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About Ash

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    RIP "Seth" :(...
  • Birthday 07/12/1978

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  • Location
    Wulguru, Townsville, QLD, Aust, Earth, Sol, MW
  • Interests
    Fast cars, fishing & aquarium fish

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  1. Why not cut up an aquaclear sponge? They are cheap enough
  2. Ash

    sodastream co2

    Big W is a safer bet than Woolworths for buying a bottle by itself - they tend to not sell you bottles out of the refill cartons at the service desks anymore, you have to find the boxed spare bottles on the shelves near the soft drink machines, usually $42 or so & the staff tend to have no idea what they are. I use the Sodastream bottles for dispensing my beers from kegs so if your CO2 regulator would fit a standard D size bottle from BOC, then the various home brew/sodastream adapters that go for $30-40 should get you out of trouble.
  3. Heating & cooling are two of the biggest costs, so having the area the tanks are in (or the tanks themselves) insulated will be a great aid. Some find it is more power efficient to heat/cool the room with a reverse cycle split system, others find any heating/chilling of the water itself will dictate the temp of the room & be cheaper - it depends on your situation. Regardless in a small enclosed space with lots of water the humidity will be high so you need to take that into account somehow - an AC would strip humidity from the air but if you directly heat/chill the water then some ventilation will be definitely required so the room isn't like a low temp sauna! Then there is lighting as probably the most expensive next step - perhaps rather than fluros look at the options with LEDs or if sticking with fluros, use smaller ones with better reflectors so less of the light (and therefore energy) is wasted. T5HO units tend to come with good reflectors & have came down in price, though for a given distance of tube (and therefore coverage) they chew more juice & though they do punch deeper into the water if you are having planted or really deep tanks. Rain water collection wise, some people are concerned about pollutants entering their tanks via whatever soot was on your roof ending up in the tanks - though that would depend on what heavy industry or farming is in your area as to whether any air pollutants would be on your roof to start with - most rain water collection set-ups ditch the first bit of rain for this reason anyway, to flush away the nasties. I've pulled most of this stuff out of my hazy memory (some would say butt ) from reading people's fish room build threads over a number of years so take it with a grain of salt. You'll probably get more, possibly more up to date ideas searching for "fish rooms" and seeing people's different builds & then once they are built them any further discussion of what they would change & why. hope this helps Ash
  4. They have some senegal bichirs up here approx 12cm for $220 Apparently they are one of the smaller species so depending on how they go I might get a few (would be store credit so if the prices are over the top I don't really care much - the alternative would be using wads of cash I don't have & shipping them) So, the LFS is keeping a larger one (~25cm) on display with some wussy CA & SA cichlids (GTs, firemouths, parrots etc) so in theory with how wussy my synspilum is they should play alright, the hoplos get to the surface to breathe ok in that tank so I don't see any issues for the bichir doing the same, also my synspilum is a wuss feeding too so him outcompeting for food isn't such an issue. Any bichir keepers see a problem with this plan? edit: anyone see anything wrong with me talking to myself in here?
  5. Actually, something like Bichirs kind of tickle my fancy looks wise - how are they to own? Is their behaviour interesting? Are they interactive at all like the big CA cichlids are? What species are small enough to live in a 4x2 for life & what can you keep with them? Any other suggestions? I like giant gouramis but I'm pretty sure the tank is too small, even though it might take years for them to outgrow it I don't want to put a fish in that I'd have to find a new home for later.
  6. I'm not saying the salt is an issue itself, a dilute enough amount won't harm the fish - what I was concerned about was any die off of salt water organisms in the substrate/media making the cycle start with a really bad ammonia spike - tho you could possibly use this to help start a fishless cycle - however if you are wanting to put fish in ASAP with the aid of some "bacteria in a bottle" product it wouldn't be a hot idea to leave salt water organisms in there to die off & pollute the water more than the fish themselves would be. Make sense?
  7. As mentioned in the title, I might have a 4x2x2 tank freed up shortly - I'm interested in putting one interactive largish fish into it that can live forever in a tank this size (possibly with some other dither/target fish). I have a large male red devil who could go in there, but frankly that would be replacing one type of large CA cichlid with another so I'm wondering what other non-cichlid options there are? I can't afford a chiller or skimmer for it so fresh water tropical stuff only (I'm in north QLD so the tank is 32*c for 6 months of the year) Suggestions/ideas/abuse? Cheers, Ash
  8. Drain it totally, don't do 1/2 a job & expect satisfactory results. Was there any live rock, any substrate? Cause if there was & you didn't remove it the tank is going to go off in a baaaad way - there are a massive amount of marine organisms that live in these tanks that when exposed to fresh water will die, causing a huge ammonia spike. If you don't know what that means start looking up the nitrogen cycle. You can reuse the marine substrate (assuming coral sand or crushed marble) after a really good washing out in any hard water cichlid tank (African rift lake or central American crater lake cichlids) but it would make the water too hard for any riverine or amazonian species. Also, what filtration is there for this tank? If it was a povo pack fish only marine setup then a common bio-filter (canister or wet/dry trickle) will probably be fine for cichlids once the media is washed - tho bear in mind you'll be starting the (nitrogen) cycle from scratch. Really you need to list what you have right now & what you want to achieve with it - from the vague info you've listed it appears you aren't very experienced so there is plenty you can get wrong & it is best to get everything setup right from the get go. Hope this helps.
  9. If you keep the water conditions top notch (possibly a hospital tank with the same parameters to limit stress from other fish annoying him) it may heal itself. One of my red devils is battling a similar issue atm, he seems to be slowly getting better. Does yours have a pronounced lump on its side?
  10. Ash

