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Old 11-16-2011, 03:02 AM  
Silock Silock is offline
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Any fishkeepers here? Saltwater or freshwater

I'm looking at starting up a saltwater tank. Is there a good fish store in the KC area without driving out to Lawrence?
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:45 AM   #76
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To give you an idea for plants you can start out w/, here's a list of the ones I have in my tank...

Amazon Sword (Echinodorus amazonicus)
Anacharis (Egeria densa)
Cabomba-Purple (Cabomba caroliniana)
Congensis (Anubias congensis)
Crested Java Fern (Microsorium pteropus "Windelov")
Melon Sword (Echinodorus osiris)
Petite Nana (Anubias barteri 'Petite')
Wendtii Green (Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Green')
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:47 AM   #77
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I'm trying to decide if DJ's or Lumpy knows more on the subject at hand... it's a face off!
DJ definitely knows his shit! I think he has me beat though... I know absolutely nothing about Cichlids.
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I had a dream about Peyton Manning and pig fishing last night. I don't know what it means, but I blame you assholes!
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:39 AM   #78
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So, I've been perusing Craigslist. Seems like there are a ton of deals on 100+ gal tanks.

I want to do freshwater, though. I want Dwarf Hairgrass to cover the bottom. I love the way it looks when it's all over. So lush and green.

And then I'm going to just put a bunch of schools of peaceful, non-aggressive fish in there, like Neon Tetras, mollies, danios, killfish, a betta, discus, fancy guppies, gouramis, and swordtails. I've had cichlids before in the same tank with barbs, and they did okay. So, with such a large tank, I might be able to get away with one or two, but if I do, they'll come dead last.

What kind of filtration system should I go with? And heater? I've been reading that I should probably stay away from an undergravel filter because of the size of the tank.

Does that sound like a good plan?
Having live plants in your tank is much more difficult than it sounds. The conditions have to be very good, and many fish like to unroot the plants. But once you establish it in your tank, it really helps to maintain the bio aspect. It's certainly doable. But just expect some growing pains in getting it established.

Betas don't play with others very well at all.

Discus are one of the most difficult freshwater fish to keep. They're very sensitive to water quality, and usually require weekly water changes at the least. Plus they're pretty expensive, and they usually recommend having quite a few in the tank as they don't do well by themselves. I've had several friends try Discus, and they always ended up losing money and killing them. But damn they sure are beautiful fish.

No offense, but I don't really like your proposed mix of fish. They're all boring starter fish you'd find at any Petsmart. None of them will get very big, and few of them will have any "personality" that you'd see in bigger fish. They're dumb colony fish.

I think a cichlid tank is definitely the way to go. You can have a huge degree of variety that way. And it's really not as hard as you'd think to have a bunch of different cichlids in the tank without having an aggressive atmosphere. There's infinite different species of non aggressive cichlids that would look much better than your normal tetras, mollies, etc. I have a variety of different cichlids in my tank, and I have no aggression or fighting at all. I've got a large Jack Dempsey(6"), a large green severum, 2 African cichlids, a parrotfish, 2 Peacock cichlids, 2 plecos, and a couple Cory cats(hilarious little guys). And it's a very peaceful tank. All the fish have beautiful fins and rarely even chase each other in the tank. Don't be scared off by cichlids...

Take a look at some of the varieties of cichlids here: http://www.livefishdirect.com/store.php?cid=32

I have a friend who recently setup a tank with lots of Lake Malawi Mbuna cichlids, and man is it an impressive tank! Very colorful and unique fish.

Lumpy nailed the filter info.

Whatever you choose, let us know how it goes...
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:55 AM   #79
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Good info, KC Fish! You know your shit too!

However, It sounds like Silock wants to go w/ a planted tank. Aren't Cichlids a big no-no w/ plants?

In regards to this... "They're all boring starter fish you'd find at any Petsmart. None of them will get very big, and few of them will have any "personality" that you'd see in bigger fish. They're dumb colony fish."

That's not entirely true. For instance, he could get a few Clown Loaches, (they grow to 12" and do best in groups of 3+), and they are full of personality and beauty. Once I rehome my Common Pleco, I plan on getting 2 more CL's. Here's a pic of mine...
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I had a dream about Peyton Manning and pig fishing last night. I don't know what it means, but I blame you assholes!

Last edited by Lumpy; 04-17-2012 at 11:53 AM..
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:10 AM   #80
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For freshwater, I think cichlids are definitely the way to go, but I have always been partial to saltwater, fish with live rock or reef. You have to decide if you want a reef or want some exotic non-reef-safe fish, or even a predator tank (Lionfish, stonefish, etc?). I like the look of a reef tank, so I went with a full SPS/LPS/Soft coral setup.

It's all been said, but I will back up what DJ said about saltwater. I've been into reefkeeping for a few years and it's not harder than freshwater, but it is expensive to get started. The key is to look for someone who is 'tearing down" their tank on CL so you can get all the right equipment.

