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Minanoras adventures in fishkeeping


Minanora
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I figured that I may as well start a journal of my fishkeeping adventure. After what happened to me today, and the fact that nobody in my physical life has any interest in my love of aquariums and fish... I think this will be a good place for me to socialize about the hobby and have people who are actually interested to share with.

Anyway, I have two main tanks right now. I was told that I'm only allowed to have two... But I've had the "quarantine" tank set up for many months now and plan to get another soon. Hey I need one for babies and one for sick/new fish, right? Or do I need three... I do take my spouse seriously though. But I can dream.

I have a 75G, Takashi Amano inspired tank with my first canister filter. I have mixed feelings about that. More on that soon. That's my adventure I had today that sparked my idea to make this journal.

I also have a 20G Tall, "toddler tank" in my son's room that was his reward for sleeping in his own bed full time. He loves his fish, he's 3.

I love guppies, always have, and have had guppies in just about every fish tank I've had through my life. Now that I have started my own family and have other input on what goes in the tanks, I've fallen in love with otos, swordtails and corydoras.

Before I got married, my finest tank had two angles, three spunky, chatty, long whiskered catfish, a team of koolie loaches, an abundance of blue metallic guppies and a pleco. I also kept a single silver butterfly koi in my room that was my best friend for many years.

I love fish, I love plants and keeping fish brings me great joy.

 

For now, I have to call it a night, but I'll continue tomorrow. Here's a photo to hint at my canister filter adventure today... 😅

 

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Edited by Minanora
Adding photos of tanks.
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So my adventure yesterday:

Long winded storytime, summary at bottom:

I have this canister filter on my 75G. I only have it because my husband is not a fan of the waterfall sounds/trickles of the HOB filters AND I had an insane opportunity to get the darn thing. Stacking coupons... coupon errors, etc.. that made the canister $180, and I got all of the substrate I ordered, Planted Eco complete black x6, heater, glass lids, air pump, and spray bar.... for about $18 dollars more. So, steal of a deal and they didn't have the HOB I wanted in stock so, yeah. Oh and free store pickup, and free shipping, OH and they had  issues shipping the 120# of substrate, so they also gave me a $30 refund, and I still got all of my stuff. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Moving on! I have that spray bar for the dang thing... I had it pointed at the back wall originally because I wanted maximum flow, but didn't want to uproot all of my plants at the front of the scape. I also wanted to see how things went with using the flow over the heater (no significant differences btw) Mind you my heater is way oversized, I ordered the wrong one and when I went to exchange it, because of the coupon thing I would have had to pay a bunch more for the smaller heater. So I kept the behemoth! Moving along, again! I was messing with the spray bar yesterday to change the flow across the front of the aquarium because I was unhappy with the dead space in the front, collecting poo's and whatnot. The 27 babies in the tank had been fine with the flow going the other way, being dispersed by the back of the tank... Turned that spray bar around and it was a whole other ball game. So as I stood there and thought, "hmm, I'm not seeing anywhere that the babies can go for relief from the current" I took a look at the intake for the filter, which was now collecting the newly suspended poos (I even vacuumed beforehand), driftwood slime and stray leaves and I watch a baby go investigate... He tried so hard to get away, it looked like he realized that the intake holds no food, and was going to leave it be since it was trying to eat him instead, then he headed around to the other side of the intake tube, just out of my sight, I moved so I could observe him, and POOF, he was gone. In my mind I'm thinking "there's no way he just got sucked in there..." There's 27 in there, but somehow I know most of them by sight, and I'm sure he's missing. "Well, I've heard of babies living inside the canister, so I may as well just check."

I go about opening the canister, forgetting instructions along the way, remembering the part where I close the valve BEFORE I unplug the unit, and then forgetting to actually turn off the unit as I pull up on the red release lever, spraying water inside my cabinet and thinking about how I should have known to turn off the darn thing before I did that. Now I've got the thing unplugged, disconnected and am trying to shimmy it out of the cabinet without accidently unlatching the head. For some reason I'm terrified that it's going to spontaneously turn back on and leak everywhere even though it's unplugged. I've only pulled the thing out one other time to see if it needed cleaning. I proceed to the kitchen sink with my 3 year old helper close behind. Now to begin unraveling the mysterious canister components that are totally due for a cleaning. Just a few days before the 4 week week mark, good job internet, high five for the advice. Driftwood aging probably made it gunk up a bit faster than it will in the future. So, I drain off the excess water into my cleaning bin, low and behold, swimming amongst the poo's and suspended detritus is a single, lucky, guppy fry! I scoop him out with a Taco Bell cup, photograph him for science, and return him to the rest of the Derp Squad.

