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Calgary & Area Member
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Everything posted by punman

  1. Tank Mates For Blue Dolphin Cichlids

    I did yellow labs and blue dolphins. For the dolphins you could do a male and two or three females although I find them hard to sex.
  2. Tank Electrical Costs – Especially Heaters Note – If you don’t want to read through all of this, just skip down to the second last paragraph. I have seen posts where people want to know the cost of running their tanks for a month. Lighting is easy because the wattage is listed on the lamps and we can estimate the hours per day that the lamps are on. Filters are on continually so it is just a matter of checking the specs for the filter wattage. The trickier part is the heater because it goes off and on. I tried watching my heater in my 45 gallon tank while I worked at the computer. I tried to record the time it went off and on for two hours. Sometimes I’d miss it though and would have to estimate. I came up with ON 22% of the time. I have 5 tanks so I needed a better idea. Over two weeks I randomly walked by the tanks and checked off on a piece of paper if the heater was on or off. I tried to do it randomly, not every 10 minutes in case a heater was running say, an 8 min. off, 2 min. on cycle. I did this about a 100 times over many days but it took less time than sitting watching a tank for two hours. The 45 gallon tank was on 20.3% of the time so I feel my method was fairly accurate. The chart below shows my results. 180 gal. – 250 W heater = 1.4 W/gal. On 31.4% Cost per month is $5.21 90 gal. – 250 W heater = 2.8 W/gal. On 35.6% Cost per month is $5.91 45 gal. – 200 W heater = 4.4 W/gal. On 20.3% Cost per month is $2.70 33 gal. – 150 W heater = 4.5 W/gal. On 36.4% Cost per month is $3.63 23 gal. – 50 W heater = 2.2 W/gal. On 100% Cost per month is $3.32 All heaters were set for 77-78 F and room temperature in all rooms was 70-71 F so we are looking at 7 degrees heating (about 4 degrees C) above room temperature. All heaters but one were Ebo-Jagers (the other a Visi-Therm). All were installed in the upright position. What amazed me was how efficient large tanks are at conserving heat. The watts/gallon figures are not used in calculating dollar costs but make for interesting comparisons. You would think that the more watts per gallon you have, the less the heater would be on. Surprisingly, that is not always the case. I was worried about heating a 180 gallon tank with a 250 W heater (would it be enough heat output?) but it is on less often than the same size and brand heater on my 90 gallon. I surmise that this is due to the larger volume of water retaining heat better and the fact that the glass is thicker. Also my 180 gallon is my only tank with foam insulation underneath so maybe that makes a difference. Other factors that could affect your heating are: the location of the tank (by a window, wall, open door), the type water movement in the tank, location of heat vents in the home, and the type and amount of covering for the tank. [so tell the spouse you need a bigger tank and it won’t cost any more to run it!!! (At least the electricity part)]. In case you wonder how to calculate the cost of the heater, I will give you an example. My 200 W heater is on 20.3% of the time so that is 20.3% out of 24 hours so .203 x 24 x 30.4 days in a month = 148.1 hours a month. 148.1 x 200 Watts = 29,620. I am paying 9.1 cents per kilowatt hour so that is 29,620/1000 x .091 = $2.70 per month. You can calculate your lights and filters the same way. I am calculating in Canadian dollars. I don’t have live plants so I have single bulb lighting and the lights are only on an average of 6 hours per day (so for me I multiply watts of lighting by .25). Examples of filter energy use are: AquaClear 110 – 14 Watts, AquaClear 70 – 6 W, AquaClear 50 – 6 W, and Eheim 2217 – 20 W. Amongst my five tanks I have 9 filters. I calculated that the cost total for electricity for the 5 tanks I have, to be $29.91 per month, which averages out to $6 a month per tank. 70% of that electrical cost is for heaters, 22% for filters, and 8% for lights. If you live in an area where your home is above 70 degrees F much of the time because of the warm weather, your heating costs would be less. If you are heavily into lighting, that portion will be more. Other costs would be costs of the water (I am on a flat rate at the moment, not a meter), and the cost of heating the water as you do water changes – most people would not be adding it cold from the tap but trying for tank temperature around tank temperature. That calculation is for another day. So there you have it. If you are too lazy to do all this math and recordkeeping, you can use the $6 a month per tank average for light, filter, and heater expenses if your electricity rate is around 9 cents per kilowatt hour. A 12 cent/kwh rate would be $8 a month per tank; 18 cents works out to $12 a month. I have been back into fish keeping for the past five years. I have put off doing these calculations because I really did not want to know the answers. The costs were not as expensive as I had thought. You might think I’m crazy to go to all the trouble math-wise, but I must confess to being a math teacher. Say, I think I might use this as a bonus question on next week’s quiz!!
  3. Hello from Calgary

    Good to have you on board. I have belonged for years. Site not as busy as it used to be. Maybe people have gone over to the dark side (Facebook).
  4. Anything happening on the Saturday?
  5. Western Canadian Fish Stores

    I live in Calgary and buy most of my fish and supplies from Gold Aquarium over the last 15 years. I have used The aFISHionados (Spencer Jack) in Winnipeg three times to have fish flown in to Calgary with good results. He carries cichlids I want which I often cannot find elsewhere. I have bought dry food on-line a couple of times.
  6. Mixing Little Tropheus?

