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Showing posts from March, 2016

What Lies Beneath

Lying just beneath the surface of many aquariums lies an hero that ofter goes unseen by the fish keeper. We all know the snails that we personally add to the aquarium but more often that you probably think, these little guys sneak into your aquarium by hitching a free ride from aquatic plants and bog wood.
The Trumpet Snail or Melanoides tuberculatus are very hardy and have shown a high tolerance to freshwater and brackish water. naturally found in the subtropical and tropical parts of Africa and Asia, with a temperature range from subtropical to nearly freezing. They are prolific breeders livebearers and give birth to as many as 70 live young each time. They have a tendency to live beneath your substrate eating excess fish food, detritus and algae so play a vital part in the clean up process.  With a adult size of under an inch, these snails pose no threat to live plants. Infant, they actually improve growth indirectly due to the constant sifting through the gravel. This process loo…

My Fish Shed story by Kris Lee - Now with Photos!

Hi Guys,

I have recently been chatting to Kris Lee about his fish shed. Kris has kindly agreed to share the story behind his most recent fish shed.

This is the first instalment of our fish shed blog and we will be taking an in-depth step by step guide over the next week or so.

Hi I'd first like to introduce myself and explain where my passion began. As a junior of maybe 10 years old, we had a 3ft Community tank in our living room which quickly progressed to also having a 2ft tank in my bedroom . Not long after that we joined the Kirkcaldy aquarist society club where I was a junior till about 16/17 years old. During this time we had 2 very different sheds, a 30+ tank and a 60+ tank shed which gave us good success with both breeding and showing.

Sadly after the loss of my father I left the hobby and never seen any chance of return . In 2014 I opened up my own pet shop. Although the shop was a major fail it did open up the fish hobby to me again. After the close of my shop in October 201…

Sharings Caring

Hi guys,

Community spirit is very important to me. Here in Lothian Fishkeepers, we would not function if we didn't help each other. Trading fish is one thing but truly helping is the most important element of our group.

We all share great advice and we are able to debate healthily over certain issues which only shows we are one of the better groups on Facebook. Too many groups are full of hot headed folks that think they know better and take great pleasure in shooting down a newbie for getting it wrong (heaven forbid)

An idea that was suggested to be earlier this week has become something I feel is a must for our group. We all know the importance of maturing filter media and the potential damage to your ecosystem you could do if you replace too much at once.

Phil Jennings, put it to me that we should have a system in place for anybody requiring access to mature sponges or media, they could borrow some to aid the seeding of there new filter. Another member suggested we do straight …

The Fish Shed - premier league fish keeping!

Hi Guys,

For some of us, keeping just one tank is simply not an option. Some species require that you have additional aquariums to provide the correct care. Malawi cichlids for one, breed like mad and the only way (in my opinion) to successfully raise fry is to have three tanks. The main display tank, a holding tank for females to spit out the fry and a nursery tank to raise fry. Ive personally ran set ups like this in the past with great success.

My current set up is not designed for breeding. My life is too busy for that aspect of fish keeping but i do have two tanks on the go. My son has an Aquaone UFO 550 in his bedroom which is fully planted and home to some shrimp and peal danios. My main tank is a Juwel Trigon 190 which is currently home to some praecox Rainbows, peacock gudgeons and some corries.

Running two tanks is enough for me. I find it difficult to get the time to regularly maintain the two and although I would like to have more, for now I will stick at two.

There are fi…

Tissue Cultures, Delecate little things

Hi guys, As you know Ive been running two planted tanks, one with Substrate, CO2 and EI and one with no plant substrate and only EI Dosing. The latter tank was home to some Hortilab Tissue Cultures which Started off very well. Things have took turn for the worst and I'm losing a lot of my Eleocharis SP and Echinoderms Tenellus. 

After some research and advice from Aquarium Gardens, I confirm that the issue is the lack of CO2. Tissue cultures are in effect baby plants. The need feed lots of nutrients which the EI dosing kit was doing but the also need CO2 to promote growth at the same time.

For now, I have installed a DIY CO2 Generator to save the remaining cultures and hopefully sometime soon I will be able to install a pressurised system. I will continue to EI Dose using the CO2 Art kits and i hope to see an improvement by the end of the week. I will post some photos later to show the damage and we can gauge how effective the CO2 is in 1 weeks time.

bye for now


NAME: Derek Tweedie

AGE: 32

LOCATION: Mayfield (Edinburgh)

Hi Guys, I know its been a while since we last had a MyTank Monday so I'm very happy to be able to bring this one to you today. First of all i need to thank Derek for taking the time out to help me with this one. Derek baby girl was recently born and Derek has been very busy taking care of family life but still managed to answer some questions to share his hobby with us. Thank you! and congratulations on your little girl coming home!

