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Confessions of a Bad Aquarist


Daniel

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I confess, it is true...

I don't:

  • do any cycling on a new aquarium and I put fish in moments after the water goes in to the new aquarium
  • have a quarantine aquarium or think about quarantining new fish
  • rinse my baby brine shrimp

Probably the first 2 are much more serious sins than the 3rd one.

I think I get away with the first one because all my tanks are dirty and I use a lot of hornwort. I think I get away with second one because most new fish go into their own (uncycled) new aquarium (or maybe it is just luck and I just haven't run out the string yet).

I pretty sure @Dean’s Fishroom would give me demerits for the 3rd one, but it is my lazy way of providing trace elements to my fish 🙂.

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17 minutes ago, Daniel said:

I confess, it is true...

I don't:

  • do any cycling on a new aquarium and I put fish in moments after the water goes in to the new aquarium
  • have a quarantine aquarium or think about quarantining new fish
  • rinse my baby brine shrimp

Probably the first 2 are much more serious sins than the 3rd one.

I think I get away with the first one because all my tanks are dirty and I use a lot of hornwort. I think I get away with second one because most new fish go into their own (uncycled) new aquarium (or maybe it is just luck and I just haven't run out the string yet).

I pretty sure @Dean’s Fishroom would give me demerits for the 3rd one, but it is my lazy way of providing trace elements to my fish 🙂.

 

Fish Father Dan,

I (think) @Cory, doesn't rinse the shrimp either, from a video I watched awhile back, for your exact reason:  adding elements to the water.  But, everyone has their own ideas.  

My first few aquariums received, probably more fish, than what was desirable, when initially starting them.   I didn't quarantine the  fish, as recommended & luckily didn't have any issues with them.  

When I was a brand new Aquarist, I wanted everything, now.  Fast growing plants, lots of fish & the tanks to be cycled ASAP.

Now, I wish the plants would grow slower and my live-bearers to stop reproducing so much,  lol.  

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm guilty of #1, but I also move over a bunch of floating plants and occasionally a seeded sponge filter or large rock or something. I also stock lightly at first. If I need to, I'll add something like Stability.

As for #3, every time I rinse the brine i think "Yeah I probably don't need to be doing this". But I do it anyway!

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I never quarantined until March of this year, when I bought a few gorgeous guppies to add new blood to my colony, and whatever infection they arrived with ended up wiping out 75% of my 40G guppy tank before I could stop it with the proper antibiotic.

My first tank when I got back into fishkeeping last year was pretty overstocked. 40G with 6 australian rainbows, 6 dwarf rainbows, 2 angels, 1 dwarf gourami, 6 bronze corydoras, 9 rosy tetras, and 4 SAEs.  After some losses and rehomings, it's minus 1 Aus. rainbow (in-tank injury), 2 corys (died shortly after purchase), 6 of the tetra (columnaris got them this year), and all SAEs (relocated).

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If we’re confessing:

  • I bought my first fish and tank at the same time, so definitely no cycling was done
  • I also didn’t have a heater or filter for the poor Betta
  • And the tank was definitely too small, still is

On the plus side, I’m slowly fixing my mistakes and no one has died yet.

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3 hours ago, tolstoy21 said:

I'm guilty of #1, but I also move over a bunch of floating plants and occasionally a seeded sponge filter or large rock or something. I also stock lightly at first.

I think the light stocking part is important. There are enough beneficial bacteria on the plants to handle all the nitrogen cycle needs and then as the needs grow over time, so does the size of the beneficial bacteria population.

I have two more confessions:

  • I (almost) never put a top cover on an aquarium
  • My acclimation process is instantaneous plop and drop, bag water and all
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I am doing a fish in cycle right now but not by my own choice... My first time using a sponge filter, I thought if I added enough plant matter from established tanks, and a few pieces of bio media that my tank would cycle. Wrong. 

My nitrites are spiking right now, but i've been daily dosing Prime and Stability. Hopefully my new Borelli make it through:( 

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I'm sure none of us are entirely perfect when it comes to fish keeping. Some of my confessions:

-I don't quarantine new fish since my parents only allow me to keep one tank.

-I plan on getting a South American cichlid even though my water's pH is above 8.

-I don't temperature match water when I do a water change. I just guess based on touch.

I think I'll get better as I invest more money in tools that will help with fish keeping.

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I’m guilty of a lot of these. 

Don’t normally quarantine (depends on source and destination tank and attachment to said fish in destination tank).

Have never fully cycled an empty tank, usually add fish within 48 hrs. I have a few empty tanks now that are violating this rule but in general I’m starting a new tank with an existing filter and fluffy plants. 

Variable acclimation, never drip. I change water much less than conventional wisdom would dictate (but I do test regularly). Most of my tanks have no substantial lid. Probably only half of my current lights are actual aquarium lights. I kinda think some algae looks just fine.

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I do put fish in instant cycled tanks with a seeded sponge filter or a I shake a sponge filter off in a new tank to start a cycle. But I also do not overload a new tank. 
 

I started to QT fish after I got worms in a tank and moved some rainbows around and had camallanus red worm in 4 tanks before I caught it. The headache alone not to mention all the Money I spent on meds. Now I won’t even use a wet net in multiple tanks I hang them up and spray them H2O2, and get a new dry net. 
 

and I don’t rinse my brine shrimp. But when I feed I’ll avoid the egg shells on fry I think may have an issue (rainbows,rams,apisto and angelfish early on) So I’ll eye drop those tanks. 

