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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/02/2021 in all areas

  1. Proof that ottos definitely can't read.
    6 points
  2. Mother's Day is right around the corner! I think Japanese Trapdoor snails may be my new favorite snails: 1) unique, natural colors 2) eat algae 3) slow livebearers with 9 months gestation!
    6 points
  3. 5 points
  4. My Cherry Shrimp colony is really starting to take off now.
    5 points
  5. Hello there! I'm Elspeth, but friends call me Elf; feel free! I'm a local customer to ye olde coop, and I'm not sure what took me so long to join the forum..? I was the fish lady at the Redmond Petco, some years back, and I heckin love bettas! I currently have 4, and am running a total of 7 tanks, all 10 gallons or less. I also have a chihuahua, a bunch of reptiles, a dozen or so tarantulas, and many plants. I'm including a pic of some baby cacti I started from seeds that I collected from my late cactus, Fluffy, who lived into their 20s. (Yes, Scarlett, the betta, is way too full in that photo; she stole food from her loaches.)
    4 points
  6. Finally got around to taking some pictures and videos of my aquarium to share with others instead of enjoying it all to myself. Thought this would be a good one to upload. Hope you guys enjoy.
    4 points
  7. I was watching todays F1 race this morning and noticed one of my Dojo's planking on my driftwood. Bonus Dojo, on its usual Fluval E-series perch, and the third under some new crypts.
    4 points
  8. i advise you dont fill it with water and add fish. that will begin a long and difficult addiction. consider this an intervention!😁
    4 points
  9. Well. I think Pooka is comfy with the new tank layout. Why? Because she's adopted a new nose leaf. Unfortunately she had a little accident, though. As you can see in this older photo, when I first rescaped the tank I had kept the heater on the left side. She started wanting to squish herself into that corner to lay in that little bunch of anubias. So I moved the heater to the back to give her more squish space (and to hide it since it was more noticeable now). I then noticed a diagonal mark on her, which I thought nothing of, since she sometimes gets scuffs and scrapes from rubbing on rocks and whatnot. A few days later it crusted over with a white scab, and it dawned on me that it was a burn from her smushing herself in that corner against the heater. It's not getting fungus and looks pretty clean, so I'm just letting it heal on it's own; I've been doing little water changes twice a week to keep the conditions pristine. These two pics are a few days apart, and I see some healing progress. This is April 28 And this is on May 1 Never a dull moment.
    4 points
  10. Happy Sunday from my tank I call Shrimpville. Tons of shrimplets flittering about and more on the way.
    4 points
  11. Oh my gosh! It's finally here and I am so excited (my cat, Romeo, is a well)!!! I cannot wait to scape this tank and get it cycled so I can get my first water pets!
    3 points
  12. That's really high! If you add a ton of plants, wood, run some CO2 . . . maybe get an RO unit and mix water into your tap . . . these steps could help. If it were me? I'd choose different fish. What about African Cichlids? Bunch of photos below . . . Or Guppies? Or Rainbowfish (I think they're OK with high GH)?
    3 points
  13. I don’t think I’ve ever showed my betta before here he is
    3 points
  14. You should ignore pH and focus on making sure your Ammonia and Nitrite stay as close to zero as possible. It is not true that low pH stops a tank from cycling. Also, your betta certainly loves soft water resulting in a lower pH. Many of the most beautiful soft water aquariums are maintained at a pH of 5, and I would take advantage of your substrate. I would buy a GH and KH test kit, learn and monitor those tests in addition to Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. Master KH and GH, and you will be ahead of most in the hobby. Monitor GH and KH changes, if they are stable, your tank is stable. Here's an article, from a master, explaining in more detail about common misconception passed down through the internet. https://www.2hraquarist.com/blogs/ph-kh-gh-tds/is-low-ph-in-tanks-due-to-aquasoils-softwater-a-concern Scientific research of Nitrification in low pH. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1489657/
    3 points
  15. @Tyler LaZerte as @Patrick_G mentioned, your tank will be instantly cycled to a certain capacity if you add the established sponge. I would add the snails immediately. Then feed your snails plus a little extra as if your corydoras were in the tank. If you see through your tests that your aquarium is cycled (0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and nitrates building up), then you can add the corydoras. As @Fish Folk mentioned, keep in mind that adding in plant fertilizer like Easy Green will cause nitrates to raise. Be careful to not confuse that with a cycled aquarium. Ammonia and nitrite must be zero even though there are sources of ammonia in the aquarium (from snails and fish food in the beginning in this case). Then you can continue that cycle until your tank is fully stocked. Also, I would wait to add the otos and shrimp last as they tend to do better in a established aquarium. I hope that helps!
