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About Me

  1. I’ve built a couple aquarium stand for smaller tank and they’re currently on carpet but I’ve ran into this problem and what some insight. This is going to be a long post so saddle up. When constructing an aquarium stand how important is it that both the top and the bottom are level? I’ve heard that it would put and uneven amount of pressure on the tank and it could cause a break in the future. I’ve also heard a long as all four corners are supported it’s fine. I’m OCD when making things and it drove in insane that it was not level Next question, if it is important for it to be leveled how do you do it?! The most I’ve done is put plywood on top. Is there something I need to do when constructing it?
  2. Any of you guys ever try DIY root tabs? Don't have too much money to spend on root tabs, but I only have an inert substrate of sand and pea pebbles (yeah, I know, my mistake. Got the wrong pebbles.) . I saw one day a few people were making their won root tabs (I was never interested in root feeding plants like swords) out of Osmocote Plus. Went in a little deeper and saw some people had great success with them and some people had little success with them. Obviously I also heard about people getting huge ammonia spikes with not digging them deep enough or planting too much at once, but I have about 3 inches of sand and gravel to plant them in and its a pretty shallow to dig in 10g so I'm not too worried about that (probably going to come back and bite me in the butt one day), and the deal sounds too good to pass up. I've also heard its a pretty slow release so you don't get quick growth, and I've heard other people say they worked quickly. I know it lacks iron but I'm not too worried about that, don't have many red plants or plan on getting too many. I already dose Easygreen, but I feel like some of my plants like my Jungle Val could benefit off of them (some people say they're root feeders, some don't). Also I already know that other tabs like Seachems are the best, but I like the little pills. Would love to hear your thoughts, although I feel like I'm not going to quite enjoy the answer.
  3. I know this sounds ridiculous but am I the only one who is scared to attempt Co2. I know it's very easy for some people but knowing how easy it can be to kill fish i am extremely cautious. I have watched a crap ton of videos and read articles but I still feel like I'm missing something cuz I have no confidence in my ability to try it. Any advice for someone who is on the fence about it?
  4. This seems like an ideal place to log the changes in my tanks, and get opinions on issues I'm struggling with. You'll notice a trend in most of my aquariums -- collectoritis. I'm at the stage of fishkeeping right now where I can't fathom a species-only tank. My schooling fish are all in sufficient numbers, but I still love the variety. I think I have an even bigger problem with plants. Over the past year I've just been buying all the plants to find out which ones grow (it's a secret, no one knows). I'll post each tank in order of acquisition. 1. Living room display, 40 breeder, initially set up August 2019. Below is what the tank looked like back in October. Started it out as a super-artificial scape, and then I realized how much I liked live aquatic plants and began adding them in droves. After some experience with subsequent tanks, I went back to this one for an overhaul. This is what it looks like today (changing the substrate was a B-and-a-half): YouTube video on this tank: The tiny sword plant you see in the lower left corner of the first pic has grown into the giant sword plant in the second pic. The floating moss ball was a recent addition from the Co-op, and while it arrived in great condition, I am cursed when it comes to growing moss. I just can't figure it out. Stocking: Angels, rosy tetras, maccullochi rainbows, australian rainbows, otos, powder blue dwarf gourami, and emerald corydoras. Update 4/10/21: I've been messing around with backlighting on this tank. See video below. 2. Dining Room, 20 tall, initially set up September 2019 I wanted to breed bristlenose plecos. It didn't take long before I saw baby bristlenose all over the glass, at least 30 of them. Unfortunately, they dwindled one by one over a period of two weeks - no idea why. There was one survivor, which has grown 2+ inches. But since that initial spawn, I've only seen white eggs that the male pushes out of the cave. Any tips to get this back on track? In addition to the plecos, it's housing my wife's platys from her classroom tank (she's a teacher) which are breeding, as well as breeding endlers and cherry shrimp. Stocking: Male and female adult and one juvenile bristlenose pleco, platies, endlers, cherry shrimp. 