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My new Oase 175 Styline

dw1305

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dw1305

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Hi all,
Not seen you mention tadpole shrimp before Darrel
Unfortunately that should have been Tadpole Snail (Physella acuta).
they look positively prehistoric, like miniature Horseshoe crabs!
I tried keeping Triops longicaudatus when the kids were little (some-one bought them a kit). It didn't go very well, because they are cannabilistic and their numbers rapidly thinned. The shrimp diet was obviously good for them because the (ever decreasing number of) survivors grew like mad.
Do you find your Cichlids leave the Asellus and Crangonyx alone?
Asellus survive, but Crangonyx are obviously a lot tastier and they don't. Even the <"Copella callolepis"> I have at the moment have managed to eat ~95% of them.

I have a "tastiness index", which is ranked by how much effort the fish will put into chasing live food, even when they are pretty well fed. Mosquito larvae (including Blood worms), Grindal worms and Black worms are pretty near the top, and Daphnia & Asellus pretty near the bottom. Crangonyx and Cyclops are somewhere in the middle and most of my fish ignore Ostracods and dried food all together unless times are really tough.

cheers Darrel
 
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Karmicnull

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One minor addition to the Cherry shrimp vs Amano decision is that in my limited experience Amanos seem better at dealing with thread algae - I have a healthy colony of cherry shrimp (I'm guessing 150 or so) in my 130 litre tank, but it wasn't until I added 4 Amanos that the thread algae went away. I'd managed to minimize it by messing around with lighting and plant location, but introduction of the Amanos was the point when it went from 'minimal' to 'none'.

And on the snail front, I would have to say that notwithstanding their lack of ability to produce a self-sustaining population, Nerites do look dead good! Although my Lava snail still wins purely because - even for a snail - he's really stupid (which turns out to be surprisingly entertaining for spectators).
 

Trakkajack

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So I’ve just done another say 80% water change. I’m still doing water changes every other day or every second day depending on work. But; I just seem to be growing more and more algae I have my baby ramshorn snails and my assassin snail. My friends Sister who has tanks says I need to add amonia to cycle the tank or I will be on this treadmill for ever and tank won’t cycle. Is that right? Shall I get Dr Tim’s ammonia? I’m confused.
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Hufsa

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No, dont add ammonia. I dont have @dw1305 's usual links but basically ammonia cycling is based on outdated scientific knowledge, but many aquarists are not aware of this yet. You have diatom growth, your brown hairy algae. (This is the pizza and beer party I was talking about) Everything is on the right track, carry on as usual :thumbup:
 

John q

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My friends Sister who has tanks says I need to add amonia to cycle the tank
That wouldn't be the same friend that dropped the assassin in your tank without acclimatising it would it?

You do need some level of ammonia to provide a food source for the bacteria, but my understanding is in a planted tank the plants will provide this, I'm assuming through decaying plant matter.
Also worth noting your substrate which I think is ada and tropica will also be leaching amonia, hence the reason for the large water changes to remove it.

Tell your friend not to worry, you've got all your bases covered.
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
My friends Sister who has tanks says I need to add amonia to cycle the tank or I will be on this treadmill for ever and tank won’t cycle. Is that right? Shall I get Dr Tim’s ammonia? I’m confused.
Point your sister's friend towards <"Dr Timothy Hovanec's comments about Bacterial supplements">. It leads on from the <"Bacteria in a bottle"> thread.

"Cycling" is a <"really divisive subject">.
No, dont add ammonia. I dont have @dw1305 's usual links but basically ammonia cycling is based on outdated scientific knowledge, but many aquarists are not aware of this yet.
Yes, that is the one. <"Plant/microbe" biofiltration"> is much more efficient than "microbe only" biofiltration, so planted tanks are never wholly reliant on the microbial assemblage in the filter. The only time when ammonia based cycling might be relevant is in the <"mbuna scenario">.

The bacteria that needed high ammonia loadings and carbonate hardness <"don't actually occur in aquarium filters">, but what do are <"an assemblage of, previously unknown, nitrifying organisms"> that occur over a much wider range of ammonia loadings and pH values.

cheers Darrel
 

Trakkajack

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That wouldn't be the same friend that dropped the assassin in your tank without acclimatising it would it?
No it’s the girl I work with sister who has tanks. She said about needing amonia. Yes it makes good sense about the soil. I thought it was right not needing to add it but I’m not confident yet - I said on ukaps they said no ha ha.
 

Trakkajack

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So I went to Ferrybridge Aquatics on Saturday and got my first fish. They were helpful. Not into aquascaping which Horizon said was the case but very knowledgeable on their fish.

