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About Me

  1. I keep many small aquariums in my apartment, mostly Walstad-style, with organic soil from a local composting spot. I enjoy running really stable ecosystems. These photos don't show much of the fish and shrimp. I also keep some outdoor tubs here in Vermont. Cheers, Jason
  2. I’ve been keeping fish off and on nearly 30 years (hence the name Atitagain) never had more than 2 tanks until now. Now that I’ve done some actual research and learned some important facts about aquariums, like what the nitrogen cycle is and that I need to do more maintenance than topping off the water when it gets low. I finally figured out why I couldn’t keep fish alive except Oscars that always seemed to get to big for the 29 and 55G tanks I would keep them in. After about a five year gap between tanks my wife bought me a 60G tank for Christmas in 2019. I had been watching a lot of YouTube videos about fish keeping for around 3 months before x-mas and she thought it would be a good idea to hook me up.Little did she know what it would start. African cichlids was what I always was interested in and after mixing mbuna and peacocks I soon talked her into another tank. Another 60G to flank each side of ourTV. Got interested in breeding ACs and it was almost like a tidal wave: 4-20G, 2-10G, 2-55G, a 75G then someone gave me a 29G. I was so hooked, had tanks all over the house and wanted more. Finally got a Linear Piston Air Pump and took over the living room. We moved to a new house about 3 months ago and I got a fish room 😃and a 125G. Never thought I’d be able to accomplish anything close to this. The joy and amazement I feel is overwhelming sometimes. This hobby has brought so much peace to my life.
  3. I thought I would do a little journal of my journey with my very first 55 gallon tank. Even when I was big into fish tanks as a kid in the early 70s, I never had a tank larger than 20 gallons, so this is pretty exciting for me. I just came back to the hobby a couple of months ago and dove in headfirst. I have two 20 gallons, two 45 talls, a ten and the 55 gallon tank. Only one of them currently have fish; I have some guppies and cherry shrimp in one of the 20s. Although one of the 45s has finished cycling and will probably have more guppies next week. I'll focus on the 55 gallon though since I have not done anything with it yet, other than make a few decisions. Here is the tank currently: //content.invisioncic.com/b300999/monthly_2020_09/20200918_103659.jpg.2f661240beba402d3c31a8e47e5841a2.jpg Cables and such will be hidden. I have some material coming today to cover the top 2x4s with, then I'll make it a little prettier. I decided to do the plasti-dip for a black background and I am doing the twin wall polycarbonate for the lid. Most of my supplies for the tank are coming via UPS today, I bet our UPS guy is going to be surprised when I hug him... Filtration: I am going a little overboard with filtration for now, with the two large spongefilters from the Co-Op and a marineland 350 HoB. For air flow, I just grabbed one of the Aquatop Breza 100s from the Co-op and a battery backed up one from KG Topicals. Heater: I bought two of the 300 watt Eheim Jager's heaters and the JBJ true temp controller @Daniel recommended on another thread. I'm only going to put one of them in the tank for now, I just want one for back up. Substrate: Going with just Eco-complete. Plants: I already have a bunch of plants waiting in one of the other tanks. So far I have: Vallisneria Christmas moss Java Fern and Water Sprite. I want to also get some type of carpeting plant too, but haven't quite decided what yet. Hardscape: I'm going to walk down to the bay tomorrow morning and look for some interesting hardscape stuff. If I can't find anything I like over the next few weeks, I'll grab some of the usual suspects online. Fish: Probably will change, but I'm currently looking at 6-8 Boesemans Rainbowfish, 6-8 Rasboras, but haven't decided on which one, and 5-6 dwarf corys as well as some type of shrimp. {EDIT} For some reason it won't put the pic where I want it, instead it just displays the path and puts the image at the bottom of the post... //content.invisioncic.com/b300999/monthly_2020_09/20200918_103659.jpg.2f661240beba402d3c31a8e47e5841a2.jpg
  4. Hey C.A.R.E. Forum friends! Posting this, first of all, to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone here for being part of this forum! So many great posts and conversations so far from everyone and we're so happy to have you all here. Secondly, we will be regularly rewarding thoughtful posters and contributors with a care package (hence the name, get it?) of fun and useful stuff from Aquarium Co-Op. The first care package was sent to the following forum members as they were top contributors thus far in the forum: @Daniel @Bill Smith @MickS77 Congratulations to each of you! Other members, if you haven't yet checked out their content, please do!! In the future, we will be choosing winners based on other metrics as well, not simply number of posts - thoughtful and informative posts which will benefit the greater 🐟 community to name an example of what I'll be looking out for. Can't wait to see more great topics and conversations in the coming weeks. Feel free to reach out to me any time. - Lizzie
  5. I was scooping out duckweed from my greenwater/sparkling gourami aquarium this week and I noticed every scoop had multiple sparkling gourami fry in it. This one was hunting a cyclops.
