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 Anybody else into aquariums?

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R.A.

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Location : Raleigh NC
Registration date : 2011-02-09

PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:23 am

Julidochromis Transcriptus, Yes I recall that name and Julidochromis Ornatus. they look simular I had good luck with them.

Love fish tanks I miss mine, "Someone doesnt like them here" Years back I built cabinetry for my brother-in-law in the den for 3-180 gal tanks approx each 3'x'3x6' a wall of african cichlids.

South America cichlids are nice but they like to hide alot, I had a Jack Dempsy almost as big as my hand, smokey black covered in shiney turquois blue speckles

If you obey the rules fish tanks are easy to upkeep, dont and they are a 2nd job. limit solid waste and proper gas exchange, PH levels keep constant and limited temp fluctuation. Dr Foster Smith (online store) used to be a good place for supplies.
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Rob_In_MO

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Age : 44
Location : Park Hills, MO
Registration date : 2011-01-19

PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:28 am

R.A. wrote:
Julidochromis Transcriptus, Yes I recall that name and Julidochromis Ornatus. they look simular I had good luck with them.

Actually mine commonly act a lot more like Gobies - floating, hanging upside-down on rocks, hanging vertically or horizontally on rockwork, and hopping from place to place. Not at all what normal fish swim like.

Julidochromis Transcriptus:



Julidochromis Ornatus:
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mfagan0110



Age : 26
Location : Ohio
Registration date : 2012-01-25

PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:45 pm

Good looking fish everyone. I'll have to up a few pics. I' m more of a predator fish guy myself and anything unusual. I have a firemouth cichlid, jurapari, pike.cichlid, and an 18" Tiger shovelnose catfish(my prized possesion). 55gal bow front. but hopefully double that after moving this summer. I love my fish. Handsome fish guys.
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:32 am

Rob, your Tanganyika cichlids are beautiful!!! I've often wanted to try some form of the "compact" Africans, they have such a robust disposition and their territorial/mating behavior is extremely rewarding to watch. Are your Julidochromis Transcriptus more diggers or "hole dwellers?" I know the pH needs to be pretty high for most of the Tanganyika cichlids, and with plant matter and our water (naturally 6.2 pH) it's tough to keep it that high. I have a couple bags of crushed coral just to keep the pH in the 7.2 - 7.5 range! Shocked

As an update, I've gone for a set of male and female honey sunset gouramis for my little 12 gallon tank since Ichi, my goldfish got dropsy and I had to put him down. I miss that fish so damned much, but I wasn't fast enough in being able to get a bigger tank for him. When I move, I plan on at least a 50g tank just for fancy goldfish.

I considered some ram cichlids but I didn't trust the water parameters and couldn't find the right kind of sand around here to keep them happy...but the 12g tank has extremely good filtration and maybe if I learn a few more tricks I would consider them...
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Rob_In_MO

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Age : 44
Location : Park Hills, MO
Registration date : 2011-01-19

PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:26 am

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Are your Julidochromis Transcriptus more diggers or "hole dwellers?" I know the pH needs to be pretty high for most of the Tanganyika cichlids, and with plant matter and our water (naturally 6.2 pH) it's tough to keep it that high. I have a couple bags of crushed coral just to keep the pH in the 7.2 - 7.5 range! Shocked

Hello Kyle. Actually they're both rock dwellers and diggers. I use a small size brown gravel that allows them to dig underneath the rocks (beware of falling rocks) and make more caves/crevices to hide in. An old trick for a semi-permanent installation is to stack your rocks the way you want them. Pull them out and put them back in the way they were - using silicone sealer (100% Silicone) to hold them together. That way when the Cichlids dig, no chance of falling rock structures.

Of course this makes the tank harder to rearrange.

Re: water - crushed coral makes a great substrate for these guys. I add 1-tbsp of Instant Ocean per 5-gallons of their water, since the lake they come from has a notable salt content. This also helps buffer the water. If you need to, you can add 1-tbsp Baking Soda per 5-gallons to help buffer the pH also. Lake Tanganyika has a pH of 8.8-9.3, though these fish are happy and will breed readily in anything over 8.0.

Hope this helps.
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:05 pm

Rob_In_MO wrote:


Hello Kyle. Actually they're both rock dwellers and diggers. I use a small size brown gravel that allows them to dig underneath the rocks (beware of falling rocks) and make more caves/crevices to hide in. An old trick for a semi-permanent installation is to stack your rocks the way you want them. Pull them out and put them back in the way they were - using silicone sealer (100% Silicone) to hold them together. That way when the Cichlids dig, no chance of falling rock structures.

Of course this makes the tank harder to rearrange.

