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I say let your students decide the name, the one with the biggest nerdiest name gets 100% for the rest of the year (I know I could have benefited from that) lol.

Because you betta is in water you could name him something like Dihydrate (I bet i spelled it wrong, not a chemist more of a bioligist) or H2O. Perhaps that not nerdy enough 🤣🤓

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@James Black - I'm hoping for some fun ones!!! 

So far my kiddos have come up with:

  • Betta particle...BP for short (after beta particle...we study radioactive decay)
  • mc-delta-t (for the heat energy formula that involves specific heat)
  • BrINClHOF junior or 2 (for the seven diatomic elements and after the first class fish...he's a legend 😜)

Anything that has to do with water or hydrogen or oxygen is great since water is the universal solvent (we talk about that when we cover solutions) and hydrogen and oxygen are easily the two most talked about elements in class!

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We had no school today...I thought about not going in to feed the koi boy...but my anxiety/paranoia got the better of me, and I went in to see how he was doing.  I am pretty confident that the tank is fully cycled - either that, or the plants have my back big-time!  No ammonia, no nitrites, and less than 5 ppm nitrates (even though I did a full pump of Easy Green on Wednesday and the snail 💩 is reallll!).  I do think I'll add more crushed coral to the HOB on Monday...the pH rose about 0.4 (from 6.4 to 6.8) but the kH has not budged. 😐

Also...I am starting an algae farm and every single plant has new growth.  I can't decide if I want to put electrical tape over a few of the LEDs to try to reduce the lighting intensity or if I'm going to hold off on the fertilizer next week or if it's just one of those things I have to wait out.  Any suggestions are welcome!  Whatever it is is brown/black, fuzzy...and not very cute. 

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We are voting on names this week for our betta!  It looks like the front-runner right now is Spritz (I make the kids "spritz" their desks before and after class as a Covid precaution).

He's kind of a picky eater...he won't eat the Xtreme Betta pellets...maybe they're too big?  But he will eat the Hikari Freeze-dried Bloodworms very happily.  I'll see if I can get some smaller betta pellets this week.

I'm trying to get a good picture of one of his eyes - he moves really fast, so it's tough!  The eye looks like its got a scale over it...or a cataract...or something.  When I get a good shot, I may post about it in the disease topic...just to see if anyone has any experience with that.  He doesn't act like anything is wrong...he's a very active little dude!  I've got the med trio...so I could potentially medicate him immediately.

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Going to school to feed the betta when you’re off is dedication! 🙂 I’ll pretend to be shocked when you start a tank or three at home. 😛

I’m probably the LAST person who should be giving advice on algae, but I’d say to adjust things one at a time and give ample time in between changes to know if it made a difference or not.

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@OceanTruth - it's taking a looooot of will power to keep it to just one tank! 😂

I decided to chill on the ferts for a week to see if that would cut back on the algae...my nitrates went from ~15 to 0 in 2 days!!  I love my plants, so I'm a little worried about them!  I know ideally the nitrates would be closer to 20 to make the plants happy...but that algae is 😑.  I may flip the script and cut the lights by another hour if I lose my resolve.

The spot on the koi boy's eye seems to have been an abrasion or an injury.  I think it's healing up, and what once looked like an off-white scale on his eye now looks like a small black spot.  I never got a before picture, but I do have a little after picture and video...he looks so cranky building that bubble nest! 😂  Maybe it's because I'm watching. 🤗

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 What else to tell you...I switched out the carbon cartridge in my HOB for Purigen (finally).  I rinsed it out, but I still have little white specks on parts of my tank (oops!!).  I hope the specks will go away on their own! 🤞 My HOB has AquaClear BioMax and 1 oz of crushed coral in the first bay, Purigen in the second bay, and a half coarse sponge in the bay under the pump.  Surely, it's a hot rod by now! 🚙😜🚙 

I do think I will end up adding another oz. of crushed coral...my pH is still pretty low and my kH is still non-existent...and I really don't want to add any more chemicals to my line-up...and I really like my nerites.  Gotta keep those shells strong! 💪

ALSO!  WE HAVE A NAME!  The interested kiddos voted...

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And, the answer is....SPRITZ!  (I broke out the Silhouette as promised! 😜)

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I think that's all I have to say about that...happy Thursday, friends!!

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Walked in this morning to a glorious amount of brown/green/black hair algae (I have this feeling it's BBA) in the tippy top of my Wendelov.  I haven't be fertilizing for almost two weeks...so I am feeling like it must be a lighting issue.  I put black electrical tape over 2 of the 6 LEDs in my tank to try to reduce the intensity...cross your fingers for me!

I may be considering a hydrogen peroxide treatment...but I feel like that's too hardcore too soon...🧐

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4 minutes ago, Streetwise said:

Okay, next boring question: are the room lights an issue?

I think they are definitely a player!!  Overhead fluorescents...but I don't think they really hit that portion of the Wendelov (mainly because the lid lets zero light through).  I'm sure the overheads play a factor, but I'm not sure what that is!  (Also, I love talking about my classroom, so totally not bored, haha!).

