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Page 12
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

hello there --
i am a first time aquarium owner and, unfortunately, i set up my aquarium before i found your website. all seems to have gone well. however, i now see that i have done few things incorrectly and i have a few questions for you.
i have a 10-gallon tank and i have 4 fish -- a male beta, a kissing gourami, a male swordtail and a cory catfish.  i have had the fish in the tank for the past 4 days.
i also have a mini bio wheel penguin power filter made by marineland.  i have a heater and thermometer (temp between 78 and 79 degrees). i also have gravel (not the teeny pieces but about 1/4" to 1/2" pieces) in a layer about one inch thick.  and i have live plants.
1. i just read on your website that i shouldnt have gravel if i have a biowheel.  how do i remove the gravel (i have a gravel vacuum cleaner)?  and should i replace the gravel with sand for the catfish to have something soft to dig into?
2. my fish seem to be getting along.  but none of them come up to the top to feed (i know the catfish is a bottom feeder).  they all wait until it falls midtank (and the biowheel seems to be so strong that the water currents quickly break up the flake food and send it headed towards the tank floor. the beta doesnt seem to eat much at all but doesnt exhibit any signs of distress (except that he spends a lot of time hanging out in the branches/leaves of the plants).  how much should a beta eat and is my filter too strong for the tank since it quickly sends the food to the gravel?
3.  i really love having live plants in the tank but i find that the kissing gourami and the swordtail have been eating them up like crazy.  the leaves all have holes or are in shreds.  i'm not sure of the name of my plants but from your site, it looks like one of my plants is an aponogeton.  it has held up well against the nibbling lips of the fish.  which other plants do you suggest so that i can have some variety, beauty and safety for the plants?
4.  i have a ph test kit and i find that i have a hard time getting the ph level down to nuetral.  after conditioing the tap water, the ph was 7.2.  so i added the substance to lower it and it was too low.  then i added the minimum amount to bring it back up towards nuetral and it soared up to 7.4.  now, it has remained at 7.2.  is this ok for the fish that i have?
5.  i would like to a few add more fish over the next 2 weeks.  i read that i should have at least 2 kissing gouramis and 2 cory catfish.  what other fish or other aquatic animals (like snails) would you suggest i add?
thank you for you great website -- extremely informative and seemingly easy ordering instructions.  i look forward to a long and really good relationship with your company!
willow s.
new york city
Reply. Hello Willow, I did not mean to say you should not have gravel in an aquarium with a BIO-Wheel filter.

I meant to say that you don't need gravel in an aquarium with a BIO-Wheel. The BIO-Wheel is capable of filtering the water.

But it is necessary and important to have Cultured Gravel in a fish bowl and in a Plastic Pond.

Click here for more information about Cultured Gravel.

Click here for more information about my Plastic Pond.

Your fish should come to the surface to eat. Even a Cory Catfish should get excited and buzz around near the surface, until it decides there are lots of crumbs on the bottom, then it'll head for the bottom.

Be sure you are feeding the correct food, feed twice a day, make sure all the food is eaten, and remove any leftovers after about 10 minutes.

Click here for more about food and feeding fish.

Click here to read about Corydoras Catfish, where in the paragraph titled "Compatibility", it recommends keeping a group of 6 Cory Catfish, because they are schooling fish, so your single Cory will probably not be completely comfortable.

Click here to read about Swordtails, where in the paragraph titled "Compatibility", it says Swordtails do best in a group with a few male Swordtails and several female Swordtails.

Click here to read about Pink Kissers, where in the paragraph titled "Compatibility", it says Pink Kissers do best in a group with at least four Pink Kissers.

When I feed my fish in an aquarium with a BIO-Wheel filter, I put the food in the left front corner of the aquarium.

The BIO-Wheel is as far as it will go to the rear right side of the aquarium. So I put the food as far away from the BIO-Wheel as possible.

When I feed my fish, I put a very small amount of food, just 4 or 5 pieces, in the front left corner. My fish are usually on the hungry side vs. being over-fed with too much food, so they rush to gobble the food.

When the food is all gone, and I can't see any pieces of food on the water or in the water, I give them another tiny pinch. Usually I give the fish about 7 tiny pinches of food.

They are well fed but not stuffed, and I am certain that all the food is eaten, and very little food has been sucked into the filter.

If I see any food left in the aquarium after 10 minutes, I remove it with a small net.

All of the plants that we have available will do very well in aquariums. Personally, I like the Aponogetons, that you mentioned, and the Java Ferns.

