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Thread: Bought a new cichlid, red devil

  1. #17

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    Yea, well yesterday, I went out and got some nice long juicy worms, there real skinny but long. I got about 4, and since I had already fed him his dinner of 6 guppies, I decided to wait until this morning, thursday, I dropped them all in and immediatly the wriggling took his eye, they were gone within 5 seconds. Anyways, hes doing fine, and I will be purchasing a 20 to 30 gallon aqaurium sometime within the next two months.
    "That guy looks like pant food, toooo meeee"
    -Little shop of horrors.

    "Now, this thing smells like ****!"
    -College proffeser smelling my corpse plant.
    ^Just thought id put that in there, it was pretty funny when he said it.

  2. #18
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    I read the comments from the other forum on the locked thread..
    and yes, those guys were rude..but..they were also right!
    the *way* they said it was rude, but *what* they said was right!

    a 20 or 15 gal tank IS far too small for this fish.
    the filter did need to be cycled before the fish was added.
    undergravel filters totally suck, they are nothing but grunge collectors and create very dirty tanks..a regular power filter would be a much better choice.

    I keep cichlids (Discus)..they are in a bare-bottom tank, no gravel at all..best environment for a clean tank.

    Spectabilis73's first post was also right-on..Trapsrock was not properly prepared for this fish..
    He is trying to make up for it now with knowledge! which is great..so thats cool.

    but trapsrock, if lots of people are giving you grief about the way you are keeping your fish, (even if they are being rude about it) dont you think maybe there might actually be something wrong with the way you are keeping your fish? those fish forums can be brutal I know! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]
    but...they are still right.

    here is why I think undergravel filters suck:
    http://www.bestfish.com/ug.html

    the thing about UGFs is..other filters do biological filtration JUST as well, but dont keeps tons of crap in the tank! which a UGF does..so why bother? the UGF has more drawbacks than other types of filters, and ZERO benefits over other types of filters! there is simply no good reason to use one (over other filters)..and several good reason NOT to use one..

    fishless cycling! I love it, best way to prepare a new tank for fish (I helped write this&#33[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]
    http://herne.tripod.com/cycling.html

    and here is my experience with cichlids.
    http://www.geocities.com/scottychaos/discuspage.htm
    http://www.geocities.com/scottychaos/aquapage.htm

    Scot

  3. #19
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    Hey Scotty! Haven't seen you around for a while!

    How are your tanks doing? would you mind posting a new thread and giving us some tanks? Would love to see your discus!
    \"Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: \"Mankind\". Basically, it\'s made up of two separate words - \"mank\" and \"ind\". What do these words mean ? It\'s a mystery, and that\'s why so is mankind.\" ~ Jack Handey

  4. #20
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Hi R.P.
    sure, I can start a new thread!
    Scot

