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  1. As a general rule, animals bred for extreme traits tend to be more prone to genetic infirmity. This is partly due the inbreeding depression, and partly due to problems from the extreme traits themselves. So, just as bulldogs and pugs tend to be less healthy than mixed working and sporting dogs, so too double-tailed bettas, bubble-eyed goldfish, fancy guppies, and electric blue Jack Dempseys tend to be less healthy than the wild types (or close to it) of those species.
  2. A normal betta lifespan is 3-5 years. As mentioned above, when you buy them they’re around a year old. So if you can get them to live another 2-4 years after you bought them, you have given them a good, long life.
  3. Excellent ideas! Not sure how much of that the school can afford, but the more the better.
  4. It’s only 140 gallons, so let’s just stick with caimans.
  5. Yep, I taught them about cycling, and I seeded the tank for them with BB from one of my tanks. It has actually been running fairly well for over a year, amazingly enough. Until now, the main problem has been diatoms growing all over the glass. I showed them how to use an algae scraper, and things were going ok. They were doing water changes, but not vacuuming the gravel. So, after a year of detritus accumulation and 24/7 ambient light, they got an explosion of planktonic algae about two months ago. I did two 80% water changes with lots of gravel vacuuming. This diluted the algae, but then they grow back. I think the pothos plant will grow nice and big, and absorb lots of nutrients, but it’s still new. Yeah, there’s only one person (a high school student) trained on how to maintain the tank. They definitely need more people on the team.
  6. Okay, so I donated my time to a nearby school to obtain and set up a 140-gallon, reef-style aquarium as a freshwater tank for them. It has an overflow box, which leads down to a sump with pre-filter floss and bio-balls for trickle filter (wet-dry) filtration. The water then returns up to the tank via a power head. The tank is not heavily stocked, housing 3 blue gouramis, 2 angelfish, a blue acara, and a ~5-inch common pleco. It used to house a redtail shark, but it recently died, likely due to poor water quality. There were also about a dozen Endler guppies, which persisted amid the larger fish, but also recently died out, again likely due to poor water quality. Here’s the problem: the tank water turned green like pea soup with algae a couple months ago, and although I’m trying to help the school, the problem persists. Part of the problem is that, although I trained someone on how to properly clean aquariums (water changes with gravel vac), it appears they were not doing it consistently. I volunteered my time to do it myself a couple times this month, and I sucked up enormous quantities of dark detritus, which of course is basically fertilizer. The tank is also in a hallway with 24/7 lights on (as required by fire code), so that’s going to fuel algal growth, too. I advised the school to keep up with water changes and gravel vac, as well as to put a blanket over the tank at night to provide darkness, but they haven’t done these things yet. I also added a pothos plant last week to remove nutrients from the water, and it has started growing roots, so I think that will help. Is there anything else I should tell them? Anything I’m missing? Anything they can do to their sump to improve filtration, like add more filter media, such as sponge material or other media? I really want them to solve this problem, so they can have a nice, big tank in their school.
  7. Yep, that’s another thing that fascinates me; how what’s exotic here is common somewhere else, and vice versa. 😁
  8. It’s a preserved food for people, so not really suitable for most pets. Kind of like pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, or beef jerky. Always blows me away to know people eat blue and snakeskin gouramis, when so many of us keep them ornamentally. But I guess it’s the giant gourami that is mostly used in aquaculture. Makes sense, given that they grow to be 2 feet long! 😮 Edit: does the jar on the left show a feather back knife fish?!
  9. If it were a larger tank, I’d say “Repair it!” However, if it’s “only” a 10g, I wouldn’t bother trying to fix it to hold water. What I might do (depending on where the damage is), would be to use it as a terrarium instead of an aquarium.
  10. Go dwarf cichlids! Here are some options. West African: Kribensis South American: German blue ram Bolivian ram Apistogramma spp. (eg agasizzii or cacatuoides) Laetacara curviceps Nannacara anomala
  11. A lone honey gourami would be good. Dwarf cichlids would be good, too. The tetras you have are midwater fish, so they’re good at controlling plankton, but not benthic prey. Your plecos and otos like to scrape algae and aufwuchs, so they don’t root around much either. I'm a little surprised your cories and banjo catfish aren’t interested, because they are benthic feeders. But then, they do scavenge a lot, so maybe the worms are a bit too entrenched for them. But gouramis are active micro-predators, and cichlids especially like to excavate in the substrate. One of those would likely be a good choice for top-down control. And again, livebearers are good at pecking on the bottom, too. Some minnows are good benthic feeders, but not all.
  12. Bring on the cichlids or gouramis! 😁 Or livebearers or minnows! 😄
  13. Yes, female gouramis are less aggressive than the males.
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