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Everything posted by troy.telford

  1. Symptoms Red veins in tail fins A few 'spots' where red veins are more dense. Frayed fins. The symptoms are very long lived: The patient had this to some extent for a couple of years, at the very least. Sometimes it gets worse, sometimes it gets better. I have found no real pattern in when it improves or worsens. Unusual behavior Patient is slightly less active than usual, and has been 'relaxing' in a spot where there is a fair amount circulation (near the front of the tank, in front of the filter) Patient does leave that spot, swims around the tank for 4-5 min, and then goes back to 'chill' for another 15-20. He's never hung out there before; he's almost always stayed on the other end of the tank (where there isn't a filter), and swam around there. Tank Information Tank Size: 55 Gallon; 12"x48" (top) Tank Age: Established November 2011 Filter: Currently 1x Aqueon 55/75 HOB (An Eheim 2075 should arrive in a few days) Note: I've always had an issue with diatoms, in every tank I've had. I finally decided to read more about them, and am waiting for a silicate testing kit to arrive. I'm thinking the silicate level in my water may be fairly high. Population: Red Cap Oranda 8 inches long Predates tank Red Ryuken 4.5 inches Added Jan 2014 Black Moor 5.5 inches Added Jan 2014 Water Changes Amount: 80% Frequency: Weekly Last Water Change: Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015 Amount: 80% Water Additives Conditioner: SeaChem Prime Fertilizer: SeaChem Flourish Tabs (in gravel) Tank Medications Metro-Meds, one fish scraped off a few scales when he swam up gravel vac, had minor infection, ~3 weeks, in July 2014 Metro-Meds, when the last fish was added ≥ 1 year ago. ~ 3 weeks. Otherwise, I only medicate in a hospital tank. Diet Food: Goldfish Connection Pro Gold Amount: 1/4 tsp 2x daily (I'm thinking of halving it) Water Parameters API Freshwater Master Test Kit (Liquid) Item | Tap | Tank ----------------- | ------------- | ------- Ammonia | 0 ppm | 0 ppm Nitrite | 0 ppm | 0 ppm Nitrate | Trace | 10 ppm High Range pH | ~7.9 | 8.0 Tetra EasyStrips Item | Tap | Tank ----------------- | ----------------------- | ------- Nitrate | < .5 ppm | <20 ppm Nitrite | 0 ppm | 0 ppm GH | Between 150 and 300 ppm | Between 150 and 300 ppm Chlorine | 0.5 ppm | 0 ppm KH | Between 180 and 300 ppm | Between 180 and 300 ppm pH | 7.8 | 7.8 Yearly City Water Quality Report (Reference) Category | Value -------------------- | -------- Hardness as CaCO3 | 170 ppm Alkalinity as CaCO3 | 206 ppm Nitrate | 3.7 ppm Calcium | 83.5 ppm Iron | 200 ppb Manganese | 5 ppb Magnesium | 47 ppm Chloride | 170 ppm Phosphate | 20 ppm Sodium | 79.9 ppm Specific Conductance | 917 μmhos/cm^3 pH | 8.5 Images (Right click on image and choose "open in new tab" or "open in new window" to view full size. Yup. It's an aquarium. The gravel is 2.5-3 inches deep. I am planning on removing all but 1" deep, but will do so slowly. This image shows the frayed dorsal fin, as well as some of the tail fins. This is a show of just the tail fins, showing some of the red blood vessels and frayed fins. This is more of the same, but you can see a red "spot" where a clump of blood vessels are. A shot of the fins from the other side
  2. Excellent idea. I am going for quiet, and I've never seen a quiet air stone. Great idea; I have a similar (though feline) concern. Your idea has one flaw you didn't know about : from the new aquarium lamp's manual: "This appliance was designed for use over a glass aquarium cover or panel. DO NOT USE OVER "OPEN" WATER." I'm an electrical engineer. Having taken a quick look inside the lamp, I'm going to heed that warning. The lights aren't sealed; humidity will get in, corrosion will be accelerated. Time makes fools of us all and I try to play it safe with AC power and water. My fish will splash water on them So... I think this is what I'll do: I keep my tank about even with the bottom of the frame, which would leave around 1" of space between the water's surface and the glass. That works out to about 576 cubic inches, or 1/3 of a cubic foot of air. So, I think I'll cut a hole in the back of one of the slits, so that I can bolt on a 40mm Computer cooling fan blowing 'dry' air into the gap between the hood & water surface. I'm looking for functional and silent. For $19 or so you can get a fan that creates ~18 dB (about as loud as a quiet canister filter) of noise. It's rated at just under 5 Cubic feet of air per minute, and would exchange all of the air in that little space about 15 times per minute. A 2nd fan will easily to get 30x per minute.. That should be more than enough air exchange; it may even add evaporative cooling for summer. The fan is 5V DC. at that low of a voltage, it's not really dangerous unless you are trying really hard to hurt something. I realize moisture from the tank might damage the fan(s), but since it's pulling in dry air I'm not too worried.
