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About Me

  1. This is Gandr, a male bronze turmeric crayfish. Currently, he is coming close to 5” in length, excluding his antennae. Some of you may be familiar with him, as some of his rather interesting behavior would cause me constant worry. But, I’ve come to the conclusion after having him since this January, that it’s all just a part of who he is, his big personality. He enjoys thrashing around on his side for no apparent reason, staring at walls while swaying, throwing leaves over his molts and watching them for hours at a time, running backwards with my thermometer, looking at plants, trying to work over my siphon, tapping the front of his enclosure furiously when he wants attention, and getting what I call ‘glass pets’. He is terrified of carrots and will only eat foods prepared with bottled water; he dislikes food prepared with dechlorinated tap water. He arrived to me pretty traumatized from shipping. I kept him in a filtered and heated quarantine bin with gravel and leaf litter as a temporary setup. It wasn’t meant to last as long as it did, but he was extremely traumatized for almost a month, and I later had a lot of complications relating to my health conditions occur. His behavior of constant swaying, thrashing sideways as if he were molting, and refusing to eat for very long periods of time resulted in me trying to seek help from many people experienced in crayfish, as well as who I had gotten him from. The conclusion was that he must have some extremely rare or undocumented disease, and it was speculated that he would die very early. However, I’m doubtful that is the case. Together, we worked on confidence building and limiting his stress, and socializing him to things he’d see on a pretty regular basis. Socializing him has been a work in progress, but it’s definitely been helping. He understands that one finger means that food is being prepared for him, tapping lightly four times means I’m going to add food, a thumbs up means that I am finished with what I am doing in his setup (I particularly use this for when I am done closing the lid he previously had or when I’d have to adjust something), and that the orange bucket means I am going to do a water change (I’ve helped to encourage him to go under a particular leaf just before I water change, because he used to freeze in terror and panic anytime I would try, though now he likes to be out and mess with my siphon). He also understands that when I wave to him, it’s a common interaction and not to be interpreted as a threat. I would slowly implement waving over time to help him understand that hands aren’t always scary. He likes to sway his claw at me when I wave, and I’m not sure why, but I find it adorable because it looks like he’s waving back. He then will usually come up to the front, and I will pet the glass with my finger. He often stretches himself on the glass while I do this and moves his antennas up and down and wiggles them. To help his confidence, anytime he was scared of me in the beginning, I would act scared and back up. This would encourage him to step forward and snap out of his fright; it also seemingly helped him get the idea that his territory was his own, that any deemed threats would rather flee than bother him. After a lot of daily practice, he started eating regularly, being active and even social. He even will be in the front of his enclosure to interact with me every morning when I wake up, before he goes to sleep. Sometimes we will sleep at the same time, and he will sleep in the corner by me. So far, he is a little scared about any ceramic dish ware and forks (he doesn’t mind spoons though), but we’ll eventually work on this more. The only thing I have never made progress on his very intense fear of carrots, and I decided to not continue trying because carrots aren’t a necessity to him, and he would never see them any other time. He has always been extremely afraid of carrots since the beginning. Because I will eventually have to move to a new location, I didn’t want to get him a very large aquarium yet (I would love to make a large 75-90+ gallon aquarium into a paludarium for him in the future). I got the idea one night to break down and cut away various cardboard boxes and construct a setup for him, along with using a large but shallow food grade bin for the water portion. I was doubtful this would actually work, but I was curious that if I then applied foam, sealed it with silicone, layered more silicone and then substrate, if it would work well and repel water. Somehow, this actually worked after testing multiple times throughout the process. I started out by washing and cutting down an old yoga mat to size. I used a pen with easily removable ink to draw around parts of the bin that stick out into the inside of the bin. I then trimmed along the lines of where I marked with the pen. The yoga mat was spray painted black, and I originally tried a setup that I disliked and then deconstructed, so you’ll later see green patches because of spots that were removed. Why a yoga mat, you ask. Gandr has difficulty walking on slippery surfaces, and enjoys to dig. Any spots he digs away won’t be slippery. Next I built the area the bin would sit in out of cardboard and duck tape. I used an old light to figure out the size of box I would need to make around it. I left portions of the top open to assure the light would cool down enough, and so I could get to it easily if there were any issues. It can slide out easily though the sides as well. This wasn’t the full setup, as I later connected the bottom, and tweaked the top and some of the sides. After that, I began cutting away leftover foam boxes and worked on building up the portion of land he would later have, along with starting to spray foam the background. I added rocks throughout doing this, but changed some of the rocks, which you’ll see in later photos.
