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  1. LOL … I hate it when people compare my freshwater tanks to saltwater. Freshwater is definitely my favorite!
  2. Yep, looks like a little bladder snail to me, too. I have them in all 3 of my tanks to one degree or another. I like having them around, because they’re good scavengers. If you regard them as being overpopulated, you could reduce and/or change the food you’re offering. You could also introduced snail-eating fishes. If you don’t have a pre-filter on your HOB, they also tend to get killed at the intake. So, I don’t find their numbers to be a problem.
  3. To be honest, my wife is not too keen on fish keeping. She is an animal lover, but only grew up with cats, whereas I grew up with dogs, as well as fish, amphibians, and turtles. We’re now a family of five, plus two dogs and a cat. At home, I have a 10g with currently only an African dwarf frog and snails in it, and I had to persuade her to let me keep that (it’s on our bar with a sink, so that makes it easy to maintain). I’m fortunate that as a biology teacher, I also have a lab, and that’s where I keep my bigger tanks: a 29g with zebra danios, guppies, and snails; and a 55g with two angelfish and a blue acara. My wife does not want big tanks like those in our house. The 29g used to be in our home, but she’s much happier with it at the lab instead. TBH having the big tanks in the lab does make it easier to maintain them, since they’re right next to a sink as well. The only catch is that during the summer time, I rely on auto-feeders to dispense flakes or pellets, and then I come in once a month to check on them, do water changes, and replenish the feeders. So, I do kind of miss them in the summertime, and auto-feeders can’t feed them frozen foods like brine shrimp or blood worms. However, it’s worth it for the convenience of water changes, and peace in the home.
  4. Sunfishes like greenies and bluegill are a blast, too! To me, they’re just as cool as cichlids, but suited for North America’s temperate climate. 😁
  5. To me, the cure (or prevention) for burnout is to not overextend yourself. That will vary from person to person, but basically if you’re running yourself ragged maintaining tanks, you’ll get stressed and your enjoyment will decrease. Think about how many tanks you actually want, and downsize to that number. Personally, I like having just 2 or 3. Any more than that and I’m liable to worry I’m not giving each one enough attention.
  6. You mean outside? It’ll need a thermostat heater. If I’m not mistaken, Stockton, CA is colder than southern Texas / northern Mexico. I agree with the comment above about cichlids like the Texas disturbing plants, though. Are there other fish species you’re interested in?
  7. I’ve seen a lot of fascinating fish behaviors, including courtship and spawning. But one that really stands out comes from cichlids like my Oscars and angels. They can tell me apart from other people, and get excited when I approach their tanks, but hide when other people do. This means they can tell individual people apart from each other. Now that’s clever!
  8. The bladder snails in my tank were getting killed by my HOB. I put an Aquarium Co-op course pre-filter sponge on the intake, and that has helped. However, small ones still get through and die, leaving their shells stuck in the basket. Would switching to a fine mesh sponge solve the problem by blocking them all? Or would it just get clogged?
  9. I’m thinking of adding a dwarf gourami to my 29g, which houses zebra danios and guppies. However, I’ve heard that the fast swimming behaviors of zebra danios can be stressful for the slower dwarf gouramis. Do you think that’s true? Is keeping those two species together not advisable?
  10. I’d save the bloodworms for larger, more predatory fishes, and for small creatures that can handle large food items. I give bloodworms to cichlids, sunfishes, and catfishes, as well as African dwarf frogs and even crayfish. All of these can either easily swallow them whole, or else tear them up. Give the guppies something smaller like flakes, micropellets, brine shrimp, etc.
  11. Yep! And healthy, too. My Endler guppies have great hybrid vigor.
  12. Yes, and choose tough, hardy species that can survive toxic water conditions, like a betta or a few guppies.
  13. As beautiful as bettas are, I have found that they can be quite limiting as far as tank mates go. If at some point you change your mind and want to add more fish, the honey gourami would give you more options. I’d go with the honey gourami for their more easygoing temperament.
  14. I'd say my favorite underrated fishes are the sunfishes (family Centrarchidae) and darters (family Percidae). Both are native, North American fishes that are not kept in the hobby here in the USA very often, although sunfishes like pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus), and the smaller Enneacanthus and Elassoma sunfishes are popular in Europe. Sunfishes are very cichlid-like, with cichlid-like shapes and colors, as well as cichlid-like territorial aggression and parental behaviors. Darters are beautiful, tiny fishes that creep around the tank looking for food. Some are very colorful, others less so, but all have fascinating behaviors. Sometimes local laws get in the way of collecting or keeping temperate fishes like sunfishes and darters, but they are super cool to keep if you can.
  15. Looks like their Penn-Plax brand listings are just for canister filters. So, I simply used the sponge filter equivalent. Right now my 29g just has 7 zebra danios in it: "You have plenty of aquarium filtration capacity. Your aquarium filtration capacity for above selected species is 665%. Recommended water change schedule: 9% per week. Your aquarium stocking level is 44%." I'm thinking of adding a dwarf gourami, which would be: "You have plenty of aquarium filtration capacity. Your aquarium filtration capacity for above selected species is 520%. Recommended water change schedule: 11% per week. Your aquarium stocking level is 51%." So, I'm probably going to do that. My aquariums are in my teaching lab. In the summers, I come in only once a month to do a 60% water change. When I'm not here, the tanks are fed by automatic fish feeders. So, I can't get any demanding aquatic animals, with crazy diets or anything, because they must be able to accept flakes and/or pellets dispensed by the robot during summer vacation. That's also why I like to stock them only lightly.
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