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About Me

  1. Hello! Recently, my sister mentioned getting a betta fish for her little girls, and that sparked a desire to return to the hobby for the first time since college. I am still assembling equipment, but this is my overall plan: 29 gallon planted tank Filtration: Lee’s Triple Flow Corner Filter (Small) x1, double-stacked Med. Aquarium Co-Op sponge filters Lighting: Aqueon Optibright+ 30 in Heating: Fluval M100 x2 Substrate: Black sand? Plants: TBD Stocking: Zebra Danios, Cory cats, Nerite snails, shrimp(?), centerpiece fish TBD As I mentioned, I’m still waiting on some equipment. I accidentally purchased the wrong size of Aqueon Quietflow air pump (I thought the 40 had two outlets), so I’m waiting for the lager one. I also plan on getting a controller for the heaters as a safety measure. Not sure what plants I’m going to choose, but I’ll need something hardy that likes very hard water. Also not sure what substrate to get, but the guy at Petco recommended Imagiterrium black sand. I also don’t know exactly what I want to put into the box filter, so recommendations would be appreciated. I think I’d like to “hot rod” it with an upload tube, but I’m not sure what size I need. Assembly of the stand will likely begin this weekend, with more setup over the coming weeks.
  2. Real talk: how do you know when it’s time to get out of fish keeping ? I got my first betta in 2020. I thought I had done all the research (5 gallon tank, heater, gentle filter, silk plants), but he passed because I didn’t know about the nitrogen cycle. My next betta developed a bad case of fin rot that he never really healed from. I don’t think I was cleaning the tank properly. At this point, I upgraded from a 5 gallon to a 10 gallon, and started keeping live plants. I still don’t know what happened with the betta I got next. I drip acclimated him and tested the water before he went in, but he died within 12 hours. My next fish seemed to be very happy and healthy, until he developed a tumor on his side. Eventually he couldn’t swim or eat, and he passed. My most recent betta died from internal parasites. I tried to treat her with prazipro as soon as I noticed the signs, but it was too late. Currently, my pea puffer is really struggling. I still don’t know what’s wrong, but he is really lethargic and stopped eating. He is so skinny. I really love fish keeping. But I feel like I’m not very good at it, as none of my fish have lived longer than 9 months. I’ve learned something new with each fish, but it’s heartbreaking and I don’t want them to suffer because of my mistakes, ya know?
  3. Hey. I recently purchased three Cryptocoryne Parva from Aquarium Co-Op. I was considering just planting them as three clumps. But recently read they can carpet and plant each individual plant. Has anyone done this? How did it go? Would love to see pics. Any advice you wish you had been given on it? Thanks!!
  4. Kind of a continuation of my nano tank recommendation thread, here's what we have going on Day 1: Fluval Shrimp and Plant Substrate Dwarf Lily Bulb Java Moss patch we stitched to a plastic mesh on the back wall. Water has been added gently (its still rather filthy). I have a couple of questions for the vets: 1) I put a root tab in the substrate under the bulb, should I also give it EZ-green? 2) Is there a particular food that is useful for "Ghost Feeding" to get the tank cycling, or should I just use what I have that is the cheapest? 3) We plan on stocking shrimp (Caridina variety, not cherries), but we would like some nano fish ideas. We don't really want to go with another betta, we were originally going with Zebra Danios (to go with Tangerine Tiger shrimp for a Safari theme) but my fear is they need more room to swim. We've considered Celestial Pearl Danios so far, but I'm open to any suggestions. Thanks for all the help, and I'll update the thread as this tank comes together.
  5. Hello, Recently my sister told me that she wanted to get a small aquarium for her young daughters. Helping her do research got me thinking about getting an aquarium of my own for the first time since I was in college. This time around I'm trying to avoid the mistakes I made last time, like spending too much money on filter cartridges and not including an air stone. I'd also like to give live plants a try. I was hoping for any advice, and it would be awesome if anyone could answer any questions I had. Here is the build I'm looking at: I'm probably going to go with a 20 gallon high tank. The area I've chosen could technically fit a 29, but it wouldn't leave a ton of room for maintenance. For filtration I was looking at a Lee's Triple Flow Corner Filter as the primary filter, with an Aquarium Co-op Sponge Filter either paired with it or just cycled for if/when I need to quarantine. Air supply is up in the air, as it were. Would two of the Co-op USB pumps be enough for that filter setup, or would I need something more powerful? Noise is a consideration, as the tank will be in my room. I'd like to have live plants that are forgiving and relatively low maintenance. For stocking, I'm leaning towards Zebra Danios and Cory Cats, possibly with one or more Nerite Snails as clean up crew. Is there a special kind of food for the snails? Would Corys work if I had foreground groundcover plants? Is there a "centerpiece" fish that would work with those tankmates? Any thoughts or advice would be most welcome.
