biodives

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About biodives

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    Jack Dempsey

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    Male
  • Location
    Edmonton
  • Interests
    Biotopes, aquatic plants, cichlids, tetras, (fish) evolution, fish behaviour, biogeography, scuba diving, marine reef fish, underwater photography

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  1. 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.
  2. You can collect your own alder cones in the river valley and catch some fresh air as a bonus.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 Amazon.ca. All the best, Bart
  7. 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.
  8. Haha, I know who you are ... Very welcome on this forum, your insights and goodies will be appreciated.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Hi Robinszala, I just found out that Curtis Jerrom in Calgary has female endlers and unless they get sold today some of them will come to the ACE auction on Sunday. If you are still looking for females this may be your chance to get some. If you come to the auction I can also try to whip up a microworm starter culture that I promised you earlier. They need to be refreshed anyways. Bart
  12. Philips released the 4th generation of their LED modules. Cost less and 10% less energy used. They now also have 4 foot modules. For more info and spectra check out http://biodives.com/blog/?p=127
  13. The Philips Fortimo modules come in 3000K, 3500K, 4000K, and 5000K colour temperatures with CRI=80. They also have slightly more expensive and less efficient CRI=90 modules in the same K ratings except not 5000K. Colour temp does not deteriorate over time and intensity drops off too slow to be of concern, unlike fluorescent tubes. Philips just released the 4th generation of their LED modules that save another 10% on electricity for the same amount of light. Some details are given in my blog update on biodives.com/blog/?p=127 There are plans to put in a group order for parts to build these lights with some ACE members. I can post here once I know more in case some of you are interested as well. A 2 foot 2200 lumen light could cost as little as $25 or so.
  14. I have lots of floaters in all my tanks to soak up fish waste in lieu of a filter. I started with water lettuce and frogbit, they work great but make very long roots that get tangled in stem plants unless you keep them put with fishing line. I've recently added salvinia and red root floater and there is duckweed as well. They have very short roots and I may slowly let them take over. Ground cover such as Helanthium tenellum (aka Echinodorus tenellus) or something like it can also help shield the substrate.
  15. For myself I don't believe in diets, supplements, "health food" etc. Just eat a wide diversity and let my body pick and choose what it needs. I do the same for my fish. Diversity of life, frozen, and dry foods and they should get whatever they need.I guess life food is a luxury for the fish but they do spark up, especially when they get the red wriggler worms.