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  1. idris

    Old Akadama

    Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned CEC. :D
  2. idris

    Old Akadama

    It's been in the tank for 10+ years. IIRC It's "hard" Akadama. As much as anything, I was wondering about it's ability to facilitate (... oh jeeze ... what was the phrase I kept reading at the time I chose it ...) cationic exchange (I think that was it?) or whether it becomes (I'm guessing here)...
  3. idris

    Old Akadama

    Bump (... because I still don't know the answer. :) )
  4. idris

    Light colour & algae

    So more PAR is good for plant growth. As I can't justify a PAR meter for purchase of a single light, is there any way to find low PAR lighting? (I can build an LED dimmer far more cheaply.) Every light I've seen advertised that mentions PAR seems to be sold on the basis of being good for plant...
  5. idris

    Leaf size

    (I'm sure the answers to this are going to get very technical very quickly :D :D :D but here goes ...) Is there any significant correlation between leaf size and how efficient a plant is at consuming nutrients in a tank?
  6. idris

    incase a hose pops off and floods your house.....

    27 possible failure points because I have two canister filters that each have their own intakes and spray bars. Then there's a system of (4) taps and (2) T-pieces that means I can use one of the filters to pump water out of, and back into the tank through barbed & threaded hose tails. (The top...
  7. idris

    incase a hose pops off and floods your house.....

    I used to worry about leaks. I don't now. I have something like 27 possible failure points in my cabinet, with just standard barbed fittings. The only precautions I've taken are to heat the hoses in boiling water when fitting them, put 2mm cable ties around them. No jubilee clips or anything...
  8. idris

    Light colour & algae

    Are cheap, domestic/ ebay (green / RGB) IP65 LED strips relatively "intense" compared to aquarium specific LEDs. My gut says they ought to be less "intense". But I've no idea how 1hr with something like that would compare with an hour of my iQuatics T5s. (Throw in a PWM driver from something...
  9. idris

    Light colour & algae

    Is there any colour light that is less prone to helping algae? Without working things out scientifically, I'm wondering about purely green light (as I think that what's reflected from green leaves... right?) As much as anything I'm hoping to extend the time I can watch my tank without it...
  10. idris

    Deep Tank Light Recommendations

    I have a tank of similar depth. For the first couple of years I had a pair of circa 36" T8 tubes. By anyone's standard it was low light and low tech. But it did ok. Then I neglected the tank for a very long while. About 6 months ago I put in a pair of Juwel length T5 tubes (I cant remember the...
  11. idris

    Ambient temperature

    Just in case anyone has a similar question, I think I've come up with a cheap, simple genius solution: Put a 2L bottle of water in the freezer. Once its frozen, move the bottle to the tank. (Adjust size of bottle for your tank size.) Repeat every day or two. I'll try to remember to report back...
  12. idris

    Ambient temperature

    With the current weather, my tank is sitting at around 30°c with the heater turned off. It's not in direct sunlight. Is this likely to be a problem for the short period the British Summer lasts? (On the up side, my shrimp seem a lot more active.)
  13. idris

    Breeding assasins

    Would Khuli Loaches be a problem?
  14. idris

    Breeding assasins

    There were prey snails for a while, maybe a couple of months, but there were 20+ Assassins for a couple of years after. Over the last couple of years there have been no more than 5 or 6.
  15. idris

    Breeding assasins

    For the first couple of years of my tank, Assasin Snails would breed like rabbits. So much so I had to sell a dozen every few months. In the last few years they don't seem to breed at all. Any thoughts on what might have made the difference?
  16. idris

    Alternative to "carpet" plants

    If it spreads faster than it dies off, I'll regard that as a success. 😆
  17. idris

    Cherry shrimp breeding

    That's all good to know. Should I perhaps drop the temp a couple of degrees? (Not just for the shrimp.)
  18. idris

