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About biodives

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    Biotopes, aquatic plants, cichlids, tetras, (fish) evolution, fish behaviour, biogeography, scuba diving, marine reef fish, underwater photography

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  1. Hello From Edmonton

    Definitely check out Big Al's, especially given your interest in African cichlids. Some store staff are very good and the manager is great but often not present in person, at least not on the times I tend to visit.
  2. Hello From Edmonton

    For equipment I virtually always go to Big Al's. Best selection, good prices and on the odd occasion there is a problem I've had good support. If you become an Aquarium Club of Edmonton (ACE) member you also get an extra discount that for me pays for the ACE membership many times over. Big Al's probably also has the best selection for African cichlids in town. I order 95% of my fish from outside Edmonton because my fish of interest are simply not sold here. In addition, I find price and quality/health to be superior to what I find in LFS. If you are just getting a few fish shipping cost is prohibitive but there are regular group orders where you share shipping cost or sometimes people are willing to bring your fish for free. I am bringing in a lot of fish from Curtis Jerrom in Calgary who specialized in South American fish. My next shipment is Sat Aug 26 and you can find his stock list on this site ( ). I'll be bringing fish for others to Edmonton at no cost. For African cichlids, Spencer Jack is normally a great source, but he is in the midst of a move from Winnipeg to an undisclosed location. So pickings are slim but prices are good. Below Water, in Montreal, has a very eclectic selection of fish including very rare imports but often with prices to match. I've use all three of these suppliers and have been satisfied with all. If you want to be informed about upcoming group orders and sales of fish bred in the Edmonton region your best bet is to sign up for the Edmonton Freshwater Aquarium Community facebook group that is very active. To be clear, I have bought fish from LFS and mostly with satisfied results. But you have to take some time to watch the fish and be patient until you find the fish you want and in a state of good health and natural behaviour. Oasis Fish & Reptile in St. Albert is worth checking out. Not the biggest selection but on my one visit I thought they had the healthiest fish and I liked the attitude and respect for their animals of the owners. Aquarium Central has a bigger selection and they bring in some oddities that are fun to watch even if not on your bucket list. Big Al's has the biggest selection but staff knowledge and fish health is, IMO, a step lower but not a problem if you are a good judge of fish health yourself.
  3. Hello From Edmonton

    Welcome to the Edmonton aquarium community. I'm into South American (dwarf) cichlids for which fish selection in stores is much less satisfactory but there are good choices for internet ordering, and I love them for their behaviour, looks and being compatible with plants. African cichlids have their own advantages; good fit for our tap water, much greater selection in stores, and many other local aquarists that can help with advice of provide local-bred fish. Enjoy the process of figuring out what you want and putting it all together!
  4. Is this forum dead?

    More accounts, passwords, complications, in addition to potential unintended (ab)use of user data. I run a google cloud webserver (biodives.com) where I have full control what happens with my data and who gets to access it. Just not enough time to develop is as much as I'd like.
  5. Hello

    Nice to see another Edmonton member. I can't help you with the 4 tanks (and counting?) addiction problem but you shouldn't have to drop out of the hobby due to failing equipment. I'd recommend to always buy new heaters for tanks that matter, or consider a room temp tank. I personally don't use filters but a sponge filter or matten filter with air pump should be quite reliable. You can run all four tanks off of two air pumps and if one where to fail the one air pump could run all four until you get a replacement. I like the Eheim pumps that are very quiet and the bigger ones already have 2 outlets with adjustable flow. Whatever way you go, enjoy the fun in figuring out what you want and then see it all come together.
  6. Is this forum dead?

    Some cichlids don't play nice with others and/or need a ridiculously huge tank. So perhaps there are cichlids both of you like (central american cichlids, pike cichlids, ...). If your wife likes the colourful gentler cichlids like dwarfs, discus, angels then get a second smaller tank for those and put bad-asses in the bad-@$$ tank.
  7. Is this forum dead?

    My Dutch predisposition at being "cheap" balks at $6/month and even if there are free sites I am not inclined to use them. The younger generation may not have such inhibitions but I see few images on this site.
  8. Member's fish lists

