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Buckman

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  1. Do you feed black worms to fish? This may be where the leeches came from. I breed mystery snails in a 20 gallon long that is only half full of water. The substrate is a thin bed of crushed coral. I found this to be the perfect setup for growing black worms as well, so now my snails and black worms live together. The leeches wound up proliferating and getting creepy though. Fish eat them too, but I don't like putting my hand in there. They were getting big with all the food I was chucking in there to breed snails. They will eventually get big enough to become a deadly parasite on a snail. If your black worms come from an outdoor farm, having leeches is unavoidable. But I was able to separate a decent sized sample of black worms from this tank, and make sure that no leeches were present. I tore down the tank and re-started the colony, and now I have black worms on tap with NO leeches present. Hope this helps? Was wondering why you were purposely putting leeches in a small container with snails. What were you trying to figure out?
  2. Yeah, when I started this hobby during covid, I fell into some bad habits and made things too complicated. I bought iron I didn't need. I bought anti-algae stuff that doesn't work when what I really needed to do was get a light with less power and save some money. I bought liquid fertilizer that helped to grow that algae. Why am I adding liquid fertilizer to a box that poop fish in? I played with CO2 until I figured I should start plants closer to the surface and let part of them float on top. They get their own CO2 from the air that way. Duh. Plant them in the substrate when they are long enough to reach to the top. I spent some stupid money on "crushed coral" until I found that crushed oyster shell can be found at farm supply stores for a fraction of the cost. Psssssst...this looks exactly like what you pay $40 bucks for in a pet store. At the farm supply store they sell it as a chicken feed supplement for $7.50 a bag. If you look at the chicken feed supplement it says it is mostly oyster shell and may contain some crushed coral. If you look at the bag for crushed coral it will say it is mostly crushed coral and may contain some oyster shell. I think they are identical products produced by the same companies and placed into different bags for different markets. Now I don't even use dechlorinator. "Rest your water" is something I have heard as well. My wife has made a hobby of terrestrial plants for some time now. She often sits water in a bucket for a while before watering her plants. She says that certain species don't like the chlorine and she's letting it "off-gas." To be honest I do some baking occasionally and I do this myself to help the yeast out. I didn't equate the two. Bottom line, if you are trying learn your way in a hobby that has been around for 100 years or more and you are fretting and worrying and buying chemicals, you are probably doing it wrong. A great parallel example is cigars. In the late 19th and early 20th century, folks kept their cigars properly humidified by making a slurry of water and kosher salt and putting that in a small dish or ramekin in the same container you keep your cigars. Every week or so, add a little water to that and stir it around. That container will naturally stabilize into a perfect 70% humidity for your cigars. You can buy some crazy expensive crap to hydrate cigars nowadays when all you need is kosher salt and a plastic bag. I should know better. My father worked in advertising.
  3. Just what the title says. I stopped using dechlorinator for about a year, and absolutely nothing has happened. Nothing died. I want to clarify a few claims first. I am not saying that dechlorinators are bogus or deceptive in their claims. I am not claiming that everyone should stop using dechlorinators. What I do may not work for you. This isn't some sort of click bate thing meant to cause a big argument in fish forums. So let me tell you how this came about. I live in a major metropolitan area that treats their tap water with chloramines. If I get water out of the tap and test it right away, Aquarium Co-op test strips rightfully tell me that chlorine is present. I used to treat this with a very common big company chemical dechlorinator. But here is what I noticed: it took about 3 or 4 hours for the chloramines to get "processed" before I could use the water. I started testing every 30 minutes or so after adding dechlorinator to tap water and made some interesting observations. 1. Testing water immediately out of the tap shows no ammonia present, but chlorine is evident. 2. After adding dechlorinator to the tap water, there is soon be an ammonia spike that is detectable with Aquarium Co-op test strips. (I think this once led to the death of some fish. I used dechlorinator and added this water to the tank too quickly.) 