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Everything posted by B1gJ4k3

  1. A few weeks ago, I picked up 5 black mollies form my LFS and put them into a 75 gallon quarantine tank, along with some others. They seemed OK to start with, but eventually, I started losing them and they seemed to be having trouble swimming, kind of wiggling rapidly from side to side and some of them seemed to have some swim bladder issues because they would have trouble staying horizontal in the water. I moved them to their own 20 gallon quarantine tank, put some salt in, raised the temperature and fed peas (which I don't really think they ate). Two more died in the 20 gallon quarantine, so I went back to normal feeding and temperature, but now I'm down to only 2. One seems OK. She seems to be breathing rather rapidly, but I don't know if that's just stress of me observing her. She's eating normally and is pretty active in the tank. The male, on the other hand, just doesn't seem right. He also breathes somewhat rapidly and also seems to have trouble swimming. He's got a little bit of the wiggle going on (which apparently is called "The Shimmies" or livebearer disease--although I'm not really sure that's the problem based on my water parameters below). His back also seems to be kind of weak and his tail is often either curved up or down and he spends most of his time either at the top or the bottom of the tank. My water parameters are fine. No ammonia or nitrates, really for that matter. Hardness and buffer seem fine (although, that's admittedly an area I don't know much about). PH is buffered up to 7.6 with crushed corral in an HOB filter. Temperature is now 76ish. I'm not really sure where to go from here. At some point, these two obviously bred because I have two little fry swimming around in a breeder net in the same tank. The rule usually seems to be "if they're breeding, they're healthy," but with livebearers, it's not terribly difficult to get them to breed. What should be my course of action here? Do I treat the whole tank (including the fry) for something bacterial? Do I further isolate the male and see if it's a swim bladder issue with some epsom salt baths? Do I risk moving the fry and the female to my display tank? Given the history with the other three that died, is it just a genetic thing and he's a lost cause? Not sure where to go from here, so any advice would be much appreciated.
  2. Yeah, I never really know what to do with mine, especially when the first thing that comes up when I Google some of them is how horribly invasive they are to some environments (Amazon frogbit). My strategy lately has just been to keep a Ziploc bag under the tank and put trimmings in there. When it's full (or I can no longer stand the smell that emanates when I open it), I seal it up and throw it in the trash. Throwing straight in the trash is probably good enough, but I'm paranoid about it.
  3. I think the Fluval Plant lights are kind of overrated. I have a couple of the Plant Nanos and was never that impressed by them. I've had just as much success growing plants as with other "full spectrum" lights. HOWEVER, having said that...I really fell in love with the app functionality. It's sooooooo nice to be able to schedule more than just on/off times and really precisely dial in the levels of light at certain times of the day. For that reason, I really love the Fluval Aquasky lights, which are basically the same thing as the Plant ones, just with red instead of pink, green, and only one white channel. I have them on all my tanks (with the exception of my nano tanks. They don't make an Aquasky nano, unfortunately). All my tanks have plants and all my plants seem to be doing well enough. On my main display tank, I keep the light really low during the morning and gradually ramp it up starting at noon so that it's full brightness at night. On my garage grow out and hospital tanks, I just keep it really low throughout the whole day so I can seem everybody but don't ever have to worry about algae. The fine-tuned control and the ability to experiment with different light levels is clutch. I did have trouble updating the firmware on one of the lights, but Fluval customer service was surprisingly helpful and was able to help me fix the issue, even though I had bought the light secondhand. For my money, the Aquasky ones are the way to go. You get the app control, spend a lot less money and still grow plants just fine.
  4. B1gJ4k3

    Mystery fry

    Can I just say how incredibly satisfying it is that you followed up on this post? Well done!
  5. Funny enough, in the video, you can actually see the powerhead struggling to get the water over the lip of the tank. When the tank is full, it's not a huge problem because the uplift is minimal and the siphon takes care of the rest, but when it's partially empty like that, a mid-sized powerhead like that can't even lift it 6-ish inches.
  6. I think that distance is the maximum length of an uplift tube that it would sit on top of, either on an undergravel filter (as they were originally intended to be used) or on a sponge filter. I don't think that measures it's ability to lift water up that distance.
  7. I've attempted a "power water changer" with a powerhead before with mixed results. In my experience, the powerhead is great for starting a siphon for a downhill water line...and not much else. I haven't had much luck moving water over any sort of incline. I tried it with the refugium I built for one of my 125s and couldn't even get it to lift water through a 1/4" tube over a height of about 8-10 inches with a mid-sized powerhead. Even with a large AquaTop 600 GPH powerhead hooked up to a garden house, the flow rate isn't that much better than just a standard siphon over the same distance. The AC powerhead looks to be about middle of the road as far as flow rate, so I wouldn't trust it to do much lifting, especially over 3 or 4 feet. If I'm understanding you correctly, I would think your money would be better spent looking into a submersible pump of some kind.
