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  1. The 29 gallon was my way of dealing with the ongoing covid-19 working from home isolation made worse when our outdoor stomping grounds went up in flames the first week of September. So, I thought if I can't escape into nature, I'd bring some inside. Its haphazardly put together I suppose. I wanted plants so it has aquarium soil under the beach gravel we'd hung onto for 20 years since we last had an aquarium. The large piece of bored-out scoria in which I've planted three cryptos was from that same aquarium. A large piece of obsidian creates a retaining wall for the deaper soil section in which I planted what I thought was a nice tall green sword. Its a red melon sword, and its new leaves are red and lovely but still short. The plants in this tank are mostly from LFS because I hadn't found Aquarium Co-op yet when setting it up. Once the tank cycled I added 11 pygmy corydoras and 6 glowlight tetras. Later I took out gravel on one side to give the Cory's sand and added 6 cherry shrimp. Had so much fun watching the pygmies the first month or so. Then I got my fluval light and added 8 black neon tetras and the pygmies went into hiding. I've since relocated the black neons, in case they were just too much for the cory's and reset the new light to less intensity and hours, but the pygmies continue to hide as soon as they detect our feet on the floorboards. The snails come in with the plants, and hopefully they'll find their balance soon and level off. Scooter the butterfly loach is settling in nicely, and the shrimp have molted and doubled in size. The 75 gallon is about a month behind, originally it was supposed to house fancy goldfish but somehow it didn't work out that way. It has three stories, again with plant soil under gravel which is layered over small scoria in bags behind the retaining walls. The gravel is larger because we planned on goldfish, but it's nicely rounded and we also have sand on the lowest level, which we feed over. The majority of the plants in the big tank are from Aquarium Coop. Water Sprite, windelov java fern, drawf sag, various cyptos, a annubias and some Val that still needs to settle in. I've added floating lettuce and anacharis locally. My husband made the lid with tubes for pathos roots and we have three Co-op sponge filters, one in each corner. Its home now to 4 golden white cloud minnows. They were purchased as a group of 7 and were very small, 3 did not make it past the first 48 hours, but the remaining four have grown and colored up and we'll add a few more when we have the opportunity. The 8 relocated black neon are here, and I've added 8 more today for a nice size school in this larger tank. We are now up to 6 false jullii. They've been gathered up in pairs and with various states of abused barbels which we hope will regrow with plenty of water changes and a nice variety of food. For flair we have 2 pair honey gourami and two unpaired drawf gourami. One of the honey gourami already tried to raise himself a family in one of the pathos tubes. We hope to add some as yet undetermined algae eaters and shrimp to this tank, but its starting to feel about right, the plants are a bit bigger now than in the picture. I'm having a harder time with the 29 tall nano tank. The top of the tank needs something, pencil fish maybe, that will stay at top better than the black neons did. But we haven't found any top swimmers yet. And I've increased the driftwood cover for the pygmies, but they responded by moving in and staying in rather than gaining confidence and coming out. Since I already have eleven, I'm not sure if adding additional pygmy corydoras would coax them out again, or just result in a well stocked while apparently empty tank. 😞 Water in both runs 72-76 degrees, 7.4 Ph, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, nitrates unfortunately never seem to test out below 20 (we have 8 already from the tap) but we do at least 10% weekly water changes and I test the water twice a week and do a second partial change if nitrates look closer to 40 on either test. Which is a more likely occurrence in the smaller tank. Still trying to find that just right amount of food. I recently spoted a very small assassin snail in the 29. Bit of a shock actually, so I don't know if that means we have just that one snuck in on a plant with the pond snails, or more. I guess we'll find out in a while.
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