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About Me

Found 18 results

  1. Hi everyone! Wanted to start off saying Thank You to this Forum and everyone who contributes - I have learned SO MUCH in the last few months from all the wonderful humans who share their knowledge about the aquarium hobby! Currently, I have an large army of very happy Red Wag Platys (Platies?), 12 Neon Tetras, 6 adorable Melanistius Corydoras (SO CUTE), a baby Bristlenose Pleco and 3 Golden White Cloud Mountain Minnows who are still in quarantine (they looked so lonely by themselves at the pet store, I couldn't leave them there!). ANYWAY - This is my first summer having an outdoor pond, and I am VERY excited! 😍 My fiancé and I bought our new house last year, and over this past winter I casually mentioned that I wanted to try summer tubs this summer...well, now I have a 200 gallon semi-inground pond that will have a small waterfall and a pump/filter. 😮 (images attached of the pond the day he dug it into the ground, and a picture from this past Sunday with the beginnings of the surrounding rocks). See what happens when you leave (some) men unsupervised?! So, cue excitement - and mild concern for the sheer size of this thing!😳 We live on Long Island, NY (Zone 7a for plants), so any fish will be coming indoors for the winter. Originally, I was just going to put a handful of my existing Red Wags and a bunch of plants in my intended smaller outdoor tub, but seeing as though I now have 200 gallons at my disposal and as a beginner with outdoor tubs/ponds, what other fish can I put in there? Looking for species I can put in the pond WITH the Red Wags, as I already have those and ideally would like some color variety other than the red/black of the Platys. THANK YOU!😄🐟
  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. Hello Everyone! This is my first post to this forum; I was formerly a member of the Facebook Group "Aquarium Group Support". I've been keeping freshwater fish since 2018, and have at one point had 5 separate tanks! I usually keep single bettas with community tanks, and have kept pea puffers at one point. I've been having bad luck with my last couple bettas because I wasn't buying them from a breeder, and decided to take a break from buying any more. I currently have a Giant male I got from a breeder and he's great. So when my last one died, I refreshed my memory on on the individual species in my 2 community tanks and was happy to find they could all co-exist, so I combined them and freed up my 20 gallon long. I decided to buy my first fantail goldfish to put in it! I just had a few questions on goldfish specifically so I can give it the best care it can have: Do I really have to feed it everyday? I've always fed my tropical fish every other day to cut back on waste, but online sources for goldfish were telling me once or twice a day. Is that what's best for it? How do you sex goldfish? I'd really like to know what it is 🙂 Is a consistent temperature good? I know they don't need a heater, but I left the existing heater in the tank and set it to 68 degrees. For some reason leaving in the heater made me feel better, since I've always kept tanks at a consistent temperature. Can I house two fantail goldfish in a 33 gallon long (dimensions of a 55 gallon tank cut in half horizontally) tank? This tank is my other community tank, but I don't plan to replace any of the community fish that die off at this point. Eventually I would like to downsize to only 1 tank, and I know goldfish can live a long time, so I was wondering if it could be moved into the 33 gallon with a tankmate eventually? Could I put a mystery snail with it in the 20 gallon currently? Online sources were very clear about no tankmates in a 20 gallon because of goldfish waste output, but I was wondering about the opinions from this forum. Is it going to eat the gravel? I've seen him put it in his mouth and spit it back out, and do the same thing with pest snails. Do I need to be concerned? Thank you all in advance for your time and opinions!! I look forward to participating in the forum 🙂
  4. So I found this little guy and a few dozen of its brethren when I was cleaning my tank filter. At first I thought it was a Daphnia but it swims around "faf boi" more like a little shrimp. So I'm thinking seed shrimp maybe. It doesn't really look like any of the pictures I've found. Any help would be much appreciated.
