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About Me

  1. About a month ago we purchased a 20 gallon hex tank for the kids. We wanted something easy for them to maintain. It has a gravel substrate and fake plants. The kids wanted it to be colorful. It has 8 Guppies, an albino cory, and a clown pleco. We added these over a 2 week period after having the tank set up for almost 2 weeks. I know that was a little fast, but with 4 kids begging we took a chance. I'm running the HOB filter it came with (Top Fin Silent Stream 20)but I removed the blue plastic because it was slowing down the filter in my opinion, a sponge pre-filter, and a small sponge filter hidden in the back. (ph 7.6, Alkalinity 200, 0 nitrate, 0 nitrite, it's well water) We had a bacterial bloom recently that turned the water white. It's almost gone now, but there's some white stuff growing inside the HOB filter. I've never had anything like this happen to my previous tanks. I'm wondering if that's something to worry about? The filter cartridge clogged shortly after the bacterial bloom. I replaced the cartridge and it is beginning to clog as well. I don't want to clean out the filter unless this stuff is bad for the fish. Any advice is appreciated.
  2. Hello everybody, first post. Got back into the hobby after ...... well ...... most of a lifetime. Yep, anybody else remember when those shiny metal frame tanks that would start the dreaded "drip...drip?" The hobby has come a long way since we used to make light fixtures from a chunk of roofing gutter and a couple of bulb sockets from the hardware store. It's good to be back, a lot has changed in the hobby but some things haven't changed like thermometers so I'm going to head over to "General Discussion" and post a question there. Thanks Y'all!
  3. It's been awhile since I had a tank set up so I decided a few months ago that it was time to jump back in. Tank is a 20 gallon that I set up the first week of July. This was after months of reading and studying on the internet. I have had fair luck in the past but I wanted to be better at it. As stated tank is a 20g. Filtration is a Seachem Tidal 55 HOB and a slow moving under gravel with one lift tube. About 3 inches gravel over the UGF. Lighting is a Fluval Aquasky. I'm not a big fan of trying to rush things but this time I did use some ammonia starter. Used Fritz Fishless fuel. Followed the directions and dosed it up to 2 PPM ammonia. About a week later I started ghost feeding the tank so it would have a steady supply of waste. It wasn't much. A week or so after I set it up i planted most of the plants on the right side. About a week later I planted the left side. Of course along with the plants came at least one snail. I figured that was coming. No problem. I have been checking water every other day. About a week or so ago the ammonia went away and I started showing a bit of nitrite. Nice, I see progress here. I tested on Friday and it looked like nitrites were going down but was hard to tell. So this morning I check again and ammonia still at 0, and good news, nitrites are also a zero. Nitrates showing about 20-25 ppm. Nitrates did get up to around 40 ppm the other day, likely due to me getting heavy handed with the ferts. I did a small water change to bring it back down. Backed off the ferts also. The last plants I added were the frogbit. At first I let it just go where it wanted but last night it got stuck in a corner without much light. That's when I made a small fence to keep it under the lights. I don't know how much light frogbit requires but if someone wants to chime in on that feel free to do so. Any way it looks like the tank is coming along nicely. I'm going to give it another few days to a week, do a partial water change and add a few fish. Now lets see if I can add a picture without making a fool of myself.
  4. I first had fish as a teenager and looking back with the information online now i am amazed that the fish survived. I only got back into aquariums just over a year ago when the wife purchased a four footer with a couple of angels and now am up to five tanks and have been a member of the youtube channel for almost a year.