  3. I tend to prefer Mercury Adhesives or ZAP, but they are higher end cyanoacrylates, for more demanding applications. Since I get it for those applications, I use it everywhere. Loctite is my choice for a glue you can get at a grocery store. I get it if I'm out of town, and my normal adhesives aren't with me.
  4. Loctite's primary product is thread locker (to prevent bolts from coming loose), and they are in no danger of disappearing. They don't need to advertise their main product because it -is- the thread lock of choice. Loctite is a Henkel brand. Henkel is a multinational, multi billion-dollar company whose products include things like laundry and dish detergent, toothpaste, hair dye, Dial soap, and even Right Guard antiperspirant. They're not going anywhere.
  5. I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords. Seriously, though, cleaning by hand keeps me honest: I can't ignore maintenance, and am 'encouraged' to keep it he water quality high.
  6. I have a 55 gallon tank, with three adult goldfish. The top being roughly 12"x48", and a reinforcement brace in the center. I recently got clearance sale on new aquarium lights (with tubes), so I grabbed 'em. I want to start planting my tank (using the Low-Tech approach). That and to see if I can bring my diatoms under control (After 4 years... still there; but that's a topic for a different section). Anyway, my tank came with Aqueon's "Deluxe Full Hoods", and I punched holes to hold two Aqueon 55/75 HOB filters (one came with the tank). With the new lights, I have to switch hoods, as the old ones don't have enough glass to allow my new lights to work. So... looking at something new to cover my tank, and keep the lights from falling in. (They just rest on top of a glass canopy). One of the HOB's died, and I had planed on removing the HOB other after the canister had been in a couple of months (for noise reasons)... but... The thought occurred to me that with the fairly minimal openings needed for the canister, a glass top may not provide enough air exchange to keep the water oxygenated... especially in summer, when my tank's temperature gets to around 78 F or so. Am I just being paranoid, or do I need to give more consideration into my tank's aeration?
  7. My local Petsmart had a 50% clearance sale on Aqueon T5 lamps (with bulbs). I picked up two 48" lamps (1 Full Spectrum Daylight and 1 Colormax) for $80. Considering the tubes alone cost what I paid for the tubes and fixtures, it was a pretty good deal, IMO.
  8. One thing I'm probably going to do in my free time: design a cheap little sensor that does three things: 1. Detects if my canister filter is leaking. (Pretty easy) 2. Sounds a mildly annoying alarm; I may even have it send a text message in the future. 3. Cuts power to the canister filter The whole point is a fail safe: cutting power to a canister filter is not good, but draining the tank onto my kitchen floor is catastrophic on many levels. The idea is to be like a smoke alarm: cheap, and hopefully never used.