    I would think it would be fine but if you are in doubt just put one or two in for a couple days and see what happens.
  7. Cas Fall Auction October 2

    If one was bringing 3/4 inch jade-eye cichlid juveniles, how many per bag to avoid overcrowding?
  8. Ideal Tropheus Diet?

    I don't have tropheus now but I have had them a couple of times. I used NLS exclusively with great results. On the subject of NorthFin I tried it this spring on my African cichlids and I have not noticed a difference for the better nor for the worse so I am now using a combination of it and NLS.
  9. Hikari First Bites.

    I crush 1 mm NLS and Northfin with a rolling pin in a Ziploc bag.
  10. Did not go to the auction today but went Saturday and found the presentations well done and of interest. I thought there would have been more people there on Saturday.
  11. Concept Aquariums?

    I had some glass cut there last month. Their NLS and NorthFin were reasonably priced for the size of the containers. They were working on construction for space for the extra tanks at the time so I did not see new livestock.
  12. Can we get more info about what is happening on the 12th?
  13. Any Tanganyikan Breeders In Edmonton?

    I ordered Cps, Frontosas, and Enantiopus kilesa (sand sifters) from Spencer last month. That is the third time I have dealt with him. Might be awhile before I have cyp and kilea fry so don't wait for me! Hoping I might get some breeding from the mature frontosas by summer.
  14. I have not needed an AC in some time. Now I do. Gold Aquarium used to be the cheapest price. Would that still be the case for an Aqua Clear 110?
  15. Where For Aqua Clear 110 Filter In Calgary?

    I did go to Petland with an old no name type small hang-on-back filter. They credited me the equivalent for an AquaClear of the same size and then I paid the difference to move up to an AC110. I see AquaClears are 20% OFF at Petland at the moment so they likely would have been the best price in Calgary anyways this week.
  16. During maintenance or moving tanks I invariably break a glass top. Is there a place in a Calgary that can supply and cut glass at a reasonable price? Thickness is not an issue as it is just for the top of the tank.
  17. Where To Get Glass Tops (Calgary)?

    I went to Concept this evening. cost me $18 for a 14 x 22 inch. I felt it was reasonable and best of all, I did not have to come back for it. They did it on the spot. It is not too convenient to where I live but I was up in that part of town anyways so it all worked out. I also noticed that their New Life Spectrum was cheaper than pretty much anywhere in Calgary.
  18. Labidochromis Caeruleus "ruarwe" (Yellow Labs)

    I have fry from the next generation but they are only 1 cm and so not available yet.
  19. Where To Get Glass Tops (Calgary)?

    Where is Bow Valley? It looks like it is out of town.
  20. Frontosa Takes A Jump

    Has this ever happened to anybody? I was in the room at work where I have my 6 foot frontosa tank. I heard a thump and looked over and there was a 9 inch frontosa on the shelf by the tank. It must have soared upward and hit the 4 inch by 24 inch glass (not plastic) hinged top, escaped, and then the top came back down. I quickly grabbed a net and put her back in the tank, no worse for wear. I have had small fish escape out of slits in the back of the tank, but never in this fashion.
  21. Tropheus In Calgary Water

    I never do a fishless cycle with tropheus or any other African cichlid. Just take a sponge or two from an established tank and add fish the same or next day. No chlorine in water though.
  22. Golds 2 For 1 Sale

    Picked up some angels and cardinals last night. Thanks for the alert to the sale.
  23. Bulk Baby Brine Eggs?

    Sorry - I just saw the post. I have a can I could have split with you. My sister lives in Ogden Utah so when I am down visiting or if she comes up to Calgary, I pick up a can from Brine Shrimp Direct - it saves on shipping.
  24. I had seven 1.5 - 2 inches from Spence rJack. Grew them to adults and over 12 months had 9 spawns from 4-20 fry with 10 being the average. Fry survival rate was lower tahn with Malawis. The fry did best when started on live brine shrimp. I sold most of the fry at one inch for $8-$10 a piece. Eventually they stopped breeding and the adults died too. I'd try them again. They are a neat fish.
  25. Brine Shrimp Culture Question.

    Hatching shrimp for newborn fish is fine. It just takes a day or day and a half. Anything after that is not worthwhile. Newborn fish can't eat 1/4 inch shrimp and if they are for older fish, just buy frozen brine shrimp or live if you can find it. Not worth raising your own.