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Beardedbillygoat’s Fish & Shrimp Tank Journal


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I’m a 45 year old husband, Dad, Cardiology NP and NERM starting at age 10 and continuing on and off since then. I’ve been keeping a few different journals and realized it would be better and simpler just to keep one thread. For reference here are the originals: 

I’ve received a lot of support, encouragement and kindness on this forum. I appreciate this community a great deal. I hope my mistakes and learned experiences can help others. 

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I feel like in the Pacific Northwest we are blessed with a tremendous infrastructure for aquarists. I was fortunate this week to have a few days off and I headed to Portland, Oregon and went to The Wet Spot. It’s a tremendous shop. I sometimes watch their unboxing videos and the guy waiting on me sometimes does them or participates.
Anyway I picked up a few things - calico lyretail mollies, luminatus rainbows, a male albino bristlenose pleco, a female neolamprologus brevis, 7 purple kuhli loaches and 5 longfin whiteclouds. Also picked up 3 tissue culture plants - crypts wendtii green gecko, mioya, and wendtii red a version I’d never seen before. Of course my lovely kids threw away the top to the culture. They packed them well and the trip home went well. 
The mollies, kuhlis and rainbows are in QT. The pleco only good place for him was my display so in he went now have 4 females - 3 calicos and 1 regular and another lf albino. Same with the brevis specific pH and minerality for Lake Tangs so in she went into the shellies tank. The WCs went in the mini pond with 3 golds and 1 longfin.D094445E-B443-4D2A-BF5E-7964E2D3A27A.jpeg.e5f0b04fd1f3f3e796da1fbd5719ead0.jpegFCE50AB9-2BE0-45A0-9337-A2AD0C0BE0C5.jpeg.9bb8ef7f041e308176f6da214cf6643d.jpeg

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I’ve been a little obsessed with the Blue Hawaiian Moscow Guppies since first seeing them on @Bentley PascoeYT channel. I obtained 2 pairs earlier this year and unfortunately lost all except a single female. She was brought back from deaths door and earned the name Tuffy. She was joined a month or so ago by 2 more pairs. I’ve been keeping them with my blue dream colony until I recently had to bring my platinum miyuki ricefish in due to the excessive heat. I’ve now got a ton of fry I’m rearing and am excited to get these out to others here in Central Oregon. 12F3B73C-9E4E-43AF-ADB8-1869932F051D.jpeg.769e776a81ca4933e419d836d1ce55e5.jpeg3C41F7EE-5874-4105-A4F4-B2917F65FF0B.jpeg.8745db27a906d88e6e30072399c0ddab.jpegC90BFB0E-3880-4F47-B1F6-63D7A0519686.jpeg.384ad12d1fc14f89164d4403978f605f.jpeg2336E42B-3C07-4C8A-990A-6758C7EC920E.jpeg.819e5fd7d9c2373764239d333d3f23fa.jpegB2307AF3-B6DC-4BEE-93A2-EE311992D718.jpeg.d86f38619fab67db8ebbec8ff6eb4a20.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

The Sad Bowl - man this thing has put me through the ringer. Recently treated with 5 doses of Maracyn with the thought that I had some form of bacterial infection happening- snails were dying, plants were melting and foggy all the time a haze in the water. I’d already tried h2o2 treatments, loads of water changes and a couple weeks without. 
Well the last 3-4 days have been super encouraging- clearer water, nice green algae growing on the rocks, a little melt from the crypts but also some new growth from the crypts and stems. My subwassertang went bye bye but I have more in my shrimp tank. I’ve been trimming and replanting and put in some new crypts from the tissue cultures I got in Portland. 
My plan is for this to be a tiger caridina tank. may also throw in some of my Neocaridina culls. The parameters are pH 6.5, kh 0-1, gh 250-300. 40B782CC-1CC0-4C08-BC65-AEA20E4396D4.jpeg.f5e968da784e45a38b2b736aabcf35e9.jpeg3E253863-301F-4EE3-B843-9533316C153A.jpeg.8d553146a280aa4a1065378e37df9743.jpeg3056038D-9E4C-429C-A7F8-7388F5049BDD.jpeg.5cc43f5ba5a24750a84789cf337f01a1.jpeg53C67CD7-19A8-4953-AE1E-115852A2D5C3.jpeg.e96ee0ed395270209b241d7b43d71ddb.jpeg55D0EECB-4304-4A87-A6D6-5696254C6AEA.jpeg.4139892edd9bce97dff9a245698e5e15.jpegB24281D2-C570-4DCA-9600-5307149C179A.jpeg.e5f676bcb2dd9f2d88b2335642695fc0.jpeg

