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Everything posted by Bailey

  1. Hello, I just bought 5 assorted blue shrimp and a nerite snail from my LFS on Saturday to go in a 5 gallon planted tank as the only live stock. (Added photos just for fun) These are my first shrimp. I bought Hikari Shrimp Cuisine and Hikari Mini Algae Wafers for them. I haven't fed them yet as I'm letting them clean up some of the algae that's taken over some spots in the tanks I have two questions. The first is the food seems to contain copper sulfate. I was under the impression copper was toxic to shrimp, but both of these are marketed as shrimp food. So do I feed this food or return it for something else? I'm not planning on feeding much of anything for the first little bit so that they clean up the tank a bit, and I am planning on giving them blanched zucchini on occasion, so the pellets would really just be for variety. Secondly, I have already found 3 molts since Saturday, but I was under the impression that shrimp only molt every 3-4 weeks. Is this just coincidental or something to be concerned about? They seem active and eating well, although I can typically only find 3 or 4 at a time, but I believe they're all still alive. Thanks for the help!
  2. Ok, so I've seen about 8/9 more of these things since I posted this. Crawling on the glass, along the water line and even one hanging on to my floating plants. Is this something I should be concerned with? Id never seen them before I posted this originally, and now I see them everywhere.
  3. Hello! I was just topping off the water in my tank and it disturbed some of the substrate, causing some gunk to float into the water. While I was fixing it, I noticed this white squirmy worm (?) type thing in the water. I saw one more small one on the glass, too. I have never seen these before and I'm not sure if this is something I need to be concerned about? It's a 5 gallon housing just one beta, but he is not currently in the tank as he's undergoing a salt treatment in a hospital tank. Is it safe to put him back at the end of his treatment with these wormy things? (Normally the water is much clearer but due to the disturbed substrate it's a little cloudy right now).
  4. Thanks! I honestly have no idea what it's made of 😅 but I do think the top is a pressed type of wood, like particle board or something? I got it at a chain furniture store a few years back. I have been tossing the idea back and forth, and I think I'm going to try it, especially now with the reassurance and the advice!
  5. Thanks! Will it raise the pH gradually enough to not harm the fish?
  6. I have ANOTHER pH question! I want to add a snail to my 5 gallon planted betta tank, but from what I understand, low pH can be tough on snails, particularly their shells. My pH is currently 6.4, due to the fluval stratum I have as substrate. I was thinking of using crushed coral to raised the pH as recommended on another thread by a member here, but I have a few questions. Can I put the crushed coral in the filter instead of in the actual tank, so it's not visible? I like the way the stratum looks and I'd prefer not to have it on top if possible. Second, how quickly will the crushed coral raise the pH, and is there a way to control how high it goes? I don't want to raise it too quickly and hurt my fish, and I don't want it to go too high. mans any snail recommendations for a 5 gallon (I would prefer it not be able to reproduce) would be appreciated also! Thank you!
  7. My main concern is, he has a few scrapes on his head/sides of his body that he's dealing with along with 2 tears in his tail from flaring at his reflection, so I was afraid any ammonia in the tank would basically just cause him to wither away 🥲 The tears seem to be healing well, the scrapes just happened 2-3 days ago so I'm keeping an eye on them. Based on the calculator above, I actually only have .00045 ppm free ammonia, if that is accurate. So do you think it would be safe for him to wait until I get a .5ppm reading to do a water change, given what he has going on? He's very very active, eating very well and building multiple bubble nests, so he seems ok...
  8. Do you have suggestions for the most accurate or any one that you have had a good experience with?
  9. My pH is low. It was 7.4 before I changed to stratum. Now it's at 6.4, but I was reassured that as long as it stays steady at 6.4 the fish will handle it just fine. Temperature is about 78-79, depending on how warm the room is. How did you find out how much was actual ammonia versus ammonium?
  10. Ok very helpful, thank you! I've been a bit worried about him since changing the substrate as it lowered the pH substantially, and then he tore his tail from over flaring, and THEN he scraped his head and the sides of his body up 🤦🏻‍♀️ I'll keep an eye on it and wait on a water change for now. I don't know anything about Prime, if I use that how long does it work for? Should I use that in conjunction with the API quick start I have?
