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Old 06-21-2012, 12:11 PM   #1
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Greetings from the California Desert!

Hello all. I am a 21 year old college student living in the Mojave desert. Having come from the land of cacti and ungodly heat, I find serenity and beauty in water and fish. Thus, I have a little aquarium in my room, a piece of my own little paradise out in the middle of the badlands.

I've loved fish all my life and grew up with two aquariums in my lifetime. While these experiences soured my dad's opinion of pet fish, I fell in love. I keep 8 goldfish in a 20 gallon aquarium (small, I know, gotta work with what you got till you can get something better!) Goldfish would not have been my first pick of fish, but surprisingly I fell in love with their beautiful colors, high energy/activity, and their begging little faces every time I go anywhere near the aquarium.

Honestly, I'm just keeping an aquarium until I can settle down in my own place in a different location, because my dream/goal is to have a good quality, well maintained home made pond in my yard with Koi fish. Though, I believe I will always have an inside aquarium as well. I'd love to have a salt water aquarium but I'm not sure if I'm up to the task. Perhaps in 10 years when I've been fish keeping for a while I'll take on that challenge. I would hate to try and fail at the expense of little creatures. If I'm going to try something, I'm going to make sure it'll all be okay in the end, especially with the lives of critters in the balance. (I have cried over every single fish I've ever lost. I'll be forever haunted by the death of my puffer fish, Chong. R.I.P. little big fish.)
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:57 PM   #2
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Hello and welcome! You've joined the right place for great advice. How do you handle the heat there? I don't do well in the heat in summer and I live in the UK.......must be soooo hot there!
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:02 PM   #3
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Its hot here for sure, but it's a dry heat. I'd probably die if I lived anywhere with 10% or more humidity. We handle the heat with 'swamp coolers' It circulates air through a cooler pad soaked with water. It cools the air while giving it a bit of needed humidity...otherwise we'd all be getting nosebleeds from the dry/heat. I used to work in Death Valley...even hotter than Mojave!! It's incredible what we can adapt to. I've never seen more incredible creatures than those designed to survive the harshest desert the U.S.A has to offer.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:26 PM   #4
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Cool, sounds really interesting, hot .... but interesting. How do your goldies do in the heat? In fact how do people keep there goldies cool in the US? Are chillers used most of the time?
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:30 PM   #5
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Well, in summer we run the coolers all year round in the desert, even at night when it gets really hot. Probably keeps the aquarium between 72-75 degrees. The problem in the summer is during water changes. I use tap water (also very harsh tap water out in the desert), but the water from the tap is always warm/hot! So I let it sit overnight.

I find they are much filthier in the heat and I have an algae problem sometimes. This spring I figure they are old enough to reproduce because some questionable behavior has occurred. It's like watching love struck first grade boys torment the girls they like. Lol

And in the winter I use a small submerged heater for the goldies in case it gets too cold for them.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:42 PM   #6
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Certainly sounds like you have it all taken care of. I think most tanks get an algal bloom at some point though. My angels have been displaying courting behaviour too. So who knows I may have 'angelets' soon
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:52 PM   #7
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I would love to have something more exotic than goldies. I hear Angels are difficult to keep. Really, I'd love to set up a 20 gallon for a single puffer in honor of my lost one. They have a surprising amount of personality for a fish. They buzz around the tank like little bumble bees and though they don't look really threatening, they can be aggressive and a force to be reckoned with.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:01 PM   #8
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I've always been ok with angels. I think the soft, acidic water helps. They are my favourite fish withSeverums coming a close second. Ive thought of having a puffer myself. Id set it in a species tank, its one for the future. I love the way they swim and they are more than just a little bit cute lol
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