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  1. Had a weird day while cleaning the tank. I had just come back from a 2 week vacation, so I haven't had time to really observe the tank in a while. I discovered a Hillstream loach baby fry! My 3 loaches had never bred before (owned them for almost 2 years). I just assumed I had 3 of the same gender! I hope the little guy makes it! I also discovered 2 baby snails that I have never seen before. My tank hasn't had snails in well over a year; I didn't even try to kill them. I think they were bladder snails or pond snails, and over time they just died off in my tank. I think the water wasn't good for them. Anyway, it was cool seeing these new snails. The shell looks like they might be a spiral type, like a Nerite snail. My well water has in fact changed over the years in my house, so I'm wondering if the water activated some snail eggs from plants. I bought plants almost 2 months ago. It's really interesting to wonder where the snails came from! In any case, I welcome the snails.
  2. I have tried many different types and brands over the years and, in my opinion, yes, you can have too much. I have never owned more than 1 moderately stocked tank at a time though, so obviously my food usage is lower than a breeder or hardcore hobbyist. Much of my food, even bought in the smallest package and with freezing, takes me years to go through. However, all that being said, I think there is nothing wrong with trying and experimenting new things. Some people want to try new fish species, some new aquascapes, and some new foods for their family pet. As long as you can afford it, why not try a new food?
  3. I actually like the setup as is! I think a larger school of the Rasboras would be nice. Ive never owned Harlequins, but I assume they are mid-top level swimmers. If that's the case, maybe decide on another smaller bodied species that swims closer to the bottom; that will complement the Rasboras nicely.
  4. Have only owned 3 Hillstream loaches in a 20g L. I got them almost 2 years ago now. Very hardy. Mine aren't huge algae eaters. Im sure they're eating the softer algae and biofilms, but they don't bother with hair or brown. Very fun little guys and active. I think you will be fine with either loaches or garra.
  5. Today I realized I hadn't seen my Amano shrimp in a few days. Looked all over the tank, didn't find it, but that's not too uncommon for me. I searched the floor just in case; mine has never escaped but I've read that they do. I ended up seeing something silvery beneath the table. Turns out it was one of my Emerald Eye Raspboras that had probably jumped out earlier today while I cleaned debris off my powerhead (the body wasn't too dried out and I know I had counted them all just yesterday...). It's the first Raspbora that I've lost. HOPEFULLY I find my Amano lol.
  6. Oh no, hope everything goes well for that last one. That really is such a shame; try not to get discouraged no matter what happens to that last one!
  7. Hi! I've had my 3 Hillstream Loaches (bought from the Co-Op) for about a year and a half now, so I'd like to give some insight. For reference, I have a 20 G long moderately planted tank with a nano powerhead and sponge filter. All 3 of mine seem finicky eaters, but they are VERY hardy. I have given them Repashy Soilent Green and Hikari Mini Algae Wafers. They never swim immediately towards them, they just kind of stumble upon it, eat it a bit, and then swim off like 6 seconds later. Yet here they are, all 3 of them healthy despite never munching on my given food for an extended time. I must have quite a bit of naturally sustaining bio-film. I still get algae, green hair and brown, so mine don't eat them too much, if at all. Other parameters: I don't have many flat rocks, and I wouldn't say my tank has fast water flow. The powerhead just keeps the water circulating and that's about it. My fish have never seemed to show any illness. I think you will be fine. Now below is a short story on how amazing these fun little guys are! HARDINESS: Case in point, I was deployed for 9 months and had an auto-feeder that gave Hikari wafers and pellets (for my betta and 23 Emerald eye rasboras). I had a family member visit the house every 2 weeks to re-fill the feeders, give a block of frozen baby brine and repashy, and top off water. That was it. No water changes, no cleaning off algae, no fertilization. I knew what I was doing, and I was confident my low tech tank could withstand it. I was however expecting the 3 Hillstream loaches to not make it. I return, and the 'ONLY' fish I lost were 7 of the rasboras. All 3 of my Hillstream loaches were alive and healthy! (The tank was overgrown with algae, and only a few crypts and Valisneria runners survived). They are quite wonderful fish, you will enjoy them! Cheers.
  8. So my 20G long has been running almost 10 months now. I went away for 2 months recently and realized I have no more snails. When I first started the tank, I had Bladder snails hitchhike on plants (at least I'm 90% sure they were Bladder snails). They had a population explosion around the 2 month mark while the tank stabilized (plants and Endler's). Then I added 3 Hillstream Loaches and I noticed the snail population started to decline. I was also changing water less and less frequently. I thought nothing at the time; the tank was balancing out! Great stuff! The last thing I did was add 20 Emerald Eye Rasboras about 4 months ago, so the tank is almost at that seasoned state. When I left 2 months ago, there were just MAYBE 5 snails left. I came back, and no fish died, but all snails were gone. Quite a bit of algae growth, but also the plants were healthy! My water parameters are: Extremely hard water, 60 KH, 6.8 pH, no nitrites and usually 50-100 nitrate. I do not know my calcium levels. Things I think happened: Maybe I had decreasing calcium levels as I tapered off water changes? I did notice the snails' shells were becoming whiter as they aged. My lone Amano shrimp in the tank has molted at least once, however. The shrimp seems healthy enough. Hopefully the calcium is at a good level. Maybe the hillstream loaches? Perhaps they and the Amano shrimp ate all the food the snails were after? Or maybe the hillstream loaches ate the snails? Doubt it though. Maybe I got better at feeding? I know you only have as much snails as you have excess waste, but I would've thought a few snails would still be around. Any theories on why my snails are gone? I don't miss them by any means, but it was cool to have a few of them around for waste management breakdown. Thanks for reading my post!
