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@OceanTruth - I am ALWAYS down to shop plants! 😆👍👍  Do you have any favorite floaters?

I recently joined a few local Facebook groups to see if I could find some floating plant options...and I've got a few local stores I might call, too!!

@Jimycle - Oh man!  I really want to try this...thank you so much for the explanation and advice!!!  I have my little quarantine tank that I could use to experiment with...I am delighted with the idea of having something to do with clippings that I don't love the looks of!  I think I definitely want to cut the infested java fronds...I know just what I'll do with them!  Thank you!!!

@Anita - thank you for the kind words!!!  I am really blessed to work in an excellent district!  Of course, I would never turn down a raise! 😜

 

Also...

On 2/15/2021 at 3:50 PM, James Black said:

The Hikari betta bio gold is really small and my betta loves it, that and the north fin betta pellet. His favorite food is fluval bug bites and I have heard of many other bettas having there favorite be bug bites also.

Thank you for the recommendation, James!!!  Spritz LOVES the Hikari bio gold...and he is still such a glutton for the Hikari Freeze-Dried Bloodworms...haha!  Hope Hugo is doing well!!!  He looks so great in your photos!

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@Betsy Lol. I’m always looking at plants, even when I don’t really NEED them.

My favorite hands down has to be Red Root Floaters. Even if they don’t get super red for you, I think they are really pretty. They’re big enough to easily take out if it gets overcrowded. Their roots don’t get super long so they won’t overpower your 5 gallon. Best of all they get these teenie tiny little white flowers. So cute!

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47 minutes ago, Betsy said:

@OceanTruth - I am ALWAYS down to shop plants! 😆👍👍  Do you have any favorite floaters?

I recently joined a few local Facebook groups to see if I could find some floating plant options...and I've got a few local stores I might call, too!!

One suggestion about floating plants. Depending on the type, when they grow out, they may significantly cut down the amount light sprinkling (to borrow Corey's light-as-particles model) down to your other plants. The Java Fern, Anubias, and I think the Melon Sword are low-medium light plants. But I believe the Scarlet Temple prefers med-strong lighting. 

I've got two types of floating plants and they impact how much lighting is available below very differently:

two-tanks_two-floating-plants_26FEB21.jpg.9848637a6501b6c4f647b2e5caa4c499.jpg

The upper tank has loose water sprite. It creates a somewhat diffuse shading effect. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lower tank has American frogbit. The flat, overlapping leaves create a much darker shadow below. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

light-feeding-ring_26FEB21.jpg.15687fff56084e9e7355a4a5effafd8e.jpg

I use a "light window" ring to give the water wisteria below (and to the right) more light. 

 

 

 

Of course, you can just scoop out extra plants out when they get too dense. Or you can keep the floaters corralled inside the ring, rather than around it. BTW, the floating plants will shed dead leaves too, which are harder to pick out among the whole plants. So they may interfere with the @Jimyclefertilizer vs dead leaves experiment. 

That's my geek-girl $0.02, at any rate. 🧐

Edited by Anita
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@Jimycle and @OceanTruth - those were the two I was leaning toward!!  Water lettuce and Red root floaters are both so pretty and have such fun roots systems!  I will definitely update you on what I find and grab!

@Anita - that is an AWESOME explanation!  I am kind of obsessed with the diffuse lighting effect via the water sprite!  I also really like your selective lighting technique with the ring!  I will definitely end up having to do something similar for the scarlet temple!!  Your tanks are so glorious!!!  Thank you for sharing them with me! 😆

 

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@Betsy, you are too kind! 

light-feeder-ring.jpg.acee081c47ad83bb253e796f977922da.jpgBTW, the light-window ring is the top from a plastic, quart takeout container. I cut out the center, trimming it close to the doubled-over lip. I found some suction cups with open rings that slide over the doubled-over lip. The buoyancy is close to neutral, so it doesn't ride too high in the water. I like this because it helps keep partially submerged plants, like water sprite, from slipping underneath the lip. You can always trap air under the rim if you want it to float better. (Haha, I slipped in some physics!)

