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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - Simplifying fishkeeping!
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Simplifying fishkeeping!
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hayath_dyno
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:16 pm Post subject: Simplifying fishkeeping! Reply with quote

 Simplifying  fishkeeping!
 That's  been  the  mantra  ever  since  I've  decided  to  resurrect  the  fishy  passion  of  mine.  Looking  at  ways  to  reduce  the  amount  of  time  the  "chores"  take.
 Listed  them  down  in  descending  order:
 1.  Water  changes
 2.  Filter  cleanups
 3.  Gravel  vacuum
 
 Devising  some  DIY  tools  to  help  out,  will  post  results/schematics  soon  Wink  
 
 What  would  be  your  list  of  chores  to  automate/reduce  time  spent  on?
 
 EDIT  :  Resurrecting  the  hobby!  A  post  on  the  recent  past  and  not  so  distant  future  Smile
 http://iridealone.blogspot.in/2015/01/resurrecting-fishy-hobby.html
 
 Detailed  schematics  on  simplifying  water  changes,  gravel  vacuum,  hydroponics  listed
 
 Cheers!
 Hayath


Last edited by hayath_dyno on Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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shyamhegde
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:18 pm Post subject: Re: Simplifying fishkeeping! Reply with quote

 Nice.  will  be  really  interesting  projects  to  know  more  about.
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Hamza
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:57 am Post subject: Re: Simplifying fishkeeping! Reply with quote

 Interesting,  looking  forward  to  hear  from  you.  
 
 BTW..Few  things  I  have  been  doing  for  a  couple  of  months  now.
 Best  among  them  is  use  of  floating  plants(in  non-planted  tanks),  they  are  so  good  at  sucking  the  N  and  P  build  up.  I  have  been  able  to  minimize  water  changes  to  a  great  deal.
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surya_niki
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:23 pm Post subject: Re: Simplifying fishkeeping! Reply with quote

 Good  quality  food,  Floating  plants  and  Excess  filtration  both  mechanical  and  biological  i.e  sponge  filter,  canister,  internal,  top  etc.  I'm  obsessed  with  filters  chocking  and  coming  home  to  dead/sick  fish
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netherwinterknights
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:50 pm Post subject: Re: Simplifying fishkeeping! Reply with quote

 This  thread  was  about  to  be  relegated,  and  I  wanted  to  know  what  more  ideas  Hayath  has.
 
 I  believe  that  the  first  part  of  simplifying  fish-keeping  is  to  know  what  hardware  is  required  before  actually  getting  any  livestock,  and  after  getting  livestock,  what  is  required  to  keep  the  fish  happy.
 
 I  personally  ensured  the  availability  of  the  following  items  before  I  had  any  water  in  the  tank:
 >>  A  good  table  /  stand  for  the  tank,
 >>  Location  in  the  room,  considering  vastu  and  availability  of  electrical  outlets,
 >>  A  good  quality  filter  decided  after  due  research,
 >>  A  quality  air  pump,
 >>  A  way  to  clean  the  gravel,  i.e.  a  gravel  siphon,  of  which  I  purchased  the  battery  powered  one,
 >>  A  light  for  lighting  up  the  tank  (this  is  seldom  used,  since  the  tank  get  diffused  sunlight,  and  also,  the  danios  and  plecos  get  pissed  off  if  I  turn  on  the  light.  So  its  used  only  during  PWCs  and  gravel  cleanup)
 >>  Medicines,  namely  Rid-All  blue  (methylene  blue).  This  is  for  the  quarantine  phase  of  the  new  fish,  if  you  plan  on  adding  differently  sourced  fish  in  phases.
 >>  Fish  Food,  I  mainly  advocate  using  3-4  different  types  and  brands,  so  that  the  fish  get  a  variety  of  food,  and  if  one  particular  type  of  food  causes  problems,  you  have  a  fallback  solution.  Good  fish  food  is  what  most  newbies  do  not  consider.
 
 All  this  cost  me  about  5xxx  bucks.  That  is  the  budget  you  need  to  start  with.  I  have  seen  friends  get  a  tank,  fill  water,  add  fish,  and  then  get  sad  when  the  fish  start  dying.  A  basic  understanding  of  the  water  chemistry  and  the  nitrogen  cycle,  inside  an  aquarium  is  a  MUST  is  you  want  to  keep  happy  fish.
 
 After  setting  up  everything,  I  added  water,  and  started  cycling  the  tank.  I  failed  miserably  3  times,  but  got  some  good  experience  on  how  to  detect  and  manage  ammonia  spikes.  This  experience  proved  to  be  useful  after  adding  the  fish.
 The  cycle  failed  because  I  had  no  power  backup,  and  we  used  to  have  frequent  power  cuts.  My  inverter  battery  had  conked  off,  and  I  had  to  replace  that.  The  HOB  filter  I  had,  needed  to  be  primed  every  time  the  power  went  out,  so  that  was  another  cause  of  the  cycle  failing,  since  the  power  used  to  return  only  after  2-3  hours.
 
 So,  power  backup,  if  you  do  not  live  in  metropolitan  areas  is  also  a  must.
 
