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  1. tam

    Water changes bad for beneficial bacteria

    Does it matter? Either you are removing it through water changes or bacteria via the nitrogen cycle. As long as it's not there, who cares. If there is ever enough inbetween changes to support bacteria it will develop, and if there isn't it's not needed anyway.
  2. tam

    What Remineralising parameters do you aim for ? or Products do you use?

    Off the shelf that do gh and kh... Tropic Re-Min Tropical Salty Shrimp GH/KH Shrimp King gh/kh There are a few variations on shrimp ones, both the above do the gh and kh, rather than the more specialist shrimp varieties.
  3. tam

    Scarlett Badis /Dario Dario

    There isn't a ton of fish I can think of that would be happy in a small tank and low numbers. Any chance you could go a bit bigger on the tank? 30-40L would give you lots of options for small shoalers.
  4. tam

    Scarlett Badis /Dario Dario

    Yes, they hunt shrimp babies very well, but will leave adults (well anything over about 7mm) alone. They are active hunters and attracted to movement. As they are small they slink around easily in the plants/decor to hunt. I wouldn't expect the shrimp population to grow, or if it did slowly. You...
  5. tam

    Why do we advise Newbies like me low tech

    Because when you are advising random strangers on the internet you usually assume the skill/knowledge down. Yes, there will be some people that do the research and pull off high tech first time without a hitch (and with some luck involved), but odds are most people will have more success...
  6. tam

    attaching Buces and Anubias

    Gel superglue will spread less than regular. If the wood is already in the tank, then you can also glue to a chip of the same type of wood outside the tank where it's much easier to work carefully, then glue that bit of wood to the main piece. As you are then glueing two bigger surface areas it...
  7. tam


    Unipac black baltic pebbles? They are dark grey with the line through? Have you tried ebay? Easier to get small batches of different rocks aimed at decorative/craft etc. there is a fair few listings with grey/black of various sizes e.g. 20 kg Basalt Landscaping Pebbles/Stones (changes to black...
  8. tam

    Anyone have their tank in an alcove/corner?

    I have carried a 3m length (very heavy!) just redid my kitchen :) It's on worktop at the moment, as have been a series of smaller tanks for the last decade or so, but there is a foot spare either side and trim at the back so the edges have never got wet. It has support on the front edge too...
  9. tam

    Anyone have their tank in an alcove/corner?

    Haven't got too far into plans, but I think I will baton (e.g. 2x4) along the back, side and chimney wall - mine are brick - to give a level surface, and build down from there. I'll probably use a piece of kitchen worktop for the top surface. The tank is currently supported in a sort of similar...
  10. tam

    Anyone have their tank in an alcove/corner?

    I don't, but I'm planning the exact same thing :) I have the same alcove and have one of those style fitted units in the front room, which I plan to replicate in the 'dinning' room to put my 90cm tank on. I can't remember without measuring, but I think I have slightly more side to side space...
  11. tam

    Swap from RO to tap & rain

    That was might first thought, but the maths didn't seem to add up. The Saltyshrimp says 300µS = 6gh, which I work out as 190TDS (dividing by 1.56) so my 220TDS should be about 7GH. I think the tap is about 315TDS, so if I dilute to 220 that's about 12.3GH... which is quite a bit harder. Maybe...
  12. tam

    Swap from RO to tap & rain

    I'm moving and logistically it would be easier to swap from remineralised RO to tap+rainwater, I think. I currently use RO remineralised with Salty Shrimp GH/KH to about 220 TDS. The tap water report is: 311 mg/l (or parts per million) :Calcium Carbonate 124.4 mg/l (or parts per...
  13. tam

    What do I do with all these babies?

