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About Me

  1. So, I am probably one of the few people that didn't have a Betta growing up (not that I remember anyway)...I think we may have had a goldfish at one point, but never had a Betta... Well, now that I have two tanks (my "supposed to be my only tank" 29G community and my "you're not going to throw those in the yard, give them to me" rescue tank) I figured I'll just add a third...hubs didn't mind and is totally on board with me getting a Betta, and isn't even balking at buying one from a breeder vs. the big box store, so we'll see what happens 🙂 I started setting up the tank a few weeks ago to get the plants going and make sure I liked how the tank looked and everything - this way if I wanted to re-scape, I wasn't disturbing anyone's actual home... Here's what I have so far I also have small rock caves that will be going in on the left where the river rock is now - I wanted to add a hiding place other than under the driftwood in case he/she wanted something a little more private. I'm going to move the rotala from the back left over to the right with the bacopa. I am apparently not meant to grow bacopa, no matter what I do it just melts away...what's left there is more than two pots worth of bacopa...I've got maybe three viable stems and the rest just completely disintegrated...I am going through a diatom stage at the moment (the S. Repens isn't actually dying), and I forgot that I had thrown that chain sword from my 29 in the top of the tank...please ignore, that's not staying...I really like how the frogbit is going, but I am not a fan of the long roots...I may see if my brother-in-law will part with some of his salvinia which should have much shorter roots (can't get red root floaters to work either) I'm looking to put one or two thorned nerites and one nerite in the tank this weekend to help with the diatoms and be my algae crew going forward. My thought is that they will be the only ones in the tank with the Betta and since they are pretty small and the Betta will have so much room that there shouldn't be much of an issue. (fingers crossed...but, they can always move to the rescue tank if needed) I am keeping my eyes out for a Betta that I can't live without, but I'm not in a rush, I'm leaning towards blue because I don't have anything blue yet, but I've seen some really pretty red koi that are pretty tempting...definitely looking for a plakat or a female...I'm not trying to figure out those long flowy fins right now 🙂 That's all for now, I wanted to start this journal as a record of my first Betta experience and I hope to have more in the future 🙂
  2. I have never kept a journal so I am not sure if I am going to enjoy doing this or not. I am that… I want to try things at least once type person. I spend a lot of time reading all the fantastic journals on here. Two weeks ago my bearded dragon BOOP’s suddenly passed from a stomach tumor he was diagnosed with last year. Boop’s spent nearly every minute of the day with me including the fish room. He had a shelf in front of each tank he liked to watch his fish and chase shrimp. He was probably a better plant guru than me 🤣 (you have no idea how hard it was finding info on which aquarium plants are dragon toxic) He always tried to eat them when we worked on them. For the two weeks it took me to process the worst of my grief reading everyone’s journals and posts kept me sane and filled the time I normally spent with my dragon. Thank you everyone for sharing your journey. I have had fish since around 7. All whatever I could catch with mom’s kitchen strainer in the creek when I was younger (her rule was no snakes all else I can have) and keep alive using creek water and bugs. This is how I learned anything in nature that fits in something else’s mouth is food. I also developed a weird fascination with all the nifty critters and hitchhikers that end up in aquariums. I’m the weird old lady that even finds value and cool snooping entertainment in hydra. I have been hooked ever since. went through job demands of travel so way more up and down with tanks than I want to think about I watched every video and livestream (although never in live time) the coop had. I wanted more. So I joined the forum. It’s really great as I have no one to talk fish to. Hubby only likes my giant mystery snail but loves that fish make me happy since I rarely leave the house (it’s my garden of eden why would I venture into societies current chaos) I’m new to the internet in the past few years since I retired. I used email but mostly fax before I retired but that’s it outside of works dedicated computer programs. I have never done any other social media so I feel awkward and was and I guess still am a bit intimidated most of the time trying to convey things to others in a way that seems friendly and helpful as typing seems so blunt and impersonal. I try and use a lot of the cute face cartoons. I hate offending others so I hope the cartoon faces convey niceness. Most of my fish keeping knowledge (if you want to call it that and not just ok this worked for me and this distinctly did not) comes strictly from Observations of my tanks over my life, trial error heartbreak National Geographic magazines learning about fish not aquariums and other assorted magazines in the mail. Finding the internet fish keeping prescribed guidelines baffled me and I still wonder if some of the people doing the articles ever actually kept the fish they were writing the article on. Seems fish are supposedly super delicate??? 