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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
I saw someone ask about pictures of trumpet snails, but I don't see the post anymore. Anyways, here's a link to two fotos. They are absolutely everywhere you look in the substrate. There's a lot of ramshorns too but they don't reproduce so quickly. The pond snails have no luck in this tank, I find their shells empty everywhere, probably the pleco snacks on them.


 

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I saw someone ask about pictures of trumpet snails, but I don't see the post anymore.
Yeah, that was me. I deleted it because I wasn't sure if you were coming back.LOL. Thanks. I'm fascinated by your snail situation. I stand by my first answer. If the pleco is killing off the pond snails, the trumpet snails may be your next best housekeepers. I understand they multiply at the merest hint of extra food, but if they don't turn you off aesthetically, I'd let them alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 · (Edited)
I don't mind them at all, but i do admit i often wonder when too much is too much, heh.

With my shrimp tank i think there was an explosion of baby pond snails at a time when the plants were still adapting. In this 120lt I'm just wondering if over fed them recently together with plants stalling a bit.

Anyway, it's amonia/nitrite levels are not the biggest problem ever, just made me wonder what could be happening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 · (Edited)
I finally got new test strips (6 in 1) that has nitrate and nitrite readings! But now I ran into a scary problem which is diverging results. I've underlined the results that show the biggest difference.

The readings for my 120 liter tank WERE as follows with the liquid tests:
Brand: Labcon
Nitrite - .25
Amonia - <.25
gH - 9
kH - 3
pH (brand of the test: Nutricon) - 7.4


The readings from the new Colombo brand 6 in 1 test strip are:

Nitrate - <10 (but not quite 0)
Nitrite - <0.5 (not quite 0)
gH - >7
kH - 6
pH - 6.4


The pH reading is extremely different!! The Nutricon liquid test read my tap water as pH 8.4 and now the Colombo strip says it's 6.8.

I found a Brasilian aquarist group on facebook and posted about this issue, since they will have more knowledge with these brands and be able to suggest brands that are available here without importing, but I decided to post this issue here as well. I couldn't find a recent thread on comparing test brands and divergent readings, sorry if there is something on this topic already.


Edit. I just wanted to vent my frustration, the Colombo kit is imported and was more expensive than the Labcon/Nutricon brands. I found an even more expensive imported brands- Tropica and API 6 in 1 test strips brand. Would anyone recommend those??

I found the liquid API tests, but the pH test alone is R$140 reais - which is what I paid for the 6 in 1 tests. The Nutricon pH test are R$30, so you get the idea of the price diferençe...I've avoided having to buy imported, but I had no idea the accuracy on these things could be so different and I don't know if more expensive is really a sign of better in this case.





 

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You're going to drive yourself crazy once you go down that rabbit hole of liquid tests versus test strips and different testing results. Pick one method and stick with it. Personally, I find liquid tests easier to read, but they come at the cost of a lot of dripping and shaking. And, of all the tests, PH is IMO (in my opinion), the least important past a certain point. I haven't tested my PH in over a month. The bottom line is always how does your tank look? Are the fish swimming around happily? Are the plants growing? Everything else is just confirming what you can see with your own eyes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
Digital pH pens are pretty accurate. You can calibrate them with packets of known pH salts.
they don’t last very long though. After a long time of not using it, the reading swing wildly.
Yes, that's what someone in the Facebook group suggested. Someone also said Nutricon pH test readings reallly do tend to be too high so, good to know!
 

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Well, looks like my digital PH pen has died. Tested a water sample last night and it came up with a wildly improbable 5.0 (and, yes, an enormous amount of blinking before settling on a number.) Previous tests had been averaging in the high 7s. This morning, using the same water sample, I broke open the two liquid tests that come with the API Master kit. The only thing I don't like about these PH tests is that if the sample is above 7.4, you are caught in this nether region where your results are off the charts as far as the "regular" test is concerned but may overlap the lower end of the "high range" PH test kit. Bottom line: I think I'm still in the high 7s - possibly 8. But, I'm not going to lose sleep over it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
I decided to get the pH pen, and the readings are similar to what the tests strips were registering. This is a relief honestly, the idea of having pH 8.6 coming out of my tap water was disturbing me!!