Just a few key points for the starting marine aquarist:

1. Rule #1 of saltwater is that good things happen slowly, and bad things happen quickly. You will hear this over and over, but it is true. More on this later.

2. Start out with a minimum 55 gallon tank, but larger is better. As DJ mentioned, small saltwater tanks are much harder to maintain. Why? The water parameters for reefkeeping or saltwater change much too quickly in a small tank. Unless you are testing your water every 2 days, you might not catch a problem until your tank is wiped. Water volume is your friend. Get a tank that is either drilled or has a built - in overflow. Hang-on-back overflows with a siphon can work well for years, but it's only a question of when they are going to fail and flood your carpet, not if.

3. When buying equipment, get a good skimmer, and use live rock and live sand. Find used, cured live rock from CL if you can, just be sure it is pest free. Don't skimp on the skimmer. I can write pages on pests endemic to live rock, but in a nutshell - ask the guy/girl if they've ever had problems with aiptasia. If so, don't do it! Go for 1 to 1.5 pounds of LR per gallon of water volume.

4. Use a sump and if you have room, a refugium with chaeto. If you need some, it is shippable and cheap.

5. Lighting - I prioritize skimming over lighting if I have to choose where to upgrade, but that's because there are so many good options with lighting. The best advice is to see a tank with metal halides, T5s, and LEDs, and decide what look you like best. I'm a metal halide guy myself, but I like the shimmer and I am still waiting for LED technology to mature. It's still being debated whether or not LED's can produce the same growth rates and coloration as properly configured T5s or MH.

6. Read up on the process for cycling your first tank. Just be aware that you will most likely spend a month with only water, rocks, and sand in your tank. You can use the salad shrimp technique, or a damsel. I use a couple of damsels, but beware - they are the Oakland Raider fans of the fish world. Once you put other peaceful fish in your tank, the damsels may terrorize them. And the little buggers are VERY hard to catch.

** A rebuttal on the test kits - API kits are ok for freshwater, but for saltwater, you would be well advised to go with Salifert or ELOS. I prefer ELOS. For Ammonia and Nitrite, get the cheaper API kits, because you won't be testing for these too often after your initial tank cycle. After the cycle, you can test for pH, PO4, kH, Mg, Ca with ELOS kits.

I'm getting long-winded, so if PM me if you have any questions about setup, equipment or livestock selection, or tank cycling. I'll be happy to help. My intention when starting the thread reply was to merely make the recommendation that you consider a marine aquarium - the challenge and reward is worth it.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:11 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by KC Fish View Post
I think a cichlid tank is definitely the way to go. You can have a huge degree of variety that way. And it's really not as hard as you'd think to have a bunch of different cichlids in the tank without having an aggressive atmosphere. There's infinite different species of non aggressive cichlids that would look much better than your normal tetras, mollies, etc. I have a variety of different cichlids in my tank, and I have no aggression or fighting at all. I've got a large Jack Dempsey(6"), a large green severum, 2 African cichlids, a parrotfish, 2 Peacock cichlids, 2 plecos, and a couple Cory cats(hilarious little guys). And it's a very peaceful tank. All the fish have beautiful fins and rarely even chase each other in the tank. Don't be scared off by cichlids...
I'm with Fish on this. If you started out wanting a salt tank, I don't see the jump to a planted tank with vanilla fish. You've got a ton of options for a 100G African cichlid setup.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:40 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post
Good info, KC Fish! You know your shit too!

However, It sounds like Silock wants to go w/ a planted tank. Aren't Cichlids a big no-no w/ plants?

In regards to this... "They're all boring starter fish you'd find at any Petsmart. None of them will get very big, and few of them will have any "personality" that you'd see in bigger fish. They're dumb colony fish."

That's not entirely true. For instance, he could get a few Clown Loaches, (they grow to 12" and do best in groups of 3+), and they are full of personality and beauty. Once I rehome my Common Pleco, I plan on getting 2 more CL's. Here's a pic of mine...
I wouldn't say cichlids in general are a no-no for planted tanks. Certain species of cihlids are diggers though, and can uproot plants. But certainly not all. I've never really had a problem with plants being uprooted by my fish. It just depends on what you get.

And I didn't mean to sound harsh in regards to "boring starter fish". I'm just not a big fan of the little "dime-a-dozen" varieties that you find in every Petsmart. I grew bored with that a long time ago. I get much more satisfaction in having wide variety of larger fish of different types. It's more of a challenge I guess.

And I agree that clown loaches are pretty cool. But compare that to cichlid varieties like these:

Ngara Flametail cichlid:


Tropheus Firecracker cichlid:



Sunshine Peacock cichlid(I have one of these):


German Red Peacock cichlid(have one of these too, but not old enough to look this good):


That kind of color and variety is easily possible, and these are all mellow cichlids that would do fine together.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:48 AM   #83
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"Betas don't play with others very well at all."

