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Old 11-16-2011, 03:02 AM  
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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 12-13-2011, 08:21 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by The Bunk View Post
I made my frist major mistake in reef tanks a few weeks ago, and became the poster boy for QT tanks. I bought a fish that had ich (unbeknownst to me) and put him directly in my tank. Within two weeks all but two fish in my tank were dead. I'm fighting an uphill battle to save the last two I'm afraid. I won't be buying another fish until I get my QT tank setup.
What kind of tank do you have? If you don't have quarantine available, Kordon Herbal Ich Attack is a very good product. No copper (actually contains Napthoquinones) and safe for all invertebrates. It's worked will for me in the rare case a new fish brings in Ich.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:22 AM   #167
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What kind of tank do you have? If you don't have quarantine available, Kordon Herbal Ich Attack is a very good product. No copper (actually contains Napthoquinones) and safe for all invertebrates. It's worked will for me in the rare case a new fish brings in Ich.
Salt, 120 DT, 140 gallon sump.

Never heard of that before, but I'll look into it. I bought a garlic based product from marinedepot, who's name escapes me at the moment. I tried my first dose of it last night, so we'll see if it actually does any good.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:23 AM   #168
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Fish are a bigger pain in the ass than I anticipated.

I've been changing out a couple of gallons a week and vacuuming the bottom. I'm using the conditioning drops before putting in the new water. No fish have died in the making of this video, however 1 snail apparently did.

So...there has been a clear "slime" dispersed in the water that has plugged the intake of the filter twice. WTF is it and how do I kill it?
Can you take a pic? Generally a "slime" would be algae, it's most likely not clear if you look at it closely. But it could also be a bacterial bloom or fungus.

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I'm starting to hate the plecco. He may find himself on a flathead hook in the spring.
Yeah, I've never been a fan.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:23 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by The Bunk View Post
Salt, 120 DT, 140 gallon sump.

Never heard of that before, but I'll look into it. I bought a garlic based product from marinedepot, who's name escapes me at the moment. I tried my first dose of it last night, so we'll see if it actually does any good.
Garlic is a good curative and appetite enhancer but it won't kill Ich. That being said, the Naptho smells like onions or garlic, so you might be on to something.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:29 AM   #170
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FYI on cycling your tank:

DO NOT use AMMO-LOCK or any other "ammonia neutralizer" when cycling your tank. It actually does more harm than good. It binds ammonia in a non-toxic form, so your fish won't die, but the molecule is not digestible by nitrifying bacteria, so they STARVE. Ultimately, your tank will never cycle or you'll have ammonia problems off and on for the life of the tank.

Not only that but the natural processes that occur in a fish tank can lower pH over time and at some point, the acidity will break the bonds and release all of that ammonia into your tank at ONCE - instantaneous fish kill.

One thing I strongly recommend is a reagent-based ammonia test. It can test for both bound and un-bound ammonia. This is important because while only the former can kill your fish, the presence of EITHER suggests your tank is not fully-cycled.

I also strongly recommend using only Seachem Prime as a dechlorinator/ammonia detoxifier. It detoxifies ammonia in a way that won't interrupt the cycling process.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:36 AM   #171
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:36 AM   #172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bunk View Post
I made my frist major mistake in reef tanks a few weeks ago, and became the poster boy for QT tanks. I bought a fish that had ich (unbeknownst to me) and put him directly in my tank. Within two weeks all but two fish in my tank were dead. I'm fighting an uphill battle to save the last two I'm afraid. I won't be buying another fish until I get my QT tank setup.
I've never run a QT tank, though I probably should.

The problem is that marine ich is something of an ornery little shit. Wild-caught fish all have it and virtually any distributor is going to run a mass filtration system that will pass it around as well. Freshwater ich is a different creature entirely; it's much more rare. Marine, on the other hand, is virtually everywhere and extremely difficult to ever completely eradicate, especially once it is introduced to your system.

