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  1. Params are not likely to be good in a bag with a stressed out fish in it. I wouldn't count on that for giving an accurate reading on your store's tanks. We have hundreds of gallons of water running through massive sump filters and UV sterilizers. There is also an automatic drip hooked up to purified water, but it broke in a couple of the systems. Gravel vac's happen once a week, unless testing - which happens three times a week - shows that it needs to happen again. But that said, technically, the systems are CONSTANTLY getting water changes, because people are buying fish every day, and the water removed and put into those bags is being replaced either through the auto-drip, or manually with the python (from the purified water faucet.) Our set-up is different from PSP's, but losses on our end are typically the same, though occasionally we also see PH shock in some of our stores.
  2. Heidi, this place is approximately 2 hours from you, but they do have a storefront type set-up now, so might be a fun place to check out some time. I have no personal experience with them, but they've come recommended by some of my serious-hobbyist friends at the aquarium society. https://www.facebook.com/fancytailsgoldfishfarm
  3. yep, otocinclus and Glofish. Glofish are genetically modified zebra danios, not tetras, although they generally have similar behaviors.
  4. Hard to say. I think it's mostly to do with operant conditioning, although they probably do recognize us to a certain extent. Animals identify others at least partly by scent, many fish species included, and in this case, us being outside the tank, they are dependent wholly on their eyesight (and maybe sound.) If presented with someone of a similar build/way of moving, the fish could react as if they were seeing YOU rather than a stranger. In that vein, you may find that they are reacting less to a specific person, and more to that person's behavior. As the caretaker of the fish, you are likely to display a certain set of behaviors, and the fish are possibly connecting these behaviors to a likliehood of being fed. Fish reacting to one set of fingers over another is probably a scent issue. They will be more familiar with the scent of the person who works on the tank the most, because it is going to be in the water as a result of general tank maintenance, and likely to be on their food, likewise, the smell of their food may be on your fingers. Some fish are not picky at all and will track anyone and inspect all fingers. Pigs lol
  5. Test the water again. If you are getting any ammonia, then your tank is not fully or properly cycled. Ammonia can be damaging and even deadly any time the test reads above 0. Same for Nitrites.
  6. Thank you, all! Isn't that pom-pom ridiculous? I can't wait for him to get here and make weird-looking babies with Glitterbomb lol
  7. Oh, I don't have any recent. The tele came after I had to euth my rescue fantail, Tipperfor severe buoyancy issues. With the three fish, I began moving some things around in preparation for getting a larger tank, but since 45s aren't super common, it's taking longer than I hoped, so the tank is in sort of a weird stasis, with a white trashbag for a background lol This is what it used to look like;
  8. haha, oh, it's no secret that I am a crazy animal person. I need ALL THE ANIMALS. Especially fish. The goldfish thing was so unexpected, though. I have even been considering if I could feasibly set up a goldfish tank at my boyfriend's place, too.* Pants and Speak are still my favorites, too. They are so ridiculous. Whenever I put food in the tank, Speak goes totally frantic and Pants eats most of it before he stops rocketing around the tank. I have been after a decent pompom FOREVEROMG and so as much as the answer to "Do I really have the room or the money to spare?" was "not reeeeeeaaaaallllyyyyyy..." I couldn't not get that fish. No regrets, the tropicals that can/have to be removed will find homes with aquarium society members. *No, but only because I wouldn't get to enjoy it enough. He'd probably do all the work, he enjoys tank maintenance.
  9. So, it turns out that goldfish are a lot like rats, and bettas, and vampires. Once you invite them into your home, you just keep finding more and more "mysteriously" appearing within. I am in the market for a 45 gallon tank as it will fit the stand I have, and am going to have to rehome most of my tropicals, because Pants and Speak will be moving into the planted tropical tank to make room for... others. Glitterbomb (the telescope) will soon have a new friend in this fellow, and I am trying to take myself firmly in hand and make it JUST ONE. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN??
  10. what kind of guarantee does this store have? at least regarding the money part, most places have at least a 14-day policy on freshwater, although I've seen some non-chain stores have different policies for more delicate FW species like discus or neons.
  11. being that they are ghost shrimp and therefore sometimes difficult to see, are you absolutely certain that they're dead? Every time I get new shrimp, or put shrimp in a different tank, they molt within 1-2 days of the transfer. That would certainly account for an "empty shell." I don't mean to get your hopes up, especially without knowing exactly what you are seeing/saw, but definitely take a good look around. On keeping bettas with any other animals, it's just a toss up. Some are more aggressive than others, and some are extremely passive, so it is always a situation of "you can try it, but be ready to separate them" [eta]for what it's worth, dead shrimp will be an opaque white or pale pink color.
  12. Whatever size tank you end up with, be sure it has a lid, these guys are known jumpers. They're pretty flighty and pick up some serious speed when spooked. It might be wise to have tall plants to slow 'em down and keep them from bonking their silly heads on the glass - they do that, too. They are cool fish with the right care, though, and, I believe, very peaceful, in spite of their trade name.
  13. As mentioned, the first plant is a sword of some type, and the leaves it has currently are not its aquatic leaves. Even if it was in ideal conditions, it would eventually shed those leaves and grow different ones. As it is, it will do better with a substrate it can root into well, with root tabs or spikes, as well as a fertilizer added to the water and a lot of light. Five hours is probably not going to be enough light time, especially if you are only using your standard fixture (and forgive me for assuming this if you have something more powerful, but most people I run into aren't running anything more technical than the 17watt fluorescent that came with their tank.) I have never had any luck with anacharis and rarely recommend it to people. It is naturally a floating plant and, in my experience, does poorly when kept like a rooting plant.
  14. It doesn't really make any remarkable difference. By that argument, though, it also makes no difference if a fish is a ranchu, or a lionhead, or an oranda, the care is the same, right? But plenty of people want to know as much as they can about their animal, it makes them feel more connected to it. In my case, I was curious because I expected a 10yo fish to be larger than Tipper is, and I wondered if others thought that age might be somewhat accurate or if, like I had a slight suspicion, the girl's parents had been replacing her orange fantails as they died over the past ten years. Shortly after I took her in, someone dropped off two fantails at the store that were easily TWICE her size, and supposedly quite a bit younger. I also wondered if she might or might not grow out a little more in improved conditions (not that I expected anything dramatic,) or if she was likely to remain the size that she is. Since stunting can cause problems, and Tipper has problems, it was also of interest if people thought the stunting was contributing to her swimbladder disorder - and that if she were to grow any, if that might lessen her troubles.
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