Derek has been in the hobby for about 20 years. He has been around aquariums since as long as he car remember. His Grandfather and Father both kept aquariums and Derek firsts fish was a goldfish he rescued from the fair. He looked after this goldfish for many years.

Derek now runs DT Tropicals which is a shrimp orientated aquatics business but his personal aquarium is a 130 litre shrimp/planted tank with some otocinclus catfish and Endler Guppys along with some Blue Carbons which were originally…

Work with me here guys...

Hi guys,

My tank Monday was an idea I came up with to start to get to know more about all our members. we all like to show of our pride and joy and the weekly feature was a way for us to do this. I cannot do these  features without the support of you guys though. I need you to offer up a quick insight into your fish world and share some photos along with answer some set questions. I do all the hard work and it really is not time consuming. If you are proud of your tank and you want to share your story, get in touch.

I think Lothian fishkeepers has a lot of potential to be a great group of people. I has so many ideas for the future. I've teamed up with Phil from ELA who has offered his premises and more so we have a venue which we will be using for some incoming plans.

With regards to the online side of things, I'm looking for some input from you guys. I want to run another feature which will focus on a species. This will go into detail about the biotope, diet, breeding and gen…

Three weeks of EI dosing Tissue Cultures

Hi Guys,

Im not into my third week of using the EI dosing kits from CO2 ART in my main tank. I have notices some great growth on the Tissue cultures. Some have grown faster that others and some have began to melt away. I don't know If its something I've done or not done but my Echindorus Quadricostatus has now began to melt. This could be down to a few things really. My substrate, lighting and lack of CO2?

I personally think its because I don't have a plant substrate in this set up and it may be time for new tubes. Its worth noting that this is the only plant thats failed on me. As this is my first attempt at growing tissue cultures, I presume I've not provided the correct care.

On a more positive note, both my Pogostemon Helferi and my Cryptorotyne Pygmaea have shown great growth so far and have almost doubled in size. I am loving the way the Crypto seems to be creeping up the back of the red moor and the crinkled leaves of the Helferi is looking really nice and once …

Changing it up a little...

Lothian Fishkeepers has been running for a while now. We have really come together as a group and I can honestly say that I never ever thought we would get to where we are today. Thank you.

Ive seen other groups become popular and end up becoming notice boards for other groups sharing links or business pages sharing sales posts. Some have got so bad they become unusable. I would just hate for this to happen to Lothian Fishkeepers.

Last week I posted on our Facebook group stating that I was looking to change some things regarding advertising on the page. Im not doing this for any other reason but to preserve our group. I want our news feed to be a place where we can share our success stories or ask for advice. Our news feed should be a place where we discuss our hobby and share experiences not be bombarded by endless links to other pages or sales posts.

Ideally, I will make two posts a week which will be sales related. One for business folks and one for the members. I will start with t…

CO2 ART DIY CO2 KIT - day 20

Hi everyone, 
I am nearly at the end of the CO2 Journey. I am three weeks into it now and I'm seeing a slow down of CO2 being generated by the sugar and yeast mix. This sis about right according to most recipes on the internet. Until now it has been very consistent and both 2 litre bottles have kept a good pressure and gave me no issues. I have not had any leakage, no co2 escaping via connections and most of all fantastic growth from all the plants in the 80 litre tank. 
I would say that all my plants have doubled in size in the three weeks since i introduced CO2. This growth was aided slightly by the plant substrate. I have only started dosing the tank with EI mixers this week too. After advice from fellow members and also CO2 Art themselves, I fully understand that CO2 alone only makes plants grow and become more hungry for nutrients. Without additional supplements, the plant will effectively starve to death. 
Moving on, my plan is to continue using the DIY Kit on my smaller tan…

Its Official!!

So I finally got round to making the flyer for the upcoming Tabletop sale on 24th April. Ive included some basic info for now but as we approach the day, I will be speaking with all sellers and getting details on what will be available for us to buy. This is exiting times and I'm really looking  forward to this day. The last Tabletop sale was my first event and as awesome as it was, I found it really stressful. This time round I will know what to expect and after lots of advice from our community, I will have in place measures to prevent the rush at the start and we will be more organised all round.

