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About Me

  1. Hi, I'm Jawjagrrl, and I have MTS. A little background to kick off this journal. Fish and cats were part of my parents household before I was. Dad had a rack of the old chrome tanks in their LR in the early 60s - I was born into the hobby. I still have his much stained copy of Axelrod's fishes. I ogled fish tanks in public any place we saw them, like the local fish restaurant that had tanks of wild oscars in the early 70s. Fast Forward to the 90s - I got my first tanks, two 55s stocked with african cichilds (even sold babies to the LFS!) and my beloved oscars, sevrum, and silver dollars. I had a NERM pal at work that agreed to build me a custom stand so the two 55s could be displayed together and he did a great job. But the home I bought soon after was too small for this setup and it went into storage.... ...for a long time. I left academia and moved south, got married. Jawjagrrl is what my northern friends said when teasing me about my choice to head down near the end of the Appalachian Trail (NE Georgia) in 2010. Life happened. So now it's 2022, I live on a farm started by my late in-laws in the 80s. I have chickens, a small market garden (organic), preserve food I grow, make soap... basically all the things that I made fun of as an academic before. I embraced dogs and have 4 rescues. Having reached my Patient Spouse's likely limit on rescued cats, dogs and chickens 😉 the idea of starting up fish again took hold. I had a nano tank on my desk at a marketing job in 2015, and one of the cardinal tetras in it lived to be 4 years old. Also my first attempt at a plant, which lasted 3 of those years. Last summer I started getting sucked in by nano tanks and aquascaping, which wasn't really that much of a thing in the 90s, plus my fish ate plants and preferred rocks. I started binging channels on YT like GreenAqua, MJ Aquascaping, MD fish tanks, Prime Time Aquatics and of COURSE Aquarium COOP. There are now two 5gal portrait setups, my old office 2.5gal, a cheapie 3gal QT and my secret scape from scraps entry in progress. These are taken before weekly maintenance, but I promised myself I'd post this before anything else got done today! But while small fish, shrimp, etc., was scratching the itch, I still dreamt of those 55s in the basement. But I didn't want to surpass my Patient Spouse Limit and dreamed and planned. The Endor tank above was setup for him after considering a lot of ideas, and despite the AT-AT deco not exactly being natural, it's a household favorite setup. All the wood and mosses are from the farm and it's happily housing endlers, kuhlis, shrimp and a mellow texan crayfish named Gomez (A Morticia could be a future project). So here is the stand, currently in the back basement (awesome potential for a fish room should MTS continue). My friend did a good job on a basic form that did work well for the short time I had it set up. It was intended to be trimmed out by me once I had a home that warranted it and could be designed to compliment. This setup will be in the front room of a house designed as a 1690s Massachusetts salt box house (in Georgia, yes). All the finish carpentry is heart pine reclaimed from an old mill in south Georgia, which we can match with materials left over. I'll definitely be seeking input from all of you about dos/dont's, but it needs to look nice as these are definitely display tanks in the room where we spend the most down time. The tanks will be behind the sofa and extend a bit beyond either end. 8 feet of tank on a 13' wall should make for an impressive display. My vision for these tanks is to create a generally South American setup, but not strictly biotope or 100% SA species. We love the idea of congo tetras as the tetras for the bigger fish we want to keep (husband wants angels, I want geophagus tapajos). The hardscape focal point will be a foraged stump from the property that is split in half (technically quadrants so they have a flat surface to snug against the back glass) and placed against the inside ends of the two tanks, creating the illusion of one long 8ft space. Below is a quick mashup of images to give you an idea of what we're aiming for. We have a woodshop, lots of wood, rock, streams and woodland plants and mosses to use, so what could go wrong...? 😉 Every journey begins with a modest first step, so mine is showing you the tanks until recently, living in the mudroom and looking forlorn (and dog-haired): I see sad betta cups from the 2010s... and plastic plants! 😮 They held water as recently as 2009. Will the seals still be good? We shall see..... If you're still with me, great! Moving forward, I'll need input on lots of things that are still new to my aquaria experience on this scale in future updates, like: hardscape/substrate - aquasoil capped with river sand? something else? live plants are a must. plants - I've done ok with the basics you've seen in my nano setups, but this is much more ambitious. CO2 or no? more on that and our water parameters to come fish selection - Patient Spouse deserves input, and he wanted angels. I want geos. I see one tank housing the bigger fish with friends like congo tetras, cories, pleco and the other side for things too small for adult angelfish like neos, other tetras, etc. filtration - I've ruled out past options I did with the 55s before - no HOBs or undergravel. Sponges? Maybe, but these are display tanks. Canisters or sump? Never used either but willing to learn. Pros/cons of running one system for both tanks? background - build a 3d? nothing at all? black? frosted white? backlit? so many choices! lighting - The biggest changes in tech since the 90s for sure. I can certainly do better than the old tube fluorescents I had back then. I need new tops too. I doubt we'll hang lights as these will be right behind the sofa where I hang out and don't want to feel interrogated at night. My journal is a couple of steps behind where the project actually is. I have procrastinated starting this for some reason - perhaps posting it makes it and all the potential mistakes feel more real? But with support from the amazing knowledge base of the NERMs here, I know we can avoid a few of those.