 

 

I love your class project and look forward to reading about how your students' experiments turn out. 

 

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Walked in this morning and check out my tank to see this wild and crazy guy up in the fern again! 🙄😂

As you can see, the algae is still living the good life!  Although, the growth difference is MUCH less then it was over the weekend from the weekend before...so that makes me think I'm making progress.

I did do a 20% water change/quick vacuum, added a pump of Easy Green, and reduced the lighting by 30 minutes.

The added oz. of crushed coral in the HOB was effective!  I'm at a pH of 7.0 y'all!!!  Never thought I'd see the day.

The regulator and flow back valve thing (I know it's got to have a better name than that, haha!) did arrive, so I installed those and set up some much calmer bubbles.  Spritz is uncertain, but MUCH less aggravated than he was with the bubbler going full tilt!

Hope everyone had a fantastic Monday!!

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@OceanTruth - Yes!!!!  Check valve!!!  I am delighted that you knew what I was talking about!! 🤣

I didn't think I could love a snail...but I looove my snails!! 🐌🐌

Spritz is so silly! 😜

We'll see what the algae looks like at the end of the week...I'm crossing my fingers that knocking out the 30 minutes of light is enough to push the balance towards the plants!

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Turns out at least one of my snail boyz is a girl! 😂

1293525371_Screenshot2021-03-08at5_46_48PM.png.4cac9d1302592fbabb831e4b34633e72.png

Also...my birthday is coming up and MY HUSBAND IS BUYING ME A NEW TANK!!!  My MTS is UMTS no more!! 😜

Maybe I'll start a new journal for the home tank. 🤔

On a completely unrelated note...was I dreaming when I saw someone using sweet gum balls in their tanks?  For the tannins?  Is that a thing?  My back yard is FILLED with those!

1612811518_Screenshot2021-03-08at6_01_25PM.png.f2b773abc1337c4a0536fe5819817d4f.png

 

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I've never heard of anyone using those for tannis, but it would defentley make sense as people use leafes for tannins and they are very simmilar. 

Happy Early Birthday Betsy! Your husband defentley doesn't know what he got him self into when he said "I'll buy you a second tank". Next birthday it will be "I was gonna buy you another tank but... our living room is already full to the max with them, so..."

Defentley start a thread for your new tank.

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17 minutes ago, Betsy said:

 

Also...my birthday is coming up and MY HUSBAND IS BUYING ME A NEW TANK!!!  My MTS is UMTS no more!! 😜

Maybe I'll start a new journal for the home tank. 🤔

 

And this is how the addiction begins. There is always a gateway tank! 😈

18 minutes ago, Betsy said:

On a completely unrelated note...was I dreaming when I saw someone using sweet gum balls in their tanks?  For the tannins?  Is that a thing?  My back yard is FILLED with those!

1612811518_Screenshot2021-03-08at6_01_25PM.png.f2b773abc1337c4a0536fe5819817d4f.png

Yes, quite likely for tannins and also for biofilm. People use all sorts of woody materials to add these two components to their tank. Alder cones and Catappa leaves are popular with the shrimp crowd. I use spruce cones, after soaking them in water for a couple weeks.

Word of caution. 😮 Be careful when adding plant materials to your tank, especially novel ones. All plant tissues contain resin/sap, many of which contain quite toxic substances (specifically, plant alkaloids) that could poison your aquarium residents. Make sure any plant material you use is well-seasoned, i.e., completely brown and dried out. Brown plant matter 🍂 has a different chemical composition than green plant matter 🍃 (you composters know what I mean). Brown plant matter is high in carbon and low in nitrogen, and thus, fairly inert. Green plant matter has a higher percentage of nitrogen, the stuff that could send your ammonia/nitrates soaring or cause a bacterial/algal bloom. Also, green plant matter is "fresher" and thus, more likely to have toxic resins/sap still hanging around in the tissues.

