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About Me

  1. After the last round of maintenance on my 5.5 gallon 'rimless" tank, I decided to make my life easier and buy a rimmed tank. I spend most of my time trying to remove hardwater deposits from the outside of the tank. I bought a 10 gallon this weekend, picked up a tank lid, and found a nice piece of driftwood at my LFS. The sponge filter and Aquatop forza 5-15 HOB will be transferred over to the new tank. I'm going to start running the tank with my finnex planted plus clip. We'll see how things go for a few months. If the tank needs a bigger filter or a different light, I'll switch them out then. I'm currently deciding what to use for substrate right now. The 5 gallon has seachem flourite red. I'm not super thrilled with it, but it's loaded with beneficial bacteria. I could mix it with Brightwell Aquatics FlorinVolcanit Rio Escuro-F or I could buy pfs. I'm not sure what I want to do yet. I would like to put most of my funds towards planting this tank as heavily as possible right from the start. This is why I'm leaving more towards pfs at the moment. I'm even mulling over getting a small clean-up crew. Maybe some pygmy corydoras. Louie the betta could care less about his nerite snail roomie. I'm hoping he'd be okay with a few bottom feeders.
  2. I took down a 29 gallon tall tank I had setup. The substrate was gravel and sand on the bottom with a few plants. They never grew well, possibly due to the tanks height and weak lighting. The nitrates had risen to around 80ppm even with regular water changes, but it doesn't help that our tap water has 40-50ppm already. The fish were not doing as well as they should be and one tiny cory had died. Above are the test strips for both anoxic tanks, the top is the 20L the bottom is the 5.5 gallon. I moved 4 mystery snails and 6 neon tetras to the 20 gallon long where they joined our 5 black neons, 7 Julii corys, a betta, and 2 snails. The 20L was my first anoxic test and is running at under 20ppm nitrates, zero nitrites and ammonia, very hard, low KH, around 6.8pH, around 340ppm on the TDS meter. It has a slow plenum under gravel filter, an intank filter, and an airstone. It has some basil growing in the top as an experiment. I clear the center duckweed every other day, I just slide the foam dividers together and scoop it out. The top is a foam box with a reflective fabric made for hydroponics boxes this helps get the light onto the tank. The cutouts are terrible, I should have made them before I assembled it, but they work. I can tilt them to open them up and let it breathe. Now onto the nano tank with essentially zero nitrates. It's a 5.5 gallon with 6 green corys, 2 female guppies, and a mystery snail which all came from the 29 gallon. It uses a slow moving plenum, an intank filter, and an air stone. Its currently around 350ppm on the TDS meter. I filled it 75% with the old tank water the rest fresh, along with the plants, a big rock and a tiny section of the old tank's filter sponge. The next day I drained 25% and used water from the 20L anoxic tank and added the small pot which has a few scoops of the 20L substrate. The nitrites and nitrates registered for the first 3 days and have been clear for 3 days now. It has a deep bed of Safe T Sorb over an under gravel filter made from plastic fabric that has 7 holes per inch. I pushed the UG plate to the back so I can see inside a little. This picture isn't to scale, but the substrate is about 3 inches on average. The plenum is 7 squares tall (about 1 inch/25mm) with a 3/8" ID vinyl uplift tube (in the picture above it goes from over the 75mm down to under the 25 mm) it then goes to the surface, to monitor the flow. The plenum has some support plates holding it up but is otherwise open. It also has a small cheap intank filter. I blocked most of the lower inlets and cut a weir into the side. There is also a surface divider around the filter and the plenum uplift tube, it has some foam blocks to keep it floating. It's kind of ugly but it keeps the duckweed out of the filter and makes a nice clean surface. it seems a bit overstocked but so far they are all doing very well. I plan to add a male guppy and possibly a new betta.