    Tank Building

    I was about to post something similar after reading the first post but was pleasantly surprised to see this post saved me the trouble I believe a lot of people use a construction adhesive like liquid nails for sticking the plywood together then rely on the epoxy coating on the inside of the wood to keep any toxic byproducts out of the water. The non-toxic epoxy resin & fiberglass matting will also add strength to the joins, especially if you overlap the corners with sheets of woven matting rather than the random chop strand stuff.
  11. in general the labels are the only difference & you can feed pretty much anything to anything - the different labels are just to make people feel good for having a food "customised" to their particular fish. All brands do the same thing BTW, this is hardly a NLS issue, more a fish food in general issue. Don't believe it? Read the ingredients & nutritional stats panels
  12. Hey peeps, My favorite big red devil has recently developed a swelling on one side of his body & he appears to have buoyancy issues. This appears to have coincided with some lax water conditions due to my own health going backwards for a while (one water change on the system in a month instead of fortnightly), but while the water changes weren't being done neither was much feeding so I don't expect the nitrate to have gone too over the top, plus other fish on the same sump system are all fine & still breeding so I don't think it is directly the water tho it could have contributed. I'll tell you one thing, the purigen in the sump was well & truly coffee dark. Anyway, he is fed sinking pellets (3mm NLS, 5mm Hikari & NLS/OSI algae wafers) but often will attack them on the surface so I suppose swallowed air ala float in a frontosa could be possible, though I wasn't aware that was an issue for red devils as they aren't a 100m below the surface fish like frontosa are. Also the swelling being only on one side seems odd (though if they have a pair of swim bladdders maybe not?), which makes me think possible infection? Now the water has been well & truely changed & is now quite clean, normally I'd just wait it out & let the fish's immune system do what it does but being one of my favorite fish I want to help him if I can. He's still feeding & acts otherwise fine, just a little "mobility challenged" at the moment. So the question is, what (if anything) can I do to help him? Simple stuff like dose salt & alternafix or hospital tank & some specific medication? Garlic up some pellets before feeding him? Any help appreciated, even if it is just reassurance to wait it out. I could post a pic but really how helpful is a photo of a red devil with a bubble inside him on one side going to be
  13. Sad to hear of your loss, but won't you run the risk of electricution with a UPS working as a "bypass" for a safety switch? Also might water dripping onto them cause them to fuse out anyway which gives the same end result? Perhaps a battery backup airpump with stones in the tank so when the power cuts it still keeps the air up - most fish die in this situation not from ammonia poisoning but from suffocation
  14. Is that just another name for a calcium reactor as used on reef tanks? ie: use CO2 to drop the pH in a chamber to disolve calcium carbonate with an electronic do-hickey controlling CO2 on/off valve while monitoring the level in the tank.
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