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About Me

  1. 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
  2. Figured it was time to throw together a post of some projects going on in my fish room. Right now I've got more tanks than projects as I thinned out some of my previous projects right before COVID as I had plans and then... Well the pandemic hit, wasn't able to go out and get new species, shipping was all over the place and unreliable for live stuff, and things kinda just maintained from there. Now things are able to be shipped and my LFS's are getting things in I've cleaned up the open tanks and am planning on some remodeling of the room to save on power and consolidate; specifically an air loop. As for what I'm currently keeping and breeding/working on breeding here is a list: - Neocardina Sp. Red Sakuras Orange Sakuras Blue Diamonds Green Jade (waiting on them to arrive actually) - Snails Yellow Rabbit Snails (Tylomelania sp.) Black Rabbit Snails (Tylomelania sp.) Pagoda Snails (B. Pagodula) - Panda Garras (G. Flavatra) Some previous projects included: - Moth Catfish (H. Jerdoni) - Peacock Gudgeons (T. Ocellicauda) - Farlowellas (F. Acus) - Ancistrus Sp. Super Reds Blue Eyed Calicos - Medusa Plecos - L034 (A. Ranunculus) - Clown Plecos - L103 (P. Maccus) Figure a thread is useless without current pictures. Here are a few of the shrimp and snails tanks and one of the three 40's that have been cleaned up and waiting for new projects. Sorry in advance for potato phone pictures.
  3. Felt like I was posting a lot on a bunch of threads about my tank so figured I'd start a journal! I started my first tank back in December last year. It was something I had been thinking of doing for a while, but didn't feel like I had the space to grow it out until we moved into our current place late last year. Anyways! Skip forward a few months and I've now got a 40 gallon breeder tank that houses my community! I'm definitely still feeling out what I like in a tank so it's already gone through a couple of iterations. I've struggled the most with keeping plants. For whatever reason, that hasn't come to me as easily as I was hoping. And I've definitely gone through my share of newbie mistakes like overfeeding. I'm in the process of managing the amount of tiny snails that are currently crawling all over things by dialing down my feeding regimen. Anyways! Figured I could condense most of my nonsense into one location. I'll do a roll call of all the little buddies in the tank in my next post!
  4. 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.
  5. These are my four largest aquariums, which are probably small for most here. 20 tall, two 20 longs, and a 10. The 20 tall is almost a year old. 10 gallon: neon tetra and honey gourami tank. Also has mystery snail. 20 gallon long: Von rio tetras, panda corydoras, powder blue dwarf gourami, nerite snails, mystery snails. 20 gallon long: guppies, they are not showing well on camera, kuhli loaches that hide in the slate, mystery snails and nerite snails. 20 gallon tall: platy fish, harlequin rasboras, albino corydoras, neon tetras, nerite snails, mystery snails, cherry shrimp, and amano shrimp. This was trimmed up a bit but gets to be very jungle-like.
  6. Hi, I'm Jawjagrrl, and I have MTS. A little background to kick off this journal. Fish and cats were part of my parents household before I was. Dad had a rack of the old chrome tanks in their LR in the early 60s - I was born into the hobby. I still have his much stained copy of Axelrod's fishes. I ogled fish tanks in public any place we saw them, like the local fish restaurant that had tanks of wild oscars in the early 70s. Fast Forward to the 90s - I got my first tanks, two 55s stocked with african cichilds (even sold babies to the LFS!) and my beloved oscars, sevrum, and silver dollars. I had a NERM pal at work that agreed to build me a custom stand so the two 55s could be displayed together and he did a great job. But the home I bought soon after was too small for this setup and it went into storage.... ...for a long time. I left academia and moved south, got married. Jawjagrrl is what my northern friends said when teasing me about my choice to head down near the end of the Appalachian Trail (NE Georgia) in 2010. Life happened. So now it's 2022, I live on a farm started by my late in-laws in the 80s. I have chickens, a small market garden (organic), preserve food I grow, make soap... basically all the things that I made fun of as an academic before. I embraced dogs and have 4 rescues. Having reached my Patient Spouse's likely limit on rescued cats, dogs and chickens 😉 the idea of starting up fish again took hold. I had a nano tank on my desk at a marketing job in 2015, and one of the cardinal tetras in it lived to be 4 years old. Also my first attempt at a plant, which