  5. #21

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    Hi,

    I agree and disagree with scottychaos on UGF. When one's budget is tight or one has a small tank, an UGF is the best way to get a good biological filter. Yes, they collect the "mulm" that forms in the tank but "storing" that mulm in the gravel as they do is not much different than storing it in an outside power filter or even in a canister filter. The tank water is still in contact with the "mulm". Now this mulm is the solid waste and other stuff being broken down into essentially dirt. It is not inherently a bad thing but becomes one in a small body of water (a fish tank). Vacuuming the gravel when one does a water change takes care of most of the mulm -- about as well as the usual outside power filter. If one does weekly water changes of 50-75% then very little mulm is left in the gravel. When one is doing regular partial water changes there is no need for carbon in the filter either. The water change does what the carbon does.
    I have never been a big fan of power heads with UGFs as they suck up small grade gravel and ruin their impellers and their force does create packing in the gravel bed and thus poor flow and filtering. Air driven UGF's rarely pack and have nothing for gravel to ruin. The air lift type work better than powerheads for biological filtration as biological filtration does not need force and speed -- just steady free flow -- to work. Power heads are overkill in a small tank and in a large tank a canister filter is better.
    UGF's for small tanks have lost popularity in fish stores as they don't need expensive cartidges every few weeks so pushing them costs the store profits. Fish stores make alot of money off the pre-made filter pads almost all of today's outside power filters require. These filters were once simply pumps and open plastic boxes that could hold whatever filter medium one wanted to use -- like cheap bulk floss and carbon or even peat moss. Today's outside power filters can only hold the company's ready-made cartridge insert and trap you into spending alot of money every year buying them. Stores love power filters for this reason -- $$$$$.
    Sponge filters also, unlike UGF's, wear out and must be replaced. UGF's work without additions year after year. One does not need the little carbon inserts for UGF's if one is doing water changes, so there is nothing to continuely buy for an UGF except repalcement airstones once a year -- $2.
    I won't use an UGF in a saltwater tank.
    The best cheap non-UGF biological filter is the Jumbo Lustar Box or Corner Filter. Few stores carry these but they are available on line. These BIG inside corner filters are versatile and well made. I put an inch of floss in the bottom and then fill them up with small grade aquarium gravel or Eheim Ehfisubstrat for a biological medium. Every couple of months I change the floss and wash the medium in de-chlorinated water. One of these filters can do a 29 gallon -- 2 if it's heavily stocked. I will use 3-4 in a 55 gallon. I can have extras in other tanks cycling so I can instantly start a tank. The filter lasts for years as does the main medium. It costs about 25 cents to replace the floss. These filters date back to the 1950's and are very popular with breeders.
    Eheims are the best outside canister filters. They are more expensive than others but they last forever, do a great job and cost pennies to clean and change when used as a biological filter -- again, even here, all you change is a bit of cheap bulk floss. You don't have to use the company's pre-formed pads. An Eheim -- after a year of use -- will be cheaper than the cheapest outside power filter because you are not forced to buy all those pre-formed filter cartridges. Big savings and better filter!
    My favorite outside power filters are the Emperors as they have the best biological filtration feature for my money.
    My 20 tanks are bare bottom too -- the outside bottom is painted black and I have clay pots full of live plants in all tanks. The filters are either the Jumbo Lustars or Eheims -- depending on tank size and fish density. Trapsrock needed some good basic equipment that would do the job and I think people he talked to on the fish sites focused on his problems and ideal solutions more than giving him real solutions that he could do ok with right now. UGFs, in the long run, are bad for a Devil because Devils dig, uncover the filter plate and thus ruin how the UGF works. Devils have to have canister or Emperor filters when they are large and dig.

    Bobby

  6. #22

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    Bobby,
    While we're on the topic of power filters:
    I have a Aqua Clear 500 (similar to the emporor), How often do I need to replace the sponge, white rocks (thats the only word I have for them lol!, It's almost like the charcol but colored white) and charcol? Thanks! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
    -Spec

  7. #23
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    Spec, is that an amonia sponge your using? if I remember, your not supposed to use it for very long at all or it will dump back into your system. (sorry, if I am off on what your using&#33[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]
    \"Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: \"Mankind\". Basically, it\'s made up of two separate words - \"mank\" and \"ind\". What do these words mean ? It\'s a mystery, and that\'s why so is mankind.\" ~ Jack Handey

  8. #24

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    Hi Spec,

    RamPuppy guessed right, those are ammonia remover rocks. IMO, in a cycled, uncrowded tank, you do not need to use those. RamPuppy is also right that once they are used up they let ammonia back out -- just as used up carbon dumps stuff back into the water. I do not use ammonia rocks or carbon in any of my tanks and haven't for 30 years. Water changes do what carbon does if you stay on top of them and a cycled healthy tank just shouldn't need ammonia remover rocks. The fish industry loves to play into people's love of gadgets, drugs, chemicals, technology etc to get your money. Keep it simple unless absolutely required -- water changes, good food, de-chlorinator, basic filtration and an environment that makes the fish happy. Save your money for more tanks and cp's.
    On the Aquaclear, Spec, when you wash the big sponge out do you do it in de-chlorinated water or rinse it under the faucet? If you are rinsing it under the faucet, it would be a good idea to change to a bucket full of de-chlorinated or old tank water for cleaning it out as the chlorine in tap water kills the good nitrifying bacteria on the sponge just as it would kill the fish. All biological filter mediums of any kind need to always be washed in de-chlorinated tap water or old tank water (like from when you are doing a partial water change).
    Also, as a good backup for when you have to change the sponge, you might think of using one of the smaller size Aquaclear sponges where the ammonia remover rocks are now. I am not sure which one will fit but that way when you put in a new big sponge from time to time (rarely, I hope&#33[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] you will have a little back up biological sponge to help quickly colonize the new big one. Just never change the two sponges at the same time [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]
    If anyone has an Eclipse System, the big sponges for Aquaclear 500's, when cut in half long ways make great filter cartridges for the Eclipse. They last almost a year with regular rinsing and you save $100's not buying the pre-formed Eclipse cartridges. I use the half 500 sponges in my Eclipses.

    Bobby

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