Adventures of the 35G - Page 27 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #261 of 481 Old 02-25-2013, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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QT tank :D The lights are 2 CFLs (6500k, which were a total BEAR to find, and yet everyone online kept telling me 'oh, they're everywhere, hard to find ones that aren't 6500k'. LIARS.) in clip on lamps. I also officially hate clip on lamps, it took me a freaking hour to get those things positioned.
Also the substrate is playsand. The tank is a little cloudy, I don't think I rinsed the sand enough. I'll be honest, I got really bored after half an hour <.<
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post #262 of 481 Old 02-25-2013, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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What kind of stone do you use? I've been wanting to try my hand at aquascaping with rocks, I think it looks really pretty, but finding something that isn't a river rock can be a pain. I have a giant chunk of obsidian though, but I'm not sure if that would work or not?

Once it stops being all misty and gross outside I'm going to go collect some oak leaves, hopefully that will break up the endless expanses of sand haha.

I kind of want to build a sandcastle in the tank.
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post #263 of 481 Old 02-25-2013, 12:57 AM
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HAHA! You TOTALLY should build a castle *nods* with a lil' flag on top and everything! THAT would be AWESOME!!!

The tank is off to a great start!!! The cloudiness will settle, play sand is soooooooo dirty, no matter how much you rinse the stuff it'll do that at first, no worries!

Rinsing it takes forever. . . this is where small children come in handy. I set the bucket up with the hose in the bottom under the sand, and with it at a slight tilt, so the water will constantly run out. . . then send the kids out, each with a stick, and tell them to stir it from time to time. If you throw in something like "Take TURNS and don't fight over who gets to stir the bucket" it'll ensure that they WILL fight over it, and thus. . . will remember to stir it ;) Gotta love reverse psychology, neh?

My stones make me super nervous! They're wild-caught locally, and I did as much research/tests as I could to try to figure out what they are, exactly. I *think* I have an idea, but . . . not sure! There's actually a geologist who recently joined the forum, and he made the mistake of saying 'if anyone needs help send me a PM' so . . . *bats lashes* He's being really awesome to try to help me figure out what they are for sure, I'll letcha know what he comes up with!

Funny. . . river rocks are what I wanted, but I can't find them really around here! In the fish shops you'll see a lot of slate and such - flat stones like what you'd build a walkway out of. They're nice when used in a tank the right way, but too. . . flat and hard-edged for my tastes in my tank. In my Livebearer tank I also have a type of locally collected orangey quartz rocks. They're nice against the lighter sand, I think :) I'm sure you'll find something!
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post #264 of 481 Old 02-25-2013, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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I will be completely honest and say I've been trying to work out how to build an actual sand castle in the tank xD That would be the coolest thing ever.

I had the sand in a long plastic bin, so that it was really shallow. I just kept stirring and letting the water overflow, but it sucked and took forever. I should have done it when I had the kid that I babysit all the time over, she would have had a blast.

I also have to admit I rofl'd at the wording of what you just said. "Wild caught rocks"...I have this image in my head of you with a magnifying glass and a butterfly net, sneaking up on a rock. :P

I think I may go with the obsidian...did some preliminary searching and it seems to be okay, since it's technically a volcanic glass...whatever that means. The stones in your 55 are absolutely gorgeous, can't believe you found those beauties locally.
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post #265 of 481 Old 02-25-2013, 06:23 AM
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*giggle* Well. . . if you REALLY wanted to. . . you could find an appropriately-shaped rock or tank ornament, cover it with aquarium silicone, then coat it with sand. *nods* It would work. . .

Well, my rocks ARE wild-caught. . . and I'm not going to say that your image isn't exactly like how it went down. There *may* have been goggles involved, tho. . . ;) Heeheee, yeah. Lucky me. I catch wild rocks in my local water ways. You catch actual FISH, and super cool plants. . . *jealous*

Obsidian is pretty! Shiny pretty black. . . hrm, it would look really good against your black sand, lol! Now I want it in the other tank! I wonder though. . . I'm betting it would be difficult to attach anything to it. Cuz' plants would probably have a tough time rooting into such a hard, smooth, well. . . glassy stone. BUT It'd still stand out really pretty from the plants, and in a QT tank, something like that would be really perfect, since it can't possibly be a very porous rock. I'd like it! *nods* Yup! I approve this stone choice - it's unique, that's for sure!