3. Daughter's tank, 20 tall, set up October 2019 My daughter (8 years old) wanted a tank for her room. Trying to move her away from the artificial plants but she likes them too much. So I just have to keep doing bleach dips every month or so until I can get the lighting balanced (upgraded her light recently). The lighting upgrade seems to have negatively affected her live water sprite, though. Used to be lush and green and now seems to be falling apart. Stocking: Platies, platy fry, green fire tetra, sunset honey gourami, pygmy corys, and guppies from my wife's classroom tank 4. Son's tank, 20 tall, set up November 2019 My son (6 years old) loves dinosaurs, so we went with sort of a prehistoric jungle theme. Stocking: Zebra loaches, panda corys, cherry barbs, purple harlequin rasboras, and one platy (offspring from my daughter's tank) YouTube Video on my Kids' Tanks: 5. The livebearer tank, 40 breeder, set up in February 2020. In the dining room next to the pleco fail tank, I have guppies, platys, and cherry shrimp breeding up a storm. I started with just guppies in the 20 tall in October, trying to breed the fancy strains from my LFS. I could never keep a single one alive for more than a couple weeks. I had purchased some already-pregnant females, which gave birth and died. I raised the fry and let them breed as well, and it looked like I was getting some strong stock out of them, so I set up this 40 breeder to let the guppies do their thing. Simultaneously, my daughter's platy was having babies, which I also added to this tank. Because of how much feeding I was doing, I added panda corys and cherry shrimp to the mix. But then in March/April, there was an outbreak of some horrid bacterial disease. My corys were happy, my shrimp were breeding, and the platys were thriving. But for several weeks the guppies died one by one, then two by two, then five by five, etc. I probably lost 75% of my guppy stock. Maracyn didn't touch it, nor did . What ended up working was kanaplex, though it crashed the cycle. Should've quarantined... I didn't lose any corys or platys during all this drama, though. I decided not to buy anymore guppies and just let my surviving endlers and guppies breed. Things are doing better, so much so that I've been able to grow out enough stock to trade in at my LFS. Also trying to grow java moss glued to foam (removed from my bonsai tree because nothing was growing). Stocking: Guppies, endlers, endler/guppy hybrids, platys, panda corys, cherry shrimp, and amano shrimp Note: The background in the above tank, as well as the cave, were DIYs that were intended for tank number 6. However, I wasn't entirely satisfied with the result and found a better DIY method online. Still, didn't want the first background to go to waste. 6. The Bedroom Display, 90 gallon, set up February 2020 Sometime in December, I dove into a large DIY project. I had 1/2 inch glass cut to custom dimensions so it could fit in a particular space in my bedroom, and I siliconed it all myself. Tank dimensions are 55"L x 17"W x 24"H. I also built the cabinet/stand and created the foam rock background . The tree used to have the moss I mentioned above, but recently changed it out for subwassertang. I plan to buy more of it soon. Every plant in here is exploding. I've had trouble keeping cardinal tetras alive. Can't tell you how many I've purchased, but the 15 or so left in here are doing well now. I've lost far fewer rummynose. This tank is just so much fun to look at. The rainbows and corys are always spawning, the forktails play in the spraybar current, the rummynose stay together and swim back and forth, the amano shrimp are big enough to stay visible and crawl all over the rock wall, and the gourami patrols the tank like it's his job and eats from my hand. The cardinal tetra just sort of exist and look pretty. It's the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning. Stocking: Cardinal tetra, rummynose tetra, boesemani rainbows, forktail rainbows, pearl gourami, otos, julii corys, and amano shrimp. 7. Betta in the bedroom, 16G fluval spec, set up June 2020 My wife wanted a betta tank, so we got one, tank number 2 in the bedroom. She made all the aquascaping and stocking decisions. New tank so still sorting out the algae, fert/light balance. Another christmas moss floater, doing better in this tank for some odd reason, but still don't have high hopes. Stocking: pygmy corys, white cloud mountain minnows, and betta BONUS: Quarantine bin Learned my lesson with those guppies, so I'm quarantining now. I'm trying to add a few more cardinal tetra to my 90G. I've had great success with aqua huna fish, except for their cardinal tetras. This time around, I ordered 20 and put them in this 10G sterilite container. I lost 9 of them over 48 hours, but the remaining 11 have been alive for the past 6 days. Still don't look great, though.
