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Everything posted by Torrey

  1. My stepmom is a marine biology fanatic! I sent her a meme of a snorkeler and a great white: "Here is an image of the deadliest animal in the ocean, and swimming alongside is a 6 meter great white"
  2. Gorgeous betta! Pictures are showing blue and red for top picture, but looks lavender in bottom picture? If the lavender is accurate, you have a betta worth breeding. It's the single hardest color to achieve in betta. Welcome to the forum!
  3. I have what I was told was a crinum. I'll take a picture tomorrow, to make sure I have a correct identification. I "planted" it by resting it on the gravel, with 3 root tabs under the gravel and a piece of cholla resting against part of the crinum so the snails couldn't redecorate. It had 3 leaves when I planted it 2 months ago. It's quite healthy now, and has sent roots into the gravel.
  4. I have dedicated nets for sets of tanks. Tanks that "share water" or have fish moved back and forth between them a lot, share nets. Tanks that don't swap fluids don't share nets. I have a bottle to spray nets down with isopropyl alcohol if there is a need to disinfect. Then I let the net dry overnight, and rinse well under the filtered tap.
  5. It depends on the moss as to how long it takes. The picture I sent you *started* as only a plug the size of a quarter. I got it out of a local acequia, end of summer last year. I washed it like Tanner teaches in his videos, covered the bottom of the pyrex with activated charcoal, put in the rectangle of mesh, the quarter plug, the 2nd layer of mesh, enough water to barely cover the bottom mesh, and then sealed the top with saran wrap and put it on my plant shelf under the shop light. 3 months later, the mesh was covered, and I used all but a piece the size of a quarter, and gave it another 3 months before I harvested. This particular moss does best emmersed. In the blender and painting on the wood, it took a little over 8 weeks to get to 3/4" high moss. Sadly, my attempt to get it to grow fully immersed failed, so I am only using small plugs on wood or cholla, right at the water line. The Christmas moss using the blender method, is pretty well established after 8 weeks. There's a good video, I will see if I can find it. The other mosses in the blender take about 12 weeks... the same time it takes a quarter sized plug to expand and grow over a 5"×7" plastic canvas. Benefits of the canvas: they make selling moss to the lfs very easy. It's also a really **really** easy way to make a moss wall in a tank. Then airline tubing suction cups will hold the moss wall in place in the tank. Both methods grow faster in the emmersed state, but you can easily use the last 2 weeks of growth to slowly adapt them to immersed state with actual aquarium mosses (like java, etc). I harvest most of my moss, and some of them are used to seasonal flooding (acequia), and I never know until I try🤷‍♂️ which leads to another benefit of plastic canvas method: I can lift moss that grows better emmersed, out of the tank for a week each month, and keep it growing. Painted moss on permanent hardscape turns into snail food if the moss doesn't like to be immersed for more than 3 months.
  6. I learned here that the colors are known to fade..... However, I feed a lot of foods (BugBites, Xtreme, Hikari) with natural beta carotenes for color enhancement in fish. Apparently it may be the secret to my red shells (even the empty shells of ramshorns I didn't know I had with the assassin snail are still golden red). Someone made a joke about feeding the BioGold for bettas to the ramshorns 🤭
  7. 🤣😍🤣 It's probably good that officially I am retired, lol. If I end up with a tank like that, I will have to let the rest go. I would sit there all day and watch. Those antics are awesome! [I already spend hours watching the snails and endlers in my spouse's tank. The Big Whale Momma cracks me up!!!]
  8. Thank you, I suspect that is too high maintenance for me, lol
  9. I am so sorry @Streetwise. My bettas were the reason I invested in the pymeter: to maintain that 82° was impossible any other way. Sadly, I didn't learn about the pymeter (or Inkbird) until they had already been overly stressed, and I didn't know about keeping the air so humid. When/if you get another, you will go into it with a lot more information, so you can have brand new learning opportunities! I am sure you gave her the best life she could have hoped for, and that's the important part.
  10. Start going to your local (or state) aquarium club meetings. Almost all my snails have been either intentionally aquired (MTS & then the nerites were bequeathed to me), or have been courtesy of plants in the NMAS Auctions.