    No idea on the answers but congratulations on the babies. Worth talking to your local fish shop, mine would give store credit for fish but it just depends on the shop. If they will take them they will tell you the size and they might prefer to stagger it in batches.
  14. tam

    Rearing Killifish Fry

    I found a hang on the side fry box worked really well for raising cory fry. You can run then off an air powered filter, but I just used an elastic band to position a bit of airline in the outflow of my main filter and that was enough to give a constant trickle of water through.
  15. tam

    Old tank syndrome

    Yes, cloudy eyes - which can be associated with poor water quality. I think plant growth is very helpful for stabilising things, logically it gives somewhere for the 'stuff' building up in the water to go, whether that's locked in the plant material, or in plant material that's then removed...
  16. tam

    Old tank syndrome

    Fish didn't die, but my parents had a tank that pH crashed (kept dropping to around 5 if I remember right -measured with a pen) due to kh depletion - high nitrates and no kh. Would return to normal with buffer. It had been a bit neglected and gone from plants to no plants due to a planting...
  17. tam

    Maintenance: sponge or scraper?

    I think anything with an edge rather than pad is less likely to catch something that will scratch. I depends what type of algae your particular tank gets on the glass though - soft and a sponge is fine, tougher stuff and a something blade like is easier. I like a credit card - free and works well.
  18. tam

    Fluval Plant 3.0 Hanging Height

    What have you used for mounting it? Looks very neat. I have mine on the tank rim, but I think it needs to come up a bit as I tend to get algae growing around the floating plant roots but not further down in the tank.
  19. tam

    Ember Tetra Schooling - comparisons between 5, 10, 15, and 20 fish

    I would say cover is important as much as numbers. I have 8 in a 140L and they are always out front, they don't hide at all. But, they have a lot of options for cover. The more places to run too, the more more bold they can afford to be. It sounds backwards, but I think if you want to see your...
  20. tam

    Best method for water changes when tap water has drastically higher pH than tank water?

    I presume the tank was originally filled with the same tap water? If you are worried just do a couple of smaller changes inside of one big one :)
  21. tam

    Tap water or Rain water??

    Timely question, I'm just thinking of swapping from RO+remineraliser to rain+very hard tap. Checked the new water butt and it has a TDS of 25. Might need to flush it through a bit though as it is an ex whisky barrel :D ... and it needs a tap adding. We used to use rain when I was a kid and had...
  22. tam

    Amano and Cherry Shrimp keep dying!

    I would say step one is work out your GH. Are you using tap water? If so you should be able to get a rough figure from your local water report. Very soft water can also be a problem from shrimp as it effects their moulting. To be honest, a lot of things can be a problem for shrimp so you'll...
  23. tam

    Heavy planting equals no cycle?

    Some planted tanks use substrate that initially leaches ammonia - so they do cycle that way rather than skip it all together. Do you have other tanks? If so you can use filter media from another tank. Plants that have leaves at or above the surface are more efficient ammonia removers. Water...
  24. tam

    Handwash / lotion and fish tanks

    Googling, though it's also used as a treatment for some fish diseases and a disinfectant in aquaculture despite the potential toxicity. "Benzalkonium chlorideis aquaternary ammonium compound (anitrogenous mixture ofalkylbenzyldimethyl ammonium chlorides of various even-numbered alkyl chain...
  25. tam

    Handwash / lotion and fish tanks

    That's a good point, that's one thing I try to be aware of - I avoid putting my hands in the tank at all the same day we've put spot on treatment on the dog.
  26. tam

    Handwash / lotion and fish tanks

    The active ingredient (the bit that provides the antibacterialness) in a lot is alcohol and that wouldn't have any effect on occupants/filter bacteria unless you were squirting a bottle directly in. It works because of the alcohol concentration, as soon as you dilute it in a tank full of water...
  27. tam

    Handwash / lotion and fish tanks

    I don't think soap builds up as each scrubbing would remove any residue from the previous scrubbing, so at most traces of your last wash if you didn't rinse well enough. I generally try and remember to rinse my arm under the tap (no soap) before sticking it in the tank just in case. I think...
  28. tam

    Disabled person requiring assistance re suitable plants

    My advice would be to start with a hardscape that looks really good without plants - so a nice arrangement of rocks or wood .... I'd lean towards wood because... then you can add anubias, javafern and bolbitus to the wood - the first two are available in quite a few variations. None of those...
  29. tam

