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  1. I wish there was an underwater remote controlled submarine 4k camera that would swim in my aquarium and stream the results back to my phone. I could watch fish breed and check on fry from anywhere. And if I were in a boring meeting, I could get out my phone and watch my fish instead.
    85 points
  2. Hello everyone! Greetings from Miami, FL! Looking forward to actively participating on this forum and learning as much as possible. Here are a few of my babies!
    46 points
  3. I normally don't order lots of root tabs. I should; I have tons of plants that can use them. But they are more buoyant than anything I've ever seen in a aquarium, and it's really difficult to get them deep under the root of my plants (even with forceps) so that they'll stay there before the tablet casing begins to degrade! It sometimes takes me several minutes to deposit one tablet, and it's a task I really don't look forward to. When folks on this forum a couple weeks ago mentioned a very expensive, unavailable-to-the-US mechanism made just for this purpose, I hit the internets. But there was no way I could have something like this shipped to the US for less than $60! So I started researching the DIY route, and after some trial and error and lots of research, I've come up with this one-handed solution. It can be made for less than $10 in parts from your local Home Depot. In fact, you can make two for about the same cost! It is sized for Aquarium Co-Op Easy Root Tabs. PARTS: So let's dive in. These are the parts I collected together (non-affiliate links) : 1. Straight PEX Pipe: 1/4" ID, 5' length: $1.76 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Apollo-1-4-in-x-5-ft-White-PEX-Pipe-APPW514/301541226 2. Wood dowel: 3/16" diameter, 4' length: $0.70 https://www.homedepot.com/p/3-16-in-x-48-in-Wood-Round-Dowel-HDDH31648/204354369 3. Drawer pull: 1-1/14" birch cabinet knob: $0.98 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Liberty-Rowland-1-1-4-in-32-mm-Birch-Wood-Round-Cabinet-Knob-P10512H-BIR-C/204143998 4. Drawer pull: 1-13/16" birch cabinet knob: $1.88 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Liberty-Classic-1-13-16-in-46-mm-Unfinished-Birch-Wood-Round-Cabinet-Knob-P10515C-BIR-C5/100156480 5. Springs: 6-pack zinc-plated compression springs (used the 3/8" x 1-1/8" x 0.041" spring): $4.22 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-Zinc-Plated-Compression-Spring-6-Pack-16087/202045468 TOTAL: $9.54 TOOLS: 1. Drill and assorted bits 2. Wood glue (or white glue) 3. 5-minute epoxy PREP: The 1/4" PEX pipe does not fit the Easy Root tabs. I made it fit by enlarging the first inch or so of one end of the pipe using a 5/16" drill bit. Now, the smaller end of the Easy Root Tab fits very snugly. If I don't push it in too far, it's a perfect grip! Next, I cut a 12" length of the PEX pipe and a 13" length of the dowel. I don't have very deep tanks, so this is fine for me. But this can be cut to any length you need; just make sure the dowel is always one inch longer than the tube. The wooden knobs already have holes drilled in them, which made it very easy to enlarge them to exactly the diameters I needed. For the smaller knob, I enlarged the hole to 3/16", making sure not to drill all the way through. I glued in my wood dowel with a drop of wood glue to hold it permanently: For the larger knob, I enlarged the hole to 3/8" diameter, this time going all the way through. I made sure to start with a 3/16" bit, and repeatedly went larger and larger until I reached 3/8". This ensured my hole stayed centered and I had a nice clean cut all the way through. I glued in the length of PEX pipe with 5-minute epoxy. This should hold well enough for my purposes. I'm using the shorter, wider spring for this project (3/8" x 1-1/8" x 0.41"). For good measure, I used some 5-minute epoxy to glue the spring to my plunger. This is totally optional, but gives me one less piece I can lose. That's pretty much all there is to do. I just inserted the plunger in the tube and I'm ready to try it out! I placed an Easy Root Tab in the end, just far enough for it to grip, but not so far that it won't push out easily. I inserted the tool with one hand into the tank, pushed the plunger, and voila! A deposited tablet in 5 seconds! But I am over the moon about how this tool turned out. I just placed about 20 tabs in two minutes. Even with coarse gravel, forcing the pill in was no problem. The two pieces come apart for drying, as that wood dowel won't last forever. Now I understand why the professional ones are so expensive. This makes things so much easier. I'm definitely making a longer one for deeper tanks. Hope you find this useful. Thanks for reading! Bill
    45 points
  4. Today, and yesterday, I painted one of my walls black, got new dressers for the aquariums, and got a new desk. First, I had to get rid of the old cabinets and move the tanks somewhere else temporarily. After that I painted the wall, put the new dressers and desk together, and put the tanks on the new dressers. And lastly, I put all my stuff in the drawers.
