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Everything posted by Schwack

  1. Of all the major dechlorinators I've come across, Seachem seems the most secretive about their ingredients. Hikari seems to be the most open, but even they, understandably, withhold some of their proprietary chemicals. I'm willing to admit I've bought in to the marketing, and the multitude of anecdotal evidence behind Prime's detoxifying effect. I'm not sure there's a humane way to test their claims unless someone has a means of measuring NH3 and NH4 separately. edit: I'll add that the common knowledge passed around the internet is that Seachem is able to ionize NH3 into NH4+. My chemistry knowledge is long out of date, but that's typically what I see repeated.
  2. I found this discussion of praziquantel on a reef forum from a couple years back. It sounds like the prazi will kill active worms, but not their eggs. They suggest doing a food soak to treat internal parasites. I attached the whole thing, even though some of it is only applicable to marine aquariums. Hope some of that helps!
  3. I've seen speculation that Prime uses sodium thiosulfate to dechlorinate, does that change any of the chemistry? I'm curious to know the process through which Prime works, but I know it's difficult to get a concrete answer when the makeup is unknown. Speaking for myself, I'm often forced to rely on what is essentially marketing jargon when it comes to many aquarium chemicals because information regarding the chemistry is difficult to find.
  4. You could always try not adding Prime and just monitoring the water. I can't imagine the addition of Prime is harming the development of bacteria, but it's the only thing that stands out as odd. Cut feedings to once every other day or two and give the water a check every so often. In conjunction with this, I'd stop doing any kind of regular water change. Let the parameters tell you when it's time to change. Unless ammonia hits ~.75 ppm I'd let things go. Nitrites should trigger a change as they close in on .5 ppm. While doing this, I'd consider buying some plants that have been in a cycled tank. Even big box stores have these. Plunk them into your tank without any treatment to preserve the bacteria growing on the plant. If you can find one, a plant grown in rock wool is a great source of bb. Handfuls of substrata are another great, and possibly free, option. The fin rot really does complicate things. Do you have another tank or bin the betta could go in for treatment? A plastic tote will do in a pinch. That would let you easily medicate with an anti fungal, anti bacterial, salt or all three. If you add live plants to your current tank, that sort of takes salt off the table as a treatment. Plus, you can do water changes without affecting your cycling. A healthy betta can typically make it through a fish in cycle, but I'm not sure I'd subject a sick fish to that level of stress. Trying to cycle the tank while treating your fish is going to be a challenge. It's a pain but I'd separate the problems. There's a good chance you'll need an ammonia source during cycling if you remove your fish. I'm a big fan of ammonium chloride, but fish food dropped into the empty tank works too.
  5. I ended up with hydra in my fry box, and eventually, celestial pearl danio tank. As far as I can tell, the hydra never killed any of my fry. I lost ~7 out of 50 to various weak swimming maladies/failure to thrive, but I can't imagine that was linked to the hydra. I was just about to order some No Planaria from Amazon, but decided to wait it out. Cutting back on feedings of baby brine shrimp has essentially eradicated all the hydra in the tank. It took a while, maybe 3-4 weeks, but starving them out is an easy, med-free, option. edit: I didn't have any luck getting ramshorn or bladder snails to eat my hydra. I purposely added bunches of them to the fry box to help clean up leftover food, and they would frequently cruise right by the hydra.
  6. When I dosed the ammonia up to 4ppm, my nitrites ended up off the charts. Based on cutting with tap water, nitrites spiked to ~15ppm for several days with no damage to any plants, or snails, in the aquarium. I did end up doing several water changes to bring the nitrites down to the test's range and keep the cycle moving, but that was more for my own impatience more than anything.
  7. I've accidentally spiked empty, but planted, tanks to 4ppm while cycling with NHCl before, to no ill effect. You might see a rise in nitrites while the bacteria colonies grow to process the ammonia, but 1ppm ammonia won't harm your plants. If you're consistent with your dosing, things will catch up given a bit of time.
  8. Oof, looking at the photos of the assembly, I'd be wary continuing to use the tank. Bowing is normal for most tanks, but in this case I'm changing my answer to drain and attempt a repair/replace. Really unfortunate because the tank looks like a neat setup.
  9. Huh, I wonder why more manufacturers don't use a straight piece of glass to strengthen things. Does anyone know the manufacturer of this particular tank? I'd be curious to see how the whole thing fits together.
  10. I used to wear sunglasses when dealing with grow lights for this very reason. Those purple grow lights are rough on the eyes. I think he mentioned in another thread that there are no fish in the tank to be worried about. I'm a little curious to see how well grow lights work in an aquarium. Since they aren't intended to balance plant growth + fish health + viewer enjoyment it seems like they should grow plants like crazy, but algae seems inevitable with so many nutrients and so much light. I'd also be closely monitoring water temps with them, the ones I had experience with definitely put out some heat. Curious to see how the plants recover!
  11. Is that glass piece actually part of the rim? I sort of assumed, based on the pictures, that it sat below the rim. If the rim is broken, that's a very different story than just bowing.
  12. I noticed a bit growing on some dwarf sag in one tank and have managed to control it with reduced lighting. Dropping my photoperiod down to ~7 hours a day has stalled its growth for several months. Since nothing eats it, I can still see tiny bits of it, but I've grown to like the more natural look vs the squeaky-clean and more heavily curated tanks.