lasted 3 of those years. Last summer I started getting sucked in by nano tanks and aquascaping, which wasn't really that much of a thing in the 90s, plus my fish ate plants and preferred rocks. I started binging channels on YT like GreenAqua, MJ Aquascaping, MD fish tanks, Prime Time Aquatics and of COURSE Aquarium COOP. There are now two 5gal portrait setups, my old office 2.5gal, a cheapie 3gal QT and my secret scape from scraps entry in progress. These are taken before weekly maintenance, but I promised myself I'd post this before anything else got done today! But while small fish, shrimp, etc., was scratching the itch, I still dreamt of those 55s in the basement. But I didn't want to surpass my Patient Spouse Limit and dreamed and planned. The Endor tank above was setup for him after considering a lot of ideas, and despite the AT-AT deco not exactly being natural, it's a household favorite setup. All the wood and mosses are from the farm and it's happily housing endlers, kuhlis, shrimp and a mellow texan crayfish named Gomez (A Morticia could be a future project). So here is the stand, currently in the back basement (awesome potential for a fish room should MTS continue). My friend did a good job on a basic form that did work well for the short time I had it set up. It was intended to be trimmed out by me once I had a home that warranted it and could be designed to compliment. This setup will be in the front room of a house designed as a 1690s Massachusetts salt box house (in Georgia, yes). All the finish carpentry is heart pine reclaimed from an old mill in south Georgia, which we can match with materials left over. I'll definitely be seeking input from all of you about dos/dont's, but it needs to look nice as these are definitely display tanks in the room where we spend the most down time. The tanks will be behind the sofa and extend a bit beyond either end. 8 feet of tank on a 13' wall should make for an impressive display. My vision for these tanks is to create a generally South American setup, but not strictly biotope or 100% SA species. We love the idea of congo tetras as the tetras for the bigger fish we want to keep (husband wants angels, I want geophagus tapajos). The hardscape focal point will be a foraged stump from the property that is split in half (technically quadrants so they have a flat surface to snug against the back glass) and placed against the inside ends of the two tanks, creating the illusion of one long 8ft space. Below is a quick mashup of images to give you an idea of what we're aiming for. We have a woodshop, lots of wood, rock, streams and woodland plants and mosses to use, so what could go wrong...? 😉 Every journey begins with a modest first step, so mine is showing you the tanks until recently, living in the mudroom and looking forlorn (and dog-haired): I see sad betta cups from the 2010s... and plastic plants! 😮 They held water as recently as 2009. Will the seals still be good? We shall see..... If you're still with me, great! Moving forward, I'll need input on lots of things that are still new to my aquaria experience on this scale in future updates, like: hardscape/substrate - aquasoil capped with river sand? something else? live plants are a must. plants - I've done ok with the basics you've seen in my nano setups, but this is much more ambitious. CO2 or no? more on that and our water parameters to come fish selection - Patient Spouse deserves input, and he wanted angels. I want geos. I see one tank housing the bigger fish with friends like congo tetras, cories, pleco and the other side for things too small for adult angelfish like neos, other tetras, etc. filtration - I've ruled out past options I did with the 55s before - no HOBs or undergravel. Sponges? Maybe, but these are display tanks. Canisters or sump? Never used either but willing to learn. Pros/cons of running one system for both tanks? background - build a 3d? nothing at all? black? frosted white? backlit? so many choices! lighting - The biggest changes in tech since the 90s for sure. I can certainly do better than the old tube fluorescents I had back then. I need new tops too. I doubt we'll hang lights as these will be right behind the sofa where I hang out and don't want to feel interrogated at night. My journal is a couple of steps behind where the project actually is. I have procrastinated starting this for some reason - perhaps posting it makes it and all the potential mistakes feel more real? But with support from the amazing knowledge base of the NERMs here, I know we can avoid a few of those.
  7. Moved a large Threadfin Acara out this past week. Starting to watch these Discus to see if any pair off. Water change with ramblings… Feeding, with more ramblings… I recommend to every aquarist: if you keep Rams or Amazon fish, at least try keeping discus. Easily my favorites.
