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About Pika

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Colorado, USA
  • Inverts You Keep
    Neos (Supreme Red) and too many Malaysian trumpets. ;)
  1. So someone finally did it! Aquarium soap! I like the touch of adding an exfoliant, and one that will wash away easily without residue. (Salt! Brilliant!) A small part of me wonders if too much scrubbing is actually bad... There's some thought that scrubbing the first layers of skin off can 1) reveal different flora underneath, replacing what you're trying to get rid of 2) create more microwounds in the skin where bacteria can get IN (more susceptible to getting an infection FROM your tank). However, he'd have had to make those salt particles pretty rough to get that to happen during a quick hand wash, so I imagine it does what it's supposed to pretty well. Someone needs to get it and try it! (And if I get some time, I might get nosy and write and ask if he can share with a fellow soap maker what his soap oil base is, in general proportions of course. )
  2. It's been ages since I updated! Things have been wonderfully stable, just changing out plants here and there. And added my Tiki. :-D I haven't been culling though, as population was still gradually increasing, so my guys are mostly Sakura grade or lower. About time to start culling for coverage again, though I don't know what I'll do with the culls. Maybe the cull vase can come back out and be more successful. The Ramshorn passed some time back, and I haven't replaced him. Want to, just need to find someone offering a singleton, as I don't need a lot. The MTS have been going gangbusters, and I'm having to squish them (which the shrimp LOVE) to keep them in check. Haven't been using ferts for a while, and I cleaned out my floaters several months ago, as they were annoying me, and getting fed on by too many seed shrimp I didn't want to see. So now I've got more green spot algae, though no more BBA outbreaks. (There are some fluffs here or there, but nothing like before, and they die easily with H2O2.) Guess that means I need new floaters or better, to somehow decrease the intensity of my light. Raising, adding layers of acrylic, something seems in order. It's only on 7h a day, and I do like getting to see my guys, don't want to shut them off all the time!
  3. Otos can be tricky to get to eat sometimes, but I think most will take to algae wafers or cooked veggies eventually. I also had a nice buildup of algae when I first put mine in, so they had that to munch while they figured out algae tabs. My 3 couldn't live on algae alone in the 10g - not enough. Ideally the Otos do love to school and swim, so while mine are doing fine in their little group, I'm sure they could be happier. :-/ You could definitely do the transfer thing, have the benefit of low-effort cycle maintenance, and then move them back and have a shrimp-only setup at the end!
  4. It's best to give the tank a couple months at least for the best film. :-/ But it can vary. I did add some Otocinclus to my tank after fishless cycling and before the shrimp, but you don't have to. Plants and snails or ammonia would likely work as well. If you do decide to add fish, remember that basically any fish except Otos will prey on shrimp, so they either have to relocate before the shrimp arrive, or you have to be willing to deal with the circle of life in your tank, which may mean your new shrimp get munched. I love my Otos dearly, though the 10gal is smaller than I'd prefer for them, my 3 seem to do just fine. Browse through the great threads here and you'll find lots of information!
  5. Welcome! I've been MIA from the forum for a while due to real-life stuff, but it is and always has been a great place for newbies! Your new setup sounds very similar to mine, which has been wonderful. Centreville Aquarium once in a while carries some Neo shrimp, but you're better off ordering from some of the fantastic breeders here anyway. (When your tank is ready and has built up enough biofilm, and long after this blizzard we're having is history!)
  6. I still have seen my Otos show no interest in any worm or moving critter, etc. Just surfaces in the tank and the food I give them. (But it was me that posted before... maybe I have boring Otos) Detritus worms are the most common "white wiggly worm" people are concerned about, and are generally harmless. Often people will tell you they're a sign of a healthy tank ecosystem, although if there are a ton of them showing up, you may be overfeeding, or have disturbed them somehow. (tank conditions or substrate cleaning/substrate condition) According to what I've found, detritus worms are not nematodes, they are annelid worms. Hope that helps? ETA: Here's a new link to some worm info... as with any internet source, compare with other info and do your own research! And the treatments listed are for fish, not necessarily shrimp safe!!
  7. Interesting! I did think this note was relevant though: "To clarify, phase change material only works (and saves energy) if there is a significant temperature difference between day and night spanning the temperature where the phase changes. So it is great in places like Arizona or Spain, where there are big swings. And as Mr. Steve notes correctly, in a well insulated room this would do nothing." Most of our shrimp inhabit areas regulated within a span of less than 10*F, I would guess. And maybe less within the tank itself, although on a "micro" scale, I wonder if a substance could be used in the tank the same way. I'd certainly be interested in it for future furniture/housing in general, though! I'm all about reducing energy spent on comfort climate control.
  8. Wanted to update that I've used Baby Bio a few more times, with no issues.
