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About Me

  1. This is my first attempt at a SW tank. I am adding all sorts of life forms from Puget Sound, Washington State. The humble beginnings: Currently aiming for a stable 55F environment and waiting for the dust to settle. Had a molting from one of the amphipods. Well, I thought mystery snails were the only ones with more of a penchant for relocation, until I just saw the clam decided to try a new spot in the tank (and out of view, of course). I know he is there because I can see him from the top, but the little stinker has made it impossible for me to get a side view. I guess they all want to redecorate at some point. The snails and amphipods have pretty much decimated the green tuft seaweed. Littorina scutulata and several amphipods and copepods. Algae: Sarcodiotheca gaudichaudii, Cladophora columbiana, Prionitis lanceolata, Fucus gardneri, Alaria marginata. The tank today: I am also documenting this in YT so I can remember what things looked like once a transition has taken place. Please bear in mind that I do have a goofy sense of humour, so some of the videos are kind of wacky.
  2. The purpose of this thread is to document my trials and tribulations while trying to build a "simple" aquarium stand. And let me just say, I have mad respect for the King of DIY; he does a ton of giant projects all by himself! For us beginners though, there some things that he leaves out. This will hopefully help people see what they are getting into and to avoid the mistakes I made. I have minimal tools (dremel, drill) and live in an apartment. I'll show you how I tackled this and how long it takes, along with the *real* costs. You know what I mean, you did something wrong so you have to buy something to fix it, etc. Here's what we're trying to build, for 20gal aquariums: I began last weekend. Per Joey, it only took him 45 min to slap this thing together. I consider myself fairly handy, so I should be able to do that, right? LOL NO. Since I didn't have a saw, I was planning to rent a miter saw from Home Depot. My husband was dubious about this, so we got a miter box and saw to try to cut the 2x4s. This did not work. My husband is a pretty fit guy, but the miter box just wasn't a good idea. There were too many cuts and we couldn't even get through one. This was, in part, due to the fact that we didn't have a sturdy table (just those cheap Ikea ones that wobble quite a bit.) So I would say avoid this route unless you have experience using it. I decided to have Home Depot cut it for me. The first two cuts are free, and 50 cents each after that. I was not counting on the associate being high as a kite though. I explained what I needed and he looked at me with that dreamy "I don't care" look, so I just had him cut some plywood (to make the shelves useful of I ever stop using it for aquariums.) The 8ft boards barely fit in the SUV, but fit it did. Oh, and did I mention, you have to go through and pick out the best boards? Yes. You must go to the stack of 2x4s and look at each board. Some of them are not even rectangular. Some of them are very crooked. Some are missing chunks. You don't want any of those. Your boards won't be perfect, but they should be fairly straight with no major defects. For my project, I took home six 8ft 2x4 boards. Note that 2x4s are NOT 2" by 4". They are actually 1.5" by 3.5". Make sure your measurements/calculations reflect this. I rented the miter saw and reviewed the little safety video detailed in the instructions. It was actually really easy to use. I was careful to use eye and ear protection and gloves, although the gloves were not really necessary (they made it more cumbersome when marking off measurements.) To best use the miter saw, you are really going to want to use a clamp, and I dished out like 20 cents for a carpenter's pencil. It helps make marks more accurate because it can mark closer to the edge. (Not strictly necessary but nice.) As I said before, I did not have a sturdy table, so I opted to saw on the floor of my patio. THIS IS NOT ADVISED IN THE SAFETY MANUAL. Do so at your own risk. When you start drilling things together, MAKE SURE YOU DOUBLE CHECK WHICH ONES YOU PUT TOGETHER! I made this mistake, and that's why I am here doing this project a week later. I felt like a special smart person and decided "I'll even wood glue these together!" That was a bad idea. Additional updates pending. I am still working on this today so I will update after. Sneak peek: troubles include stripped screws, incorrect bits, trying to remove wood glue, and a broken drill bit.