Cleaning the components of the canister is pretty much like a HOB, except that there's far more material, and after sanitizing the 10G and it's components, setting it back up, then doing a 50% water change on the 20G, treating it for ich, and doing a 25% water change on the 75G.... it's kind of hard on my back, having to stand there squishing the sponges, the carbon, the phosphate pads, MORE sponges, then trying to salvage the "polishing" pads before I get the replacement materials for the phosphate pads and filter floss that arrives on Friday... when I planned to do this task originally. After all of that and getting the canister back into the cabinet, I bust out the intake sponge that I should have installed to avoid this issue to begin with and get it on the intake. At least there's more surface for bacteria now, and I can get tiny shrimps without fear... I was planning to just do amano's but now, I may as well give the others a shot! So there's that; and I'm confident that when my female sword has her babies that more will survive. Win-win.

That darn spray bar.... ugly, hilarious that it has an extension that does basily nothing other than house snails... I need to cut the outlet hose shorter so I can get the whole setup closer to the top of the tank. I may play around with dropping the U piece that connects the hose to the bar, to see if it makes the "extension" of the bar more useful. The whole thing is just a bit ridiculous though. I would have rather just had an Aquaclear HOB but husband wanted a canister, and I had the opportunity. I want him to enjoy the hobby as much as I do, and having the canister is a plus for him.

In summary: I totally rescued a guppy from the bowels of my canister filter, added the intake sponge I bought for the setup, a month later, I think canisters are overrated, and the spray bar is subpar. Most notable I call my batches of fry "Derp Squads". Because when they're born, they're derpy and adorable. As seen below. "Derp"

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In other news, I love what I decided to do with my quarantine tank! I wanted to get it ready for shrimp, but was trying to figure out how to get the PH to be similar to the 75G without actually putting substrate in the bottom. BEHOLD! The mighty PYREX dish that never gets used!

 

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Genius! Why had I never thought of this before!? And now my poor plants that got a bleach dip have a fighting chance. 10% bleach, but still, nobody likes bleach. Now the aquasoil is contained, and buffering my PH quite nicely to 7.8. Plus I can easily remove the bowl for when I'm doing stuff that requires a PH of 8.0, which is what the 20G is at.

Quick fact about the sad looking pineapple house - it was part of the original 10G donation that was made to me years ago, it sat outside in the hot sun and cooked for a year. The person who gave it to me is awesome and I had to keep it. Plus it's easy to clean. I kind of want to paint it to look like a rock version that's growing a plant off of the top.

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Very nice tanks. I adore guppies great rescue. I removed my spray bars they are miserable even though I bought them extra because I “thought” I really wanted them. That looks like a fluval. I have 5 if you don’t mind I’m going to offer some unsolicited recommendations to make your life easier and your filter more efficient. Throw away your phosphate remover pad your plants need phosphate to grow and some phosphate reduces green spot algae in my experience.  Replace your carbon with 30 ppi cut to fit sponge. Carbon clogs and needs replaced as well as the pho’s pads meaning you throw away beneficial bacteria.  If it came with the white pads (some models do some don’t) replace with 40 ppi foam sponge. All sponge just gets rinsed and houses so much more bacteria. It also won’t clog as quick meaning if you need to push maintenance further out a week or so you can. If it isn’t a fluval same applies for all filters. Aquarium coop also does some great videos on canister media upgrading. Looking forward to following your journey. Thanks for sharing. 

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@GuppysnailI dig the advice. And I'm happy that you liked reading about my adventure! Thank you. I have plans to hotrod this filter for sure. Yesterday I removed one of the layers of factory carbon and filled that layer with a bag of ACO bio-rings. I have every intention to remove the phosphate pads, I was thinking they may help with silicate/silica (diatom food) at this stage though? I may be totally wrong but that was my thought with leaving them in there in the first place. I wasn't stoked with phosphate removal, but I hate diatoms so I figured I'd try it. My diatom period for the 20G was only about a month long, but I spent a lot of time physically removing them at the worst stage. I'm scared to have to do that with the 75. May get shrimp this weekend though... And/or otos. So exciting! Family trips to the LFS are the best! This will be my husband's first time inside our only local specialty shop.

Phosphate removal is a saltwater thing I think... I would guess, anyway.

Mine is a Fluval 407.