🤣 I never knew that I always loved fish because they were so amazingly resilient. Silly me. That’s why I got hooked on Cory’s videos he seems to go with what he has seen with his own eyes and learned instead of what the internet spews and is willing to try things just to see what happens. (He also finds benefit in hitchhiking micro fauna and snails 😁) So enough about who I am…just an eccentric old lady who loves fish ….here we go…. My multi tank syndrome has taken a drastic turn since my health declined 6 years ago. Getting old stinks but is also the greatest. I cannot physically take care of large tanks anymore so now it is how many fish and different things can I keep in each tank and healthy. My current tanks that I have up and not in storage are standard 29 gal, 20long, 2 x 10g 8.75 gallon shrimp tank I got on sale and hate but guppies and snails have too many babies and it’s handy for a dozen or more things, 5G QT 2.5G QT i do not ever actually plant plants i float them tie them to something or suction cup them on the wall. Even root feeders do great that way for me. I don’t use fertilizers or chemicals I am afraid of them. I tried easy green half dose in 2 tanks and panicked after 6 hours and did late evening water changes so I could sleep. I admire the fabulous aquascapers I’m not one of them I love plants they keep my fish happy and healthy and grow well for me i stuff every tank to the gills because our water is miserable even in tanks years old with so many plants I can barely see my fish brown diatoms live on. I tried recently using jugged spring water from the store for wc and it all went away … came right back when I used hose water 🤷‍♀️ over the years I’ve come to appreciate the benefits of it though 🤪 the fish and assorted critters like it YUMMY 😋 29 g stock 11 panda corydora, 6f/1m guppy(the wolf pack and Little Boy, Nemo the nerite snail, 3 female magenta mystery snails (the wonder twins and microdot) bladder snails and some stray shrimp that migrated on a coop large sponge filter. I stopped there because my 2 longfin lemon blue eye bristlenose plecos are trying a second time he has not left the cave in 3 days other than to get a quick nibble of the green bean I put outside his door. I’m hoping it’s a fruitful spawn and may need to rehome the pandas and set up another 20 long for them? This is a newer tank set up with established filters gravel plants from other tanks and such so we are waiting for the micro fauna to establish. I think the Pandas and guppies are eating most of it so I may not get much. 20 long is my pleco pair (sweet pea and baby girl) 4 huge male mystery snails 2 magenta (the baby boys) 2 chestnut (chestnut and bandit) 10 celestial pearl danio(only one has a name she is huge and eats everything Meg as in megalodon) more neocaridina shrimp of every color than I can count. Some bladder snails (someone keeps eating them I do believe 😕) many random assorted micro fauna and a gorgeous little colony of tiny green hydra in one corner that never seems to travel or grow bigger even though I feed cpd bbs. I may actually like this journal thing. I’ll detail the rest another day and add more pictures. my pointer/typing finger is cramping at this point 🤣
  3. Well, I think it’s time I started a general thread where I can post updates about all my tanks. If you like low maintenance planted community tanks, fish breeding projects, watching a novice set up outdoor ponds, and the occasional cat/chicken, then I think you’ll find something you enjoy here. 😊 Here’s the status right now: This is my main tank. It’s a 55 gallon with a power head and three cheap submersible lights. I’ve had it running around 15 months. Substrate is soil with a gravel cap, which I do not recommend. 😆 Fish: My honey gourami mating pair, Mom Fish and Dad Fish Two yo-yo loaches Two otos Two super red bristlenose plecos A school of 9 tetras (one neon and the rest cardinals) called the School of Dr. Neidecker after my mom who bought them for me Three amano shrimp Oh and a few snails that the yo-yos haven’t eaten yet. This is my 10 gallon grow-out tank. It’s usually for the baby honeys, but right now it’s quarantining a new honey! I’m hoping this is a female so she can be Dad Fish’s next mate. It seems like Mom Fish is slowing down. Adding the new honey to the community tank will be iiiiiinteresting. 😁 And these are the new outdoor ponds! I just filled them up a few days ago. I’m excited to experiment with them! I’ve never done outdoor ponds before.
  4. Hey guys! So, I recently had a disaster in my hobby. My apartment had to be treated for pests, and I was required to remove all of my tanks from the apartment during treatment. During this time, I ended up losing about half of my livestock - including my beloved Peacock Mantis Shrimp. I do really miss having a mantis shrimp - they such cool little creatures. Very interactive, inquisitive, and always getting into some sort of trouble in the tank. Reminds me of my puffers, in some ways! But I don't think I want another peacock right now - I want to try a different species. One I've had my eye on for quite a while. The Wennerae Mantis, Neogonodactylus wennerae! These guys max out at around 3", and are perfectly suited to small tanks. They're smashers (meaning they have modified claws to break open shellfish), just like my peacock was, but with much less power. These guys are able to hunt down crabs, shrimp, and snails, but are going to struggle to crack open anything with a thick shell. I went to my LFS today, and picked up a 5.5 gallon Seapora glass tank for $16.99. It's a nice tank for the price - Seapora makes nice stuff, IMO. I rinsed it out, just to get any dust out of it, and this was it. Next, I decided to paint the back black, since the tank wasn't going right up against a wall. I taped off the rim of the tank with duct tape, cause that's all I had lol. I just use some Krylon Black Acrylic paint and a roller for this. I prefer spray painting but I don't have an area to do that here, so rolling paint on is the best I can do. It looks fine from the front side of the tank, but usually looks kind of "meh" from the back. First coat: I did three coats total, which got me a decently opaque surface. This is what the tank looked like, pre-fill: I added some sand from the Peacock Mantis tank, which has long been dried, but not cleaned. I'm hoping all that dead gunk in the sand will help get us a strong cycle in this tank. Whenever I filled it the first time, I ended up getting milk, basically. Gotta love aragonite. I had just used plain freshwater to fill that time, though, so I drained the tank and added in the rock. I'm using a piece of marco dry rock that I had from a previous tank, a piece of well-seasoned rock that's got some life already on it (although, not much algae due to being in a bucket), and a piece of rock I got from the LFS. I got this particular rock for a reason - but that's gotta be a surprise. Whenever I refilled the tank (with saltwater this time) I was careful to do it slowly to minimize cloudiness. The powerhead I bought (Aquatop MCP-1) was way too strong for this tank, and was blowing water around. So, I pulled my Koralia Nano 240 out of my 10 gallon QT, and switched them around. Each tank is better off, I think. Then, I tossed in a preset heater and a thermometer, and we're off to the races! I'll update this post tomorrow, and tell the story of why I picked this rock, and what the extended plans are for this tank.
