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I know you’ve all been very curious about my fish tanks. I know it! So I won’t keep you in suspense.

The shrimp tank has been completely neglected, but the plants are still ok. There’s a hair algae problem, but I just stick a fork in there and twirl like I’m eating spaghetti. The hair algae comes out pretty well that way. The shrimp are doing very well (as well as several species of snails! They hitch hike on plants.) The females had babies and the offspring range from 2mm to 1cm. I would have photos for you, but the smaller one’s are total spazzes, so they’re always a bit of a blur. I’m feeding them hikari shrimp cuisine and hikari crab cuisine. At first, the original group wouldn’t eat it, but it seems like the offspring will eat anything. But none of them seem to be starving since their bellies are always full of something, so they’re eating.

The 10 Gallon

I’ve also made a couple of upgrades to the tank. Originally, I was doing a DIY CO2 setup for all the tanks. That consisted of bakers yeast, sugar, several bottles and tubes. Well, that got old quick as the bottles had leaks and you had to make sure the yeast was still going. I did DIY for years on the 10 gallon and things were fine. But the plants I had were easy to find from the pet store. Now that I had these hard to find plants, I didn’t want to kill them.

I had always thought that a CO2 setup would cost me hundreds of dollars, but it turns out that’s not the case. You can get one for about $50 and here’s how. You get a paintball co2 regulator. I got mine from That Pet Place. I also got a paintball co2 canister from amazon. They sell several varieties. I just chose the cheapest one since all I needed it to do was dispense co2. I didn’t need it to be super light or have all these special doohickies.

And all you have to do is screw it on. Make sure the valve is closed on the regulator. It’s easy because it says Shut -> and Open <-.

You need a light touch with the valve. Like a teeny weeny little turn will give you several bubbles a second. So be aware of that when you turn it on. Otherwise you’ll get a bubble explosion. If you have your tube connected to a glass diffuser, it’ll blow it off the tubing.

The second thing I got was a hagen elite mini that I got from Petco. When you have CO2, you need to disburse it into the tank. The smaller the bubbles the better because you want it to dissolve in the water rather than float up to the top and dissipate. I like using this rather than a glass diffuser because this will blow the bubbles across the tank whereas the glass diffuser would just go straight up.

It looks like this out of the box.

What you do is open up the unit, take out the foam filter, remove the green tab.

Now stick the tubing into the slot on the side where you moved the green tab and put the unit back together. Leave out the foam. If you leave the foam in, the tube won’t stay in.

This is what it should look like. Two things to note. The first is that if you have thick rigid tubing (like a CO2 resistant tubing), the unit won’t stay closed. What I did was have the tube spit out the CO2 bubbles through the bottom of the unit where it sucks in water. That’s what happened in the 10 gallon tank. Also, if you leave the foam in the unit, the bubbles will also get stuck in the unit. Eventually, the bubbles will lump together and spit out in a huge burp, which totally defeats the purpose of small bubbles.

The second is that when the bubbles go through the propeller and makes the bubbles smaller, it sounds like a wet sneeze. Nobody talked about that in any of the forums that I read. So I’m telling you now. Wet sneeze. All day long.

Now if you already have a glass diffuser, you can put that at the bottom of the unit and have the bubbles sent up into the unit. When you do this, you won’t get the sneezing noise.

And finally, here is the 20 gallon.

And it’s been pruned quite heavily! Does it look overgrown to you?

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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I had this huge entry written, but lost it because iPhone wordpress is buggy as all hell. So you’re just getting photos of the tanks. I’m too tired to rewrite it.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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Aquabotanic was selling these blue shrimp that I really wanted. The only problem was that I wasn’t sure if I should get them. They were upwards of $6 each, plus shipping, so I decided to hold off on them for the moment. I wanted to see of my red cherry shrimp would survive under my care.

In the meantime, they were also selling some nerite snails as well as some fontanus fissidens(a moss that I liked the look of). I’d been looking for the nerite snails, but of the zebra and tiger variety only because I liked the looks of them. So I ordered these things from this company.

I hadn’t read anything bad about them and they were sponsors on theplantedtank.net, so I thought they were a reputable company. (Well, it turns out that since they are sponsors, anything negative posted on the forums are quickly removed! And I might end up with the ban hammer on several sights for posting this, but that’s what multiple email addresses are for aren’ they?) So I bought two tiger nerites and two tiger nerites along with the fissidens.

