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Everything posted by dahling8

  1. Very nice! Congrats...I hope he does well for you.
  2. I've never used their "Instant Aquarium" sand - you're paying extra for "live bacteria" in a bag. Whether it actually helps your filters cycle quicker or not, I have no idea. I would personally stick with their regular sand substrate w/o live bacteria and rely on water changes and your own seeded bacteria to cycle your filters. Perhaps any of their "Super Naturals" line. I mentioned in a previous post to you that I use their Aragonite sand but that suits my local water conditions. I've used that sand successfully in my African cichlids and goldfish tanks. It will buffer your water and raise your pH levels, but that is what I wanted. Avoid their "sugar sand" though. It is so fine it packs like mud. I know from personal experience. Perhaps the .5mm or larger grain sized sand if you like the look, I'm sure your goldfish will be happy with whatever you choose!
  3. Out of your brands, I have tried Northfin, but not for goldfish. I do like my NLS Algaemax, their NLS TherA+ pellets did cause some floaty issues in an Oranda, but not with their Algaemax. I like their higher veggie/green content and fibre. The Oranda had issues with the Repashy Solient Green gel foods, I was told that the Super Green was not as likely to have any issues. Good luck!
  4. Good luck and have fun with it. IME, duckweed is so tough, I can't keep it away from tanks that I don't want duckweed. My duckweed was from the pet store, I thought it best to disinfect it. So after disinfecting with a hydrogen peroxide solution followed by a vinegar solution, out of a handful maybe half a dozen half dead pieces of duckweed survived. I gave it time to grow out and now I have too much. But it would be so much easier if you don't have to cultivate daphnia. I have smaller tropical fish that enjoys daphnia and I use it to condition my spawning cory's. Without daphnia, you don't have to worry about feeding them, partial water changes and the mess it makes. I'm not sure how much food value that little daphnia would have for adult goldfish and the amount of extra time you would need to cultivate them.
  5. No air stone, daphnia does not do well with a fine stream of air bubbles. It gets underneath their carapace and they suffocate. So just a gentle stream of larger bubbles just to break the surface tension from just an airline. Yes, regular sterilized potting soil, it has enough nutrients for the daphnia to thrive and their population explodes. I don't think it makes a difference, but my potting soil is organic. A side benefit is the fertilizer and other nutrients that the duckweed seems to be utilizing too. The downside is fishing out all the little bits of perlite from the potting soil. Once the soil sinks, the perlite would be easier to net out, maybe that would be the better time to add duckweed. I did not wait. 😡 Daphnia are highly sensitive to toxins in the water and if they crash within a day or 2, I would look at the potting soil. You can skip the potting soil, I just add it for the benefit of the daphnia, just a handful. I do throw in some aragonite sand to buffer the water - my goldfish tank water is already buffered with baking soda, so I likely don't need the aragonite sand, but I have it but the poundful. I throw in a few pieces of bio filter media for the daphnia too...they do add to the nitrogen cycle. All this isn't necessary if you just want duckweed. Goldfish water, a broad surface for growth, a gentle air stream, a drop or 2 of fertilizer weekly and a good source of light. It is duckweed, it's hard to fail with it. With the pics above, the 40g tank has no potting soil, just duckweed, filter media and goldfish water. Once every few days, I feed the daphnia, once a week a drop of Seachem fertilizer. The new tub has the potting soil and daphnia. The duckweed does seem to be doing better with the potting soil. I think the duckweed in that tub is already several layers deep, too lazy to use it because it still have perlite. 🙄
  6. First is my 40g breeder. I have other plans for the tank in a few months so I set up a second bin beside it, IIRC a 6 gallon plastic storage bin I bought from Costco. It was sold as a 3 pack. I also grow daphnia in the water, so I can't use an airstone, just an airline with a light stream of bubbles so the water does not go stagnant. For the plastic tote, my best success for daphnia is a handful of potting soil. The daphnia and duckweed takes off with it. I've had this tote set up for about a month now and it's almost covering the surface. The light is a cheap LED clip on I bought on Amazon. Every week a drop of Seachem Flourish and the water is topped up with water from my goldfish tub.
  7. I took a couple of pics, but they're too big to upload, both about 1.2MB. I resized so hopefully they're not too small for viewing.
  8. Duckweed can be messy when it's all over the tank. I use pre filters on my intakes and the goldfish are happy to pick off the duckweed when they get sucked on. You could turn off the filters for a moment too and then it's easy to just slurp it off the surface. A strong light, water change tank water, a few drops of liquid plant fertilizer (I use Seachem Flourish in my other tanks) and my goldfish can't keep up with the duckweed supply and I probably ladle a scoop on most days.
