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Page 5
Comments & Replies


Aquarium Decorations and Ornaments. Click on this image for more information.
Koi - Click on this image for more information about Koi.
Pet Fish Talk is an Internet-Radio Talk Show about Keeping Pet Fish in Aquariums, Fish Bowls and Ponds, that is hosted by the Bailey Brothers, DrTom and Nevin, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, PT, each Wednesday. Click on this image for more information about Pet Fish Talk.
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  If you enjoy reading the Comments and Replies on this page, you may also enjoy listening to The Bailey Brothers, DrTom and Nevin, discuss similar questions on Pet Fish Talk.

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Customer Comments

I live in Bakersfield, Ca. It gets really hot here!!! : ( It can get 105 degrees and even hoter. In the house it will be about 95 or so. what can i do to keep the fish cool? I know this is too hot for them. Can i do anything to bring down the temp. of the water for my bettas?
Reply. Hello Tyson. It will probably only irritate you, if I suggest air conditioning your home.

But have you thought of getting one of those smaller air conditioners for one room that you and the Bettas could share on the hottest days?

In any case move your Betta to the coolest part of your home.

You could also try a fan. Get one of those small fans and position it, so it blows across the top of your Betta Bowl.

This will increase the amount of evaporation and cool the water in the bowl quite a bit.

Whenever there is a lot of evaporation, you must be sure to frequently remove 20% of the water from your bowl and replace it.

Do not just add more water to replace the water that has evaporated, because then the mineral content of your Betta's water will continue to increase, until it is not good for your Betta.

Click here for more about evaporation.

I'd recommend you have a thermometer that you can use to actually measure the water's temperature instead of guessing. I recommend the stainless steel aquarium thermometers that are sold in most stores that sell pet fish.

Bigger fish bowls are better for Bettas, because the water will heat up more slowly. Your bowl should cool during the night, and a bigger bowl will warm more slowly during the day.

Finally, in an emergency put a few pieces of ice in a clean plastic bag. Seal the bag tightly with a clean rubber band and float the bag with the ice in your Bettas bowl.

Don't use too much ice at one time and check the temperature with your thermometer. Lower the temperature gradually.


Customer Comments

Dear Sir,
I live in England but am sending you this message to congratulate you on the quality of your website. I have been keeping Tropical Fish for some 35 years, and although obviously I couldn't purchase fish etc from you, I find your site most interesting, informative and enjoyable. Well done.
I wish we had such a good site here in the UK although to be fair we do have some good sites. Yours though, in my opinion is the very best. Again well done and I hope your business prospers
John C.
Bishop Wilton
Reply. Thank you very much, John, for you compliments. We are glad to read that you enjoy and give it high marks.

Customer Comments

Hi, First of all, you truely have a great site (i bet you guys never grow sick of that, but its true). Anyways, right now ive got a small 10-gallon warm water tank with 1, 2.5 inch oscar. I realise that these guys can get to be massive and I am already looking at a 35-40-gallon tank for my oscar when he gets a little larger.
I read through alot of your articles and you continue to tell us that you should not have more then 1/4-inch of gravel in a tank. My question for you is, how much sand can we put in the bottom, and is sand a good choice of medium? (provided that the sand is labled "aquarium safe" of course).
I noticed in many fish books, professional tanks use sand, and the results are very nice. How would sand effect my cleaning? And would it mess up my filter?
Also, I read that animals like crawfish, ghost shrimp, and crabs, help keep sand looking nice and clean, any advice on compatable crustaceans for my oscar? Anwsers to any of these qustions would be great.
-Dan P.
Reply. Hello Dan. Thank you for you kind words of praise. We enjoy reading that you enjoy our website.

We would not recommend sand in aquariums. It is too fine grained to allow sufficient water circulation between the grains.

Even a very thin layer of sand will be starved for oxygen and will not have a positive affect on the quality of the water in your aquarium.

Of course you could stir the sand every day or compensate in some other way, but if you forget to stir it, or go on vacation, or for some other reason do not stir your sand, it will cause problems.

Also to me the sand is annoying. It gets in filters and lots of other places. Sometimes it gets spilled on the concrete floors in our facility and is a very slippery safety hazard.

For example, we tested some fluidized bed filters that used sand or tiny sand-like glass balls, and they were very slippery, when they got on the floor.

Gravel works better, but then you don't even need gravel except in a fish bowl without a filter.

As you mention, crabs and crayfish will also stir the sand and pick particles of uneaten food from the sand. These activities help keep the sand clean.

Click here for more about Crabs, and here for more about Crayfish.

But even with crabs or crayfish stirring and cleaning, the sand still causes problems.

Generally, gravel causes problems too, but those problems are minimal if the layer of gravel is no more than 1/4" deep, because the water is still able to circulate among the gravel particles down to this depth, so the gravel is not starved for oxygen.

Click here for more about cultured gravel.

Your Oscar isn't big enough yet to bother crabs or crayfish, but your Oscar will soon grow big enough to bother them. You probably read that we recommend one Oscar or several but not a few.

Click here for more information about Oscars.


Customer Comments

Dear Sirs, this is the finest fish site I've found on the net. Just great! I've two questiones. First, can ghost shrimp be placed with smaller sized fancy goldfish, or will they evetually be eaten or damaged as the fish grow?
Secondly, you advocate using plastic pipes for several species. would I use PVC pipes from HomeDepot for example, or any plastic type pipes? what won't contaminate the tank?
thank you all for the great info,
Reply. Hello Adam. Thank you for your compliment. Usually Ghost Shrimp can survive and do well in most aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds.

