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VelociBacon
Dec 8, 2009



What amount of plants are you running?

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Krispy Wafer
Jul 26, 2002

I shouted out "Free the exposed 67"
But they stood on my hair and told me I was fat

Grimey Drawer

VelociBacon posted:

What amount of plants are you running?

Tons. It's a very well planted 36g. I've never had a lick of ammonia, even while cycling.

It occurred to me that maybe my tap water has lots of nitrate so I will need to check those levels. I have one of those python hose systems so I'm filling it up weekly with 40% water changes straight from the tap, but I do use Prime to condition the water. Again, the fish don't seem to be having issues. In fact this is the most stable my tank has ever been. I haven't had a fish die in months and everyone seems happy. Even my ghost shrimp are thriving and they die if you look at them wrong. It's just weird seeing that pink on the test strips for nitrates.

Ok Comboomer
Oct 20, 2007



Krispy Wafer posted:

I cannot get my nitrates down. They've been consistently in the 'stress' level during testing. Ammonia and nitrites are zero. Nitrates are the only problem.

Would Seachem Denitrate work on a HoB filter? All of the reviews refer to canister filters. If I stick it in a mesh bag and shove it in my Aquaclear with everything else would that potentially cut my nitrate levels?

Yup! I’m doing it with Phosguard on my nano reef.

Ok Comboomer
Oct 20, 2007



Krispy Wafer posted:

Tons. It's a very well planted 36g. I've never had a lick of ammonia, even while cycling.

It occurred to me that maybe my tap water has lots of nitrate so I will need to check those levels. I have one of those python hose systems so I'm filling it up weekly with 40% water changes straight from the tap, but I do use Prime to condition the water. Again, the fish don't seem to be having issues. In fact this is the most stable my tank has ever been. I haven't had a fish die in months and everyone seems happy. Even my ghost shrimp are thriving and they die if you look at them wrong. It's just weird seeing that pink on the test strips for nitrates.

If everybody looks good maybe don’t worry about it so much.

But your water change regimen is poor from a chemistry best practices standpoint. You’re adding unconditioned water to an aquarium that’s 60% filled and then adding the requisite amount of water treatment chemicals after the fact.

You need to treat the new water first before you mix it with pretreated water, otherwise you’re diluting the mixture and preventing all of the new water from being properly treated before it enters the aquarium. That stresses the livestock and leaves trace unwanted compounds behind.

Krispy Wafer
Jul 26, 2002

I shouted out "Free the exposed 67"
But they stood on my hair and told me I was fat

Grimey Drawer

Ok Comboomer posted:

If everybody looks good maybe don’t worry about it so much.

But your water change regimen is poor from a chemistry best practices standpoint. You’re adding unconditioned water to an aquarium that’s 60% filled and then adding the requisite amount of water treatment chemicals after the fact.

You need to treat the new water first before you mix it with pretreated water, otherwise you’re diluting the mixture and preventing all of the new water from being properly treated before it enters the aquarium. That stresses the livestock and leaves trace unwanted compounds behind.

I thought so too. I was watching the YouTube video showing how to use the Python system and kept waiting for them to pull out their big jugs of pre-treated water and then they just changed the direction of the water flow from the sink and it was like, 'OMG!' But apparently it works as long as you treat the water afterwards. Maybe not for nitrates since I'm having issues with those, but otherwise it hasn't been a problem. I did learn you need to make sure the new water is the same temp as the old water, but honestly that should have been obvious.

Ok Comboomer
Oct 20, 2007



Krispy Wafer posted:

I thought so too. I was watching the YouTube video showing how to use the Python system and kept waiting for them to pull out their big jugs of pre-treated water and then they just changed the direction of the water flow from the sink and it was like, 'OMG!' But apparently it works as long as you treat the water afterwards. Maybe not for nitrates since I'm having issues with those, but otherwise it hasn't been a problem. I did learn you need to make sure the new water is the same temp as the old water, but honestly that should have been obvious.