I got some Phosguard as the owner said this time of year around here the hair algae appears due to the farmers spraying and the run off going into the water course. So to use this. It happens each year in this area!


I got 2 Discus plus appropriate
1 Oticinclus
2 Bristlenose super red

Hope they do ok. Panicking already...
 

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Wookii

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Erm . . . . I can possibly hear the collective facepalming from here unfortunately @Trakkajack

You may have been sold inappropriate fish (experienced Discus keepers on here will comment I'm sure), and an unnecessary chemical product on the basis of a false assumption.

On the Discus AFAIK need to be kept in a temperature of 28-30 C, which won't be suitable for most of your plants, and unless they are a breeding pair (which I suspect they are not) need to most certainly be kept in a larger group.

Sorry - keep editing my post - also the Oto's shouldn't be kept singularly, I'm amazed they sold you a single fish.
 

Trakkajack

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Erm . . . . I can possibly hear the collective facepalming from here unfortunately @Trakkajack

You may have been sold inappropriate fish (experienced Discus keepers on here will comment I'm sure), and an unnecessary chemical product on the basis of a false assumption.

On the Discus AFAIK need to be kept in a temperature of 28-30 C, which won't be suitable for most of your plants, and unless they are a breeding pair (which I suspect they are not) need to most certainly be kept in a larger group.

Sorry - keep editing my post - also the Oto's shouldn't be kept singularly, I'm amazed they sold you a single fish.
Oh gosh. I went there as I was told they have great knowledge of their fish. I explained I was a complete novice and phoned ahead so they had time to deal with me.

I need to get another Otto then?! Poor thing ... I think they only had one left?

I feel sick ... oh I hope the poor fish will be ok. I explained everything to them and that I would be guided by them.

I have my water temperature up to 28.5 now. Going higher each day to get up to 30 degrees ...
 

Hufsa

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@Wookii you have good hearing, all the way over the ocean is quite impressive.
I was reluctant to write something as its never fun to be the rain on a parade but ...

Im not a discus keeper so I will leave the details down to those, but I do know that its a very bad idea to add two of them to a newly set up tank.

Otocinclus should also not be the first ones to go in, snails and shrimp first. Otos live in schools of hundreds of individuals in the wild and I find it unbelievably ... special that they sold just one lone individual to you.

In addition to that any chemical removing media (outside of charcoal to remove medication and possibly purigen to remove tannins) is a load of hooey and only serve to line the pockets of the salespeople.
Phosphate is an essential plant nutrient and using this runs the very real risk of starving your plants, ironically leading to algae issues.
Algae is not caused by excess nutrients as long as your tank is not way out of balance. Hair algae is most commonly associated with light/CO2 imbalance, not phosphate.

The bristlenose are okay-ish, they may rearrange your plants and also eat some of them, but some find that endearing.

If I were you I would go straight back to the store with Phosguard, both discus and the oto (and maybe bristlenoses) and get your money back.
The discus run a very real risk of dying and the oto will be better to purchase later with a group of his species.
They have proven themselves not to be trusted to give you any sort of advice, and from now on I would recommend you do your own research or ask here on the forum before heading out to buy livestock. I dont blame you for this, many new fishkeepers have been misled by the shockingly poor knowledge or ignorance of fish shops, so its an unfortunate thing to have to learn. However I hope from here on out you will make sure it doesnt happen again.
 

Hufsa

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The fish will be safer in the shops' tanks as I assume they are at least competent enough to have cycled filters.
You can always repurchase the species of fish later down the road, when you find out if they will be a good fit for your tank.
Both otos and discus are very sensitive fish.

Do they have any snails and shrimp there?
Ideal clean up crew for aquascapes are nerite/clithon snails, amano shrimp and cherry shrimp
 

Trakkajack

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The fish will be safer in the shops' tanks as I assume they are at least competent enough to have cycled filters.
You can always repurchase the species of fish later down the road, when you find out if they will be a good fit for your tank.
Both otos and discus are very sensitive fish.

Do they have any snails and shrimp there?
Ideal clean up crew for aquascapes are nerite/clithon snails, amano shrimp and cherry shrimp
I did ask about shrimp and snails and was told not to worry. I checked and double checked but ultimately I believed what they said and should have trusted my gut and what I had learnt from here and the research.

I feel all my months of preparation were for nothing.

Apologies for not consulting on here and for believing the shop ...
 

Wookii

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Oh gosh. I went there as I was told they have great knowledge of their fish. I explained I was a complete novice and phoned ahead so they had time to deal with me.

I need to get another Otto then?! Poor thing ... I think they only had one left?

I feel sick ... oh I hope the poor fish will be ok. I explained everything to them and that I would be guided by them.