There are 2 theories here w/ marine ich - the first is that leaving your tank fallow for about 3 months will essentially starve the ich out. What you see when you see ich is actually the little cysts that form as it 'hatches'. What emerges falls into your substrate, rocks, etc... and then attaches to the fish. Rinse/repeat, so long as there are fish in the tank. By going fallow (without fish; inverts like corals and a cleanup crew would still be fine), you leave them nothing to attach to. You have to stay fallow for a long time to ensure that you don't have any stragglers that have stayed dormant for the whole period.

I tried going fallow; ran the tank empty for 6 weeks and the first two fish in introduced were baby clowns that were bred by a local breeder. Within a week, they showed spots. I gave up. Oh, and all of the fish I removed from the tank to go fallow with it died in quarantine due to the stress of the small tank.

A QT tank has to be barren to avoid the ich having anywhere to breed. Further, you want it to induce a little stress in order to start that ich lifecycle in your QT in order to fully eradicate them. That said; I still don't trust it unless you're willing to do a 6-week QT, and even then, the malachite green and copper and formaline and all that stuff can start to have a negative impact on fish as well. Hypo-salinity (really low salt levels) is the safest option, but it's actually quite difficult to do well and can also be hard on the fish.

Oh...and I'm sure (I hope) that you know that virtually any treatment for ich cannot go into your reef. All of that stuff will kill your inverts, generally including your corals. It will get into your live-rock and never really cycle out. Worse still, it will get into your seals and run the risk of making that tank 'radioactive' in the future.

Theory 2: Nutrition and stability. Most folks now believe that if you go about 6 months without introducing 'new' ich to the system, it will essentially inbreed itself out of useful existence in your tank. I've only gone a prolonged period of time without adding anything once, and there seemed to be some merit to that as nothing showed spots ever, regardless of stress. Others will suggest that fish can develop something of an underlying immunity to it if they've had it; I don't buy that one. I simply believe they get more comfortable in their surroundings and they fight it off without it becoming visible.

What I do to address ich is simply feed a lot, feed quality food and dip it in garlic and Selcon. Additionally, try to increase your water movement to ease the strain on their gills as Ich will first attack their respiratory system (it's why you see really sick fish hang out up high and around the returns). By moving the water more, you introduce more oxygen to it and its easier for them to breathe even if their gills aren't at 100%. I've heard of people doing really well by adding a live-well aerator to get more oxygen in the water.

The Selcon is actually far more important than the garlic. As has been noted, garlic just increases appetite. The useful enzyme in garlic for health purposes has long since broken down by the time it gets to your house, let alone your tank. The Selcon, however, adds a lot of acids and fats that are very healthy for your fish (if you have tangs, get it to prevent lateral line erosion).

Water changes are also a big deal. People forget that the salt is more than just salt; it has a bunch of minerals and stuff in it that are pretty helpful for having healthy fish.

By keeping the fish healthy, fed and happy, you can fight them through that 'cyst' period. The cysts will hatch and fall into the substrate and your fish will look better briefly. They will be healthy and less stressed due to the feeding and water changes and they'll be able fight off secondary infections and have an immune system that can fight off the ich when it re-emerges and tries to attach again.

It's simply a matter of fighting through it, IMO. Keep 'em healthy and fed and you'll find that most marine fish are adapted to fight off ich. Some are pretty lousy about it (my hippo seems to always have it but that thing eats like a pig so it pulls through easily), some never get it (haven't seen a spot on those baby clowns in 18 months now; I think adding the anemone has them pretty relaxed so they never show it).

But there's really no reason for ich to be a tank-killer and more often than not, the 'cure' is worse than the disease. Try to set up the QT if you want, but I've never had the patience for them. More than anything, I think they're great for getting fish to start eating before introduction into a display, but they're of limited utility when it comes to actually keeping ich out. (Marine velvet and other more nasty boogeymen, on the other hand, it will keep out).
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:47 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by DJ's left nut View Post
I've never run a QT tank, though I probably should.
Same here.