  5. I keep many small aquariums in my apartment, mostly Walstad-style, with organic soil from a local composting spot. I enjoy running really stable ecosystems. These photos don't show much of the fish and shrimp. I also keep some outdoor tubs here in Vermont. Cheers, Jason
  6. I’m a 45 year old husband, Dad, Cardiology NP and NERM starting at age 10 and continuing on and off since then. I’ve been keeping a few different journals and realized it would be better and simpler just to keep one thread. For reference here are the originals: I’ve received a lot of support, encouragement and kindness on this forum. I appreciate this community a great deal. I hope my mistakes and learned experiences can help others.
  7. The purpose of this journal is to document my adventures in aquarium keeping as my hobby transitions into its next phase where I settle into a more long-term focus on breeding nano-fish and fresh water crustaceans as well as growing plants well. Over the past 30 years, this hobby has been a true joy for me, it has allowed me to learn so much about both myself and the world around me. It is my hope that my documentation of my aquarium-based journey will inspire others to continue to push their hobby to the next level. In light of recent success I have had selling fish and shrimp in my local market, I have decided to extend my 6 10 gal breeding rack into a larger 10 gal rack holding eight aquariums. Utilizing this new structure which I have affectionately named the "Aquarium Wunderkammer", it is my hope to continue breed Danios, Badis, Pygmy Sunfish, White Clouds, Fire Red Shrimp, Blue Dream Shrimp, and Dwarf Crayfish for both fun and a small profit. I think this new project of mine is novel because it utilizes a sliding rail system usually used in cabinet making that I have not seen utilized for an aquarium rack. By placing these aquarium on cabinet sliders, the aquarium can be moved away from the shelf they normally rest on, greatly increasing the amount of available aquarium which can be accessed for maintenance and catching of livestock while maintaining a small footprint. Thus far in my in hobby experience I have not seen a system utilizing cabinets sliders and aquariums, so if you have similar thoughts, you can now see an example of one of these systems in action.
  8. Edit 9/30/21: I decided to turn this into a general journal. Will hopefully give an update on the 55 SAP tank as well as introduce my other tanks and projects! A fellow forum member very kindly suggested that I could start a journal about this tank and my efforts to address constant glass surfing by my juvenile South American Puffers. Here is the other post/thread, if anyone is interested: (I admit, the title is a bit melodramatic). Basically, they glass surf constantly and - without getting into any conflict about the ethics or morals about what that means or whether we should keep wild-caught animals in captivity - I personally just do not find it enjoyable to watch animals do this. So I was considering giving them up, but decided to take the other good advice I received on that thread (really I am so grateful to this community) and will try to adjust the environment to see if I can reduce this behavior. Attached is a picture of the tank as it currently stands. It is a 55 gallon with half sand, half gravel substrate; planted with jungle val, java fern, java moss,subwassertang, and frogbit across the top; pH is a bit high (8, sometimes up to 8.4); nitrates are always pretty low in the tank (5-10 ppm at most). I change out 15 gallons about once a week - mostly trying to clean up the substrate. There are 6 south american puffers - at first I intended to only keep 3, but there was one in particular that was much more stressed than the others and avoiding food, and I know they prefer to be in groups so I got 3 more. The biggest group I felt I could manage in a tank this size. They are still young (about 1"-1.5"). I got them in Dec-Jan. They get 1 cube frozen blood worms once a day (I do occaisionally skip a few days when I see a lot of planaria in the tank), and 10-30 snails that I toss in throughout the day. I tend to drop the snails into the plants, so that the puffers have to find them. I tried live blackworms early on, but had a parasite scare (happy to elaborate later if anyone asks), so I've been gun shy on using those since even though the puffers loved them. I thought the blackworms were from California Black Worms, though I bought them through a local fish store (I live in Northern California), so I'll have to look into a direct source since I hear that company is a trusted brand. Here are some links to videos of the behavior I'm seeing: https://photos.app.goo.gl/u9p2Mno1Dhmp88Vk9 https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fxbzbvVGKcgPPkCoRJWi7ESHf7WQF6JI/view?usp=sharing
  9. I have an idea. If you can do a geographically accurate biotope aquarium, why can't you do a historically accurate aquarium. Sort of a historotope if I'm allowed one neologism here. At an estate sale a while back, I acquired a 1930s era aquarium with a metal frame and a slate bottom. This is not one of those stainless steel MetaFrame aquariums everyone (including me) had back in the 1960s and the 1970s. It is clearly something much older. Everything about the aquarium was in good shape when I got it, and it was watertight. Last year when I was using it to grow mosquito larva outside I forgot to bring it in when it got cold. When ice formed in the tank the expanding ice blew out one of the glass sides. So, what might the rules be for a historotope? Rules: You are only allowed to use equipment available during your chosen time period. You are only allowed to keep fishes that were available during your chosen time period. You must use historically accurate foods. You must use historically accurate plants. You must use historically accurate substrate and decorations. You must use historically accurate maintenance methods. Since I have the aquarium (once I get it repaired), my chosen time period will be the mid-1930s in the United States. My first step is to get the tank water tight again. I will post more later as this experiment progresses and your thoughts and suggestions come in.