    Water Changes with Shrimplets

    If you poke about in front of where you syphon, most will get out the way. I syphon into a bucket and then fish them back out after once it's settled.
  30. tam

    Smart plug extension leads

    Not sure what specific one you are looking at, but I'd have thought most usually use your home network rather than the internet i.e. as long as your home's network is connected (not completely off due to a powercut) if your access to the internet is cut off temporarily it won't matter - the only...
  31. tam

    15 year old tank seals

    It's probably one of those how long is a piece of string questions. Just pulled a 25 yr old emergency tank out of the loft after a seal went on a 30 yr old one (you could visibly see the seal was compromised before it actually went). As a minimum I'd fill it up outside and leave it a few days to...
  32. tam


    Depends on the shop I think - mine will give credit but there would also be a limit on how many they could take.
  33. tam

    Are rainbow pebbles safe?

    It says 'Suitable for use on water features' in the product description so I would imagine they'd be fine.
  34. tam

    Marginals that spread through the substrate

    The answer is quite a lot - many aquarium plants grow happily emersed. Most of the common carpet plants - add hydrocotyle japan/verticulata, pygmy chain sword, montecarlo etc. will all grow happily and spread (although may need help to just over the pot rims. Do you have an idea of size? For...
  35. tam

    Questions for Fluval 3.0 owners

    My floating plants have gone crazy so zero shimmer at the moment! I will have a clear out later and report back :)
  36. tam

    Confused by my cherry shrimp

    I've had problems before with adults moulting, but it didn't seem to effect them until they got to the 1cm ish mark i.e. there were babies but the adults clearly had issues. Have you checked your water hardness?
  37. tam

    Questions for Fluval 3.0 owners

    I think shimmer depends on surface movement - if there is good movement you get shimmer - if it's pretty still or lots of floating plants you don't. I would imagine not quite as much as the spot light styles. My tank is 45 wide/tall and with the light resting in the centre on the top rim I get...
  38. tam

    Leaving home for 3-6 months

    You could rehome the fish, drain it to just below the substrate level and run it emersed growth. Means no CO2, no water changes and you would probably come back to a lot of plant growth which you could then rescape with.
  39. tam

    Wood rotting

    :lol: Glad the turkey baster helps :)
  40. tam

    Wood rotting

    The green tropica (specialised) should have everything in - might be worth just upping to twice a week and see if that makes any difference?
  41. tam

    Wood rotting

    Yes, I agree that's shrimp poop - they are pretty productive! Give the area a puff with a turkey baster or even just wafting your hand across will help lift it into the water column so you can syphon it out more easily. I've an identical size tank and I often use a bit of airline to do some...
  42. tam

    When you are beekeeper...

    That's pretty cool! I wonder if anyone is experimenting with 3D printing - could you make sections that recreated their ideal pattern?
  43. tam

    Hard Water

    You don't need to test hardness regularly as if you are using the same source water it shouldn't fluctuate much. However you should have some idea of what the hardness is - if you are using tap your water company should have a report.
  44. tam


    You have to watch photos - you need to see them wet. Often then look fairly uniform different tones of grey/brown but they can end up very different colours wet! If you get enough you can pick through if you don't want any outliers. The unipac natural gravels match quite well for small stuff...
  45. tam

    How many fish can I buy at the same time?

    Most meds don't effect plants - my thought process is I generally use cuttings/spare plants and if something terrible happened and all the fish in quarantine were wiped out then I could dispose of the plants too. If the fish make it through quarantine to the point I'm happy to put them in my...
  46. tam

    How many fish can I buy at the same time?

    If the filter is cycled you can basically put in what you'd be comfortable putting in a new 50L tank normally. So 5 corys etc. would be fine. I agree - plants are great for giving the fish a bit of cover to minimise stress. You can just take cuttings from your main tank - if you've stems they'll...
  47. tam

    How many fish can I buy at the same time?

