fish tank question

Discussion in 'Discussions, Opinions & Editorials' started by N4ERZ, Dec 4, 2012.

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  1. N4ERZ

    N4ERZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The time has come for my almost 4 year old to get a fishtank. He has been asking and asking for several months and with the holidays upon us, we will be getting a tank.

    I've read a few horror stories about emissions etc... from the various components. I'm wondering what, if anything, I should be doing to reduce the chance of this happening. I'm assuming ferrite cores on the power cables/supplies, but am unsure what else I can do to avoid any issues.

    The home setup is a Hy-Gain vertical on the shed about 60' behind the house and a K3 a room away.

    Thanks !

  2. K7KBN

    K7KBN Ham Member QRZ Page

    The only problem I know of with aquaria (!) is the heater and its thermostat.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    A fishtank is no problem at all.

    The fish are.

    An empty tank can stay clean for years, just add tap water.

    Seriously: If you're going to get a fish tank, don't ever use tap water, that was just a joke.

    The RFI problems are mostly from tank heaters and thermostats which make noise. The very good ones don't.

    Don't use tap water unless you like fish doing the up-top sideways float.
  4. KF6ABU

    KF6ABU Ham Member QRZ Page

    On my reef tank, 17m will set off the alarm on my water level indicator in the sump. I wrapped the cable that does to the sensor, and the power line, 5 turns around a ferrite core and that resolved the issue.

    I use magnetic ballast in the HID's and dont have any noticable RF noise from the tank. My chiller also doesn't cause any problems when it turns on. No heaters due to the lights and pumps keeping it plenty warm, I do have to cool it though.
  5. KB4QAA

    KB4QAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I had some noise from the heater thermostat. Put a Radio Shack choke on the cord and cleared it up. I put another on the lamp cord and pump cord for good measure.
  6. W8ZNX

    W8ZNX Subscriber QRZ Page

    kept fish for years
    never had one prob with noise

    never bothered with tank heaters

    most so fresh water tropical fish do fine
    at room temp
    my fancy gold fish thrived in cold water

    always used tap water
    i just let it sit in a five gal buckets for
    a day or two before using it

    dit dit
  7. N4ERZ

    N4ERZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the replies! I will most likely add cores to each cable as a "just in case" measure of prevention. For this application, do you think there is any difference in effectiveness between the cheap radio shack style clip-ons and actually winding the cables through a core? Any specific model's etc... that are preferred?

    Steve - I picked up a book on Amazon about basics so I (hopefully) don't have to explain why all of the fish are floating....

    Thanks again,

  8. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Right. Fish are fairly quiet.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  9. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yep, you can and should let the water sit in the tank for at least 48 hours before adding fish. Use a de-chlorinator and check the PH of the water. Add acid or alkylating agent as necessary to adjust the PH. Do use an undergravel filter if it is a fresh water aquarium, nitrifying bacteria need a place to grow and the plastic filter plate is a perfect environment for them. Use more filter than you need because a filter rated for a 35 gallon tank used on a 35 gallon tank will have to be cleaned way too often.

    As for heaters, here is one that won't cause RFI:

    If you use an air pump be sure it is a commercial one like this:

    Or a whisper pump, my experience with those has been good. If you use good quality components in the thing then it should be pretty radio quiet but all aquarium components can generate radio noise. You may have to add a ferrite or two to the power leads but that's pretty easy to do.
  10. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    White Vinegar or Lime can be used to adjust PH.

    Letting city water set is better than adding chemicals to neutralize the Chlorine, also lets metals and solids settle.

    Most of the time RFI from a fishtank setup is the cheap Florescent lights with Switching power supplies.

    Most everything else runs on a 60HZ magnetic field.

    A incandescent light is good if you need some heat in the winter. No RFI at all. (But RFI comes with Christmas lights)

    Enjoy the new tank.
  11. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am anxious to get a fish tank going again. At one time, I had around FIFTY tanks in the garage, with thousands and thousands of beautiful Tropical fish.

    It is getting hard to find Fish stores anymore. Used to be a great one up in Garden Grave, but now that is gone too. About the only place U can get fish anymore is WALMART or PETSMART. Fish ain't cheap anymore either. A lousy Black Tetra goes for around 5 bucks! Makes stocking a tank very pricey!

    I was one of the foremost experts on Tropical fish back in the 80s, but today, all I have is a 15,000 gallon tank with some Goldfish and Gambusia in it. (You can GUESS what that is!)

    There actually is a FISH TANK in my house, in the living room. but it hasn't been used or accessible for 10 or more years. The tank had a slow leak in it, and the water would go away. No puddles found on the floor, and it wasn't evaporating. Just a slow leak. Something was wrong with the tank too. I would fill it up, and the fish died. EVEN GOLDFISH! Usually, the only way to kill a goldfish it to STAMP on it, but feeder goldfish all died quickly. Never did figure what was causing that. YES, I did the DECHLOR trick! The water was Crest tap water which I regularly drink without any problem. Nothing inside the tank that should be a problem. Used NEW gravel. There is some petrified wood in it, but that came from other tanks of the past where there were no problems. I am stumped.

    But then, I piled a buncha RADIOS in front of the tank and that was that!

