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I need a fish expert.

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I need a fish expert.
Sat May 05, 2018 10:49 pm
  • So 2 years ago we got a Betta male for our daughter (10 at the time). It was to be her first fish. He was a beautiful Betta. Colors like a firework display. Vibrant blues, reds and silver...

    Our maintenance was simple. Clean his tank every few weeks. Add the appropriate conditioner, all was well.

    Then, about four months ago we noticed his water was getting cloudy. Almost a milky texture. We had not changed any part of our routine. The water always came from our tap. We were vigilant about making sure we used the conditioner to make the water safe.

    We noticed he became stressed. So we took him to Petco and the lady there who we called "Betta Lady" because she knew her fish told us he had some kind of disease that basically was bloat. So she told us not to feed him for a few days so we did just that. Sure enough he rebounded after a few days.

    Then a few days later he would just lie on the bottom of the tank. That can't be good.

    Within days he died.

    I felt really bad one, because he was such a cool fish with a big personality and two, no matter what we did, he still died and it broke my daughter's heart.

    So fast forward a week. We thought the remedy would be to get a new fish. I mean, betta's are cheap. My daughter came home with a new fish who was brilliant blue and she named him Wilson. Heh.

    So Wilson was vibrant and young and also dead within a week.

    My daughter shed yet more tears. Two dead fish in less than a week. Okay fish experts, what are we missing?

    Just for the record:

    1) I changed the water at least every 3 weeks.

    2) We bought a heater since Betta's prefer warmer temps.

    3) I always used the recommended conditioner (4 drops for a 2 gallon tank).

    4) I always scrubbed the plants and "furniture" when I changed the water. With a toothbrush or by hand. No soap.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Sun May 06, 2018 12:38 am
  • So sorry to hear of this double loss, Aros. I'm sorry, I don't know anything about fish, but did the water become cloudy again, with the second fish? I assume it cleared again after the original cloudy-problem?

    It would be good to try to find out why it went cloudy, but if that was not a problem in losing the second fish, I'm stumped. There must be some good fish forums out there, surely, and/or help from your pet shop, or another pet shop if they don't help enough? Any possible water pH issues, or some undiagnosed disease or parasite?

    It's terrible when kids are in tears and you don't know what to do to help, especially with pet deaths.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Sun May 06, 2018 2:20 am
  • Thanks buddy...The more I research the more I am learning about pH, nitrates, ammonia levels, on and on...Who knew you needed a science major to have a fish? lol...

    Apparently you have to monitor your fishes water for all those elements to make sure the water is at its best using water test kits. For the record we were never told at the store about filters, nitrate, ammonia, pH levels, kits, etc...Basically we were told to change the water every few weeks, don't feed them more than a few flakes per day and that was it.

    We are going to take the water our last fish died in to see if we can figure out what in the hell is going on.

    Not sure what is more difficult to figure out. Our water supply that is killing our fish pets our the status of the Seahawks offensive line. ;)
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Sun May 06, 2018 6:18 am
  • I was going to suggest nitrates and ammonia, since you didn't mention having a filter. Get a filter with both a filter element and activated charcoal. It cleans the water, grows bacteria that convert ammonia (fish piss), and oxygenates it. I'm surprised the first fish lasted as long as it did - has your local water supply recently changed their chlorination methods, or brought a new chlorine station on-line, or something? Also, with a good filter you don't need to change the water nearly that often. Even with a conditioner it's better to leave water in there that's been good and de-chlorined for a long time instead of constantly stressing the fish. When I had a 55-gallon aquarium I'd change out the water 100% only when I had to clean the fish poop out of the gravel, which was no more that twice a year or less as I recall, or when I moved due to being a renter.

    And, if only there was a test kit for the O-line. I think changing the O-line coach is the closest thing to a test kit we can find.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Sun May 06, 2018 6:55 am
  • My 100 gallon reef went cloudy on me about 2 weeks ago, I was recently using tap water to replace evaporation (about a gallon a day) now that i am back to ro/di water things are ok again. I wonder if something changed with Washington's tap water standards.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Sun May 06, 2018 1:51 pm
  • Not sure if you aeriated the water, or vacuum the rocks etc that hold the plants down but bacteria can form in those rocks, I know from years ago we had to pull them out and basically boiled them and rinsed. As fish grow they need more oxygen levels in their water also. But you also stated you had a mature fish and a new young one.