So now we have a castle and a volcano. . .tank is really shaping up ;)

My rocks in the 55 have a layer that's really gritty and sandy, definitely very porous. The plants attach like lightning to it, but I'm sure it *could* harbor contaminates. . .the QUARTZ on the other hand, is pretty darn hard, plants don't really attach readily to it (except on some that have a bit more of a rough coating on the outside - like how you crack open geodes?), and it would probably be a better bet in a QT tank.

Isn't it FUN the stuff that tanks can get you learning about?!!! I luff fish!
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post #266 of 481 Old 02-25-2013, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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I wish I had rocks! That's really cool. Were you in the water looking for them? You don't see any fishies or plants?

I removed the driftwood, and I added a few stones that I had (small river rock pebbly things), and I'm trying to figure out how I want the obsidian positioned.

Dude...I am so tempted to make that sand castle. You have no idea xD

Also, I have another update coming. It is a very, very big and happy surprise.
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post #267 of 481 Old 02-25-2013, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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*cracks knuckles*
On with the story!

So, as you all may know, after my rasbora die off I couldn't find my four baby loaches, and assumed that they had been affected by whatever killed my rasbora. This is also around the time that I got a new lovely awesome canister filter, that is my best friend and I love it so much.
Today was the second time I've taken it apart and cleaned it. Before I dump the water out I always plug the sink, in case there are some baby plants that got sucked up or what have you.

Guess who plopped out into the sink and gave me a FREAKING HEART ATTACK.

There were only two of them in there, so I still have no idea where the other two are (I ripped that canister into pieces checking and re-checking), but still. THEY'VE BEEN IN THE CANISTER, THOSE BUTT FACES.

I literally have NO idea how they squirmed in there, I mean the input thing is mega sophisticated, it has a very thin mesh around it plus a ball inside of it the prevents anything large from squeezing up through.

So now there's a piece of panty hose tied over the input. It looks horrid, but if it keeps those butt face meany pants make me cry loaches out, I'm totally cool with it. Attached is a picture of those JERKS in the sink.
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post #268 of 481 Old 02-25-2013, 02:49 PM
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::sarcasm:: That's odd. . . I seem to remember *someone* on this thread making a POINT of warning you that loaches are magical beings and can fit into the tiniest of spaces that you'd SWEAR they couldn't possibly, and that they can and will get into a filter if you don't cover it. . . gonna have to scroll back and see if I can find that part. ::end sarcasm::


This is totally me right now on my desk chair:


It looks like yours came through their first filter cleaning journey without nearly as much damage taken as the first of mine that got stuck in there. . .that poor lil' dude looked like Frankenstein for a week!

Thank goodness you saw them before washing them down the drain! *heart attack* indeed!

GAH! I'm just so thrilled for you right now :D

I know you were certain that they couldn't get into your filter intake - I honestly didn't think they could get into mine, either - even though it isn't super-snazzy like it sounds like yours is - I only had the full-grown NOT dwarf loaches in the tank at the time, and they're WAY thicker than the very thin slits in the intake! Loaches. . . man! They've got the mad slither skills! The thing is. . . they never showed ANY interest in getting into the HOB, which had - if anything - a much easier basket for them to get into - and I was looking out for that during their early days with me when I had the HOB! By the time I switched to the canister and the new tank. . . I just figured I'd be okay, since the slits in that one were way thinner. NOPE!

I tried pantyhose, too, but it really blocked the flow too much and got clogged with particulate matter entirely too quickly. Right now I'm using a fine mesh - it's exactly the same stuff on my soft fish-nets (lol, not tights), and *knocks on wood* so far have had no issues with that, even with the tiny guys, but you'd better believe that I check the bottom of that canister with a flashlight every so often JUUUSSSTTT to be sure! It was okay in the QT with the dwarfs, but. . .that was a HOB filter, lol. So I'm still really paying attention to that right now.