  11. For wood in tanks, the most important thing is no sap. Either no sap because it's a dried out hardwood, or no sap because it was pine that has completely drained the sap due to multiple seasons of rain, sun, and wind stripping the sap from the wood. Saltwater does the same thing. After you soak a piece of wood, if you can identify the type of wood by the smell, there's still sap present. Don't put it in a tank, put it outside to weather some more. If you are a member of the Co-op YouTube channel, @Zenzo went harvesting with Dr Tom Barr. There's a wealth of information in the video, and should answer the majority of foraging questions. [Yes, I have pine in one of my tanks. It was so old and dried out, I couldn't identify it for sure until it had been in the tank for a while. Dry, it was super light, but hard. My thumbnail couldn't dent it. A year later, I can use my thumbnail to take off nerite eggs yesterday.]
  12. Back in NC I volunteered with the Museum of Natural History, and some animals were rehabs that were able to be re-released into the wild. Specifically, an obstinate octopus comes to mind. I doubted that you would be releasing anything, however, after the massive die-offs due to the heat dome, anything is possible. WA DF&G may have asked you for help. It's been good to hear the fish making it past the dams and breeding in their traditional breeding grounds again. I hope that the PNW can recuperate from the fires and the heat.
  13. If you make a pocket at the bottom of the curtains, and run another bamboo at the bottom, it reduces grandboos lifting the curtains and getting into things. Spouse just reminded me that I velcroed on the curtains to keep the small dog out, and the velcro makes a noise that alerts you if anyone goes exploring. A firm "uh-oh" followed by immediate removal from the room, and a "I make choices I learn from too, and we don't go under the tanks" was effective strategy pre-covid times for small dogs *and* visiting small children.
  14. Unless a plant is going in a dedicated shrimp tank (which I no longer have 😔) or a fry grow out tank, there's nothing that comes on plants that worry me anymore. I used to be quite paranoid (as late in life as last summer) and meticulously put plants in QT, used an alum dip, or rinsed with H2O2.... and I was not having fun. My plants didn't look their best. And that's how I found Cory on YouTube. This year, I bravely bought some plants (azolla) from a pond supply store. They came with daphnia, amphopods, copepods, damselfly larvae, and thousands of little bugs that look like an aquatic version of aphids, and the endlers have a blast hunting them down and eating them. There were probably some mosquito larvae in there, but only saw a couple that survived long enough for fish to eat them. (The spouse was not impressed with this aspect of pond plants, however). The pond plants helped my Walstad tank take off, I believe, as all the microfauna help the plants grow, provide food for the endlers to hunt, and I didn't put pond plants in my breeding tanks. [I try to be responsible with where I choose to experiment] If you absolutely don't want microfauna in your tank, or need a sterile plant tank, Irene (GirlTalksFish) has some great videos on how to do an alum dip, and other options for cleaning plants.
  15. This may be one of my favorite videos of Josh! That being said, I don't do moss that way 🤣 I have successfully done the blender and paint method, it does require patience. I have superglued moss, but I have not found that to be as successful. The most successful way to propagate moss, that I have found, is to grow it between 2 pieces of plastic canvas, and I pull out plugs as I need them. The plastic canvas sits on a bed of activated carbon in a pyrex rectangle, and then I put down the moss on top of the first plastic mesh (I started with a plug smaller than a quarter, this is a 5"×7" pyrex food container), then place another piece of plastic canvas mesh on top and let the moss grow through the mesh. (My light seems to have washed out the green, because irl it's much greener in appearance) I pull plugs out of the center and put them on wood that has soaked but isn't sinking yet. As the wood slowly sinks, the moss attaches, begins to grow, and acclimates to immersed growth. The moss here is slowly taking over this knoll of wood. Periodically the snails will eat it a bit aggressively, but it always looks better after the 'haircut'
  16. I second Odd Duck on this! I periodically 'touch up' my sand in the Walstad tank by rinsing sand until it's clean, then filling a ziploc freezer bag and cutting off the corner (like cake decorating) so I don't have a huge cloudy mess. I pretty much only do it for special photographs or filming, lol. Definitely not a regular thing I do. Deeper substrates definitely encourage better root growth, and make it harder for fish (or snails) to uproot. Not helpful for turtles😅 but @Atitagain has adapted my turtle & cichlid proof idea, and seems to be having success. A little plastic canvas around the base of plants gives plants something to anchor with, once they have grown enough roots (like under Odd Ducks glass dome idea)