3. The ammonia dissipates and is no longer detectable about 3 hours after adding dechlorinator. 4. After 3 or 4 hours, no ammonia and no chlorines are detectable with test strips. This is when I usually add this water to the tank and call it a day. 5. The odd thing is that after 3 or 4 hours, the test strips show no chlorine or ammonia, but nitrates and nitrites are through the roof. It looks like it would be harmful to add this to a tank, but when I do, everything is fine. In fact, I can test the water in an aquarium immediately after a water change and it shows what I usually get with a planted tank: nitrates are at about 25ish and nitrates are undetectable. In other words, things are back to normal. This was my water change setup when I started all this: I have a 27 gallon plastic tote set up to receive tap water slowly from a hose in my basement. I have a horse trough set up where the hose shuts off when it is full. The tote is set up with an airstone for flow and a 200 watt titanium heater hooked up to a thermostat that will bring the cold tap water up to 78 degrees over time. I started with a 5-gallon bucket to condition water, but after getting up to about 10 tanks, this was my "upgraded" system. This setup was created more for temperature control and ease of use. I have a hose with a valve and the tote is above all my tanks in the basement. I look at the temp reading, and when it is up to temp I add water to tanks with a gravity fed hose. Easy. I used to add dechlorinator, but had an "accident" when I went too fast with this setup. I wanted to speed up my water change because I was pressed for time. So I mixed warm and cold water till I got to 78 degrees, added dechlorinator, and put it in the tanks. This is when I discovered this ammonia spike problem and started reading up on chloramines. So, through my obsessive testing, I discovered that adding dechlorinator to the water did not change the timing or the condition of the water. If I added dechlorinator, an ammonia spike would occur, and 3 hours or so later, the water had no ammonia or chlorines, but looked trashy with nitrates and nitrites. Add it to a tank, and all is well in the end. If I didn't add dechlorinator, nothing changed. So apparently, time and the mixing caused by the airstone is all that is needed. So one day I had sold a lot of fish out of a tank and there were only a few left. I wanted to do a water change, and I wanted to attempt doing it without adding dechlorinator. There were about 5 guppies left in this tank so I decided to roll the dice. I added the water without treating it with dechorinator and everything was fine. The next day, I did with a big 40 gallon breeder full of fish. Everything was fine. Nothing happened. Fast forward to today and this is now my process. I have been doing this for about a year. I can reliably get about 25 gallons out of my 27 gallon tote. I plan water changes accordingly. After I add water to tanks, I turn on the cold tap water and fill the tote. No more water changes on this day. I usually wait till tomorrow. I never really have emergencies anymore, but if I want to do a water change on the same day after filling the tote, I test it to see if the the ammonia spike has dissipated and the chloramines are gone. This takes about as long as it takes to bring the temperature up anyway. About 3-4 hours. But mostly, I just refill the tote and don't use it again till next day. I don't test the water anymore. Every time I do test a tank, everything is healthy and fine. I haven't bought dechorinator since I discovered this. It has been well over a year. I still use the dechlorinator for one thing and one thing only. I clean airstones by pulling them out of a tank and putting them into a tall glass milk bottle filled with a 10% bleach solution. I let that stone run in the bottle for a couple minutes and then transfer it to another tall glass milk bottle with tap water that has been treated with dechorinator. This does a really fine job of deactivating chlorine bleach. After the stone runs in the "dechlorinator" jug for of a couple of minutes, I put it back into the tank. So, this chemical does work. And I am about out of it. Time to buy some more. But I am going to buy a small bottle of it and that will last me for the next couple years. I'll never put it into a tank again. Why would I? I would like to re-iterate...this is just MY EXPERIENCE. I do not endorse anyone not using dechlorinator for your tanks unless you know what you are doing, test things properly, and proceed with caution. THIS MAY NOT WORK FOR YOU. I do not want to be responsible for people killing all the fish in their tanks. But I also don't want you to buy chemicals you don't need. Do you condition your water in a container over night simply to get the temp up for the next time you use it? What you are doing now might make using dechlorinator unnecessary. Good luck and swim at your own risk. Have any of you had similar experiences?