    Alternative to "carpet" plants

    I've tried and failed to grow Dwarf Hairgrass fornthe N-th time and am finally giving up hope. My tank is low to medium light but deep and no CO2. What's the smallest (least height) plant that will root in Akadama and spread well in low tech conditions?
  19. idris

    Cherry shrimp breeding

    I should add our water is rock hard!
  20. idris

    Cherry shrimp breeding

    I've bought some Cherry Shrimp (including a berried female) and the sales assistant recommended keeping them at 28°c to breed them. I usually keep my tank around 25°c, which seems about right for Platties, Khulis, Ottos, Neons, Amanos, and a Beta. Is there a temp that'll be ok for the fish and...
  21. idris

    Pre-filter sponge

    True, but you could just point people at the index page when folk like me ask questions.
  22. idris

    Pre-filter sponge

    Thanks Darrel. If you're ever want to write a book called "Everything you know about aquariums is wrong", I'll definitely be buying a copy. 🤣
  23. idris

    Pre-filter sponge

    Having found 6 fish and 3 shrimp in one of my canister filters, I'm planning to put sponge pre-filters on the intakes. (My pipework is DIY Acrylic.) I've always avoided these as I felt they must hold the filtrate in the tank, and reduce the amount that makes it through to the canister. Any...
  24. idris

    BGA in Akadama

    Apologies for the radio silence. Current status : Tank lights off, with the glass masked where the substrate meets it, and dosing 25ml Blue Exit daily. Water tests: ph 7.3 kh = 120 gh >180 Ammonia = 0 NO2 = 0 NO3 < 20 Am going to try to come up with a way to "suck out" what I suspect is BGA...
  25. idris

    BGA in Akadama

    I've read the article, thanks. So far I've followed the instructions on the Blue Exit bottle (call me old fashioned 😁) so 25ml (250L tanks, probably 220L water) once a day for 5 days. The tank was also covered for 5 days. I've lost track but I think that was a week ago. Yesterday I went back to...
  26. idris

    BGA in Akadama

    [Cue disappointed sigh] It's back in exactly the same spot it was before. So I guess I'll be working my way through the rest of the bottle of Blue Exit. I'd considered taping up the glass in front of the effected substrate, so that's now gonna happen too. I'm reluctant to cover the tank...
  27. idris

    BGA in Akadama

    Sorry for the delay replying. I can see no signs of BGA on the surface now, but the patch was small and I inadvertently dispersed it before I could scoop it out so that in itself is not conclusive. There are still some patches of darkness against the front glass under the surface of the...
  28. idris

    Small Daphnia culture

    @Karmicnull I haven't got round to seeding the water butt as I'm focussing on another aquarium issue at the moment. I was about to say I didn't know what the Daphnia would feed on in the dark, but Darrel just answered that question. :D I might pick up a bag the next time I'm in a LFS. @dw1305...
  29. idris

    BGA in Akadama

    Unless there's new growth of BGA, it's unlikely the old will be visible. I tried to scoop out what I could see, but much of it just dispersed like dust as soon as I disturbed the substrate around it. Yes, the TNC Carbon is liquid. I believe its 2% Glutaraldehyde. It's couple of years old, so...
  30. idris

    BGA in Akadama

    4 days in complete darkness and one more day of Blue Exit to go. I had been using some TNC Carbon before, particularly in the hope of it helping the Dwarf Hairgrass establish, but figured I should stop that for the moment. And the lights were on for 7hrs. In terms of getting back to usual, is...
  31. idris

    BGA in Akadama

    Having been reading this thread (and understanding some of it) one thing that stood out to me is how low Nitrate can lead to BGA. Doesn't that imply that, once a tank is properly cycled, having too few fish can make BGA more likely?
  32. idris

    DIY moonlight

    Fair point. Now I think about it, I've a feeling I've heard about using a torch at night as an old poachers trick. :eek:
  33. idris

    DIY moonlight

    Nice idea. I'm surprised the fish follow the light. From my trout fishing experience, they seem to prefer the safety of the shadows once they're bigger than fry, but I guess there's not so much aerial predation in an aquarium. :D Over night I've remembered I've got a semi functional LED...
  34. idris

