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About Me

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  1. Fishkeeping, a hobby I once enjoyed as a child and young adult that gave way to adulting, being a father and well...life. Now that my only child has grown, graduated university and started her adult life, I have found more time(AND MONEY) on my hands. Saving, of course, is always a thing for later in life, but what about my mad money?(Yes, I am lucky enough to have some in this crazy economical world we are living in believe it or not!) Well, during COVID I got into watching A LOT of YouTube to kill the time as I was at the end of my 23 year career as a chef in New Orleans, back home on the Gulf Coast of Alabama and doing nothing but walking beach line collecting driftwood(reselling). One of the channels I got into was Cory and Dean on Aquarium Co Op, amongst a couple other channels I adore like MD Fish Tanks & Dan's Fish. In watching these Youtubers I learned a lot with the interest of getting back into it once I had the time and money. Fast forward 3 years and a complete 180 in my career choices as I joined the United States Postal Service, needless to say I have worked and saved a ton. I decided besides a couple vacations I have wanted to take, I would begin fishkeeping again. My first tank purchase was a Lifegard 10g Rimless, of course my plan was to go planted and have a nice tank to enjoy. Here's the breakdown so far of what is in the tank... Substrate: Fluval Stratum(in 4 small media bags...regretting this as its hard AF to plant into...think they aren't the right bags) with top layer light aquarium sand and small pebble mix. Feature pieces: Dragon Stone and Lava Rock purchased raw, cleaned heavily before adding. Plants(so far...): Alternanthera Reineckii "Variegated", Bacopa caroliniana 'Yellow flame', Dwarf Chain Sword (Echinodorus tenellus), Valisnaria Spiralis Italian and Java Moss. (ON WAY to still be planted): Hornwart Coontail for the top of my tanks(for the holding tank(s) for fry) and Rotala Rotundifolia "Red" Hardy Aquarium Plant. Filter: Fluval Aquaclear 30 with Ammonia Reduction and Crushed Coral(some crushed coral in substrate) plus a sponge filter I am seeding for holding tank for pregnant ladies. Lighting: Fluval Aquasky with personalized settings based on my sleep schedule lol Livestock: (Currently)3x Albino Yellow King Cobra Guppies(2 females/1 male...both females pregnant currently est 7 days gestation), 10 fire red neocaridinas & 5 purple mystery snails. (On way) 3x Blue Dragon Guppies(2 females, 1 male...thinking I might get some cool hybrids from the two types until I separate them in a few weeks to their own tank), 10 more Blue Dream shrimp & 4x Gold Laser Corys(unsexed & very young...holding them for another tank later on). Results so far have been pH drop, thanks to advice in here I realized even though my tap water runs a pH of 7.4ish the Fluval Stratum substrate dropped pH to 6.6 range...added crushed coral and wonder shell to help with that, minerals needed for livestock. As so surprise since the tank is cycling, I have had daily spikes in ammonia but not much really at all in nitrites/nitrates. I have combatted this by doing daily water changes of 20% which keeps it minimal at best. Anyways, hope you all enjoy my progress. Will update as I go along! 🙂 P.S. Sorry for photo quality on guppies...they are nonstop little buggers lol. If you have any advice or suggestions, feel free to drop em! I am documenting this on video some as well to put on YouTube eventually, although I am nervous lol. Thanks!! Check this out to help me which my parameters, any help would be appreciated!>> Low pH in new planted tank
  2. My first planted tank has been going through a major up and down battle against black beard algae after originally attempted to get an algae filled tank for otos, so I've decided I will start a new one. Tired of the 2 year battle at this point and hilariously enough neglecting it helped it restore balance on its own. Perhaps will attempt to fix it up in the future. Now starting my journal documenting my journey into planted tanks. Attempt 2! I ordered some frogbit already, I have a 10 gallon rimless aqueon tank, and will be using a Finnex PF 7 Nano Aquarium Hob Power Filter (7.5 gallons). I will also most likely put a sponge filter at a later date. Any suggestions on lights? My last tank was the fluval flex 9 gallon so it came with a light. I would prefer something under $60 even more so under $50. It would be for a densly planted tank of frog bit, amazon swords, java ferns, anubis and java moss. I'm willing to go a bit over if it is truly necessary, but would prefer to keep in budget. Keep in mind it would need to go on a rimless tank. Since mystery snails are out of the question with it being rimless, would love suggestions on algae eaters when it is done cycling. For now only frog bit will be going in, no other plants. They were originally for my turtle tank, but was warned there might be snail eggs by seller even if no visible snails so decided to put them in a different tank until they are in the clear. I don't want to have to chase down little snails in a 75 gallon. I personally am hoping to be able to get Otos or perhaps khuli loaches? If I do have a bladder or pond snail issue, it will become a pea puffer tank however. End of Day 1 of Journal. Thank you in advance for suggestions and guidance!
