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Jennifer V

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Everything posted by Jennifer V

  1. I don't think you're necessarily doing anything wrong. I tried a whole bunch of "beginner friendly" plants when I started my tank in December. Some just didn't do well for me or died completely. Some are just now starting to show some nice growth. It was frustrating but it just takes time and a whole bunch of patience. Every tank is different so you might just need to find what does well and stick with that.
  2. If I remember right, nitrates need to consistently be in between 10 and 20 ppm for plant health. Also, do you have root tabs? The plants you mentioned are root feeders so they'll eventually need root tabs like Easy Green. I bought several crypts when I started my tank in December, some took several weeks to grow new leaves after they melted back so as @DannyBWellmentioned, patience is the best thing to have in your plant arsenal. In a few months, I'm sure you'll have beautiful new growth.
  3. You all take such wonderful photos! Here's my 10g pea puffer tank. Not quite what I imagined but the peas are very happy. 🐡
  4. I agree! I started with a 10g and then bought a 5g to raise snails and I hoped shrimp. I cannot get the parameters right and it drives me crazy. I wish I had started larger so I had more options and more stability.
  5. Hornwort and Anacharis have recently caught my eye and I'm excited to get some of each for my 10g. Both can be floated and from what I understand, they're easy aquatic plants to grow, although as @JettsPapa mentioned, I've heard that hornwort may need time to adjust and will drop needles in the meantime.
  6. I agree that lighting should be cut back to eight hours to start to see if that helps with the algae. It'll take a couple weeks to see if that helps. Java fern is a low light plant. Mine didn't do well for months after I added it and is just now thriving and looking healthy so there is hope. My crypts also melted back and took some time to recover, much more than six weeks. Buce is also low light, takes time to acclimate and grows very slowly. I believe hair grass is moderate light and needs root tabs, like Easy Green root tabs as fertilizer. I would think your nitrates would be higher if you're overfeeding. If I remember right, plants need at least 20 ppm to thrive, so it sounds like you're good there. In my humble opinion, I would start with lighting and see if that helps. If it doesn't, you'll know to adjust something else. I've learned that plants take time to look anywhere close to those beautiful aquascape photos and an algae free tank is kind of unrealistic. Algae is going to happen whether you like it or not, especially in such a new tank.
  7. From what I can tell from my limited experience, the bottom two look like females. The top photo is hard to see, but as males mature, the yellow coloring and dark belly stripe become very apparent, so they're easy to identify. The iridescent eye "wrinkles" develop a bit later but they are noticeable as well.
  8. I use the power of Pinterest to collect a bunch of images I like for different reasons and draw sketches of what I'd like to have, but ultimately the hardscape I find dictates what the final product is. I wait until a piece of driftwood or rock speaks to me, buy that and let it dictate what the rest of the tank will look like. It's a lot of hours spent staring at the tank, placing the hardscape just right, visualizing what plants will look perfect where and then trying to match that with my skill level. I have a notebook dedicated to tank drawings and notes about plants.
  9. I haven't started CO2 our added any driftwood. After doing some online research -- and Google is always right😆 -- could there be an issue like my tank is too "dirty" and decomposition is causing a pH drop?
  10. I change the water once a week. Should I increase that to more frequent changes or bigger changes once a week? Does it matter that I have wonder shell in the tank? I suppose the answer is no since it's still so low.
  11. Hi All! I just checked my pH in my very heavily planted 5g ramshorn and bladder snail tank and I was shocked at how low it is -- 6.4. Do I need to take action or just monitor it for a bit? Admittedly, I don't check pH very often. It's always so consistent -- 7.6 -- in my other tank that I didn't worry about it. Ammonia: .25 Nitrite: 0 Nitrates: 20 Weekly ~30 percent water change Feed shrimp food a few times a week. Wonder shell added. I have had some ramshorn die off recently. Tap pH is 8.2
  12. My swords didn't really start growing like crazy until just recently, about ten months later, so I think there are a lot of factors that contribute to how well and how quickly they take hold and every tank is different. The most important ingredient in the plant mix is patience. 😊
  13. This is so cool and something I've seen discussed in other threads but I didn't commit much to memory yet. How do you go about growing plants in that way? I might like to try it!
