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Old 09-22-2006, 04:17 PM   #1
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Experience Level-Intermediate/Advanced

What is considered intermediate or advanced level of keeping a fish? Whenever I go to PetSmart, they have labels telling you the skill level of keeping and taking care of the fish. I was looking at a Gold Nugget Pleco and it had this 'advanced' sticker on it(not on the fish, the tank). It costs $40.00.

How do you know if your ready to take care of a more advanced fish? I would hate to see one die just because I want one.
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Old 09-22-2006, 04:43 PM   #2
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GN Pleco's are no more advanced than a common pleco imho. I'm actually suprised that PetsMart has a L18, they are hard to find around here. They can be a bit more picky about food, so you need to switch around veggies, algae wafers, and other sinking wafers to keep their interest. Nothing too advanced, go for it and have fun $40 is about right for a juvenile L18, the larger ones will go for $75-120 as they are a bit more rare and from experience pretty darn hard to breed.

I am assuming your tank is fully cycled here too

Good luck,
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Old 09-22-2006, 04:43 PM   #3
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It means that its not a guppy... IM meaning care wise, u cant just flop it it in a tank and have it live. You need perfect water conditions, established tank, I would research the fist before buying it.

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Old 09-22-2006, 04:51 PM   #4
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Some of the fancier plecos also should be acclimated longer and better than you would some tetras or guppies. Take care in acclimating it and make sure it eats and you should be fine!
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Old 09-22-2006, 05:56 PM   #5
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They also have these electric blue chiclids that say advanced on the tank. I am researching ahead of time, for instance for the pleco, it says they like driftwood, so I am preparing some now. So if the fish recommends advanced care, then what they mean is that you do regular PWC's, test the water, vary the diet, provide the proper diet, provide the proper enviornment, research the water conditions for the paticular fish, and so on. It doesnt mean you have to a degree in marine biology? When you look at a fish in the store and it has this label, it can be intimidating.

Absolutely cycled tank, weekly PWC's @ 40%, no fish deaths in a long time, I always test the water, plants are growing, algae is there but seems to be balanced and not taking over the tank(and I like the way it looks on the rock caves). Fish are given varied diet of b-worms, shrimp, flake food, brine shrimp, wafers, peas, occasional fruit, etc. No diseases or creepy crawlies in the tank.
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Old 09-22-2006, 06:50 PM   #6
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honestly with all the fish ive taken care of, angelfish are the only real "fragile ones" they were always kinda sick to begin with, so maybe its just my own experience, most fish arent exceptionally hard, even discus just need water changes.

keep us posted

and aquarius, show some ohio pride, put your city in your thing
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Old 09-22-2006, 06:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by aquarious
They also have these electric blue chiclids that say advanced on the tank. I am researching ahead of time, for instance for the pleco, it says they like driftwood, so I am preparing some now. So if the fish recommends advanced care, then what they mean is that you do regular PWC's, test the water, vary the diet, provide the proper diet, provide the proper enviornment, research the water conditions for the paticular fish, and so on. It doesnt mean you have to a degree in marine biology? When you look at a fish in the store and it has this label, it can be intimidating.

Absolutely cycled tank, weekly PWC's @ 40%, no fish deaths in a long time, I always test the water, plants are growing, algae is there but seems to be balanced and not taking over the tank(and I like the way it looks on the rock caves). Fish are given varied diet of b-worms, shrimp, flake food, brine shrimp, wafers, peas, occasional fruit, etc. No diseases or creepy crawlies in the tank.
You've got it. I'd recommend unless your store has good fish keeping practices (few dead fish in the tank, no obvious diseases, not extremely overstocked, etc) that you stay away from the large chains. PetSmart is great for me since its close in case something is needed ASAP, but I stay away from their fish due to IMO poor keeping standards.

As for the "advanced" tabs, almost anything that requires more than the basic dechlored water and flake food seems to be intermediate or higher. ALL of the fish that required brackish conditions regardless of actual difficulty had advanced on the tanks the last time I went. Now what is so advanced with putting a bit of salt in a PWC?

One thing the did do right was to have advanced on at least some of the fish that get VERY LARGE regardless of special conditions.
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Old 09-23-2006, 12:38 PM   #8
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I don't agree with a lot of them. I consider neons to be advanced, but they are usually labeled as beginner. Goldfish are advanced to me, they aren't as hardy as people think. If they were they'd live their 20+ years a lot more often. Cichlids could be intermediate because their water preferences are really what you have to be aware of. Anything that the average person can't keep alive for more than a few weeks is certainly not a beginner fish. Livebearers are some of the only fish I'd consider good for a beginner, they live through everything. Oscars are very hardy too, so long as the beginner has a properly sized tank.
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Old 09-23-2006, 01:59 PM   #9
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I don't agree with a lot of them. I consider neons to be advanced, but they are usually labeled as beginner. Goldfish are advanced to me, they aren't as hardy as people think. If they were they'd live their 20+ years a lot more often.
goldfish are hardy, as i had mine for 11 years. the problem is that people put them in bowls, were they lack adequate filtration and airation. it bothers me when people are like "yeah i got my kid a goldfish, but you know, their lifespan is like a week"
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Old 09-23-2006, 11:37 PM   #10
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I believe the experience level is more tied with how dedicated you are to maintaining the tank more than anything else. If it says advanced, then that means it's for those of us that are dedicated to out ranks, do regular PWC's and don't slack in it because we get too tired of doing it. It also takes into consideration proper feeding, varied diet like mentioned above, and maintaining proper temps. So if you have that pure dedication to your tanks, then there really is no advanced fish that you couldn't have. Now like me, starting my small breeding program for GBR's, that is probably more advanced than advanced, lol. Just ask the few in here that are currently having fun with it. It's not as easy as it looks. Yes, once GBR's start breeding, they breed more than rabbits, lol. But it's the fry that's the advanced part. It's so hard keeping them alive and the survival rate is usually fairly low. So that's what I'm working on with each spawning, to try new things to see if I can increase my survival rate each time I go through the process. It's not only the learning curve, but dedication.
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Old 09-24-2006, 12:58 AM   #11
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I always thought that those "experience" levels given at Petsmart are given as a very general rule to the casual shopper, who is more interested in looks than size, weight, waste issues, etc. At least, thats what my girlfriend tells me and she works there.
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