Various requests of opinions / info. 55 Gallon Tank 

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ArcherSeven

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Yes, I know, I'm using one thread for multiple questions and on many forums that would get me shot in the foot somehow. Sorry.

I have a 55 gallon tank running a setup similar to one my parents ran as I was younger, and I've run smaller tanks before. I've always understocked and over-filtered my tanks and this one was, till recently, no exception. It has a 70 gallon penguin backpack filter and an under gravel filter (which apparently people don't use anymore?). I'm still messing with the water heater, which I really can't say get's any use this time of year, but generally runs at 76-84°F (if it hits 84, I pretty much turn the heater off and cut my light time down from 12 hours to more like 6.)

I currently have a Pleco, a loach of some clown-like variety, two black skirt tetras and four Silver sharks, three of them are very tiny. Total combined inches of fish, rounding up since most are quite young, is only about 15-16 inches. I know the Silver Sharks will grow, and I intend to trade them in for profit towards other smaller fish when that occurs, plenty of St. Louis area places I know that will do that, and that's considering I can't buy a bigger/second tank by then.

Now, my actual questions. I have an amount of, but I think insufficient, cover, and don't wanna spend a ton on someone's rocks, especially considering most of them came from closer to my house than the fish store. We have a friend runs a tile/countertop...he has marble and granite etc. If I rinse the rocks good, can anyone think of any reason marble, granite, or another similar rock would cause issues? I would be drawing from their scrap pile, whatever was there.

Secondly, I am far below my in/gallon fish limit and really would like to get a few Platy's. Considering that I'm likely going to return 2 or 3 of the four Silver Sharks (if they all survive till they're a few inches bigger, which I anticipate...) can anyone see any real reasons to avoid Platy's?

Lastly: I'll be setting up a webcam hooked up to an old Pentium II I've got laying around to be able to watch my fish from college (where they'll be on an automatic feeder and I'll be maintaining them either every or every other weekend, don't worry). Is there somewhere where I could link to the cam's feed for others to see if they want?

Thanks. ArcherSeven

You have a wonderful website going, nice to see a friendly fish community
 

claudicles

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Your rocks should cause no problems. Marble and Granite are metamorphic rocks and very inert.

Over to someone else for your other questions.
 

jetajockey

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Welcome to Fishlore!

I've never dealt with silver sharks myself so I don't know about compatibility issues. As claudicles posted above, the granite and marble should be fine, just be sure to rinse and scrub well (no chemicals) before adding.

You could use a site like Ustream and just let it broadcast nonstop, I don't know if your system can handle running like that but there are a few other sites like Ustream where you can stream for free.

here's the care sheet for silver(bala) sharks
https://www.fishlore.com/Profiles-BalaShark.htm



Clown loaches get huge, and really need to be in groups, so you may consider rehoming him also as a possibility.

https://www.fishlore.com/Profiles-ClownLoach.htm
 

Aquarist

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Hello ArcherSeven and Welcome to Fish Lore!

Feel free to ask as many questions as you like in one thread We won't shoot you!

I hope you enjoy the site.

Ken
 
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ArcherSeven

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"Clown loaches get huge, and really need to be in groups, so you may consider rehoming him also as a possibility."


Mk, I made an error, my loach is a yo-yo loach, he's just striped not spotted and quite unlike the ones I've seen on the site here. It was sold to me as a "loach" and I really didn't look into it till you said that. I'll note that he isn't sold that he should be a bottom eater, and generally is first to the surface and eats as much as my biggest bala, who's nearly three-four times his size. (I'll also note that he's a fin-nipper towards the two black-skirts, despite being quite friendly to the other fish that invade his tank space far more)

"You could use a site like Ustream and just let it broadcast nonstop, I don't know if your system can handle running like that but there are a few other sites like Ustream where you can stream for free."

The computer doesn't run a GUI and it might struggle to encode the full-resolution of the webcam, but I think it can do it, and if not, the server itself can. (I run my own webserver and am extremely computer savvy esp. for my age.) I was just wondering if the video stream was something I should link to here or not, I don't really care but it might be fun for others who are stuck tankless to watch or something.

Another question: I've had great success adding slices of cucumber or leaves of lettuce from our garden to offer the fish some food variety. I am surprised to have not seen anything about it anywhere on the site and am curious if there's a reason people shouldn't do that (unless they let it rot significantly and throw chemicals out... and since I've given up using my extremely hard tap water, I've not had any chemical problems in ages)
 
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ArcherSeven

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Oh, and I forgot, thanks for the replies . I had to attempt this twice since I miraculously lost the tab I had the first reply written out in.
 

