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Fishkeeping Tips | Home Fish Aquarium Guide

Home Fish Aquarium Guide

Fishkeeping Information and Resources for the Home Aquarium

Platy Fry Sexual Maturity


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Well…. I’ve already updated this on the platy fry post, but…. in looking at our oldest tank of fry. They’re now almost 2 months old. (Born 2-19-11) They’re still quite small fish and all look female at this point. There is an adult male in with them and today I noticed that they must be looking good to him because he’s starting to behave a little different around them, sidling up next to them much the way I saw Mickey court a couple fish….

So, as I’m reading it looks as though most people say that platies reach sexual maturity at around 3-4 months. I’ve seen one account suggesting as young as 2 months. I’m not sure how precise these counts are. We may get to pin down an exact threshold though because I’ve seen 23-25 day gestation periods with the mother platy at this point. What to do….

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April 14, 2011 - 7:55 PM No Comments

Homemade Fish Traps or Shrimp Traps and a Warning


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I feel terrible…. I feel like an idiot….

So, in my struggle to get this mini-cycle under control in the ten gallon tank I’ve tried a lot of things. Including pulling out the (now browning) water sprite. I thought the dead leaves which were very hard to separate from the big mass of water sprite may be putting more ammonia in than the plant is currently able to suck out. So, I had those out and in a bucket and was going to set them outside, but I got to thinking that I may have pulled some shrimp with them. So, I used a plastic bottle and made a trap. Similar to one you can find if you google or do a youtube search on home made shrimp traps or fish traps. You cut off the top, take off the lid, invert the top half inside the bottom half, put in some food and place it. Well, there were apparently no shrimp in the trap from the bucket and so I had this bright idea that I might use it in the 10 gallon to help get some of the shrimp out in order to move them to the other (stable) tank until the ammonia issue is over.

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April 6, 2011 - 8:38 PM No Comments

Escapee! High diving fish


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Well I picked up another three neon tetras to add in to the previous three. I was acclimating them to the tank as usual. The bag had floated and several cups of water from the tank added to the bag. Then I gently poured them out into a bucket and got the first one moved into the tank, netted and in the tank with no problem. I caught the second one and was raising it to the tank when I felt a twinge from the net. NO! I looked into the bucket, only one fish down there. I looked into the net, no fish! Then it flinched again, it was on the floor about a foot from the bucket. I eased it back into the net and started to put my hand back over the net (which is what I had started to do when it did it’s high dive. As I raised it up to the tank level and started to move my hand away…. it flipped AGAIN, over my hand and high dive into the bucket !!!!!!!!! A good five foot dive (which given it’s body size…. is really an amazing dive.

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March 10, 2011 - 9:36 PM No Comments

A Walstad Natural Planted Tank


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This post is going to be a collection of notes and thoughts on the natural planted tanks ( or walstad natural planted tanks.) I have recently run across this approach and am really interested in giving it a try and likely will give it a try with the new 10 gallon tank. Some interesting initial notes on the concept are as follows: potting/topsoil and then gravel to hold that down. This is going to be a heavily planted tank. Cycling should not be an issue if it’s heavily planted enough. Filtration is also something that may not need to be done unless wanted for better filtering or water circulation. Lighting can be natural sunlight if situated near a window or artificial. Water changes will likely need to be infrequent. (6 months? from what I read.) Now this is appealing on several levels including the obvious lazy tank owner level…. 😉 but the concept behind it is a bit more interesting to me.

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January 8, 2011 - 3:09 PM No Comments

Baby Platy Fry


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The first part of this is taken from my “Why are my plants melting” post and updates…

1-7-11 – 10:30pm
Well, I was starting to vacuum the gravel and caught sight of a little white flake of food floating up towards the siphon when it suddenly darted down…. we have babies. I saw 4 at one time and then a 5th being born and there still seem to be a few to go (at least.) Snoopy, our red wag (red-orange body with black tail and fins) is giving birth. She had been a bit cranky the last week or so chasing the other two around (a bit moreso today it seemed.) She is the one I suspected was pregnant just based on her size. We added Mickey (a male) into the tank on Tuesday December 21st. Prior to that Snoopy had been a solitary female since around this time last year I believe (I’ll have to look back, but I think she may have been in there a bit longer.)

