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Old 05-24-2010, 06:40 PM   #1
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ichthyphobia aversion therapy

Don't laugh. I love fish. I love scuba diving. However, I am terrified of touching or being touched by fish. We used to keep a couple of 20G tanks but my poor husband was stuck with the maintenance and after several years, we stopped keeping fish because it got to be too much to maintain with our growing family.

Now, five years after we moved my husband swore off being the sole tank-keeper, I requested and received a 37G aquarium for Mother's Day. I have been doing very well in taking care of my tank and don't let the phobia get to me.

Unfortunately, like a lot of others around here, I didn't ready about fishless cycling, and cycled with live fish, losing about half of the feeder minnows I started with.

Now I have 8 minnows, 3 mollies (2F 1M), 3 female guppies (can't seem to keep a male alive), a chinese algae eater, and a large fantail goldfish.

My water chemistry is within normal parameters, and I have added a little bit of aquarium salt (about half of what was recommended for live bearers due to the algae eater and goldfish - didn't want to hurt them). The only issue with my water is the pH, which is around 8 for this region. It's the same at the LFS. Local aquarium enthusiasts have told me not to worry about the pH as it's typical for this area.

ETA: (forgot to add): no live plants, penguin 200 power filter, no powerhead yet, but it's on my wishlist, and lots of airstones for my little friends to play in the bubbles.
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:48 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA! IMO I would ditch the goldfish and algae eater (goldfish get real big and messy and CAE can get pretty mean from what I read) but that's just me Glad to hear the rest of your fish are doing good; how long have you been cycling for? Have you been doing frequent water changes?

As far as pH most fish will do good as long as it stays stable. I hope you enjoy this forum, there are a lot of great people on here
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
However, I am terrified of touching or being touched by fish.
what about gloves?

i know someone who has several very large tanks and hates touching the water its self.
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:41 PM   #4
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Gloves won't cut it unless they go up to my armpits. LOL I just keep sticking my hands in to restick suction cups or reseat my decorations, so far without freaking out too badly although I keep my eye on that goldfish...

I've been cycling for about three weeks now.

I got the CAE on a recommendation from a friend because they seem to be really effective at eating algae, although I read here after I got it about how aggressive they can be (of course AFTER LOL). I had a pleco in the past but it didn't do much. Right now the CAE is about the same size as my mollies, but if (when) it gets to be too aggressive, I may find a more suitable home for it.

The goldfish is the only one in the tank my husband seems to appreciate since he can actually see it from across the room, and it doesn't seem very aggressive except toward food flakes.

I'm not interested in cichlids and have more interest in a peaceful hippie fish community where everyone can get along.

Any suggestions on a larger, peaceful fish that doesn't mind brackish water?

I have been doing PWCs at least twice a week. Right now my tank is crystal clear, so I'm a little afraid to mess with it.
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:36 PM   #5
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Well to clear up a couple things... you don't need to be adding salt. The fish you listed will be better off without salt. The only time most people add salt is to treat something. Also adding salt like you are does not make it a brackish aquarium. What you are adding is freshwater aquarium salt. For a brackish set up you would need marine salt. Just a FYI.
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:56 PM   #6
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I am not too sure on larger peaceful fish, but I know otos are good algae eaters, you could get two or three of those. Cories would be another choice for a peaceful bottom fish. if you can get them in a small school they are very fun to have. Bettas can actually be peaceful as long as there arent fish with long flowing fins so that probably wouldn't be a good idea with the goldfish... just some thoughts.
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