Archive for March, 2007

Outstanding projects

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

I finally completed the centralised ring system for the supply of air to the individual tanks via Algarde right-angled elbows, air clamps and standard 4mm silicone air piping. I’ve used 22mm Speedfit piping for the main ring system. This was left over from the old fish house. This project has been well over-due, and should have been completed before I moved the tanks into the new fish house, it’s also given me the opputunity to add another 55lph Hailea ACO-308, so the total air on the centralised ring system is approximately 95lph, handy for those 2 foot deep tanks.

I’ve also laid some carpet on the fish house floor, to insulate the fish house a bit more, it’s also more comfortable when lying on the floor to take photographs! I’ve had this carpets months, it was obtained from the York Freecycle Group. Finally installed.

The N.Adoketa are colouring up well, I may have two males, and one female, the two smaller fish, are to small to sex.

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A very special fish – Nannacara adoketa

Friday, March 30th, 2007

I saw these fanastic, stunning, excellent South American Dwarf Cichlids two weeks ago in a local tropical fish shop in York. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the quarantine space to purchase these fish at the time, and was tempted to purchase them, and ask the shop to keep them a few weeks for me. (All fish into the fish house is quarantined, before moving to different holding/breeding/display tanks)

I didn’t purchase them two weeks ago, and I didn’t post a blog entry either, just in case any other readers snapped them up! (crafty eh!). I’ve only ever seen Nannacara anomala, which I had a pair of many years ago, and successfully bred – another lovely South American Dwarf Cichlid, until 12 months ago, when a local fishkeeper, which specialises in Rare South American Cichlids, show me he/she had managed to breed successfully Nannacara adoketa – but he/she wasn’t selling any young, despite how much money I offered! It is possible that these are the young fish sold to a local shop, because I know he/she visits the same shop.

But I did purchase them today. Five Nannacara adoketa in total, three large fish, and two smaller fish. (Well it was payday!)

Nannacara adoketa1
Four Nannacara adoketa photographed from above, in Fintro.

Nannacara adoketa2
Single Nannacara adoketa, poor picture, try and get some better pictures.

I’ll quarantine the fish, feed them up for a few months, and later get a breeding tank ready.

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Misidentified Microrasbora erythromicron

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

In my local pet shop there was a label on a tank which read “New Popular Tetra Microrasbora Galaxy”, and if you’ve not read on the internet or in magazines about the Microrasbora Galaxy in the last six months where have you been. I’m not going to repeat it here, Google for it, but the sad fact is, due to is popularity, it’s been over-fished for the Aquatic trade, and is now possible endangered. In September 2006, it was stated “the next big thing in the aquarium trade”, and I think we are all possible responsible for it’s demise in the wild. Microrasbora sp. Galaxy has been breed in capitivity by Bolton Museum Aquarium ion October 2006, and the advice is, only purchase this fish if you have the facilities to breed it.

In the tank of mislabelled Microrasbora Galaxy were three Microrasbora erythromicron, the shopkeeper told me that two Microrasbora Galaxy (I showed him a picture) had been sold at the weekend by an assistant as Neon Tetras for 65p each!

I’ve got a small tank, so I thought three Microrasbora erythromicron would be a nice addition, I will try and obtain some more, and see if i can breed them.

Both Microrasbora erythromicron and Microrasbora sp. Galaxy originate from Myanmar (New name for Burma). Microrasbora sp. Galaxy has now been classified as Celestichthys margaritatus, also know as The Celestial Pearl Danio. I hope to get some more Microrasbora erythromicron. These are very small fish, and I might need a better macro lens to take a picture of them. I’ll upload pictures when I’ve got them, they look a bit washed out at present.

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False Zebra Plecos

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

I saw a few of my False Zebra Plecos this evening at feeding time, when feeding the Congo Tetras Tetra Prima, it’s the first time in months, maybe ever – I’ve seen them since adding them to the tank in July 2006, I know there in the tank because I can see movement under the bogwood. Maybe now I’ve included some “dither” fish, to the tank, they are happier!