Re: water - crushed coral makes a great substrate for these guys. I add 1-tbsp of Instant Ocean per 5-gallons of their water, since the lake they come from has a notable salt content. This also helps buffer the water. If you need to, you can add 1-tbsp Baking Soda per 5-gallons to help buffer the pH also. Lake Tanganyika has a pH of 8.8-9.3, though these fish are happy and will breed readily in anything over 8.0.

Hope this helps.

Good tips. I like the idea of glue-'em-yourself caves!

I always heard using Instant Ocean helps the immediate pH of the water, but it the crushed coral is what maintains the levels (hence, the buffering...) unless Instant Ocean uses something different than I'm not aware. It's been a long time since I've "dove" back into the specifics of aquaria.

Now, my crushed coral I keep on hand is a pretty chunky substrate, probably on-par with standard silica-based crappy fish gravel in particle size. I always thought that was a little big--and sea sand is so fine, it wreaks havoc with siphon cleaners. I was not able to find a good source without venturing to the Internet to get sand that was a good "in-between." Either that, or I'm overthinking it.

As an update, one of my gouramis decided to try and "swim downstream" and somehow managed to swim up and over the skimmer plate in my filtration and get caught in the filter. My countin' ain't so good, so when I only saw one fish (on a tank with probably the best lid design on a fish tank--ever, I had to investigate. Little guy was fine, just swimming in an inch of the first stage of the filtration. The dummy.

Otherwise, they're amusing me. If something goes amiss, off to the store for little Tanganyika cichlids. Cool
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Rob_In_MO

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PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:03 pm

Kyle - years ago when I researched Instant Ocean, it was described as having buffering agents as well. Supposedly some of them dissolve immediately (as expected) and some took longer to dissolve, helping to maintain an 8.2 pH - which is the ideal for a Saltwater tank. Of course the Rift Lake Cichlids do fine at this pH level too.

But by using Instant Ocean (or similar) and your crushed coral, I can forsee no problems with your water chemistry.

Another word about the rock dwellers - they're extremely shy. Many keepers use dither fish to help the cichlids overcome their shyness. They never get over it completely, but it does help. Several community fish such as Guppies and Mollies inhabit fresh, brackish, and saltwater all three in nature - and these usually stay near the top anyway. Zebra Danios are very hearty and very fast swimmers, and also make great dither fish for smaller Africans. The high pH and salt content doesn't seem to bother them either. This trick works very well for the Julidochromis family, since they stay near the bottom and around the rocks/caves anyway. This isn't to say that you won't loose any of the Guppies, Mollies or Danios, but they're usually ignored for the most part.
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
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PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:23 pm

Rob_In_MO wrote:
Kyle - years ago when I researched Instant Ocean, it was described as having buffering agents as well. Supposedly some of them dissolve immediately (as expected) and some took longer to dissolve, helping to maintain an 8.2 pH - which is the ideal for a Saltwater tank. Of course the Rift Lake Cichlids do fine at this pH level too.

But by using Instant Ocean (or similar) and your crushed coral, I can forsee no problems with your water chemistry.

Another word about the rock dwellers - they're extremely shy. Many keepers use dither fish to help the cichlids overcome their shyness. They never get over it completely, but it does help. Several community fish such as Guppies and Mollies inhabit fresh, brackish, and saltwater all three in nature - and these usually stay near the top anyway. Zebra Danios are very hearty and very fast swimmers, and also make great dither fish for smaller Africans. The high pH and salt content doesn't seem to bother them either. This trick works very well for the Julidochromis family, since they stay near the bottom and around the rocks/caves anyway. This isn't to say that you won't loose any of the Guppies, Mollies or Danios, but they're usually ignored for the most part.

Okay. I was under the impression that Instant Ocean's "buffering" numbers and stats were only for using it specifically for replicating salt water environments, that less product equaled less pH buffering. Again, all hear-say. *shrug* My ultimate goal would be to use a mix of the right-sized crushed coral and sand. Right now, I have a 1:8 ratio of crushed coral to standard aquarium gravel, and I've gone up exactly one point of pH (6.2 - 7.2)--so I'm assuming I could go to a 1:4 ratio and be right on the money.

Also, what grain size of crushed coral is available, or what's a good sand? Beach/ocean sand is just too fine.

Shyness is kind of cool, in a way, I think mollies and guppies are kind of single-minded and obnoxious. They look super cool, but there's just no room for them in a tank. Heck, if they wanted to eat a danio, have at it. Laughing I somewhat find it a bit of a myth that guppies and mollies are "brackish" fish, because they tend to live in areas that have quite a bit of coral substrate, and might get the occasional hurricane surge, but largely high pH is more important to them than salt. I've kept mollies for years with just coral substrate and only salt when there was the rare parasite introduction.

