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DallasCowboys16's Achievements


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  1. Not exactly a crazy bucket list item, but building a fish room is definitely on my bucket list. Something where I can have the room and freedom to breed and keep all of the different species I’ve always wanted to work with, but have never had the space.
  2. When teaching beginners, I think we need to be pragmatic when discussing cycling. Am I really going to try and drop an entire lesson on them about the nitrogen cycle, nitrifying bacteria, testing, liquid ammonia dosing, etc when they just walked into my store and expect them to absorb it + do their own research when they get home? I can try (trust me, I have before), but most of the time it just leaves them confused, the information won’t be absorbed, and I’ve just wasted 45 minutes. In a perfect world, everyone could learn to fishless cycle, but that just isn’t in the cards for most beginners. Sometimes pursuit of an unachievable “best” leaves us discarding a realistic “better” when teaching a new fish keeper about cycling a tank. I say give ‘em a high level talk about what the nitrogen cycle is and why that means the fish need to be added slowly in small batches. 90% of the time, they don’t have problems. That 10% will just need extra coaching.
  3. When I setup a new tank I usually do the following: Plant it out heavily, fertilize and let it grow out for about 2-4 weeks, add a few fish, wait a week or two, add a few fish, wait a week or two, and continue this until it is completely stocked. I’ve never had a single issue cycling tanks like this. In fact, I can’t even remember losing a fish in the process. Usually I am bringing over at least a few plants and hardscape from already established tanks which serves to kickstart the bacteria colony and the heavy plant load certainly helps to promote stability IMO. Fishless cycles seem to be so convoluted and confusing to beginners that I almost always saw it do more harm than good when I worked in a store. As a result, we promoted a slow and cautious fish in cycling method. Now, if you were in a situation where all of the stock had to be added in one shot for whatever reason, I can see the appeal of fishless cycling. Otherwise, I see no reason to feed a tank with liquid ammonia.
  4. The color doesn’t matter when sexing guppies. If they have a gonopodium, they are male. The fish in question appears to be male.
  5. Thank you! It is a really poor quality picture, but I swear it looks better in person lol. It is an Ocellaris clown. Percula have nearly identical care requirements though. I used to have a second black Ocellaris in there, but after a few years it became hyper dominant and nearly beat the smaller one to death so I just rehomed her. Many people have success with a pair in a 10 gallon tank, but I did not and decided to just keep things nice and peaceful. A single adult clown can be kept in a 10 gallon completely comfortably for their entire life. In fact, I worked at a fish store back in the day that had a 20+ year old clown that had lived in a 10 gallon biocube for nearly its entire life and it was one of the largest and healthiest clownfish I have ever seen. They tend to stick to their host coral/anemone for the most part and don't need a ton of swimming space generally so they are well suited to nano tanks, but of course the larger the tank the better. I had an Aquaclear on my tank for a few years when I first set it up, but kind of realized all it was doing was just adding flow to the tank and it was another piece of ugly equipment, so I just removed it. I will say it was nice to be able to run some chemical filtration occasionally though to polish the water.
  6. I’ve kept a 10 gallon reef for years. I was always worried that it would be significantly harder to master than freshwater aquariums, but it is just a little different. As with all things, a little practice/ trial and error goes a long way. My setup runs with no filtration, just a circulation pump. I found the filtration to be unnecessary in a lightly stocked setup like mine (single clownfish). In my super low tech setup, I’ve grown various SPS (monti caps, encrusting montis, digitata, etc), LPS of all kinds, spawned rock flower nems, etc. A simple 25% water change every few weeks where I blast up all the detritus out of the sand with a turkey baster and the tank just keeps chugging along. Now, is my setup the world’s flashiest reef tank? No, not even close, but everything is healthy and I quite enjoy it. Even reefs can be done with low maintenance with the right setup.
  7. I really don’t see a huge difference between the “father fish method” and a standard dirted tank. He may have a more systematic approach to adding additional additives in order to prevent complete soil exhaustion, but other than that the fundamentals are the same. What seems to be key to achieving the true self-sustaining nature of his tanks is the very light stocking density. You will never be able to maintain a dense enough population of various food species if you have more than a small number of fish in your tank. I’ve done dirted tanks before and the plant growth was pretty good, but honestly nothing I really couldn’t achieve in a standard tank with a reasonable fertilization schedule. I really did not like how messy it was to uproot plants. If you like to play around in your tank every now and again, I would advise against dirt. I have also kept plenty of non-dirted tanks that have gone 4, 6, 8, 10+ months with no water change and still were in good condition. Most well setup planted tanks are capable of going a VERY long time without proper maintenance. I don’t think you need to go full blown Walstad method to achieve low maintenance. In the years I’ve done this, I’ve come across a million ways to keep an aquarium and have tried many of them. I’ve come to learn that success can be had with nearly every approach. Find what works for you and what you enjoy and go for it!
  8. As long as you’re moving enough water, you’re good. That can be via an airstone, hob, canister, etc. I’ll throw an airstone in a tank if I specifically want to ensure higher oxygen levels for a specific species, or if I’m using an air driven filter. They are never detrimental and always helpful to have.
  9. You should pretty much be fine with one of the more peaceful species like cacatuoides, borellii, agassizii, etc. The only time I’ve seen them be aggressive in a community setting is when guarding fry.
  10. Glow lights are a wonderful fish. Well done on giving yours such a long life. I’ll always have a soft spot for them as they were one of the first species I kept as a kid. Not to mention that their orange coloration is pretty unusual for a tetra!
  11. I would agree here. A good drain and scrub would help to "reset" the ponds which seem to be pretty chock full of detritus at this point. Battling algae in the current situation will likely be a losing battle. An aggressive scrub and large water change a few weeks in a row would likely help tremendously. From there I would agree that introducing some fast growing nitrate absorbing plants would help to create a healthier situation long term.
  12. High levels of water agitation will cause CO2 to gas off quicker than if the water's surface is unbroken, but honestly in my experience I've run airstones in CO2 injected tanks and still gotten excellent plant growth and pearling. It also is quite unhealthy for a tank to have zero break in surface tension. Gas exchange is necessary. Some people recommend running an airstone and CO2 on inverted schedules in order to gas off CO2 at night when plants are respiring without performing photosynthesis. Basically plants produce excess CO2 at night and excess oxygen during the day. I have never seen any reason to do this. In a heathy tank with proper flow, I have never seen fish struggling to breathe at night when the CO2 is turned off. Macready is correct about the optimal timing for CO2 injection being 1 hour before lights on and shutting it down 1 hour before lights off. This ensures your water is properly saturated with gas before plants begin photosynthesizing and that levels are allowed to decrease before lights go off. This is not necessary, but a nice optimization. Long story short: Feel free to use an airstone on a CO2 injected tank. In my experience, the impact on CO2 levels is minimal and quite frequently overstated.
  13. Such an underrated fish. I’ve got some that are pushing 5 years old now and they’ve basically been fed some combination of whatever flake I have and frozen brine shrimp every now and again. I’ve done white clouds in an outdoor stock tank before too and given enough cover for the fry, you’ll get quite a bit of breeding with almost no intervention. They are about as hardy as they come.
  14. Yeah that makes sense given the predefined rule sets and stylistic guidelines for the various aquascaping practices, I just suppose that as a less refined hobbyist than the judges, I like to see a lot of cool fish in the tanks! 😆
  15. I've never understood the AGA aversion to tanks having a cool variety of fish with the scape. If anything I thought the number of different species in your tank made it a better visual experience rather than deducting from it. I feel like the judges of these contests adhere to traditional rules/standards almost to a fault.
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