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Originally Posted by DJ's left nut View Post
The problem is that marine ich is something of an ornery little shit. Wild-caught fish all have it and virtually any distributor is going to run a mass filtration system that will pass it around as well. Freshwater ich is a different creature entirely; it's much more rare.
Actually FW ich isn't all that rare. It's just easier to control. I don't know about marine ich, but with FW ich, if you see it on the outside of your fish, you've already lost an important battle. Ich establishes in the gills so your fish will be very sick before you ever see the actual spots. Fish hovering at the surface, appearing to "gasp" for air, is a sign of ich.

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Oh...and I'm sure (I hope) that you know that virtually any treatment for ich cannot go into your reef. All of that stuff will kill your inverts, generally including your corals. It will get into your live-rock and never really cycle out. Worse still, it will get into your seals and run the risk of making that tank 'radioactive' in the future.
It's because most of them contain Copper, which is highly toxic in even moderate concentrations. It's very, very difficult to get rid of but it's not impossible. In a marine tank with lots of inverts and corals though, it can absolutely create a situation where the tank is toxic forever. I really suggest trying Kordon's Herbal Ich Attack. Great product with no copper.

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Water changes are also a big deal. People forget that the salt is more than just salt; it has a bunch of minerals and stuff in it that are pretty helpful for having healthy fish.
This is absolutely true for FW tanks as well. Even low pH Amazon-style tanks need proper mineralization.
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:02 AM   #174
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I've used Ich attack - meh.

For 150 gallons, that !@#$ gets expensive in a hurry. It makes your tank smell like crap and I'm not sure it does anything more than just feeding them does.

An interesting bit of info re: Copper - as bad as that crap is, you'll find trace of it in a lot of 'essential elements' style water additives. It's more common than we think.

Oh, and in a QT, never EVER use prime, stress coat or any of that stuff. Chelated copper can essentially be 'transformed' into a super-toxic form of copper through those de-chorinators and ammonia reducers. You essentially spin offer copper ions and you end up with some nasty stuff.

If you're going to run a QT, you just need to be prepared to do a daily small water change in it to reduce ammonia levels. You can't built up nitrifying bacteria in it because you don't want the media in there for the ich to take refuge in. Some people will keep a sponge in their sump to build up the bacteria, then introduce it to the QT when they put a fish in there, but I think I'd prefer go bare-bottom with it. You also don't want to use prime because of its impact on the copper medications.

QTs are a bit of a pain in the ass.
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:11 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by DJ's left nut View Post
I've used Ich attack - meh.
Really? I've used it for both Ich and FW Velvet and it works great. Just as good as copper without the side effects.

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For 150 gallons, that !@#$ gets expensive in a hurry.
The same can be said for almost any medication, fertilizer, or tank additive. It can be an expensive hobby, especially for someone who doesn't know any better (I've been through it myself).

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Originally Posted by DJ's left nut View Post
An interesting bit of info re: Copper - as bad as that crap is, you'll find trace of it in a lot of 'essential elements' style water additives. It's more common than we think.
Even more interesting is that invertebrates like shrimp NEED copper for proper function of the blood and circulatory system. It really isn't different than iron, which is also toxic in high concentrations.

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Oh, and in a QT, never EVER use prime, stress coat or any of that stuff. Chelated copper can essentially be 'transformed' into a super-toxic form of copper through those de-chorinators and ammonia reducers. You essentially spin offer copper ions and you end up with some nasty stuff.
That is true. The better solution is just to not use copper.