  3. My ten gallon tank build for my betta little reddo, and his mystery snail and nerite snail friend Moved his cave and Anubis, removed some hornwort, added makeshift black background
  4. I started by removing all of the plants, rock-work, driftwood, substrate, and mesh bags that were being used as the base of the scape. It was a mess, and felt somewhat devastating to do, as all the work I previously invested into the aquarium was being torn out piece by piece. Though, I was determined to get it done, as looking at it was becoming a downer. I got the remainder of the substrate out, and used paper towels to soak up the remaining water to make the substrate easier to remove. After cleaning out as much of the substrate as I could, I heavily disinfected both the inside and outside of the aquarium, along with doing it multiple times as an extra precaution. The tank was in the way of the air conditioning unit that would be placed next to it, so I had to move the tank off of the stand, and completely dismantle the stand, measure the new placement, and move back each piece in the correct spot. Then, I added the tank to the top, and I quickly fell asleep shortly after from all of the work. I had started started at 7pm, and finished roughly 10 hours later after continuous work, as I was wanting to get it all done and over with as quickly as I could. I threw out all of the substrate, filter media, and almost all of the plants. I did save a few Bucephalandra and two anubias, one large anubias nana and one anubias nana ‘pinto’. With those, I decided to set up a tub to attempt growing them emersed, using ozmocote plus and sphagnum Moss as the substrate, saturated with dechlorinated water. It would have been wiser to cut the submerged growth off, and I lost a substantial amount of plants from rot, likely because of that mistake. But, it has been a fun experiment regardless, and I’d like to continue doing more of these in the future. Anything of the tank I saved: the driftwood, the rocks, and the filter, was disinfected as well. The driftwood was boiled, alternating which sides were in the water, and timing it. I scraped the rocks clean of spray foam, plant roots, and super glue. I then disinfected them in a bucket, let them dry, and then added extremely hot water over them. They sat there for a few days. There was still some residual spray foam, and the black spray painted coatings on them had been destroyed in the process, but they were ready for the next time I’d use them. I then disinfected anything I used on the tank, or had by the tank, including lids, test tubes, aquascaping tools, the siphon, and so on. After disinfecting, they also sat in extremely hot water, but for a couple of hours. I had taken a break before adding my Finnex light I kept from a 50 gallon that I dismantled years ago, after brain and spinal surgery, because I was becoming bed ridden and knew I wouldn’t be able to take care of it for much longer. The light was brand new, and I was never able to program it. Needless to say, I was really excited to be able to use the light, this time around. PS: I was working on a setup for a certain crayfish at the same time as I was redoing this aquarium. In the reflection, the cardboard and tape is from the outside of his setup that I had just moved over days before (a funny little Easter egg for you all). As the day was getting later, and I had taken many breaks at this point, I set up a quarantine tank, using the cycled filter from Gandr’s temporary tank that I had cycling on a small bucket. I roughly marked the QT gallon by gallon, installed the rest of the equipment, added boiled leaf litter, and had the lid ready to go. I finally had found the lost remote to my Finnex, which gets lost again multiple times later, haha. Although I didn’t program it yet, I watched videos on how to and devised a plan, with the help of some aquarium lighting gurus on this forum later on. For the remainder of the night, I began the scape. I wanted something convenient, what I would consider as foam and super glue free, not very close to the glass, easily circulated, and simple to maintain. Those were some of the downsides to the previous scape, that I didn’t want to have again. I fiddled with a few ideas, and adjusted what I did like, until I added the last piece of driftwood I had available. I settled on this, before going to sleep. However, I change this slightly in the future.
  5. Hello: I have a UV light inside my HOB filter for my small hospital/quarantine tank, and it has made the water very clear and I assume clean. (I turn it off when medicating.) I'm thinking of adding a UV LIGHT to my main tank which is moderately planted but I haven't found any reliable source confirming or denying whether this is a good combination. My tank has CO2 & an airstone, and there is a dosing machine for Seachem Flourish & Trace but I could put the UV light on a timer so it's off during the dosing plus a few hours afterwards. If anyone has any experience or knowledge with UV lights and planted tanks, would you mind sharing? Thank you. 🙂
  6. Hi Everyone! I wanted to share my journey with rehabbing this 75 Gallon fish tank for a local Animal Rescue in Kennesaw, Georgia. I'd initially expected volunteer orientation to consist of learning how to manage 40+ shelter dogs. However, during training, we rounded a bend, and there I saw it! At the end of a prominent hallway stood a dark, murky 75 gallon Aquarium! A weird, black hairy algae covered every surface, and at first I felt pity and horror at the thought of those poor fish (in a Shelter no less!). But then I was impressed as I saw it was also full of healthy, green Java Fern. I was humbled as my own Java fern struggles with black holes and general lack of vigor, despite my best efforts. In fact, far from being "neglected", this tank was much loved, yet it had no one who really knew how to take care of it. I knew that I could make this tank look really good, but could I convince it's "caretakers" to let me take it over? Diplomacy would be called for. Luckily, the offer of my services for free tank rehab and regular maintenance were accepted, along with promises that I, and I'm quoting here: "could spend whatever I wanted". Well, if that doesn't make a Nerm giddy, I don't know what would! Anyway, though I've kept my receipts, I'm certainly not spending "whatever I want" ! I've even donated some of my own plants - ok now I will post pics. This is the first picture I took after a MASSIVE 2X water change - with Buckets! Luckily, this shelter has court ordered community service volunteers who helped with all the carrying, but I was still exhausted. Had to teach them basics such as DO NOT pour HOT water into the aquarium. The black algae came out in clumps very easily, not wicked difficult like BBA - I wonder what it was? Anyway, more posts to come! This pic was taken on May 6, 2021. Java Fern, All Hardscape, and Gravel were already there (observe how pretty the Java Fern is, especially on the fake wood - subsequent photos will show its not as pretty after my interventions. I know for certain it DID NOT like liquid Carbon) -I added the Cabomba, Pogostemon stellatus and Hornwort from my own tanks.