  6. Aquariums hold many more living things than fish. What is in your tank? I caught this grass shrimp last week in a ditch while collecting banana plants.
  7. Aquarium automation and monitoring is very popular in reef aquariums, but less common in freshwater. While I run very low-drama organic soil tanks, I got an Apex system because technology is my jam. There are not a lot of resources for using the Apex in freshwater, so I wanted to make a thread. There are two main versions, the Apex and Apex EL. The system is modular, so you can add features later. Is it worth it to get the full Apex vs the cheaper EL model? They both come with an eight-outlet power strip (in North America), and you can add more. The control units are slightly different in port choices. The Apex EL has Ethernet, Aux Power, IO, Temp, pH, 2 x Aquabus. The full Apex also has four channels of 0-10V DC dimming/power control, salinity, and ORP, but with a catch. You cannot calibrate ORP for freshwater unless you add the PM2 module! All the 0-10V DC control stuff was more powerful than I would need for my tanks, and I don't need salinity, so I picked the Apex EL. While I had grand plans about controlling lights, wave-makers, etc., I found value in the following ways. 1. Insurance: The power strip is connected to my UPS, with the Aux Power connected to non-UPS power. It can notify me when the power goes out, and I can choose what to power during the downtime of UPS battery power. I also purchased a leak detection kit, so water on the floor will trigger an alert and relevant programming. 2. Feed Mode and Filter Control: Via the web interface or app, I have four feed modes to turn off power to various outlets for different time periods on every tank plugged into the power strip. This could be actual feeding, or it could be more time to clean sponges or filters. I also use some programming to provide alternating water flow in one tank by running one internal filter on one schedule, and another filter on a different schedule. 3. Probe Monitoring and Control: Currently, I just monitor pH and temperature in one tank, and I have simple code to limit heaters to a specific range. I like seeing how pH and temperature change with my lighting schedule in my organic soil tanks. In the future, I might use pH to control a solenoid for a CO2 regulator. There are tons of other things you can do with monitoring, water control, and dosing, but I'm not working at that scale. Is anyone else here using the Apex, or other systems for monitoring and aquarium control? Please share! Cheers, Jason
  8. In case your a member of the aquarium co-op youtube channel, they have recentley uploaded their peru fish unboxing video. If your a member of the youtube channel heres the link: Defentley some real cool fish in this unboxing!
