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Everything posted by nichjake

  1. I'm also a college kid working on a tight budget. My tanks are all finished and have been for a while but I remember the days when I was still putting them together! Terracotta pots are great, I had one in my tank for the longed time. Also fake plants from the floral/decor section of the store also work great so long as you make sure theres no exposed metal and they're soft...sometimes the hard plastic ones can hurt fishie fins. I used (and still use) a lot of glass marbles in my tank. The floor of my tank has them scattered all over on top of the gravel, they're cheap and really pretty. I'm with you on not wanting to get a filter second hand, sometimes they're just not as good as new ones (although I have a used fluval 304 thats absolutely amazing). You just have to look hard and carefully. Maybe look on a place like craigslist for used supplies, once in a while something great comes along.
  2. I wouldn't bother with a drain, they're really hard to dig in from what I hear. When we need to drain our pond (which is around 1000 gallons I think) we use my dad's shop vac. It takes a while but it works really well and the hose is large enough so it doesn't get clogged...it also works well for vacuuming gunk off the bottom. I wouldn't know how to racoon proof, I don't have racoons in my area that venture into my yard...I would imagine some sort of netting or wire fencing would be best. As far as getting the fish pond ready....the main focus should be making the pond fish ready. I've never had a problem with my fish adjusting to pond life, they all seem to take to it very very well. Just last weekend I put my last indoor common out in the pond, he was born in my tank indoors and had been there his whole life (about 2 years). Within 5 minutes of being put in the pond he was swimming around amongst my other fish like he owned the place. So far so good. Good luck with the pond building! Its really hard work
  3. I have two bettas! I got my first one just because he was pretty, and my roommate got me the second one for my birthday because he had watched me gawking at it whenever we went to the lfs. The betta he got me likes to change colors, so he's interesting. He started off snow white with a blue sheen...then he slowly turned pink and got so dark he almost looked red, now he's lightening up again and showing more blue on his fins. He's a weird one, but sooo pretty.
  4. I had two pond goldies wedge themselves UNDER rocks that were laying on the bottom last summer. They had each been missing almost a week before I jumped in the pond to look for them. The larger of the two lost at least half her scales and almost all of her tail fin...but has managed to make a complete recovery although most of the scales are still not back. The other fish that was stuck jsut for really beat up but did fine once he came out of shock...all he wanted to do after I freed him was lay on his side at the bottom, I though for sure he wasn't going to make it. But they both pulled through...goes to show that even though goldies are fragile they're resiliant little critters.
  5. I have a common in my pond that has several bumps that look just like that on her. It started with just one little one, but over the course of the 5 years its been since the first showed up she's developed 2-3 more. Last summer a couple of the bumps got scraped off (along with most of her scales) when she decided to wedge herself underneath a sbig rock and got stuck for a few days until my mom went in the pond to look for her. She hasn't shown any other sign of illness and has lived with it for years, and it hasn't spread to any of the other fish in the pond....so, at least with my fish, I'm pretty sure they're just warts or something harmless like that. I hope the bump on your fish is the same thing. I'll take a look later to see if I have any picture of her bumps...I'm pretty sure I do, just not sure where they are.
  6. I haven't thought of any names yet...so suggestions are welcome. I've had her for 6 weeks now, its about time I give serious thought to a name lol
  7. All 3 of them Close up of Scud now and one from when he was sick Close up of Bubbles And Bubbles and the new girl...she still needs a name and another of all three of them I hope you guys enjoyed
  8. I think Scud has healed as much as he's going to unless he heals very slowly over a long period of time. He's blind in the eye that had all the problems and his fins merely resemble the beauty they once had (although I'm confident that those will heal nicely). I re-introduced him to the main tank after he'd been out of it for a month and bubbles (my ryukin) chased him around mercilessly and nipped his fins like it was his job. It really worried me but I decided to give them a day and sort things out themselves. They're getting along fine now (thankfully) although Scud's tail is even more beat up and split. He's doing fine now and can find food very easily. He's also getting along well with the new girl who I added to the tank a week before I put Scud back. She had been in QT for a month and appears to be perfectly healthy. Its nice to finally have things under control although now I'm worried and Hadrian, one of my bettas. He nips his own fins and has gotten worse with it over the last month. He has his tail ripped down to the point where he can barely swim and spends most of time sitting on the bottom because he can't move well. I put him in the 5 gal that my other betta normally lives in and moved that one to Hadrian's tank because I don't have the 5 gal filtered so theres no current for him to fight with. He's been doing slightly better over the last couple days but I fear he's going to kill himself soon if he doesn't quit.