    Do you get your water from a well fed system, at different times of year they will do things to filter and treat water for algea and stuff. Not that they tell you any of that.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Sun May 06, 2018 1:53 pm
  • Great info GeekHawk thank you.

    I have no idea if our local water supply has changed any chlorine levels, etc. It's weird because nobody at Petco (where we bought both fish) suggested a filter. In fact, it wasn't until just the past few months we got a heater. The filter sounds like a mandatory deal then.

    We are going to bring the water from the tank to be tested, plus our tap water. For the record, this last fish had distilled water so it wasn't from the tap.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Sun May 06, 2018 3:25 pm
  • My son had Bettas when he was a kid..
    They just don't live a real long time..I think we got maybe 6-8 months at most from one
    and made the mistake of putting another in same tank as the male killed the female.
    When that male died I ended the pet fish thing and got a dog..Even fish dying is upsetting.
    They are cool looking fish though and are interesting but they die early,
    I guess maybe that is why they are so cheap.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Sun May 06, 2018 5:44 pm
  • I am by no means an expert, BUT, when we had fish, we bought them from a place that sold only fish. THAT guy was anal about his fish. He wouldn't even sell you the fish until you had the tank up and operating for awhile and brought him a water sample to test. Then, he would sell you what HE thought would do best for you, given your water. Anyways, one thing he always stressed was that when you clean the tank, never replace all of the water. I think he said that 1/2 was the most that should be replaced.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Sun May 06, 2018 6:43 pm
  • WmHBonney wrote:I am by no means an expert, BUT, when we had fish, we bought them from a place that sold only fish. THAT guy was anal about his fish. He wouldn't even sell you the fish until you had the tank up and operating for awhile and brought him a water sample to test. Then, he would sell you what HE thought would do best for you, given your water. Anyways, one thing he always stressed was that when you clean the tank, never replace all of the water. I think he said that 1/2 was the most that should be replaced.


    From what I've read, roughly 10% of the water can be changed weekly, and this done by using a gravel vacuum. I have a 2 gallon tank with 3 fish the grand-kids picked out, so real cheap ones. I've got a powered filter but no heater, and I haven't seen the little buggers stressed out since the first day when they were dropped in. But I imagine that would stress out anyone. :lol:
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Sun May 06, 2018 7:55 pm
  • Well crap. I always replaced 100% of the water every time I changed the tank. Eeeep. That probably didn't help matters.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Sun May 06, 2018 8:00 pm
  • Aros wrote:Well crap. I always replaced 100% of the water every time I changed the tank. Eeeep. That probably didn't help matters.


    PH balance and becasue of additives in tap water it isn't filtered fast enough. Shocks fish as well as water temp.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Sun May 06, 2018 11:24 pm
  • I've had roughly 2 Oscars and a few other accompanying fish for over 20 years and 5 weeks ago our Oscars got hole in the head disease which we never even heard of before
    If you don't check your water and get anal about water changes and checking your water when you get a bigger tank constantly you will never know
    New fish can often come to your house pre diseased or a local issue with the water could happen unbeknownst to you or who knows what
    A million different things can cause a new fish to die
    We only go to a dedicated fish store and had a fish guy clean our tank for years but when you get a bug constant water changes and who knows what else may be required , you just don't know till you check your water or have it checked
    Even then it can be very tough at best to figure it out
    With a small tank it's easier to just buy a new one and start over
    It's more difficult when you've got a 100 gal tank
    They're nice to look at but the reality is I may have to empty my tank , scrub it . get all new filtration and new fish and may have the same problem beacause of the water I put in
    I'm having the same type of problem but after changing my water my guys seem more active but how do I know for sure their not jumpy due to stress ?
    Point being just ask the fish guy what the hartiest fish are and get those
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Mon May 07, 2018 5:24 am
  • Aros wrote:We are going to bring the water from the tank to be tested, plus our tap water. For the record, this last fish had distilled water so it wasn't from the tap.


    This is one thing I actually CAN definitely answer, Todd. Distilled water is NOT for aquarium use.

