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Jawjagrrl

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  1. Welcome to a great hobby with wonderful enthusiasts. And what a lovely first tank! Aquascaping on YT got me back in after a lengthy hiatus myself - we've got 3 small setups going. Cory and everyone at the Coop have done an amazing job as educators, ambassadors of the hobby and providing good products. Look forward to seeing that second tank soon!
  2. I may be a Hokie, but close family is all in NC - many hours on I77 over the years. Still live within an hour of the Smokies 🙂
  3. they are funny little things. I was drip acclimating some fish last week and came to check in - found a little one had gone through about 2' of air line and dropped my drip rate quite a bit 😆 I did think that some of my fish or shrimp would eat the eggs, but no takers.
  4. Welcome from your GA neighbor (go dawgs!) One many great things about this hobby is how deep it is - always more to learn, a fish you haven't kept yet, breeding, types of tanks, etc. Lots of really knowledgeable people here and you'll see there are interesting subsets of aquarists. I loved the activity and colors of the African cichlids years ago (and watching mouthbrooders hatch eggs in their mouths!). Have always loved catfish, loaches and other bottom dwellers. Oddball fish too! Hope you find lots of inspiration and ideas here.
  5. Looks like bladder snails to me. Some hate "pest snails" but they are doing a fine job of tackling algae for me in newish tanks. They look like little lawnmowers working over the thread algae on my moss balls! I crush the really tiny ones (less than 1mm) for my shrimp in their tank. I started with one or two in a single plant back in August and now I have countless numbers of them. They are great food for dwarf puffers 😉 and I find myself wondering how many live snails at a given size one would need to support one....
  6. My husband and I looked at a lot of scapes this summer - the gamut from a spongebob ornament and gloplants (lol) to classic Japanese styles, forests, mountainsides with "waterfalls". Not to emulate because we know it's a huge learning curve just as any art form is (my profession), but to see what appealed to us. I bought wood (online, nothing close by) and sourced rock from our farm, which has a lot of interesting mica content (hmmm... the algae bloom just made more sense. Last photo is what I am battling now). We tried to go with a basic mountain hardscape with a path and "trees" with epiphytes/moss balls. Looking at it as a designer, the scale on the wood and plants is all wrong. This is a tiny tank (5 gal portrait) and I don't want to do CO2 injection on this one. I like the slope I got with the soil and the rocks, path and little slate bridge, but I don't think the wood or plants are working. Photos from when it was recently set up - I had tried a method of blending aqua soil and fine bits of javafern and spreading on the hardscape and misting for a couple of weeks- I had seen one scape channel do this well and liked the idea, but didn't do well for me. The black back works well for my endor tank, but I wish this one could be brighter. Have probably been overthinking it, but it's an old art director habit. My cat supervisor Daniel enjoys it regardless.
  7. I'm up in the mountains where the ATL folks come for the lakes in the summer and a glimpse of snow in the winter 🙂 There are a couple good LFS over in Athens, but that's 2 hours of driving for me. The closer ones have gone reptile - lots of snake and lizard lovers around here. They are fun too, but I'd rather do fish. I see enough lizards and snakes outside here. I just replaced the last of my daily use glasses that were totally clouded up from being used where I lived in VA, so I can relate. Even here I can scrape minerals off tank hoods after awhile. No wonder my neocaradina shrimp seem happy 😄
  8. I think Donald, like my spouse, may me ADHD - he will work on a nest for a few minutes, the remember that the kuhlis might need investigating and mildly harrass them for a few minutes. Then a few loops through the "trees" and then he "oh yeahs" and goes back to his nest. His faux indignation is endlessly entertaining, especially now that the loaches are comfortable enough to start teasing him.
  9. Love it! And the Coop strips are already in a 200 quantity vs API at 100, so your order can last a long time. I did burn through that package of API strips pretty fast setting up three tanks this summer, they go faster than one might think!
  10. How curious for three of us in one small discussion were in that field for at least a time. I was the only creative on staff in a company of thousands of people, so it was quite the shift from the design studio/ad agency side of things. My little sanity tank is back in use for shrimp and is the one doing the best of all so far, oddly enough. Look forward t hearing about your new journey back into the hobby and how it goes. Someone else here from Texas that has water over 9.0ph! Are you working with liquid rock too? I got my shrimp in from Houston and they were running around 7.6-7.8. I'm not always the most patient person, but going super slow with planning the feature tanks in our den and enjoying the little ones for now. Really glad our well water is quite good (perhaps high in iron) and I can use it right away and not have to age it like I did in town years ago.
  11. Small world! I used to live in SW VA and hiking/caving were popular pasttimes. It's also a great place to keep African cichlids as the tap where I live was just about perfect Mbuna water. River rock is nice and hard too for buffering purposes. Closer to neutral now, so it's fun to work with fish that wouldn't do as well up there like some of the acid loving tetras, etc.
  12. He could be a fishy cousin 🙂 They are amazing little fish. EDIT: just got to watch the video after getting all the animals fed - how awesome to see a Jr Nerm learning and enjoying! I would have loved a tank as a kid too. Great vid!
  13. My last job was also in financial services - anyone other than senior management was in cubes in a windowless room. Good company, strange culture. That's how I got a 2.5 gal nano tank to keep me sane. The market garden (organic) is hard work, but at this stage I need more autonomy and sunlight. Every woman on my floor at that job was on rx vitamin D because they were so deficient from years of no natural light except weekends.
  14. Hopefully he will do just fine. I read stories of aggressive bettas killing snails *after* I added mine, but other than the occasional stare down it seems ok. I'm in the mountains too, near the southern end of the AT. Lots of good wood, rock and moss options! There are probably plants that could be adapted too, but lots more to learn about them before I experiment more.
  15. We have so many kinds of wood on our property that I did some research on what was ok and what wasn't - most of it is fine. A few no gos, like green softwoods like pine (and you could probably age them long enough) or walnut, which has something in it that is toxic that I forgot the name of at the moment but functions as an inhibitor. The 5gal tank in my post has sycamore, holly and a bit of oak. These were gathered and scrubbed of the easily removed debris and dirt, then boiled for a couple of hours to sterilize. These are small pieces - if it was a big piece for a large tank I'd probably do even longer. I then soaked until they were no longer buoyant. I also use aged magnolia leaves for a little acidity and as hammocks for one of the bettas. He doesn't know almond leaves are what the cool kids are using and is just fine with it.
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