. Toshi showing off his gorgeous scales. Hiroki showing off his beautiful fins. They stick together almost everywhere they go. Looking forward to a long healthy life.
  19. Thanks so much guys! They are now in safely moved to the 10 gallon and they don't seem to mind the air stone either. I had planned to give them plenty of hiding space but they are so huge I could only put two little plants in lol. They seem very happy and active and have a nice dinner of their usual flakes and some pellets to try last night. They will be trying some blanched peas in a minute here, so crossing my fingers that they like them. I will be heading out to the local thrift/furniture stores to see if I can find a suitable stand for them. I am just really eager to get them to the 30 gallon where they belong. They are so exquisite. I should have pics up later today. ^_^
  20. Hi everyone. I hope this is the right section for this question. For some months now I have been seeing a local ad for two black moor goldfish that needed a home. The lady had them in a 5 gallon unfiltered as their normal tank and they were just being fed Tetra flakes, so needless to say their lifestyle is about to change dramatically. I remember reading somewhere on here that sometimes when a fish comes from very poor conditions, but is used to them, putting them in clean water and improving things can actually shock them (sometimes to death!). Needless to say, I do not want to do anything with these two that would cause them undue stress, so I am looking for some advice on just how to transition them. I do not know how long the previous family had them, but one of them is around 3'' and the other is at least 3.5'' if not 4'' long. I must have been meant to have these guys because at the same time I decided to try to take them I also found a used 30 gallon, complete tank and accessories. The only problem is that I need to find a stand for it, so I will have to go looking tomorrow. For tonight I have a clean 10 gallon with filter set up and running. They came home in the 1/3 full 5 gallon tank and I have been gradually adding little bits of our conditioned tap water to the tank. I am hoping this will ease them into any Ph changes. The temperature of course will have to be right but is there anything special I should do to make sure they make the move safely? They were a rather sudden addition to our family so the tank is not cycled but they should only be in it overnight. I will be using the same cycling agent I used for the other 30 gallon and testing my water levels daily for at least the first month (or until nitrates show up). The fish seem to be in good shape, all but a couple of minor things that I may post a question about later. The tank they were in was not filthy, but it wasn't sparkling either. I assume the family changed the water like you would in a bowl and did not siphon. I have an air stone in the new tank waiting, but have not turned it on because I am not sure if it would be stressful for them. Anyway, as you can see I need any advice I can get.
  21. Thanks guys! Sounds like I am probably on the right track then. I have two different types of betta pellets I think I will use then. The one has tons of whole fish in it, the other is mainly fish meal with some wheat, but it has tons of other stuff and is yeast balanced for digestion. It also has added multivitamins. I also picked up my first packet of frozen food today! It is Hikari spirulina brine shrimp. These are the kind http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=13937. Should these be alright for him? They didn't have any without spirulina but my understanding is that the spirulina is fed to the shrimp and then they are soaked in the cube water, and that it is not fed directly to the fish. They say it is like gut loading crickets for reptiles, they pack the shrimp full of algae to load it with nutrients. Either way, I want to be sure it is alright to feed to carnivores. They were out of the mysis shrimp, but I think I will go back for some of those and some frozen bloodworms as well when they get a shipment in later this week. I have some frozen bloodworms I could give him, but with all the problems I hear about people having with those I figure best to pay the four bucks and have the good stuff for like six months. What should the feeding schedule for frozen foods be? I was originally going to do brine shrimp once a week as a treat, but if I have brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and bloodworms could I feed those on three different days of the week or would it be best to stick to one treat day a week and alternate which one they get each week?
  22. I will definitely take you up on that offer. I am sure I will have plenty of noob questions to go through still. I am still in the stage where I am looking at his still water surface and wanting to rush out and buy air stones, which I am sure the poor little guy would hate me for, and wondering if maybe he would like some of the goldie's fancy new algae wafers (I am sure he would not...at all lol). So far I have resisted the urge to do anything ridiculous. I have definitely noticed though that every new animal we bring into the house the first thing I do is look up everything I can find about them, including diseases, then convince myself that they have at least one of those diseases and freak out for a week straight until I suddenly realize that...hey wait, they aren't doing that weird thing anymore! With the cockatiel it was sneezing. I was terrified he had a respiratory infection because he sneezed like three times on his first day home. Of course, he was probably just getting used to all the new smells. He is beautiful and healthy and sneeze-free now. I think I am a hypochondriac on my animals' behalf Still though, I would hate to ignore something that wound up being important. Doesn't hurt to check I figure. Good thing I found Koko's or I would be an absolute wreck.
  23. I think I have enough expert opinions to calm down a bit now. Thank you so very much to everyone who took the time to help look at him and give me advice! I appreciate it so much, I may even be able to sleep tonight without having nightmares about fish lol. Last night I read about fish evacuation methods before bed...bad idea, I spent half the night dreaming about trying to get like 12 fish out of a tornado. Gotta love the fish stress dreams . I can't wait until this guy has been healthy for a few months and I can really relax.
  24. Yeah I may do that just as a precaution. I think I need to stop watching him so closely xD. I am so new to bettas, and they are so different than goldfish, I want to be very sure that I check when I don't know what to be looking for. It would just break my heart if I missed something serious. Thanks so much for taking the time to check out the vid and give some advice.
  25. I actually realized that I should pull up some pics of healthy bettas and the first thing I thought to google was "show bettas." Here are just two examples of gorgeous show bettas that came up in the results, both with bigger tummies than Claude. I assume they would have to be in good health to be considered show quality, though I am no expert on these things lol. http://scienceinthetriangle.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/green-betta-fish.jpg http://basementbettas.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/img_4874-1.jpg Just as a disclaimer, I do not own these photos, they are merely for comparison. Here is a more recent video of a slightly slimmer (at least it seems that way) Claude. The lighting is better in this one and I tried to get more angles. He seems much too active to be having any digestion issues. /shrug http://s229.photobucket.com/albums/ee277/tarynt_gryph/?action=view&current=a2044111.mp4
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