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Hoi Polloi

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  1. Heaters, I've seen this come up a few times in various places. And based on what I've read and others on video outlets, it appears quality is a rare commodity. The recommendation suggested are to buy the cheapest brands, since the expensive heaters fail along the same time as a cheap heater and did not appear to be any better. I’ve only been in the hobby for a little over 6 months, so I cannot recommend a brand. However, when I was in the market for a good heater, I looked for long warranty. Good luck on your endeavors and I would be interested in what you eventually choose to do.
  2. A decent cooking thermometer plus a decent tank thermometer. Most thermometers have a +-2 degree variance. Quality is hard to find.
  3. Being six months into the hobby and spending a lot of time reading/videos. I am familiar with aquariumscience.org and it is without a few distractors. I question the authors anonymity despite his defense of ID theft as a reason to remain so. However, I cannot dismiss the information off hand. I ended up looking at the sponge filters provided by the manufacturers and the porosity of the filter material. Some of these filters seemed to be in the range of 10-25 ppi. Although, one set of sponges were so large a truck could have driven through it (3 ppi?). I went with sponge filters in the 10-20 ppi range and aquarium safe pot scrubbers. I put a set of pot scrubbers in one tray and a set in a mini canister filter in the quarantine tank and the pot scrubbers have performed well. They are much cheaper too. I am always looking for the best bang for the buck. I went with the Eheim pre-filter (sorry Cory, even though I did purchase your brand), sponge filters 10-20 ppi range, pot scrubbers, no carbon, and the pinky floss filter as mechanical filtration. I just completed an evaluation and in my particular system, I and going to extend the maintenance of the canister filter by two months. Having the pre-filter on, the floss in the canister was still in good condition, so I'm going to extend the life of it. (I'm always evaluating and trying to find a good system) I also have a HOB primarily for mechanical filtration with some biological (Pot scrubber!). Cheers!
  4. Currently in the main tank, I have three Julii Corydoras's. In a previous post somewhere on the forum in another topic, I had mention I had trouble keeping the Cory's alive - through a series of unfortunate circumstances and errors. One such error, was in the beginning, as I was trying to get the water parameters under control. The LFS asked me to bring in the water after a week. Which I did and as I waited, the person grabbed the test tubes and stated my water was good. - Zero nitrates! This was to my amazement, Then I bought four Cory's and promptly put them in the tank. I had just bought a water test kit myself and decided to try it out. I tested the water and my nitrates were still very high - red zone high. But, but, the LFS store stated I had zero. I have questions! I went through the process in my mind and concluded, since the LFS was very busy at the time - the water test results were from someone else's water. Bummer. Needless to say, I lost two of the Cory's within two days. I really dislike losing fish since my goal is to take good care of them. The other unfortunate circumstances which I will abbreviate, I tried two other times buying the Cory's when I finally had good water parameters, performing two different acclamation techniques with each purchase. In that span of time - one Cory made it. Fast forward to present day. I went to LFS#2 and asked if they had the same supplier as LFS#1. LFS#2 said no. I was beginning to suspect the quality of the Cory's were below par of LFS#1. After that answer I decided to give it another try. I bought four of their Cory's. And as of this writing, they are in quarantine, very active and doing well. I keep a very close eye on them. Just a little while longer and they'll be with their classmates. These fish have quickly become one of my favorites. Cheers!
  5. A jump in time from the past to present day on the aquarium journey. After reading about the Panda Garra and temperament, I headed to the LFS and inquired about the Panda Garra. I was thinking it would be difficult to obtain but they actually had one in stock. Taking a look at the fish, which was an adult, I was a little surprised it was as large as it was. It had been at the store for six months - apparently not a sought after fish. I ended up bringing it home and the panda garra settled in nicely. My granddaughter ended up naming the fish "Kirby" after the vacuum cleaner because that is what the fish is like - a big vacuum cleaner of the tank. Although I expected the temperament to be a little more laid back then what it actually is. It is not so much aggressive but more of "get out of my way" type behavior. It'll chase the other fish mostly during feeding time, again more like "get out of my space" type chase and it'll quickly give up. Oddly, the cory's eat near, over and all around it and the panda garra hardly takes notice most of the time. Although, it has attempted to push the cory's aside but the cory's are quick! Kirby the Panda Garra hides most of the time in the log. Overall, an interesting fish.
