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Greg Stewart

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  1. I understand that. I have just never seen them rasping at any surfaces in my tanks that don't have visible algae. They cling to all sorts of surfaces. Mine just only appear to rasp at algae covered surfaces. I'm sure there are species variations that differ in diet. Some may prefer plain biofilm. But, mine appear to prefer algae or at least algae rich periphyton and plant based foods. Not sure which I have, but I think they're probably just common vittatus or macrosiplus.
  2. I've never seen them eat biofilm. I guess in the absence of fresh algae, or a quality dry food, they may, but I wouldn't rely on this. They are also picky about the age of the algae they graze, and prefer fresh young algae to established algae. In both the tanks where I have otos, they devour Repashy Super Green--they even guard it when I put it in the tank. And, i have to mow down the algae farm on the rear glass every now and again so it replenishes with nice young growth. They completely ignore the biofilm masses when they develop, though.
  3. What @xXInkedPhoenixX said. Corys are omnivorous bottom feeders. Otocinclus are primary herbivores, with many species being obligate herbivores. Corys you can feed anything that falls to the bottom. Otos need algae, and lots of it. They prefer live algae, but high quality prepared herbivore foods like Repashy Super Green are also very good. Otos are also notoriously mistreated in the industry, and by the time you get them--depending on where you bought them, and where that place got them--they have a good chance of having been starved to the point that they will no longer even try to eat if food is available. So, if you do get otos (which are actually easy fish when you get healthy ones and feed them properly) be prepared for the possibility that the ones you buy may be predestined to fail before you even have a chance with them.
  4. I add the cuttlebone to my canister in my large tank, and I drop it in the back where it's mostly hidden in my 5 gallon. I never see anyone paying any attention to it in the 5 gallon.
  5. I add polyester fiber pillow stuffing as a polishing media, on top of the stock sponges in my canister, as well as two trays of Matrix for bio media. I also have cut-fit bulk rolls of double density polishing media I use in places where the pillow stuffing is less manageable. I'm paranoid about sponges for cleaning supplies as I don't know exactly what they contain.
  6. It's the freakin' Twilight Zone in that tank. 😉
  7. That's baffling, 'cuz you might only have about 20 gallons of water in that system with all the substrate and other hardscape. 3ml would be over dosing for EG. Something is eating it up.
  8. One bacopa caroliana/monnieri won't consume that much nitrate that quickly, and even for 6 water sprites that would be a shocker. But, if they're growing fast and huge, maybe it's possible. But, those are the two fastest plants you've got.
  9. I'd suggest stopping the Prime and keeping it on hand in case you have a spike in ammonia or nitrIte. Just switch to a basic dechlorinator, unless you have zero chlorine/chloramine in your source water. 18 tiny plants? Or, 18 gargantuan plants? Fast growing stems or slow growing buces and anubias? Do you have any pothos rooted in your filter? If you have 18 large fast growers, or even a single pothos, that could be your culprit. And, how much Easy Green are you dosing, and how frequently?
  10. Prime should not impact nitrate availability to plants. But, i question the use of Prime as a daily water conditioner unless you have ammonia and nitrites in your source water. I like to lean toward the "fewer chemicals are better" end of the spectrum. How heavily planted are your tanks? Are you plants just consuming the nitrates faster than you supply them? Are you removing them with water changes? Do you use Purigen in your filter? I would think there might be other reasons why nitrates are tough to keep up while dosing.
  11. @Odd Duck I get it. That's a tough situation to manage. The only thing I can really suggest is to spec out new units with the battery capacity to handle the duration, rather than spec'ing them according to the max load. And, then distribute your gear over the units to minimise load as much as possible. Are there alternative pumps and other kit to handle your tanks that you can get that have lower power ratings (and, work just as well)? You might have to tackle this from both angles. Minimise power demand at the same time as maxmising battery runtime. You could run tests on the units you have to gauge the actual runtime for your gear. But, keep in mind that every time you run the batteries down to null they'll get "older". And, the longer the span between charges, the more they'll likely lose capacity and be less reliable over time. It seems to be a no-win situation without having the money or space to throw at it, unfortunately.
  12. @Apulo That InkBird regulator isn't working well? It's even got a solenoid on it. The CO2Art kits are great. I just have to keep my costs down 😉
  13. @Apulo I love the CO2Art inline diffuser. I have it on a Fluval 207 with the standard intake/return (I don't want to have to clean algae off the glass pipes 😉 ). Is that a standard airline check valve on your CO2 line? If it is, you should get a CO2 check valve. The regular airline valve can burst from the pressure. I also put my check valve (from CO2Art) closer to the bubble counter on the regulator--less spillage when I top off the bubble counter fluid, or refill my generator.
  14. I believe the charging capacity/retention is unrelated to the supplied current. But, I could be wrong on this. Higher current would charge a battery faster, but not necessarily "better". Older batteries typically charge faster due to capacity loss.
  15. @Widgets You're right. I was mis-using the term "memory" for lead-acid batteries. lead-acid suffers sulphation crystalisation due to inconsistent charging, and over time this results in a reduction of capacity. And, "home use" is generally inconsistent (industrial use is frequently not that great, either) so, for reliability I automatically factor in that inconsistency.
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