Meenu

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ArcherSeven said:
Another question: I've had great success adding slices of cucumber or leaves of lettuce from our garden to offer the fish some food variety. I am surprised to have not seen anything about it anywhere on the site and am curious if there's a reason people shouldn't do that (unless they let it rot significantly and throw chemicals out... and since I've given up using my extremely hard tap water, I've not had any chemical problems in ages)
We feed veggies.

Welcome to fishlore. Enjoy the forum.
 

sirdarksol

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Welcome to Fishlore.
You referred to the "inches per gallon guideline" when talking about having space for more fish. I hate to say it, but the fish you have don't work with that. The bala sharks get huge, and they need a lot of swimming space. Plecos get even bigger, and produce so much waste that I wouldn't think of keeping a single common pleco in anything less than a 50 gallon, and that would be if it was pretty much alone. The yoyo loach grows to be fairly big (though not as enormous as the other two), big enough that it doesn't fit in the guideline.
The problem with the guideline is that it only works with small fish, no more than 3" of adult length.

My general suggestion for Bala sharks is to keep them in nothing smaller than 200g, both because of their need for swimming space and because of their need for a school.
I touched on plecos.
The yoyo loaches feel most comfortable in a schoal of five or more.

Good luck with your tank and keep the questions coming.
 

mosin360

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ArcherSeven said:
Lastly: I'll be setting up a webcam hooked up to an old Pentium II I've got laying around to be able to watch my fish from college (where they'll be on an automatic feeder and I'll be maintaining them either every or every other weekend, don't worry). Is there somewhere where I could link to the cam's feed for others to see if they want?
As others have said, there are plenty of sites that offer streaming services or your program should allow others to view it by using your IP address. I can look up the cam software I have used in the past, it was simple and free.

Besides the question of your PC handling the traffic, what is your upload speed in bytes? Does your ISP have a cap on uploading? I know some ISPs can get very mean about people who constantly upload at max cap.

Judging by how active this site is, your PC could get just hammered with hundreds of requests. The resolution of the video would have to be small so it might be better if you just have it set to take a high resolution picture every 15-30-60 seconds for people to view.
 
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ArcherSeven

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sirdarksol said:
Welcome to Fishlore.
You referred to the "inches per gallon guideline" when talking about having space for more fish. I hate to say it, but the fish you have don't work with that. The bala sharks get huge, and they need a lot of swimming space. Plecos get even bigger, and produce so much waste that I wouldn't think of keeping a single common pleco in anything less than a 50 gallon, and that would be if it was pretty much alone. The yoyo loach grows to be fairly big (though not as enormous as the other two), big enough that it doesn't fit in the guideline.
The problem with the guideline is that it only works with small fish, no more than 3" of adult length.

My general suggestion for Bala sharks is to keep them in nothing smaller than 200g, both because of their need for swimming space and because of their need for a school.
I touched on plecos.
The yoyo loaches feel most comfortable in a schoal of five or more.

Good luck with your tank and keep the questions coming.
I'm going by 2in / gallon, and using it as only a rough guideline. I am aware of the limiting I'm doing for the Bala's but within my budget it is all I can do. The loach, to my research, does fine solo, prefering to have fish of a similar size in the tank with it, which it has, and I will trade in the Bala's when they get to a point I can't properly house them.... unless my budget allows me to invest in more tank by that point in time.

Plecos do create a lot of waste, but I've always had them in my aquariums and I over-filter (though not by an overly extreme level) to compensate.

I have a feeling you might end up being right on the Bala's (note that I said I'd likely be trading them in...) but I like them a lot and want to see how things work. For the moment, and (because they're so tiny) for a while I'm sure there won't be issues. I've seen a Bala with an Oscar in a tank with some mid sized fish that was a 70 gallon tank that seemed to be just fine.... we'll see, I'll watch them with care.
 

sirdarksol

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Obviously, any choices regarding on your aquarium are yours to make. I want to point out, however, that no amount of filtration will make up for an extreme excess of nitrogen production. More frequent water changes will do so, but can be kind of a pain.
I've seen a pleco that was kept in a big tank (over a hundred gallons). The thing is old. At least a decade. It's almost two feet long, and looks like it weighs at least five pounds. As it grows older and bigger, I'd keep an eye on nitrates in the tank.
 
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ArcherSeven

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mosin360 said:
As others have said, there are plenty of sites that offer streaming services or your program should allow others to view it by using your IP address. I can look up the cam software I have used in the past, it was simple and free.

Besides the question of your PC handling the traffic, what is your upload speed in bytes? Does your ISP have a cap on uploading? I know some ISPs can get very mean about people who constantly upload at max cap.