  9. Ok guys, need a little advice/reassurance here from people with Otos. A few weeks ago, my largest Oto was hanging on the glass right in front of me and I noticed a weird small white "thing" sticking out of his/her vent area that I hadn't noted before. I stared at it, and swear I saw do an "inch-worm" thing that didn't seem normal for fish anatomy, more like a worm hanging out from inside. I also watched the gut when I could (had to do this over a couple sessions, because fish doesn't always like to stay right in front, of course) and thought I saw a non-normal digestive wiggle in the lower part of the intestines. Pooping still happens normally, right alongside the "thing" and the fish is behaving normally, although always my biggest eater. Also always has the roundest belly of them all. I freaked out, contacted a fish-vet friend, and got some advice for some fish dewormers and protocols I could use that would also be shrimp safe. I've done two prolonged-immersion baths with fenbendazole (thinking it was a nematode) for all three fishies, and am due to do the last (ok, actually ovedue, but the schedule didn't work out quite right). The "thing" is unimpressed and still present. I can move on to praziquantel (if it's a flat worm) and should be pretty easy (maybe easier than the fenbendazole), But, I have been wondering if maybe I'm "treating" normal anatomy. So thought I'd ask around! If everyone could now squint closely at their Oto's private bits, and compare... Thing is, I don't see the "thing" on either of the other two Otos, only this one. Every once in a while, I think the poo may come *through* it though, which has me wondering. It's so hard to catch him in the act and see! (yes, waaaay too much time watching a fish poo) Here are some pictures... best I could do, especially since s/he refuses to hold still for my sub-par camera! It appears to come through the vent and extend up into the body to my eye, but we are talking translucent little fish-bits after all....
  10. Aw, late to this thread, but if you're the kind of person who can just have a plant or two (without making it a giant hobby endeavor ) they're still lovely little plants. And yes, you can nurse the cheap ones on clearance from the grocery back to life pretty easily... just takes time and patience; they won't be showy for months, but they will recover. Same for single leaves from friends... just keep watering your leaf stuck in dirt, and it will grow into a plant. And yes, my grandparents (and mom) grew them... not so many of my contemporaries. But I like mine... you just have to find the right place for them (diffuse light) and be consistent on the watering. I don't wick, or use any of those fancy crown-support apparati or what-have-you that the "serious" people do, but mine do fine. I do make sure that they each have a nice reservoir or deep tray under the pot so that I can add a little water there as well as from the top. And yes, all my plants love my tank-water-change water. Also the "leftover" water from my RODI unit that I don't need for cooking, etc. at the moment goes to the plants.
  11. Hi all, I'm one of those that got samples. I got Red and Baby Bio. The Red I feed occasionally in my rotation of "complete" pellet foods, and the shrimp like it. So do the snails and the Otos. The shrimp don't swarm the pellet like a few others, but it certainly doesn't get left long and is always completely eaten. I wasn't convinced it would make much difference to my Supreme Red Neos color, especially since I still alternate with many other things like veggies/greens, algae tabs for the Otos, and a couple other pellet foods. I also don't have a "control" or anything. However, my shrimp are looking REALLY red right now, maybe the best I've ever seen some of them look. May be a coincidence (hopefully I'm doing other things right, too!) but they like it, everyone's healthy, and they're looking great, so I'm hardly disappointed! The Baby Bio I've only tried twice. I wet the end of a bamboo skewer and dipped about 1cm in the powder, then dunked it in front of the flow from the filter. It spread easily throughout the tank. (10gal, densely planted, light to moderate shrimp pop right now) A little goes a LONG WAY, especially when you don't have a lot of shrimp in one tank. I don't have a ton of babies, but they're doing fine and grazing all over. I do worry that I used too much at first, because shortly after starting it I got a weird white scum in my floaters. I scooped nearly the entire top layer of water and floaters off to get rid of it, though don't know if it was harmful. Again, may be coincidence because that was also during our first hot spell of the year, and temps in the tank were approaching 75* before I caught it and started my fan up. No attributed shrimp deaths, but startled me for sure. Anyway, I plan to try the Baby Bio again when my next round of berried girls drop soon, and use a lot less. If it had anything to do with the scum, I'm guessing it's nutrient rich and with readily available nutrition, promoting biofilm!
  12. I kind of regret my time with riccia. It got loose, went all over, and grows very well from tiny pieces, kind of like duckweed. I've got it mostly fished out now, but I spent a long time grabbing individual strands out of my moss, my floaters, my ferny plants, etc. to really get all of it gone. I mean a really long time... although it's somewhat meditative to sit in front of the shrimp tank with a bamboo skewer lifting out individual strands of riccia, I spent hours doing it and will likely never try the riccia thing again.
  13. My significant other now wants one. I told him if he has a saltwater tank with the correct environment available 35yrs from now when they find the next one, and I can get another shrimp tank, maybe.
  14. Pika

    Just saying hi

    Welcome! Nice fish!
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