  3. Prime Time Aquatics posted this video today on misleading aquarium products. Does it not make your blood boil? While here is your chance to talk about it! What's the most aggravating thing in the fishkeeping hobby to you? Is it misleading picture on tank boxes like in the above video? Is it misinformed pet store employees? Or maybe the negligence that the fishkeepers themselves have towards their pets? Comment down below on your greatest annoyance in the hobby and a story of your worst experience if you have one.
  4. I've been using some cheapo Amazon CO2 diffusers. The stone keeps getting clogged with algae. It doesn't take much... any little bit of algae and the diffuser is just DEAD. I've tried soaking them in vinegar to see if that would loosen it up and make them work again, but to no avail. Does anyone have any tips for cleaning these things up?
  5. So, now I've done it. Don Carlo the betta is dead of something, long live Don Carlo, and in his sponge-filter-only 10g with soft, neutral water that's quickly being taken over by duckweed and jungle val, I was planning on adding a breeding pair or trio of Aphyosemion australe (Golden Lyretail killifish). My first killis and they sound and look amazing. But I couldn't find reasonably priced fish domestically, so I opted for some eggs from Thailand. Of course, in the time it'll take to ship them from Thailand, I changed my mind and decided on CPDs and cherry shrimp (which are settling in perfectly and I love them. I think I'm way more of a danio person than a betta person). But! Those eggs are still on their way. So! New plan: a 30 or 40 gallon on this big old antique buffet table from my MIL that I've never enjoyed, but which is sturdy as all get-out and is sort of wasted on two 10g tanks right now (the Don Carlo tank and the quarantine tank, enjoying some ambient light from the south-facing glass door). It can fit up to a 40L , but I think I'll probably go with a 40 breeder for versatility or a 30 if I must. So, after I drop in some Black Diamond for substrate and lots of cover plants, what should I do with this killi tank? I know I could easily add tetras, rasbora, cories, or even a couple rams, but I'd like to keep it somewhat geographically appropriate to West Africa. Should I just stick with these killis for now? There's a local selling kribs on craigslist and I'd love to help him out, but the colors wouldn't really mesh with the orange killies. Something dark, maybe? Black, marbled, or blue would pop well with the orange killies. Something more bottom-dwelling would be great. I'd love some shrimp and/or nerite snails for clean-up and algae, but I'm afraid that the soft, slightly acidic water parameters will be too unpleasant for them. I should add that, while I can sell fish, slowly, I'd really rather not, and my local pet stores are really not great places for fish. So I'd be keeping fry in with the adults. Slow, replacement-level breeding is exactly what I'm looking for, so I don't mind moderate egg- and fry-eaters, as long as they'll leave the adults alone. What would you do?
  6. Hi everyone. I'm very frustrated and need some advice. I have a 55 gallon tank. It's been up for 3 months now. My dip stick tells me no chlorine, no nitrates, no nitrites, 6.5 Ph, acidic water, but I still can't seem to get my ammonia levels to zero. I have been doing 50-80% water changes for a week now. The gravel is spotless and I condition the water coming out of the tap. I really want fish! I have some plants that seem okay, but the few times I've put fish in there, they don't last. I'm a fish killer, and I feel so bad about it. What could possibly be so wrong with my tank? I'm really wasting a lot of conditioner in this battle for good parameters. Any help would be very appreciated. Also, love your videos. You are very helpful and mellow. Keep it up. Thanks, Sweet Sharon
  7. So i know pea puffers are quite small, and do fine in a 5 gallon tank, however what is the optimal size tank for a single pea puffer? Like what would make them the most happiest? Is 5 gallon perfect? Or would they rather prefer a 20 gallon? Also can you keep a school of them, or are they territorial like a Betta?
