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Page 26
Comments & Replies
  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

Hey! You guys have an awesome website and I have recently started a betta colony following your instructions. I am trying to breed them right now (I bought 1 female and 6 males) but my female or my males (although they are more interested) just don't seem into breeding- the felae just swims around the tankmal and usually the males follow her flashing their fins for a moment then quit I just got them yesterday and there all in 1 gallon bowls.
Is it just to soon? Is my female to young she's oly like 1/2 the size of the male? I fllowed your breeding instructions as well as other website's. What should I do?? Thanks alot for any feedback.
Also- I have been into aquariums for along time but I have never had a pond ore anything and I have a large metal tin that can probably hold 30-gallons ( it doesn't seem to rust) but I was wondering if the metals might dissolve and hurt any koi or gold fish I put in there.
Thanks alot
Fort Worth TX
Reply. Hello Derek, I recommend you get more females. If you are interested in breeding Bettas, you should have at least 4 females.

You can keep quite a few females together in one aquarium, where you can feed them well and let them fill with eggs.

Click here for more about that.

I would recommend that you not put fish in a metal container. As you aid the metal will oxidize and cause problems.

You can get rather large plastic containers at Home Depot that are not very expensive.

Click here to see my pond in a barrel with a plastic line that I bought at Home Depot.


Customer Comments

Hi! I' here to ask you yet ANOTHER question about my aquarium. I have a 12 gallon tall hex It is pretty high but not alo of surface area. In light of this I bought a powerhead for my undergrave filter and was able to direct it so it shot the water unto the surface-creating good agitation. I thought that having such a tall aquarium an undergravel filter w/ a powerhead will be needed to keep the water flowing throoughout the aquarium.
But you guys seem totally against undergravel filters but I was never able to find a reason why on your website. I also have a power filter (no bio wheel) to create more surface agitaion and add chemical and mechanical filteration just as a secondary means of filtering but it only reaches about 6 -8 inches into the depth of my aquarium so I thought that having that undergravel would help alot in creating good water flow.It has worked fine so far
thanks alot for answering all of my questions
Derek (15)
fort worth tx
fish and herp enthusiast
Reply. Hello again Derek, in our experience almost all aquarists have many more problems keeping fresh water fish in aquariums with undergravel filters (UGF), because the UGF sucks fish waste and uneaten food down into the gravel, where it pollutes the water and causes all sorts of problems.  

Some people try to overcome these problems by reversing the flow of the water to go down the stand pipe and then up through the gravel bed, and this seems to be a little bit better, but still causes way more problems than exterior power filters that hand on the back of an aquarium.

Click here to read more about aquarium filters.

Filters with BIO-Wheels are remarkably better than any other sort of filter for fresh water aquariums.

We don't want to be argumentative about this, but most people would be much more successful if removed all but about 1/4" of gravel from their aquarium and got a filter with a BIO-Wheel.

Click here to read more about BIO-Wheels, and about why they work so well.


Customer Comments

Hello I am setting up a new 10 gal aquarium and I was wondering what you guys thought would be a perfect combination. I read your compatibility sheet and I saw the group that would be good in a 10 gal but I know alot of those fish like to school. So I was thinking 6 neon tetras or male guppies, 1 pleco, and a fiddler crab. Do you tinjk this would be ok? If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them!
Thanks alot!
P.S.  absolutely splendid website
Reply. Hello Jeff, Neon Tetras or Guppies will do well in a 10-gallon aquarium.

Click here to read about Neon Tetras, and click here to read about Guppies.

Click here now to read about Plecostomus Catfish and how big they can grow. A Pleco. will soon be too big for a 10-gallon aquarium.

A group of small Cory Catfish would be a better choice for a scavenger fish in your small aquarium.

Click here to read more about Cory. Catfish. Corys are dwarf catfish and are perfect for small aquariums.

If you get the Cory Catfish, they would not be compatible with a Crab. Click here for more information about Crabs.

I appreciate your complimentary comment. Thank you.


Customer Comments

Hi, I was at your website (for about the millionth time) and I have a question about water conditioner. I've heard that if you leave tap water out for 2-3 days then the chlorine and cholamine naturally dissolve or evaporate out of the tap water and yopu can safely use it in a aquarium. Is this true??
Reply. Hello Randall, usually the chlorine will evaporate, but the chloramines might not, and so it would be risky.

There are also other chemicals in tap water, such as heavy metals like lead, that are not good fish. A water conditioner will neutralize many such harmful chemicals.

But even the best Water Conditioner will not always make tap water safe for fish.