  8. Hello Everyone, I've been trying to get my feet wet on the forums and not sure where to begin with this one. Of note, I started with some smaller tanks, then got a 55G tank which eventually became a 75G tank. I always had this 29G off to the side and in my room for my personal focus and enjoyment while the larger tank was intended for a more relaxing atmosphere. Because of everything going on in the world, we ended up moving and the result of that is that I'm in a house now where there is probably 2 spots in the entire house where the concrete floor is actually flat. (I really hate it when people who don't know what they are doing, think they can just add a floor to their house or add rooms). Needless to say, whatever is up with this house, it's been a bit of an issue. So, I can't setup the 75G tank and I am down to only having my 29G tank with some of the inhabitants from that original 79G, and namely my black corydoras that called it home originally. I purchased these to try to have some passive income, enjoyment, and it's been a heck of a journey trying to get them to a decent spawn. I have raised two fry, but I should have a tank flooded with these guys. They spawned for me about 5-6 months ago and there was a massive amount of eggs everywhere. By the time I had ordered the egg tumbler and breeder box, about half the eggs were fungused over and then at that point they started to just deteriorate or be eaten at night. (that pleco was moved to a 10G tank I have off to the side to help with algae) *deep breath* This tank is also the focus I've been talking with Bentley about his "one tank a a time" series. Before the move, all is well, after the move, fish in tubs for a while, and once I needed to drop heaters back in for winter I had no choice but to setup this tank for them again. Once i got the tank setup, I hit the reset button a bit on the substrate, moved in some different plants, and tried to recover some of my anubias that had been with me for years at this point. At this point is what you see here. After the eggs were gone, a little bit of black and brown algae started to set in. I had stuff under control, made an adjustment with the lights and ended up with the following. Once we all got sick this past January, my tanks lost power and things got even worse. I was in a different room with the pups and it took me far longer than it should've to see the issue with the filter. My 10G crashed, shrimp died, pleco died, but thankfully my 29G had turned back on and seemed to be doing OK. The exception being that algae which had now insanely overtaken everything and I had longer strands of hair algae, staghorn algae, BBA, and the brush algae on everything. I decided to order from aquahuna and got some amanos in. I had cleaned out the local store of their amanos (insanely small size) and replenished the 10G tank with their algae team. After a few days.... this is the same plant in the photo above. Yesterday, before cleaning, I took this photo shown below just to show where things were really at. There is some algae on the sides (I won't scrape it because I want the otos to have it. I also want to get the filter intake cleaned, but it's just a nightmare at this point. The wood is slowly being cleaned by the shrimp, the rocks and plants were their focus up front. So at this point in time the tank is a bit better off and feels like we're getting back to a "good spot". After cleaning, current status, this is where we are now. A lot of the fish besides the corys hang out in their caves all day, but let's talk a bit about the scape, stocking, and why some of the choices are what they are. Current plan: Dwarf Hairgrass carpet, Sterogyne Repens off to the left side (light will be centered at that point), moss on the wood and on the back wall, and some Anubias Coffefolia for the corys to lay eggs. Stocking: 3x Black Venesualan Corys, 2 Cory fry, 2 clown plecos, 4 Otos, "plenty" of amano shrimp, and my red tailed black shark names grace that has been with me for close to 5 years. Scape: I have the Bubble bio as a focal simply because I like the ability to polish the water and it is very easy to clean. The shrimp enjoy it, corys enjoy it, it's been a successful tool for me in this tank as well as the 75G. On the back right side I have an airstone setup. The pump I have is slightly too strong and so I need a way to control the air a bit. I plan to replace the pump and remove the stone as soon as the co-op releases their usb-c version. The stone is setup so that in a moment I can add the hang-on breeder box or the egg tumbler and not have to mess with too much as well. It's something the otos enjoy. The rocks I have in here right now are Seiryu, something for the shrimp specifically, but these are also the rocks I had when I first started getting success from the panda corys. I had some moss on the rocks, the fry can get into these really small crevaces and hide from the adults. I have some other rocks I can swap in, but the goal is to get plants settled and hopefully the rocks themselves will just be more aesthetically there for the corys to swim around. They generally enjoy the open tank, and hiding out of sight of the room. Once there are more plants I know they will relax a bit better. At this point, I need to figure out what moss to use on the back wall. I want to get some susswassertang somewhere and I will absolutely need to find a good source for it. That texture is what these corys prefer to spawn. Moss is definitely going to expedite the process but I truly believe in my 2-3 year journey with these guys that they will spawn on susswassertang without fail. I have already ordered the quilted mesh to mount to the back wall to do so. I've had mops in their tank (and tub) and haven't had much success. Believe me..... that moment I saw the two little cory fry hanging out after I had lost all the eggs was a momentous occasion. This was the tank when it was first setup, for posterity. I was so excited to see it do well. I lost the DHG simply because it was not planted deep enough. Tough, but I re-ordered some more and learned that lesson. I am waiting for that Anubias to be in stock and I have an order ready to go for the co-op. And of course..... The real MVP of this one. Needless to say, I hope I turn a corner with this one pretty soon. I feel like things are getting back to where they need to be and I might have a really nice planted tank again. It's been about.... 2 years I feel like, trying to get to this point and feel like I can get the plants where I want them to be. This is tank right after setup and moving to the new house. A lot has changed since then but I had some high hopes for this scape and this setup. It's been a journey. I ended up losing all of these plants because I didn't plant them deep enough and the flow on the tidal was just too much (and the fish pulled some out). I replaced all of these plants with 3 pots a bit on the right side. I added the rocks as cover on the right side for the corys as well as tried to salvage some of the anubias from the tubs. I really enjoy the look of the tank in this photo specifically and hope to get back to it.
