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  1. Just saw this thread and I cannot stress enough to anyone here who is into freshwater how much they need to go to the Tennessee Aquarium. So many public aquariums have saltwater stuff, and Tennessee does too.... but their freshwater building is incredible. You start out by going up about 5 floors on an escalator, then descend your way down through the various halls including MASSIVE viewing tanks in the center of the building. There are very few places you're going to get to see arapaima, Asian arowana, and American paddlefish in person.... but they've got them! It's not as big as some places (like the Atlanta Aquarium 2 hours away), but it is ABSOLUTELY worth the visit. When Covid isn't a thing, hopefully they'll open up the sturgeon petting tank again. They're like little puppy dogs begging for attention. The stingray petting exhibit was still open, but sturgeon was closed unfortunately 😞
  2. That just means the UV clarifier I stuck in off to the left of the camera shot is doing its job. It was definitely green last night. If you see the light reflections to the side too, I'm ordering some blackout curtains from Amazon right now. This is the fight I had with this tank before I re-scaped it for the puffs... big algae bloom. I think I'm getting too much light leakage from the window in addition to the light I'm throwing at it. Worst case scenario, I still have algae bloom but get a better view with no reflections on the camera
  3. Got back from vacation on Sunday evening and the water was green. I threw a UV sterilizer in it to knock down some of the algae, so now it's just cloudy. The puffs are getting along well and follow each other around a lot. They're letting their food take over the tank though, as I now have at least 4 rams horn snails just chilling and wandering around the tank. I decided to put my camera on the tank and stream it on Twitch so I can show off the puffs to my co-workers today, if anyone else is interested in watching them.
  4. Well I'm back to thinking that IS a female, even though I can't see the spots that you're supposed to use in sexing them. She's definitely rounder than he is, and he is following her around like a lost puppy dog. He's not nipping or being aggressive, but he's tagging along. They ate frozen bloodworms this morning and seem to be getting along well, so that's reassuring. Tank is a tiny bit cloudy in a way that looks like a bacterial bloom, but there's no ammonia or nitrite levels showing up. I think puffers are just much higher bioload than the betta that was in there before and the bacteria is expanding to compensate. Or it's the early stages of an algae bloom and I'm gonna have a mess to clean up when I get home. Hopefully it's the former.
  5. Probably common knowledge, but.... If it's not water change time and you want to suck up excess food, algae, etc in a very targeted manner.... siphon with a piece of air hose. You can spend several minutes hitting the target areas to get rid of what you want, and not drop the water level by more than a few cups, so it's easy to replace.
  6. First morning together and things are looking good. They were out swimming around in the open together when I woke up and looked in at them. The lights came up and they weren't spooked... still exploring the place side by side. I gave them a little block of frozen bloodworms and they ate well... no aggression. I also found two ramshorn snail egg sacks on the glass. I guess I forgot about the snails I put in there last week to snack on the biofilm that formed on the wood. At least they'll be fed....
  7. Well my problem may actually be a different problem than I thought. After getting the puffer from dad's house and getting home, I don't see the "random spots" that a female should have. Definitely looks like (s)he has the crease behind the eye. I think I have 2 males. The new one is a lighter color, but I think that's just stress. That might actually be better to have 2 males in a 20g than a pair. Time will tell. Right now they're swimming around nicely exploring their new tank. Both got introduced to this 20g at the same time so nobody has a territory carved out yet.
  8. And I may have a problem. Dad went to the store and they had one female. Dad got her. That now means I have one male and one female to go into a 20 gallon. I've always heard that you want 2 females to do a trio so that one doesn't get harassed literally to death, so I'm a bit worried now. If I introduce them both tonight at the same time, do you think I'm going to have to worry about aggression between the two of them or the male just harassing her to death? Would dither fish help? And what would you recommend?
  9. I have an acrylic one now that CAN come apart. I tried to clean it this morning by dipping it in vinegar, and then sanding it with sandpaper to get the caked on algae off. That didn't work. The two I've tossed were glass and don't come apart in any way I can find.
  10. Just called the local fish store and they said they got their order of Pea Puffers in today, but haven't sexed them. Dad drove down there to see if they have 2 females since I won't have time after work today. Cross your fingers for me! Pea Puffer's Paradise may be coming together finally!
  11. I've been using some cheapo Amazon CO2 diffusers. The stone keeps getting clogged with algae. It doesn't take much... any little bit of algae and the diffuser is just DEAD. I've tried soaking them in vinegar to see if that would loosen it up and make them work again, but to no avail. Does anyone have any tips for cleaning these things up?
  12. The prep work to do concrete isn't exactly easy. It's usually about 1 day of scrubbing, rinsing, and scooping with a shovel to get it clean enough that the concrete will adhere. And the cure time on concrete is PROBABLY higher than any of these roll on sealants. Usually the fish end up in a temporary holding pond for about a week to give it time to cure and be ready.
  13. The house I live in once belonged to my grandparents. My grandfather was a brick mason, and in the 50s he built a brick/concrete/stone fish pond in the backyard. Over the years it has had to be cleaned and re-sealed every 3-4 years. The last time it was done was 2017, and it is leaking at an increased pace now, so I'm gonna have to do it again in the near future. In the past, he used a white fiberglass-infused concrete. It worked well for a while, but eventually would need to be redone. I'm curious if there's something else you all would recommend for sealing this? I've looked at Pond Armor, Herco H-55, and Liquid Rubber NeoPond sealant. I had one local store tell me he'd probably just use Flex Seal. Everyone suggests a liner, but because of the fountain in the middle and the irregular shape jutting out at one end, it would be almost impossible to use a vinyl liner without owning a tool to sonic weld pieces together to fit around, so I think I'm going to be stuck with some type of roll/spray on sealer. By my math (Thanks, Fusion360), it's around 240sq ft of area that needs to be coated. Have any of you used any of these products before, or what would you recommend.
  14. Day 10 Some plants moved around, CO2 injection back up and running correctly. A little dose of Easy Green. And greedy betta fed. Had a bit of a diatom outbreak over the weekend, but that's normal in a new tank so I'm not worried about it.
  15. And here's the current Puffer tank. It's a 6.8g Imagitarium tank sitting on my nightstand. I need to get in there and wipe some algae down, suck some of the hair algae out, and clean the dishes (remove snail shells). It got a little overgrown over the weekend and I didn't get around to doing maintenance on it yesterday.
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