  2. I went to my local Lowe’s but I have no idea if they paint or glaze these terracotta pots. Planning to use soil in them btw.
  3. Hey all! I wanted to document my adventure, or I should say our adventure. My spouse and I are curating our very first fish tank for either of us. Getting to the actual planting took months! I'll be adding to this as it grows, and be sure that I'll be asking for help! We both have backgrounds in research, so research we did. First was to catch the sale at Petco for a nice tank and a few other supplies. Then we had to get a stand. I initially thought I was quite the genius and was going to use heavy-duty, 1000 lb. certified wall stud brackets to hold a vinyl wrapped board. I was WRONG. One needs 2 studs for these, and the wall for the tank only had 1. So instead, we purchased a 400 lb. per-shelf certified shelving unit and bracketed THAT to the wall. With paint and some vinyl marble over the wood shelf for water-proofing, I like how pretty it is. Hardscape was next on the list; we went to a local river with some cardboard cut to the size of the bottom and height of our tank. It was an adventure, and we ran into some very confused ducks who appeared to assume we were there to feed them. After some appropriate cleaning and testing for calcium, we had some fun actually laying out our hardscape. Working with heavy rocks inside a glass aquarium was TERRIFYING but well worth it. I even added some curtains to hide the "behind the scenes" supplies and electrics. Of course, I had to play with some macro then... FINALLY, I felt confident enough to purchase plants! I really appreciated the help from @lefty o, @FishyThoughts, @Andy's Fish Den, @Daniel, @Fonske, and others. We really appreciate the direction. We waited for our order to get in (lightning fast by the way) and were ecstatic to spend the evening planting away. I can't wait to see what this grows into! After we're comfortable with the plants growing and the water specs seem right, we'll be getting some guppies to hang out with us. Since we spend most of our lives in this office, we're excited to add life to the space.
  4. I've just collected a bunch of river rocks in assorted sizes shapes and colours, from a local stream. Do I need to boil these before they go in the tank, or will rinsing them in tank water be enough?
  5. Hi all! Have a question. Was out at the beach (salt water) and found this AMAZING piece of driftwood. I’m a freshest tank gal, but was hoping I could use this piece sometime. Can I soak it? Months? What are your thoughts!
  6. What is the fuzzy white stuff on my mopani wood? Any fish that will eat that or any solution to help with that (I wanted to get corydoras for fun but maybe they can help with that)? Is it bad for my tank? It's a 10-gallon with a betta fish and 6 ember tetras. A tiny bit of floating pearl weed (planning to get lots of frog bit soon). My betta has been making bubble nests for a few days in a row now, and he looks lively and happy, just as the tetras do. The tank is 1 month old.
  7. I decided to dedicate a journal to my new twenty gallon high! I’m excited to post updates as it progresses in the future! The past few days have been pretty tedious, with a lot of cumbersome lifting, back and forth spray painting, and plenty of adjustments.. with some occasional amounts of frustration and tons of determination in addition. Most of the work lately has entailed building up the rock structure. I originally had it set lower, but realized that the height needed to be increased; I used mesh bags full of rock to add to it. Unfortunately, that had offset the half of the structure I had built (the right side was almost completely bare at the time). So, I spent well over four hours trying to get it all back into place, which finally resulted in the placement I was looking for. Afterwards, I added the rest of the structure and stabilized it all into large sections with spray foam. Following that, once the spray foam had dried, I had to remove the sections to take them up to the attic to spray paint them. It was a little frustrating at times, and a mesh bag was stuck to some foam and pulled off a small section before I could remove it in time. But, it was a small error, and I moved on to spray painting them all as thoroughly as I could before calling it a night on the brunt of the work. Though, I did clean the glass to try and remove all of the gunk and dried spray foam aftermath. There are some spots I still might need to touch up on, but a vinegar and water mix seems to be taking care of most of it. Today, I was mostly spray painting everything every few hours, rotating all of the rocks every time I did so. I did leave the bottommost structure in the aquarium to try and keep the placement of the other structures more consistent, as they all have to fit in place. In order to spray paint that one, I tore up some old newspaper and used that to block the glass on the sides and bottom, then I applied the spray paint. To try and minimize the fumes, since I sleep in the living room and right next to the tank (and my betta fish, Samphan, is in a holding tank on the table tray close by), I covered the top of the aquarium with a blanket and a pillow from off of the couch. It seemed to do the trick well, but I made sure to monitor my fish just in case, as well as fan out the area by him with a magazine, since the ceiling fan doesn’t work and it was too cold and snowy to open a window. I spent a couple hours over half the day on it all, and once the spray paint was up to my liking and the touch ups were completed, I took all of the rock structures back