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Author Topic: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...  (Read 1714 times)
Ron H
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Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« on: November 11, 2011, 01:16:05 AM »

Hi all, Smiley I was wondering if many of you experienced fishkeepers have any helpful tips you would like to share, anything, even the small things can be useful to others... I have a little thing that I find helpful, besides the fish-poo sucker that I aready posted here somewhere, Cheesy . Anyway I keep a small glass drink coaster besides my tank as well as a small pocket knife, I find the glass coaster useful for cutting up pea's or tubifex cubes, or whatever on, and its easy to clean and sanitise...
I also keep a small piece of shamois (not sure what its called in your neck of the woods but its what you wipe the car or bike over with when you wash it), its great for wiping down the tank or mopping up drips that get on the glass...
I also have a grappling tool, mainly used by mechanics and disabled but you can get them pretty cheap at most hardware stores, there are a few different ones, but the one I have you pull the trigger and four prongs come out so you can grab things with it, its about a foot and a half long, and its great for getting things out of the tank and saves you putting your whole arm in there.  Please make sure you clean any lubricant off it first, so you dont contaminate your tank...
 Smiley Anyway, I would be interested to read what you have to share... cheers
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fantailer
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2011, 06:27:07 AM »

Ron H can you get the grappling tool in bigger and stronger sizes.....
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Ron H
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2011, 06:54:43 PM »

Hi fantailer, I hope you are well... Im pretty sure you can get a bigger one, they make them for people with disabilities, so they can pick up things they drop on the floor or whatever, it may be a little different though, from memory they work like your index finger and thumb, opening and closing together, here is some pics of both designs from Amazon.com...
Cheers
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fantailer
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2011, 06:22:47 AM »

Oh I wamore like thinking something I could swing from like in the movies. But thanks anyway Ive always wanted one of those! Wink
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Nossie
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2011, 12:12:16 PM »

There are special gripping-tools for plants etc that are sold in pet shops too Smiley But as usual, I bet this one is a lot cheaper than those since they're so "specialized" Tongue

I can't think of any amazing secrets to share actually... at least for now :'D
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cheri_alexander
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2011, 07:05:44 PM »

Anyone want to share how they change large amounts of water? Preferably in an easy, mess-free way?  Smiley I change approx 55 gallons a week using two 25 gallon tubs and three 5 gallon buckets which all sit in my shower for 24+ hours. Then using an additional bucket I carry about three gallons at a time to the tanks. There has GOT to be a better way.
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Skwishee
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2011, 06:56:03 AM »

I too was wondering about water changes, I have no idea yet how I'll manage changing the water when I get my dads big 125 litre!
I imagine I'll take the advice Nossie gave me, which was lots of buckets!

Cheri I have heard of really long hoses that connect to taps for filling tanks and things? So maybe you could look into that and fill/treat the buckets nearer to the tank?
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Sephymuffins
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2011, 07:47:23 AM »

For massive amounts of water changing, I honestly just suggest using a gravel vacuum. I have no idea about the cheaper, easier "pump" action ones, but the vacuums that are pressurized... you have to keep pointed down at the gravel otherwise it will suck all of the water out of your tank - so that's EXACTLY what you might want to do if you have a lot of water to take out. Just use a large bucket to capture the water to dump out or what not.
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Nossie
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2011, 08:30:39 AM »

I'm changing out roughly 200-250 liters every week using 10 liter buckets and a gavel vacuum, but I am considering getting one of those "plug-to-the-tap" pumps/siphons in the future, but we'll see.

cheri_alexander: You could stop having the water stand around, it's not going to do any good. You should be able to feel the temperature of the water with your hands either way so you'll know how it should be Smiley Besides, as long as the water is about 1-2 degrees warmer or colder than the tank water, the fish will be just fine! If you're using a water conditioner too, there's no reason in the world to waste time on preparing the water 24 hours before a water change. People did it before to get rid of chlorine, but it's not a very useful method since there are easier ways to deal with it.
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cheri_alexander
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2011, 11:03:11 AM »