In any case, I'd sacrifice a danio to the cichlid well-being. Twisted Evil
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Rob_In_MO

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Age : 44
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PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:08 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Right now, I have a 1:8 ratio of crushed coral to standard aquarium gravel, and I've gone up exactly one point of pH (6.2 - 7.2)--so I'm assuming I could go to a 1:4 ratio and be right on the money.

Also, what grain size of crushed coral is available, or what's a good sand? Beach/ocean sand is just too fine.

I don't think that would be a problem on the 1:4 ratio. Several years back I used a substrate of 100% Crushed Coral as an experiment and had no problems. I don't remember what the grain size was exactly, but the pieces were about the size of BB's or maybe a little smaller. I often see it that size in bags in the saltwater section of the LFS (local fish store). It's not cheap, but then what is these days. Should last forever though...

Luckily for me, the tap water here is very hard with an already-high pH, so a little Salt and i'm good to go. Of course this wouldn't be good if I decided to keep Rams or Discus. Shocked

Another experiment I performed years ago (when I lived at home) with some Julidochromis Marlieri offspring (which I had too many of) was slowly raising the pH to between 8.8-9.0 using a combination of Sodium and Potassium Bicarbonates. The fish didn't seem to care either way and it was too much hassle to maintain.

While we're at it, another trick I occasionally use to help replicate the mineral content of Lake Tanganyika is using 1-tbsp per 10-gallons of Epsom Salts. It has a few trace elements that help closer replicate the lake's water conditions. Once again not necessary, and the fish don't seem to care either way.

I was just going through a 'Perfectionist' stage at the time. It was actually kind of funny. Here I was a high-school student researching the Advanced Water Parameters of Rift Lakes at SEMO University Library. No, I wasn't the average teenager.
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
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PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:45 pm

That's both one of the joys and pains of fishkeeping, is the upkeep. If you have the time and patience, it's awesome. There's papers and books of years of dedication printed out there (triple that with the Internet, now) that would go into people's obsession with aquarium perfection.

In some cases, I read, the fish might not "care," but the incidences of infection and sickness would dramatically decrease if the water conditions were met to natural specifications. I suppose it is less to see what the fish could tolerate and more to making the water less inhabitable by the infectious stuff--plus, if trace elements the fish's immune system needs aren't present, that can be a problem.

It's all very complex. I much rather simpler fish--then if you really want to spend some bucks and do some hard work, head on over to salt tanks. Egad.

Laughing

Cool
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i.keenum

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Age : 27
Location : coast of mississippi
Registration date : 2011-06-12

PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:24 pm

Ok you guys got to see my tank in it's decrepit stage. NOW I have it set up to the way i like. I got some real rocks and gravel and got a very natural thing going.



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i.keenum

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PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:26 pm

might have to click on the second one to enlarge it for some reason it went to a thumbnail.
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:19 pm

That looks great, Keen. Is the tank kind of a "room divider" so you can see it from both sides? I've seen tanks set up like that, and all the "stuff" gets put at one end of the tank (filtration, etc)... I guess it's important to have a good amount of flow in that case so the water at the other end of the tank doesn't get stagnant.

My setup right now looks pretty nice, I kept it real minimalistic (after Ichi died... Sad ) 2 oto cats, 1 honey gourami and black mystery snail that's literally growing almost 1/8" a day. Shocked

Cool
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Mordechaj



Location : Europe, Croatia
Registration date : 2011-11-28

PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:26 am

I can't open the thumbnail but it looks quite nice from what I can figure. Smile
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Rob_In_MO

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PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:59 pm

Looks great! The mbuna should be very happy with that setup. Lots of rockwork and caves for them to hide in. Not sure how long those plants will last though, as they are by nature - vegetarians.
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Mordechaj



Location : Europe, Croatia
Registration date : 2011-11-28

PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:39 pm

Plants look artificial to me, but I might be wrong.
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i.keenum

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PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:32 pm

The grass is real but the others are fake.
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Boxerbuddy

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Location : Boston, Massachusetts
Registration date : 2011-10-06

PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:38 pm

I've got a little plastic fish tank with a coy that used to be named Nom Nom. My daughter named him that cause it looks like thats what he's saying all the time. It's not worth taking a pic of because it's really a pathetic little tank...I should get a better on for him, but anyways thats not the point.

We renamed the fish about a week ago...here's the story behind it.
My daughter's mother and I are separated, I get her on Tuesdays, Thursdays and every other weekend. So one Tues she looks at the tank and she says "Dad, Nom Nom's tank is a little dirty I think it's time to clean it". I said Ok kiddo I'll clean it tomorrow and when I get you on Thursday the tank will be nice and clean. So on Wed night I grabbed Nom Nom and put him in a large salad bowl full of water, and put the tank and all it's contents in the dishwasher.