  5. I wanted to share my personal experience with my first DIY project using PVC pipes. I searched online quite a bit and decided to give it a shot myself. It turned out to be quite simple, so I wanted to share it here in case anyone else would like to give it a try. Parts: 1-1/2" PVC pipe, cut to about 12 inches long (1) 1-1/2" to 3/4" PVC bushing. Get the one that has threads on the inside (3) 1-1/2" PVC DWV pipe (it's a U-shaped pipe) (1) 1-1/2" Sani Tee Pipe (1) 5/8" hose barb x 3/4" MIP nylon adapter (2) I got the hose barb with 5/8" barb for my 16/22 mm hose 1/4" x 1/2" MIP push-to-connect adapter for the CO2 tubing (1) 3/4" to 1/2" PVC bushing. Get the one that has threads on the inside. The CO2 connector goes to that How I got it free-standing: I ended up needing to build a stand as well, because the reactor itself won't stand upright. I found a little part of my old computer desk, that had a metal plate and a connected short metal tube (it was meant to hold a small table top that swivels out). I was able to fit another PVC pipe right onto it and got it to fit snugly by putting a rubber band on the metal tube before putting the pvc pipe on. Then I cut open a few more 1-1/2" PVC pipes and screwed them into the stand, which clamps perfectly onto the reactor! I used bolts and tightened it with nuts on the inside, so that it would be more stable and not have a risk of pulling out eventually. I was really happy to see that I could re-use the PVC pipes to act as a clamp, it made my job so much easier. Reasons for creating this PVC CO2 reactor: I am currently using an FZone CO2 inline diffuser, which ends up sending lots of micro-bubbles into the tank. When I had lights that did not have as high intensity, I didn't notice it much. However, when I switched to using a higher intensity light, it became very noticeable, and I don't really want to have that 7-up effect I thought it would be really cool to try and building something using PVC! It's super fun 🙂 How it works: The idea of the design is that water will be flowing from the top of the reactor, downwards and then out from the bottom The CO2 line injects the CO2 from the top as well, and as the CO2 gets pushed down, it will try to rise up and keep getting flushed down, until it dissolves into the water The idea then is that any water that is able to flow out, should only contain dissolved CO2 I decided not to have any bio balls in there, because I won't be able to get in there and clean the media when it eventually gets dirty As of writing this thread, I have not yet connected it to my filter. I am waiting on my new filter that will be more powerful (Oase Biomaster 300), so the flow won't be restricted too much. Once I have it connected, I will update this thread with more information!
  6. I just got a computer that is able to run CAD. this is one of my first projects, I'm pretty happy with how they came out. I uploaded the file to thingiverse if any one else wants to print them. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4821731
  7. (That's the constellation, not the automaker!) After reading @Sliceofnature's barrel/mini pond build and becoming extra jealous of his 3/4 wine barrel, I went online to see what I could come up with where I could maybe maximize my money and spend a bunch of hours on new fish projects to play with! With the wife and kids out of town for a week-and-a-half starting next week, Dad needs an all-consuming project! I apologize in advance to those folks with slow connections, but this build log is going to get into gory detail and have far too many pictures! 😐 By the way, I welcome any and all suggestions, ideas, warnings, etc.: WHAT WOULD YOU KEEP IN SIX 15-GALLON NANO PONDS? Thank you! Off we go! PLANTER SELECTION After MANY HOURS of searching and searching, I came upon these low-cost 22" planters on the Costco Web site: https://www.costco.com/.product.1253881.html (non-affiliate link) They're $25 each, sold in 2-packs. I started with a single 2-pack. When they arrived, I first wanted to see how they looked in the space I had in mind. I have a walkway in my back yard along my bedroom wall that I thought would be perfect for maybe six of these planters. It faces the northwest, and gets 2-3 hours of low, direct sunlight each afternoon, right before the sun drops behind a six-foot fence. Which means I get to see them in bright sunlight when I come home from work. I live in the San Diego area, so I don't expect any temperature extremes except for a little heat a couple days a year. I placed the first two planters to see how it would look: Oh yeah, I'm sold. Imagining a row of six such tubs right there! But first, I have some serious planning to do around wiring, weatherproofing, and equipment. I placed some cables and cords and boxes behind them and walked around, trying to see how hard it would be to hide things behind them and how visible everything will be: Yep, I can make this work. ASSESSING MY OPTIONS The first thing I did with the first pair of planters was take some measurements and do some testing. The planter measures 22" in diameter across