  10. I have very hard water. Very. I know this might me anathema around here, but I am tired of trying to grow plants in my water. I'm largely abandoning planted tanks. But, I am not abandoning aquaria! I've decided to rework a 42 gallon bowfront tank that I have filled with N-class Endler's and cherry shrimp. (Don't worry, they happily live down in my aquarium rack in my basement now. Their tank is just not as pretty.) I've decided I wanted to start a tank that looks like saltwater, but in fact contains freshwater fish. My plans are to stock with some Julis (as stand ins for striped blennies) and Cyps (as somewhat less colorful stand ins for Anthias sp.). I have some other plans too, but those two are anchoring my effort. Tangs should love my water and that will make things easier. Plus, it will be fun to have a tank like this I think. I've always liked salt water, but I'm not into the workload that goes into maintaining it. I'll post photos of what the tank looked like at some point, but for now, I'm curious what folks think of the rockwork. It's been a challenge this morning to get it to meet what I am aiming for: not too look too much like a pile of rocks, have caves that will fit the Julis' needs, will potentially province enough space for two Juli territories, and rearranging rocks when my entire arm is numb because the water hasn't warmed up to room temp from my well (which comes out at a balmy 5.5C). Okay that last one could be fixed with patience. So here is a shot of the tank as it is now. What do you think?
  11. I set up my first planted tank about 5 and a half weeks ago, and stocked it with 20 cherry shrimp (10 each from two different places). I have been working on filling it out with plants and rearranging a few things over the weeks. Most of my hornwort was wedged in down low and started exploding, but then it went through a big shed after a few weeks. I decided to pull most of it out and let it float, and it seems to be recovering well. The shrimp seem to be doing well and have started breeding. There are little ones all around the tank now. My first bunch of plants were from my lfs (and some locally harvested moss) but I finally got around to ordering 10 plants in from aquarium co op. I'm pleased with how they arrived. Some were a little smaller than I expected but some were bigger, and overall they seem quite healthy, so I am happy. Also got easy green and root tabs. Hopefully the new plants all do well and everything grows in the coming weeks. I'm pretty happy with how it is looking overall.
  12. Hi! if you haven't read it, go read my introduction. This journal will attempt to continue where I left off there. I'm currently running four aquariums, all freshwater planted. These photos were all taken today on my Galaxy S7 ( my wife's iphone shots look so much better! ). First up is my living room 75 gallon. Substrate is Safe-T-Sorb. The aquascape in here was pretty much "drop in some cholla and let's see what happens when it sinks." I kind of like the haphazard nature of it. As the java ferns grow, I'll add some more to the back wall. Still dealing with an excess of organics in the water from the recent riparium conversion, which is a second reason the plants are mostly in the foreground. I recently added a heater as we noticed that we were only getting female guppy babies and internet research indicated that at 72 degrees that is the likely result. We're now running at 79 degrees, so hoping we'll see some cool mutts soon! I just saw one 1/2" fry that has an all black tail, so maybe a male?! The glass lids were a project from this past weekend. I salvaged a window on craigslist and disassembled it, then cut the glass for the lids. I should get quite a few lids for future tanks as it was double pane. The rock wall background was a DIY project in 2014. It is 2 inch foam painted with tinted drylock. At the time, I figured it would last a couple years maybe, and I didn't spend a ton of time on it. Well here it is 7 years later and its still in perfect condition! I'd really love for the cory cats to spawn in this tank. I'll probably try to breed them intentionally at some point, but I don't know if I am ready for fry that small yet. There are some snails in here, including a couple bladder snails and some fairly large malaysian trumpet snails in the 1 inch range.
  13. I recently decided that I both wanted to redo my existing no CO2 tank with a planted tank substrate and to add a tank for Saulosi Mbuna cichlids. So what do I decide? Buy a new 40, set it up as the CO2 tank, then redo the existing sand substrate tank as the cichlid tank. The plants, hardscape, and fish from the current tank will be transferred from the current tank to the new tank. Here is the current tank. The 5 gallon and the terrarium are being relocated. See my terrarium stand build in the Off Topic section. I was a little worried when I saw my CO2 Art regulator shipped from Germany, but am very impressed that I came in less than a week and that the plug is adaptable to multiple plugs. Can't wait to try it out. I also got the 2nd 40 breeder from Petco's 50% off sale today. Substrate and light have shipped, so updates on them to come!
