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Author Topic: Blue Emperor - Kerri Tetras - Inpaichthys kerri - to complete my stocking  (Read 12534 times)
4LegsGood
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Tanks: 30 Gallon Tall: 12 Blue Emperor Tetras, 6 black neons, Amano shrimp - Planted; 40G R - 8 Bloodfin Tetras, 7 Julii cory cats, 7 Black Emperor Tetras, 7 Neon Tetras, Amano Shrimp; 10 Gallon QT: Red Cherry Shrimp
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« on: January 30, 2009, 04:46:05 PM »

Hello,

I'm planning the stocking of my 30 Gallon Tall tank. Right now I have 6 serpae tetras in there. I have 6 Black Neons in quarantine that I should be able to add soon. The tank is planted with low light plants (don't remember exactly what right now), and I was thinking about adding 6-12 Kerri Tetras to finish up the stocking - after, of course, the tank has recovered form adding the black neons *and* the Kerri tetras have made it through quarantine.

I am very new, and want things to go as easily as possible. I constantly fret over the fish I have, and would like a nice community tank where everyone gets along. The serpae tetras are very rambunctious, but also fun, and not really violent. I understand they're not aggressive towards other species for the most part.

My original plan was for 4 schools of 6 different tetras each. But if I can get hold of 12 Kerris, I might just go with the 3 schools: 6 Serpae, 6 black neons, 12 Kerris.

The thing is they're very hard to find locally, which leads me to believe they might be more difficult than I had guessed. So I'd love to hear anyone's opinion on them, how they'd do in the proposed tank, and any other advice.

Again, this is still pretty far off, but I'm trying to research and plan before I make any more decisions.

Thanks!!!

David
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2009, 04:50:09 PM »

Well not to burst your ballon jack but i recommend  so type of bottem dweller fish maybe just 6 kerri teras and a different school but not teras
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2009, 05:41:52 PM »

I agree with zag. Your really cramping how many fish are swim in the middlish area. I would recommend some kuhlis, cories, or a small loach school for your bottom, and 'er done Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2009, 06:16:19 PM »

This is pure personal opinion and choice, multiple schools in a  midsized  tank make me ache, or maybe itch, to do something about it.  It would be a jumble - a confetti tank.  If it were me, the tank is not biotope, but the fish so far are South American - I would augment the existing schools up to 9 each (they will look and be better and better protect against Serpae out-of-the-school nastiness - they are a bit like Tiger Barbs in that), and get one of the smaller species  (but not pygmy or dwarf) of Cory cats (C. arcuatus would be a great contrast, but a bit large. The Panda Cory would be better) for the bottom and hold there.  Maybe with a bit of reserve in case you you want to add some Otocinclus cats down the road.  The tank would remain South American and in that be far more coherent to me.
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2009, 06:17:27 PM »

Hey! Burst away, that's why I asked. Wink I don't want to make any more stupid mistakes.

I'd LOVE to have some bottom dwellers, but I have to admit that catfish scare me because they're sooooo cool and have so much character, but I killed the last couple loaches I had (I'm soooooo sorry, stupid, stupid mistakes), and I'm afraid I'll kill other catfish.

Are there any corries that are and stay small, aren't exotic, are generally tank bred and almost bulletproof? Oh, and that I can keep in a small school. I'm afraid a school of six of any corry will over stock the tank (if there are 18 tetras in there), but I understand they usually like schools of 6 at least.

Agreed on the swimming levels, and I was concerned about that as well, particularly since I have a tall tank (which was another newbie mistake, though it does look cool).

Any tips on corries would be welcome. I'm definitely too much of a wimp to try loaches or kuhlis. Someday, though, when I'm a pro and have a really big tank.

Thanks!!!!!

David
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2009, 07:16:28 PM »

I would augment the existing schools up to 9 each

That's a really good idea. I have also admit, though, that I am a *little* afraid of the serpaes. 6 already seems like a lot, won't 9 be overboard? They have a very strong presence. You're saying that 9 will help keep any violence within their school? So far they're sticking to the middle lower levels of the tall tank, where most of the action is. The black neons in the QT tank are almost constanly swimming against the current in a school at the top of the tank, though they are finally exploring a bit more in the lower levels (it's a 20 gallon standard with plastic plants, a piece of bog wood and a few decorative pieces).

Anyway question for you #1 is just verifying that it would likely be better to up both to 9 rather than leaving the serpaes alone and upping the black neons to 12, and then add some cory cats?

Question #2 (sorry, doens't really belong in this forum!): Is it okay to QT a schooling fish in small numbers? It'd be just 3 of them being quarantined at a time. I expect I should QT them separately, and not both species (3 each) in QT at the same time.