    Is the filter cycled or do you have a main tank with fish already? If so transferring media across from your main tank will help. Generally though, that wouldn't be an unreasonable amount to put in quarantine at once.
  48. tam

    A big thank you - Bottom feeders to share with Harlequins

    Otos wouldn't be my pick as 'clean up crew' - they do eat some types of algae but they can be fussy - they prefer the softer stuff. They are also going to need target feeding e.g. algae waffers (if you can get them to eat them) and courgette slices etc. They are lovely fish, but not what I'd...
  49. tam

    How often to feed fish and otos

    Yes, it will freeze fine. I probably use veg once every couple of weeks, but they could have it a few times a week. Mine will happily eat algae waffers and rapashy (also freezes) and my tank is fairly fuzzy rather than spotless so there is plenty of natural food too. I think it's going to depend...
  50. tam

    White spot treatment

    I use the esha-exit (fine for shrimp). Only thing to keep in mind is most treatments will stain silicone.
  51. tam

    Keep losing shrimp in filter inlet

    Big course foam will need least cleaning/reduce flow the least. You could put a bit of a pair of tights/stocking over it, but I think you'd end up needing more frequent cleaning.
  52. tam

    Self watering tube

    Normal terracotta clay pots work - gardeners use them as slow watering systems - you bury the pot so the top is level with the surface and fill with water - the water slowly moves into the soil. Google for Ollas, clay pot irrigation, or clay watering spikes and you'll find a ton of info. Just...
  53. tam

    Why can't they stay little

    That sort of age I remember starting to save for things I wanted - a very handy habit for adulthood. Give him ways to earn cash and get what he wants in stages - makes you value things more and decide more carefully what you really want to spend money on. Took me months to save £18.50 for my...
  54. tam

    Light for 20 inch deep tank. Fluval plant 3.0?

    My tank is 18"x18"x36" low tech and the 3.0 sat on the top rim does leave a triangle shadow about 3-4" down/in on the top edge but otherwise has enough spread for the width - would disappear raising it a couple of inches. I only run it at around 30%, so I think it would easily cope with a 20"...
  55. tam

    Why can't they stay little

    My sister gave her 3 year old a lump of coal in her stocking from santa (she did get other pressys too) as she'd been a bit of a monster the last few days and she thought it was brilliant - couldn't wait to put it on the fire and make the bestest fire ever :lol:
  56. tam

    Current food trends

    Bug bites, algae waffers (forget the brand) for dry and then live daphnia/blood worm twice a week (more in summer plus mosquito larvae) then rapshy or courgette once a week ish.
  57. tam

    Contact details for Aquael?

    You could try info@aquael.pl or via their facebook page.
  58. tam

    90x45x45 medium tech :)

    I'm not sure that's really a good idea. TDS is made up of everything - so very over simplified you might have 150 tds from tap water or remineralized RO made up of your GH/KH plus 150 tds from of your ferts to give you 300 tds total. If you do a 50% water change with pure RO your TDS might drop...
  59. tam

    A few shrimp questions . . .

    Amanos are easiest to keep, cherries middling and crystals fussiest. I'd start with the first two and if it goes ok, then consider the later.
  60. tam

    Help understanding TDS pen readings

    A container of water will also gradually increase in TDS due to evaporation - the water reduces leaving the TDS more concentrated. Doubt that would account for the full increase but it would contribute to it.
  61. tam

    Flat Black Pebbles

    I've a feeling biOrb might do black pebble sets - not sure the sizing.
  62. tam

    Help understanding TDS pen readings

    So the tank changed from 457 to 527 whilst you were mixing water in a bucket and you didn't add anything to the tank in that time? I'd blame the pen, if your testing the same water without doing anything to it and getting massive differences something is off.
  63. tam

    All my algae has gone, and i want it back!

    September is still fairly new tank - that's the sort of algae you often see in a new setup - the soft type that most algae eaters seem to love. My guess is ramping up the ferts/light you'll get algae but not the same type. Which, I know isn't helpful. I don't know what's special about a new tank...
  64. tam

    All my algae has gone, and i want it back!

