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Old 11-27-2013, 02:20 PM   #1
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What is a 'mature' tank?

There are plenty of posts on here that suggest that you can't put certain fish into a 'new' tank as they prefer a 'mature' tank - so what is a mature tank?

My thinking here is that if you provide the correct pH, hardness and temperature coupled with suitable substrate, planting, lighting etc and your filtration is established then surely you are able to add a fish for which those parameters would be close to, or exactly match, its natural habitat

IMO, you could set up a tank using RO water, adjusted to suit your chosen fish and attach a mature external filter (for example) and then add your selected fish.

What do you think
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Old 11-27-2013, 02:32 PM   #2
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A mature tank is just a tank that's been up and running smoothly for a while. Usually about 6 months without any cycling or pH issues.
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:00 PM   #3
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An established system that can handle minor changes without a fluctuation/crash and has stable water parameters. It has gone through the initial cycles, bacterial bloom, the diatom surge (if it's going to happen), and such. Also the tank has had enough time to build up a thriving colony of micro-fauna and -flora and biofilm.
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:03 PM   #4
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As always very well said ^
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by pip walters View Post

My thinking here is that if you provide the correct pH, hardness and temperature coupled with suitable substrate, planting, lighting etc and your filtration is established then surely you are able to add a fish for which those parameters would be close to, or exactly match, its natural habitat

IMO, you could set up a tank using RO water, adjusted to suit your chosen fish and attach a mature external filter (for example) and then add your selected fish.

What do you think
If you use just ro water are you going to add the minerals needed for growth and metabolism? Also did you cycle it?

IMO mature tank is a tank that's has established bb. Ph doesn't matter seeing as fish a adjust to such a wide range if acclimated properly. Substrate an plants don't matter otherwise people wouldn't do bare bottoms.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:50 PM   #6
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Algae film takes time to form and really important for certain fish such as ottos as well as freshwater shrimp
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:17 PM   #7
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An established system that can handle minor changes without a fluctuation/crash and has stable water parameters. It has gone through the initial cycles, bacterial bloom, the diatom surge (if it's going to happen), and such. Also the tank has had enough time to build up a thriving colony of micro-fauna and -flora and biofilm.

Plus one - I always thought it had been going for a few months, had all the different bacteria, etc established and was stable.

What I don't understand is why certain fish are recommended for this eg neon tetras I believe. Is it due to the fish being normally used to a strict range of conditions in the wild, inbreeding, or they are somehow more sensitive?? Thoughts appreciated.
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Old 03-02-2014, 04:34 AM   #8
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Plus one - I always thought it had been going for a few months, had all the different bacteria, etc established and was stable.

What I don't understand is why certain fish are recommended for this eg neon tetras I believe. Is it due to the fish being normally used to a strict range of conditions in the wild, inbreeding, or they are somehow more sensitive?? Thoughts appreciated.
This was my point. If you provide the correct conditions as far as water parameters are concerned and you have a matured filter, then the balance should be correct. Many of the fish I have at work, especially the more odd-ball stuff, are wild caught, so I have attempted to replicate wild parameters as far as possible.

I have some vampire tetras for instance. I use ro water and have placed almond leaves and bogwood in the tank. The fish arrive individually in tiny bags with little water, so there ks no option but to add them straight to the tank...... they have been fine.

The water we use for.most of our fish is from a reservoir, so we don't have to worry about chlorine etc, but it is hard and alkaline. Neons go straight into this so do most of our other fish, with very few problems. We have little choice than to put them straight into the tanks as they are packed in relatively high numbers when exported and water quality in the bags doesnt really allow us to acclimatise them by the drip method.

I suppose my point here is the fish have been through a lot of sudden changes by the time they reach a home aquarium, so if they survive all that, a 'mature' tank may be not ba as important as you think. Also, where dealers are using uv sterilisation, ozone, etc, in multi-tank systems, the fish won't have been subject to the conditions expected in a mature tank as water is kept 'too clean'. I believe fish kept in these conditions may have a lowered resistence to pathogens that.my be floating around a home aquarium.
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Old 03-02-2014, 05:02 AM   #9
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This is my first time hearing about this "alage film" Can you explain?
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:47 AM   #10
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This is my first time hearing about this "alage film" Can you explain?
It's more commonly called a biofilm. It's a buildup of organic residue and bacteria on surfaces in an aquarium. It's why things feel slightly slippery in an aquarium as opposed to how they feel in a brand new tank. There are some fish such as oto cats that feed off of this film.
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:25 AM   #11
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What is a 'mature' tank?

