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About Me

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  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. It all started when a relative gave me a 29 gal tank. I never got it going despite buying a few items for it. Eventfully, I returned it and they in turn sold it at a garage sale. Some time later, another relative, who did not have any time for their aquarium, talked me into getting it. Two times someone tried to give me their aquarium and succeeded on the second try. The second tank is an older 46 gallon bow front that came with three fish. A golden gourami, red fin shark rainbow shark, and a lone bloodfin tetra. A crash course ensued on taking care of these swimming thingys. To be continued...
  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. My 75 gallon dream tank which I finally managed to put together last year after collecting and saving for a good long while. The fish are strictly South American, the plants, snails, and shrimp are a more fishkeeper friendly combo designed to recreate the spirit of the Amazon jungle rather than to be an "Amazon biotope". The Cardinals and Rummynose are wild caughts from my LFS and Project Piaba sourced. After seeing one of Aquarium Co Op Cory's tanks with crypts in the foreground I decided to forego the S. repens lawn and just place a few interlaced with crypts and my fish love it; although the Rummynose and Rams now love to hide and the only time I see everyone together is feeding time LOL. My wife calls it our "Mini Jungle Book". The shimmer from the surface movement under the Kessil lights lets the Cardinals shine like little jewels; an old man's 52 year long dream since I started keeping fish. Let me know what you think, or if you like it. Here are the specs: Livestock: -35 Cardinal Tetras (Paracheirodon axelrodi) -13 Rummynose Tetras (Hemigrammus bleheri) -8 Otocinclus -6 Bolivian Rams (Mikrogeophagus altispinosa) -15 Amano Shrimp (Caridina multidentata) -at least 50 Blue Velvet Shrimp as they have multiplied rapidly and some in genetic throwbacks are red, some Crystal shrimp now and some Black Riilis -several Zebra Nerite snails, some other Nerites, including Military Helmet snails, and the occasional bladder snail hitchhiker. Hardscape: Substrate: One thin layer of Mironekuton Deep Sea Mineral Powder, followed by ADA Tourmaline BC. ADA Clear Super, ADA Bacter 100 sprinkled over the Deep Sea minerals. Next a layer of small crushed lava rock, a thin layer of pebbles mixed with Fluval Shrimp Substrate, and finally a thick layer of Soft Belly Amazon Soil. Mopani, Pacific driftwood, & Spiderwood (well pre-soaked for about three months with frequent water changes), diverse rocks among them Brazilian Carnelian, Flint, Agate, and Obsidian, a few pieces of lava rock on which I mounted Anubias Plants: -Echinodorus Red Flame -Echinodorus Rubin -Echinodorus Ozelot Green -Pogostemon erectus (Gone, as of July 2020 because my now huge Amano shrimp developed a distinct hankering for the fine leaves of this Pogostemon, expensive salad for shrimp) -Ludwigia repens -Lobelia cardinalis -Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) -Anubias afzelli -Anubias nana -Anubias nana petite -Cryptocoryne wendtii Green Gecko -Cryptocoryne willisii -Cryptocoryne parva -Bucephalandra wavy green -Bucephalandra biblis blue -Bucephalandra Kedagang -Staurogyne repens -Christmas moss (Vesicularia montagnei) Equipment: Stand: (manufactured locally to my design) White oak treated like a boat with polyurethane finish in mission style with slate inserts in doors( gotta keep my wife happy), doors can be opened to 170 degrees, or removed completely with two clicks each, built in metal square tubing frame rests on 8 adjustable feet which can hold 2,500 lbs. each (the living room floor turned out to be uneven) the back of the stand is open to reach the power strip I mounted on the wall for better access and to allow for drip loops, the CO2 cylinders (1 active, 1 spare) rest in a box which keeps them from falling over, the bottom wood plates can be removed to adjust the feet Lights: -2EA Kessil A360X Tuna Sun on Goosenecks with Spectral X Controller -small lunar light (blue) on night timer for 6 hours Filtration: -Fluval 407 Canister Filter, loaded with fine and coarse sponge mechanical filtration, and Sera Siporax sintered glass biological filtration, as well as a polishing pad, also equipped with an Eheim Pre-filter with two sponges -Eheim Skim 350 Surface Skimmer Oxygen: -Tetra 100 Whisper Air pump with air wand on timer for night oxygen Heater: -Eheim Ebo/Jaeger fully submersible 300 Watt Heater CO2 System: Operating one hour before photo period and shutting off one hour before end of photo period -GreenLeaf Aquarium Dual Stage CO2 Regulator w/solenoid & bubble counter -CO2 line -Dennerle CO2 Check Valve -Aquario Neo CO2 Diffuser L from Aquarium Co-Op -Glass CO2 Drop Checker
  8. 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.