  9. Scud is a ton better now, the crud on his eye is completely gone but his eye is still cloudy like a cataract. I think this infection/fungus has left him blind in that eye. All the other white crud on his body is gone except for a little bit on his wen. He's been acting very normal and eating like a pig for about 5 days now. I think he's going to be okay
  10. Today was day 3 on the EM and the first time I've gotten to look at him since sunday afternoon before I left for my parent's. My roommate gave him the dose yesterday. It seems to be doing wonders. Almost all the fuzz on his body is gone and about 75% of the crud on his eye is gone. The fin rot that he was developing ate away about 1/4 of his tail but it appears to have stopped and begun the healing process. He's actually moving around a little now when I turn the light on but still not very interested in eating. Overall he looks a TON better but still has quite a ways to go. I don't think medicated food would have/will do him a bit of good since he's not interested in eating. I still haven't figured out what the heck happened to him but my best guess, and the local pet store (they're an amazing store and know a LOT about fish and every other animal they carry) concurs with my guess. I'm thinking he somehow was injured or traumatized by my last disasterous water change and he developed a fungal infection like mouth fungus. I think the fin rot was secondary from his bottom sitting. I also suspect he was starting to get septicemia because his fins were turning red and his abdomen was starting to show a red tint but that seems to be gone now since I started with the EM the day that showed up. Overall he seems to be on the mend but I'm still not getting my hopes up. I almost bought tetracycline instead but the EM seemed to be a better fit for his symptoms.
  11. The melafix and salt haven't helped...he keeps looking and acting worse. I'm afraid I may lose him. I went out and bought some erythromycin and am trying that. Hopefully it helps
  12. His eye looks worse today, but he was actually moving around the tank a little instead of sitting in the plant this morning and showed enough interest in food to try to grab a piece as it fell past him but not enough to chase after it when he missed. I'm hoping he's starting to get better.
  13. Scud has taken ill...he's by far my favorite of my goldies and I feel crushed that he's sick. His right eye is all cloudy, glazed over and looks really bad. He's also bottom sitting. I noticed his eye issue yesterday and immediately played musical tanks to get him somewhere where I could treat him. He's been sitting on the bottom for 3-4 days (including today) but I had figured he was just upset because of the last water change I had done. It wasnt until yesterday that he turned so I could see his right eye. He's in my 10 gal betta tank right now (the betta is being housed in a critter keeper). I would have set up the QT tank but thats already occupied by a new fish that I bought a couple days ago. I have started treating with Melafix and have salted to .1%. My params are as follows: Ammonia: 0 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 15 pH, tank: ~6.8 pH, tap: ~6.5 I normally have in a 45 gallon tank with one other goldie and a couple snails. As for filtration I have a biowheel 350 and a fluval 305 canister. My other fish seems perfectly fine and I think the eye issue is the result of a botched water change. The last water change I did, about 5 days ago, went wrong when the water started coming out of my faucet a lot hotter than I had set it to and since I was using a python I didn't notice until the tank was almost full. The hot water at my apartment randomly turns itself up and down sometimes but this was the first time it had done it that much. As a result the temp of my tank jumped about 10-15 degrees in just a couple minutes and then I quickly drained the water again and added cooler water to bring it down 7-8 degrees from the temperature the hot water brought it to. Other than the melafix and salt do you guys have any suggestions as to what I can do or what might be going on? Here some pics to give you a better idea of whats going on His other eye looks fine although a little white puss-ish looking spot has appeared just above it today so I'm really starting to worry.
  14. Sadly this new fish succummed to whatever infection he had and passed away tonight. I did my best, it looked like fin rot which I attributed to him getting banged up when the gal at the lfs dumped him in the bag...but I think it may have been something more serious. Either way he's no longer with me and I've gone and lost the receipt so I can't even take him back to get my money back or trade for a different fish. I'm really sad about this one, he was a beautiful fish with a really sweet personality.
  15. Quarenteening is NEVER pointless. It may be something not 100% necessary but it will never hurt anything...its a lot easier to be safe than sorry. Snails can carry parasites like Ich and pass them on to your fish even though the snail itself won't get sick...its simply a carrier. QT for a snail is much shorter than for a fish because all they do is carry nasties, you only have to QT for however long the lifecycle of the parasite you're concerned about is. For ich, I would QT for about 2 weeks...but if there wasn't any sign of paracites in the tank system you bought the snail from then you should't have anything to worry about.
  16. He's having some issues with his caudal fin and anal fins. The lady at the petstore wasn't very gentle putting him in the bag and he got banged up a bit. I had hoped he'd heal fine but no dice. So I've salted his water a bit and added melafix. I'm hoping he gets better quickly!
  17. haha, I like that analogy Chloe. He is quite impressive for a chain store fish, big to...his body is about 3.5-4 inches long. Its unusual for chain store fish to be that big and as pretty as he is. I love his coloring, each scale has a dark outline so he looks almost like he's wearing armor. You can kinda see what I'm talking about in the pic where the camera is looking down on him, his whole body is like that. I also love how little green he has on him, the only bit is that splotch by his head. hmmm...I like the name Louie, it does seem to quit him. I think I'll add that to the list of possibilities.