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Edited by Beardedbillygoat1975
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My stoop minipond has had some ups and downs. Figuring out how much water lettuce to keep with the Lilly has been difficult. I dosed some ferts and put a large water lettuce in to offer some shade. The brutal summer heat here in Oregon has made it challenging. I’d added in an airstone and shanked the nozzle for my fountain lately to try to aerate and help the fish and plants. Working on the pond today I saw something dart by, then another and then another and I realized there were good size fry in there! Wow whiteclouds are amazing! The fry were not seen this evening but here’s some pics. The flower planters are courtesy of my lovely wife. 538E9E25-D7A0-4FA9-9F58-EFAC2840BD43.jpeg.8963c980b3ee5d12060764673cc8fa36.jpegF9458D7F-A17E-423F-9F7A-5D822962AB0C.jpeg.c7647aa96ceb836bbee5e356f38428f1.jpeg78EFAA21-749B-4788-AB58-B515981A3079.jpeg.f0da0c3934052592fc2b261172ed824c.jpeg218A1E9E-2133-4401-9EB3-4544CEBE6FE1.jpeg.612e584b204c27d8b1ee31e0ee6aebab.jpegF679ABA8-6D89-47D3-8A89-803FA9282EBE.jpeg.33a0e7723fa34e79c53f7d9a7a69781f.jpeg

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The Sad Bowl strikes again - the snails I placed in there look to be dead 💀 or at least most of them were as of this AM. Bladder snails are bulletproof and 2 are dead. I saw a couple baby ramshorns pretty close to their original landing zone but some movement. I suspect there is something in the bowl like a chemical - cleaning products, wife’s perfume, my kids or heavy metal I’m not detecting. I just don’t know what else to do. Not sure purigen would help this with no detectable ammonia, nitrogenous compounds etc. The plants are doing well. TDS needs to be checked and I’ll look at kh and gh.  I don’t want to lose hope but the fact I can’t keep snails alive in there leads me to not want to put any more living creatures in there. 

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On a more positive note my Medaka fry are getting to a nice size. I am starting to contemplate a grow out tank for them. I have a 17 gallon clear food safe tote that I could half fill with a sponge filter and some water lettuce, hornwort and guppy grass as well as their Java moss. I am wondering what others use as the determining factor for going from The initial setup to a longer term situation?E7A8EE6C-D76C-474F-8F26-E6CCD0A36DDF.jpeg.1eb8abc26a14330be169e72c259ba0bd.jpeg

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Medaka fry update - I counted 9 today not 8 which is exciting. Saw @Fish Folk was grinding up Sera onip  tabs for his fry and the Medaka love it. I’ve been hatching out brine shrimp every other week and the leftovers I freeze into cubes and thaw and feed. Continue to mix in some spirulina and fry food as well along with a daily 50% water change. I may add in some Repashy powder this week as well. My plan is to move them to a 3 gallon tank - I’ll just fill it to 1 gallon and gradually fill it as they get bigger. Eventually I will fill my 30 gallon tote again and use it as a grow out for these and my whiteclouds. 34E15DA6-E2FD-400A-9333-A35975B8E760.jpeg.9df6004300c5a419bb156ab24a830fde.jpeg3765D67A-5763-4E89-AA85-6EFD6149EBD4.jpeg.e2c6fcc364bd24bdfa3625daee681338.jpegAE3FD67D-0F7F-4C90-9C4C-753E13916A92.jpeg.b7a06a380b2bacbb002d4cf4b6e680dd.jpeg

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I’ve been busy with work but managing to keep up on my maintenance. I hatched out some brine yesterday and fed last night and this AM. 
 

I’ve ound the ponds to be a steep learning curve. My front porch pond has done well. I’ve found fry but had difficulty with my pond pump and the fountain attachment. I’ve actually taken off the fountain sprayer and it’s just a straight tube. 23BB76FD-6B15-488C-BDEA-C70C82086ED9.jpeg.ef39b287154383aa1b29bcf7fed017ea.jpeg48B434E1-180F-45A6-9FA1-A4A21492DAD9.jpeg.4f6cfd1eb1b725a97987d578c640fc23.jpeg


The back porch ponds have just been too hot. The gouramis are still going but I think I’d grab some wild bettas next year for the other 2 ponds as they can take the heat. 
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The Sad Bowl has had an algae bloom - there’s now some hair algae in addition to the green spot. I always feel like algae’s a good sign. Who knows?!