  9. I've seen some discussion about what kind of things are available to power your aquarium and keep it running, and thought a quick article may be useful. I'll try to be as general as I can, but since I'm most familiar with the power standards (and terms) used in North America, some of it may be slightly different in the rest of the world. Safety First: Never forget that our hobby involves a particularly deadly combination: Electricity, water, and inevitable spills. I don't know how cleanly you're able to do a water change, but I don't think I've ever changed my tank's water without spilling a bit. If you do nothing else, heed this advice: You must have a Residual Current cutoff device. If you don't have one, get one. Now. In the USA, they're called "Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters" or GFCI. If you don't know what they are, it's a plug that detects and cuts power when they detect a dangerous fault. The classic example is dropping an electric toaster into a bath tub. A GFCI detects the problem and cuts off the power before anything is electrocuted (or a fire starts). I know my local home improvement store sells extension cords with a built-in GFCI, should you not feel like getting (or being) an electrician to install a GFCI socket. A GFCI can save your life (and your fish's, or family member's) should something fall into the water (like an aquarium light). Most national electrical codes require one for outlets near sinks or water faucets; many require them for every outlet. The USA only requires them in kitchens & bathrooms, so if you're in the US, it's possible the outlet next to your aquarium doesn't have a GFCI. Power Protection Now that our own safety is taken care of, let's look at protecting our electronics. Distributing electricity is complicated, and always requires miles of wire carrying electricity. Any number of things between the power company and your home can cause power spikes or dips which can damage or disrupt your equipment. There are two main classes of devices to protect your electronics: Surge Suppressors and Uninterruptable Power Supplies. First, a warning: Be wary of a "$250,000 equipment guarantee" or similar offers. The fine print almost always lists requirements that make it impossible to get a payment for a damage claim -- usually you have to prove that an electrician with the manufacturer's certification did all the wiring for your house or apartment, including receipts for work done. I don't know about you, but I don't have the receipts and certifications from the contractor who wired my home a decade before I bought it. Surge Suppressors Most modern electronics are sensitive to power spikes or surges. A common source is lightning, which can fry delicate electronics in a flash. If you have a fancy LED bar lamp, or a computerized canister filter, you're tempting fate if you don't use a surge suppressor. As an added bonus, most surge suppressors double as power strips. If you have a very "low tech" tank - with fluorescent or incandescent lights and pumps (with no computerized anything), a surge suppressor probably isn't necessary. One thing to be aware of is that consumer grade surge suppressors have a limited lifespan; like a suit of armor, they take the damage so your electronics don't. Like a suit of armor, their lifespan often depends on how many hits they take, and that depends on the power (and weather) in your area. Most surge suppressors have an LED on them that is separate from the on/off switch. Its purpose is to indicate that it is still capable of handling a surge. If it's not lit anymore, it's not protecting anything. Consumer grade surge suppressors are 'rated' by the amount of energy they can absorb in a single "event" - such as a lightning strike. Note the weasel quotes around 'rated'. The 'rating' is in Joules, which is a unit of energy. The 'rating' is provided by the manufacturer, and is not obtained in a standard way. It may be pure fiction. There is no standard way to test surge suppressors, so the numbers provided (made up?) by the manufacturer are simply accepted as true by UL and other certification agencies. There is no testing to verify the "joule rating" is accurate. It's impossible for mere mortals to actually test surge suppressors, as they require energy levels that are well beyond 'safe.' In the end, a surge suppressor choice comes down to "how reputable is the manufacturer", and "how long has the manufacturer been making suppressors." Price isn't necessarily a guide, as it's easy to jack up your prices and claim to be "premium." I'm sure that makes you all feel warm and fuzzy inside, but sometimes the truth sucks. Uninterruptible Power Supplies A surge suppressor only protects from a voltage spike (which happens often enough). If you want to go all in, and get something that'll keep your tank completely safe though most power outs, I'd suggest getting an Uninteruptible Power Supply, or UPS. What's so special about a UPS? Think of it as a surge suppressor with a battery backup. As an example: If you have a power bump (momentary loss of power), or a blackout, your aquarium equipment will just keep purring along as if nothing happened -- even if you have a fancy computerized canister filter. I have UPS's on my Home entertainment gear, so a power bump doesn't disrupt my Netflix Marathon. If you have a canister filter, I'd recommend a UPS. From what I've read (and can see just looking at them), an extended power outage in a canister filter can be catastrophic. The water doesn't flow, and the "good" aerobic nitrifying bacteria consumes the oxygen left in the unpowered filter, and suffocates. Various forms of 'bad' anaerobic bacteria grow quickly in their place, which quickly poisons the water (I'll go out on a limb and guess e.coli is among them...). As soon as power is restored, the canister filter pumps the toxic water into the tank, and "bad stuff" happens. I imagine it's like food poisoning, but for the gills. Even a monster canister filter like the Fluvial FX6 will only pull about 50 watts, and even a cheap ($55) UPS will keep it running for a good half hour or more. An Eheim or Fluvial 404 (or smaller) will get an hour or more, because they use less power. How long the UPS lasts depends on what you have plugged in and how big the battery in the UPS is. I'd only keep the filter pump(s) plugged in, as the rest of the aquarium can safely go without light or a heater for quite some time. 80% of all power outages in the US are less than an hour long, and less than 5% are more than four hours long. That means for a modest investment, you can be assured power won't be a problem for your aquarium in all but the most extreme situations. (And in those situations, you'll probably be more worried about your own safety than your aquarium's). APC and Tripp-Lite are well-established, reputable brands. You can get a 550 VA APC UPS at Amazon for about $55.00 USD. ("VA" is a "complicated" Watt. Don't go there. Please.) Whether you decide to get a UPS or a surge suppressor is, of course, up to you. But if you don't have a GFCI for your aquarium gear, please do yourself and those you love a favor and get one.