    Was it a new setup? Most people are happy when the diatoms disappear a few weeks in - does look cool though!
  65. tam

    Suitable emersed plants (background ideas)

    I've an aquaclear which has a top edge about 5cm above the tank rim - works with that with airline hose going up and over. I would guess it would work with most HOBs because they are all supported by the tank rim so the waterlines are roughly the same. If you don't mind not having flow through...
  66. tam

    Suitable emersed plants (background ideas)

    You literally just need a little pipe/bit of airline going from the top of the HOB filter to the other box - start a syphon (same as syphoning water out of your tank) easiest way is is filling the tube with water and then putting one end in each. As the water level in the filter is higher than...
  67. tam

    Suitable emersed plants (background ideas)

    I brought a superfish breeder box to plant in (haven't got around to it as I keep finding it handy for other things) - it's basically like a HOB container without all the extra parts. You can feed it directly from a HOB filter via syphon rather than an airpump or use a wick and the water level...
  68. tam

    Suitable emersed plants (background ideas)

    I think Eleocharis might be worth a go. If you got a bigger pond variety then it might be sturdy enough to grow upright. Other option is to put a plant box on the back and then have something lower in front to mask the gap. You could go for a terrestrial fern that just liked damp roots that way...
  69. tam

    Microworm culture

    I think you might be making too fancy porridge - milk and sugar sounds like a good recipe for stinky!
  70. tam

    Microworm culture

    Powdered mash you get in packets, just mixed with tank water. I add a tiny pinch of yeast on top and then 1-2 a week. I've only been running them about 3 months though so not saying that's the best option - there is a smell but only if you stick your nose in and sniff it's not over powering.
  71. tam

    Microworm culture

    I've been using mashed potato and the culture lasted about 6 weeks.
  72. tam

    What small lilly for indoor pond?

    Maybe just try the tiger lotus that's sold for aquariums. That reliably produces floating leaves under aquarium light, so should do so with sun and I've seen occasional reports of flowers, so again I would guess with sunlight you'd be more likely to see them. It seems to cope better with lower...
  73. tam

    Pond inverts as culture starter

    That's kinda of expensive - a bag of daphnia is only £1 in the LFS here?
  74. tam

    Bad back and carrying 25L contaners-Options?

    I use containers with RO too, but I only carry them half full, I just have an extra container and move one, then move the second and tip it into the first. I try and fill two halves when I run the RO but if I have a full one - I just jug out half into the second rather than lifting n pouring...
  75. tam

    Easier water changes

    You can get ones with separate control plates so the mixer is in the utility and the control plate is wherever you like (not sure how much they set you back).
  76. tam

    Acrylic cover, thickness recommendation.

    You could put so braces on or flip the lid over twice a week.
  77. tam

    Easier water changes

    What about a shower mixer with the ability to set a temperature in the utility and then the hose coming from that rather than trying to mix at the tank end?
  78. tam

    Are we really advancing the hobby?

    Nope they aren't, but if you aren't trying to make an ecosystem then who cares. You're writing like there is only one point in having aquaria. It's quite the opposite, it's not that we aren't advancing, it's that we are diversifying - there are many reasons people choose to have containers of...
  79. tam

    Are we really advancing the hobby?

    I think you are lumping too many different things together under 'hobby'. For some people a balanced ecosystem is not the goal, the goal is a beautiful aquascaped aquarium - plants aren't selected or arranged for how they help create an environment for fish to live in they are selected to look...
  80. tam

    Is this fish poorly

    I take it that's a just fed belly? If it's just one eye it could be damage rather than disease.
  81. tam

    Minerals for shrimp

    Salty shrimp would work fine. If you want to keep it simple (but not necessarily the very cheapest option) I would use the salty shrimp GH/KH to remineralise your water to the values you want. Then use an all in one NPK included fertiliser like TNC Complete or Tropica Specialised. With Flourish...
  82. tam

