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  1. Bleach is used at 1 part bleach to 19 parts water. Dip the plant in the solution for 1 minute (for delicate stem plants), 2 minutes for tougher plants like java fern and anubias. Rinse several times in clear water, followed by a rinse in dechlorinated water. Use 1 tsp Potassium Permanganate in 1.33 gallons of water to make a good solution for plants or ornaments. Dip in this solution for 30 seconds. Rinse. Hope this helps :-) If you have a plant that is very fine leaved, try a small section first, just to make sure it can withstand the solution.
  2. I have found that keeping bubble eyes safe and sound and protected from the intake tubes of filters to be a challenge. Using sponges or nylon stocking material to cover the intake didn't seem to work all that well, since it would clog and prevented larger bits from being taken into the filter. I decided to see if I could attach a Tronic heater cover to act as a cage around the intake. I bought a 100 watt heater cover and only used the bottom half of it. The bottom section has a little "V" shaped notch to connect it to the top half. In this "V" shaped notch I pushed a thermometer suction cup. I used the kind with the loop that attaches around a floating thermometer. I cut off the loop but left a nub still at the base where the loop attached to the suction cup. Then I wedged that little nub that I left into the "V" of the Tronic heater cover. I then slipped this up and over the filter intake tube and pressed the suction cup to the back wall of the tank to hold it. It provides approx. 1/2" of space all around the intake between the intake tube and the heater cover. It has worked for me to prevent any bubble damage, and it doesn't impede the flow of debris into the filter. I have attached a picture of the heater cover in place. View attachment: tronic_cover.JPG
  3. touchofsky

    Gel Food

    Here is an easy gel food recipe that I use for my fish. They love it, and it is really good to feed to fish that having floating problems Especially the one with 1/2 peas as the vegetable component. Valerie GEL FOOD 1 cup lightly cooked vegetables (I used a half cup frozen peas, then the next half cup was a mixture of frozen spinach, frozen green beans, green pepper, & parsley, but you can use other things such as asparagus, mustard greens, broccoli, carrots, whatever you have on hand) If you use frozen vegetables, you don't have to cook them, since they are already blanched. 1/2 can tuna or shrimp - liquefy the veggies and the tuna or shrimp in a blender, - dissolve 2 packets of unflavoured gelatin in half a cup of warm water, microwave till clear, and stir into the veggie mix. Pour into a standard oblong cake pan that is lined with saran wrap and chill. Once set, cut into bite sized pieces with the dull side of a knife. Remove enough for a week, then freeze the rest. When it is frozen, you can use the saran wrap to lift the whole slab right out of the pan, double wrap it, and return to the freezer. It will easily break along the cuts that you have made. Just break off a chunk of the frozen food, and let thaw a bit, then feed. It thaws very quickly. You can keep a few days worth, unthawed, in the fridge wrapped in saran. There is also another very easy gel food that is made with a small can of tomato paste, a couple of peeled, lightly cooked, chopped carrots, 1/2 can tuna or shrimp, 2 packets unflavoured gelatin dissolved in half cup warm water and heated till clear. This mixture is then liquefied in the blender and treated the same way as above for freezing. This is high in vitamin A and C :-) The fish love these and these recipes make a huge batch, so it lasts a long time.
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