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Showing most liked content since 04/25/2017 in all areas

  1. 20 likes
    So after 18mths & a number of different graphic designers, I have finally got the cherry shrimp family tree ready for peer review. I know there is a few additions to be added, like blue gene orange rili & green orange rili, any other suggestions will be gladly added.
  2. 9 likes
    Breeding Celestial Pearl Danios (Also known as Galaxy Rasboras) Firstly I will start by saying that these are a fantastic little fish that show no aggression to any other species nor within their own species. Males will spar with each other sometimes and often display to females, no damage is ever done. They are shrimp friendly, but will take down shrimplets if they get hungry. So they can be added to a mature and established shrimp community tank to ensure maximum shrimp numbers surviving also. These fish prefer a nice planted tank with a dark substrate, this helps reduce skittishness and bring out their colour even better, it also gives refuge for fry that will pop up in the display tank! Feeding Celestial Pearl Danios will need to be fed small foods, due to their small mouth size. Though they are always excited to see live black worms (2-3 of these will make them VERY fat). Mine love grindal worms so they get this often, as well as baby brine shrimp and cyclops regularly. They will readily take dry foods of small size, I have had great success with Sera Vipagran Baby. To keep them in shape for breeding on a regular basis, I feed them twice a day with baby brine shrimp and a higher protein food like grindal worms, black worms, and so on. I find live high protein foods keep them in better shape and increase egg numbers. Sexing CPD Celestial Pearl Danios are fairly easy to sex, especially when they are of mature/breeding age. Females will have a much rounder body shape, when they are younger they will also have a taller body (older/more mature males develop this also, usually 6+ months old). Females also have a prominent black spot in front of the anal fin, the difference becomes more obvious as they mature more. Males are more slender in the body but will have much better colour in the body and fins, they develop a nice blue to purple colour to the body with nice orange fins and often the under belly too (the under belly colour can also be the case in females though, so isn’t a guarantee). In the below photos you will see the younger male has a slender body and orange under belly, as well as better colour than the female. However, as you can see in the older pair, the male has developed the deep body also and the female has a light orange hue to her under belly. The male in the second photo is a prime candidate for breeding as he is quite nicely coloured and has developed good body/fin shape and colour. Young Pair – Male on the bottom right and female on top left: Older/More Mature Pair – Male on top and female on bottom: Breeding Celestial Pearl Danios will start breeding from as young as 3 months old if fed well and have clean water throughout their short childhood. However, I find they are usually all mature by 4 months old. You will need at least one pair for breeding, however I have better experience breeding a trio as this gives females times to recover between breeding sessions as these fish are “constant” (usually daily) spawners. Spawning is induced by males, where they will hover over a specific area they like (moss, spawning mop, etc) and when a female is nearby they will begin to shake their bodies and flare their fins in hopes of attracting the female. They will do their dance and display, but the spawning comes when the male has his head pointed down and shakes, following the female behind closely. These fish will often spawn in a display tank and you will get fry popping up now and then in a well planted and mature tank. However, celestial pearl danios will readily eat their eggs and fry in my experience so this method will result in minimal fry numbers. There is another option which can work well if you have spare tanks, or enough room to rotate breeders. This method is basically using a bare tank with some java moss and keeping a trio in here for a 5 to 7 days, then moving them to another tank while the eggs hatch in the first tank. Then you keep repeating this process until you have enough fry or forever if you have the space… I have not tried this method myself, but have heard of others using this method with success. I personally don’t have the tank space for this method. The final method which has worked the best for me has been a dedicated breeding tank. In this tank all I have is a sponge filter and an acrylic yarn spawning mop (make sure it is 100% acrylic otherwise it will eventually rot in the tank). I keep a trio of my best fish in here, one male and two females. The male I use is the “older” pair from the photos above for his colour and body shape, as well as two nicely coloured and sized females. I call this the “permanent breeding factory”, because I am able to get on average 20 eggs per day with this method. To collect the eggs in the factory, I use a turkey baster purchased on eBay. I stop the sponge filter and after about 5 minutes or so when everything has settled down I slowly lift the spawning mop up and shake the mop, to make this easy I tied a long piece of yarn which comes out of the tank onto the lid for easy lifting without having to drop my arm into the tank. I then use a light on the front half of the tank, placing the light from the side helps in seeing the eggs easier as does a dark base (my tanks have black bottom panels). Using the turkey baster I suck the eggs up and collect them in a plastic cup for later use. With the eggs in the cup I then fill the cup most of the way and use an air stone on a very low bubble rate to keep circulation over the eggs to prevent fungus. Another option is to put the eggs in a fine meshed breeder box or poke some tiny holes into the cup and float it in the tank to keep fresh water circulating over the eggs. Eggs take about 3-4 days to hatch on average, and the fry will now be wrigglers which cannot really swim yet and are not ready to be fed. This wriggler stage will take about 3-5 days before they are free swimming. They will often be holding onto the side of the cup, or laying on the base. This is nothing to worry about. Once fry are free swimming they will be quite small and very thin in body thickness. You will need very small foods to have the best success, such as paramecium, spirulina powder, fry powder foods like sera micron and so on. I find that I get a MUCH better survival and growth rate when the fry are fed live foods so I only use paramecium for feeding them. The fry will need about 10-15 days before they can readily eat baby brine shrimp, I don’t bother with foods larger than paramecium until this stage mainly because micro worms and similar are a pain to keep going and requite too much maintenance. Once the fry are on baby brine shrimp, they will grow much quicker. Around the 5-6 week mark, I start introducing sera vipagran baby or similar small sized foods. I however prefer to give them live foods more than dry foods as I find the fry grow much quicker and are healthier and develop colour earlier. Fry will grow fairly quickly and at the 6 week mark will be around the 15mm mark and should be showing some slight purple/blue to the body and their golden spots should be readily visible. From this point on the fry will slow down their growth as they reach their adult size but colour will come in much quicker. By the 12 week mark the fish should be very close to looking like full grown adults, with the deep orange colour developing quickly after this point. Fish should also be reasonably easy to sex from this point on as the body shape has already developed and the colours are coming through quickly. Now I hope you enjoy the photos of the fry below, which should help you gauge age and so on of your fry! As a comparison, the first two photos are of fish the same age but the first shot is of a fry fed solely dry foods like spirulina powder and similar from hatch while the second photo is a fry fed on live foods from hatching. Young fry (most likely female) at 12 weeks old – Fed solely on dry foods from hatching. Young Female Fry at 12 weeks old – Fed on live foods, with dry food at the later stage in life Most likely a nice young female, but could be a male. Young pair of CPD, approximately 7-8 weeks old. Young female, approximately 7-8 weeks old Thank you for reading along and I hope you find the information useful, or at least enjoyed the article!