    Minerals for shrimp

    There are shrimp specific remineralisers e.g. shrimp king
  83. tam

    Light pollution

    The light closer to the water surface or a shade around the light?
  84. tam


    We did the same - took one in from someone and had it in a four foot - wasn't really ideal though. Found a home via our local facebook fish group. Actually had several offers from people with 6-10' tanks. I think we picked one with an 8' tank and a group of similar sized companions. They even...
  85. tam

    Shrimplets and Aquael Pat Mini

    It's fine for shrimp-lets, they won't be sucked in. Is that the Aquael 30L shrimp set? I've the same tank/filter/light with cherries in and they are fine. They'll graze on the sponge but there is no suction there.
  86. tam

    Cabinet options for a 30L cube

    Hire someone to build one for you - sometimes a local handy person can be surprisingly cheap.
  87. tam

    Led bulbs

    Ikea do an E27 plant bulb, but it's 4000K: https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/vaexer-led-bulb-for-cultivation-par30-e27-60317483/ You might do better searching for 'grow light' rather than light bulb :)
  88. tam

    Some notes on Otocinclus

    I've some 7 week old baby corys after dropping the temp a couple of degrees at a water change, but the otos didn't follow suit. I suppose I could break out the watering can and make rain. I do wonder if I've got enough males/females of the same species though, as they were added in a couple of...
  89. tam

    Some notes on Otocinclus

    My habrosus corys and otos do the same. I have a otos specie(s) with a tail spot like the habrosus so I have to look twice sometimes to work out which is which. They often shoal with each other. I've read before somewhere that cory spawning can trigger otos. My otos sometimes look to be carrying...
  90. tam

    I Need Help Redesigning My Tank

    I think the trouble is, it's quite a nice looking tank already. Not super aquascaped, but nice looking planted tank. What do you want it to look like? Your plants look like they are doing pretty well, so don't feel like you have to change the substrate.
  91. tam

    What happened to my new community tank!

    Adding oxygen would be another good idea - at the surface is often an oxygen shortage.
  92. tam

    How achievable is a Nitrate environment?

    If you have the the right balance of plants to use up the ammonia before it's converted to nitrate, and you only add in as much additional nitrate via ferts as your plants use up (or don't add any and just provide everything else they need to uptake the ammonia)... then you could do it. Most...
  93. tam

    Shrimp tank mates

    A good portion of 'nano' fish are fine with adult cherries and you can still get a colony if you plant heavily enough the babies have plenty of hiding spots.
  94. tam

    How many fish initially?

    When I did mine, at this point I put all the media from my old filter in and moved them over, but you could also move them in two batches if you wanted to hedge your bets.
  95. tam

    Anyone use Spotless Water?

    I think it originates from trade uses like window cleaners so the liquid rock doesn't leave the windows streaky :) Fish shops sell RO for reef keepers mainly and I would guess some used this for supply and they decided selling direct to consumers might be a good market.
  96. tam

    284L low tech with dry start

    I've used Esha exit on white spot with otos and cherry shrimp in the tank - no issues at all even the tiny baby shrimp survived it. Don't know if it's available in the states though.
  97. tam

    Bored. Newt paludarium conversion

    Something on pilers would seem like the easiest way to do it in situ and maximise fish water volume. Maybe egg crate grid stood on acrylic rod pilers. Lift the wood and attached plants out. Put the grid structure in and put the wood back in on top.
  98. tam

    Fish IDs

    Marble hatchets, glowlight tetras, harlequin rasbora, black widow tetra, and I think that's a female bristlenose plec.
  99. tam

    Is it spirogyra and how to get rid of

    I get it all wrapped around the roots of my floating plants... I keep meaning to do a test dunk in some easy carbo to see if I can remove n treat and return. I get bits around the rest of the tank but not so bad. It seems more opportunistic than other algae - I'm sure I've physically transferred...
  100. tam

    Buce flower

    It looks more like a new leaf, they come out a bit rolled and then flatten. A flower is usually more obviously a stalk and white bud on top.