  14. I was just reading about this because I think I spotted some bba in my puffer tank today. Oh, this algae situation is going to drive me nuts! But one solution I liked would be to add fast growing plants to the tank to absorb nutrients. Thank you @Fish Folk for posting that video because I just went down a rabbit hole about phosphates and algae and that video talked me off the proverbial ledge. I'll focus on nitrates and get myself some more plants!
  15. He's a very good looking dude! From what I've learned, you have to entirely rescape a tank when you add new puffs to limit aggression and break up established territory. But they are unpredictable little guys with huge personalities so he's probably happy as can be living by himself. Side note: what a great photo of him! I can't seem to get mine to stay still long enough to get anything remarkable.
  16. Oh shoot! I thought that after I sent the reply. I'm sorry about that everyone!
  17. I have! Jack has a crush on the largest girl -- Munster (all named after cheese). But I'm not counting on any babies since I know that's pretty tough to accomplish and I don't think I can handle caring for babies yet.
  18. I know the puffs are begging but I pretend they're just excited to see me when they do that. I had a nerite in there and the little monsters literally picked at it to death before I could catch the problem. Now I'm 100 percent confused about the siesta. You're right, there aren't blackouts in nature. Just occasional cloud cover so maybe I'll rethink thank. 🤔 My head is spinning! Where did you get yours? I don't think ACO had it last time I checked.
  19. Ok I'll try that! I'm mostly worried about the swords getting enough light because I know they need more than the other plants. Will I be at risk up either stunting their growth or causing them to etiolate? Maybe not in the short term? I've been running eight hours of light for quite some time and they seem fine but I don't want to stress them because they're finally starting to take off after 11 months of patiently waiting.
  20. The light is probably not that great because it was just the one that came with the tetra kit so I can't adjust it. I was thinking of adding elodea and hornwort to help with the nitrates as well. Since those are aquatic plants -- I forget which one of you geniuses described this in detail but it was awesome -- I'm hoping at least one will take off. Thoughts? I remember @guppysnail saying that hornwort doesn't ship very well but I haven't found it at my trusty local fish store yet. Do you know if elodea is the same? I can't remember the answer to this, but are multiple water changes a week fine for the fish? I don't want to stress them out.
  21. @eatyourpeas oh I know! We tell Jack he's a cool dude sometimes but I think it makes him a little rowdy with some of the girls. 😆 Do you know how long it takes for the puffs to reach maturity? I'm not sure how old they are but we got them as tiny babies and it's been about eight months.
  22. Oh I love love love that! Where did you get the driftwood?
  23. Hi All! I'm battling staghorn in my puffer tank and based on the info I've collected from you incredible people, I've decided to try to tackle my lighting first but I'm not entirely sure that's right. I have Java fern, anubias, crypt parva, susswassertang and various swords in the tank. All the plants are doing very well! Thank you @Guppysnail@Torrey for recently describing the siesta period! The tank gets some indirect natural light in the late afternoon so I have my timer set for two hours in the morning and four hours at night when we're more active -- we're bakers so we're pretty nocturnal and view the tank more at night. But the lighting adjustment was just done yesterday so not enough time yet to know if that'll help. Nitrates tend to be on the high side because of the messy puffers so I do a ~40 percent water change once a week and don't use liquid fertilizer, just root tabs for the swords. So, long story longer, is six hours enough for now? Am I going in the right direction?
  24. You're not doing a bad job! I think we all battle algae at some point and I'm not sure that pristine tank that some chase is very realistic. I'm currently battling staghorn myself! It's tough but the lovely nerms here will help guide you in the right direction.
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