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Everything posted by jvision

  1. Mid zone plants

    Rooting some Anubias or Java fern to some driftwood is a good way to get some midground range
  2. Lighting for 55 gallon planted tank

    Biodives did a good DIY article, the prices for the high quality lighting he shows can't be beat. If you're looking for something already manufactured, if you can find Finnex lights, they're pretty good for a decent price.
  3. Hi! But also Help!!!!

    I'm a huge proponent on water changes - 50% per week is my standard. Going by your tests, if we were just concerned with removing nitrates (which is normally why we change water), your current regime of tiny water changes is fine. However, *if there is* something leaching into your tank, the larger WCs are going to keep things safer. Just because you bought something at the LFS doesn't mean they're safe for your fish - the list is long of things sold by the LFS that should never go into a home aquarium. I'm not a huge fan of buying rocks from the LFS because it's often hard to know exactly what it is - the general rule is if you put a few drops of acid (muriatic or HCl seem to be the easiest to come by) and it bubbles, don't put it in your tank. If you're going for a specialized tank and know what your rock is, you can deviate from the rule, but pretty much stay away from "bubbly rocks" John is right, you aren't adding enough Prime if you're using a hose to fill for WCs. Dose for the WHOLE VOLUME of the tank, not the amount you are adding. I've been using a hose to fill directly from the tap for well over a decade, the only problem I've encountered (when dosing the correct amount of Prime) is when it's really cold out, and experiencing a lot of micro-bubbles - I believe it's rapid off-gassing of CO2, and it can kill your fish pretty quick. Just make sure to cause a lot of turbulence to allow the gas to escape to that atmosphere instead of coming out of solution in your tank. Plants are another thing that are often sold at the LFS that aren't even aquatic species. Furthermore, so many of the plants that are sold at the LFS are grown immersed, and all of the current growth will die when submerged for any length of time. Other hobbyists are probably your best source for healthy plants. This site's Buy/Sell forum has slowed down quite a bit for Edmonton due to a very active group on Facebook; either place you're going to get some good plants for excellent prices and you won't loose all of the original leaves as the plant converts to producing submergent growth. There are quite a few that will grow just fine without fancy light, substrate or fertilizer - the ones suggested by John as well as Anubias, Java Fern and sword plants are all good and pretty easy. Your brown algae is diatoms - very common in new set ups, and also seem to last a bit longer in tanks that have a silica substrate (playsand). People say Nerite snails love it, and I've seen Otocinclus catfish mow it down. Otos are common because they're small and cute; however, once they eat all the diatoms, they often starve. As is the case with any "scavenger" type fish, they don't eat poop, and need to be provided a proper diet. If you do provide it, they'll stay healthy and live longer. Most of our small fish have an annual cycle in the wild, but if cared for, they'll live for 3-5 years or longer. One of the best ways to make sure you don't leave the lights on too long (which John alluded to being a possible cause for algae) is to use a timer. For the easy plants we've listed, I'd only have the lights on when your office is open - 8-10hrs is plenty. I'm not sure what style of Hydor filter you have - does it hang on the tank, or is it a canister? If it's a canister, make sure the return causes some surface agitation - low O2 levels are easy to achieve in an aquarium, especially with dead fish and plants decomposing. Remember that even though live plants create O2 when the lights are on, they consume it when lights are off. Without proper gas exchange - which only occurs at the surface - your tank O2 levels can easily crash at night. Some people use a day/night timer that has lights on at daytime, then turns on a bubbler at night - I do this for some tanks that I run CO2 in when I can't shut off the CO2 supply at night. Don't give up on the tank. Once you get the knack, keeping a beautiful aquarium is pretty easy. And we're all here to help!
  4. I won't be home today, but I could supply a bit. I'm just off Whitemud and 50st. If you don't get any other response, try the Edmonton Freshwater group on FB..
  5. goldwing84

    If you're talking about the "Add Tag" button when writing a post, it's a way to add topic tags that people can search for. For example, if your post is something like "African Cichlid Tank" you can add tags of "mbuna" "peacocks" or "Rift Lake"... stuff like that.
  6. I was part of the "I heard Spixis eat Hydra" crowd until I had a bunch in a fry tank and actually watched one mow down a bunch of Hydra - it was a beautiful sight!!
  7. DIY stand and tank leveling question

    Is the tank already full? If not I've seen lots of people use 0.5 - 1" foam to help with any uneven stands. Put a piece of foam the same (or slightly larger) footprint under the tank and it'll fill the void caused by the warp.
  8. I used the T8 LEDs on an Aquaponics setup and they grew everything I wanted - even had peppers! I have them over a 75gal right now, but would count it as low light - I don't think they have the strength to penetrate the full depth of the tank.
  9. DIY LED powerful enough for high-tech tank

    I tried to order enough for just 1 or 2 lights, but the minimum on the parts I wanted was 25. I'm selling for T5HO for now
  10. Severums

