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El Natural Diana Walstad's low-maintenance, soil-based 'El Natural' method for keeping plants and fish.

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Old 12-09-2019, 06:35 AM   #81 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sera Nano LED Cube 16l (4.2g)

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Originally Posted by mysiak View Post
Thank you for the link for the updated article, I read it a few months ago before the revision, will go through it again

I have the very same hatching dish, the yield was "ok" for this small tank with Neoheterandria elegans, but no where near the need for my other bigger tank. I was using similar method to yours, except the water conditioner - I will probably retry it as I still have a small box of eggs somewhere. My hatching rate was good, but not great.

I found out that I had to clean the dish with ordinary unscented bleach before starting a new culture, otherwise the yield was always smaller for consequent cultures, up to the point of practically zero hatched artemia. Rinsing the dish with hot water and paper towel wasn't enough, only bleach "restored" the full potential of hatching. I am not sure about the exact reason, but even minimum leftover of bacterial film somehow interfered with brine shrimp hatching rate. )
I would read the new Nov 2019 article and follow my instructions. I believe the aquarium water conditioner is critical.

The brine shrimp hatching dish has worked well for me for two months now. No bleaching. I do gently wash the dish after each use, sponge wiping the sides but nothing more. Excellent harvests with 1/8 tsp eggs, 1.5 tsp salt, pinch baking soda, 4 drops aquarium water conditioner, light first few hours, room temperature (70F).
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Old 12-09-2019, 06:48 AM   #82 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sera Nano LED Cube 16l (4.2g)

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I would read the new Nov 2019 article and follow my instructions. I believe the aquarium water conditioner is critical.

The brine shrimp hatching dish has worked well for me for two months now. No bleaching. I do gently wash the dish after each use, sponge wiping the sides but nothing more. Excellent harvests with 1/8 tsp eggs, 1.5 tsp salt, pinch baking soda, 4 drops aquarium water conditioner, light first few hours, room temperature (70F).
Thank you for the advice, will definitely try it again with water conditioner.
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:14 PM   #83 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sera Nano LED Cube 16l (4.2g)

I want to try raising some live food for my betta, I have some brine shrimp eggs on the way. I hadn't heard of grindal worms before though and it sounds as if they may be a good option as well. @mysiak, how did you go about starting (specifically obtaining) a culture of them?
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:26 AM   #84 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sera Nano LED Cube 16l (4.2g)

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I want to try raising some live food for my betta, I have some brine shrimp eggs on the way. I hadn't heard of grindal worms before though and it sounds as if they may be a good option as well. @mysiak, how did you go about starting (specifically obtaining) a culture of them?
Let's continue with the discussion about Grindal worms in separate topic, it might be easier for others to find

I put my reply here, hope you don't mind: https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...ml#post1002055
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Old 12-30-2019, 11:02 AM   #85 (permalink)
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After several weeks (or even months..?) without a water change, doing just top offs I decided to test water parameters. NO2 is zero, NO3 close to zero. GH (>14) and KH (4) seem OK, but lower than usual. However my pH is very low at about 6-6.2. My other, heavily stocked tank with weekly water changes has pH about 7.4 (used to be 8 ). Tap water is hard and alkaline (will re-check exact values tomorrow). Could I be experiencing the "old tank syndrome"? Snails had heavily eroded shells in this tank, which got partially fixed by feeding more of shrimp food (which I believe contains more calcium than fish food) and also adding a pinch of bentonite clay almost daily. Today I added a few small pieces of cuttlefish bone and did small water change. Hopefully it'll fix the water parameters slow enough without killing the fish which obviously adapted to suboptimal living conditions.

I guess that I will start doing weekly water changes again to avoid this kind of pH drop in the future.

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Old 12-30-2019, 08:44 PM   #86 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sera Nano LED Cube 16l (4.2g)

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Couple of pictures and thanks to everyone who got through this lengthy post..
You have a lot of talent, very impressive work.
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Old 12-31-2019, 01:38 AM   #87 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sera Nano LED Cube 16l (4.2g)

I've tried to raise brine shrimps too. I've followed the instructions from your article Mrs Walstad. I haven't tried using baking soda nor water conditioner yet (I use mineral water without chlore).

- My first harvest was very satisfying.