  6. When I had only one bloodfin, I also had a bubble wand against the back glass in the tank. As the bubbles were rising to the surface, I noticed the bloodfin would swim between the bubbles and sometimes would ride the upstream of the bubbles. It was not just an isolated incident, but I noticed this many times. Almost as if the fish was "having fun". Later, as I bought fellow bloodfins, a few others would join in on the fish fun. When I read the care sheets on these fish - I did not see this sort of information! 😉
  7. For me, it usually is while drinking my morning coffee and watching them interact.
  8. And so it goes.... The original lone bloodfin now has company, who is twice the size of the new tankmates. They are swimming around and doing what fish do, The original rainbow shark, hides a lot and comes out from time to time. However, the rainbow shark chases the golden gourami mercilessly. Eventually, I give the rainbow shark to the LFS to give the gourami some peace. From the original three, I am not down to two. I now start deciding on a natural aquascape and new substrates. To be continued....
  9. I am fortunate enough to have three small fish stores and one big box store within city limits, Outside city limits a small pet store with some fish and another big box store. I have visited each store and everyone concerned has been helpful and courteous. However, one local fish store, has been helpful but the store appearance is a bit disheveled. I suspect because it is short of help resulting in the lack of maintenance in the fish room. The fish room is unsettling. For instance, one day I visited, only one associate was there, who was in the middle of cleaning one tank, stopped to take care of some customers. Looking at one tank I observed a dead fish while another fish was eating the remains. Ok, I thought, it's only one tank. They'll get to it. Then, the larger tank had no less then 5 dead fish floating around (that I saw) with one very dead - decomposing type dead. As a result, unless things change, I would not buy fish there. Some of the hardware items, ok, but definitely no fish. It is such a shame because, it look so unstaffed and they are quite helpful
  10. The saga continues... As the water quality finally got better each week from a thorough substrate vacuuming and the appropriate water changes I felt comfortable enough to purchase some fish. The first fish I purchased were five other bloodfins to keep the lone bloodfin company. Taking it slow with the introduction of more fish. The process begins of making the aquarium my own. Note: It's been a few months since the aquarium was given to me and the first few entries are the beginning of the adventure. To be continued.
  11. I'm in the final developing stages of a food schedule, amounts, and types. Here is my list so far. 1. What times do you feed? AM and PM 2. How many times a day? 1x to 2x a day. On 2x days, small feedings at a time. I'm still debating the one day fasting part. 3. What do you feed? New Life Spectrum pellets, New Life Spectrum AlgeaMax, Bug Bites granules, Xtreme community pellets. Hikari frozen bloodworms. Recently trying cut up dried shrimp. No flakes foods, I don't like the mess. The amount of food is weighted at about 1 gram.
  12. Yes, this was the process. Plus, this was a trial by fire too 😉 Thanks for the info on the plants and encouraging words.
  13. Now the three fish that came with the aquarium are in the tank. I do want most people would likely do. I go to the local fish store (LFS). Especially, reading that the bloodfins like more of their company. I explain the situation and the LFS advises to bring in some water for testing. Later, I perform that task and when complete, I ask, "Can I get some fish"? The reply is No. The water needs to be better. A major water change is recommended - which is performed. I go back to the LFS but it closed. I have my water from the aquarium and decide to go to LFS#2. While they test the water I shop around for some decorations. LFS#2 advises that my water is not terrible but not great either and they too advise no fish purchases until the water is much better. It is suspected the substrate is holding a lot of fish poop and despite the water changes, it recontaminates the water. Each week, I clean the substrate with each water change and I see major improvements in water quality. It is amazing, the three original fish have survived. To be continued...
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