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Alternative Nitrate Test?

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Featheryfish

Featheryfish

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Correct, all seems normal from what you told us.

My neighbour who knows nothing about fish once asked me how I knew how much to feed each tank, and I could not answer other than by saying it is something I just learned instinctively.

The photo below is my Amazon flooded forest blackwater tank (without the tinted water but otherwise parameters are exact) which is minimal in plants but has some nice floating pennywort that the hatchetfish love, the pencilfish remain among, and the cories spawn on! This tank was just set up (I moved end of May) in mid-June and the chain sword plant has already sent out a runner with six plants springing up.
What a lovely tank! It reminds me of wading through the creek in a canyon up north as a kid for some reason. :lol:

You know, I'm relieved to hear about your feeding methods, that's what I've felt I ought to do, but it was hard to be sure with the food bottles and the standard advice telling me to feed them two or three times a day. :unsure: I've been watching them closely while they're eating - if I give them the "recommended" portion I end up scooping out leftovers with a net later. The molly only seems to want a bite or two of shrimp pellet, since he spends all day cleaning algae off leaves and roots. Maybe the fish and I can do a weekly fasting day together, ha.

I'll have to check pet stores to see if I can find any of those floaters, it's too hot here to ship anything alive right now... thank you for the species recommendations!

Dang, that was a lot of helpful advice in one post, I'll have to bookmark that :D
 

Byron

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Mollies need vegetable matter in their diet, so I would get a can of Omega One Veggie Flakes food. Same brand as the Veggie rounds for all substrate fish. Necessary for the vegetarian fish, but also highly nutritional for all fish as it does have fish meat in it too. I feed both twice a week. Vegetable matter improves the fish's intestinal tract (all fish). Omega One is one of the prime fish foods, no additives like meals and stuff. I also use their shrimp pellets. They have a shrimp flake too.

I don't know why every manufacturer still says feed two or three times daily, that is just too much and completely unnecessary. I would think it also causes issues and may be at the root of other problems. Fish naturally eat what they can when they find it because the next meal may be days away, and I have never heard of anyone's fish learning differently just because they are fed daily. Double or triple feeding is also double or triple waste load on the system, which will cause other issues. Everything is related.
 
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Featheryfish

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Mollies need vegetable matter in their diet, so I would get a can of Omega One Veggie Flakes food. Same brand as the Veggie rounds for all substrate fish. Necessary for the vegetarian fish, but also highly nutritional for all fish as it does have fish meat in it too. I feed both twice a week. Vegetable matter improves the fish's intestinal tract (all fish). Omega One is one of the prime fish foods, no additives like meals and stuff. I also use their shrimp pellets. They have a shrimp flake too.

I don't know why every manufacturer still says feed two or three times daily, that is just too much and completely unnecessary. I would think it also causes issues and may be at the root of other problems. Fish naturally eat what they can when they find it because the next meal may be days away, and I have never heard of anyone's fish learning differently just because they are fed daily. Double or triple feeding is also double or triple waste load on the system, which will cause other issues. Everything is related.
That's true of a lot of animals, I guess that's why there is a dieting show on TV for obese cats. :pepsi:

So far I've been feeding them an omnivore flake, freeze-dried blood worms, and those Omega One shrimp pellets. I was planning to feed the molly vegetables, is there any particular advantage to buying herbivore food if I've always got loads of fresh and frozen vegetables on hand? Of course, it wouldn't be hard to go pick up some omega veggie flakes, either way. I'll just do that... having five or six varieties of fish food sounds like a good plan.
 

Byron

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So far I've been feeding them an omnivore flake, freeze-dried blood worms, and those Omega One shrimp pellets. I was planning to feed the molly vegetables, is there any particular advantage to buying herbivore food if I've always got loads of fresh and frozen vegetables on hand? Of course, it wouldn't be hard to go pick up some omega veggie flakes, either way. I'll just do that... having five or six varieties of fish food sounds like a good plan.
A few things here to note. First, bloodworms should not be fed more than once a week, and as a treat; they are not that nutritious, and they do cause some issue, fat I think. Frozen (fresh frozen) are preferable to freeze-dried, but only once a week whichever. If the freeze-dried, soak them thoroughly in tank water before feeding them, as freeze-dried foods eaten immediately will swell up inside the fish and cause problems. Flake food does not do this, nor does pellet, or so I am told. I never feed freeze-dried any longer as I cannot be bothered with the fuss.

A variety of foods may not be necessary if one uses the high quality foods but it cannot hurt, and most will agree the variety is better for the fish. Not all fish foods are as nutritious or healthy as others, due to additives, fillers, preservatives, and fish do often seem to have preferences. I use Omega One because they do not have any of these nasty things. New Life Spectrum is another good brand and I use their basic flake. There is another, or two, that I cannot remember the names and I don't use them anyway. I also feed Nutrafin's tablets once a week (they do have some of that meal filler) as they contain chopped earthworm and the cories and loaches really go for these. Also Nutrafin's Bug Bites which allegedly is whole tiny bugs, though there is some filler in these. But only once a week, so the dried foods fed four times a week are frankly the best you can get.