  5. I've recently returned to the hobby of keeping large American Cichlids after many years of being away. I figured a good introduction to the hobby for my young son would be to raise up a small Oscar to adulthood. We picked up a very small 2" Oscar about 9 months ago at our LFS and grew him out to a fat, healthy, happy outgoing 8" specimen. Recently I painted and did some light remodeling in the room the fish is located in. I took the opportunity to upgrade to a much needed larger aquarium since I had to move the tank anyways. Since then, the fish has been highly aggressive and extremely stressed. Hardly eating, attacking his reflection, charging me and changing colors drastically. Gill flaring, laying on his side, etc. Now, I am not new to large Cichlids nor this behavior but I have not witnessed this to this extent. Ther fish has been acting (without pause) like this for about two weeks now. I am concerned that the stress will effect the fishes health sooner rather then later. There's already a few scales missing and the fish has eaten only three times in two weeks. Prior to the change, this fish would splash water to get my attention and then swim to the front corner of the aquarium and wait for a meal. Here are my thoughts: The fish is still adjusting from the change in environment and will settle eventually. Or, I'm using black window cling on the rear of the aquarium instead of paint (as I usually paint the rear of my aquariums) and the cling is not washing out the reflection and maybe increasing it. The fish is constantly attacking the reflection. And possibly, the fish is entering sexual maturity and this is normal. There's no tankmates. The decor consists of a tile slate bottom and a piece of driftwood with a really really old anubias plant grown on it. I use a powerhead for flow and an air driven sponge filter - I'm old school that way. The water parameters are perfect with Nitrates being below 10ppm and I do large water changes 2x weekly. Apprx 50%. Thoughts, feelings, and ideas? Personally, I'm considering draining the aquarium and painting the rear, sides and bottom to resolve the reflection issue as much as possible.
  6. Howdy all! Like you, I'm a fish lover and I like to talk about them and help people with the subject as well as learning new things about the hobby. I'm currently making plans to get my PADI Scuba Certification, but I absolutely loved diving to see the fish in their natural habitats. After a bit of a hiatus I managed to accumulate enough money to restart my aquarium. It started off with a little 5 gallon betta tank then evolved into a 37 gallon fully live aquarium. But before those two tanks, I had a couple other tanks I had as a wee lad. A 10 gallon and then a 40. No live plants or anything and I sort of just threw fish in without really researching them. I was only like, 10 at this time. Unfortunately neglect came into play and eventually the fish tank sort of faded away over the years. Until recently, I've been reinvigorated to get back into the hobby and to make sure the fish have a happy and healthy life. So far, I have 10 Cardinal Tetras, 3 different Plecos (A Bristle Nose, Clown and Ghost), 3 Julies and 1 Emerald Corydora, and one Bamboo shrimp. There's still a few more fish I plan to add, such as UFO loaches, a pair of Dwarf Gouramis, some female bettas and a pair of angelfish. Yes, it's quite a few fish, but between the plentiful plants and the weekly waterchanges, I believe both the fish and water will remain happy and healthy. I also plan to get a few more java ferns and stick them onto the wood there, because I do love the look of all the plants! If you're interested in some of the equipment of the tank, I have a Fluval 207 Canister filter (Sorry Cory, I love canisters.), 2 Fluval heaters that keep the aquarium and a stable 79-80 degrees, a total of four airstones and a standard LED light. I have a timer for the light that turns it on every 8am and turns it off every 8pm. So far, all the fish are happy and healthy and the water parameters are all good. No ammonia, no Nitrites and less than 10ppm of Nitrites. Ph is also set and a nice 7.0. I am also in the process of revamping the little 5 gallon tank I've mentioned earlier. The previous betta I had unfortunately passed away. I don't know why, despite all the water parameters were in the clear. Either way, this presented an oppertunity to take what I learned from the 37 gallon and reapply it into the 5 gallon so I may house a King Betta. I may also get myself another 5 gallon tank and make it a Nano-fish tank, filled with tiny little fish and shrimps. This got longer than expected, when it comes to fish, I like to talk and ramble all about it. If you've read this far, then thanks for reading lol. I look forward to participating with the forum!
  7. Hello Folks, My name is Victor. I've been in the aquarium hobby on and off for many years. I strayed away for awhile and I recently found my way back. Over the years I've grown to love large American Cichlids but I enjoy all types of fish in the hobby. I'm always amazed by the beauty of small, highly detailed planted aquariums and I can appreciate large simple pristinely kept single species aquariums. I thought Social Media killed classic forums. I'm glad the platform still exists.
  8. Hello Everyone! Yojimbo here from Queens, New York. New to the forums and looking forward to reading all the interesting comments and questions. While I'm not new to aquariums I am very rusty as I haven't run a tank since 2005. I have to thank George Farmer for piquing my interest again as the whole concept of aquascaping was exciting to me. So much so i went out bought a tank and scapped it. I have to say i've had my struggles which led me deeper online looking for help. And Cory I got to tell you, Thank You. You have been a great help. I 'm about 1/3 through your back log of videos and watching every day i can. Well looking forward to reading everyone's post till then have a great weekend.
  9. I'm Jim. Not new to the hobby, but re-entering it after a long time. I'll be setting up 2 20 gallon long tanks as soon as all the equipment arrives. Looking forward to interacting with everyone.