  14. Some of you remember us posting pics of this tank with a totally different plan (Zebras, Dwarf Gouramis, Pygmy Corys), but thanks to Co-Op's vids and some others, @TheCzarista and I are totally smitten with Guppies, and eventually want to try breeding them. The plan has now changed to 5-6 mutt guppies with 6 pygmy corys. We want to learn how to keep guppies healthy, watch them breed on their own, and learn a bit before we try actual strains and deliberate breeding for traits. We're still pretty new, so even the small achievement of properly cycling a new tank with no rough spots made us both excited! We didn't give in to impatience so now we can happily add fish. Guppy lovers, I'm going to have TONS of questions, so any tips you can provide a newbie would be greatly appreciated. Attached are my parameters, and the tank is staying between 78-80F.
  15. Got the plants in Saturday. I still need more to finish it up, but I think it's a good start. I'll try and post a new pic every week. Not in this photo is a red sword behind the drift wood on the left. The substrate is 160lb of eco complete, filters aquaclear 110 with sponge and purigen with bio media on top, Emperor 400 with sponge and bio media. The heater is a marineland. The lighting is 2, 36 inche Nicrew skyled with timer. The lighting will have to be upgraded at some point. Dosing the water column with Easy Green and root tabs in the substrate. Plants are Tiger lotus, cryptocoryne wendtii, micr sword, scarlet temple, red flame sword, corkscrew val, dwarf sagittaria and pilot moss. The only fish at the moment are 10 zebra danios. Water 10 nitrate, 0 nitrate, hardness 300, buffer 80, ph 7.2, chlorine 0, ammonia 0.
  16. Well I’ve never been one to journal but I’m nearing the 6 month mark on my first aquarium. Brief breakdown of my long journey and intro into the hobby: setting up an aquarium has been a dream of mine for the past 10 years since stumbling upon a YouTube video by uarujoey at the time. I was hooked! My parents had a 55 that was a community tank ( honestly hated it, never felt a connection to it ever!) that they did eventually get rid of after I started high school but never did I know the scale fish keeping was done. After going into the rabbit hole that was fish keeping YouTube back in 2010 my parents wouldn’t let me have a tank. I waited 4 years until I graduated high school when my parents let me have dart frogs! I kept dart frogs for about 4 years during college and bred about 6 different species of ranitomeya before I sold them off when I moved out of my parents. A 2 year stretch of not have any exotic pets while I finished college leads us to 6ish months ago when I finally decided to set up my desktop aquarium. I had just built a large desk setup that held my pc and 3 monitors and I had a 25x13 space on the end of the desk I knew what needed to be done. I ordered a 60p (17gal aquarium) online and decided I wanted to keep South American dwarf cichlids. I found a local fish store that had some apistos and I knew this was for me. I set up the tank in March let it sit for a month until cycled and added 12 cardinal tetras! Then about 3 months later I got my apistogramma blue steel, sold as borelli 😅, and have since got them breeding. It took about 3 months of them maturing and I am raising the first fry in this desktop aquarium! This has been by far the most fulfilling hobby I’ve ever been apart of and I can’t wait to continue this journey with all of you! make sure to follow my journey on my Instagram desktop_aquatics for dailyish pictures and I’ll continue to post journal entries on this forum post! here’s my tank and species inside!
  17. 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.
  18. I liked the idea of having a space to just babble about my tanks. I do have an Instagram, but I always felt like I need to post glamour shots to that, and not more mundane things. So here it is, a place to talk about how duck weed is taking over my house (seriously I find it on our doorknobs). I guess I'll start off by introducing my favorite fish, and therefore my favorite tank. Pooka is a synodontis eupterus who has an incredibly sweet temperament. She's hand tame, and often follows my hand around while I work on the tank. She's currently in a 40 breeder, and I MAY put her in the 75 eventually, but honestly I'm worried to put her in with my bichirs; Dragon (who I will introduce in another post), once took a bite out of a catfish like it was an apple. She seems to have enough room for now, and really isn't that active - her swimming style is doing calm moseys around the tank between long upside down naps. I once drew her as a Pookamon Pokemon.
