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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. 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.
  3. Hi, so I've gotten some advice from a couple of forum members on adding hardscape and plants to my aquarium. First, I have a 10 gallon planted (only Java Ferns) aquarium with three Dwarf Endlers, been running and established for about 6 months. I currently only have the Java Ferns, an Aquarium Co-Op sponge filter and a sizeable artificial rock cave in the tank along with the fish of course. (and the gravel substrate, tank heater and thermometer) My concern is that if I add say another bit of decor or two will they bring disease or in any way contaminate the aquarium? If I add any decor I will clean it thoroughly with a white vinegar solution and let it completely dry before I add it to the tank. Any advice or guidance is very much appreciated, thanks in advance! 🙂
  4. So I was recently going through the Home Depot website and decided to try searching "seiryu stone", I came up with these results: Home Depot seems to be selling the bulk amounts of stones that Lowes was, although from what I can tell some of them are a bit more expensive. I've also noticed them selling other hardscape such as ohko/dragon stone as well as others. If you search "lifegard" on the Home Depot website you get a bunch of options in terms of hardscape for pretty good prices. Hope this helps!
  5. Has anyone ever harvested wood from the wild for their aquariums? I found a fantastic piece that I plan on going back for later once I have my saw with me. I’m not 100% sure how I’m going to prep this monstrosity. I know I’m going to take it to a car wash and pressure wash it, then it’s probably going to sit in a 55 gallon trashcan full of salt water with the lid attached for two months so that it stays underwater. After that, I will pressure wash it and soak it in freshwater water. The first picture is the entire root mass, but the second picture is closer to how I plan on trimming it. The third picture is a second tree that I plan on going back for later tonight. Does this sound reasonable, or does anyone else have recommendations?
  6. I need to attach 2 pieces of wood. Tried superglue but it didn't work, Is epoxy glue safe? Thanks
  7. My family is really into legos and there was a discussion on if having a lego centerpiece decoration would harm the fish in our aquarium. Does anyone know? We generally keep cherry shrimp, guppies, and otocinclus. Thanks in advance! Charles
  8. What type of wood is best for a Dicus tank. I currently have spider wood in my smaller tank. I am building a larger tank and need more wood. Would like to pick the type of wood best for Dicus fish. Also, can I go to a landscaping company and get slate rocks for decoration or do I have to buy "aquarium" ones?
  9. I live in the North West and have access to a bunch of stuff I can collect but I can't get good information on how to make it safe. Alder cones, when do you collect them and how to treat. Oak leaves, do you gather in the fall when brown or collect green and let dry out? Manzanita branches, can you gather green or must it be dead? Do you need to peal the bark. Rocks, do you boil them?
  10. I was watching a twitch stream of a fish tank (because of course I was), and I saw this log in their tank. It appears to be a live (or at least not ceramic or resin) log, and the fish seem to be nibbling on it. Does anyone have any idea what it is?
  11. Can I just concrete to make XL fish caves? I have two big boy leaf fish that love to hang out in slate "boxes" I'm pretty sure they are 8" X8"X10". I'm planning on moving them in about 6 months to a 150 and would like a more natural looking Cave area for them and even multistory to move them off the ground some. Does anyone else have Leaf fish decoration ideas? The Bala shark in the second picture is why we are moving to a 150gl I was that newbie who went to pet smart years ago and said cute little fish and bought three. One didn't make it a week the other two well you know the story lol
  12. I got some nice, weathered, larger river rocks for my 55 gallon hardscape (35 pounds of rock). I'm seeing mixed results in a search online on whether I should pad the rocks in the aquarium with egg crate or something else before placing on the bottom and adding the substrate. What do you do for your aquariums? Is there a recommended way of doing this? I find it interesting because I don't think folks with SW aquariums pad their live rocks, so I'm not sure if there's a standard.
  13. So i have a little issue. I hope you guys can help! I am relativly new to aquascaping and learned a lot along the way. This is my ADA 60p aquarium. I tried to make a little cave for my panda corry's. I placed between the rock Anubias Pinto and Bucephalandra's. But the rock is not realy stable but my panda's like to hide in it and it takes away the view of the nice plants... I cant seem to find a good spot for it and i think my panda's would like to keep the cave. Should i keep it like this or do you guys have other idea's?
  14. Hey guys, I would like to try to start a spider wood aqua scape. Do I need to soak or boil this type of wood like others??
  15. I’m wondering if it’s possible to attach my driftwood to the inside of the tank. I want it to hang down like a branch. Would super glue work?
  16. 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.
  17. 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?
  18. 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!
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. I just saw this aquarium decoration at Petco and I couldn’t help but wanna post it.
  22. 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
  23. 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.....
  24. 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.
  25. 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!
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