down and added them back into the tank. I made the mistake of adding them out of order and managed to offset everything, so it was maybe two hours of adjusting them all back into how they were originally placed, though not completely the same. The friction from the adjustments chipped a little paint away, so I added the newspaper back in and touched up the spots. A paper moved without me noticing, and some spray paint got on the glass. But it shouldn’t be too difficult to remove. This is the resulting product, and I’m pretty satisfied with it. This is my first attempt at a hardscape, and I made my own sketch of how I would maybe envision the scape to be prior to doing this all. So, that is what I would go back and forth referencing at. The rocks were collected years ago from Oklahoma when I visited family and spent a few hours in the insanely hot weather collecting rocks and driving a car for the first time, although that was the only time I was ever able to drive. I remember seeing a lot of scorpions, snakes, and frogs while collecting them all. They were much bigger than this, and filled the entire space of the trunk, but my mom and I hammered them down to make some interesting, but decently sized, pieces for this tank. Here is the rough sketch of the hardscape, although the driftwood is included on it, it has yet to arrive. So, I will add it later on to the aquarium. I really enjoy sharp angles and curves, so I tried to implement some of that into my original concept. I didn’t reference any photos, so it probably isn’t accurate to nature, but this is what I had fun coming up with. I tried to pick rocks that matched this, and I’ll add some smaller ones to the bottom once I add all of the substrate (I plan on using organic potting soil and Seachem fluorite dark, capping it all in black sand). I like heavy contrast and black is a great color for it, especially when mixed with plants and a brightly colored betta, so that is the color I chose for the rocks, though they were originally a rusty orange color. The spray paint hopefully will prevent the rocks from eroding much in the tank, as it has a primer in it as well, and I applied a lot of layers (though the spray paint is aquarium safe). I think it worked out well, and I’m surprised I was able to match it pretty close to my concept sketch, though I did change some things, like bulking out the left side, and bringing the other down a little lower. It is definitely a little more sizable in person though. The next steps are to add substrate, and hopefully the driftwood, once it arrives. All of the mesh bags and spray foam will be covered, and I’ll have to add smaller rocks in some spots afterwards. Following that, I will add my plants. I do plan on purchasing more tomorrow, as I have a case of ‘Plant Collectoritis’, which I’m thinking will be some tissue cultured and sustainable Bucephalandra, Bolbitis (I’m thinking maybe Bolbitis heudelotii or maybe something smaller), Java Fern Trident Leaf, potentially something else. I have a holding tank full of plants that will also be apart of this scape, and I will try to implement the majority, as I enjoy a bit of a jungle.
  8. I just saw this aquarium decoration at Petco and I couldn’t help but wanna post it.
  9. So I posted in the plant section earlier, I have plants arriving this week and just noticed a spot of ich on one of my fish, I just recently finished with 2 rounds of treatment using fixick which obviously didn’t do the trick. I’m thinking of using a spare tank to now quarantine the plants instead of setting it up as a fish quarantine tank, but I’ve had a sponge filter going in my main tank and was just about ready to set it up, my question is should I wait to transfer my artificial plants and a couple rocks I was gonna use to jump start the cycle or just wait till everything has gone through the Ich-X treatment, and just cycle the quarantine tank from scratch with the plants in there temporarily
  10. Hello everyone I recently (about 3 weeks ago) added new Ghostwood dirft wood to my tank and was very close to a perfect fit! But it kept floating. I said To my self I would just keep it in and let it soak... fast forward 3 weeks I can’t close my lid 🙈did it change size? Anyone experience this before? Or is it just me? Maybe it just shifted but I can’t close my lid.....
  11. I got several new pieces of driftwood from a reputable supplier. The setup guide says that I should presoak, boil, and then resoak the wood before introducing it to my tank. I got the wood not only for the aesthetic of it but because the tannin is a good way of helping control how hard my water is. Is soaking like this going to release most of the tannin that I need in the tank? The current water hardness is greater then 300 and I am trying to bring it down to hopefully introduce some new verities of fish.
  12. Well I was going to send a pic but not going to spend an hour how to so I found a small piece of bamboo at the beach. It is drift bamboo from the mountains but floating who knows how long in the ocean but its cool and small and cool. Can I use it? It floats bigtime but I am now boiling it. It does have some places where the skin of the bamboo has worn off at the broken spots and that worries me. I did google and some say no, some say try, some say get more opinions. The bamboo that is exposed is kind of like a used toothpic texture. The bamboo piece is incredibly solid and strong. No breaking in two. So it is not lucky bamboo but dried drift bamboo from the ocean. I am boiling it now. Any advice for first time poster? I hope I can get this in right topic, progress on pics!