    41 points
  5. Built mine as a self-contained unit with everything you need. Way over-engineered, but fun. And yes, I bought a Ziss hatchery anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚ Build log is over at Reef Central: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2694002
    37 points
  6. Mine exists but not for freshwater. Automatic water tester like the Neptune Trident. Automatic daily testing of nitrate, ammonia, nitrite, ph, Gh, kh with text alerts for high readings.
    33 points
  7. I have an idea. If you can do a geographically accurate biotope aquarium, why can't you do a historically accurate aquarium. Sort of a historotope if I'm allowed one neologism here. At an estate sale a while back, I acquired a 1930s era aquarium with a metal frame and a slate bottom. This is not one of those stainless steel MetaFrame aquariums everyone (including me) had back in the 1960s and the 1970s. It is clearly something much older. Everything about the aquarium was in good shape when I got it, and it was watertight. Last year when I was using it to grow mosquito larva outside I forgot to bring it in when it got cold. When ice formed in the tank the expanding ice blew out one of the glass sides. So, what might the rules be for a historotope? Rules: You are only allowed to use equipment available during your chosen time period. You are only allowed to keep fishes that were available during your chosen time period. You must use historically accurate foods. You must use historically accurate plants. You must use historically accurate substrate and decorations. You must use historically accurate maintenance methods. Since I have the aquarium (once I get it repaired), my chosen time period will be the mid-1930s in the United States. My first step is to get the tank water tight again. I will post more later as this experiment progresses and your thoughts and suggestions come in.
    30 points
  8. My 75 gallon dream tank which I finally managed to put together last year after collecting and saving for a good long while. The fish are strictly South American, the plants, snails, and shrimp are a more fishkeeper friendly combo designed to recreate the spirit of the Amazon jungle rather than to be an "Amazon biotope". The Cardinals and Rummynose are wild caughts from my LFS and Project Piaba sourced. After seeing one of Aquarium Co Op Cory's tanks with crypts in the foreground I decided to forego the S. repens lawn and just place a few interlaced with crypts and my fish love it; although the Rummynose and Rams now love to hide and the only time I see everyone together is feeding time LOL. My wife calls it our "Mini Jungle Book". The shimmer from the surface movement under the Kessil lights lets the Cardinals shine like little jewels; an old man's 52 year long dream since I started keeping fish. Let me know what you think, or if you like it. Here are the specs: Livestock: -35 Cardinal Tetras (Paracheirodon axelrodi) -13 Rummynose Tetras (Hemigrammus bleheri) -8 Otocinclus -6 Bolivian Rams (Mikrogeophagus altispinosa) -15 Amano Shrimp (Caridina multidentata) -at least 50 Blue Velvet Shrimp as they have multiplied rapidly and some in genetic throwbacks are red, some Crystal shrimp now and some Black Riilis -several Zebra Nerite snails, some other Nerites, including Military Helmet snails, and the occasional bladder snail hitchhiker. Hardscape: Substrate: One thin layer of Mironekuton Deep Sea Mineral Powder, followed by ADA Tourmaline BC. ADA Clear Super, ADA Bacter 100 sprinkled over the Deep Sea minerals. Next a layer of small crushed lava rock, a thin layer of pebbles mixed with Fluval Shrimp Substrate, and finally a thick layer of Soft Belly Amazon Soil. Mopani, Pacific driftwood, & Spiderwood (well pre-soaked for about three months with frequent water changes), diverse rocks among them Brazilian Carnelian, Flint, Agate, and Obsidian, a few pieces of lava rock on which I mounted Anubias Plants: -Echinodorus Red Flame -Echinodorus Rubin -Echinodorus Ozelot Green -Pogostemon erectus (Gone, as of July 2020 because my now huge Amano shrimp developed a distinct hankering for the fine leaves of this Pogostemon, expensive salad for shrimp) -Ludwigia repens -Lobelia cardinalis -Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) -Anubias afzelli -Anubias nana -Anubias nana petite -Cryptocoryne wendtii Green Gecko -Cryptocoryne willisii -Cryptocoryne parva -Bucephalandra wavy green -Bucephalandra