    As of July 17, 2017 Apistogrammas A. baenschi (waiting for males) A. macmasteri (bred & raised, now 2nd generation) A. ortegai (raising fry) A. norberti (raising fry) A. rubrolineata (raising fry) A. pantalone A. panduro (bred & raised) A. sp. Melgar (spawned but no success breeding yet) A. allpahuayo A. eremnopyge (spawned & free-swimming but no full success yet) A. sp. Abacaxis A. barlowi cf 'Hauswell' (waiting for females) A. sp. Oregon (waiting for females) Other cichlids Dicrossus filamentosus (spawned & wrigglers but not successfully raised yet) Dicrossus maculatus Bujurquina sp. ? Geophagus steindachneri cf 'gold dust' (may be undescribed new species) Nannostomus N. mortenthaleri N. rubrocaudatus N. beckfordi (a few fry raised without my help) N. harrisoni N. espei N. marginatus N. marylinae N. eques Tetras Pyrrhulina australis (bred & raised just a few) Hyphessobrycon metae Hyphessobrycon sweglesi Hemiodus gracilis Crenuchus spilurus Axelrodi riesei Others Siamese algae eaters (to be sold) Otocinclus sp. Paraotocinclus sp. 'Vampire oto' Corydoras adolfoi Brochis splendens Poecilia reticulatus (Guppies) Xiphophorus variatus (platy) Jordanella floridae (American flag fish) Some kind of native Alberta fish fry that sneaked in with some plants (illegal but unintentional) Inverts Cherry shrimp Amano shrimp Ramshorn snail Pond snail Batman snail Some kind of nerite snail Hydra (only when feeding baby brine shrimp) Life food vinegar worms micro worms grindal worms white worms red wriggler worms daphnia ostracods (outside in pond) fruit flies Plants (probably incomplete) Echinodorus bleheri E. 'Scarlet snake' E. 'Ocelot' E. '?' (need to check) Helanthium tenellum (aka Echinodorus tenellus) H. quadricostatus Mayaca fluviatilis Hydrocotyle leucocephala Eicchornia crassipes Eicchornia diversifolia Myriophyllum brasiliense Riccia fluitans (also some collected in native Alberta creek) Nymphoides hydrophylla 'Taiwan' Some kind(s) of moss Something that grew out of the moss Limnobium laeviatum (Frogbit) Salvinia natans S. oblongifolia Native plants Duckweed Star duckweed Common bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris) Sagittaria cuneata Hornwort Some Potamogeton species yet to be determined.
  9. 150G Planted

    Current wisdom is that glutaraldehyde in things like Excel acts an algaecide but doesn't really work as a CO2 replacement. If you are already injecting CO2 there is even less of an argument for glutaraldehyde apart from (spot) treatment for algae. Nice jungle is starting to grow in this tank now. I like this style and believe the fish like it too.
  10. Is this forum dead?

    A lot of "I need to know this right now" questions go to facebook groups. More substantial posts are better suited for forums IMO but the fact that you can't post images, or at least are very limited in space, on this forum means I have started to post on my own blog or other more specific forums for my topics of interest.
  11. I took the fish indoors in winter but they were reproducing in summer. The goldfish that were lacklustre during winter often started spawning in weeks if not days of release into the pond. Catching them at the end of the season was always a ritual. They may look slow and easy to spot but they were masters in hiding if need be. Pretty much all plants were planted with roots below water, apart from a few higher up on the wetland slope. We failed at overwintering lillies indoors but had a Nuphar variegatum that is lilly-like with buttercup yellow flowers that can overwinter in the pond and became a more prolific plant every year and develops and extensive root system. Highly recommended. I'm pretty sure it came from the Sherwood park pond store that jvision mentioned. I indeed don't think the pond caused too much additional evaporation but the wetland and its plant may be a bit more of a water sucker. Still very much worth it for the 'filtering services' and just the visual impact of lush plant growth. I'll see if I can dig up some photos.
  12. That sounds about right. It would take about 2 weeks of dry spell before I felt it necessary to top up and just used plain tap water as well. Probably up to a 10% refill with no signs of discomfort to the fish. Now I know more about our tap water, it kills hydra overnight, I would probably do more regular small top-ups or, use an ATO though I typically prefer low/no-tech solutions.
  13. Think about the imprint left by a high block-heel shoe in soft sand. The large depression from the foot part is the main pond, the smaller but deep impression from the heel is the 'wetland' pond, and there is a bridge between the two that is a bit lower than water level. After digging this out and putting the pond liner across both ponds and the bridge we simply backfilled the dirt in the wetland piece sloping it so there was a shallow water area near the bridge and then pilling up to about half a meter above pond level to create a gradient of fully to partially water-saturated soil. We had big irises, tall reed with 'cigars', smaller rushes, mares tail etc growing in the lower parts, with ferns, willows etc higher up. I believe the emergent plants helped draw fish waste nutrients out of the water and it made a good spawning ground for gold fish and hiding place for cloud minnows. We had a submerged pump that fed a waterfall, but that was more for the sound and general enjoyment by us (and the birds) then the fish. We had the pond for some 10 years or so and with the exception of the first 2 months it ran crystal clear with never any maintenance, chemicals, filtration or whatever. The green water in the first 2 months before plants caught on was solved by releasing daphnia. My favourite fish where rosy minnows where the males form territories under overhanging stones and then lure females in for spawning. As close as you get to cichlids in the pond (unless you put in real cichlids, which I never tried). We had many fry and with all the plants and wetland they had good hiding spots to hangout and survive predation.
  14. We moved the fish indoors over winter and just let the entire pond freeze over. We didn't use filter or skimmer and had a zero maintenance pond (except from netting out tree leafs at end of Fall). We used a 'dirted pond' attached to the main pond with abundant tall wetland plant growth. That was out filter. A bit like the way I run my aquariums.
  15. If both the landscaper and Edmonton official gave you the same story then it seems how the rules are applied. We had a pond with three levels, the deepest being 2 foot to avoid the permit hassles. Especially the need for 6 foot fence and locks didn't appeal to me.