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OnlyGenusCaps

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  1. Whelp. So the Chara arrived today. There are not a lot of FW macro-algae species, and I was excited to get this one, especially as it does well in hard water. I knew it would have an aroma, as it is often described as smelling "garlicky". However, I was unprepared for what arrived. There was definitely a distinct aroma, which I could smell through all of the packaging. When I opened up the box it hit me. I had expected garlic like aroma, which to me evokes thoughts of warm garlic bread. 😋 That is not what I encountered. The smell emanating from this box reminded me of nothing so much as that smell when you walk into your fish room and immediately think "something is very wrong here!" The nearest I can describe the smell would be that of a poorly maintained seafood counter if someone had just cleaned the floor with a strong ammonia cleaner. Upon opening the plastic bag with the algae in it, I gagged, even still unprepared for the strength of the aroma. 🤢 I quickly dumped the contents into a plant QT in hopes the water would quash the rising tide of putrid smell. It did help, although my entire fish room now smells of death, rot, and chemical. I am no longer left wondering why this algae is not used more in aquaria. In summary, I'm not sure I'll be using this particular algae in this tank. 😛
  2. I just wanted to say that I recently found out about an incredibly kind thing Cory did for someone here in Minnesota not long ago. I don't think I truly understood what a genuinely nice guy Cory is (not knowing him after all) until I heard about this. It really does seem that the kindness on this forum is found all the way to the top. Hats off to Cory for starting a place with the intention of maintaining civility, and to the admins, moderators as well as the members for working so hard to make that goal a reality. On the internet of all places!
  3. Although their new stuff is more typical "rock" than punk, I'm still digging that The Offspring are bring us new tunes!
  4. While I can't help with how best to change the conditions in a high tech tank to disfavor BBA, I can say with fairly decent certainty that its presence in an aquarium is not inevitable. It comes from being infected with it, which is why I now take great care with anything new coming into my tanks. Good luck, and I am sorry to hear you caught BBA from somewhere.
  5. So, I never watch reaction videos, because, well, I can react to stuff all on my own. But I have watched a few of her videos and I think she is uncommonly good on camera. She is so expressive and engaging. Plus she lives in my home-away-from-home, Tucson, AZ! I also like that as an opera singer, she can appreciate the metal singers she has covered. She has a broad appreciation for music, and it shines through.
  6. Even if they are legal for export (which I don't know, but maybe @Shadow_Arbor does?), you'd still need an import permit to get them into the States. I'm not sure if they are legal for import or not, and illegal import is pretty stiff fines. Not worth it at all! That said, I have a slow burn of a project going to get permits for two Tanganyikan snails I'd like to import. Shadow Arbor and I are discussing something else, maybe we can talk about the prospects of getting these here legally where they could be spread around the forum and hobby. No guarantees of course! 😜
  7. Okay, cards on the table, I'm a sump-head. IMO canisters are overpriced and offer little improvement for the space. With that out of the way, Any filter will become a "biofilter" if left in place long enough. We should really think of them as "bioreactors". Socks are awesome! The only reason to change them out is if they get clogged. Otherwise you can keep them in. I change mine once a week when I do water changes. Why? Because it is part of my routine, and then they work as mechanical filtration primarily. I also rinse out my sponges at the same time. I think the "change our socks" paradigm comes from the salty side of the hobby. @eatyourpeas can tell you about the experience in salt and the difference between FW and SW, but I think SW is dirtier, thus resulting in SW advice being to change out more often. Sumps rule!!! 😈
  8. So where do you find them? I'm going to throw a wrench in the mix and say blind Mexican cave tetras (Astyanax mexicanus). They are interesting and for those of us who have hard water they are a great option.