Click here to see the list of Aquarium Plants available from us.

Getting the pH of your water to a neutral reading of 7.0 is not necessary, and fiddling with your water chemistry by adding unnecessary chemicals will usually cause problems.

If the pH of your aquarium water is between about 7.2 and 7.8 don't worry about it. I haven't tested the pH of my water for many years. I do test my water with my eyes and nose every day, click here for more about how to do that.

You need to add more Cory Catfish, Pink Kissers, and Swordtails, but not other species.

In fact, if you get a total of 6 Corys, 6 to 8 Swordtails, and 4 Pink Kissers, you will need a bigger aquarium for them. You might also add one Plecostomus Catfish.

Click here for more about Plecos.

You could also add an Aquatic Snail. Click here for more about Snails.

We appreciate your compliments. Thank you.


Customer Comments

My brother just brought home a goldfish from a carnival 2 weeks ago.  had no choice but to put it in a bowl. I know that it probably won't live too long, but I tried to take care of it. It's a really small bowl. I have been completely changing all the water. I didn't know that you weren't supposed to.
Anyway, I am interested in buying the fish bowl kit. Is it ok to keep the betta in the bowl by itself. I know that the kit comes with 3 ghost shrimp. Is it alright to keep them all together? Is it possible for me to buy a bowl and a single betta seperately? I like fish. It's kind of peaceful to watch them swim around.
Nick V.

Customer Comments

I just wanted to know if there are any other fish besides bettas and white clouds that can live successfully in a 1.5 gallon bowl.
Nick V.
Reply. Hello Nick, first let me apologize for not answering your first email sooner.

You've already sent a second email, before I've managed to answer the first one. I've gotten behind on answering my email a little bit lately.

You're right that a goldfish is very unlikely to do well in a fish bowl. If it does do well, it will quickly grow too big for a bowl. Especially a small one like you've got.

I abhor using goldfish as prizes at carnivals. Here is my alternative, instead of using the poor goldfish as prizes, give a gift certificate from a local Pet Store with the name and address of that Pet Store.

The winners can take their gift certificate to the Pet Store, where we hope they'll get some good advice about how to keep fish, before they get any fish.

Here is a list of some good inhabitants for Fish Bowls. One male or one female Betta, White Clouds, Ghost Shrimp, Aquatic Snails, African Dwarf Frogs, Java Ferns and Aponogeton Bulb Plants.

Click here for more information about good inhabitants for fish bowls.

Finally we will make you a fair deal on anything you want to buy. If you want to buy a Fish Bowl Kit without the Betta, we'll deduct the amount of the Betta.

Send me an email reply with an exact list of what you want, and I'll send you back the total cost including shipping.


Customer Comments

Hi, I was wondering if you had any information about breeding dwarf frogs on your website. I have found the rest of it to be very informative, every time I go on I end up doing something to make my fishies (bettas) more comfortable. I have an extra 10-gallon aquarium with all the stuff it needs.
Reply. Hello Taylor, I really try to discipline myself to write only about things that I have done, and I have never bred African Dwarf Frogs.

I have visited and talked with some people who have done it. Here's what I've seen.

They've all said it's real easy to breed African Dwarf Frogs. Of course they've done it, and whenever I've done something, I usually say it's real easy too.

They keep a group of maybe a dozen African Dwarf Frogs in a 10 or 15-gallon aquarium that has a sponge filter, not a power filter.

There is never any gravel in the aquarium, but the aquarium is stuffed with plants. Usually I've seen foxtail or a similar looking plant.

The breeder frogs are quite large. In fact they are surprisingly large. They eat lots of live and frozen food. The basic diet is usually Black Worms.

Click here for more about Black Worms.

But the people breeding frogs usually emphasize that variety in the diet is important, and so they try to feed the frogs some mosquito larvae, frozen blood worms, live brine shrimp, and whatever other food the frogs will eat.

The aquariums usually have lots of dark little tadpoles that seem to hide among the pieces of foxtail plant. It's really cool to see these aquariums full of plants with a few adult frogs and lots of tadpoles.

I hope I can breed these frogs myself someday.

Click here for more about African Dwarf Frogs.


Customer Comments

I need to move a large (8+ inches) Oscar from one tank to another. How do you suggest moving the actual fish? I fear it is too large and may hurt itself if captured in a plastic bag.
Reply. Hello Todd, I'm glad that you're thinking ahead and trying to avoid injuring your Oscar. I'd recommend you get a big net.