the top, 12-1/2" in diameter across the bottom, and is 14-1/2" tall. Rather than trust to my math, I filled it with water and determined the capacity to be a little over 15 gallons to the rim. Since I won't be filling to the top of the rim, I'm assuming these will hold about 13 gallons for my purposes. The material is about 5/16" thick and the plastic is admittedly a little flimsy, but at this price I wouldn't expect otherwise. Certainly sturdy enough for this project. I also tested adhesives: can I mount anything to the outer surface? After trying different tapes, I think gaffer's tape works not too poorly. Duct tape was too weak and clear packing tape was a non-starter. But hot glue adheres to this planter so well that I couldn't get it off! Great, now I know how I can stick things to it! That is actually a HUGE plus. SOME PLANNING & PREPPING In San Diego, the weather never reaches freezing, and the coldest winter periods usually last only hours and rarely drop below 45 degrees. I want to be able to run a heater in each planter, so that I can actually keep virtually any tropical fish/critter I want. Between that, a USB nano pump, and a light, I'm looking at somewhere around 4-5 cords/tubes for each planter. And it all needs a low-cost makeshift "electrical box" of some kind for each one. Each planter has a removable plug in the bottom: Even though my test of filling it with water didn't result in any leaks, I decided not to take any chances; I siliconed the plug just to be sure! So that's as far as I've gotten for one day. Next post, I'll share what I've been learning about how I want to handle equipment and electrical stuff. Also going to hot rod a Jehmco box filter for minimal mess and maintenance (I hope)! Thanks for reading! Bill
  8. Alongside many fellow aquarists/aquascapists, I find myself dealing with surface film far more often than I'd like. Also alongside my fellow a/a's, I've spent far more money than I could have ever imagined when I first decided to grow underwater plants. In an attempt to arbitrarily draw the money line somewhere, at least until I gave a DIY system a try, I decided that purchasing a skimmer system for my "nano" tank was out of the question. Not to mention the lack of real estate in my 5 gallon cube, of which I decided HAD to have exactly half of its space taken up by substrate in an attempt to mimic something I saw in a recent Aquarium Hobbyist Mag—a decision I highly regret and appreciate at the same time. Surprisingly, the first attempt at a DIY skimmer worked! Now the question is whether or not the snorkel looks worse than the film it removes. Nonetheless, I've decided to show my work and how I did it, as well as my notes in case any fellow a/a would like to cheaply rid their tanks of surface film. Equipment: -Dymax Slim Flo HOB filter (the smallest they make) -length of 1/4” tubing (grab a piece longer than required, trim as needed) -scissors -patience Steps: 1: cut a small notch out of the 1/4” tube near one end. The notch will be a triangle shape with the narrowest part aiming down (toward the opposite end). My notch is about 1” in length and gets to as wide as half the tube’s circumference. 2: feed the other side of the 1/4” tube up the bottom of the intake tube to the filter. I had to cut a small opening in the intake tube in order for the 1/4” tube to fit through. 3: feed the 1/4” tube until one end is about halfway up the intake tube while the notch you cut from step 1 is at the waterline. Make sure to round the bottom of the 1/4” tube as it exits the intake tube so it doesn’t kink. If it’s too long, just trim it. Notes: -You’ll have to fiddle with the waterline on the notch as well as the amount of flow on the filter. You want a small amount of waterfall action. I found the best to be about 1” of a gap of air for the waterfall action (this is what brings the surface water into the tube) -The waterline too high on the notch and there will be no waterfall, so surface water will pretty much be stagnant unless you crank up the filter to max flow, but even then, you likely won't get surface water entering. -The waterline too low on the notch and you'll have a gap of air for the waterfall but surface tension will prevent water from entering the tube. -Filter flow too low and it won’t pull water from the tube into the filter. -Filter flow too high and you’ll get lots of skimming action but you might also suck in a tiny fish…like a phoenix rasbora…don’t ask how I know. -Keep in mind you’ll have to adjust the tube as evaporation lowers the waterline. -I routed my 1/4” tube in a quite visible location because I was fiddling with it and wanted to be able to move and see it easily. You can just as effectively route the 1/4” tube under the filter or behind some plants; something I’ll definitely do in the near future. -My tank is quite small, so, the 1/4” tube is perfect for me. Larger tanks might need a larger tube, but I imagine the same steps apply. Hope this was useful for anyone. If you make your own (using mine or a different setup) please share your project! Would love to see what’s out there. Cheers!