  3. 8 likes
    With lots of variety of mosses and ferns out there, here is a compile of Photos from the great Tomasz Wastowski of his current collection. Bolbitis sp. "Gau Angin" Microsorum "Small Leaf" Microsorum "Thunder Leaf" Microsorum "Short Narrow Leaf" Loxogramma sp. Wave Moss Mosses... Bolbitis sp. "Gua Angin", Bolbitis heteroclita "Cuspidata" & Buce. Brownie Jade Loxogramme sp. Amblystegiaceae Manaus "Queen Moss" Homalia sp "Rosa" Hymenophyllaceae sp. "Wayanad" Pteridophyta sp. "Xkiat" Microsorum sp "Trident" Plagiochcila sp. Cameroon Microsorum sp. Mini Windelov Fissidens Grandifrons var. Planiccaulis Microsorum sp. Fork Leaf Bolbitius Heteroclita Difformis Fissidens Adianthoides Fissidens Dubius & Fissidens from Poland Fissidens Dubius Fissidens from Poland Fissidens Geminiflorus "Nagasaki" Fissidens sp. "Himehouogoke" F. Nobilis, F. Zippelianus, F. Adianth, F. Dubius, F. Dubius 2, F. Poland Fissidens Nobilis
  4. 7 likes
    Back in 2014 I showed some pictures of my quite large CRS colony. At that time I was breeding for numbers just to fill a very large tank so the quality of the shrimp wasn't very important to me. Last year I decided to take it in hand to improve the quality and weed out all. The low grade shrimp. I ended with a much smaller colony so put them into 70 litre breeding tanks, added a couple of mid - high grade males and left them to it. Along the way I culled any low grade males and eventually low grade females . I'm happy to say I once again have a thriving colony of about 150-200 shrimp of mid to mid/high grade shrimp. Patterns initially were B & A with a few S and now they are basically S , SS and a few SSS . There is still a lot of room for improvement and I will be doing another big cull soon . I can see a few shrimp still have tiny clear sections but on the whole they are looking much better. I'm getting colour on the legs now too which is good. Hopefully in another year I might have more high grade shrimp
  5. 7 likes
    Here is my formula for re-mineralising RO or Rain water: Powdered compound Grams needed: Calcium Sulphate CaSO4 Heptahydrate (so it dissolves easily) 55gm Magnesium Sulphate (Espom Salt) MgSO4 37gm Potassium Sulphate (aka Sulphate Of Potash) K2SO4 11gm Iron Sulphate (optional) FeSO4 0.30gm Manganese Sulphate (optional) MnSO4 0.16gm Total weight 103.46gm Multiply accordingly if you need to mix bigger batches. Alternatively, Iron and Manganese can be replaced with a Micro-nutrient mix 0.46gm. You can either use it in powder form, adding small teaspoons to your water change until a TDS of 140-160 is reached. OR You can premix this in 500ml bottle of RO water, and drip it into your water change until the desired TDS 140-160 is reached. If you have a TDS pen, you can check how much 1gm will raise TDS in 1L of water. Similarly you can also test GH/KH raise in 1L of water. It is very important you test this yourself, since there can be a number of variables between your mix and my mix. This mix will not alter pH. You will be able to find all you need at www.aquariumonlinestore.com.au
  6. 7 likes
    Number #457 and #502 solves the riddle of why I blanked out two of the tanks http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2015/index1.html
  7. 6 likes
    My yellow Neo colony has settled in very well with my TB colony.
  8. 6 likes
    Non-aquatic plants to avoid! When you purchase aquarium plants, it's important that you understand that not all plants available for sale are truly aquatic. Vendors have no qualms offering this plants for sale, because they are very easy to obtain, and it is rare that you will see the designation "non-aquatic." While these plants can often survive as long as a year submerged, more often than not, they begin to decompose in as little as a couple of weeks or months, causing an ammonia spike, which can lead to algae, or worse, prove toxic to fish. These plants are not meant to be grown in an aquarium long-term and it is best that you avoid purchasing them for your benefit and the benefit of the non-aquatic plant. They are terrestrial plants and are meant for either indoor or outdoor gardening. They are at their best when they planted and cared for the right way. Japanese Rush (Acorus gramineus) Often sold in pots with rockwool, this plant will survive in the aquarium upto a year, but prefer cooler temperatures. In warm tropical tanks, this plant will turn to mush very quick. Aquatic alternatives such as Lilaeopsis species, Echinodorus tenellus, Sagittaria subulata, Vallisneria species can be used. Caladium (Caladium bicolor) This plant will only survive in the aquarium for upto 6 weeks (best kept with its leaves out of the water). These are usually sold in pots with rock wool. Aquatic alternatives such as Tiger lotuses and Barclaya longifolia can be used. English Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) This plant can survive long periods in the aquarium, these are usually sold as seedlings about 20cm tall either in pots or in bunches. In terrestrial environments, these can grow upto 2m tall. Aquatic alternative such as Hygrophilia difformis can be used. Aluminum Plant (Pilea cadierei) This plant may last in the aquarium for a few weeks, but will eventually melt away. Aquatic alternatives is the Blue Stricta. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) Another plant found in the trade as a potted plant. While it may grow very well in terrestrial form, once submerged it will root very quickly. Alternatively you can use larger Sagittaria species. Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) The lucky bamboo is very common these days among aquarists. If the leaves are kept out of the water, it can survive for a very long time. Once completely submerged, the lifespan is roughly 8 weeks. It is usually sold as rooted stalkes. Fittonia verschaffeltii This compact little plant is usually sold in pots, but unfortunately it will only last a couple of weeks in the aquarium before it begins to decay. Alternatively you can used Staurogyne sp. Purple Waffle Plant (Hemigraphis colorata) One of the most commonly seen non-aquatic plant in the trade. It is often sold in cuttings secured with rubberbands or lead weights. It may survive upto a year in the aquarium but would require high lighting and high iron levels. This plant will slowly deteriorate. Alternatively you can use Lobelia cardinalis. Iresine lindenii A beautiful plant, but completely unsuitable for the aquarium. It is often sold as a potted plant in the aquarium trade. Alternatively you can use Alternantera reineckii. Selaginella moss (Selaginella martensii) Unfortunately, this plant only has a 2-week lifespan in the aquarium and is often sold in pots. However, it makes an excellent paludarium plant. Very similar to Selaginella martensii is Selaginella willdenowii (umbrella fern, peacock fern). Aquatic Alternatives - Aquatic mosses, including Frontinalis antipyretica, Taxiphyllum barbieri and other Taxiphyllum species, and Vesicularia dubyana and it's related species. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) There is a lot of debate regarding the Peace Lily, and it is often seen in the trade as a potted aquarium plant. In Peter Hiscock's book, it is listed as a suitable plant for the aquarium, since it is extremely hardy and can remain healthy in the home aquarium for many months or even years. It is slow growing and can grow with minimal effort and in lower light levels. It is not, however, a true aquatic plant. Arrowhead Plant (Syngonium podophyllum) Though suitable for paludariums, the "arrowhead plant" quickly dies if left submerged. It can, however, be kept in situations where its roots are submerged. It is often sold as a potted aquarium plant. Aquatic alternatives - Hygrophila corymbosa, Echinodorus "Ozelot green", Anubia species Mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonica) Mondo Grass is not a true aquatic plant. It will survive for awhile underwater but will not prosper. Best if taken out after a couple of months. Alternatively you can use Hairgrass or Blyxa japonica If you know any other plants I have missed, please post them below :) View full article
