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Rick Bunn

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Rick Bunn last won the day on February 11

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  1. I have one male that I have been struggling to get to eat anything other than snails, until just recently, when I discovered a nice population of Daphnia in one of my outdoor tubs. He and all the others, go crazy for them.
  2. I have been hang drying most of my plant material though I have just dug my dehydrator out of storage and will probably be using it in the future.
  3. I use a calcium powder designed for reptiles that contains no added vitamins or anything and I just add a little pinch of it before mixing in the water when I am preparing for shrimp, It really depends on how much calcium you need to supplement. I have a decent amount of calcium in my water as it is so I don't add much.
  4. Here are a couple of photos of one of my sub adults, and some week old fry feeding on the recipe above.
  5. I will try to get some clear photos of the adults and post them. I do have some shots of the fry somewhere on my phone I will post as well
  6. So far it has only been with 2 separate groups of 3 Otos purchased from Petsmart. Since they started spawning I haven't bought any more as I have limited room for anymore and have added Sparkling Gourami to the Oto tank to discourage spawning for awhile. I am hoping that by sharing this I can get more feedback from others to verify the results.
  7. I test weekly and do water changes only when Nitrates exceed 20 ppm. My normal testing is with the Tetra 6 in 1 No3 <20ppm. No2 0ppm GH 300 ppm KH 180, pH 8 They are in a lightly planted tank and usually spawn on an Amazon Sword growing in the tank,
  8. My basic recipe varies a bit as i am still experimenting with ingredients but the most well liked so far is as follows. 3/4 cup finely powdered Chia seeds 1/2 cup of dried powdered Kale !/2 cup of Spirulina Powder 1/4 cup of each of the following dried and powdered, Split peas, Raspberry leaves, Dandelion Leaves, Parsley, Dried Bloodworms. 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. mix well and I keep it in the freezer to maintain freshness and just mix what I plan to feed immediately. I have used this basic recipe on two groups of Otos purchased from Petsmart with great success. *Disclaimer. This is my experience and result, I am sharing here in hopes that others can get the same or better results but I can not guarantee any thing. Please if you try this share your results. but try at your own risk. If you find this works for you share for the benefit of the hobby, or if you find a better recipe please share your modifications.
  9. Otocinclus or as I usually call them Otos, are one of those fish that many people have so many questions about. They are a species that have many issues in the hobby, most are nearly starved to death by the time they reach our tanks, and many are very picky eaters when we first get them, making the problem even worse. A lot of the time the best advice you will get is to not add them unless your tank is well seasoned and has plenty of biofilm to get them through transition. Some people have luck with feeding cucumber, or canned green beans, others have success with algae wafers and Rapashy, and still more people try all of the above, to just watch all of it go uneaten as their Otos slowly fade away. I used to be one of those people that had difficulty keeping them alive more than a couple weeks. one of the early tricks I tried to get them through quarantine, was to set up a tote outside in i sunny spot, cover the bottom with 8 inch long pieces of driftwood add a good dose of ferts and let the biofilm start to grow, After a few days of this being set up I would purchase my Otos, put them in quarantine, and rotate the pieces of drift wood daily while offering other foods. This reduced my loses, but was still not optimal. Then one day I stumbled across a YouTube video, it was Mark's Aquatics, and he was making shrimp food, from various plant materials he had gathered and dried. I thought to myself that I would have to try that some day for my shrimp. Later that day I stumbled across a research paper, discussing the use of various seeds, as a means to supplement Omega 3 and ^ for farm raised Tilapia, primarily the use of Chia seeds, which were considered highly palatable to Tilapia. Well having been on a health food kick or two in my life, I knew Chia seeds to be considered a super food, and that when soaked in liquid, they form this gelatinous ball around each seed about 5 times the size of the seed. That's when the light bulb kicked on. I had chia seeds. I had a whole garden full of, organic greens and a few other items kicking around the fish room. Over the next few days I gathered and dried a variety of greens. and once they were dried I started by Grinding about a cup of Chia seeds in an electric coffee grinder to make a fine powder. I then used the coffee grinder on dried Kale, dreid dandelion leaves, dried peas, dried parsley, raspberry leaves , and freeze dried blood worms, and spiralina flakes. I mixed it all together and added a small amount of garlic powder to the mix. I took about an eighth of a teaspoon of this mix and added about the same amount of water to it in a small container, and mixed it up with my planting tongs to make it into a firm dough like consistency. I used my planting tongs to smear