    3 points
  16. My spouse: "So when you're on the forum talking to other people, are you schooling?"
    2 points
  17. Every night my Betta sleeps in his fluffy bed of water sprite.
    2 points
  18. Hello! I've been lurking for a bit, and thought I would finally introduce myself! My name is Bobbi, and I restarted the hobby in January when I fell in love with a betta at a big box store. I have kept bettas on and off for most of my life, but never up to the standards that I now know they require. I unfortunately just lost my second betta due to a jumping incident (he unfortunately found the 2inx2in square that was uncovered for my HOB) and will be hopefully be finding a new guy soon now that I removed the offending HOB and fixed the lid. I was already in process of switching to only sponge filters. I currently have 2 tanks, both planted betta community-ish setups. Above is my 20 gallon that I set up in January. I am fighting a little bit of hair algae but luckily we are making progress on that front. Stocked with 1 Halfmoon Betta (Galadaeros aka Gal), 6 otocinclus, 2 nerite snails, and 8 amano shrimp. This is an old pic of Gal, from a few days after I got him. He is much more magnificent now, I just don't have any flattering pics of him. He loves the camera, but hasn't figured out posing yet. Above is my 14 gallon cube with it's former resident, Otto (rip). My plants have almost doubled in size since this was taken, about 2 or 3 weeks ago. Stocked with: 2 nerite snails, 7 amano shrimp, 4 otocinclus, and 4 habrosus corydoras. Depending on how they do, I may increase the corys and/or otos to 6 each for the school, but I dont want to overstock my tank too bad. I do hope to get another Betta for this tank too, as long as they get along. Outside of the fishkeeping hobby, I am a Veterinary Technician at a vet clinic. I have 2 dogs, a cat, a parrot, and a wonderful partner who puts up with all of our crazy pets. One of our dogs and I also compete in Nadac agility, which is another amazing hobby. Thank you for reading, I am looking forward to learning and participating in all the forum has to offer!
    2 points
  19. I tried to do a google search on it, too, and there was some discussion that this kind of white stringy stuff could be over-production of slime coat in response to some sort of injury. Either physical or internal (with parasites). You can try a parasite treatment like General Cure or Paracleanse and if there's no response I'd move on to antibiotics. I'm so sorry this is happening, I would be incredibly stressed out and anxious. It's tough when it's all guesswork like this.
    2 points
  20. Haven't had much time for projects the last couple weeks because we welcomed my second daughter into the world on the 19th, but I found time yesterday when everyone else was napping to set up my mini pond! It's just a small one to get my feet wet, and if all goes well I'll start a large one next year. It's roughly 25 gallons. The shelf I made from a milk crate if supporting a fabric planter with sweet flag in it. The fiber pot to the right is a pond lily. I also added a few stems each of cabomba and rotala to see how they do and crypt undulata red both in the open area in front and the shaded area under the shelf to see how that does. After I took the pictures I added some dwarf water lettuce and Frogbit. 1 I want to add more aquarium plants to see what does well(preferably heavy root feeders), but that's what I had on hand. If the crypts do well I'll add some pink flamingo I'm growing and I have another fabric planter if I decide I want another bog plant. I have a medium sponge filter and nano air pump coming from the coop for filtration and it should fit under the shelf. For stocking it will be mutt guppies and ramshorn snails. I added 5 snails from my shrimp tank when I set it up, and the guppies are in my QT tank until the temps outside are warm enough (I'm thinking once the lows are in the high 50s for at least a week). I'm starting with 6 females and 4 males. The substrate is a new mixture I'm testing out. It's 2 parts organic soil to one part safetsorb with a little crushed coral added in. It's capped with 2 parts safetsorb to 1 part crushed coral. I feel like safetsorb mixed into the soil gives a better mix for planting in and I hope the safetsorb can absorb the excess nutrients that's common in the begining of dirted tank setup and store it for plants to use later. The crushed coral is added to help buffer the water. My hopes for this pond is just to make some guppies and hopefully fund a larger pond next year. If I'm able to propagate plants in it as well that's just a bonus. Any thoughts on the setup or plants that would do well in it?