Question #3 Would you go in the order of increasing one, then the other, then the corries? Would you go with the black neons first?

Question #4 I stated in another response, I'm scared of tough fish, and I have that opinion of cat fish, and I don't want to kill them. Is there a smallish cat that would stay small and do well and not die if I make a small mistake (which I'll of course avoid, but as a beginner I need some hardy fish). Also, I think my substrate is black Eco-complete. Is that soft enough for corries? I also have some slate in there that makes a nice cave the serpaes like, will the cats cut themselves on it. It's a little sharp.

Thanks soooo much for all the advice.

David
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2009, 07:30:08 PM »

Well personally I never have tried serpas but I have have tried bleeding heart tetras easily one of my favorite fish. You should try them instead of serpas they are much more docile me
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2009, 08:09:29 PM »

Corys are really very gentle little guys and they are as adorable as a bunch of kittens ...
they are not aggressive at all ...unlike some of their larger cousins.

 I personally like to see them in groups of 6 or more....
when they have family with them they spend more time out and about in the tank playing with each other...

I believe that your substrate should be fine for them... but if it is not I am sure somebody will say so...

Look up on the different types of Corys in the species index....some are shyer than others....
with active tetras in the tank I would avoid the shyer ones...

and if you have some low plants in the front of the tank they will come to the front more..
I feed mine at lights out in the same spot daily ..it is so cute to see them come to that spot and play around there about an hour or so before then.
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2009, 08:13:55 PM »

OOPs!  I forgot it is a tall tank.  Forget the Cory cats.  Consider a small pleco, one that will stay smallish, and a singleton.  One such is the Clown pleco, a Panaque species.  See:

http://badmanstropicalfish.com/profiles/profile80.html

There are several fairly similar fish in that group, any would be suitable.

Or just hold where you are.  I run a couple of 30XH tanks at the moment, and I way understock them, even with heavy planting and plenty of current.  The chemistry stays very stable, but I am afraid to push it.  My favorite of them has 18 Green-Eyed Rasboras and a trio of red-Claw Macrobrachium shrimp.  

Ninja'd by 4LegsGood, that is a new one!

The Black Neons are completely harmless and easy-going.  The more Serpaes, the safe for others in the tank. I have a strong distrust of those fish, and decided that they were species-only decades ago.  But now almost everything is species-only for me.  If I had to mix them, I would want them to be the largest numbers in the tank, so they can squabble among themselves and leave the other alone. They are like the feisty Barbs in that.

#2.  IMHO, and broadly speaking, no.  But it is done constantly, and a lot depends on the particular species of fish.   They do not and will not live as long in mixed tanks as in species tanks.  That I attribute to stress.  Nature does not do confetti niches.  Birds of a feather flock together, and so do schooling fish - in dozen to thousands or more, which we cannot match.  So, to me the best we can do is one school of schooler per tank niche, and as many as possible for that school. For me a niche is the water column (not lower levels, mid-level, and upper levels -who are they kidding?  in less than 12"" to maybe 30" of water?  That is one niche to me.  Maybe Cory cats and hatchet ish in 2' or more of water, but not much else.  Mixed schools do occur, but only of specific species.  Hey, I never claimed to fit into the majority of fishkeepers.  I do things my own way.
I thought that there were only two schools so far.  Don't over crowd a tall tank, better too-small schools than bad water, it is the lesser of the evils.

#3 Yes, and it doe fit because I fed that number to you in an earlier post. You can QT small numbers because that is still short-term, not for the rest of their life. That is an entirely different situation.

#4.  You are pushing me to publicize all my unpopular ideas.  To me Cory cats with barbel problems tell you a lot more about the biological condition of the substrate than they do about its texture.  I have never seen a case od fish with clean barbels develop problems in a tank with a good substrate - biologically good that is.  That regardless of the texture.  
In my perversity, I set a tank of cories and neon for my in-laws.  Black glass  gravel substrate (RFUG), chunks of "clear" and black glass "rocks", and artificial plants.  Gaudy is an understatement.  I did the upkeep.  The cats  spawned regularly and had perfect barbels for the several years the tank operated.   I will not call it myth, but I think that there is significant exaggeration in the claims against gravel for whiskered cats.  I have not kept cories lately, but multiple whiskered catfish, a number of which workthe gravel routinely (The fllagtaiks are Cory cousins), and all past their first decade in age, and all have perfect barbels.  The biology of the substrate is of at least equal importance, and perhaps greater.  Besides all of that, I have dome more damage to my skin washing sand than washing gravel.  Grain size is not the whole story, by a long shot.