  5. With Christmas coming up I really want to get some books on the hobby. May that be aquascaping, plants, fish species ect. i'm interested in any kind of fresh water education. If anyone has recommendations for some good books to look into, I would really appreciate it ^^
  6. I thought that maybe some people might be interested to see my freshwater pipefish Doryichthys martensii. I'd also be interested to hear from anyone keeping these or similar species. Has anyone bred them? Apparently it's not too difficult with some species. They're like sea horses so the male takes the eggs from the female and holds them in a pouch until they hatch. These guys are also known as long shouted Pipefish and they come from Southeast Asia. They're true freshwater fish unlike many that are estuarine or fully saltwater. I have 5 in a 50l tank because they enjoy company. They're not quite full grown yet (assuming 15cm full size) so I might upgrade them but for now the tank works well because they don't move much or fast and they require mostly live small foods. The smaller tank size makes it easier to get the food to them. I have neocaridina shrimp and amano shrimp with them as an extra food source. They will pick eggs straight off the amano shrimp, it's quite funny to see. Here's a video of them being useless at hunting daphnia. I like how they move their eyes. It reminds me of puffer fish.
  7. Hi guys my names rw519, I'm new to the forum but an experienced fish keeper none the less. Before you continue reading YES the title is kinda misleading, sort of. It's not a new tank physically but a new idea or concept of fish keeping I'm embracing for this new tank and hopefully all my fish tanks going forward. In this particular tank I'll be talking about my favorite of them all..Tiger Barbs! I know your prolly thinking hey rw519, that's not a new tank I've saw tons of those barbs they're everywhere! To that I say..yes, you are right, i'm sure you have..but, my choice of tank mates just might be. What tank mates are those you might be asking? Well..are you ready for it, Bloody Mary shrimp, Zebra loaches, Malaysian trumpet snails, bladder snails, California blackworms, and a host of all the micro inverts like daphnia, scuds, seed shrimp, cyclops etc..and yes I'll be using common names here because well I'm lazy and like to keep things simple. Anyway, I bet now your thinking haha what an idiot those barbs and loaches are gonna kill everything! To that my friend I say yes, again you are correct they most certainatly will. With that being said I'd like to introduce this new concept I'll be tinkering with for the next little while. Too often we buy pretty fish taken from wild, throw them in a glass box and force them to survive off man made foods like flakes and pellets for as long as they possibly can. What if, instead of going against the grain, we chose to work with nature and the natural food chain to make that tiny glass box atleast not so foreign and a little more habitable? That's the plan! A fully functional multi species ecosystem working together to sustain itself. Instead of being angry my 12 barbs ate my shrimp I say how large of a shrimp colony do i need to i actually sustain itself and my barbs. Instead of congratulating my loaches for eating all those pesky trumpet snails, I think, how many of those snails would my tank require to produce a stable population mature enough to feed my 6 zebra loaches. Instead of hating those little white insects crawling on my aquarium glass I wonder, how can I utilize this population to my benefit? Truth is, this is no new concept my friends, this is the natural order of the aquatic food chain and I believe we should all be incorporating this concept into all of our fish tanks going forward. I would almost go as far as saying its abuse not to. Why should we force our pets to eat man made flakes and pellets when nature has already provided us with all the resources needed. After all, these animals do live and thrive in the wild and I dont see them getting fed flakes and pellets. Realistically, all we need to do is put our thinking caps on, gather those choice species and resources, put them together and if we do a good enough job at it nature should take over. That's the plan for this build and hopefully all other tanks in the future. Being that I'm experimenting with tiger barbs who are small 3" fish who will essentially eat anything and everything this round should be fairly easy. Young barbs eat daphnia old barbs eat shrimp. Young loaches eat scuds and bladder snails, old loaches eat shrimp and trumpet snails. That's the idea behind my tanks going forward, looking at fish like what do these specimens really eat in wild, what predator/prey symbiotic relationships do they form, how can I mimic that relationship in my tank, and what tank size and species numbers do I need to balance this system out? Of coarse plants play a vital role in this ecosystem as well, which of those plants brings me the best bang for my buck, what purpose do they serve, how can I incorporate them in a way that benefits all. To pull something like this off correctly those are the questions one needs to answer. Luckily it's really not that hard if done with patience and careful planning so let's get to it. I'm gonna start with a 75 long. Plenty big enough for 