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Hello


rocmills

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Hi Gang!

Well, I've finally managed to get past having to put Luc to sleep and figured it was time to check in here again.

The main tank is doing wonderfully, finally got fully cycled about a week ago. I accomplished this buy growing BB in the former hospital tank, which is now a plant tank, and then transfering the media into the big tank after about a month. I've had crystal clear water and great readings ever since. So now I'm keeping lots of spare bio-media in the plant tank, and feeding liquid plant food every three days or so. Had a bit of a problem with brown algae taking over the tank, so I moved the plecos in with the plants and they polished off every last bit in under 24 hours. While the plecos were in the plant tank, I moved the Marimo ball in with the big goldies who seemed to ignore it entirely. Now the plant tank is having a green algae outbreak, but I figure when it gets to be too much I'll just transfer the plecos again. I find it strange that with both the green and the brown, it only grew on the bottom, the back wall and the two sides of the tank - but it isn't growing against the front.

The other three big goldies, Big Rick, Ethel, and Ricki, are all doing quite well. No more red spots, no more frayed fins. Ethel, who has been all white except for a red cap and the top of one eye (orange) is undergoing a wee color change. She now has orange on the top half of both eyes, and her left front fin now had a leading edge of orange.

Anyway, just thought I should check back in and say hello to everyone... so HELLO!

--Roc

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Hello and welcome back!! I remember your struggle with Luc, and how right in the middle of it you took the time to give encouragement to me and my daughter with our fishy problems.

I'm glad to see you back and to hear that your other fish are doing well.

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hey rocmills!

it's good to see you pop back up. :)

glad to hear your commons are doing well as well as your plecos.

hope to see you around some more! :exactly

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I totally understand needing to just "drop out" for a while! Things just get so overwhelming sometimes that you need to pare down your life to just the things that you absolutely have to focus on. Once we heal, we can return. Glad to have you back!

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Sounds like things are going well! : ) Thanks for the update!

I know it had to be really hard for you, after everything you went thru with Luc.. I totally understand you just needed to get away for a while.

Great to see ya! : )

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Thanks, guys, for all the warm wishes and comfort and the welcome back. It almost feels like coming home. The good vibe of this place and the incredibly kind, understanding, and supportive people who hang out here... it renews my faith in humankind. Truly. Even though we've not met and our discussions have been limited, I really feel a certain affection for a lot of the folks here. God bless the internet, eh.

For the first couple of weeks after Luc was gone, I woke up every morning thinking I'd better check in at Koko's - and got home from work each day thinking I'd better check in at Koko's. The compulsive need to visit the fish store every weekend was also hard to kick... I finally found myself standing in the store one Saturday saying to my mother-in-law "But I don't actually *need* anything." I chucked all the medicines and medicated food. Except for the Jump Start. Rick the pig-disguised-as-goldfish will eat anything you drop into the tank, and, oddly enough, it turns out that the ferret is crazy about the Jump Start as well; she tries to climb right into the bag and will eat what I estimate to be about a teaspoon worth at a go.

I'm intrigued by the new color change in Ethel. Is this age-related, do you think, or could it be because I have started giving them small amounts of a spirulina based food in the evenings? I really don't give them much, and you'd think that with five hungry mouths in the tank she couldn't be getting enough to spark a color change - could she? I'm going to have to watch Rick and Ricki closer to see if they show signs of any color changes.

I'm also curious as to why the hospi - the plant tank was first overcome by brown algae, which was eaten by the plecos, and is now being overwhelmed with green algae. I excepted the brown stuff to come back, but it hasn't.

--Roc

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The tank has standard lighting... when I bought the kit (20-gallon starter kit), it came with a nice hood with built-in light. I finally noticed that the light is not centered, though, it is closer to the back of the tank so that probably explains the algae growth on all surfaces except for the front.

I decided against moving the plecos back and forth between the tanks so they could eat the algae in the plant tank, because both times that I did so the larger pleco, Murray, was so upset he turned nearly white. So instead I bought a couple of golden Mystery snails in the hopes they would gorge themselves on the algae. Wouldn't you know it, though, the little buggers are eating (or at least crawling all over) (wait, do snails crawl?) the plants and ignoring the algae covered walls! Maybe they just need to settle in some more. When I first put them in the tank, one of them started exploring right away and the other one stayed in his/her shell for more than 2 days and I was beginning to think it had died of stress - but this afternoon I see that they are both riding the plants. Unless these two breed, though, I don't think two little snails are going to make a dent in the algae so maybe I should start scraping instead.

Here's an odd thing, though. This tank has had nothing in it but plants (and plecos for two days about a month ago) since a day or two after Luc passed, but the Nitrates are still quite high. Water is crystal clear, tank has adequate filtration for plants-only, and lots of biomedia both in the filter and just in the tank... but still my Nitrates are reading 40-60. All other readings are exactly what you would expect from a healthy plant tank, but those high Nitrates puzzle me.

Likewise, my main tank seems to be so well cycled that I can go two weeks without doing a water change and it stays crystal clear - and yet I still have high Nitrates there as well. I'm beginning to suspect, not for the first time, that I've got a bad Nitrate tester in my kit.

I will try to take some photos of the main tank and the plant tank for posting over the weekend. I definitely want to start tracking their colors and markings since I suspect they might be changing.

--Roc

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