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David W

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  1. Here are a few possibilities for missing fish: I think the flex 15 has a filter compartment, have you checked there? I have had sick fish bury themselves the in the gravel when they were getting close to the end. It doesn't look like you have many if any snails, but snails can make quick work of small dead fish. Have you checked around the tank and on the floor. Jumpers can find the smallest gap in a lid. If it made it out. do you have a cat?
  2. Maybe consider a school of white clouds. Not the glamorous sounding, but the behavior is really fun to watch. They are very hardy and you don't really need a heater. They can be fun and easy breeding project as well.
  3. Amazon has a 3 pack. I bought this in the past and it works well. I used for tannin removal, before knowing anything about tannins. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HMWHWF4/
  4. 3D printing is a fun hobby that can be as much or more time consuming than fish keeping. Entry is still a bit expensive and there's a pretty big learning curve. It's not quire plug and play yet. Look at commonly available printers with big communities. The communities experience can make starting a lot easier just like the Co-op community with fish keeping. Check out Thingiverse.com some other sites and see what's out there for models to print. If you want to make your own models to print, Autodesk Fusion 360 has a free license for hobbyists. There are more than likely some good tutorials on youtube. It's not going to save any money on stuff that is commercially available, but it can be fun and is a way to try out new things. Fish keeping has taken over my hobby time and budget, so my printers have been sitting idle for a few years. I have been considering donating them to one of the local schools.
  5. I spent $50 on a L240 Pleco. I had a nice conversation with the owner while shopping and he rang me up $20 less than the display. I was regretting it for a while when It only hung out on the back of some drift wood. Now it comes out a feeding times to chase the corys. Most other fish I tend to cheap out on a bit. I am still trying to break the habit of spending $1000 on equipment to house $2 fish because $8 is way too much to pay for really cool cory. I am actively trying to budget more on the fish, but I always tend to have the most fun watching the cheap fish. My favorites to watch right now are white clouds.
  6. David W

    Books?

    https://scholar.google.com/ is a good search tool. Some of the articles are free, some are not. You may find a gem in there. You can find published Scientific Journal Articles that will be good references. In engineering school journals were typically the only type of reference allowed by many of my professors.
  7. David W

    Books?

    Ecology of the Planted Aquarium: A Practical Manual and Scientific Treatise by Diana Louise Walstad. https://www.amazon.com/Ecology-Planted-Aquarium-Practical-Scientific-ebook/dp/B00DB94K5I/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1632156082&sr=8-3 This is a good planted tank reverence. It is very science focused and more like a college text book than an easy read. If you are near a good sized public library they may have a copy. The kindle copy is affordable, but works better on a PC or tablet, there are a lot of tables and graphs to reference.
  8. I spent $50 on a vampire pleco that mostly hangs out on the back of drift wood. It comes out for 5 min at a time during feedings. I am actively trying to get out of the only cheap fish mindset. I spend hundreds on tanks, filters, lights, substrate, plants, etc… without much thought. Then I have a hard time buying a small school of really cool corys because they are $6.00 each. I have to remind my self the hobby should revolve around enjoying cool fish and they should be a bigger consideration in my budget. That being said my favorite fish to watch lately have been my white clouds.
  9. If your plant is fairly new it may just be trying to adjust to your water chemistry. Java fern didn't do great at first in my tank. The old leaves have been slowly turning brown and dying for the last 8 months. I let it ride out and the new growth is very healthy. It is more than likely some kind of nutrient deficiency. Here is a good starting point to identify what may be off. https://www.aquariumcoop.com/blogs/aquarium/plant-nutrient-deficiencies?_pos=1&_psq=Plant De&_ss=e&_v=1.0
  10. The crushed coral in your substrate will add minerals to the water increasing the TDS. That is the purpose of using crushed coral, adding minerals to make hard water fish happy. Please keep in mind TDS just measures how much "stuff" is dissolved in your water, but not what stuff. TDS meters don't distinguish between Iron, Calcium, Arsenic etc... If your PH is stable and you have a regular maintenance routine it should all work out. Stability is usually more important than chasing a number.
  11. For green spot algae and other tough stuff, I use the plastic razor blades. There is much less risk of scratching glass and they are pretty inexpensive on Amazon.
  12. I see it up on the channel. I am using the iOS app. I got there by going to the you tube channel, and selecting the home tab then the members only play list. It wasn’t on the top of the list for me. I am looking forward to watching it tonight.
  13. I think this is a good place to start. The 5 Minute series on Bulk Reef Supplies you tube channel. There are a bunch of 5 minute episodes with good beginner advice. It's pretty easy to get through them in a night or two. It's a condensed snapshot that will help you figure out if you want to research more. I am debating trying out a reef tank next year.
  14. Lot's of good advise. One more thing that may help is look at how much you are feeding. If you can cut back, it will help reduce the rate that the ammonia is increasing. The fish usually don't need as much as we think and can go a while between meals. I have a hard time not overfeeding most of the time.
  15. I have used a pill crusher to to turn pellets and flake in powder. They are pretty inexpensive at a pharmacy. Also make sure to consider that there are likely more differences in fry food and regular food than the size. I believe that most fry food has different ingredients that help the fry grow faster and healthier. The little difference might help tilt the scales of surviving vs thriving.
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