10 Tank's fish and tanks

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Good morning. It's Saturday morning and we're brainstorming the day's schedule. We'll do the government's 55 gallon tank this afternoon. Just a water change. We checked and squeezed out the two sponge filters earlier and it appears the Anubias plants have decided to start growing. We have several new leaves. It's about time. The plants haven't really looked good in a couple of months, but they may come around. The tank has been up and running nearly a year and the fish have grown nicely.

If you might be interested in starting a new tank, I have a procedure I've been using for a long time that allows you to introduce fish within two days of setting up the tank. There is no waiting weeks for the tank to cycle. If you think you'd be interested in this, just reply to this thread.

Have a good weekend!

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Let’s hear your technique.
 
gwand. Well, I think we can agree that the bottom line for a successful tank with healthy fish is to remove all the toxic nitrogen from the water before there's time for it build up to anywhere near a toxic level. We know that there can't be any trace of ammonia or nitrite in the tank water and 20 ppm (parts per million) is our goal for nitrate. If we can keep the nitrate level at 20 or even lower our fish will be healthy. So, to reach this level, we must be very aggressive water changers.

Here's how I set up a new tank. The tank can be just about any size. I don't care for small tanks, they're just not impressive enough for me. The smallest tank I keep is 45 gallons. I set up the tank with all the bottom material, a couple of aquatic plants and driftwood and rocks from my local lake and river areas. I don't use filters or heaters any more, but I do have aeration in the tank. I fill the tank and use API's Tap Water Conditioner and Quick Start and allow the tank to run for 48 hours or so, just to establish the water temperature.

Then, I'm off to the local fish store and choose whatever fish I like. I stay away from the expensive kinds. I'm retired and my pockets aren't as deep as they used to be. The last time, I set up a 50 gallon tank I got for $20.00 at the local Goodwill Store. The fish store had a deal on Buenos Aires Tetras, so I got a dozen. Note: The smaller the tank the few number of fish you get to use. These Tetras are good sized and have a neat color combination. I drip acclimate the fish for one hour. Every 15 to 20 minutes, I put some water from the tank into the bag of fish. After and hour, I just tilt the fish bag and let the fish swim out. I think it's good to allow a little bag water to flow into my tank to help steady the water chemistry, some would poo-poo this though.

I don't feed for a couple of days. The fish were fed at the store, so they'll be fine. I remove and replace half the tank water a couple of times a week for roughly a couple of months and always use the API products according to instructions and feed the fish a little flaked food three times a week. After two months, I gradually increase the time between water changes to half every week and use the API products every time I change out the tank water.

That's it. I don't think I've left out anything. What is your honest opinion?

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gwand. Well, I think we can agree that the bottom line for a successful tank with healthy fish is to remove all the toxic nitrogen from the water before there's time for it build up to anywhere near a toxic level. We know that there can't be any trace of ammonia or nitrite in the tank water and 20 ppm (parts per million) is our goal for nitrate. If we can keep the nitrate level at 20 or even lower our fish will be healthy. So, to reach this level, we must be very aggressive water changers.

Here's how I set up a new tank. The tank can be just about any size. I don't care for small tanks, they're just not impressive enough for me. The smallest tank I keep is 45 gallons. I set up the tank with all the bottom material, a couple of aquatic plants and driftwood and rocks from my local lake and river areas. I don't use filters or heaters any more, but I do have aeration in the tank. I fill the tank and use API's Tap Water Conditioner and Quick Start and allow the tank to run for 48 hours or so, just to establish the water temperature.

Then, I'm off to the local fish store and choose whatever fish I like. I stay away from the expensive kinds. I'm retired and my pockets aren't as deep as they used to be. The last time, I set up a 50 gallon tank I got for $20.00 at the local Goodwill Store. The fish store had a deal on Buenos Aires Tetras, so I got a dozen. Note: The smaller the tank the few number of fish you get to use. These Tetras are good sized and have a neat color combination. I drip acclimate the fish for one hour. Every 15 to 20 minutes, I put some water from the tank into the bag of fish. After and hour, I just tilt the fish bag and let the fish swim out. I think it's good to allow a little bag water to flow into my tank to help steady the water chemistry, some would poo-poo this though.