Thanks Nossie. All the books I've read say "aged water". I too use a fairly large gravel vacuum and a huge trashcan on wheels to get the water out, it's getting the water back in thats the problem. Could the fish be removed and kept in a bucket while the tank is filled with a hose and conditioner added in tank? Temp might be a problem though...
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laurencasualty
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2011, 11:31:09 AM »

It would be way too much stress for your little guys to move them in and out of different water like that every week, or so I've been told by probably nossie  Wink
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Skwishee
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2011, 12:43:13 PM »

Unless you did the bag method, putting them in a bag with old tank water and then letting the fish and the bag sit in the new treated tank water so it would at least be acclimitised a little?

Cheri, you mention temperature would be a problem, is there a big difference in the tank temperature and what comes out of the tap? I've found that when I add water to my tank it usaully drops a degree or two, but nothing major and Lucky just loves swimming under the bubbles from the water being poured in, the temperature difference doesn't seem to bother her there XD
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Nossie
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2011, 01:36:04 PM »

The bag method that Skwishee mentioned would work, but it would get pretty tedious after a while to do it every week, not to mention that the fish wouldn't like it much.

I just carry a million buckets from the tap to the tank, but since you have a bigger container, maybe you could dose the water there and go to the pet shop and hunt for a siphon with a pump on it that would get the water back into the tank? Smiley
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cheri_alexander
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2011, 01:47:33 PM »

Oh well. I may look for a pump siphon...or just carrying buckets forever.  Smiley It only takes me an hour to do three small-med tanks (plus a mini betta tank) and i'll only be doing an additional 30ish gal with the new set-up.
Good idea for a thread Ron.
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2011, 02:04:17 PM »

Cool thread Ron and all contributers!  Smiley

I keep 3 boxes (small, medium, and large) next to the tank for holding a bunch of fish junk.

In the top box I keep all the fish food (bloodworms, pellets, and flakes) because if I leave them lying around my cats eat them. I once came in my room to find an entire jar of fish flakes scattered around the floor after my cat had busted into it using his teeth and claws. I also keep a net (used only for moving decorations and gravel around), a handful of paper towels (to clean up spilled water) a special glass-cleaning sponge, and a plastic container I use to soak my pellets in.

In the middle box I keep my water testing kit and some CDs for them to listen to when I run to the store. Don't laugh at me lol.  Cheesy

And in the last big box I keep a heater (used for treating illness), a few jars of non-iodized natural sea salt, a jar of hydrogen peroxide, a bowl for holding my fake plants in during a water change, and my water siphon. I also keep a 5 gallon bucket beside the tank for when I clean it, which takes me about an hour and a half every week to do. I'm getting pretty strong from carrying all that water!  Grin
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Skwishee
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2011, 06:02:32 PM »

I think the life of a fish keeper consists of carrying buckets and feeding fish Cheesy
Also Goldiegirl, out of curiosity what CD's do you have for the goldfish?

Oh I just thought of something useful, mop buckets!
I hate having to bother people to help me with water changes, so I had to find a way of doing it myself, but I was stuck because the hose would move around like crazy and I'd no doubt end up with water all over the floor. So after hunting around the house I borrowed the mop bucket from the kitchen to give it a try.

And it worked! The holes in the top part of the mop bucket are perfect for sliding a hose of a gravel cleaner into Cheesy
So you can clean away and the hose won't move! Grin
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Ron H
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2011, 06:20:09 PM »

Thanks Smiley and Thanks again for your input all, buckets seem to be very popular, and Skwishee, with my disability I too sometimes have to get help with my water changes... I had a funny thought about all these fishkeepers with arms like Popeye the sailer, lol... and Goldie, you sound like me, I not a big fan of leaving all my fish stuff around the tank, I have 3 pretty little boxes decorated with Japanese characters to put a lot of my fish gear in... and my fish like a bit of music too...
also on the subject of water ageing, Nossie is right, leaving the water in the shower is no good (other than helping the water temp adjust), but here in Aus, if you leave it in the sun for 3 days, that is enough to evaporate any chlorine (thats if you are getting any sun at the moment)... My partner Sharon's father has been doing this for his goldies for about 25 years with no probs...
Cheers all... > Ron
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cheri_alexander
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2011, 07:20:13 PM »

