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  1. Okay. I have heard negative things about chemical methods for changing pH. Are these ones safe? What natural ways would you recommend?
  2. Thanks guys. Will alkaline buffer raise pH as well, or just KH? I have never attempted a softwater tank before, so most of this is fairly new to me.
  3. Hello all, I am setting up a tank in which I hope to breed German Blue Rams. I live in Texas, and my tap water is hard with about 10 dGH and 6 dKH, as well as a pH of ~8. So, I will be using an RO/DI unit to fill this tank. I am looking for a remineralization method that would restore the RO water's GH and KH to an ideal level, while not raising my pH, since I am looking for an acidic pH of around 6.5. My pH meter doesn't work for RO water according to the instructions, but it is my understanding that RO water tends to be around pH of 7? Anyways, I need a method to be able to keep my tank at a stable and slightly acidic pH using remineralized RO water. Thanks!
  4. I've always kept it in a bag in my canister filter.
  5. If it comes off fairly easily, it’s likely green dust. Blue green algae I’ve found to be more deep colored and, as someone mentioned, smells horrible.
  6. I use 2 pothos in my 125. I use an intake sponge on my Eheim canister filter and set up one of my pothos to root into the sponge to sort of use the nutrients that get caught up in the sponge. The other one I just have pulling from the water column.
  7. CO2 injection is always a bit of a headache in my experience, though I still love using it. The difficulties are just a part of it, and a lot of times it just makes no sense whatsoever. I've never had this problem in particular, but what I do to troubleshoot is to first get an understanding of how the setup works and then examine each different component to see if you can narrow down where the issue lies. Is your system currently connected to a diffuser? Is the diffuser diffusing properly into the tank? I ask this because it seems as though there are fluctuations in the pressure of your output, which is what the right meter is measuring. I also know that the bubbles come out faster when there is less pressure in the tubing (For example when you first turn it on after disconnecting it). So, if there is something irregular in the diffusing process that is fluctuating the pressure in the tubing and therefore the rate of the bubbles, that may be the culprit. It is also possible that there is a leak in the airline tubing or check valve that only gives way when the pressure reaches a certain point. Also make sure you have CO2 grade airline tubing, as while I doubt this is entirely the issue, some tubing for airstones isn't exactly CO2-proof. The other possibility is a regulator issue. CO2 regulators are one of the most unpredictable pains in the behind the aquarium hobby has to offer. I would test this by removing all tubing from the end of the bubble counter so that it is just shooting into the air. Then see if the irregularities continue.
  8. To vac or not to vac. It can depend on different factors of your setup and stocking as well as your own preference. We know that plants with roots like the dirty gunk and nutrients that fall to the bottom of the tank. However, finer substrates like sand will allow some of this detritus to lay on the surface of the gravel more easily which can cause problems aesthetically. On the other hand, sand-sifting species like loaches will pretty much gravel vac the top half-inch of your substrate naturally. Personally, I gravel vac the top half-inch of my substrate in planted tanks if that tank lacks a creature to do so itself. The plants want the nutrients in the bottom in order to have functioning roots, so I leave everything below that half-inch alone. Especially do not uproot all your plants for the sake of gravel vac-ing. Replanting your plants requires them to entirely reset. Just vacuum around your plants in the open areas. As a side note, I purposefully stock all of my tanks with Malaysian trumpet snails since they sift and mix through the entire substrate. I believe this also alleviates the need for vacuuming. I combine that with an army of loaches to keep the ecosystem cleaning itself 🙂
  9. He acts about how I would expect a fish of his size to act in a 10 gallon. He isn't as active, and doesn't swim from end to end like he did in the 125, but he still moves around fairly regularly with the little space he has, so I wouldn't say he is particularly lethargic. I have noticed that the bloating is larger on one side, but it isn't obvious. A tumor is something I haven't thought of yet... It is true that he has always eaten whatever I feed him like a monster, so I've always wondered if he was just fat, but I'm not sure how I could differentiate between bloating and simply being overweight. It seems like the bulge is just in one area of his abdomen rather than his entire body appearing fat, but again, I'm not aware of what a fat fish ought to look like. How long would it take for a fish to begin to lose weight? He has been fasted multiple times since being in the QT and the rest of the time has been a diet of almost entirely peas, so I would imagine that I would have seen some improvement. Would it be possible that his setup prevents him from losing much weight (Small tank and low temperature)? So if we can rule out constipation, bacterial infection, and egg-bound, what does that leave us with as possibilities?
