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CometKeeper

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  1. A gallon is about perfect for a slightly more than 1% bleach solution - especially if it is run overnight. Don't use scneted bleach and be sure that after you rinse, rinse, rinse, you use a BIG dose Prime in the first fill water. Good luck!
  2. I love the sump wet/dry filters. Right now on a 65 gallon tank, I have a 5 gallon bin of bioballs in the "trickle" area of the filter, then six of the large, AquaClear sponges in the sump, along with several pounds of Eheim Biospheres. Talk about biofiltration! I totally agree that these filters are not good for mechanical filtration. My tank has a built in skimmer so only what is floating on the water, which is nothing, is skimmed. I have two, HOB filters with uptake tubes extended to the floor of the tank for mechanical filtration. I also have the inlets of the wet dry angled so as to "sweep" the corner of the tank next to the overflow/skimmer, so debris is moved toward the HOB uptakes.
  3. I'm a rather "boring" Goldie keeper. After trying different varieties in aquarium systems up to 300 gallons, I am back to a single, orange metallic, Common Goldie that I love dearly. I share my Wakin with friends who have ponds and my Jikin are now making other friends happy. What can I say? The Common Goldie is my niche. Anyway, "Peach" is kept in a 65 gallon aquarium with a sump. It is filtered out the wazoo - 10X mechanical filtration plus a wet/dry system that moves another 10X of water through well planned, biofiltration - 5 gallons of bioballs, 6 of the large, Aquclear sponges and several pounds of Eheim Biospheres [submerged. There are also Biospheres and two, Biowheels on my mechanical filters. The tank is heavily planted with various anubias nana - lanceolata, nan poetite, nane roundleaf, nana coffefolia, nana congensis... And I still do, one 50% water change and one or two, 30% water changes a week. Nitrates are always untraceable, but the addition of fresh water has Peach, glowing. She's happy! And I seem to like the work.
  4. I agree that if there is adequate surface agitation, then extra aeration from bubblers is kind of moot. Very little gaseous exchange takes place between the tiny bubbles from a bubbler in comparison to the churning surface of the aquarium water. I think one advantage [maybe] to having bubblers if you use closed filters [canisters] is the canister uptake can suck up some of the bubbles and occassionally give the aerobic bacteria living in the filter a little extra burst of oxygen. But then, you have those annoying sprays of bubbles from the outlets that fog your water, kind of like new tapwater with all the tiny bubbles. The bubbles are pretty, though! There's lots to be said for that. And if you have kids, the bubblers are always entertaining to them. As long as the tank is not one of the columnar types and have the two Aquaclears which are fantastic at agitating the surface. then really very little use for a bubbler except the visual appeal. BTW, isn't 75 g. a groovy size for a goldie tank? So many options as filtration and fish go. Big enough to have a real impact on the room and not terribly difficult to make the 50% water changes or to reach down to the bottm as needed. Enjoy!
  5. I think opinions on this vary as much as individuals do. I love canister filters, but on a 29 g tank, a good HOB is easier and is certainly efficient enough, if you watch your stocking level [which of course you'd do, anyway]. First of all, get the biggest HOB that will fit on the back of your tank. Don't worry about going considerably over the 10X recommendation. Just don't go under! If you have smaller or weaker fish, you can make modifications so they don't get "grabbed" by the uptake. I like Aquaclear 500's on 29 g. tanks. Aquaclear offers lots of media choices. You don't have a biowheel, but you have substantially more bio-surface with sponges and ceramic media than you do with the cartridges in a biowheel unit. Of course, you don't have the convenience of disposable cartirdges with an Aquaclear, though. You have to shut the unit down and rinse sponges. I stopped using biowheel units 20 years ago when they had spray bars that used to clog with algae, constantly. I am sure the design is better today... and they are still wildly popular as you'll recognize on the various goldfish lists. Again, love my canister filters on larger tanks. But it was mentioned earlier in the thread that canister filters are a "closed" system. Bingo! In the event that your canister stops working for an extended period [power failure, jammed impellar depending on model, etc.], it doesn't take terribly long for a canister to go anaerobic and TOXIC. I had this happen one time. Two Marineland Magnum canisters on one 55 g. tank... one stopped working and I didn't unplug it while I waited for a replacement to arrive... Apparently there was a short in the motor and it came back on, pumping toxins into my tank that quickly killed my Orandas. Major bummer. So, one down-side I can think of is that canisters are closed systems and become anaerobic/toxic if they lose their water flow. Less convenient to clean and service, too. As far as canisters go, I have used several. I currently have four, Rena Filstar XP4's and I like them, OK. But as I look at the functional design, it occurs to me that the Eheims are probably more efficient, because of the way the water is forced to the bottom of the units and then up through the media. It appears that the Rena's allow for a lot of water to pass around the media baskets vs. being forced underneath and then through the baskets. And when you clean an XP, a lot of the debris is in the water around the baskets vs. in the media! Get yourself a Foster & Smith catalog and look at the diagrams of the functional design of these two filters... But they, along with the fluvals and Magnums are the most popular canisters with goldie people.
