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Odd Duck

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Odd Duck last won the day on October 19

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  1. Help yourself to ideas! It’s one of my favorite things that happens on this forum. People getting inspired by someone else’s tank and ideas springing up! @dasaltemelosguy had no idea I was struggling with providing a better environment for my Jacks and their fellow rescuees, the Plecos. He was posting in a topic on nitrate sink plants. But I saw his tank, and ideas started churning through my brain. I like this tank better than I have ever liked it in almost 2 years! And it’s super low maintenance since it’s not loaded with fish (even though they’re big poopers). I barely have to clean the glass and change about 25% water every 2-3 weeks just because I feel I should, not because parameters are off.
  2. I put in a piece of sheet poly to block soil leakage from the hole in the bottom, then soil, thin a layer of sand, the plant roots, and more sand to appropriate depth for each plant. Then I piled up the pebbles around the plants to the depth of 1.5-2” to hold the plants as much as possible. The bamboo is also held at the top by the sponge caddies so that stuff is anchored very well. The other plants are not as well anchored and I had to replant the smallest sword about 5 times before they left it in place (just watch, it will be floating when I check the tank tomorrow 😆). I need to take a new pic and was already planning to do that tomorrow. The potted plants are mostly doing well even though they still get beat up sometimes. I plucked 2 big sword leaves out day before yesterday that got detached, and I pluck floating bits of Val out periodically.
  3. Thanks! I’m so glad this helps give you ideas! That’s exactly what happened when I saw @dasaltemelosguy’s tank. They’re still unappreciative of ME but at least seem to like my work. I’ll take it! 😆
  4. I would make some cuts in the moss and add more strings. And you could divide you moss between multiple pieces of wood or rock. Or you could cut just a small section of moss into 1/2-1” pieces to tie on, then leave some just free floating in a bunch since it grows just fine that way, too. You have plenty of moss there, you could do all kinds of things with it!
  5. Very cool! Egg layer or livebearer? I’m guessing they don’t run rampant or we would have heard of them before now?
  6. Ahem, might I direct you to my 75 gallon tank in my sig? My Jack Dempseys constantly shoved and yanked at the plastic plants and moved gravel around, destroyed all,live plants I tried when I was using just substrate (even when I tried it on shelves). Then I saw @dasaltemelosguy’s tank and my brain did a springboard to deep pots with a couple inches of stones/large pebbles holding the plants in place. The Jacks are still not gentle on the plants and I have to remove big sword plant leaves or chunks of Val periodically, but they are mostly surviving and the Jacks seem more comfortable hanging out in the much softer, live plants. The big male is over 10”, the female nearly 9”, both plecos are about 12”. Somebody can move the biggest rock in the tank. I haven’t seen which fish it is.
  7. @mountaintoppufferkeeper Look at those chubby bodies! Adorable! Barely squeezing by each other in that tube! I hope you get some bebes!
  8. Bladder - skinny antennae, shell point is fairly blunt and to the left, opening on the left from above. Plus sucking surface film down like an obsession. I don’t have pond snails (wish I could find some) so I don’t know if they surface clean like bladders and rams (and occasionally certain mysteries).