    Rainwater confussion

    How about BGA? I've had an outbreak since switching to it, but as the butt has a lid (ie no photosynthesis) and there are other possible causes, I'm assuming it's not the culprit
  35. idris

    DIY moonlight

    I'm not thinking of anything too ambitious at the moment. Just a timer with light intensity varying, as you say, with PWM. To simulate clouds is just a matter of some changes in light intensity (simply manipulate variables for the respective RGB outputs) based on some timings. Power it all with...
  36. idris

    BGA in Akadama

    Good to know. Did you have it in the substrate? I've read conjecture that Exit Blue just deals with "stains" and not the BGA itself. Any thoughts?
  37. idris

    BGA in Akadama

    Looking at the tank in daylight, I can see a couple more areas where I suspect BGA in the substrate. In each case it is under the surface and against the front glass. 1) If I were to black out the areas where it is not evident above the surface (eg with gaffer tape) for a week or so, could that...
  38. idris

    DIY moonlight

    Thanks Zozo. "Why blue?" is a very good question. Perhaps because cheap, discrete, blue LEDs came before RGB strips, so were an easy option for moonlights? I'd build my own (Arduino based) controller. I quite like the idea of writing code to mimic clouds, just for the geek-irony of controlling...
  39. idris

    DIY moonlight

    Thanks. 30 or 60 LEDs per meter?
  40. idris

    DIY moonlight

    Only joking about Alexa. I know not everyone wants to mine their own iron ore and forge their own knife before they can skin a cat. Do you know what spec your LEDs were? From what I've seen of the USB strips, they're relatively low powered.
  41. idris

    DIY moonlight

    Alexa? Pah!. I don't trust Amazon not to snoop on my fish watching habits. Anyway, I'm planning on doing it in C++.:rolleyes:
  42. idris

    DIY moonlight

    Having read posts by the more knowledgable forum members about the downside of split photo-periods, my 100W T5s are on for 7hrs a day. Until I spotted early signs of a BGA outbreak last night, I was wondering about adding a moonlight so I can watch the tank morning and evening. My current...
  43. idris

    BGA in Akadama

    Is this BGA in the Akadama of what had, till recently, been a near dormant tank? Having done a big rescape a couple of weeks ago, replaced nearly all the plants, and started slowly introducing new livestock (algae crew first) it'll be a massive PITA if I have to strip the tank again. I've...
  44. idris

    Shrimp noob advice

    Will any of those give better cover for fry than what I've already got?
  45. idris

    Shrimp noob advice

    I can live with The Circle Of Life operating in my tank, as long as it's not a net population loss. (In my first tank with Swordtails, a huge majority of fry were predated by the parent fish!) So given adequate (if not perfect) habitat, what would be a good minimum number of adults to start...
  46. idris

    Shrimp noob advice

    I've always had Amano shrimp in my 250L tank and they some of my favourite inhabitants, so I'm wondering about getting some a colourful variety a well. After a rescape, the tank is moderately well planted: (Amazon Swords, Anubis Barteri, Wysteria, C. Balansae, Eleocharis Parvula and Java Moss...
  47. idris

    Wysteria roots

    After only a week in the tank, my wysteria is sending out roots above the substrate and well up the main stem. Are the sub surface roots lilely to grow at a similar rate? Is there any benefit (other than aesthetic) to trimming the super-surface roots?
  48. idris

    Spraybar vs lilly pipe

    IMHO Connecting one spraybars at both ends won't perform significantly differently to two spraybars placed end to end. (The same configuration, but cut in half and then plugged.) There could be implication for convenience, especially if it's a custom spraybar.
  49. idris

    Shelf life

    Presumably it doesn't degrade to anything harmful?
  50. idris

    Shelf life

    Does glutaraldehyde have a shelf life. I found some a the bottom of a box of aquarium junk that's likely 4 or 5 years old and am wondering whether it's worth using?
  51. idris

    Removing algae from plants

    Any tips for removing algae from plants? I'm doing a big tank re-vamp an most of what I'm dealing with is like gren/brown fur. It's also quite .... err ... mature ... so much of it might even be dead?
  52. idris

    incase a hose pops off and floods your house.....

