Chuck's spot

Discussion in 'Member's Blogs' started by Chuck, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member

    A moment to praise the miracle of live black worms.
    My discus came down with a major case of ich. I hadn't changed the water for about two months, so I did a third water change. I usually don't change that much at one time on them because my water runs high nitrate counts from the tap. In any case they stressed and came down with ich.
    I did the usual with raising up to 87 degrees and left it there. It didn't make any improvement after a week and they started turning dark . They also went off their feed. They had been eating frozen blood worms and brine shrimp. They had even been picking at pellets and flake.
    I broke down and treated them with General Cure. I don't like using it because it seems pretty harsh. It's kind of a cure them or kill them treatment. At least that has been my experience. it cleared up the ich in about 3 days and I gradually reduced the temperature back to 82 degrees. The problem was that they didn't start eating , were still black and we're losing body mass to the point that they were beginning to get concave above their eyes. They still picked at food but it was not enough to keep them going.
    I went out to Pet World last week and bought live black worms. It was my last hope. I had a heck of a time breaking them onto other food when I first got them. I was afraid of that happening again. It was either this or watching them fade away.I threw in a large glob and they hit it like a musky hitting a lure.(that's for you fishing fanatics out there).
    I fed them worms twice a day with an in between feeding of frozen blood worms. They started getting their color back within a day. Within two days they started eating the frozen food again. They are now gaining weight back and starting to get territorial again.
    Thanks to black worms , I dodged a Grimy
  2. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member

    Old Way continued.
    Paul Hahnel's method kept a much larger genetic pool then modern day guppies. How many recessive genes have been bred out of modern Guppy strains? I am going to try the "Hahnel method" of breeding guppies. This will be a long term experiment. After all Hahnel did this for 40 years. I will select strictly for size and color. I won't use virgin females though. It might take a little longer but its proven that its not as critical. I am going to keep it simple. When I see a particular guppy I like, I will throw it into the pot. I am going to pay particular attention to the size and color of the females. I should be able to keep this experiment to about 3 tanks. the first for breeders. the second as a grow out tank. The third will be for culls.
    It probably won't go anywhere, but, I might some interesting fish. I will keep you updated.
  3. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member

    I went to the GCCA swap meet today to participate with Sean and Steve . It was wild . There were 97 tables both with vendors and regular hobbyists like ourselves represented. This is the second one I have personally done.there were literally hundreds of people there. You couldn't get to some of the tables . The variety of items was wide and every table was willing to work deals. If you look under The "what fish did I get today" page , you will see what I picked up.
    If you ever get a chance to participate or even go to a swap, it will be s omething to remember
    Mike F and Sean S like this.
  4. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member

    Continuing with early guppy breeding methods.
    There was another breeder of guppies that ran one of the early fish farms in Florida. His name was William Sternke. He was actually known more for his work with Black Mollies. I will touch on that more in a minute. For now let's talk about his guppies.
    William was a pond breeder. He would select the best fish from his tanks that had the specific traits he would be looking for. He then introduced a colony into a pond and let them breed for a season. He felt that having them "summer" improved the color intensity. They usually came in with ragged fins that shaped up once inside. He would repeat the process again and again. Since he was dealing with a loose large colony, the results were farther ranging because of a mixed genetic pool. You can decide if this is good or bad. I personally like the idea because you are more likely to run across a trait you might want jump on. I used this last year in my pond with swordtails and platies and got a wide range of varieties. I am working on a platy right now that is red but has some green spangles in it. I'm waiting for the second generation to grow out. It looks like at least some have it.
    If you want to find more about William Sternke, look up Perma Black Mollies. He was the first one to breed an all black Mollie. In the old days, the fry came out marbled and gradually turned black. He developed a fish that was black fro birth. Beyond that, he put the trail in a Sailfin Mollie. It was solid black except for a yellow or orange line in the top of the dorsal fin. Unfortunately , over the years the strain got weaker and was lost. You can still see pictures in books but there is nothing to compare to the one in the 60's.
  5. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member