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January 8, 2011 - 12:40 PM No Comments

Learning from Experience


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We’ve had our 5 gallon tank setup and running for over a year now. (14 months.) When we started this second foray into fishkeeping I had studied and learned and felt much better prepared than our shortlived first attempt. My biggest concern was the small tank and going against the recommendations of keeping Zebra Danios in such a small tank. I had picked them due to most reports indicating that they are fairly hardy and so should survive our early mistakes. I resolved to do more water testing than before and at this point it is at a point where it can run for several weeks between changes. (This is a planted tank and so our nitrate levels never seem to get that high.)

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March 21, 2010 - 10:44 PM No Comments

Choosing a Heater for your Tropical Fish Aquarium


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With a Tropical Fish Aquarium there are few accessories as important as a heater. Of course, the filter system is the number one priority, but if you cannot maintain a good temperature you will put your fish through a fair amount of stress. Our Zebra Danio tends to like things in the 74-76 degree Fahrenheit range and each type of fish may have it’s own requirements. Be sure to research and if necessary ask for advice from your local fish store. If you have multiple species in the same tank you will want to be careful to select species that can tolerate the same range of temperatures (or at least have a good range of overlap.) The heater itself though can be tricky. If room temperature is 70 degrees vs. 65 degree room temperature you will need more power to maintain a 74-76 degree range.

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January 8, 2010 - 4:05 PM No Comments

Cleaning a VERY Dirty Fish Tank


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I have to report a follow up to the LAST confessional I had about our fish tank being very dirty. It seems every time I do a water change we will get an algae bloom within a couple days. Algae collects on the tank surfaces and then the water clears. I’ve pretty much left it when it does this until the next cleaning as our fish seems happy and content. The basic water parameters (ammonia/nitrite/nitrates) all seem at negligible levels. I’m still surprised that the nitrates are staying near zero and still assuming that the plant growth we have (and yes algae too likely) are keeping it that low. I can’t help but wonder if our well water is responsible for the algae blooms (phosphates?). So… how do you go about cleaning a VERY dirty tank?

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January 3, 2010 - 1:21 PM No Comments

Weathering an Extended Power Outage in a Fish Pet Tank


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The Friday before Christmas it snowed, and snowed and snowed. Most of Friday we expected power to go out. It finally did Friday evening. We have a danio (currently just one) in a 5 gallon tank (yes a bit small.) He has been in the tank for almost a full year now. (We got him around the New Year of 2009.) The tank usually stays near the comfortable 72-76 degree Fahrenheit range. However, I was very concerned about an extended power outage. We have a fireplace that I spent some time last fall cleaning out, but we still don’t know for certain that our chimney is safe and so with an extended outage in cold weather we’ve evacuated across the road to my parents who have a wood stove in their basement. (And one other thing we don’t have which is a good load of wood….) I wrapped the tank up with bathroom towels/blankets and hoped for the best.

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December 29, 2009 - 12:49 PM No Comments

Fishtank Aquarium Cleaning Time


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I have a confession to make with regards to our fishtank/aquarium. I’ve been a bad fish pet owner! It’s been easily 2 months (maybe 3) since I cleaned the fishtank / aquarium. I know frequent water changes and cleaning are important. It’s been busy and frankly where we have it placed it’s not the easiest to get at for cleaning. Plus, we have a toddler and getting the testing chemicals out is best done when he’s in the crib/playpen and well…. yes there are a lot of excuses, but it just hasn’t been done. Amazingly! EVERYTHING tested at 0. Ammonia is at zero, nitrites at zero, even nitrates are at their lowest level the chart reads which is 0 mg/l. I guess there could be a tinge of orange coloring so it’s below 12.5 mg/l. I really credit our plants for that. In fact, some of the plants are starting to lose their green leaves and I had to start by cleaning out some of those dead leaves.

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September 6, 2009 - 5:29 PM No Comments

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