- But as Myasak points out my second one was way worse than the first one. I had just rinse and used a sponge on the dish in between the two harvests.

- For my third attempt, I desinfected the dish with bleach, washed it with dishwasing liquid and rinsed it properly. The third harvest was excellent.

- 4th harvest is on the way (same protocol: bleach, dishwashing liquind and proper rinsing)

It might be too early to conclude anything but I think Mysiak pointed out a real issue. Maybe your method does not encounter this problem thanks to the use of a water conditionner which Mysiak and I didn't use. Without this It looks like the dish really needs to be desinfected.
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Old 01-01-2020, 07:11 AM   #88 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sera Nano LED Cube 16l (4.2g)

After 4 small water changes (each time less than 10% of volume) and addition of cuttlefish bone pieces, pH got to 6.4 and KH is slowly moving up as well (~5 now). I want to get closer to the tap water parameters (pH 7, GH >21, KH ~6, NO3 ~20), so I am going to keep doing daily 10% water changes until I get there. I could swing there with baking soda right away, but that shock would probably wipe out my fish colony.

I think that I was on the verge of crashing this tank and I'm wondering how are others doing it without a water change. I am an advocate of weekly partial water changes and this small experiment just confirmed it to me. For me it's much less pain to keep stable water parameters with PWCs than without them. To be honest, I never really understood the idea behind doing only top offs.

Btw. I took out the brine shrimp hatchery dish to check the yield with and without a water conditioner. I will try to compare yields with/without bleaching between them as well. Experience of @Guibang sounds very familiar, so I'm curious if water conditioner will make any difference.
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Old 01-01-2020, 03:26 PM   #89 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sera Nano LED Cube 16l (4.2g)

Interesting posts.

Mysiak, what time of day do you measure pH? Before or after lights on? Your tank has so much plant growth that pH could have very steep fluctuations depending on when you measured it. I don't think pH 6.4 is that alarming, especially if that is what you measure before lights go on. Are your fish or shrimp having problems?

As to brine shrimp hatchery dish, that's very interesting that disinfection would make such a difference for both you and Guibang. Right now, I am wrestling with the implications of your posts. No easy answers! Something in the residue from first hatch is inhibiting future hatches. It must be very potent, not to be washed away by ordinary sponge cleaning. I'm thinking heavy metals or bacterial LPS (lipopolysaccharides), many of which are toxic, that stick to the plastic surface. Chlorox is a potent force to remove or destroy biofilms, perhaps containing toxic heavy metals and LPS.

Aquarium water conditioners somewhat mimic nature's humic acids, which are beneficial. I just thought of conditioners as chelators of heavy metals, but they may have even more protective effects in brine shrimp hatching???
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Old 01-02-2020, 07:07 AM   #90 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sera Nano LED Cube 16l (4.2g)

I did the measurements in the late afternoon/evening, after the main photo period, so naturally occurring CO2 should have negligible impact on pH. 6.4 is after I did the "corrective" actions, it started with pH ~6-6.2 (chart for test strips have minimum value of 6.4, so it's only interpolation of color chart, but it was definitely below 6.4). Fish seemed OK, they behaved as always and even fry didn't show any signs of discomfort. Sadly all shrimp are gone from this tank, I am not sure about the exact reason, but I assume that freshly born shrimps got eaten by fish and the old ones died one by one of old age or due to molting issues.

However I am certain that snails were suffering in this water lately. Ramshorn snails had so fragile shells, that even the most gentle touch crushed them. Even trumpet and nerite snails with their extremely hard and thick shells were showing signs of erosion - clearly visible white patches. Previously I did not pay enough attention to these signs of low pH/calcium. I believe that moving towards at least neutral pH will be good for snails and livebearing fish as well. I will probably try adding a few shrimp in the tank again then.

About the brine shrimp hatching - it it were heavy metals, shouldn't they impact also the first batch? I struggle to understand how could heavy metals impact only consequent batches, but not the first one. Anyway, my first batch with water conditioner is very good, first artemia appearing after 24 hours, most hatched after ~36 hours. Tomorrow I'll start a second batch with no bleaching, but again with water conditioner. I'm really curious what will happen and if a water conditioner is really the "magic" ingredient.
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