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  1. Interesting, good to know, hadn't realized that! Maybe I'll add back in a bit of extra iron in too then..
  2. 7.8. The Stratum buffered that down to 6.8 for 6 weeks or so, but then it's now back to the pH coming from my tap. I get the nutrients alone don't cause algae--but obviously that amount of fertilizer was tipping my tank over into an imbalance. I think it's because I have a tall tank and since most of the plants are still low to the substrate, there wasn't enough light for the plants to use all of the ferts so the algae took over. In other words, I think it's more likely there was not enough light for that level of fertilizer. I'm in the process of slowly ramping up my light levels as well, I just went up to 70%. My photo period is also a bit low, at 7 hours including my ramp up and ramp down, I think I can probably extend that a bit now that the algae is back under control... Thanks, it does seem more likely to me that this is due to the shrimp picking at the weaker leaves than a specific nutrient deficiency alone. Again, it all happened so fast, and all of my other plants look fine.
  3. Thanks--but I do 2 pumps daily, so 14 pumps a week, just spread out. I tried to increase that to 3 pumps a day but then the hair algae took off. That was before I had the shrimp in there though so maybe it's worth increasing again? Thanks--so what would you recommend? Switching to dry ferts at this point? I forgot to mention I put down a bunch of root tabs when I first planted as well.
  4. Hi all, wondering if anyone has any thoughts on why the older leaves on my Alternanthera reineckii mini are now suddenly full of large holes. It happened rather quickly, over the course of a week or so. The tank is 65g high, moderately planted, low-tech with Fluval 3.0 currently at 60% for the whites, 50% red, 3% blue. Filter is Fx2 plus a sponge filter. Layered substrate with Fluval Stratum, Eco-complete in the middle, topped with with more Fluval Stratum. Parameters are 0/0/0, pH 7.8. I dose Easy Green 2 pumps daily. It was first cycled and planted about 3 months ago. Other plants include moneywort, Rotala, Anubias nana, microsword, dwarf sag, Mayaca fluviatilis, Pogostemon stellatus Dassen, jungle val, pink amazon sword, water wisteria, hornwort, and red root floaters. I started most of these from tissue culture so all are still just starting to fill in so not much biomass despite the diversity. Tank is stocked with one SAE, 2 otocinclus, 4 rummy nose (was supposed to be 12 but my initial stocking didn't go well), 11 ember tetras, 3 nerite snails, 6 Amano shrimp, and now over a dozen young glass shrimp (I was clearly sold 2 glass shrimp among what I thought were 8 Amanos, because I have a crop of baby shrimp now...) Is this a nutrient deficiency? If so, which? No matter how much fertilizer I dose, I can't seem to get the nitrates up before I start running into algae issues. I am certain the tank is fully cycled. I don't think it's my test kit as my quarantine tank gets high nitrates all the time when I am quarantining plants in it. I just started dosing Flourish Trace yesterday. Or is that my shrimp are running out of algae to eat and are targeting my plants? None of the other plants have the same issue, just these guys. I've seen occasionally the glass shrimp resting on the leaves, gathering stuff, but only on occasion, and they would do this before I started seeing the holes. Here is a photo from last week, you can see a glass on one of the newer leaves. This was right when the holes first started, there are plenty more now on all the lower leaves. Thanks!
  5. Thanks everyone, now that they are getting bigger I agree it seems like these must be ghost shrimp. Here is a better photo, one of the new arrivals next to an Amano for comparison. I think I must have over a dozen of these little guys now. I know nothing about these shrimp, so I have a few more questions... How frequently should I expect them to breed? This was a complete accident but I guess they must like my tank conditions! I doubt that I got them from the store already carrying eggs, I'm pretty sure I would have noticed. The two I'm fairly certain were the original pair had disappeared for several weeks after I added them to the tank, hiding deep in my plants somewhere, I had actually assumed they had died before one finally crawled back out. Also, I assume they will now be competing with my Amanos for algae and anything else, so are specific foods that would be good for both? Will they go after my plants if underfed? Anything else I need to know about keeping them along with Amanos? Thanks everyone!
  6. Hi all, So I supposedly have 8 amano shrimp (6 from LFS, 2 from local Petco) in my 65 gallon high display tank, which was set up ~3 months ago and stocked only about 1 month ago. It has lots of hardscape and is moderately planted, and also contains 3 nerite snails, 2 otocinclus, and 1 Siamese Algae Eater. Tonight, I discovered a TINY ~1 cm baby shrimp. Either I have discovered how to breed Amanos in fresh water by accident, or I have some shrimp that are not Amanos as were advertised, which have bred in my tank. The only thing I can think of is that the 2 shrimp I got from Petco were not Amanos. They were very small, and the employee (who seemed very knowledgeable) said all their shrimp were very young and it was a mixed tank so took great care to separate out two small Amanos from the rest. Both of those shrimp do indeed seem like they are staying smaller than the other Amanos, one in particular is less than half the size of the others. But they otherwise look identical. I had just assumed they were young. Is this an Amano? This is the best pic I could get. This is the smallest of the supposed Amanos I got from Petco. I assume that this is the parent of the tiny baby I found? I couldn't get a photo of the baby, it was so small I'd need a macro lens, which I don't have. But it most definitely was a tiny little shrimp, I watched it for several minutes as it crawled over some rocks, swam to the wall, then to the bottom before it disappeared behind some hardscape. Any thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks!