  3. So to start off i am currently invested in 4 tanks ranging from 5.5 up to 30 gal. Been in the water about 2.5 years now, Dang carnival goldfish got my 2 year old and I at the time.. stopped on the way home got the cheapo acrylic 6.5 walmart tank with a lid and a 10 gal filter.. oh man did i not know how bad my wallet would hurt from the time i opened google upon getting home and now, but wouldnt trade the hobby and how much its brought into my life even it seems to take up more hours of my weekends then id like its worth it! Starting off I have my 5.5 my intro to plants... beeen through alot of growing pains in that tank. Equipment is a Hygger auto timer light (little lcd screen most all my lights are), a sicce nano internal, and and a ziss airstone, no heater (77-79f). This lovely rectangle housed a number of super nano fish over the 1.5 years its been up and running, the current inhabitants are 1 dwarf puffer and 1 oto. yes i know about all the things they both need. I have my reasons and i find them acceptable. the plants i have going in there at the moment is Val, elodea, ludwigia repens (red?), and ludgiwia broadleaf red (dont remeber but its one of my favorite), with salvinia floaters on top, and a peice of drift wood. Up in size from there is my Fluval 15 Flex (scored on FB market place for 65$ and it happens to be a dream tank of mine) its been up for about 4 months now and doing amazing. All standard equipment that comes with the flex with the addition of a hygger 5 gal sponge filter and a Fluval 100w heater (79-80f). This amazing cube is housing a small fully grown (2.5in) polar blue cichlid, 8 ember tetras, and 1m1f sword tail. it also has Val, Anubias Barteri, Asian water fern, ludwigia broadleaf, and a crpyt I was gifted i cannot identify, a couple peices of drift wood. Onward! my 20H has been running a month (recently broke it out of storage). This bad boy my first Aquarium Co-op Course sponge filter!!! hygger double sponge with bio ball container on bottom, and a Fluval U1? 15 gal internal filter, hygger light, cheap amazon adjustable heater (75-78f). This is my least stocked tank... 1 fully grown rescue opaline gourami (5.5-6in). Plants is pretty low too 2 Java Fern and 1 Water sprite (planted) For the finally is my horribly over stocked 30 gal... alright bear with me here and dont yell at me the 20 was suppose to be a community too but someone is a bully.. it has a tetra whisper 60 gal HOB, a 40 gal hygger double sponge with bio ball containers, a aqueon 150w heater (75-78f), and a hygger led light. This is the crazy part but everyone is getting along just fine. 1 polar blue, 1 gourami, 1 clown pleco, 2 yoyo loach, 6 corydora (aneus green), 3 leapord danio, 4 zebra danio, 3 platy, 4 Molly (1M3F). Val, Ludwigia Repens, and a huge Anubia Barteri, and Asian Water Fern. Huge piece of drift wood and river rocks. Yes i could do better but im learning and saving money to do so, as this is a hobby and i have a family so ya know every day is something new and some days are easy, that being said i started this journal to remind myself where im at and where i was when i look back in the future. this hobby is my escape and i love every aspect of it. As my future of an aquarist i want to start to breed Corydoras of all species and also get into more livebearers so far ive seen fry from time to time in the 30 gal but i never see any make it to a good size ( you could guess why huh). Thanks for taking the time to read and give input into my aquarist hobby! (Pics in order of listed) (also some pics are a week or two old so things have changed)
  4. 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 Schultzei 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.