I feel like the trays could get shifted up when finally remove all the carbon, added two sponge layers on the bottom, then one with that factory sponge/filter floss and the two trays of bio-rings at the top. I feel like the single layer of sponge with filter floss it came with clogs way too fast because it's just so much water volume for so little filter floss and fine sponge.

Totally going to take you advice for the ppi of the sponges to add and replace the factory white floss. I had no idea how to make sure the sponges I order are the right density! Thank you!!!! You rock!

My HOB in the 20G has just a medium sponge that I cut and a bag of bio-rings tucked in front of the sponge. It's a marineland 150. The bio-ring bag is the "replacement" part for the aquaclear. When I feel the need to add carbon, I use the replacement for the aquaclear as well. 😂

When you removed the spay bar, did you go back to the factory outfall piece? Did you have the same issue with the flow rate of the extension on the spray bar?

Thank you again.

 

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They spray bar I drilled the holes larger then larger then more. I felt it acted like a pressure washer. My guppies hated it and it was for them. I thought dispersing the flow would be better it was not. You are definitely on the right track flipping the sponges. That last sponge is 40 ppi. If it is on the last layer you will not need the white floss. Had tried biorings awhile ago. I left them for 6 months they didn’t preform as well as sponge for me. They sort of clog up in the tiny surfaces you can’t get out then need replaced to preform as well. If you read the fine print in the manual it even tells you they need replaced. The last fluval I set p just happens to be a 407 for my guppy adult community. Here is what I used. Coop coarse on the bottom, aquaneat matten filter pad from Amazon 20 then 30 then the fine factory plus an extra bit of 40. I did use the floss again to try I hate it (don’t use floss inside canisters and it will almost never get clogged or restricted even in very heavy bio load). It clogged again on me. I actually took pictures and detailed my setting it up for my journal here I’ll include pictures. The one tray looks odd because I used all cycled sponge from hobs so it is puzzle pieced in. 
I have diatom in tanks that have been up for years(not excess but it’s there). My water is horrible.  The guppy babies born in one tank that had the worst diatom I ever had grew the fastest and colored quickest from them continuously picking at live food. I’m not sure you know but diatom is a type of organism not actual algae. So now I appreciate it for the live food source 🤷‍♀️ While typing I remembered…The first canister I used was on the worst outbreak tank. As soon as I removed the pho’s pad it happened. It was a well established tank before I put the canister on. I think more nutrients built up in nooks and crannies and when I removed the pho’s pad the diatom mega bloom happened on a well established tank that should not have bloomed so it may be better just to let it do it’s thing 🤷‍♀️ Maybe not. I’m just a hobbiest not the sciencey expert aquarist type so I can’t give you a definitive answer. 

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Ps.  My guppies liked to swim over the spray bar to play near cleaning time when flow was weakest. After I cleaned it it killed a guppy that swam over it he got smacked against the glass because I forgot to turn down the flow 😢 hat was the day I trashed both of mine. You may have better luck. Mine were on 20l tanks so that much flow in the smaller area may have been why I did not like them. 

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@Guppysnail my water is okay, but I've not measured the silicate/silica content and our water supplier does not have it in our annual report. I think I'll remove the phosphate pads and just roll with it. Like I said, I'm thinking we'll pick up some otos and shrimp this weekend. I had to explain the biology of diatoms to my husband when we had them in the 20G. And honestly I'd rather have diatoms than BBA.

I had lots of bladder snails, I still have quite a few, but I thinned their population over the last week because i want more materials for the otos and whatever shrimp we get.

On my 407, I noticed that the grey lever on the hose valve assembly has a flow gauge on it, same photographically as a volume level indicator looks. I'll attach a picture. I'm using it to control the flow level (though I haven't gotten the manual back out to see if this is it's intended purpose, I'm pretty sure it is based on the verbage they use to describe it). So that way the community isn't swept away by the flow. Seriously, at full throttle it's like an amusement park ride, and that's in a 75... And there's nowhere for them to escape. I will probably keep the spray bar because I like how I have the flow located and the size area that the strongest current passes over. It is good for my Eriocaulon Vietnam, which grows best with more current passing over it. I want that to thrive since it's one of my favorite plants in the tank.

My guppies did like the diatom diet as well. The babies in the 20 are coloring up faster than the ones in the 75 because of the more diverse population of organics they have to eat in their tank. Even with their age gap (6ish days), it's obvious.