  9. 6 likes
    I thought I'd add this topic to accompany Blue Bolts great thread on correct ratios and dosing of Calcium and Magnesium. http://www.shrimpkeepersforum.com/forum/showthread.php/4383-GH-Ca-MG-Ratio So why is Calcium & Magnesium important to both aquarist who keep fish and those of us who keep shrimp? CALCIUM SULFATE: CaSO4 Calcium sulfate in your aquarium will keep a more stable electrolyte balance (for osmotic function), while magnesium is another important element that works with calcium. A proper amount of Calcium and Magnesium in your aquarium will affect your shrimp or fish health positively, including fish from low pH environments such as Apistos, Discus or German Rams Magnesium and Calcium have been shown to increase resistance to degenerate diseases by lowering the acidity in the body. This will help with prevention of ich and fungus in your fish. Calcium also helps in healing and stress, and without proper calcium levels healing may be difficult or impossible. Calcium is also important and has been shown to both prevent and treat Hole in the Head disease common to cichlids (also referred to as HITH). The addition of antibiotics (such as Tetracycline) will lower calcium absorption, while the presence of correct amounts of calcium in the aquarium water will considerable reduce the toxic side effects of Malachite Green which is why a GH (for freshwater calcium measurement) of 100 ppm (for freshwater) is SO VERY important to ich treatment. Calcium can adversely affect the kH of a discus aquarium when combined with sodium carbonates or bi carbonates, which is generally kept at a pH below 6.5. Not that calcium has a direct impact on raising or lowering kH, but that it assists in buffering the water to avoid swings in kH and thus pH. I have successfully used sources of calcium in discus (low pH) aquariums by using a mix of RO (Reverse Osmosis) water and tap water (dilution will vary depending on your tap and tank water parameters). Then add electrolytes/mineralsto the RO water and add peat to the filters. This method has been used successfully with discus and calcium added with no pH climb. The peat will leach minerals into the water that will bond with the Carbonate thereby preventing it from bonding to the “H+†ion, thereby lowering KH and subsequently pH. This is a good method for planted tanks as the nutrients can also be used by plants. Calcium sulfate is soluble in water. However, it's solubility is extremely poor. Only a small amount will dissolve, and this will take place extremely slowly over time. To improve solubility, use a mortar & pestle to crush into a fine powder before adding to water. Calcium is particularly important to the average shrimp and invertebrate keeper. Calcium plays a huge role in Osmoregulation. And as such plays a big role in assisting the shrimp's moulting cycle. Ever have shrimp die during a failed moult? Check the Calcium levels in your water. MAGNESIUM Magnesium is important for proper osmotic functions in fish and invertebrates. Magnesium is essential for Calcium assimilation, so when magnesium levels are low, the calcium supply becomes exhausted. For this reason, Magnesium is better added in the proper balance with calcium (which both are essential to each other for proper utilisation). Epsom salts that contain magnesium sulfate, are best used for therapeutic reasons such as to aid in flushing the system as it aids in and speeds osmotic function, and helps to move fluids out of the body. Sulfates, one of the major components of Epsom Salt, have been shown effective in improving nutrient absorption and toxin elimination. Magnesium, the other major component of Epsom Salt, plays a role in the activity of many enzymes. Also note that Epsom salts (MgSO4) do NOT evaporate or decompose, so only add more after water changes. Where to Buy: Calcium Sulfate CaSO4 can be purchase from Aqua Green Aquotix online store (aquariumonlinestore.com.au) Ace Chem (http://www.acechem.com.au) - bulk orders Magnesium Sulfate can be purchased from Aquotix online store (aquariumonlinestore.com.au) Bunnings (Manutec Epsom Salt) Big W (Manutec Epsom Salt) Ace Chem (http://www.acechem.com.au) - bulk orders If there are more sources, let me know and I'll update the list.
  10. 5 likes
    A big thank you to @The Tech Den for their continued support as a Platinum Sponsor here at SKF Aquatics. Great guys with a great range of aquatic stock.
  11. 5 likes
    Hi @Martib, most black lines carry Reds - known as Bloody Mary shrimp- and also blue - known as Blue Diamond. I have found nearly all my blacks even when put to only the blackest mate have still given a small proportion of blues and Reds. I did get the blacks to breed fairly true for several generations but then still started seeing a few blues and Reds show up. I have seen adverts for blacks that breed true but most lines seem to have a few other colours show up. The blues and Reds from black are also hard to get to breed 100% true. Most other colour Neos do breed true but not these it seems - I wouldn't argue with anyone saying theirs breed true but over the course of 4-5 years mine never did .
  12. 4 likes
    At the request of a member, here are a few shots from my current set-up showing my PVC looped air supply. Its based on my old set-up (see link below), but rejigged for a rack. For those of you who are unaware, this is my rack: Circumstances were such that I could not build the air supply onto the back of the rack until the rack was in place with tanks running. It would have been much nicer if I could have set it up first, so I encourage you to do this if you want to make something similar. I will show you the main problem later on. A (really) simple schematic for the loop is: The PVC loop is cable-tied onto the back of my rack system so is able to be dismantled if I need to move the rack. The top line is joined to a Resun LP20 air pump using a rubber hose with a special joiner that can slide (in and out) and twist (i.e. rotate) - this minimizes vibration and therefore noise from the pump. I can't remember what this joiner is called, but I found it at Bunnings. Hose clamps are used to hold the rubber hose in place (for peace of mind). Luckily I have a high shelf nearby that I can use to sit the air pump on. Remember it is very important to position the air pump above the position of the tanks so that if the power goes off, the water from the tanks will not back siphon into the air pump and ruin it. Alternatively you can use a one-way valve in front of the air pump, but having seen so many of them fail, I do not trust one-way valves at all. Each 'rung' on the loop has a series of 4mm outlets which I use to attach air line to the sponge filters in the tanks. Details for the taps are in my 'air supply' thread (linked above). The taps can be found at specialist irrigation shops or online. Bunnings does not carry them. There is one regret I have with this system. The top 'rung' does not reach the top of the tanks on the top level of the racks (see below). This means there is some risk that the water from these tanks could back siphon into the air supply if the power goes off. So far that hasn't happened, but the potential is there. Unfortunately it was a consequence of the rack and tanks being set up first - the rack was too close to the wall to fit the air supply around the blind that sits behind the tank. If I need to move this rack I will cut the PVC pipe and add inserts so the top 'rung' sits at the same height as the tanks.
