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RichNJ's Achievements


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  1. I find that my yellow mollies sometimes don't make it after giving birth, especially after more than once and in tanks with lower salt levels.
  2. Bladder and pond snails are so small, I think they breakdown pretty fast after they die. I've bigger snails that die (like mystery snails) get pecked at a for a few hours by fish and eventually get cleaned out of the shell.
  3. Well now I am thinking - is it just the small amount of dirt in Root Tabs that are accumulating over time?
  4. I have a bunch of Amazon swords and Crypts and Pygmy chain swords in my 55g. I use root tabs once per month for almost two years. Lately I’ve noticed one crypt not doing well. Today I thought to look underneath and see these black spots circled in red. One is right under the crypt, the other is underneath a Pygmy chain sword. Is that black mess rotten roots? I’ve read also about anaerobic bacteria too. I also don’t mind pulling the plant and gravel vacuuming it out. And then maybe replanting the good parts of the plant.
  5. thanks, I think I have a plan now. Certainly step up water changes, that one is easy and straightforward (well actually all the steps of my plan are kind of easy). I'll back off of salt for now and only use it for treatment. As for a RODI setup, I've been thinking about it logistically in the house and the cost. I'd probably want to get a storage tank and would need a pump to a staging bin, rather than carrying up from a basement. First things first, water changes and salt reduction. Funny, I was convinced that my nitrates were now 30 in this tank, but i think that was not consistent and was right after a water change (duh, should have realized that). I think based on my above 50/50 test, that its back in the 60-80 area. As for the bypass, well I think my 20L with liverbearers can take the 22gh just fine. I am debating though if I should do it for my 55g tetra tanks, although not all tetras (Congos/lemons/cardinatls/white skirts/one angelfish/harlequin razboras/cories). I think the 22gh might push those guys. I have it at 6gh with post-softener water. 8ph though since no CO2 in this tank, for now at least. Anyway, will look into the RODI as i said. Appreciate the insight and troubleshooting. @nabokovfan87 @Supermassive
  6. @Supermassive I think in the 20L where they died right away, yeah that tank was running high, and since is lower to this level. Trying to get it lower. For the other tank I put the rest of the shrimp, a 9 gallon Fluval Flex with African dwarf frogs, they weren’t as high as my 20L but probably in the 40ish area. They lived longer in the frog tank but died right away in the 20L. so it feels the variable here is nitrates and I need to keep growing out plants, control livestock, and step up water changes.
  7. We once had one disappear for 6 months or more and then magically reappear. We thought he died underground. Also, we learned to find him sometimes by looking at the glass on the bottom of the tank.
  8. So i did the 50/50 test, and show two pictures here of the same test with different angles. I then show a Coop test strip result. I am thinking the tank is 60. The drop test looks in between 20 and 40, so call it 30 and double it to 60. For the Coop strip, it's seems like it's around 50, but good easily be 60 too. I actually am finding it easier to assess color by zooming in with my phone. Maybe just bad old eyes now. Anyway, you think 60? And maybe that is a culprit for me with my bad luck with Amanos. Rather than this water softener and salt debate from above? @Supermassive @nabokovfan87
  9. I agree with you on the 40-160 colors looking the same. I might try the 50/50 test to confirm. Makes sense. Were you using the water softener at that point? Yes, for that QT tank I used my standard water softener water. I then made the tank hard at around 15dh and then added Fritz salt too. I tried to match the water conditions of the 20L livebearer tank that I've been talking about. For this 1 month, nitrates were nearly zero. Once I moved the Amanos into my other tanks, they all died. Nearly instantly in the 20L, but my nitrates were truly high (and "RED" in those days). Nitrates better now. So maybe nitrates potentially is a factor more than the water softener (since the shrimp once survived in water softener treated water parameters?!?!? @Supermassive @nabokovfan87
  10. This is a 2yr old 20L tank. I seem to remember three 5g buckets when I first filled it up, so 15g of water. I water change 5g every other week, so 1/3rd of the water. I have a Coop sponge filter and just added the new lift tube (it's pretty cool). Temp is mid 70s. Hair algae got a little crazy and I've wanted to stimulate better plant growth, so added CO2 about four months ago. I'd say the last 6 weeks plants are taking off even more and algae looking better, but still it's still there (hence my Amano attempt). Also evidence of better plant performance is generally lower nitrates now...they used to be much higher and now are in the 30-40 range. So a few variables I think maybe we can work with, which I want to prioritize or eliminate: 1) Bypass the water softener and water change the old softened water out over time? I'd have to think about temp here since my tap is cold. I could prep a bucket at night and let it sit to room temp into the 60s. 2) Stop adding salt altogether (whether I bypass the softener or not). I only add 2 teaspoons of Fritz per 5g bucket during my water change schedule. 