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clipart shrimp

Haven’t updated this in a while, because, really, there’s not been much to say: all the fish have been happy and eating like little pigs, and no more neons have died. Plants are growing well, too, though I do want to get around to setting up DIY CO2, soon.

Green hair algae is threatening to become a problem. It’s appearing in clumps on the driftwood. In small amounts, it’s actually pleasing, but I can see where it will get out of hand. It’s even sprouting from the gravel. I’ve been testing Nualgi to see how it does at algae control, but, so far (3-4 weeks) I’m not seeing much effect. Others rave about it, though.

Also started running Purigen in the AC50. My goodness, what a difference that has made in the water clarity!

So, anyway, I picked up four more neons from the same store to bring my school to 11, plus five amano shrimps, all from nature Aquarium in Santa Monica. They have great fish and plants there. My new fish are currently in their bags acclimating. (After floating the bags to let the temperature equalize, I’m adding 10ml of tank water to the bags every five minutes for an hour before releasing them.) I can’t wait to try to get the shrimps out. (That was sarcasm, folks) I suspect it will be the “pour into a net” method.

Anyway, here’s a pic of my new aquatic cockroaches waiting patiently:

Bugs, Mr, Rico! Five of them!!

Also, a full tank shot from this morning. The plants are going to get a trimming this weekend or next:

Needs a trim.

The last acquisition for the tank will be a small shoal (5-6) of corydoras habrosus, if I can find any around here. Haven’t seen them yet.

Still have to figure out where the next aquarium goes. Oh yes, there’s always a next one. 😀

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Neon Tetra

I had a day off from work today, so I decided to catch a Lyft to Nature Aquarium in Santa Monica. Best selection of fish and plants on the West Side, with some species you never see in the big-box stores.

Anyway, I wanted to get some neon tetras to replace those that died (six out of seven within the first week!) from the batch I bought at Petco a few weeks ago. The one lone survivor looked lonely, and neons are a species that likes to be in schools of at least five.

So, I bought them and, after some initial confusion as the Lyft driver tried to find me (your GPS needs work, guys), I brought them home. After an hour of floating in the tank in their bag and then gradually adding tank water to the bag to acclimatize them, out they went into their new home. Amusing moment: checking on the new arrivals as they waited in their bag, I noticed the one neon in the tank was hanging around, trying to school with them. 🙂

Here’s some video of them all hanging out:

 

And, let me tell you, trying to net from a plastic bag half-inch fish who are scrambling to avoid the EVIL NET THING(tm) is not fun. I think I was as stressed by it as they.

But, they’re now in their new home exploring happily. Fingers crossed these last longer than the last bunch.

Xiphophorus maculatus

One more!

I was just thinking I hadn’t done an aquarium update in a while, and then that there really wasn’t much new news, when I found this little guy dashing out for food this evening as I fed my fish:

Sorry the video is so weak, but he spends most of his time hiding from the “big fish” in amongst the plants. I don’t think he realizes he’s too big too eat, now. (And, since he’s the only young’un, I suspect there were others that were eaten. So, hiding can be a Good Thing(tm).

From his size, I’d say he was born a few days ago and has been surviving eating algae and other bits. I think he has a good chance of making it to full size, since the tank it way under-stocked right now, and conditions are good.

While getting livebearers to breed is no great accomplishment (there are never just two guppies…), this still makes me feel good. I must be doing something right. 😀

Neon Tetra

Well, shoot. Since bringing my new seven new neons home on the first, three of them have died. One I never found, the other I found the remains of (ew…), and one I found floating right after I got home tonight.

Granted they’re only fish less than an inch long, but it’s still a bit distressing. First, of course, because aquarium keepers pride themselves on taking care of their pets, and I’ve had these for less than a week. Secondly, it’s annoying because I bought these at Petco for $1.49 apiece, when they were cheaper at a nearby dedicated fish store. Also, the Petco tank had several dead tetras in it when I bought them, and I never buy fish from a tank with more than one dead fish in it. But, they were larger than the ones at the Local Fish Store (LFS), and I got points for the purchase… sigh.

I broke my own rule and got punished for it. Never again.

Overall, this Petco (and the other nearby one on Westwood) have good fish sections, so I’m not really blaming them. Perhaps they got a bad batch. But the multiple deaths should have been a red flag that something was wrong in that tank.

Meanwhile, the other four seem to be fine, and the platys that I got from that same Petco are hale and hearty.

In case your curious, I tested my water and it’s fine: no ammonia, no nitrites, and minimal nitrates. I’ve heard neons can be delicate when first introduced to a tank, so I’m putting the deaths down to that. Hopefully, the other four survive. I plan to get some more (from a different store!) this weekend: I still want a school of seven to nine. With that many, they instinctively school. It’s a pretty sight.

