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!!!
Ray is a long-time hobbyist living in Liverpool, England. Matthew and I had the privilege of staying with Ray for a few days while over in England last Fall for a British Cichlid Association event. Ray is an great tour guide. He know where all the good beer is! His fish room is impressive. I say ‘fish room’, but his hobby spreads throughout his house. Ray’s passion is really whatever captures his interest, but he has a lot of interest in South American dwarf cichlids. Take a look….
I am over in England to attend and make a presentation at the British Cichlid Association Fall event (September 8, 2013), and I brought Matthew with me a few days early to do a bit of touring and visit a few hobbyists in the Liverpool area. This fish house belongs to Steven Chester, a gifted fish breeder and aquarist at a public aquarium. I have known Steven through apistogramma.com for some time, and getting the chance to meet him face to face and see his operation was really very special. He is in the process of remodeling his fish house, so the video should a bit of the old and the new. Enjoy…
I visited the COAST aquarium club in southern California a few weeks ago, and one of our tour stops was Dr. Anthony Mazeroll’s fish room. Dr. Mazeroll is a Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at Soka University of America. His work on wild fish genetics and environmental impact of humans takes him all over the world. His fish interests are just as broad. He has a huge DIY aquarium in his living room that is full of Lake Tanganyika cichlids. His fish room has a fish diversity from fancy bettas to wild discus. Dr. Mazeroll is a man truly dedicated to tropical fish, both professionally and as a hobby. Enjoy….
Bob Schneider is one of the icons in the Chicago area aquarium hobby. He is actively involved in the Greenwater Aquarium Society, and participates in most of the club swaps and auctions in from southern Michigan to Wisconsin. Bob raises a lot of Corydoras sp. catfish, and he does it very well in a relatively small fish room. I have several catfish that I have picked up from Bob at various events, so it was a real pleasure to have the chance to see where they were born and raised. Enjoy…
Here is a glimpse of the fishroom and homestead of my good friends the Bireley’s. Rich has a love of large tanks and the monster fish that go into them. Most serious hobbyists have one or two large tanks, maybe up to a 220 gallon (my largest is only 110!). Rich has several large aquariums, and some even larger vessels for holding fish. At one point in the video, Rich explains that the fish he is talking about needs a larger tank… the 180 it is in just will not do! You will also meet Anjoli, Rich and Laura’s daughter, who loves her big fish as much as her dad does. Great family. Great fish room. Enjoy….