  9. So I setup my first pond here in the UK, around 500L and have built the wooden surround today, and pleased with the outcome! water temps here are around 8°C at the moment but likely to drop over the next week as we're due another cold snap here in the lake district UK. Would you say it is okay to feed goldfish weatgerm at this temperature or dont bother feeding yet? if so what temperature would you say the water should be to start feeding weatgerm. I'm adding shubunkin and comet goldfish as I've seeded the filters thanks! aaron
  10. It has four walls now I can call it a fishroom right? What started earlier this year as a single rack of tanks, my nerm-side got the best of me. My desire to expand and add more tanks came from two things. That 40B is now a thriving Guppy colony and I'd like to try line breeding some of the color strains. The second thing was wanting to heat the room not, relying completely on individual heaters. Being in northern PA and the tanks being in the basement it can easily dip into the low the 60's (F) down there. I started in late September with the Dollar Per Gallon sale getting the tanks I wanted. Six 10s, two 20Hs, and two 5.5s. I like painting the bottoms black for a cleaner look. I prefer having bare bottom tanks for easier maintenance. I have also noticed less algae growth on the bottoms of the tanks that are painted black. I use Gloss Black Rust-oleum Enamel Paint. Next step was to enclose the area where the tanks are. They sit in a corner of my basement so I only have to make two walls. I like building simply and effectively to reach my goals. To enclose the tanks I made a framework using 1x2 furring strips and 1/2" styrofoam panels as insulation. After that I needed to move the 40B and the shelf it was on. I did that by draining it to about 3 inches of water. Lifting the shelf enough to get furniture sliders under each leg and sliding it out of the way. I used a Nano USB pump and airstone to keep the water moving for the day while I prepared the new rack. I also added some insulating panels to the wall to keep the heat in the room. Once I had the 3/4" plywood cut and painted for the bottom shelf I leveled the rack. I was then able to move the 40B to its new location. To move it, I drained another inch or so water from it and had someone help slide if off the old shelf onto the new one. It wasn't as sketchy as I was fearing, not as heavy either with a bag of eco-complete and little water. I refilled it immediately and didn't lose any fish in the process. Next since the major construction was done I added heavy vinyl curtains to act as doors. Then I placed the new tanks on the rack and got the heater running to get in dialed in. I will still run the individual heaters in the tanks until I'm confident the room will stay warm enough. I added the warning label for any visitors. I added thermometers around the room to monitor the temperature. I picked up a full 4x8 foot sheet of 1/8" thick glass from a local shop to begin making lids. I have the shop cut the sheet in half to fit it in the back of my truck. Once home I set up a work table in the garage on sawhorses, carefully slid the glass out and begin making the cuts I need. I like making the lid opening 5" wide and clipping the corners for the airline heater cord to enter. Lighting next, for that I use all 36" Finnex Stingray lights. Had a small issue mounting them under the shelf as there is metal supports in the way. I made some quick spacers out of scrap wood and used Kreg jig to make pocket screw holes for mounting them. It worked great and I could finally see easier having the lights installed. All the lights on both racks are controlled by a single Kasa wifi timer. Really the last thing left to do is layout and install the air system, connecting it to my first rack. The air system on the first rack is run off a Linear Piston Pump the same one sold by ACO. I use 3/4" pvc and #10-32 tapped plastic airline valves. I like those because they can be used for both air and water. I mocked up the loop on the front of the rack to get the measurements required. I'm using 3/4" barbs and vinyl tubing to connect this loop to the original one. Once laid out, I took everything