All that said, most of the fish get two years worth of seasons in one year.
In the spring I cool the fish off in the sunroom, or garage if the sunroom
is too warm , before I put them out in the ponds. They then spend all of the
warmer months in the ponds, normally I start bringing them back in during
sometime in November. Then I have to warm them up for a couple days before
placing them back in the aquariums. Spawning usually doesn't commence though
until January, and in this case April, very late. I don't try to control
anything really. The in and out movements of fish coincide with what the
weather allows me. Indoor temps are regulated not to fall below 70 ( my
comfort level) and I allow them to get in the 90's mid summer if it happens.
I have never tried to cool the fishroom area saving the AC for the rest of
the house. My water is naturally near rain water out of the well, with low
conductivity, pH and hardness. The larger tanks, which mostly house
Lepomids, are filled straight from the tap. The smaller tanks with killis
and other smaller fish I age water in barrels. This I add some homemade
blackwater additive. This is made from peat moss and oak leaves bubbled in
containers. I add enough until the water is noticeabley darker, like weak
tea. In larger tanks that have been filled with tap, I can add this stuff
directly to the tank. Its all really a low tech, low cost set up. Lights
are on timers, and had been running 16 hours a day, but I cut back to 12
because electric prices went through the roof this fall, but it didn't seem
to affect the electric bill. The plants didn't seem to notice, so I plan to
leave it on a twelve hour cycle, since all the fish and herps acted the same
Speaking of plants, that is the other thing all the tanks have in common.
Anything easy to grow, I try to pack the tank with . I also have lots of
invertrabrates as possible. Mostly ramshorn snails, and cyclops I add from
cutlures. I also add smaller live foods regardless if there are fry in the
tank. I also try to add gammurus and amphipods, but these usually do not
last long, along with blackworms. Daphnia and other small live foods are
added seasonally when available. What I am really doing with my aquariums is
keeping cubicle glass ponds indoors.
The Pennisulars were full of eggs when I brought them in, and the male made
a nest pretty quick, in December??? Nothing really came of it, but these
guys are really skittish and there were other fish in the tank with them. I
have only had females of these for about a year now, and they just became
mature sometime last summer outside. I will learn more about them as this
year goes on. Hopefully I can get good photos of all of them, both male and
female, and make them available to show the differences.
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