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  1. I personally prefer cacatuoides, although basic they're really good fish that love to sift sand, usually the easiest to find and also the cheapest. Macmasteri and Agassizii are also great.
  2. How big is your tank? Siamese algae eaters are great, even the regular flying foxes do a pretty good job. If you can get either of them, and Otos, even better. Siamese algae eaters are very active fish, I could watch mine fly around the tank incessantly cleaning for hours. Edit: couple of ramshorns or pond snails are great too, they'll only multiply in line with the amount of food available, so they can help quickly get the tank clean.
  3. For sure +1 on white clouds, but they'll definitely need easing into the colder temperatures.
  4. Hmm, depends. Bolivian rams sift sand really well, but your temps are a bit high for them. German blues do, but a bit less, at least in my case. What are you parameters and stock list? Tank size etc? 1 male apisto and 3 females would be excellent for viewing and sand sifting, just depends if your tank can handle that. In any case rest assured rams and apistos are both great choices and will add a lot of life to your aquarium. Edit: Geophagus parnaibae are the amongst the smallest, they'll fit in your tank, if you can find them. But having took a second look I think sticking to your initial plan of GB rams will be best for the time being. If you have the opportunity you can always set up another tank for the rams in the future, and then put a haram of apistos in that one.
  5. Come to think of it Tom, watch the new video on Aquarium Co-Op of the Asian guys fish store. He is a huge advocate for low flow, deep sand bed, lots of plants. I think anybody aspiring for less water changes and more fish have a good thing or two to learn from him. That's more or less how I run my tanks and I find it extremely efficient.
  6. It depends on a lot of things, what plants are you using? How deep is your substrate? What lighting and filtration are you using? If you have high intensity lights, fast growing plants like guppy grass, valisneria etc all combined with good filtration and a deep sand bed, you can probably keep 30-35 guppies and endlers in there. Should you? Probably not. I'd say put 6-8 guppies in and a couple of endlers. Get the tank nice and established and then go from there. Really the amount of fish you can keep in a tank is completely subjective depending on what equipment you have. Cory has a fantastic video on a fish farm in Israel(?) where they have so many koi you can't even see the water. It's a numbers game at the end of the day, if you can keep yours right you're in good shape.
  7. I usually just grab a block and rub it between my fingers in the water until it's the size of a pea and let the fish have their way with it. You can also cut the packaging into individual cubes, when you like, take one out the freezer, remove the foil and let it sit for 10 minutes. By this point it should have defrosted almost completely, I use a brine shrimp egg scoop and scoop it out the little cube.
  8. That temperature is indeed high for most corydoras, adolfoi are the ones I usually stock in higher temperature tanks but I would probably just go with the rams, mine do a decent job of milling the substrate surface. See how it goes, but I don't think you need to worry about increasing low down flow. It's a bit of a cop out, but if it really bothers you just add more plants, jungle Val makes any tank look good. Heavy root feeders and a deep sand bed are my go to!
  9. It's not necessary. It'll break down over time and get absorbed by plants, and, if required, you can always siphon it out manually. If you're particularly concerned about it piling up maybe using fish that sift sand would be a good idea. These will help it break down and smaller particles will enter the water column. Your tank looks rather lightly stocked, maybe consider a cichlid. Geophagus are great for it, but so are most cichlids. A pair of kribs add a lot to nearly any tank, though they are aggressive spawners.
  10. Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate <40 pH 6.8 Kh 60-70ppm Gh 8 degrees from tap, closer to 30 in the aquarium. If anything parameter-wise was the cause of it, it'd be this. I've kept fish for nearly 20 years now, and seen a lot of diseases, fortunately very few in the last decade. This is a new one on me, and it seems like you'll have read the same article as me, it's very loose on its citations of what actually causes the issue. The fish get fed hikari cichlid pellets daily, occasionally flake food, but not often, and tropical quartet frozen food every day. The tank is moderately planted, no ferts used.
  11. As suggested above, hard water isn't ideal, nor is strong current. Duckweed seems to favour tanks that are well established. With that in mind, it depends what fish you have too, because almost all of mine like to eat it. Rosy barbs in particular have field days on the stuff. I recently covered almost 100x45cm surface area on my 660l display tank, the rosy barbs have ate at least a third of it in just a fortnight. They love it! If you really want to establish some I would take water out of your main tank, put it in a seperate tank with perhaps just a bubbler to keep very slight current, and have some decently high intensity lights on it. If there's any die off dose with a small amount of fertilizer. If it keeps dying off, you might need R.O water and ferts. Once you've got a lot of the stuff, you never run out, but starting with a small amount has proven difficult for me too.
  12. Hi all, new to the forum but figured I'd come here first to ask a few questions and probe others possible experiences. I've recently set up a new 660l display tank with cichlids and barbs, the tank is cycled and the params are excellent, besides gh which is high. I assume this is from the sand I've used, which I believed was inert due to it being quartz based, but perhaps not. All the fish are in great health, besides one, which seemingly acts normal, and is in otherwise good health. The fish in question is a firemouth, there's two others, one being a female, the afflicted being a male, and the other being a 'yellow firemouth'. The others are in as good condition as I could ever hope for. Now, before I get into the description. I'm not particularly trying to find a solution as such, I would rather see if anybody has experience with canal Neuromast Syndrome and what the suspected cause was, what the treatment was, and what the outcome was. The firemouth aforementioned started off with a slight hole in its dorsal fin, I assumed it took a bad nip, but the hole is present weeks later, not growing, and looks healed if you will. When I first noticed this I spotted two or three small white dots, more like lumps when compared to typical ich, running along the base of it's dorsal fin. The lumps haven't particularly progressed at all, but it seems like the fish now has a small one on its gill and one above its lip. The fish acts normal and feeds normal. Currently I'm treating the tank with flubendazole as it's a relatively new tank, and covering all bases incase of parasites. From what I've read, flubendazole may have a fair chance of helping the fish in question. The crux of it, has anybody else ran into this? It doesn't seem an overly typical or common affliction, as I only found one article referencing it, and the one I did read lists many possible causes such as Hexamita. Look forward to hearing peoples input. Thanks!
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