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About Percilus

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    Jack Dempsey
  • Birthday 09/30/1980

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    Nature, Guitar, Poker, Cooking, Gardening and Family

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  1. Ideas for plants on rocks or driftwood

    Cool. My last advice is don't worry about things so much. Decide on a course of action based off some advice and research and just do it. There are several ways to do things right in this hobby. I find people complicate a lot of things online that you will learn through experience over time. It's about finding a way that works for you and achieves what your trying to achieve. Your first planted tank probably won't look like much because you won't know what a certain plant in *your* setup is going to do or look like until you actually do it. In my opinion the best aquascaper's are just people who have setup 30 + tanks over the years and grown out a tonne of different species over time and learned from experience how to have success through a lot of failure. Even just buying the best equipment money can buy will not lead you to success with plants or breeding, necessarily. It definitely does not hurt though. If your using high light with or without pressurized co2, but especially if you have co2 and high light, make sure you go heavy on a floating plant. (like 50 % of the tank surface) That one thing will help you a tonne when you make any kind of mistakes on keeping the tank balanced/healthy and looking great.
  2. Ideas for plants on rocks or driftwood

    Should be fine. It would be easier to plant in sand with root tabs for the root feeders to help them get going. Something like seachem root tabs etc. I dose dry ferts (salts) on top of that, but usually only when I see a specific deficiency on new growth. I personally use soil capped with play sand myself which is much cheaper but also has some other challenges as the tank ages. You won't want to be moving heavy root feeders like swords after planting them in a dirted tank with livestock in the tank anyways. Expect a lot of work if you want to re-scape your dirted tank. So research it first before you decide on that. Gravel would work fine but would be harder to initially plant. If you use gravel try to find a gravel that is 2-6mm which is difficult in Edmonton anyways not sure about Calgary. This will help in not harming your plants well planting especially stem plants like rotala rotundifolia that have very fragile stems. If you want to spend money and get easier results eco-complete(High cec with goodies added in)/baked and ammonia sprayed clay loam err I mean ADA aquasoil (the very best dirt money can buy that isn't messy uncapped + goodies). Seachem's Flourite (high cec) or tropica's plant substrate are all solid choices. For price and ease of use and looks I would always go for eco-complete personally. I use play sand from home depot myself. 7 $ for a 50 lbs bag. If you use sand I recommend getting a healthy population of Malaysian trumpet snails for reasons you can research. I personally prefer something like premier potting soil from Canadian tire if you try that route but sand alone with root tabs will work perfectly fine as well. Lots of people would recommend against the perlite in that brand of soil but I find it beneficial in my tanks that are over 2 years old for far to many reasons to list here. If you use dirt don't add more than a inch of it with no more than 2 inches of sand cap and make sure to sift out most of the larger pieces of wood that are in the soil if you use a soil with peat added in like I do. I also like to sprinkle/mix in csm+b and iron chelate with the dirt before I cap it with sand to help out the plants initially and long term as the sand cap keeps your water column ferts from getting to the dirt (and the roots of root feeders) and doesn't have any cation exchange capacity to suck any of it up. Iron deficiency's are common in tanks without high cec substrates since a lot of plants at a normal alberta tap water ph won't be able to uptake the iron from the water very well at all, even if it's available, hence why I add it to my soils via root tabs long term or iron chelate initially as my ph usually hovers around 7.6-8.2 depending on the Edmonton season and how much I decide to change water. Root feeders generally like to uptake I find from the roots not the water column as much. Sorry for the book it's just hard to recommend things to new people sometimes for me because I remember when I started out, I took advice that was good, but left out certain details that created problems down the road that I had a harder time fixing after the fact hah. Hard lessons learned in a nutshell.
  3. Ideas for plants on rocks or driftwood

    Java fern. I'd recommend a floating plant like hornwort/frogbit/water lettuce etc.. as well. These plants will help shade your low light plant's like anubias, java fern, and java moss and also help you get a handle for what your tank needs for nutrients/water changes by quickly sucking up any excess ammonia or nitrates from livestock or possible overdosing of fertilizers. Also since they grow very fast unlike the plants you are planning, will help greatly with out competing algae for any nutrients that your plants don't need, creating balance faster. Which is a common problem with that trio of plants and new tank owners. I highly recommend one fast growing stem plant like hygrophila corymbosa or pogostemon erectus and a solid root feeder like any type of amazon swords/Cryptocoryns/vallisneria.
  4. Softened Water