  2. I’ve had these white skirt tetras for 5-6 years, since last year they’ve had these brown blotches on them. I’m not sure if it’s a disease or just aging.
  3. Hi I have a flu Al flex 15 g tank (I neglected it for a while but I’m getting back into the hobby) with 2 white skirt tetras , 1 neon tetra, and a 2-2.5 in green fish with red fins (not sure what it is) I would like to get 4 more white skirt tetras, 5 more neon tetras, a cleanup crew, 6 white cloud minnows, and lots of plants. I am currently using a mixture of sand and fluval stratum for substrate. Will I be able to fit the white cloud minnows? Any substrate suggestions? Any recommendations for cleanup crew? Any plant suggestions? Thanks, Jack
  4. 20 gallon community tank 8 neon tetra, 6 panda Cory, 5 oto, 2 rams head, 1 nerite, 1 mystery. 2 medium sponge filters 1 small internal filter. 18 inch nicrew light Removed some anarchris and trimmed some tall plants in the middle. Trying to get more light on the red stem plants, as they are struggling wilting away, especially lower portion of the plants
  5. My experience goes back to the 1970s with marine and freshwater tanks, but very much off and on because of job related moves. After retiring, in August of 2021 I retrieved my old Tropiquarium 88 from the garage, cleaned it with vinegar and rinsed it well, then started setting up again after 16 years. It's a European Fluval/Hagen product, bought when I worked overseas, the flower of 1980s technology, with two 24" 20W fluorescent bulbs in the canopy, currently Ocean Sun 10000K. The tank holds 130 liters, or about 34.4 US gallons. The old HIT (hang-in-tank) Bio-Life filter wore out long ago. My old undergravel filter and power head still worked, at least for a few months until I had to replace the power head. I added a submersible Fluval U3 rated for 40 gallons. My gravel is a 40 lb bag of river rock for $4.99 at the local hardware store, well rinsed. Hardscape is petrified wood and a couple of coprolites (petrified "road apples") from the middle of the Arabian desert. After cycling, I gradually added flora and fauna. Planting started with Amazon's "Florida" pack of ten, followed by some losses and additions. Now I have Vallisneria, Dwarf Sagittarius, Anubias that's bloomed twice and is branching off a new rhizome, Amazon Sword that's branched out a baby, Java Fern, Pogostemon, susswassertang, Java Moss, Moneywort, banana, Red Amazon Sword also with a baby, couple of others whose names I don't know, and a big bundle of Anacharis. Most of my little red plants are dying, and I can't change my light fixtures, so I'm thinking of getting a Cryptocoryn Wendtii. Current fish population, stable for a few months, includes a clown Plecostomas, a Panda Corydoras, six Rasbora hets, six White Clouds, six Rummies, six Cardinals, six Green Neons, six Black Neons, six Glow Lights, one surviving very pregnant female guppy, and the algae patrol. Last fall the BBA was bad. After research, mostly here, I got six olive nerites, six Amano shrimp, six red cherries, and six Dalmatian mollies. The shrimp have bred like crazy, 42 total at last count, but the mollies apparently had too many males, sadly now only one male, two adult females, a juvenile female, and a week old baby. I used Excel for a couple of weeks, then relied on the critters to finish off the algae, which they did. No more algae problems, and the "windows" hardly need any cleaning. I haven't tested any measurable ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate since the first month, but still I change five or ten gallons of water weekly, treated with Prime and a tablespoon of API salt per five gallons, and siphoned in slowly through airline tubing. Also I use Flourish twice a week, occasional root tabs, and regular Wonder Shell. And I keep a couple of dried guava leaves from my back yard tree. I put a variety of flakes and freeze dried food in the once a day autofeeder, and occasionally hand feed blood worms, tubifex, pleco wafers, pleco cakes, Daphnia, and bug bites. All my food critters are freeze dried; I have no patience for live or even frozen. I'm hoping my ever increasing jungle will be enough to hide baby guppies, more mollies, and eventually White Clouds. Edited to add photos. I chose a very small filesize when I emailed them from my phone; let me know if anyone wants better resolution. My tank doesn't really have a front and back. The first view is the "front", but my tank really doesn't have a front and back. The "front" faces a wingback chair and a vintage rocker, and the "back" faces an end table and sofa. Looks like I cut off the far right end of the "back" as I don't see the submersible filter or the riser for the undergravel filter, just part of the power head. Sorry about that.
