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KatieF's Achievements


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  1. Hi all! I’m back with another question for my fellow nerms. I have 2 fancy goldfish in a 20 gallon, up and running since early May. (Side note: Yes, I know they’ll need a tank upgrade eventually. 🙂) My question is about my anubias. It’s failing to thrive. It is growing new leaves, but old leaves are getting covered in algae and are looking pretty spotted. Nitrates in this tank stay low - I don’t think I’ve ever tested above 10. I use easy green, and have lately been double dosing every 2 weeks. This is not a deliberate strategy, but a result of an overwhelming life getting in the way. Lights are on typically 12 hours a day. I turn them on sometime after I get up and shut them off last thing before bed. Intensity is already on the lowest setting. This tank is in my bedroom and I just love watching it when I’m in there, so reducing the time lights are on would be my last choice. There is frogbit in the tank that is crazy happy and grows like mad. About once a month I reduce to 4-5 nice plants and trim all roots. By the next month there is no empty space on top of the tank, and the roots have a jungle half way down the tank. I started using wonder shells, and did a small shell the middle of September, the middle of October, and now it’s due again. The two I added completely dissolved in a few days. There is no heater in this tank. My house runs on the colder side, so right now the tank is 62. It shouldn’t get much colder than that. I’m terrible at matching colors on the test strip, but attached is a picture if you’re able to tell anything from it. I don’t need a pristine tank and I don’t mind algae at all, but I do like the anubias and I don’t want to see it die out on me. So… nutrient deficiency? Too much light? Too little? Too much algae blocking leaves? I’m not completely opposed to adding algae eater fish, but are there any for that tank size and water temperature? I do LOVE snails of any kind. I have trumpet, ramshorn, pond, and bladder snails between my 3 other tanks, but not an explosion of population in any of them. (That’s a later question - I’ve been TRYING to grow population the last few months and can’t seem to gain much.) Between all 3 tanks I could probably gather up a few bigger ramshorns, hopefully too big for the goldfish to eat. But I might get 10 or so if I’m lucky. (Seriously, how does everyone else get hundreds of these things??) Thanks so much for any advice or ideas! Note I took the posted pictures right after I pulled out and cut the frogbit so the tank is all stirred up. Water is normally very clear. Also, I have 1 spider plant and 2 pothos on top of the tank, so those are the other roots you can see.
  2. Hi all! I’ve just noticed 2 baby fish in my 10 gallon tank. I moved 5 zebra danios out of that tank on November 14. Those were the only fish to ever inhabit that tank, so these little fellows have to be baby danios. Since I moved the adults on November 14, the tank has held no other fish, just 2 nerite snails and an abundance of pond snails and MTS snails. I haven’t been feeding it at all since I didn’t think there was anything there to feed. Now that I’ve noticed these little babies, it’d be fun if they made it to adulthood. All I have on hand for food is bug bites flakes and nano pellets. I don’t have a local fish store, just a PetCo. I’m not likely to get there till next week, but that may still be faster than trying to order something this close to Christmas. Any thoughts? They’ve somehow made it this far, so they must be finding something to snack on. The tank has been a bit neglected of late, so I suppose that’s in their favor. I never intended to breed fish, this is just one of those cool things that sometimes happens. But now I’m totally unprepared for it. Any advice is appreciated. The photos are one of the tank taken today, and a blurry photo of one of the little fellows, circled in yellow. I thought it might give an idea of size. Thanks all!
  3. Thank you! That gave me good buzz words to help me search. For reference of anyone else who might find this thread, I found this co-co-op article: https://www.aquariumcoop.com/blogs/aquarium/livebearer-disease ok, it’s for specifically for live bearers, but it does reference wasting disease and the fritz expel-p you mentioned. I’ve gone ahead and ordered that to treat the remaining fish in the tank and hopefully prevent any more from wasting away. thanks again!