@James Black - I'm currently running at 7 hours of LED time.  I will definitely do a larger than usual water change tomorrow and try to manually remove more algae (I got after it today!  Haha!).  I'm interested to know if my electrical tape method has any effect...so, I may wait another week before I make another lighting change.  I've got a few new growth leaves to watch!

Thank you for the awesome advice!!!  I am determined to continue to fiddle until I find the balance for my little tank! 😄

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11 minutes ago, OceanTruth said:

Good luck with the algae battle! I think the hardest thing to do in the hobby is balance a tank, for me at least. However, if you’re not fiddling with your tank, are you really having any fun with it?

I love to mess!!!  I actually bought an air pump/stone, too (kind of unrelated?).  I really can't leave well enough alone!

I am pretty sure I am THAT person that just keeps pressing buttons until I figure out what works...and I'm having a blast! 🤣👍👍

I will keep you all updated!!!  I appreciate all the valuable advice and camaraderie! 🐌😄🐠

Edited by Betsy
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Happy Friday, friends!!!

A few small updates on the tank this week:

  • Added another oz. of crushed coral to my HOB filter on Thursday because the pH keeps creeping downward...I'm closer to 6.8 now and the kH increased by a little bit.  Big time goal is a pH of 7.0 and a consistently noticeable kH.  I think my choice of substrate (Fluval Stratum) and driftwood didn't do me any favors...and the tap water is already at a pH of 6.8 and soooo soft.

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  • Still battling the algae - Part 1!  I taped over the 2 of the 6 LEDs this week to see if I could reduce the lighting intensity.  If I get another brown cloud of algae on the Windelov over the weekend, I will reduce the lighting from 7 hours to 6 hours.
  • Still battling the algae - Part 2!  The golden anubias started to develop some brown spots...so I restarted Easy Green.  Had to!  Didn't think anubias would be a good canary...but it's how I've been monitoring nutrients and algae growth so far!
  • Still battling the algae - Part 3!  Heavily considered cutting some of the older most infested long fronds off of the Windelov Java fern.  I have so much new growth...I think I could get away with it, and that might be a good way to reduce the amount of algae in the aquarium!
  • Spritz is both afraid of the camera and an excellent photo-bomber.  How DOES he do it?? 😂

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  • Had a moment of anxiety when I couldn't find Figgy...my deepest, irrational fish tank fear is that one day I'll come in and he'll be turned over...but I won't be able to see it because he's fallen behind a driftwood...and then a week later, the ammonia in my tank will spike and take out Spritz and Sig as well! 😵
  • Pulled out all of the driftwood from the tank...because I am cray.
  • Figgy was fine.  He was under the cave-looking driftwood piece tucked away in a hole.  The jerk. 😑
  • Found out there was poop EVERYWHERE under the driftwood 💩💩💩💩💩, so I gravel vacuumed the 💩 away and then felt like I should not have done that because 💩 is natural fertilizer...right? 🤷‍♀️
  • Figgy is the wild snail...for sure.  He climbed all the way to the top of the java fern today!  I thought he was either going to fall off or the plant was going to fall over!  This is why I worry about him. 🤪
  • Here he is on his way down:

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  • Aaaaand, I tried out an air stone in the tank this week.  I didn't have a regulator...so it was going full tilt, and Spritz was NOT a fan! 🙅‍♀️ He was probably mad because it wrecked his bubble nest...poor guy!  Turned off the air stone and ordered some regulators from the Amazon.com...I'll give it another go next week.
  • Now I understand why black airline tubing is such a big deal! 😅

I think that's all I have to say about that!

Hope everyone had an excellent week!!!

Edited by Betsy
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Are you going to set up other tanks differently and use this as a Baseline? Or are you going to periodically change the way you condition and treat the tank to get results? If you are going to set up other tanks I would recommend using clippings from the tank to fertilize the tank versus no fertilization versus using fertilizer like easy green

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It sounds like you’re doing all you can to combat the algae. You did a lot with the tank. I hope you see good results soon! Taping a couple of lights off is brilliant. That should definitely cut some intensity down. Some floating plants might help as well, if you ever go shopping for plants in the future.

Happy weekend! 🙂

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Yes just using the clippings as fertilizer. Any decaying matter or waste will cause a slight Spike in ammonia and nitrates and so forth. The reason I say this as I recently had a 10 gallon test tank did I only had plants in mainly some duckweed and I have low light on it and I would take clippings from my large tank that either I didn't like the way it was growing or maybe it started developing hair algae and I would just toss it in there it was an uncycled tank and I had huge spikes on everything then within a week the tank stabilized and I believe it's my most stable tank I have now because it went through such a harsh cycle and I did get some growth I probably would have gotten more with better lighting but the nitrate and nitrite was reduced to almost nothing after a week the whole experiment was probably two weeks a week of adding the clippings and such and feeding the tank fish food

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