  4. Well this kinda started in another thread. That's where I was trying to find out why a corydora, and well...now up to 10 shrimp died. And everybody looked sick. The snails tried to leave town, closed the back door and didn't move for days. Had one plant didn't like it either. Took a few days but I just through away a grey betta bulb. I did mention some fish loss in my second post. So my water company uses chloramine (which is not the same thing as chlorine, it's got ammonia attached.) You got a problem if you leave it (chloramines kill fish) and you got a problem if you use a dechlorinator to break them down (this causes the ammonia to be freed and now is in the water also ready to kill your fish). I didn't realize it until it started getting dry and a lot of water evaporated out of the tank. So I topped off a lot of water into the tank that had ammonia in it. I used dechlorinator thinking that I was treating chlorine. And as I made this mistake ammonia was released into my top off bottle and I dumped it on my fish. That didn't work out so hot. So apparently everyone deals with this a different way. My problem really only brings 0.5 ppm of ammonia which lots of fish could tolerate. Invertebrates take a beating. But depending on what you keep, you may never know. I like snails and shrimp, to the point where I go to great lengths to make the water all hard and nice for them. So when I found out I may be dumping ammonia in my tank, I didn't feel so good. Now these guys are sort of telling me that it may not be the normal level that did the damage. Lots of fish and even invertebrates can deal with the occasional 0.5 ppm ammonia water change. And I never did more than 25% once a week for months. But this idea of the water company doing an occasional spike if they are trying to "shock the pool" or correct something, that level might be way higher for a short period. Maybe my big massacre was a spike like that. I'm going to contact my local club (been meaning to join but I am busy and Covid shy) and get the low-down about this. I actually know where the extension office is. So I may hit them up as well. And now that I am thinking about this I always thought it was weird that every pet shop around here sold tons of ammonia pads. It's not like I do this every day. But I have thought several times to myself, "Why does every place have like 4 sizes of ammonia pads?" I just didn't think all fish stores would stock so much of that particular item and I kinda wondered who was having so much trouble with it. Was that a saltwater problem? Duh...now I am thinking people incorporate ammonia pads into their water conditioning somehow. Are people putting these in cannister filters or HOBs and conditioning a trashcan? That would make sense and maybe you could process that in just a few minutes. You would just have to test pretty mush every time you ever did it.
  5. Yeah, I didn't put all the parameters down. O have been discussing this in another thread. Then when I figured it out I posted this separately. And I have been talking about this all wrong. I keep talking about chloramines because that's the new thing I am dealing with. But what's really going on is I add Prime to tap water, this breaks apart chloramine and in my case leaves behind 0.5 ppm ammonia. This is actually what I am agitating our of the water. And that's a very small amount. If it was much more I might have larger issues. So some places shock periodically? Or maybe when testing requires it? I haven't read that yet. I'll look into it though. I have lots of beneficial bacteria in this tank. There's several pounds of lava rock in the bottom and I run it in the HOB as well. Everything is testing well again. Seems like things are getting back to normal. I'll test everything obsessively for a while. If any good came out of this it's that I now have a decent pH meter in regular usage. I have recently learned that many test strips are well off the mark here. I regularly get confirmed readings that are as much as 0.8 off from a strip test of the same sample. A test strip will show 6.7 or so and the pH meter says 7.5 right after calibration. That's just not working for me.
  6. Everything went to crap for about 3 days. Once I figured this out and started testing all water and only putting it in my tank if it was clear of ammonia, everything got better quick. Everyone is moving slower but recovering. That first time I dumped the top-off water it was a whole gallon into a 20 gallon tank. That's a 5% water change. I know people get away with worse, but I didn't. The fish didn't care that much (well not exactly, I lost a corydora) but the invertebrates took a beating. My water company proudly displays their chloramine usage on their website. To be honest, I don't think they use much of it. I have lived here for 20 years and no one ever mentioned it. But it did me some harm. Fish stores sell Prime by the bucket load and tell you the water is fine with 2 drops a gallon. They also said the water is on the hard side and great for shrimp. That first day just about all my shrimp died and I was doing 50% water changes. No wonder the first week of that tank looked rough.