I put the cycle on anti-bacterial which takes about 2 hours to complete, grabbed a leftover sub from the fridge and sat down on my lazy boy to eat and watch some TV. When I was done I lit up a bowl of Escudo and watched some more TV.

The dishwasher finally finishes,,but I'm a little lazy so I watch another half hour of TV. I get up to set up the tank...I walk by the huge salad bowl and....NO NOM NOM!!!! My 1st reaction was "the dog!", then I realized that she's encountered mice before and the only reaction she had was to paw at it and whine, so I couldn't imagine her jumping up on the ounter and gulping the fish down...plus the counter was dry. Then it hit me.....he jumped out...shit!

I searched the floor furiously and I finally found him...under the cabinet doors...almost completely dry and covered in dust. I scooped him up like lightning and put him back in the salad bowl in a panic....all the while envisioning my daughter in her 30's saying "remember when you killed my fish dad?"

He was in tough shape...barely moving and kindof bent sideways....I grabbed his fin and moved him gently back and forth to get some water through his gills...he picked up alittle, he started making the nom nom face again. I set up the tank again and put all his stuff in there and put him back in. I continued to manually move him around hoping he would just snap out of it. When I'd stop moving him he'd kindof sink to the bottom and just suck in water...didn't look good. I moved him around for another 15 mins or so but he wasn't getting any better. I decided that there really wasn't anything else I could do for him so I went to bed, fully expecting him to end up in the big fish bowl in the sky.

Next morning I got up ready to flush a fish and surprise!! He was alert and swimming around like nothing happened....amazing!

So when I picked up my daughter the next day I told her the story....she was alittle mad but happy that Nom Nom was still alive. When we got to my house she went over to look at him and said "who was that guy who came back to life". I'm decidedly non religious so I'm not sure where she heard that story....but I said "Lazarus". She says"Yeah, that guy...can we change his name to that?". I said "sure".

So yeah, thats the little story of our fish Lazarus.
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
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PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:04 pm

...egads. I'm kind of feeling sorry for Lazarus... Laughing I wonder if he was trying to end it all before fate finally go to him. Laughing Did the pet store give you any literature on fish care or... is this one of those "teaching kids about life/death" rituals that seem to go along with goldfish? Just wondering--not a parent, saw this process repeat itself all the time (I managed a pet store for a short time...):

* buy large bag of goldfish for kids

* buy tank totally wrong for such a "project" (against my suggestions)

* come back a week later with a bag of dead fish, crying child, yelling at me

Laughing

Not saying this is you, but seriously just wondering. Living things mean a lot to me, so that's why I figured I'd work for a pet store. Living things mean a lot to me, so that's why I stopped working at a pet store. At least I don't have to see the bullshit that goes on there. I'd rather people go hunting: at least the dead animals get eaten and had a halfway okay life. Laughing

lol!

*sigh* Macabre, but funny.
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Martin Romijn

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Age : 48
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Registration date : 2010-07-14

PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:28 am

here are some pics of my aquarium







here's a movie made at the aqua-zoo where I work as a volunteer... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9oOWibHJTg

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Simple Man

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Age : 56
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Registration date : 2011-10-24

PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:33 am

*


Last edited by Simple Man on Wed May 02, 2012 11:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Martin Romijn

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PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:40 am

Simple Man wrote:
Very pretty stuff, Martin! You guys are really making me want an aquarium again... darn small house!

thanks, and eh...take a small aquarium !! Laughing
Nothing like smoking a pipe and staring into an aquarium.......
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Simple Man

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PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:57 am

*


Last edited by Simple Man on Tue May 01, 2012 3:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mordechaj



Location : Europe, Croatia
Registration date : 2011-11-28

PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:11 pm

That's really neat setup!
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wintermute



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Location : Long Island, NY
Registration date : 2009-04-21

PostSubject: Re: Anybody else into aquariums?   Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:40 pm

Sorry about resurrecting this one, but maybe you guys can help me.

I've had several very successful aquariums in the past: fancy goldfish; Amazon mid-light planted aquarium; Amazon high-light planted aquarium; Southeast Asian low-light planted aquarium (best one I ever had). I've been through several moves and now finally own a house and really don't have time for too large of an aquarium. I have a 5-gallon tank that I found a while ago staring me in the face. Any ideas what I can do with it? For those with Tanganyika cichlids - can I comfortably handle J. Transciptus or shell dwellers in this (I doubt it)? Thanks.
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