  10. Thanks. I really appreciate it. It certainly looks to a layperson like me like cancer. A few cancerous cells get carried to other parts of the body and take hold when a tumor metastasizes. Only a wild guess; I doubt there are many fish oncologists in the world. Given what I've seen, my tendency will be to not inflict the knife, as I'm seeing very similar things in my fish. I'd rather not inflict trauma when there doesn't seem to be a quality of life improvement. (I'm not criticizing what you did; I'm just trying to use what you've learned and shared.) And I totally agree with trying to find out what went wrong. I am starting to see fish keeping as a continual exercise in 'how do I suck less next time', and there is always room for improvement.
  11. Angelmb15: how do the fish like soilent green? Does the quality and flavor vary from person to person? Do the fish start gazing at you with a fierce hunger? (Soylent Green is 'Made of people' joke. Sorry, couldn't resist)
  12. Helen: how do you want to share the autopsy video? I'd really like to see it. I'm using tapatalk right now, but will update my profile with my Skype info later today. Alternatively, I've created an email alias, tgxdnutjtq@snkmail.com. You could send me a download URL there. (I don't mind sharing it because I can delete immediately after, and not get spammed)
  13. I have several kinds of high quality cyanoacrylate. I even keep it in my fridge to preserve it. I saw the surgery video you posted earlier, Helen. Great stuff. (No, I'm not squeamish. I roomed in college with my brothers, whom are biologists, and one doctor, who did human dissections. Dinner conversations were... graphic, and didn't effect me.) One complaint: I shuddered when I saw you touch a cotton swab to super glue. Don't do that. Cyanoacrylate glues have a highly exothermic reaction to cellulose, such as cotton and paper towels. I haven't started a fire (yet...), but I have gotten smoke and been burned by very hot cotton swabs. Not exactly the kind of thing you'd expect, I'm sure...
  14. The white spot is growing, and I see a darker spot inside that I suspect is a blood vessel. I think I'll remove it, but as this is a more serious thing than the one I removed before, I want to be well prepared. One question, Helen: aside from Betadine antiseptic, do you use any antibiotics or other medications in the recovery tank? I'm thinking of the times I've needed stitches, usually to prevent/fight infection. I find it hard to believe fish are somehow immune.
  15. I've been using Goldfish Connection's food for almost as long as I've been keeping my fish. It appears that they've closed. So, the next time I need to buy food, I'll have to use something else. My main food is their "Pro Gold" pellets; does anybody have suggestions for good replacement(s)? Also: Since they made Metro Meds... is there anything else like it on the market? (Medicated food for emergencies?)
  16. Glad I picked up a tape measure... My available space wouldn't fit the Fluval FX6, or the Eheim 2078 I was looking at. I settled on an Eheim 'Ultra G' 160, which wasn't that much more than the Fluval 406. Hopefully, it'll be a really boring upgrade for my tank, where nothing unexpected ever happens.
  17. After using the 'hook on back' type filters for years, I've become interested enough to investigate switching to a canister filter. I have a few questions: I have a 55 gal tank with three adult goldfish. I know the tank requirements for goldfish are vastly different from other fish, so I'm wondering how much capacity is 'enough' in a goldfish tank. Somehow I'm not sure the 'up to 80 gal' refers to a goldfish tank. Also, in looking around, I see a few main brands, at least locally. It seems opinions vary wildly, with a distinct teenage 'coke vs Pepsi' flavor, and not a lot of adult thinking... I figure eheim is really good, because the best fish shop in town shop sells them, and petsmart doesn't. Plus, they have the German reputation going for them. Next up I see Marineland and Fluval, which seem capable but not as nice as spendy as eheim. Where are good articles or buying guides I can learn what to look for, and what is a marketing gimmick?