Haven’t done a tank update in a while, but I just added some new fish, so I guess it’s a good time.

Picked up a small school of seven neon tetras at Petco today. Pricier than the nearby LFS, but, to be honest, these looked healthier. Anyway, here they are enjoying their new home:

One of them tried to end it all by leaping out of the net as I was putting them in the tank. I didn’t notice he was missing for about a minute. Found him on the mat in front of the tank, quickly realized my fingers were too clumsy to pick him up, so I slipped him onto an envelope. So far, he and buddies all seem to be doing fine: good color, hungry, active.

One weird note: one of the platys decided she didn’t like these new guys, and so kept chasing them. In all my years of fishkeeping, I’d never seen an aggressive platy. I finally distracted them with some crushed flake food, and now everyone seems to play well.

Here’s the latest full tank shot:

I honestly did not realize how dirty that front glass was until I took the photo.

The plants are mostly doing well. The alternanthera is developing a good red color at its top now that I’ve started dosing iron, and the ludwigia repens is putting out new plants. Both may need trimming soon. Here’s a shot of the alternanthera:

It’s actually redder than the pic indicates: I think the glare washed it out.

I’m a little concerned about the E. Tenellus. Both original plants have put out runners with several daughter plants, but the mother plants are looking kind of pale, even yellowing a bit:

Some sort of deficiency? Also, I trimmed the algae-laden leaves after this shot.

The plants doing best are the cardamine lyrata. Lots of new growth, good color. In fact, their trying to take over the area held by the hygrophila stricta:

I regularly have to trim it back so the hygrophila gets some light. (You see some of it floating in the full tank shot. I hope to use the clippings in a new tank.)

And speaking of the h. stricta, while it has good color and lots of new leaves, I’m surprised it hasn’t grown. I had expected it to reach to 4-6 inches. Instead, it’s staying low and getting bushy. But it’s also putting out new plants.

That’s it for now. Fingers crossed the neons adapt well to their new home.

With California still caught in a harsh drought, aquarists must do their part to recycle water. PeckTec shows the way:

I may have to order a case. I wonder if they have “Sunset Platy Surprise?” 

Finally. At long last, after several years without an aquarium, after weeks of cycling and letting plants take root, after going fish shopping last weekend and being disappointed, we have fish.

Meet the first new inhabitants of JJ&J’s Seafood Buffet:

JJJ Buffet 017

(Letting the temperature adjust for 30 minutes, then in they go.)

These are from one of my local Petcos where, frankly, the fish looked better and the staff were friendlier than my local tropical fish store. These were labeled “Sunset Fire Platies,” and I bought one male and four females.

They’re out of the bag, now, exploring their new home, and pooping. If fish are eating and pooping, they’re happy. After some initial signs of stress, they’re swimming around and snacking on algae. The male seemed to take the longest to adjust, hiding in the Cardamine, but he seems to be doing fine now. I’ll give them and the tank a week to adjust, then go shopping for another species next week.

On the plant front, there’s good news and bad news.

The good news is that I’m still getting good new growth. Here’s a snap of the Cardamine and the Hygrophila Stricta:

Cardamine in the front, Hygrophila in the back

Cardamine in the front, Hygrophila in the back

And the Echinodorus Tenellus is sending runners. Both plants have several “daughters.” In fact, I may have to “harvest” some, soon. They’re invading other plants’ spaces.

That bad news is that my lovely Marsilea Hirsuta, which had been growing like wildfire, has had a major die-off in the central portion. Here’s a recent “before” picture:

It was a great start

It was a great start

Here’s how it is today:

What happened?

What happened?

This makes me sad. 😦

At first I thought it was just old leaves dying during the transition, but even new leaves are rotting. I’m really not sure what’s happened here. I started dosing the full Seachem liquid fertilizer regime last weekend, including Excel. I’ve heard of other plants that have a problem with Excel, but I’ve not read of Marsilea being one of them. Maybe they’re unrelated. Regardless, I think this weekend I’m going to rip out the dead plant portions, snip off the runners that still seem good and replant them

Speaking of Seachem products, as I mentioned, I started the full regime last weekend, including Iron. I think most of the plants like it, especially the Cardamine. Even the Alternanthera is getting redder and showing new leaves. I’ve also noticed the algae that had been bugging me (hair and the beginnings of brush algae) looks like it has vanished. Frankly, I’m surprised.

I’ll be starting CO2, soon (“Do It Yourself” with citric acid), and I’ve decided to add a 2nd AC20 filter to the tank at the other end, to increase flow there. And the extra biological filtration couldn’t hurt.

That’s it for now, more when developments warrant.