 Planning  to  add  more  tips  on  keeping  fish  happy  after  they  become  a  part  of  your  family.
 Please  leave  feedback  if  I  have  missed  out  something.
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kaushik_thebirdman
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:28 pm Post subject: Re: Simplifying fishkeeping! Reply with quote

 I  would  not  mind  timer  switches  for  the  equipment  (lights,  pumps  etc).
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:38 pm Post subject: Re: Simplifying fishkeeping! Reply with quote

 Thanks  gang!
 
 Hamza,  Surya  -  we're  all  thinking  on  the  same  lines  Smile  
 NWK  -  those  are  some  great  pointers!
 
 Note  -  will  be  adding  the  blog  link  with  some  details  on  how  I  went  about  trying  to  reduce  the  amount  of  time  taken  for  the  listed  items  to  the  Original  post
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abhis9
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:08 pm Post subject: Re: Simplifying fishkeeping! Reply with quote

 Another  good  thread.
 
 My  weekly  routine  :
 
 1.  100%  Water  changes  once  in  a  week.
 2.  Filter  cleanups  while  doing  wc.
 3.  Clean  up  the  glasses  as  well  as  rocks(in  planted  tanks)
 4.  Trim  the  plants  if  needed.
 5,  Check  the  heater,  pump  are  working  properly  or  not.
 6.  Check  the  CO2  cylinder  if  enough  gas  is  there  or  not.
 
 The  only  thing  is  Gravel  vacuum  which  generally  not  doing  much.
 
 Can  you  put  more  light  on  this  !!
 
 Above  activity  is  for  my  3  Discus  tank,  3  planted  tank  and  one  Indian  Native  tank.
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netherwinterknights
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:43 pm Post subject: Re: Simplifying fishkeeping! Reply with quote

                                                   
abhis9  wrote  (View  Post):                
Another  good  thread.
 The  only  thing  is  Gravel  vacuum  which  generally  not  doing  much.
 
 Can  you  put  more  light  on  this  !!
                 

 
 A  gravel  vacuum  is  required  to  properly  clean  the  fish  tank's  gravel.
 Uneaten  food  and  fish  poo  settle  down  in  the  gravel,  and  cause  a  heck  of  bio  hazard  for  the  fish.  To  clean  the  gravel  there  are  2  types  of  approaches.
 
 If  you  have  only  one  big  fish  in  the  tank,  then  you  remove  some  water  in  a  tub,  remove  the  fish  and  place  it  in  a  tub,  then  clean  the  gravel  after  removing  it  from  the  tank.
 
 A  lesser  invasive  approach,  which  is  used  when  your  fish  are  numerous  and  teeny  tiny  like  guppies  and  endlers,  is  to  use  a  gravel  vacuum,  either  a  siphon  based  one  or  a  battery  operated  one.
 
 I  use  a  battery  operated  one,  and  its  awesome.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:30 pm Post subject: Re: Simplifying fishkeeping! Reply with quote

 Hi  netherwinterknights,
 
 Thanks.  I  will  try  this.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:18 pm Post subject: Re: Simplifying fishkeeping! Reply with quote

 You  can  cut  down  on  maintenance  time  by  avoiding  gravel  siphoning.  
 You  don't  need  to  do  it  if  you  don't  use  gravel  Smile  
 
   I'd  suggest  use  fine  sand  as  substrate  instead.  Any  waste  can  only  settle  on  the  sand  surface  instead  of  getting  stuck  among  the  spaces  in  the  gravel.  You  need  good  water  flow  in  the  tank  by  using  power  heads  or  wave  makers  directed  close  to  the  sand  surface.  This  will  prevent  all  waste  from  settling  on  the  bottom  and  it  can  get  washed  into  your  filter  and  thus  be  removed.   
 Having  sand  sifting  fish  like  many  cichlids  will  help  this  too.  Fish  like  loaches  etc  will  help  remove  food/waste  that  get  stuck  in  crevices  around  rocks  or  driftwood  in  the  tank.  
 
 A  bare  bottom  tank  with  good  water  flow  would  work  similarly..
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surya_niki
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:30 pm Post subject: Re: Simplifying fishkeeping! Reply with quote

 My  take  on  the  WC  would  be  differnt.  
 
 Good  fish  keeping  to  enjoy  your  fish  for  long  would  require  you  to  change  water  regularly  (atleast  twice  and  about  20%  and  not  more).
 
 This  will  keep  your  fish  healthy  and  provide  you  with  a  good  work  out  and  who  knows  can  have  the  family  involved  in  the  activity.
 
 Regards,
 Surya
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garothmaan
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:20 am Post subject: Re: Simplifying fishkeeping! Reply with quote

                                                   
doc_siddhu  wrote  (View  Post):                
You  can  cut  down  on  maintenance  time  by  avoiding  gravel  siphoning.  
 You  don't  need  to  do  it  if  you  don't  use  gravel  Smile  
 
   I'd  suggest  use  fine  sand  as  substrate  instead.  Any  waste  can  only  settle  on  the  sand  surface  instead  of  getting  stuck  among  the  spaces  in  the  gravel.  You  need  good  water  flow  in  the  tank  by  using  power  heads  or  wave  makers  directed  close  to  the  sand  surface.  This  will  prevent  all  waste  from  settling  on  the  bottom  and  it  can  get  washed  into  your  filter  and  thus  be  removed.   
 Having  sand  sifting  fish  like  many  cichlids  will  help  this  too.  Fish  like  loaches  etc  will  help  remove  food/waste  that  get  stuck  in  crevices  around  rocks  or  driftwood  in  the  tank.  
 
