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  1. Thanks @Zenzo! Looks like the house is going into a bidding war so I'm out (other than the outdoor water feature it's a pretty "meh" late 90's house of which there are many more) ...Next step is to learn about how much it costs to have a water feature added to a house that doesn't have an existing one.
  2. Nice photos - looks like a great day. If you happened to run into an employee named Malik (super nice guy) at the aquarium, his previous job was "the aquatics guy" at the Tacoma Mall Petco. If your daughter has any interest in potentially working at the/a Zoo or aquarium, she should reach out to them. There's ways to "get in" there (they also have a "be a zoo keeper for a day" program where you can work a bunch of the jobs first hand) and it seems like it's a great bunch of people.
  3. Looking at a house that comes with a preexisting pump driven water feature with a waterfall into a small pond (3 small Koi in it at the moment- would guess 500 gallons for so, but without wading in...). Can anyone here with some experience able to give me some SWAG estimates at monthly cost to keep the pump running, water, maintenance, etc and some basic info on the amount of time effort needed? The house is laid out great and the yard looks *ideal*, but I'm looking to retire in a couple of years as well as starting to feel my years a bit in my back and knees and want to understand what I would be getting into financially and physically. Edit- Should add that the house is in the Seattle/Vancouver BC area if that makes any difference.
  4. Ah ah- that looks exactly right and their behavior follows the info linked to here to a T. The only difference is that all 3 of mine are a very light beige/"parchament" color vs what appears to be the more common brown. Thank you @Colu!
  5. I have Clithon Diadema and Clithon Donovani in the same tank with these "Hair" snails. Other than the very superficial "thorns", they're very different from the Clithons - shells as noted are oriented differently, appear to grow in rings, and are much thinner than other Nerite varieties (which makes me suspicious that these "hair snails" are exclusively freshwater throughout their lives). In the second picture, you can see that the head and eyes of the "hair" snails are actually above and independent of the foot structure vs. directly in front of the foot on the Clithorns/Nerite species I'm familiar with. Still early days with these "Hair guys" so not sure what eating habits they've brought with them from previous captivity, but right now they seem to spend their foraging time digging themselves into the substrate for mulm and detritus rather than surfing the glass for biofilm and algae with the rest of the Nerites in the tank.
  6. Here's another picture where the head/mouth structure is kind of visible and rotated about 90 degrees to the right. Also notice that the shell is grooved (the "stripes" are algae growing in the grooves rather than pigmentation).
  7. Mine have decided to bury themselves in the substrate for the time being, so here's a larger version of the Thumbnail picture:
  8. I recently picked up a couple of "Hair Nerite" snails and I'm trying to learn more about them. Their shells and bodies (save their mouth structures) look a lot more like something from the Whelk family with their shell whorl 180 degrees behind their heads rather than the 90 degrees to the right more typical of the other typical Nerite species. I've also noticed that these snails are able to "plant their foot" and become stationary and then twist their bodies so that they can move their heads up to 90 degrees right or left- other Nerite species I'm familiar with have a much more restricted range of head motion of maybe ~20 degrees before they need to move their body as well. Web searches are coming up pretty empty on these guys. Anyone with any experience or more info?
  9. Banana peel works great and snails love it. Banana fruit is like adding a big dose of Bacteria AE to your tank- it degrades quickly and ends up coating and "sliming" nearby decor and glass.
  10. Male Bettas tend to mimic human males. When young it's about staking and defending one's territory, being the first off the line at the green light, and flirting with everyone receptive. When middle aged it's about minimizing the drama and savoring peace and quiet when it can be found. Myself and my most beloved Betta are both in the latter phase of life- he used to come charging up to the front of the tank to check on me whenever I would pass by....now it's up to me to pull up a chair beside his tank and wait until he finishes up whatever deep thought or inner debate I'm interrupting and decide to amble over so I can check on him.
  11. In late...but random ideas: * The hobby is getting inundated with products of various quality from all over the world and is really crying out for some sort of organization that maintains accepted standards (like Underwriters Labs for electrical devices) and gives a "stamp of approval" to items that meet criteria for safety, construction, performance, etc. Would love to see something like an "American Aquatics Association" or "International Aquatics Association" formed to drive levels of quality and standards into products. My bet is that people (especially beginners) would be willing to pay a premium for "approved" products. * In a similar vein- would like to see formal breeding standards (and ethics) become part of the hobby. I see a lot of posts across the internet from rank amateurs looking "to make some extra cash from the hobby by breeding fish" or simply "I wanna see if I get these fish to breed". As others in this thread have noted, we're seeing strains of fish (e.g. Guppies and Bettas) that are getting weak and disease prone at an alarming rate due to inbreeding. Dog, cat, etc owners seem to generally agree that uncontrolled breeding and/or "puppy mill" type breeding isn't OK (how often have we seen the "spay and neuter your pets" message?) ...unfortunately the majority of this hobby seems to either not comprehend that's what's going on or is choosing to ignore it. * Step one to me for any newbie is "understand your tap water"- it's natural parameters will dictate which species will do their best with a minimum of needing to become a "mixologist" of additives, buffers, supplements etc. I'm still floored that I haven't come across a pet store yet that gives out free dip strips to people so they can test their water before buying fish to help guide them on which fish will do best in their water. * When I was a kid there was clothing called "Garanimals" (actually - it looks like they're back) which had a system where when you matched symbols on the tags of pants, shirts, etc. you could be assured that you wouldn't be creating a fashion faux pas. Seems like the hobby is crying out for a system where newbies can easily match fish species A with compatible fish food A with compatible tank size A, etc. to similarly remove confusion, mystery, and disapproving feedback. * Dealers could do a lot better job of bundling packages for new fish owners. Not just full aquariums, but the accessories. Just bought a Betta? Here's a package with a net sized right, water conditioner, food, treats etc. I was in a pet store the other day and came across a 7 or 8 year old kid and parents that were buying his first Betta and they were completely overwhelmed by all of the different food choices. They still had yet to repeat the process to pick out conditioner, etc.
  12. I have a very keen sense of smell, so all of my bottled products (Seachem Prime is a must- I can smell that from any corner in the house) go into one of these airtight containers: https://www.amazon.com/Storage-Airtight-Pantry-Containers-Measuring/dp/B0815YJ4BP/ref=sr_1_30?dchild=1&keywords=flour+storage&qid=1632019617&sr=8-30 One container can hold 4 16 ounce Seachem bottles.
  13. The first job I had out of college in '97 was working for an extremely well funded sales organization. The Vertex tax tables we purchased were full of errors back then as well. So...accurate sales tax collection on mail-order purchases is a problem that's been around since last century.
  14. I'm a single Dad with shared custody. Part of every month I'm the full on 24/7 sole care provider for two and part of every month it's me solo. Sounds odd and probably slightly crazy to people that aren't parents (and maybe some that are), but I get something extremely comforting and satisfying from the responsibility of being a "fish Dad" and the daily connection it keeps between me and my child through caring for our family pets 24/7/365. Of course on the water change days where my forearms are covered in Duckweed and where I might have gotten a good mouthful of water trying to start the gravel siphon I might give you a slightly different story.
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