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About daryl

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    Goldfish Collector

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  1. Oh man, that is just so wrong..... the only worse thing is when the stupid birds spear every last fish and leave the dead and dying bodies on the pavement around the pond. They do not even EAT the fish!!! As stated in that thread linked here, the best way to defeat the birds is by using their mental handicaps and physical limitations against them. 1. The birds like to fish by standing in the water. They are unlikely to fish from the edge by leaning over - they don't do that. Make the edge a sharp dropoff if you can. If you cannot, put a "shelf" under the water - so that the fish can dart under the shelf for protection. And DO NOT feed them right at the edge of the pond - toss the food to the middle. Fish trained to feed at the edge will come to any shadow that appears - human with food or bird with beak! 2. As noted in the other link - birds bend at their knees - which are halfway up their legs. If there is a string or small fence or barrier of some nature very close to the edge of the pond that is higher than their knees, they cannot/willnot go over it. They will not land in the pond water - they will always land beside it and walk into the water. A low barrier set right around the pond itself will prevent the birds from walking out into the water. Make it tight enough that they cannot land inside of it. Most of my friends have small decorative white picket fences - about 2 feet high surrounding the pond. They can step over them if they desire, but it is a rare bird that does. (The great Blue is one that does - they are 6 feet tall!!! - steep dropoffs prevent these birds from fishing.) If you wish and "entry" - make the entry where there is a steep dropoff - deeper than 1/2 the bird's height. 3. Some people with really valuable fish put netting over the top. That is not very attractive - but it REALLY does the trick. A tight netting will prevent bullfrogs from getting in and fishing, too. A strong, tight net will keep out those dirty raccoons.
  2. daryl


    Walked into the vet's yesterday to pick up the shot for Bif (allergies), and one of the techs handed me a kitten. A PERFECT kitten. Sweet, just the kind I have been looking for. They were cleaning and vaccinating them for a local shelter. Needless to say, we called the shelter and were told: 1. They cannot hold a kitten until Monday (I do not want to adopt a new kitten when I have 30 guests and 10 overnight guests in a chaos weekend). 2. I have to fax them (do not have a fax) my papers (12 pages of references). 3. I have to adopt 3 kittens. He has 2 siblings. They HAVE to go together. That is ridiculous. No wonder they are having problems finding homes. Insane. I am sooooooo angry. What fools. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr......
  3. If using R Hess's Goldfish book for making up a stock solution of PP, be aware that there is a misprint in the numbers......
  4. I am not a fan of Melafix. Some are. I do not think it is worth the money, personally. That is your choice. If you have a very small tank heavily planted, is there a chance that the swimming fish is constantly rubbing on the plants and causing the tail/fin problems mechanically? Salt, along with pristine water will often cure fin rot, all by itself. Since you HAVE the Maracyn and what appears to be a solid cycle, I think I would not hesitate to try using it. It is compatible with salt, but not Melafix. If I were doing this, I would replace 100% of the water in the tank (keep the media, etc. intact). If there is gravel, scoop it out and clean it REALLY well. Check to see that the plants are not causing problems. Raise the salt to 0.3ppm (3tsp per gallon), keep the tank really clean for 1-2 weeks and see if this does not slow and start healing the problem. If the fraying/white is VERY apparent - and appears to be actively progressing, I would add in the Maracyn for a round as prescribed on the box/bottle. It does work VERY well on fin rot. Some plants do not do very well in salt.
  5. A PP bath is one of my favorite "fixes" for fish with parasites and wounds and such. Giving a bath, then putting the fish into 100% new water/tub (tub to tub with a PP bath between) is one of the most effective, cheap ways to do this. Because it is an oxidizer, nothing can become "immune". It will kill cycles, (depending on the strength of the solution)plants, etc. It OXIDIZES - and kills all organic materials. If you wish to decolor and instantly render it harmless, add in hydrogen peroxide. I do so before dumping a PP bath into the septic system. Thos fish are lookin' happy!