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Originally Posted by pip walters View Post
This was my point. If you provide the correct conditions as far as water parameters are concerned and you have a matured filter, then the balance should be correct. Many of the fish I have at work, especially the more odd-ball stuff, are wild caught, so I have attempted to replicate wild parameters as far as possible.



I have some vampire tetras for instance. I use ro water and have placed almond leaves and bogwood in the tank. The fish arrive individually in tiny bags with little water, so there ks no option but to add them straight to the tank...... they have been fine.



The water we use for.most of our fish is from a reservoir, so we don't have to worry about chlorine etc, but it is hard and alkaline. Neons go straight into this so do most of our other fish, with very few problems. We have little choice than to put them straight into the tanks as they are packed in relatively high numbers when exported and water quality in the bags doesnt really allow us to acclimatise them by the drip method.



I suppose my point here is the fish have been through a lot of sudden changes by the time they reach a home aquarium, so if they survive all that, a 'mature' tank may be not ba as important as you think. Also, where dealers are using uv sterilisation, ozone, etc, in multi-tank systems, the fish won't have been subject to the conditions expected in a mature tank as water is kept 'too clean'. I believe fish kept in these conditions may have a lowered resistence to pathogens that.my be floating around a home aquarium.

Ok, ok so maybe three times when fish can be introduced:

1) fish in cycle (just to include)

2) newly established but mature filter

3) 'mature' tank

I see what your saying but 'hardy fish' are suggested for case 1 which would then suggest case 2 as well to some extent?
This is pretty interesting .

Edit - having a little trouble, the phone is chopping the text off.

I was going to add can we compare a lfs tank to a home tank? Thoughts?
Ed
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:32 AM   #12
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Ok, ok so maybe three times when fish can be introduced:

1) fish in cycle (just to include)

2) newly established but mature filter

3) 'mature' tank

I see what your saying but 'hardy fish' are suggested for case 1 which would then suggest case 2 as well to some extent?
This is pretty interesting .

Edit - having a little trouble, the phone is chopping the text off.

I was going to add can we compare a lfs tank to a home tank? Thoughts?
Ed
It is interesting. We get south american stuff that goes straight into our water. If you believe everything we are told as hobbyists, one would expect those fish to suffer pH shock at the very least, but cardinals, rummy nose, bleeding hearts and expensive L number plecos seem to adjust well. Perhaps fish are more tolerant than we give them credit for.

With regard to lfs tanks, when I was in the retail trade, all my tanks were individually filtered witg under gravel plates. I looked after them all as if they were home tanks.... water change every couple of weeks (which all the lterature suggested at that time). I got to a point when I knew if a tank needed attention, just by observing slight differences in fish behaviour.

I used to get a lot of hobbyists that had purchased all their tanks and equipment from a local large aquatic outlet in a garden centre, but were getting poor advice and losing fish. Many of these people bought fish from me and would come back and tell me how well they were doing compared to fish from the garden centre.

The only reason I could deduce was that the garden centre run their tanks on large central filtration systems using uv sterilisers to minimise disease pathogens and also zeolite beds to remove ammonia etc. I considered that this meant their fish were likely not exposed to any level of ammonia, nitrite or nitrate and therefore had little tolerence when a hobbyist took them home and placed them in an aquarium where the parameters may fluctuate.

In my experience, many fish will tolerate certain low levels of ammonia, the toxicity of which varies anway, depending on temperature and pH, as long as the increase is relatively gradual. I have found they are even more tolerant of nitrites as it tends to rise even more slowly. I think I have posted before that when I did my first spawning at the fish hatchery I set up at my last job, I had 2 week old fry feeding well and growing in water that measured 8ppm nitrite, as we had not had time to mature the filters prior to starting production.