Thanks guys, I will no longer age the water overnight but I do like to have it all ready ahead of time. I don't need to wait for buckets to fill and I can concentrate on adding the right amount of conditioner all at the same time. For me personally I feel there is less chance of a misdose if I do them all ahead of time and I have about a million buckets anyways...
As for fish gear I bought one of those inexpensive cabniets with doors at the chain general-store. It kinda matches my decor and I put a child lock on it to keep my kiddo out.
This may be a rather obvious tip but with frozen food cubes I put two into a jar with a tiny bit of filtered water and let them defrost. Easier to divide amoung tanks that way, and the fish aren't sucking on ice. With a lid I keep left-overs in the fridge overnight (dunno about longer).
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laurencasualty
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2011, 09:51:33 PM »

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In the middle box I keep my water testing kit and some CDs for them to listen to when I run to the store. Don't laugh at me lol.  Cheesy

i think it's pretty adorable that you give them music for when they're alone  Smiley like leaving the radio on for your dogs and cats haha
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Nossie
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2011, 02:43:42 PM »

Look at that!! Cheesy Already a bunch of useful info Smiley

Good thing you mentioned the mop bucket, Skwishee, it's an awesome idea Cheesy
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2011, 05:08:44 PM »

Quote
Also Goldiegirl, out of curiosity what CD's do you have for the goldfish?

Well Skwishee, mostly relaxing stuff really, for some reason they seem to get edgy if I ever play anything too intense. I have some soothing "nature" sounding CDs for my goldfish that have a waterfall sound in the background (appropriate) and some piano music. Cheesy

And Ron: I know how that is about having to get help with the water changes. When I had my surgery I couldn't do anything for myself; I couldn't clean the tank or move huge buckets of water. Slowly working my way back up to being able to lift 1/2 a bucket of water at a time. *sigh* >.<
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Ron H
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2011, 01:25:42 AM »

Cheers Goldie, I know how you feel and it does take time, its best to build up slowly to heavy lifting, as you are doing, you dont want to end up overdoing it, for a long time I took one step forward, then two steps backward... my specialist rang me the other day and asked me to go to the hospital to see him, I was a bit worried as I wasn't meant to see him till next year, but it was all good, can you believe he was worried about me! He is so nice and has a cool vampire name too "Lucian". Now I dont have to go back for another five years, yay! and thanks for the music tips, I wondered why my fish didn't seem to like my Motorhead cd's, lol.

and fellow fishkeepers, I have another tip that I used to use on birds and animals, may not apply to fish so much unless doing an amputation of a growth or whatever, but if you have bleeding anywhere, apply some cornflower, it good at stopping the bleeding, and it also has a lot of other medicinal uses...  cheers all
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fantailer
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2011, 05:47:24 AM »

Ooooh cornflower is really good!
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Nossie
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2011, 09:20:55 AM »

My goldfish use to listen to my "everything" music Grin But I haven't noticed any particular reactions in them... Smiley They seem to be a whole lot more interested when I go to talk to them, they even stick as close to my face as they can when I go to watch them c:
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2011, 12:21:03 PM »

Oh good to hear about the specialist, Ron! It's nice to have your mind set at ease when it comes to physical health. Yeah, my weight limit is STILL at 20 lbs and no more...always a bit wary of lifting too much and having something come loose (shivers) in my new robo-back; apparently that can happen so I have to take frequent x-rays and be super cautious.  Undecided Cornflower for bleeding...thank you for that interesting tip; I suppose if there is ever a serious injury on one of our scaley friends that could be worth looking into!

