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Darkcobra last won the day on February 18 2014

Darkcobra had the most liked content!

About Darkcobra

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  1. "With support from Moore Foundation, we are currently starting a large scale experiment in hands-on science education called "Ten Thousand Microscope Project." We intend to enlist 10,000 individuals who would be willing to beta-test Foldscope over the summer and develop single page science experiments, protocols, queries, questions, applications based on using Foldscope in a specific community. We aim to collectively write a crowd-sourced biology microscopy manual with examples collected from scientists, teachers, tinkerers, thinkers, hackers, kids and alike." http://www.foldscope.com/#/10ksignup/ Here's your chance.
  2. Some crypts may have a suitably similar appearance, and do well in low light/tech.
  3. Hah, mulm bombing! I've done that before, just never heard it called that. Haven't used an electronic pH meter of any sort. 6.4 is close to the lower limit of liquid test kits, so I'm inclined to believe the pen if you're sure it's calibrated. Or maybe average the two. Lots of things can - or at least are believed to - cause molting issues. 5.4 pH is an extreme I'd avoid on principle alone. I started adding baking soda when I found the pH had dropped to 6.0, and ammonia started showing up (a second time) due to compromised biofilter function. It's really not an optimal solution, as it does get consumed, causing parameter fluctuations between additions. But it's working well enough for now.
  4. The good news: At pH below 7, ammonia is basically non-toxic, and 1ppm isn't a problem. The bad news: The deaths might be a result of other toxins released by the damaged biofilter instead, or delayed effects from the peroxide. And at 5.4, you may have some difficulty re-establishing biofiltration - that's far from optimal for rapid bacterial growth. If you can raise it very slowly and carefully with baking soda to about 6.5, the biofilter will kick in faster. Just don't raise it to 7.0 or above.
  5. Yep, a lot of info because there's no "one size fits all" method when it comes to shrimp. If it were a fish tank I'd just start doing large water changes, along with plenty of Prime, easy. But these aren't fish tanks. Most shrimp don't like large water changes. Some people report Prime killed their shrimp. And so on... So far it sounds like you've been working on establishing a new biofilter. That's good. But considering you've already had some deaths, you may need to reduce ammonia more rapidly. Especially if it's possible that shrimp may die somewhere you can't locate them, which can overwhelm even a health biofilter. Prime will temporarily detox ammonia for two days, if your shrimp tolerate it. Adsorbents like Ammo-Carb will soak it up too, permanently. I think I recall you have a KH of zero. What's your pH?
  6. I've heard of improvised munitions... but improvised food? That just sounds funny. Anyhoo, HO HO HO, Green Giant! One french cut green bean is fun for the whole tank.
  7. I told ya not to Punch your shrimp tank! LOL, just kidding. Happens to everyone sooner or later. Including us not too long ago, we had 2ppm ammonia by the time we discovered the problem. Tackled it through a variety of means, and documented it in our tank journal: http://www.shrimpspot.com/index.php?/topic/103-stef-darkcobras-maiden-shrimp-voyage/?p=1754 It should give you a few ideas. Good luck and let us know what happens!
  8. Cool, I'm curious to see how they reply. I haven't seen plans released, and if they were, the paperwork might be too complex to reproduce exactly by hand. They use a laser cutter. But we're not limited to the same constraints, so there are other options available too. An example: http://www.instructables.com/id/10-Smartphone-to-digital-microscope-conversion/
  9. Saw this on Hackaday a few weeks ago. It's a proof of concept, not being manufactured yet, so I'm not sure we could arrange a buy. One detail the article omitted was that the lenses are from DVD drives. Some of the most mass produced lenses in existence, so they're super cheap. And can be scavenged from broken players/drives.
  10. I use CFLs almost exclusively. Although I was using an incandescent as the porch light, because CFLs won't work properly with the X10 (home automation) wall module I use to control it. Plus even without X10, most ran unacceptably dim during winter months. I read that those Crees worked well with X10, so I gave one a try for the porch. It worked as claimed with X10 and had no problems with low temps this winter. No hum, at least with this one. The light quality is pretty good too, I don't notice any weirdness in the spectrum compared to the incandescent it replaced. It might be slightly nicer than warm white CFLs, which sometimes produce a slight greenish tint in some things, especially wood for some reason. Being Cree, I hope it won't dim substantially after a short period of time, like the few other LED products I've tried. While it seems a clear winner for this one purpose, I'm not ready to switch the entire house over to them yet. Payback for the higher-priced Crees over the CFLs I normally use will be slow at best; but non-existent if they dim, don't survive the occasional power surge, or otherwise have a high failure rate. Time will tell.