biblis blue -Bucephalandra Kedagang -Staurogyne repens -Christmas moss (Vesicularia montagnei) Equipment: Stand: (manufactured locally to my design) White oak treated like a boat with polyurethane finish in mission style with slate inserts in doors( gotta keep my wife happy), doors can be opened to 170 degrees, or removed completely with two clicks each, built in metal square tubing frame rests on 8 adjustable feet which can hold 2,500 lbs. each (the living room floor turned out to be uneven) the back of the stand is open to reach the power strip I mounted on the wall for better access and to allow for drip loops, the CO2 cylinders (1 active, 1 spare) rest in a box which keeps them from falling over, the bottom wood plates can be removed to adjust the feet Lights: -2EA Kessil A360X Tuna Sun on Goosenecks with Spectral X Controller -small lunar light (blue) on night timer for 6 hours Filtration: -Fluval 407 Canister Filter, loaded with fine and coarse sponge mechanical filtration, and Sera Siporax sintered glass biological filtration, as well as a polishing pad, also equipped with an Eheim Pre-filter with two sponges -Eheim Skim 350 Surface Skimmer Oxygen: -Tetra 100 Whisper Air pump with air wand on timer for night oxygen Heater: -Eheim Ebo/Jaeger fully submersible 300 Watt Heater CO2 System: Operating one hour before photo period and shutting off one hour before end of photo period -GreenLeaf Aquarium Dual Stage CO2 Regulator w/solenoid & bubble counter -CO2 line -Dennerle CO2 Check Valve -Aquario Neo CO2 Diffuser L from Aquarium Co-Op -Glass CO2 Drop Checker
    30 points
  9. I keep many small aquariums in my apartment, mostly Walstad-style, with organic soil from a local composting spot. I enjoy running really stable ecosystems. These photos don't show much of the fish and shrimp. I also keep some outdoor tubs here in Vermont. Cheers, Jason
    29 points
  10. Or you have to find clever ways of disguising your grow out tub from your landlord.
    29 points
  11. That is a great question! Aquarium keeping in the 1930s seems pretty similar to what we do now, with pretty similar results. I won't do anything that isn't good for the fish. I might have to work harder though if I am trying to find live foods for example. And it's possible I won't have to work as hard as there will be fewer gadgets to maintain. From my initial reading of the literature, 1930s aquariums do not seem like they were worse for the fish/plants than now, just managed differently, certainly fewer fish per gallon than we tend to keep now. The living conditions of many economically important animals generally haven't improved since the 1930s. Ask yourself, if you were a chicken or a pig or a cow, for the short time you were alive on the Earth, would you have preferred to have been on a 1930s farm or in a 2020 Industrial production facility? I know it is not that good of an analogy but the point I would like to make is that while many, many things have improved in the last 100 years, some things are remarkably similar, and few things were possibly better a 100 years ago. I am prepared to end the experiment if I have to make compromises that would cause the fish to suffer, but let's find out together what it was like to keep a planted tropical fish tank in the early years of the Great Depression. And this vintage magazine just came in the mail today. Here is the cover for the August 1934 issue of Home and Gardens magazine. I think this will give me something to shoot for as I set up the tank.
    29 points
  12. Younger aquarist think once you have money, and drivers license and you don't have to share a room with your brother all your problems are solved. They are not. They just get more complicated. I kept telling myself dollar a gallon...who cares...I need to take care of the tanks I have, not buy more. I kept telling myself, the spouse is calm about my ever metastasizing hobby, just be cool, be patient, and definitely no more aquariums. Hat tip to @MickS77 for the meme What if the dollar a gallon sale never ever happens again? Maybe, just maybe I could confuse her by being honest! She didn't approve, but she didn't say no. So I got two 75 gallons (not one like I mentioned and maybe not 1/3 of normal price). Now I felt embarrassed so I stashed them in the woodworking shop. Problem is these days she is out in the shop all the time working on beehives. So... Problem solved, right? Now I just I have to figure out how to tell her....