Make sure the net is made and labeled for catching fish, and not a net made for removing leaves from swimming pools or something like that.

The net should be at least 50% wider than your Oscar. Your Oscar is 8", so 8" x 150% = 8" x 1.50 = 12", but that seems small to me. Maybe you should get a net that is about 16" wide.

You probably deal with a local fish store, go in and ask them if you can borrow a big net for a day or two.

Explain what you are going to do with it, and get their advice in person. Show them with your hands how big your Oscar is.

Offer to leave a cash deposit that will be refunded to you, when you return the net. It might work.

On the other hand, I always recommend that aquarists, like you, own a net that is big enough to net their biggest fish.

So you should probably buy the proper size net. If the fish store doesn't stock a big enough net, ask them to special order one for you.

I recommend you read the page in this website about moving fish.

Click here to read that page now.


Customer Comments

my fighting fish fins are getting bit off will they grow back or will it die because its my favorite fish can you please help me!!!!! :(
Reply. Hello  :(  Sorry to hear about your Betta. Usually the soft tissues will grow back but the spines will not.

You should take extra good care of your Betta during its recovery. In fact you should give your Betta the Recommended Treatment.

Click here for the details about the Recommended Treatment.


Customer Comments

Feed your fish as much as they can eat and clean the tank 2x per week? I  truly think that's poor advice. Good luck to those that have time for this. Anyway the levels would be through the roof!
Reply. Hello BitSherm. Yes we do recommend feeding fish twice a day, and replacing 20% of the water twice a week. I've been doing this for a long time in lots of aquariums, and it works great for me.

I have a good filter with at least one BIO-Wheel in each aquarium. Many of my aquariums have several BIO-Wheels. I don't have any gravel in any of my aquariums.

Click here for more about BIO-Wheels.

My brother and I have spawned several hundred different species of fish and produced millions of fish.

I have taught hundreds or thousands of people the simple system of caring for fish that is explained on this website, and this system has worked very well for almost everyone who tried it and had a little bit of persistence.

I haven't used water test kits in many years, because I can test my fish's water better with my eyes and nose.

Click here for more about that.

My fish have their fins up, look great, and breed. I am very confident that what I say and recommend is pretty close to the truth and will work for most people.

Click here for a complete Maintenance Schedule for aquariums and ponds.


Customer Comments

i am interested in buying a dragon fish from you and i was wondering if you could let me know the total cost of it and the shipping. I live near Austin, TX. and also, about how long will it take to get here?
Reply. Hello Steve, click here for the current price of the Dragon Fish. I see the price is $9.90 for a 6" to 9" Dragon Fish with our code 6195.

At the present time Shipping and Handling is $36.99 on any size order for one fish, like your order, or one hundred fish, or more.

The total for your order is $9.90 + 24.75 = $34.65.

Click here for more information about Special Requests, where you can learn about how to add a special request to your order for the biggest Dragon Fish or the smallest Dragon Fish, or whatever size you'd like.


Customer Comments

I hope you can help me find the right fish for my 20-gallon freshwater tank. Unfortunately, our water here in Denver is very hard. Despite trying many water-softening products, the water remains very hard. I have two Silver Dollars that have survived for about 7 years now, but they are the only ones left.
Can you recommend any other tough fish that can tolerate hard water conditions? (The Ph is in normal range, nitrites, chlorine, chloramine and ammonia are negative, it's just the hard water problem). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Stephanie E.
Denver CO 80249
Reply. Hello Stephanie, your email is kind of surprising, because Silver Dollars naturally occur in very soft water.

But apparently your Silver Dollars adapted nicely to your aquarium and the hard water. Congratulations for keeping them for seven years. I love seeing old fish.

Click here to read more about Silver Dollars. Scroll down that page and read the paragraph titled "Compatibility", where it says,

"Silver Dollars are good tank mates for Angels that are about the same size as the Silver Dollars. Swordtails and Mollies.

Also White Tip Shark Cats, Plecostomus Catfish, and Pictus Catfish are also good tank mates for Silver Dollars."

If you have a similar question about another fish, you could go to our Search Page, find the fish that interests you, and read the list of some of the compatible tank mates.

Click here to go to our Search Page now.


Customer Comments

We have had a red claw crab for about five months now and he/she has just shed his/her shell for the second time! He/she is probably about 1 3/4" - 2" across and lives in a 36" community aquarium with 2 plecs, 5 white cloud mountain minnows, 5 black phantom tetras, 6 harlequin rasboras, 2 rams and a pair of dwarf gouramis.
Reply. Hello Helen, thank your for your interesting comments. So your crab is shedding about every 2 or 3 months.

