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About MNG

  • Birthday 01/01/1950

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  1. From my experience, most of what you see out there regarding what a particular species needs, are only recommendations at best. And sometimes information is misleading, if not outright incorrect. Most freshwater tropicals don't 'need' sand AFAIK, although some may prefer it or need it for spawning, which is a different story entirely. Another factor leading to confusion is that IMO, ichthyologists or other sorts of academics who write about fish, often advise keeping a fish in the state they found/studied it in the wild. But many popular fish among aquarists - including rams, platys, and certain corys - are bred in captivity, under very different conditions than they are found in the wild. Nevertheless, they thrive, because like most organisms, fish can adopt to changing conditions, provided things don't change suddenly. Also seems that many writers and websites sometimes advise keeping a particular fish under particular conditions because they can do so and have done so with success: They have the space, the funds and the dedication required to maintain numerous tanks, each maintained in the optimal conditions for that species. But for 'regular folks' it's not necessary to provide optimal conditions for every particular species. As long as you stick to common, hardy species, and keep your basic water parameters within bounds, you can achieve much success and maintain a beautiful and healthy aquarium without 'sweating the small stuff'. FWIW I have kept quite a few rams with success - always with plain old riverbed gravel, in fairly hard water which is slightly alkaline. Rams and corys are hardy fish - they should be fine, provided you don't overfeed or overcrowd them (much more important than fretting over the fine points of substrates), and ensure that your water temperature, ph, ammonia and nitrite levels are within acceptable bounds. (overfeeding or overcrowding kill fish to a large extent because those things mess up your water quality). Platys are reputedly hardy, but in my experience they are not particularly so. YMMV.
  2. AFAIK, there is no reason why Rams won't like the substrate you have. Tearing down an established tank with healthy fish is always risky and a big pain in the butt. IMO that should only be done as a last resort. If you are uncomfortable with leaving the substrate as is, why not just put a thin layer of another substrate on top of the Eco Complete? From the Eco Complete packaging: "Eco Complete can also be used as an admixture or bottom layer."
  3. If, like me, your local options are very limited, try looking around online. You can find vendors who will ship an aquarium. But the shipping can be expensive- try to find a vendor as close to you as possible. Maybe just call somebody regional on the phone and talk it over. That's what I'm probably going to do - call a place that's about 150 miles away that has what I want. I'd rather not drive down there - but maybe they will bring it to me. AFAIK Amazon only has Aqueon.
  4. I see UNS are available online with shipping. This place is in southern CA: https://buceplant.com/collections/ultum-nature-systems/products/ultum-clear-rimless-tanks-by-ultum-nature-systems Would like to find somebody closer. Need to look around.
  5. Sounds like a lot to me - the more water you're dealing with, the more critical it is because of the weight and stress. Aqueon is cheap because they cut corners. I sure hope you don't end up being another Aqueon horror story. Petco deals entirely in Aqueon, if I'm not mistaken. On their website you can see many reviews - about Aqueon tanks suddenly cracking or shattering without warning or provocation. People coming home to find 10 or 20 gallons of water on the floor and all the fish dead. 😪
  6. Haven't seen that name in these parts - northern NY. The LFS deals in Seapora and the rest - all big box stores - seem to only have Aqueon.
  7. So it seems. The site https://fishtanksdirect.com/ has a bunch of brands, but they are all full setups, mostly acrylic, and EXPENSIVE.
  8. Looking to purchase a fairly large (80 to 140 gallons) aquarium. Wondering what manufacturers you folks might recommend. I currently have a 65 gallon from Seapora, which is excellent quality. However, that brand is hard to come by in my area. The local stores all stock Aqueon - I suppose because they are cheap. But I have seen too many horror stories about Aqueon tanks (suddenly cracking or shattering, etc) to feel comfortable with them. What might you recommend? Do you think Aqueon is OK? Tnx Much!
  9. Welcome to the forum and to a great hobby! As already mentioned, tetras are schooling fish and like lots of company, preferably the same species. I have not seen them in the wild, but in aquariums they seem to school mostly with their own species. ( Barbs and danios, among the other commonly found, hardy species , also 'school'.) Also very nice to see a school of 12 or 20 tetras, essentially identical, 'in formation' cruising around your tank. (You'd probably need more than 16 gallons to get the full effect) They seem to navigate collectively, similar to a flock of birds - one in the lead and the others taking subtle cues from the leader. That said, I'd take my time before going to a 50 gallon tank, being new to the hobby. 50 gallons requires a considerable amount of work and planning to stabilize and manage. (Perhaps others will disagree - just my $0.02)
  10. I have a 65 gallon tank. I live in an area where the winter is long and cold. During the warm months, I have been doing partial water changes of 10 or 15 gallons every two weeks, siphoning off water from the tank, dumping it in the garden, and taking water from the faucet in the back yard. In the coming winter, that will not be possible - temperature rarely goes above 20 degrees F, lots of snow, etc. I was wondering if swapping out a gallon or two every other day from an indoor source would be OK for partial water changes in winter. I could put in some plumbing etc, to facilitate water changes in winter, but that would be a pain and an expense - rather not. Tank is now about 3 months old, stable, well planted and not overstocked, ammonia level is fine, fish are generally healthy. Thoughts?
  11. Yes, others have also mentioned that. Tnx!
  12. I I like the idea of cherry shrimp, etc. None of my fish are very bold AFAIK, so I will look further into those shrimp. Any recommendations on where to get them ( I am North East USA) Tnx
  13. Rams, angels, black neons, blue gouramis, red tail sharks, cory's.
  14. You worried about the fish watching TV? I vote :
  15. 65 gallon planted tank, ph neutral, ammonia and nitrites under control - tank is a month old and stable: Don't want to add any more fish. But wouldn't mind some shrimp or snails to add interest. What shrimp or snails would you recommend in my case? What is the ammonia/nitrite footprint for such creatures? Do they harbor parasites, disease, etc? Tnx!
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