    Thanks for clarifying the cichlid preferences I should have mentioned that.
  5. New Aquarist Hello

    Welcome to the board.
  6. Softened Water

    That depends on what kind of tank your setting up, If you have live plants a slightly softer water is going to be beneficial. If your setting up a cichlid or fish only live bearer tank than your not going to want to reduce the hardness of the water. Either way the only major difference that could do your livestock harm is if the water coming out of the system has a major difference in ph than the water out of the one tap you have that is untreated and you use that tap for a water change after using the other source of water, If there is significant difference use what your live stock/ plants will benefit from most. cichlid's and live bearers love hard water. a lot of asian species like soft water. Keep in mind most of the fish regardless of region in your local stores will be captive bred and most likely used to whatever the tap water conditions are. So if you do reduce your ph be sure to drip acclimate your livestock appropriately so you don't stress them. My advice in a nutshell is test your water out of both sources for ph at the very least. Than make your choice depending on what kind of fish your stocking. Most people with planted tanks would love a system that could give them 6.8-7.0 ph water right out of the tap, because that range is optimal for plant growth and nutrient uptake. Captive bred fish for the most part should if given time to adapt be fine in most water conditions between 6.5-8.0 ph, a lot of fish won't breed in water if the ph/tds isn't optimal for the species but they will do just fine otherwise.
  7. I've seen people have success with traps to rid themselves of planaria, I'll include a link to a good video with a well made trap and some options. Not sure about hydra with the traps though if you can't use no planaria or fenbendazole I think your best bet might be to add some small fish like tetras or endlers in to eat them up and use a trap to help get the planaria. From the photo I'd say that is probably hydra but I'm no expert. I often see many different little organisms sprout up in my shrimp tanks and as long as it isn't one of those 2 I'm happy about it because that means the tank is doing great usually. Nothing like great live food culturing itself, but I'll be damned if I could identify all the different types of scuds and whatever else is out there etc. I'll second ckmullin's recommendation for the dog dewormer, I have used it in the past with no ill effect on shrimp or snails. Plenty of content out there about using fenbendazole to rid a tank of aggressive pests. If you don't want to risk it good luck with the other methods. here is the trap Here is another link to Mark's shrimp tanks. He has a tonne of video on this topic as well, since hydra and planaria are so deadly to his livestock. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl4DEcd7cdV5Yj9RS0MB1mQ
  8. DIY stand and tank leveling question

    It's possible but totally not worth it. I also think if I let the weight off the boards after it has settled and possibly got a bit moist here and there from maintenance that I'll have more bowing problems potentially. I find no matter how level your stand is the wood always bows somewhere when you toss 700+ lbs on it, and wont be ideal to just lay a tank on it afterwards without foam/plywood. I've grabbed some industrial shelving plywood from work and shim'd it. I'll lose just under a inch of working space on the tank but I'll make due rather than pull everything down There is a good chance the tank going in that spot will just be a quarantine tank anyways so I won't have to get in and out of it too much.
  9. DIY stand and tank leveling question

    No that tank isn't full of water yet due to the problem. Think I might just pop some 3/4 ply wood shelving were not using down and shim that even and hope the 2x4 goes down over time. I've never been a fan of foam long term even though it works most times, if it doesn't, it's a mess and a reseal or money and a mess. Thanks for the option though. If the misses has a use for the shelves still I may have to go that route.
  10. I built a 8' x 16" x 41" cinder block and 2x4/2x6 stand. My question is I ran into a board warping on me slightly upwards in the middle on the right-bottom spot creating an uneven surface for the last tank I'm adding, which is a 3' 33 Gallon. I've had great success dealing with a non-level concrete basement floor using composite shims to get it almost perfectly level. But by the time I got everything into place. filled and cycling, I had not realized this damn board was slightly bowed upwards on the middle one on the first row bottom right. I'd really hate to have to tear down to replace the board and was thinking of just using the shims to even the last tank out on all 4 corners and the side trim as the front and back boards are completely level due to not bowing at all and the middle board was really just extra piece of mind than actually needed to begin with. The bow is about 1/8 - 1/4 inch high, along about 20 inches, kind of like a little rainbow. Just high enough to keep the trim from touching slightly on 2 of the corners, so I don't think I can risk just filling the tank itself and letting it correct over time. Other options I can think of would be to just cut the bowed piece out completely on the one side as it is not needed, Or I could lay down some solid plywood and see if I could get the weight of the tank while filled to level the bowed board back down over time. I've always thought most of the weight for an aquarium was all distributed into the four corners mostly, and I have no doubt the shims can support the 370 ish lbs of the filled tank. But I am unsure of how much pressure I would be putting on the length wise seams if I did this. Any advice from experience or know how or other possible solutions I have not thought of would be appreciated. The shims would be easy and I would prefer to do it this way but depending on what you guys/gals have to say I may change my mind. Here is a link to the shims similar to the ones I'm using. Mine run a 1/4 inch at the highest point x 1/16 inch at the lowest. Most of the shims I've seen with the info listed made with this material are rated for 16000 lbs of pressure.. https://www.amazon.ca/NELSON-WOOD-SHIMS-WC8-78L/dp/B005XUYAXU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1512346128&sr=8-2&keywords=composite+shims
  11. Hello everyone