  6. I have the Goldfish Connection unit in my attic. . But I used it for awhile, so maybe I can help. The unit itself is 30" long, but the pipes it actually hangs from are maybe 3-4" inside the ends [does this make sense?]. So you would need to position the unit, probably in the center of your tank's back, with a pipe into each of the two openings. I have a couple of complaints with this unit and if I get another, will switch to the turbo-twists that Daryl uses. First of all, it is realllly bulky. The way it hangs on the tank, you can use a couple of Emperor-type filters, positioned above the unit and that would be cool... But I don't use that type of filter. I use canisters and it seems like this uv intereferes with the placement of my hoses. Hoses either have to be stretched over the unit, making them more difficult to stabilize... or smashed between the unit and the glass, making them much more difficult to access. I don't like to wrestle with hoses, yadda, yadda on a regular basis. Too busy! Another complaint is that when I was keeping Jikin, which are somewhat delicate and prone to ich, this unit with the accompanying pump did not help with my ich situation... at all. Constant battle. My tanks are planted with nitrate-loving anubias, so I don't really worry about green water and did not need a uv for that application. As mentioned earlier in this thread, uv's do nothing for the brown algae on your glass [yech-ptooey]. I bought female, Medussa Plecos [these are small, very docile, albeit pricy, pleco's] for that purpose and they are wonderful. I love them. The uv unit quickly became obsolete and as I said, is in my attic. But I like the idea of uv for parasite control and imagine will be purchasing turbo-twist units at some point.
  7. Daryl, Could you describe the do-it-yourself hangers you're using on your turbo twists? As an aside, some time ago you recommended the Eheim Ehfisubstrat Pro "biospheres". I replaced my SeaChem substrate with the biospheres and am very happy with the results. I understand you are using mostly Eheim canisters. I am waiting [and waiting and waiting] for my XP4's to croak so I can justify replacing them with the Eheim pro's. If the Rena's last much longer, I'll probably just start replacing them, anyway. No real problems with the Rena's except I just like the functional design of the Eheims, better. I suspect they are more efficient. I know this is a tangent from the original thread, but which Eheim canisters, specifically, do you prefer? Thanks,
  8. I had this experience the last time I ordered. Had ordered lots of Wakin from there and was usually quite happy. Then the last ones I received had humps and body distortions that were not evident in the auction photos. Colors were good, but since I only like fish with very smooth lines, this was disconcerting. Especially considering the price and considering I was a [several time] repeat customer. They were nice from top view, for what that's worth. They were not represented as top view fish on the auction site. As for overall health, my experiences were good, except I got several lovely fish with major, gill fluke infestations. On the other hand, fish I have ordered from www.Raingarden. us have been NICER than the photos suggested and completely free of parasites. Steve doesn't tout that this fish or that is "show quality" or "rare", but he delivers exactly what he promises, too. Well, *more*, actually. Or thus has been my experience.
  9. Speaking of Tosakin, the way they are traditioanally cultured in Japan is fascinating to me. The Japanese keep them in large, porcelain or earthenware "Tosakin pots" or "Tosakin bowls". The shape of these containers is broad and shallow and perfectly round. There is no filtration or aeration or anything that will cause water agitation, other than daily, large water changes. Somehow, this is conducive to that definitive upward curl to their caudal fins. Sure sounds like a challenge. I know Steve Hopkins has Tosakin bowls for his own personal use. I have never found them for sale on the internet and imagine Steve got them in Japan. Does anyone know of a source??
  10. Steve Hopkins in Hawaii, usually has Tosakin available. He is a breeder and I believe his breeding stock is directly from Japan. He has reasonable shipping and healthy stock. Always quick to answer questions and he has a scientific background, which is cool. My impression is that his main interest is getting fish out to people who want them - i.e., sharing his passion for goldfish with others. Steve alo has other Japanese varieties available: Jikin, Watonai and lots of groovy Wakin. Nice Hibuna, Comets, Ranchu, etc., etc. No Tamasabas! Bummer. But give him time. Find Steve at www.raingarden.us.