  5. Hello to whoever might read this, hope you are doing well. First off, I've decided to start this journal to 1: track my progress in the venture, 2: open myself up to feedback, both positive and negative, and 3: hopefully meet some potential friends who share this hobby with me. A little back story on me, I've been keeping fish off and on since I was 8, typical start, betta fish in a bowl, goldfish in a 10G (before I knew any better) community's in larger tanks, all the way up to two large Oscars in a 125 and a most of everything in between. Around ten years ago I took a break for a myriad of reasons, but finally about a year ago I got back in. started back in slow with a 5.5G desktop with a betta and some shrimp and snails. As time went on, I was getting more ancy about expanding my hobby, which is hard to do, my current land lady does not like the fact I like to keep aquariums and is very limiting on what she'll allow me to keep, but i am allowed a few smaller tanks. About two months ago a former co-worker of mine gave me 10G halfmoon style tank his family didn't want anymore, which has been up and running since. i Couldn't really decide what to do with it, I thought I would do something new to me, like pea puffers, small killifish or even a small colony of shell dweller for example. After going back and forth for a while, I started watching some older co-op videos and came across Cory's presentation on guppies, after watching his in depth talk, I was sold on revisiting my once favorite fish, and I must say I'm really excited too (didn't think I would be since I have kept them more than any other fish), but I'm back at it again. I was originally going to go to my local big box chain store (unfortunately the LFS's are little far for me) and pick out a nice trio to start with but came across a beautiful strain of neon blues from an online retailer ( I do trust them, never had a bad experience with them so far). They came in a little while ago, and after a brief quarantine they are in the tank, and seem to be adjusting well. So to wrap things up, I'm hopeful they will do well, i would like to develop the strain further and breed them for my local water parameters, and eventually trade to a local shop, i have a few ideas for grow out setups for the fry (would really like to do it outdoors, my land lady wouldn't be as opposed to that, i do live in southern California). I'm grateful to be back in this hobby that i love and wish to further my knowledge, If you've taken the time to read this far i thank you, and please all advice, tips and feed back would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  6. This will be my first Walstad tank and I’m super excited! I used miracle grow soil capped with gravel and black sand. My plants are Anubius (not sure what kind), dwarf hair grass, flame moss, water sprite (floating), Amazon swords, and I think some kind of crypt. More background plants to come, but I wanted to show my semi finished tank!😁😁😁 Also! Any advice or tips would be much appreciated!! 09/19- got some Ludwigia repens today for the background! Hopefully it will keep its red color. Does anyone have some that kept the red color without co2? Also, ordered some red root floaters for the surface that should be arriving in about a week😁
  7. Its been two years since I started keeping fish, so I though I would share my journey of how I not only got into the hobby, but also how my hobby has progressed. July 2019 It was late July of 2019 that I went to the petstore to pickup my dog from the groomers. I figured while I was there I would take a look around. This petstore only sells bettas as their livestock, and specializes more with pet foods, toys, etc. It was when I came across the bettas that I said to myself "I want a fish". I went home and started researching about what fish to buy for newbys. I remember clownfish at the time really peaked my interest. Mostly because an article that I read said "they can be kept in small aquariums". Which is true, but I thought they meant a fish bowl. But it was because of me not wanting to make my own saltwater that made me say "lets get a betta". I ran the costs of everything: Fish Bowl Kit $10 Betta Fish $10 Food $10 Meaning that this would only cost me $30!!! Unforatntley nobody told me fish dont belong in bowls. August 10th 2019 August 10th 2019 was my 14th birthday. The only thing I asked for was a betta. But instead of a betta I received a 10 gallon aquarium. I thought "this is too big for a betta, so what should I put in it...?" Later that day my Dad and I went to walmart to get the gravel. And the next day we got decor, and set it up! We later got plastic plants for this as you'll see in later photos. August 13th 2019 I woke up to the sight of a foggy fish tank. uh-oh, will it still be safe for fish? Later that day we went to the fish store to not only look at what kind of fish I could get, but also ask questions about that foggy tank. The employee ensured us that it was just the cycling process and that it still should be fine for fish. She even gave us a test strip to test the water and see if its ready for fish! This first visit to the fish store is what really started the spark! Seeing all the fish one could put in a tank. August 14th 2019 ITS FISH TIME!!! I got... Baby Angelfish Female Swordtail Yellow Glowfish a Single Corydora August/ September 2019 This is when I discoverd the "fish tube" community and really what fueld my hobby from the