  9. I am a newbie attempting a 5 gallon planted tank for my high school science classroom! I thought it would be fun to keep track of the progress...because I know there will be ups and downs. And, if this works out, I've got big dreams for a planted 20 gallon long with a corydora fleet...so, we shall see! 🤗 The set-up includes: 5 gallon Marina LED Aquarium kit (came with the S10 filter, a lid with an LED light, some cycle bacteria, water conditioner, tropical flake food, and a cute lil' blue fish net) Unknown driftwood pieces Fluval Stratum (the 4.4 lb bag was perfect!) Plants from the Co-Op (Golden Anubias, Nana Petite Anubias, Wendelov Java fern, Coffeefolia Anubias, and Red Melon Sword) 25-watt Marina Submersible Heater Velimax Static Cling Total Blackout Window film (for the back glass) I'm also using: Seachem Prime Water Conditioner Easy Green Fertilizer from the Co-Op API Master Test kit 24 hour mechanical outlet timer Digital thermometer Aquaclear Foam and Biomax inserts - slowly transitioning my filter over to become a HOT ROD y'all! 🚙 I am currently working on cycling the tank...and I've attached my data and doings so far! ] The water at school has a pH of 6.8 out of the tap, and for some reason my tank keeps creeping acidic...maybe it's the driftwood? Anyway...SUPER pumped that the ammonia is on the way down and my nana petite's little baby leaves are unfurling and looking great! I do have some dusty black stuff on the golden anubias and the java fern...I think it's substrate dust? Or, maybe black algae? I originally super-glued my java fern...but it's breaking free! So, I'll probably pull that out and see if I can tie it to the driftwood with some thread tomorrow. Any suggestions/thoughts/ideas are welcomed!! Hope this was slightly interesting! 😅
  10. Just did this short 2 minute clip using Open Shot Video Editor. What is your quick and easy (or advanced) editor?
  11. Hey everyone, just got back into the fish tank hobby after a few years, I used to have a 37gal saltwater tank that my father helped me run when I was about 12 and now I'm getting back into the hobby by myself. I'm an avid fisherman so I usually can collect wild samples for my tank and after just moving down to Florida I have access to so many new and cool species. Right now I've a 20 gallon long tank and a 10 gallon tank in my kitchen. Just wanted to share my tank and see everyone's opinions, this is the first tank I've actually put plants and wood in a fish tank and I think it turned out quite well.
  12. Hi guys I've been browsing through this forum for a few months now and gotten a lot of inspirations and insight from other members of this community. Just looking through some of my old photos, I was pleased to see the progression of my tank and wanted to share my journey with this tank and possibly update this post as I have some bigger plans in my layout in the near future. To keep the introduction short, around this time last year I got back into taking care of fish after a 10 year break and Ive been extremely delighted to see much more plants and fish that are easily available now. I'm guessing the tank I have is marketed as a 65 gallon tank although I'm not too sure since I found it in the place I was renting a few years back. The dimensions are 36 inches long, 29.5 inches tall with a depth of 15 inches. I kinda hate how tall it is but free is free, hopefully along the way with any ideas or help from others I can show how I work around its height. I keep a pond outside I started last summer with koi and I threw guppies in there as a fun side project. I started this tank sometime late September as temperatures were getting too cold for the guppies and was only meant to be as a holding place till spring begins to warm up. To me, a bare tank kinda looks like an empty canvas with endless opportunities and if you can guess, I got a little carried away. September 25th, 2020: This is the earliest picture I have that has a record of date November 14th, 2020 December 10th, 2020 December 14th, 2020 January 12th, 2021 When summer begins to roll around and I get to throw these guys back outside I plan to do some big changes, time permitting. I really do welcome suggestions from anybody, I get a lot of joy tweaking and making adjustments to this tank and look forward to seeing how this tank evolves.
  13. What's up with this guy? See video below. I've had the corys for 6 months. This is my daughter's tank, so admittedly I don't pay as much attention to these fish, but I noticed one of them spinning yesterday, but I watched only briefly and thought it was just excited. Today, the swimming pattern is a lot crazier and obviously something is wrong. PH 8 Nitrates 20 Hardness 6 dGH Nitrite 0 Ammonia 0 KH 7 dKH Temperature 75F Tank is over a year old, no other fish showing symptoms.