12 barbs and 6 loaches with lots of room to grow. Yes, that is massively under stocked but because I want this tank to sustain itself bigger is better. I'll be using a matten filter and a sponge filter for this build. So substrate, easy enough, black sand. Sure its not the most natural looking but I like it and I'm not trying to recreate nature here simply mimic it. Your substrate is more important than you think, fully functioning it breaks down detritus and excess nutrients, stagnant it creates toxins and pests. Before I lay down the sand I spread a thin layer of dried indian almond leaves and fresh local green leaf across the bottom of the tank. This will act as a food source for the bottom feeding micro inverts and snails. On top of that I spread a layer of crushed coral, gravel and rocks high in minerals. It's something for the plants roots to anchor on to. Sand works alone but not so much. The addition of your favorite beach stones and agates work great. Just be sure to avoid those with copper. I than added a couple scoops of pond muck I collected locally and spread that out on top of the gravel. Yes its wild, yes it contains planeria, yes it contains hydra, yes it contains all types of mold fungus and bacteria. Perfect. I dont need much here, all I'm doing is adding the life forms it harbours to my tank. Mold fungus bugs bacteria everything. I can culture them later. On top of this i add about 1.5" of sand. Great my substrate is good to go. I than picture a rock pile spread across the back 3rd of my tank. It's important the gaps holes and hollows throughout the entire matrix are large enough that adult shrimp can climb in and down through to the center but not open enough for adult loaches to penetrate..haha he said penetrate 🙂 The rock piles gonna be my shrimps safety blanket, home, breeding ground, and feeding ground. Feed them at the pile, it reduces stress and predation and allows the colony to grow much quicker than with open ground or plants swaying to and fro. A reliable food source and secure space helps. Trust me on this one, it works! I'm aiming for a couple hundred here, just to get started. minimum. After I got the rock pile built and secure I than added my hardscape. Spider wood, lava rock and dragon stone. Pretty simple stuff. From there I added a bubble wall on the left side tank wall. Kinda cheesy but oxygenation is essential and I'll take function over aesthetics on this one. I than placed the sponge filter. After I was pleased with the layout visually I decided to add my root feeding plants. In this case crypts I spread throughout the tank. I could tell the tank would still be far to open when mature so I decided to make a Christmas moss wall on the back wall of the aquarium. Perfect! Simple but elegant, pretty but functional. From there I filled the tank got the system running and added the herpes of aquariums. Duck weed. It's going to get in my tank somehow eventually anyway so I might as well add now. Although it's annoying at times its benefits far outweigh the cons when compared to other floating plants imo. Faster growth, shorter root structure, and excellent nutrient uptake. I let this bubble for a few days than I added my pickle jar infusoria culture. By now the wild caught lifeforms in the muck have begun to appear. Daphnia, scuds, seed shrimp and cyclops have begun to hatch, but so have back swimmers water boatmen water spiders and all types of lava. I did remove the dragon fly larva tho. Those things are ruthless and could decimate this young population in a short order of time. Adios! It's time to turn this tank into a 75 gallon green water tank. To do this I feed the inverts spirilina power and active yeast. Instead of sprinkling powder on the top water I take a tip of a teaspoon mix it in a bowl with water and drip this food in with an eye dropper. It spreads throughout the water column better this way. When the water cleares up I'd add a few more drops. This carried on for a week until the population was getting large enough and maturing but no where near culture numbers. I than added 10 adult Malaysian trumpet snails. Its important to get the microfauna built up before the snails simply due to the fact they eat microfauna eggs off the sand and glass and giving them a head start helps speed things along. About 7 days after adding the snails the surface is now covered in duck weed and I'm adding things like cucumber slices, apple cores, and baby spinach to the tank. Its mainly scud food but I'm sure everyone benefits. To prevent the water from fouling I only add small portions at a time every other day and remove uneaten food after an hour. It's easy to monitor the population this way. It's been about 3 weeks now since the infusoria was added and the tanks beginning to look aged. Algae is forming in the tank, the moss wall is filling in, the inverts are booming, and the snails are many but still rather small. It's time to add the shrimp. I purchased 15 medium grade bloody Mary's and drip acclimated them to my water. To do this I put them in a red plastic cup floating in the aquarium. Good idea right, temperature acclimate and drip acclimate at the same time. Pure genius! It took about an hour for the plastic cup to fill up and spill into the tank. Plenty time to acclimatize. I took my food of choice sprinkled it