Are you sure they aren’t using water from a RO system or a cistern or storage tank of some sort? Also worth noting that some places—particularly some commercial/home producers get their water from a well or collection system. Tidal Gardens does that.

Krispy Wafer
Jul 26, 2002

I shouted out "Free the exposed 67"
But they stood on my hair and told me I was fat

Grimey Drawer

Ok Comboomer posted:

Are you sure they aren’t using water from a RO system or a cistern or storage tank of some sort? Also worth noting that some places—particularly some commercial/home producers get their water from a well or collection system. Tidal Gardens does that.

Nope. I was watching the instructional video with dawning horror as they drained the water using the hose system and then just reversed the flow at the sink. The system is meant to be nearly closed, no need to haul old water out and new water in, just hook up the hoses and go with regular tap water. But it seems to work. It's made my weekly water changes so much easier.

40% water changes are probably too much. I bumped it up to try and fight the nitrate problem so I'll go back to 30% since it's not helping.

Ok Comboomer
Oct 20, 2007



Rule #1 of aquariums- stop loving with it. Is it dying? You’re probably loving with it too much.

Enos Cabell
Nov 3, 2004



I've always filled straight from the tap and add Prime to the tank as it fills. Been doing that for decades now with no ill-effect.

big dong wanter
Jan 28, 2010

The future for this country is roads, freeways and highways

To the dangerzone

Having a weird issue with my shramp, all the berried females keep dying before birth. i've heard that you can scrape the shrimplets off the corpse but at the price shramp are thats a few levels too gross to me lol. water levels are perfect, do i need to add any special food for berried shramp? i've added some frozen spinach to the tank that they seem to be very into eating

papa horny michael
Aug 18, 2009



Enos Cabell posted:

I've always filled straight from the tap and add Prime to the tank as it fills. Been doing that for decades now with no ill-effect.

Agreed. While i pre-treat the water, its only because I have smaller tanks which don't require large water changes.

The vast majority of people I see on YouTube or irl do not. It isn't seemingly an issue despite the loads of forum posts and poorly written guides online.

Stoca Zola
Jun 28, 2008



Soiled Meat

I figured with pythons they treat the tank first, then the new water comes in and becomes treated as it mixes with the pre-treated tank water. In practise it all mixes well enough that regular non-delicate fish can handle it and if you trust your tap water to be consistent then it works fine. It all goes horribly wrong the first time your tap water has quadruple dosage of chloramines due to an algae outbreak the town is trying to control, or after a flood when a ton of agricultural run off ends in your water supply, or, as happened in Australia, post bushfire when the rains wash ash into the rivers, the water chemistry becomes drastically altered and tank after tank all across the east coast ended up totally wiped out. To me, you're trading convenience for risk, you get a fast water change but one which is perhaps too fast for you to see that something is wrong, and to stop once fish start acting distressed. But these kind of scenarios are kind of unlikely for most aquarists I think, you just need to know a bit more and stay a bit more informed about your water supply if you're using a python.

Krispy you keep saying your nitrates are too high, but how high is the actual number? Pink on a test strip doesn't sound that bad to me.

Krispy Wafer
Jul 26, 2002

I shouted out "Free the exposed 67"
But they stood on my hair and told me I was fat

Grimey Drawer

Stoca Zola posted:

Krispy you keep saying your nitrates are too high, but how high is the actual number? Pink on a test strip doesn't sound that bad to me.

60 - 80 parts per however many. It's a goodly shade of pink and is definitely in the stressed category.

It didn't even occur to me that tap water can come out heavy in nitrates. Thinking back, my numbers may have started spiking around the time I stopped pre-treating. I've been trying to compensate for high nitrates by changing more water, which may have been making it worse. I'll have to test my tap water when I get home. This might be a cautionary tale for using straight tap water, but if that's the cause I'll hopefully fix it with Seachem Denitrate.

Zaffy
Sep 15, 2003



You said that you never had ammonia during your cycle. How long ago was that?

