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Everything posted by biodives

  1. I hope to see the same but unfortunately there aren't any hydra right now. But perhaps that means they are doing their job.
  2. They are indeed hydra. If your tank had a strong light they would turn green. I get them whenever I feed baby brine shrimp and they always disappear when I stop feeding baby brine shrimp. I've never seen a negative consequence of having them but have added some Spixy snails to a fry grow-out tank to deal with excess food and they are supposed to eat hydra as well. If you have them in enormous amounts then find out what is feeding them. If it's just the few along the bottom of the tank as in the picture I'd enjoy having them. Note: I found that Edmonton tap water kills them. Maybe I should bottle tap water and sell is as hydraBgone elixer and get rich
  3. Hi all. I just uploaded my latest blog. This one is on how to make a DIY LED light powerful enough for high-tech tanks at 1/10th the cost of commercial and with up to 3 times higher energy efficiency. You can build it in under an hour with a pair of scissors as the most advanced piece of equipment. Parts, pricing, suppliers, pictures, and step-by-step guide can be found at biodives.com/blog.Enjoy!
  4. DIY LED powerful enough for high-tech tank

    Actually I have one unused 2 foot LED strip (CRI 90, 4000K) and a 4 foot light with two 2-foot modules (I assume my standard CRI 80 5000K) and power supply left after my tank rack renovation and that I could sell. PM me for details if interested.
  5. DIY LED powerful enough for high-tech tank

    At futureelectronics.com some have to be bought in bulk but others can be bought a piece or in pairs. Those are the ones I've been using. It's a bit frustrating that there doesn't seem to be neither rhyme nor reason to why some can and others can't be bought a piece.
  6. DIY LED powerful enough for high-tech tank

    I just build a bunch more for my new tank racks. Instead of individual lights per tank there is now one 6 foot light per 2x6' shelf, 7 lights in total. After about 10 months there has not been a single failure in power supply or LED module and I have had sword plants, water hyacinth and frogbit form flowers under these lights.
  7. Feeding Cardinal/small Tetras

    I find the NLS pellets to be too hard for some fishes. Hikari micropellets are more porous. They initially float but ones they suck up some water they get soft and sink. It is my favourite dry food for pencilfish, all sizes of tetras and even some of the apistogramma eat it (not the NLS).
  8. I'll take on the 'trivia' question and do so without any formulas. Assume your tank inhabitants produce enough nitrate during one week to raise nitrate levels from 0 to 20 mg/L. And you consider to do one tank volume water replacement per week but have to decide between one 100% replacement or two 50% replacements. - in the weekly case the replacement happens at the end of the week when nitrate concentration is 20 mg/L, and when the replacement is done you are back to 0 mg/L. The average concentration over the week is 10 mg/L but with big swings during the week. - in the biweekly case the first 50% replacement happens midweek when nitrate levels have accumulated to 10 mg/L, that drops the level to 5 mg/L. The next half of the week adds another 10 mg/L so you end the week with 15 mg/L when you do the second 50% replacement. You end up with 7.5 mg/L of nitrate at the end of the week compared to 0 mg/L in the first case. The reason for the difference is that the amount of nitrate you remove per week must be the same as what is produced and the amount removed depends on volume and concentration. In the first case you let concentration grow all the way to 20 mg/L so you remove a lot of nitrates. In the second you do the replacements at much lower concentration so you remove less. Over many weeks the nitrate concentration in the biweekly schedule will keep creeping up until the average is 20 mg/L in which case you remove the same amount as the weekly schedule. If you were to do more changes per week but kept the total weekly amount at one tank volume you would also end up with an average nitrate concentration of 20 mg/L but you'll get there faster and it will vary less around the 20 mg/L average. So more frequent changes give smaller swings in nitrate concentration but a higher average nitrate concentration. Now if you add a good dose of (floating) plants they will easily take up 20 mg/L worth of nitrate per week so you need virtually no water changes, just top-ups, and your weekly average nitrate concentration is near-zero as ammonia produced by the fish is taken up immediately. Perhaps not an option with rift lake cichlids, just a thought. For more on plant-based aquarium filtration see: http://biodives.com/blog/?p=6
  9. 40b plant lighting