on their rock pile and it wasnt long before they took to their new home. In fact a few darted in there right away without the food. Perfect! This is where things slowed down and kinda became a pain. The micro inverts were becoming overpopulated, the snails were many but still kinda small and my merger 15 shrimp were gonna take awhile to double in population. My patience got the best of me and I went out and bought 10 more from the original source provider. A week or so later my 25 shrimp are closer to 40 now and it's time to add the loaches babies and watch the mayhem begin..And let me tell you the carnage was real. The loaches greatly reduced the scud and snail population over the coarse of a week but none the less the population was still thriving. I pretty much have the fattest brightest colored zebra loach babies I've ever saw. Tiger barbs can get rather territorial and boisterous and stress out new fish if you add them first so its ideal to always add them last if possible. They are aggressive feeders and can out compete other species for food, especially in a live feeding ecosystem that's really tapping into their hunting instincts. They also like to nibble on the duck weed roots and moss. They got added a week after the loaches. It's been about a month now the substate is littered with snail shells, the moss has covered the back wall and all my inverts are going great minus the daphnia. The young barbs love them. Ive had to go down to the local pond to restock on daphnia, they seem to be the preferred diet at this stage. Hopefully by the time the barbs and loaches become adults the shrimp colony is booming but only time will tell. Even now, with the fish at such a young age the shrimp do appear to get picked off, mostly juveniles but they also appear to be adapting to their environment. They prefer coming out of hiding at dawn for an hr or 2, hide in the substrate for most hours of the day and reemerge at sunset throughout most of the night. This is when I gauge numbers and when to restock but so far so good everything is goin great. Only time will tell how well this system balances itself out in the long haul. will my fish end up getting fed expensive food or will I have a balanced ecosystem, I dunno yet but I've added the major players and keys needed for success now I just sit back and watch and tinker with the populations as needed. I'd be lieing if cichlids and live bearers wernt on my mind, perhaps this 2 I might try out 1 day or even better yet one of you reading this. I'm so tired of community tanks randomly thrown together with no real purpose. I prefer mine functional and beneficial. Perhaps a breath of fresh air, something new to the hobby is exactly what we need! Thanks for taking the time to read my experiment and perhaps in a year or so I'll update on how things are going. Till than take care and fish on!
  8. As a Cichlid keeper I am always on the lookout for large rocks to furnish my aquarium, some that I've collected are over 70 lbs. (and are of course my fishes favorites) While in the lawn and garden section of my local menards I found these resin rocks designed to cover unsightly utilities. Man it would be WAY easier to use hollow rocks like this in my tanks. Has anyone used something like this before? What should I be looking out for in fish behavior/ water parameters to tell me that these are not aquarium safe? I bought a medium size one and will chuck it in a tank tonight.
  9. I’ve been doing a fishless cycle for just over a month, and the ammonia and nitrites recently returned to zero. So I decided to clean it today (hence the low water level), and it’s not even making a dent in the amount of algae in the tank. What can I do? Just keep cleaning it weekly until it’s under control? Should I add something like AlgaeFix? Please let me know! I have a fish that I’d like to add to this tank when it is ready.
  10. So I've gotten tired of trying to get good pictures with my cell phone, and I needed a new hobby.. So I bought a DSLR and picked it up a Best Buy on my lunch break yesterday. I got the Canon EOS RP Mirrorless with the 24-105mm lens bundled together. I know relatively little about photography, so I was wondering if I could get some basic tips on getting good pictures of my fish. Here's a few from me playing around with it last night: https://imgur.com/a/J4CBRK2#jxhDCOS Some of these turned out okay, but they're obviously not as good as they could be. I'm finding that the auto mode on this camera prevents me from getting too many unrecognizable photos, but rarely produces anything of decent quality. So, I turned off some of the auto settings and used manual ISO, manual focus, and manual shutter speed. Then I shut off all the other lights in the room, and focused on one tank at a time. Here's what I came up with. https://imgur.com/a/NXpsAsW#O68hfqt I tried some tips I got on another forum, and added a bright (150W LED) floodlight to the top of the tank to serve as a flash of sorts. I ended up getting tons of Limia Nigrofasciata glam shots, as they're my newest addition - how do you think I could improve on these? The glass could obviously use some deeper cleaning, and this particular tank is a bowfront with limited viewing angles, which makes it hard to photograph. https://imgur.com/a/oqP9ru3#rBUTCzh Thanks for any tips!
