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  1. ystrout

    Filter Comparison

    A few recommendations: 1. Always get more filtration rather than less. A filter rated for 20 gallons is probably good for 10 to 15 gallon aquariums. A filter rated to 30 gallons is good up to 20 to gallons, etc. 2. Brands that have replaceable filter media are no good. Especially those all in 1...
  2. ystrout

    Keeping Occupied

    A lot of people agree with you. Right outside Miramar, there are tons of people parked on the side of the road watching everything from a mile away so they don't have to deal with the ruthless traffic trying to get off the base.
  3. ystrout


    20 gallon long tanks really aren't that heavy. It's probably close to 200 pounds all filled up. When I had a 20 long, I started with it on my counter, then bought a stand at Home Goods. It worked fine for years and wasn't made for fish tanks. My 75G tank uses a Petsmart stand. If I had to do it...
  4. ystrout

    Keeping Occupied

    A few more hours at work! My fiancé is on heading for her bachelorette party weekend so I'll have the apartment to myself. The airshow is coming to San Diego so I'll probably go to that and go surfing this weekend. And of course, water changes.
  5. ystrout

    Bottled Water For Aquarium

    Yes bottled water is fine. You'd be much better off buying RO water from a water store, or just buying your own RO unit. It wastes less plastic too. I used to use Crystal Geyser Spring Water for my 20 gallon aquarium. Then I started using RO water (and adding back minerals). Now I just use my...
  6. ystrout

    Love Of Aquariums

    I absolutely love it as well. I'm also super content with where I am with my tanks. I love my fish, scapes look great, and it's 1.5 hours per week of maintenance that isn't actually a chore. I enjoy keeping their home clean and healthy! Doing the water changes for my 75G is fun too because my...
  7. ystrout

    O-ring Lubricant

    For use in your canister filter? I've never lubed up my canister filter O-rings. I probably should next time I clean it... But I don't think it matters which grease you use. I used the Ace Hardware silicon greese on my scuba underwater flashlights forever. After buying a nice camera, housing...
  8. ystrout

    Non Aggressive Pea Puffers?

    Yaa getting them at the same time is key. They bond rather than get territorial. Mine also sleep close to each other, but one sleeps in a cave and the other in plants. Mine won't even touch brine shrimp either. They love bloodworms so I feed them those a lot. I also give them a lot of Mysis...
  9. ystrout

    Non Aggressive Pea Puffers?

    They can absolutely be aggressive, or they can be sweeter than yellow lab puppies. It all depends on the personality of each individual fish. My two pea puffers LOVE each ocher. You'll never find them more than 2 inches apart and they always follow each other. When I first got them, I put them...
  10. ystrout

    Question Prepping A New Tank

    Ya that stuff is STRONG and hits everyone's water hard. My PH starts at 7.8 and had pretty high KH. After a day or two, my PH would be near 6. It only leaches ammonia a few weeks and DRASTICALLY affects PH for a month or two. It will always buffer the PH, but not as rapidly as it does in the...
  11. ystrout

    Question Prepping A New Tank

    Okay I have a few tips/questions. 1. Are you using aquarium soil? Like ADA Amazonia soil or Tropica soil that is specifically made for planted aquariums? If so, that stuff will leach ammonia into your water and drop the PH like a rock for a couple weeks. So keep that in mind. But this stuff...
  12. ystrout

    Heater Expiration Date?

    I've had cheap heaters that only last a year or two. The thermostat goes out and they won't turn off. My tanks currently use Fluval and Aquatop. They've been running a while without issue. I've also accidently removed it from the tank without unplugging it and it melted whatever it was...
  13. ystrout

    Do Uv Lights Kill Beneficial Bacteria.

    Ya this is actually a really good question. Light in the UV spectrum can 100% kill bacteria and even harm you! So it makes sense that you'd be worried. But UV sterilizers contain the light in the casing so it only affects what's free floating in the water that gets sucked into it. Unless you've...
  14. ystrout

    Do Uv Lights Kill Beneficial Bacteria.