Ideally you want to treat before filling, but you can do it after. You won't remove Nitrates by treating though. The only ways to remove Nitrates are plants (lots of plants) and water changes. If your tap has nitrates in it, you may just have to do more changes. You'll never get below your source though.

Aerofallosov
Oct 3, 2007

It was so peaceful beneath the glittering stars.


Well, my ammonia and nitrites are 0. Nitrates are still spiked. I'll just have to be patient, and/or do more water changes. I hate how awful our tap water is.

Enos Cabell
Nov 3, 2004



This is a terrible idea for many reasons, but I kinda want to make my own hamster Sealab now.

Ok Comboomer
Oct 20, 2007



Enos Cabell posted:

This is a terrible idea for many reasons, but I kinda want to make my own hamster Sealab now.



holy poo poo

Ok Comboomer
Oct 20, 2007



“No gods or kings only hamster”

Enos Cabell
Nov 3, 2004



Ok Comboomer posted:

“No gods or kings only hamster”

Holy poo poo I missed the signs when I phone posted. Hamster Rapture!

Resting Lich Face
Feb 21, 2019


Yes! LFS survived the shutdown and are back open.

Finally some progress!


(also pictured: shithead who jumped in while I was working on it)



Doing the plumbing this weekend then it's plant time!

Resting Lich Face fucked around with this message at 21:38 on May 14, 2020

Blackchamber
Jan 25, 2005



During this quarantine I got into keeping shrimp. I have a tiny little 5 gallon tank with a sponge filter and about 7 shrimp 3 mystery snails and a few 'pest snails' in it. I have a carpet of dwarf baby tears and its almost always covered in shrimp poop. I vacuum it when I do weekly water changes and I even do a little vacuuming in between water changes. I'm not worried about having a huge colony of shrimp overwhelming my tiny tank when they breed because I only wanted to breed them as food for another aquarium I have, so I will cull most and keep the ones I like (I want to eventually have all blue ones). That said I'd still like the tank to look tidy.

The biggest thing I'm sure that'd help would to cut back on feeding. There's plenty of biofilm for them to feed on but I'm hoping the extra food will get them to breed and allowing the pest snails to stick around to act as a backup clean-up crew to pick up any bits that get left over. Not that I have much left over since the mystery snails like to rush over anytime I put food in the glass bowl I use to feed the shrimp and have their fill first. I got the idea to increase feeding and let snails clean from some youtube videos on breeding shrimp but they always had bare glass floors or sand substrate that seems easier to clean up.

What I'd like to do is get some flow going over top of the carpet to keep the waste from settling on the top so it circulates longer and gives the filter more time to catch it but it gentle enough that it doesnt bother the shrimp (they dont hang out much on the carpet at all actually and usually can be found on a piece of driftwood suction cupped to the corner and covered in java moss). Given that its such a tiny tank I don't think a flow/wave pump or powerhead would be a good idea since all the ones I've seen are pretty large and much too powerful. I'm thinking I could get one of those really small and weak submersible pumps like the kind in my cat's water fountain and adding a tube to the output that pushes against a small flat piece of plastic to direct the flow.

Before I go through all that bother does anyone have any other, probably better, ideas?

Synthbuttrange
May 6, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 7 days!


Resting Lich Face posted:


(also pictured: shithead who jumped in while I was working on it)

'This is the fanciest litterbox I've ever pooped in'

Krispy Wafer
Jul 26, 2002

I shouted out "Free the exposed 67"
But they stood on my hair and told me I was fat

Grimey Drawer

Zaffy posted:

You said that you never had ammonia during your cycle. How long ago was that?

Ideally you want to treat before filling, but you can do it after. You won't remove Nitrates by treating though. The only ways to remove Nitrates are plants (lots of plants) and water changes. If your tap has nitrates in it, you may just have to do more changes. You'll never get below your source though.

I ‘cycled’ the tank about 6 months ago. Never saw an ammonia cycle, but I started with plants immediately so I guess they absorbed it all.

