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Everything posted by tolstoy21

  1. I've taken out some very large ones from time to time that get well established in a large aquarium. I just remove them slowly. I start by grabbing the plant by its rootball under the gravel and pulling that up slow. If you're worried about the roots being entangled in other plants and taking those along for the ride, you can always get it part of the way out and then snip the roots with scissors, leaving the long runners behind. Just know that they do make a mess when coming out, but that will clear as the dust and whatnot settles or gets removed by mechanical filtration. Maybe things will be cloudy for half a day or so. Your tank will recover. Also, if there is anything growing close to its base that you disrupt, just replant it when you're done. Plants are pretty good at re-establishing themselves easily within the same tank/water params. And just to add, when I remove mine, I don't try to save them. I just trow them in the compost bin. So I can't really comment on removing one for transplanting to another aquarium.
  2. Apiso fry are masters of camouflage. They disappear into the the slightest layer of mulm on the bottom of the tank.
  3. The Fluval hang-on breeder boxes work wonderfully for drip acclimation. The only thing you have to be aware of is if they fill up, they will overflow into your tank. Sometimes this is a good thing, cause it allows the box to eventually be 100% tank water, but it can be BAD if you don't want the water the fish/shrimp came in to be in your tank. I generally check them every half hour or so and turkey baster out some water to keep them from flowing into the tank, if that's my goal. To DIY one, all you need is a bucket, airline tubing and a something like the Ziss air valve. Start a siphon like you would with water changes, put the end of the tubing into the bucket, and adjust the flow rate as desired. You might need something to attach it to the tank edge. But there are a million, clever ways to do that. Only limited by your imagination there!
  4. A picture is worth a thousand snails, I mean words.
  5. @Odd Duck Thanks for the tip on the fruit fly containers. Also, I never cooked my oatmeal, just made a slurry out of it with cold water. I wonder if cooking mitigates the chances of mold forming later.
  6. I make one per week, but one every two weeks or so might work as well. I've found them to last at least a month. I dump them when they start to look too cloudy. I've never test how long I could kept a culture alive, nor how dense I could get it. I've found that in the 3-week range they are sufficiently full enough to feed out of. Usually the one I'm feeding out of is about 3 weeks old. I make them in medium-sized ball jars as I don't have a ton of fish that require paramecium. I guess they are maybe quart sized jars? And, next time I do something like Odessa Barbs, I'll just ramp up production in advance of spawning. I find I dump a lot more paramecium than I feed, but that's because I don't always have fish that require them and want to keep the culture going and readily available. I've honestly only been culturing paramecium about 8 months, so I'm def not an expert and have more to learn, if there is more to be learned. I started making them because, like you, I've failed over and over at infusoria, and when tried, and put the infusoria cultures the only sunny window in the house, my family is like "What's that gross puke jar sitting in the window for?" Paramecium, like vinegars eels, are easy to stash away in the basement, or, during the winter, in the the aquarium stand, under my main display tank. I hesitated on making paramecium at first because I assumed they were hard to keep. After hearing Greg Sage at Select Aquatics say they were easier to culture than he had anticipated, and that they kept the water quality higher in the initial phases of growing out very young, and small, Odessa fry, I figured I'd give a try for the same reason. I've also given up on micro-worms, because I can't successfully keep the batches from going moldy or attracting flies. However, I found micro-worms very easy to reproduce. (I do vinegar eels now instead of micro-worms).
  7. That "is" the biotope. I tried to keep it as natural as possible. 😉
  8. I've been working on this for quite some time. Getting the stalagmites just right has been a labor of love. Just thought I'd share.
  9. The only place I've seen these for sale are at Dan's Fish, if you were looking for them. These are also known as Emperor Tetras, or purple/blue emperor tetras, not to be confused with the other, more familiar Emperor Tetra Nematobrycon palmeri.
  10. @AtitagainNo problem. I'm pretty sure I saw fry in there when I peeked this morning. Once then lights are on a little brighter in a few days, I'll take some pics and post a thread. I've bred egg scatterers before, but this is my first tetra species attempt.
  11. I try this in my fry tanks, but when I do, some of the curious fry are like 'hey a clear plastic bag, I'd LOVE to go in there!"
  12. Yeah, I've watched a lot of his content too. Good channel. I've started trying to breed the Inpaichthys Kerri "super-blue" tetra. I think I have some fry this go around and will post back here if I do. I started with the total blackout for the first three days and now I'm slowly introducing light day-by-day. I was just curious if i even need to do this, and if so, what are people experiences with how to acclimate fry to light, etc. Anyway, thanks for the response!
