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After reading this tread http://www.gcca.net/gccaforum/index.php/topic,577.0.html I thought I would post this article that I wrote for Aquatic Terrors.


Electricity and Your Aquarium


We all know that our aquariums require electricity and we also know that water and electricity can be a dangerous even deadly combination. There are ways to safely reduce this risk without costing an arm and a leg.

Let’s go over a few basics about electricity before we begin. We all know that water conducts electricity very well. We also know that glass, wood and plastics don’t conduct power well. Electricity is lazy by nature. It looks for the fastest way to get to ground. This is called the path of least resistance. If your tank is electrified and sufficiently isolated from the ground and you stick your hand in there, you become the new path to ground. Remember volts don’t kill, amps do. 1 amp is way more than enough to kill any man.

Almost everything we use in/on or aquariums require some amount of power. Heaters, filters, pumps, lights, etc. have power needs. Most people just plug these items into the wall or an inexpensive power strip. That can be a problem.

First I will address the wall socket. Standard wall plugs are tied to a 20-amp circuit in the breaker panel. Generally there is 1 20-amp circuit per room. Rooms like kitchens and laundry rooms will need more to run appliances. One of the best ways to protect your aquarium and it inhabitants is to plug each item into a GFCI outlet. GFCI outlets will shut off power when they sense a short/ground in the circuit. Your other option is to go purchase a power strip that has GFCI circuits built into it. They are a little expensive but well worth you and your families’ safety. I know that a buddy from the Greater Chicago Cichlid Association (Chris Karnuth/nuth88) has gone as far as to have an electrician come to his house to up the amperage on his fishroom breakers as well as add GFCI outlets where he could.

I like to mount my power strips high in the tank stand. This keeps them off of the floor and out of any puddle that might form from a leak or splash. This also put a natural “drip loop” on the cord so that any water that gets on it drips on the floor instead of the plug/socket.

Other things I watch out for are corroded plug leads, frayed insulation on the cord, cracked insulation, and insulation pulled away from the plug or appliance itself. All of these things can lead to a power short.

Get a Buyer or Seller Number  Auction Rules   Auction Seller Sheet   How to Buy at an Auction

Different than a Swap Meet

An auction is different that a swap meet. Each bag of fish is sold individually, in order, by our auctioneer.

You need to Register

You will need to register to buy fish. On our calendar, the link to the Auction page contains instructions so you can register as a buyer, seller or both.

You may also register the day of the auction in person.

Checking In

When you arrive at the auction, check-in as a buyer. You will need to leave a major credit card or drivers license as collateral.

Viewing Fish for Sale

Bags of fish are placed on tables in the rear of the room. Take this opportunity to see what is available for sale.

Viewing is allowed during check-in. However, viewing will be closed for approximately 15 minutes prior to the auction to allow the bags to be moved to the auctioneer. Viewing will then be open during the entire auction.

The Auctioneer and Bidding

Have a seat and listen to the auctioneer. The auction starts at 10AM and goes until the last bag of fish is sold.

Our auctioneer will describe the bag of fish by the latin and and common name (if applicable). For example: "Here's an adult trio of the Lemon Yellow Cichlid, Labidochromis caereuleus, each about 3" long."

Next, the auctioneer will ask for a starting bid. "Who will start me off at five bucks for this bag of fish?"

To bid, raise your buyer number in the air. The auctioneer will recognize your bid. Keep bidding up until you've made your purchase. Bids must be proceed at minimum increments of $1.

If you win, keep your buyer card up and the auctioneer will recognize you. Your buyer number will be recorded. A runner will bring your fish to you and ask you to sign a buyer slip.

Bidding Stategy

Priority Bags
Did you find a bag of fish in the viewing area you really want to buy, but don't know when it will come up for sale? You can purchase ($3) a Priority Sticker for the bag you want. Our auction staff will bring up the priority bag for auction immediately. You will still need to bid against others to secure your purchase.

Up-Bidding
You can bid more if you really want the bag of fish. For example, if the current bid is $5, you could raise your bid card in the air and yell $10. This strategy may deter others from bidding against you.

Starting Price
You do not need to accept the auctioneers starting price. For example, let's say a group of adult discus comes up for sale. The auctioneer might ask for a starting bid of $50. You could raise your buyer card and shout "Twenty Dollars". The auctioneer will likely accept your bid and bidding will progress from that amount.

Checking out the Fish
If you're not sure about the fish that is up for bid, you can walk up to the front of the room to take a look. Move fast, though. We usually move through 100 bags of fish per hour.

Buyer Slips

For each purchase you make, you will receive a Buyer Slip. This slip documents:

  • Your buyer number
  • Amount paid
  • Seller Number
  • Seller Bag Number

Hold onto your buyer slips. you will need them to check out.

How do I check out and pay for my purchases?

You may check-out any time during the auction. If you decide not to purchase any items, you will still need to return your buyer card and number to the cashier to receive your collateral.