  9. I had 3 in a 20 Long, had almost the same issue. The largest of the 3 was absolutely terrorizing the other 2, but left the Endlers alone. They were constantly fighting for the first month. After that, they all chilled out. The large one will still assert itself, but it doesn't tackle the other two anymore! I intervened only a few times that first month. Whenever I saw the large guy attacking the others, I would gently 'chase' it using my tweezers so it would go into hiding for a bit. Just to stop the harassment. Honestly, I don't think that made any difference, and I think the large guy would've chilled out regardless. I hope yours chills out too once he gets established!
  10. I used both at the same time, and from what I saw, both of my kits showed the same ballpark water parameters. I'm tempted to find out which is more accurate, but that would require me taking water samples to a county water treatment facility and for a price. Overall, I'm sticking with the Co-ops strips due to value and that the colour chart is better. The API chart is a double sided peel out, and once the adhesive stops working, the label flaps around. Yes, it's such a minor detail, but it's enough to make me switch to the Co-op strips. Just go with whichever brand you feel is best! Both seem reasonably accurate.
  11. I have a Small sponge filter in my 20L. The Medium is 8 inches tall, and a 20L is 12 inches tall. I felt the Medium filter would be too tall for the tank if you used the top attachment. Remember, you have to account for the inches of substrate and the water level of the tank. My filter has been going strong for almost 6 months now. If you're concerned about filtration, I'd have to say it does a decent job. Having switched from HOB myself, all I can say is that I cannot go back to HOB. Sponge is quieter, easier to maintain, and can restart itself in a power surge. I also don't have to cut a large cutout in my tank lid, so fish can't jump out. For reference, my tank is moderately planted, and is pretty heavily stocked. I rarely do water changes, and the tank is pretty dialed in with all the fish healthy!
  12. I have a betta with Endlers and the fry absolutely thrive. (20G with plants). Granted, my betta is very laid back; I've seen newborn fry swim right up to his face and he does nothing. Ironically, I bought the betta to keep the guppy population in check, and honestly, I don't think he's even thought of eating one! I would think that even the most aggressive betta wouldn't be able to hunt all fry, even in a 10. Just have a few spots where they can hide.
  13. I have 3 in my 20gal L. So far I've had them for 5 months, and they've been very hardy and fun. I have a heavily planted tank with moderate current flow and they seem to have no issues. You should be fine with that setup. The only thing I would worry about is territory. I heard this species was only semi-aggressive towards each other, and I have seen that firsthand. In the first month I had them, the largest of the 3 was definitely VERY aggressive towards the other two. It would chase them to the ends of the tank non-stop. The smallest one was constantly being chased. I was worried, but I let it play out. By the 2nd month, they all mellowed. The largest one will still assert it's dominance, but it no longer chases them at top speed. More like a lazy, "C'mon bro, get outta here" lol. For your tank, try to establish two or three 'landmarks' or territories in case one of your loaches is dominant. That might be hard in your 10g, but I would recommend it. Maybe flat rocks on both ends of the tank separated by a plant? That way both have a rock formation to themselves. Good luck! Hillstream loaches have quickly become one of my favorite fish that I have kept. They're so active and have personality.
  14. I have a 20 Long rim, and I was able to secure two Fluval Nanos by trimming the black plastic lip from both the inside and outside of the tank. I used a dremmel rotary tool and shaved off just enough for the clamps to slide over. However, the clamp is just barely wide enough for the glass; I would think your glass on the 40 would be MUCH thicker than the clamps. I don't think this method would work for your setup. One of the reviews for the Nano on Aquarium Co-Op's product page has the light mounted on external brackets. Basically, find a thin yet sturdy plastic piece, mount it somehow on the aquarium itself, then clamp the lights on the plastic bracket. Can't think of any other method at the top of my head. Hope that helps. I'll try to post a pic of my tank setup. EDIT: Wow! I wish I had discovered those 3d printed brackets before!
  15. I started my tank around mid-October, and my single Val has shown the most growth out of all my plants. It reaches the top of my 20 Long and has sent runners to most of the length of the background. I have even had to cut out ambitious runners trying to get to the foreground. I had initially set up the tank with root tabs, but I have not had to give the Val any substrate nutrients since then. I dose a minimal amount of liquid ferts once a week. I think Val does a decent job of water column feeding despite being a soil feeder. I have VERY hard well water, btw.
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