3) Stop the iron? I think not a factor one way or the other 4) increase water change frequency to get nitrates down more. I feel that Amanos should be able to handle 30-40 though. The fish are fine and are flying around, and breeding. I actually removed my floating Anacharis plant since they gave too many hiding spots for guppy fry to survive. I'd rather the population stop here, and I want to shift to platies mostly (a favorite) and let the guppies age out. I removed some guppies and put in my bigger 55g tank (that tank is another story and eventual project to improve). First up is my 20L here...easier to toy with since smaller. @nabokovfan87
  11. @nabokovfan87 10yrs old!?!?! so I reran some API drop tests, and had a hunch my KH was higher. The green on the Coop test strips are hard to read for me. Results here: 13 gh x 17.9 = 233ppm 17 kh X 17.9 = 304ppm Ammonia zero Nitrite 0 Nitrate 30 (nitrate picture below…looks like 30 to me!) So usually I am 8ph in my tanks, but with CO2 it drops to 7.5 for this tank. My untreated water before the water softener is very hard and alkaline with high KH…all connected and common here with our public utility ground water. Three other variables I am trying to rule out or confirm as the culprit: 1) salt impact - we have water softener, which we know adds salt. But it is supposedly negligible. My tap is usually 22gh and then zero after the water softener. I then remineralize for this tank back to 13-15gh. It can vary a bit each time I do a water change. Also, in this 20L tank it is for livebearers so I add Fritz salt at two teaspoons per 5g Home Depot bucket…so not a lot of salt. The plants are fine from the salt. However, is this too much salt for Amanos?? I want to say I doubt it. I also once had 20 Amanos in a QT for 1 month at 8ph with salt and no nitrates. Once I moved them to various tanks they all died. Some instantly..others in a weeks. 2) I add Easy Iron for my red plants. Supposed to be shrimp save but I have no idea what my tap iron level is. 3) stocking levels. While guppies and platies are peaceful….are they ganging up on the Amanos or too active and stressful for them? Tank picture below. Sorry if anything is upside down. Nitrates are under control…but too much activity? I have a lot of dwarf chain sword m, so plenty of hideouts. There is one very very young and small flag fish and another that was never a strong fry and kind of just sits around. I’ll be moving these soon. They are both maybe 0.25 inches.
  12. thanks, okay...it's 80 KH using test strips, but it's hard to tell with those shades of green. Anyway, I can test KH with the API drops and report back to you. For this tank with CO2, I am roughly 7.5 PH....in my non-CO2 tanks I am usually 8ph and sometimes 8.2 in my other tanks. Since I finally got he PH lower via CO2, i thought I'd try Amanos again and they died immediately. By the way, I once had Amanos before in a quarantine tank with no Co2, and they did well for 1M...then I moved to other tanks and they fell apart right away. Trying to solve this puzzle! So thanks ahead of time for your insight.
  13. thanks I really don't know what my tap water is in iron content, or how to test it. We have public utility water sourced from the ground (which is well water). Just don't know our iron levels at all. The public utility report doesn't disclose iron. I do use Easy Iron though, so i suppose this could be a culprit putting me over the edge with the shrimp. The Easy Iron is the one variable that wasn't in my quarantine shrimp tank, where they survived for one month before dying. I think I may water change the Easy Iron out to eliminate that as an option, and then try again with another small batch of Amanos. @Tony s
  14. i am leaning in your direction too. If the salt was too much, i think I'd be killing plants, which I am not. I think that either my 30-40 nitrates or the shock of being in a tank with fish is what kills my Amanos....or I should maybe acclimate over several hours and not just 60 minutes or so. Another thought is the Easy Iron ....but the Coop says it shrimp safe...and we all trust the Coop. @lefty o
  15. Perplexed over the watersofter as well. I have 22gh tap water and have only used water softner treated water in my tanks. I also occassionally add Fritz salt for disease management in my 55g tetra tank and added two teaspoons per 5g in my liver bearer 20L tank. Had a discussion here on salt with Amanos, and most seem to suggest that it is okay since they breed in brackish conditions. https://forum.aquariumcoop.com/topic/34287-aquarium-salt-and-amano-shrimp/ More recently, we are debating if my instant Amano die-off was due to the water softener plus the added Fritz salt to my 20L liverbarer tank here. All other fish are doing fine, even in my 55g tetra tank. Link to the dicussion is here: https://forum.aquariumcoop.com/topic/37315-my-troubles-with-amano-shrimp/ @Guppysnail @Jonny
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