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nitrites | Home Fish Aquarium Guide

Home Fish Aquarium Guide

Fishkeeping Information and Resources for the Home Aquarium

Red Cherry Shrimp 1/2 Gallon Mason Jar Experiment


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I’ve been captivated with the red cherry shrimp. They’re unique, have interesting personalities and seem really resilient. I have a tank that is exclusively red cherry shrimp now and for quite a while I’ve been wondering about what other containers I might use. We recently found some huge mason jars (1/2 gallon – not the quart jars.) I thought for quite a while before trying it, but decided to put a few red cherry shrimp in one. I’ve added some plants, a bit of guppy grass, duckweed, anacharis maybe a bit of java moss. But there are three shrimp in there. They’ve been there and on the window sill now for about 4 weeks (maybe 5 now.) No filter, no heater (it is summer after all and is running 70-80 in the house during the day if not higher…)

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June 26, 2011 - 8:45 PM No Comments

Finnex PX-360 Review – All in One Compact Canister Filter


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So…. with the 10 gallon Walstad planted tank I’ve broken down and invested a meager $40 in the Finnex PX-360 compact canister filter. I had researched it and all seemed to say that this was as good a cheap filter as is available. First off, I should walk through why I decided to get a real filter for a Walstad tank. Well, when I first setup the planted tank I had read that you could run it without a filter. I felt uncomfortable just going completely natural and made a pvc pipe sponge filter with seed media from our other tank. Planted, checked ammonia – observed a short cycle and then added fish. Well, as I added fish there was a minicycle – so in went more plants and then things had stabilized, we had baby fish in the other tank and their mother was moved into the Walstad. At that point we started running trace ammonia frequently. So, I made a second pvc sponge filter to put in. Over the stretch of time from the beginning of the tank up until now the ph level had gradually changed from around 6.0 (lowest readable with the test kit) up to the now 7.0 or 7.2.

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April 2, 2011 - 9:47 PM No Comments

New 10 Gallon Walstad Natural Planted Tank setup


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So, with the recent batch of fry it’s pushed us over the edge towards getting a new tank. I had already decided that the next setup I did would be a natural planted tank. Plastic plants just aren’t my style and the high tech approach to fertilizers and estimating which nutrients to add, co2 generators/etc.etc…. is too high maintenance for my taste. So here’s what I put together today. 10 gallon Top Fin tank and hood from petsmart. Tetra whisper 20 air pump. An old sponge filter I had laying around (not necessary, but I’m using it to help settle the cloudiness in the water. I had a huge bag of garden pro potting soil which I filtered out to use as the soil and laid down about an inch. On the edges I used the black gravel that they had at petsmart (probably topfin brand. A 100 watt topfin aquarium heater. Marineland plant/daylight bulb (10 watt)/ air check valve and an old thermometer from our other tank. We had some tubing. I also picked up an amazon sword plant, anubias, and wisteria to try out. We already had a boatload of anacharis, some java fern and lots of java moss.

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January 9, 2011 - 9:05 PM No Comments

Baby Platy Fry


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The first part of this is taken from my “Why are my plants melting” post and updates…

1-7-11 – 10:30pm
Well, I was starting to vacuum the gravel and caught sight of a little white flake of food floating up towards the siphon when it suddenly darted down…. we have babies. I saw 4 at one time and then a 5th being born and there still seem to be a few to go (at least.) Snoopy, our red wag (red-orange body with black tail and fins) is giving birth. She had been a bit cranky the last week or so chasing the other two around (a bit moreso today it seemed.) She is the one I suspected was pregnant just based on her size. We added Mickey (a male) into the tank on Tuesday December 21st. Prior to that Snoopy had been a solitary female since around this time last year I believe (I’ll have to look back, but I think she may have been in there a bit longer.)

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January 8, 2011 - 12:40 PM No Comments

Why Are all my Plants Melting?


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(sigh)… The adventures never end with your home fish aquarium do they? First you have the break in period of the tank. Cycling your fish, monitoring ammonia, nitrite and nitrates daily watching for signs that they are in danger or that the tank has cycled. At this point in time we have two platys in our tank. It’s small (5 gallons), but they do seem happy. I would like to move them up to a 10 gallon or larger tank, but at the moment that’s not going to happen. Water parameters? 0 ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrites and 0ppm nitrates. It doesn’t matter when I test, how I test, everything is always zero. (There must be something wrong I hear you saying….) No, we have been trying to keep live plants in the aquarium and they are using up all the available nitrates. Java Moss, Java Fern and Filligree Frill were the first plants, then an amazon sword and anacharis, then I tried anacharis again. Recently I’ve added water sprite. Each time, they seem to do okay for a bit, but with the exception of the java fern and java moss (which lately is buried under algae…. everything else collapses. The anacharis just melted over several days twice, the filligree fell apart and died, so did the water sprite.

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December 28, 2010 - 9:22 PM No Comments