  18. Just curious. I know goldfish are surprisingly smart, and can recognize individual caretakers. I wonder if I'm seeing a typical behavior. In my tank, when it's close to feeding time, the fish will all clump together facing me, and will swim 'into' the glass completely synchronized with each other. It's almost like a group beg for food... They also play my wife and I against each other: once I've fed them, they'll ignore me, but will do their dance the moment my wife walks by (and vice versa if my wife feeds them) They're pretty shameless beggars...
  19. Helen: I am interested, but it'll probably not be for a day or so.
  20. I anesthetized the fish using clove oil, and proceeded as suggested. (I'm glad I have it! made it a lot less stressful for both of us, I'm sure) Describing the firmness is tricky... I've settled on cheese, since an individual variety tends to be fairly consistent in texture. The one one the side was relatively hard (something like feta), and fluid-filled. After a very gentle scrape with the butter knife, it vented and softened up, much like a blister. I carefully scraped off the clear 'sack' of the blister, making sure to not injure the scale underneath. (I'm actually really good with a scalpel, and not at all queasy about such things... I didn't use a scalpel, figuring if a butter knife was suggested, a scalpel would be overkill and possibly more dangerous than beneficial.) The white one on the top of his head is was softer than the one on his side, but it's still fairly firm... definitely firmer than a curd of cottage cheese, but probably more like a Kraft Single american cheese slice. Unlike the one on his side, I didn't get a clear impression whether it was simply fluid-filled (like a blister, or boil), or if it is swollen tissue. I did take care to not apply much pressure, as I really don't want to injure it. I'm primarily concerned for the fish's health, and that of its tank mates. I've had a goldfish (different tank, 2-3 years back) that died after having 3-4 white cottony "bursts" the size of a pencil eraser erupt from its body over the period of a week (like something out of a sci-fi flick). It dropsy'd a few days later and never recovered. I still have no idea what it was, but after the first eruption, I asked the guy at the pet store, who was positive it was a fungal disease, and suggested a fungal cure, which was obviously ineffective. That memory still haunts me, and I'd rather not repeat it.
  21. I anesthetized the fish using clove oil, and proceeded as suggested. It's groggy, but slowly coming back from dreamland. Describing the firmness is tricky... I've settled on cheese, since an individual variety tends to be fairly consistent in texture. The one one the side was relatively hard (something like feta), and fluid-filled. After a gentle scrape with the butter knife, it vented and softened up, much like a blister. I carefully scraped off the clear 'sack' of the blister, making sure to not injure the scale underneath. The bubble one on the top of his head is was softer than the one on his side, but it's still fairly firm... definitely firmer than a curd of cottage cheese, but probably more like a Kraft Single american cheese slice. Unlike the one on his side, I didn't get a clear impression whether it was simply fluid-filled (like a blister, or boil), or if it is swollen tissue.
  22. Full tank: Notes: all plants are plastic, except for some water wisteria, visible on the left.
  23. OK, images. They're high-res, but the lighting wasn't as nice as I'd like. I'll take a picture of the whole tank next... but for the moment... Full-resolution images can be obtained from: http://www.pariahzero.net/Fish/DSC_0409.jpg http://www.pariahzero.net/Fish/DSC_0411.jpg http://www.pariahzero.net/Fish/DSC_0413.jpg http://www.pariahzero.net/Fish/DSC_0414.jpg http://www.pariahzero.net/Fish/DSC_0415.jpg This first image is from the rear right. You can see a bubble about 3/4 of the way to the right. Next: A shot of his right side; you can see both the swelling on his right side, and his head easily in it. You should be able to clearly see that there are blood vessels inside the bump on his side. The next shot is more of the same, different angle. There appears to be a 'black speck' on his head bump in this one. it's something on the glass or the camera lens. It's not on the fish. The next is a bit grainy (not enough light), but you can see the bump on his head much more clearly: Finally, a somewhat blurry shot, but you can easily see the two bumps:
  24. Changed water 50%; nitrates are now around 20 ppm. PH before and after measures about 7.6 Ammonia is zero Nitrites are zero. Tap water: Ph 7.6 Ammonia: 0 Nitrites: 0 Nitrates: 0 I'll see if I can get better pictures.
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