    Here ae some of the first generation offspring that came out of my mixed Platy swordtail ponds last year. The pictures are not real clear but you can get the idea upload_2017-3-9_12-14-1.png upload_2017-3-9_12-14-1.png upload_2017-3-9_12-14-1.png 1485525059506.jpg KIMG0048.JPG upload_2017-3-9_12-14-1.png upload_2017-3-9_12-14-1.png 1485525059506.jpg upload_2017-3-9_12-27-45.png upload_2017-3-9_12-27-45.png upload_2017-3-9_12-27-45.png KIMG0048.JPG 1485525059506.jpg upload_2017-3-9_12-14-1.png
    Mike F likes this.
  6. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member

    It's about that time of year when the pond becomes a leaf colored brown stinky mess. (At least mine is). Our minds turn to a warm summer day and flashes of color in the pond with plants growing . A world of colors instead of gray, white and brown. ( No, I will never be a poet). We are still trapped inside and can't do anything about it , because it's too soon and too cold. Or is it?
    In the next weeks, I will be posting some thoughts and pictures on how to get going with pond plants early. I'm going to start my ponds from the inside. A lot of you know,I wrote on this blog a year ago about trying to "farm" an outside pond. This turned out to be very successful. I will show some photos of one of two harvests I had. The frustration a lot of us have, is not being able to put anything tropical outside until mid to late May. I have a solution . (Kinda).
    this year I am going to start planted trays in an unheated 20 gallon aquarium inside with some livebearers that I kept in the 60's all winter. I am hoping this will give me a jump start in May.
    I will shortly be reposting my last year's blog from this site on Chuck's Aquatic Spot found on Facebook. I will continue here with this year's experiment. This way I won't be repeating myself in two places.
    I plan to show this technique at the Gadget contest in April. It's really not a gadget but it is DIY with household items.
    Until next time ,
    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
    Mike F likes this.
  7. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member

    I planted some trays of plants in a 20 gallon aquarium. They are under 20 watts of light but in a dirted environment. I am going to see about adding more light and more fish to get them going. I also have a few bare bottom tanks which think I will add a tray to. These will all be going into one of my ponds by the end of May
    This should give me a earlier start this year. Notice in image number 3 the layering of the dirt litter and gravel. image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
    Sean S likes this.
  8. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member

    Awhile back I talked about the fun of a fish swap. I mentioned great deals and variety. You will also run across a lot of people that have common interests.I strongly urge everyone to take time to go to one. you might ind your hobby going in another direction. 1485706122347.jpg 1485706128957.jpg 1485706151535.jpg KIMG0073.JPG
    Betsy Spot and Aquaticus like this.
  9. terry

    terry Member

    What dirt did you use? Did you add nutrients?
  10. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member

    Hi Terry
    I use soil from my woods which is primarily oak and hickory. I pick out the leaves twigs worms etc . I don't take a lot of time. I throw in some non clumping tidy cat litter. About an inch of each. Throw a about a 2 inch cap of gravel soak it and sink it.. The water clears up in about a day with a power filter. I am enclosing some pictures of the trays I have going now. No nutrients just a lot of fish and no filters after 2 days
    Excuse the quality. I literally have not anything with my tanks in 2 weeks. I'm actively trying to find a job, which is a full time job. The one thing you will notice though is the water is clear. It's also tinted a little yellow. There is only one watt per gallon. These are not my usual growing tanks. They are still growing in spite of the lack of light because the roots are being fed. image.jpg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
    I was going to present this method at the gadget meeting , but I screwed up the date.if anyone else has questions , please contact me
    terry and jeri like this.
  11. terry

    terry Member

    Do you layer the cat litter on top of the dirt or is it mixed into the dirt?
  12. terry

    terry Member

  13. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member

    I layer mine. The idea of a dirted tank isn't mine. What has made me such a strong advocate of it though, is the fact that it conditions my crappy water so well. I can even keep Discus, Mollies and Rams in it. I could only keep a few fish in Madison or well water. My presentation really hinges on the water conditioning and ease of growing plants. I believe that makes my talk different.
    Everybody is afraid of either spending a lot of money or throwing"dirt and litter"
    terry likes this.
  14. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member