  9. 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).
  10. What better thing to be my first journal, than a journal about this little guy! so long story short, I ordered a 2-3" fahaka puffer and this little guy was what was delivered. He has a "S" shaped bent spine and looks thin. The shipping was fast and he acclimated well, but I don't believe he was in the best shape before I received him. Now that he is in my care I feel that it is my responsibility to try to get him as healthy as possible, wish me luck! 🤞 July 1st 2021: Bender was delivered and acclimated to his current quarantine tank. His QT is a seasoned 40b with a aquaclear 70 and some Hygrophila Angustifolia. I put some small cherry shrimp, bladder snails, and ramshorn snails in the tank with him to try to get some weight on him. July 2nd 2021: Dosed the tank with Prazipro to deworm since im pretty sure that he has some internal parasites. Bender still didn't seem to active, he hid mostly in the Hygro and didn't show much interest in eating or hutning. Tried to feed some bloodworms, but he would just spit them out after finally trying them. July 3rd 2021: Bender seems a lot more active after about 24hrs of Prazipro being in his tank. Shorty after tank lights came on he was up swimming around and trying to hunt some snails. He does appear to be having issues getting snails off of leaved and glass, not sure if his underbite has anything to do with this. Have been trying to get a look at his mouth when he opens it to see if he teeth are overgrown and need trimmed, but haven't been able to tell yet. Between posts here and on facebook groups common consensus seems to be the bent spine is a birth defect. At this point my wife has now fallen in love with this little guys because "he needs to be rescued and we have to make him better" If anyone has any advice or suggestions on things to try to get this little guy better, please let me know. Currently his tank is being treated with Prazipro and im trying to medicate his food with MetroPlex, but that isn't going so well since he is being picky. I have been trying to keep some small cherry shrimp and small snails in the tank for him to try to snack when he is hungry.
  11. 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.
  12. Hi everyone! I thought I'd start a journal related to the happenings of my 5.5 gallon, I have one tank so don't expect updates too often. (Maybe once or twice a week, I'm not sure yet) so stick around if you want that. Into to my tank: I started it as a dirted Walstad aquarium in early January, and haven't done a water change since soon after I set it up (to clear up some cloudy water that I didn't know was usual for it) I had to do fish in cycling since I'm sadly not able to currently get another tank to house my animals. My betta came through that. Nothing happened for a few months until April when I got some hornwort from my LFS, aaannnd some hitchhikers in the form of pond snails (which I love in my aquarium), and insect larvae (which I don't love in my aquarium), at the same time I also got some RCS, which had a bit of die off at first, but seem to be happy and breeding now! (I still have to figure out a way to cull... Hopefully without having to kill any..) Soon after my betta came down with gill flukes, which I put him in qt for and treated with meds, he again pulled through, although I'm fairly sure he bit off one of his ventral fins during it. (Although currently he seems fine) A week or two in the past as of writing I also got some red root floaters, and a dwarf aquarium lily, which I LOVE, and they bring a really good amount of contrast to my otherwise green scape. Thanks for reading! Bye!