  11. Just a couple of add-ins. I had a similar set-up with 180 g. main tank and 90 gal sump refugium. I wound up breaking it down because I needed the space, but it worked out very well for a long time. First of all, in selecting the sump for the refugium, volume is not the only critical factor. Be sure to consider the surface area in comparison to the main tank. I liked to have as much volume as possible in my refugium without risking overlfow [figured the big idea of a sump is to increase total volume]. So be sure the surface area of your sump is at least 50% of the surface area of your main tank. When you're talking, commercial, HOB overflows, the amount that the water will drop in the main tank in the event of a power failure, is limited by the height of the slots in the overflow box. These are roughly an inch tall. Therefore, water level in main tank will drop an inch in a power failure. SO, if the surface area of the sump is 50% of the surface area of main tank, water level can be expected to rise only two inches in the sump... allowing you to keep it quite full, all the time. Of coursse in smaller sumps, the water rises correspondingly higher in the event of power failure. I look at set-ups with huge tanks and tiny sumps and think "splash". Sometime, somehow, water is going to be on the floor. Secondly, if you do keep a large volume of water in your sump refugium, which again I am sure you want to, position of the pump in the refugium is a factor. Another precaution is to position the pump closer to the top of the water vs. on the floor of the sump so in the event that you lose siphon from the overflow for some unGodly reason, all the gallonage from the sump is not pumped into and over the top of your main tank. In the 90 gal. refugium sump I had, I turned an empty, 5 g. aquarium on end and suctioned the pump to the top of it so it was near the top of the water and [what?] 16" off the floor of the sump. This also makes it a little less critical to trust that your overflow output and your pump output "gee-haw" perfectly. Position your spray bar where ya want. Just make sure that somewhere near an inch from the top of the water, the connector leading to spray bar has a hole in it, to break a possible back-siphon scenario and prevent your sump from overflowing. You don't really have to have the spray bar its self, at the top of the water to prevent back-siphoning. Some people with reef set-ups that rely only on the overflow filter, position the spray bar at the bottom of the tank to keep debris moving. And one final add-in on lighting. I assume since we're on Koko's we're talking coldwater, "goldfish aquarium". Both T5 and compact fixtures are *hot* and will raise your water temperature, quite a bit. Thus is the problem with planted aquariums and goldies. If we're not careful, it can become about making the plants thrive at the expense of the goldfish, which defeats the purpose. To get enough wattage to make most aquarium plants happy, produces a lot of heat which is great for tropicals, but bad for goldies. If you don't mind monkeying with fans and/or chillers, that's cool. But another idea is to stick with some of the low-light loving plants like Anubias for your refugium. Anubias are power-house nitrate removers. They grow slowly, but their leaves are broad enough for plenty of exchange. They take occassional salting very well. They don't shed leaves and clog pumps. Virtually nothing will eat them. They thrive [with a capital T] on lighting levels as low as 1 watt per g., therfore require less sophisticated, less expensive [and cooler!] flourescent ligthing fixtures. No fans or chillers required. :-P Anubias are pricy, but they live on and on and on... Best of luck with your endeavor!
  12. Ahhh... Sometimes we ask questions repeatedly because we know the answer already and hope someone will tell us we're wrong! I think you suspected when you posted that your 15 g. tank was too small for two goldfish. And you were right! Smart girl! In reality, you can probably keep one of the fish relatively healthy in a 15 g. tank if you do once or twice weekly water changes of 50%, take proper care of your filter and go easy at feeding time. And a single goldfish does not get lonely. Sooner than later, if they don't both die, there will only be a single survivor, anyway.... If I were you, I'd pick my very favorite one and return the other to the pet store. Since you've had your suspicions confirmed that your fish are overcrowded, if you got down to just one, you'd immediately stop worrying about doing what's best. And you wouldn't be at KoKo's in the first place if you didn't want the best for your little, finned buddies. Good Luck!
  13. Here is Number Nine. No idea what Kesley will name her. She arrived today. I think she is the best I have overall. Not one errant red scale. But her entire dorsal is not red. Really pretty baby. We also got a solid red one as a gift. Gorgeous tail spread and a nice "diversion" from our mostly white with red points Jikin. Love these fish. I think they have surpassed Wakin as my favorite. Johnny
  14. She's not really pink. She's snowy white with red points, except her dorsal which is partially white.
  15. Vince, I'll double check which model. I have a box full of pumps and don't recall which one is on the 300. Yes, it is very quiet and pwerful. Will get back with ya. J
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