  8. I wanted to share my personal experience with my first DIY project using PVC pipes. I searched online quite a bit and decided to give it a shot myself. It turned out to be quite simple, so I wanted to share it here in case anyone else would like to give it a try. Parts: 1-1/2" PVC pipe, cut to about 12 inches long (1) 1-1/2" to 3/4" PVC bushing. Get the one that has threads on the inside (3) 1-1/2" PVC DWV pipe (it's a U-shaped pipe) (1) 1-1/2" Sani Tee Pipe (1) 5/8" hose barb x 3/4" MIP nylon adapter (2) I got the hose barb with 5/8" barb for my 16/22 mm hose 1/4" x 1/2" MIP push-to-connect adapter for the CO2 tubing (1) 3/4" to 1/2" PVC bushing. Get the one that has threads on the inside. The CO2 connector goes to that How I got it free-standing: I ended up needing to build a stand as well, because the reactor itself won't stand upright. I found a little part of my old computer desk, that had a metal plate and a connected short metal tube (it was meant to hold a small table top that swivels out). I was able to fit another PVC pipe right onto it and got it to fit snugly by putting a rubber band on the metal tube before putting the pvc pipe on. Then I cut open a few more 1-1/2" PVC pipes and screwed them into the stand, which clamps perfectly onto the reactor! I used bolts and tightened it with nuts on the inside, so that it would be more stable and not have a risk of pulling out eventually. I was really happy to see that I could re-use the PVC pipes to act as a clamp, it made my job so much easier. Reasons for creating this PVC CO2 reactor: I am currently using an FZone CO2 inline diffuser, which ends up sending lots of micro-bubbles into the tank. When I had lights that did not have as high intensity, I didn't notice it much. However, when I switched to using a higher intensity light, it became very noticeable, and I don't really want to have that 7-up effect I thought it would be really cool to try and building something using PVC! It's super fun 🙂 How it works: The idea of the design is that water will be flowing from the top of the reactor, downwards and then out from the bottom The CO2 line injects the CO2 from the top as well, and as the CO2 gets pushed down, it will try to rise up and keep getting flushed down, until it dissolves into the water The idea then is that any water that is able to flow out, should only contain dissolved CO2 I decided not to have any bio balls in there, because I won't be able to get in there and clean the media when it eventually gets dirty As of writing this thread, I have not yet connected it to my filter. I am waiting on my new filter that will be more powerful (Oase Biomaster 300), so the flow won't be restricted too much. Once I have it connected, I will update this thread with more information!
  9. I was doing my weekly water change and when I removed the lid I noticed this clutch of snail eggs. I tried to change the water as fast as I could to minimize the eggs getting dried out. Is that a concern I need to take into account next week or will they stay moist for long enough to not worry about that. Also I have been doing some reading and saw that not all the eggs my be fertilized. How can I know if they are fertile and will produce baby snails. Also when/ if they hatch do i need to move them to a separate tank to let them grow out or will they be fine in my main tank. TIA
  10. I am currently drip acclimating cory to the designated tank (since Nitrate level between this 75 gallon tank with quarantine tank got is different while rest of it is same) but, I see white pimple like things under their eyes. Is this normal? 2 out of 5 were flashing during meal time,and I myself were thinking only after they stopped flashing during meal time, I add them to the tank but it has been almost a month and a few days and no change. I asked the seller about this and seller urged me and told me if they got into designated tank that are more stable water condition, they would probably stop flashing.I was hesitant for a long time but since no change, and if I did not try, I would not know the result and , it is risky but decided to try but should I wait more after looking these pimple like things if not normal.. I am torn. Flashing occurred only during meal time and it is not like 24/7 flashing. Only 2 out of 5 do that. I did try more water change and also tried paraguard with stability but no improvement.If anyone start flipping, they flips about up to 10 flips and then go back to normal zoomie to eat the food.Quarantine tank was/is bare bottom. Thank you.
  11. 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.
  12. I stumbled on this fella while searching for ideas on building a fish “gallery” ... holy cow this is incredible! Like an underground laboratory. The plumbing and cable management is a work of art, and applicable to fresh water.
  13. Which plants can I cut off that have grown to long and replant them? How do I trim plants? Is there an article or something out there with basic information?
  14. So i'll try keeping this as brief as i can, I was due to buy a Fluval Roma 240 tank so went ahead and purchased a fluval 307 canister filter but the tank turned out to be smaller than advertised so i decided not to go ahead with the purchase, i then found another unbranded tank for sale which is actually 500L (unsure what that is in gallons 110 perhaps?), Im due to collect it tomorrow and started panicking as this 307 is rated for a maximum of 303L, ive just been watching Corys video from 1st of July 2016 about filters and it has me wondering if maybe this will actually now do the job fine. Any ideas?