When the products arrived, I discovered that I hadn’t gotten what I ordered. One of the tigers didn’t look like the other. In actuality, it was an olive nerite. I notified the company and received an email that offered no resolution. It was something akin to “what do you want me to do about it?”. Not something I was expecting. I have yet to receive any resolution and quite frankly, I no longer wish to deal any further with him.

Honestly, I only lost about a dollar between the olive and the tiger nerite (if I bought the olives online). However, if I had a choice, I wouldn’t have spent any money on the olive. I can get olives right here in Florida. They’re native to here, so why would I spend money for shipping if I can get them locally? And for much cheaper?

It wasn’t worth the effort to argue with him about what a good business would do. I am not running his business and I had better things to do. I won’t fight someone over a what amounts to a dollar. But I also won’t be silent about it either. By all means, buy from him if you want, but I’m just saying, caveat emptor.

I’m actually quite glad that I did not get the blue shrimp as he does not guarantee doa nor does he refund your money. You simply get a credit for your next purchase minus your shipping fee. If I had gotten the red shrimp (which average $1-2 each) instead of the blue shrimp, I would have spent a lot of time fighting him about it. I would have overpaid for the shrimp since I would have had to pay for shipping again. I personally won’t be ordering from him again. And I suggest that you should look at his Better business bureau rating before you order. And also read his policy because it says that your are responsible for the risk of ordering from him. And since you are risking the possibility of getting something you didn’t even order, well, that’s too much gambling for me. If I wanted to gamble, I’d rather do it drunk at a poker table.

There are plenty of other vendors who will guarantee your delivery and I think that they are a better bet.

And also for reference. Here is the fissedens that I received from them. It was $9, covered in algae and came with several snails and some creepy crawly things. Not only that, it smelled heavily of fishiness.

I removed as much of the algae as I could before sewing it on the canvas. As of today, the algae remaining on the fissidens is growing quite nicely. However the moss is all brown. It may or not be dead, but I have no hopes for it.

For five dollars, I got this from skewlboy from the plantedtank.net (another hobbyist, not a vendor). No algae and no odd critters and didn’t smell fishy at all. It’s already growing new shoots, so I know it’s healthy. I think I might just toss the brown moss and use the healthy stuff. This way, I won’t have any algae issues on the moss too.

And for your weekly update, here is the 20 gallon:

I can’t seem to stop moving the plants around in this tank. I’ve also removed a bunch of it as I didn’t feel they were adding anything to the tank. I think it looks better now, but what do I know. Next week, it’ll probably look different again.

This tank is having some serious issues with black beard, fuzz and hair algae. I’m trying to get the co2, lights and fertilization into balance as well as dealing with the algae, so there isn’t much that’s happening in this tank either. I want to get it healthy before I deal with how it looks.

And that’s it for this week’s tank update. Until next week!!

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

Red Shrimp

Feb. 8th, 2010 12:00 pm
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Oh yes, it’s more update time. All these photos were taken Sunday rather than today.

I can’t seem to stop mucking around with this tank. Plants keep getting moved, so they never really settle in. And the red plants aren’t as red as I like. I haven’t figured out if they need more phosphates, or iron or more light. Because the same plants in this tank aren’t as red as the plants in the 10 gallon.

For instance, these red plants from the 10 gallon

Are much redder than the 20.

So many different variables to consider. It’ll probably be a while before I figure out what I need to do for that tank.

In other news, I have discovered that the red cherry shrimp are carrying eggs. I’ve seen two females carrying eggs.

And there is one female that is ready to mate. She just needs to find the right man.

The babies should be born in about a month and they should be born little shrimp. Some shrimp species have babies that are a larval stage and some need salt water to transform into shrimp. But these shrimp come out of the eggs fully formed swimming shrimp. These will be my first batch, so hopefully most of them survive.

Of course, I will keep you posted on this progress.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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Photo time! The plants have been growing in the 10 and 20 gallons. Nothing new has happened to the shrimp tank. It’s a low light tank, so things don’t grow that fast in it (I’ll skip the photo for this). Nothing has changed in the betta tank and I’ve torn down the 1 gallon. I’ll be doing something else in that. Not sure what yet though, but it was infested with hair algae and I couldn’t stand it anymore, daphnia or no daphnia.

Here is the 10 gallon.

Here it is after I trimmed it and moved around some plants. I also moved over the HC (the plant in the front that sits low to the substrate) from the 1.5 gallon and placed it in there.

The 20 gallon.