  10. I've lost 4 fish since getting them 2 weeks ago. A blue dwarf gourami came DOA then one of the cory cats passed then I realized I was missing a rasbora and found it on the floor behind the tank last week and just lost one blue ram yesterday. This one looked like it had a nip on the fin so I wonder if something happened with the other 2 I had went with one of the value packs from liveaquaria.com which was 31 fish (they said it was good for 20-26g) but I'm starting to think it's too much for my 27g cube.
  11. Hello everyone, yet another relapsed aquarium hobbiest here. Cory is probably the one that convinced me to get back into it, so thanks to him I think?! To be honest, what drove me away from the hobby was this right here: Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is a pressure-regulated 5-lb bottle of liquid CO2 and associated raw fertilizers (there was no EZ Green back then). At the time, high tech tanks were all the rage. Takashi Amano had shown everyone what was possible, and we all wanted to be the next ADA aquascaper. Don't get me wrong, a "high-tech" tank can be a thing of beauty at times, and entertaining. My first tank, a 30 gallon. This was the "plant a bunch of stuff and see what happens" tank. Turns out everything grew, and grew very quickly! Second tank, a 40 gallon "breeder". This was the "I don't want two tanks full of insanely fast-growing stem plants" tank. Unfortunately, when things go badly with a high-tech tank, they go badly fast. The slightest imbalance can result in algae explosions. The tanks require constant trimming and maintenance to the point where it feels like a job instead of a hobby. I got rid of my aquariums when we moved and just did not have the heart to start up again at the new house for many years. And then along came Cory and Aquarium Co-op and their addictive YouTube videos... This time I am focusing on keeping the maintenance as low as possible, and the headaches as well. No more pressurized CO2, no more high lights, etc. This time I want to focus on the ecosystem and the fish. I do not have tank pictures yet, but soon I hope to have some nice ones! Without all that CO2 injection it's going to be slow and steady this time around. A couple of my favorites fishies from past and present below. Apistogramma agassizi male Pearl Gourami male Neolamprologus multifasciatus female
  12. Just wanted to say hello. I'm a retired trucker/auto mechanic. Been keeping fish off and on for most of my life. Seeing as I am now retired, I am setting up my first tank in about 12 years. Looking to learn and grow in the hobby. Scott
  13. Hello all, I am finally getting back into the hobby after a long time away. I have been thinking about it for the past couple years and have not found the time to do it, but I am now putting the tank back together. So I am starting out slowly because I do not want to rush it. Took me a few weeks to come up with a hardscape I like. The substrate is Flourite, with Dragon stone and Mopani driftwood. I will be putting Aquarium Co-op medium sponge filters in each of the back corners. I have a Fluval 3.0 48" light and a Fluval E300 heater. I am still deciding on what plants to use and put where in the tank. Still also do not know what fish I want to go with either. I plan on getting the plants and growing them out for at least 2-3 months before ever putting any fish into tank, so I have time to decide on the fish. So below is picture of tank setup. Let me know what you think. let me know what plants would look good and where to place them. All help is appreciated. Thank you all and glad to be back in the hobby. George
  14. New to this forum. Returning to fish-keeping after decades away. Quarantine got me started again, and it's quickly exploded into Multiple Tank Syndrome. I had a 50-gallon tank as a kid; but that ended when a mass mortality event [malfunctioning heater] that spooked me from trying again. I don't know why I waited so long - I'm a biologist by profession and get a ton of joy out of observing the fish, trying to grow aquatic plants, and tinkering with every aspect of a little closed ecosystem. It started last fall with upgrading my kids' betta bowl to a 15-gallon tank. That quickly became a planted tank with neon tetras and cories (sodalis and panda), plus a running education in non-stop issues. It felt like every week was a new challenge. Algae! Melting plants! Lethal fish fungus! Stinky driftwood! Bacterial infections? Fin/tail rot. Ich! Snails! Weird blizzards of floating white flakes that I thought were an explosion of worms but turned out to be chunks of plastic the snails were scraping off a disintegrating fake sea anemone (my kids' choice of decoration...yuk, never again!). I was frustrated as hell, but also trying to find Zen in the education aspect of it all. Fast forward 3 months. The 15 gallon finally stabilized, but the original betta died in the process.. So now my kids need TWO bettas (one each) so we got a 5-gallon too. Which of course became a second round of experiments (potting soil for the plants, capped with gravel? Sounds good in theory but WHAT A MESS! Shrimp? Not with this aggressive betta - he chased them all into the filter and I never saw them.) Fast forward 3 months. My neighbor is upgrading and offered me his 90 gallon cube + stand and sump. Oh dear. But I finally felt up to the challenge. Why not? (Well, just look at my bank statement after I outfitted that tank...THAT's why not, LOL.) As of last week I've finally figured out the sump setup and got that tank fully cycled (it took 5 impatient weeks). Plants are growing. I did a fish-in cycle with some starter fish (a dozen leopard danios) and I can't decide if they are awesome fish or really annoying with all their manic scurrying and gluttony. The tank now also houses two 10-year-old clown loaches that outgrew a friends' tank, and a a trio of delightfully quirky reticulated hillstream loaches (who crack me up with their antics and hold their own against the danio swarm). Next up is a school of geophagus eartheaters, who will likely gleefully destroy my current plant setup. I obviously still have SO MUCH to learn. Looking forward to learning from all of you on these forums!