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Placeholder post for now. Will add more info later. Hi my name is Daedalus I'm breeding Copper Alien Bettas. I'm a new breeder with only 3 spawns. I breed Thai style so if you're uncomfortable with that style please proceed with caution. I write with terrible grammar and sentence structure. If you're uncomfortable with that proceed with extreme caution. Feb 2nd: Received copper pair. Begin conditioning. Feeding scuds, moina and BugBites Feb 6th: Prep spawning tank. 4.5gal tote filled to 3gal. Added loquat leaves, duckweed and pothos cuttings. Added rooibos tea for tannins. Taped a circular spawning cave to the wall. 50w heater Feb 18th: Release pair to tank. Feb 20th: Spawn. It took two days, the male had problems learning to do the wrap but he finally got it. Only one nip on the female and one on male. Very non violent, easy pairing Feb 23rd: Hatch. Can't see how many but looks to be a decent sized spawn. Feb 24: Added green water and infusoria culture to tank. Roughly half a cup. This is to cover for early hatchers/early free swimmers. Feb 25th: First feed BBS TBD March 10th: Partial water change. Remove male TBD
  16. Hey Guys, I’m Aaron from Kansas City, and this is my 55 Gallon tank! I started this tank as a live breeder/community tank. I actually bought the tank and stand used from FB marketplace. It came with hoods and lights but those no longer worked, so I went with the Nicrew lights off of Amazon for now. Down the road, I want to get the Fluval one Aquarium Co Op sells. The tank and stand were both from the early 2000s so I resealed the tank as an extra precaution even though I don’t think it was leaking. It’s definitely built very sturdy though with very thick glass, which I think a lot of older tanks were. I am a few months in on this hobby and I enjoyed my 20 a lot but it quickly ran out of space for what I wanted to do, so I decided to jump to a 55. It’s large enough that I have some room to breed and keep what I want in the numbers I want. I enjoy live breeders a lot. They are easy to keep, very active, come in some great colors, and I greatly enjoy watching them interact with their environment, especially my voracious mollies, one of which I am 70% certain has taken a liking to pest snails. My largest Molly used to be in my 20 gallon tank, which had a decent sized adolescent pest snail in it. The next day, I came and found the shell of said snail on the substrate entirely empty. Anyways, I also have a Blue Swordtail Guppy trio for breeding. If I get some good fry, I may sell them to local pet stores. I have a breeder box for isolation but at this stage, I am not too worried about saving fry. I like to use nature to “self regulate” my aquariums as much as possible, which is why I enjoy heavily planted tanks. I personally prefer natural looking tanks without decorations or plastic plants for my own setups. I like to mimic real aquatic environments, within reason. Obviously if this were a real river bed, it wouldn’t have the rocks stacked so nearly, but I think it still looks reasonably natural. The community aspect of this tank will hopefully allow the adult fish to do population control on the fry so I won’t run into the issue of an overstocked tank and I will isolate a few fry for breeding purposes. Started her out with an organic potting soil base and capped it with play sand. Spent $20 at Lowe’s for a richly nutritious substrate with a natural looking cap material. Added some Fritz Turbostart and let the filter run for a few days. The first inhabitants were actually my three 24K White Cloud Minnows, which came from my friend’s shrimp tank. He was having some water issues and wanted to thin out his inhabitants to reign in the problem. I still need to get a couple more to form a proper school. Added my large Black Molly female next, and went and bought her some friends the next day. I’m up to four females and two males to keep the harassment down (though they tend to favor the largest female). Then, I added my Blue Swordtail Guppies (2 females and one male). I have an Albino Cory cat that I inherited from a new fishkeeper that bought one too many fish for his 10 gallon. His friend died spontaneously so I probably need to go get a few more albinos, but I’m not adding additional fish until I am sure everything is running smoothly, cycle wise. I’m in the process of growing a guppy grass hideout for fry and shrimp among the rocks. I have one Green Jade Neocardinia that ended up here because I accidentally poured him outside in the grass during a water change when I was trying to catch my molly for transfer (lesson learned on moving driftwood and moss into a bucket carelessly). I frantically picked him up and impulse tossed him into the 55. I’ve seen him one time, so I know he’s still alive. Shrimp are great at hiding. I will be adding some strong, good color Blue Velvet Shrimp I am buying from a local hobbyist this weekend. I’m going to avoid snails for now, since I am pretty sure the 55 is already getting pest snails from the plants and I may decide to introduce an Assassin later (because really I just think they are the coolest thing, I realize you can control pest snails without them and pest snails can even be beneficial as Cory said in various videos, but this is a snail that eats snails, how cool is that?). He’d definitely make a snack out of any Nerite I put in the 55. I expect the guppies and mollies to breed like rabbits and I expect to see some breeding action from the shrimp once my plant cover grows to the jungle-esque levels I like. I am new at this, but I have read a lot and believe that I can use the tank inhabitants to manage their own populations. I am not concerned if the guppies mass breed, because the mollies should theoretically handle the excess (and handle their own excess) and I will save the few fry I want to play around with. I am not too worried about Shrimp breeding out of control, as the fish will help maintain that balance and shrimp have a much lower bioload and act as tank cleaners, so I don’t think I will ever have to worry about an overpopulation there, but I’m still pretty new at this. Ignore the disorganized plants, I am still growing them up and getting them to the right size so I can “aquascape” them. The grasses and the hornwort and such will probably be rearranged. Not sure if I will be changing things often enough to have tons of interesting updates, but I will post some progress as the plants grow and I introduce new things. Can’t wait to see what fish come out of this live breeder experiment. I welcome any and all advice. (Ignore the brown leaves, I just like to give the plants a couple weeks to root and perk up from the shock of the initial planting/transfer from the store before I trim)
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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?