I tested my tap water and it doesn’t have any nitrates, so it’s something in my tank. The numbers are currently 40 parts per whatever, which is at least out of the stress zone.

VelociBacon
Dec 8, 2009



Krispy Wafer posted:

I ‘cycled’ the tank about 6 months ago. Never saw an ammonia cycle, but I started with plants immediately so I guess they absorbed it all.

I tested my tap water and it doesn’t have any nitrates, so it’s something in my tank. The numbers are currently 40 parts per whatever, which is at least out of the stress zone.

Are you adding anything for the plants? Ferts/Micro wise?

Stoca Zola
Jun 28, 2008



Soiled Meat

Blackchamber are you sure that isn't snail poop you're seeing rather than shrimp poop? In my experience snails eat and poop more than shrimp do, and mystery snails are big enough for that to be significant I think. Cutting back feeding will definitely help keep the tank cleaner, but from the point of view of adding a powerhead, stirring up the poop will just make sure it's evenly distributed. If you haven't got a filter that is pulling those chunks out of the water (and in a shrimp tank that is something you don't want because it will also pull baby shrimp out of the water) you're better off with the poop laid out nicely where you can see it to vac it up. I'd recommend just vacuuming it out by hand into a bucket, that way if you accidentally suck up a shrimp you can net it out and put it safely back into the tank. If you have a narrower tube it won't suck as strongly and it won't pull your plants up, you can try the chopstick trick where you use a rubber band to attach the chopstick to the end of the siphon so that it sticks out an inch or two, then use that to gently rustle the plants and stir up the wastes so the siphon can get them without putting it too close to the plants and disturbing them.

Ooh I found the video where I first saw this done:

https://youtu.be/4ok3qBVKHq8

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Finally got water in my 90 gallon cube. Super, super excited about my biggest tank by far.

Also managed to get a couple of gallons on the floor testing the overflow because I am a moron. Hopefully I didn't trash the floor underneath the tank :-(

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Enos Cabell posted:

This is a terrible idea for many reasons, but I kinda want to make my own hamster Sealab now.



This is amazing.

Krispy Wafer
Jul 26, 2002

I shouted out "Free the exposed 67"
But they stood on my hair and told me I was fat

Grimey Drawer

I have so many questions about Hamsterlab. Are the leaks on each side to try and vent out CO2/other gasses? I'm guessing the positive air pressure is such that Jacques Cricetus could survive any small breaches. The guy really needs a camera feed from inside Hamsterlab.

VelociBacon posted:

Are you adding anything for the plants? Ferts/Micro wise?

Not really. I was dosing Excel because my algae was going bonkers, but I got one of those UV sanitizers and that got rid of my algae and my coronavirus.

Gabriel S.
May 20, 2006

I WILL KEEP IMMIGRANT CHILDREN IN A LOCKBOX, AND THAT PAYS DOWN THE NATIONAL DEBT.

Put this Nazi Scientist fuck on ignore immediately!


Not sure if I'm being too picky but way back in the day I had this cool 38 Gallon Oceanic Cube with matching stand and canopy.

It appears today this company is gone and it almost seems as if the Aquarium Industry hasn't evolved at all in the last decade. What I mean by that is that many aquariums and furniture doesn't seem like it's made for serious hobbyists? Why is Ehiem the only company that makes a nice fancy polished aluminum aquarium with a matching canopy and stand?

If anything, I'd really like an acrylic 36x18x20 aquarium where I can buy everything that's professional done and not cheap looking wood.

Enos Cabell
Nov 3, 2004



There are nice tanks out there, but you pretty much have to go through a LFS to get them. I don't know of any good manufacturers that sell direct to customers unfortunately.

e: sucks about Oceanic though, they made my 90g bowfront and it's super nice, but getting pretty old

Gabriel S.
May 20, 2006

I WILL KEEP IMMIGRANT CHILDREN IN A LOCKBOX, AND THAT PAYS DOWN THE NATIONAL DEBT.

Put this Nazi Scientist fuck on ignore immediately!


