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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.
BIO-Wheel Aquarium Filters. Click on this image for more information.
Click on this image to see a list of over 100 short videos of Tropical Fish.
Champion Koi Show. Expert information about Koi Fish and Ponds.



  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.

Click here to see the list of all the Pet Fish Talk Shows.


Customer Comments

The little female (Betta) that I purchased for breeding with one of my males owes you her life!  The beautiful blue male (Betta) was extremely aggressive toward her, and was not allowing her to feed.  After reviewing your site, I determined that the female should have only been introduced to him for an hour or two for spawning purposes when ready. She now has 'her own pad'.

Pembroke Pines, Florida
Reply. Hello, Suzanne. I'm glad you found that information about Bettas. Usually several females can be kept together in the same aquarium.

Click here to see Brooke's aquarium which has 12-female Bettas living together.

Sometimes a few males can live together in a large aquarium, but a few male Bettas are too aggressive and have to removed and put in their own "pad".

You can only determine who can be allowed to play together by watching them carefully like you did.

Click here for more information about male Bettas.


Customer Comments

I am moving into a new house with a water softener.  What will this do to the condition of the water in my fish tank.  What tests should be made to determine if the water is safe for the fish?
Thank you.  Joyce K.
Reply. Hello Joyce. Since the water in your new house is being treated with a water softener, we can assume that the tap water is very hard before being softened.

That means it has lots of calcium ions and/or magnesium ions. These ions react with soap to produce a scum that interferes with the soap.

A water softener is a mechanism that replaces calcium ions and magnesium ions with sodium ions that come from the salt, sodium chloride, that you put in the water softener.

Actually the water softener adds two sodium ions for each calcium or magnesium ion.

Long ago my mother became quite ill from drinking water from the water softener. Her illness was also very difficult to diagnose.

My father finally took her to the famous Rochester Clinic in Minneapolis, MN, where the problem was finally diagnosed.

We got a reverse osmosis filter that removes 98% of all the ions from the tap water and my mother quickly recovered.

I have had various experiences using softened water on my fish, and I am skeptical about softened water. I use the hard water before it goes through the water softener.

All the water going into your house probably goes through the water softener, but the water from the faucets outside your house probably do not go through the water softener.

I suggest you use the hard water from your outdoor faucets for your fish.

Added later. Now-a-days, few homes have water softeners, because modern soaps do not benefit from softened water. So the water in your house is probably also hard, and there is no need to use water from an outdoor faucet.


Customer Comments

I was wondering if you could give me some help. I have about 6 oranda goldfish in my tank and a few of them are spawning. Only one female is laying the eggs at the moment and the eggs are either being eaten up by the other fish or attaching to a plastic plant which I have placed in the tank. This is not the first time they have spawned, the first time was about 2-3 months ago.
I am only a beginner fish keeper and I have visited many websites about breeding. It sounds like a difficult procedure to raise fish fry, so I have decided that I do not want to raise the fry. Not one of the many websites I visited discussed what to do if your goldfish are spawning and you DON'T want to keep fry.
The last time the goldfish spawned, I had no idea it had happened until I saw some fuzzy white thing floating in the water (a fungus covered egg) which I thought was some kind of bacteria or parasite or something. So I am wondering, should I just let the fish continue to spawn until they are done and just leave the eggs? Or do I need to remove the eggs from the tank?
Any help you could give me is greatly appreciated!
Reply. Hello, Jen. I have been in the fish business for many years, and gotten a steady stream of questions about how get fish to spawn, spawn more often, and produce more eggs. Your email is the first that asks what to do if you don't want to keep the fry.

Here is what I would try. I'd put some White Clouds in the aquarium. I think they would gobble up all the small Goldfish eggs.

As you mentioned the Goldfish usually eat most of the eggs, and the White Clouds will eat almost all the others. Click here for more information about White Clouds.

Very rarely I have seen White Clouds nipping on other larger fish. So you will need to watch your fish closely to see that nothing like that is happening.

Incidentally, many types of female fish have a hormone that is  naturally released in their bodies, at about the time that they release eggs or baby fish.

That hormone curbs their appetite, so they won't eat their own eggs. Of course, the other fish in the aquarium will still eat most of the eggs.


Customer Comments

I purchased a 55 gallon tank. I bought 10 bags of natural looking gravel to put in it. There are 3 different types from small gravel to small pebble looking rocks. I have well water. I filled the tank, added the gravel, and placed one artificial silk-type plant in it. Everything came from the pet store.
I checked my ph with a test kit I bought, and the ph is very high, (around 9 or 10). I added ph down to balance it. It called for 2 drops per gallon. I added 110 drops, two days straight. No change. I called the pet store. I took a sample from the tank, and right from the faucet. The tank read the same, (high ph), but straight from the faucet is 7.2.
The pet store gave me a buffer that he said should neutralize the water, and work, hopefully. I did this, no change. The pet store is stumped, unless it might be the gravel. Have you heard of this before? I am going to experiment this weekend, and put the gravel and plant in a separate container to see what I come up with. Help!!!
Reply. Hello, Avis. First I was glad to read that you bought everything at the Pet Store.