Your Crab sheds in order to grow bigger. It out grows its shell, so it sheds that shell, and in a few days its outer surface hardens to produce a new and slightly bigger shell.

Click here for more about Fresh Water Crabs.

You have nice assortment of compatible fish. The Rams are a Dwarf Cichlid species from South America and are usually very mild mannered and compatible with the other fish you have.

Dwarf Gouramis are also usually very mild mannered fish that will get along well with the other fish in your aquarium, but we recommend keeping a group with at least four Dwarf Gouramis.

I think you have room for a few more, if you want to follow this advice.

Click here for more information about Dwarf Gouramis.


Customer Comments

Great site you have here! I have three Bala sharks and am glad I found your website. You have lots of great info. For the most part though I found out that I am already taking great care of my fish. It's hard to measure them in the tank, but I think the largest is about 5 1/2" and the other two are progressivly smaller by about a 1/4" to 1/2". We bought them small a year and a half ago, so they have grown quite a bit. We started out with a 15gal tank with 2 algae eaters, 5 neon glass fish, and 5 Bala sharks.
The Different speceis got along fine, but the glass fish caught a bacteria only they can get and 4 died. Then a little while later 2 Balas died for seemingly no reason. Probably because at the time I didn't know how to properly medicate a tank with sharks in it when I was treating the glass fish. Anyway, after those unfortunate incidances all calmed down and they did very well together. Maybe they were overcrowded (that would be the pet store's fault for missinforming us un how many fish we could use). At one point later on I also lost an algae eater too, don't know why.
The remaining fish seemed very happy, but I eventually started doing more reseach on the sharks and realize how big they get (the info I found only said 7") and decided they needed more room, especially since they love to dart accross the tank. So for Christmas last year we bought a 50gal. It seems like a LOT of tank for 5 fish. The sharks grew  rampantly right after I put them in the new tank, but the one seems to grow faster than the others.
After reading your site, I am thinking it's a female since the body also seems bigger, not just in length and it isn't fat. The glass fish is funny, he thinks he is a shark too and will actually chase the sharks away food (the sharks still get plenty). He's like the little bully of the tank (but it's harmless really). I am thinking of adding a new fish or two to the tank for veriety and color but do not want to disturb the sharks. Is there any way I can see bigger pictures of the different sharks. The ones on your site are hard to see. I am interested in the red tail, rainbow, and pink rainbow sharks. I have only seem these in one other aquarium that I go to and I refuse to buy any more fish from them.
I do have a couple questions for you: I have heard people talk about adding an occational pinch of salt to the tank. I have never done this and wonder if I should or shouldn't. Would it either be beneficial or harmful to my sharks?
I also have a two gallon tank with a lionhead goldfish and would like to add some fancy guppies. I know the goldfish will eat small fish, but the fancy guppies seem to be large enough not to get eaten. Do you thing they would have enough room though? I have my 20 gal empty still and would like to set up a community fish tank but don't have anywhere to put it.
Thanks for you help
Reply. Hello Melissa, thank you for your interesting comments about your fish.

Click here to see our best picture of Redtail Sharks.

I agree with you that this picture is too small and you can't really see the fish very well. Redtail Sharks grow to be about 5" long and become jet black with a bright red tail.

They are very beautiful and aggressive, but they probably would not bother your big Bala Sharks.

Click here to see pictures of the Rainbow Shark and the Pink Rainbow Shark.

These pictures are slightly better than the picture of the Redtail Shark, but still not too good.

Rainbows can get big at 9" or bigger. They are also very beautiful and not as aggressive as the Redtail Shark.

You should get either one Red Tail or one Rainbow Shark. I would recommend one Rainbow Shark.

Click here to see the nice picture of a Bala Shark, that I was lucky to take. But you have Bala Sharks in your aquarium now, so you don't need a picture.

One of the members of the crew here at, The Big Katuna, has been producing some really nice photos lately.

Click here to see some of his recent pictures. I'll ask him to photograph some of our Red Tail and Rainbow Sharks.

Your Sharks don't need Aquarium Salt unless they show Signs of Stress and Disease, then treat them with Aquarium Salt as part of the Recommended Treatment.

Click here to read more about Aquarium Salt.

A two gallon aquarium is so small that I think of it as a fish bowl. I recommend against putting Goldfish and Guppies in Fish Bowls.

Click here for more about Fish Bowls.

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