If you have purchase fish, bring your buyer slips with you.The cashier will ask and collect your buyer number, and confirm the amount owed with you.

After payment, your collateral (Drivers License) will be returned.

Accepted Forms of Payment for Purchases
Bring plenty of cash or your checkbook, since GCCA doesn't take credit cards.

Final Thoughts

Please remember all of the staff at the auction are volunteers. We want to make your auction experience a good one. Please treat everyone you meet with respect. Any conflicts will be handled by the Auction Chairman.

If you've never attended a fish auction before, we've prepared this helpful guide. Enjoy yourself at the auction!

Different than a Swap Meet

An auction is different that a swap meet. Each bag of fish is sold individually, in order, by our auctioneer.

You need to Register

You will need to register to buy fish. On our calendar, the link to the Auction page contains instructions so you can register as a buyer, seller or both.

You may also register the day of the auction in person.

Checking In

When you arrive at the auction, check-in as a buyer. You will need to leave a major credit card or drivers license as collateral.

Viewing Fish for Sale

Bags of fish are placed on tables in the rear of the room. Take this opportunity to see what is available for sale.

Viewing is allowed during check-in. However, viewing will be closed for approximately 15 minutes prior to the auction to allow the bags to be moved to the auctioneer. Viewing will then be open during the entire auction.

The Auctioneer and Bidding

Have a seat and listen to the auctioneer. The auction starts at 10AM and goes until the last bag of fish is sold.

A screen at the front of the room will list the item for sale. In some cases, a picture may also be available.

Our auctioneer or auction expediter will describe the bag of fish by the latin and and common name (if applicable).

Example 1: Here's an adult trio of the Lemon Yellow Cichlid, Labidochromis caereuleus, each about 3" long.

Example 2: This is a bag of six, 1-1/2  inch juvenile Parachromis dovii, the Wolf Cichlid.

Note that sometimes the number of fish in the bag might vary

Next, the auctioneer will ask for a starting bid. "Who will start me off at ten bucks for this bag of fish?"

To bid, raise your buyer number in the air. The auctioneer will recognize your bid. Keep bidding up until you've made your purchase. Bids must be proceed at minimum increments of $1.

If you win, keep your buyer card up and the auctioneer will recognize you. Your buyer number will be recorded. A runner will bring your fish to you and ask you to sign a buyer slip.

Bidding Stategy

Priority Bags
Did you find a bag of fish in the viewing area you really want to buy, but don't know when it will come up for sale? You can purchase ($3) a Priority Sticker for the bag you want. Our auction staff will bring up the priority bag for auction immediately. You will still need to bid against others to secure your purchase.

Up-Bidding
You can bid more if you really want the bag of fish. For example, if the current bid is $5, you could raise your bid card in the air and yell $10. This strategy may deter others from bidding against you.

Starting Price
You do not need to accept the auctioneers starting price. For example, let's say a group of adult discus comes up for sale. The auctioneer might ask for a starting bid of $50. You could raise your buyer card and shout "Twenty Dollars". The auctioneer will likely accept your bid and bidding will progress from that amount.

Checking out the Fish
If you're not sure about the fish that is up for bid, you can walk up to the front of the room to take a look. Move fast, though. We usually move through 100 bags of fish per hour.

Accepting the Fish and Signing the Buyer Slip

If you are the high bidder, an auction runner will bring the fish to you. 

For each purchase you make, you will receive a Buyer Slip. This slip documents:

  • Your buyer number
  • Amount paid
  • Seller Number
  • Seller Bag Number

Carefully inspect the fish before signing the Buyer Slip.

Hold onto your buyer slips which are a record of your purchases.

How do I check out and pay for my purchases?

You may check-out any time during the auction. If you decide not to purchase any items, you will still need to return your buyer card and number to the cashier to receive your collateral.

If you have purchase fish, bring your buyer slips with you.The cashier will ask and collect your buyer number, and confirm the amount owed with you.

After payment, your collateral (Drivers License) will be returned.

Accepted Forms of Payment for Purchases

GCCA accepts cash (preferred) and major credit cards/Paypal.

Final Thoughts

Please remember all of the staff at the auction are volunteers. We want to make your auction experience a good one.

Please treat everyone you meet with respect. Any conflicts will be handled by the Auction Chairman.

We answer the most common questions we receive here. Please give this a read before panicking.

Do I have to register to post an ad?
Do I need to register to respond to an ad?
Yes. You will need to register before posting an ad or responding to one. Every person who registers on our site is manually verified to prevent spammers, so it can take 24-48 hours until your new account is set up. Generally, we get to it a lot faster.

Registration is simple. You'll be asked for your email, a password and username. Use a good password containing upper and lower case letters and numbers that would be really hard to guess.

After registration, you will receive a confirmation email from us with a link. You must click the link to verify your account with us.

Check your junk mail folder! Make sure you don't block email from GCCA or you won't be able to register!