  6. I picked up 20 gold neon tetras today and added them to my plant grow out tank before I move them to a 20L display. At least as juveniles, they have a beautiful opal/pearl color along with the definitive neon blue lateral strip and slight red hues. As the grow up the gold should get a little deeper. Very happy with them, I think they look beautiful schooling around and I had never seen them in a retail shop. These were bred in a farm owned by the shop that sold them to me in FL. Also shoutout to coop folk the shop owners name dropped your videos on breeding
  7. About six weeks past, I was at my LFS and picked up an orange Bristlenose Pleco and six of what were labeled as Candy Cane Tetras. All the fish have been doing great, and I am really loving the tetras, especially with how vivid they are and the fact they get along with everyone else in my tank. They have managed to gain a little in size too, and seem to be very happy. Since I got six and enjoyed them so much, I was thinking of getting some more to give them a little larger school. These guys school a lot more then my Black Neon and Lemon Tetras. Here is my issue. I was looking around and noticed that these could actually be Rosy Tetras. The online resources are a little confusing about this, so I took some pictures and figured some of the knowledgeable people here would know what these guys actually are. I tried to get as bets pictures as I could, but they do tend to like to dart around. Also a couple of shots have some of the tank Platys, but I do know what they are at least. 🙂
  8. So I'm thinking of adding some tetra's to my life but as they are such big group I thought I'd just find out what people like and what they like about them. (I'll worry about what will work for me another day).
  9. So I truly love the color and flashy appeal of a school of tetras compared to their price of $2-$4 each. However I truly hate the fact that they’re so skittish and delicate. They hide the moment I’m near the tank and By delicate I mean they die like rabbits from fright. My harlequins however are always front and center. They have a beautiful color pattern and just over all may not be as pretty as the cardinals but offer more as a schooling fish. Is there another nano fish like them with the eye catching colors of a cardinal? Another issue I’m having now is Im losing 1 cardinal a day now. Waters at .25 ammonia 0 nitrites, and 5 nitrates. I think they truly might be starving their selves because they hide when I go to feed them and the harlequins and the betta eat everything. I tried giving a little and letting the others feed then feed them but nothings working. Tried frozen brine shrimp and blood worms, betta pellets, plecco wafers, and flakes. This is a gravely planted tank with hiding places and no sign of aggression from the other fish.
  10. Alright, so I ordered some green fire tetras about two months ago, they went through quarantine, but I noticed this one weird fish that was a little bigger than the rest of them and I just figured it was an older green fire tetra. Two months later and it was not 🤣 It's a diamond tetra so I bought 5 more of them. My question is since the first diamond tetra is by itself with the 9 green fire tetras in my 29 gallon, should I move it back to my quarantine tank to be with the school that I just bought or leave it in the 29 gallon since it's already been through quarantine and there's another school of tetras for it to be around? I don't know if the stress of not being with a school is worse than the risk of it getting sick in the quarantine tank with the rest of the school.
  11. Which one should I get, if some of them can even fit in a 20 g tall planted tank? Want to keep them with honey gouramis (idk 1, 2 , or 3) and a school of pygmy cories. Never kept any tetras or any schooling fish btw, so kind of a beginner. And maybe its because theyre babies but all of them are on the same level of desire for me.
  12. I've done some research and it seems a lot of people say Congo tetra are the largest. I've seen some pretty big Congo tetra, but it seems like Buenos Aires tetra get bigger. Are there any tetra out there bigger than the Congo or Buenos Aries? Also are pink tail chalceus considered tetra?
  13. I have glolight tetra fry that is 6 weeks old. I am going on vacation and don’t have anyone to feed them. There are maybe 20 in a 10 gallon. Been feeding brine shrimp daily. I know all my other fish will be fine for the week but I’m worried about the fry tank i have plants and magnolia leaves in the tank and I plan on doing a water change before I leave and adding a bunch of infusoria/small little white critters that are in one of my other tanks. Will they be okay for the week?
