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Dawn T

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  1. Unless you overfeed your fish, snail populations usually stay pretty stable. Overfeed the fish, and the snail population will explode.
  2. I guess I must've looked at this tank funny, because the Crypt wendtii forest in the one corner suddenly decided to melt. And only the ones in that corner melted. The one in the center foreground continues to thrive. That back corner is regrowing in again, but I have no idea why those plants suddenly melted. There haven't been any changes to this tank, so no differences in lighting, nutrients, water parameters, temperature. No clue. Oh, the melt happened about 2 weeks ago. Sudden, mass die-off.
  3. Doh, it suddenly occurred to me the other day that I said in my last update that the "dwarf sag" was growing a spreading. NO. No dwarf sag in this tank. That's in my little Ember tank. THIS tank, I put in pygmy chain sword. The first time I've used it. It's definitely doing great. Chilis are continuing to do great, though one disappeared and I've never found it. The others have grown and are in great shape. Also, I've been seeing berried shrimp in this tank - a blue and the single jade I put in. Looking forward to seeing shrimplets!
  4. Ich appears to be gone! I'm watching in case it pops back up again, but so far so good. NO losses! All 10 are active and eating well. They're color is so beautiful. I love watching them. I've added a few neocaridina shrimp - 5 blues, 1 jade. They've been happily picking away at things. Today's photos: Interestingly, the pearl weed is doing GREAT in this setup and growing like the weed I've always heard it accused of being. It stays really short in my other tanks and does more of a carpeting type of growth. In this tank, as you can see above, it's growing tall. Better lighting for it, I think, since this tank isn't as deep as the others I have that plant in. Also, the dwarf sag is spreading! I put 2 plants in there, and a third has appeared. The one in the middle is new! This is another plant that I've found stays smaller and grows way slower in my deeper tanks but is growing faster and taller in this shallower tank. The chilis have figured out what the feeding ring is for. They head for it if they see me moving around near the tank. Not shy in the least. I love their outgoing nature and activity, but man, are they TEENY! I realized while inspecting them one day for ich spots that one of them is actually missing an eye. Poor little guy. The others don't seem to pick at him or anything, though, so hopefully he'll be okay. Oh, and the emergent plants on this tank are also doing well. They've gotten themselves established, and I'm starting to see new growth. I have to fertilize this tank regularly. The ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate maintain at 0 otherwise, so all those plants are doing a great job of keeping the water clean.
  5. So far, everything is doing well. The water tested this morning as 0 ammonia, 1 ppm nitrite, 20 ppm nitrate. WAY better than it was a few days ago, let me tell you. LOL I did a 1.5g water change to start decreasing the tannins. Needless to say, with the water as dark as it's been with THOSE, algae hasn't had a prayer of setting up residence. The submerged plants are still settling in, but the emergent ones seem happy so far. Also, the salvinia is growing well, so it's apparently happy. The java moss - mixed - the submerged section is doing well. The emerged part isn't quite so happy, but it was fully submerged before, so I'm not surprised by that. I'm watching to see if it'll shift into emergent growth in that section. Even the fully emerged lava rocks tend to stay wet, so water access definitely isn't a problem for the moss. Oh, and my Anubias nana 'petite' arrived yesterday, so I got it put in. Ended up splitting one plant into two parts. 1 is in the lower right hand section attached to a piece of driftwood. It's not too far from the filter but difficult to see because the water's dark. The other is attached to a piece of lava rock. It's clearly visible in the image below - left of the center on the upward slope of the riparian area. Today's pic (keep in mind, this is AFTER a 30% water change - the tannins had made the water REALLY dark):
  6. @ScottieB, under the sand on the right side of the tank, the dirt tapers from about 1/2" at the back wall to nothing as it comes forward to about halfway. The front half of the tank on that end is only sand. Since this is a very small tank, and not deep, I didn't want to add more than that. The sand cap in that back area is at least 1.5" deep, then slopes down toward the front. At the shallowest point over the dirt, it's about 1" thick. I used lava rock and driftwood to help hold that in place. In the foreground where there's no dirt, the sand decreases to no more than roughly 1/2" deep. On the left side, in the corner where the riparian plants are, the substrate is layered. Roughly 1.5" layer of lava rock, most of which is in a media bag to keep the dirt from blending with it. Topped by about 2" of organic potting mix. That's capped with a thin layer of sand, and there's more lava rock on top of THAT just because I like the look of the red lava rock.