    I know a guy out east that breeds wild plecos in water that's harder than ours - it's maddening! Domestic sevrums should be easy peasy, but you may have to fiddle a little with some of the wild strains. If you feed them well and keep the water clean, I'm sure you'll have success
  11. Lighting

    Hydro Lite or All Seasons Garden Centre
  12. 10g Cherry Shrimp Setup

    There's a group on FB called Edmonton Freshwater Aquarium Community that has several members bringing these things in all the time. If you want to check out a store, I've seen those items at Aquarium Central
  13. I am currently running 24 gal per day drip into a ~280 gal system, and I pass it through 2 x carbon blocks. I think it's time to change the carbon blocks after 4 months, as I'm noticing some behavioral changes - I'll probably change the 1st one now and the 2nd one in a couple months. That way I'll get 4 months per block and always have a new one every 2 months.
  14. Bowing Stand

    If there is room under the stand, you could cut some 2x4 and wedge them vertically to provide support. Are you handy? Have a saw and drill? There are a tonne of YouTube videos on building stands for pretty cheap. Do you know a shop teacher? You could touch base with them and have the students (I'd stick w/ NAIT and post-secondary to be safe, tho High School kids could do it, too) build a stand, maybe for the cost of parts and a couple large pizzas. I've worked out deals like that in the past... though I can't remember where I met the teacher. Might have been this forum or CanReef, maybe somewhere else. Go to used furniture stores - Architectural Clearing House and ReStore are 2 off the top of my head - and get a solid wood desk/cabinet. Check the sales at LFS - you should be able to get a "proper aquarium stand" for less than $300. Though, as you found out, those MDF stands don't last if they get a bit of water on them
  15. Fish transportating

    If you're going to buy from a store, I would buy from fish stores not pet stores, and tell them where you'll be taking the fish. The should put only a few inches of water in the bag with lots of air - some will add a bit of oxygen, but it isn't necessary. There are a few wholesalers who ship via air and you could get your fish sent to you. I've spent thousands of dollars at Spencer Jack's (he's closed while he moves) and Canadian Aquatics. Find others who'll want something from their lists to split the shipping costs.
  16. Question about re-lining pond

    If you're going to the trouble of removing all of the rock, you may as well remove the old liner as well. Keep it for other projects like a small bubbling rock feature, or a self-watering planter box. But, just to answer the question, there is no problem with just throwing a new liner on top of an old liner.
  17. Is this forum dead?

    Bart, I always used Photobucket to post images. Photobucket (or other image sites) gives you almost unlimited storage, and a simple link loads the full size image in the post.
  18. Is this forum dead?

    Not dead... just sleeping
  19. THere are lots of decent pond plants available; at this time of year, AquaLine is going to have your best selection. Earlier in the summer, you can usually get quite a few pond plants at various garden centers - they might still have some available, but usually don't take very good care of them in their little tubs of water in the greenhouse
  20. You could see over 5gal per day evaporated. Put in an ATO if possible. I have not noticed any detriment of adding small amounts of untreated tap water directly to a pond.
  21. I've encouraged clients to keep at least a small opening in the ice, but I have at least 1 who doesn't bother and hasn't reported any losses for quite a few years. If you have emergent plants, don't cut their stalks off until spring - air can travel through their dead, hollow stalks. Otherwise, if an ice dome does form over the bubbles, a hammer or hot water will open that up easy enough.
  22. If your waterfall is short, or you have a good amount of water going over it, you might get away with keeping the whole system running - I've seen 2 systems like that. Usually, I pull the main pump in winter and keep it in the garage. It was recommended to me when I first learned the trade to keep it in a pail of water to keep the seals from drying and cracking; however, if you use a proper lubricant on the O-rings, you could probably get away with just keeping it dry all winter. I just cover the bubbler with a Rubbermaid bin for the winter - something to keep the snow off. If you stop by any of the pond shops around (AquaLine out in Sherwood Park is my favorite) will be able to make sure you have the right size bubbler. For the pump, some guys just pulled the pump from the skimmer and dropped it in the bottom of the pond after fall clean-up. Others bought a fountain pump and keep their main pump inside for the winter. It really depends on the size of your pond & pump
  23. I have built a few ponds for people over the years and have a few clients keep their dish on the pond over winter. All of my ponds are 2 feet max, so I make sure to keep the water moving all winter so it doesn't freeze. I've done this by two different methods - strong bubbler or water pump in the bottom of the pond... I have seen a couple ponds that just ran as is over winter w/o problems. As long as you keep the water moving, it won't freeze and kill your fish.
  24. LIghting Colours/Timing/Fert Questions

    Most "daylight" bulbs have spikes in the blue and red spectrums, which are great for photosynthesis. If you can get the color spectrum for a given bulb, and see that it has a bit of both of those colors, then you're good to go for growing plants. If you're running multiple bulbs, then put your "fish color" bulbs closer to the front.