a small amount of this onto a piece of driftwood in my Otos tank, I also offered small bits of this to my shrimp, and guppies. The shrimp and guppies devoured it immediately, the Otos took a about and hour or so to try it, but after the first bite, the devoured it. After a few days, they all had fat little bellies, within two weeks they spawned for me the first time, and the fry could be seen feeding on this mix and they flourished. This is in a species only tank, as I was focusing on finding a way to feed the Otos primarily. So the fry stayed with the parents until they were big enough to move to community tanks. As they were growing I would offer other foods in addition to this home made Oto Fuel as I call it, and being introduced to variety at a younger age, all my tank raised Otos will eat almost anything I offer now. My original wild caught trio Spawned at least four times in the first three months I had them, until I added other fish to their tank because I was completely over run with Otos. I have them in every tank like Malaysian Trumpet snails, they were everywhere! I Sold most of them fairly easily as they got to the half inch size that i deemed adequate, to sell. I have made several batches of this food since varying amounts of the same ingredients, and have found that the otos seem to enjoy a slightly higher amount of Kale over the other greens, other than this I haven't really noticed much difference in performance or palatability. I have discovered that all my fish that enjoy some plant material in their diet, enjoy this food, and I believe the higher amounts of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids help condition fish for breeding quicker. I just wanted to share my experience, and experiments with the community, and I hope if anyone tries a variation of this and has success they will let me know. I think this would work well with plecos as well and the formula can be tweaked to add more protein, or less depending on the specific requirements of the species targeted. I do believe the Chia seeds as a base rather than a gelatin or agar is definitely, beneficial to the overall results, I also have started adding a calcium powder to the mix when I feed shrimp, and snails. Anyway sorry for the long rambling format, hopefully you pick up an idea or two before succumbing to boredom. Until next time Happy fishkeeping.
  10. I have six ten gallon tanks, situated on a shelving unit, with cheap LED lights from Amazon suspended on the underside of each shelf illuminating the tank below it, Each tank ranges from moderately to heavily planted, and range from lightly to heavily stocked with fish. I dose occasionally with Easy Green, and do water changes as the conditions in each tank dictate. About 2-3 weeks after setting up this shelving unit, I began my battle with hair algae. I tried adding less Easy Green. then a few weeks later adding MORE Easy Green, I played with light duration until I noticed plants struggling even more than they were just covered in algae. Peroxide worked.......for a little while, but it kept coming back. In forty years of fishkeeping I have never had so much trouble finding the balance in a group of tanks. I was constantly removing hair algae, and scrubbing the front glass. and getting annoyed at myself for putting the shelves too close together to comfortably be able to really get into the tanks easily, Well finally one day about a month ago I decided to drain each tank into a tote, just low enough to move them off the shelves, so that I could adjust the shelves enough to give me about 2 more inches between the top of the tanks and the shelf above them. Just enough room to make my ongoing battle with the algae a bit easier. I then replaced each tank in its original location and put the water from the totes back into its respective tank. The hair algae began to die! Within a week or so it had almost disappeared from all the tanks in this set up. I changed nothing else at this time, as I had already tried everything else I could think of to balance out these tanks, and had resolved myself to growing hair algae forever and just working with it in these tanks. Maybe it had run its course, maybe I had finally found the balance just as I decided to do this, but also just maybe that extra 2 inches between the light and the tank made a difference. All I know is that as of now, plants and fish are all thriving and there is no hair algae in any of these tanks.
  11. It could very well be a repair, I was just not certain so I thought I would throw it out there, and see if anyone else had ever encountered this. I did not attach a picture to the thread since this tank is currently in use and you can not see the bottom anyway. I am not one to run bare bottom tanks personally, but this does seem like it would eliminate some of the issues with keeping it bare bottomed.
  12. A little trick I learned with my old metaframe tank is for minor leaks, the easiest way to reset the seal is to warm the tank up a bit so you don't thermal shock the glass, then fill it completely full of nearly boiling water, It softens the sealant and the water pressure pushes the glass/slate into place. Though I have only ever done this with a ten gallon.
  13. At the moment 16 smaller tanks the largest is 29 gallons, Though I have around another 15 or 20 in storage including 4, 55 gallon tanks, and the rest are 20s and 40s and a couple of 10s
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