  6. So excited about this forum and want to know: If there's one piece of advice us newbies absolutely need to know, what is it?
  7. Pictured here is the lid to my 125, I have a canister filter running on it and I cut holes in the plastic portions of the light to fit the associated components. I didn’t love how the air stone I had looked in this tank so I replaced it with a power head. I was wondering if this might become an issue with air exchange because my lid is pretty tight due to jumping fishes like archers, rainbows, etc. Thanks for any help you can offer!
  8. I'm a huge supporter of people getting into the hobby. So, I'd like to start a discussion about a valid reason why it's difficult for new people interested to get into the hobby and/or stay in the hobby. I think this can be productive in future recommendations for people who come here. I honestly think it'll give food for thought before some people give advice....maybe? I've read some discussions in other forums. But, let's be real: other forums are nothing compared to this one full of Nerms. Seriously. I've never been in a forum as dedicated and real to the hobby as this one. I digress... I don't want to write a book for this post, because sometimes a lot can get lost in the shuffle. I prefer a bunch of shorter / quick posts by people, that's a long thread vs. each person's post is a book to read long thread, so I'll get right to my starting point. Person A wants to get into the hobby. Maybe they try on their own without research / forum(s). Fish die. They find a forum. They're told they have to cycle the tank first. This can be anywhere from 4 - 8 weeks. So, this is kinda the first *oh boy* moment for them, right? It's going to be a month or two before I can even have fish? We also recommend medicating fish (another hoop to jump through), a quarantine tank another *oh boy* moment...more money (can be cheap, but still more money), more time before they can go into the display tank. I get it - fish aren't as easy as a dog or cat. But, I think there might be a better way (this is where I need some help from y'all) to help them get into / stay a little while instead of "well, you need this, this, and this.....and then you still need to do this, this, and this....wait for a while, and then you can have fish" mentality. Maybe I'm way off here, but there's got to be a better way of helping them. Everyone on this forum is super nice. The point of this, is, can't there be a better way of helping people instead of listing off all these things they need / should do, to be successful?
  9. I want a beautiful plant aquascape & am tired of losing plants to the algae battle so I’ve ordered a CO2 tank with regulator. Any advice on successfully getting started?
  10. I want to setup some 10 gallons in a rack system but I'm having some trouble finding some metal shelves that would fit some 20.5" long aquariums, it looks like I'll have to settle for shelves that are 18" deep or 24" deep, one is to short and the other is to long. I would rather buy metal shelves and not build a wood shelving unit as I've had issues building wood projects previously. Any brands or anything that could help would be HIGHLY APPRECIATED. thank you
  11. Looking at these two products they seem very similar, is the only difference the concentration level? Does anyone have experience with them for fishless cycling? Another question: If my tap water is 1ppm Ammonia, is that enough to get the cycle started with either or both products? The only "beneficial bacteria" I've ever used up to this point is the Tetra stuff, which if I'm honest I don't know if it did a thing. Thanks!
  12. So the Terror of my Tank, my female koi angelfish, is injured. She's ruled the tank for a long time but I recently replaced the severum I'd lost about a year and a half ago. So far they were getting along well enough- she'd chase the severum like she would the other angels, but he'd turn around and scare her off. Well, today I looked at my tank and found the koi angel swimming upside down at the bottom. She must have injured her swim bladder, either the severum fought back or she spooked from him turning at her and hurt herself. I've got her in a net box at the top of the tank, separated from other fish. She's still actively swimming but can't flip herself over. What should I do to maximize her chances of healing from this?
  13. So after much re-arranging and measuring, we've found a spot for yet another tank in our tiny apartment. This time we're moving up to 10 gallons (massive by our standards) and are looking at 2 Dwarf Gouramis for our centerpiece. We've done some quick research, and are considering going with Longfin Zebra Danios for our shoaling fish, and some julii corys for our bottom dwellers. Do any vets see any potential issues with these breeds? How many of each would you go with? Do you think there's something that would be a better fit for the dwarves?
  14. So thanks to watching @Cory's guppy vids, we have now caught the fever. We have our new 10 gallon cycling already and decided that instead of worrying about getting a Dwarf Gourami or two that might nip fins, maybe we could keep Zebras and Guppies together? A little quick research shows their parameters are close, and I think they are both peaceful. Does anyone have experience keeping them together? How many would you feel would be safe in a 10 gallon? (we aren't scared of water changes) Would the Guppies and Danios keep the guppy fry to a minimum? We don't really have an LFS to breed for, I guess we could give them away on Facebook or something. Any opinions are appreciated. Attached is our tank as it quietly cycles, with new LED bulbs and a new statue!