beginning. I cant remember how I came across fish videos but I do remember the first video I watched. It was the Kind of Diy. I soon after subscribed to him and a bunch of other aquarium related youtubers. All though I didnt start watching aquarium co-op until July of 2019. September 24 2019 I had finally decided to get that betta fish I wanted from the beginning. Unfortantley I did buy one of those tiny 0.5 gallon betta kits. I got this betta and him Marlin. He became a very personable fish. Later I started teaching him to jump for his food, and even follow my finger. This was mindblowing for me as I didn't know fish were for smart enough to do any of that. November 15 2019 My aquarium bursted. It had some how sprung a leak and it went all over my floor. Thankfully I came hom right when it happened. I got all the fish into buckets and started cleaning up the water. Later that day we went to a fish store to get a new 10 gallon. Heres a picture of the tank with a few inches of water: Thankfully almost all of my fish survived the stressful day. The only fish not surviving was my corycat. I was able to get him into the buckets. But I belive his passing to be because of how stressful that day was for the fish. Getting moved into a bucket, and then just hours later getting moved back into the aquarium. I woke up the next morning to see him on his side, he passed hours after. March 2020 This is when the stocking of that aquarium was really bad. Over the past few months I had acquired: Gourami Threadfin Rainbow Electric Blue Ram And then still having the Angelfish, Swordtail. I gave the glowfish back to the LFS. It wasn't the best stocking options. The gourami had soon after nipped the threadfin rainbows fins off, and then few months later killing that rainbow. April 2020 I upgraded my bettas tank to a 3 gallon. I relized the tank he was in before was way to small. I included a heater and a filter in the new tank. September 3 2020 I had bought a 40 gallon breeder off a guy from kijji. The plan was to make this my first planted aquarium. September 21 2020 This day changed my hobby forever. I had decided to make an acoount for this forum! This forum is now whats fueling my hobby. Before this I didn't really know anyone in this hobby. However this forum has allowed to meet people that share the same interests, and allow me to share things in the hobby that I find exciting. October 31 2020 The plan was to put this new 40 breeder down in the basement. At the time our basement was under renovation. But the floors had finally been in installed so it was time to set it up. I went to the LFS picked up plants, fertilizer, and sand. and ohhh-boy did this planted tank fail. I bought a sword, anubias, and some green hedge. Later on I learned that grene hedge is not an aquatic plant. November 7 2020 Time to add the fish! I had tested the water the day before and determined the aquarium was cycled! Its important to note that I dropped in fish food every day to boost the cycle. Which is why I was able to cycle it in a week. I picked up two angelfish, and a school of cardinal tetras. Soon after I moved all the fish in my 10 gallon into the new 40 breeder. I forgot to add that the gourami along with my betta had been given away to a LFS. Leaving only the angelfish and swordtail to be moved. I gave my gourami away because he was too much of a jerk, already killed the rainbow and then started bullying my swordtail. My betta I gave away due to the fact that I thought I couldn't take good care of it. Figured it would be better in the LFS. A day after moving the fish the swordtail had developed a bad case of popeye. I was unsucessful in treating this and she died shortly after. December 25 2020 I was given a fluval spec 5 as a gift. I knew that I wanted to not only do a betta, but that I also wanted to sucessfully keep plants after my first attempt failed misserbly. So I set it up with Seachum Floursih Substrate, Dragon Stone, and Monte Carlo. It was a beutifal and very succesfull aquarium. The monte carlo would pearl, but do it no co2 never carpeted. I created my first journal on this aquarium: Janurary 25 2021 I got my betta, who I named Hugo. Hugo is now defentley the favorite fish that I own, he has lots of personality. He lets me pet him now. Feburary/ March 2021 Anyone who followed my betta journal knows that Hugo went through some drastic finrot. I had started treating with salt, but it had only seemed to make him worst. I dont want to go super in depth about this, but if you wish to learn more about read the journal. There were times where I thought I was going to wakeup to a dead hugo😪. But I never gave up and eventually his fins started growing back. Here is a video I shot of him playing with a laser pointer through his finrot treatment. Even through the worst, he constantly showed lots of personality. April 9 2021 I had decided that I wanted plants back into the 40 breeder. I was confident that I was going to be able to do it right. And I made sure to stick with "beginner plants" May 14 2021 I had wanted to start breeding guppies, so I set up a tank to facilitate that: August 10 2021 - Present Day Today is not only the day that I celerbrate my 16th birthday, but also my 2 year anniversary in the hobby. Its fun to see how my hobby has progressed. From fake plastic plants with blue gravel - to dirted tanks with actual live plants. Here is each one of my aquariums today:
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