  13. Tank designs account for bowing. The larger the volume, the more flex you're likely to notice. A bit of Googling will show lots of people with the same question you have, and lots of answers just like mine. My 40B flexes quite a bit in the center, but it's a large volume without any center bracing. Both 20s and 29s show a bit of flex in the center as well. I'm not sure I'd keep trying to press it back, as the pressure you're putting on the glass is uneven compared to the pressure exerted by the water.
  14. I'd guess the fin tears are totally unrelated to hard water. Probably just caught on some decor in the tank. I've seen people add a small amount of salt (1tsp:gallon, if I recall correctly) to help speed healing and act as a mild anti-biotic. You're probably fine just monitoring her injuries and treating if you see anything specific. There are a wide variety of anubias to add if you like their look. I think petco typically carries a. barteri in their tubed plant section. I've had some fantastic success with their tubed plants. The sword I purchased on clearance from them has gotten absolutely massive in only a few weeks, so don't shy away from them if they're your easiest option. Crypts are also relatively easy to keep, even without root tabs. They'll grow slowly, but they will grow and consume minerals from your water in the process.
  15. I'm still a bit confused by your concern at the readings you're getting. Your fish is currently healthy and behaving normally, yeah? If I were in your shoes I'd keep going with the water you've got readily available. Your water parameters might prevent you from keeping extra-sensitive fish but it doesn't sound like you've got any plans for that at the moment. Keep things simple, add lots of plants to consume the high mineral content in your water and maybe seek local, tank-bred fish, rather than wild caught specimens.
  16. Either way oughta do it. So long as you aren't rinsing them in chlorinated water, I can't imagine you'll run into a problem. I typically rinse mine in old tank water so I don't end up making a bucket of dechlorinated water just to get it dirty.
  17. Scrolled back a few months to make sure I'm not doubling up on a post, but as a fan of Allie Brosch AND as someone who has experienced this moment, I felt like I had to contribute this. Found on a local aquarist Facebook page.
  18. The best way I can describe the smell of a healthy tank is like a damp forest, but not nearly as intense. Damp with an undertone of vegetation. To me, they all smell pleasant when things are running as they should. I managed to foul a tank's water early on by putting in a piece of broccoli for some shrimp and the difference in smell was immediately noticable. I'm fairly certain the slime is some kind of bacterial bloom which, in my experience, is harmless to your fish. It should clear up on its own within a week or two.
  19. Looks like a normal bacterial bloom I've seen in just about every new tank I've started. It should settle out on its own. However, what do you mean by "smells funny"? Your tanks shouldn't smell like much if things are running normally. Odd smells shouldn't be ignored.
  20. Getting rid of them is quite a process. You can try trapping them with snail traps/pieces of veggie at the bottom, pluck them out as you see them, etc. It's a lot easier to reduce their food supply and let their numbers naturally regulate. They typically boom in population and then die off to reach an equilibrium with their food supply. They do a fantastic job keeping the tank clean, once their numbers are under control, so many people choose to keep them on purpose.
  21. I only blanche veggies that don't sink on their own. Broccoli stems are really popular among my snails but need to be cooked in order to sink before they start to smell.
  22. I wouldn't bother adjusting your pH for the fish you're planning to keep. Bettas are extremely adaptable and can do very well in 8.0 pH water. It's what all mine are kept in, and I've seen at least one breeder keep them in the same parameter water. I've also successfully kept corys in that pH. Stability is more important than chasing a number and having to mess with RO water for every change turns an easy job into something you need to plan for.
  23. My water is fairly hard and keeping neos has been a bit of an experience. When I introduce new shrimp, regardless of acclimation, I seem to lose 20-30% over the first two weeks to mystery ailments. The remaining shrimp all seem healthy and are breeding like rabbits. The shrimp bred in my tanks are bulletproof though. I'd second starting with some culls. People typically don't ask much for them, so you can buy a large colony to start with and absorb some losses. Last time I purchased shrimp I ended up buying close to 25 lost seven or eight over a few weeks and now many of them are berried with the first generation to live entirely in my water. I typically only feed them once a week, the rest of the time they get to scavenge fish food and plant detritus. I will occasionally put in a banquet block so they can get some minerals which may not be present in my water.
  24. https://fishlab.com/fish-in-cycle/ That's a pretty good resource for a fish-in cycle. From my understanding of your situation, I'd want to get your fish into the larger volume containers as soon as possible. Clean up the gravel, if it's been without fish/fish waste for a week or so, and get everything rolling in your new 5 gallons. The added water volume gives you a lot more room to maneuver in terms of increasing ammonia/nitrite.
  25. Have the fish been in with the gravel/decorations/etc? If the fish have been living, and pooping, with that stuff, it's almost certainly got live bacteria on it. If it's been in water with no fish for more than a week or so, I'd give it a bit of a rinse and put it in the new tank when you add the fish. Some people swear by bottled bacteria, but my experience with multiple brands has not been positive. If you've already bought it, I'd definitely add it, but don't expect the tank to be cycled in a day. It's likely going to be a few weeks before you can dial the water changes back to once every few weeks or so.
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