Finally! A fish room blog post. Hopefully I will be able to follow this one up quickly. This post is about sponge filters, which I believe are the most cost effective method of filtering aquariums a fish room setting. They are not pretty, but they work. But not all sponge filters are the same, and the way they they are used can make a difference too. One of the debates is whether a matten filter wall is worth cost. Sure…. a filter all has a HUGE amount of surface area compared to a smaller cube filter. But do you really need it more surface area in the same size tank that is being filtered effectively by a basic cube filter? No… the only reason to use a matten filter, in my opinion, is if you want to over stock a small aquarium.
Bacteria grow and die very quickly, and their cell population is dependent upon the same ecological rules of carrying capacity as any other living things (except maybe humans… assuming we have surpassed our carrying capacity). A biological filter needs the waste of fish to thrive. If there is more waste than the bacteria cells can use, the cell population grows. If fish waste reduces, bacteria cell population goes down. And it happens very fast. Days. Hours even. So there is really no point in a filter with 300 cubic inches of volume if the tank is going to hold two fish. But… if you want to grow 200 cory cat fry in a 10-gallon tank, a matten filter will let that happen.
This video presents the basics of sponge filters, how they work and how to clean them. I will cover how to run them with air in the next installment.
When I went up to Minnesota last weekend, I was invited to do an interview with Jenny, the talented aquarist who shares her hobby with us through her YouTube channel Solid Gold. Jenny posted the video of our interview this evening, and I am really impressed. I also see that I really need to go on a diet! I with think about it over a beer… The interview was a lot of fun to do. Jenny is a lot of fun to hang out with. Check out her YouTube channel. Here is the video:
Here is a video on a subject that I have been wanting to show you for a while…. unpacking a large order of fish. A lot of planning goes into getting a new order of fish into the fish room, especially am import from out of the country. In this case, 30 boxes from Peru!!!
I have a new aquarium. 180 gallons. One of the largest I have ever owned. This tank and stand was built by CustomAquariums (click the link… ). I will show some more videos in the future about the aquarium hardware, but for now this video is just showing the fish after they have been in the tank for 24 hours.
The community includes a lot of odds & ends, lonely hearts and personal favorites that I cannot bear to part with. You will see the original Chromidotilapia kingsleyae that I brought back from Gabon in 2011. There is a big Pelmatochromis beautkofferi that lost his mate to my own stupidity, and a big male Betta patoti that lost his mate to his own aggression (let’s see how he likes living with these big fish… hah!). There is a redtail shark that is the lone survivor from a tank crash when I first opened the new fish room. The pair of Pelvicachromis sacrimontis are the grand-offspring of a wild pair I owned four years ago, but the male beats the female up a lot, so I put them in here to see if they can get along in a busier tank. There is a single Bryconaethiops boulengeri tetra that is the sole survivor of a group of 6 that I bought four years ago. There are also some alestes tetras that I have had for nearly 10 years! The Sayhadria rohani barbs are personal favorites that I swear I will spawn someday. And the Pelvicachromis humilis ‘Friya’ are in there to grow up. All the smaller fish are African tetras that have been sitting in my fish room for months with nobody buying them… so I brought them home. I like them! There are Arnoldichthys spilopterus, Micralestes cf. acutidens, Micralestes occidentalis, yellow-tail Congo tetras and a few red-cap moon tetras (which I have had for years). Plus a few things I did not list… see if you can find them.
There are many factors that you need to consider when planning a new fish room, but one of the first is to decide what size tanks are needed and a lay out for the racks (at least a rough layout… the final result rarely fits exactly). The numbers and sizes of the tanks will define the racks, which in turn will guide the layout. The other systems are dependent upon that. Think of the aquariums and racks as the functional skeleton of the fish room. It is the framework around which the rest of the room will be built. Here is a video about the tank sizes I used, the racks I built for them and how they are laid out in the room to make use of space.
Here we go… it has not been a secret that I had to tear down my old fish room and build a new one, but I have not been posting much specifically about the new space. This is the first video in the New Fish Room series. Enjoy…
We have covered the basics of shipping fish, now let’s take a look as some of the specific types of fish and some special considerations for shipping them. First up, armoured catfish of the Genera Corydoras, Brochis and other similar species. Catfish are probably some of the more difficult fish to ship because of their frequent puncturing of the bag and the toxic skin excretions. These challenges can be overcome with a few tricks in packing, which I share in the video (in two parts). Enjoy…
I know that many readers are anxious to see the new fish room. Well, it is still being built, and there will be no full tour until it is done. But the last of the racks in the main fish room went up today, and they will get tanks on them this week. The first rack went up in the photo/video room today also (yes… there will be an aquarium room dedicated to tanks for taking pictures and video… I am spoiling myself). Once those areas are complete I will get my office and the display tanks set up. Then… or sometime shortly after then… I will do a full video tour. I will also start putting out short videos of how the fish room systems are set up. Gotta love simple automation. This video sneak peek shows the plant holding tanks. I got these up when a chance to do a Singapore plant order popped up. Only a few times a year, so I had to jump on it. Enjoy…