  4. I’ve had some fish deaths and wonder if anyone more experienced has some insight on what, if anything, I should do. I have 5 zebra danios left in a 10 gallon. The tank has been running since January and has seemed pretty stable. I test weekly using the co-op test strips and do water changes as needed, which hasn’t been often of late. Ammonia and nitrites have always been 0 the last several months. The tank is planted, and I use the easy green fertilizer once a week. I’ve lost 4 zebra danios since I started the tank in January. They all do the same thing - start hiding by themselves, eventually quit eating and finally pass on. One at a time, spaced weeks or even months apart. They were always the small ones that never seemed to grow at the rate of the others. These are PetCo fish. When I added my last 3 zebra danios the end of June, I went ahead and did a course of paracleanse according to the directions on the co-op web site (as opposed to those on the box). All fish seemed healthy and active for a while, and just a few days ago (so almost 3 months later) I lost another one in the same way as described above, dropping me to 5. The remaining 5 are active, eating well, and generally look good. I do not have a quarantine tank, but none of the remaining danios in the 10 gallon look or act sick. I do have the 3 quarantine meds the coop recommends but have only done the round of paracleanse almost 3 months ago now. Does this strike a bell with anyone? “Oh, that’s usually -some issue-, treat with -this medicine-“? It’s odd to me that it only hits one at a time so far apart. But it keeps happening, so it also seems like it must be something. Here’s the thing… I really want to order some shrimp before it’s too cold to do so. I’d like to move these zebra danios from the 10 gallon into my 29 gallon which also has zebra danios, giving me a dedicated shrimp tank in the 10 gallon. But I don’t want to introduce any issues to the 29 gallon, which is my favorite tank. It currently houses 5 zebra danios, 2 skirt tetras, and 2 clown plecos. I could pick up a 10 gallon to make a temporary quarantine tank to hit the danios with all 3 meds before moving them so I could go ahead and order the shrimp, but I don’t have a seasoned filter to put in it. I have an extra filter, just not a seasoned one. Also, I assume the fish issues would not translate to the shrimp if I put them in that 10 gallon tank after I remove the fish? Any suggestions from those with more experience the best way to proceed? Thanks all! ~Katie
  5. Awesome, thank you all! I just wanted to hear confirmation from someone who was happy with such a combination before I did it. 😁
  6. Would I regret having both trumpet snails and pond snails in the same tank? Personally, I enjoy snails. Currently I have 2 tanks with pond snails and one with trumpets. Watching the snails is a favorite aspect of my tanks. As it happens, the tank with trumpets has a gravel substrate. The 2 tanks without trumpets have sand substrate. I’ve read that trumpets can be good for a sand tank. But also that once there, they’ll survive a nuclear winter. So I’d better be sure before I turn them loose. Substrate health and the ability to transfer plants between all 3 of my tanks, since they’d all have both snail types anyway, would be my main reasons for thinking of having both. Any snail fans have thoughts on having both in the same tank? I enjoy having them in separate tanks, so is there any reason to think I’d be really sorry to have both in the same tank? Thanks all!
  7. Yes, simple! Even through this afternoon I have been vacillating on what to do. I have dug through pages and pages to find water parameters on everything I currently have, and what I hope to have in the future. I think it's likely everything but the nerites and possibly the amano shrimp will adapt ok. Anything new I get I will make sure is ok with soft water. It is, as you say, so much simpler and won't leave me pulling my hair out. Hopefully anyway. Just when I had my mind made up, you remind me I have plants to consider! 😭 Take that with a smile, as I am grateful you reminded me to consider that aspect too. I researched the plants I have. I have some pearl weed, anubias, and java fern which I believe should all be ok in my soft water. So as with the fish, I think I feel ok to pick plants suited to soft water. The goldfish in my porch pond are my wild card. I have read that goldfish need hard water and then I have read that they can do ok in soft water. My husband says if you google long enough you can find any answer you want! But as someone stated up thread, it's not so bad to play with parameters in smaller tanks. Trying to balance anything but what I have in the 300 gallon porch pond is, I think, more of a challenge than I am