However, Ghost Shrimp have a unique problem. They have an exoskeleton, that covers the outside of their bodies.

An exoskeleton is made of a hard material that protects the Ghost Shrimp, but the exoskeleton does not grow.

So when the Ghost Shrimp grows bigger, it must shed it's exoskeleton and grow a new one.

This natural process of growing a new exoskeleton leaves the Ghost Shrimp very vulnerable to being eaten for a couple of days, until it grows a new exoskeleton.

You can help a Ghost Shrimp in your aquarium by giving it a safe place to hide.

Until recently we used and recommended a piece of a broken terracotta garden pot. These are the orange-brown clay pots sold in the gardening departments.

We used to put a piece from one of these pots on the bottom of our aquarium with the inside of the piece facing down. This made a small cave under the piece of pottery, where the Ghost Shrimp could hide.

But now we recommend only items that are specifically made and labeled for use in fish bowls, aquariums, and ponds. Terracotta pots do not have such a label, so we no longer recommend them for use with fish.

There are lots of ornamental caves that are labeled for use with fish, and these caves are sold in many of the stores that sell pet fish. It's not worth taking a chance that a piece of a pot will be contaminated.

Click here for more about avoiding contamination.

We've also decided to stop recommending pieces of plastic pipe. We are concerned that some pieces of plastic pipe may contaminate the water. It's better to just buy items that are labeled for use with fish.

Click here to see some nice ones.

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Customer Comments

I hope it is OK to e-mail you with a question about a disease, you have been so helpful in the past, that I was hoping that you could help me out again?
I have a five gallon tank the is well established and it has 4 guppies, 3 females and 1 male, and 1 otocinclus. They have Dropsy, today was the first day that I could recognize the signs. They had big bellies before, but I did not know that it was dropsy at the time. I figured it was from the 2 moms having babies, which I took out the ones I saw and put into their own tank, and I figured that the male was big from eating too many babies before I could get to all of them.
But soon they started hanging on top breathing hard which right away I new something was wrong but I did not know what until today when I saw that the male has protruding scales and the Otocinclus has a small bloody looking sore with some fungus on it.
My water has been testing good, no ammonia, no nitrites and nitrates are kept below .25. I test weekly and I change 25% of the water weekly with gravel Vacuum. I feed very lightly, I am very good about not over feeding. There has been no new fish added except for the babies that were born which I took out everyone that I could see, which I know that they ate a lot of them too before I could get to them.
I don't know what I did wrong as to why I have a dropsy outbreak? I bought some Maracyn two but I hear dropsy is hard to treat. I am very attached to these fish. Do you have any advice on how to save these fish and what might have caused the problem, so I can prevent this from happening in the future?
The only thing I can think of was the fact that I did not use much salt in this tank due to the fact that I have an otocinclus in there. I was planning on taking the guppies out to be in a more salted tank away from the otocinclus but I was waiting on their new tank to cycle. Does the fry tank now need to be treated too? It is hard to see if the fry have it because they are so small plus their tummies always get big after eating. Any advice that you can give to help me would be so greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
Reply. Hello again Aundrea. I don't have a short answer filled with helpful ideas.

It sounds like your fish do have Dropsy, which is disease in which the fish's body fills with excess fluid, until the scales are forced to stand on end pointing out away from the body making the fish look like a little porcupine.

By the time you see the scales pointing outward, the fish cannot be saved.

As I understand it, Dropsy occurs, when the fish's kidneys are unable to pump enough water out of the fish. Lets stop and talk about fish kidneys.

Osmotic pressure across the membranes in the fish's gills constantly pushes fresh water into the fish's bloodstream.

Like our blood the fish's blood has to have more salts than the amount of salts in fresh water.

The fish's kidneys constantly get rid of the extra fresh water that is being pushed into the fish's blood stream by the osmotic pressure.

If the fish's kidneys become too damaged, they will not be able to pump enough water to keep the fish from becoming bloated. So the Dropsy that you see is the result of the fish's kidneys failing.

Why did your fish's kidneys fail? It may have been caused by a virus, a bacteria, some other pathogen, or even a toxin. Kidney failure probably has many different causes.

That is why we have no specific treatment. I doubt if the the Recommended Treatment would have helped your fish.

Click here for more about the Recommended Treatment.

You say that you used Maracyn 2. We have tested this antibiotic, and found that in our facilities it was effective against only about 10% of the bacteria, and your fish may not have a bacterial infection.

Click here for more information.

I would surmise that your Guppies have had kidney problems for quite a while, perhaps even before you bought them.

Then some recent stress caused their kidneys to fail. Maybe it was the stress of seeing all those new baby Guppies.

You certainly sound like a very conscientious aquarists, and for that I compliment you. As I read your email it sounds like you have been doing most things correctly.

In conclusion, sadly I don't have any advice that will help you fish that are stricken with dropsy. Usually, but not always, dropsy is not infectious.

To reduce the possibility of infecting other fish I would wait a couple of weeks before adding new fish, and I recommend that you give your aquarium the Recommended Treatment with only one-half dose of Quick Cure instead of the full dose, because you have delicate baby fish.

So your 5-gallon aquarium will only get 2 drops of Quick Cure. Aquarium Salt will help eliminate many pathogens from your aquarium.

Click here for all the details about the Recommended Treatment.

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