On the vegetarian fish/foods, yes, you should be using a food like the Omega One Veggie Flakes (or Veggie Rounds for substrate fish). These foods have all the needed nutrient vitamins/minerals/etc and no whole vegetable or I suspect combination of veggies can provide this. Basic foods fed most often should be prepared foods for this reason, unless you are able to provide complete nutrition with natural live foods that are required by the species of fish. Think of vegetable matter (blanched spinach, squashes, etc) as "treats" but never staples.

The late Jack Wattley probably knew more about discus than anyone, and he frequently wrote in his monthly TFH column that the best foods for discus were prepared foods because the good brands are as wholesome and nutritious as you can get, and as good as any preparation you could come up with. He raised hundreds of award-winning discus for many years.

Buy smaller cans of prepared foods because once opened they obviously can deteriorate and lose some of the nutritive value over time. I now freeze these foods; I open the new container and take out a bit into my older container, maybe enough for a couple months, and stick the new container in the freezer. Then when I use up what I took out, I take out some more. I learned that on this forum, from AbbeysDad I think, but whomever it was, it is good advice. I often buy the large size as you save a lot can to can over the smaller, and freezing preserves the dried foods.
 

Fishmanic

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You should enter that tank in our tank of the month contest. Next TOTM starts around August 1st.
 
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Featheryfish

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A few things here to note. First, bloodworms should not be fed more than once a week, and as a treat; they are not that nutritious, and they do cause some issue, fat I think. Frozen (fresh frozen) are preferable to freeze-dried, but only once a week whichever. If the freeze-dried, soak them thoroughly in tank water before feeding them, as freeze-dried foods eaten immediately will swell up inside the fish and cause problems. Flake food does not do this, nor does pellet, or so I am told. I never feed freeze-dried any longer as I cannot be bothered with the fuss.

A variety of foods may not be necessary if one uses the high quality foods but it cannot hurt, and most will agree the variety is better for the fish. Not all fish foods are as nutritious or healthy as others, due to additives, fillers, preservatives, and fish do often seem to have preferences. I use Omega One because they do not have any of these nasty things. New Life Spectrum is another good brand and I use their basic flake. There is another, or two, that I cannot remember the names and I don't use them anyway. I also feed Nutrafin's tablets once a week (they do have some of that meal filler) as they contain chopped earthworm and the cories and loaches really go for these. Also Nutrafin's Bug Bites which allegedly is whole tiny bugs, though there is some filler in these. But only once a week, so the dried foods fed four times a week are frankly the best you can get.

On the vegetarian fish/foods, yes, you should be using a food like the Omega One Veggie Flakes (or Veggie Rounds for substrate fish). These foods have all the needed nutrient vitamins/minerals/etc and no whole vegetable or I suspect combination of veggies can provide this. Basic foods fed most often should be prepared foods for this reason, unless you are able to provide complete nutrition with natural live foods that are required by the species of fish. Think of vegetable matter (blanched spinach, squashes, etc) as "treats" but never staples.

The late Jack Wattley probably knew more about discus than anyone, and he frequently wrote in his monthly TFH column that the best foods for discus were prepared foods because the good brands are as wholesome and nutritious as you can get, and as good as any preparation you could come up with. He raised hundreds of award-winning discus for many years.

Buy smaller cans of prepared foods because once opened they obviously can deteriorate and lose some of the nutritive value over time. I now freeze these foods; I open the new container and take out a bit into my older container, maybe enough for a couple months, and stick the new container in the freezer. Then when I use up what I took out, I take out some more. I learned that on this forum, from AbbeysDad I think, but whomever it was, it is good advice. I often buy the large size as you save a lot can to can over the smaller, and freezing preserves the dried foods.
I got the blood worms primarily to tempt the glass catfish out from under the driftwood. Only a pinch at a time, but I didn't know about soaking 'em, so I'll make sure to do that - I don't want any bursting fish! You'd think the can would mention that, but no. I did buy small cans - the fish arrived with some absolutely huge cans of food, like gallon tins, but I didn't think that could possibly be fresh, so I threw those out. Yuck.

Looks like Bernie has settled the matter anyway, I just gave him a piece of zucchini and instead of nibbling it, he flared up and did battle with it. :flex: Veggie flakes it is. I like for all my animals to have the best diets I can give them; it really pays off in the long run with cats, dogs and birds, so I'm sure fish are no different. Thanks for helping me figure out what to get. I was so focused on emergency cycling for a couple weeks there that I hadn't got around to researching food.

Now, if only I could get my box turtle to eat something that isn't covered in peanut butter, we'd be golden... :lol:
 

TwoTankAmin

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Just because I am a bit of a nut about the science in tanks, a nitrate test does not actually test nitrate, What it does is turn nitrate into nitrite and then it reads that. For this reason, as noted above, any nitrite that might be present during a nitrate test will then get counted as nitrate.
 
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