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Home Fish Aquarium Guide | Fishkeeping Information and Resources for the Home Aquarium - Part 2

Home Fish Aquarium Guide

Fishkeeping Information and Resources for the Home Aquarium

Finnex PX-360 Review – All in One Compact Canister Filter


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So…. with the 10 gallon Walstad planted tank I’ve broken down and invested a meager $40 in the Finnex PX-360 compact canister filter. I had researched it and all seemed to say that this was as good a cheap filter as is available. First off, I should walk through why I decided to get a real filter for a Walstad tank. Well, when I first setup the planted tank I had read that you could run it without a filter. I felt uncomfortable just going completely natural and made a pvc pipe sponge filter with seed media from our other tank. Planted, checked ammonia – observed a short cycle and then added fish. Well, as I added fish there was a minicycle – so in went more plants and then things had stabilized, we had baby fish in the other tank and their mother was moved into the Walstad. At that point we started running trace ammonia frequently. So, I made a second pvc sponge filter to put in. Over the stretch of time from the beginning of the tank up until now the ph level had gradually changed from around 6.0 (lowest readable with the test kit) up to the now 7.0 or 7.2.

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April 2, 2011 - 9:47 PM No Comments

Baby Red Cherry Shrimp


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Well, it was March 4th when we added the first batch of red cherry shrimp to the 10 gallon planted tank. We have tons of plants in there and it’s really hard to see more than 5 shrimp at a time. (We have about 30 or so I think….) Anyway, early on I thought I saw one of the female shrimp looked to be berried. Unfortunately I haven’t seen her in weeks. Well…. today I was getting ready for a water change and started to push down a water sprite I had anchored into the substrate yesterday, but floated loose overnight. Between my hand and the glass I saw a little bit of red floating… I thought it was debris. About a quarter inch long. I moved my finger towards it and it jumped the way the shrimp do. We have some baby shrimp! Woohoo…. I have no idea how long it will be before I see it (or another) again though….

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March 27, 2011 - 3:50 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

Nano Fish


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This may not be an idea for beginners, but you know those small 5 gallon tanks…. I’ve recently come across several species of nano fish. See some for sale here. One that really jumps out is one of the nano rasboras – phoenix rasboras. They’re pretty colorful and max out at under one inch long. There are quite a few other kinds of nano size fish out there and some might just be good inhabitants for a smaller tank. (You certainly don’t want to put them in with anything much bigger or they might become snacks…)

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March 8, 2011 - 9:53 PM No Comments

Red Cherry Shrimp


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So, I finally got some red cherry shrimp. I’ve been wanting to try some for a month or two now. I kept missing them at the local fish store and finally broke down and ordered 20 via ebay.com. I was really a bit skeptical of mail order shrimp but after all, many of them wind up being mail order to the local fish store anyway. I was a bit concerned that 20 would be too many. I thought I’d split and put about 7 in our 5 gallon and 13 in our 10 gallon tank. The shrimp that I ordered were mostly juvenile. There was a range of ages for the shrimp.

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March 4, 2011 - 6:35 PM No Comments

Kordon – Rid Metals


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I purchased a bottle of Kordon Rid-Metals during my quest to determine why anacharis always melted in my tank. We have a house with older copper pipes and the familiar blue-green stains in the tub from water. Test kits reveal that the first water out of the tap tends to be around 0.5 ppm of copper. Since anacharis and some of our other aquarium plants are copper sensitive (and I’m hoping to add some shrimp at some point) I decided to try to treat the problem and see if that helped the plants growth.

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February 28, 2011 - 9:35 PM No Comments

Platy Fry! (Again)


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Okay – yesterday Billie was looking quite plump. Starting to look a bit squared. I really was expecting another week yet based on when she and Mickey were first together, but…. This morning we had fry. When I first got up and looked, she looked a bit thinner than yesterday. I looked and looked and finally found a little baby fry zipping around. We had either 4 or 5. Twice I thought I was able to count 5 in the tank. This evening I’ve only been able to spot 3 at a time. We do have a lot of plant cover including some floating water sprite which they’re currently hunkered down in. mom looks thinner, but…. still a bit plump. I’m suspecting there may be a few more fry to drop.

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February 19, 2011 - 10:11 PM No Comments

An Aquarium Horror Story – aka our first Tank


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Our first fish tank. I don’t know exactly how long it’s been. It was probably around 1998 or so. Aquarium information was hard to come by online still. I remember at one point during that nightmare thinking I should get a book, but didn’t know where to start. We had always liked looking at the fish at the wal-mart in town. Years ago we looked at fish in a pet store that was in the mall in town. It was just part of our routine. One night though – they had a sale on 5 gallon tank kits. It included “everything you need” to start and was 30-40 dollars I think. We bit at the offer and took it home. It was a hex tank and just fit on our bookshelf in the hallway. It was a tight fit getting the light cover off to add water, but it was manageable. The tank has a rim around the top as well so you can’t get to the entire surface, but…. well why would we need to get at it too much?

I don’t think we got fish that night. We did get gravel though and two bright neon decorations – cave and mountain.

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February 15, 2011 - 5:10 PM No Comments

Canister Filter for a 10 Gallon Tank


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So, I now have this 10 gallon Walstad Natural planted tank. I have a homemade sponge filter powered by an air pump. Technically planted tanks shouldn’t need much in the way of a filter although I’m starting to think about a canister filter just in case. It would give water movement and probably be quieter than the air bubble that is pushing the sponge filter.

So, I’ve been looking at the low end canisters. There is the PX-360: Finnex All-in-one Compact Canister Filter over at amazon.com for about $40. It comes with a hanger to hang it on the outside of the tank. It also seems fairly well rated. Another low end canister is the well rated Zoo Med 501 Turtle Canister Filter for about $35, but it doesn’t come with the hanger – that is separate: Zoo Med 501 Canister Filter Hanger for about $8.

I haven’t ordered anything yet, I’m leaning towards the PX-360 if I were to get one.

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February 13, 2011 - 10:15 PM No Comments

Pregnant Platy Burst


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Can a pregnant platy really burst? Sadly, Yes.

Well for several weeks we’ve known our twin bar platy “Mrs. Fish” was pregnant. We had moved hte other fish to leave her alone in the 5 gallon thinking that after the birth she could move out and her fry could inhabit the 5 gallon until we replace it. The last week or so she’s of course gotten bigger and the last dya or two I thought it really could be any day. You hear people saying their platy is getting so big they think it could burst but you rarely see anyone saying that they really did burst. Well, this morning looking int he tank I see a bunch of eggs hanging out the side of Mrs. Fish and she is struggling to stay alive. Her lower abdomen has given way. I don’t see any fry alive at the moment. I don’t think there is anything I could have done. (I tried a water change two nights ago to see if I could induce birth, but if they’re still eggs that wouldn’t make a difference.) Very sad.

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February 5, 2011 - 10:46 AM Comments (2)

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