  11. Ok thanks!! That's kinda what I assumed had happened! How long should I wait to switch out the carbon filter for a sponge after the tank recycles? I was planning on doing that anyways, but after changing the substrate I didn't want to also remove the filter cartridge and completely decimate whatever beneficial bacteria was in there. I have API quick start I can add in there, too.
  12. Tank has been running only about 5 weeks. It was an impulse purchase, I will admit, but I'm trying to do right by the fish. I have liquid fertilizer but I haven't used it yet (easy green), I'm nervous to use it and I don't know why. The tank is a 5 gallon kit with a built in filter, I have a carbon cartridge in it right now, but was planning on switching to a coarse sponge in its place in a few weeks. I have not tested the water out of the tap, but I can do that. I think the tank WAS cycled, I was consistently getting 0 ammonia and nitrite, with 5-10 ppm nitrate; but last week on Sunday I drained the tank, took half of the gravel out and put fluval stratum on top, and that's when i added the Monte Carlo. I soaked all of the plants and decor and filter media in the tank water in a bucket to prevent some of the bacteria on any of it from dying off. so I am thinking I'll have to start the cycle over? If I find 0.25 ppm ammonia should I water change or not? I had thought that ammonia was so toxic that even that amount would kill the fish if left in there. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed I must admit, but I love the little dude so I appreciate all your input!
  13. I'm not sure if it contains chlorine or chloramine (or both? Like i said, i am very very new to this...) but I use tap water. I treat it with stress coat +, just because that was available to me and my fish had some fin issues when I bought him so I thought the aloe Vera would help him heal up. I treat the new water before putting it in the tank, so I just dose for the amount I'm replacing, not the whole 5 gallons.
  14. Hello! I posted a few days ago about my new betta tank, and everyone was very helpful, so thanks again! Today I have a question about ammonia levels (I am a super newbie). Is it possible to have a false ammonia reading? Here is the context behind the question: I have a 5 gallon filtered tank with one betta. I tested my water yesterday, and ended up with 0.25 ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrite and 10-20 ppm nitrate. I did a 25% water change and vacuumed the waste out of the substrate. Today, about 24 hours after the water change, I tested again. Results were ammonia 0.25 ppm, nitrite 0 ppm and nitrate 10 ppm. Should I do another 25% water change? I thought the nitrates fed the plants, in simple terms, so if i do and the nitrates end up at 0, will that have a negative effect on my plants? I have dwarf hair grass, Monte Carlo, salvinia minima and an Amazon sword. The day before the last water change, my readings were 0 ppm ammonia, 0 ppm nitrite and 20 ppm nitrate. I am using the API master test kit, and I do know the nitrate test is extremely finicky so I also have some test strips, but I have not used them recently because I tend to set them down and then walk away and forget to read them 😅 Any input would be much appreciated, thanks!
  15. That looks really nice! If I can find the space maybe I can try something like that 🧐 For now, I think I'm just going to try and be patient, wait for the plants to really grow in. I still have no idea what I'm doing, so one tank is probably the best idea...Maybe I'll add a snail if I start to get algae (which I kinda hope I do 😅). I had assumed the 5 gallon was too small for more fish tank mates, too so I'm glad you reinforced that for me. You've been really helpful, can't thank you enough. I'll hopefully have a good update on a few weeks and I fish with a tail that hasn't been ripped to shreds from his anger issues 🤞
  16. I do have 2 empty ten gallons that i bought on sale, but I don't have anywhere to put them. (Small house and cheap furniture 😆) I have my 5 gallon on my bedroom dresser, but it wouldn't support 10 gallons. I do love panda corydoras and corydoras sterbai but I'm assuming the 5 gallon is far too small for them. What about 3-4 Pygmy corys? Although, the betta is already in the tank so I couldn't introduce him after as recommended above, so that would be an issue too...
  17. HE IS LOVELY 😍Salty poet made me chuckle big time. He is a petsmart "blue mustard" and I have noticed his..."mustard"? Parts turning a slight pinkish color, this is super interesting. I love his color now but I would not be sad if he decides he wants to change clothes. I had Intended a snail or two in the 5 gallon, and then had hoped to upgrade to a ten gallon with some chili rasboras, but that will NOT be happening...I am hoping for algae growth on the walls (is that weird?!) because I thought that would be helpful, and your moody boy just reinforced the idea. Thank you so much for sharing him, I love it!