  14. My tetras are a bit nippy towards each other and towards my rather docile betta fish. I've heard that rasboras are quieter and less aggressive. Is this true?
  15. Hi all. Just a test to see how to post. I keep tetras in a heavily planted 40 gallon breeder.
  16. Obviously, many Central and South American Cichlids are enormous. I love watching Canadian mater aquarist Jim Cumming showcase his gigantic cichlids, or watch tanks in the Wessel Fish House. But there are a number of medium-sized Cichlids that would make a meal of a Neon Tetra at first light but won’t bother larger Tetras. So what’s your go-to larger-sized tetras for keeping with Cichlids? Right now, mine are Colombian Tetras. I love the silver-blue with bright red fins. Plus, they school tightly in a large enough group.
  17. I just grabbed these two little guys from my local fish shop. I didn't think they looked the healthiest at the shop but didn't have a chance to get a good look at them until I got home. Both of then look pretty sickly and lack colour. One of them has a large red blotch on one side of his abdomen and the other looks like it has a line of black specks on the top of its head. I've treated the water with Seachem Prime. Should I use anti-fungal or antibacterial for the meds? Sorry about the pics. Hard to get good ones in the quarantine tank.
  18. My Flame Gourami has developed a taste for his tank mates my neon tetras. Is there anything I can do to stop this? Or will I be forced to have a ten gallon tank with only my gourami. I almost think he is just bored.
  19. Need some direction after not finding information on glowlight tetra breeding. so far.... I have a 10 gallon set up for breeding. 6 small magnolia leaves added a week ago (collected from my tree, zero pesticides or anything out here in the country) half tank filled with guppy grass. Small sponge filter. put a dim light on the tank this morning to simulate a sunrise and they did the barrel roll several times I was able to see. I had work to do And came back 90 min later and didn’t see any more rolls or courtship after observing for 5 min so I pulled them fearing they would start eating eggs. how long before the eggs hatch, and then become free swimming? Have read a lot about light sensitivity, I have a towel on the tank, how many days before Turning lights back on normal schedule? Last question is when do I start feeding infusoria after the eggs are laid in terms of days from when the spawning occurred?
  20. I am seeking some guidance on tetras! I recently purchased my first group of tetras after watching @Cory's videos with Silvertips! I fell in love with their look and their interactive behavior. I have 6 X-Ray tetra and 7 Silvertip tetras in my 40 breeder. I have noticed that two of the male Silvertips seem to bully a bit. I haven't seen any fin nipping or anything like that but they do a lot of chasing, darting at others and even seem to corral the group to one side of the tank. I have also seen two males display almost sparing behavior where they will circle each other in a tight circle and dart at the other. What can I do to help curb this behavior? Or is it common? Some possibilities I thought of was maybe larger school? Or more females? I am worried about some of them getting stressed and in-turn getting sick from being in this environment. I appreciate any advice you can give! Thanks! *Additional Potentially Helpful info* Temperature 77.2, PH 8.2, Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrate 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, GH very hard, KH 160ppm, 40 breeder with two medium Aquarium Co-Op sponge filters. I feed a mix/rotation of Hikari Vibrabites, Xtreme Spirulina flake, Hikari micro wafers, micro pellets, Tetra color flake and Hikari freeze dried bloodworms.
  21. Just gone through some water quality problems which are hopefully now addressed looking into the future (I had issues with PH dropping and disrupting the cycle of the tank massively.) 2 blue king tetras have showed symptoms of what I believe is Columnaris? I've moved these guys over to a small hospital setup I have going and have begun dosing salt at 1 tbsp per gallon as I'm told Columnaris can kill very quickly so I didn't feel there was much time to mess around. (I had previously hoped to try a Methylene blue treatment, but in the end I ended up water changing 90% of that out as the fish were hugely distressed and franticly darting when it was in there.) It's been around 2 days now in the salt, and I do believe that I've seen small cotton like threads come loose from the affected areas of the fish. As you can see, there's also quite a clear black outline forming around the affected areas which has become more prominent as the treatment continues. Is there anything more I can do to help these guys as a UK resident? We cannot get antibiotics legally. I'll take any advice and help I can get as I'm very attached to these guys and want to do right by them. Thank you!