Ten bags of gravel seems like a lot of gravel. We recommend that you keep your gravel at most 1/4" deep.

If your gravel is thicker, I suggest you remove some of it, until it's down to at most 1/4" deep.

Fish in aquariums don't need gravel.

Click here to read more about gravel for aquariums.

Generally we find that new aquarists spend too much time testing the pH and worrying about the pH. But I'm glad you tested your pH because a pH of 9 or 10 is definitely too high. Most fish do fine with a pH up to about 7.8.

The pH of your tap water straight from the faucet is 7.2. First you should put some tap water is a clean glass container without a cover, let it stand for 24 hours, then measure the pH.

It may change from the 7.2 reading that you get straight from the faucet.

At the same time fill another clean glass container with more tap water and add a 1/4" thick layer of gravel from your aquarium. Measure the pH of this water after 24 hours.

I think you will find that either the pH of your tap water changes, or the gravel is causing the change in pH. If the pH of the water changes, you will need to get a different source of water.

If the gravel causes the change in pH, replace the gravel. I recommend either no gravel or buy gravel that is sold in packages labeled for use in aquariums.

Do not use the chemicals that change the pH of water. Start with water in the proper pH range.

The ad below links to this advertiser.

Customer Comments

Good Morning
Thank you so much for your reply. I have found my problem since I e-mailed you, and you are correct. My water is changing over night to
a high PH. Can you tell me what causes this?
I was hoping there was another answer other than getting water from another source, but I guess that's what I will have to do. I am going to have my water analyzed to see what mineral or whatever is causing this.
Again, thank you so very much for your help.
Reply. Hello again, Avis. One explanation is that when your water comes out of the faucet, it contains lots carbon dioxide (CO2).

Overnight the carbon dioxide evaporates from the water, and increases the pH. Leaving you with water that is not suitable for most Tropical Fish.

I recommend that you talk with someone at your local water district and someone in a local fish store. Find out if your area has a Tropical Fish club.

Such clubs usually meet once a month, and you may be able to find someone, who knows more about your local water and how to deal with it.

Another approach is to get a Reverse Osmosis (R/O) water filter. I bought a very nice one at Home Depot. Such a filter removes about 98% of the minerals from the water.

You might be able to mix your tap water with the R/O water to produce good water for your fish.


Customer Comments

Wonderful website! So informative ... job well done :)
I do hope someone can help me. I have 3 red belly pacu's (14", 8", and 4") in a 120-gallon tank. They alll get along very well, and the placo seems to enjoy the attention when its time to play."

However, how do you tell the difference from a male to female red belly pacu? Is there info available in regard to breeding them in an aquarium?
Thank you so kindly,
Reply. Hello Edie, thank you for your compliments about this website. Here is the short answer to your question: I don't know how to determine the gender of Pacus.

Click here for more information, a picture, and a video of a very large Pacus.

Several years ago my friend Stan took me and my brother, Nevin, to Solar Aqua Farms, which was in Solana Beach just north of San Diego.

Stan introduced us to his brother, Steven, who was very nice and gave us a tour of Solar Aqua Farms, where we saw a very large greenhouse with several large round above-ground ponds. The biggest pond was about 50-feet in diameter and 4-feet deep.

I was standing right by the edge of this pond and looking down into the water, when whoosh! Something swam by very fast and came up part way out of the water and very close to me. It startled me, and I jumped back.

Both Stan and Steve had a big laugh. After a couple of minutes, the fish passed by me again, and I saw three Pacus. All of them were about three feet long, and I remember Steve said that they'd been weighed at about 75-pounds plus! They swam next to the edge around and around that pond.

So your Pacus are juveniles! I think you probably know by now that Pacus probably do not breed in aquariums!

Steve went on to build huge fish farms in Hawaii and in India, where millions of Pacus were raised and sold as food for humans.

Click here to read the following quote about Steve.

"Steve Serfling, with 30-years of experience in fish breeding and culture, is the Director of Mote Aquaculture and led the recent successful efforts to spawn and rear Snook at Mote Marine Lab.

He has established himself and Mote Marine Laboratory, as a leader in adapting closed-cycle, recirculating fish aquaculture technology to marine fishes in Florida."

Stan Serfling works at the Advanced Ecologically Engineered System for Sewage Treatment in Frederick, MD.

This facility is also called the Maryland Living Machine, which is run by Ocean Arks International, and is being evaluated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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