  13. WA!! This is a new thing! The betta log is new to my set up. The betta was the first to claim it (he definitely owns it and sleeps in it, hangs out in it etc). Nobody used it when it was free floating so I moored it to the corner with fishing line and electric tape. But so far the Panda Garras have used it when the betta isn’t looking but this time I noticed the betta hanging around the outside of the log as he does sometimes but my spiny eel was poking her head out. And then the betta went in with her and didn’t kick her out, but looked her over and left her be??😅 I have just not seen this before. The betta is new and I have been hoping he wouldn’t pick on the eel. He does chase the Panda Garras a little but they don’t care. 😄 I am working on names for these two if anybody has ideas...
  14. I have an apisto cave covered in algae and I don’t know how to get rid of it. Can I dip it in peroxide or vinegar? It’s harmless but it’s an eyesore
  15. I am planning out my 180 gallon tank. I am just about to get it filled and start cycling. I am hoping to add some plants, but I have fish that like digging. I bought six of the easy planters, and hope to add plants that don’t branch out too much. I was hoping you all might have some good ideas on what plants might go well. I would like some things go all the way to the top to give the tank more depth. That being said, I don’t want the plants to spread too much. I would rather have more planters and the ability to move things around without worrying about the fish digging them up. In my experience, the fish I have don’t really eat the plants too much, But since they are substrate feeders, they tend to uproot them. I plan to have a large area of sand, But a zone in the back that has some kind of planted substrate. I plan to separate them with larger decorations so the two substrates don’t mix. so, I’m open to suggestions. I was thinking about swords and other plants that will grow up from a single point and not send out runners. The only truly planted aquarium I have ever had is going strong, but also somewhat out of control. With 24 ft.³ of room in the tank, I do not need these plants to do the same. I will most likely add CO2 at some point, but need suggestions on plants that will grow without it. I am not opposed to adding some carpeting plants as the diggers won’t be in the tank right away. For these, I would need suggestions on things that will grow and root fast.
  16. What are the best rock or stone to put in a lightly planted tank with some plecos,platys, guppies and Cory's that will not affect the ph.
  17. I love big rock decorations in my tanks. They get brown and green growth all over. Should I be taking out rocks to clean them? If so, how often and with what do I clean them? Thanks.
  18. This may sound wierd but i need help with growing green algae on rocks.I think this would give my aquarium a more natural look I had an idea but i dont know if it will work.i think that if i grab a rock and put it in a container with water with direct sunlight it will grow algae on the rock but im not sure.
  19. Here's a tip I have not really seen anyone talked about but have tried myself and had success with. If you have a fresher piece of driftwood or say you even dig up a small tree root or stump even after you have dried it out and shaved the bark off you can soak it for 24 hours and take a piece of wire and why it is still wet you can shape it anyway you like now you might not be able to make curly cues with larger branches but finger size and under should work well then all you have to do is bake it or let it dry and it will retain that shape
  20. I’m planning a breeding tank for blue velvet or blue dream neocardinia shrimp. I also want it to be gorgeous because why not? So I’m wondering if there are any kinds of aquarium-safe wood that stay fairly pale even when submerged. The little guys are so dark—I want to keep all the decor in their tank light so they stand out.
  21. I have some stones in the front yard and really want to use them for my display tank, although I do not know if they are aquarium safe. I do not have something to test the rocks for any fizzing. Here are what they look like.
  22. I’m curious if anyone has tried adding Christmas tree branches and needles into tanks as debri and litter for shrimp to play in? I know firs have a chemical that isn’t good for humans when burned, but I’m not sure about fish. ps: yes I am that guy just now cleaning up Christmas decor lol
  23. I’m recently found driftwood I want to put in a established tank. It’s a 75g aquarium with plants that I would prefer were not affected. The wood has been soaking for long enough that it is probably not going to sink on its own anytime soon. Ideally the weights would be minimal so it doesn’t look like they were zip tied to the wood. how would you recommend weighing down the wood to put in a full tank?
  24. Hey All, thanks in advance for advice/help. Pretty new to all this. I am curious what to do to store bought aquarium rocks before adding to my tank. I believe they are slate rocks and I have about 10lbs I'm going to arrange in a cave mountain. Just rinse in freshwater? Vinegar rinse? Boil? Or not worry about it? I can't get a good definitive answer looking online or in the Co-op videos. My tank... About a year old 45 gallon with substrate base and live plants. Large variety of about 20 fish in the tank.
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