    28 points
  13. It is often surprising to realize just how many of our aquarium plants are native to the United States and especially the Southeastern US. One of those exotic looking yet home grown plants is the lovely banana plant, Nymphoides aquatica. Found from New Jersey to Florida in ditches, still waters, and ponds it is one of my all time favorites. My first task was to locate where it could be found in North Carolina. I used my Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas to narrow the search down to specific counties. Craven County had a dot, and so was added to my itinerary for my aquatic plant collecting road trip. I thought surely I could not mistake banana plants for anything else, but you can never be too careful, so I brought my trusty, Godfrey and Wooten, Aquatic Plants of the Southeastern United States just to be sure. After several productive but non banana plant ditches I hit upon this site. Shazaam! Banana plants galore! Checking my Godfrey and Wooten for confirmation against what I was collecting I was sure I had success! Even a few baby banana plants. The eternal question always is: What do plants want? Knowing where and how they grow natively in the wild would go a long way towards answering this question, so I was determined to make observations and take measurements. Here was the temperature This is the water chemistry No nitrates, no GH, no KH and a very low pH. Surprisingly there seems to be a bit chlorine, but whatever the source, I guarantee it did not come from a water treatment plant as I was in a very remote unspoiled location. The substrate was 3 inches of mulm, over a couple inches of mud, over a sandy bottom. Most plants were firmly rooted all the way into the sand in about 1 to 3 feet of water. Some plants had lily pads nearly the size of my hand. Smaller plants on runners or nearer shore had more bananas. Some plants were flowering with delicate white flowers floating just above the surface of the water. I collected a handful of plants and headed quickly home to the 1930s Historically Accurate Planted Aquarium as these would be a very authentic addition!
    28 points
  14. It's not everyday that I get to build something in the warehouse, but when we needed to run an airline system to get circulation going to our newest plant tanks I was happy to play builder for a day. 1" PVC Ziss Never Clog Airstones Aquarium Co-Op Black Airline Tubing Aquarium Co-Op threaded individual air line valves and 2 Medo LA-45 linear piston air pumps. Each tank has 3 Ziss airstones to bring in a ton of air and move around a lot of water. My 2 tips will be 1) make your holes along the printed text to keep them aligned, and 2) use the drills chuck to screw in the air valves to save your fingers a lot of pain. ๐Ÿ™‚
    27 points
  15. Here are baby Sparkling Gouramis in the bubble nest taken with an iPhone
    27 points
  16. Hello everyone. Jon from Long Island New York here. I recently got back into the hobby after a 6 years away. I thank Cory and his you tube for that. I've been hooked on the coop's you tube for the past 4 months. Exited to be a part of this community. I'd also like to share that this morning my Gold ram babys are free swimming. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘
    27 points
  17. Unboxing video! ๐Ÿ˜„ My husband was watching from off screen which is why I keep looking sideways. Also I didnโ€™t realize how new the fish nets were until just now! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Iโ€™m never a first adopter or fashion forward person. Interestinglyโ€ฆ having the newest stuff feels pretty special. ๐Ÿ˜ Oh alsoโ€”you all are the first people on the internet to see my new haircut! ๐Ÿ’โ€โ™€๏ธ Thank you so much @Zenzo and everyone who makes this forum possible!
    26 points
  18. I have been working with Cory since 2016 and I must say he takes care of his workers. Proud to be part of the Co-Op family and I plan to retire as part of the Co-Op family ๐Ÿ™‚
    26 points
  19. I want a heater / HOB filter combo. It makes sense to me. Both are items you size to the tank volume, so why not combine them? It'd be sweet to come up with an aftermarket impeller / heater insert that would work in an Aquaclear so you only have one plug to plug in.
    26 points
  20. Hi, my name is Brandy, and I think I have a problem... I am moving in 2 weeks. I have been desperately trying to pare down...I went to the aquarium co-op for some hikari cichlid gold floating mini pellets. They were out... But...This guy was staring at me from right next to the door. I don't even like bettas. But I did have this nice empty cycled tank at home...
