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  1. Hey guys, I’m going away for a few weeks and having a neighbour take care of my tank, as they are already gonna be caring for my cat during that period. I’ll be away for 2 and a half weeks, so not a huge amount of time, but the neighbour doesn’t have any experience with fish or shrimp tank maintenance. The tank will be fine without a water change during that time as long as I do one before I leave, I know that, but my 2 main problems are feeding and stopping my intake sponge from clogging up. For feeding I was considering getting a couple of pill boxes, like the ones that have seperate compartments for each day of the week, so I can set a certain amount for each day, and which foods. But for the intake sponge, I’m pretty stumped. My current intake is a sponge filter connected to the intake pipe, but it’s been clogging up once or twice a week due to how fine it is (and how messy my fish are). When it’s clogged, it puts strain on the canister filter’s motor, and that’s not good. I don’t trust her with cleaning it safely, plus I’m only paying her for 5 mins in the morning, and 5 at night. I’ve considered a mesh intake, but it looks like it could hurt a fish if it went past it quickly... plus I can’t check the size of the inside where the pipe could go as the only one I’ve found would have to be posted. Are there easy alternatives that I wouldn’t have to mod, or do intake sponges come in courser versions? (I haven’t checked). Any input would be appreciated!
  2. I'm keen to hear from anyone who has first hand experience of keeping correctly identified Otocinclus catfish with shrimp. There's a widespread belief, often repeated, that Otocinclus leave shrimp alone and are safe to keep in the same tank. There are also stories of Otocinclus chowing down on shrimplets, and even in one case on adults, so now that belief is also being repeated. There are many cases of Otocinclus being confused with Siamese Algae Eaters and other similar looking fish. I want to get to the truth. Can anyone who has ever kept definite Otocinclus with shrimp please tell me your experiences and observations? BTW, for ID... These are Otocinclus, with the sucker mouth and spot on the tail root: These are not:
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