    UV sterilizers do kill bacteria, but not your tank's beneficial bacteria. The beneficial bacteria will never go through your UV sterilizer. None (< 99.9%) of the tank's beneficial bacteria free float in the water column. It all lives on surfaces, primarily your filter media. Some of it lives on...
  15. ystrout

    Question Stocking 140 Gallon

    A gourami will absolutely be fine with rainbows. If I had a 140G tank, here's how I'd stock it: Opaline Gourami (maybe male and female pair) School of giant danios School of bronze cories Some sort of rainbowfish school
  16. ystrout

    Best Fish To Cycle A 75 Gal

    Enough to bring it to 2 to 3 ppm. Start with a capful. Wait 15 min for it to fully disperse and test the water. You can go from there.
  17. ystrout

    Best Fish To Cycle A 75 Gal

    Use pure ammonia. No fish will die, you can cycle it way faster, it's less stress, and much less work. It cost me $5 for ammonium hydroxide (ammonia mixed with water) at Ace Hardware.
  18. ystrout

    Stocking New Fish Tank

    You can get many more danios and barbs. You could easily double the school sizes. Don't get a roseline though. They get far too big for a 38 gallon tank. They get like 6 inches long. Plus they're schooling fish so you don't want to only keep 1 of them. I've personally haven't had good luck...
  19. ystrout

    Show Me Your 55-75 Gallons!

    This is my 75G tank. 1 Spotted Congo Puffer 1 Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami 8 or 9 Pearl danios 7 rummynose tetras 3 neon tetras (not getting more) 3 panda cories 1 guppy 2 nerite snails tons of neo shrimp
  20. ystrout

    Indian Almond Leaves?

    I've never used them but one of the fish stores I go to sells them by the leaf. They're pretty thin so I feel like boiling them would just break them. I'd just rinse it in dechlorinated water and put it in the tank. If it turns the tank too brown, you can always take it out and do a water change.
  21. ystrout

    1 Year Update For My Coral Beauty Dwarf Angel

    Looks great. Do they normally harm coral or something?
  22. ystrout

    Help 55g Or 75g Wet Pet

    Puffers have more personality than most dogs.
  23. ystrout

    Need Fix For Pest Snails

    I agree with you. Don't get puffers or loaches unless you actually want them as a pet. You can't just use them to clear the problem, because after the problem is gone, you'll need just be buying or growing snails to feed them. For example, if you get puffers, you have to actually want to have...
  24. ystrout

    Help Ammonia In Tap Water

    My tap water has ammonia too. It's from the chloramine my city uses in the tap water. It is about .5ppm, similar to what you're showing. If your tank is cycled it's not an issue at all. Your biological filter will consume that ammonia in a few hours. And SeaChem Prime keeps it non-toxic far...
  25. ystrout

    Need Fix For Pest Snails

    I think predators are the only way to get rid of snails once you have them. I struggled with snails for a year. I tried feeding less and making sure nothing went to waste, deeper cleaning, boiling the substrate (which caused a mini cycle), and Algafix which kills inverts. A few always survived...
  26. ystrout

    New To Fw, Experienced In Salt

    Yup, those 3 additives are all you need. Once you figure out how much of each, it becomes super quick. Basically just like adding salt to RODI water... And make sure you're getting Equilibrium and buffer products, not the regulator products. The regulator products (does the same thing) aren't...
  27. ystrout

    New To Fw, Experienced In Salt

    It's easy! Most of us use SeaChem products to remineralize. Equilibrium is easy to use/dose and raises GH. Use Alkaline Buffer to raise your KH. Use it in conjunction with Acid buffer to optimize KH/PH. The ratios are on SeaChem's website so it's super easy to get optimal water parameters if...
  28. ystrout

    Corydoras On Tropica Aquarium Soil?

    Yes they can. They'll enjoy how soft it is. You may have a problem feeding them though. Aquarium soil balls are very loosely compacted so it will be easy for them to push their pellets too deep into the soil for them to eat. My pleco eats his wafers easily off of the soil, but the wafer pieces...
  29. ystrout

    Black Or Blue?

    I prefer black backgrounds in freshwater tanks, especially with plants. Blue in saltwater.
  30. ystrout

    Betta Just Got Stuck Missing Scales

    Use some SeaChem Stress Guard. It helps heal wounds very well. Measure the dose and pour into the water when he's near the surface so a lot of it touches him while it's concentrated in the water. Follow the instructions and dose every day.
  31. ystrout

    Question Cory Housing Question

    Yes 4 is fine. I have 3 panda cories who you can tell are extremely healthy and happy. I've had them for years and for some reason just haven't gotten more. I'd say it's extremely important for danios and tetras to be in groups of at least 6, but cories are very relaxed and don't seem to mind.
  32. ystrout

    Filter Upgrade.