  11. All though this is a freshwater forum, I bet there are some brackish/ saltwater nerms on here. What kind of tanks do you keep?
  12. vividjs24


    I believe that I have vorticella in my 5 gallon Neocaridina tank. I have noticed it only on the plants and not the animals, so I have removed as many floating plants, etc. where I could see it. Since discovering it, I have also taken out the 3 snails that were in there. In researching, I decided to go with API's Pimafix for one week, and thus also added an extra sponge filter for aeration. The current inhabitants are 9 shrimp and 4 zebra danio fry. Have you had any luck with eradicating vorticella? My guess is that it came in on one of the shrimp (one recently died), as I do weekly 25% water changes, so I don't think this is from a dirty tank. Any advice is appreciated, however, I am not willing to treat with something that can potentially kill the shrimp.
  13. Hiya guys, Long-time hobbyist here, was a coral-reef maniac (you almost have to be) all through the 2000's, until Hurricane Sandy knocked our power out for 5 days and it got so cold in my house that I lost everything.. That was 8 yrs ago, and I swore I would never get another tank.. But I didn't pinky-swear) I was always envious of some of the gorgeous planted FW tanks that I saw... and now with Covid forcing us to spend so much more time at home... i just got sick of looking at my dead boring furniture.... SO.... I got the itch again.. Started binging on Youtube vids... SO much has changed since I last had a FW tank, but it's exciting! I won't say I 'stumbled' upon Co-op... because I probably watched a thousand or more videos and streams before I decided that this is where I should land... I like the vids... the info... the experience... the ABSENCE of over-produced presentations... I feel like Corey just talks to you like a friend... a friend who knows a helluva lot more than i do... and is willing to share.... SO... I have a little 10g that i've been cycling with liquid ammonia for about 2 weeks... picked up a few plants, but i want more... i plan on getting some Cherry shrimps... MAYBE 1 or 2 tiny fish
  14. Last week I got a new Anubis plant for my betta tank. I did a soak in a hydrogen peroxide solution, and have since been having it sit in fresh water. Should it be safe to add into my betta tank? I’m really concerned about possible disease transmission, as it was in a different fish tank before I purchased it.
  15. If you’ve been following my struggles to re-cycle a tank that I crashed, I’d love a little more input. Is it looking cycled? It’s been a little over two weeks. Everything looks good expect for the Nitates. I’m thinking a small water change, and then adding my betta back to his big tank? He’s been in a one gallon holding tank until I felt it was safe for him to go back. I tested ammonia twice, and then nitrites and Nitrates. I appreciate any and all thoughts! I don’t want to be too eager to get him back in his tank, and do so before it’s 100% safe.
  16. I received this question on Instagram and thought I’d put it up here so others may find it in the future. “Hi there! I had a question. That I haven’t been able to find an answer to online. I have a female Congo and about a week ago started hanging out chilling on the bottom of the tank a bit more but was still swimming and eating. As of yesterday, she is sitting still, not swimming, holding here mouth open and breathing heavy. All of my other fish are fine, no new fish or changes, and my parameters are good (0 ammonia, 0 nitrite). Any ideas at all? I honestly feel like she’s gonna die bc she looks so bad but it happened so suddenly I want to try something to save her.”
  17. Hi. I really need some help. I crashed my cycle two weeks ago and I’ve been trying to get it back on track. Everything is going up, but not leveling off or coming down. What can I do? My betta is in a small holding bowl until I can fix this. It’s a ten gallon fresh water aquarium, with a filter and heater. Plants are silk, except for moss balls and frogbit. I’ve been adding tetra safestart and seachem prime. Ammonia is at 0.25 ppm. Nitrite is at 1.0 ppm. Nitrate is around 40-80 ppm. I’m really attached to my fish, and I’ll try anything to get him back in his tank.
  18. What is considered to be a good ppm of calcium for shrimp, crayfish, and snails?
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