If you would like to help on the day, please get in touch. This is everybody's group  and these are the events that make our group great.

I plan to have 15-16 tables on the sale area and about 6 tables in the Shrimp show area. So far I have reserved 9 tables so if your planning on selling, let me know asap to get a table reserved.

Looking forward to meeting you all again guys, let…

EI Dosing - week two

After a full 5 days of EI dosing my main tank, I have just finished the big water change that's required to remove any excess nutrients before beginning another weeks dosing routine. The water change is an important part of the routine. The nutrients and minerals them self are not harmful however as the plants grow, so to does the organic waste they produce. This waste can build up over time and cause an algae bloom so the 50% water change dilutes this organic matter and prevents this from happening.

During the water change, I displaced some tissue cultures. I easily replanted all of the, except the Echinodorus Quadricostatus. I noticed the roots which Hague grown since I planted it. It had grown at least an inch of roots since going into the tank. I've decided this little plant is going into the smaller planted tank I have running with tropica plant substrate and also CO2 Art diy co2 kit.

I am going to do maintenance on the other tank this evening which will involve trimming …

Tabletop Sale - Take two

On the 24th April Lothian Fishkeepers holds its 2nd tabletop sale. Our first table top sale took place back in November and we attracted over 200 people. the venue was Forestbank Community Centre which is a lovely venue for this kind of event with the open kitchen area and modern interiors.  After speaking to people after the event, it was all positive feedback but we all agreed that the hall was a little on the small side for the volume of people the event attracted.
This time round I have booked a larger hall, the Livingston station community centre. This has been decorated the same as the forest bank centre so i know it will look just as good however there is more space available. 
Table sales allows private breeders and hobbyists to sell there own bred fish along with any other fish they wish to move on. they can sell equipment and even aquariums, food and plants. One thing that I noticed at the last event was the limited availability of freshwater shrimps. 
I have been speaking …

The Local Fish Store - Repost

We all know hat feeling when you walk into your favourite local fish store. That sense of wonder and excitement at what you might find. The buzz you have when you have previously ordered in something special and you have had the call to say it's arrived. I remember the excitement when I was young and my dad would take me to the fish stores in Edinburgh.  Would run ahead desperate to see the big oscars.
When I was first starting out, I often relied 100% on the advice the guys would give me. Sometimes I would crack up when I wanted the yellow lab malawis to go in with my kribensis and they refused to  sell me any. Later on in life I respected these guys for refusing a sale for the benefit of the fish. Back then we didn't have the Internet and fish keeping was very much an 'in person' hobby. We had fish clubs with regular meetings and auctions etc, special events and speakers and so on. This was the backbone of the hobby. Without these dedicated hobbyists along with the …

CO2 ART DIY KIT - Day thirteen

Is CO2 enough on its own? I am getting some serious growth from all my plants from the carpet to the lilly leaves on the surface. The colours have improved drastically and everything is nice and glossy.
However, I have noticed that my Red tiger lotus lily plant has began to fray away at the edges. This is getting worse and is on the majority of the plant. This set up only has Tropica plant substrate for nutrients along with the CO2 input. I think to prevent this happening I may have to introduce some additional supplements. 
EI dosing is something that can run alongside CO2 injection so I am considering beginning dosing as of next week. This should provide enough nutrients for the plants to recover and continue to thrive.
I have Micro and Macro EI dosing bottles which I am using on my main tank and I recently received a pack of dry refills for each bottle so I have enough to begin using it on the smaller tank upstairs. Because of the routine required, it makes sense to start dosing o…

And the winner is...

Well, tonight we look at the competition we have been running for 1 week and pick the top three winners. We are lucky that Lothian Fishkeepers has East Lothian Aquatics to sponsor our competitions. This means we can offer our winners some decent prizes....

This month we asked all members to offer up the best advice the could and which ever piece of advice received the highest amount of likes would win £25.00 store credit, with 2nd place receiving £20 and 3rd place £15 credit.

This is a great opportunity for some of our members to visit ELA and find out exactly what Phil has planned for the future of his traditional Aquatics store.

We will be closing voting etc by 9pm tonight and I will announce the winners shortly afterwards. This gives us just enough time to find a better winner than Davie Walls and his wife swindling advice (although i have to admit, it is utterly perfect and can apply to either wife or husband)

So good luck everyone and lets get busy!

Bye for now