  11. 1. Merth 2. myklt8 5. kcoscia (this is great!) 7.Oceangirl 8. Soothing Shrimp 9.BarbaraBetta 11. GreenBliss 12. Axelrod12 13. wicca32 17. ShortGirl 18. Art By Stef* 21. huffman.517 22. JerSaint 32. bostoneric 37. oblongshrimp 41. Mosspearl 42. Teruterubozu 46. Finchaser 48. Pika 55. Darkcobra 56. BluePearls 67. jdrowe30 76. MarkNJD1 77. Carrie.a.gordon 85. Triton
  12. Panty hose clogs very fast. I tried squeezing media in tank water when I entered the hobby some 10 years ago. And gave up on it quickly, it doesn't do a good job and it reclogs quickly. What I use to clean sponge/floss media is a ShowerBreeze. It's an oral irrigator, costs about $20, and hooks up behind the showerhead. There's a version for sinks too. Used at the lower settings, it's good for making your dentist think you floss regularly when you don't. And reversed a few periodontal pockets as well. At the higher settings, you don't want it anywhere near your mouth, it's a super high pressure water jet. Which I found some handy household uses for, including cleaning media. With a few minutes of blasting and squeezing, all that accumulated gunk is gone. This will pretty much wipe out the bacteria, of course. But so long as it's not the only media, and I don't clean all the media at the same time, I've never noticed any mini-cycles or other issues. Squeeze out the chlorinated tapwater before putting the media back in, and maybe add a drop of Prime to the tank. If you have any doubts whether you've wiped out too much bacteria in one go, monitor ammonia levels for a day or two. Using this technique, I haven't yet needed a stainless steel prefilter, so I haven't tried the ones h4n sells. But if you prefer that route, I've heard nothing but good things about them, from many sources.
  13. Mmm, "Purigen sandwich". Sounds like a good idea, plenty of surface area. I'm currently not regenerating the Purigen. Don't want to take any risk, no matter how small, that I make a mistake with dechlorination and wipe our first and only shrimp tank. Even mad scientists set limits, LOL. And for now, the amount being used and discarded is small enough that it's a trivial expense; under $0.50/month. Later on should things scale up I may get more adventurous in this regard.
  14. [Water7], glad it's helpful! Did a 20% water change yesterday, using a new batch of remineralized water with 5.5dGH and 10dKH (measured). Will continue to use this mix until tank reaches 8dGH, and will also measure how fast plants use carbonates as a carbon source. Tank is now 10.5dGH, 3dKH, ~7.2pH. There's still the matter of 40ppm nitrates. Even if the increased KH/PO4 means plants are now causing a net reduction, it'll be slow. Purigen sure helped before but not for very long. I didn't test often enough to know exactly how long (I hate nitrate tests), but it was less than a month. So I made a new sachet containing 2 tbsp. of Purigen. And dissected the old one: At bottom left the outer layer is shown, which looks mostly used up. But at the top right I dug down a little, and it looks just like new. So it's obvious that between the tight mesh of the panty hose, the low flow rate of the nano HOB, and the funky way I had to wedge the sachet in there which allows plenty of bypass, I'm not getting great flow-through or utilization of the Purigen. I suppose that when we do water changes, we could just take out and knead the sachet, redistributing the granules and exposing fresh Purigen. And maybe get a few months out of the sachet instead of less than one. Will try it and see. Though if anyone has any clever ideas of how to put Purigen in a nano HOB in a way that this isn't necessary, I'm all ears.
  15. Just for you two, gratuitous glassware pr0n. Seriously, I admit I'm probably overdoing things a bit. But it always seemed to me that there's a bit of voodoo and black magic surrounding shrimpkeeping. I want to really understand why some things just seem to work, and others fail mysteriously. Then hopefully boil it down in the end to some simple system, that allows you to be sloppy in a way that's usually well-tolerated, like EI does for plant ferts. Because I will not always want to hover over this tank with glassware in hand! I have other hobbies that need attending to as well, hinted at by my tab list.
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