  14. Hello All. I am new to the forum, have watched Cory's videos for years and just found the forum. Had a question, I was excited to find a fish I had never seen before at my LFS about a month ago, Lake Inle Danios (Inlecypris auropurpurea). I purchased a group of six and they have been filling out nicely as they were fairly skinny. See attached picture, apologize for it being a bit blurry, they are the most active fish I have ever had, never stop moving! Searching the internet I don't see a lot of info on this species. Wondering if anyone has bred them? I am assuming (hoping) they are not too difficult and breed similarly to other Danio species. Would love to get a small school of them for my large tank.
  15. I'm attempting to make the most helpful/commonly asked question videos we have done easy to access. I have located this video playlist towards the bottom of the main forum page. If you find any particularly helpful videos you want to link often, let me know and I'll put it there so that we can a library that's easy to grab from and post in threads to help people. We have to start the video, click the title, to open a new page to grab the url to share in a thread unless someone finds an easier/faster way.
  16. We prepared a series of video journal entries for our Fish Club to submit for BAP - breeding Koi Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare). If you're new to breeding angelfish, and want to watch a process that has worked for someone, these videos may be helpful. Let us know if you're successful raising up Angelfish this way!
  17. Found MORE Xenotoca Doadrioi fry this evening. In the spirit of Mr. Ray, “Oooo!!! Gather ‘round explorers! Look at the umbilical-cord-like trophotaenia on these Goodeids!!!”
  18. I just recently upgraded my standard 10 gallon to a 20 wide, with a hillstream manifold. The hillstream manifold doesn't quite work how I'd like (I need to find a better way to spread out the output force, and I'm not entirely sure the entire input of the flow through the powerhead is coming through the intake sponges). I used a hand-drill on the area of the PVC pipe the sponges cover to get a greater intake across the whole body of the sponge, rather than just at the tip. There still is quite a bit of swirling action rather than full on directional flow, but it was still a fun project to build my own streamflow manifold. I'd definitely get a smaller powerhead than the aquaclear 50 I have running it now. I also have aquaclear 30 HoB for that extra touch of filtration (and for helping deal with fines better than the sponges) I have white cloud mountain minnows (and they have been sucessfully breeding, as you can see by the distincly blue striped jeuvenile) I also have 2 species of hillstream loach. I think the reticulated one is a pseudogastromyzon cheni (or myersi). I only have one of those, the other one I purchased at the same time didn't make it. It was a bad shipment from a LFS I go to in Houston, and the other dozen loaches didn't make it overnight. I got there the next day, and the one that is still alive is kind of the ruler of the tank. He definitely is dominant over the other loaches despite being slightly smaller. The other hillstream loaches I have, I have some of the Beaufortia kweichowensis I purchased from aquahuna. I suspect there might be multiple species, as one of them definitely prefers resting on the substrate, and the others prefer the vertical glass when they are hiding, but from what I can tell looking around the internet, the hillstream loaches aren't as well studied as we might like. The substrate is pea gravel from Lowes, and the larger rocks are either collected locally in East Texas (the orange sandstone), or I gathered them on a previous trip to Colorado (pretty much everything else). I'm currently treating the tank with seachem flourish to handle the staghorn/black beard algae, along with playing around a bit with my lighting. Still, the fish seem more active in the 20 gallon, so overall I'd call it a success. It is a pleasure to sit down and watch at the end of the day.
  19. Well I have been working for a few minutes to try and figure out how to upload a video here and then just gave up and copy and pasted the URL and that did it! Oh well.... Anyway, here is my aquarium today! After starting 4 months ago, very poorly, my aquarium has come along quite nicely. I have Guppies, Julie Catfish, Neon Tetras, Ember Tetras, Snails, 1 cherry Shrimp, Platty's, A Common Pleco, lots of plants, and everyone seems to be doing ok. I can't believe where I started with all fake plants to where I am now. We really enjoy our tanks and appreciate all the help I have gotten.
  20. Finally got around to taking some pictures and videos of my aquarium to share with others instead of enjoying it all to myself. Thought this would be a good one to upload. Hope you guys enjoy.