  9. Well, I did clean off the piece of driftwood with a steel brush and peroxide. It was messy! But I ended up chickening out and going to an LFS to buy some driftwood. After buying a quantity of driftwood that can best be described as an amount that will result in a "conversation" with a non-fishkeeping spouse, I boiled it up. That made the house smell... Rustic. Yup, that's what I am going with. Further endearing this new effort to my wife. With the wood I used (yes, I bought rather more than this), here is the result in the tank: Immediately, the males began jostling to determine the new territories. Yes the blurs are the fish! I seem to have 3 solid territories in there. Encouragingly, the females hid under and behind the driftwood while to dominant males displayed and harassed each other. Success? I hope so! I also decided to spring for some Chara macroalgae, after my failure to find it in habitat here. It should be coming tomorrow. I'm hoping that replaces the guppy grass (which is doing terribly) over time as fry cover. However, I also got the Ziss Egg Tumbler and Ziss Premium Breeder Box (both from the Coop so I think it's okay to mention them here) today as well, in hopes of ensuring I am successful in my breeding attempts. These are my long-term project. I don't want this simply amazing species going extinct. With the Chara will be coming some aquatic isopods. I'm hoping to use them as a clean up crew and supplemental live food in my tanks. All my tanks already have amphipods for that, but isopods will be nice too. Plus, today's trip to the LFS had me thinking about *gasp* doing a planted tank. Maybe. Maybe. But if I do, I think amphipods and isopods will be useful in there.
  10. I'm a big believer in H2O2. My socks just go through the wash though. We use low P detergent to help protect the lakes and rivers around here. Hasn't hurt the tank any either. I went out to clean the driftwood piece I was planning on using. It was a chilly experience as it's only in the single digits C here right now. Also filthy. I was worried I wouldn't be able to find the spots the BBA had been growing, but it turns out that was not going to be a problem:
  11. Ah, so he is talking about algae as taking up N and not keeping the BB going. Interesting. Presumably plants would work for that as well. That's another side of the equation I had not thought about. Interesting! Thanks for the link and time stamp!
  12. I could hike out to some of the LFS (most tend to be a bit of a drive for me), but my goal at this point is to try to use some of the wood I had in what is now my p-salt tank. The concern here is that it had the BBA on it that I don't want. I left one large piece out to dry and freeze while I was out of town over the weekend. I hope that killed all of the snails and BBA on it. But, I am going to scrub it down using a steel brush and H2O2 this morning. Just to overdo it. 😁 With that nice GBA hanging on in the tank, I really, really do not want to introduce the BBA. I'd never get a pure strain of the GBA again, I fear.
  13. Sounds like the consensus is to ghost feed the tank. Interesting! I didn't do this out of fear of encouraging heterotrophic (i.e. rot) bacteria over the N oxidizing types. Seems this was unfounded. I'm not sure how this would help, unless the expectation is that there is population turnover meaning that there are constantly dying algal cells that then have to rot. Curious. 🤔
  14. Nope. They are from Nuevo León. Quick update. After my travels this weekend, all are still alive. Took a bit to count them. I kept getting 7 rather than 8 at first and was quite worried. But they slowed down enough to eat I could get an accurate count for about 30 seconds, and there are still indeed 8 fish. 😅 I've also decided not to give up on the algae ecosystem. I mean, if they live top pick at algae so much, I should be cultivating it, right?! One wouldn't stop growing grass because the cows were eating it! The new plan, after a bit of distance from the situation, is to dump some large pieces of driftood in there. I am hoping this does two things. 1: that it provides vidual screening to reduce aggression. 2: that the GBA will grow over the surfaces of the wood and be a fun place for them to graze Off to find places to get good driftwood. Suggestions welcome. 😁
  15. So, I watched Zenzo's latest vid (I told him I would stop linking him, so I'm not) on the length of time it takes to set up a tank. Great video, and it got me thinking: how do you keep your "cycle" if you don't have fish in the tank? I just set up my first fishless cycle tank. Used Dr. Tim's, went fine. But it was many months until I could source the fish I wanted for the thank. With all of the supply chain issues happening, I feel like this might be happening to more folks these days. So I am curious, if you've done a fishless cycle (however you've done it) and had to wait to add fish, for whatever reason (though I'd be curious why you did have to wait; could be like Zenzo waiting to grow the plants, or like me waiting on availability of fish, etc.), how did you keep the population of BB going while you waited? I added a drop or two of Dr. Tim's ammonia one a week. That was what I had on hand and could do because I didn't want snails in this tank, which I am normally cool with. I also considered adding snails if absolutely necessary, or fish that I could move back to another tank later. But I am curious what has or has not worked for others? Disclaimer: I realize that BB don't starve immediately if they don't have a nutrition source. That said, in my case I wasn't sure if I'd get my fish in the next year, or tomorrow, so I wanted the tank to be in a state of readiness. I'm hoping this thread proves useful for others, so lay it on me. What have you done? Did it work, or not?