Crazy loaches! And you KNOW they couldn't have gotten sucked in there. They squirmed into those holes just for fun. They actually had to WORK at it - what brats!

GAH!!! Just SO SO SO HAPPY that these lil' prodigal children have been found and are safe and sound in their home again! They made it through all of that. . .GAH! We're talking possibly about WEEKS spent in there, depending on at what point during the sickness they got in.. . loaches are so amazing! *BEAMS*

(that thanks was to God for letting getting them through safe and sound)

P.S. Naw, the water where my rocks came from moves a bit too quickly for any plants, just algae, lol! plus. . .I got them in early autumn, and Maryland is NOT Florida - it gets chilly much quicker, and gets colder. I've been inspired by you, though, and I'll be checking into some calmer water systems to see what I can find in the summer, when things warm up :) goggles, butterfly net, magnifying glass and all!

Last edited by Chesh; 02-25-2013 at 02:55 PM.
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post #269 of 481 Old 02-25-2013, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Haha, you're right (I caught that little grey part there ;)), I really should have covered it. I'm just flabbergasted those little jerks got in there. You're right on target, they had to have worked at getting in that thing, no way it was an accidental 'oops, got sucked up in here'. What meanies. I checked them over really well to see if they were injured and I didn't see anything really amiss, except they looked a bit on the thin side. But that may just be me? I'm not quite sure how thin they're supposed to be.

Where did you find that mesh? Did you just like cut up a butterfly net? I have the panty hose on there because it was literally the only thing I had at hand, and I wanted to be sure those little brats couldn't get back up in there. I keep switching between being super excited to being mad at myself and then mad at them, can't decide on an emotion xD My mom freaked out after I screamed (I'll be honest, they scared the crap out of me) and we were both trying to scoop them out of the sink.

Did I mention the sink has slanted sides and these guys were slithering up out of the water and up the sides? Yeah. That sucked.
I just can't get over the fact that they're alive. I'm just blown away.

It's so much fun finding wild species, it's definitely rewarding, and also really fascinating to see how they grow and what they prefer in the wild.
Also, another thing I always have on hand is a small shovel/trowel (for anything with a large root system) and a pair of long tweezers, to get down into the substrate around the roots and pull it up, instead of having to stick your hand all the way down (because honestly there are so creepy crawlies down there).
And wear really awesome rubber wading boots. I used to go barefoot, but then something stung/bit me and I was all like NOPE. Shoes. Although it depends if you're actively swimming or not. I just walk around in the shallows.

It's hard for me to remember that it actually gets cold for extended periods of time in other places, haha. We have like 3 weeks of winter.
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post #270 of 481 Old 02-25-2013, 05:15 PM
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*nods* You have PALM trees, lady! And NO SNOW. . . 's a whole 'nother world over there in sunny Florida, lol!

Ummmmm, you can get a huge piece of the stuff at a fabric store for pennies, OR you can spend a couple of bucks on a nice soft fish catching net and use that. Just make sure that you get the stuff that's really fine. . . I can take a picture of it if you need me to. The stuff that I have, I ALSO have a net made of the same material exactly, but it isn't the plastic type, it's more of a fabric. . . nice and soft. I think the plastic type nets, the littler loaches would be able to get through. . .

Those poor little loaches! Slithering up the sides of the sink, OMG! I can't imagine! They were probably suffering a mix of emotions, too! Scared out of their minds, but super happy to be free! I'm not surprised if they're on the thin side, probably not *too* much to eat at the bottom of a filter! I'm sure they'll fatten up again now that they're back in the tank. . . I felt much the same way when I found my little loachling at the bottom of the filter, only worse because he WAS beat up. . . such tough little creatures these babies are :)

Just happy they're both safe and sound. . . happy endings are such wonderful things!
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