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Originally Posted by DJ's left nut View Post
If you're going to run a QT, you just need to be prepared to do a daily small water change in it to reduce ammonia levels. You can't built up nitrifying bacteria in it because you don't want the media in there for the ich to take refuge in. Some people will keep a sponge in their sump to build up the bacteria, then introduce it to the QT when they put a fish in there, but I think I'd prefer go bare-bottom with it. You also don't want to use prime because of its impact on the copper medications.
I find that bringing over nitrifying bacteria is often completely wasted effort because the use of quarantine tank is most often necessary when using antibiotics to treat things like Aeromonas or dropsy. Those antibiotics will kill all of your nitrifying bacteria (the reason you need a QT in the first place) so bringing over bio media is a waste of time.

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QTs are a bit of a pain in the ass.
They are.
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:56 AM   #176
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Really? I've used it for both Ich and FW Velvet and it works great. Just as good as copper without the side effects.
The fact is that it still can't kill ich. Ich Attack can essentially nurse your fish through an infection, but anything that 'kills' ich is going to wipe out a reef.

So all you're doing is taking something like my selcon/garlic soak (plus the elements added by water changes), dilluting it in water, adding some phosphate to it and then dumping it directly into your tank as opposed to having them ingest it.

It just seems like surgery with a shotgun to me.
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:35 AM   #177
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Plants don't absorb ammonia. Plants absorb nitrates. The bacteria you need convert ammonia to nitrates.
And are you sure about plants not absorbing ammonia? Everything I've read says they can absorb both ammonia and nitrates.

http://thegab.org/Plants/setting-up-...nted-tank.html

http://www.rexgrigg.com/cycle.htm
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:36 AM   #178
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I'm quite impressed w/ the responses on here! And here I thought I was the only fish nerd.

Silock, any of the cycling methods the others suggested will work. But honestly, no matter what method you choose, seriously consider doing it the humane way w/o the use of fishes... trust me! We thought that our tank was cycled, (false reading from the test strips), and added a few fishes. Next thing we knew they began jumping out of the tank. From that point on, I never put my trust in the test strips and bought the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. It's a lot more work, but is way more accurate.

In regards to a QT... I have a spare 10g that I use and it's fairly easy to set-up. I have a small HOB filter on my 55g that I move to that tank and add my extra heater. Then, when I'm done w/ the treatment, I sanitize all of the equipment thoroughly and toss out the filter media.

The last time I used the 10g, I was treating 2 of my fishes that had Columnaris. I used MaracynII and my bacteria was still intact. I think as long as you use meds that don't alter your cycle, you will be fine. Otherwise, it's a waste to move filter media over if the meds are going to mess w/ your bacteria. I also use Prime when adding new water, (to my main tanks, and my QT).

Rid Ich worked really well when I had my Ich outbreaks, (luckily I've only had 3... thanks to not using a QT when I got new fishes). I think as long as you catch Ich in the early stages, (when the fishes are flashing against objects), it works better. Otherwise, like someone else mentioned, when you notice any visual proof that your fishes have Ich, (white "salty" substance), you're pretty much hosed.
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:36 AM   #179
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Actually the cycle won't START without ammonia (fish waste), so you need fish to even start the cycle.
Lots of sites recommend using straight ammonia and just letting the tank fishless cycle itself.
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:48 AM   #180
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And are you sure about plants not absorbing ammonia? Everything I've read says they can absorb both ammonia and nitrates.

http://thegab.org/Plants/setting-up-...nted-tank.html

http://www.rexgrigg.com/cycle.htm
I've only known about plants reducing Nitrates, not Ammonia. In fact, that's the main reason why I went w/ a planted tank. Thanks to someone at the pet store telling me that I only needed to do a water change once a month, my Nitrates reached a whopping 160ppm! How my fishes didn't croak is beyond me!

But since then, I have been maintaining a strict 50% water change once a week and my Nitrates stay around 40ppm. The plants have helped quite a bit in maintaining the level, but IME, they are not lowering the Nitrate level like I had hoped. In short, I wouldn't put too much faith in live plants helping w/ your cycle.
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This is a test for a client's site.
A new website that shows member-created construction site listings that need fill or have excess fill. Dirt Monkey @ https://DirtMonkey.net
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