HTH
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« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2009, 02:36:36 AM »

Thanks everyone for the advice! Now I'm far less convinced of my original plan or any others! Smiley

Why the issue with cory cats in a tall tank? Is it the likelyhood of poorer water quality? I'm even more scared of plecos than I am of cats! Doh! They're so cool looking, but I think that any pleco I would ever get would just sit there on the bottom of the tank moving his huge eyes around, quietly judging me for killing the last one I had so quickly.

The thing with the serpaes is that I already have them... Otherwise, I think I would have gone with something else. They're hardy and good cyclers, and are fun to watch, but they really do fight a lot amongst themselves. Not a lot of damage that I've seen, but I can see them just tiring each other to death with the constant chases. Everyone talks about returning fish, but I've never done it/tried it. Plus the only pet stores in my town I won't deal with for fish, so it means transporting them at least 30 minutes away. Hmmmmmm.... I'll have to give it some more thought.

Anyway, thanks a ton for the advice and keep it coming! I am very, very quickly understanding why people who get into this hobby end up with a bazillion tanks.

David
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2009, 05:05:38 AM »

You could have a school of one of the smaller species of cory cats.

If you are scared of plecos please don't get one. Wink

Substrates such as crushed coral irritate cory cats barbels. If the substrate irritates them then they can't relax on the bottom of the tank or even dig through the substrate looking for food.

Hope that Helped

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« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2009, 09:47:17 AM »

I think that a 30 gallon Tall tank is hard because of the fact that it really only has the same footprint as a 20 gallon.
Hence the surface area for air exchange is the same as a twenty gallon, and also the bottom surface (for territories ), and allowable swimming room same as a twenty gallon.
I have one as well..mine is 24" wide 12", 24" tall and 12" from back to front. a lovely tank for display but confusing as to how to stock....
it is still my favorite tank as it fits just about anywhere.

I have come to the conclusion lately that they should be stocked the same as a twenty gallon.....
and with fish that prefer more vertical space rather than swimming room.

also I found that floating plants do much better than ones planted at the bottom because of the depth.

I think that one of the small plecos would just love all love that extra available vertical surface to explore, as they are more concerned with what space is available to stick to rather than swim back and forth.

Stocking a tank is always a difficult process.... there are almost too many choices out there;
and once you get it right you will feel so proud...LOL family and friends may not understand...:)But we do...

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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2009, 10:05:15 AM »

Cory cats need floor space and horizontal swimming room, neither available in a smallish tall tank.  They also need to go to the surface to gulp air (they are supplemental intestinal breathers- even when not really needed it is habit for them).  The depth is not the issue there, it is that the tend to wait for an opening in the traffic to make the vertical run.  In a stocked low-footprint tank with  mixed schoolers, there won't be many breaks in the overhead traffic.  That is anticipating a 'comfort' and 'normal behavior' thing more than a big issue, but to me it is an issue.  Cory watching is fun.  In small groups, or in (to ultraconsevative me) overstocked tanks, There is definite suppression of normal activity.  In a species tank, or a big tank with nothing more than almost-always-at-the-surface fish, cory cats do not sit nearly as much as they do in mixed, "normally" stocked tanks.  But I gather that they do not like to play in traffic.

I do agree w/Belinda's stocking levels for tall low-footprint tanks.

I assumed that you would have good mixing and flow throughout the tank volume.  That is never optional to me, basic tank setup requirement.  The flow may not be as great at the substrate level as at the surface - it does not need to be to my mind - but it must never be dead calm.  Dead spots are a no-no and invitations to unwanted algae and bacterial issues.

HTH
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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2009, 03:40:18 PM »

Thanks everyone for the tips! I'm glad, Belinda, that you like your 30T tank! I've been nervous about mine since day 2, and wish I would have gone with a much shallower one, but I have to admit that for it's position in the house, a tall tank definitely looks great, so I'd like to successfully stock it and get it nice and stable.

I'm now leaning towards getting the Serpae tetras out of the 30T tank, and letting them have a 20G Standard to themselves, and maybe add a couple more once they get used to it.

That would leave my 30GTall with 6 black neons and ready for more stocking. I'd still like to try the Kerri tetras, so if I toss in 9-12 of those, and up the black neons to 9-12, I'll have 18-24 slender tetras in the tank. 

Would that be too disruptive to add cory cats?