    Welcome aboard!
  12. Advice On Shrimp Food

    Depends on the shrimp I guess. For cherry shrimp or any Neocaridina, I use hikari algae wafers. Use a mortar and pestle to grind them down to small chunks/ fine dust works great as a staple for adult's/babies. Once or twice a week I'll toss a half a cube of thawed frozen blood worms in, which they seem to enjoy as well. I keep hornwort in a lot of my shrimp tanks and if your water is too low on nitrate, which tends to happen from time to time the hornwort will shed reminding me to dose some nitrates. The needles will collect on the bottom and once softened over time seems to be a good source of food as well(whether they are eating the softened plant needles or something that is growing on it I'm not sure, but the babies love to graze this stuff.). Very ugly looking tank if you do this but great if your looking to explode your population. I feed a pinch twice a day, on non blood worm days. Make sure if you use floating plants to give them a bit of a wack with some plant tweezers or something to knock the food shower through the plants and spread it around the tank. Your sponge filter circulation will also help with this. You don't want 100 % of the food to remain in the plants. Many vegetables blended up and baked for a bit at 50 F will work just as well ground up. Just thought I'd toss some cheaper options at you. Depends what you are doing. All of SKAshrimps suggestions will yield better results but cost you a lot more. Hikari Algae Wafers do list copper sulfate at the end of it's ingredients list fyi. I have noticed no ill effects personally but be aware of that. I don't keep any higher end shrimp so results may be different depending on shrimp type. Not sure on your local water supply but here in Edmonton a 20 or 30% water change or just adding in some CSM + B to have a mid range TDS weekly plus the nutrients from food will keep your shrimp happily molting(Edmonton tap water seems to be medium hard). Keep an eye on your ammonia if you have too much plant matter rotting you can overload your sponge and might have to do some cleanup from time to time. But if your using hornwort the chance of getting a spike that will not be consumed by the plant and the filter is very small.
  13. Advice On Led Lighting

    I honestly don't agree with that at all Your input is appreciated however the fact that you disagree is exactly why I find review databases to be one of the best indicators for the quality of a product. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and when you look at review databases like marinedepot, amazon, etc you’re getting tens, hundreds, thousands of people reporting their experiences. You can waste your time and compare all the technical specifications and manufacturer statements available but none of those are going to tell you about the design faults. I know little about salt water products but with 5 minutes of research I can tell you that Aquaray is likely crap and that you should go for Aquatic Life, Finnex or Current USA (these guys seem to really have it down). To narrow it down further, I would look up particular models that suit your needs and budget then consider the number of reviews, overall rating and reports of faults (lowest rating comments) across as many sites / databases you can find. I use this process of shopping for all of my tanks, computer parts and whatever I buy online and have yet to been steered wrong. Hope this helps! Most salt forums are sponsored. Do your research outside of north america and you'll get the opinion that finnex is crap. Also current usa is not going to be growing any baby tears any time soon. I generally go by the rule of buy in the middle. I'm not going to have this debate over again as I already have had this discussion on this forum. Your 5 minutes of research is flawed in my opinion but hey it's your money. He doesn't even want to grow anything I don't think so he could buy anything and come away happy.
  14. Advice On Led Lighting

    I honestly don't agree with that at all
  15. Picking Up My Old Hobby

    Welcome to the forum