Fish house temperature has decreased recently to just below 20 degrees C, which is unsual because it’s been a steady 23 degrees C average, I found an insulated panel, that was causing a draft since, the aluminium tape had come un-stuck. Fixed with gaffer tape!

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Fish Collecting trip to Doncaster

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

Collected 20 Bronze Corydoras Corydroas Aenus from a local breeder in Doncaster (Many Thanks John!) this morning, and on returning dropped into Ranchu Aquatics, Selby and purchased Three Large Congo Tetras Phenacogrammus interruptus and a singleton Bleeding Heart Tetra Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma. Once all the tetras have finished two weeks in quarantine, they will join the other Bleeding Heart Tetras in the display tank.

Yesterday, evening I distributed the remaining Zebra Danios, between various tanks in the fish house. I originally purchased a batch of 20, but only 12 remained after the quaratine period.

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Corydoras julii or Corydoras sterbai?

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

I visited a local Pet Shop in York on Tuesday, that sells a few “bread and butter” tropical fish, looking for Algarde right-angled airline elbows to finish off my centralised air reservoir. Tuesday was the day, that they had just received their new stock of tropical fish for the week, the fish were not currently for sale, because they wait for 24 hours before selling any fish (good to see!). After looking around the tanks, I noticed two large Corys in one tank and I was 99 percent sure, I knew what they were, so I asked the Pet Shop Owner, how much they were, without trying to readily indentify them, (so he could look them up on his invoice!). He told me they were labelled and pointed to a label stating “Corydoras julii 4.25 GBP”. I immediately paid the man, and said I would collect in Wednesday, unfortunately, I was unable to collect until this evening, and I did think, that they might had sold them to someone else, or identified them correctly.

On returning this evening they were still there, quickly netted and handed over to me, but he did say I don’t think there julii’s, and then told me it would be the suppliers loss, because if the supplier doesn’t have the number of Julii’s he asks for, they just drop any other Cory in at the same price! I feel better now! Pet Shop doesn’t lose any money, just the distributor!

Anyway it was a chance to try out the Fintro…

Here’s the pictures..What do you think Corydoras julii or Corydoras sterbai?

Fintro in Use
Introduced using the Fintro

Corydoras sterbai1
Corydoras julii or Corydoras sterbai?

Corydoras sterbai2
Corydoras julii or Corydoras sterbai?

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The Fintro by Maidenhead Aquatics

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

The Fintro – Fish Acclimatisation Unit or Fish Introduction Unit call it what you like, I’ve been trying to make one of these for years, using plastic yoghurt cartons, plastic fruit boxes, the best method I found was to use Ferrero Rocher plastic boxes, with holes drilled in the bottom, the only problem, I could never get the water fill/flow rate correct, or the stability of the plastic box in the water.

Now these problems, have been solved with the The Fintro by Maidenhead Aquatics. I know this device has just been reviewed in the March 2007 Issue of PracticalFishkeeping Magazine, but I was keen to purchase a two units, and test it for myself. I purchase many fish for the fish house (too many sometimes!), and the older method of just floating the tropical fish in the bag from the tropical fish shop fvor 30 minutes has long been proved in-correct. I usually introduce fish into my quarantine tanks, by floating the bag to equalize temperatures, but I also remove water from the bag, and throw away, and slowly over a period of 30-45 minutes, replace the water in the bag with tank water. This lessens the stress on the fish, by gradually introducing the fish to your aquariums water chemistry, rather than causing toxic shock due to vast pH changes.

  • Float the Fintro in your aquarium.
  • Transfer the fish from bag to Fintro, making sure the fish are in the bottom chamber, and there is at least 1cm of water in the upper chamber. (make sure this is over the tank, because although there is a one-way valve,if you fill the Fintro, not over a tank, water will go on the floor!)
  • The Fintro has a valve which permits a very slow trickle of water to gradually fill it, giving time for your new fish to adjust to the aquarium water conditions.
  • After approximately 45 minutes the Fintro will be completely full and sink to the bottom of the tank, releasing the fish.