    My ideal fish tank would be a 100 gallon, where I could make the ultimate Community tank. I would get 100 neon tetras, and a couple hundred Zebras, and let them swim around the tank in schools.

    By the way, the BEST fish tank in the WORLD I got to see last November in Monterey at the Monterey Aquarium. That is WELL worth the trip to see!
  12. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nothing to do with noise or RFI and I'm not a big fish guy, but here in L.A. our tap water seems to have so much chlorine in it, that just letting it sit a while doesn't work so great.

    Either agents need to be added to the water before adding any fish, or I found water from a local (natural) pond, lake or river works without doing anything.

    I agree with Mac about the heaters...often not necessary (depends on the fish), and the warmer the water is, the faster the algae grows. I'd keep it as cool as possible, within the tolerance of the fish. Less algae.
  13. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    No reason to use a heater, unless you have tropical fish.

    And then, most likely it will be salt water.

    Algae is normally not a problem in salt water, You just have other problems, like corrosion.

    Many fish get Flushed and survive.

    Look a Nemo.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  14. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Subscriber QRZ Page

    If your house is heated for family comfort, then the fish will be fine. But alotta fish like 80 degree water. Some are more hearty and will do water into the 70s. Goldfish are fine down into cold water, and actually live in ponds frozen over in the winter. But for breeding, water temp and quality is very important. I have bred dozens of varieties of fish and qualified for breeders awards in the San Diego Tropical fish society. (don't know if it even still exists). We used to have fish shows, much like dog and cat shows, down in Balboa Park where I took home all kinds of trophys. Those have pretty much been destroyed over the past years being left out in the weather and such.

    My best fish were a tank full of Red bellied Piranahs, Serrasalmus Natteri, which are HIGHLY ILLEGAL here in California. I imported them in my van from Seatlle and Indiana where they are legal. They were grown up to full size and hidden in a secret tank hidden in my workshop (in case the Police ever raided). I could have gone to SAN QUENTIN for LIFE for those fish!!! (SORRY, DA! The Statues of Limitations is LONG UP on those, so I am FREE AND CLEAR!!!)

    They had to be kept at a very critical temp, and I had a very expensive and powerful Heater to keep them warm. They ate a MOUSE once too. CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP!!!! They would have eaten my HAND had I put it in the tank too! YIKES!!!! BAD A$$$ FISH!!!!

    Then one day, the heater stuck on and I came home to find them all BOILED!!!!

    OH well....................
  15. W7MMQ

    W7MMQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I keep two tanks. One is a 90 gallon fresh water tank with 2 cascade 1500 Canister filters and 3 bulb T5 lighting. The other is a 55 gallon reef tank with a 20 gallon sump. It has 2 300w heaters (one in display, one in sump to evenly heat temp is kept at 79.5 degrees) 4 Koralia 1050 gph pumps, Skimmer and Phosphate reactor and 36 Cree 5 watt LED lighting system on display Par36 LED lighting in sump and a Magnum 9.5 return pump. I never had problem with interference from any of my electrical devices or RF affecting them either
  16. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My mother went through a lot of aquariums when I was a kid. It seemed that being a fish in Mom's tank was just a lingering death sentence.

    We had one tank that sprang a leak, and we came home from a trip to find 1 " of water in it, with all the fish gasping for air. Some of them survived that one. I remember helping Dad fix the leak by taking out the glass and reglazing it with something similar to tar. Mom got the guppy colony going again, and things went fine until one of our dumb dogs jumped into the front of the tank, smashing it. A trip to the hardware store for a piece of glass and a glass cutter, and we were back in business. Many of the fish survived that one, too. Then I remember on more than one occasion, getting up in the morning to find that the tank heater had stuck 'ON', and guppy herd had all died from the heat.

    Mom had one fish - I think it was called a 'silver dollar' - that seemed to be indestructible. It somehow survived all the catastrophes, and lived to an extremely ripe old age. I think most of the time it was in it's own tank and I don't think that one was heated. We had all kinds of guppies that interbred with each other, producing all manner of tails and other characteristics. You never knew what you were going to get until they grew up. Some of the had very long, wildly colored tails. Others had little or no color at all. The guppies were usually mixed with neon tetras so we had color and sparkle, too. There was some kind of orange colored fish that Mom liked, and we usually had those, too.

    I always wanted a salt water tank, but the ones I've seen looked like fairly high maintenance, and featured lots of corrosion.
  17. KF6ABU

    KF6ABU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I used to add guppies and mollies to my cichlid tank's to produce free breakfast/lunch/dinner spawn.
  18. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I used to raise fish as a "part time" income when I was in school. The only RFI I experienced was from the thermostat on the heater. I added an electronic control (thyristor "and zero-crossing detector" circuit) that was published in Pop' Tronics back in the 60's or early 70's. The circuit was quite simple, with a TRIAC and a CA3059 IC. It completely eliminated the hash from the bimetal thermostatic control on the "cheap" heater.
  19. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Subscriber QRZ Page

    When my Piranahs were full sized, they would go through 200 goldfish a week!!!
  20. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's too bad on the fish stores. I wouldn't go to Garbage Grove without a gun.
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