  9. In regards to sand, there's lots of options, so really choose sand that you like. If you buy sand from the LFS, it will be aquarium safe and likely be inert...it shouldn't change your water parameters ie. GH, KH. Estes brand of aquarium sand is nice - lots of colours, IIRC it is epoxied covered and very smooth and very expensive. 🙄 I use mainly pool filter sand for many tanks. Pool filter sand is quite inexpensive, but I have to buy it in 50 pound bags. Quite clean compared to playground sand but I still rinse it to get rid of dust particles. I've seen it in beige and a darker brown colour. But for my goldfish, our water is very soft, I need to buffer it to prevent any pH crashes, so I dose baking soda and I use Aragonite sand. It may buffer and raise your pH too - it doesn't change my water parameters much because my pH is very stable at 8.2 with the addition of baking soda. My goldfish are doing fine with it and they enjoy sifting through it all day long. My understanding is that aragonite or oolitic sand "works" when pH is less than 7.8, so it's just an insurance policy for my goldfish and I figure any extra minerals that our tap water doesn't have, wouldn't hurt. But I've started using a "Wondershell" too, and that works for me, your water conditions may be perfect out of the tap. https://www.jlaquatics.com/dry-goods/aquarium-supplies/substrates-gravel/caribsea-aragamax-select-sand-substrate-bulk-per-pound.html If your lights are on the dimmer side, I'd prefer a lighter coloured sand. It just brightens things so much. Black or a darker sand is a nice contrast when looking at your goldfish from above, but if you just use a thin layer, it's easy enough to remove it with a siphon and switch out colours until you find a look that you love.
  10. Flat black latex. It's easy enough to peel off if you don't like it. Spray paint would be easier to apply, just mask everything off. If you're painting anyways, I usually paint the background a light blue with the black bottom. I was trying to post pictures, but the file sizes are all too big.
  11. I like a little bit of both. When I had multiple tanks, the messy fish will get their bare bottom tanks. Just so much easier for tank maintenance. Display tanks gets sand. I haven't used gravel in years. My current goldfish had Tahitian Moon Sand, a fine black sand. It was a little dark for my tastes and when one of my ranchu got sand in the folds of his wen, I went bare bottom for the tank. My preference for most tanks now is to paint the outside bottom of the tank black, with a very thin layer of medium grain size of sand on top...just enough to barely cover the surface bottom. If the sand gets disturbed, showing the black bottom, it still looks natural. Easy to clean and the goldfish and other bottom fish can still forage and sift through sand.
  12. No problem, I keep a journal of my test results and set up. These were my last Nitrogen readings as of Saturday taken just before their weekly water change: Ammonia 0ppm Nitrite 0ppm Nitrate approx. 20ppm The only tests I do regularly are for Nitrate and TDS measurements. From mid Oct to until 2 weeks ago, nitrates were barely measurable with the API tests. Colour barely registers with the API test reagents so I picked up a Salifert nitrate test kit to confirm my results. That tested 2ppm before the weekly water change. So it was a bit of a surprise that nitrates were higher and the only variable is cleaning the filter housing and rinsing the biomedia the week before (old tank water). We have a few local hobbyists tinkering with biomedia geared for denitrification and most users experienced dentrificaton to within 6 months. I have similar results in 2 other tropical fish tanks, but the goldfish are my heaviest nitrate producers. When I was on vacation for 2 weeks, they fish were fed only duckweed. I left a barrel of prepared water, so several gallons were changed out several times a week. When I came back, nitrates still measured 2ppm. I target nitrates to 10ppm or less between water changes - either through water changes or filtration. Sorry for the food confusion. My regular feeding regime is a surface skim of duckweed with an empty yogurt container in the morning. An 1/8 tsp of NLS Algaemax early afternoon. That's usually gone within half a minute. Occasionally another helping of duckweed late afternoon and either an 1/8 tsp of NLS Algaemax or frozen bloodworms in the evening. With this schedule I don't see any symptoms of floatiness. It's only lately when I push it a bit and try to hand feed the ranchus some Repashy Solient Green and the Oranda manages to steal a piece here or there. The other foods listed in my prior post were fed in the past before the Oranda experienced greater floatiness symptoms. When I was testing which foods that produces symptoms, I would include a feed of that food with just duckweed. If Mr Oranda develops symptoms, I go back to all duckweed for several days until the symptoms disappear. When I was experimenting with different foods, I would feed the food for 5 consecutive days and if symptoms develop, that food would be on my no go list. My experimenting was during the period after I came back and when nitrates consistently measured 2ppm. So from that testing, duckweed, NLS Algaemax, frozen bloodworms were agreeable to the Oranda. He swims and forages well (for an Oranda) and has a surprising burst of fancy goldfish speed when he spies food. Obesity? I'm not sure, to my untrained eye, they look proportional from the day I first bought them, about a year ago now. I have a friend that owns her own fish store and the medium to large goldfish imports she brings in looks heavy to me. Most fancy goldfish pics I see in fish shows do not look right to me.