up to. So, I believe I will take the coral out and see how they seem to do. In my ponderings I kept thinking of that one line in a Jurassic Park movie (one of the earlier ones... #2 I think? The one where a kid parasails onto an island). Why hire an expert if you're not going to listen to him? Everyone is telling me to go with what I've got, and at least for now I feel like that is the best advice. Perhaps down the road when I have more experience under my belt I may feel more confident to try adjusting things. So for that, I've really appreciated all the advice I've gotten on this thread and may well refer back to it in the future. So far the only thing I think I'm giving up is a mystery snail (which I don't have but had thought to get eventually). I think there's a chance shrimp would do ok in my water, especially some type of caradina. I have a 10 gallon tank I was thinking to set up as a shrimp tank, and I really, really want to get a 20 gallon for some khuli loaches (my son's pick), cherry barbs, and a betta (my oldest daughter's pick). From my hours of googling, I don't think I'd be afraid to try any of those and see how they do. So thanks again to everyone very much. This thread was so helpful to help me think through everything, and I very much appreciate that everyone has been so kind. Y'all are awesome! 😁
  8. @Torrey That was a great post about how you deal with your water - thank you! I missed it before I posted my last response. I'm still trying to understand the crushed coral. Because it has to dissolve to work, I still feel like I'm doing more harm than good if I can't match the water I add during changes to what's already in the tank. I can do jugs pre-treated with coral, but I'm still confused about how to get them to match. The concept of hitting homeostasis I get. But when does that happen? And how do I know how much coral to add to the jugs? Perhaps I just need to start experimenting. I'm the type that wants to measure everything and have a formula I know works every time. I love math and hate abstract things. @Pepere I do like the idea of precise. I've researched some on the baking soda, and actually did order some equilibrium, though I started second guessing and haven't opened it yet. I went to bed thinking I'd best leave the water alone, but lay awake half the night continuing to ponder and this morning I'm back to undecided. But if I'm going to play with water parameters, this route doesn't seem like one perhaps more suited to me than the coral. I'm still thinking. I did find this thread on some baking soda numbers, which I'm linking here so I can easily find it again. Again, I continue to thank everything for your responses. It's given me a lot of great information and much to think about!
  9. If I'd been drinking I'd have spit it on the keyboard. 😂 First, thank you all very much for the replies! OK, so with everyone saying the same thing, I concede to the wisdom of going with the soft water I have and figuring out what will do well with it. Certainly any future fish will be selected with the parameters I have in mind. But I'm already pretty far down this rabbit hole, so what do I do now with the fish and setups I already have? The 10 gallon has the crushed coral/oyster shell sprinkled throughout the substate. If I'm dedicated, I could pick most of it out. Is that the best course? It houses the 4 zebra danio, plus 2 nerite snails and trumpet snails. I wasn't having any ammonia/nitritre issues before I started gravel vaccing. It was just that suddenly there were lots and lots and lots of trumpet snails. I like the snails, but it seemed like perhaps too many. That said, I can quit the gravel vaccing, go back to a 1 gallon water change every week or two, and wait for things to slowly balance back out. I'm inclined to think that the danios have a chance to adapt to my lower pH. The 29 gallon there isn't much I can change. I brought the water home with it in buckets so the fish wouldn't experience a huge change. I've been doing 10% water changes in it every week or two, and I'm thinking that over time it will just gradually change over to my parameters at that. The way the plants and decorations are, I don't gravel vac it and don't see how I really could without really disturbing everything. I test weekly and don't seem to be having any issues with ammonia/nitrite/nitrate increases of any kind. It houses zebra danio, siamese algae eater, skirt tetra, and clown pleco. The clown pleco I'm afraid are iffy, but I think the danios and tetras might be ok. It also has 4 amano shrimp, 1 nerite snail, and lots of pest snails. My 300 gallon pond has the coral/oyster shell in those mesh aquarium bags in the filter. Should I go ahead and take it out? Given it's in bags that would be very easy to do. Thoughts?