  7. I have a planted tank that I had neglected for some time. I am full speed back into trying to get it back. I cleaned the tank a lot. Maybe overcleaned. I might have caused a nitrite spike from it. Anyway, did a bunch of water changes and got it back. This week I decided to add easy green and Flourish Excel. Today I tested the water and the nitrites are at .50 ppm. The nitrates are at 10 ppm. No ammonia. Did the addition of the easy green cause a nitrite spike? Is that a thing? Thanks in advance.
  8. my 75 is the only tank I currently have running. Just recently changed jobs, and will have a lot more time and energy for the hobby.
  9. Christmas has not been a happy time in one of my tanks, and I'm at a loss. I had to say goodbye to my much loved Betta this morning, and my dog brought me a kuhli loach on Christmas Eve. Two more loaches are missing and presumed lost. So my 5gal Endor tank is down to 1 endler, 1 kuhli (unless someone is hiding in the At-At deco), 1 nerite snail, lots of bladder snails, scuds and live plants. I had just done regular maintenance Thursday, which includes a vac of 1gal water, replaced with some stress coat and a squirt of easy green for the plants, rinsing the filter floss in the tank water removed, AC strip test. Ph: 7.6 on the low range kit, 7.4 on the high range kit (anyone else have this issue with water right on the transition space between the two tests?) Nitrites and ammonia both 0ppm Nitrates close to 0ppm (floating plants may be up taking most as they are reproducing like mad in all my tanks). Chlorine 0ppm (we have good quality well water, no chlorine added to the water filtration in weeks). Gh/Kh: 60-80, 300 Some background info on the tank if you're still reading: Late August: Tank established with aqua soil, stem plants, terrestrial moss on "trees" and ground, java fern. Mid September: Betta and nerite snail added. Late October: 5 juvie kuhli loaches added. One never really thrived, but did ok. The other 4 always together, always out and got nice and fat from snails and sinking food. Mid November: finished QT of a group of Male Endlers, added 3 to this setup. One died the next day from stress/ph shock (he started in the other betta tank at 6.6ph and was rejected by that betta, do he got drip acclimated between 7.6 to 6.6, then back to 7.6 in one afternoon). All seemed well for 5 weeks, then one of the two endlers disappeared. No body, nothing. This portrait tank has a very good fitted lid, so it was a mystery. I started counting loaches, only came up with 4. The small one was gone. In the last two weeks the betta was increasingly subdued, which with good water parameters I wrote off as him becoming more mature (he was 4months old when I got him). The loaches were always all over the tank and he seemed a bit taken aback by their antics and preferred hanging in the floating plants. But then relaxed became lethargic. I couldn't see any issues or signs of disease at all. Everyone else seemed great. Christmas Eve: I see the dog playing with something on the carpet... one of the loaches. Still fully colored up and wet, so I tried putting him back, but no luck. Lid was on fully, no idea how he made it out. Today: awoke to find Donald dead at the bottom. No signs of distress. Signs of fin rot? So I did another water change this morning including a filter rinse. Can only find 1 loach now, but he seems fine. The endler very active, but probably distressed to be all alone. Wondering if he needs to move to one of the the other tanks. Really frustrating and sad - Donald was my favorite fish we had in three setups. The other tanks are thriving! The only difference in this tank of note is we do two light periods 8am-noon, 6-10pm. I welcome any insights. I've kept fish a long time and it's disheartening to see your animals thrive, then suddenly everything seems to go sideways. Here's my other two tanks - just got baby shrimp in the smaller setup a couple of days ago.