    A cheaper, simpler option would be to use (aquarium safe) silicone sealant on the hose fittings. It'll be a PITA disconnecting it all but it will make the chance of leaks negligible.
  53. idris

    Spraybar vs lilly pipe

    2.5ft deep tank with 2 slightly under powered canister filters (both hampered by the head of water). Pros and cons of lilly pipes vs spraybars?
  54. idris

    Sound proof cabinet

    Sheets of EDPM foam are cheap, easy to cut and are cost effective. The other thing used in car audio is mass loaded vinyl (MLV) but not a great advantage great it in this application. Equally, dont bother with "egg box" foam - it will do less good than thicker, cheaper foam here. However, your...
  55. idris

    Rainwater confussion

    How to pump from a water butt is useful to know (I think the caravan pumps you're talking about are made by Whale - I used to use them for water changes), but doesnt really help me know whether I should be using rain water or not 🤣🤣🤣. What are the down sides to using rain water (fish species...
  56. idris

    Deep tank rescape?

    My current scape has had a shelf in it all along. (Not a recent picture, and tank only half filled.) I liked the challenge of building it, it allowed me to raise some of the plants nearer to the surface for more light, and I rationalised that the space underneath would be a sanctuary for shy...
  57. idris

    FIlter media order

    There are various ways to cut foam. Whilst I've not tried cutting filter foam, my go-to tool for foam is an electric carving knife. Filter foam has a very open structure (compared to something like upholstery foam) so I guess it might snag, but it's a similar principal to tools designed for...
  58. idris

    Small Daphnia culture

    Do the butts need to be open topped? Ours have lids, so I'm struggling to know what the Daphnia would feed on. And how quickly would you hope a single LFS bag of daphnia would result in a harvestable population in a 200L butt?
  59. idris

    Rainwater confussion

    At the moment just some Neons, a couple of Kuhlis, a small plec (not sure what varaiety - it was donated), a single Amano and some Assasin snails. I know the shrimp and the snails will like hard water, but I'm not really tied to other species.
  60. idris

    FIlter media order

    Thanks.
  61. idris

    Small Daphnia culture

    @dw1305 I think I've seen you mention in another thread that breeding daphnia in a water butt needs some hardness. I've just tested our water butt and it has GH<40 and KH<30 with a pH of 6.3 Is this too low for seeding with daphnia to be viable?
  62. idris

    Rainwater confussion

    Our tap water is off-the-test-chart hard. Literally. GH>180 and KH >240 with a pH around 7.2 Our rain water is GH<40 and KH<30 with a pH of 6.3 I've never bothered with rainwater before and have no species related preference (fauna or flora), but was wondering about using rainwater in my low...
  63. idris

    FIlter media order

    Each of the baskets is probably at least 2" deep, so there's plenty of room for two grades per basket. I've just remembered I've got a tub of carbon gathering dust. Where would that fit in, assuming it's useful?
  64. idris

    FIlter media order

    Catching up with y'all ... bear with me ...
  65. idris

    Old Akadama

    Can Akadama get too old?
  66. idris

    FIlter media order

    I have two external filters for my tank. Filter 1 is used as a conventional filter. Filter 2 has been more of a circulation pump , albeit a slightly under-powered circulation pump. In the process of a tank revamp, I've added some filter floss to Filter 2 and, when trying connecting a gravel...
  67. idris

    Revamp after a lighting upgrade

    WHat power are your T5s and do you use ferts or CO2?
  68. idris

    Revamp after a lighting upgrade

    At long last I've upgraded the lights on my 2½' deep 250L tank with 2x45W T5 tubes. The planting is somewhat depleted at the moment with Crypt Balansae, Echinodorus Cordifolius and Crypt Wendtii, none of which is in a great state, and no shortage of algae that has thrived. (I'm working to clear...
  69. idris