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7 hours ago, Daniel said:

I confess, it is true...

I don't:

  • do any cycling on a new aquarium and I put fish in moments after the water goes in to the new aquarium
  • have a quarantine aquarium or think about quarantining new fish
  • rinse my baby brine shrimp

Probably the first 2 are much more serious sins than the 3rd one.

I think I get away with the first one because all my tanks are dirty and I use a lot of hornwort. I think I get away with second one because most new fish go into their own (uncycled) new aquarium (or maybe it is just luck and I just haven't run out the string yet).

I pretty sure @Dean’s Fishroom would give me demerits for the 3rd one, but it is my lazy way of providing trace elements to my fish 🙂.

And I thought I was the only one.  I confess, I don’t even understand the fishless cycle.  
 

it might shock some, I've been known to use water from a water change to seed a new tank.  

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Ahh this thread is so cathartic. Amen to cycling with fish (or shrimp) in a tank and just adding stock slowly.

I definitely don’t rinse my baby brine shrimp. I feed with a pipette and it’s been fine for all my baby fish so far.

I didn’t have a top on my 55 gallon but then tetras started disappearing. I thought they were dying and my loaches eating them until I found one dried up on the floor. Now I think the previous two losses were found by my very lucky cat.

Other confessions: I don’t really clean my aquascaping tools. I dry them off or rinse them sometimes... But this is something I plan to change now that I have two tanks. Also sometimes I leave my test tubes on the counter for my husband to rinse out. 🙈

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36 minutes ago, Hobbit said:

Ahh this thread is so cathartic. Amen to cycling with fish (or shrimp) in a tank and just adding stock slowly.

I definitely don’t rinse my baby brine shrimp. I feed with a pipette and it’s been fine for all my baby fish so far.

I didn’t have a top on my 55 gallon but then tetras started disappearing. I thought they were dying and my loaches eating them until I found one dried up on the floor. Now I think the previous two losses were found by my very lucky cat.

Other confessions: I don’t really clean my aquascaping tools. I dry them off or rinse them sometimes... But this is something I plan to change now that I have two tanks. Also sometimes I leave my test tubes on the counter for my husband to rinse out. 🙈

If you must clean your tools, try using a spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide? It's easier than taking them to the sink so more likely you'll maintain the habit

EDIT: It just occurred to me that this may cause corrosion depending on the material your tools are made of, follow this suggestion with caution and consider another cleaning solution that is better suited to what you have.

Edited by ange
oof
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I am also guilty of not cycling a tank, I'll set up a tank, fill with water, throw in a sponge that's been in another tank and add the fish.

I don't quarantine much, depends on who and how the fish came to me, as well as what the other fish are in the tank they are destined for. 

Acclimation is usually just floating bag then I dump water and fish in, unless the water is just plain nasty looking and stinks horribly. Which would also mean those fish would be getting put through a round of meds in quarantine. 

I also don't rinse baby brine shrimp. I figure the small amount of salts that goes into a tank isn't going to hurt, I just use a pipette, maybe 1.5-2ml of water and brine in a tank. 

When I'm moving fish between tanks in the fishroom I'll just net them and put them directly into new tank. 

When doing water changes, I just use my hands to get water to close enough temp. 

I use the same net between tanks of fish if they have been in the fishroom for a while. New fish, I still use a different net in each tank.

I rinse my sponge filters in tap water. 

 

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AHHH the good well bad old days of 100% waterchanges and complete tank cleans even replacing all filter spongs and wool, dont forget to wash the filter and gravel under tap. It makes me cringe when i think of the things i did when getting into the hobby when i was younger, I honestly dont know how my gourami, anglefish, neons and pleco survived so long. I just never had anyone teach me right and the pet store people well they...... yea ill stop there not getting into the cichlid horror story that finished my fish off 

 

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I feel so guilty for not quarantining! Every time I get new fish I promise myself that NEXT TIME I'll set up the quarantine tub...but I'm so impatient and I hate the way it looks.

I'm also guilty of buying rocks and driftwood from my horrible, terrible, no-good, very bad, grungy and unethical LFS because they have the best price. I should definitely not support them and I'd never buy anything living from them, but they're so convenient for hardscape elements!

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9 minutes ago, Sleepy said:

For those that dont keep lids on their aquariums I'm curious as to why is it just costs or? Does get expensive with proper lids for a lot of tanks but I've gone the DIY method.

They are an inconvenience when trying to do anything in the tank, from feeding to maintenance and I don't like cleaning them when they get covered in calcium and algae.

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1 minute ago, MattyIce said:

They are an inconvenience when trying to do anything in the tank, from feeding to maintenance and I don't like cleaning them when they get covered in calcium and algae.

I'm also curious then are your lights sitting on the rim or do you have them installed above somehow? I would just be too worried about fishing jumping out and humidity.

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19 minutes ago, Sleepy said:

I'm also curious then are your lights sitting on the rim or do you have them installed above somehow? I would just be too worried about fishing jumping out and humidity.

2 that sit on the rim, 3 that clamp on the edge, and 12 hanging above.

Only had fish jump from tanks they didn't want to be in, too small of tank, not cycled, other fish terrorizing.

outside those conditions, Some fish might do a little glass surfing and go too far up, but with a rimmed tank they hit the rim and fall back it, so its only really an issue with rimless tanks.  but even then, if the fish are happy fish they don't tend to glass surf.

For humidity I use a dehumidifier. 

Also, I have floating plants in all my tanks, that probably helps a lot with the jumping, 

Edited by MattyIce
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