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Old 08-14-2011, 08:38 PM   #1
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Hi from IvanMike

Call me Ivan (Michael is my middle name).

I've been a hobbyist since 1991 or so - mostly neotropical cichlids (I share Wayne Liebel's assertion that Mbuna are pretty but a bit stupid). Perhaps my favorite fish i ever had were real C Portalagrensis -beautiful fish and the neatest of the "ports".

I've had a 125 in the past and really lust after 8 foot tanks such as the 240 - but so far no luck in the $$ dept for one. I have had great success with a 20x15 tetra pond liner making a 9x14 pond for summer use (mostly tossing adult cichlids, fry, and oddballs along with livebearers for dither/food.) Draining in the fall was a chore - especially considering the amount of fry i tried to save. Water hyacinth provided all the cover and "filtration" the pond needed and grew exponentially. Fortunately in new england it doesn't overwinter even though they classify it as invasive.

I've kept a largemouth bass and sunfish in the past, and with the recent death of my oscar (i always seem to have an oscar - even when everything else is apistogramma), I decided to "go native" again and secure some largemouth bass.

I've bred a bunch of neotropical cichlids - even bred black neons in a tank choked with java moss. I've had the same java moss for 20 years (the original clump was $1 and the size of a handball - I don't know how much I've sold over the years but it never stops growing and I have a 55 gallon's worth of it now).

I'm a big believer in not screwing with water parameters unless really necessary - and then just using an RO or something for those not tolerant of hard water. Biological filtration and water changes are everything. I can't tell you the last time I've checked for ammonia or nitrites - if you can detect ANY - you have big giant problems. I always keep some sort of media "active" and don't use any prepackaged bacteria - nature will give you plenty. (a good lump of java moss also provides a ton of adjunctive filtration help).
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:41 PM   #2
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Wow you have a pond! If I even got a shovel out and tried digging I'd be stopped right there
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruinsbro1997 View Post
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Wow you have a pond! If I even got a shovel out and tried digging I'd be stopped right there
had a pond sad to say - after a divorce (not due to the pond - lol) I haven't been able to buy or rent a house that would allow me to re-do the project.

The key is to make it aesthetically pleasing. A nice waterfall can be made with a super powerful powerhead or pond pump submerged in gravel with a tube running to some rocks for it to splash down, some water lillies in pots and irises help out too - and if the water hyacinth graces you with flowers it's all the better. Some nice slate or what have you holding down the edges gives it a nice look too. Sorry - no good pix of what it was like - it was about 2 feet deep in the center and had a shelf of about 1 foot depth going around it. I used old carpet scraps to prevent any punctures by rocks or tree roots. Give your spouse some room for decorative suggestions and it can work out really well.

They do make breeding and raising fry very very easy.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:22 PM   #4
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:04 PM   #5
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:51 PM   #6
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