    2 points
  21. I never understood why so many people keep cardinal tetras. Don't come for me, but I always thought they were kind of overrated, and so many people seemed to LOVE them, I just didn't "get it." Then my LFS added a school of them to one of their community showcase tanks, and it changed my perspective completely... Now I've got a small school (25ish) in my 120 and I am completely obsessed with them. It was the little splash of color and activity that I was missing all along. Do you have a fish that grew on you?? What is it?
    2 points
  22. Awesome @Tyler LaZerte, I will follow this thread to make sure I see the progress!
    2 points
  23. Hi @Zoidar, I agree with Cory. With aquariums, I find that minimizing the amount of changes leads to a balanced consistent aquarium. I tend to build and stock my tanks so that I have a lot of live plants both in the water, outside of the water (riparian plants) and floating plants so that they can help remove ammonia and ultimately nitrates out of the water. This tends to require much less maintenance in general. Less algae growing on aquarium walls and less water changes for instance. In the end, if you want to know how often to water change your current aquarium and if what you are doing is enough, you need to test the water. I will provide a link to an aquarium co-op blog post that will help with this in a step-by-step fashion: https://www.aquariumcoop.com/pages/water-changes I hope this helps!
    2 points
  24. Thanks to @BIG GREEN and @Isaac M I’m headed in the right direction. Two weeks in and ph is finally getting somewhere and now my cycling has begun. Still would like higher ph up than 6.6 And working on that.
    2 points
  25. @Daniel can provide you very experienced feedback. Our experience is as follows... If they’re healthy, your discus are going to go bananas for them. Here’s a a video showing a number of our fish enjoying them... Now... unfortunately, sometimes you end up buying black worms from “middle-men” rather than true black worm farmers. As a result, they’re often half of them dead-on-arrival. This can greatly complicate effective preparation and cleaning of them. Here is exactly how we do it (glad to hear from others though). There are some folks with much better systems no doubt! We can keep them going for a few weeks this way, so we’re not trying to cultivate them long term. We order in 1/2 or 1 lb quantities. They arrive in a plastic bag. We rinse these out into a plastic Sterilite container (pictured below) from Walmart using cycled room temperature water from our Goodeid tank. This Sterilite container has a groove around the bottom designed for “nesting” the containers in stacks. This groove will always hold water, but you won’t cover the worms up with water. They will do well with exposure to air inside the closed container in the refrigerator. The first thing to do is rinse them out until no cloudy, bloody, disgusting water pours off. This can take as much as 80 oz or more of water from the Goodeid tank (we draw it out in a small measuring pitcher). Basically... you repeatedly pour in, then slowly pour out once worms have settled down to bottom. In the end you want _some_ water to be left in the container, but not so much that the worms are all under water once you put them in the fridge. If you watch the video carefully, you can see the consistency and ratio of worms to water we use. Every day we rinse them out, and store in the fridge. One thing to look for and flush are leeches. We remove these with tweezers They tend to grow in the same tanks with black worms. They are colored lighter, and are stubby. Healthy black worms are dark brownish or slightly red. If your worms are all tan... you might have a bunch of dead ones. They do crawl a bit, and may surprise you with escape attempts! They tend to pile up in blobs in the container. We feed by sucking them up into a syringe and feeding from there to fish (see video). Discus really become wildly different creatures when eating black worms! It’s an excellent food for them, providing fat that is hard to get elsewhere. We also “seed” some tank substrate with black worms. We do this for our Okefenokee Pygmy Sunfish and our Rainbow Darters. The worms live in the substrate a long while, providing ample snacks for fish. Obviously the worms can thrive completely underwater... but every time we’ve tried it outside from an established tank, they spoil and die. So... all that said, you should go for it! Refrigerate them. Rinse them off in cool tank water.
    2 points
  26. you can normally just pluck em right off the leaf. leave them be, or pluck'em , and move them is entirely up to you. i myself like to let them get to be an inch+ or so, then pluck.
    2 points
  27. 2 points
  28. Bet you could hear his tires squealing on that turn.
    2 points
  29. My vote - Tangs all day!
    2 points
  30. FWIW, those types of screws have countersunk heads and the head is designed to sit flush with the top of the wood. You may want to try cabinet screws for the rest of what you're doing, something like this: https://www.lowes.com/pd/GRK-8-x-2-1-2-in-White-Polymer-Round-Washer-Interior-Cabinet-Mounting-Screws-80-Count/1000075987 Or if you want to use those screws and are concerned about the wood splitting, you can drill a countersink hole by using a larger drill bit the size of the screw head and drilling just deep enough that the screw head will fit in the larger hole. You also would be fine with two screws in those spots instead of three. In the end though, the glue bond will be a lot stronger than the screws. Nice work so far, especially making everything so flat and square!
