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  1. Agree. For now, he's acting perfectly normal. My friend is pretty experienced with fish disease but it's the first time she's seen this.
  2. I was thinking about that as well. I read about it, but I don't think that I've ever seen it happen in person.
  3. I've used one with flakes (exact same type as the AC one). It's possible, I crushed them into smaller pieces so they're more consistent and closed the trap door a bit because they'll all come out quickly. I then tested it by having the tumbler turn several times into a bowl to roughly gauge how much food is coming out. Since you have small tanks, you want to be careful that it's not dumping a ton of food. I had to add a little tape/cardboard to make the exit hatch a little smaller. Agree with ppl here. 3 weeks is a very long time. So if there is any way that anyone can check on the tanks, it would be ideal and give you some peace of mind.
  4. Hi all. Posting this on behalf of a coworker. She has a betta that she rescued from a big box pet store (i.e. it was dying). Poor thing was in bad shape, was seriously underfed, and likely had internal diseases. She spent a month recuperating it and recently battled dropsy. Thankfully, the fish made a full recovery. Eating well, swimming around happy etc. Expect now it's starting to lose pigmentation and turn white (see photo). I mentioned that it could have been all of the stress the fish had to endure when it was sick and with all of the medication. But she is saying that the color loss is getting faster. Other than that, the fish seems perfectly fine from the outside. Thoughts? I know that columnaris, can do this, but she is ruling it out.
  5. I've actually been lucky with Monte Carlo and I run low tech. It did take awhile though and I had to adjust my lighting after I figured out the balance. My biggest mistake when I started was thinking I could grow harder plants without Co2 before I fully understood everything going on in my tank. So start with nice easy plants. I know I say this a bunch of times when I post, but the community here has really been helpful. I've learned a lot.
  6. I recently starting using test strips. At first I though the strips were wrong, but it was pointed out by one of the forum members that if you're not careful, it's possible to contaminate the master test kit bottles. Had a bad Nitrate test bottle and pH bottle, which pretty much sold me on strips I use the test strips to do a quick check to make sure that nothing is wildly off. And I'll use reagent kits for KH, GH, and pH mostly to test my tap monthly for my water changes and for my plants. Strips are definitely super convenient .
  7. Figured I would post an update. I really should have started a journal. After completely misreading and messing up my nitrate tests from day 1, I completely started over. Instead of doing magnesium or iron or playing with my fert dosage, I did nothing for almost a month aside from water changes and dosing 1ml of easy green a week. After reading posts here and watching more vids, I stopped caring so much about water parameters. Meaning, I stopped stressing over pH getting above 7.6 (except for that one random huge spike I had), stopped testing for ammonia every damn day, and stopped worrying about my KH not at being at the "ideal" level that we always read/hear about. I thank the AC vids and people here. I almost tried crushed coral. Glad I didn't. Because Corey's old vid on pH pretty much blew my mind. What happened was pretty enlightening. 1st, my nitrates dropped to 5 ppm. Nothing really happened in the tank aside from the moss suffering. ARs looked the same and the new ARs that I had extra of from my other tank got wiped out. But the algae started to slow down. The left side of my tank (which gets hit with a lot of ambient sunlight) started to clear up. My water changes are once every 2 weeks because my nitrates never get above 20-25ppm. When Nitrates hit around 10ppm, the plants started to grow (minus the AR). So I changed my lighting profile and added a longer siesta period (almost 4 hours) and increased the pure white light/max light levels to about 80 percent and did a "peak" style program versus a long plateau. Plants grew faster and my monte carlo is crawling further to the right. My red root floaters exploded. I've had to toss a good amount because it was blocking too much light out as well as the moss because the anubias were practically in the dark. My crypt is putting out pink leaves. Today, nitrates are at 20ppm because I dosed a little heavier over the weekend (2ml). The algae started to grow a tad faster, but the plants still show new growth (minus the ARs). My rotalia is all the way at the top of the waterline now. Had to trim and still need to. It's a water change week for me, so it'll probably bring the nitrates down to 10-15ppm. I was thinking of starting to dose Seachem Trace mid week, but will wait a little bit to see how things go. And after all this I learned: ARs are damn hard to grow for me and I'm not ready yet and neither is my tank. And I'm ok with that!
  8. Update: No change after a week. I was able to quarantine him and did 1 round of General Cure. Still no change. I have a feeling that it could be NTD. The one good thing is that the school can swim around to the left side of the tank. Initially the sick neon would start nipping at the others whenever they got too close. May have to euthanize.
  9. I've read that repens can actually be tied and they'll grow. But I've never seen them other than in substrate. I've also seen scapers use monte carlo grass on rock, but it's like planted tank black magic. Bucephalandra are also another type of rhizome plant that can attached to hardscape and pretty popular. Some of them have some very nice deep reds and purples. You could also do moss, but mounting it "properly" (which tends to look really clean IMO) is super tedious. Although, I've had some success with christmas moss without having to go full on glue each strand separately and just gluing clumps on driftwood and rock. @Guppysnail I never thought about using suction cups! Brilliant. Will need to try that in my betta tank.
  10. Not sure what everyones experience is, but I didn't have a good experience with that Seachem ammonia alert. Mine would say that there was no ammonia (yellow) but when I tested using another test kit, it was a different story. Just to be sure, you might want to get ammonia test strips and test. For all you know, you might actually have some ammonia in there!
  11. Yeah. Not thrilled either to be in CA but I’m at a point where I’m stuck for awhile. So in the meantime I’ll live vicariously through home listings with massive fish rooms and a pond out front. Lol.
  12. Wooooah. $3.5 would get you a "decent" home in the Bay Area if you're lucky. But it would be like 1400 SF and your neighbors are less than 4ft from you. Also, no backyard. You get a slab of concrete with a table and a pot of succulents. I'm trying to figure out how you would even do maintenance on the tanks.
  13. @Chick-In-Of-TheSea the tannins in driftwood and almond leaves do help, but it takes awhile. The pH in my tap is 7.8 - 8.0. I have a tank with aquasoil (also lowers pH), driftwood and an almond leaf. The lowest that my pH gets is around 7.4-7.6 but only if I use a 70/30 mix of tap and RO water during my water changes. My fish and shrimp have learned to live with it and are happy (even my shrimp fry), and so have I. Corey's vids on pH and KH were a HUGE help.
  14. Pretty! Definitely a male. I have a female plakat and the fins are much shorter than that.
  15. Will. Thanks as always. Also, no. If I got a 3.0 the nanos would go back in a box or I would sell them. Or I would try to convince my wife we need a 10 gallon to breed ghost shrimp so the betta doesn’t eat the fry. Mama is berried again (4th time in 3 months). Lol.
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