    25 points
  21. One of the many questions @Cory gets is: How many... So, in today's inaugural episode of 'Care Forum Investigates', where average fish keepers of average intelligence attempt to solve simple problems, the question isโ€ฆ How many gallons of water can I put in a 10 gallon tank? I'm not the only one apparently. According to Google people have asked: Not having the fancy scientific equipment to answer the question 'How many gallons does a 10 gallon tank hold per hour?', in this episode we will confine ourselves to the 'how many gallons can I put' question. Equipment used: Non Affiliate Links Aqueon "10 gallon" aquarium: https://www.amazon.com/Aqueon-Aquarium-Fish-Tank-Size/dp/B01MRCNVSY/ref=asc_df_B01MRCNVSY/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167116240456&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=8960182847743316893&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9010107&hvtargid=pla-338193400514&psc=1 United Scientific Large Beaker: https://www.amazon.com/United-Scientific-BG1000-10000-Borosilicate-Capacity/dp/B007QO3RDA Medelco Small Beaker: https://www.fishersci.com/shop/products/pyrex-griffin-beakers-15/02540M The result after adding 37.85 liters of RO/DI tap water 25ยฐC (but with no dechlorinator) is seen below: The aquarium began to leak at about 9.95 gallons apparently because of the lack of an unbroken seal along the top most part of the rim. Discussion: While technically possible to put 10 gallons of water in a 10 gallon aquarium, you may not be able to do so without a substantial leak. It is also possible that if we were to increase the total dissolved solids (TDS) by foregoing reverse osmosis water, that all the little solids in the water would plug the leak along the rim, thus allowing for the full 10 gallons of water. Next week on 'Care Forum Investigates': How many gallons of water can I put in a 20 gallon aquarium?
    25 points
  22. When giving advice in a post it can be helpful to explain the thinking behind the advice you are giving and your personal experience that leads you to feeling confident about the specific advice your are giving. I'll give an example. The original post reads something like this: Help! I think my fish have fungus, what should I do?? The next forum member giving advice says: 'Treat with salt' What is missing in the answer is quite a bit. Why salt? What does salt do to a fungus? Is there any situation that salt would not be appropriate? Have you personally had a fish with a fungal infection that you treated with salt, and if so, what were these results? Maybe something like this would be even more helpful: 'One common treatment for fungus is to use aquarium salt. My Serpae tetra recently had a fungal infection and I treated with salt. I left the salt in the water until the fungus cleared up (which was about a week). After that I did a water change. If the fungus had come back, I would have dosed with salt again at a higher concentration for an additional week. Salt works by dehydrating the fungus, which kills the fungus (but not the fish). Do you have plants in your aquarium? If so you need to know that plants are sensitive to salt so you might need to move your fish to a quarantine tank if you intend to treat with salt.' Not every post has to be this detailed, but the additional information can be very helpful and educational, which is one of the prime reasons we are all here.
    25 points
  23. My fish art... Of course I drew my favorite fish, my Synodontis eupterus, Pooka My favorite Polypterus senegalus, Dragon. And I've done some ancient fish illustrations for Paleontology...
    25 points
  24. Maybe I should have posted on "Potential Aquarium Co-Op Products" Who would not want some Mr. Dean multi-purpose spray (it is lavender scented!).
    25 points
  25. I think I found one of the few things @Cory has yet to achieve in the hobby! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Maybe he can make it a goal! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    25 points
  26. So...I went and did a thing...Ta-Da!! No I didn't build it. Silly. I did buy it! And it came with this...Ta-Da!! Fishroom-in-training!!! Obviously, this is not going to be as grand as Cory's Urban Fish Farm, but I have a few tricks planned that I think will be special and interesting. Also I expect this to be an unfortunately LOOONG, SLOOW process, so hopefully I do not lose everyone by dropping this here and then dissappearing for long stretches. Very, very to be continued...