    The reason is it is utterly "defenceless" in resisting pH changes. It has no pH "buffering capacity". I'm not sure how to explain this well, but water with a balance of ions, minerals etc in it has the ability to "absorb" pH changes (within limits). But if you add minute amounts of acid or base/alkali to distilled water, the pH change will be reflected immediately and massively.

    Being a (negative) logarithmic scale, a increase or decrease in pH of one unit means a tenfold decrease or increase (respectively) in the concentration of positively charged hydrogen ions in solution. Thus, even a change from pH 6.7 to 7.0 indicates a doubling of hydrogen ion concentration.

    I'm sure someone with better chemistry knowledge/memory could explain this much better, but the importance can be critical. This is one of the many reasons goldfish are such survivors; they are incredibly hardy and tolerant to extreme conditions. Heck, they thrive in polluted, oxygen-poor urban canals you can nearly walk on, or set on fire!

    All the best!
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Mon May 07, 2018 7:19 am
  • IndyHawk wrote:My son had Bettas when he was a kid..
    They just don't live a real long time..I think we got maybe 6-8 months at most from one
    and made the mistake of putting another in same tank as the male killed the female.
    When that male died I ended the pet fish thing and got a dog..Even fish dying is upsetting.
    They are cool looking fish though and are interesting but they die early,
    I guess maybe that is why they are so cheap.


    This.

    I've had tanks for 30 years, and while Bettas are pretty, they're barely above goldfish in the hearty fish department.

    My advice is if your daughter is into fish this much, get her a nice little 10 gallon tank setup and get her some heartier fish. Lots of cool fish options at any Petco or private fish store.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Mon May 07, 2018 7:26 am
  • Sgt. Largent wrote:
    This.

    I've had tanks for 30 years, and while Bettas are pretty, they're barely above goldfish in the hearty fish department.

    My advice is if your daughter is into fish this much, get her a nice little 10 gallon tank setup and get her some heartier fish. Lots of cool fish options at any Petco or private fish store.


    Do you have any recommendations for hearty fish?
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Mon May 07, 2018 7:57 am
  • OkieHawk wrote:
    Sgt. Largent wrote:
    This.

    I've had tanks for 30 years, and while Bettas are pretty, they're barely above goldfish in the hearty fish department.

    My advice is if your daughter is into fish this much, get her a nice little 10 gallon tank setup and get her some heartier fish. Lots of cool fish options at any Petco or private fish store.


    Do you have any recommendations for hearty fish?


    I've had just about every type of freshwater tropical species, and my favorites are the cichlids. They're active, and you can buy some cool looking ones. Oscars, jack dempseys, convicts, etc.

    But most cichlids are on the aggressive side, so you have to be careful not to mix and match them with non aggressive species.

    Some stores will post how mellow the fish are, but if not I'd advise asking so you're not mix and matching a mellow fish with an aggressive fish.

    But for a kid? I'd go with more mellow fish like angel fish, barbs, gouramis, tetras, etc. They're heartier and don't fight as much as cichlids do.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Mon May 07, 2018 8:06 am
  • Sgt. Largent wrote:
    I've had just about every type of freshwater tropical species, and my favorites are the cichlids. They're active, and you can buy some cool looking ones. Oscars, jack dempseys, convicts, etc.

    But most cichlids are on the aggressive side, so you have to be careful not to mix and match them with non aggressive species.

    Some stores will post how mellow the fish are, but if not I'd advise asking so you're not mix and matching a mellow fish with an aggressive fish.

    But for a kid? I'd go with more mellow fish like angel fish, barbs, gouramis, tetras, etc. They're heartier and don't fight as much as cichlids do.


    Thanks for the info!
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Mon May 07, 2018 9:33 am
  • Aussie Seahawk wrote:
    Aros wrote:We are going to bring the water from the tank to be tested, plus our tap water. For the record, this last fish had distilled water so it wasn't from the tap.


    This is one thing I actually CAN definitely answer, Todd. Distilled water is NOT for aquarium use.

    The reason is it is utterly "defenceless" in resisting pH changes. It has no pH "buffering capacity". I'm not sure how to explain this well, but water with a balance of ions, minerals etc in it has the ability to "absorb" pH changes (within limits). But if you add minute amounts of acid or base/alkali to distilled water, the pH change will be reflected immediately and massively.