And that filter floss pad material that came with the canister was black and absolutely dense when I cleaned it. I was surprised that the filter was still working so well. My bio-load is pretty small. 2 swordtails, 1 adult guppy... Pako... Him and his mojo. And the 3 week old derp squad. Half of them are 3 weeks old today! The other half are 3 weeks on Saturday. And the snails. I do count my driftwood as bio-load for that first mass of gunk in the filter since it was leeching a lot of sugars, proteins and fungus. I mean, those pieces are quite large. I did use my siphon to collect huge tufts but there was a lot, and way more than the fish/snails could manage before it got too ripe. It's still even making more film in some areas.

I'm going to raise the temperature 2.4 degrees by the end of today to encourage more bio activity before the shrimp, so they have more food. So I'm sure the wood will make even more goo. 77 seems to be a sweet spot in my 20G, so I'm going to see what the 75G does at that temp. Plus it's better for the babies.

 

 

 

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My spray bars one was a 20 long the other a 10g and even on lowest flow setting with extra holes drilled in the bar it was just too much. I had cpd in with BN plecos in one and had guppies and fry in the 10 The spray was too much. The factory outflow for the 10 (used to be a mystery snail tank that’s why the filter overkill) I keep 3/4 out of the water it act like a gentle waterfall for the juvenile guppy boys I grow out in that tank. They love playing in it. I’m excited we have another guppy lover in the community 😁

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@Beardedbillygoat1975 thank you.

When my husband and I lived in our apartment I was heartbroken to have to part with my aquariums. Our lease did not allow fish tanks.

After years of remodeling our current house, the dust had finally settled so we can comfortably have aquariums. Though I wish I could have more than two... I do realize that we have limited space and time. But I can dream.

To have our 75, my husband had to go under the house and reinforce the floor first. No small feat with our tiny, crowded, crawl space. I also got my 75 used for 20$. It was a turtle tank before. Then it sat outside for months. I spent two days cleaning scale off with razorblades. No other cleaner worked.

Edited by Minanora
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Adventures! Today we made our way down to our "local" fish store!

Husbands first trip there! It was a good trip.

So... we picked up a school of 12 Harlequin Rasboras! These were meant to go into the 75G and they will be going in for a while; but then they're going to go into the 20G once I move the rest of the guppies into the 75G and pretty much everything else is going to need to move. The reason... I want to be able to put Neocaridina davidi variety shrimp into the 75G at some point. Which means I get to have my school of Ember Tetras, too! Which is funny because I wanted them to begin with but DH (dear husband) wanted to pass on them and get Rasboras instead. 😛

On that note DH also, unprovoked, said I could make a shrimp tank! WOOOOO! I'm super excited! So in a few months I'll be setting up a shrimp tank! I can hardly wait!

I'm not buying anything for the shrimp tank just yet; I got those Rasboras, and some super cute Corys for the 75. So I want to make sure I give everyone the attention they need before I commit to making the shrimp tank. Which I think will be a nano tank.... or maybe a 10G... Not sure yet. We'll see what happens.

We also got 6 Amano shrimp and 4 otos for the 75G. I've been waiting to pick up these guys until there's enough algae and diatoms in the tank to sustain them. The snails are starting to really, really proliferate so it's time. All of the otos look pretty good. One of them doesn't have a fully belly... but my LFS said that if they pass away that they will replace them. I expressed concern to them because generally, once an oto stops eating, they generally don't eat anymore and pass on. Which they waste away after the stores regular "5 day" live guarantee... but they know me pretty well in there so they said they would replace him if he didn't make it.

I've also decided to change out the substrate on the 20G tank to the Contrasoil planted substrate. So that will be happening in the next few months as well.

Also got another green light for a Koi tank out by my garden. But I'm probably 6 months out on that, at least.PXL_20211106_012143828_MP.jpg.6dc3a394b4590c11b3e60a157d920778.jpgPXL_20211106_012159269.jpg.021d56ac64aa0329a5922174433739f5.jpg

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Sounds like lots of excitement. A tip on your future shrimp tank….set it up. Throw in some wood, Indian almond leaves a few snails feed them for a few months letting lots and lots of natural biofilm and algae grow before putting in your shrimp. They don’t do well in new setups but in seasoned tank with lots of yummy stuff growing they do much better. 😁 

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@Guppysnail I know. It'll be a long time before the shrimpscape is ready at this rate. The Amano shrimp in my 75 are doing well; at least the ones I catch a glimpse of... they're good at hiding. I can always tell when my son sees one though because he makes a racecar sound when he sees one fly by. Husband makes helicopter sounds and makes an Arnold impression of some kind. So I know they're in there. Haha. I've even turned up the lighting to make more algae for everyone.

I'm in love with the three-striped cories we got. They're so much fun to watch! 