  17. As long as you don't have fry or shrimp, I agree that they are awesome.
  18. 2nd snail from the top, what kind of snail is that? My spouse's g-ma had a snail like that, but it was much lighter in coloration. It also turned into a carnivore😅 As for the original question, I love all my snails. Now. After watching Cory wax eloquent on how important they are for the ecosystem. I always appreciated snails in the pond, and in the greywater treatment system we used snails in the cattails and reeds to eat the sludge. I just never appreciated them in my tanks, except as turtle food. Now, I have MTS in most of my (MTS🤣) tanks. Only a handful of tanks don't have the Malaysia trumpet in them. I intentionally have bladder snails. I accidentally ended up with a pond snail (Pebbles). I was bequeathed Houdini (zebra nerite) and Watson (no clue type of nerite). I apparently got some ramshorns on some plants that are a gorgeous golden red. And I have an assassin snail who gets to visit various tanks to keep any out of control growth, under control.
  19. @Zenzo, do you know if there are any same day tickets?
  20. I would talk to your lfs and also to folx in the CAS, and see if anyone can help in exchange for some offspring. Down here in our NMAS, there are a few of us who jump at the chance to take care of fry as a method of expanding our breeding stock. If you won't be gone more than 4 days, a green water tank or a daphnia tank may do the trick. Look at how many people in here have posted in the past month that they didn't realize that there were any remaining fry, and when they went to move a breeding pair into the tank were surprised by something darting across. Fry are incredibly resourceful at getting themselves fed as long as they are in a seasoned tank.
  21. Karma's dinner: I made fresh food tonight. This is what I scraped out of the blender after filling the ice trays. If you don't add the boiled clean egg shells, add the appropriate amounts of reptical and reptivites to the blender. Each ice cube square is 1 oz and 1 oz is considered a serving for an adult ornate. So look at how many ounces you have in the blender after you puree, and add the appropriate amount of supplements. Puree sufficient to blend in the supplements, then pour into ice cube trays, and scrape the remnants onto a bed of lettuce. I added freeze dried shrimp in lieu of croutons for the turtle salad.🤣 Tonight's meal prep was boiled chicken and bone meal, blueberries, carrots, sweet potatoes, egg shells, squash, and some leftover pumpkin. Also nopales and green tuńa (prickly pear fruit).
  22. @Krys I have helped a fair number of folx figure out accommodations as part of my daily job. Things that can make it easier to service the aquarium: A stool (adjustable, tall bar stools) to sit on that ensures your weight is easily distributed on 4 legs, and your armpit is at least 2" above the tank will reduce the pinching. If you already have a glass lid, and it's cutting your hand(s), if someone can assist you in cleaning the glass lid really well (isopropyl alcohol helps), and then apply silicone beading to the entire edge (or front and back edges and leave the last 1/2" on the 2 ends, if you want to put the glass in a slide support, to slide back and forth) will keep you from having to lift it. Other possibilities are the "lift and tilt" hinges they have started using in desks and coffee tables so you can elevate the surface. If the tank is against a wall, and you own your home, there are a lot of possibilities that will allow you to lift the lid and have it held in place. I use shop lights for several of my tanks, because light weight, inexpensive, and they will take a beating. The fish took a few months to adjust to the fact that the shop light was going to be moved when I service the tank to either hang on the back between the tank and the wall, or be slid to the back, or for the 4' tank, taken off the top of the tank and be rested on the end on the floor, with the other end against the wall, and leave the light on so I can see in the tank as the light illuminates it from the side. (Did I mention lightweight and nearly indestructible?) Since I never know when fibroflare, or unidentifiable nerve issues will flare up, I plant heavy and stock carefully, and have gotten rid of all filters except sponge combined with UG, so my tanks can survive if I can't service for some reason. I have to avoid vibrations in my hands, because it takes my nerves weeks to recover. That being said, electronically removing water is safer for me and the fish. Pond pumps or electrical fluid transfer units come in handy. Look at how the tank is planted. Would adding more plants along the ends and back part reduce needing to clean the glass? What kind of substrate do you have? Are there any fauna that can be added to work the substrate for you, so you don't need to gravel vac (turning the substrate means letting the aquarium animals turn the mulm into the substrate for the plants to use). I am testing out theories in my Walstad, not just because I got 2 tanks for the price of 1, but also because I need to set up my dining room tank in a manner to accommodate my physical limitations that are not going to get any better. If you aren't looking at TikTok, there are some wonderful inspirations for how to create better accessibility accommodations. The more creative you are willing to be, the easier (and less painful and less numb) aquarium keeping can be.
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