    Being a (negative) logarithmic scale, a increase or decrease in pH of one unit means a tenfold decrease or increase (respectively) in the concentration of positively charged hydrogen ions in solution. Thus, even a change from pH 6.7 to 7.0 indicates a doubling of hydrogen ion concentration.

    I'm sure someone with better chemistry knowledge/memory could explain this much better, but the importance can be critical. This is one of the many reasons goldfish are such survivors; they are incredibly hardy and tolerant to extreme conditions. Heck, they thrive in polluted, oxygen-poor urban canals you can nearly walk on, or set on fire!

    All the best!


    Wow, that was a poor choice on our part. My wife said she remembered the person at the pet store mentioned distilled water...Maybe the kind they have is treated differently?

    The first fish never had distilled water...Thanks for the info!
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Mon May 07, 2018 2:32 pm
  • I picked up my first betta just a few weeks ago. He was dead within a week. I don't feel like I did anything wrong, I think he was just a lemon. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

    Here's my new guy, Sonny Jim:

    [instagram]https://instagram.com/p/BiX25XwhmSC/[/instagram]

    Doing good so far, much better than that first poor bastard.

    Just threw this guy in there with him, calling him Chappie short for Chappaquiddick:

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    And these two Spotted Cory, Bob & Cooter:

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    They'll probably all be dead by the end of the week, and then I'll be crying like a little girl.

    I'm brand new to the whole aquarium thing so I definitely appreciate all the info from more experienced folks. I can see how this can get pretty addictive. Sure is a lot of fun when things are going right.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Mon May 07, 2018 5:01 pm
  • That male Betta will not like company..They just do not- pretty lonesome crazy things lol
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Mon May 07, 2018 5:08 pm
  • IndyHawk wrote:That male Betta will not like company..They just do not- pretty lonesome crazy things lol


    Definitely an experiment. I had a few people tell me that if they can survive the first few days he might get used to them and get over it. We shall see. He's taken a couple shots so far but they've been able to evade and keep their distance. I didn't particularly want a betta when I went into the shop for that reason exactly, but the guy told me if I wanted to go home with a fish that night it was pretty much my only option. But he did say it could potentially coexist with a couple others in the tank, so we'll see how it goes.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Tue May 08, 2018 6:15 am
  • Just wanted to thank Aros for this line of questioning. It went from the fact we had fish back when I was a little kid to marbles in the tank to the 3rd grade only good memories before it went south really hard. Thanks for the memories.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Tue May 08, 2018 7:33 am
  • I’d love to see more pictures of everybody’s tanks. My 125g African cichlid tank, figure you guys will appreciate the Seahawks background.

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Re: I need a fish expert.
Tue May 08, 2018 12:38 pm
  • Nice looking tank man! Rigid. No fluffy stuff. I like it.

    I'm only 3+ weeks into my little bowl and I'm already plotting on a 10-20 gallon. Not that I can afford another habit/hobby, but it's pretty fun and fascinating.

    Anybody have recommendations on fresh water fish combos that are fun and not too high maintenance? I mean, I don't mind a little maintenance, I just don't want to have to hand feed or anything like that.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Tue May 08, 2018 1:49 pm
  • Zebulon Dak wrote:
    Anybody have recommendations on fresh water fish combos that are fun and not too high maintenance? I mean, I don't mind a little maintenance, I just don't want to have to hand feed or anything like that.


    As I said above, Cichlids are IMO the best freshwater fish, they're hearty, tons of cool varieties and not too expensive to re-stock if you lose a couple...............and they live quite a while. Also easily available at most fish and pet stores.

    I had a couple Oscars that lived over 10 years, but again ask about aggressiveness to make sure you're not putting an angel fish in with a convict or green terror.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Tue May 08, 2018 3:43 pm
  • anybody do salt water?

    mine as of a month or so ago
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Tue May 08, 2018 3:46 pm
  • m0ng0 wrote:anybody do salt water?

    mine as of a month or so ago



    Looks good. I tried salt water a few years back and didn’t have much luck.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Wed May 09, 2018 8:25 am
  • JSeahawks wrote:
    m0ng0 wrote:anybody do salt water?

    mine as of a month or so ago



    Looks good. I tried salt water a few years back and didn’t have much luck.