Sadly I was right about one of the otos. I found the one that had never eaten anything this morning.

Everyone else is doing great. The other oto's have full tummies all day and love to play together.

The Harlequins are beautiful in the sunrise. They flash bright silver when they dance up and down the east facing side of the tank as the sunlight comes through our sliding glass door. It's amazing how smooth and chrome-like they look when the light hits them just right.cories!.JPG.a922dbba4810c9485c6566a81be7aa2b.JPGPXL_20211106_194606910_MP.jpg.1185f97a095fecadeed7a515f538e2f6.jpg

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Just need to express my feelings about the fact that two of my guppies, Misty and Shiva had more babies.

There are so many between the two of them that I can't count them all... Misty had hers on Friday at 22 days. Shiva had hers today at 24 days.

I can tell them apart by size and where they hang out. Misty's babies all hang out in plain sight at the surface most of the time and always have. There's about 26 of them. Two or three of Shiva's babies have joined them.

Shiva's babies all hang out in the plants at the bottom in the back. I counted at least 30....

I'm excited about more babies but I was kind of hoping that the swordtails, tetras and other guppies would eat some of them... Nope, they only chase them away when they're after food at feeding time. Maybe the harlequins will do a better job, I hope.

I have a few babies that already have black in their fins and some that were even born very dark, and with black on their fins. These mutts are definitely different than the last batch. Excited to see what they look like in a few weeks time!

 

Everyone is still doing great in the 75. And I pick up a 2.6G for the shrimp tank project tomorrow! Excited! I can hardly wait to scape it!

I know the shrimp will breed....I will be putting excess shrimp into the 75g to keep the colony small in the 2.6. No fish are going into the 2.6. Just plants and shrimp.

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Finally got some good pictures of Merlin and Mim the Swordtail pair. They're quite a pair indeed. They're magical to watch in just about every lighting. Babies are coming soon, hopefully only a few weeks away! I can hardly wait! They're so personable and fun. I will say, I think Swordtails are almost constantly pooping... I have two pairs in separate tanks, all four of them, seriously, pooping almost all of the time. 🙄PXL_20211112_194254842.jpg.0b26ab702ac045bb1eb4b9ae4c5a2cac.jpgPXL_20211112_194035908_MP.jpg.9e07d00775b375179f8663c193fd05c4.jpgPXL_20211112_194048297.jpg.b8e8edf415c310ea255318ef0a6eae1d.jpgPXL_20211112_194134365.jpg.be2f3e8ba05b4fde4c5ac1499437251b.jpg 

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@Guppysnail Thank you! It took a long time to choose their names. Sword in the Stone is my favorite animated Disney movie. Next names will be from my second favorite, Treasure Planet. 🙂 OR maybe the original Pete's Dragon.... I would love to have a fish named Elliot. Lol.

@PineSong Thank you. I was surprised that he was interested. The Koi pond/tank outside is a long ways out, but I garden and I love to feed my plants with the water from my water changes. I'm actually getting a few 50G drums to hold water over the winter. I do my best to not waste water. I mean, outside of having aquariums at all... which some would consider a "waste of water" in the grand scheme. Then there's the water softener and R.O. which I would recycle if our county would allow me to... but that's outside of my control.

I just wish I could have more large tanks. But our home isn't large enough to do that in a practical way. If I did tons of tanks it would look like I'm (more of) a crazy fish lady. 😛 And.... I'd have to send DH down under the house more, I just can't do that to him. Nor do I want more points of contact under the house to have to check for termite tubes every year. These are seriously the things I think about...

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On 11/12/2021 at 8:48 PM, Minanora said:

I just wish I could have more large tanks. But our home isn't large enough to do that in a practical way. If I did tons of tanks it would look like I'm (more of) a crazy fish lady. 😛 And.... I'd have to send DH down under the house more, I just can't do that to him. Nor do I want more points of contact under the house to have to check for termite tubes every year. These are seriously the things I think about...

Our house is too small for large tanks, too. I set up my planted tank mostly to give me something to garden in during winter--now I have accumulated a few strains of guppies and i am looking forward to having a summer tub outdoors and making mutt guppies next summer--that'll be my "big tank" experience. 

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On 11/12/2021 at 5:53 PM, PineSong said:

Our house is too small for large tanks, too. I set up my planted tank mostly to give me something to garden in during winter--now I have accumulated a few strains of guppies and i am looking forward to having a summer tub outdoors and making mutt guppies next summer--that'll be my "big tank" experience. 

I look forward to hearing about your outdoor tub!

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