  19. Osiyo nagada. It's been nearly a year since starting up my new 75g tank. Now that I am really experimenting and attempting to learn by doing and less by knowledge transfer I am starting my own journal. Maybe someone else will find this information useful. I've gone through 3 phases in life of keeping fish. As a child, a teen/young adult and now finally a responsible adult. I killed many fish as a kid. I know now why but then I just thought thats how it worked. My parents didnt know better. As an older teen I kept 2 oscars. They started small in a 20g and as most of you know quickly out grew that tank. I upgraded to a 55g and had them for a while. Once they outgrew the 55 I knew I could no longer care for them I was living with a roommate and didnt have much money but I did love and care for them. I didnt know what I was doing but I learned a lot. I did clean their tank weekly but not because I knew I needed to, it was just dirty so i cleaned it. Luckily a friend of mines Uncle had a 125g tank and offered to take them. My roommate shattered my tank a week later and that was the last fish tank I kept. I decided years ago that I wanted to have an aquarium again but I wanted to do things right. However I have an autistic son and wasnt sure that he could handle having an aquarium in the house without him accidently causing chaos so I put it off. I did however start researching. Thats when I found Cory and the coop on youtube. At this point in time I had being doing research for awhile. The COOPs videos where like a breath of fresh air. Cory was doing things his own way. he didnt always agree with everything I read. I quickly ended up watching the majority of videos. I lurked for a long time. Then one day I caught a live stream live. I made a youtube account and said hello. The rest is history. I've been part of the community for a long time. Learning and researching. Helping others. I dont actually have a heavy online presence besides youtube. I dont have facebook. No twitter. No insta. I lurk reddit. This forum is the only other social media I use besides youtube and even here I dont spend much time. I have 2 sons now. My oldest is 6 and the younger is 3. My wife and I decided that we would try owning an aquarium and see how the boys handle it. In December 2019 I bought a used 75g tank and stand. The 75g needed resealed so basically I was buying a stand for 50 bucks. I thought I would reseal the tank EZ PZ and I would be good to go. After all I had watched multiple youtube videos on how to do it. WRONG. I will never attempt to reseal a tank again. Lesson learned. It was a mess. I'm a big clumsy dude as my wife likes to put it a "caveman". I got sealant everywhere. I had to throw a pair of pants away. But I got it resealed. I let it cure and filled it all the way and let is sit for 3 weeks before deeming it sealed correctly. I sold that tank for 50 bucks and got my money back for the stand. I then went and bought a brand new tank during a $1 per gallon sale. The empty tank sat on the stand in my living room for 4 months. My thought process was to let my kids get used to the idea of having a tank and learning they arent allowed to play around or mess with it while there was no life inside the tank. After the tank lost that new sparkle in their eye I washed some gravel and began to soak some drift wood. I put the gravel, driftwood and some rock in the tank and let that sit for a couple of weeks. The boys didnt care at all about the new change. I then ordered some plants from the COOP and filled it with water and began the cycle. I slowly added ammonia over the course of a couple of months to cycle the tank. The addition of water and plants made the tank new and exciting again in their eyes. I then began explaining in more detail that we would soon be adding fish to the tank and that they are responsible in helping dad make sure nothing bad happens to the tank. Only mom and dad are allowed to open the lids. Only mom and dad are allowed to say when to feed the fish. It worked. They understood and to this day havent ever tried to open the lids or put anything foreign inside of the tank. Once the tank was cycled we made a trip to the store. We dont have any LFS where I'm at in Oklahoma. Just the big box stores. Apparently the salt water community is huge here and there are multiple Saltwater specific stores around. We went and picked out 3 nerite snails. Gary, Larry and Jerry. A week after adding the snails, we bought a dozen ghost shrimp. We then went and got 4 tiger nerites. 2 weeks later my wife picked out a clown pleco she loved and I setup a 10g quarantine tank (tank number 2). After the pleco made it thru quarantine we bought a betta. Atsadi is his name. I've posted pictures of him before. Then we added 7 otos. I lost 1 in quarantine. 23 harlequin Rasboras in groups of 6. I lost 1 of them as well. He was small and didnt make it thru quarantine. I expected to lose more otos because they are hard to transition but pulling out that little harlequin made me sad. And at long last I finally found 13 Corydoras Paleatus. This was well into Covid and finding fish wasnt the easiest. Everyone in the tank besides the snails and shrimp made it thru quarantine which included the med trio. You may be happy to know that everyone is still alive and well. The last time I counted shrimp I was up to 18 but in a planted 75g they arent the easiest to count. So next month, September, is when I added the first 3 snails and marks the tank 1 year old. In that year I can tell you 100% the most important thing I learned. Patience. Everything in your tank takes time. The cycle. The plants. The fish. Maintenance. You cant rush it along. You just need to give it time. For Fathers day this year, my wife bought be a 20g Long stand. It also is able to support a 10g tank below as well. I am up to 4 tanks counting my Spongebob themed quarantine tank. MTS is real and the worst symptom is my empty wallet (lol). The 20g is cycled and has 3 nerite snails so far. The 10g is housing some plants and whisker shrimp. I am searching for the right fish to join the whisker shrimp and call this tank home. I havent decided on what fish to get but I think my wife has been eyeballing a few bettas. She will probably tell me which one she wants soon. Once I have all 3 tanks setup with all the fish I want I plan to allow my boys to pick out whatever fish to populate the Spongebob tank. That is the backstory and I will now be moving on to projects and random thoughts.