  9. Early morning search for elusive Lincoln’s Sparrow We may or may not have been trespassing… 😬 Monarchs migrating…
  10. 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.
  11. 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 is the main tank today.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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 🤣
  17. 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.
  18. I currently have two threads for both of my aquariums, but I've been thinking that its time to merge the two threads together My current tanks are my Community tank (40 Gallons): Home to: Angelfish, Cardinal Tetras x5, Bristlenose Pleco, Upside down Catfish x2, Zebra Danios x6. Its Planted with: Anubias Nanna, Crypt Wendetii Red, Red Twist Sword, Hygrophiliia Siamensis 53B, My second tank is my Betta Tank (5 Gallons): Its home to: Hugo the Betta, 5 Neon Tetras, and a new addition (more on that below!) Its planted with: Hygrophillia Compact, Hygrophillia Siamensis, Two Species of Anubias, Buce, Red Melon Sword, Little Side Note: Hugo had gone through some Finrot Treatments, his fins are still growing back. I'm also working on a new tank to go below the community tank, hoping to get some supplies for it and to get it up and running! Today I went driving and drove past a petstore, so naturally I had to stop. I picked up a Nirite Snail for the Betta Tank. I want names for this little guy so comment some suggestions! Also just a quick questions. Does this look like a baby nirite? It seems unlikely due to the fact that they only breed in brackish, but what elese could it be? It moves and has the antennas like a snail too. I picked up the snail to add it in so I'm not sure how it could have come into the tank. Unless it came in in one of my plants, but the last time I added a plant was maybe three weeks, and I'm only noticing it now. So maybe we'll need two names, thats exciting! The baby will probably end up in a different tank soon, 5 gallons is probably too small for two snails.
  19. Starting out with some plecos. Just a bunch in a 55 gallon with some platties. A short video. Other plecos in the house are super reds and some king tigers (very shy).
  20. Jungle Tank Log I've wanted to make a log thread of this tank for a while, it has been a very fun tank for me and I would like to share its progress. This tank has been running for over a year now but I have kept logs since the beginning so I will start there and fill it in as I have time until we get to the present after which I'm planning on doing monthly-ish logs.
  21. It's about time I started a journal. Thank you to @Streetwise for the help of starting this. Im gonna start this off with my favorite fish of all time: (Mini) Bob the spotted congo puffer Named after Mr. Bob Steenfott. From this point forward, Bob is the pufferfish and Mr. Steenfott is Mr. Steenfott. When I broke my leg, Mr. Steenfott and my friend/coach/teacher Hutch planned a day where we all went to the co-op for fun. At the end, Mr. Steenfott got me this fish under one condition, it had to be named Bob. This was in 2018. You might think it is weird that a teacher took me on this trip, but Hutch is more of a family member because my entire family has known him for a very long time even before this trip. In the photo of the yellow background is the very first time I saw Bob, I sent a picture to my family because this was my dream fish and had never seen one in person before. He was such a skinny lad. After a couple months from the start of the pandemic (June 2020) I upgraded him from an anubias only 20g with a hang on the back filter to a 40g with a canister filter, sand, multiple drift wood pieces, and a plethora of different plant species. On December 16, 2020 Hutch passed away unexpectedly which broke my community's hearts and still leaves a scar. But I have Bob to remind me of all the good times and one of the best days of my life. Today, Bob lives happily in the 40g where he gets to hunt guppies, shrimp, earthworms, bloodworms, snails, clams, and pogostemon stellatus stems.
  22. 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.
  23. 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?
  24. I setup some tubs this year, so I would have an outdoor way to visit my folks and share my hobby. I set these up just like my organic soil Walstad aquariums. This is a boring video of the process:
  25. 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.
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