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MBStevens's Achievements


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  1. Got a few new cardinal tetras to add to my school the other day; now there's at least 13 or so. They've been oddly shy all of a sudden since adding them and taking away the cherry barbs that were fighting in here before (I don't like aggression in my tanks, so as sad as I was to lose them, I took them back to the LFS to hopefully be happier in another tank). I thought getting a bigger school would make them even more comfortable but it somehow did the opposite. Now they hide all the time; I can barely even get anyone to come out and eat food. They will only approach food when I'm far away from the tank (by then of course it's basically on the substrate). I'm confused by this suddenly shy behavior. The only thing I can think of is the cherry barbs must have been serving as a dither for the cardinals. My hope has been to eventually get a pair of German Blue Rams in here. I wondered if getting the rams would likely help the cardinals, if they can serve as a sort of reverse-from-typical dither fish. Usually cardinals are suggested as a great dither fish for rams, but I'm wondering if it could potentially go the other way too. Thoughts? What I've done to try to help the cardinals so far is add some floating plants (salvinia), lower the light intensity down 5% on my fluval 3.0, and put a sponge intake on my hob to slow the flow rate. I'm thinking my next tactic is to try getting a dither fish. Have considered some pygmy corydoras. But I don't want to add too much really as the GBRs are my ultimate goal. (It's a 20 gallon so there's size limitations.) I'm super disappointed by how shy these guys are; they are stunning and my tank looks gorgeous with them in it but I can't enjoy them this way!
  2. Hey Dad! Technically fish poop is a fertilizer, too. Perhaps feeding more can serve as more fertilizer for your plants? And why do you need to get your nitrates up? Unless you're seeing plant deficiencies in which case it would be a sign that they need something more. **Are you testing ammonia using the ammonia test strips from Co-Op, or only using the API liquid test kit? It is common with the API liquid test kit to get a false .25 reading actually. Very common. If that is your only reading of ammonia, and your Co-Op strips are fine, I would honestly not give much credence to the API ammonia reading.
  3. Gotcha, I didn't know if I was missing some special ingredient or something haha. I've been soaking my wood after having boiled it several times for about a week now to get some tannins out. So they're new but at least will have soaked a bit. I'll use bacter ae to get some nice biofilm growing on it when i throw it in the tank tomorrow.
  4. Yeah I'm pretty positive I have at least 1 male and multiple females. I've thought about increasing the colony, maybe I'll buy a few more to increase my chances. I don't keep any fish in there with them. Just a mystery snail and little baby ramshorns and bladder snails.
  5. I want to change up my cherry shrimp tank a little bit. Same substrate and filtration and plants but I want to switch out my hardscape (keep rock pile but switch out spider wood for bigger driftwood pieces). I haven't gotten them to breed yet, and it's been about 3ish months since having them (about 5 shrimp in a 10 gallon). I know they like things to stay the same to feel comfortable. Am I shooting myself in the foot to switch things up a bit or should I just go for it? I really want to see a ton of shrimp in there because it's so boring having to look hard and maybe seeing a shrimp or two in there (not to mention the fact that my husband keeps asking why they aren't breeding yet). In there I have a sponge filter, gravel substrate, 1/2 and 1/2 distilled water and my well water (was extremely hard so I made it more reasonable this way hardness wise), spider wood, guppy grass, dwarf lilies, a nice rock pile where they can (and do) hide, Java fern, Java moss, and a few anubias. I feed them a teeny tiny bit of bacter AE every other day, and occasionally a teeny bit of quality flake. Water parameters are ph 8.4ish, 5-10 nitrate (0 amm, 0 nitrite), 25ppm GH, 300ppm kH. I only do about a 10% water change once a month to try to keep things stable. I am open to other tips if you see something I seem to be missing.
  6. I feel so bad. I got guppy babies for free with a purchase of some cherry shrimp the other day (there were so many in the tank they couldn't separate them from the shrimp). I was planning on starting my first outdoor pond, and I thought, hey, I could throw these guys in there instead of keeping them with the shrimp (because I'm trying like heck to get my shrimp to feel comfy enough to make some babies here eventually). But I live in Ohio. And of course it's freezing cold this weekend at the end of freakin May, (rainy in the 40s and 50s--it WAS in the high 80s!!) and those poor guppies are out there and may have died already due to how cold the water temps are. I just feel really bad. 😕
  7. Can anyone tell me how to get uploaded photos upright? They were downloaded upright....and then on the forum they flip upside down....
  8. I redid my 20 gallon and it makes me incredibly happy.
  9. Sorry no, that was ppm!! Quite low degrees, 2, or 3 degrees each I think?
  10. Knowing the OP's original parameters (He's my dad!), I'm thinking it might be best to go back in and take out the crushed coral. Original tap water: 6.8, kH 40ppm, gH 25ppm. Ideal (comparative to his current crushed coral-induced situation) for discus, rams and tetras which he is wanting to keep. I'm afraid the crushed coral is just going to make things unnecessarily difficult when we could just go back to the original water and get some ideals going for him. Am I right in thinking we should start a redo? It'd be worth it to get those ideal parameters right?
  11. I JUST got on the other side of a columnaris infection. On day 3 now of no new dead fish (it was coming every 12 hours or so a new dead fish would show up.) I followed the guide on fishlab.com and dosed furan-2 + kanaplex. https://fishlab.com/columnaris/ Best of luck!
  12. Pretty positive I've got Columnaris in my tank killing off my fish one by one. Inevitably a new fish will get white columns on their side and die every 12 hours or so. I've been following the guide from fishlab.com recommending Furan-2 + Kanaplex. I'm getting discouraged as I'm on day 4 of 5 and still have a cherry barb on his way out. Somtimes it's one or two neon tetras at a time or a cherry barb. I was hoping to salvage most of my tank but I don't know if this will ever stop. Any encouragement for me? For whenever this is over....do I have to restart my tank? I hope not.
  13. It's a little hard to tell from your picture. I'm wondering if it's black beard algae, but I'd be surprised if it's only growing on that plant and not any others. Is it fuzzy, or is it like the leaves are melting or dying?
  14. Eggs indeed! What do you have in your tank?
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