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Byron Hosking

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Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 150 total)
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  • in reply to: Nitrate levels up.. #355042

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    I agree that nitrate is something being considered more now than it used to be.  There are several areas where long-held thinking has been challenged and frankly found to be lacking substance.  Nitrates is one of these.  But before I explain, I do not believe you have anything to worry about with nitrate at 5 ppm, or even 10 ppm, provided it is consistent over time as it should be in a balanced aquarium that receives adequate water changes.

    The number of 40 ppm nitrate used to be bandied about, but this is in fact too high.  Dr. Neale Monks has frequently written that nitrates should always be kept below 20 ppm.  The problem is not immediate but accumulates over time, and there seems evidence that some species are more affected than others.

    Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are all toxic to fish.  Ammonia and nitrite are more serious in that they act fairly rapidly to deb ilitate fish; even if the fish “survive” poisoning by ammonia or nitrite, there is usually internal damage that can have repercussions down the road.  Nitrate is less obvious, but recent studies have demonstrated that increasing nitrates, or continuing exposure to nitrate, will in time cause trouble for fish, leading to death.  It depends upon the level, the exposure period, and the species.  As Dr. Monks has written, nitrates at 40 ppm can cause severe issues for many fish, including as one example cichlids.  Some sources are now advising high nitrates as a major factor in diseases such as Malawi Bloat that previously was largely blamed on inadequate diet.

    All of this should not be a surprise when we consider that no fish we keep in aquaria are exposed to nitrates much above zero in their habitats, and they have evolved to function best in such environments.  My tanks run at 5 ppm, or at any rate the API liquid test indicates between 0 and 5 ppm, and have done for as long as I’ve tested.  I don’t test much now, except if something seems to be wrong and water testing is one of the first steps we take, but a sudden rise from what has been consistent over a period of months is cause for concern in an established aquarium.

    Byron.

    in reply to: Labeo bicolor and Clown loaches #354918

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    I saw this thread yesterday and decided to await Matt’s comments, as I was interested in the source.  Now that the source is a mystery, I will suggest that this may be erroneous.  When I was preparing data on this species a couple of years back, I had this to say about the behaviour:

    Compatibility/Temperament: Not a general community fish especially for beginners. Very aggressive with its own species (it probably lived in solitude except when breeding) and as it matures is often aggressive with other fish especially those resembling it and those with vertical stripes. Should be kept solitary (one fish per tank) with carefully-selected tankmates like the larger barbs and rasbora. Bottom fish (loaches and most catfish) should not be included with this species.

    In my wanderings hither and yon, no one has ever contradicted this, and I have heard of more than one case where a single Red Tailed Shark terrorized other bottom fish and some upper fish with stripes, so I would myself not recommend combining the species.

    Byron.

    in reply to: Danio and Barilius in an open tank – bound to fail? #354882

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    In addition to what BillT mentioned, I would be most concerned over what might happen during darkness.  This is when I have had fish jump out, when I have inadvertently left the cover open just two inches.  During darkness, other fish in the tank may startle a fish, and it jumps as a reflex action.  If the water level is well down from the top this might work as far as fish jumping.

    Personally, I do not recommend open top tanks at all.  Water evaporation is a major issue, and not just thinking about water leaving the tank but where do you think it is going?  Into the structure of the room.  Then there is dust that enters the tank, and this can be more significant than you might think.  Tank water temperature will also fluctuate more without a cover, which in some cases such as during warm spells may not be detrimental but in others such as fish that need warm air above the surface, not so good.

    Byron.

    in reply to: Re-planting tank, #354851

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    Two of the photos came through.  I would probably leave the tall swords in the back, they may stay about this size for some time; mine did.

    Hairgrass I have not tried.  Make sure it is the true aquatic species, such as those in the genus Eleocharis.  There is the dwarf hairgrass, Eleocharis acicularis.  I have seen terrestrial plants under this common name. 

    Corkscrew Vallisneria, the smaller plant species, might work.  You could also try it, and if it settles and spreads, remove the larger swords as the Vall becomes the background.

    in reply to: Re-planting tank, #354849

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    All three Echinodorus species are actually a bit large for a 65 litre (17 gallon) tank, though it is true that environmental conditions (light and nutrients) will affect the growth rate and appearance of plants in this genus.  This is one reason why there are so many “species” which are in fact not distinct species but variants of a species.  I have had the common sword (E. bleherae [E. bleheri is a mis-spelling, from Rataj’s original description] which botanically is actually E. grisebachii as E. bleherae is not a valid species according to the DNA phylogenetic studies) attain 20 inches in my larger tanks but remain around 10 inches in smaller for some time.  But nevertheless, these will likely get too large to be aesthetically pleasing in a small tank.

    Marimo moss balls are actually not moss but a form of cladophora algae.  I’ve never had these, but from what I’ve read I believe they manage in most lighting.  Your true carpet-type plants will be more demanding in the area of lighting, and with increased lighting comes increased nutrients.  I personally would prefer keeping the lighting less for forest fish such as rasbora, and floating plants are certainly a good idea.  So with this in mind, perhaps a better lower plant would be some of the crypts, or the pygmy chain sword Helanthium tenellum [previously considered in the Echinodorus genus and still frequently seen as Echinodorus tenellus].  I consider this an ideal plant for smaller tanks, as it is not too fussy about light, and once settled will send out runners and literally carpet the substrate; these are easy to remove as they appear to keep some “open” areas as you prefer.