  21. This seems like an ideal place to log the changes in my tanks, and get opinions on issues I'm struggling with. You'll notice a trend in most of my aquariums -- collectoritis. I'm at the stage of fishkeeping right now where I can't fathom a species-only tank. My schooling fish are all in sufficient numbers, but I still love the variety. I think I have an even bigger problem with plants. Over the past year I've just been buying all the plants to find out which ones grow (it's a secret, no one knows). I'll post each tank in order of acquisition. 1. Living room display, 40 breeder, initially set up August 2019. Below is what the tank looked like back in October. Started it out as a super-artificial scape, and then I realized how much I liked live aquatic plants and began adding them in droves. After some experience with subsequent tanks, I went back to this one for an overhaul. This is what it looks like today (changing the substrate was a B-and-a-half): YouTube video on this tank: The tiny sword plant you see in the lower left corner of the first pic has grown into the giant sword plant in the second pic. The floating moss ball was a recent addition from the Co-op, and while it arrived in great condition, I am cursed when it comes to growing moss. I just can't figure it out. Stocking: Angels, rosy tetras, maccullochi rainbows, australian rainbows, otos, powder blue dwarf gourami, and emerald corydoras. Update 4/10/21: I've been messing around with backlighting on this tank. See video below. 2. Dining Room, 20 tall, initially set up September 2019 I wanted to breed bristlenose plecos. It didn't take long before I saw baby bristlenose all over the glass, at least 30 of them. Unfortunately, they dwindled one by one over a period of two weeks - no idea why. There was one survivor, which has grown 2+ inches. But since that initial spawn, I've only seen white eggs that the male pushes out of the cave. Any tips to get this back on track? In addition to the plecos, it's housing my wife's platys from her classroom tank (she's a teacher) which are breeding, as well as breeding endlers and cherry shrimp. Stocking: Male and female adult and one juvenile bristlenose pleco, platies, endlers, cherry shrimp. 3. Daughter's tank, 20 tall, set up October 2019 My daughter (8 years old) wanted a tank for her room. Trying to move her away from the artificial plants but she likes them too much. So I just have to keep doing bleach dips every month or so until I can get the lighting balanced (upgraded her light recently). The lighting upgrade seems to have negatively affected her live water sprite, though. Used to be lush and green and now seems to be falling apart. Stocking: Platies, platy fry, green fire tetra, sunset honey gourami, pygmy corys, and guppies from my wife's classroom tank 4. Son's tank, 20 tall, set up November 2019 My son (6 years old) loves dinosaurs, so we went with sort of a prehistoric jungle theme. Stocking: Zebra loaches, panda corys, cherry barbs, purple harlequin rasboras, and one platy (offspring from my daughter's tank) YouTube Video on my Kids' Tanks: 5. The livebearer tank, 40 breeder, set up in February 2020. In the dining room next to the pleco fail tank, I have guppies, platys, and cherry shrimp breeding up a storm. I started with just guppies in the 20 tall in October, trying to breed the fancy strains from my LFS. I could never keep a single one alive for more than a couple weeks. I had purchased some already-pregnant females, which gave birth and died. I raised the fry and let them breed as well, and it looked like I was getting some strong stock out of them, so I set up this 40 breeder to let the guppies do their thing. Simultaneously, my daughter's platy was having babies, which I also added to this tank. Because of how much feeding I was doing, I added panda corys and cherry shrimp to the mix. But then in March/April, there was an outbreak of some horrid bacterial disease. My corys were happy, my shrimp were breeding, and the platys were thriving. But for several weeks the guppies died one by one, then two by two, then five by five, etc. I probably lost 75% of my guppy stock. Maracyn didn't touch it, nor did . What ended up working was kanaplex, though it crashed the cycle. Should've quarantined... I didn't lose any corys or platys during all this drama, though. I decided not to buy anymore guppies and just let my surviving