    24 points
  27. Iโ€™m guessing you all would like to see the finished result of all of this. WELL HERE IT IS!
    24 points
  28. Otocinclus or as I usually call them Otos, are one of those fish that many people have so many questions about. They are a species that have many issues in the hobby, most are nearly starved to death by the time they reach our tanks, and many are very picky eaters when we first get them, making the problem even worse. A lot of the time the best advice you will get is to not add them unless your tank is well seasoned and has plenty of biofilm to get them through transition. Some people have luck with feeding cucumber, or canned green beans, others have success with algae wafers and Rapashy, and still more people try all of the above, to just watch all of it go uneaten as their Otos slowly fade away. I used to be one of those people that had difficulty keeping them alive more than a couple weeks. one of the early tricks I tried to get them through quarantine, was to set up a tote outside in i sunny spot, cover the bottom with 8 inch long pieces of driftwood add a good dose of ferts and let the biofilm start to grow, After a few days of this being set up I would purchase my Otos, put them in quarantine, and rotate the pieces of drift wood daily while offering other foods. This reduced my loses, but was still not optimal. Then one day I stumbled across a YouTube video, it was Mark's Aquatics, and he was making shrimp food, from various plant materials he had gathered and dried. I thought to myself that I would have to try that some day for my shrimp. Later that day I stumbled across a research paper, discussing the use of various seeds, as a means to supplement Omega 3 and ^ for farm raised Tilapia, primarily the use of Chia seeds, which were considered highly palatable to Tilapia. Well having been on a health food kick or two in my life, I knew Chia seeds to be considered a super food, and that when soaked in liquid, they form this gelatinous ball around each seed about 5 times the size of the seed. That's when the light bulb kicked on. I had chia seeds. I had a whole garden full of, organic greens and a few other items kicking around the fish room. Over the next few days I gathered and dried a variety of greens. and once they were dried I started by Grinding about a cup of Chia seeds in an electric coffee grinder to make a fine powder. I then used the coffee grinder on dried Kale, dreid dandelion leaves, dried peas, dried parsley, raspberry leaves , and freeze dried blood worms, and spiralina flakes. I mixed it all together and added a small amount of garlic powder to the mix. I took about an eighth of a teaspoon of this mix and added about the same amount of water to it in a small container, and mixed it up with my planting tongs to make it into a firm dough like consistency. I used my planting tongs to smear a small amount of this onto a piece of driftwood in my Otos tank, I also offered small bits of this to my shrimp, and guppies. The shrimp and guppies devoured it immediately, the Otos took a about and hour or so to try it, but after the first bite, the devoured it. After a few days, they all had fat little bellies, within two weeks they spawned for me the first time, and the fry could be seen feeding on this mix and they flourished. This is in a species only tank, as I was focusing on finding a way to feed the Otos primarily. So the fry stayed with the parents until they were big enough to move to community tanks. As they were growing I would offer other foods in addition to this home made Oto Fuel as I call it, and being introduced to variety at a younger age, all my tank raised Otos will eat almost anything I offer now. My original wild caught trio Spawned at least four times in the first three months I had them, until I added other fish to their tank because I was completely over run with Otos. I have them in every tank like Malaysian Trumpet snails, they were everywhere! I Sold most of them fairly easily as they got to the half inch size that i deemed adequate, to sell. I have made several batches of this food since varying amounts of the same ingredients, and have found that the otos seem to enjoy a slightly higher amount of Kale over the other greens, other than this I haven't really noticed much difference in performance or palatability. I have discovered that all my fish that enjoy some plant material in their diet, enjoy this food, and I believe the higher amounts of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids help condition fish for breeding quicker. I just wanted to share my experience, and experiments with the community, and I hope if anyone tries a variation of this and has success they will let me know. I think this would work well with plecos as well and the formula can be tweaked to add more protein, or less depending on the specific requirements of the species targeted. I do believe the Chia seeds as a base rather than a gelatin or agar is definitely, beneficial to the overall results, I also have started adding a calcium powder to the mix when I feed shrimp, and snails. Anyway sorry for the long rambling format, hopefully you pick up an idea or two before succumbing to boredom. Until next time Happy fishkeeping.
