Notes from a 60 tank fishroom.

Glad you didn’t fall… next time put your skates on

Been thawing locks at work… there I use an electric heat gun, like you would use to peal paint.. easy and fast
It's even cold here. It has been -8C to -10C down here the last couple of days in the morning. I ordered some cherry shrimp and they shipped on the 8th of Jan. They sat in a warehouse in Illinois for about 5 days for some reason, before being sent on down here right in time for all that weather.

I was standing at the door when the mailman arrived with the box (perfect coincidence). He said, "hope they're not frozen" as he handed the box to me.

I got them inside and could see at least 2 that were alive- the water was super-cold, so before acclimating them to my water, I put the whole bag in a warm water bath for a few minutes to raise the temp.

I drip acclimated them over about an hour and 4 lived. I'd say that's pretty good given the conditions and time. The guy offered a refund, but I told him just ship me the other 6. He said he'd ship 10 on Monday, so knock on wood!

I am not prepared for stuff like locks freezing. That don't happen down here. you can fry an egg on the hood of your car in the Summer, though. :)
Things have been quiet in the fishroom. Not much of interest is happening. The fish are going about their lives, the fry are becoming juveniles, but nothing much is breeding. I'm unsure as to why - I think the room is too warm.
I bought some fine mesh bags online, and stuffed them with dry spaghnum moss. I put one at the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket and filled it with my 85 tds tap. It fell to 81. That seemed useless, so I added another 6 by 6 inch bag, and it fell to 64ppm tds in 24 hours. I did the water change on my 20 gallon with Parananochromis brevirostris, and they liked it. The female is guarding eggs. I don't know if the water is soft enough, and won't for a few days. Fingers crossed.

I've used spaghnum moss for years, and it is effective, though you get urine coloured water from it. I dangle a bag of rooibos tea in it after every water change. It adds tannins and 'de-uglifies' the water.

This time out, I put some Chromaphyosemion poliaki in there to distract the couple - the 'dither fish' technique. I see baby poliaki in there already, and the Cichlids don't seem to care. But with fish between them and the surface, they are much more outgoing.

I'm still weeks away from being able to open a window, but I'm looking forward to that.
Had to look up rooibos… did you bring it back from your African trip??? Assuming you’re not adding it with spices…

Does it remove some of the tannin staining of the water??? Looks like it would add more color???
Had to look up rooibos… did you bring it back from your African trip??? Assuming you’re not adding it with spices…

Does it remove some of the tannin staining of the water??? Looks like it would add more color???
It adds a nice, reddish-brown color to the water that covers up the urine-yellow of sphagnum. :lol:
The Fluval beads I tried made my water look like tea…
Sorry, haven’t had my caffeine yet…that was peat moss if I remember right
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I've been making Gabon videos for the Fluval site/Youtube channel, and I think the first one should come out this coming week.

I tend to use my laptop for TFF, and my desktop for photos and video. I'm a curmudgeon who doesn't like to save on the cloud, if I can help it.

I'm trying to film every stage of this brevirostris adventure. It's going to be a good story, but not as good as the one with the Cascades Tchad killie. That one is really wild.
This is not one of those threads where I post daily. I find the dead of winter to be a strange time. Fish are affected by lighting outside, and this 2 year old fishroom has a pattern emerging. Not much happens in February. I change water, the fish live and I wait for better times. The period when the sun actually has warmth coming through the windows, but opening those windows would kill the fish is the dullest, to me. It gets too warm.

I may need curtains, as I did last year.

In the meantime, I've resurrected some old HOB filters, as I wasn't pleased at the water flow. 95% of my tanks are filtered through central air and linear piston pumps. That handles the filtration really well if all you care about is the nitrogen cycle. I've been trying different things, because I can.

I have a box under a rack which is full of HOBs from the days when dwarf Cichlids ruled my fishroom. One type is a workhorse, a Chinese brand with no name that a local store branded under their shop name and sold really cheaply. Some of them ran for 15 years before I retired them, and they are running again.I also restarted some geriatric AquaClears, the true workhorse filter here. I am a true cheapskate, and any filter that can't run for 10 years or more is a rip off, to me.

I have also confirmed that splash tetras, listed as community fish in all the old books 50 years ago, are not sociable. Part of it is they aren't tetras, but from a different evolutionary line. I think the old guys over generalized. I have C vilmae, and they are nasty beasts of great beauty. If you are ever tempted, and their colours are tempting, single species tanks or tough tankmates are the way to go.

I'm hoping that next week, I can add two dwarf Cichlid species and one slightly bigger than dwarf one, as well as some new (to me) tetras, and yes, some Loracarids.

I'm thinking of getting a bug zapper. I've avoided them because they tend to kill moths, which I like. But for fishfood collection in an area with lots of mosquitoes (I'm on high ground, but less than 2 km from a giant marsh) it might pay off. Does anyone have experience with cheaper units?
Since you do plants in there as well, have you considered plants as your actual filter elements in your old hob’s ??? I have 2 old ( just like you mentioned) double wide hob’s that I resurrected, and put 2 hanging tank pots set up like I do, with the ceramic filter media in them, with monstera vines in them, in each resovour… I haven’t had to touch those filters, except to clean the inlet tube screens in almost a year… I thought the roots would grow into the impellers, but I’ve not had to do anything yet… water is perfect, even though this tank has 7 assorted silver dollars, and a 14 inch dezi bichir, and a 10 inch common pleco… it’s actually pretty amazing, just vacuum gravel during normal water changes ( this tank does have and old under gravel filter as well ) the plants are growing like crazy, I may have to trim them up as I’m running out of room for them to grow… might have to make some cuttings…

This is a fancy variety of Chinese Evergreen, I’m trying in a newer Aquaclear 70… a mesh bag of bio media on each side of the pot, to add more filter surface… this one has only been going with the plant in it, for 2 weeks, so not much root growth yet
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I have snake plants, Chinese evergreen plants and pothos growing out of HOB boxes. They do really well, but only in the tanks on the top level of my 2 level racks. They have taken a long time to set in, but I'm finally seeing growth. I have to balance the window light over-warming the space against cutting down on light and affecting my terrestrial plants.
This summer, I'll move the potted houseplants to my homemade greenhouse (scavenged plastic sheeting over the framework of a shed whose roof had collapsed. Repurposed, it's great in our short growing season) . Then I will plant sunflowers and transplant hollyhocks under the two south facing windows of the fishroom, as curtains. By the time the outside plants are cut down, I can bring the other plants in and have my jungle again.

I'm planning to put some cheap plastic eavestroughing down on the ground, but connected, and drilled. I'll be able to connect my water change exit hose to them, and have the waste water for watering. There are at least 300 gallons being wasted in the winter - just going down the drain. My veggie garden is small, so it'll be simple to make a crude system. I could also use pipes - haven't decided yet.

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