  13. Yeah, honestly, they are a good thing and def don't hurt at all. But it is fun to be the only contrarian in this thread! Honestly, I don't use them where I don't need to because I get frustrated at the moment where no matter how careful I'm being, or not matter what new get-the-sponge-off-the-intake tactic I've tried or devised -- there's that sudden mushroom cloud explosion of gunk back into the tank. The gunk does clear quickly. But yeah, that's cause it's going back into the sponge (on purpose, to mock me!) so it can laugh in my face again next time! PS - Let it be known this is why I also prefer the traditional, grandpa-looking box filter to a sponge filter, cept these look terrible in a nice display tank.
  14. I'm going to squarely plant myself in the 'anit-pre-filter-sponge' camp! Ok, so i'll start with what I like about the sponge on the HOB intake: Keeps small critters from getting sucked in. What I don't like -- a lot of the stuff I'd rather wind up in my floss in the HOB to be easily swapped out gets stuck in the sponge. And when I go to remove the sponge to clean it, no matter how many different tactics I try, that gunk gets loose and goes everywhere in the tank. I prefer the gunk in the filter as opposed to in the sponge (and subsequently back in the tank). But back to point 1. They are a great preventative from having small critters harmed. I'll use them in grow-outs (if i put a HOB on one temporarily to help clear the water), or in anything with teeny-tiny nano fish, fry or shrimp. They def give extra surface for bacteria to grow on, but I have yet to see a tank suffer the consequences of not enough bacteria because there wasn't a pre-filter sponge on my HOB. And if I did, I'd probably consider that tank overstocked.
  15. I see a lot of stuff on the inter-webs about this topic in regards to neon tetras specifically, but am trying to determine if this is a general trait of all tetra species, or just is it just specific to neons. Does anyone have experience breeding tetra species that can shed some light on this topic or share a link to some good, trustworthy information?
  16. I think the point of Stratum is to do exactly that. This is the Ph range Fluval considers optimal for plants and caridina shrimp species. If someone wanted a higher Ph, it would be best to go with a more inert substrate that has no influence on water chemistry. Not saying that is your intent @Intuos, or what you do, but just saying that if someone has to do water changes to undo the effects of Stratum, it's probably best for them to just spend money on a non-buffering substrate.
  17. I'd give Stratum a test run in a container and see what overall impact it has on your water chemistry so you can get familiar with how it behaves in your scenario. From what I have heard about 'buffering' substrates is that they will lower/consume the KH of your water, and in essence drive the Ph down. Stratum is supposed to stabilize around 6.6 - 6.8. Its longevity at buffering Ph will depend on how much buffering it is required to do over the long term (how frequently you do water changes, how basic your water is). At least this is what I have heard (I think I got this info from FlipAquatics). I did try finding literature from Fluval about the actual mechanics of how Stratum works, but couldn't find anything useful. I only have personal experience using Stratum in a non planted shrimp tank with RO water. And when I first fill the up my shrimp tanks, the Ph drops so low I can't get an accurate reading (well below 5). Oh course this is RO water with no mineral/buffering capacity of its own. Your tap water will no doubt behave differently. In the end, as I let the tank cycle and mature before adding shrimp, Stratus does as advertised for me, that is, keeps the Ph pretty steady at 6.6 - 6.8.
  18. Man you people are way more advanced than me! I just make mine in old jelly jars and spoon some into the tank when I feed.
  19. Got fish. Expensive ones. Floated them to temp acclimate, then did the old plop-n-drop because everyone seems to advocate the old plop-n-drop. Fish croaked within minutes! Never plop-n-dropped before. Will never do it again. Feels like the Russian roulette of fish acclimation. I might as well have thrown the fish into boiling water.
  20. Oh and I would like some more nana petite in there. That’s the only thing I want to stuff more of into the tank.
  21. That was the original version! ive since come to appreciate the open spaces and large rocks.
  22. This is mine. It's been going for a few years now. Very low tech. I pretty much don't do anything to it, but very occasionally thin out some of the swords and crypts and keep the lotus from reaching the surface. Here's some close ups.
  23. My orange rilis do Ok in 8 dGH, which is the hardness of my well water. My Kh is 0 (or maybe it's 0.5, either way, it's low) and they are doing AOK. Like I said, I'd just compare the GH of your tap water to the current tank, and then decide if it's in your best interest to try to lower the GH. But if you're shrimp get berried and have young ones, then just leave things are they are. Or experiment a little bit. Unless you make drastic changes, your shrimp should be fine (unless they go belly up, and in that case, I never posted any of this!) Honestly, the only way to learn this stuff and feel confidence is through some trial and error.
  24. Does keeping a pleco in the grow out tanks of other fish species help with algea build up and uneaten food? I always find the tanks in @Dean’s Fishroom to look sparkling clean to the point of envy. Unless I imagined this, I feel like he said he accomplished with with BN plecos and some cory cats. (Yes, I know, you also have to clean your tanks and can't rely on fish to do all your work for you). But does this work or at least help? Is it advisable? Am I remembering this incorrectly? Or is this something only the master himself can pull off?
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