When will my ads be posted?
We manually approve every ad which can take 24-48 hours. We depend on volunteers for this, so your patience is appreciated.

How do buyers respond to an ad?
To contact a seller,  go to any ad, then click the Send an Email link. This will open up a form where you can enter your name, contact info and add a message to the seller. Remember, you must be logged into our website to contact a seller.

I registered, but I still can't log in. What do I do?
Check your junk mail or spam folder.

I forgot my password! I forgot my username! What do I do?
From any page in our website, you can retrieve your username or password.

Go the Account & Login> Username Reminder to get your username

Go the Account & Login> Reset Password to reset your password

In either case, you will need to provide the email address associated with your account.

I posted an ad, but I don't see it!
We manually approve all ads, so it can take 24-48 hours before your ad will appear. If it has been that long, you might check to see if you accidentally posted it in the wrong category.

I have a complaint about a seller. Who do I contact?

Send a message to our webmaster. Note that we can''t compel a seller to return your phone calls or emails. We will remove dishonest or unethical ads, but the system is essentially "buyer beware".

I uploaded an image, but I don't see it!

Most if not all issues with images not being uploaded are due to the image being to large. We limit all images to 500k and a size of 500 x 500 this way you only need to remember one number 500.

There are many tools, software, websites that you can use to resize images.

Here is a link to one image resizing website along with a screenshot of it being used -

http://www.webresizer.com/resizer/

 

A high-quality, fiber-rich food

Tropheus and mbuna are prone to bloating. Providing lots of fiber and vegetable matter in the diet is one of the best ways to maintain good health. Commercial, prepared foods are often lacking in fiber and vitamins.

This food is rich in fiber (shrimp shells, veggies), vitamins and includes garlic to help guard against intestinal parasites.

Before you get started…

  • Purchase needed items and lay out everything required.
  • Never switch fish to a new diet quickly. Introduce a small amount of the food at a time and watch your fish over a period of days to gauge acceptance and consequences.
  • This is not a project for kids. As always, use care when using a knife or a food processor.
Step Pictures

Tools/Equipment

a. Food Processor

b. Paring knife and garlic press

c. 8 Zip-loc sandwich bags

Measuring cup(s)
Measuring spoons
Spatula and a large spoon

a. b. c.

Ingredients

a. 12 oz. package of med-large frozen raw shrimp with shell, thawed

b. Liquid Aquarium Vitamins (HW Multi-vit shown)

c. 8 oz. (1/2 pkg) frozen peas

d. 3 broccolli stumps

e. 2 medium carrots, scrubbed

f. 6 leaves Romaine lettuce, washed and trimmed

g. 2 packets of Knox gelatin

h. 1 clove fresh garlic, peeled

a. b. c.
d./e./f.    g. h.

Step 1

Measure 1/4 cup of very cold water in a measuring cup.

Sprinkle the two packages over the surface.

Mix with a spoon to a slurry consistency.

Step 2

Add 3/4 cup of boiling water to the gelatin mixture.

Mix thoroughly and set aside.

Step 3

Place the frozen peas in a heat-proof bowl.

Add boiling water to cover.

Step 4

Make sure the shrimp are thawed out.

Rinse and add to the food processor.

Step 5

Process the shrimp to a paste-like consistency.

Some small pieces are OK.

Step 6

Drain the peas.

Step 7

Add the peas to the food bowl and process until smooth.

Step 8

Peel the rough outer layer from the broccolli stumps.

Step 9

Cut the carrots and broccolli stumps into 1/4 inch pieces.

Note— if you do not have a very powerful food processor, you may wish to process these first with a little water and set them aside.

Step 10

Tear the Romaine lettuce into small pieces.

Step 11

Add the broccolli, carrots and lettuce to the food processor bowl.

Process to small chunks. You may need to stop periodically and scrape down the sides.

Step 12

Add the gelatin mixture and process until smooth.

Step 13

Force the peeled garlic clove through the garlic press into the bowl.

Add 1 TBS (tablespoon) of the liquid vitamins.

Step 14

Process until thoroughly mixed.

Step 15

Spoon some of the food mixture into a ziploc bag until it is one-quarter full.

Step 16

Lay the filled bag on a flat surface and carefully squeeze out any air.

Seal the bag.

Keep flat.

Step 17

You should have 6–8 sandwich bags of food.

Lay them flat on a piece of cardboard or a cookie sheet.

Refrigerate for 3–4 hours.

Step 18

The food mix should have firmed up to a jelly-like consistency.

Transfer to the freezer.

Feed it!

Do not thaw the food.

Break off small piece of the frozen food and feed your fish.

Always take care when introducing new foods.

Some fish, especially those used to flake foods, take a while to take interest in this food.


 

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The latest list of GCCA Meetings, Swaps, Picnics, Auctions and Classic.
DIY, how to, helpful hints and other tips and tricks
Tips and Tricks for breeding cichlids
Great tips and tricks for fish keeping