And Nossie I know what you mean! They just get SO exited to see us. Remember reading somewhere that goldfish have "face recognition" somewhere in their brains, but my poor little telescopes can't seem to tell much of a difference.  Roll Eyes
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Skwishee
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2011, 06:54:48 PM »

I listen to lots of different music, Lucky doesn't seem bothered by any of it or have a preference.
Although when I started playing Atreyu the other day I swear she looked in my direction from the tank! XD

Hmmm another useful tip, if your using flakes as part of your goldfishes staple diet, feed them by hand  Smiley
I find it useful to dip my fingers in the tank a little, Lucky usaully loves to nibble me for potential food at this point XD Then after taking my hand out I soak the flake in the moisture on my fingers before giving it to her (flakes need barely any water to soak anyway so wet fingers is usaully enough) and always make sure to hold it below the water line, you can then either let the fish eat from your fingers or let the flake go so the fish can chase it  Smiley

This way the fish won't be gulping in air at the surface to get the flakes, you don't have to worry about un eaten food as you'll see right away if they don't eat it and it also eradicates any over feeding, because you feed as much they need, as flake amounts can be deceptive, so I find it best to feed them flakes individually like this  Smiley

I usaully give Lucky 6 or 7 flakes this way every morning! Although she is a funny thing, once I saw her chase a flake, it landed in the gravel and she gave up XD Was like 'oh its in the gravel now...oh well' She of course came to my hand looking for more after that Wink
I imagine she found it later whilst picking through the gravel  Cheesy
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 06:57:35 PM by Skwishee » Logged
Nossie
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2011, 02:05:41 AM »

Actually, Skwishee, now that the hand-feeding of flakes is working so well for you, I'm almost (ALMOST!!) considering getting a small jar of some flakes to see if I could feed them to my goldfish by hand Smiley I imagine they can't be that hard to eat once they're soaked, even for my bigger fish Smiley

TIP I REMEMBERED!
So, if you don't have too many different kinds of pellets, say you have two, you can soak them in garlic oil for a few minutes before feeding the goldfish and suddenly you have four different kinds of pellets Wink
I soak all the pellets I have in the garlic oil nowadays just because they turn out so squishy, and I imagine that would be better for the fish to eat since they're softened up.
This is especially useful if you have goldfish food by Hikari (Such as "Staple" or "Goldfish Gold"), which are very small and very dense pellets. I've tried soaking them in a small cup of tank water for almost an hour before, but I noticed that the oil somehow softens them up after only a few minutes and also makes the floating pellets sink slowly. Which again will be profitable if you have many fish and the smaller ones can't reach the corner.
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Skwishee
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #27 on: November 16, 2011, 04:26:38 AM »

I'm thinking that when I get some pellets, it would quite nice to alternate, so pellets one day, flakes the next, gives her a bit more variety!

Interesting thing about garlic there, I think there is a product called Garlic Guard by Seachem? I have been tempted to buy some when I get some pellets! What garlic oil do you use Noss?
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Nossie
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #28 on: November 16, 2011, 08:55:00 AM »

That's the one! They had it on sale when I ordered it so I thought why not? Smiley Garlic is really healthy for goldfish and koi, and they really love it!
Besides, I do feel better about being able to soften up those dense pellets a little too Smiley
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Tell us, or show us your tips for fishkeeping...
« Reply #29 on: November 16, 2011, 11:03:48 AM »

Interesting tip, Nossie. I believe garlic has several natural medicinal powers as well and can be added to the tank to cure some illnesses. It must be great for them to consume.

I sometimes hand-feed flakes to my goldies as well...I never to sprinkle the flakes on the surface, as the fish will swallow a bunch of air from the surface and in the dry flake as well. I always take a pinch and soak it under the water for a bit between my fingers (making sure not to let the fish eat it before it's ready!) and then let them nibble away like Skwishee does. They seem to love the flavor that lingers as well on my fingers.
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