    24 points
  29. Thanks again, everyone. This is where community support gets a newbie. ๐Ÿ’œ
    23 points
  30. Let's kick off my fish room journal with an entry/update on my Blue Gularis breeding project for the Coop. What I enjoy most about operating a fish room focused on breeding is that there will be people in the store that see my fish, get excited, and want to take them home. Call it silly, but it's just something that really drives me, knowing that someone is going to enjoy my fish and bring them happiness. So, that being said, I asked @Cory what fish I should work with to make available in our retail store. His response was the Blue Gularis. I have kept Gardneri in the past and had great success breeding them, but the Blue Gularis is known to be more difficult. Well, I am up for the challenge. I started off by sourcing 30 eggs from Aquabid for the Blue Gularis "Loe" variety. The eggs arrived with instructions to sit on them for 7-8 weeks from the date of collection, which was about 1 week prior if I recall collectly. True to my self, I let my impatience win out and tried to hatch 10 eggs about 3 weeks in. Let's just say you should follow the seller's advice. ๐Ÿ˜† From that botched attempt I wanted the remaining 4 weeks to hatch the rest. After putting the eggs in a shallow tupperware it took about 48 hours for the first fry to hatch. I think I got maybe 2 more natural hatches. I then used the vial pressurization method to force hatch the remaining eggs - picked this up from Gary Lange. The remaining eggs went in a vial with a little bit of water. Put the vial in the bottom of a 40 gallon breeder and loosened the lid to allow water pressure to enter the vial. From that, I had one more egg hatch. With several more eggs unhatched I decided to try the other method Gary talked about and that is to leave thee vial in your pocket and simply walk around. Sure enough this did the trick and all remaining eggs hatched. I raised the fry on BBS (via Ziss Brine Shrimp Hatcher) for the next several months. Currently the Blue Gularis are spread across several tanks in the fish room with only one tank having multiple occupants, 1 male and 3 females. I will probably spread these out too. The attached image is a shot from today (7/22/2020) of one of my males. Even if I don't have success breeding on my own I feel accomplished getting them to this point. Their looks certainly are worth it alone.
    23 points
  31. Extending the USB Nano Pump: A Test of Power As my order history will attest, the USB Nano Pump is hands-down my favorite Aquarium Co-Op product. It's crazy quiet and powerful for the money. In my home office where I have five tanks, there is ZERO humming sound coming from the five nano pumps providing air to the 20 longs on a wall rack. All I hear is the air rushing "white noise" that even serves to mask the hums of my hang-on-back filters. Find me a conventional 4-port pump that can accomplish that! This gives me a room with several tanks that aren't singing in the key of "E"! But testimonial aside, I recalled Cory talking about the benefits of the "USB" aspect of the pump; especially that it can be powered by a backup battery during power failures. But what if that could be taken a step further? What if it could be used as a daily workhorse pump THAT ALSO automatically switches over to backup power when the power does go out? How long will it last? Can it do this without human intervention? For twenty bucks and ZERO DIY skills, you bet it can! SELECTING THE BACKUP BATTERY In making my choice of backup battery, I listed the following criteria that needed to be satisfied: 1. It has to be Compact 2. It has to Last a Long time 3. It has to Power my pump on wall power 4. It has to Switch to battery power without my touching it 5. It has to be Affordable; I have a lot of pumps! With that in mind and a lot of research, I settled on this UGREEN Portable charger for phones and tablets, for $22 on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07S73M12N (I'm receiving and want no affiliate kickbacks for this.) It mostly matched up with my requirements: 1. Compact: It's about the size of a pack of cigarettes 2. Long-Lasting: 10,000mAh will be tested 3. Power: Pass-through feature sends wall-power directly to the pump 4. Switch: Pass-through charges the battery and switches over when unplugged 5. Affordable: Mixed feelings on this...pass-through isn't cheap! 6. Bonus! Digital readout shows the percentage of charge remaining What is pass-through power technology? You can't just plug the pump into any phone charger and expect it to power the pump while the charger is plugged into your wall; most phone chargers will stop powering your device when they are being charged themselves. But with "pass-through", the charger passes your wall power through to your charging device while it charges itself. Instant permanent battery backup! How to use it? Simply plug the battery backup between the USB pump and its USB charging adapter that comes with it. You need nothing else! So let's dive into the testing... TEST ONE: DOES IT WORK WITH NON-PHONE DEVICES? What we're proposing here is to plug in a device that doesn't draw power the same way as a phone does, into a powering device that's made for