The Fintro by Maidenhead Aquatics

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Python Syphon Drain Adaptor

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

My fish house already has a 40mm/1.5 inch ABS waste pipe to drain so I can syphon water direct from tanks to a drain outside the fish house, without using buckets or a house pipe. After I purchased the Python Syphon which connects to a standard tap, there needs to be a drain immediately underneath the tap to catch the waste water, most people probably connect to a tap above a sink, or an outside tap. I could have connected it to an outside tap, but neither of my outside taps, have a drain underneath, and I would have to go in and out fo the fish house, to control draining and filling the tanks.

Here’s a simple solution. 5 inches of 30mm ABS waste pipe, 30mm-40mm reducer, 30-50mm reducer, 3 inches of 50mm ABS waste pipe, cut to shape.

Python Drain
Python Syphon drain adaptor

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The Python Syphon

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

Let me introduce you to the The Python Syphon. It’s a clever device that connects to your household or outside tap, a 25 foot length of clear UV stabilized, non-porous tubing connects to a fast disconnection snap device, which connects to a conventional 10 inch gravel tubes. Extended length gravel tubes are available for deeper tanks. (I’ve also got a 30 inches one as well!), but the largest is a massive 72 inches, handy for those acryllic hexagonal tanks. There is also an on/off tap which allows you to stop syhphoning or filling up with water.

Python Syphon
This is the brains of the Python Syphon. This is connected to the tap, the tap is turned-on fully, and the Faucet Pump as it is called, has a oulet on the end which is pulled down into the “Drain” position, this has the effect of water passing through the device causing a venturi action.

Venturi ActionThe vacuum created by manipulating the speed of a stream of water. The incoming water stream is restricted by a nozzle, while the speed of the outgoing water is decreased by the inverted funnel shape at the bottom of the venturi. The result is a vacuum in the middle, where the waste-water from the tank is sucked into the water stream.

This venturi action is a well known principle used in filters, to bleed air into tanks e.g. Eheim Diffusors use the same principle to suck air into tanks to aertate the returned water.

To fill a tank, the outlet nozzle is pushed up into the Fill postion, water is then diverted up the syphon tube into the tank.

The only issues, I’ve had is in my fish house, I have a internal water supply, but the drain I use for syphoning water away, uses conventional 40mm waste pipe, near each tank for ease. I didn’t want to connect to an external tape outside the fish house, because when working in the fish house, I don’t want to be opening and closing the door, and going in and out, to turn on and off the tape etc

I have finally “designed” and “implemented” “an adaptor” to allow me to use my Python Syphon with ease in the fish house.

If you are still filling and emptying tanks with buckets and a conventional syphon tubes, STOP and purchase The Python Syphon today. One of the Best Inventions Ever for the Aquatic Market.

The correct name is “Clean and Fill No Spill Aquarium Maintenance System” The original and patented

If you’ve got a few minutes, click the above links to view and read the Patents on the No Spill system and if you dig deep enough into the Patent Archives, you’ll quickly see, that Python, didn’t originally design this! A Patent was filed at the US Patents office in 1931 for a similiar device called the Filling and Draining device. Later syphons, were associated with aquariums in the 1950s.

Interesting stuff …

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Male Ancistrus

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

Spending some more time in the fish house, and used my Python Syhphon successfully with the new “drain” to partial water change two 90l tanks, in less than 30 minutes. An excellent time saving device. I’m not using it to top up water, because the incoming water is too cold, and would chill the fish, so I use a much bucket of pre-heated water to top-up.

Now that my Ancistrus that I’ve breed are maturing, I’ve noticed that I have very few females, most of the young fish are males. I will be selecting a pair shortly and hoping to breed more of these.

As for Bettas Splendens, not heard anything about a replacement yet.

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