  8. I have the hardest time telling if mine are even eating. I try to feed enough so that some of the flakes get down to them. I also feed them a mix of Hikari Sinking Wafers and Omega One Catfish Pellets, but they don't seem overly interested in either of them. They'll swim in the vicinity of them, but it's hard to tell if they're getting anything, especially since all my platies and tetras swarm that area soon after. They must be getting fed somehow if they're continuing to grow, though (albeit slowly)
  9. Regardless of whether or not they actually get "sucked in", fry can definitely get into the filters, especially if they're small enough. I recently had a platy fry get its head stuck in one of my AC sponge filters. I assumed it was dead, went to pull it out and found that was, in fact, alive. However, it didn't last long and soon died. I think it probably stuck its head in there after some food or something, but the coarseness of the sponge definitely contributed to it getting stuck. It's not enough to stop me from using them, but having a fry stuck in a sponge filter is definitely something I've experienced before.
  10. @aquachrisNope, didn't scratch the glass. It's not really any different that using a razor blade. The metal is just smaller, more segmented and and moving really fast. It's also worth noting that I did use a razor blade to remove the bulk of the silicone. I just used those for that stubborn film that you can never really seem to get off with a blade alone. I was careful to keep it out of the seals between the beveled panes in the corners as much as possible, but I was also putting new silicone in there anyway, so I wasn't too concerned about it.
  11. I had good luck resealing a 75 gallon that I got for free recently. I completely redid the seals on the bottom and just the corner seals on the corners (rather than completely taking them apart--they seemed solid enough). It held water nicely for a good 3 or 4 months in my garage. My approach was to do as much as I was comfortable with at a time since I was doing it anyway. The beveled edges on the sides made me nervous, so I stayed away from them. Everything else I made sure to completely clean and reseal. Pro tip: these work 1000 times better for removing old silicone than a razor blade: https://www.amazon.com/TILAX-Cleaning-Stripping-Abrasive-Attachment/dp/B07Z4NLJ2Y/ref=sr_1_3?crid=3PUWU4H24I4C9&dchild=1 Having said that, though, I wouldn't have trusted a tank that big anywhere other than my garage. No matter how good of a job I thought I did, I would always be extra nervous about it leaking. I'm nervous enough about my new tanks leaking after I also had a bran new 75 gallon fail on me...
  12. @Bullsnark The 20 gallon is probably a bit small, but it's all I really had space for and I didn't have to go buy an additional tank. This setup is more than likely temporary as the original owner of the fish should be taking him back at some point. There's no filter over the overflow because on the tank it's being used on, there's only one fish to worry about and he's too big to get sucked into anything. I had only put it on my platy grow out tank as an experiment to see how it worked and eventually added a makeshift skimmer on the intake after some of the platys got a little too curious.
  13. @KentFishFanUK It seems to be going OK so far. The tank is still relatively new, so I think things are still getting established. But, previously without this setup, nitrates would get up to about 30 or 40ppm in 3 or 4 days. With this new setup, after 3 or 4 days, it's been reading around 15 or 20ppm, so that's promising. I was going to give it a few more weeks before posting an official update, but so far I'm optimistic that I'll be at least able to cut down to weekly water changes instead of twice a week.
  14. No, it's one big, curved piece along the back and then a smaller, straight one in front with a few smaller pieces scattered on the top.
  15. I'm currently fostering a very large Central American cichlid that might as well be another dog. He swims over to me whenever I enter the room and will chase my finger around the glass. If he's cranky, he'll pretty deliberately spit sand at me and will try to bit me if I'm doing work in his tank he doesn't approve of (especially on Sunday which is his day to fast)
  16. YES! Pretty sure that's the only thing that saved my stand when my 75 sprung a leak while I was two states away.
  17. Whenever I build a stand, I also always try to make it tall enough. As a tall guy, it drives me nuts how low all the stands on the market are. For small tanks, I like to have the top almost at eye level. For bigger tanks, I like them a good 6 to 8 inches taller than your average stand height.