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The shell dwellers have been much more active since adding the second female. A pair have taken over the front corner so we’ll see if they produce some fry. 
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My sons Pseudomeugil luminatus tank is growing plants like crazy! Check out that pink flamingo crypt left front - gorgeous! I think this along with my 45 g display are my most successful planted tanks. 759D6198-5D36-435E-8145-DFA909A07C56.jpeg.1f95d8eb390e7538d1bcbc2bacc840d3.jpeg

The quarantine tanks are doing well as are the platys in the plant grow out. I need to do some work on the hair algae. 

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My 45 gallon display is now a year old. From the beginning it’s had lots of swords (3) and a crinum with lots of Java fern regular and Windelov as well as anubias and crypts. I’d always said I’d have a community tank with neons, phantoms and barbs which I have along with a festivum named Spikey Feathers and an opaline 3 spot gourami name TBD. There’s a pair of Apisto trifasciata I see the male 5 x as much as the female. I also have 7 ancistrus - 1 sf and 1 lf albino, 4 calico from super red cross, and 1 brown. They eat the swords and my Madagascar lace but that’s ok. They’re gigantic and can take it. I also have 5-7 bronze corys and 3 sae. It’s overstocked but I do the work 50% every other week, Eheim 2217 and a Ziss biobed filter along with loads of plants. 
Substrate is Flourite black sand and Fluval Stratum. Wood is mopani with a piece of local manzanita. There’s so local lava rock that has some other mineral deposits in it, some pleco caves and some cholla wood. 

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This is my 2.5 g Fluval EBI. It’s been an experimental tank. The substrate is a mix of stratum, gravel, lava rock, and crushed coral with some pumice. There’s ludwigia, h’ra, cabomba, crypt tropica, crypt wendtii green, anubias petite and nana petite, and Buce Godzilla, wavy green , brownie phoenix and rainbow marble. 6 blue dream shrimp share it with 3 amanos. The plan is to make this a nice home for a betta. When I convert to a betta tank I’ll take the shrimp out and will need to get some wood that’s tree like and planting that’s soft for the betta to rest on - thinking manzanita and Christmas or Fissidens moss. 9A02143D-530E-4A74-90D2-10C6B0CB94D2.jpeg.c0322b154f58dc6bada1956cdd5f12de.jpeg

The Opae ula shrimp are doing great. We had some trouble with being too successful with algae production but add in a nerite and he’s keeping the glass fairly clean making it easier to view them. 
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The last 24 hours have taught me some lessons. Not painful hard lessons just the stuff you get from looking at your tanks for hours and picking up on behavior and subtle changes. Yesterday was the beginning of this with me noticing that around bedtime my 45 g my fishes behavior was off - everyone at either corner at the top around the returns from the filters. Green neons and cherry barbs with poor coloration, black phantoms missing that neons blue stripe on the side. Yikes checked the parameters and the nitrates had spiked never been in the 100s before - congratulations you’ve won a tank to fix!
Ok working backwards I’d fed Repashy and in it was some krill some of which was still in the tank. I’d ordered Fritz ACCR last weekend after my last set of water changes and I’d been waiting for it to arrive so shite what to do? I decided to clean the filter - Eheim Classic 2217. Got the media cleaned up a bit in some tank water, took out some year old sponges and replaced with new ones and got it up and running again with an extra airstone. Worked like a charm within an hour the fish looked back to their normal selves. 
Today I got the ACCR and did a big water change 50%, trimmed some plants, added some corkscrew Val and replanted some crypts and a Taiwan Lilly the cats had dug up. 
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The next lesson I learned was that time old question- hair algae is it too much or too Little light? Too much ferts? Algaecide time? Well my plant growout tank is going through some growing pains. Most of the plants - crypts, ludwigia, cabomba, rotala, some Swords all like light but I had an Amazon special planted tank light and a led spotlight on there. So I manually removed a ton of algae, reduced the lighting spotlight will go elsewhere, and let’s increase the ferts and dose a little algaecide to give it a boost. Last 72 hours I like the results! 
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My QT tanks are 2 acrylic 3 gallons that presently house 5 calico mollys plus one Miami Vice Endler hybrid, 3 blue eye rainbows and 7 kuhli loaches. I’ve been trying to keep some guppy grass, hornwort and Java moss alive in the tanks but the light must not be powerful enough - led spotlight anyone? Anyway they got a big water change and then got some BBS and I have to say those purple kuhlis are so fun. I’d initially thought about them in the 45 g but now I’m thinking they need to be a centerpiece of my next project tank. 61A83AEE-C049-4F3E-84D4-D2CFB682882B.jpeg.ead21673c436e7fa974247153d216f96.jpeg9808A932-6860-4959-B0D9-185EE43D10E8.jpeg.12e58b3517686e447e695628d652338e.jpeg980AB34A-20F1-4121-A71F-7C9BC422D1A7.jpeg.d91e0f821863c2b15fc0a058d1d74af6.jpeg

