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I made a little feeding triangle for Spritz at the beginning of the week...very DIY! 😂 It's hard for me to believe that tomorrow is Friday!!

He's a fan...now he knows exactly where to get his food and every time I walk up to the tank, he patiently awaits the noms underneath!

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I think I'm finally starting to win against the algae - but, my scarlet temple is not a fan of the reduced lighting...it's melting back rather dramatically!!  Oh well...rhizomes 4 eva! 😜

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I think Spritz is a fan of his triangle!!  He definitely knows where to go to beg for food now! 😂

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I've really been enjoying watching his colors gradually change...I really like this photo because you can see his dorsal fin.  That fin used to be all red, but now the edge is starting to turn black and blue!  Pretty neat stuff!!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
Posted (edited)

Hey @Betsy how's spritz doing after his spring break vacation? Whats the plan for the summer?

Also question on the Alternanthera Reineckll Minni thats in your birthday tank, how's it doing in a low-tech setup? I want some sooo bad but didn't know if it would do well with no co2, and mediocre lighting.

Edited by James Black
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Spritz is great!!!  He's going to be coming home with me for the summer....I might rescape his setup...and I did get him a new light!  We shall see...summer project potentially!

The AR mini that I bought did not survive...I had a lot of issues at the beginning of the 20 long (including non-existent lighting).  I did also recently buy regular AR - I planted half and floated a few stems.  It seems to be doing fine so far (but we are only one day in!  So, we shall see!!).

AR loves light...so, it'd be tough to grow in a low light tank.  If you increased the lighting, you might have a fighting chance!  But, I hear it gets leggy in low tech!

Thanks for asking! 😄👍

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I'm thinking about re-scaping Spritz's tank this summer...I'd REALLY love to stick some crypts in there! 

I'm upgrading his light (got a Hygger Full Spectrum Plant light) and switching out his lid - the light that came with the tank does not support what I'd like his tank to look like.

The only issue is that I'm not sure what to do about the Fluval Stratum in his tank.  It's impossible to plant in that stuff!  Could I cap it with flourite sand?  Or, would that trap potentially harmful gases?

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Wellllll....SCHOOL'S OUT. FOR. SUMMERRRR!!!! 🥳

Which means...Spritz is home with me. 😄👍

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Seeing his tank in my house makes me appreciate how blue his tank lid light is...yikes!!  I am definitely itching to rescape.

Still don't know what to do about the Fluval Stratum.  I could keep it epiphyte only, and not make it tough...but where's the fun in that?

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Right by the drinks! Spritz must be happy!

I have never capped flourite sand with fluval stratum so I can't tell you if it would become potentially harmful. But what I can say is that black flourite is my FAVORITE substrate. I have some in my 10 gallon and betta tank and all the plants are really doing well. Have you considerd trashing the fluval stratum and replacing it completley with flourite? 

You could always try capping the fluval stratum while keeping on eye on the water parameters for the first week. In my experiance bettas are very forgiving in terms of water parameters so if you catch anything bad early on you should be fine.

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On 6/14/2021 at 7:06 PM, TheCzarista said:

Bonus for your biology teaching coworkers, as they can sample your water to view bacteria through microscopes maybe?

That is something that my husband and I plan to do in the future is to get a microscope and study the microcosm that lives inside the fish tank, learning about good bacteria, and living microorganisms

 

That'll be handy next year for sure - our school is really spread out, but I'm going to have a few new teachers on my hall that are teaching bio (and marine bio...we need a freshwater bio class, haha!).  

Love that suggestion - microscopes are always a good time! 🤓👍

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On 6/14/2021 at 7:06 PM, James Black said:

I have never capped flourite sand with fluval stratum so I can't tell you if it would become potentially harmful. But what I can say is that black flourite is my FAVORITE substrate. I have some in my 10 gallon and betta tank and all the plants are really doing well. Have you considerd trashing the fluval stratum and replacing it completley with flourite? 

I love flourite sand, too!  Their black sand is stellar stuff!

I have considered trashing the fluval stratum...but I'm hopeful I can get more value out of it!  I wonder if mixing the two would be a good move...I feel like that is what I'll end up trying.

When I drained the tank today, I had to move all of the driftwood out because my net was super small and Spritz wasn't having it.  There was SO MUCH SNAIL 💩!  I was not prepared, haha!  Buuuut, I think that flourite + fluval + snail poo might be a winning combination for some root feeders...so, I am excited to experiment with that!

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  • 4 weeks later...

So, I have some sad news...Spritz is having a health issue...just noticed this morning.