I moved around some plants, removed a couple of plants. I have some serious deja vu writing that sentence, but I’m moving on. I did a serious trim of the plants, but some of these grow back totally fast. I ran out of phosphorous fertilizer for the plants, so some of them are getting a little bit green. They’re supposed to stay pink to dark red depending on the plant. But there will be a package coming tomorrow that contains what I need.

I’ve also changed the lighting schedule for all the tanks. I read somewhere from another aquarist that algae requires a continuous amount of light to survive. So I’ve placed all the tanks on a 5 hour on, 4 hour off, 5 hour on lighting schedule. So far, I haven’t seen a difference, but it’s only been five days. The upside is that I get to see the fish tank while I’m not working. I was only able to see the tank for about 2 hours before the lights turned off before.

Also, did I mention that I found 5 baby fish? The sunset platys are livebearing fish, so they give birth to wiggling fully functional fish. They don’t lay eggs. I hadn’t see any of them give birth and they’re all still super preggers, but 2 of them at some point had babies because there are 3 fish that look to be about 4 weeks old and 2 that look about 2 weeks old. I don’t know what I’m going to do with them. These fish will have more babies, which means that I’ll end up with a ton of fish. Maybe I can give them away to someone. But this tank can’t support all the potential babies.

Here is one of the honey gouramis that I bought. They are always hiding, but they’re getting more comfortable int he tank. Unfortunately, the minute I stick my face near there, they go hiding again. Even though they’re gray, I still like them. I find their big eyes are kind of cute. I’m afraid their little feelers will get chomped on by somebody, but so far they all still have both.

Until next week!

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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Didn’t you!? But I didn’t! Here’s an update of all the tanks.

Here’s the 5 gallon.

Here it was on the 20th

Here it is today

As you can see, there aren’t many changes. It’s not a high light tank, so the plants won’t grow quickly. And it’s easy maintenance.

The shrimp are coloring up quite nicely. These are female shrimp. You can tell because there’s that white spot? That’s where all the eggs are. When a shrimp has that the peeps in the industry call that saddled. The reason why is that if you were like a teeny weeny little human and you rode that shrimp, that’s where the saddle would be. So they say. They’re about teenagers now, so if there’s a viable male, they will try to make. Right now, all the males are pre-pubescent, so no sex yet.

Here’s the 10 gallon.

2010-01-19

Why is the tank all murky, you ask? Well, it’s not because I dosed iron and phosphates at the same time. oh no, it’s because I decided to scrape the algae right before I took this photo. I tell you what, I’m developing one mean algae scraping arm! I dialed down the photoperiod to 8 hours. I’m in the office between 8-10 hours a week, so I wanted to keep the lights on when I was there, but I think that’s just too long and algae was growing on some of the plants.

And here’s the 20 gallon.

This is from the 19th

All the plants finally came and this is the final look of the tank. I just have to wait for it to grow in a big. The fertilization schedule is a little off. I’ve ordered a couple of testing kits to help me with it. Most of the plants need a high phosphate count and also iron. I can’t tell if I’m putting enough of each because some of the plants aren’t staying as red as when I first got them. They’re getting paler and some are reverting to a green shade. And still others are looking like they’re having nitrogen deficiencies. Last time I checked, it was about 10ppm, but when I checked two days ago, it was 0. So, I definitely need more fertilization in there. This is the first tank that’s got really high demanding plants, so this is a learning experience for sure.

Also, I discovered 3 baby platys that are about 3 weeks old, and 2 new babies about 1 week old. Umm…I need to get some hunter fish. I can’t have these things replicating so quickly.

But wait! What is this?!

It’s a new tank for the betta. I was noticing that his tail was a little shorter than I remembered it. I have a feeling that the bumblebee gobies were taking a bite out of it. But just the lower portions. I imagine that the gobies think that the wiggling tail looks like food. They are a “wait until something wiggles by” type of eater. So I think that’s what’s happening. So I got a 5.5 gallon for the betta. Right now, he’s in there by himself. It looks funny, I know, but I promise you, there’s big plans for it. I’m hoping that I can get it looking like I imagined it. And the tank is made up of old stuff, from the filter to the gravel and the ornaments, they’re leftover from other tanks. So it was cheap to set up.

This will be a low maintenance tank. No light, no CO2. Just whatever comes from the window. It’ll be the complete opposite of the 20 gallon! I bet you can’t wait for the updates next week. Oh, yeah. Exciting.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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Samantha Ling

August 2013

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