  13. 4 likes
    Recently 2 of my green babaulti have become berried and so I thought I'd share some pics as these are not as common in the hobby as some. Also my new bluebolts are looking promising I have 2 berried females and a nice male paired with them. One should be ready to drop in the next week or thereabouts. [emoji173][emoji111][emoji445] will
  14. 4 likes
    Hi, new here and thought I'd share some of my shrimp pics. I have two tanks. Both planted, one yellow King Kong only, other a mix. the mixed tank started with 8 TT x KK and 2 OEBT. By f2 generation I added around 15 TB mainly pandas and KK with a couple of blue bolts. Blue steels have popped up in tank and what I think is either a red bolt or hopefully a red steel. Two weeks ago I added 3 high grade OEBTs and 2 one reds.
  15. 4 likes
    You can still see a couple of dots of black but they are nearly all completely yellow now
  16. 4 likes
    I haven't fed my shrimp cucumber for a very long time . Do you think they like it?
  17. 4 likes
    @neo-2FX the issue with moss id is the conditions in which its grown can change its appearance, so you really need to look at it under a micro scope and be able to understand wtf your looking at to determine our moss. but i guess we could get out own version of a moss chard like we do for out grading and id's of shrimp. with a few different pics of the same moss to give a good idea of what they all look like under ideal conditions.
  18. 4 likes
    There's definitely one thing that pisses me off! Moss ID! Not as important as the above mentioned ones but thought I'd put it out there.
  19. 3 likes
    Hey everyone how's things? So I was on and off with shrimp the last 6 months or so while I was doing other things and getting into nano softwater fish, building tanks and saving money, now I've got a bit more free time again I just bought a ton of new tanks, equipment and shrimp in the last few months, it's all coming together now. This is what my lounge room/fish room looks like ATM lol
  20. 3 likes
    Thankyou@ineke I decided to go ahead and treat the tank with shrimp in. After all they're only cherry shrimps.. I gave the first treatment with the recommended dosage and 24 hours later I can't see any hydra on the wall where they were well established last time instead there are tiny shrimplets grazing the biofilm hooray! Before and after photos attached. [emoji173][emoji111][emoji445] will
  21. 3 likes
    Aquarium: Mr Aqua 12g (90cm x 24cm x 21cm) 45l Filteration: Eheim 2213 Canister Lighting: BeamsWork 90cm (10,000K) Heating: Aqua One Glass Heater (22c) Substrate: Fluval Shrimp Stratum Flora: Anubias nana, Anubias paco, Anubias coffeefolia, Java Moss Fauna: Crystal Red Shrimp Hardscape: Malaysian Driftwood Food: Boss Aquaria Shrimp Crack, Benebachi Kale Tablets, Aqua One Vege Wafers Extras: Boss Aquaria Mineral Powder Future Plans: Intend to test different foods like Indian Almond Leaves & Mulberry Leaves
  22. 3 likes
    Hi guys, here is a video of my 30 litres dennerli tank which has been running for 2.5 years now. Started a new bigger tank for them so they will have more space . https://youtu.be/Id0TyvEs6sg
  23. 3 likes
    Hello guys. I'd like to share some of my Pinto mix. Hope that U like them. Plis tell me aswell should I start as a part of my chanel english version :)
  24. 3 likes
    @Tricky, pick the right low light plants, and your tank won't need CO2. Saves you money and time from having another piece of equipment or three. My shrimp tanks all have mosses of various varieties, subwassertangs and java ferns. These low light plants are all thriving and constantly need pruning. Which is another added hassle. Pruning means that my hands will need to go into the water, and that's an added risk of introducing contaminants into a tank. Avoid if possible. CO2 shrimp tanks are not taboo and can be done, as long as you know the risks & disadvantages, which is what Brent and Merv are trying to say. Many people have done it successfully. You can always supplement O2 with oxydators, like the one from Sochting. Go ahead if you still like to try it. But do it properly. If you add CO2, plant the heck out of the tank - don't do it in halves and let the shrimp suffer from too much CO2.
  25. 3 likes
    If you're going to keep the sections self-contained, solid glass is the best option. But you kinda have to be fairly sure of your plan since re-doing it somewhere down the line would be a big pain. There is a small disadvantage to self-contained sections - you basically end up with 4 smaller tanks that just happen to be stuck to each other and would have to treat the tanks as such: be more aware of potential water quality issues since you won't have as much leeway as with bigger systems. Many many people keep their shrimp in fairly tiny stand-alone tanks with few issues, so it's not a huge deal if you're keeping an eye on it.
  26. 3 likes
    Thanks Jay, i m really happy with them, and the few different phenotypes from the same line. No chances of getting bored with these guys !