I don't feed for a couple of days. The fish were fed at the store, so they'll be fine. I remove and replace half the tank water a couple of times a week for roughly a couple of months and always use the API products according to instructions and feed the fish a little flaked food three times a week. After two months, I gradually increase the time between water changes to half every week and use the API products every time I change out the tank water.

That's it. I don't think I've left out anything. What is your honest opinion?

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I think it is a great way to set up and maintain a tank. For me the biweekly 50% water exchanges is a bit too much labor. I do once weekly water changes. I start my tanks much like you. I am on well water so I do not need a water conditioner. I use Tetra Safe Start Plus to accelerate the growth of nitrogen metabolizing bacteria. I also place a filter from an older tank into the new tank. I add Dr. Tim's ammonia at a concentration of 1 ppm and then measure ammonia and nitrite levels the next day just to be certain my tank is cycling. Then I add fish.
 
Interesting. There's more than one way to get a tank ready for fish. I use a long siphon that runs from whatever tank I'm working on the the shower drain and it takes only 20 minutes to remove half the water in a large tank. I have a garden hose with a faucet attachment so I can mix the water chemicals in a pitcher of tap water and add that directly into the tank and then turn on faucet and adjust the temperature as the tank fills. Water is very inexpensive here, so I'm able to use quite a bit weekly.

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Interesting. There's more than one way to get a tank ready for fish. I use a long siphon that runs from whatever tank I'm working on the the shower drain and it takes only 20 minutes to remove half the water in a large tank. I have a garden hose with a faucet attachment so I can mix the water chemicals in a pitcher of tap water and add that directly into the tank and then turn on faucet and adjust the temperature as the tank fills. Water is very inexpensive here, so I'm able to use quite a bit weekly.

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So you feed your fish 3 times per week? Do you vary their diet? I have been feeding my fish small amounts of food each day except Sunday, which is a fast day. What kind of fish do you have? You mentioned that you perform maintenance on government tanks. Is this a freebee or do you get paid to take care of the tanks and livestock? BTW where in Colorado do you live?
 
Well, let's see. I find the best dried foods that I can get fairly cheaply and still feed my fish good things. I have a small blender that I put all the foods into and blend it all together and put a pinch in each tank three times a week. I have tanks of Goldfish and in addition to the dry, I feed them pellets. I have Koi and Goldfish outside in an above ground tank and some Goldfish in a 60 gallon. I have Platys, Guppies, four species of Tetras, a Pleco and a Corydoras in nine other tanks. I add wafers to the Pleco and the Corydoras diet.

I keep the Koi in my backyard 300 gallon tank for a local Botanical Garden here. They have to shut down their water feature in the Winter, so I go get their Koi and take care of them. When the Garden opens their water feature around Memorial Day, I take their fish back. That's a freebee. I like to do it. I do maintain a government employee's personal fish tank and do get paid. Without giving out too much information, we live a little north of Denver.

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Good morning and I hope you have a restful Sunday. Wow! Has it been windy here. Up to 70 mile per hour gusts. If there was any pollution in the Denver area, it has all been blown somewhere else. The wind has brought in some pretty cool temperatures. Not very nice for the first week in April. So, today we have a light schedule. Will perform a large water change on the outdoor 300 gallon trough.

We've backed off on the amount we feed the fish. I've noticed a few more snails than usual and that simply means the fish aren't eating all the food they're given. So, we've started feeding a little on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. In their natural environment, fish are lucky to eat once or twice a week, if that often and they do much better than they do in a cube of water. So, why do we feel we need to feed daily? By feeding less, the fish are more active and the water definitely stays cleaner.

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Monday morning. Back to work for those who are still gainfully employed. My hat is off to you workers! We have the strongest economy in the world here and that happens in spite of politics, wars and all the rest. To go to work and do a good job every week for those of us who are retired, for your families and for yourselves, takes some real intestinal fortitude and I am grateful as are we all for your service!