    Fluval FX

    A few years ago, the Fluval FX filters seemed to be regarded as the mutt's nuts. Is there anything better at the moment in the price range or equally good but cheaper?
  70. idris

    Grundfos / Aqua-Turn

    Thanks. It's actually the measurements for the mating surface between the pump body and he impeller housing I need, just so I can tell if they'll fit together.
  71. idris

    Grundfos / Aqua-Turn

    Does anyone have an Aqua-Turn AT2525 adaptor for a Grundfos 15/50 or 15/60 central heating pump? I have another brand of central heating pump that I suspect is just a re-branded Grundfos, but other than mounting bolt spacing for the impeller housing, I can't get any measurements out of...
  72. idris

    Fish from Pets At Home

    I agree entirely on the ethics of big chain vs local. (For those with an interest in profane, post-perestroika, anarco-punk, click here. For all others, click here.) Everything I saw looked perfectly healthy, and there was a good range of fish - maybe 30 speciaes - albeit nothing exotic. I...
  73. idris

    Fish from Pets At Home

    Does anyone have particularly good or bad experience of fish from Pets At Home? I only ask because I went in to kill 5min today and their fish prices were surprisingly low (for relatively common species).
  74. idris

    Slow or fast growing plants... which do you choose and why?

    Mostly slow growing plants for me. My tank is a PITA to trim plants in it and I'm a bit lazy when it comes to maintenance. That said, I am contemplating adding some Wisteria, which IIRC is quick growing. But that's as much about sucking nutrients out of the water column than speed of growth.
  75. idris

    Small Daphnia culture

    The water should be fine. I couldn't give you numbers (and don't have a test kit), but we have pretty hard water round here. Every water change (10%) is treated with conditioner in a 25L canister before adding to the tank - off the top of my head, I think it"s AquaCare Tap Water Conditioner...
  76. idris

    Small Daphnia culture

    Thanks @Basviola I think that concurs with everything I've read, exccpt the airstone: an air line is beneficial (though not an absolute requirement) but an airstone can be a bad idea as they tend to produce fine bubbles which get caught in the Daphnia shells, float them to the surface, where...
  77. idris

    Small Daphnia culture

    I've read the Caudata page, though not recently. There may be bits I could do with rereading. (Grrrrrrr ...) The daphnia are in tank water. The greenwater was originally pond water, but has since been diluted with tank water. We do have a water butt, but I've never got into the habit of using...
  78. idris

    Small Daphnia culture

    Failure #2 After another 24hrs, even more of the shop bought Daphnia were dead. So ... Start #2.5 Again I was passing the LFS so decided to pick up another bag. I'm disapointed to say that my ambition for zero cost has gone out of the window as I have now speant a stomach churing £2.50. Whislt...
  79. idris

    Small Daphnia culture

    Don't feel bad about that at all!!! Input from those with experience us very welcome.:D I've not measured that yet. As I understand it, low 20s C is about right, depending on the variety. (Though I have no idea whether I've actually got Pula or Moina.) It's not as dark as most - just not as...
  80. idris

    Small Daphnia culture

    I wondered whether that was the cause.
  81. idris

    Small Daphnia culture

    Failure #1 ... and possibly #2 After a week+ without quite the progerss I'd hoped for, I happened to be passig a couple of LFSs and figured I might as well buy a bag of Daphnia as a comparison. The first LFS had them in the fridge and it was dificult to see any movement in the bag. There had...
  82. idris

    Small Daphnia culture

    The "video" is only 3 frames and relatively low magnification, so don't read too much into it. Greener dried grass? I'd understood that the stuff put in rodent cages was ideal, and I was under the impression that was definitely not green. There isn't an airstone as there isn't a convenient...
  83. idris