    What do you mean with "share". If you want to know how to build them you can find all the details, parts and places to order in these two blogs of mine http://biodives.com/blog/?p=92 http://biodives.com/blog/?p=127
  10. If you are keeping Malawi cichlids and other fish that need, like, or at least tolerate hard water then there is no incentive to use RO water apart from getting rid of the chloramine. But prime is a lot easier and probably cheaper. Untreated Edmonton water kills hydra very effectively, which was enough to make me believe it would not be beneficial for fish either. Seven 30 gallon changes will be slightly less effective than 1 210 gallon change per week. It will be more gentle in causing smaller swings in water parameters but you are disturbing the tank more often. The latter may be less of an impact if you add the water to the sump. Either way I don't expect there to be much difference for the fish but for one a week would be easier on time management.
  11. 55 gallon set up

    If you like plants then Asian or South American (or a mix) fish would be a better choice. Plecos, cories, tetras, and (dwarf) cichlids would give you an infinite set of choices based on your interest. If you like to see territorial or breeding behaviour get a cichlid pair. If you rather avoid any aggression just get one or a few of the same sex. Plecos, cories, and tetras, as well as German and Bolivian rams are typically available in LFS. Some apistogramma can be found in stores with a bit more effort or obtained by internet order or local breeders like myself. Severums and some other mid-sized cichlids are also reasonably common in stores. Asian fish include the danios, loaches, other catfish and more 'centerpiece fish' like gouramis that could be used instead of cichlids. It really depends on your taste and what is available when you visit the stores.

    Great job. Must have killed a lot of worms in those years
  13. New Tank - Stumped

    I can't solve your puzzle, but if ammonia is spiking then there is no need to add a starter fish because there is plenty of ammonia for the bacteria already. You can also add some floating plants to remove the ammonia if you don't want to wait too long before putting some fish in.
  14. Hello

    Welcome! I can't help you with salt water questions but there are others that should be able to chip in. For corals you may want to check out the ACE auction next Oct 1. Last year there were quite a few coral fragments being sold. I don't know what normal prices are but expect the auction to be a better deal. You might find other critters or dry goods of interest as well. Saturday September 30th 2017: Aquarium Workshop Sunday October 1st 2017: Fall Auction Be sure to mark them on your calendar! Both events will take place at High Park Community Hall ( 11032 154 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5P 2K1) The Fall auction will be at the usual time [9am sellers start delivering their goods, 10 am start viewing, 11am start auction]. Regular rules, 20 lots for each member. Contact Michael Pham for details and to register your lots. For the workshop on Saturday, we have flown in two outstanding speakers, Stephan Tanner and Jim Cumming. Stephan Tanner is the owner of Swiss Tropicals and is also the Associate Publisher, Senior Editor & Translator for AMAZONAS & CORAL magazines. Jim Cumming specializes in the cichlids of Madagascar and had an article in the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of Amazonas magazine written about him. Everyone, both members and non members, are welcome to drop into both the auction and the workshop. There is no charge for attending the first two workshop presentations or auction. For the third workshop presentation, we will be having a banquet. Tickets will be available for $20. Please contact Michael Pham to purchase your tickets as soon as possible. Jim Cumming’s presentation will be on: Cichlids of Madagascar; The Land that Time Forgot
  15. Ideas for Low Maintence Rescape

    You can use dwarf sagittaria or Helanthium tenellum (aka Echinodorus tenellus) for a carpet. The latter is frequently for sale. I would move some of the larger anubias in the centre to the back to create space for a lower carpet. A string of pennywort would be nice too.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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!
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.