  10. Story time: I had a thriving heavily planted aquarium with 7 corys, 2 otos, 25 olive nerites, 8 amanos, and an indeterminate number of RCS's for a little over a year. I had to leave for a work engagement for about a month and had a friend (who knows nothing about aquariums) feed the tank a tiny pinch sinking wafers every three days. Friend told me the tank was starting to grow algae pretty bad, but I said, "don't worry about it." My octopus plants apparently took over the tank. I returned to a tank with horribly fouled water, ALL of my RCS's gone, all but one olive nerite dead and fouling the water, algae out of control with tons of that weird foamy algae that grows from too much protein. The Amanos all happy and healthy--nice and chonky--and all of the fish alive and healthy looking though hiding much more than usual. I'm still finding empty snail shells every once in a while after three weeks trying to recover my tank. My vals, java ferns, and amazon sword died from being covered in a film of algae. Crypts, octopus, dwarf sag, dwarf lily fine though disappointed in being neglected. The java moss died where I placed it and grew onto the log in the tank. Tank parameters: 60 gal; "hot rodded" HOB; airstone; bubble bio MB filter 75°F 7.3pH 0ppm NH3 0ppm N02 10ppm N03 0ppm Cu 10 dGH 10 dKH For an entire year the inverts in my tank have kept it great shape sometimes a little too much poop but nothing that was a problem. I had read that sometime neocardinias get some kind of black rot (from overcrowding, I think) that is very contagious amongst themselves and nearly 100% fatal if not dealt with. I took a sample of my water to the local aquarist shop to have them test to see if the water conditions were borked. They said the pH was a little high but nothing too bad. So I bought 30 more RCS's. Within a week, all gone, no corpses, no reds. I tested the water again with roughly the same result as above (I think the hardnesses varied slightly). I'm still battling the algae that grew on everything but the water remained clear and it is slowly getting back to being nice to look at. However, I'm very disheartened and on the verge of scooping up fish and amanos and re-doing the entire tank. TL;DR Did my corys get starved while I was away and have a taste of shrimp and that's what they want to eat now? Why did all of my inverts except Amanos, and one olive nerite die, but the fish are fine? Thanks for sticking through the story.
  11. Hello all! My name is Cisa and I'm in New Albany, Indiana (just across the river from Louisville, KY) and just recently joined the Aquarium Co-op community. I've had non-planted guppy tanks for the last few years after getting 3 guppies which then of course turned into 300 guppies 😅 I recently discovered the amazing world of aquarium Youtube and now can't find enough places in my house for all the aquascapes and cool fish I need to have in my life. I sold the majority of my guppies to my local fish store and kept back only a few for more intentional breeding. I've got my babies moved over to their own 10 gallon planted with some ghost shrimp and have attempted my first scaped 30 gallon which is home to the adult guppies, a few dalmation and balloon mollies, blue velvet shrimp, a handful of mystery snails, and my very first pleco. I don't know what I don't know and I want to learn everything about everything. Needless to say, I now spend a lot of time reading the forum and watching the whole catalog of Aquarium Co-op videos. The majority of my critter keeping life has been dogs, cats, and hedgehogs with a few adventures into chicken land. I recently got a great deal on a 48 gallon tank and spent most of my evening looking at all the fun fish at my favorite local store and dreaming up what I want for this new tank. I'm thrilled to have found this community and can't wait to meet fellow fish nerds 🐟
  12. Hi all, I recently bought some pearl weed from the ACO and just taking a brief look at the instructions on the product page it said to plant it in the pot so that it can grow quickly without being uprooted. Having gotten home from work late that night and in a haste to get the plant into the tank before it suffered heat damage (South texas is still scorching even in late September) I planted the whole plant and pot, including the rock wool. My question is, should I uproot the plant now a day later and remove the rockwool, or will it be fine as is? I've never planted a plant using the actual pot it comes with so I'm a bit out of my depth. Thanks in advanced!
  13. Hello all, I currently have a newly planted 40 gallon breeder stocked with 6 ember tetras. I have a Marineland penguin 200 hang-on back filter and I fear that A). there is too much filtration and is sucking up any food before the fish really get a chance to eat it. B). the HOB is providing too much flow in the tank. Is it possible either of these are a problem? If so, should I switch to a sponge filter or is there any way to slow the flow of the filter? I already have a prefilter sponge on the intake. Thanks!
  14. Hi All, I have a newly planted tank a couple of weeks old now with some small carpeting up in the foreground. Does anybody have any recommendations for some bottom dwellers that I can add that wont dig up all of the little plants as they get settled? I've heard that even corys can be a menace to this but any feedback and experience is very much welcomed. Thanks!