    2 points
  31. Well it’s official—I am not adding blocks in the corners. Thanks for the feedback everyone! Today I sanded the base to make it as flat as possible. To find the high points, I put the edge of my square angle against the base and saw if it rocked. The bright sun helped me see the high points too. I brought it inside to test how flat it is against our actually-flat floor. This wall is where it will go when it’s done! Lo and behold, it was flat! No rocking! Yaaaaay!! Next I had to figure out how to get the legs on. I did three outer legs before I had to wrap it up for the night. Because I was screwing the legs on from the back of the base frame, I had to put the legs on upside down. So I clamped them in place hanging off the side of the work table, making sure they hung square with the frame. I put a screw in just below the clamp... ...so I could remove the clamp and drill the next two pilot holes. Then I unscrewed the screw and removed the leg so I could add glue... ...then put the leg back on and screwed it into place. (I used the clamp again for the first screw.) It was slow going but it seemed like the safest way to do things. Hopefully tomorrow I can finish the outer legs and add some of the inner legs, too! 😃 Turns out my SketchUp free trial runs out in two days so I need to get this done!! 😅😅😅😅
    2 points
  32. Okay so I didn’t add chicken poop but I did add Osmocote. 😁 We have a maple tree. Can you tell? I also got something exciting in the mail... automatic fry sorters!!! You can see the 55 gallon in the background with foam on top—I’m planning to make two matter filters in that tank and use them as dividers between two sets of breeding platys on the edges and a fry field in the middle. I’m super excited for this project! I’ve never done livebearers before. And it turns out the last fry did NOT escape the fry box, so now I have to see if I can just let it hang out with its little siblings as I try to raise the next batch. It’s not big enough to eat young fry, but it may outcompete them for all the food. We’ll see.
    2 points
  33. I hope it's ok to share here...these are not mine and not shots, but look at this super-macro!
    2 points
  34. Onward I continued with this project. As detailed in this thread, I had issues taking apart some pieces. I had pieced the wrong parts together, accidentally using the braces instead of the shorter ones creating depth of the tank. The first issue was removing some of the stripped screws. The screws I bought were indeed 2.5" #8 wood screws, but I didn't realize when I got then that they had a star type head. Luckily I had an array of bits to choose from, so I picked the closest one and got to work. This resulted in multiple stripped screws. In addition,, I hadn't realized that you needed to drill pilot holes. This made drilling the screws in really difficult before I figured it out,, causing multiple stripped screws. It wouldn't have mattered had I connected the right pieces, but they were difficult to remove. I first tried a manual screwdriver. No good. A bigger bit? Didn't work, and stripped it more. Putting a rubber band over the screw head for better grip? Completely worthless. The stupid rubber band just broke in half. I broke down and went to the hardware store again and purchased a screw extractor. Being cheap- er, cost conscious- I only bought one size (only a few dollars.) This was also a mistake. As mentioned, some of the screws were stripped to a larger size. Since I only had one size, it didn't work. It also just... didn't work in general. I watched multiple videos on it but never got it to work as easily as those videos. There was no grip at all, and it actually bored out even FURTHER into the screw. At this point I had really messed up this screw, and I was honestly worried the head would snap off. My last option was to use a dremel with cutting wheel attachment to cut a flat head into the top. This worked, and its a good thing it did because I did NOT have much play left. Proud to have removed these screws (which I had loudly complained multiple times were "never coming out"), I moved on to taking the pieces apart. The wood glue couldn't be stronger than the screws, right? Wrong. This was about 1-2 days after initially putting the pieces together. This wood glue was STRONG. I mean, these joints looked really good. They were really solid. But I really didn't want to figure out how to cut replacement wood, or rent a reciprocating saw, etc. There had to be a way to get it apart. (Spoiler: I didn't get it apart.) First I tried brute strength. This didn't work well since I am not much of a brute. I tried the saw from the miter box I had previously purchased, but I couldn't fit the blade in the narrow seem between the boards. I tried dissolving it with rubbing alcohol, and it got a tiny bit slippery but it could not get in between the boards. I tried the back of a hammer, no dice. And I wasn't going out to purchase a chisel, rubber mallet, or other one-time use items. I did more research online and found that the recommended method for removal of this glue was a heat gun. I had several projects in the past that would have been easier with a heat gun, so I went for it and purchased one. It too failed, although I hung onto the heat gun as a sort of consolation prize. I saw no difference in the strength of the bond. My