At my place of work now, we once measured ammonia in one of the marine systems at 1.0ppm...... dangerous / fatal, according to the test kit recmmendations. We didn't lose a single fish and, after adding some extra bottled BB (another bone of contention among hobbyists) the ammonia dropped to zero within a couple of days.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:49 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by pip walters View Post

It is interesting. We get south american stuff that goes straight into our water. If you believe everything we are told as hobbyists, one would expect those fish to suffer pH shock at the very least, but cardinals, rummy nose, bleeding hearts and expensive L number plecos seem to adjust well. Perhaps fish are more tolerant than we give them credit for.

With regard to lfs tanks, when I was in the retail trade, all my tanks were individually filtered witg under gravel plates. I looked after them all as if they were home tanks.... water change every couple of weeks (which all the lterature suggested at that time). I got to a point when I knew if a tank needed attention, just by observing slight differences in fish behaviour.

I used to get a lot of hobbyists that had purchased all their tanks and equipment from a local large aquatic outlet in a garden centre, but were getting poor advice and losing fish. Many of these people bought fish from me and would come back and tell me how well they were doing compared to fish from the garden centre.

The only reason I could deduce was that the garden centre run their tanks on large central filtration systems using uv sterilisers to minimise disease pathogens and also zeolite beds to remove ammonia etc. I considered that this meant their fish were likely not exposed to any level of ammonia, nitrite or nitrate and therefore had little tolerence when a hobbyist took them home and placed them in an aquarium where the parameters may fluctuate.

In my experience, many fish will tolerate certain low levels of ammonia, the toxicity of which varies anway, depending on temperature and pH, as long as the increase is relatively gradual. I have found they are even more tolerant of nitrites as it tends to rise even more slowly. I think I have posted before that when I did my first spawning at the fish hatchery I set up at my last job, I had 2 week old fry feeding well and growing in water that measured 8ppm nitrite, as we had not had time to mature the filters prior to starting production.

At my place of work now, we once measured ammonia in one of the marine systems at 1.0ppm...... dangerous / fatal, according to the test kit recmmendations. We didn't lose a single fish and, after adding some extra bottled BB (another bone of contention among hobbyists) the ammonia dropped to zero within a couple of days.
The majority of this can't be seen immediately. Granted there are ammonia burns which can be seen. Yes some fish will die from ph shock but otherwise will just end up being stunted. Look at discus fish for example. You can keep them in 20-30ppm of nitrates, probably have a little bit of ammonia, and feed them once a day. Unfortunately these fish are not going to grow to their full size. These effects are sometimes internal and damage organs which we can not see until a later date.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:29 AM   #14
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The majority of this can't be seen immediately. Granted there are ammonia burns which can be seen. Yes some fish will die from ph shock but otherwise will just end up being stunted. Look at discus fish for example. You can keep them in 20-30ppm of nitrates, probably have a little bit of ammonia, and feed them once a day. Unfortunately these fish are not going to grow to their full size. These effects are sometimes internal and damage organs which we can not see until a later date.
That is a fair point, but as a wholesaler, we are not keeping the fish for any great length of time, so hopefully, they end up in a hobbyists tank with more space etc. However, as I said, these fish are not dying of pH shock or anything else. I am not sure what organ damage they are going to suffer? Perhaps you can shed some light on that? I would have thought that damage to internal organs would become apparent fairly soon, with maybe poor appetite at the very least. Often, some of these fish are with us for three weeks or more, so I would have thought that long enough for them to show signs of ill health.