  15. I have always loved planted aquariums and I have also always loved goldfish. whenever I would try to find suggestions for setting up a planted goldfish tank I was always told that it wasn't possible so naturally, I decided to test that. Now maybe I lucked out and got goldfish who don't really want to eat plants but from my experience, goldfish are more prone to digging them up than actually eating them. The only two plants that I've witnessed my goldfish actually eat are mosses and duckweed. I wanted to share my journey in the world of goldfish and plants. My Planted Goldfish Tank Journey Let's start with the tank info first. tank size: 90 gallon filtration: 2x fluval fx6 (they were on sale so I splurged, flow is way too high so I've turned the outflow down by like 50% which I know is not good for the motors long term but that's a future problem), 2x zeiss filters (once again over-kill but I had a couple extra ones with no other tanks to put them in so why not. they double as airstones as well) lighting: 3x fluval 3.0s (2 on the glass and 1 suspended from the ceiling for the emersed plants) substrate: Safe T Sorb - it was the cheapest substrate I could find that had the natural brown gravel look I wanted in the tank. I did no presoaking which I highly recommend and I have found that it absorbs nutrients/ferts very well. co2: none at first but I decided to set it up for faster growth later on. ferts: Flourish comprehensive, it's the lowest nitrate comprehensive fert I've found + root tabs temp: between 74-76F Planning Stage I knew from my experience with goldfish that they would likely dig up all of the plants. There are really only two ways this can be avoided. The first is to let the plants grow in for the first 1-6 months before adding the fish in so they develop strong, large root systems and are more difficult to dig up. The second option is to block the plants somehow with various decor (or Aquarium Co-ops plant holders) so that the goldfish can't reach them to dig. A combination of the two is your best chance at success. I used driftwood and large black river stones to block off the back 1/3 of the tank so the goldies would have a more difficult time digging there and left the front 2/3 open for them to dig to their hearts' content. Ignore the mess but this is the newly set up 90g. I built the stand for it as well out of butcher block. At this point I only had 1 fx6 from their previous tank and I was using a hob with media from a different filter to help quickly cycle the tank. You can see the caves hidden in the substrate for the plecos/catfish. This is from November 2019. I picked up some more driftwood to add and some more plants. This is when I tried to add riccia flutens to the driftwood and it did not last. Photos are between February-March 2020. I tried covering the moss to give it a chance to attach to the wood but they are right through that. goldfish tax. You can see the substrate better here, I am a big fan of it personally. Very good absorption and it has a very natural look. The only negatives are how dusty it can be, it breaks down over time as it compresses, and it's lighter than eco-complete so it is harder to get plants to stay rooted. April 2020 I added some emersed plants using a diy planter. Being furloughed and locked in my house meant I had time to dedicate to this tank. Plants include: 2x peace lilies (one on each side), lots of photos, corkscrew rush (did not do well long term even though it is a pond/marsh plant), and a sweet potato. The diy planters hold a mix of fluval stratum and red eco-complete which was the extra substrate I had laying around. I also added a second Fluval fx6 at this point cause I impulse bought it on sale. Still only running the one Fluval 3.0 at this point. Growth of the tank as of May 2020, the emersed plants really took off. I picked up a second 3.0 to add since the plants were blocking the light for the hanging light. A few days later I decided to get co2 for the tank. You can see the rock retaining wall blocking off the plants well here alongside the driftwood. I have pleco caves hidden underneath the rocks as well dug into the substrate so the plecos and catfish have good hiding spots that are still visible to me. Because they are in the substrate, I can plant plants above them so they aren't taking up valuable space. The cave on the left is a 3" pvc I cut and spray painted brown for a larger hiding spot. There is one on the right corner as well. Ignore the empty snail shells, goldfish love snails as I learned. July 1, the emersed plants are looking amazing and are doing fantastic. I added a few red mangroves I wanted to try out as well. Unfortunately I didn't take photos but I did add some new plants to the tank between June and August. I added some leopard val, giant jungle val, pogo stellatus octopus, and a few others I can't remember. August 2020 and the tank is being filled in well. The barriers for the plants is working and the goldfish don't have access to dig behind the driftwood and rock barrier wall. It also doubles as a great safe space for the plecos, platys, and snakeskin gourami. Taken during a water change so you can see the diy planters I made. They're positioned in front of the fx6 outflows so they get plenty of water flow through the roots. You can see that at this point the corkscrew rush isn't doing well, I think it was not getting enough light since it would turn brown where it extends above the light. Peak summer so I have a fan going to keep the tank from being 80F. The pogo stellatus is a great goldfish plant, they don't touch the stems and it is a fast grower so it is one I recommend trying with goldies. Post water change September 2020, kitten tax with Benji my rescue goldfish up top. You can see that the plants are nearly reaching the surface at this point. I am still only dosing Flourish comp and iron whenever I remember to. I have added a third 3.0 now to add light to the front of the tank as well. Also taken September 2020 during sunset