  7. So I recently found out that I have chloramine in my tap water. I think that explains the terrible first week I had. But right after that I fell into good habits with conditioning my water. I got a 5 gallon bucket, heater, nano sponge, and air pump. I would refill this bucket right after a water change and let it bubble for a week until I needed water again. Never had trouble. Fast forward a bit to last week. It's winter. The house is cold. Keeping a top-off jug on the floor makes it too cold to just dump in the tank. So, for the first time I start getting getting top off water straight from the hot and cold tap mixed together to 79 degrees, adding Prime, and dumping it in. I know now that this wasn't enough time for Prime to work, and like many articles have said, Prime didn't even touch the ammonia and I had a couple of really bad days with this aquarium. I've about got it sorted out. But...I need a new water conditioning process. And the problem is that the entire internet says I shouldn't be able to do what I am doing, which is pumping air into water with chloramines / ammonia and getting away with it. However, I have also seen quite a few people claiming that this is exactly what they do. But for this, I haven't got much of an explanation. If I put Prime into tap water and test it immediately, there is about 0.5 ppm of ammonia. It is never much. The lowest amount to show up on a Co-Op ammonia strip test. So, it's not as bad as it could be. But it was bad enough to kill off a corydora, 10 ghost shrimp, and almost killed my mystery snails before I figured it out. The tank went through it for a minute. My question is this. Why am I able to remove ammonia by injecting air in for about 24 hours? And it is about 24 hours. 8 was a no-go and 16 didn't work either. Needs a whole 24 and the airstone better be pumpin' it out. If I put a big plant in the bucket, it tests clean in about 4 hours. So what gives? Does Prime really remove ammonia? I think the answer to that is no. Unless it also needs 24 hours of agitation with air to do it. Didn't see that on the bottle. I've never seen a bottle of Safe in this area and haven't gotten to look at it. Has anyone here developed a workflow that gets rid of chloramines in this way?
  8. I love this plant. But it is also a big frustration. I keep hard water. It is the plant that looks amazing most of the time, but always seems susceptible to anything going wrong. It seems to be the weakest link as far as algae growth goes. This is usually the first plant to get it and the last plant to be free of it. I find that the lower leaves that are older start to become susceptible to rot or algae or simply developing holes. I wish you more luck than I had. Any gains I get seem ruined by having to trim bad sections off later. I'll keep trying though. That red foil on the leaves just looks too good.
  9. I do betta bulbs in pots all the time. Not with that particular bulb of yours. But why not? In fact I have this monster betta bulb that quickly filled my 20 gallon high. It was in a pot so I could move it. I highly recommend this for big bulbs. It took both hands to transfer this thing and it completely filled the bucket. It's just fine. No heat. Shop light 8 hrs a day. Three weeks now. Still going.
  10. Okay, pearl weed and baby tears are pretty easy. You can do that with a 5 gallon bucket, an air stone, and a shop light. Put at 6500K bulb in a hardware store shop light and you have the cheapest plant light ever. Squirt nutes in this tank according to taste and nitrate testing if you have it. Feeding a 5 gallon bucket is about the same as feeding a 5 gallon aquarium. EXACTLY the same. Some plants may be sensitive to temp, but they will be far more forgiving than fish. The bulb is going to be an issue. You just had to pick one of the biggest tank centerpieces available, right? You can maybe do that in it's own bucket with a similar set up. You.may or may not give up when you see how big it can get. If it is still in bulb form...stop reading this and leave it in bulb form. If not...beer brewing offers bigger buckets than 5 gallon. That's the cheapest path I can figure for you to Spring. Good luck.
  11. So much has happened since I posted about this. All of this was good advice. But in the end I found out I have chloramine in my tap water. So, I have been keeping fish (this time around) for about a year. Previous attempts at fish keeping usually involved only one betta and some guilt that I was keeping it in a small tank. I always knew the water here to not have much chlorine in it at all. And when I got my betta that started this much bigger attempt at this hobby, the in-the-know guy at my local fish shop gave me an entire lecture about our water here. "We have tons of limestone around here. The water right out of the tap is great for shrimp." It's not. Out of the original shrimp I got, one survives. I have always heard @Cory say things like, "It's hard to get shrimp to be successful in a tank less than 6 months old." So I didn't kick myself too much. I started working on making the water even harder and making sure CO2 didn't make my water too acidic. Recently I started having the problems I described above. I'll explain exactly what happened in a minute. And I have heard that advice time and time again in this area. "The water is almost perfect right out of the tap. you just have to use a little dechlorinator." I have to admit, I don't have notice that the belong to a fish club. But that is the advice I have been getting from the kind of local mom and pop stores that someone like me should want to take advice from. If the water company is putting chloramine into the water, you would think that there would be a flyer about it at every fish store. I have never even heard it mentioned. However, there