I don't live in a big city so unless I'm willing to drive it's hard to get the aquarium I want. Besides, it's 2020 can't I ship a medium sized 40 Gallon Aquarium to my house?

Resting Lich Face
Feb 21, 2019


I mean I got a 200 gallon shipped to my doorstep so I'm sure you can get a 40.

Gabriel S.
May 20, 2006

I WILL KEEP IMMIGRANT CHILDREN IN A LOCKBOX, AND THAT PAYS DOWN THE NATIONAL DEBT.

Put this Nazi Scientist fuck on ignore immediately!


Everything I see on Petco.com, Petsmart and BigAls just isn't want I want or simply too large.

Wandering Orange
Sep 8, 2012



Bulk Reef Supply, Marine Depot, Premium Aquatics?

Gabriel S.
May 20, 2006

I WILL KEEP IMMIGRANT CHILDREN IN A LOCKBOX, AND THAT PAYS DOWN THE NATIONAL DEBT.

Put this Nazi Scientist fuck on ignore immediately!


Wandering Orange posted:

Bulk Reef Supply, Marine Depot, Premium Aquatics?

I forgot about these sites. JBJ and Red Sea have some cool kits but why don't they make them for freshwater too?

Ok Comboomer
Oct 20, 2007



Scientist Al Gore posted:

I forgot about these sites. JBJ and Red Sea have some cool kits but why don't they make them for freshwater too?

They do? Just use them for freshwater. Nobody says you can’t use a sump or false back for freshwater. Maybe it’s considered “overkill” but if you don’t want the aesthetic of a big HoB filter or the pain of disassembling a canister sumps are the way to go.

Mozi
Apr 4, 2004

one step done and another begun


Nap Ghost

My vampire shrimp has made his yearly appearance! Glad to see he's still alive.

Corte
Jun 28, 2005


Mozi posted:

My vampire shrimp has made his yearly appearance! Glad to see he's still alive.


That's amazing, definitely missed them at first glance.

Continuing to work on my 29g high tank, did a water test and seems it's good. I added some Elodea Densa and Hornwort I picked up from locals. Turns out there were some passengers on the Hornwort and I have a couple of pond snails now:


Also picked up a cut of Anubias Nana that I'm growing in a cup near a window that gets good sun for now. In addition I picked up 9 gold white cloud minnows from my FLS and looks like they kindly gave me a tenth. Current plan is to wait until my light arrives later this week before doing anything else:



Wondering if it might be a good idea to give the minnows and plants a few weeks to settle in before trying to add my fantail, some of the minnows look a bit shrimpy and could end up bait for it. I picked up what the staff member called "mixed moss" but is labelled weeping moss on the container, was thinking of trying to grow it inside the skull.

I also asked my FLS about trying to lower my pH below the standard 8.2 from my tap and they felt it was unnecessary, they assured me anything they stock is meant to be able to withstand the local tap water.

Corte fucked around with this message at 03:46 on May 18, 2020

Stoca Zola
Jun 28, 2008



Soiled Meat

That's good advice! Your hornwort looks a bit rough but if it is happy it will start growing like crazy at the tips and then you can get rid of the uglier older parts of the plant and replant the healthy new growth. Mine never stays planted so I just let it float and it takes over the tank if I let it.

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Resting Lich Face
Feb 21, 2019


Corte posted:



I also asked my FLS about trying to lower my pH below the standard 8.2 from my tap and they felt it was unnecessary, they assured me anything they stock is meant to be able to withstand the local tap water.

So I've only been getting back in the hobby after about 15 years out so take this with a big grain of salt but all of my research to reacquaint myself with the basics and catch up with new developments in the hobby suggests that it's way better to have stable parameters, whatever they are, than to try and fight your water with chemicals and whatever. I'd trust your LFS; I did way back when and it never went wrong so until you have evidence otherwise I'd assume your LFS is on the up and up.

Love the crystal skull vodka bottle. Keep posting progress on your tank.

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