    I also have a 75 gallon with a gourami, Spotted Congo Puffer, schooling fish (danios, tetras, and cories), and tons of shrimp. It's a planted tank. When planning the tank, I was set on getting a Fluval 406, but my LFS sold me on an Aquatop Forza FZ9 instead. It works great. My tank is clean and...
  33. ystrout

    Stocking Q

    2ppm ammonia clearing in a day means fully cycled. You can stock that tank to capacity. Even if you overfeed or something and you do get an ammonia spike, it will clear fast. You can either not feed them for a day and it will clear, or you can keep feeding as usual and dose with Prime to...
  34. ystrout

    Question Matrix Used As Substrate?

    It may work to reduce nitrate. You don't need it for ammonia or nitrite though. If your tank is already cycled, there's plenty of surface area for the bacteria to grow. That said, using it as substrate might help with nitrate. I don't know. But nitrate is best removed with a low water flow...
  35. ystrout

    Is It Worth It?

    What kind of aquarium business? I feel like being good at saltwater fish keeping is a must if you plan to maintain people's aquariums or something.
  36. ystrout

    Petco And Petsmart

    The PetSmarts I have been to in San Diego are terrible. I'll never buy a fish from any of these. It's really sad to see how those fish live, and usually die. Petcos here in San Diego are hit or miss. There's one in Escondido that actually always has healthy, good looking fish. I bought pearl...
  37. ystrout

    A Good Carbon

    Oh wow that's pretty crazy! I didn't know that. I never thought fish keeping could be dangerous haha.
  38. ystrout

    How Attached Are They To Us?

    Interesting question! Like @Wolf010 said, schooling fish don't seem to care. I'm sure they recognize each other though. After all, they recognize the person who feeds them. But I've seen my other fish form relationships. They obviously experience fear, happiness, comfort, enjoy playing, and...
  39. ystrout

    Hurricane And Bb

    A lot of time when power goes out, HOB filters will completely drain, so you deffinetly want to put the media in the tank. And yes, I think it's a great idea to run a battery powered airstone under the filter media. It will help keep the water oxygenated and it will stimulate the BB. Good...
  40. ystrout

    A Good Carbon

    Oh interesting! Are the coral toxins harmful to fish or people? Or just the other corals?
  41. ystrout

    A Good Carbon

    Ya I agree it's really not necessary in freshwater, unless you are removing meds. Is it pretty common in saltwater?
  42. ystrout

    A Good Carbon

    I used to use Imagitarium carbon in one of the trays of my canister filter. This was for freshwater. It worked well and kept my tank very clear. I stopped using it as I actually like how the tannins look as they leach out of my driftwood. If I was going to use it in a saltwater tank where the...
  43. ystrout

    Where To Go With Stocking My 55g Next?

    Is the tank fully cycled? I'd double the size of the bloodfin tetra school, get some sort of gourami (dwarf, honey, or opaline if you want a bigger one), get some more cories, and leave it at that.
  44. ystrout

    How Attached Are They To Us?

    I'm going to disagree with this one. I always wondered if my pet fish interacting with me was food driven or an emotional action. After getting into scuba diving, I have no doubt fish are smart, interactive creatures. I think my shoaling/schooling fish only react to me for food. But I no longer...
  45. ystrout

    Is This An Ok Corydora Tank Bottom?

    It looks beautiful but it's not good for cories. From a function perspective, they'll have trouble eating. They eat off the ground and their food will fall too deep into the rocks for them to reach. From a preference perspective, cories prefer sand or fine/smooth gravel. My 75G tank has 2/3...
  46. ystrout

    How Attached Are They To Us?

    Yes fish love affection and form relationships with people, just like any other animal does. Specifically non schooling fish. And the bigger the fish is and higher it is on the food chain, the smarter and more affectionate it will be. I've noticed this through years keeping fish as pets and...
  47. ystrout

    Question Should I Get A Tankmate For My Angelfish? If So What?

    More angels! They're beautiful and always seem to have cool personalities when I get see them in the fish store. I personally love gouramis. They're one of my favorite fish. I don't know how they'd get along with the angels though. I've never kept angels so I don't really know their temperament.
  48. ystrout

    265 Gph Canister For A 55 Gallon

    Yes that's perfect. 4 to 5 times the tanks volume per hour is what you should aim for.
  49. ystrout

    Help Oh Why Is My Ph So High?

    High PH and high KH generally go hand in hand. You won't know unless you test it, but chances are you have high KH which normally raises PH and keeps it stable. KH acts as a sponge and absorbs (neutralizes) the acids in the water. So this is why high KH normally raises PH. KH will also keep PH...

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