  10. @Torrey There's not much room where it's at, but I think I could probably squish some square bales between the tank and the porch wall for extra insulation. It hadn't occurred to me to use anything but a stock tank heater. I like the idea of cheaper though! I didn't know things like that inkbird control unit existed. I will definitely investigate that further! Thank you very much for the useful suggestions! And oh, my, ducks! The worst mine ever did was plug off my chicken waterer drain and flood the chicken house. Better that than set anything on fire! We're currently duckless but one of my daughters has been asking for ducklings for 2 years now... Maybe if I convince her they'll eat her goldfish she'll let the thought go. 😉
  11. Some of the herd access that spring fed trough I steal plants from. It never freezes over. One group has access to a barn with an insulated (but not heated) waterer. That works except for the depths of winter when it stays below about 20F for a few days. The big stock tanks we crack ice twice a day when it's cold, and run hoses to refill the tanks that we then drain and roll up inside so they don't freeze. Generally water lines get buried 2 feet down. Our dairy cows stay in our main milking barn during the winter, and their body heat keeps that barn a degree or two above freezing most of the time. I've thought about moving the tank there for the winter, although moving a 300 gallon tank seems a bit daunting. But I have kids that enjoy the fish and would help, so it would be do-able. I could add a stock tank heater where it's at. It is surrounded by a half wall and most of the time that blocks much of the wind. But I don't know if that will be enough. We've kicked around enclosing that porch (my husband is a plant guy and dreams of an enclosed sun porch), but with building supplies so high in cost right now I don't see that happening this year. Winters here can very widely. The last few years they've been fairly mild, not dropping too much below freezing most of the winter. We did get some cold snaps close to 0F, but they didn't last. On the other hand, some years ago we went weeks without a high above 10F. I'm very open to suggestions. It seems I ought to have a plan in place before freezing weather arrives. These are just feeder goldfish, but I've named most of them by now and want them to live. 🙂
  12. Thank you on the pond! I’m afraid having just GONE is going to get me in trouble. I bought 10 feeder goldfish assuming half of them would die. They are all still alive and growing. It should be next year before they overstock the pond, but… I suppose there’s always room on the other side of the porch for a second pond if I can swipe another stock tank from the farm somewhere! And I have no plan yet for what to do with the pond when it gets cold this winter. My husband did make the mistake of telling me the living room floor would probably hold up 300 gallons… 😂 But for now I’m just really enjoying it. We have a cement trough that is spring fed on the back side of the farm and I’ve been able to source bucketfuls of moss and other plants from there. I even managed to bring back a pretty big crayfish with the moss. He’s a cool fella but I don’t see him often. For the dairy, we milk 14 cows. We are grass fed and almost organic (almost in that we use conventional NPK fertilizer on the hay fields but follow all other organic regulations). Raw (not pasteurized), fluid milk is our main market. I also make flavored Greek yogurt. We separate one milking a week for cream, and most of that sells as fluid heavy cream. When we have extra, we do churn that into butter. It’s not cultured though - just plain, sweet cream butter. The cull cows are butchered and we sell quite a bit of ground beef as well. Everything is sold off the farm directly to consumers.
  13. Hi all! I’m a beginner aquarist hoping for a bit of advice. I’m sorry, I tend to be wordy (which is one reason I love forums and hate facebook!). Please bear with me… For background, I started this January with a new 10 gallon, then added an already fully set up 29 gallon I purchased second hand, and finally a 300 gallon front porch stock tank pond. This question is specifically about the 10 gallon (although it’s application will spill over to everything else). The 10 gallon is lightly planted with some baby Java Fern’s and an unknown variety of moss. I have surface spring water. Out of the tap parameters are: pH: 6.0 GH: 3-4 KH: 1 (A note here, I’m not color blind but have a hard time distinguishing between subtle shades. The pH might be a little above 6, but it’s definitely no more than 6.4. My husband is no help, as he actually is color blind.) This is the water I started the 10 gallon with. I have the Co-Op test strips, which only measure down to 6.4 pH. I knew my water was at least that low. GH and KH also registered 0 on the strips (best I could judge, see note above). I later picked up API test kits to obtain the above numbers. Anyway, at the beginning, I didn’t understand those numbers very well. I was concerned with ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Once those 3 were good, I added (over a few weeks) 6 zebra danios, 8 ghost shrimp, and 2 nerite snails. I also have trumpet snails that came with the Java fern (started with 2 and now have MANY!). I continued to learn and became worried the pH was too low in general, and the GH was too low for snails and shrimp. I