What pleco is the most bulletproof, and will stay small? I understand they're very touchy as far as water quality, and my very bad experience with my first one really turned me off to them, again, just because I think they're so cool, and don't want to kill another, particularly if it's just because I manage to screw things up by accident. I try to keep a really clean tank with lots of water changes, but I'm still a newbie! My last pleco (an Emperor, I think 204) was in bad shape when I got him, I think (very listless, when I added him to the tank after maybe 45 minutes of acclimation, he just landed on a plant on his back, and didn't move until I prodded him.) I never saw him eat in 3 days or move unless he was being bugged, whidh was rare, and ultimately he lodged himself into a knot hole in a piece of driftwood and died. Is a bushynose the best choice?

I have to admit, I'd love two schools of smallish tetras and some cats, but I don't want to kill anyone else, and don't want to overstock, particularly at my ability level!
Thanks!

David
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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2009, 01:10:08 AM »

Your 18-24 smallish Tetras are likely more bioload than I use in my tall 30s, even at the lower of those numbers.  But the kerri are likely close to the GERs, a bit less mass than the Black Neons.

I still don't like the idea of the cory cats with that many fish between them and two square feet of water surface.

Peckoltia pulcher
, the Clown Peckoltia, shows up here routinely and is quite attractive and very small, maybe 3-~5 inches. There are some others in that group somewhat similar in looks and similar in size, toward the 5" end. By and large, for me they are a hardy group.
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2009, 02:30:56 PM »

Thanks for the input.

The clown pleco seems reallly cool. I'll get the tank well established with the tetras and then consider it. I'm worried about losing it, though, in the bottom of the tank. While I don't mind if he's fine and out of sight, when I can't take inventory of my fish on a regular basis I start to panic that one is dead and rotting somewhere.

Also, I have some sort of nutty bog wood from Africa in the tank. The LFS told me when I bought it that it was pre soaked and sank without being waterlogged. I did soak it a little, but not much. Anyway, it's been in there for the entire 2.5 months the tank has been in operation, and has been great, point is I don't know what it is exactly, and wonder if it will be good enough for a clown pleco to munch on.

Thanks again!

David
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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2009, 04:46:28 PM »

Hey David! Smiley

I just wanted to give you some input on emperor tetras and tetras in mixed tanks........ I have a school of about 12 in my 125g mixed tetra tank. This tank has turned into a "confetti" tank as RTR described it. I'm glad I happened by this thread, because I couldn't come up with the word to describe how this tank looks----looks like a bunch of colorful confetti! lol.

Anyway, I filled this tank with all sorts of smaller tetras. The rainbow emperors are the largest in there. As I was stocking it, I started with black neons, a school of 9 of them. They stayed in formation, schooling about the tank. It was very pleasing to see......as I added more different types of tetras, they all started to wander around the tank.......colorful confetti pieces floating around with no logical pattern.....the tetras seem happy, they are spawning, eating well, etc, but the tank just looks messy to me......the black neons and rainbow emperors will school together, but loosely and not the same as when you have one type of tetra in a school.

As for the blue emperors---I dont know how they compare to the "rainbow emperor", but I QT'd my rainbow emperors in a 29g tank--the dominant males were squabbling with each other and picking on the females...... I moved them to a 40g breeder size tank, where they spawned and allowed babies to survive in the tank with them. That was cool, but they still seemed to need more room. In the 125g, they use every inch of swimming space.....so, based on my experience, I would not keep these fish in a 29g even if they were the only fish in the tank. I would suggest a 55g for a school of 12-16 of them and I would not recommend keeping them in any numbers less than 12...........all IMO/IME. HTH. Smiley

As for being scared about so many aspects of this hobby........umm. Maybe you need a  or a  ???? lol. Really though, relax a little about this whole thing or you will drive yourself nuts!! You seem to have learned from your prior mistakes and are making great progress....... I'm also really glad RTR expanded on why he would not suggest cories in your tank. I was a little unsure as to why, but his explanation makes sense. Once you get the nitrogen cycle, QT-ing fish, and proper tank maintenance figured out, keeping fish healthy is really pretty easy.....just take good care of the tank and they should thrive. This all depends though, on you getting quality, healthy fish from the beginning. I keep lots of plecos, definitely one of my favorite fish. One dwarf pleco or a school of otos would work well in your tank. So long as the fish are healthy when you get them, half the battle of keeping fish is taken care of. So, if you've had problems getting fish from any certain source, I would suggest searching around for the healthiest fish you can find and go from there.