    Same here, except bout 10 years ago.

    I love salt water tanks, they're amazing..............but too high maintenance and the fish are more expensive, some into the hundreds.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Wed May 09, 2018 8:33 am
  • That Finding Nemo situation is tight though.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Wed May 09, 2018 11:00 am
  • Nice looking Betta Zeb, and nice tanks fellas.

    Mine is sitting empty at the moment until we figure out our water situation.

    Glad this thread has grown. Seems like a lot of folks like pets with fins. ;)
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Wed May 09, 2018 4:46 pm
  • [instagram]https://instagram.com/p/BikQAJBAyPa/[/instagram]

    So far so good in the little fish bowl. I'm gonna upgrade this to a 10 gallon or so asap but they're gonna have to wait it out another week or 2. Seem to be doing ok so far.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:39 am
  • So we got another Betta...Handsome fella we named Mr. Pumpernickelbootytoots. Yeah, I know. I was outvoted. My wife had a fish at work years ago she jokingly named him that but died when he fried himself on the tank lamp one morning. So once my daughter heard that name I was outvoted. Since he's the second fish with that name we normally just call him "P2". He's got the same great personality my first fish did. Very expressive, comes right to the front of the tank when he sees me with his little fins going a mile a minute...Follows my finger around...

    So any ways...P2 has been doing very well so far. We've had him about three weeks now. I already did the first water change (I have a bowl I use just for his water changes). 20% of his tank, treated with the proper conditioner. I let it sit for 24 hours before introducing to his tank (after scooping out 20% of his tank water).

    Now he's due for another 20% change out but his tank is looking filmy and I am so tempted to clean the whole tank (I know some food is on the floor on the rocks...He hangs out there sometimes looking for the remains) by removing him and the water that I put with him in a container while I clean his tank.

    I would then let the fresh tank water with conditioner sit for 24 hours before re-introducing him.

    Good plan? Bad plan? Appreciate any of your fish expertise as always!
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    Aros
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:00 am
  • If there's routinely food at the bottom, it means you're over feeding him..........which could be contributing to the cloudiness of the water if the food is decaying.

    But to answer your question, a Beta should be fine with a total water change. Just make sure to get the temp bowl of water as close to his tank temperature before moving him. Couple drops of conditioner/stress coat and you're good to go.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:28 am
  • Actually I don't think it's overfeeding. I only think this because when we drop the 3 or sometimes 4 flakes in per day (as per the instructions), they are a bit heavy and some fall to the floor before he sees them or gets to them. Unless you mean he is eventually finding them on the floor? Maybe my wife or daughter will add more in if they see them float to the floor before he gets to them?
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:35 am
  • Aros wrote:Actually I don't think it's overfeeding. I only think this because when we drop the 3 or sometimes 4 flakes in per day (as per the instructions), they are a bit heavy and some fall to the floor before he sees them or gets to them. Unless you mean he is eventually finding them on the floor? Maybe my wife or daughter will add more in if they see them float to the floor before he gets to them?


    Fish smell food pretty well, so if it's at the bottom and he's not eating it then that's what I'm saying, maybe feeding him too often.

    Fish only need the size of their eyeball in food (same size as their stomach) once a day. So usually a telltale sign of overfeeding is leftover food at the bottom. Not a big deal, but it could be contributing to the cloudy tank if it's decomposing is all I was saying.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:25 am
  • Thanks, I will talk to my girls about making sure they are not adding more food because they see some dropping to the floor...I will clean his tank this weekend...Should I keep him out in a separate container for a day or so or just wait for the temps to regulate?
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:49 pm
  • Seems like we had a snail or two in ours back in the day....like about 35 to 40 years ago. Just a thought and dont know if that works in the new generation.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:06 pm
  • Aros wrote:Thanks, I will talk to my girls about making sure they are not adding more food because they see some dropping to the floor...I will clean his tank this weekend...Should I keep him out in a separate container for a day or so or just wait for the temps to regulate?


    Just until his tank gets to temp, shouldn't take a day, only a couple hours usually.
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Re: I need a fish expert.
Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:16 pm
  • Cool, will do. Thanks for the info!
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