    Central heating timers

    My only issue with the mechanical timers is that I've yet to see a 7 day timer: the time when I'm likely to be around the tank at the weekend is different to during the week.
  84. idris

    Central heating timers

    Call me a ludite, but I have little interest in the IOT. I'm more interested in simple, reliable (predoninantly) hardware based solutions.
  85. idris

    LFS pricing and stock trends

    Lots of discussion about price. But going back to where this started ... Any trends relating to the availability of wild / exotic / run-of-the-mill species?
  86. idris

    Central heating timers

    I can't find the PC723 on Arlec's uk website. Interestingly their digital 7 day timers look to have exactly the same display and button format as other makes I've used and which have failed. It makes me think they're probably knocked out if the same factory at minimal cost.
  87. idris

    LFS pricing and stock trends

    Maidenhead? Who said Maidenhead? I certainly didn't mention them. Nope ... definitely didn't mention Maidenhead.
  88. idris

    Central heating timers

    Have seen both the posh aquarium PLCs and the Grundfos conversions. I could see no reason not to use one of the timers. Cheap (second hand) and they have to be better build quality than most timer plugs.
  89. idris

    Central heating timers

    Has anyone used a central heating timer for their lights?
  90. idris

    LFS pricing and stock trends

    Ok .. but before anyone mentions The B Word, is it just this one LFS / chain, or is it across much of the hobby? eg The other LFS I visit, just a 5min drive away,seems to have kept it's prices lower. (Maybe they just use UK breeders )
  91. idris

    LFS pricing and stock trends

    I think inflation has been around 3% for the last coupl of years. Prices seem to have fone up by 20%-30%. Wild species availbale have gone from two or three to 20+.. Not that I'm suggesting either factors are to be ignored.
  92. idris

    Small Daphnia culture

    6 days on, and I couldn't initially see any life in the demijohn. But then I spotted a significant number of creatures in the bottle I was culturing as green water. A little more patience and I spotted a couple of inverts in the demijohn as well. The reality is there's not a great deal of...
  93. idris

    LFS pricing and stock trends

    In the last 18months, one of LFSs I've visited most consistently over the last 5-10yrs seems to have moved steadily cowards selling more "exotic" or "wild" fish varieties, and simultaneously the costs of even more common fish has increased. Has anyone else noticed similar trends?
  94. idris

    Post-apochalyptica

    I used to have a Playmobile bicycle in my tank for the fish to use, and have comtemplated a 1/100th scale Sherman tank.
  95. idris

    Post-apochalyptica

    Pleanty of that crap in my garage.:(
  96. idris

    Post-apochalyptica

    Bear with me!!!!!!! This is little more than a thought experiment at the moment, and I doubt it will ever be much more for me. But I like the idea. And I'm sure there are 1000 reasons not to do it, and I'm interested in ways to theoretically make it work. So ... tuck the Don'ts and Can'ts and...
  97. idris

    Mantainence free shrimp bottle?

    I've not seen Walstead mentioned for a couple of years. I've not read her book(s) specifically, and am unaware of her thoughts on "nano" environments. The demijohn I have has a wider neck than that shown above, but I was already thinking it was problematic.
  98. idris

    Mantainence free shrimp bottle?

    I think this may be a very salient point. Interrsting to know it can be done. It's unlikely I'll actually get round to doing - it was just a thought.
  99. idris

    Mantainence free shrimp bottle?

    I have a spare demijohn and stumbled across this Instructable. It seems to suggest you could effectively have a viable shrimp nano in a bottle without any filtration. This is counterintuitive, based on everything I've learned about aquariums, but other than Amans in a planted fish tank, I have...
  100. idris

    Small Daphnia culture

    I've identified Daphnia from the bucket with a microscope. I can't guarantee what I've since spotted (with a magnifying glass) in the jar, but they look to be moving in the right way. They're bigger than Ostracods, and don't move like Cyclopse. I could probably get some from a LFS (though I've...
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