  18. Yesterday I did something I swore I would never do again....bought a new fish from a chain petstore! Monday I went to the best pet store in the area to look at fish and saw one I kinda liked but didn't that feeling that I just had to have him...so yesterday I went to the local pets-mart and found a big blue boy that I instantly fell for. I had sworn to myself I'd never buy another fish from stores like pet-co and pets-mart but this guy was just too perfect to pass up. I don't feel very bad about buying from this store because they actually take care of their fish. Shocking isn't it? I didn't see any sign of disease whatsoever in their tanks and they were all spotless. The employee I talked to even knew enough to make sure I wasn't gonna put this guy in a tank less than 10 gallons (she didn't ask about stocking but at least she knew something) Every time I've been in this store I've been impressed by the condition the fish are in. So anyways, heres my new guy. I'm not really sure if its a gal or guy...I'm guessing guy because of his vent, but he doesn't have breeding stars so I can't be sure. He's kinda shy but he let me take these pics of him in the little critter keeper I used to acclimate him to my water. He'll be in QT for a while, but I need to come up with a name for him....any suggestions?
  19. Mystery snails are almost always P. bridgesii...or brigs for short. A whole different species from P. Maculata or an P. Canaliculata even thought they're in the same family and look similar. People might be marketing the Maculata or Canas under the name bridgesii on Aquabid though to keep under the USDA's radar. If you can tell the difference between the snails just by looking at pictures you might be able to find the snails you want that way.
  20. I finally got it all set up and its working well so far. I put filter sponges in the bottom, filter floss in the middle and the crushed coral on top with a thin layer of filter floss on top of the coral as a precautionary measure to keep the little pieces from getting sucked into the motor.
  21. Those snails are illegal to ship across state lines, so keep an eye out on aquabid for someone in your state selling them. The USDA really cracked down on people who shipped snails not very long ago so people are hesitant to risk shipping illegally. I hope you find some!
  22. I'm from the Battle Creek area but I live in Lansing for the most part since I'm going to MSU. What college did you go to? Your temperature and such sounds like its in a good range, it could be spikes of ammonia or something like that but its really hard to tell. Just out of curiosity, what to do you feed your snails? I feed mine a little bit of whatever green veggie I'm having for dinner...they especially love brocolli, but I have Canas which are hard to come by nowadays. They have strong enough "teeth" to eat almost anything, I've never had any luck trying to keep brigs/"mystery"..they seem to be harder to take care of for some reason. What kind of snail do you normally have?
  23. What is your water quality like? Snails are a lot more sensitive to low pH, high ammonia, nitrates and nitrites than goldies. How warm is your water? Warm water will greatly shorten the snails lifespan to a couple of years, whereas water thats too cold will just make them sit around and sleep all day. Also, do your goldies ever pick on them? A good indication of if your goldies are behaving themselves or not is to look at the snail's antennaa and see if they're long and nice looking or short and stubby. If they're short and stubby your goldfish are most likely picking on them to the point where the snail doesn't want to come out of its shell and essentially will starve to death because it can't get food that way. One last thing, I'm assuming you have apple snails? Do you have a couple inches of open space at the top of the water for them to breathe? Apples like to come up above the water line sometimes and they also MUST have air at the top of the tank where they can reach their siphon out of the water to breathe. I doubt this is the problem but I thought it was worth mentioning in case you didn't know. On a side note....I see you're from Livonia? I get excited when I see a fellow Michigan person on here
  24. The manual I downloaded (I dunno what happened to the one it came with) said the water flows from the top down the side to the bottom and then goes back to the top through the middle with the majority of filtering being done from the bottom up. I typically stay away from carbon anyways. My HOB has some in it but its so old I'm certain it doesn't do anything, it just came in the cartridge. Thankfully my fish have been extremely healthy the last couple years and I hope hope hope hope hope they stay that way so I don't have to worry about filtering meds out. Thanks for the input everyone
  25. This is going to be extra. It'll be going on my 45 gallon tank where I already have a penguin biowheel 350. I had an UGF with powerheads but I'm fed up with it so I'm slowly working it out but I'd like to get the canister going as soon as I get media. I think I will definatly go with crushed coral, it'll be good for my snails and my pH plus it'll provide a stable place for beneficial bacteria to grow. Thanks for the link Martha, a local supermart (not wally world) sells some stuff for aquariums that looks like quilt batting but its chemical free, I think I'll get some of that. They also sell it at area pet stores but its about half the price at the supermart. I plan on avoiding charcoal and zeolite, I don't need it and I don't want to deal with it. I'm open to more suggestions if theres anything you guys use or like in canisters, I'm trying to do this as inexpensively as possible without sacrificing quality (the joys of being a poor college kid )
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