This is a very good point as they really do best in their own tank. However, that wasn't the case w/ my Betta. I originally had him in a 10g w/ my African Dwarf Frogs, then my light fixture died. I said screw it and moved the Betta and Frogs to my 55g. Surprisingly, the Betta keeps to himself. I think as long as your Betta is submissive, you have a large enough tank w/ plenty of hiding spots, and no other long-flowing fin fishes in there, it can work, (IME anyway).

Bettas are also notorious for fighting other Labyrinth fishes, (those that swim to the surface for air). For instance, a Dwarf Gourami is a Labyrinth fish and is a cousin of the Betta. But, again, I had a DG in w/ my Betta, and they did fine. Unfortunately, I had to cull the DG last month due to an illness.

That's another thing to prepare for... disease. It doesn't matter if you do things "right", illnesses can attack fish, (freshwater or saltwater), at any time. Having a quarantine/hospital tank is a must in this hobby.
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I had a dream about Peyton Manning and pig fishing last night. I don't know what it means, but I blame you assholes!
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:00 AM   #84
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I've lost plenty to disease. Lost a 6 year old severum a few years ago to Popeye disease. That shit is nasty...



Basically the fish's eyes swell up until they eventually explode or the fish dies, or both.

Water quality is usually to blame, but not always. I've heard that often times disease is spread through bad feeder fish you put in the tank.
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:08 AM   #85
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I didn't think you were being that harsh, Fish. There is some truth to your post. Cichlids are beautiful and interesting, (I won't argue that). I think the main focus should be to give Silock info on what he prefers. He said that he's had Cichlids in the past, but then mentioned that he wanted to try a planted Community tank. This is why I'm giving my input on the subject.
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I had a dream about Peyton Manning and pig fishing last night. I don't know what it means, but I blame you assholes!
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:14 AM   #86
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I've lost plenty to disease. Lost a 6 year old severum a few years ago to Popeye disease. That shit is nasty...

Basically the fish's eyes swell up until they eventually explode or the fish dies, or both.

Water quality is usually to blame, but not always. I've heard that often times disease is spread through bad feeder fish you put in the tank.
That sucks. I've been fortunate and never had to deal w/ Popeye. I've had to deal w/ Ich, Columnaris, Swim Bladder Disease, Bent Spine, and Neon Tetra Disease though and what a pain in the ass! My water quality is pristine too, so I agree that there could be other factors that play into why fish get diseases.
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I had a dream about Peyton Manning and pig fishing last night. I don't know what it means, but I blame you assholes!
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:06 PM   #87
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That sucks. I've been fortunate and never had to deal w/ Popeye. I've had to deal w/ Ich, Columnaris, Swim Bladder Disease, Bent Spine, and Neon Tetra Disease though and what a pain in the ass! My water quality is pristine too, so I agree that there could be other factors that play into why fish get diseases.
Popeye is EXTREMELY easy to treat. The best thing you can do is aid medication absorbtion and protect the underlying tissue by swabbing it with Methylene Blue.

The biggest factor that plays into fish susceptibility to disease, IMO, is their origin. Neon tetras have a high mortality rate because they're genetically "watered-down". Some fish, like otocinclus catfish, are fragile because their wild-caught and the methods used are often very traumatic for the fish.

EDIT: I've had virtually ZERO opportunistic infections (Columnaris, Saprolegnia fungus, etc.) since installing a quality UV sterilizer.

FYI, male bettas make GREAT tankmates for community fish. You just can't keep them with fish that are notorious fin-nippers because they'll get abused and you, obviously, can't keep them with other male bettas.

Last edited by htismaqe; 11-18-2011 at 12:10 PM.. Reason: added info
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:54 PM   #88
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:12 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by htismaqe View Post
Popeye is EXTREMELY easy to treat. The best thing you can do is aid medication absorbtion and protect the underlying tissue by swabbing it with Methylene Blue.

The biggest factor that plays into fish susceptibility to disease, IMO, is their origin. Neon tetras have a high mortality rate because they're genetically "watered-down". Some fish, like otocinclus catfish, are fragile because their wild-caught and the methods used are often very traumatic for the fish.

EDIT: I've had virtually ZERO opportunistic infections (Columnaris, Saprolegnia fungus, etc.) since installing a quality UV sterilizer.

FYI, male bettas make GREAT tankmates for community fish. You just can't keep them with fish that are notorious fin-nippers because they'll get abused and you, obviously, can't keep them with other male bettas.
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:16 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by htismaqe View Post
Popeye is EXTREMELY easy to treat. The best thing you can do is aid medication absorbtion and protect the underlying tissue by swabbing it with Methylene Blue.

The biggest factor that plays into fish susceptibility to disease, IMO, is their origin. Neon tetras have a high mortality rate because they're genetically "watered-down". Some fish, like otocinclus catfish, are fragile because their wild-caught and the methods used are often very traumatic for the fish.

EDIT: I've had virtually ZERO opportunistic infections (Columnaris, Saprolegnia fungus, etc.) since installing a quality UV sterilizer.

FYI, male bettas make GREAT tankmates for community fish. You just can't keep them with fish that are notorious fin-nippers because they'll get abused and you, obviously, can't keep them with other male bettas.
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