hours. You may have noticed that a few goldies are missing, I fed some newly nought frozen foods from my lfs one night and the next morning half of them were dead. I think the food was thawed and refrozen at some point or I got a bad batch but it killed most of them. It was heartbreaking and I've avoided both that lfs and that food since. October, this guy was a gift from a friend in the beginning of the year. He was about 2-3" when I got him and this is him at around 7". We have very hard and mineral rich water so he is thriving in it. You can see the plant growth behind him as well. This is the tank in November, the giant val and pogo stellatus took off and I added some monstera to the top. catfish eating some rasberries. I have some amazon swords in here that neither the goldfish nor the plecos touch. Maybe I'm just lucky in that aspect. December 2020, the emersed plants are looking amazing and the aquarium plants are also filled in and looking fantastic. No issues with the goldies digging them up and the val that has spread to the front of the tank as no issues either cause of the dense root system. Taken as the lights are dimming so it's a little dark. late night water change. I removed the planter from the left and the roots just hang in the water since they outgrew it. No issues that I can see of the roots being nibbled on And that brings me to 2021. These photos are of my snakeskin gourami pair from January hiding in the val. The platys are constantly breeding as are the plecos, I just allow whatever fry to survive in the plants to survive. I finally had the heart to add some new goldies in January. Goldfish tax. A couple of the new additions: A good shot of the pleco caves. And finally, some glamour shots from last week showing the tank as it is now. I have added some bolbitis earlier this year. I need to trim the emersed plants since they are getting choked out now for light with how dense they are. susan and sam (snakeskin pair) have really grown since I first got them at 3". They're between 7-8" now and I want to breed them this year. The blue gourami is an opaline gourami, she has also been in here since the beginning. I wouldn't recommend this combo to anyone but I've had her for about 5 years now so I'm attached and she's too much of a bully to go into my other tanks. In this tank I think the combo of cooler water and bigger fish keep her calm and I have zero issues with her picking on anyone. She's a big girl at around 5" as well. You can see how big Benji has gotten in the few months I've had him/her as well. new ranchu tax If you scrolled through all of that, thank you! I would love to hear suggestions, thoughts, etc. I can also answer any questions you may have. I plant to keep this journal updated with future growth and progress, I did remove half of the bolbitis to add to a different tank I am redoing. I do also have a tank upgrade in the future for these guys since I know they're gonna outgrow the 90g. The pandemic put a hold on that but I think this home is good for them for this year at least. Thanks for reading!
  16. I got everything planted. Should I dose with Easy Green? These have been sitting in the box overnight at the Post Office then another three and a half days in my aquarium.
  17. Hello Everyone, I have posted a similar question before but this time i need help in relation to my planted tank. Parameters: 30G with weekly 30-40% water changes. Been running for 8+ months. Moderately heavy planted- Java fern, Crinnum, Ludwigia, Crypt, Some grass like plant i forgot name of, dwarf hairgrass, water lettuce, frogbit,water sprite, amazon sword variant. Ph-Always around 7 Ni-0 Am-0 Na- Always around 40 and higher if water change is delayed or missed. Stock- 2 adults Honey Gouramis, 2 fry HGs, 6 F. Julii Corys, 3 Otos, 2 nerites What I cannot figure out is: 1. I am around 80% stocked as per online calculators. Do I have to rehome anything? 2. Why do my plants struggle so much with absorbing Nitrates? 2. I cannot add ferts as it means having to change water more than twice a week . I put a tab once a month targeting different plant each time. 3. I thought floaters would help but even after extending the photo period the plants under them visibly pale for the lack of light. 4. The Epiphytes do very well hence I don’t tend to put liquid ferts. I am redoing the tank in couple of weeks and would love to set this one for success now that I am more educated about this than the first time. Thank you.
  18. My original post about an issue in my best friends tank And these two videos are just to be able to better see what we were dealing with :: Video #1 Video #2 So after having a major surgery, and having literal weeks to think about my friends tank...I got to thinking........ "What in heck could this BE!?" There was ZERO odor to this...stuff...it was all but black in color...PEELED off of the walls, sponge filters and everything else in the tank...and shows up seemingly out of nowhere... What changed from a time when this WASN'T happening, up to now? And then it hit me! The ONLY THING that has changed at ALL...was her substrate!!! It was a mixture of small rocks/pebbles, shells, and sand, that her MIL had collected from a beach somewhere in the northeast, MANY many years ago......and it's been sitting in buckets, in a shed, for YEARS. And my friend...oy...she confessed to me, that she NEVER. EVEN. RINSED. IT OFF!!! (her MIL *baked* it all when she first collected it...but then it just SAT THERE! 🤦🏻‍♀️) So I did the only thing I could think of to do... Broke it down, emptied all 45 gallons, scrubbed virtually every inch of the tank, cleaned out the filter, replaced her sponge filters with some cycled spares from my own tanks, and started all over again with new, CLEANED substrate... And then went plant-crazy!!! 😁 Here is just the "before".. And this was the final result.. And here is a before and after!!! Now.....fingers crossed!!! It's been 3 weeks and not a single sign of the strange film-like algae to be seen!