  27. 3 likes
    By Fishmosy and Northboy Habitat and Water Conditions Riffles are so named because they are found in riffles, shallow fast flowing sections of creeks. They occur in easterly flowing creeks from Northern Queensland down to Victoria, Australia. Two famous collecting areas are the Atherton Tablelands in QLD and Never Never Creek, near Bellingen NSW. Riffles can grow to over 6cm, reports of 8cm is not uncommon. However, these shrimp change sex at around 3.5-4cm from males to females. If you want to breed these shrimp, ensure you have both size ranges. Breeding Breeding riffles is fairly easy. The entire lifecycle is carried out in freshwater. BBS or brine shrimp nauplii are a great conditioning food for adults. Eggs are carried by the female and hatch out as miniature adults. Shrimplets take the same food as adults, including brine shrimp nauplii and flake food, as well as grazing on algae/biofilm. Food One of the greatest attributes of these shrimp is watching them use their filter feeding feet to catch food items wafting in the current. They may even learn 'feeding time' and take up positions in the tank to grab food drifting by. Riffles also become less timid over time, and are often seen out and about in the aquarium. Adults are also reported to feed on BBA and cyanobacteria (BGA). General Notes Riffles are adaptable to most aquarium conditions as long as extremes are avoided, but require highly oxygenated water, temperatures not exceeding 27 degrees C for long periods of time and are sensitive to phosphates and CO2. Stressed riffles will change colour to bright red or dark blue. However, their natural colouration is highly variable, greens to blues, black and white, and stripes, so colour changes aren't always indicative of problems. Riffles also seem to like hanging out on timber. Warning: These shrimp can and do climb, so keep tight-fitting lids on your tanks. You can keep riffles with fish as long as they can't fit in the fishes mouths, although the fish may hassle the shrimp. However, riffles can turn the tables and eat small fry. Further Information Riffle Shrimp from the Atherton Tablelands by Bob Kroll in AquariumKeeper Australia Vol 1, Iss 2 (Out of print) Below is some water parameters from a creek where riffles are found on the Mid North Coast of NSW, Australia, near Coffs Harbour. Time of year: Late Spring (Nov, 2012). Water parameters were as follows: Temp - 22.5*C Ammonia - undetectable Nitrite - undetectable Nitrate Undetectable pH 6.8-7.0 Hardness - KH below 10mg/L, - GH 20-40mg/L Ca - less than 20mg/L PO4 - undetectable Other than temperature, these parameters were measured using a Hagen Nutrafin Master test kit. Here are some pictures from the area. This is a typical area where riffles can be found, if you are looking in the shallow pool at the bottom of the picture, you won't find them. Look for the riffles like mid photo (enlarged in the second pic), no matter how shallow it may appear, riffles should be there. Male and female riffles often congregate in different areas. Here is an area where I found only females. Notice the width of the riffle and the presence of lots of habitat structure (rocks). Here is a place that was dominated by males. Notice that there are very few points to access upstream areas. The males were quite dense directly beneath the overflows of the concrete river crossing. Up to 6 riffles under each rock was not uncommon. My theory is that males congregate at these 'choke points' to access females (for breeding) which travel through to access upstream areas. This point was 50m or so downstream of the female habitat. Alternatively females may seek out these areas at moulting time (I have found recently moulted females in these areas). Another interesting point as to why riffles might not occur in shallow pools was because of the amount of eels in this creek. There was literally one per pool. The large pool above the creek crossing contained one that must have close to 1metre in length. Finally another interesting factor I've found in finding riffles is that they seem to prefer the darker rocks (possibly granite, but I'm no geologist) indicated in this picture by blue dots, avoiding the lighter coloured rocks (red dots). In areas where this light coloured rock dominate, I have found no riffles at all, even if it seems like optimal habitat. Maybe it is a camoflague preference? Hope you have found this interesting and informative. Best of luck with keeping your riffles. Click here to view the article
  28. 2 likes
    Hi guys, if you need anymore helping hands, I'm putting mine up [emoji113] . I'm not experience like you guys though [emoji2] Sent from my SM-G920I using Tapatalk
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    Example of the improved in-forum link embeds. Current: New:
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    So the new site updates should be here by June sometime. In the meantime, you may want to think about your avatars as we move the default square to a more modern rounded style. Round avatars are available today with some themes but we hadn't made the move yet.
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    If you are setting up a new aquarium, here is a short primer on how to set up your aquarium properly and efficiently. It may seem daunting at first, but assembling your new aquarium is easier than you think. Get all the aquarium materials ready First get all the aquarium materials ready by washing them thoroughly with warm water. Don’t use commercial soaps and detergents as they are toxic to fish. Stick to the most common and the simplest aquarium ornaments. Sift the gravel over a bucket and drain, repeating the process until you are sure that the gravel is debris-free. Fill your tank with water and set up equipment The next step in the process is to fill your tank with water. Initially fill around 30% of the tank using room temperature water. You can add the rest of the water right after the internals such as airline tubing, live or plastic plants and other ornaments are added. The air tube is an essential part of the aquarium as it helps with the oxygenation of the water. Plants are generally added to hide equipment, help with the aqua scape or simply aid in the tanks biological ecosystem. The air pump, power filter, and heater are other types of equipment that should be added. De-chlorinate You need to treat the water in the aquarium to remove chlorine, which is harmful to your biological filter and could be lethal to your fish. It is important not to overdose on de-chlorinators, as they can have an impact on water chemistry. Cycle your aquarium When an aquarium is cycled, it means that you cultivate or grow a bacteria bed in your tank, specifically in the biological filters. The filters will grow bacteria that digest ammonia which converts to nitrite, which is naturally produced and lethal to fish, shrimp, and coral. Controlling these lethal elements is done by introducing healthy nitrifying bacteria into the aquarium. Before you add fish or shrimp, an aquarium must be cycled properly. This is called the fishless cycle. If you place all your fish or shrimp inside the aquarium without the cycling process, chances are they will probably die within a few days. Cycling your aquarium takes time and it’s important not to rush it. In some cases, it has taken 6 – 8 weeks to properly cycle a tank. Adding the inhabitants Before adding your livestock, it is imperative to test the water. Specifically, the levels of ammonia and nitrite. You need to make sure that these two toxic nitrogen compounds are non-existent in the tank. Wait for two months before cleaning your new filter to allow significant growth of good nitrifying bacteria to populate. Acclimatise the livestock Acclimatising your livestock is a very important procedure because it helps your newly-acquired fish or shrimp adjust to their new habitat. Even a minor relocation can affect them because of changes in water parameters. Setting up a new aquarium takes a lot of planning and patience. Just follow the basic guidelines and the recommendations in this primer, and you will find that owning an aquarium is fulfilling and enjoyable. View full article
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    If this product works like NO PLANARIA, a small dosage is enough to get rid of hydras, no need to follow the dosage to kill the planarias. I use less than a quarter of the recommended dosage and all the hydras are gone in 24 hours and never come back.