  13. Thank you! I wish you and the family & critters much happiness over the holidays and a joyful, healthy New Year!
  14. Ooops...sorry I missed this. All the fish are doing fine in the Rubbermaid 50. So of the foods that I have, the ones I can feed without any issues are duckweed (about 1/2 a cup twice daily), New Life Spectrum Algaemax, frozen blood worms. Repashy Solient Green, NLS TherA+ pellets, Paradigm Herbivore freeze dried crumbles, frozen PE Mysis shrimp cause floaty issues in Mr Oranda. The 2 ranchus are still smiling without any problems. I try to sneak in some Repashy food for the ranchus, but one of them is a slow eater, likely the eyesight isn't very good. It takes him several passes to take in any food and quite often he misses. That gives Mr Oranda enough time to swoop in and hoover up the forbidden food and sure enough, the next day I usually find him floating at the surface. I have a 2" round air stone that produces lots of fine bubbles and he seems to like to hover directly over the air bubbles. Yesterday, I found him floating upside down and when he saw me, he righted himself pretty quick. For water quality, I've just started using a Wondershell. A large one for 40 gallons worth of water, it seems like it should last me about 3 weeks. I have enough to give it a good trial so we'll see how the goldfish do with that. If they do well, I may start using that to raise some baby ranchu next summer. I cleaned out the filter housing and rinsed the bio filter media with old tank water, my de-nitrifying bacteria didn't seem to like that. I was consistently getting less than 5ppm readings of nitrates a week between water changes for the past 2 months and now it's back up to 20-25 ppm after 7 days. 😡 Back to multiple water changes a week now. 🙄
  15. I've been cultivating my duckweed in a 40 gallon breeder tank. I didn't think that 3 medium sized goldfish could make a dent in my duckweed crop...I was wrong. They'll gladly inhale all the duckweed I offer it.
  16. I did not realize how good we have it here then. Sure, lots of mom & pop fish stores have closed down, we're down to a handful all within about 30-45 minutes driving distance away. My LFS is pretty good, 10 min away, I can look at her fish list and order away. Most are coming from overseas breeders for regular and tiny tropical fish for nano tanks, selection is pretty good. But at least you were able to get a few emeralds - they're already doing the cory dance for you! They would prefer to school with their own kind, but they are very tolerant of any other cory. They wouldn't necessarily school and shoal with them, but they wouldn't swim away from them either.
  17. When I try to get rid of my duckweed, it rises from the dead and it invades the tank again. I'm using the 40g breeder that my goldfish were in, filled it up 3/4 of the way with old tank water, an airline w/o air stone just to keep the water from getting stagnant. A few live daphnia and a splash of Seachem plant fertilizer weekly. 5 weeks later starting with just a few duckweed and it's thick like pea soup. Help - I can't keep up! I have an old LED light over it for probably 15 hours a day. When they get there twice daily scoop of duckweed, I'm sure some daphnia gets ladled out too.
  18. Thanks! Took me awhile to cultivate mine. Now I have a thick layer growing in a 40g breeder tank. I started off with a small portion of duckweed and sterilized it with a misting of Hydrogen Peroxide followed by Vinegar. Much of the duckweed didn't survive, but a few did and now I have way too much.
  19. Capacity of the stock tank is 50 gallons. I have it filled up to about the 40 gallon level. Separate question. I ladle in a cup of duckweed in the stock tank a couple times a day. The fish are at the surface slurping/mouthing at the duckweed until it's all gone, could be like an hour each time. Would that promote extra gas in their system nibbling on all that duckweed?
  20. I've heard of Wondershells and we have 0*dKH. I rely on baking soda to keep my a KH reasonably high enough to keep the pH stable, so the water does need changing if just to replenish carbonates used during the week.
  21. Thank you! You have very soft water too with little buffering capacity too? During the winter I do have to watch out for oxygen supersaturation too with larger water changes.
  22. So sorry to hear, especially this time of the season. Prayers and well wishes sent!
  23. Quick update, Mr Oranda seems to be swimming ok with duckweed and NLS Algaemax. He is more active now with a combination of higher temperatures and foraging for NLS pellets. I just started introducing frozen blood worms to the tub yesterday. The wens for all 3 fish are coming along, but they could be "poofier" if that's such a word, so I'll continue with the blood worms unless there's floatiness issues developing again. If the bloodworms work out, I'll experiment with frozen mysis shrimp. Just took a nitrate reading. It's been a week since a water change. I can't even get a nitrate reading with the API test kit. I tested with the Salifert test and it comes out to 2ppm. Exactly what I was hoping for. I just have to resist letting my water change schedule slide, I still want to do 50% water changes weekly but it's nice to know that I have a cushion if I'm not able to do a water change.
  24. A cory breeder that I follow calls the fry catlets. So appropriate!
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