  19. My Amazon sword has melting leaves and holes. It’s been in the tank about a year. I use the all in one fertilizer. My Java fern is also looking the same. What can I do?
  20. First planted aquarium. I clearly didn't buy enough plants for the 60. Got some rocks I found along the road for decor. (tested safe) Hoping they all survive. Got some dwarf baby tears and water sprite coming soon. Anubias will be planted in an easy planter.
  21. I decided to dedicate a journal to my new twenty gallon high! I’m excited to post updates as it progresses in the future! The past few days have been pretty tedious, with a lot of cumbersome lifting, back and forth spray painting, and plenty of adjustments.. with some occasional amounts of frustration and tons of determination in addition. Most of the work lately has entailed building up the rock structure. I originally had it set lower, but realized that the height needed to be increased; I used mesh bags full of rock to add to it. Unfortunately, that had offset the half of the structure I had built (the right side was almost completely bare at the time). So, I spent well over four hours trying to get it all back into place, which finally resulted in the placement I was looking for. Afterwards, I added the rest of the structure and stabilized it all into large sections with spray foam. Following that, once the spray foam had dried, I had to remove the sections to take them up to the attic to spray paint them. It was a little frustrating at times, and a mesh bag was stuck to some foam and pulled off a small section before I could remove it in time. But, it was a small error, and I moved on to spray painting them all as thoroughly as I could before calling it a night on the brunt of the work. Though, I did clean the glass to try and remove all of the gunk and dried spray foam aftermath. There are some spots I still might need to touch up on, but a vinegar and water mix seems to be taking care of most of it. Today, I was mostly spray painting everything every few hours, rotating all of the rocks every time I did so. I did leave the bottommost structure in the aquarium to try and keep the placement of the other structures more consistent, as they all have to fit in place. In order to spray paint that one, I tore up some old newspaper and used that to block the glass on the sides and bottom, then I applied the spray paint. To try and minimize the fumes, since I sleep in the living room and right next to the tank (and my betta fish, Samphan, is in a holding tank on the table tray close by), I covered the top of the aquarium with a blanket and a pillow from off of the couch. It seemed to do the trick well, but I made sure to monitor my fish just in case, as well as fan out the area by him with a magazine, since the ceiling fan doesn’t work and it was too cold and snowy to open a window. I spent a couple hours over half the day on it all, and once the spray paint was up to my liking and the touch ups were completed, I took all of the rock structures back down and added them back into the tank. I made the mistake of adding them out of order and managed to offset everything, so it was maybe two hours of adjusting them all back into how they were originally placed, though not completely the same. The friction from the adjustments chipped a little paint away, so I added the newspaper back in and touched up the spots. A paper moved without me noticing, and some spray paint got on the glass. But it shouldn’t be too difficult to remove. This is the resulting product, and I’m pretty satisfied with it. This is my first attempt at a hardscape, and I made my own sketch of how I would maybe envision the scape to be prior to doing this all. So, that is what I would go back and forth referencing at. The rocks were collected years ago from Oklahoma when I visited family and spent a few hours in the insanely hot weather collecting rocks and driving a car for the first time, although that was the only time I was ever able to drive. I remember seeing a lot of scorpions, snakes, and frogs while collecting them all. They were much bigger than this, and filled the entire space of the trunk, but my mom and I hammered them down to make some interesting, but decently sized, pieces for this tank. Here is the rough sketch of the hardscape, although the driftwood is included on it, it has yet to arrive. So, I will add it later on to the aquarium. I really enjoy sharp angles and curves, so I tried to implement some of that into my original concept. I didn’t reference any photos, so it probably isn’t accurate to nature, but this is what I had fun coming up with. I tried to pick rocks that matched this, and I’ll add some smaller ones to the bottom once I add all of the substrate (I plan on using organic potting soil and Seachem fluorite dark, capping it all in black sand). I like heavy contrast and black is a great color for it, especially when mixed with plants and a brightly colored betta, so that is the color I chose for the rocks, though they were originally a rusty orange color. The spray paint hopefully will prevent the rocks from eroding much in the tank, as it has a primer in it as well, and I applied a lot of layers (though the spray paint is aquarium safe). I think it worked out well, and I’m surprised I was able to match it pretty close to my concept sketch, though I did change some things, like bulking out the left side, and bringing the other down a little lower. It is definitely a little more sizable in person though. The next steps are to add substrate, and hopefully the driftwood, once it arrives. All of the mesh bags and spray foam will be covered, and I’ll have to add smaller rocks in some spots afterwards. Following that, I will add my plants. I do plan on purchasing more tomorrow, as I have a case of ‘Plant Collectoritis’, which I’m thinking will be some tissue cultured and sustainable Bucephalandra, Bolbitis (I’m thinking maybe Bolbitis heudelotii or maybe something smaller), Java Fern Trident Leaf, potentially something else. I have a holding tank full of plants that will also be apart of this scape, and I will try to implement the majority, as I enjoy a bit of a jungle.