  15. hello from Oregon. I am feeling like a total newbie even if i grew up having multiple fish tanks. my last fish tanks were back in the `80s. before the internet and forums and home computers so i am struggling. I have four white clouds right now and a huge wish list! a thousand questions that I am sure have been answered as many times.
  16. Hello everyone, I'm just getting back into the fish hobby. I'm upgrading my betta tank to a 20 gallon with some tank mates. I'm also planning a 75 gallon tank (which I'm super exited about.) I'm usually pretty shy and I don't really post online because people can be mean. I've been pretty impressed with this community and really want to be part of it! I'm still setting up my tank. My old betta boy is enjoying the new tank! My other fish are currently in a quarantine tank. I'm going to be adding some more scenery and plants, but I wanted to get him into a bigger tank sooner than later. Thank you for all of the great content. I'm very thankful for all the video's by Cory. They have given me the courage to start raising fish again.
  17. Hello! I’ve listened to/watched the Coop videos for a long time and have been meaning to join the forum for a while and finally did it 🙂 I live in New England and have kept tanks off and on for 20 or so years, as entertainment and as therapy for anxiety and The Big Sad. I keep freshwater, all planted tanks and mostly smaller South American fish at this point - currently mostly different species of apistogramma, ancistrus, cories, mixed tetras/pencilfish, some guppies, and a larger cichlid tank with Oscars and a few others (it is currently a 75g and will become a 150-180 soon). I dabble with scaping and breeding, and am currently breeding/raising triple red cockatoo apistos, Opaline & yellow head borellii, and juveniles from wild caught pairs of Trifasciata & Tefé. Also breeding & raising Ancistrus Rio Paraguay from a pretty prolific colony, long fin calico BNs, and am growing out some super reds to try next. Oh; and mixed mutt guppies too just because they’re fun and it’s dang near impossible not to breed them 🤪 I also try to use a lot of house plants in my systems and have several DIY above tank sumps with various things, the next goal is trying to grow some red mangroves in freshwater. I’ll attach some pictures of a few of my current tanks, some current fish and some fish & tanks from the past - I’m attempting to do this from my phone and am a little technologically challenged so hopefully it works. I’m very much looking forward to finally being a more active member of the community after a long time lurking! Cheers!
  18. Hi everyone. A few months ago, my girlfriend and I went to the Tennessee Aquarium and it got me back in the mood to keep fish again. I first started in 2004 and had several tanks until 2011 or so when my 55g reef tank crashed due to a heater failure. I took some time off but now I'm back. I currently have a 29g planted with guppies, cories, a bamboo shrimp, and a few mystery snails.... a 6.8g with a pea puffer... a 20g planted that currently houses a betta but will soon house the pea puffer once I can find two females to introduce at the same time with him, at which time the betta will move to the 6.8....... and since I have pea puffers it also means I have a 2.5 gallon snail farm. I just want to say how thankful I am for a resource like Cory and Aquarium Co-op. Getting back into things, I ended up watching a ton of videos and placed several orders from Aquarium Co-op. I just found out about this forum this morning and couldn't wait to sign up and browse around. When I was into it before, Youtube wasn't really a thing yet, so all we had were forums and books. It's a whole new world these days, and I want to say thanks to Cory, Dean, "Girl Talks Fish", and the rest of the Aquarium Co-Op associated Youtubers who have made coming back into this hobby so awesome!