  20. I guess the purpose of this journal is to document various projects, tanks, builds, etc to share what happens, hopefully gather advice & input, and to alleviate my friends from my insane babbling by having an additional outlet to ramble in 🙂 I don’t, and will probably never claim to be anything more than a hobbyist and am certainly not any sort of expert, but if someone else can learn from this then that would be super cool too I currently have about 10 tanks but we’ll start with a current project, which is caring for and breeding a pair of wild caught apistogramma Tefé which I inherited from a friend. He was breaking down some of his projects and asked me if I was interested in this pair and a wild caught pair of Trifasciata, and jumped on it even though I usually like to take longer establishing tanks. Their tank is a 10g; planted, with a soil under layer and a mixed pool filter sand & gravel cap layer. They appear to be thriving and spawn regularly even in my harder well water which comes out of the tap at ph 8.2, gh/kh both around 10-12 drops (on the API kit). When I first got them I tried slowly softening their water with small additions of RO water over time until I realized they were actively spawning and appeared to be acting normally & happily in the well water so I stopped trying to change it. Other details of the tank include a random plant list of guppy grass, pogo stellatus octopus, a few types of Ludwigia, aponogeton ulcaceus, microsorum durin besar (which is not receiving enough light/co2 to turn orange yet unfortunately), and a mix of crypts. It’s a tank full of leftovers but it’s seemingly healthy enough for the fish so I haven’t messed with it much. There are two small HOB’s which recently had pothos, parlour palm, and inch plant added and there’s a healthy layer of duckweed & salvinia minima as floaters. The tank usually runs at around 5ppm nitrate with small WC’s every month or so, and it gets a very light nutrient dosing once a week. The male Tefé is a lot of fun; he very quickly learned to take food right from the tip of the feeding pipette and is very interactive, he behaves more like an Oscar in his interactiveness than most other apistos I’ve kept over the years - he’s a little bit beaten up, and my friend told me he arrived from the wholesaler like that, but his behavior is very active & inquisitive. He stays clamped most of the time unless he’s displaying for the female, which still causes me a little concern, but he’s been through several preventative medications and doesn’t appear to be ill in any way - the clamping is interesting though. They spawn every 3 weeks on average, and get a lot of frozen brine, live baby brine, But Bite granules, and xtreme nano to fuel them. The female gets moderately feisty when she’s on eggs and keeps the male away, but I’ve never noticed any particular aggressiveness out of her. The eggs do get eaten within 24-48hr if I leave them to her care, I’m assuming because the water is fairly hard & alkaline and they fungus up. After a couple of failed attempts, I eventually pulled the eggs and hatched them in a glass jar of pure RO water + methylene blue + air, and managed to hatch out multiple spawns of fry this way. The babies are now growing like weeds in their own setup which I will document in the next post. Overall I was super happy to have the opportunity to care for these fish, both for the vote of confidence from my friend (who is a way better fish keeper than I am, at least in my eyes), and to have a neat wild caught apisto pair. There was a definite weight lifted after the first successful spawn, I was a little anxious about it and felt a responsibility to them and to facilitate some babies so it was a great feeling when it was finally successful 🙂 The pictures attached are from when I first got them in early February 2020, their early tank setup, and a few progress pictures between then & now
  21. I thought I would do a little journal of my journey with my very first 55 gallon tank. Even when I was big into fish tanks as a kid in the early 70s, I never had a tank larger than 20 gallons, so this is pretty exciting for me. I just came back to the hobby a couple of months ago and dove in headfirst. I have two 20 gallons, two 45 talls, a ten and the 55 gallon tank. Only one of them currently have fish; I have some guppies and cherry shrimp in one of the 20s. Although one of the 45s has finished cycling and will probably have more guppies next week. I'll focus on the 55 gallon though since I have not done anything with it yet, other than make a few decisions. Here is the tank currently: //content.invisioncic.com/b300999/monthly_2020_09/20200918_103659.jpg.2f661240beba402d3c31a8e47e5841a2.jpg Cables and such will be hidden. I have some material coming today to cover the top 2x4s with, then I'll make it a little prettier. I decided to do the plasti-dip for a black background and I am doing the twin wall polycarbonate for the lid. Most of my supplies for the tank are coming via UPS today, I bet our UPS guy is going to be surprised when I hug him... Filtration: I am going a little overboard with filtration for now, with the two large spongefilters from the Co-Op and a marineland 350 HoB. For air flow, I just grabbed one of the Aquatop Breza 100s from the Co-op and a battery backed up one from KG Topicals. Heater: I bought two of the 300 watt Eheim Jager's heaters and the JBJ true temp controller @Daniel recommended on another thread. I'm only going to put one of them in the tank for now, I just want one for back up. Substrate: Going with just Eco-complete. Plants: I already have a bunch of plants waiting in one of the other tanks. So far I have: Vallisneria Christmas moss Java Fern and Water Sprite. I want to also get some type of carpeting plant too, but haven't quite decided what yet. Hardscape: I'm going to walk down to the bay tomorrow morning and look for some interesting hardscape stuff. If I can't find anything I like over the next few weeks, I'll grab some of the usual suspects online. Fish: Probably will change, but I'm currently looking at 6-8 Boesemans Rainbowfish, 6-8 Rasboras, but haven't decided on which one, and 5-6 dwarf corys as well as some type of shrimp. {EDIT} For some reason it won't put the pic where I want it, instead it just displays the path and puts the image at the bottom of the post... //content.invisioncic.com/b300999/monthly_2020_09/20200918_103659.jpg.2f661240beba402d3c31a8e47e5841a2.jpg