  22. Hello everyone. New here, but it seems like a decent place. Recently purchased a few of these... They were advertised as “cherry barbs” but, even though they are juveniles, I have my doubt that this is in fact accurate. Thoughts?
  23. Woke this am and noted something white hanging off the side of my 3 year old Tetra. He was OK yesterday, but noted he was swimming around a plant and not schooling with the other 4 tetras in the 75 gallon tank. Have 8 cory pandas, one pleco, one oto and one angel. Took video and when I came back downstairs the white thing had fallen off and now there is just a whitish area. The area doesn’t look swollen. Perform water changes every 7 to 10 days depending on my nitrates. Never allow my nitrates to reach over 40. Ammonia – 0 Nitrite – 0 Nitrates – 40 pH 7.0 Recently bought java moss, noted two bladder snails and had some bearded algae, but the bearded algae is gone now. Back-story on my tetra. My niece, who was a flight nurse, died January 2019 and this was her only fish left. This fish means a lot to me and any help would be appreciated.
  24. Hello! I've got some voracious Red Eye Tetras that just nibble on EVERYTHING. Any small leafed plant - gone in a matter days. Countless micro swords, small crypts, and wisteria gone. My poor anubias can't grow new leaves because they eat the darn thing before it can even grow. The only thing they don't seem to touch are my lilies, larger, established crypts, and java fern. They chew on my amazon sword but it seems to grow too fast for them to make a sizeable dent. What are some of your recommendations other than those as to "non-edible" for the future? I've tried feeding a ton to slow them down, tried feeding boiled spinach regularly, no stopping them. Crazy buggers.
  25. Happy New Years everyone! Frogs, Inverts, and Snails African Dwarf Frog Amano Shrimp Cherry Shrimp Orange Shrimp Red Rili Shrimp Blue Velvet Shrimp Bamboo Shrimp Assassin Snails Nerite Snails (Red Spot and Zebra) Mystery Snail (Gold) Bettas Halfmoon Dumbo Ear Nemo Koi Plakat Super Red Cichlids Pelvicachromis Silviae "Affin Subocellatus" F1 Apistogramma Agassizii "Fire Red" Apistogramma Cacatuoides "Super Red" Gold Dwarf Cichlid Bolivian Ram German Blue Ram Assorted Small Discus (Red Turquoise, Pigeon and Tiger Turquoise) Corydoras Adolfi Cory Skunk Cory Corydoras Hastatus Orange Laser Cory Leopard Cory Salt and Pepper Cory Panda Cory Pygmy Cory (Wild) Sterbai Cory Plecos L177 Gold Nugget L128 Blue Phantom LDA33 Snowball Common Colombian Otocinclus Bumble Bee Otocinclus Other Catfish Lima Shovelnose (Pretty cool catfish gets 19-20" in size and not too aggressive) Loaches Dwarf Chain Loach Kuhli Loach Laos Mini Dragon Loach (Sweet looking mini river species) Zebra Loach Tetras Black Phantom Tetra Serpae Tetra Longfin Ember Tetra Green Neon Tetra (Wild Colombia) Neon Tetra Rummy Nose Tetra (Tank Raised) Silver Tip Tetra Platinum Hatchet (Wild Colombia) Red Arc Pencilfish (Wild Peru) Rasboras Chili Rasbora Exclamation Point Rasbora Danios and other Minnows Celestial Pearl Danio Glowlight Danio Mustache Danio (Danio Dangila, Wild, Big Whiskers On These) Yellow White Cloud (New Species, Tanichthys Kuehnei) Other Cyprinids Roseline Shark Siamese Algae Eater (Tank Raised) Gouramis and other Anabantiformes Sunset Honey Gourami Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami Females Sparkling Gourami Black Tiger Dario (Wild) Livebearers Assorted Fancy Female Guppies Assorted Fancy Male Guppies (Blue Variegated, Green Lace, Red Snakeskin, Cobra Red, Flamingo, and Leopard Tuxedo) Calico Lyretail Mollies Red Leopard Sailfin Mollies (Nice Looking) Golden Leopard Platy Rainbows Yellow Rainbow Thread Fin Rainbow Furcatus Rainbow Oddballs Black Ghost Knife (Tank Raised) Mud Fish (Phractolaemus Ansorgii) Pea Puffer Amazon Puffer Fish in pictures top to bottom: Laos Min Dragon Loach, Yellow White Clouds, Lima Shovelnose, Red Turquoise Discus, Red Leopard Sailfin Mollies, Plakat Super Red, Leopard Platies, Red Arc Pencil Fish.
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