I THINK it's constipation...so, I added a small amount of aquarium salt (I think @Colu mentioned at one point that salt is a muscle relaxant and could help with constipation) and have stopped feeding him.  I dissolved a tablespoon of the Fritz salt in some dechlorinated water and added about half of that to the tank...I figured I could add more later, if needed.

My water parameters are okay (0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate, pH of 6.8, temp of 77.5 F, GH of 75ish, KH of 40ish, 0 chlorine).

He is bloated and lethargic (currently chilling under the heater with his snail buddy, Figgy), his color is off, he's breathing more heavily than normal, and he's not eating.

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I'll continue monitoring...but if anyone has any experience with betta constipation, I would love to hear about it!!  

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On 7/13/2021 at 4:12 PM, Betsy said:

THINK it's constipation...so, I added a small amount of aquarium salt (I think @Colu mentioned at one point that salt is a muscle relaxant and could help with constipation) and have stoppe

 treat with epsom salt for constipation not aquarium salt I would fast him for a couple of  days and do an epsom salt bath 1 table spoon for 2 gallons for no more then 15 minutes 2-3 times 

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On 6/12/2021 at 7:00 AM, Betsy said:

I'm thinking about re-scaping Spritz's tank this summer...I'd REALLY love to stick some crypts in there! 

I'm upgrading his light (got a Hygger Full Spectrum Plant light) and switching out his lid - the light that came with the tank does not support what I'd like his tank to look like.

The only issue is that I'm not sure what to do about the Fluval Stratum in his tank.  It's impossible to plant in that stuff!  Could I cap it with flourite sand?  Or, would that trap potentially harmful gases?

@Betsy I don't think I'd cap the Stratum with sand because the sand will eventually work its way to the bottom through the Stratum and it might have the opposite effect of what you desire.

The aqua soil I'm using in my tank is similar to the Stratum but without added ferts and its fairly easy to plant in but the trick is not to use straight tweezers as you open the same hole you planted the stem in wide up when you release the plant and pull out vertically.

It is better to use the bent tweezers so you can go plant horizontally from the side and the plant doesn't get a chance to come straight back out because the hole fills in from the top as you extract the tweezers. I hope you can picture this because it really makes sense when you can, and it works.

I've used that method for years, first for Japanese style aquascapes, and now for my jungle tank.  Is the ease of planting the only reason you want to replace the Stratum, or are you also worried about the ferts in the Stratum getting exhausted?

I have a thin layer of Stratum in my jungle tank right on top of the crushed lava rock and under another thin layer of gravel with my Aquasoil on top, and while some of my friends insist the Stratum is exhausted after seven months another of my friends has kept his tank going with it by adding root tabs for years. My current tank has been set up for a year now and I add root tabs on a regular basis but I have to trim my crypts every week, and my stem plants every two weeks.

Just for illustration:

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Edited by Jungle Fan
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On 7/13/2021 at 6:06 PM, Jungle Fan said:

Is the ease of planting the only reason you want to replace the Stratum, or are you also worried about the ferts in the Stratum getting exhausted?

It is the ease of planting for me, for sure!  I don't have any root feeders in the tank currently...but I'd really love to move some of my crypts from the 20 to the 5 - they're kind of starting to take over!  I will try your planting method, for sure! 

@Colu - I've got some Epsom salt, and I'm going to dunk Spritz tomorrow - it's so odd how quickly he declined...I just checked on him and he seems to be at a tilt - face down, butt up.  I hope it's just constipation and the Epsom will work it out!  I'm worried about the little guy!  He's acting really pitiful!  But, I will say, his fins are still waving proudly - not clamped at all - so, that gives me hope!

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Posted (edited)

I have some very very sad news...Spritz passed away some time during the night last night.

I've been trying to figure out what happened - I cannot believe he went that quickly!  Less than 2 days from obvious symptoms to death.

The only things I can think of are:

  • He was stressed/injured during transfer to my house, and a bacterial infection moved in.  That was on June 14th.
  • He was stressed during our 10 day vacation, and a bacterial infection moved in (I did have someone come in to feed, but she was only able to come over once...and when I returned home, Spritz was hiding...which is not his norm).  It's been two weeks since then. 
  • I pulled a plant out of the substrate on Sunday with the water change and transferred it to the 20.
  • There was something wrong with the water change I did on Sunday.  (But, by 20 L seems okay 🤞...so hopefully, it's not that!)
  • Overfeeding.

I'd love to know what happened so that I don't mess up again...but I'm not sure where to go from here.

Swim in peace sweet fish!! 💙

A blown out picture from Sunday:

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Edited by Betsy
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