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This web site contains information about Pet Fish Talk, the weekly internet talk show about keeping pet fish in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds.
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Pet Fish Talk about keeping pet fish in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds.

Pet Fish Talk about keeping pet fish in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds.

Pet Fish Talk about keeping pet fish in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds.

Pet Fish Talk about keeping pet fish in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds.

Emails about the
April 30, 2005 Show

This page contains some of the email comments that we've received from listeners about this Pet Fish Talk show. Click here to go to the Listening Guide for this show.    
Just below are two emails from Michael F. in which he discusses his aquarium, his fish, and growing live plants.    

Click on this image for more information about email comments sent to Pet Fish Talk, the internet talk show about Keeping Pet Fish in Aquariums, Fish Bowls, and Ponds.

You may remember I had a question as to how much gravel to use, lighting and whether or not there is manipulation of the Endler market. The dissatisfaction with my gravel wound up to be the start of an adventure in replacing the substrate.

 First I removed all but the lower 1/4" of gravel (which kicked up all kinds of crud) and found my plants (as expected) couldn't hold down. Then on a recomendation I decided to replace my substrate to something more suited for the plants I have in my aquarium.

I went with an inch of substrate mixture (vermiculite, laterite, gravel, peat-moss) covered with two inches of play-sand (silicate). Unfortunately a mishap meant I had to rescue my fish temporarily from very cloudy, dirty water, but everything is nice and clean right now. The only loss was a pygmy cory which we more lost than anything else.

I've put of my plans (temporarily) to upgrade the lighting, and simply purchased a wide spectrum bulb to replace my old one. My threadfin rainbows seem to love it, my lamp-eyes and phantoms are lurking more in the shadows (I suspect they will calm down over time). And the endlers
are very playful.

The problem is that I won't really know if this is a good idea or not for a month, but I suspect its at least better than the 3-4 inches of cruddy gravel I had before. Water quality (for now) is doing really well.

Thanks again, its a great show.

Michael F.



Click on this image for more information about email comments sent to Pet Fish Talk, the internet talk show about Keeping Pet Fish in Aquariums, Fish Bowls, and Ponds.

I sent an update about a month ago telling added a real growing quality substrate to my 10G: Laterite, gravel, peat-moss, vermiculite covered by sand. That was an adventure and I'm glad to report that there have been no casualties. My plants are growing strong, and don't lose their leaves, which I have since found out indicates a phosphate deficiency. Straight gravel must just be a very bad substrate for plants.
The plants have really taken off now. And here I thought I had a lighting problem. The only problem is that my siamese algae eaters are eating my rosette faster than it can grow. My Tetras are eating the Bocada, but they are welcome to it. Those things grow much faster than I can keep up with. In fact I'll probably have to remove that and my other fast growing stem plant because they just don't seem to have the room. Which is sad because I think they give a real kelp-forrest kind of look to my tank. The nitrate levels used to always be margional, but now stay well in the safe zone for a week or so (wouldn't know I do a water change every week).
I'll be honest there is only one out of four stores within 20 miles that had good clean plants. But one of the reasons I think my tank is so successful is that even the bad plants I bought (I took a sample from all four stores) seem to have shed their algae and are growing. They took longer to take off than the others though.
But like I said they aren't the only ones outgrowing the 10G. I'm passing my Siamese off to another person's tank who seems to have a persistant green-water problem. And by persistanct, he's gotten a diatom filter and left the lights off for a number of days and still has green water. He also has done water changes of around 20% each day for weeks now. I told him he should breed some Endlers and Danios in there while he had the chance :).
I'm also contemplating my next tank because the Phantoms (5) and Lamp-Eyes (2) look like they've outgrown the 10G too.
Its going to be a 20G-long. I'll probably put my lamp-eye tetras and phantoms in it. I'll probably put Kuhli Loaches in there as my substrate cleaners, and I'm planing on using that nice black eco-complete substrate. Maybe I'll have to settle for some skunk loaches since the tank is still pretty small. It is hard thinking 20G when in my mind I see the 50G that I'm planing for when we move to a bigger house.
I find building my own substrates to be fun, and want to try a loil based substrate soon. But My phantoms seem to not like the light color of the sand in the 10G, and the eco-complete is as expensive as the Tahitian moon black sand. The darker the phantoms the prettier they are
in my book, and they seem to lighten and darken to fit their surroundings.
The threadfins (wonderful and beautiful fish) and endlers are having a ball with the relatively light colored sand so I'll probably keep them there. I'll also probably put my swiming frog (currently in a 1G) back in the 10G and add a few companions for him. Supposedly they like sand a lot better, and it is easier to feed them frog and tadpole bites since they drop out of reach like they do with gravel.
The Ghost shrimp are fun, but they only live for about a year. I suppose I should add another flower shrimp like I started out with, I liked those better. With the way my Ghost shrimp were gaining color (wierd huh?) I would bet the flower shrimp might also, and that would be a
pretty sight. The ghost shrimp were gaining white spots on their shells, and some turned blue while others turned red.
I definately need some clams though, especially since I have sand. The 50G is going to get a crawdad or two, though I don't think they will be as good a substrate cleaners as the Cory's and Loaches have been for me.
Michael F.
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