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c is b*

netdredging said: How do you keep that tank clean and how big is it?! Is it a big enough ecosystem that you can just drop in food and they system takes care of it? It's absolutely gorgeous and is making me jealous.

Thanks! you should join the rewarding and affordable hobby of keeping planted fish tanks, then. there is a wealth of knowledge on the internet and on youtube about setting up planted fish tanks. it can be frustrating at first, but as one gains experience and knowledge, it will get easier.

as for the size of my tanks, they’re 20 gallon long tanks (~30”x12”x12”). it’s the biggest tank i could carry on my own and fit in my room. lol! so, they’re not nearly big enough for the ecosystem in the tank to take care of itself. but, there is still a mini ecosystem of sorts going on in that the live plants help clean and oxygenate the water and the fish/shrimp waste help feed the plants. but, as mentioned, since the tank only holds so much water, there has to be a balancing act between excess nutrients from the food and fish waste and how much the plants can take in. so, if it’s out of balance, there is an algae bloom or if it’s really really bad, ammonia and nitrates can build up, which can kill fish. this is where i come in. to balance this, i do a 25-35% partial water change every week. the partial water change, to me, keeps the balance in order. the other things i do, like clean the glass if there is algae, or clean the filters, or trim plants or whatnot are things that i do when there is time to do them. so, they might get done every other week. but, every week, i do the partial water change or i fear that the “system” might go out of whack. lol! plus, it’s fun doing them.

i haven’t kept fish tanks for that long, so i don’t know how long one can keep a tank without water changes. but, i have heard of the “diane walstad method” where the tank is semi-self sustaining in that it can go without water changes for months. 

here is a wikipedia link: 

http://www.theaquariumwiki.com/Diana_Walstad

thanks again. you should try it!

Hey, thanks for the reblog and concern! i think the pH is fine as you can see in the photos above. it was actually a good idea to reassess where the pH of my tanks stand these days since it’s been a while since i last checked them. but, i’m on the clear, i think. my tank water is blue-green, close to 7.2 and in the neutral side of things, which is as soft as i can get new jersey tap water to be without resorting to chemical pH altering products—of which every aquarist should know to stay away from unless they’re risk takers or rich! 

anyway, new jersey tap water is around 7.6 pH as you can see in the photo above. the bluer test tube on the right is the new jersey tap water and the blue-green test tube is the tank water….

the photo above that are the test tubes for both my tanks, which interestingly has the same blue-green color…. 

as for the rummy-nose tetras jumping… they jump, man! this is why i wasn’t worried about the water pH. they’re skittish too and darty. at least, the ones i have. i don’t think they mean to jump but they swim so fast that they probably flew out of the tank without even realizing what they had done. oops! too late! their bodies are basically missile-shaped, so it’s not hard to imagine this happening. i think the combination of their missile-shaped bodies, scissor tail, skittish-darty movements, *midnight frolicking behavior and an open top tank all contributed to their fatal mishaps.

*the frolicking thing is true. the males chase the females around the tank at always around midnight trying to sniff their bellies or something and then they’d try to do this thing where they twist or tangle their bodies around the females. it was cool to see and i’ve tried to capture this on video but my camera at the time couldn’t capture anything in low light. at the same time, these fish are doing this in a somewhat frenzied state darting across the tank and near the surface of the water. so, it was just a question of when they’d start flying out. and i think they did, one by one, until i just have two now :(

Jul 20 2014, the “danois” are spreading on the topmost tank and i got rid of the “wisteria” that were on the left side in the bottom tank and replaced them with more “bacopa’s.” i also lost one cardinal tetra in each tank to something. not sure what got them. one was really fat and the other i knew was on its way out since it had some scale issues. also, my school of 8 rummy-nose tetras are now down to two. i lost one during sandy and the rest have been lost to “jump fever,” “over-exuberance,” “fish-out-of-water syndrome?” “silliness?” idk! they just jumped out….

Jul 16 2014, summer readings & movies….

Jul 16 2014, summer readings & movies….

Jul 15 2014, so true!

Jul 15 2014, so true!

Jul 14 2014, took a long walk to the city this past weekend!

Jul 14 2014, the emerse-growth of bacopa carolinae flowering.

Jul 14 2014, the emerse-growth of bacopa carolinae flowering.

Jul 9 2014, oh, snap! I can print it too on a real canvas! Painting is officially dead! Lol. This “computer painting” is basically me “auto-drawing.” It’s just like doodling. But, making the doodle make sense. Seducing myself with my own doodle. The cool thing about doodling is that it’s endless and infinite much like a drool.

Jul 9 2014, oh, snap! I can print it too on a real canvas! Painting is officially dead! Lol. This “computer painting” is basically me “auto-drawing.” It’s just like doodling. But, making the doodle make sense. Seducing myself with my own doodle. The cool thing about doodling is that it’s endless and infinite much like a drool.

Jul 9 2014, just playing around with Fresh Paint for windows 8. Seems pretty fun. It’s like painting on your computer without the mess. lol.

Jul 9 2014, just playing around with Fresh Paint for windows 8. Seems pretty fun. It’s like painting on your computer without the mess. lol.

Jul 8 2014, more photos from my bike-photo adventure yesterday at the edges of the housing development where i am staying in nj.