apart to drill and tap the holes. Dean's tip of using a piece of tape to make a straight line is excellent for lining up your marks along the pipe. I like to use an automatic center punch as well to mark the holes and prevent the drill bit from wandering when starting the hole. Nice and in line. Both air loops now tied together. With the air in I was able to trim and install the mattenfilters in the new tanks. I found its really nice to cut the foam using hot foam cutting pen. While rearranging everything I did lose a lot of storage space. I was however to clean out some old junk and boxes and fit all the my supplies into bins under each rack. I did fit a small plastic shelf in between the racks for some additional storage. This morning I finally filled all the tanks and got them running. I already have some new fish in the rack, some Red & Blue Colombian Tetras. They came into my LFS and I set up one tank this week to house them. Without the mattenfilter cycled yet I added cycled sponge filter into the tank. I realize this a quick breakdown of how I expanded into a fishroom so please feel free to ask any questions you may have. I look forward to adding to this thread all future breeding projects and builds.
  11. Have you ever wanted to build a tank in the 150 gallon range from glass or acrylic? Have you done it? Where could one find design plans for that and for custom wooden stands?
  12. I normally don't order lots of root tabs. I should; I have tons of plants that can use them. But they are more buoyant than anything I've ever seen in a aquarium, and it's really difficult to get them deep under the root of my plants (even with forceps) so that they'll stay there before the tablet casing begins to degrade! It sometimes takes me several minutes to deposit one tablet, and it's a task I really don't look forward to. When folks on this forum a couple weeks ago mentioned a very expensive, unavailable-to-the-US mechanism made just for this purpose, I hit the internets. But there was no way I could have something like this shipped to the US for less than $60! So I started researching the DIY route, and after some trial and error and lots of research, I've come up with this one-handed solution. It can be made for less than $10 in parts from your local Home Depot. In fact, you can make two for about the same cost! It is sized for Aquarium Co-Op Easy Root Tabs. PARTS: So let's dive in. These are the parts I collected together (non-affiliate links) : 1. Straight PEX Pipe: 1/4" ID, 5' length: $1.76 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Apollo-1-4-in-x-5-ft-White-PEX-Pipe-APPW514/301541226 2. Wood dowel: 3/16" diameter, 4' length: $0.70 https://www.homedepot.com/p/3-16-in-x-48-in-Wood-Round-Dowel-HDDH31648/204354369 3. Drawer pull: 1-1/14" birch cabinet knob: $0.98 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Liberty-Rowland-1-1-4-in-32-mm-Birch-Wood-Round-Cabinet-Knob-P10512H-BIR-C/204143998 4. Drawer pull: 1-13/16" birch cabinet knob: $1.88 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Liberty-Classic-1-13-16-in-46-mm-Unfinished-Birch-Wood-Round-Cabinet-Knob-P10515C-BIR-C5/100156480 5. Springs: 6-pack zinc-plated compression springs (used the 3/8" x 1-1/8" x 0.041" spring): $4.22 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-Zinc-Plated-Compression-Spring-6-Pack-16087/202045468 TOTAL: $9.54 TOOLS: 1. Drill and assorted bits 2. Wood glue (or white glue) 3. 5-minute epoxy PREP: The 1/4" PEX pipe does not fit the Easy Root tabs. I made it fit by enlarging the first inch or so of one end of the pipe using a 5/16" drill bit. Now, the smaller end of the Easy Root Tab fits very snugly. If I don't push it in too far, it's a perfect grip! Next, I cut a 12" length of the PEX pipe and a 13" length of the dowel. I don't have very deep tanks, so this is fine for me. But this can be cut to any length you need; just make sure the dowel is always one inch longer than the tube. The wooden knobs already have holes drilled in them, which made it very easy to enlarge them to exactly the diameters I needed. For the smaller knob, I enlarged the hole to 3/16", making sure not to drill all the way through. I glued in my wood dowel with a