  15. We got our new 10 gallon set up, with eco-complete, root tabs, an established sponge filter, etc. We ended up getting this mixed multi-pack of plants really cheap, but I have NO idea what they are. I could tell that the one we glued to the rock was annubias of some sort, and I think there's a sword in there but we are not good at identifying these! We could also use some advice on a good carpeting plant for this setup. We went with mopani for our wood choice. As a side note, the bulbs that came with the hood are dingy and weak, got some decent LED bulbs on the way.
  16. Okay fishie folks.. I might be over reacting.. but wanted to more seasoned fish keepers if there is something I should say or if I should just "shut it". Here it goes. A friend of mine has a 20 G high tank that I believe is not properly cycled (she has set it up June 30th). She has about 6 live plants she added on July 3rd. She bought fish this weekend. Here is where it gets sticky folks.. these fish were all in the same tank at the LFS so she got all of them. she sent me a picture and my heart skipped a bit.. she has peacock cichlid, johanni cichlid, a flowerhorn, an Oscar and a pink Parrot fish. I very innocently asked her what the sales person told her about the fish and she said and I quote "the lady was knowledgeable about fish and said they would be fine together" That they would grow 3-6 inches. She wanted to get a bigger tank anyways because she wants more cichlids and she wants discus. She just sent me a picture of her chemistry Nitrates 20, Ammonia 1.0, Nitrites 0, PH 7.3. She said she over fed them and did a 20% water change. Her fish experience was taking care of 1 single gold fish for her brother, that she NEVER did chemistry on, but just did 30% water changes every week. What would you do? I don't want to break her spirit, I too am a new fish keeper and have ZERO right to say anything at all. At the same time I don't want her to have the heart break that I did before I found the forum.
  17. Hi all, I have a 10 gallon aquarium with several fish (female betta, killifish, 6 harlequin rasboras, 2 kuhli loaches). I got the first kuhli about a month ago after seeing the aquarium co-op video about how they are bottom feeders and do well with bettas and are relatively easy to care for. It’s pretty thin and tiny. I knew they are nocturnal and liked to hide, and there is a house/castle structure that offers a decent sized dark space for them to hide in that also has ridges along the inside rim they can hide in. I noticed the little one burrows into my gravel, which I didn’t even know they did (my fault for not doing my research but I thought they just needed hiding places). The gravel is not small, but not huge. It’s relatively smooth edged. Anyway, I went and got a second loach yesterday after reading they might do better if there’s more than 1 (and I know aquarium coop mentioned they can be in 10 gallon tanks). It’s thicker than my first one and he can’t seem to burrow into the bigger gravel yet (it’s only been 24 hours and I think the first one didn’t burrow for a couple days). I researched and I am now seeing they do better with fine gravel or sand. Now I feel guilty that I am causing them (especially the new one if he can’t ever get to burrow) unneeded stress or possible injury. this is the gravel: https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/imagitarium-snowy-river-aquarium-gravel and this tank has been established for a year now. Like I said the edges are not really jagged, maybe even smoother than the picture in the link provided as it’s been in the tank and vacuumed and moved around for a year. Anyway, sorry for the long post, but should I try to replace the gravel even though I have other fish in there, hope the kuhlis do ok (especially the new one since he can’t seem to burrow yet, and maybe he’s too thick to do so), or try to donate the kuhlis to an experienced store that will take them? 😞 thanks in advance, I also attached a pic of the actual gravel in my tank
  18. Ok, so I had a large culture of black worms that I was keeping as a sustainable food substitute for my 55 long The worm colony eventually started to decline, I conducted a bunch of research and made a decision to integrate the remaining into my 55 gallon. And, while I knew they would thrive, and help out in many ways, none of my fish seem to be interested in them until I harvest from the substrate and introduce them to the water column. Sometimes my guppies are seen picking at them but not really chomping or hunting. And the worms are all located on one side of the tank opposite filtration about 5 inches in frome the sidewall so there aren't TOO many but more than I wanted to maintain and I don't want to feed them the worms regularly...just for general information purposes pH, kh, ammonia nitrates and nitrites are all in suitable conditions. The inhabitants are; 2 male guppies, 11 Rasbora mix of pork chop and harlequin with (1 being an emerald stowaway I got for free) 4 peppered cory's, 3 Julii cory's, 5 (full grown now) otocinclus, 3 black khuli's, 2 marble hatchets, and 1 whiptail pleco. Nearly all of my bottom dwelling/scavenging cats are not really going after them as I'd hoped. Are there any smaller more aggressive hunting fresh water fish out there that I could add to help with maintaining this, crop, of sorts? Keeping in mind I have 31 little occupant's already? thanks in advance!
  19. I’ve heard a range of differing opinions on dirted tanks. Some say they’re plant crack, and some say basic rot tabs do the exact same thing with the same results. What are your guys’ thoughts on them? Have you had success? Failure? Longevity? Brands? And would it be good for a beginner who just wants to provide the best for their plants?