  6. daryl


    My purple betta, Sage, has ben making huge bubble nests for weeks. This past week he stopped. He seems lethargic, but I can find no reason. Sigh. Poor little guy. He is bright colored and eating and will flare, but no bubblenest. I have decided that I defintely have a large neon sign on my roof that says "SUCKER". People have left everything from cats/dogs/birds/guinea pigs/rabbits on my doorstep. I have had goldfish left in bags on the porch and one in the mailbox in a leaking baggie. On Tuesday, someone left a really pretty blue crowntail betta in what looks like an old cookie jar on my step. He had a HUGE fish louse on him. It was easy to remove. This morning, he seems alert and actually ate for the first time. What a pretty fish. What a sucker I am!
  7. That looks fantastic! I am very happy for you. It is sometimes an extremely hard, long pull to get to this point - but WOW it is worth it. Congratulations!
  8. I LOVE your dragon!!! Such a happy tank.
  9. Depending on the volume you are looking to have, you can use many things. A plactic tub that is sold as a "30 gallon tub" however, does NOT hold 30 gallons of water - unless it was filled up to the very brim. So, think "BIG". I have even used kiddie pools - they are usually cheap at the end of the summer - 2-3bucks! As far as a filter, if you are intending on keeping the container warm, you will need full filtration that is normally needed on a tank/tbu. FOr best results and easiest maintainence, this means at least 10 times turnover per hour. An easy, cheap filter to make for a large tub (I use it on 1000 gallon indoor ponds and small kiddie wading pools) is to make one from a bucket and a water pump. Suspend a bucket over the pond. Poke loads of holes in the bottom of the bucket. Fill the bucket with hard media, then floss, etc. Run the water pump power head from the pond up to the bucket and set the flow going. The water is pumped from the pond into the bucket media where it flows through the media, out the bottom holes and back into the pond. It is filtered. I kind of like the "indoor waterfall" sound and effect in the dead of winter, anyway. Edit: I forgot to say. If you use a Rubbermaid tub or the ilk, supporting the sides is important. The easiest way I have found it to run bungee cords around the outside of the tub, and fasten one across the top of the tub, connecting the two longer sides. This prevents sag.
  10. Depends on how your cycle is created and where it is housed. If your filter media is where you have your cycle - the home for the beneficial bacteria, it matters little what is in your gravel. Since you turn over the gravel each time you vacumn it, you will not have much cycle there, anyway. The beneficial bacteria that make up a cycle MUST have ready access to the ammonia/nitrite laden water. They cannot process the waste if they do not have it "by" them. Thus - the bacteria can only reside in the top most layer of the gravel. If you turn over the gravel each water change day, you are turning under the gravel that has the bacteria - and essentially killing it. Not too much is useful in the gravel. And - truth be told - in most tanks, the gravel holds a host of waste that never quite gets properly cleaned. Deep gravel is nearly impossible to clean throughly. Getting rid of this waste source is worth FAR more than the potential use of a bit of beneficial bacteria that may happen to survive on the surface of the gravel. Gravel is also the main source of many problems in a tank - from parasites to bad bacteria. Having no more than a very light, thin layer for decoration, if you wish, can be a great labor saver - as well as a way to clean up a "sickly" tank. Go for it. If you DO have much of your cycle built in the gravel, take your fish out... into a bucket. Then scoop out the gravel and put it into baggies - old nylon stocking or net bags made for fish tanks. Rinse it REALLy well in a bucket of used water. When you take it out, you will release loads of waste - the water will be horrid. That is why you take the fish out! Clean the tank up really well and add the baggies of gravel and fish back in. Then, simply pull out a baggie of gravel each week - stepping the tank down from any dependance the cycle may have on the gravel.