  22. I'll be honest, it took some time to decide if I wanted to start a journal. The most upfront reason was, what the heck are they and I've never journaled before? But as I thought about it, I remembered how some of the most beneficial help I ever received was from some obscure article, where some random guy, seemingly from nowhere, replied with the solution I needed. So, the purpose of my journal is to try to be that random guy, who randomly comments, and hopefully has the answer to your problem. But in the form of a journal! You might ask, who is this guy? And I ask myself the same question all the time,<wink>and the only response I can honestly say is; I was a kid who loved fish tanks. So much so, that at age 12, I took my Schwinn bike and went to my local fish store and bought a 55 gallon aquarium. I put that darn thing in my lap and on top of the handle bars and rode 2 miles home. I then went back and under my 1 arm, carried every piece of equipment I needed, in multiple trips, for my first salt water fish tank. A few months later, I had a 20 gallon fresh water tank. I can honestly say. I did pretty well for being so young. I rarely had deaths, I grew some corals, I killed a lot of corals and my fish did pretty well. Without that experience, I would have never learned the single most important information I could have possibly learned and that is: everything I learned 30 years ago is completely irrelevant in todays fish keeping. And anyone one who says, "I've been keeping fish for 30 years" is suspect! After several moves around the country and 30 years later, I found myself back in the hobby and here my journal starts. A buddy of mine, who has been in the hobby for 30 years <---- had the most amazing black water tank. I mean stunning. So he convinces me to start back up, and I did. "I need that sexy blackwater tank", I said, and I went out and bought a 75 gallon, a 40 gallon two 20 gallons and a 10 gallon. This is when I learned the second most important information I ever learned. More than 2 tanks is way too much work! So I sold the 10 and converted 1 of the 20 gallons to a QT tank. All those tank were black water, and boy did I love them. But something happened, something that changes everything! I bought a plant. And today, I have no black water tanks! Here are some pics of those black water tanks. Here are my main tanks today.
  23. Finally getting started on a journal! My vision for this tank is a peaceful larger gourami community, still deciding between a pair of moonlight gouramis or a small group of pearl gouramis. For the middle, I'm deciding between blackline rasboras or platy fish, and for the bottom we want a moderately-sized catfish -- one pleco (heavily leaning towards blue or green phantom, the Starlight bristlenose, OR the leopard frog pleco) and possibly smaller woodcats, dwarf petricolas, or synodontis nigriventris. We're at the infant stages of this new project, but I'm anxious to get started. We're doing our leak test for the tank tonight, and if all goes well, I can put together the hardscape tomorrow. Here's the scattered pieces I have so far, including a wooden tank stand we placed and leveled yesterday, some driftwood that's serving as my main inspiration pieces (plus more that's soaking), and a sample of the rock work we're using. I'm aiming to make a sandy/rocky riverbed look. It'd be nice if it were vaguely Southeast Asian, but I'm not strict about making it a biotope. Once I set up my hardscape, I'll share my progress. I have no idea where to start with planting, either; all I know is I want to stick to easy-to-care-for and easy-to-grow plants, plenty of epiphytes to tuck into the wood and rockwork, and floating plants to provide shade and keep gouramis happy. Thanks for joining me on my new journey!
  24. Hello! Recently, my sister mentioned getting a betta fish for her little girls, and that sparked a desire to return to the hobby for the first time since college. I am still assembling equipment, but this is my overall plan: 29 gallon planted tank Filtration: Lee’s Triple Flow Corner Filter (Small) x1, double-stacked Med. Aquarium Co-Op sponge filters Lighting: Aqueon Optibright+ 30 in Heating: Fluval M100 x2 Substrate: Black sand? Plants: TBD Stocking: Zebra Danios, Cory cats, Nerite snails, shrimp(?), centerpiece fish TBD As I mentioned, I’m still waiting on some equipment. I accidentally purchased the wrong size of Aqueon Quietflow air pump (I thought the 40 had two outlets), so I’m waiting for the lager one. I also plan on getting a controller for the heaters as a safety measure. Not sure what plants I’m going to choose, but I’ll need something hardy that likes very hard water. Also not sure what substrate to get, but the guy at Petco recommended Imagiterrium black sand. I also don’t know exactly what I want to put into the box filter, so recommendations would be appreciated. I think I’d like to “hot rod” it with an upload tube, but I’m not sure what size I need. Assembly of the stand will likely begin this weekend, with more setup over the coming weeks.
  25. This spring I decided to get a 75 gallon so I’d have room to try lots of different fish and plants. I started April 6th. Aqueon tank from the half off sale DIY stand Nicrew light x 2 Aquaclear 70 HOB with sponge prefilter Powerhead with dual sponge prefilters Fluval Stratum, gravel and pool filter sand Scavenged driftwood and beach cobbles current stocking: Green Neon Tetras Cherry Barbs Panda Corydoras Otocinclus Swordtails Honey Gourami Amano shrimp Neocaridina Shrimp
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