  19. Howdy I am Washington born and raised Getting back in the hobby again. Found the store through the youtube Channel. Found the forum through the store. My mom had a fish tank when I was a real little kid. I still remember when the guppies where born. I had my own tank by fourteen or so and salt tanks by 19. Since then, I seem to get into it for a few years and trim back to a single tank.... then get back into it again. Good to be back in the hobby again. looking forward to catching up on new stuff. Take care everyone
  20. Getting back into the hobby after many many many years. While doing some research found the Aquarium Coop and the plethora of information Cory has to offer. There has been a lot of changes on the hobby and I am loving all the new things. I had my first tank as a kid and as a teenager I moved into a 50 gal. Even worked for Dolphin Pets in Redmond for a while... Are they even around anymore? Anyhow I am super happy to find this forum because in my vicinity we have no access to a LFS just a Petco and a PetSmart, and sometimes you just need a lot more help than they can offer. Thanks again for the forum!! PS I already placed two orders and the stickers were a super fun surprise!!
  21. Hi everyone. I have been in the hobby for about twenty years on and off but had to take a five year break because my job had constant travel. I recently changed careers and have started to build my tank collection again. Right now I have 55 g mbuna tank that is going great with tons of fry. My issue is the 29 gallon planted tank. It just has 3 guppies but I put in 6 anano shrimp and they all died. The other thing is that the sponge filter is getting this odd white flaky film. I can wipe it off and it goes all over the tank. I do have hard water but it’s only showing this in one tank. Any idea? Please help.
  22. Hello everyone 😁 I'm marcus. I have been fish keeping on and off for the last 8 years constantly the last 3 years. I have kept a very diverse fish collection from community, to flower horns, africans, invertebrates, other large predator fish. I have recently downsized do to covid the past year. I currently keep 2 40g, 2 20g, 10g, and a 90 indoor pond. I am far from someone who knows much about the hobby lol I have mainly learned from youtube and experience along the way. Believe it or not I actually just started my first planted tanks. I hope to make some great friendships and learn from everyone here.
  23. Hi. I’m looking for help designing my system. I haven’t kept fish in 3 years and I’m trying to learn from my past mistakes. I want it to be very easy to maintain. I want it to be robust and very peaceful. I have a 25g rimless landen tank. I’m planning to plant it and add a school of rummy nose tetra or celestial pearl danios. I’m considering a 10g sump. I like the idea of decluttering the display tank. I like the amount of filtration, oxygenation, and opportunity to add an overflow set up. I had to add aeration to my last tank and the bubbles/pump were loud and messy. A major concern is to not need aeration. If I did have to add it I could add it to sump and close it up so I couldn’t hear it. I know a sump is likely overkill but that reason alone is not a very weighty con for me. I learned a lot from the video about how to vacuum your tank on the channel. I was doing just about everything wrong. I swore I’d plan on a system that didn’t involve carrying full buckets of water (clean or dirty) around the house. I plan on using the methods demonstrated in the video with the Python Water Changer so no buckets. I’d be refilling with tap water and then treating it in the tank. Plants will be new for me. The tank will be established without fish. I haven’t made it to researching CO2 but I think there’s a chance it won’t be needed on a 25g. Thoughts on that would be very helpful. I feel like I know the direction I want to go but I’m at a point that I could use some help cementing some ideas to build on. Searching online the options are just endless! Thanks for reading!
  24. Hello all! 🙂 New here. Have some experience from past years pre-internet 😉 (or at least pre-internet searching). Then a long break from fish-keeping and now back at it again (with a *little* more knowledge & understanding). So I am curious about asking questions here. I actually have a question that *specifically relates to an Aquarium Co-op Blog*? If I post it, would the Aq. Coop Team answer it or forum members or both? Is there a place to specifically bring this to the team's attention? Any feedback appreciated!
  25. Back in the early 90’s I owned a fish store & at the time, even had 31 tanks in my house. Well, after about 28 or so years have decided to get back into the hobby. After watching Cory’s videos & a few others, decided to get back in & try planted tanks (that’s something I never did back then). I set up a 38 gallon with plants & a few community fish. That hooked me again...so I bought a 14 gallon frameless cubed tank so I could try even more different plants & my wife likes guppies. It’s only been set-up for 4 days now & is doing really good. So glad I got back in & looking forward to learning more from Cory & all of you.
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