    I actually read the Diana Walstadt book The ecology of the planted aquarium. It's the one that connected all the pieces for me. It made sense to not use filteration and people could grow plants in the 60s and not be able to in the 80's
    It's one of those books that you get something new out of each time you read it. I highly recommend it.
    terry likes this.
  15. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member

    I have a number of freshwater aquarium plants for sale right now. I want to know if there is any interest for them. I have the following available in quantity plus a lot of others in lesser quantities. Please contact me for pricing.
    Jungle Val. ( Vallisneria Gigantea) Up to 42"
    Wisconsin Hornwort Bunch Plant
    Giant Wide Leaf Hygro ( Hygrophila Corymbosa ) stem plant
    Giant Narrow Leaf Hygro ( Hygrophila Stricta) stem plant
    Cardamine Lyrata 15 stems to a bunch
    Wisteria ( Wisteria Difformis) stem plant
    Cryptocyrne Wendetii Assorted colors
  16. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member

    I haven't been here in quite sometime. I have started a new job several months ago at Steinhafels Furniture and have not had as much time. I'm required to work every Saturday and Sunday , so I don't get to very many events right now. I am still blogging on my own site (Chucks Aquatic Spot on Facebook or Chucks Dirted Tanks ) . Thanks to Sean and Marcus for helping me with a little computer savvy. I am currently selling my plants to a couple of places around town. If you do have a need , you can contact me here or message me on Facebook. I just finished a series on setting up an all natural,Low Tech , easy, inexpensive Planted Tank . I am starting another series on my life with Aquariums and my 45 year career in the pet field. I always sprinkle in nuggets of hopefully useful information along the way. I also do updates in my fish room. I plan to start posting lists of aquatic plants available for sale or trade. I hope everyone will come and check it out. If i am lucky, i might make the April meeting
    Aquaticus and pogues like this.
  17. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member

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    Chuck's Dirted Tanks added 4 new photos.
    Published by Chuck Breiter · 2 mins ·
    Here is something that is a rarity these days. These are solid black Sphenops Mollies. This is a trio that I picked up at Animart. The opaque black runs all the way to the fins. You might find black mollies out there but most of them are a washed out black on the fins . If you look closer , they have a nice robust body shape. (no elongated bodies or sunken bellies here) Sorry about the water marks. I hope to raise some young from this trio and reintroduce them into our Madison club. Sorry guys , i bought the last 3 but hopefully Animart will be able to continue to source this vendor. Wouldn't be great if you could find SAILFIN BLACK MOLLIES like this? They used to exist.
    By the way these fish had NO extra salt added to the water.

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    Boost Post
    JeffW likes this.
  18. JeffW

    JeffW Well-Known Member

    Chuck i am definitely interested in some. It was the very first fish I owned in a 10 gallon metal frame tank back in the 60's I have a 10 gallon metal frame that i would set up for some of these.
  19. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member

    5 tips from a poor fish photographer

    1. Always keep your front glass clean and without water spots . You never know when a picture will present itself
    2. Always carry your camera phone with you . For the same reason
    3 Look for pictures before you feed. The fish are hungry and come to the front.
    4 Take a LOT of pictures. your more likely to get 1 good one. ( Its not like you are wasting film.) . Sometimes you line up trying to take the perfect shot and it never comes.
    5. Patience!!!!!!!! lots and lots of time. ( This is the reason that I lable myself a poor photographer)
  20. Sean S

    Sean S Executive Board

    Marcus and Brendan have some great black mollies breeding now too, solid velvet black. BAP bag likely to be in next months auction

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