    Byron.

    in reply to: Stocking for a 90 gallon tank #354783

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    Using salt to treat ich is very different from adding it regularly.  The level of salt used in disease treatment is relatively high in order to be effective and there are some fish for which this is not advisable, but generally it is the preferred treatment.  As I said previously, this is very different from the regular addition of salt to a “healthy” aquarium; here the dose will be so low as to be useless for anything anyway, but the salt will still cause trouble for many fish species, and some plants.

    The water parameters should be for your source water, presumably tap water.  GH and KH will not change in the aquarium (unless something is being done to specifically target them), so what comes out of the tap is the governing factor.  The pH is related and worth knowing.  You should be able to ascertain these numbers from the data on your municipal water authority’s website, or by asking them.  Once these numbers are known, it will be much easier for any of us to suggest fish.

    Just to explain what I mean by “targeting” the GH/KH…if for example you have very soft or soft water out of the tap and want to maintain fish like livebearers or rift lake cichlids that require moderately hard to hard water, you can use a substrate sand made from crushed coral and aragonite which will slowly dissolve in the water, raising the GH, KH and pH.  So in this case, because you are specifically targeting the hardness/pH, the aquarium water will be harder and more basic in pH than what comes out of the tap.  But if the substrate is inert, and no other calcareous substances (shells, calcareous rock, etc) are present, the tap water GH/KH will remain fairly stable.  The natural biological processes in an established aquarium will tend to acidify the water and thus lower the GH/KH and pH, but the speed at which this occurs depends upon the initial GH/KH as these tend to buffer the pH to keep it from fluctuating.  So in very soft water, the pH will tend to lower more than it will in harder water.  This is why it is important to always know the parameters of your tap water befgore acquiring any fish; not only are some fish more specific in their preferences (for long-term health), but it is also important to recognize what is likely to occur over time.

    Byron.

    in reply to: Stocking for a 90 gallon tank #354776

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    Most freshwater fish will not be in good health long-term with the addition of salt.  Salt can be effective when used as a treatment for certain specific diseases, though not all fish can manage with this.  But there is no benefit to adding salt on a regular basis.  Livebearers are able to tolerate salt better than soft water fish, but that does not mean they need it or should have it added.  Even mollies can do well without salt, provided they have moderately hard to hard water.  Some plants will also have trouble in water with salt added.

    As for your 90g, if you could give us the water parameters of your source water we will be better able to suggest suitable fish.  The GH (general hardness) is significant, and the KH (carbonate hardness or Alkalinity) and pH also.

    Byron.


    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    First, may I welcome you to SF, as I see you joined recently.

    Now, to your questions.  Before you add any fish to this 29g, there are some significant issues that require fixing.  All of the existing fish, except for the Hillstream Loach, require a very different tank, or to put it another way, the Hillstream Loach requires a very different aquascape.  The Hillstream Loach is a cooler water fish (room temperature, assuming in the high 60’s or low 70’s F) is best.  And it needs some current.  The other fish by contrast prefer quieter water, and warmer temperatures.

    I would not add any more Hillstream Loaches, unless you can remove the other fish and aquascape this tank more to their liking.  A stream setup, lots of rounded river rock to simulate boulders, fine gravel or sand substrate, lower temperature, and a nice current from the filter at one end to create a length-wise “stream” current.

    The light over this tank is extremely bright.  This is going to have a negative effect on the forest fish (cardinal tetra, rasbora, etc) and while it will likely cause algae for the Hillstream Loach, this algae will soon smother the plants.  Will the fixture allow you to remove some of the tubes and still light the remainder?  One T5 HO tube would be more than adequate.

    I don’t know how long the previous owner of this aquarium had it operating with these fish, but the fact that they were “managing” then does not mean they will continue to do so, or be in the best of health with so many opposites.

    Byron.

    in reply to: Nitrate levels up.. #354757

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    I agree with what Bill has posted, and that is a good explanation too.

    I am in the group that believes nitrates should always be as low as reasonably possible, given the setup (every aquarium has biological variations), and my tanks generally run in the 0 to 5ppm or a couple in the 5ppm to 10ppm range.  I do stock somewhat heavily, and I have live plants.  Water changes of 50-60% every week without fail, including a vacuum into the substrate in a couple tanks (won’t go into the difference).

    Byron.

    in reply to: 60x30x30, What to do in my aquarium? #354736

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    @Lexzz313 said:
    Besides, Is it able to take 7x Pethia conchonius. I know that 80cm is the minimum, but is it able when I take only 7x Pethia conchonius . No more fish then that. Now, in my aquarium are only 2 big plants, so they have enough space to swim. If it can, how many men and how many woman have you then to take. Are there any other fish that you can take alone. Idealy, a copple or a harem. I hope that you guys now what I mean.
     