it is on the company's website for all to see. So I feel l dumb. Get this. I have even worried about this situation because we consider moving every now and then. What would I do if I moved to a place with chloramine? How would I pull that off? I am answering this sooner rather than later. Why did I not notice this sooner? That's a good question. On the first day I lost a fish, a snail, and some shriimp. I always felt dumb about that, but it never happened again so I chalked it up to inexperience, I have lost nothing after that first day up until this current problem. Ever since I started keeping this tank I have been conditioning the water I use for changes. I fill a bucket downstairs with a heater, an airstone and a pump. As soon as I do a water change, I fill the thing back up and run it for days until I need it next. So oddly enough, my good practices kept me from getting hurt by this sooner. But here is where it broke down. Recently winter has set in for real here. I have a house that is almost 100 years old. I have two heaters in each tank to guard from fluctuation. When I do water changes, I use water that has been conditioned. I also have a water jug for top offs. It is a glass gallon jug that is ever present near these two fish tanks. It is also my habit to keep this full and handy for a couple days. Again, that might condition it, and keep it safe. Probably usually did. But lately it has been cold on the floor. I have one of those Fluval temp strips on the side of the top off jog. It's been in the 60's. So for the last couple weeks I got into the habit of keeping it empty, putting dechlorinator in it, going to the tap and running a mix of hot and cold into it to get around 79 degrees, and dumping it in the tank. And it has been cold and the furnace has been running non-stop. The tank evaporated more than ever before. I wound up pouring a gallon of water with ammonia in it all at once into the tank. That's when the snails finally said enough of this, and floated to the top of the tank trying to head downstream. Every water top off since then has dumped more ammonia into the tank. Never knew it. I found out when I finally went nuclear with water testing and started getting 0.5 ppm ammonia from recent tap water that had been dechlorinated. To me forever to figure out. So...this has been frustrating. Things I learned over the past couple of days: It takes about 24 hours to get the ammonia out of dechlorinated water if using an air stone. It takes at least 48 if you don't have an airstone, maybe more. Jury is still out on that one. If I borrow a pot of ludwigia from my aquarium, put that in a five gallon bucket, and run tap water into it, I can use that tap water in 4 hours. If speeding this up with plants is an option I will probably stop destroying water lettuce when I have too much of it and start employing it in water conditioning down in the basement. The only real reading (or watching) I have done about this subject is the guy in San Francisco who does not change for this very reason. @Cory and Dean have made a few videos about this place. Search Youtube for "San Francisco no water changes." But that has him with a low pH, soft water, and low flow. It's literally the opposite of what I do in every way. I'll never get N3 to turn into N4 by itself in my tanks. If anyone has some experience with this problem feel free to chime in. If I learn anything useful I'll report back.
  12. Pots rock. Mobile plants are a good thing. They tend to get root-bound just like terrestrial plants. I tend to just put them in bigger pots and put them back in. But yeah, many people in the hobby have a staging tank for plants. Some have a quarantine setup for plants. It just helps to have an aquarium or even a 5 gallon bucket you can throw plants into temporarily. Reason? Good plants make them selves available at bad times. Maybe you are coming home from work and decide to stop by the fish store to see what's new. And they have the coolest bunch of plants you have ever seen! But you just did a trim and a water change and don't plan to get back into that tank for a week or two. Or you have plans for the next few days. No big deal, buy the plants now, and throw them in the staging tank/bucket and they will be fine for a few days. I have kept them without lights in a bucket for two or three days. It is not optimal, but it never seems to hurt them.
  13. Okay. Testing is done. I have one set of strips that tests copper and iron. iron is always zero. i am the plumber in this house. And yes, there is copper pipe everywhere. I tested the tank just now and it is where it usually is on copper. The color does show a bit, but it is still lighter in tone than the first marker which they gave as 0.5 ppm. I would say this color looks like 0,2 or 0.3. I did a water change yesterday after I did, I filled up my bucket and started conditioning the water, So that seemed like a good baseline tap test that has sat for 24 hours. It tested the same. I tested for copper when I started having snail trouble and it looked more like it had hit a true 0.5. But these are readings I have seen since the beginning. And as I say, the shrimp look healthier than even. When I started using crushed coral a few months ago, everything got good. The ghost shrimp started growing parts I never knew they had. There antennae looked more like an impressive array of instrumentation and they were much more active. They are still doing awesome except for becoming a last resort food source for someone in the tank. So I am feeding the tank a bit more. The snails are still hunkered down, but move occasionally. They refuse algae wafers. I tried some carrot and they have ignored it all night. pH is looking good in the high 7s for a couple days now. It may not have been low to begin with.
