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Lowells Fish Lab

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  1. Here we are a week later and it seems like they are growing quickly. Still hard to see sometimes but it's getting easier despite the camouflage. I've counted 8 at once but I assume there are more.
  2. It's hard to say no to to something that looks like a little stingray
  3. Hi all, I had a nice surprise today when I found my first fry from reticulated hillstream loaches. They are so small that it's a little hard to get good pictures but here are a few: Here are some of the adults in the middle of some breeding behavior: I'll continue to take pictures as they develop. I'm sure the detail will improve as they grow. This was a 10 gallon tank holding a small group of adults about 50/50 male and female. It's unheated and temperature fluctuates from 70-74. The substrate is coarse sand with some smooth river rocks scattered around. I use a sponge for filtration and occasionally turn on a small submersible pump to give them some current. I've been feeding them live BBS (that's why I don't use the pump much) in addition to occasional frozen blood worms and repashy soilent green. There is very little algae in the tank. pH is fairly neutral and hardness is fairly soft in both gH and kH.
  4. I've so far killed staghorn and branching cladophora with it. I always worry about its effect on the fish but haven't noticed any obvious signs of stress during treatment.
  5. I think that's a great idea. I have a couple of pea puffers and they have done very well on live baby brine shrimp.
  6. I've kept them at 7.2 without issues. I've had good luck feeding coop fry food, 200-300 micron golden pearls, finely crushed flake and live baby brine shrimp. I'm sure they wouldn't complain about hikari first bites either. They are happy to eat off the water surface which makes them relatively easy to take care of. I would agree that it helps to have them housed with some scavengers to clean up uneaten food.
  7. I just might! I would like to repeat the experiment with montecarlo and dwarf baby tears.
  8. It looks great in person. Other than this experiment I've only done one hairgrass carpet and used ecocomplete with fair success. It just took some months to grow in.
  9. Alright after about 7 weeks I think the results are clear enough. I'll start with Amazonia: Quite a bit more growth in the root tab pod. Now the UNS Controsoil. The difference in this case was a bit more pronounced and again favored the root tab. Now for the ecocomplete which was a bit of an anomaly: There might be a tad bit more growth on the root tab pod but the difference is almost imperceptible. There was not quite as much growth in the ecocomplete as either of the nutrient rich substrates but it still produced a dense and healthy carpet. As for the lack of obvious benefit from root fertilization, I can only guess at why. I think it benefitted from ecocomplete's ability to absorb and hold nutrients from the water column but was also limited by its weight and coarseness. It's possible that the comparatively open structure of the substrate allowed more of the dissolved root tab to wash away into the water column instead of staying locked near the roots. If you have any other explanations for what happened here, let me know. Overall here are my personal conclusions. Root tabs appear to substantially improve the growth rate of dwarf hairgrass. Given high light, ample nutrients and co2 infusion, small plugs of DHG spaced about an inch apart can grow into a dense carpet in 6-8 weeks. UNS controsoil produced the best growth from beginning to end. This experiment had its limits but if for some reason I had to grow a DHG carpet quickly, I would opt for UNS controsoil with root tabs.
  10. I use matten filters as tank dividers. My experience with fish and shrimp crossing sides has not been that they squeeze around the edges but that they explore and then find their way through the pvc pipe. Even though the gap around the airstone inside is small, I've been surprised to see what has found its way through. I stop this now by putting a pvc straight coupler fitting onto the bottom of the intake with a coarse mesh secured over the opening. Still allows water through but not fish. The mesh can eventually clog but the coupler slides off easily so I can rinse it. I prefer a matten over a solid block of foam because I like consistently moving water between both sides of the divider. I also usually put a second airstone on the intake side of the tank to prevent surface biofilm. Edit: the other major reason I like the matten as a divider is that it also doubles as all the bio filter you would likely ever need. It reduces clutter in the open spaces and makes cleaning and netting easier.
  11. I'm a big fan in most cases. They do go through a conversion period but I'm not sure I've seen one melt yet. Mine have all come with well developed roots that promote quick and robust growth.
  12. I haven't seen an amano shrimp hunt and eat an adult cherry shrimp but I have seen one snatch a large brine shrimp out of the water column and eat it. Anything is possible. I still doubt it though, It's more likely that the RCS died for any number of other reasons especially if you got them recently. It's a nice thing about amano shrimp. If something small dies in your tank you might never know it.
  13. First of all I love your profile picture. You are heavy weapons guy. Nicrew might be cheap but they can sure put out a lot of light. I've had branching green and staghorn algae pop up too. I've heard that staghorn's happy place is high light and low nitrates. That has matched my experience. I have one tank that I dedicate to fancy plants and rocks and had staghorn appear after a power outage reset my auto dosing pump and cut the nutrient supply without me noticing. Once one of the nasty, tank wrecking algaes get a foothold, they are really hard to get rid of. Their growth can be suppressed but they will stick around and wait for an opportunity to come back. You can introduce algae eaters like amano shrimp and siamese algae eaters but you need the algaes to be weak/dead before they will eat them. Some master of nature might have a better answer for you, but as much as we try to avoid using them I still think there are times to use hydrogen peroxide or glutaraldehyde products like seachem excel and easy carbon. Used with caution, they can kill those algaes. They turn red once they die and become brittle enough for things to eat. If I had a plant that was totally infested with staghorn (which I have), I would do a few minute dip in a mix made from 1 part peroxide and 2-3 parts water. Over the next 24 hours all the algae on the plant should die and turn red. This works better for some plants than others. Things with thick leaves like anubias or bucephalandra likely won't be bothered but others with thin leaves like crypts, pogostemon stellatus octopus, stargrass etc.. might lose some leaves but will grow back. I've also personally observed staghorn die from excel dosing. That's my two cents, you can save the plants if you want to and then work on adjusting things so the algaes don't come back.
  14. I'm not sure I even want to know the answer to this but here goes. NLS Grow Fry Powder Sera Micron Hikari First Bites Co op Fry Food Vibra Bites Xtreme Nano Xtreme Krill Flakes Tetra Color Tropical Flakes NLS Thera A NLS Cichlid Pellets Hikari Algae Wafers Fluval Bug Bites Dennerle Shrimp King Bacter AE Pure Nordic Nutridust Repashy Soilent Green Repashy Community Blend Frozen Brine Shrimp Frozen Daphnia Frozen Bloodworms Freeze Dried Krill Eggs for BBS Microworm Cultures Vinegar Eel Cultures Paramecium Cultures Several Aqueon foods I don't use The piece of driftwood my clown plecos eat.
  15. Ya, physically hot. The solenoid doesn't just use electricity momentarily to open a valve, it uses it constantly to hold the valve open. It's doing a lot of work and generates a lot of heat. The inexpensive ones tend to do that. Higher quality solenoids don't have that issue as much.
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