 A  bare  bottom  tank  with  good  water  flow  would  work  similarly..                

 
 Its  agood  idea  can  I  use  it  in  Goldfish  tank?  any  suggestions
 
 nether  can  you  post  a  picture  of  the  gravel  cleaner?
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 1:33 pm Post subject: Re: Simplifying fishkeeping! Reply with quote

                                                   
doc_siddhu  wrote  (View  Post):                
You  can  cut  down  on  maintenance  time  by  avoiding  gravel  siphoning.  
 You  don't  need  to  do  it  if  you  don't  use  gravel  Smile  
 
   I'd  suggest  use  fine  sand  as  substrate  instead.  Any  waste  can  only  settle  on  the  sand  surface  instead  of  getting  stuck  among  the  spaces  in  the  gravel.  You  need  good  water  flow  in  the  tank  by  using  power  heads  or  wave  makers  directed  close  to  the  sand  surface.  This  will  prevent  all  waste  from  settling  on  the  bottom  and  it  can  get  washed  into  your  filter  and  thus  be  removed.   
 Having  sand  sifting  fish  like  many  cichlids  will  help  this  too.  Fish  like  loaches  etc  will  help  remove  food/waste  that  get  stuck  in  crevices  around  rocks  or  driftwood  in  the  tank.  
 
 A  bare  bottom  tank  with  good  water  flow  would  work  similarly..                

 
 
 Thing  is,  a  continuous  water  flow,  is  good  for  larger  fish  like  4  inches  and  above.  In  that  case  their  food  pellets  and  wafers  are  also  larger  and  can  be  removed  after  they  have  completed  feeding.
 
 If  you  have  small  fish  such  as  Danios,  Guppies,  Bettas  or  Endlers,  then  having  a  continuous  water  current  going  any  which  way,  will  stress  out  the  fish  and  they  will  become  tired  and  then  simply  remain  floating  at  the  top  or  settle  down  somewhere  on  the  gravel  to  rest.  Also,  their  food  is  smaller  in  size,  and  you  also  need  to  crush  the  wafers  (or  standard  pellets)  to  smaller  pieces  so  that  they  can  at  least  eat  something.  This  smaller  food  then  cannot  be  removed  completely,  since  it  will  escape  the  fish  net  that  we  use  to  remove  unwanted  food.  This  crushed  food  will  settle  on  top  of  the  fine  sand  and  will  cause  algae  and  fungal  growth.  Also,  infestation  by  parasites  such  as  planaria  is  a  particular  danger  in  this  scenario.  Also,  if  you  have  a  pleco,  or  a  bottom  dweller,  then  imagine  them  trying  to  burrow  inside  the  sand  every  time,  and  imagine  the  water  quality  issues  you  will  continuously  have.
 
 A  gravel  vacuum  can  clean  gravel,  but  cannot  clean  sand.  The  sand  will  have  to  be  cleaned  out  by  removing  the  fish,  removing  the  sand,  cleaning  it  in  running  water,  and  then  adding  it  back,  waiting  for  it  to  settle  down,  then  adding  fish.  This,  IMHO,  is  a  bigger  hassle  than  just  having  gravel  and  a  gravel  vacuum.
 
 Sand  works  better  if  you  have  a  canister  filter,  since  the  media  is  larger  and  more  in  number.  Imagine  someone  using  an  internal  power  filter  or  an  HOB  with  a  sand  substrate,  and  the  sand  clogs  the  sponge  more  than  any  other  substance.  
 
 Yes,  sand  does  indeed  look  better  than  gravel,  but  its  a  pain  in  the  bottom  to  clean.  Having  sand  as  a  substrate  in  a  non  planted  tank  might  cause  more  issues  than  it  can  fix,  in  certain  cases  (small  fish,  crushed  pellets,  etc).
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garothmaan
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Joined: Jun 11, 2008
Posts: 3506
Location: Mumbai, Bharat (AKA...INDIA)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:47 pm Post subject: Re: Simplifying fishkeeping! Reply with quote

 I  have  white  chips  for  Gold  fish  tank,  as  the  bacteria  circle  establishes,  the  black  dirt  actually  settles  below  the  gravel  and  remains  there.  when  I  disturb  the  gravel  the  whole  smoky  dirt  rises  up.  I  was  preparing  to  keep  and  under  gravel  filter,  so  that  I  can  syphon  the  black  dirt  easily.  Previous  all  tanks  were  on  high  stands,  this  1  is  on  the  floor,  therefore  I  cant  get  enough  suction  while  syphoning,  therefore  I  need  a  pump-Idea  which  can  syphon  the  dirt  below  the  under  gravel  filter.
 
 How  about  that?
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