  14. Well, my shrimp look better than ever. The only problem they have is someone is doing violence to them. I have seen shrimp chunks lately. I thought perhaps the snails were resorting to shrimp eating. I have never seen it, but the snails are the only violent thing in the tank. I have seen them take out bladder snails and swallow small ones whole. The betta won't put up with snail eggs. Once the lights come on, all eggs in that tank have about 10 minutes to hatch or they die. She will even just do damage to the ones she can't eat. Nothing is hatching in this tank if she is there. So lets return to copper.
  15. I did read it all. Thanks for the interest. So I'll tell you what's going on with Easy Green and you can see if it fits what you are thinking. This is a weird aquarium. I call it a modular aquarium and I came up with this so that I could freely experiment with plants without disturbing the inhabitants too much. Size: 20 gallon High Filtration: Aquaclear 50 HOB that holds the crushed coral and bio media to donate to other tanks when needed, Also have air running into a Co-Op nano sponge. CO2: Also something I experiment with. I do not yet have a pressurized tank, but I have been doing sugar bombs that release bubbles right up into the HOB filter sponge outfitted with a PVC ring that collects it all into a big 2 inch CO2 bubble on the bottom of the sponge. Stock: 9 harlequin rasboras, about 10 ghost shrimp, 2 corydoras, 1 female betta, and two mystery snails. Food: I feed them a mix of Fluval bug bites, Extreme Krill, and Tetra flakes all crushed together. I sneek betta pellets to the betta occasionally. And I give the occasional 1 or 2 algae wafers broken up on the bottom. Plants: pogostemons, lots of ludwigia, two other stem plants I cannot even remember the names of, java ferns, java moss, scarlet temple, two different kinds of anubias, a betta bulb, and probable some other stuff I cannot remember. I keep several things floating up top including trimming that need time and water lettuce. So, the odd thing about the tank is that it was made to keep plants in pots, and allow me to experiment with placement, flow, lighting, etc. I get in there about once a week and trim things and move stuff that maybe needs different light or flow. That sand strip in the front is actually contained by a hidden box holding aqua soil. Those concrete plates cover a giant stash of lava rock in landscaping pipe socks that holds the bacteria that keeps the tank stable despite it's 'modular' nature. In the beginning I was using Seachem, and I was pretty timid with it. I was aiming for zero nitrates the next day. Some stuff did well, but I never got lush growth. Then I started listening to the podcast and decided to give Easy Green a try. Boom! There was the growth. And there was the lushness. And there was also a lot of algae. So I played with lighting. Less nutes. More nutes and light. All of it was a rodeo ride. The annoying thing was that my stability was gone. This was a tank where I did not have to change the water if I didn't want to. Now I am changing water weekly to get rid of nitrates and squirting more than the regular amount of Easy Carbon in. I never even looked for a product like Easy Carbon before Easy Green. So after this made my tank look junky I went on a mission to reduce Easy Green to a daily dose that doesn't end in weekly water changes due to nitrates shooting up to 50. After a while I was down to a quarter ml a day and it still ended in way too many nitrates. They seem to stack with time no matter how little you use. I have now about given up and I am letting the tank dry out. I haven't used Easy Green in 6 days and the nitrates are still about 10. This weekend is going to see another water change (maybe 50%) and then going back to Seachem. Feeding: This is what you wanted to know about, and it is complicated, so here goes. I used to over feed this tank. Algae would get started (not because of Seachem, stopping did not help). Then a friend scolded me for over feeding. I had a bladder snail colony going that looked pretty rough. So I started measuring and being exact. So I recently (last 14 days or so) have decreased the food and the bladder snail population went down. The corydoras seem to get by just fine, but the mystery snails started to suffer and I am trying to feed them specifically. Trying boiled carrots tonight. So, this recent problem occurred even though I was feeding very measured amounts and might have even been starving my snails a bit. Despite this and not adding fertilizer for about a week, this tank is growing algae like the green water culture I have working downstairs. I finally got my scarlet temple looking good and growing a bit taller, then I came home today to see it completely overrun by hair algae. I was so angry picking off leaves and coating the stuff in Easy Carbon in a separate container. Yep...I'm frustrated. Does this make sense to you? Got any theories? There has got to be something between the stunted anemic growth of Seachem, and the nitrate hosing that Easy Green seems to provide. My best guess as I say is to try Seachem again and not be so timid with it. Doubling or tripling the dosage wouldn't be anything like Easy Green.
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