I have my water temperature up to 28.5 now. Going higher each day to get up to 30 degrees ...

Don't panic, it's not your fault. Unfortunately its a sad fact that most LFS don't seem to know what on earth they are doing for the most part. Why one would sell a complete beginner some Discus is astonishing.

As @Hufsa says, on the Oto's, in the wild they live in groups of hundreds, sometimes even thousands of individuals, so they are very social. You could either take the fish back, or just get him/her some friends, and they'll be fine. A small shoal of 5-6 should be the minimum really. They do also have specific dietary requirements, and although they are often bought in the hobby as 'algae eaters', they do also need to be target fed with veggies (cucumber, courgette, blanched spinach etc) and algae wafers.

On the Discus, these are very specialist fish indeed, with very specific care and dietary requirements. Typically discus tanks are designed and set up from the outset to specifically house and care for the fish.

You have two choices I think, either go full-on 'discus' with all that entails, or take them back to the shop for a refund. If I were you, I would go with the latter.

Once the discus are gone, bring your temps back down to 22-23 degrees, then post back on here for some fish recommendations. You'll probably get 20 recommendations of 20 different fish, as everyone has their favourites, but you'll be assured that they'll be much more suited to your tank.

On the Phosguard, just get a refund on that. In a planted tank we intentionally add phosphate to help the plants grow, it is an essential nutrient. It has also long been debunked that phosphate causes algae - but that's a different topic of its own.
 

Hufsa

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Again this is not your fault, you were told they were knowledgeable and you even made sure they knew you were new to this and needed guidance.
None of us here blame you, I really cant stress that enough.

This has happened thousands of times and will likely continue to happen because as a newbie, how will you know who is knowledgeable and who isnt when everyone claims that they are?
You place your trust in people who are professionals because why wouldnt you, it seems perfectly sensible.
They should know what they are doing, but unfortunately many of them dont.
If you confront them about their poor advice they will say the "people on the internet are hysterical" or some other excuse and I think many of them genuinely believe it.
However here we have no financial motive, nothing to gain from you. I wont get any money from you. Whereas if you buy two expensive discus, and they die shortly, you might come back to buy two more and they might even be able to convince you to buy some other medicine or chemical product, earning them even more money.

No harm has been done so far, especially if you can return the fish. You havent ruined your tank, dont worry.
If they dont have any snails or shrimp I would see if I could locate another shop that does.
They will get started on your algae issues immediately. Maybe @Wookii can recommend amounts for you so that you know exactly what to get.

Edit: Aside from the fish issue, if you have a lot of algae now be sure to post some photos for us if you want help with that :)
 

Wookii

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Edit: Aside from the fish issue, if you have a lot of algae now be sure to post some photos for us if you want help with that :)

@Trakkajack

For algae control, I'm a fan of Ramshorns snails and Cherry shrimp. You can't really have too many of either in a planted tank in my humble opinion. The great benefit with them is that they both breed readily in freshwater so their populations will increase without intervention, and those populations will self regulate based on the amount of available food.

You can get Amano's and Nerites too, but they're not cheap, and they can't produce offspring successfully in fresh water, so their population constantly needs to be 're-purchased' to maintain it.

Cherry shrimp can be purchased online, or via eBay, but 'Shrimp Marketplace' on Band is a good place to buy straight from breeders. Or indeed you can get some in the classifieds on this forum depending on what colour you'd like. I believe @Steve Buce regularly has shrimp for sale. You want to make sure you get specifically Neocaridina shrimp, not Caridina, as the latter can be a little more specialist, where as the former are generally very easy to look after (in fact they don't really require any looking after). In terms of quantity to start with, it depends how patient you are - you can start with 10 and the population will grow on its own. I'm impatient though, so I'd probably add more depending on cost.

On the Ramshorns, Steve has these too, or I can send you some.
 

John q

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Oh heck, proper baptism of fire.. chin up, you'll get through it. 👍
have my water temperature up to 28.5 now. Going higher each day to get up to 30 degrees
I wouldn't raise the temperature any higher, infact I'd lower it a tad to 27⁰c, that's not ideal for the Discus but they'll survive in it, at 30⁰c the Bristlenose and Ottolincus will probably struggle, so best to find a compromise that they can all manage in for now.
 

ScaperJoe

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Wanted to second the recent advice on this thread - as someone who researched, watched hours of youtube videos and read a lot on the theory of a planted tank, but failed in preparing for the fish care part - that was only 2 months ago for me. Mistakes were made and I wish I had found the guidance offered here.

The good news is that your situation is different :), listen to the good folk because there's a wealth of knowledge and experience that money can't buy. Plus, you should know that the vast majority make a few mistakes at the outset :thumbup: - we're humans!
 
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