Ammonia damages the gills quicker than anything else, as this is where the highest concentration of ammonia is excreted by the fish, so this type of damage would show within a day or two at the most, with fish gasping, breathing erratically or hanging near the water inflow. The ammonia would have to be much higher than 1ppm NH 4 before burns were suffered.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:44 AM   #15
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That is a fair point, but as a wholesaler, we are not keeping the fish for any great length of time, so hopefully, they end up in a hobbyists tank with more space etc. However, as I said, these fish are not dying of pH shock or anything else. I am not sure what organ damage they are going to suffer? Perhaps you can shed some light on that? I would have thought that damage to internal organs would become apparent fairly soon, with maybe poor appetite at the very least. Often, some of these fish are with us for three weeks or more, so I would have thought that long enough for them to show signs of ill health.
I've seen discus be at. Store for over a month. I asked the one day if they could feed them for me and like most good stores agreed. They eat fairly well, some more then others. The worker then Replied I've already fed them 3 times now so they are probably pretty full. These discus were at most 2.5 inches and require a feeding of 4-5 times a day. If I didn't ask for them to be fed they would have only fed these fish twice a day. Let alone the waterchange of 20% percent once a week with nitrates of 20ppm. I thought maybe if I purchase the best eater with the smallest eyes I'd be good to go. Well. Now I'm sitting here 5 months later looking at this maybe 2.5 inch which due to the poor quality of the store I wasted 60$. Now this discus itself looks rather healthy. Someone would probably buy it from an lfs. Unfortunately I know it is stunned due to its large eye in the second slot and pinched forehead.
I also know it is not from me because I have two more discus bought the same size from big als and they are now both easily over 3 inches in 3-4 months time.
Just an example of how water quality can affect the fish without obvious signs
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Old 03-02-2014, 12:31 PM   #16
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That is a fair point, but as a wholesaler, we are not keeping the fish for any great length of time, so hopefully, they end up in a hobbyists tank with more space etc. However, as I said, these fish are not dying of pH shock or anything else. I am not sure what organ damage they are going to suffer? Perhaps you can shed some light on that? I would have thought that damage to internal organs would become apparent fairly soon, with maybe poor appetite at the very least. Often, some of these fish are with us for three weeks or more, so I would have thought that long enough for them to show signs of ill health.

Ammonia damages the gills quicker than anything else, as this is where the highest concentration of ammonia is excreted by the fish, so this type of damage would show within a day or two at the most, with fish gasping, breathing erratically or hanging near the water inflow. The ammonia would have to be much higher than 1ppm NH 4 before burns were suffered.

Taken from this site: http://www.nature.org/cs/groups/webc...prd_026308.pdf

Quote:
Ammonia can be acutely toxic to fish mainly due to its effect on the central nervous system,
because it causes “acute ammonia intoxication” - which includes convulsions and death (Randall
et al. 2002). Concentrations of ammonia that are acutely toxic to fish may cause loss of
equilibrium, hyperexcitability, increased breathing, cardiac output, and oxygen uptake, and, in
extreme cases, convulsions, coma, and death (EPA 1989). Lower concentrations of ammonia
can cause a reduction in hatching success, reduction in growth rate and morphological
development, and pathologic changes in tissues of gills, livers, and kidneys (EPA 1989).
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:09 PM   #17
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Yes, acute ammonia poisoning can occur during transport, where a lot of fish are placed in a relatively small volume of water, as I have witnessed a few times both in fish transported in bags and in tanks where oxygen injection has failed. This is one of the reasons fish in transport tanks benefit from the addition of salt, as salt reduces the effects of ammonia on the fish.
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:33 PM   #18
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That is a fair point, but as a wholesaler, we are not keeping the fish for any great length of time, so hopefully, they end up in a hobbyists tank with more space etc. However, as I said, these fish are not dying of pH shock or anything else. I am not sure what organ damage they are going to suffer? Perhaps you can shed some light on that? I would have thought that damage to internal organs would become apparent fairly soon, with maybe poor appetite at the very least. Often, some of these fish are with us for three weeks or more,.
In meddid second post he/she mentioned how organs are impacted but can't be seen till later.
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Old 03-02-2014, 04:28 PM   #19
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Yes, acute ammonia poisoning can occur during transport, where a lot of fish are placed in a relatively small volume of water, as I have witnessed a few times both in fish transported in bags and in tanks where oxygen injection has failed. This is one of the reasons fish in transport tanks benefit from the addition of salt, as salt reduces the effects of ammonia on the fish.
I was more specifically talking about this part. I decided to add the acute in there just because.

Quote:
Lower concentrations of ammonia
can cause a reduction in hatching success, reduction in growth rate and morphological
development, and pathologic changes in tissues of gills, livers, and kidneys (EPA 1989).
Scientifically tested and accepted health problems in fish due to sublethal long term exposure of ammonia.

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In meddid second post he/she mentioned how organs are impacted but can't be seen till later.
He* and thank you
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:27 PM   #20
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I was more specifically talking about this part. I decided to add the acute in there just because.

Scientifically tested and accepted health problems in fish due to sublethal long term exposure of ammonia.

He* and thank you
That's why I said he/she lol and your welcome. Very knowledgable info right there. If you fish aren't breeding it might not be your fault!
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