Judging by how active this site is, your PC could get just hammered with hundreds of requests. The resolution of the video would have to be small so it might be better if you just have it set to take a high resolution picture every 15-30-60 seconds for people to view.
Good input. Thought about all of that. I will be using mplayer or vlc to stream, depending on how much effort I wanna put into learning either one. How to do it isn't a question. The high-res picture / second idea is a good one, but if it really comes to that than maybe I'll use session throttling to limit the number of people that can watch at any point in time, or load balancing against a couple other little servers I have access too, if the load is still small enough to be balanced.

My upload cap is somewhere around 1 to 1.5 MegaBytes / second. I could stream to probably no more than four or five connections at a time using a higher-res video, so a remote server seems like the easiest solution, and one that might not be out of my grasp having friends across the linux world.

The sites you speak of almost entirely use stuff similar to flashplayer if not flash itself which are extremely inefficient. By compressing the stream and using a real media codec I am sure I can handle the load I anticipate, which is definitely a lot lower than the "hundreds of users" implies, however I'll note that I may not be able to, a possibility I've never had to worry about with the small traffic I get.

Using BP's livefeeds as an example of what I had in mind, I'm downloading minimally compressed Windows Media Video formatted streams at ~56 kbps (6.8 KB/s) 320*240. I have to look into formats again, but I know I can compress them more (requiring the recipients use more CPU vs bandwidth) and I plan to double that resolution (so four times the pixels/frame). BP is also uploading at 1000 frames/second which is WAY higher than their cameras, or mine, can do: so they're wasting bandwidth. I'll stop the tech chat now. Summary: You have a good point, I don't ANTICIPATE it being an issue.

--EDIT-- perhaps using a stream on restricted access only and taking periodic full-res frames and/or pictures for unrestricted access .... hmm. Thanks for the input, gives me more to consider.
 
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ArcherSeven

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sirdarksol said:
Obviously, any choices regarding on your aquarium are yours to make. I want to point out, however, that no amount of filtration will make up for an extreme excess of nitrogen production. More frequent water changes will do so, but can be kind of a pain.
I've seen a pleco that was kept in a big tank (over a hundred gallons). The thing is old. At least a decade. It's almost two feet long, and looks like it weighs at least five pounds. As it grows older and bigger, I'd keep an eye on nitrates in the tank.
Will definitely do, thanks. Hopefully in a decade I'll pay off the college I'm about to go to and get a nice 200 gallon like the one I'm not allowed to use downstairs
 

jetajockey

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Archer, if you do decide to stream it would be cool if you'd put a link somewhere on your profile so we could watch it
 

Jayde

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As far as the rocks I can be of some help to you on that. I would recommend granite rather than marble. Marble is acutally a methamorphic rock who's parent rock was limestone. If your tank gets too acidic then the marble can break down and leach into your tank water.

Granite is actually an intrusive igneous rock, and it is very hard (a 7 on the Moh's scale) and won't break down when exposed to different pH levels. I would definitely go for the granite rather than the marble. Sometimes they cut granite pieces with a chemical wash though, so make sure that you are really thorough when you scrub the rock before you put it in the tank.

<---budding geologist
 
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Lucy

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Welcome to FishLore!!

This may have been answered already and I'm sure I'll use the wrong techno language but as far as the web cam, members have done something similar before.
They've streamed the video from a hosting site and provided the link for those who would like to view it.
Keep it family friendly.
Hope that made sense.
 
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ArcherSeven

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Jayde said:
As far as the rocks I can be of some help to you on that. I would recommend granite rather than marble. Marble is acutally a methamorphic rock who's parent rock was limestone. If your tank gets too acidic then the marble can break down and leach into your tank water.

Granite is actually an intrusive igneous rock, and it is very hard (a 7 on the Moh's scale) and won't break down when exposed to different pH levels. I would definitely go for the granite rather than the marble. Sometimes they cut granite pieces with a chemical wash though, so make sure that you are really thorough when you scrub the rock before you put it in the tank.

<---budding geologist
Thanks!



Lucy, it's pretty rare that you can do that w/o paying a significant amount, unless you either use certain ad-riddled and inefficient sites, or you have friends that may be able to help.
Also, if it's not feasible to tie it into my own webserver, than I'm not sure how much effort I want to put into it. Most people can view TRUE video streams fine, which is what I want, and is far more efficient (capable of standing a far greater load with less of a toll on bandwidth, which is the problem with webservers like mine being run off of a non-commercial internet connection), which makes me think that the separate streaming site is totally unneeded.

The other option is to pay for a good streaming server, which is generally not too bad if you're willing to use a raw linux/unix/bsd server (I use linux here anyways) and put ads on your site to cover the cost but there's disadvantages to that as well. So it's kinda a toss-up.
 
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