Fish Feb. 2000

Tim Addis


The BKA web site is up & running thanks to Julian. In fact the column went online before the newsletter was compiled.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Daphnia (literally) can be found on this site there are also many useful links.

Staying with live food a good source for freshwater rotifer cultures & other interesting foods can be found at Vinegar Eels as I think I have mentioned before do best in red wine vinegar but I recently read someone using cider vinegar with good results. As usual mix this with water 50/50.

Something’s brewing at Alan’s place & very tasty it is. A very nice Rice & Raisin wine to be exact. What’s this got to do with Killies?

Well, home brewing does have a few useful spin offs we can use (apart from enjoying the end results whilst browsing the contents of your fish house).

Firstly, Sodium metabisulphate, which is used to sterilise winemaking equipment, is most useful to the fishkeeper.

Not only is this useful in sterilising tanks and equipment but it is most useful in getting rid of Hydra, that age old bane usually transferred from the Daphnia pool.

A small amount on the tip of a small paintbrush is sufficient in a 2-3 gallon tank. Fish do not seem to be affected to this dose but it was not an experiment taken over a lengthy period and I would still advise caution in using it in tanks where you can’t afford to loose the fish.

Plants are definitely killed by long term exposure. These can be taken out and treated in a more traditional way.

Also, Sodium Metabisulphate kills bacteria so biological filtration will break down completely meaning new tank syndrome and the need for very regular water changes until the bacteria can start to re-colonise.

Fungus attacks on weakened or damaged fish can also be treated with SM. There is no standard dose so add a little at a time and observe to see if the fish is under stress. If so water change immediately.

SM can also be used as a fungal inhibitor in egg containers.

Again, use only a small amount and water change as soon as the eggs start to develop.

What else can we use?

Well, what about CO2, the gas given off by the yeast during fermentation?

Now to be honest we haven’t tried this but the theory is sound. Attach an airline to the airlock and put the end in a tank (not containing fish) you use for growing plants.

Plants take in CO2 and should benefit; these can then be transplanted to fish tanks.

Also, CO2 is useful in hatching fish eggs. Why not try it out on some eggs that are resisting all attempts to hatch despite seeing the eyes through the eggshell.

Again, try it out on a common species rather than your only stock.

I would be most interested in hearing from anyone’s experiments in this area.

On the same topic of plants, take a look at the Aquatic Gardeners Site

The auction season is starting shortly and up and down the country members are taking stock of their carefully nurtured stock and working out what to take to the first auction of the year.

It really is a small number of dedicated Killiekeepers in our ranks who regularly put fish on the auction table, which gives us an opportunity to get together and buy, sell, talk Killies.

Most auctions happen in the north of England in that fishkeeping rich belt from Manchester – Leeds (roughly).

Weybridge (London) holds two excellent auctions each year but that’s it in the south I’m afraid.

The Scottish lads hold auctions but sadly we haven’t been up to see one. This is a great pity, as they seem to take the best fish back up there! Also, they have a great knack of picking up all the bargains (no offence lads).

It always amazes me how new fish seem to surface all the time from members who have gone that bit further and imported eggs/fish from abroad and put there progeny into an auction for the benefit of BKA members. These people have probably been working on a particular species since last summer and might only sell their fish for a pound.

This year let’s experiment with something new.

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