  9. Way overdue for updating! No cleaning, down and dirty, it is what it is! Cleaning didn’t happen this week (or last) but next week it will. I’ve got some staghorn algae that’s needs treated with peroxide (tomorrow). I still don’t have Anubias and Java ferns in here since I don’t want them in until I get this tank past the “new tank algae” stage. I have the whole tank pic where you can see quite a bit of staghorn on the big sword on the right. You can see that the radicans swords on the left melted badly (I knew they got very heat stressed during shipping). The crypts are doing well, almost no melt (shocking, I know). The tiny Aflame swords in the center melted but are just starting to bounce back. These guys seem a bit delicate for me. I did also take some zoomed in pics on how the moss is doing. I posted the moss pics in another topic but figured I should post them here, too. I think the tank is growing in pretty well, overall. I expect the radicans swords to come booming back soon since they appear to be done melting and are putting out new leaves now. I’d really like those Aflames to impress me a bit more with their effort. They just don’t seem to try really hard. 😝 It’s seems kind of like when people are too pretty and don’t try hard enough to live up to their full potential? I’ve added a bunch of MTS’s for more snail population for peas to pick at, as needed. 1. Whole tank 2. The moss that had all the threads cut by snails. Thread is now just gone. 3. A different kind of moss (mini weeping moss) that was partially tied on with the older thread that was slightly thicker, and part tied on with the thinner thread (which is all gone). 4. Spots where I glued little bits of moss since tying on these short, sharply tapered points would have been useless (same type moss as the first moss pic, the Hookeracea moss). What I’ve learned: 1. Moss attaches much quicker than I expected when chopped and tied on snug. 2. It’s OK to use very fine thread but I don’t think I’d want to start moss this way with fish in the tank. I wouldn’t want a fish to get a linear foreign body. 3. I still hate staghorn algae. 4. Waiting for the E. ‘Aflame’ to DO SOMETHING is getting frustrating. You can’t even see it nestled in front of the wood on the right side of the Crypt. balansea which is the tall stuff on the left of center. The Helanthium tennelum (Pigmy Chain Sword) is in front of it and already bigger than the Aflame.
  10. I’m afraid your ball of moss is not really going to attach well. Underneath all that only a few strands are going to get good contact. When you remove your string most of it will billow out and the bottom strands may or may not stick. This is exactly how I attached moss the first time and it didn’t stay attached. There was too much pull on the moss with relatively light current for the few little attachments to hold. This is how I attach moss, now, after watching the video of Josh Sims attaching the moss. 1. Freshly attached. 2. After the snails cut some of the threads (but the moss was still holding). 3. Tonight. Everything is holding well although I haven’t actually tugged on it. I won’t have fish in for another week or so but I have plenty of snails and some Amano shrimp in here already. 4. Different type of moss. You can see where I ran out of the thicker thread and switched to the thinner stuff that the snails chewed through (that is now all gone). All parts appear to be holding well. 5. Spots I glued instead of tying because these are short, very sharply tapered points and trying to tie would have been a losing battle. I applied tiny dots of glue and stuck small pieces of moss, one on each side of the glue dot, and another on top in the center if there was any glue still showing. Cutting the moss seems to trigger it to both start growing but also to attach by whatever means it can. Not cutting the moss doesn’t trigger it to try to attach or to grow. You will get some growth from the ends of the strands but you won’t get dense growth and Java moss isn’t known for dense growth anyway. You will get nice loose growth that fish will zoom through but that will tend to tug it loose.
  11. I’m guessing they develop their labyrinth organ at about the same time frame as Betta splendens, which is between 2-3 weeks old. If you don’t already have the tank wrapped in plastic wrap, you should. They need warm, humid air and no drafts while the labyrinth is developing. I have ZERO experience raising honey gourami, but have raised Bettas. @Hobbit, we need you! 😘
  12. The littlest are putting on good growth spurts lately and catching up a bit. My Grindal worm cultures are finally coming along so I’ve been able to add some of those to the tank along with one algae wafers to create more mulm to support more scuds. I need to do a good glass cleaning so I can get better pics. They really are adorable! I hope some babies come out of the woodwork once I transfer the adult shoal to the 29 gallon.
  13. Long overdue update pics of the little eyeballs. 1. Smallest 2. Medium 3. Big boy 4. 2 biggest I count 6 almost every time, sometimes count 8 (tonight for sure) and once counted 9.
  14. Fish trap. But it needs to be checked and emptied frequently. Also using a hand or small net to herd them into a large net. Can also feed them in the large net then swoop them up (will work for at least a few).
  15. I second what @Kensaid. I’ve kept cories for decades on a variety of substrates and the only ones that have had any barbel changes are ones that were born that way or got injured. I’m currently running sand or bare bottom in everything, but if I decided to do gravel, it wouldn’t stop me from putting cories in that tank as long as other inhabitants were compatible.
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