  11. My betta are in 1.5 and 2.5 gallon containers, respectively, without filters. I change 100% once a week - and have never had an ammonia reading. That said, your individual setup would have to dictate your changing habits. One of my bettas really seemed to dislike the little airbubbler filter I had in his tank. When I took it out, he was much happier - stopped chewing his tail and started swimming happily. If you wish a filter, I would suggest that you aim the outlet at the wall - or so, so he has the opportunity to escape the flow of water. As far as your original question, though .... You can establish a cycle in a cup of water, if you wish. It is all about having beneficial bacteria living in a volume of water where they have access to "waste" - ammonia and nitrite so they will process it. The only thing you need to cycle is some sort of stable platform for the bacteria to colonate (gravel, glass sides that are never cleaned (yeah right!), sponge, etc.), some sort of flow created such that the ammonia/nitrite laden water is passed by the bacteria's platform (they cannot process waste if they do not have access to it!) and some source of waste (The easiest thing - a fish!) It does not take any more time than any other cycle - regardless of water volume, except that in most cases it does seem to - mostly because it is somewhat difficult to create a stable bacterial platform and a reasonable water flow past it. Set up a platform, give the bacteria access to waste laden water and you will have a cycle. Bingo. The only thing I would question just a bit is that, since you are dealing with such a small volume of water, it may not be worth the trouble. You STILL have to change out a portion of the water on a regular basis - for nitrates, growth hormones, etc. STILL are part of the ecosystem. Personally, since it takes me less than 8 minutes to completely empty, clean and refill my 2.5 gallon bowl, I just do that. Your choice, completely. Glad to have you back.
  12. He surely is pretty!!!!! I love that red with blue trim!
  13. Fish are happier when they have swimming room - and do not have to always be slogging through loads of plants and such. Fish are happier when the tank is cleaner - and a heavy layer of gravel makes cleaning 100 times harder. That said, fish should not have a problem with carefully selected decorations. IF you like the look - keep a thin layer of gravel on the bottom of the tank. A layer or two of smaller gravel (make sure they do not swallow it) is still easy enough to clean well. Plants are easy to hold down - plastic/silk plants can have decorative rocks easily glued to their bases with aquarium sealant. They stay down and look attractive. A few soft leaved plants at the back of the tank should not give a problem. The fish hiding in them is more or less normal. Some fish like to sleep by anchoring themselves in the leaves/branches of a plant. That is normal. I would definately forgo the caves and all deco that a fish may wish to cram into - that is not a good thing for goldies. I would give up any sharp or rough stones or stone/ceramic deco that is not smooth and easy to clean. The fish are hiding in the deco? Is that right? Cut it back. Make it minimalist. When the fish get used to the activity around their tank more, you may be able to add more in. I have a pair of Shubies that are simply NOT suited for tank life. They want a POND. They were spawned in a pond - and are not comfortable with side viewing tanks. That seems to be the way they are hardwired to behave. I give them plants to "hide" in - they will come out for food and attention, but will race back to hide in the grass again when done. That is just the way those fish ARE.
  14. Though the bacteria that make up your biological cycle DO function better in 25-28C, they are very hardy. A brand new cycle may be a bit more touchy - and you should strive to keep them in the regular temps that the fish are kept (18-24ish) for maximum growth, a robust, older cycle has little problems with temperatures. In an outdoor pond that freezes in the winter, the beneficial bacteria do just fine, under the ice, waiting for spring. They start working at about 8C and become more efficiant as the temps rise. The fish become more active, too, and the two work in unison to keep the tank/pond balanced. I would not worry about the heaters. If your tanks are at least 18C, your fish should be active and the cycle equal to their waste.
  15. Solar power is not all that hard to create - you simply need a solar panel. These days, you can buy setups that have the power and converter and everything in one package. You cannot run the filter "directly" from the solar panel - but you can create electricity which will charge a battery. Most batteries are plenty big enough to store many hours of energy for a filter - and will recharge every day. You do not even need direct sunlight - just light. Check out your local hardware store - many have simple setups that are all done for you. All you do it mount them and let it go. We put in a single middlesized panel on our new barn (3X5ish I think)- it charges one marine battery. This allows us to run 8 light panels with 4 flourecent tubes in each for over 6 hours. The battery will recharge in 6 hours. Since a filter is FAR FAR FAR less power, you should never run short of power even with a smaller setup. (We also have added plugs and such - for running tools. Next year we intend to add more panels as we can afford them.)
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