We recommend that you regularly remove 20% of the water form your aquarium and replace that water with tap water from the faucet, but it's risky to remove and replace more than 20% of the water in an aquarium, even when you add water conditioner.

Click here for more information about water conditioner.


Customer Comments

I really appreciate your site and wish I'd seen it before we started up our first bowl, but at least you're in time fopr the koi pond.
We started with a gift -- a large, 3' high Feng Shui china bowl into which weplaced 1/2" of gravel, a plastic plant, a small live floating plant, a Black Moor, four Fantails (at least that's what we think they are) and four ordinary goldfish sold as "feeder fish".  None of the fish are larger than 1 1/2 - 2". The bowl is in full shade, outdoors in Malibu. The fish have been there two weeks and seem healthy, but I have no idea whether the different breeds are "compatible".  We lost one feeder two days after we introduced it, but the replacement seems OK.  We swap out the 20% of the water twice a weekand feed them twice a day with flakes and steamed spinach or peeled, cooked peas.  What are we doing right or wrong?
Then, we have a 90 gallon plastic pond with a waterfall into which we want to introduce koi -- again with the magic 8 red or gold fish and one black. There's nothing there except mosquito fish given us by the County.  What do you recommend?
I look forward to hearing from you since we're eager to expand our fishery to the backyard pond.
Jody B
Reply. Hello Jody, sounds like you are doing most things right.

But your Black Moor and the Fantails have a different sort of tail that the ordinary goldfish, which are Comet Tails, and these two types of Goldfish are not compatible, because the Comet Tails will swim faster, eat most of the food, and nip on the slower swimming Black Moor and Fantails.

Click here to read more about these two groups of incompatible Goldfish.

You also mentioned 1/2" of gravel, and this is too much gravel. Reduce it to at most 1/4" and you will reduce your problems.

You should also clean the gravel with a gravel cleaner, when you remove 20% of the water twice a week.

Click here for more about cleaning gravel.

Eight Goldfish or Koi in a 90 gallon pond sounds like too many.

I recommend that you move your four Pond Comets from your Feng Shui china bowl to your pond, and begin to test and monitor the pond water.

If the water quality seems very good after three weeks, then add one Koi.

Click here for a more detailed explanation about testing pond water.


Customer Comments

I wrote the other day to find out if I could put my sons' male betta in a tank with my daughters' goldfish. I had decided this morning that I was going to do just that, except ... I noticed that the betta seems to be a little slugish and ALL of his fins are ragged.
What do I do?? My son is only 5 and if I kill another of his fish he'll be really upset. How big of a tank do I need? What else should I put in it?? Should I heat it??? I live in Oregon and the average year-round temp. in my house is 62 degrees.
How do I fix the bettas fins and lethergy??? Also you say to use distilled water in tanks. My water in pumped from a VERY clean river, filetered 3 times and then I put it through a Britta. Do I still need bottled water?
Jeffrey B.
Reply. Hello Jeffrey. I recommend you put your male Betta in a big fish bowl with at least 1 gallon of water. Put water from you aquarium into the Bowl.

Then use bottled drinking water. Distilled and de-ionized water are both lacking in minerals, and so are not recommended for fish.

I would guess that the clean filtered river water, that you mention, would be OK. But this is just a guess, and you should be cautious.

Once your Betta is in a Fish Bowl, you should move it to a warm location. Increasing the temperature by 4 degrees F. will usually help a sluggish Betta.


Customer Comments

I have an unusual question.
I have an all glass tank 2 metres by 0.5 metres by 0.5 metres from a previous setup in my home.
I have now set it up on supports in a shaded part of my garden with the intention of keeping 1 or 2 koi or similar type cold water fish. I can organise shading frames for the front and top which would receive sun for a short time during the day.
I have had mixed reports about my idea from "no chance" to "no problems" Providing I can overcome the temperature fluctuations etc what equipment would I require, and what would be the max size of koi that I could keep.
I hope you can tell me that it is not impossible whilst I appreciate there might be more maintainence.
Yours sincerely
John E
Reply. Hello John, your project is similar to my pond in a barrel with a plastic liner.

Your container is glass and mine is plastic, and this is a minor difference.

Click here to read about my small pond.

I don't have a filter or an air pump or any other life support system on my pond. I have about 1/4" of aquarium gravel on the bottom of my pond.

That gravel is cultured and greatly helps improve the water quality.

Click here to read more about the cultured gravel in my pond.

I recommend you start with one small 2" to 3" Pond Comet, just like I did.

After about three weeks, test your water quality, if the water quality is very good, you could add another Pond Comet.

Click here for information about how to test your water, and decided if it's good enough to add another fish.