Three tanks today. Won't take long. We have no filters to clean, not much in the way of plants to trim and no longer vacuum the bottom material, so life is good! By just removing and replacing most of the tank water every few days, we can dispense with many of the duties we used to think were necessary to keep a healthy tank. Come to find out, it's all about the water!

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Tuesday morning. We're working on three tanks this morning. Picked up some new Platys yesterday at the local fish store. Their new home went from a 20 gallon to a 75. They're thinking they died and went to heaven. The gal at the store is pretty darn knowledgeable. Which is nice. She had the fish bagged in no time. So, we're up to about 40 Platys in four tanks. We're not doing any maintenance on the tanks, other than changing out half or a bit more of the tank water every few days to a week. But, we don't let the old water stay in any tank more than a week. The outdoor 300 with all the Goldfish and the Koi gets a large water change twice a week.

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Good morning and a happy Wednesday. We have a busy tank day today. Four tanks need large water changes. The dozen or so Sunset Platys we put into the 75 a couple of days ago are adjusting to their larger home. Fed all the fish a little flaked and pellet food this morning and everything seems to be going well. The large, frequent water changes make all the difference in maintaining a healthy tank with healthy fish. By doing something as simple as this, you constantly remove any toxins from the water well before there's time for a buildup that might hurt the fish. The added benefit for the fish is, you replenish all the nutrients the fish and plants have removed from the water since the last water change. So, there's a constant supply of all those things the fish need for a strong immune system. In other words, you maintain a steady and healthy water chemistry.

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Thursday morning. It looks like it's going to be another sunny day. Temperatures are slowly rising and we'll start seeing 70s most of the time before things start to heat up. Today, we have two tanks, a 55 and the outdoor 300 gallon. Another few weeks and it will be time for the Koi to return to their Summer home at the Botanical Garden. Their water feature is quite a bit larger than 300 gallons and the Koi will have their water constantly removed and replaced. The Garden has some sort of recirculating system. We'll move them the first part of June and they'll stay at the Garden until the end of September or even October depending on the weather. Then, I'll go get them and acclimate to the 300 again.

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Friday morning. Listening to a little classical music. This may sound a little strange, but my wife and I stopped our cable TV service. No more marginal television for us! We're more interested in reading anyway. We like the Smithsonian magazine. Great articles! Doubt that we'll ever miss the television. Saves a little chunk of change every month too! So, today we take the day off from working on fish tanks. We have some errands to run and will do a little house cleaning, but not too much. Don't want the house to be too clean, just clean enough. By the way, the new Platys are so colorful and very active. Today, we'll feed them and all the other fish just a little bit.

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Saturday morning and we're up early with a little coffee to "jump start" the day. Just one tank today. We'll go over to the government office and check over their tank. The plants are suddenly looking better. We're seeing new leaves on the Anubias and the Java Moss is starting to spread out. We lowered the water temperature a bit a few weeks ago and the plants have responded. Guess the water was too warm. The fish are doing well and their growth is very noticeable. The tank has been up and running a year next month.

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Good morning. Sunday morning. We'll get a head start on the tank work this coming week. We'll do four tanks today since we have some time. We've got the 45 gallon emptying and will do a couple of 55 gallon tanks and our outdoor 300. Nice weather is in the forecast for today. Low 80s in northern Colorado is a bit unusual for this time of year, but we'll definitely take it. We're using API's Tap Water Conditioner to treat the tap water. Just a half of a tablespoon is needed for a tank 45 gallons up to 60 gallons. So, it's easy to use. The cost per dose is pretty inexpensive and you can get it in a large, plastic container, so it will last quite a while.

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It's another Monday morning and we're already working on our three tanks for today. One has been siphoned down to 50 percent and the others are being siphoned right now. We've mixed our tap water conditioner in three pitchers and as always, we add a handful of aquarium salt to the water treatment. I like to do this to discourage the growth of any pathogens in the tank and as an immune system boost for the fish. I know this is old school, but that's just me. I've been doing this for quite a few years and all I can say is "It can't hurt".

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