I have not read about anyone else using spruce cones. However, I know they are relatively low in resins, compared to other coniferous cones, such as pine or fir. If you pick one up, you will notice a spruce cone is papery and light. I only use windfallen cones, meaning they are long dead. And I soak them in water for a couple of weeks. And, most importantly, I am wiling to risk my fishes/shrimps/snails lives with my experiment. That said, these spruce cones have been sitting around in all of my tanks for about 10 months. So far, so good!

20210227_084627_spruce-cones_chopstick-snails.jpg.b3b799e09fcf0f4dabb942347132ae31.jpg

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45 minutes ago, Betsy said:

On a completely unrelated note...was I dreaming when I saw someone using sweet gum balls in their tanks?  For the tannins?  Is that a thing?  My back yard is FILLED with those!

1612811518_Screenshot2021-03-08at6_01_25PM.png.f2b773abc1337c4a0536fe5819817d4f.png

 

Sweet gum, also known as Liquidambar styraciflua is in the same family as Witch Hazel. Its name roughly means 'the liquid resin and flowing storax'. It contains a pungent resin that has been used in incense and perfumes and folk medicines. But I do not have any information it is harmful to fish and I have seen plenty of gumballs in vernal pools in the woods with the salamanders and fairy shrimp seemingly doing just fine in those pools.

 

 

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Happy early birthday!!!

I’m completely SHOCKED that you’d get a tank as a gift! 😛 

I’ve used acorn shells I’ve found on walks in my tanks. I’m hoping to find something more interesting next time, like a large pine cone or something. I would give the gum balls a try in a cup of water or something. If it looks all right in like a week I wouldn’t hesitate to try it in a tank.

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16 minutes ago, OceanTruth said:

I’ve used acorn shells I’ve found on walks in my tanks. I’m hoping to find something more interesting next time, like a large pine cone or something. I would give the gum balls a try in a cup of water or something. If it looks all right in like a week I wouldn’t hesitate to try it in a tank.

How about one of these? 🤪

m_5e60408c79df27ba42e1a556.jpg

 

 

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Thanks, friends!!! 😆👍

@OceanTruth - you might also be shocked to learn that I've totally already plant shopped...and, I got some buce!!! 🤣🤣🤣

 

@Anita and @Daniel - thank you for your knowledge!!!  I am now super tempted to go outside and smell one...or soak them and see what happens!

We're about to cut down the Sweet gum tree - it's gorgeous and I am devastated, but it's also massive and EXTREMELY close to the house...so I am planning on grabbing a big ol' bucketful of the gum balls to experiment with!  We'll be planting several more trees in the backyard to keep contributing to the canopy. 🌳

Just now, Anita said:

m_5e60408c79df27ba42e1a556.jpg

That is a HUUUUGE pine cone!  And, that kiddo is delightful!! 😆😆😆

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@JamesB - I can't decideeee!!!  It's going to be a 17 gallon.  I know I want shrimp and at least one snail, and I think I definitely want another betta (it'll have to be a longer finned variety this time so that it's too slow to be much of a bully)...I just love bettas so much!!  Corydoras are reallyyyy cute and they're still really high on my list!  I'm also considering some white cloud mountain minnows...I think it'll have to depend on what the LFS has in stock.  

There's also an aquatics expo coming up near me, and I'd really like to try to get my hands on some floaters...and see what cool things are available there!

My plan is to plant it and cycle it...then add the shrimp and snails...then, see what strikes my fancy! 

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@Betsy I’d definitely wait until the aquatics expo, before you make any hard decisions, unless it’s pretty far off. So cool that there is one happening near you. I’ve never been to one, but from what I’ve heard, you can buy a lot of things for great prices. You might even get inspired by something or even buy your livestock there. I remember seeing a youtube vid and they had hundreds of bettas for sale at one of the bigger expos.

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