I was looking at my Pond Comet today and it's about 7" long.

I tested the water quality in my small pond, and it's very good, so my fish has plenty of room to continue growing.

I've decided that I don't really want another fish in my pond.

I don't know how big my fish can grow, but it's very healthy and still growing.

Your glass pond is several times bigger than my pond, and I think you could grow several Pond Comets to at least 7" in your pond.

Click here for more information about Pond Comets, where you can also see a picture of my beautiful Red and White Pond Comet.

Koi will eventually grow much too big for your glass pond. You could keep a few Koi for a while in your pond, but eventually they will need to be moved to a big pond.

Click here for more information about Pond Koi and Butterfly Koi.


Customer Comments

i just recently bought 3 white clouds to put in my one gallon tank. i had a betta in with them but he kept trying to nip them. they were together for no more than ten minutes. then i removed the betta. is it normal for a betta to do that when a new fish is released with it?
Reply. Hello again. It is an exception for a Betta to nip on other fish. But it does happen.

It shows your Betta is energetic and has probably been getting very good care from you. Congratulations.

Click here for more information about Bettas.

I recommend that you feed your Betta very well for a few days with plenty of BettaMin and Freeze Dried Blood Worms.

You might also add some live or frozen food such as frozen brine shrimp and live Black Worms to you fish's diet.

Click here for more about feeding fish.

The put the White Clouds back in with the Betta. I keep White Clouds in 1.5-gallon Fish Bowls with my Bettas.

Click here for more about Fish Bowls, and click here for more about White Clouds.


Customer Comments

Your site is perfect, I really mean it, it is, just perfect!!!
I have on 30 gal aquarium that I received as a gift on my 21st birthday, in it I have 4 neon tetras, 2 tiger barbs (I was given them as a gift a few weeks ago and didn't know that they weren't compatible), 1 gourami, 2 silver dollars, 1 red platy, 1 plecostamus and 1 bala shark (I was unaware that they were schooling fish). I have tried my best to meet their feeding and care needs and they seem to be doing quite well, with clear water, live plants and judging by their level of activity, but I am new at this and still have a few unanswered questions.
One of my old room-mates strongly, strongly, strongly recommended getting an undergravel filter, what are your feelings on this? You quoted a figure as to how many "inches" of fish per gallon and I was told that a fish will only grow to a size that fits the aquarium, so when you say "so many inches of fish per galloon" is that full grown or what? How would you go about raising a fish that lays eggs? Any help would be greatly appreciated and thank you for your wonderful site!!!!!
George P.
Upton MA
Reply. Hello George, I appreciate your complimentary comment. Thank you.

I do strongly recommend getting rid of the undergravel filter. Power filters with BIO-Wheels are much better for fresh water aquariums.

Reducing the gravel to a depth of at most 1/4" will eliminate many problems and make keeping fish much easier and more fun.

Actually I have never recommended "so many inches of fish per gallon", but I have said there is an old rule of thumb that says "keep one inch of fish per gallon of water" which some beginners find useful, and this rule of thumb is pretty good for small fish under 3" long.

I recommend starting with a few fish, then testing the water. If the water quality is very good after a few weeks, then add a few more fish.

There a limit to the amount of waste that any aquarium can handle. If you reach that level don't add more fish.

If your fish grow and exceed the capacity of the aquarium, get another aquarium or a bigger aquarium.

My basic method is to constantly test the water to determine if the quality is very good.

If it isn't very good, then I need to work to improve it, or possible move some of the fish to another aquarium.

Click here for more information about testing fishy water with your eyes, hands, and nose.

Click here now to go to another page in the website that has information about how to begin to breed egg laying fish.


Customer Comments

I was wondering. Could you put 5 platties and a small catfish in an eclipse system six for about two weeks? Heres the story, i am moving, and then going away for two weeks. WOuld it be possible to put my 4 platties and catfish in with my girlfriends one plattie, in her system 6 for 2 weeks.
When i return, i would then transfer them all into either my 10-gallon, or 20 long. Basically, i am asking if they would be able to survive for that time in a tank that size.
Reply. Hello Ted, your fish should do well in the Eclipse System Six. Because this system has a BIO-Wheel filter, it is able to quickly adjust to a heavier amount of fish waste.

If the system did not have a BIO-Wheel the water might cloud and cause problems, but the BIO-Wheel will keep the water clear.

Caution your girlfriend to feed all the fish on the light side for the first few days, while the beneficial bacteria on the BIO-Wheel are adjusting to the additional fish waste produced by your fish.

Click here for more about BIO-Wheel filters.

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