phones and tablets. Will it handle low voltage fish stuff? This article wouldn't exist if the answer weren't a resounding Yes! I connected it all and plugged it into the wall. It immediately started the pump and started charging itself at the same time. When I unplugged the power from the wall, the pump kept going and the battery started draining. SLOWLY. Blue or orange port? I tested the charging process twice, curious about whether choosing the blue or orange ports on the new Aquarium Co-Op charger plug that came with the pump would make a difference in charging time. It made no difference. So this will work. But for how long? Here's where it gets interesting. TEST TWO: HOW LONG DOES IT LAST? I charged it up to 100% while connected to the pump (about 3-4 hours), and then unplugged everything from the wall to simulate a power failure. The pump continued to run for 60 HOURS. That's two and a half days! Not much more to be said there. It's quite an effective backup power source! TEST THREE: OKAY, BUT HOW LONG DOES IT REALLY LAST? On the theory that it will not last as long when it's under a load and actually powering a real airstone in water pressure, I connected it to a never-clog airstone on 24" of airline tubing that had already been running for several months in 12" of water depth. The runtime result was another round number: 50 HOURS on a full charge. So this means that the pump was powered for about 17% less time while under a basic load. Logically, I'd assume that as the airstone becomes more clogged, its capacity for backup time will be diminished even more. Mounting? The battery pack is not terribly heavy, so it can be mounted with some double-sided foam tape to the back or side of the aquarium, or any other flat surface so that it doesn't dangle. CONCLUSION The combination of 2+ days' power, always-ready pass-through powering, and the compact size makes this a huge winner. I'm buying one of these for every one of my USB Nano Pumps. Yes, $22 can add up fast, but for me, it's a small price to pay for the peace of mind. When the power goes out, I will have oxygenated water for days! Even if I were to lose most of the beneficial bacteria, the bacteria that remains in proximity to the moving water caused by the bubbles (on the glass, rocks, gravel, and decorations) will serve as a seed population for a new colony. But that's a moot point if the pump is powering a sponge filter! What more is there to say? Spread the word: USB battery backups aren't just for phones!
    23 points
  32. Closeup of one of my albino corydoras, taken with a Samsung Galaxy S7 and a little clip-on macro lens.
    23 points
  33. I have a few... 4 cats, 2 dogs, 2 horses, and 3 frogs plus the aquariums!
    23 points
  34. I love the world of the small, it's such a complex and beautiful part of nature happening all around us that we usually never see. So share your macro shots! Me feeding fry baby brine from a pipette.
    22 points
  35. So a while back I set up a 75 gallon for our 7 year old who is autistic. He wanted glofish gravel with castles and dragons. He loves loaches and decided he wanted only yoyo loaches in the tank. So we got 6 yoyo loaches and that has been the only thing in the tank since it cycled. So, for about the past 3 weeks he has been telling me that there is a baby in the tank. I took this with a grain of salt because when he talks to the fish he says "hi babies". Thinking to myself that is impossible because they don't breed in captivity. Then to my extreme surprise as I was cleaning the tank today lo and behold there is a freaking baby yoyo loach. I've only found the one. I do 50% water changes on this tank once a week and have not seen the baby until today. I want to be 100% clear that this was not an intentional spawning. All I can tell you is the parameters that I know. The temp is 80 with water changes of about 74 degrees. PH 6.8, Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 10. There is duckweed on the surface with some java moss in the tank. They are fed exclusively on bladder snails, repashy Igapo Explorer and hikari sinking wafers with some frozen blood worms and brine shrimp every couple weeks. You can see how small he still is by the size of the gravel. You can see he's not a whole lot bigger than a piece of gravel. I have no clue how or when this happened but it is pretty amazing. If it ever happens again I'll keep everyone updated.
    22 points
  36. My package just arrived I like to thank the coop for my freebies
    22 points
  37. This forum went public on Bastille Day, 2020. I think it has been an amazing home for planted tank enthusiasts during a very difficult time. We should do something special to celebrate this community on 2021.07.14.
    22 points
  38. The bees get thirsty this time of year, and the floating mat of duckweed keeps the girls from drowning.
    22 points
  39. I've been just letting my new 20 long just sit while I decided what kind of fish I want in it. To start the cycle I squeezed out the sponge from my 40B into it. Somebody made the trip in the filter. They had to have been eggs at the time. Baby Panda Corys! Two of them! Here's a picture of one tiny little feller.
    22 points
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