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    the babies from my super blue girl are starting to look quite stunning -not as nice as mama was but love the dot effect
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    Many aquatic keepers combine their passion for plants and shrimp in the one tank. One common question for newcomers is how to keep the shrimp safe in a planted tank that requires fertilizers. Why is this important? Well, how do you know what's safe, what's not, how it affects water parameters, what's not recommended, premixed liquid vs dry and the list goes on and on. One SKF Aquatics member, @Brentwillmers, found the following as a safe method for Taiwan Bee shrimp in his planted aquariums. Using only use R/O water with salty shrimp GH to a TDS of 80-90, the fertilizer dosing schedule is a mix of liquid and dry powders. This mix depends on availability and cost. Micro-Mix supplies a broad range of trace elements demonstrated to be necessary for proper plant health and growth. The following dosage of Micronutrients was found to be safe for his Taiwan Bee shrimp: Iron: 0.5ppm Magnesium: 0.80ppm Zinc: 0.002ppm Manganese: 0.001ppm Boron: 0.002ppm Molybdenum: 0.003ppm Cobalt: 0.00002ppm For trace elements, Seachem Trace, Aquavitro envy or a dry powder using a product such as Plantex CSM+Boron can be used. Often people will choose to dose chelated iron separately from other trace elements, though most commercial trace mixes do include some level of chelated iron. For this reason, Aquavitro propel is preferred. However, with some micro-mixes be aware of the copper concentration as these can be fatal for your shrimp. Micro-nutrients can be used alone or in conjunction with a macro-nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Liquid Seachem Nitrogen can be used or a dry powder form via adding the compound Potassium Nitrate (KNO3). Try to keep the levels at around 10ppm in low, medium and high light aquariums. Do not exceed 20ppm!! If you do stop dosing and do a water change and test again. Liquid Seachem Phosphorus or a powder form as Monopotassium Phosphate or KH2PO4 can be used in the aquarium but keep the levels low. It's best used in low, medium and high light aquariums and kept at around 0.5ppm. Always keep these levels low as possible it can be harmful to shrimp. Seachem Potassium or powdered potassium sulfate, or K2SO4 can be used. Keep the dose to around 10ppm in low to medium light aquarium and 20ppm with high light aquariums. Do not exceed 20ppm as it can be harmful to more sensitive shrimp. Dosing macro's 3 times per week and micro's 3 times a week alternating between days generally works well. You can find the perfect balance by dosing in the mornings and performing water test before lights out. On day 7 it’s important to do a water change, 50% weekly is recommended to reset water parameters. Unfortunately, a 50% water change will cause TDS levels to fall quickly. One method to minimize the rate in reduction is to perform 2 lots of 30% water changes (morning and afternoon) instead of a single 50%. The PH of the new water should be as close to your aquarium PH as possible. TDS will increase again after each dose of fertilizers so keep this in mind when adding remineralization to R/O water. Some methods of dosing are: Estimative Index (EI) Dosing Target Dosing PPS Pro Dosing EI method: EI dosing involves dosing each individual macro and a trace mix up to a high level throughout a week and at the end of the week, a 50% water change is performed, cutting the remaining nutrients in half, and the tank is dosed again. This is a simple way to insure you never bottom out on any nutrients. However, not a great idea for shrimp. Target Dosing (preferred method): Target dosing involves performing water tests on nitrate, potassium, phosphate and iron levels, dosing as per the target levels for your tank. PPS Pro Dosing: PPS Pro dosing involves dosing the tank with the amount of each nutrient needed during a 24-hour cycle. It requires daily dosing, but is great for keeping the tank from having excess nutrients which can cause algae issues. It does involve some math and some pretty small measurements, but is a very effective way to dose. Whatever the dosing method, one key point to remember is that everything is dependent on CO2, lighting and plants. Hope you enjoyed this article and happy shrimping. References and Content/Image Credit SKF Aquatics member - @Brentwillmers View full article
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    Planorbidae make up a significant portion of aquaitic pulmonate gastropods. In Australia alone, there are over 20 species group taxa that have been described. Their common name, ramshorn snails, comes from the spiral shape of their shells, which looks like a ram’s horn. Ramshorn snails come in a wide range of colours, including red, brown and black, and they can even be shimmery and translucent in colour. Because of the unique design on their shells and their colour, they can be a welcomed addition to an aquarium, offering vibrant colour and interest. However, oftentimes, these snails inadvertently appear in aquariums, hitchhiking on the live plants and/or accessories that have been transferred from one tank to another. If there is enough food available, these snails can quickly breed and take over an aquarium; but, if they are properly maintained, they can be a welcomed addition, even if their presence was not intended. These snails eat food that is leftover in the water, dead plant material and algae, and as such, they can help to maintain the health and appearance of an aquarium. Maintaining Ramshorn Snails Whether you are interested in adding ramshorn snails to your aquarium or they have taken up residence unexpectedly and you decide that you want to keep them, it’s important to understand how to properly maintain them, which fortunately, is easy to do. They do well in aquariums of various sizes. They are also very adaptable, which means that they can do well in various types of water conditions, though they prefer water that is filtered. Additionally, they do best in tanks that do not undergo sudden changes in their condition. These snails consume algae and food remnants from fish, but they prefer to eat dying and dead plant matter that is shed from live plants. They will also eat dead fish, shrimp or other snails. Things to Avoid If you are interested in maintaining Ramshorn snails in your aquarium, you should be aware that there are species of fish that will eat them. The most common predators of Ramshorn snails include bettas, loaches and dwarf puffer fish. Assassin snails will also prey on these snails. Live Plants Some people claim that Ramshorn snails destroy their live plants, while others have reported they do not cause any issues. However, in most cases, they do very little damage to live plants, but if a large amount of them are present and there are delicate plants in the aquarium, such as Water Sprite and Cabomba, they can do damage. Behaviour Ramshorn snails are peaceful and non-aggressive. They will not cause issues with fish, shrimp or other types of snails in an aquarium. They spend their time moving about the tank eating and adding interesting colour, texture and dimension to an aquarium. References Arctos. (n.d.). Retrieved May 7, 2017, from http://arctos.database.museum/name/Planorbidae Brown, D. S. (2001). Freshwater snails of the genus Gyraulus (Planorbidae) in Australia: taxa of the mainland. Molluscan Research, 21(1), 17-107. doi:10.1080/13235818.2001.10673736 Image credit - @Paul Minett View full article
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    The Importance of Owning a Quarantine Tank A quarantine or hospital tank is an important part of owning an aquarium. Quarantine tanks should be used by anyone introducing new inhabitants (fish, shrimp, etc…) to a tank, but unfortunately, not all owners are able to use these specialized tanks. When a new inhabitant is introduced into an aquarium, there is the potential for it to bring diseases or parasites and vice versa. For example, new fish tend to be stressed from the transportation process. Because of this, new fish are more vulnerable to any disease or parasites already present in the existing aquarium environment. In other words, disease and parasites can work both ways, harming both the new fish and harming fish already present in the environment. A quarantine tank helps to protect your aquarium and allows new fish to regain their strength following their journey. It’s important to make an investment in one of these tanks if you’re serious about fish or any aquatic animal ownership. In most cases, people don’t purchase a quarantine tank because they either don’t understand its importance or they don’t have the additional money/space for another tank. A quarantine tank also requires additional maintenance. However, you don’t have to invest in a particularly large or expensive tank. You may end up saving money in the long run by preventing your fish and shrimp from getting sick or ill. Most people who invest in a quarantine tank end up realizing there are significant benefits. These tanks not only prevent the spread of disease and parasites, but also help your new inhabitants to adjust to the new water and food they’ll