drop of wood glue to hold it permanently: For the larger knob, I enlarged the hole to 3/8" diameter, this time going all the way through. I made sure to start with a 3/16" bit, and repeatedly went larger and larger until I reached 3/8". This ensured my hole stayed centered and I had a nice clean cut all the way through. I glued in the length of PEX pipe with 5-minute epoxy. This should hold well enough for my purposes. I'm using the shorter, wider spring for this project (3/8" x 1-1/8" x 0.41"). For good measure, I used some 5-minute epoxy to glue the spring to my plunger. This is totally optional, but gives me one less piece I can lose. That's pretty much all there is to do. I just inserted the plunger in the tube and I'm ready to try it out! I placed an Easy Root Tab in the end, just far enough for it to grip, but not so far that it won't push out easily. I inserted the tool with one hand into the tank, pushed the plunger, and voila! A deposited tablet in 5 seconds! But I am over the moon about how this tool turned out. I just placed about 20 tabs in two minutes. Even with coarse gravel, forcing the pill in was no problem. The two pieces come apart for drying, as that wood dowel won't last forever. Now I understand why the professional ones are so expensive. This makes things so much easier. I'm definitely making a longer one for deeper tanks. Hope you find this useful. Thanks for reading! Bill
  13. Ok. I know that we are supposed to support a tank by all 4 corners. But let's say someone was not diy smart and someone made a mistake and that left a 5.5 gallon tank shelf 3/4 inches too short....so I can get 2 ends and the majority on 2 long sides securely on a shelf. I would go back, but bit of a time crunch. It's such a small tank. Yes? I've seen people do it with 20g longs....I don't agree... But some people get lucky in life... Thanks
  14. Though I only needed a small amount for my filter, I bought two coarse sponges from Aquarium Co-op. Because you never know... Last week I cut out a rectangle to try and fill the gap between the HOB and the glass (I didn't want my betta to find out the hard way he's gotten too big to hang out there). It was too thick so I used something else. The sponge stayed on the counter to dry. Tonight when doing my water tests, I saw the sponge sitting there, and a light bulb went off. Here's another use for the coarse sponge. I always had this fear of the vials tipping and breaking. This gives me some ease.
  15. Hello All, I am putting together a new stand to hold three tanks vertically in my fishroom, two 20g longs and a 29 gallon on the bottom. So the tanks are all 30" across and 12" deep. I have seen Cory's video with the stands in the store only supporting the ends of each tank, front-to-back. I am considering doing this but seems a bit frightening. I have also read a few articles saying all the weight is on the four corners so in theory I should be fine, but ... Every tank stand I have previously built supports the entire bottom frame, sides and front/back. Just wondering if others have built similar stands for tanks these sizes and just supported the sides, leaving the front and back edges open?
  16. I'm thinking about adding a DIY Co2 setup on my new planted tank. If I run it to boost my plant growth will it hurt them when I stop useing it when they get fully established?
  17. How much is too much light for the fish? I replaced the two 18” stock florescent fixtures on my 65 tall with a single 48” converted led shop light. As expected there is a lot of wasted light and a huge increase in available light. In the near future, I will replace the stock full plastic hoods with egg crate, or polycarbonate panels if I can find them cheap enough. This of course will again greatly increase the available light. Now the problem: This is a low tech operation, so I don’t have the means to measure or adjust intensity. I’m using a 2 lamp fixture, and there is no diffusion. Each daylight 6000 K tube is focused straight down. If I install the second lamp, it could be intense. When do you reach the point where there will it be too much light for the fish or low/medium light plants? The ultimate goal here is a fully planted tank.