Ricefish babies - they are growing, I’ve learned BBS is best. I’ve been hatching out a couple times a week and freezing what I don’t use that day. I then thaw out in a sealed glass Tupperware and then feed that. With the BBS the really small bbs float in the salt solution whereas the bigger brine shrimp kind of sink along with the detritus. I’ve been sucking up the really small ones from the thawed out for the ricefish and they devour it. I’m thinking 2 more weeks and they can go into my soon to be setup 30 g tote growout for whiteclouds and ricefish. I’m thinking I’ll only fill it half way initially and then slowly fill it up and eventually add in the white clouds. I think I’ll then build out an air driven egg capture system for the whiteclouds and ricefish kind of like what some folks do for CPDs. 0AA1C274-2330-4D7F-A75C-927021A3A7D5.jpeg.bbd6a450742be445a60f5878e7f971b1.jpegFA64A839-F7D1-4962-9CC0-D4AE5BC3307B.jpeg.fb55a20cddd1238d2fd28a68df1fe993.jpegD7B6974E-6925-4B7D-B50E-D0730AF97161.jpeg.efc932b8f1c9d8193ca5418b4403a0ac.jpeg

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I don’t know why I keep torturing myself but I threw a couple snails into The Sad Bowl and sure enough they passed on to the snail house in the sky. 13 days since my last attempt. Think I’ll do a water change and algae management today and give it another 2 weeks. 


I’ve thought about testing the hypothesis that this is a metal most likely copper or iron overload issue with placing a couple guppies in the tank. Here’s an article I found on PubMed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23302712/

I’d wait another couple weeks and water changes before doing the experiment. 
 

I’m working on my “fish wall” in the garage - 

this is forcing me to get more organized and not “just pack it in a tote ‘till it’s overflowing “ which is what my wife indicated was my usual habit. 
I am going to start working on a 30 g tote to be my whiteclouds and ricefish grow out breeding setup for the fall/winter/spring. I am going to see if I can DIY and air driven egg collector I’ve seen for CPDs and WCs. 
After the QT I did on my calico mollies, luminatus rainbows and purple kuhlis I’ve now put them in their hopefully forever homes. That leaves me with 2 - 3 g acrylic tanks that I’ll need to think about for breeding purposes. I’ve thought about grabbing some of my green neons, throwing a bunch of moss and marbles in the bottom and seeing if I can get them to spawn. I also have some really eager cory aeneus that are full grown and mommas are bursting at the seams but don’t think the 3 g would be a good size for them - might need to grab a 10 g bare bottom for that job. Wish I’d have kept my scratched up 20 high but wife was not in the same frame of mind she’s now in terms of the fish wall and this hobby being a permanent part of the landscape. BD38DDCA-B202-4925-8A5E-5E2099CA8D57.jpeg.64589f8327f0841815ae4c6639748aa6.jpeg6517C052-4D73-4177-8EFF-2A95E62AE8E4.jpeg.07dd6e11b946f56a2c63fa77be577463.jpeg

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Polyfilter is great to have on hand even if poor sad bowl doesn't pull out of this slump. Was this a bowl INTENDED for fish?? I wonder if it's crystal, which would mean there is lead in the glass. Most crystal intended for human use usually has either negligible lead or since you're not really intended to store liquid in it is safe enough for a dinner party. Lead crystal decorations however would probably have higher than normal lead content, meant to make the glass/crystal look clearer, more prismatic and beautiful, but over time would leach lead into liquid. I can't think of anything else that should be causing all these issues for you. I know you bought the bowl on amazon right? 

Edited by xXInkedPhoenixX
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