endlers and guppies breed. Things are doing better, so much so that I've been able to grow out enough stock to trade in at my LFS. Also trying to grow java moss glued to foam (removed from my bonsai tree because nothing was growing). Stocking: Guppies, endlers, endler/guppy hybrids, platys, panda corys, cherry shrimp, and amano shrimp Note: The background in the above tank, as well as the cave, were DIYs that were intended for tank number 6. However, I wasn't entirely satisfied with the result and found a better DIY method online. Still, didn't want the first background to go to waste. EDIT (April 30, 2021): The amazon sword has really taken over since that above pic. I finally finished my video on this tank: 6. The Bedroom Display, 90 gallon, set up February 2020 Sometime in December, I dove into a large DIY project. I had 1/2 inch glass cut to custom dimensions so it could fit in a particular space in my bedroom, and I siliconed it all myself. Tank dimensions are 55"L x 17"W x 24"H. I also built the cabinet/stand and created the foam rock background . The tree used to have the moss I mentioned above, but recently changed it out for subwassertang. I plan to buy more of it soon. Every plant in here is exploding. I've had trouble keeping cardinal tetras alive. Can't tell you how many I've purchased, but the 15 or so left in here are doing well now. I've lost far fewer rummynose. This tank is just so much fun to look at. The rainbows and corys are always spawning, the forktails play in the spraybar current, the rummynose stay together and swim back and forth, the amano shrimp are big enough to stay visible and crawl all over the rock wall, and the gourami patrols the tank like it's his job and eats from my hand. The cardinal tetra just sort of exist and look pretty. It's the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning. Stocking: Cardinal tetra, rummynose tetra, boesemani rainbows, forktail rainbows, pearl gourami, otos, julii corys, and amano shrimp. 7. Betta in the bedroom, 16G fluval spec, set up June 2020 My wife wanted a betta tank, so we got one, tank number 2 in the bedroom. She made all the aquascaping and stocking decisions. New tank so still sorting out the algae, fert/light balance. Another christmas moss floater, doing better in this tank for some odd reason, but still don't have high hopes. Stocking: pygmy corys, white cloud mountain minnows, and betta BONUS: Quarantine bin Learned my lesson with those guppies, so I'm quarantining now. I'm trying to add a few more cardinal tetra to my 90G. I've had great success with aqua huna fish, except for their cardinal tetras. This time around, I ordered 20 and put them in this 10G sterilite container. I lost 9 of them over 48 hours, but the remaining 11 have been alive for the past 6 days. Still don't look great, though.
  22. I have some African Dwarf frogs and have been on a support facebook group. There are a few things I need to run by the greater hive mind that is the internet. 1. Are plant fertilizers safe for ADFs? I would assume it is the same as shrimp and snails since they are sensitive to copper. But people in this group seem to be blindly following a single herpetologist member/admin and I haven't seen any evidence provided. 2. Unrelated, but I figured if you know about fertilizer you might also know about the other disputed, yet unresearched, airstones causing gas bubble disease. If you have any info I would love to hear it.
  23. Several months ago, we asked our LFS to order 4x female dwarf Gourami. Some fish keepers have never seen females, since most all that sells seem to be the brightly colored males. We’ve been giving them the royal treatment... lots of live food and frozen entree’s. They’re in a very wild, well-seasoned tank. Lots of duckweed, wisteria, pothos roots, etc. Then just a week or two ago, we popped in a divider, and brought home a colorful male. He’s now gearing up, getting used to our water, eating lots of healthy foods. The plan is to remove 3x females, and then move the male across the divider. Short video below.
  24. Something about black worms and peer pressure... got 2x pairs of Rams gettin’ in the mood. These are 2nd gen born & raised in our water. Goodness what a haul if these work out. If we pull, probably just batch them all together. Substrate spawn pulling... *ugh* not my favorite...
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