  18. Anyone know where I could find information about the fry separator/floating paint strainer that Cory uses in his fishroom? Thanks!
  19. I cracked a tank as I was drilling is there anyway to salvage it?
  20. I've had this idea for a while now and I decided to give it a test. I tried compacting the Easy Fry Food into a tablet to be fed like an o-nip tab. I'm sure that I don't have the right tools to pull this off or there is a specific process to make it work, but I poured some of the powdered food into a tap and die and pressed it with a bench top arbor press. Here are the results. I feel like there is some promise to this and that it could work. I don't plan on ever feeding the ones I make to my fish since I have no idea of the all the chemicals that my tools are exposed to.
  21. I am gonna build a 55 for my axolotl sometime in the next year but I am preparing now I am gonna have a sump so I want to drill it so What is the best kind/brand of tank for drilling these are my one needs 1. come in a 55 gallon 2.non tempered glass(obviously) 3. Be some what easy to get 4. Easy to drill
  22. I thought I'd share my DIY brine hatchery. It's a standard inverted water bottle design but I wanted to make sure it had light and temperature control all in a standalone package. I definitely didn't need to make it this fancy but I had fun doing it and now I know I'll have a very consistent setup. I've got a 4watt LED strip light on the side providing hatch inducing light and a ring of LEDs on the very bottom to encourage the bbs to swim to the outlet at harvest time. I also couldn't find a small 12W heater anywhere so I made one from nichrome wire, sand, and a 12mmx100mm test tube. I also added a temperature probe and a controller to keep it at 27C/81F All totaled I think I spend about 10$ worth of parts that I already had laying around.
  23. I am planning to set up a diy co2 system for my 10gal. But I have a few concerns. For example, if I run it at night will i end up gassing my fish? And is there a way to turn it off conveniently? I am planing on using two 1L bottles and the recipe i'll be using for each bottle is 1 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp baking soda. Is this too much or too little for my tank? Any tips for diy co2 in general? What are the "don't"s when setting it up? Thanks:)
  24. Hi all, I'm looking for something similar to the soft fine mesh materials used to make brine shrimp nets or the bottom of a german breeding ring. Has anyone found a good source for this before? I'm hoping to avoid buying large nets and cutting them up. Thanks!
  25. Stem plants have an annoying habit of not staying planted unless weighted down. And the weights can cause issues of their own if they're applied too tightly. And if they're not applied tightly enough the plants can still slip free and become free floating. Getting stem plants to stay in place long enough to set roots and anchor themselves can be a challenge. I cheat. I use small plastic cups that cat food came in and fill them with my tank substrate that I wet down. Then I cover the makeshift pots with plastic wrap and secure that with a rubber band. I then use a small artist paintbrush handle to poke holes in the plastic wrap and through the substrate and as I slide out the paintbrush handle I slide in the plant stem. I can squeeze ten or so stems into the pot in this manner and then set the pot in my aquarium for a few weeks until the plants root and get a firm grip. The plastic wrap helps to hold the stems in place. Once well rooted and actively growing I can then remove the pot from the tank, carefully slice/tear off the plastic wrap and the plants should have nice roots, be used to my lights/water and can be more easily planted and stay in place. I just got an order of red ludwigia in today and managed to pot up five full pots of it in this manner with nothing floating (so far anyway.) The ludwigia was supposed to be 5"-10" but arrived more like 18"-24" long so I ended up with a lot more stems than anticipated as I trimmed it back and planted the cuttings. I'd been planning for two to three cups and I ended up with five. Not a bad problem to have. Here are some photos of the process and one of the cups in a tank. After a few days to a week to adjust to the tank they should start growing pretty well. Once I'm confident they're all rooted (maybe a month from now) I'll pull a pot and check it out. If there are roots galore I'll them move the plants to their permanent spaces and they should have a better chance to stay in place. This gives me a way to reuse those empty cat food cups and keep my newly planted stem plants in place.
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