  7. I decided to try a true riparian type of setup. We'll see how it flies. I bought an 11g long rimless aquarium for this. I figure if it fails, I just break it down and do something else. Ah, the joys of reusable project components. LOL TANK: Lifeguard Low Iron Rimless 11g Aquarium - measures 31.75" L x 7.875" D x 10" H FILTER: Nicrew Magi Mini Internal Filter (rated for 2-5g) - currently contains only poly-fiber to remove particulate (I forgot to wash the sand - OOPS!) - using the spray bar for water flow and aeration (kept right at the water surface) - the filter is currently on a KASA Smart Plug, so I can easily shut it off for maintenance and turn it back on (the outlet is behind a BUNCH of large heavy houseplants, so I REALLY don't want to have to try to get to it every single time I need to do something with the filter) No heater LIGHTING: A cheap LED full-spectrum strip light I've been using with good success over a bunch of houseplants (on a timer with a 10 hour on / 14 hour off cycle) HARDSCAPE: spiderwood, lava rock SUBSTRATE: organic potting mix, silica sand (cap on the potting soil PLUS in areas where there's no soil) PLANTS: dwarf hairgrass (1 bunch fully submerged and 1 bunch mostly emergent) lucky bamboo (bottoms in the water, tops above) Java moss (submerged and semi-emergent) Salvinia minima & duckweed for floating plants Peacock Calathea (a species of Prayer Plant) (emergent) Raindrop Peperomia (emergent) Dumb Cane (emergent) Tillandsia air plant (fully emergent and away from the water) - it wasn't doing well where I previously had it (despite 2 others doing great), so I decided to try it here Still planning to add Anubias nana 'petite' when it arrives - don't have any to spare right now. LIVESTOCK: ramshorn & bladder snails With the way I set things up, it currently contains only 5g of water. The water level is kept low, and the riparian section takes up a good bit of the tank. I got everything at that end to stay in place securely by creating a barrier using black plastic canvas (plastic mesh for crafting) and 10# test Fireline (braided fishing line). I stitched it together in a custom planter box shape (i.e. not round or square, but contoured), so even the deepest part of the substrate isn't putting pressure on the outside walls of the tank as you'd expect). It's "dark water" right now, which I REALLY don't like, but I'm prepared to deal with it for the moment. I'll do a few major water changes later to get rid of the tannins. I'm not a dark water / black water fan. To me, it just looks like a dirty tank. Yeah, I'm one of THOSE. LOL The water was still kinda cloudy when I took that photo, but it's crystal clear now, except for the tannins. If this works out as well as I hope, and water parameters stabilize, I'm thinking about adding neocaridina shrimp of a color I don't currently have. Just not sure which color. I think they'd enjoy all the nooks and crannies. BTW, am I the only one who did NOT know some pieces of lava rock will FLOAT?!?!? Oh, behind this is my pair of terrariums. I'm leaving them there for now. I haven't set another space in the house for those yet. I'll pull them out, though, when I do and put regular houseplants behind the tank. I've got a bunch to choose from for that. I've already put 2 baby houseplants in front of the left corner, as you can see by the above photo. A rex begonia and an aluminum plant. That's a Syngonium (arrowhead vine) sitting lower in the left hand corner. I like to use those in tanks, too, but they get WAY too big for a little tank like this.