I think rehoming the serpaes sounds like a good idea. If you like the look of them, but dont want the aggression, I'd suggest HI-511 aka "rosy tetras". here's a profile with a pretty good photo of them: http://www.aqua-fish.net/show.php?h=rosytetra They get a nice deep red, white tips on their black dorsal and anal fins. IME, they actually do very well in smaller tanks, and show off their colors better in smaller tanks than in the 125g mixed tetra tank I've got them in right now. I have also kept them in a 29g or 40 breeder, where they bred and allowed some babies to grow up with them. Their little ones are SO cute!! Smiley Miniature versions of their parents.

I think with this size tank, I would suggest only one type of upper level fish--its just too small for more--I mean, its your prerogative and your tank, but unless you like the look on confetti floating around your tank, I think one group of tetras is better. Smiley All IMO/IME  nerd

HTH
~Lori

ps, I have a group of 3 clown plecos....they are nice little plecos and I wonder why they are not more popular. although, I have been told that they can be territorial if you have more than one, I have not had that trouble. I've also been told they become more of a meat eater as they age, but even though these are adults, I never need to scrape any algae in their tank. I feed them a mix of algae wafers, shrimp pellets, seaweed, and different veggies as well as any flake or frozen foods that make their way past the upper level fish in the tank. They seem to be a little more shy than other plecos I keep, but they are a great little pleco......as are "rubberlip" aka "bulldog" plecos. They look a lot tougher than they really are. lol. Bristlenose are also cool plecos. If you dont like the look of bristlenose plecos, you could go with a female. They stay a little smaller, dont have those big bristles on their faces, and are a little less territorial.
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« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2009, 05:44:25 PM »

Lori - the little blues are not antyhing like their big cousins.   They are small fish and act so, but i have not kept them myself.  The big Emeprors are much more me, and can self-sustain their population in a larger than mid-sized species tank with plenety of plants, some fine-leafed or frilly - or java moss all over the place. I don't know if the little bues are as easy.

4LegsGood -the wood is "mopani", and is bogwood, very dense and alway sinks for me.  It leaches tannin longer than lighter wood, but not as intently. Maube both are similar in total amount, just spread over different time frames.  I change my mind on that every other year it seems.

The Clown Pekoltias are rather shy and do like a refuge - all they family does in fact.  But - once more on a familiar song - if you feed in the last hour of the light cycle, they will learn the time of day, and will be more likely to be out when you go to feed them.  They are breedable.  Separate refuges for each please.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 05:58:32 PM by RTR...Grumpy Ole Fogie » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2009, 06:25:11 PM »

Hee hee, thanks Lori! I definitely need a  and a  ! Once I think I get hardened to the whole thing and not doing it so much on a day to day basis, and have an established tank I'll be able to chill a little.

I don't like to buy fish from box stores, so I only have a few LFS's to try. So far I've gotten ich from both of the ones I tried. I'm pretty much consigned to getting ich with all new fish. The last batch (black neons) was easy to treat and weathered it well. I'm going to have to order the Blue Emperors. I've tried ever store within 50 miles and nobody carries them. For some reason I'm completely stuck on them, possibly because nobody carries them!

While I like the notion of species tanks, as a beginner I gotta try to have a bit more variety, and I think the black neons and blue emperors look kinda similar, so maybe at least the shape of the confetti will be the same? My six quarantined black neons usually do their own thing, until my big head shows up staring at them, then they almost always immediately go into formation and start swimming against the current created by the airstone.

Again, this whole discussion is making it clear to me why so many of you have so many tanks!

RTR thanks for the tip on the mopani! I'm always so glad when I figure out what the hell I've got!

I've finally worked out the logistics on how I'm going to do the swaps and QTs of everyone. Hopefully it'll all work out.

Thanks again!

David
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Wheels on the Bus
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« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2009, 01:40:31 PM »

(The eyeball avatar is spooky.....) Smiley
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4LegsGood
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Tanks: 30 Gallon Tall: 12 Blue Emperor Tetras, 6 black neons, Amano shrimp - Planted; 40G R - 8 Bloodfin Tetras, 7 Julii cory cats, 7 Black Emperor Tetras, 7 Neon Tetras, Amano Shrimp; 10 Gallon QT: Red Cherry Shrimp
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« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2009, 06:19:34 PM »

(The eyeball avatar is spooky.....) Smiley

Hee hee. I was testing the resolution on my new camera with my serpaes! Pretty good, I think!

David
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Belinda
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Tanks: 90 gallon,2x75 gallon,55 gallon, 2x50 gallon; and shall we say a few more.. always growing always changing.
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« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2009, 09:16:56 PM »

I am glad you figured it out...
And believe me I am still second guessing just about anything I do to my tanks.....
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It took 7 days for God to create this world...
So how long will it take for me to create the perfect tank???
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