  20. I noticed I had some unused countertop space so of course I had to put an aquarium there. My goal is for it to completely fill in with plants so at first glance it looks like a house plant to unassuming guests. I'm not sure what to stock the aquarium with but luckily I have you all to help me decide.
  21. Having seen some other people start threads covering their nerm projects as a whole, I figured I might start one as well. From this thread I will keep those who want to follow my overall progress updated. I'll start by giving an intro to those who do not know me yet: https://forum.aquariumcoop.com/profile/2850-corydorasethan/?tab=field_core_pfield_1 Okay so onto my projects. I currently have two aquariums. Here's a little more on them... The first is my pride and joy, the 29 gallon planted community. This is my main "display" tank and houses large numbers of livebearers and catfish. My next tank is a 10 gallon aquarium used for housing more livebearers, a gourami, snails, and another flying fox. I have not posted a thread yet on this one, but I plan to do so in the future. It still needs some work: So yeah there is a bit on my aquariums. I'll make sure to update this thread weekly at least. Thanks.
  22. I am going to setup up a tank or more at my folks' house in the Vermont woods, since we have to move the White Clouds and Neo Shrimp inside. I got a 15 gallon for them, but they want something bigger, and they want to use this as a stand. I'm thinking a 29 gallon would be perfect. My dad took these photos. I just realized that I frame and crop much like the old man.
  23. Started the build of a set of raised garden beds where I am incorporating a 100 gallon mini pond. My wife and I have been planning it for a few months now, and we finally pulled the trigger a couple of weeks ago by ordering the wood and pavers from Lowes. We are merging my hobby of fish keeping with her hobby of gardening. We demoed out a set of 4 raised beds we had before to make way for the new, larger beds. We are increasing planting are by about 50 to 75%, and going from 6 inch deep beds to 22 inch deep beds (4 1x6 boards stacked). If you could the pond area, we are close to doubling the planting area. There will be 3 raised beds. The beds are made out of 1x6 and 2x4 cedar, using deck screws to hold them together. The one in the center will have the mini pond. I am hoping the dirt around it in the bed will help insulate the pond so the fish can live outside year round. We are in Louisiana, so we rarely get below freezing and typically get at least into the 50s Fahrenheit during the day. The other 2 beds are L shaped around the pond bed making a big rectangle. So far, we've built the pond bed and one of the L shaped beds minus one board. We've also laid most of the pavers. Lowes owes us about 1/3 of the wood, so we are at a holding point until they bring the rest. I am stocking the pond with rainbow shiners, so based on my climate I think they'll be fine outside year round. I'm further south than a large portion of their range. I'll probably pull a few inside for the first winter or two to be safe. I am also going to have some kind of pond plants, but haven't figured out which ones yet. Suggestions are welcome! I am going to do a gravel and some river / pond stones as the substrate. Gravel for some aquatic plants and the stones in a few piles hoping the eggs and fry can find some hiding spots. Anyway, as the build progresses, I'll update with pictures and more info. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions!
  24. We just got some Java Fern and Water Sprite from a friend. It’s newly planted in our 56 Gallon tank, adding to Sword, Micro Sword, and Hydrocotyle tripartita. We’ve got a mix of platys, long fin Serpae Tetra, a few guppies, a bristlenose, and hitchhiking snails running around too!
  25. P.S. It's hard to talk on camera....
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