be exposed to. When you’re not quarantining before introduction into the larger tank, you can also use it as a treatment tank. For example, if you have sick or infected shrimp, you can separate them from the larger population and place them inside the quarantine tank. This allows you to carefully attend to your sick shrimp without worry than your healthy shrimp will also become ill. Under some circumstances, you can also use the quarantine tank as a breeding tank, a tank to raise newly hatched fry and shrimplets, and as a place to seclude any of your inhabitants who are being harassed. There are additional benefits to using a quarantine tank. First, it’s easier and cheaper to medicate sick inhabitants when you use a quarantine tank. By preventing a larger outbreak, you can minimize the medical costs by limiting your treatment to one or two sick inhabitants. It’s also far easier to maintain the water quality for newly introduced fish or shrimp. In heavily populated tanks, it’s difficult to keep the water quality at optimal levels. In a more limited quarantine tank, you can more effectively maintain the optimum water conditions. If your inhabitants are exhibiting any signs of trouble adjusting to its environment, you can perform even more frequent water changes to guarantee the water quality is optimum. However, in general, a quarantine tank is a good investment because it allows you to keep any eye on specific tank inhabitants more easily. When a fish or shrimp is isolated from larger groups, it’s easier find and inspect. They will also be less likely to hide in a smaller tank. For all these reasons, quarantine tanks are the perfect solution for aquatic owners needing to keep inhabitants isolated. Typically speaking, you’ll want to buy a 30-40L (approx. 9 gallon) tank for use as a quarantine tank. This size is perfect for both freshwater and saltwater environments. Afterward, you’ll want to set up the tank to operate properly. Use a fluorescent light to illuminate the area, keep a heater to warm the water, and use rocks that can be easily scrubbed of any waste. PVC and plastic tubes can be used to provide additional cover. To keep the tank appropriately filtered, use a sponge filter. These filters require you to remove, disinfect, and rinse them in-between uses. Also, since quarantine tanks are temporary holding areas, they typically don’t have a substrate. This will let you clean and disinfect them more easily. The disinfection process itself is not too complicated. You can remove the equipment inside when the tank is not in use. Using a mild unscented bleach solution, you can scrub both the equipment and the internal walls of the tank. However, make sure to remove all traces of bleach before refilling the tank and placing any fish in there. Drying out the tank is another way to kill many of the waterborne pathogens that commonly infest a tank. Use a separate siphon for your quarantine tank than you use for your normal tank, and disinfect it when you disinfect the rest of the tank’s equipment. With fish, the actual length of time you keep them quarantined can vary, but typically it takes between two to four weeks to either introduce a new fish or rehab a sick one. Within that time frame, a copper sulfate treatment can be used to treat parasites. This process can last anywhere from two to three weeks. Keep an eye on your fish. If they have red spots or ragged fins, there’s a chance there’s a bacterial infection going on, which will require additional treatments. Also replace between 10 and 15% of the water every other day to guarantee the quality of your water is at its best. That said, if you also keep shrimp, either setup a second hospital tank for them or ensure you do a proper clean after use. To shrimp, the majority of copper based solutions can be fatal. View full article
  38. 2 likes
    The Importance of Owning a Quarantine Tank A quarantine or hospital tank is an important part of owning an aquarium. Quarantine tanks should be used by anyone introducing new inhabitants (fish, shrimp, etc…) to a tank, but unfortunately, not all owners are able to use these specialized tanks. When a new inhabitant is introduced into an aquarium, there is the potential for it to bring diseases or parasites and vice versa. For example, new fish tend to be stressed from the transportation process. Because of this, new fish are more vulnerable to any disease or parasites already present in the existing aquarium environment. In other words, disease and parasites can work both ways, harming both the new fish and harming fish already present in the environment. A quarantine tank helps to protect your aquarium and allows new fish to regain their strength following their journey. It’s important to make an investment in one of these tanks if you’re serious about fish or any aquatic animal ownership. In most cases, people don’t purchase a quarantine tank because they either don’t understand its importance or they don’t have the additional money/space for another tank. A quarantine tank also requires additional maintenance. However, you don’t have to invest in a particularly large or expensive tank. You may end up saving money in the long run by preventing your fish and shrimp from getting sick or ill. Most people who invest in a quarantine tank end up realizing there are significant benefits. These tanks not only prevent the spread of disease and parasites, but also help your new inhabitants to adjust to the new water and food they’ll be exposed to. When you’re not quarantining before introduction into the larger tank, you can also use it as a treatment tank. For example, if you have sick or infected shrimp, you can separate them from the larger population and place them inside the quarantine tank. This allows you to carefully attend to your sick shrimp without worry than your healthy shrimp will also become ill. Under some circumstances, you can also use the quarantine tank as a breeding tank, a tank to raise newly hatched fry and shrimplets, and as a place to seclude any of your inhabitants who are being harassed. There are additional benefits to using a quarantine tank. First, it’s easier and cheaper to medicate sick inhabitants when you use a quarantine tank. By preventing a larger outbreak, you can minimize the medical costs by limiting your treatment to one or two sick inhabitants. It’s also far easier to maintain the water quality for newly introduced fish or shrimp. In heavily populated tanks, it’s difficult to keep the water quality at optimal levels. In a more limited quarantine tank, you can more effectively maintain the optimum water conditions. If your inhabitants are exhibiting any signs of trouble adjusting to its environment, you can perform even more frequent water changes to guarantee the water quality is optimum. However, in general, a quarantine tank is a good investment because it allows you to keep any eye on specific tank inhabitants more easily. When a fish or shrimp is isolated from larger groups, it’s easier find and inspect. They will also be less likely to hide in a smaller tank. For all these reasons, quarantine tanks are the perfect solution for aquatic owners needing to keep inhabitants isolated. Typically speaking, you’ll want to buy a 30-40L (approx. 9 gallon) tank for use as a quarantine tank. This size is perfect for both freshwater and saltwater environments. Afterward, you’ll want to set up the tank to operate properly. Use a fluorescent light to illuminate the area, keep a heater to warm the water, and use rocks that can be easily scrubbed of any waste. PVC and plastic tubes can be used to provide additional cover. To keep the tank appropriately filtered, use a sponge filter. These filters require you to remove, disinfect, and rinse them in-between uses. Also, since quarantine tanks are temporary holding areas, they typically don’t have a substrate. This will let you clean and disinfect them more easily. The disinfection process itself is not too complicated. You can remove the equipment inside when the tank is not in use. Using a mild unscented bleach solution, you can scrub both the equipment and the internal walls of the tank. However, make sure to remove all traces of bleach before refilling the tank and placing any fish in there. Drying out the tank is another way to kill many of the waterborne pathogens that commonly infest a tank. Use a separate siphon for your quarantine tank than you use for your normal tank, and disinfect it when you disinfect the rest of the tank’s equipment. With fish, the actual length of time you keep them quarantined can vary, but typically it takes between two to four weeks to either introduce a new fish or rehab a sick one. Within that time frame, a copper sulfate treatment can be used to treat parasites. This process can last anywhere from two to three weeks. Keep an eye on your fish. If they have red spots or ragged fins, there’s a chance there’s a bacterial infection going on, which will require additional treatments. Also replace between 10 and 15% of the water every other day to guarantee the quality of your water is at its best. That said, if you also keep shrimp, either setup a second hospital tank for them or ensure you do a proper clean after use. To shrimp, the majority of copper based solutions can be fatal.
