Farlowella catfish are generally peaceful, and they appreciate a
planted tank with other non-aggressive tankmates.
are laid, the male typically takes over the tending and defending
responsibilities until they hatch in a week or two.
The fry will be sustained by a yolk sac for the first few days after
hatching, but after that, they’ll need a steady supply of greens. The fry
are typically difficult to raise, but a well-established tank with algae
growth present will help to meet their dietary needs. You’ll also want to
provide various greens (such as collard greens) softened by blanching
for the youngsters to rasp on.
Better Than One?
I’m currently in the process of buying equipment for
a 100-gallon freshwater aquarium, and I’m not sure
what to make of some advice my dealer gave me. He recommended
that I buy two lower-wattage heaters rather than a single higher-wattage heater for the tank. Does this make sense to you or is he
just trying to make a sale?
You can rest assured that your dealer is steering you in the
right direction with this advice. With larger tanks, two heaters
are usually better than one. If you have just one powerful
heater—say, 300 watts, which would be appropriate for a
100-gallon tank—and it fails, it can cause the water temperature to either
rise or fall quickly and dramatically, depending on whether the unit fails in
the on or off position and the ambient air temperature.
On the other hand, if you’re using two heaters rated at half the
required wattage—in your case, two 150-watt heaters—and one of
them fails in the off position, the temperature will still begin to decline,
but the remaining heater should be sufficient to prevent a precipitous
plunge, and you should be able to detect and correct the problem before
any fish are harmed. Similarly, if one of the heaters fails in the on
position, it likely will not have enough power to cause a sudden, steep
temperature increase before you are alerted to the problem.
I’ve been a huge fan of your magazine since the early
1970s. My question concerns the use of activated
carbon in my freshwater apisto tank. It’s a 20-gallon tank with about
fifteen green neon tetras, one male and three female Apistogramma
macmasteri, and a small pleco. The tank is heavily planted and
filtered with a 400-gallon-per-hour hang-on power filter, equipped
with two media chambers. I also do 25-percent weekly water
changes using RO water. I’m very careful to never overfeed. The
water is always crystal clear, and my fish are really thriving.
My question is how often should I replace the activated carbon in
the filter? I’ve read a lot of confusing information on the Internet and
in various publications. I try to use a highly rated brand of carbon.
Kearny, New Jersey
Wow, that’s a lot of filtration for a 20-gallon tank!
Considering the size of your filter and the frequency and
volume of the water changes you’re doing, it’s no wonder
your water is always crystal clear.
As far as activated carbon is concerned, you’re finding lots of
confusing information out there because there’s not really a single,
useful guideline for the appropriate frequency of carbon replacement.
There are so many factors that influence the useful lifespan of
activated carbon—such as the quality and quantity of the carbon,
the flow rate through the carbon, the bioload and level of dissolved
organic compounds in the system, and so on—that there’s no way
to determine a precise replacement schedule that would apply to all
A good starting point might be to change the carbon every three
to four weeks, and then assess your water quality and clarity to
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