  10. Hello all, I have a group of 7 dojo loaches in my 125 gallon heavily planted aquarium. The largest of the dojos has been struggling with bloat lately. Symptoms began showing maybe 4-5 months ago, and have escalated since then. Here is a picture of him currently: Throughout the early part of that period I was just watching to see if it would worsen or just get better. When it started to get worse, I just dosed some Maracyn in the whole tank to see if that would solve the problem. About 2 months ago, I realized that it wasn't going to get any better on its own, and the meds weren't helping. So, I moved him to a 10 gallon hospital tank and have been taking more active measures to work on him since then. I did a ton of research and found (to my dismay) that there are almost an infinite amount of potential causes for fish bloat. Eventually, I came across this FAQ article by the Co-Op: https://www.aquariumcoop.com/blogs/faqs/bloated-fish . I was unable to decipher which of the scenarios listed was causing the bloat, so I figured I'd go ahead and try some of them. I started by fasting the fish for about a week and then only feeding him peas and frozen cyclops. Around this time I also dosed some aquarium salt, then Maracyn. Seeing no improvement, I later did a Maracyn Two dose for a couple weeks. At this point I'm also only feeding peas, and he has been actively eating whatever I feed him. I also dosed ParaCleanse for a couple weeks to no avail. Most recently, I tried one dose of Expel-P as described on the package, and nothing happened. Now, the dojo is still eating primarily peas but with a few Hikari sinking wafers and algae wafers mixed in. I have not found any poop in the tank whatsoever despite consumption of food. This means it is either dissolving into the water, he is eating it, or he is not pooping. At this point I feel as though I've tried everything under the sun multiple times, and need advice on what to do next. Any thoughts are helpful, thanks!
  11. Hello, I guess the title is pretty self-explanatory. What floating plants would you suggest/recommend. I barely know anything about floating plants but plan on buying a couple. Feel free to leave any ideas here! Thanks!
  12. Hello. I'm about to jump-start my 125 gallon tank's cycle by dosing ammonia. The tank is heavily planted and has loads of snails (MTS) which I need to keep alive. I have a few questions regarding the cycling process: How many ppm of ammonia should I keep the levels at? I am unfamiliar with how sensitive plants and MTS (or any snails for that matter) are to ammonia levels, but it would be a must that I keep the levels low enough that these organisms continue to live well. I can do more frequent dosing to keep lower constant if that is required. The tank is very heavily planted, so will the plants consume the ammonia before the bacteria can? This may be a dumb question but I just want to make sure the dose won't just go to the plants. Thanks for the help!
  13. If you don't care to be exact, estimating a half a pump could work. I would recommend using a pipette and measuring a half a mL as that's pretty easy. The dilution idea also would work well. If you do care to be exact however, I recommend measuring easy green before dosing anyway, since I've found that the pump head can be innacurate in my experience anyway and often pumps closer to 0.5 mL than 1 mL for me. I just squirt it into a measuring cup to the right amount instead of directly in the tank. If you dont care to be exact with your dosages however, you may want to use this to your advantage if your pump head is like mine. Measure the average volume of one pump using something to measure it (I used a test tube with my API kit since the line is 5 mL, and found that it usually took like 8 or so pumps to fill it up to 5 mL, so after repeating this test a couple times I concluded that my average pump is probably around 0.625), and if your pump is like mine then you may not need to dilute your solution or use a half pump after all if your pump size is close enough to 0.5 mL. Keep in mind that my pump may be very different from yours as it is a pretty old bottle or may just malfunction, so make sure not to just use my results. Also keep in mind that the 1 mL per 10 gal is just a guideline and depending on the nutrient uptake of your tank, you should dose more or less in order to keep your nutrients in the proper range.
  14. Thanks a lot guys. Just added a cascade 1500 from chewy to the list. I'm excited to see how it does!
  15. Hmmmm. Thanks guys. The Cascade really does seem to fit my idea here, especially for the price. When looking into it however, I ran into a problem. The treys have a hole in them where the tube would go through, which isn't really a problem at all... as long as you buy their filter media. I'm someone who needs to be able to customize my filter media: the sponges, fine pads, bio media, carbon pads, the whole deal. So the fact that the pads and sponges need to be exactly fit with the perfect circle-cutout in the middle makes me wonder if I will be able to customize it. I'm wondering what your experience is, and if you customize your cascade filters at all. Does it seem like I would be able to cut the perfect circle out for my media easily enough? Because I typically change the pads frequently and will likely need to cut new ones each month or so. What are your thought?
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