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  1. I have them in a 40G breeder. I have 6 of the garras and, uh, around 6 of the hillstreams. I have a rocky area that I put in for the hillstreams to hide in and, well, they hide well in it. I have several paleatus cories in there as well (8-10 of 'em, from a trio I put in that decided to breed...) There is probably a clown pleco in there too--I've seen it twice in the 18 months I've had it. I also have a few amano shrimp that I moved in from another tank, so as far as clean-up crews go, I'm set, heheh. Other fish in the tank are harlequin rasboras (around 15 of 'em), to add some interest to the middle of the tank. Because so many of the fish are on the bottom or on the glass (or in the rocks, plants, etc.), it doesn't look overstocked, and I have a cannister filter running to keep the water moving for the hillstreams, so it hasn't really required more water changes than my less-stocked tanks.
  2. At the height of the pandemic, I ordered 9 Denison barbs (a.k.a. torpedo barbs or roseline sharks) from an online retailer at half off.. A week later, another box from the same retailer showed up with another 9 Denison barbs. They'd had a computer issue and couldn't determine which orders they'd sent out the previous week, so they just sent all their customers a second order. So, 18 fish for half the cost of 9. Now that they're almost 5" long, it makes for an impressive school, though I could use a larger tank.
  3. I have both in the same tank. I'd rate the hillstreams a little higher on algae cleaning, but the panda garras are entertaining goofballs. With a 12 gallon tank, the panda garras might be a tad big though--mine are in the 3 1/2 inch range and pretty chunky. That said, panda garras are one of my favorite fish (there's nothing like trimming your plants, feeling something on your arm, and realizing that you've got 5 fish trying to clean you off), so it's hard not to recommend them.
  4. I got 6 of those about 18 months ago. I now have at least 25 spread out into 3 separate tanks. In any case, I mostly use fine gravel or sand, but in one tank, I have river pebbles/rocks in a corner, and it almost seems like they enjoy it more--an enrichment activity or something.
  5. Bolivian rams will happily eat cherry shrimp--I found that out yesterday*. As you mention that you're not too concerned about your neocaridina becoming a snack, that doesn't rule them out, and honestly they colored up very nicely after a tasty red meal. The rams have been peaceful with everything else in the tank though (rasboras, ember tetras, panda garras). (*I was cleaning out a semi-abandoned tank, and found I had at least 150 more shrimp in there than I'd realized, so I tossed a few into the tank with the rams while putting in a half-dozen kuhli loaches that I'd thought were long-gone as well. All in all, the tank wasn't nearly as abandoned as I'd thought...)
  6. I'm surprised this got such a discussion going--Super Glue Gel (cyanoacrylate) is sold at AquariumCoop.com in the aquascaping section, so yeah, fish-safe. I've used it for sticking wood to rocks and sticking plants to wood or rocks, and it works great. For small sticks, it really only takes a small dab to hold them down until they waterlog. It doesn't dry clear, so try to hide the glue points as best you can.
  7. If you're not already, sometimes sprinkle a small pinch of Repashy into the tank dry. It'll look a little messy for a few minutes, but the Repashy will get into nooks and crannies where only the Cherry Shrimp can get. That's helped mine compete with other bottom-dwellers for food.
  8. That seems like good advice across the board, not just for media bags.
  9. When it comes to plecos, I, well, choose not to afford the particularly rare and "new" breeds. Once they are being tank-bred, the price comes down, and I get interested in getting them. If new species of fish stopped appearing, that is not a big deal to me. There's a huge number of "known" species I've never kept, and a half dozen I've had and would love to keep again. I personally have some wild-caught fish, but it isn't my preference--I'm a loach lover, and some aren't easy to breed, purportedly. If I have the choice of tank-raised or wild-caught, I pay extra for tank-raised. My fish are pets.
  10. I did see that video, and coincidentally I had just lost an apisto to an illness after feeding bloodworms. One fish isn't definitive--another in the tank definitely ate some with no issues--but I have ceased feeding frozen bloodworms to my apistos, just in case. So, I'd also like to hear more opinions.
  11. While I'm a huge fan of panda garras, my favorite has to be my yoyo loaches. Constantly inquisitive and afraid of nothing, right up until they all get startled at once and try to jam into the smallest space they can find.
  12. What? "Randomly left on the tops of various tanks" isn't how everyone stores their tools?
  13. From what I've read and heard, 90+% of the beneficial bacteria in an aquarium is in the substrate, so rinsing your sponge filters in tap water doesn't make a huge difference. That said, I don't rinse ALL my sponges in tap water on the same day, just in case. Of course, in a bare-bottom tank, I'd use tank water.
  14. As others have said, some sort of filter material on the tidal's surface skimmer is a must for tanks with shrimp and/or fry. On the other hand, it cleared up a mild duckweed problem I'd been fighting.
  15. You've probably heard this before, but use cool water when doing a water change. About an hour later, lots of eggs all over the glass. I've gone from 5 to 30 paleatus corys without doing anything beyond that. The same technique got my pygmy corys laying eggs too, but they, uh, really enjoy caviar, so those eggs would need to be pulled.
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