    Thanks
     
    Lex

    This tank is not sufficient space for Pethia conchonius, as both PJ and I previously said.  Nor any barb for that matter, as they require a group and are active swimmers and most get large (in relation to the tank size here).

    Most of the other fish mentioned in this thread can work, as we have discussed previously.

    Byron.

    in reply to: Quarantine Tanks #354734

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    I concur with Plaamoo if you are thinking of a QT that will only be running as needed, as opposed to permanently.

    I will just describe my method, which works for me because I have a dedicated fish room so I keep a 20g tank permanently running that is used just to quarantine new fish for several weeks.  It has a sand substrate, some plants (culls from the other tanks), a couple chunks of rock and wood for cover purposes, and thick with floating plants both for water quality and reducing overhead light.  Sponge filter, and heater.  This tank as I say runs permanently, and can be empty of fish for a year or even longer.  The advantage of this is that I have not only a cycled tank but an established one for new acquisitions, and this does make quite a difference especially with my usually wild-caught and more delicate fish.  Fortunately I’ve never had to treat fish in QT, knock on wood, but if I did I realize the plants would likely be tossed as many medications will decimate them anyway.  Sand is very inexpensive to replace after any treatments.

    I consider a hospital tank for treating disease on my long-standing fish a very different thing, and only once have I needed it (for pop-eye) but it is a 10g bare except for a wood-like decor that can be disinfected.  Fish in completely bare tanks will be severely stressed which when they are fighting off a disease only makes things more difficult.

    Byron.

    in reply to: 60x30x30, What to do in my aquarium? #354733

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    My first suggestion is not to combine “large” fish with “dwarf” species, and “large” here means fish like T. chuna, and to some degree the M. ramirezi, while “dwarf” refers to the others now being mentioned.  There are a couple reasons for this, including tank space, the habits/temperaments of the various species; as well, I find that “large” fish in small spaces tend to look even larger and this is visually upsetting and it also makes the smaller fish almost disappear.

    So, with that in mind, for your Concept 1, I would say the Epiplatys annulatus are OK, but increase them to minimum 8 [for the reasons in our profile here https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/epiplatys-annulatus/ ] but not with A. australe [profile here https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/aphyosemion-australe/ ].  From my killifish acquaintances, I understand it is best to stay with one species of killifish in small tanks, and include other compatible species.  If you choose A. australe, a pair or trio is best.  The Boraras maculatus would work with the E. annulatus, and presumably the A. australe though the similar colouring is something to consider.  The first two would be a nice match for variety.  E. annulatus remains near the surface, while Boraras lower down, so that is good too.  All these fish need very soft water, and well planted tanks.

    As for the Mikrogeophagus ramirezi [now in this genus] I would prefer a larger tank.  And I’m not sure how well these cichlids would get aqlong with the killifish, others may have ideas on this.

    Your ???? fish I assume means substrate fish, and here one of the “dwarf” species of Corydoras would probably be ideal, in a group of 9-10.  Sand substrate mandatory.  There are no loaches known to me that would work in a 15g/60L tank, aside perhaps from the Pangio which you don’t want anyway, and these would likely be “hidden” mostly as well.

    Bestand 4 is fine, with the C. strigata (up this to 7 or 8 though), H. amandae, and a group of 9-10 Corydoras pygmaeus, or C. habrosus.

    There is another small shoaling characin to consider, Paracheirodon simulans, which could be in place of the H. amandae for example.  This “neon” species is smaller and quieter than the two more commonly seen species, and needs very soft water, but works nicely in smaller setups.  

    Byron.

    in reply to: 60x30x30, What to do in my aquarium? #354728

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    Keeping in mind the quite small size of this aquarium, roughly 15 gallons (60 litres), I would stay with “dwarf” species.  These will often be wild caught, so knowing your water parameters would help.  I will offer a couple comments on fish named.  I agree with PJ on the Pethia (and any barbs for that matter); these need groups, and get large, and are very active.

    Corydoras panda are fine size wise, but this species prefers some water current, which is something most of the other fish named do not, so if you decide on the pandas I would look for different companions and ensure you can provide a bit of current like a small stream.  Not a lot, but more than one would get from say a sponge filter.

    Trichogaster chuna would be best with one male and two females, and this is possible, though more space would be much better, so I would look at the smaller gourami like Trichopsis pumila or the similar/smaller species.  Water paramters are important here as mentioned above.

    Carnegiella strigata might be a bit tight, but they are not active so in a “quiet” aquascape (minimal water flow, opposite to the pandas again) this should work.  The Boraras species (any) would be fine, or if you want to stay with SA the Hyphessobrycon amandae which is similar.  Corydoras pygmaeus, C.hastatus, C. habrosus would all be nice here.  Again, water params may be significant.

    Byron.

    in reply to: Holidays #354725

    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    I hope you have a safe and relaxing time.  B.


    Byron Hosking
    Participant

    Yes, I was thinking adult tolerances, as we are aquarists and interested in the effect of nitrates on our tank fish.  Usually it is fry that are said to be more sensitive to such toxins, so the natural inference here would be that high nitrate poses no threats.  Something I cannot accept.  But the numbers in this study are so astronomical I would seriously question things.

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