last ditch effort involved using a small hobby saw. Surprisingly, this was the most successful method, but it was absurdly labor intensive and I needed to break at least 12 joints this way. At this point it was time to face facts- I messed up and needed to start over. I had intended to build two stands initially, but wanted to do one first as a test. Since I was going to rent the miter saw again, I also bought enough boards for a second stand and just cut all of them at the same time. I should mention that I used Joey's advice from a different video and used one board as a template for other cuts, rather than measuring with a measuring tape each time. This worked pretty well. I cut all the pieces and a few extra to boot. I had no problem once again doing this within my 4hr rental time frame. Keep an eye on availability of the tool you're looking for on the Home Depot website- it would really be a pain to show up and realize someone else had already rented it out. Now knowing that I needed to drill pilot holes, and having purchased a bit specifically designed to work with the screws I had purchased, I went to work. It went fairly smoothly but my back ended up killing me because, as I previously mentioned, I was doing all of this on the patio floor/ground, not a table. It occurred to me that the patio could possibly not be level, but I truly had no idea what to do if that was the case, so I just went with it. I decided not to use wood glue on the frames like I had initially. Luckily everything went together easily. A corner clamp would have been useful, but it wasn't strictly necessary. I used one foot to apply pressure as I screwed in screws from the opposite side. The result was 3 very stable, pretty level frames for the aquariums to sit on. I moved on to the legs. As I laid everything out, I realized I had miscalculated the height I needed for the aquariums to have enough space. I had accidentally forgotten to include the height of the frames themselves. Ultimately this was ok for me; I had only intended to put 2 aquariums on each rack anyway in order to use the bottom shelf for supplies. And secondly, I was NOT buying more wood and cutting more pieces! I used wood glue this time and used a squaring tool (builder's square?) to make sure things stayed, well, square. In my mind, if they were square, they would also be level. Thankfully this turned out to be correct. I used wood glue again for adding these legs. They were so strong on the other pieces that they would certainly add strength to the leg/frame connection. This is where some more of my cutting errors came to light, although it may have been due to the imperfections in the wood. There were some slight gaps, but I was very comfortable that the screws and glue would provide enough strength for the stand. The clamp proved useful on this step because of minor bows and curves in the wood; I was able to keep things fairly straight and even, and it helped keep the pieces together when screwing the screws in. I have attached a picture of what I ended up with today. I need to add 4 braces, one underneath each side of both shelves. I plan to use wood glue on these as well. I initially purchased two boxes of screws, but I am confident that one box would have been enough for a single stand. It might be a close call on the second one, and I had purchased my supplies intending to get everything I could possibly need so I didn't have to go back to the hardware store mid-project. (Oh, the optimism.) I spent about 1-2 hours actually cutting wood today (probably closer to one) and about 2 hours doing all the construction with screws, pilot holes, etc. I'm certainly not making pace with the 45 minutes Joey quotes in his video! But he is an experienced builder/DIYer at this point, so I should not have expected that kind of speed for myself. I plan to continue either later tonight or tomorrow. Ideally I would finish today, sand, and apply stain so that it can dry overnight. But even as I say it, I think that's overly optimistic and will take a good bit of time. I will update after that, and future posts will eventually include specifics of what I purchased as well as cost (although... I know I won't like the number that comes up.) Keep in mind that lumber is MUCH MUCH more expensive than it was when Joey made his tutorial video. Even if you get the cheapest lumber, it will be much more costly than the $25 quoted by Joey at that time. And it has been...
    1 point
  35. I have em! 😁 I discovered them in my nano (5 gal) shrimp (/current 5 guppy fry grow out) tank. I never really thought about them existing in home aquariums so just another thing I've learned along the way in the hobby!
    1 point
  36. Yes and Yes. I do both of these.
    1 point
  37. I just got some ludwigia (pretty sure its repens) and 2 stems are already melting from the bottom up very quickly. What's the best way to fix this? I've heard I need a liquid fertilizer, which one should I choose? Here's pictures:
    1 point
  38. that is amazing how you could turn a tank like that in to a tank like this!
    1 point
  39. I don't keep any Cardinal Tetras yet. They have been on my to do list most of my life. There just seems to be something mesmerizing about a planted tank and a large school of Cardinal or Neon tetras.
    1 point
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