  18. I just built one myself for my new 125. The three main things I'm most proud of: Small shelf to hold a rack-mount PDU so that when I do maintenance, I can just flip switches to turn off my heater/canister filter/air pump (1st picture below) A towel bar on the door so that I'm not just throwing a soggy towel underneath to get moldy/stinky (2nd picture below) A kind of wide U-shaped cutout along the back of the top, so that when viewed from the side, the top appears to sit flush against the wall, but the cutout leaves space to route cords, air hose and canister filter hose through (Unfortunately almost impossible to take a picture of, but hopefully you see what I mean)
  19. Well, let's see how this works... Of all the "iums" to keep track of, I think this mostly closely resembles a refugium, which is apparently fairly common in the saltwater world, but mostly used for culturing worms and such in freshwater and avoid them getting eaten right away. I've broken down my 20 gallon quarantine/grow out and and put it next to Casper's 125. For the overflow, I watched a lot of YouTube videos on an overflow system and the one I ended up building out of PVC isn't exactly like any of them, but it probably most closely resembles the one from Blake's Aquatics. I didn't want to limit the flow too much, so I used 1 1/4" PVC and 5/8" ID vinyl tubing across the top. I ended up putting a 90 degree elbow on the inlet to keep the water level up a little higher and above the frame. The idea of using a spare powerhead to move water out of the small tank and into the big one didn't really work, since that's really not what they're designed to do, so I end up getting a (what turned out to be very small) submersible pump from Amazon. It's much smaller than I thought it would be, but so far seems to be doing the job. It's connected with 3/8" ID vinyl tubing that runs to the opposite side of the big tank, up into an old canister filter outlet tube. The pump is only about 95 GPH, so it's definitely not blasting water out of there, but it's enough. I've tried to set it up so that if either the pump fails or my overflow loses the siphon, things won't get flooded. Unless Casper somehow hulks the elbow off of the overflow (unlikely), there shouldn't be enough water to flood the 20 gallon and I've placed the pump pretty much as high as I can in the 20 gallon, so that if the overflow loses siphon, it would only pump and= additional gallon or two into the big tank, which shouldn't be enough to make it over the lip. I guess that's the advantage to such a small pump. I am a little worried about the lack of water movement in the 20 gallon, since the flow is so low though, so maybe I'll add a spare sponge filter or air stone or the original power head in there just to get some water movement. For plants, I was able to find some hornwort and Amazon frog bit locally (Shout out to World of Wet Pets in Beaverton--I just wish they were closer to me). I figured I'd start out small considering how quickly they are both said to propagate. I've covered the top with that plastic light diffuser grid from Home Depot (how versatile is that stuff in fishkeeping, btw???) and then put some pothos clippings from a friend of mine through that so the roots are in the water. @Guppysnail recommended that I try sprouting a sweet potato in the water as well, so I plan to give that a shot. I've mounted a Fluval Plant Nano above the pothos and I have a spare 18" Current USA LED that I can either put on top of the grid or slip down between the two tanks if the frog bit goes crazy to make sure the hornwort gets some light. Both are on timers for about 8 hours a day. It's too soon to tell whether or not this will help cut down my water change schedule, but It seems promising so far. I've been pretty impressed with how well the overflow works, too. For an initial test, I set it up in my 75 gallon grow out tank that's across from this one. I threaded a garden hose onto the outlet and used it as an overflow to do probably about a 40-50% water change. It was able to handle the flow that comes out of my faucet, so I'm confident it will handle the tiny pump that's in there now. It was a little nerve-wracking watching my baby platies "investigate" the open overflow, but as far as I could tell, nobody actually got sucked out. So if this experiment fails miserably for some reason, at least I've built a pretty nifty way to handle a simple water change on larger tanks... I'll keep updating here as time goes on. Normally, it takes about 3-4 days for nitrates to reach 30-40ppm, so I'm hoping that once this gets established, it will be able to stretch it out so that it fits a little better into my existing weekly water change schedule.
  20. I've done it before with some success. I think as long as you stick to the hard plastic bricks, you should be fine. It's when you get into some of the other, more bendy pieces where I would question whether or not things would start to leech. The problem you'll have is getting it to sink/float consistently. I had a floating Lego submarine in my betta tank (linked above) that floated for months and looked great. It then started to grow a bunch of green spot algae on it since it was so close to the light, so I put my nerite snail on it and just his weight caused it to sink to the bottom and never float again. So, if you're planning on trying to have it float, it could be tricky, but if you're wanting something on the bottom of the tank, you'll probably need to anchor it somehow.
  21. @eatyourpeas I suppose I could ask them. I love them, but if there's one thing they're not great at, it's plants, unfortunately.
  22. The anoxic approach is certainly interesting, but probably not something I'll attempt on this tank. I'm fostering him until the previous owner is able to establish a more permanent living situation so having a first time anoxic setup go horribly wrong and potentially kill his fish is not something I think he'd appreciate. Maybe I'll give it a try in one of my other setups at some point, though. I think I'll attempt some hornwort and some floaters with the pothos I've already got to see how things go initially. Maybe some bamboo in there as well, just because I like the look of it. I'll report back with how it goes. In the meantime, does anyone have any recommendations for plants other than Aquarium Co-Op? The don't ever seem to stock any floaters and I could swear I've seen hornwort on there at some point, but they don't seem to sell it anymore. I've ordered from Buce Plant with mixed results before, but they're out of stock on hornwort at the moment, too. Anywhere else that people have had good luck with?
  23. @GuppysnailI've got a couple pothos plants in an spare AquaClear 110 on the back right now. The don't seem to be doing much yet, but I'm thinking it might not be a bad idea to add some light above them. The tank is in my garage, so it doesn't get a huge amount of sunlight.
  24. It's hard to tell exactly how thick my sand is because Casper is often "landscaping" the tank, but I'd say I have a solid 2 or 3 inches. There's 200 pounds of sand in a 125, so there's definitely a decent amount.
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