  22. So I know the Fluval 3.0 is a fav among aquarists, but it is far too expensive to buy in Canada ($300 on Amazon). I can't justify that for a low-tech tank. Finnex isn't as widely available here either so I'm really looking at Nicrew. Specifically, I am looking at the NICREW SkyLED Plus Aquarium. It seems pretty similar to the Nicrew ClassicLED plus. It does have increased red spectrum light than some of their other models. I am doing low-medium light plants in a 33 gal (36 long x 18 deep x 12 wide). Of course I have I few inches of substrate so don't need it to travel the full 18 inches. The most demanding plants I would like is Scarlet Temple and maybe some type of carpeting plant. SkyLED plus : ClassicLED plus he RGB Plus: Thoughts?
  23. So I've gotten tired of trying to get good pictures with my cell phone, and I needed a new hobby.. So I bought a DSLR and picked it up a Best Buy on my lunch break yesterday. I got the Canon EOS RP Mirrorless with the 24-105mm lens bundled together. I know relatively little about photography, so I was wondering if I could get some basic tips on getting good pictures of my fish. Here's a few from me playing around with it last night: https://imgur.com/a/J4CBRK2#jxhDCOS Some of these turned out okay, but they're obviously not as good as they could be. I'm finding that the auto mode on this camera prevents me from getting too many unrecognizable photos, but rarely produces anything of decent quality. So, I turned off some of the auto settings and used manual ISO, manual focus, and manual shutter speed. Then I shut off all the other lights in the room, and focused on one tank at a time. Here's what I came up with. https://imgur.com/a/NXpsAsW#O68hfqt I tried some tips I got on another forum, and added a bright (150W LED) floodlight to the top of the tank to serve as a flash of sorts. I ended up getting tons of Limia Nigrofasciata glam shots, as they're my newest addition - how do you think I could improve on these? The glass could obviously use some deeper cleaning, and this particular tank is a bowfront with limited viewing angles, which makes it hard to photograph. https://imgur.com/a/oqP9ru3#rBUTCzh Thanks for any tips!
  24. I recently setup a 7.5 gallon tank with a nice read chamber for loads of media for my grandmother. She has a eye disease and has very poor vision. She wants me to out something in the tank I can breed if possible. I currently have the tank planted and cycling. I am wanting some feedback on ideas for sticking the tank from the community. She needs vibrant colored fish the larger the better. I will be going there weekly to care for it so no crazy bio loads that require lots of water changes. I am considering a pair of honey gourami's. I know they typically require a larger tank but I think I can make it work. Appreciate any ideas .
  25. I have two tanks that are still relatively new, that I am battling algae in. One is a 7 gal cube, with a Twinstar 300, and Rotala, (several species), Alternathera reinickii, Staurogyne repens, Elodea, Japanese pennywort, Cryptocoryne mioya, Anubias nana petite, and various bucephalandra. Fluval stratum and Eco Complete capped with sand, 2 nano sponge filters. I have 6 pygmy cories, 1 pea puffer, 6 nerite snails, some cherry shrimp. The second tank is 5 gallons, with an ONF Flat nano, Eco complete substrate, and a similar mix of plants, minus the Elodea. Both tanks have duckweed, Salvinia rotundifolium and Salvinia cucullata. The 5 gallon has Celestial pearl Danios, a horned nerite, and 3 blue dream shrimp. A Dymax Slim Flo filters the 5 gallon. Whew! OK, I have programmable dimmers on both tanks that I just installed. I have them newly set to 8 am 30% 9am 50% 10 am 75% 6 pm 50% 7pm 30 % 8 pm dark This means that during the work week I won't see my critters much, but I'm restricting the light to cut back on algae. Think this will work? Too restricted? I've seen Irene's video on balancing the tank, and I have several tests coming to check for nutrient imbalance. I use Easy Green and Root tabs in both. Thanks for any advice.
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