  15. I'm thinking about adding a DIY Co2 setup on my new planted tank. If I run it to boost my plant growth will it hurt them when I stop useing it when they get fully established?
  16. If it ain't broke don't fix it ... Anyway yesterday morning I decided to fiddle with my CO2 and accidentally dumped some into the tank. CO2 is back to where it was ... But since then I have noticed two things, unrelated, but the tank is not the same. 18 Danios (mix of Zebra and Kyathit) are now hiding. They are usually very active, swimming through all the terrain ... in the past 24 hours only about 6 came out to feed. They are not in the sump, but must be hiding down in the plants and rocks. Very unusual for Danios not to come out in a frenzy for feeding. But I've tried two feedings and very litter reaction, and at this moment, I cannot find any of them. However, the 10 Corys and 2 Plecos are active. There is a group of white egg looking things on my glass. See pic. Just noticed this today while looking for the Danios.
  17. I've been feeding them for a while now, freeze dried and frozen. Well last night was no different! I like holding the frozen gumdrops for my dojo's to eat from my hand while letting some sink down for the other fish to enjoy. I woke up this morning with my eyes almost swollen shut, I've had other mild symptoms over the past couple of weeks as well but shrugged them off as the usual springtime allergies. I guess I'll be gloving up if I plan on physically handling them from now on.
  18. Greetings Every single serious aquarist know to do his/her research on a particular species before buying it. But... is it me or you can find pretty much every opinion and it’s opposite? I want to give the best care possible to my fish but I end up so confused. I have hair algea in my 10 gallons and green algea mostly only on my anubias on my 15 and 20 gallons. For some reason, my nerite snail don’t like to go on top of the leaves. My lights are on a timer, 8 hours a day. I dislike the look of algea and would like to get otocinclus - everywhere they recommend a group of 5-6 or else the fish get stressed. I don’t think my tanks are big enough or could support them. Cory is the only one that seems to recommend 2 oto, even only 1 for a small tank. Has anyone experienced only 1 or 2 oto in their tank? @Cory Could you reassure me that I wouldn’t make a mistake to get only 2 otos for each of my tanks? Thank you!
  19. HI All! (I swear this has to do with my aquarium.) We've been redoing our bathroom, which is next to our aquarium's and the primary source for cleaning the tanks. We just discovered the faucet we're planning on using doesn't have the option to hook up my vacuum. The part in the middle of the faucet won't come out. So now we're trying to figure out what kinds of faucets would have that part the comes out so I can attach the vacuum up to it. But I don't know what that part is called so when I look on websites I can't tell if it has the option to pull that out or not. So what I would like to know is do you what that part is called and what to look for? This bathroom has been not nice for years and years, and we're trying to make it look nice and make it functional for the aquarium. Any help would be appreciated.
  20. A self-taught marine biologist, this gal invented the modern aquarium to study aquatic organisms. https://shethoughtit.ilcml.com/biography/jeanne-villepreux-power/ 👩‍🦱 March is Women's History Month!👩
  21. I am gonna build a 55 for my axolotl sometime in the next year but I am preparing now I am gonna have a sump so I want to drill it so What is the best kind/brand of tank for drilling these are my one needs 1. come in a 55 gallon 2.non tempered glass(obviously) 3. Be some what easy to get 4. Easy to drill
  22. I've kept many tetras in my day but have not kept these. Thinking of getting some for my 55 gal planted tank. For those who have kept these, any recommendations/pointers on minimum number to keep together and anything tricky about them? Also, could these be kept in a nano tank, something between 6 - 10 gallons? I didn't think they would be good for nano, but thought I would ask.
  23. I have 2 aqua clear 110s on my 75g and im gonna stock the tank with 10 juvenile saulosi. I know i have enough filtration but i think its gonna be way too much flow. Should i just use 1 filter to slow the flow down?
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