  16. I am too often guilty of this. It's good to get a kind reminder (not that I was involved in this work or this article, but just in general). Thank you, sir!
  17. Quick update (I'm traveling and don't have much time). Turns out the people who were suspicious of blaming aquariums were correct. It ended up being aroma therapy spray: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/mystery-of-exotic-infectious-disease-traced-to-aromatherapy-room-spray/ar-AAPRCQk
  18. Probably summer, but that's a guess. The males are vigorously defending territories right now. I've got two and a half in the 75. Some sad news. Yesterday I discovered one of the females had dies in a little cave. Down to 8. She had no signs of disease. Indeed she may have been the one that arrived in the popped bag and I was so proud of "recovering". I'm headed out of town for 4 days so my decision not to medicate might be a risk. Here's hoping to was stress. All the others are eating and quite vigorous. Feisty even. Nothing looks off, and the dead one didn't look like it died of anything obvious. I'm a little concerned there just isn't enough cover for them to hide from the persistent aggression of the dominant males. I have plans to work on this.
  19. We don't want that! Sounds like you need more fish.
  20. I'm not a guppy fanatic, so take this with a grain of salt. There seemed to be a lot of tanks with guppies though. And they were different colors. So more than other places...? I think the owner is breeding them in another stall somewhere in the mall. His water is pretty hard too, which should make acclimation easier for those of us on a well around here. Not as helpful of an answer as you had hoped, I imagine. But that's all I've got. Sorry. I'm sure I'll be back for supplies though, so I could do a more thorough check.
  21. I swung by Twin Cities Guppies for the first time today (I think I can link them here as they link to Aquarium Coop for supplies). They are in the Maplewood Mall, which is... How to put this tactfully...? A dump. That said, the shop itself is quite nice! If you are in the east Metro, they have blackworms and daphnia as starter cultures. For me it's a great find so I don't have to drive so far.
  22. Sure looks like an Audouinella species. 55 gallons is a lot to treat, and I'll second @Colu's advice to spot treat it, but I'd use H2O2 instead. It doesn't stick around. Less chance of it becoming dangerous to your fish. And it's so very satisfying to see the algae bubble away and die. 😈
  23. Welcome, from someone who is very jealous of where you live! I loved my time in WA. There was a Dome near Cicerello's in Mandurah that I could have sat at forever. Well, not forever. I don't think it's there any more. But I loved everything about WA. My wife fears I'll visit again, which would mean she'd have to come join me, because I don't think I'd ever come back. 😎 This is a great forum and a wonderful community. You'll love it here!
  24. Truer words have never been spoken! The funny thing is, if you look back at the videos I linked, I thought I was looking to nature as a guide. The natural systems these fish are found in are coated in algae. I guess that might take poorer water quality and being under the desert sun. Things I didn't think about. 🤣 Oh well, the fish are awesome! I suspect I'll migrate the conversation off this thread next week and hold this one until I can try a round two in another tank with other fish.
  25. Wow, that is amazing! I have colleague that works in the sub-Antarctic forests in southern Chile. There are spots there where there is so much rain and mist that the predominant ground cover in the forests is algae (eat your heart out Olympic Rainforests of Washington!). Your photo of the algae climbing up the woody vegetation reminds me of a sunnier version of that nearly alien landscape from a world away. Thanks for sharing that!!! Also, see my latest post about the pupfish and algae. The combination might not be working out. ☹️
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