  7. This fish is slowly driving me insane, would appreciate some additional advice given new developments. Quick recap: I had this SAE in quarantine after bringing home from my LFS along with some rummy nose tetras, treated all with the quarantine trio. It developed some early fin rot along the tail and was flashing intensely, so I moved it out to a separate 5 gallon QT where I treated with maracyn (for the fin rot) and 2 courses of paracleanse 2 weeks apart for the flashing. After about 1 week, it was doing splendidly. It spent another 3 weeks alone in the QT tank until it had finished the second course of paracleanse. Now for the new developments: I went to my in-laws for three days (I know, I know, mistake right?), after giving the last dose of paracleanse. All was well when I left. When I returned, I found that the heater had broken and the temp was hovering at 66. It was late in the evening and I had no spare heaters. My house is on a Nest so when no one is home the room temp is allowed to drop to 60. It has been like this all winter and the tanks had all held up fine...until this. I decided to just go ahead and slowly temp and drip acclimatize it to my new display tank, which had been cycled and planted two months earlier, and admittedly is still trying to balance. Remember, by this time both the fin rot and flashing had been resolved for almost 3 weeks. It acclimated fine and was added to the tank. The display tank is a 65 gallon high, moderately planted, filtration is Fx2, parameters 0/0/5, pH 7.8, temp 76. Two days after adding the fish, I see that all the fin rot that had healed so nicely had completely returned, as if nothing had happened. What's more, the flashing has returned with a vengeance. It's as if the 5 weeks of treatment hadn't happened at all. So a few questions: 1. Would folks assume that further paracleanse won't be useful here, since whatever is causing the flashing managed to survive 3 rounds of it? If so, what should I use? 2. Am I better off treating the whole tank now as opposed to catching him and moving out? There are rummy nose tetras, otocinclus, nerite snails, amano shrimp, and a bunch of different plants so whatever I use would need to be safe for all. The tank is full of hardscape so this is going to be a real challenge to catch him, I think I'll have to try a water bottle trap but am not sure if I can entice him in given how much food (algae) is available throughout the tank... 3. Is there any chance at all the flashing could be a territorial display? This fish turns out to be a complete jerk, it is bullying everyone in the tank and claiming it all as his own. It will attack and bite the oto cats. The flashing occurs in fits and is often triggered when another fish or shrimp suddenly encroaches. Despite this, he is living up to his reputation as a professional algae eater. I can't believe how much he's already cleaned up on his own. He's only about 2 inches right now and is just plowing through everything. Thanks, sorry for being so long-winded.
  8. My fish didn't seem to have swim bladder issues at the end, mainly they just wasted away. Each time though, the first thing I would notice was the spine starting to curve.
  9. Also to clarify, did you do a fishless or in-fish cycle initially to establish your filter? When you say plant tabs, are you referring to root tabs that you bury in the substrate? The anubias and java fern are column feeders so root tabs won't make much of a difference to them, and API leaf zone doesn't have the full complement of macronutrients. Your plants are probably converting all the available nitrate in the water column from the fish bioload, and it may not be enough for the java ferns if they are not growing well. Java ferns are very slow growing in general and get out competed easily, but making lots and lots of plantlets usually means they are unhappy for some reason or another. I would suggest getting some Aquarium Coop Easy Green all-in-1 liquid fertilizer and adding that to your regimen.
  10. Hey, Specific to your java ferns--if they are mass producing little plantlets along the leaves, that is usually a sign of stress--the mature leaves are sacrificing themselves to make babies that will hopefully float off and find better water. Usually, java ferns are very susceptible to potassium deficiency. If you are not supplementing potassium I would suggest it to see if your java ferns will start growing then instead of making babies. I had the same issue and potassium supplementation completely fixed it. Also, are you using any liquid fertilizers?
  11. Hi riioKen, I am very new to the hobby so take whatever I say with a grain of salt, but when I first set up my first 20g tank about 2 years ago, the fish I was most excited to stock was CPD, they are such beautiful little fish. After a year of effort, I decided to stop trying to keep these fish--every single one I would get would develop a curved spine and die, looking very wasted. Only one of them ever had any visible lesions, but it looked exactly like the lesions on your fish, a pinkish/flesh-colored patch on the side. None of mine ever developed pine coning. They were not dying at the same time, suggestive of an infectious outbreak, but weeks and sometimes months apart from each other, but all ultimately developing the curved spine and wasted look before expiring or needing to be euthanized. I only have one LFS where I live that supplies these fish, I am convinced that the fish I have access to simply have very poor genetics, and are dying directly as a result of genetic issues, or that those underlying issues make them exquisitely sensitive to infections. The shop confirmed that the fish they supply are captive bred. I thought about trying to order from online sources to try fish from different suppliers/sources see if that was indeed the difference, but by that point I had just decided to move on to other fish and revisit this another time in the future and never came back around to it. Are you always getting your fish from the same source? If so, and you want to keep trying, my humble suggestion would be to find a different source to see if that makes any difference... If you've already gone that route, then sorry I got nothin'.
  12. Thanks Colu. Interestingly, it's now completely stopped doing this bottom-scouring behavior but almost 3 weeks in quarantine, the others look like they've noticeably gained some weight and more vibrant color, this one still looks relatively pale and washed-out still. I will plan to treat with Paracleanse...
  13. Thanks Colu, none of the above. It is thinner and paler than the rest of the group, which has been unchanged since bringing him home. I had wondered if maybe internal parasites making him just super hungry constantly, but I haven't noticed any stringy poop, and as I said before he only wants to feed off the bottom, he won't touch the food that is still floating or suspended. But once it is resting on the bottom he'll go after it with gusto. FYI treated with the quarantine trio as soon as I brought them all home. Accidentally overdosed the Ich-X actually but everyone seems to be fine with it. Since my original post, I noticed a faint trace of white around the lips, which I now am hoping is just due to the constant scraping along the bottom and not the beginning of Columnaris. The activity here seems like it would have nothing to do with a Columnaris infection however.
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