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About biodives

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    Jack Dempsey

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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. Thanks for reviving this post. I hadn't seen the original and it was worth the read. My mantra is: Learn from fellow hobbyists, but don't trust them completely Learn from your local fish store, but trust them less Learn from books, but don't trust them completely Learn from the internet, but trust it less In case of doubt, learn from nature
  2. ACE ( is the Aquarium Club of Edmonton and they organise two auctions a year, March/April and Sep/Oct periods. When one is coming up it will be announced the ACE website, here and elsewhere. There are always tons of fish, plants, and equipment up for sale. Entrance is free and anyone can bid. You have to be a member of ACE or other Canadian aquarium club to sell. ACE also has monthly club evenings on first Tuesday of the month in the Allendale community league, with a guest speaker, raffle, etc. Membership also gives you extra discount at Big Al's which more than pays for the $25 membership cost for me. Most important you get to meet a lot of locals with experience on a wide variety of types of tank and know-how on what to get where.
  3. They were selling a surprisingly large collection of guppies at the ACE auction earlier this year. I don't know much about them in terms of special breeds but I got the impression there were special ones among them based on the prices they were selling for. There should be another auction this Fall. Curtis Jerrom in Calgary is selling the following: Endler Guppy – N-Type – 3.00ea (14)- males only Green Cobra Endler Guppy – 3.00ea (12)- males only Red Tuxedo Guppy – 3.00ea (17)- males only
  4. If it worked 10 years ago it can still work today. I used to use gravel but the apistogramma I now keep like to take bites of sand so I have gotten rid of all gravel.
  5. Welcome back to the hobby. I run lowlight planted tanks but the only scape I have 'mastered' is jungle
  6. I don't see any reason to boil them. Perhaps it is suggested to leach out some tannins which some people love and others hate. However, I expect it will also leach out, or break down, the good stuff so don't boil. If the water does get a bit of a yellowish colour it will disappear with future water changes and your apisto won't mind.
  7. You can collect your own alder cones in the river valley and catch some fresh air as a bonus.
  8. I've read a lot about apistos but haven't come across this. If it was a temporary issue that caused it, like the snail, he may recover by just some TLC. At least the normal behaviour is a good sign.
  9. I made two 4-footers to act as second lights over two 24" deep (front to back) tanks which is too wide for a single light to cover unless you raise it up. Cost for each light about $35. Each can generate up to 4400 lumens. One participant build a light for a 5' tank using a single 4' module, also rated at 4400 lumens. The host showed 2' lights he had built in a much smaller package so it would fit in a narrow space between tank and shelf. Another light was built using 3 daisy-chained modules including one double-intensity module, but I didn't see the final product. A neat trick was to use rain gutter as the light housing for which you can buy water-tight end-pieces that will be more durable than my tape solution. Some others were going to assemble their lights at home.
  10. Last year I moved from a house with large and very natural self-made pond to a condo and am thinking about setting up tank, or more likely tubs, on the balcony. Perhaps in combination with some aquaponics. The pond could swing a few degrees over a day but above ground I expect much larger temperature swings with both very high and, if you want to stretch the season, quite low temperatures. I've been interested in desert pupfish, some of which can survive 4-40C temp ranges. Of course finding such fish for sale will be the hard part. The other issue is bringing them inside, or rehoming them, at the end of the season. I've been wondering if there are smallish native fish that could benefit from captive breeding and release to boost their numbers. That would solve the rehoming issue and bring me more in touch with the local natural aquatic world rather lust after far-away exotics. Last year I caught some unidentified fish fry late in the season and released them at 1-1.5" back into the same pond before winter.
  11. Hi Roxy, There are a few good local breeders but most of the online activity for buying/selling happens on the Edmonton Aquarium Facebook Group. Too bad you missed the Edmonton auction last month which had a lot of fancy guppies, and a healthy buyers interest for them too I noticed. Calgary has its auction today! I was most active in my fish hobby from the mid 70's to 90's in the Netherlands and got seriously back into the hobby last year. I didn't notice too much change on the equipment but the selection of fish and stores is a lot less than I was used to in the Netherlands. IMO there is also more commercialization of gadgets, pills and 'elixirs' that you apparently need to be a responsible hobbyist but that you can do without with a bit of knowledge and proper tank care and fish selection. Wrt the undergravel filter. I never used one and what I heard is they can clog up the substrate but like you said generations group up on them and to me they have the advantage that everything is in the tank. No tubing to start leaking and heat loss as the water is pumped around canisters, boxes, etc. I personally don't use any filters and use heavily planted tanks to let the plants remove fish waste. By the way, you can still buy undergravel filters, at least I saw them on All the best, Bart
  12. I haven't seen anything like that for driftwood in local aquarium shops. Landscaping stores have large pieces of wood, tree trunks etc. We had one in the backyard, above water, for a decade without rotting but I don't know how it would fare submerged. The river valley may be another location to find well-weathered wood.
  13. Haha, I know who you are ... Very welcome on this forum, your insights and goodies will be appreciated.
  14. Since you are asking for personal opinions, just treat the following as mine - eg. very personal and without judgment of other tastes. IMO none of the aquarium strains are as elegant and subtle as the natural wild forms although, I admit, some are more spectacular and colourful. I've seen many discus in bare-bottom tanks with minimal decor in which case natural environment and subtlety is not a goal and the more brightly coloured and patterned fish are a better choice. However, regarding these particular white-on-white ones, they lack both colour and contrast and have no appeal to me at all beyond possibly appreciation for the skill of breeders to create all these varieties.
  15. Yes that's me. So you should be able to recognize me. I just made a fresh microworm culture that I'll bring for you.