  18. I did actually pick up some easy green, but I'm a little nervous to use it (I'm not sure why). I currently have a carbon cartridge in my filter, my understanding is that it would be pointless to fertilize with carbon in the filter, is that correct? Because I just changed substrate I wanted to wait a few weeks before changing the filter cartridge to a coarse sponge, because I thought it would be better to give the beneficial bacteria a chance to cover the new substrate. I think I'm going to go ahead and get some catappa leaves and get those going too! Thank you so much for your input, this has been so so helpful.
  19. This is SO helpful! My LFS does have frogbit, I may pick some up. Super great info, thanks so much! I have no idea what KH testing is 😅 but I will research it and get a test kit. I don't have a hang on back filter, honestly the tank is a kit tank with a built in filter. I am kind of regretting not getting a larger tank, at this point! I would prefer a sponge filter but I have no space for it.
  20. Thanks for your input! Would Indian almond leaves also lower the pH? I was thinking of adding them for tannins as I really like the dark water look, but I knew that driftwood would likely lower it further (hence the artificial driftwood currently in there). do you know if the Crushed coral affect the carpeting ability of the Monte Carlo plants? I have a few floating plants, salvinia minima I think, any advice for getting them to really take off? This is my first Betta in over 10 years, and the first tank I've ever had live plants in, so I'm open to any advice or suggestions!
  21. I definitely got the ornery one outta the bunch 😁 I had bought a ten gallon to upgrade him down the road and maybe add some tank mates, but I don't think friends are in his future! Thanks again!
  22. James Black- the curling doesn't seem to bother him or slow him down, but I was concerned since it was getting worse. Here is a picture from a few days ago, you can see the curling in his fin and the holes/tears in his tail fin. They are almost completely healed today, just a few are still visible, bit the curling is the same.
  23. Thank you KatieG! I saw him and could not resist! He doesn't have an "official" name, but I call him Big Mad because he's always flaring and spreading his fins 😆 Thanks for your advice RockMongler! I am currently trying that right now. I have all of the room lights on along with the tank light to see if hell chill out a little. Fingers crossed!
  24. I currently have the room light and tank light on, he is still doing it 🥴 but we will see if he adjusts. I actually have another question now as well. His Finns have some curling around the edges, not his tail fin but his dorsal fin especially has it. I purchased him with the curling issue, but it does seem to be getting worse. Any idea what the cause could be? It does not appear to be fin rot, although it did treat him with aquarium salt for 5 or so day when I first brought him home, just in case it WAS a case of fin rot.I have attached a picture from about two weeks ago, the curling on his dorsal fin has definitely gotten worse since then, and I have added some floating plants since then as well. I apologize if the picture is huge, I don't know how to resize it...
  25. Hello! This is my first post here, if I'm not posting in the right place, please let me know! I am in need of advice on two issues. The first is how to cut down on reflection inside the tank on the walls. I have a male betta in a filtered, heated and (lightly) planted 5 gallon by himself. I have only had him about 5 weeks, and I am an absolute beginner in the hobby. He seems very aggressive and is constantly flaring at his reflection on his tank walls, which is causing tears in his tail fin, and possibly his dorsal. The tears developed 3 or so days ago (the flaring has been a problem but it seems to be getting worse), I kept the light off and he stopped, so the holes started closing up and the tears healing. Today I turned the light on to do a small water change and adjust some of the plants, and he started doing it again. I have just started planting the tank, so there is not a lot of cover right now, but I am hoping they will grow quickly and provide enough cover that this wont be a permanent issue. The tank is lit with the LED that was included in the tank kit. He doesn't flare much when the light is off, but without the light I don't think the plants will grow. I have tried a black background, a "natural" looking background, white plastic and white paper. Nothing seems to be helping, and I don't want him to shred his tail and/or develop an infection. Any advice or solutions for me to try would be very very appreciated. The second issue I am currently having (maybe it is not an issue, but I am a beginner so I don't know), is that my pH has fallen somewhat drastically. Out of the tap, my water is between 7-7.2, when testing the tank it was around 7.4. I recently replaced the substrate with Fluval Stratum to help with growth of the carpeting plants I just put in, and while I knew it would lower the pH slightly, it dropped off to 6.2-6.4. Is this something I should be concerned about? If so, what is the best way to raise it without harming the fish? I appreciate any help and advice anyone can offer, thank you!
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