  20. Especially with Covid, work was sparse and not great. For morale I got a fish tank for my work group (5 glofish danios, 10 cherry shrimp, 3 amano shrimp and 2 nerite snails, 2.5 months old planted 10 gallon). At the start I was positive I did not want a tank at home because it was a work thing, and I do other things at home.... but I kind of miss watching the shrimp eat and such. I really like my fish/invertebrate selection for the tank at work. which is nice (Literally only corydoras, hill stream loaches, chili rasboras and kuhli loaches have seemed nice with the probably 100's of hours of videos I've watched... so far) So my question to the group is: 1. Do you think I will lose love and motivation for my work tank if I make a 29ish gallon tank at home? My initial thought is no because it is a work discussion piece, but I would see similar things at home. 2. With only being in the hobby for 2.5 months in, how dumb is it to buy a second tank already? (I had not fish exposure previously) 3. Holy hell I did not realize how expensive aquariums are!!! not a question but more a holy shit moment. To turn it into a question, how reasonable is it to use testing stuff and siphons in both locations. How often do you see tank parameters that need "day of" attention? 4. As it seems like I'm into bottom dwellers and shrimp is a 20 or 30 long, or (2) 15's better than a 29? Is that just a phase and I will likely want a top show piece fish? Thank you for your input, and I realize I am asking for opinions and likely it is purely my decision/responsibility. Brad
  21. Situation: 55 gallon. Lightly planted. 1 angelfish. 3 species of snails (MTS, ramshorn, bladder). 8 days ago, the water was suddenly cloudy. Parameters: Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10-30. I kept feeding the angel, but stopped feeding the snails. 4 days ago, the water was still cloudy, so I also stopped feeding the angel. This morning, I woke up to clear water... and the first hydra and hair algae I've ever seen. Most of the plants were purchased just days to weeks before the cloudiness started. I assume the hydra and hair algae rode in on them. I've read/watched the links below, but still have questions. The main thing I don't understand is what the hydra is eating. I've never put live foods in the tank, and hadn't fed the tank at all for 4 days before finding the hydra. How is it even alive? I think I'll be able to ditch the hair algae by figuring out how to balance my light and ferts for the plants. Right? If you have suggestions for animals to eat hydra or hair algae, I'm game to research them. (Take into account that the angel is more aggressive than most.) Thanks for any ideas or insights. https://www.aquariumcoop.com/blogs/aquarium/hydra https://www.aquariumcoop.com/blogs/aquarium/aquarium-algae
  22. I bout three Angle fish yesterday I added them to tank and this morning there was one dead one half ways and the third one looks pretty good it ate some flakes this morning. I also have two swordtails in the thank and they are doing good. They all looked awesome fish when I bout them from the pet store. They are quarter size. What AM i DOING WRONG AND WHAT SHOULD i DO TO SAVE SECOND FISH..... HELP!!!!Gold one is doing good
  23. I'm newish(2years or so), to the hobby. I still don't know how to diagnose my fish. A.C. is the only place I listen to for advise about my tanks just because I don't want to do the whirlpool of information on the internet. I have heard Cory say many times that this forum is the best place to get help. And I thank everyone who has helped me so far. Now I'm looking at some advise given here by a fellow user that is going to be very costly, (for me anyway) and be putting medications in 2, 55 gallon community tanks. That is scary for me, one because I love these fish but also because it will cost so much. How do I know which advise I can really trust and which is advise given by someone who just thinks they know?
  24. After all the advice I have received from everybody in this site about my water clarity issue i think I have determined that my filter Just can't handle my tank. I bought a complete top fun kit that had everything i needed. Is it possibly that my filter can't keep up. I modified it to make it the best I could. I put a coarse sponge, fine filter material, bio rings, and then more fine material on top to polish that I remove every couple days. Nothing seems to be working. I also tucked a piece of fine filter around the intake tube in the back. I'm wondering should I replace the filter with an aquaclear, and go one size up to a 50. Or should I do something different with my current filter. TIA
  25. In November I set up a 29g. PH was a pretty constant 7.6. 4 Weeks ago I moved it all into a 75g and my PH has been dropping. It is now 6.6 and I checked the tap, and its at 6.4. I never tested the tap water before now, my bad. In 2020 county water quality pamphlet states, "ECUA adds Calcium Hydroxide (lime) for pH adjustment; Phosphoric Acid for corrosion control in the distribution system and home plumbing; and Chlorine for disinfection. Fluoride, added at select wells, helps prevent tooth decay." Same as every other year. Oh and KH has always been low, Like 53.7 ppm with the API kit. It was 35.8 ppm today. Guess I need to buy crushed coral. Do I really need 7.5 lbs for my 75g? Thanks again y'all.
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