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    You need to find a mulberry tree and take a few cuttings. They grow like weeds. I cut a few sticks off mine and trim the leaves off then just stick them in a pot. I keep them wet and within a couple of weeks leaves start appearing. I can't believe the leaves are so expensive. I bought my original rooted cuttings 10 for $65 delivered from an online nursery and now have about 30 or more mulberry trees growing . Next time you come to Adelaide you can come and grab some.
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    @NoGi I think to be successful with sulawesi shrimps you need to do do 20-30 % water changes a week. Due to the high Ph and water temperature, the bacterial count in the water is higher than in the bee tanks, so they are more likely to suffer from bacterial infections.
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    I did more research on Bifuran. It is Broadspectrum - which means it kills both Gram negative and Gram positive bacteria. API have a similar (same) product called Furan2. Their active ingredients are made up of two forms of Furans, hence the name. Furans are antibacteria manufactured artificially. Doing a search on API's version Furan2, which I presume is more popular, turns up many instances of "do not use with inverts". So the product is not safe for inverts or shrimps. <edit> - I'm going to write a new post on the following but I'll add it here first since it's relevant. Some common antibiotics used in aquariums: Erythromycin which treats gram positive bacteria and is best used in an alkaline environment (pH of 7 and up). Aminoglycosides marketed as Neomycin, Kanamycin and Streptomycin are active against gram negative bacteria and work well in alkaline water conditions. Sulfonamide known as sulfa or triple sulfa have antibacterial characteristics inhibiting the growth of bacteria. An alkaline environment is preferred and Sulfonamide as well as Aminoglycosides can be used in marine environments. Nitrofurans (Furane, Nitrofurazone) are also antibacterial but will loose their potency with increasing pH levels. They are therefore preferred freshwater treatments as is the tetracycline group. Tetracycline is bacteriostatic, inhibiting protein synthesis. This drug will get less effective in hard waters as it readily binds with calcium and magnesium. Quinolones, antibacterial to treat gram negative bacteria, prevents DNA synthesis and can be used in a broad pH spectrum. Bacterial diseases in fish can face antibiotic resistance, which means that the bacteria strain has mutated leaving it unaffected by the antibiotic. Another antibiotic will have to be used should this occur. Bacterial diseases are not contagious and infected fish should be treated separately in a well aerated hospital tank. Antibiotics are potent by themselves and never meant to be used in combination, as some of them can eliminate each other or create toxic effects for fish. Keep in mind that the beneficial bacteria are gram negative as well.
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    Interested to see how you go. My first ever try at breeding Bettas was a huge success after a couple of false starts. Ended up with about 300 fry from the pair - we stopped counting after 270 - I know now it's best to cull some when the numbers are so big but at the time it was super exciting and I also didn't know there were so many babies and being my first attempt I didn't expect them to survive ! Good luck .
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    We currently use a default profile photo (square SKF Aquatics logo) when our members have not set one. Whilst this has worked well in the past, it’s time to “get with the times” and this will be changed to be a little more personal. Letter profile photos will make it easy to quickly differentiate multiple members (who have not set a profile photo) in a busy topic. The existing reputation/like system is getting an overhaul and becoming more social like and will be called “Reactions”. Those familiar with social networks will be quite familiar with how this works.
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    Some more tangtai hybrids
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    @Zebra I think you are right with regards to TDS and GH/KH measurements. Logically, 2KH and 2GH together should give a TDS around 60 or more. There could be two reasons for the discrepancy. First, most people use liquid test kits to measure KH and GH, which rely on the user seeing a change in colour. Its pretty dam hard to see a colour/colour change when you only add one drop of test liquid. Easier to see it after two drops. Second, there is some margin of error for all test kits. The TDS meter might be out by a little bit and the liquid test kits only measure to the nearest drop (i think its equivalent to 17ppm for API test kits) so theres plenty of room for overlap and a wide margin of error. For example, two drops for a GH test could mean anything from 17ppm to 34ppm (assuming 17ppm = 1 drop). Remember ppm is parts per million, so we are trying to measure tiny amounts of ions dissolved in a lot of water. I would have thought 4ppm in the RO water would not have affected the shrimp too much. Trouble is you dont know what the 4pm is. I wouldnt think it would be chlorine because its a fairly easy ion to remove. Assuming the 4ppm is chlorine and trying to neutralise it would probably do more harm than good as you are adding more ions to the water = increased TDS. Always best to get your own RO unit, I've got one and I'm still kicking myself that I didnt get it alot sooner. Our forum sponsor FSA has some units that are reasonably priced and work well. I bought the combined RO and drinking water unit and I think it is fantastic. I'd say they are loving the plants and wood because its a good source of food, specifically biofilm. There is no plants and not a lot of wood in their natural habitat, so I dont see any specific reason to add them. That said, they are unlikely to harm the shrimp and removing them out of the tank now is propably going to cause more problems than it solves. @Zebra I say, yes you are allowed to get more if these die. Zebras have a steep learning curve and my first attempt at keeping them didnt go well, even when I have the advantage of being to their wild habitat and seeing how they live. Keep at it. The pink stuff on airline is usually some form of microbe (bacteria or fungus usually) that seem to feed on stuff that leaches from the airline. I've never found it to be harmful and I've seen snails eating it.
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    The stud just made an appearance and I caught him... with a huge long string of a turd hanging out his bottom. Yuck! [emoji12] Still thought I'd share anyway. He's improved since I last had a chance to get a pic of him.
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    That was me that put the BEP in the tank. When you said slowly add it I did add it slowly. Took at least 5 minutes hehe. There was no ammonia or nitrite spike whatsoever and there were berried shrimps all of which held onto their berries! Can't recommend BEP highly enough.
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    Here's my favorite shot