started with a quarter size piece of cuttle bone. It dissolved quickly (think days) and left an ugly mess of grit on the floor and aquarium walls. I repeated a time or two but did not like this method at all. I watched more YouTube, and tried adding some oyster shells & crushed coral (the mix feed stores sell for chickens). I only added maybe 1/4 pound sprinkled on top of the gravel substrate, which brought the 10 gallon’s parameters to: pH: 7.6 GH: 10-11 KH: 3 Over the last 5 months I’ve lost 2 danios. Both isolated themselves from the rest and hid toward the bottom of the tank before one disappeared (I still had a few shrimp then and maybe they ate him that fast?), and the other passed on. I don’t know what caused the deaths, but it was nothing obvious to me like ick or fin rot. It was several months between the two deaths. The shrimp are all gone now as well. All my stock comes from PetCo (it’s all I have access to within an hour’s drive), so I chalked it up to survival of the fittest. The losses aren’t really my question, though perhaps they are relevant. I’m ok with the look of the oyster shell. But I feel like I have 2 problems now. First, the parameter change seems very dramatic for no more oyster shell than I added. I am under the belief it will dissolve over time and I’ll need to add more. How do I know when to add more and how much? Will it dramatically increase parameters again? Even more so as I add more? How do I know how much to add? I did not expect it to have such an effect on the pH. The co-op videos recommend a pound per 10 gallons. I did a fraction of that and feel like even that was almost too much. Second, what about the difference in parameters when I do water changes? This is my biggest concern. Am I shocking these poor fish and causing harm? I was water changing a gallon once a week or so, but for the past few weeks I’ve been gravel vaccing about twice a week, at closer to 2.5 gallons at a time in an effort to reduce food for the snails and thus the snail population. It didn’t occur to me at the time about the parameter difference between the tank and my added water (which was straight out of the tap). Now that it has, I’m struggling to understand how best to deal with it. I have read that parameter swings are harder on fish than outlying ones that remain steady (to a point, of course). Am I trying too hard here? Should I go with my spring water as is and just find the things that can do well in it as is? Or is it just too low for pretty much anything to thrive? I’m not particular in wanting rare or fancy fish. I like beginner friendly and hardy (and inexpensive). Community tanks are my favorite. I’d really like to add some shrimp eventually (cherry or crystal, I don’t really care), and I do like my snails. I normally use a gallon pitcher to refill from water changes. I’m ok to add a few chemicals to the pitcher before I dump it in the tank. But what? There are so many options and so many opinions, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. My life is extremely busy and these tanks are my stress relief. As such, I need them to be easy and routine. I don’t want to have to buy water (I only get to town every 3-4 weeks). I do have access to city water (which I have not tested), but it would be a pain to use it (it’s 100 yards away in the barn) and I really don’t want to if I have another, fairly simple option. For those that made it through all this, thank you! Any suggestions for how to move forward? ~Katie
  14. Hi all! Just wanted to introduce myself. Along with my husband of 13 years we have 4 children ages 3-11 and are self-employed owners of a micro-dairy farm. I’ve always loved fish tanks, but have never been very successful at them. I had a 10 gallon fish tank as a kid, knew nothing of what I was doing, and no surprise my poor fish never lasted long. I tried again with a 10 gallon around 10 years ago, still didn’t know anything, failed again, and gave up in a few months. I never quit dreaming of having a really nice tank though. I’d mention it to my husband once in a while, but never felt quite ready to try again. Well, this past Christmas he said he’d like to get me a tank. In the years since my last attempt, YouTube became a thing. So I spent hours learning about all the things I should have known for my previous attempts. Finally the beginning of January, I pulled out my old 10 gallon, washed it up, and spent more than I intended to on test strips, fertilizer, and light. I started out with a Java fern that came with 2 stow-away trumpet snails, and let it go. A month later, and it was ready for fish. Long story short, I loved my 10 gallon so much that when I saw a beautiful 29 gallon setup complete with plants and fish come up for sale, I ended up with it too. I absolutely love this tank. And then, because fish tanks are so very addictive when they go well and because my husband is awesome, he let me have a 300 gallon water trough we no longer used for the cows. I washed it up and put it on the front porch. My husband helped me build a filter for it, and it is filled with all kinds of pond plants and goldfish. While I feel good that I’m doing a lot of things right this time, I’m still struggling a bit and have questions I feel unable to sort out on my own. I thought I’d go ahead and post an intro before starting to post my questions. Good to meet you all! ~Katie
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