  8. Got photos this morning. So far, so good. Still treating for ich, of course. No deaths as of yet (hopefully there won't be ANY), though counting 10 of those teeny weeny fish in a planted tank is an adventure. 😁 The chilis are eating well. Taking photos of active little fish is more than a bit challenging, but I got one that's sort of clear. Maybe. A bit. Not really. LOL But you can still make out the white spots on the 2 in the pic. The color on the one is great, though. They've colored up beautifully. Now, if we can just get the ich eradicated. Amazing to me how HUGE this tank looks with those itty bitty guys in there.
  9. I chose that because I thought it would make the few red cherry shrimp I intended to put in there really pop. Live and learn. I live in Arizona. DUSTY Arizona. So yeah, totally get that. 😆
  10. In addition to what @Guppysnailsuggested, chili rasboras or ember tetras would be a nice fit for a tank that size. You could have a nice size school.
  11. LOL Anubias can DEFINITELY take over before you know it, if it's not watched. I put ONE in one of my 29g tanks years back. It has pretty much taken over, and I even found it in the BACK of the tank behind decorations. I couldn't believe how big it's gotten! I told my mom I need a new BIGGER tank.
  12. Too funny. My tap water is right at 7.6 pH as well (high GH and KH, too), and Bacopa and Pogo 'octopus' grow great for me! In fact, Pogo is a WEED in my tanks. I gotta trim that stuff at least every 2-3 weeks or it tries to take over and choke everything else out! LOL I totally agree about blue light. Algae loves it. I watched a video not too long ago about the hazards of using blue lights at night. Not just algae issues either. Actual long-term problems with fish. If anyone would like to see that, I can find it and post the link. That said, Java fern and I have never gotten along. No idea why. I've tried it in different tanks with different lighting, different degrees of shade (and none), different fert schedules, you name it. Nothing works. It either just sits there, looking horribly pathetic for a while before it admits defeat and dies, or it dies outright and never comes back. I know it can give the appearance of being dead and then come back (much like Crypts that have melted), but months later, still nothing. I've got one in my 29g Endler tank that has done that. I'm MONTHS out now from it dying back and, yep, still looks dead. LOL Crypts and Anubias grow great for me, even when I don't fertilize (I'm bad to forget ferts). I honestly have no idea why they grow well for me. I can tell you they took a while to establish and actually thrive. Until then, the Crypts melted if I looked at them funny, and the Anubias had algae issues at first. Floating plants resolved the latter, since it provided some shade for the Anubias. Once both species got established, they took off, though. I have to thin my Crypts every 3 or 4 months in my 29g Endler tank. I've never used Epsom salts in an aquarium, so I can't advise on that. Oh, @Guppysnail, me and Elodea have never gotten along either. Go figure. It's supposed to be a bulletproof beginner plant, but I never could keep it alive. I love the way it looks, though, which is why I decided to try Bacopa caroliniana. Not the same, but they look close enough to suit me. Thankfully, Bacopa does well for me.
  13. Decided to put the Bolbitis in this tank, at least semi-permanently. So out of its pot it came, and I split it up so part of it went into each side of the tank. I had to trim and replant cuttings for the Hygrophila. It's taking off really nicely. I also added a couple more Vallisneria in the left side to fill that in a bit more. Got the emergent plants filled in, too, and they seem to be loving it. I received a school of 10 chili rasboras for this tank yesterday (the photo is from a couple of days ago, so no fish were in there yet). Unfortunately, they have ich. Not sure if it's infectious ich or stress ich, but I'm treating it as the infectious form for now. Other than the ich, they all seem to be in good condition. Eating like little piglets. I've never had this species before, but I'm already enjoying their activity level and personalities. They're not fearful at all.
  14. @PineSongI love the colors, grain size, and texture of it, for sure!
  15. I used the Seachem black fluorite sand in a setup. Washed it thoroughly, I THOUGHT. Thankfully, it was a very small setup, not a big tank. I ended up having to do a couple of 100% water changes to take care of the debris floating in the water.
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