As much as everyone says not to worry about it...the first six months when I used another test kit, I had neutral (7.2) tap water and now the test strips and the pen both confirmed that.

So now I discovered my 120 lt aquarium is actually pH 6.8 and the other three aquariums are around 7.2-7.5.
 

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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
Happy new year everyone!

Recently where I live here in São Paulo, there has been so much rain and so many power outages, I can say that I am so relieved to have naturally planted tanks because I was able to rest easy knowing the power outages didn't pose a problem to the fish.

Here`s a nice photo of how my 120 liter tank is looking, after a heavy trimming of the jungle val and removing 50% of the duckweed yesterday.

There are absolutely no more elodeas anymore, I slowly removed them all, since most of them ended up floating. The camboba is finding it's space in the corner, I replant the trimmings so it's becoming more filled out.

I`m considering slowly taking out the not-so-red-anymore-ludwigia as the dwarf sag take over. Anyways, details. Needless to say, I highly enjoy the aquascaping aspect of the hobby!


Plant Property Botany Light Green
 

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Discussion Starter · #75 · (Edited)
Hello everyone! I'm posting today because I'm trying to figure out why some of my plants are growing with some holes (which the snails are taking advantage of and making bigger). Here are just a couple of imagens but there's some plants with holes similar across the board on all my aquariums so I'm pretty sure it's the fact that my water is soft and I only dosed with calcium and sodium bicarbonate.

I looked up the "recipe for hardness" and figured I should add potassium and magnesium to help the plants. Am I right to assume so?

I looked up salt of potassium, salt substitute, but it has Iodine in it, can anyone tell me if that's normal and safe, or not? The amounts: in 1g of the salt there is 490 mg of potassium and 24 mcg of iodine.

If I'm diluting it, will the Iodine be safe? I read that it's normal for salt water tanks to have it and at such trace amounts won't hurt freshwater fish, but this is just me googling, so I'd like to know if this is true.

Thanks for any input, I read through the Hardness Recipe thread and didn't seem anyone else mention this issue with potassium salt with iodine.



Plant Houseplant Botany Terrestrial plant Grass


Plant Leaf Terrestrial plant Groundcover Grass
 

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I've had pretty good success with just potassium gluconate purchased from any vitamin aisle. A 99 mg tablet will dissolve pretty quickly, or you can crush it with a pestle. In my experience, I only had to dose it once before getting results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 · (Edited)
Oh, that's interesting! Good technique. I did buy them in tablet form. Is there some sort of recommended ratio of how many tablets per gallon? My aquariums are 4, 10, 20 and 30 gallons.



Edit- To keep in the spirit of journaling about my 120 liter aquarium, I feel like sharing the sad news that about a month ago one of my Rosy Barbs died, she had an extremely swollen belly one day and didn't make it. I'm at a total loss as to what caused it, but just in case it was from constipation, I made everyone in that aquarium fast for a day and then gave them veggies. Although no other fish was exhibiting such swollen bellies.

This caused an upset with the remaining four Rosies, they kept nipping at each other a lot... so considering also the fact that the male Rosy is already over 5 years old (he was gifted to me, the reason I got into this whole hobby to begin with!!) I decided to get two more Rosies, a male and female.

My boyfriend successfully identified a male Rosy from the fish store, I was shocked! During quarantine he was totally pale but today we put both of them in the main tank and, lo and behind, he colored right up and dark black appeared on his fins! So the group of 6 are hanging out right now, totally at peace, no more bullying and fin nipping.
 

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Oh, that's interesting! Good technique. I did buy them in tablet form. Is there some sort of recommended ratio of how many tablets per gallon? My aquariums are 4, 10, 20 and 30 gallons.
I have a porcelain bowl that I estimate is about 10 gallons when full; it's probably at 7 or 8 gallons now and 1 tablet was all I needed - and, even then I think I experienced a slight algae bloom that the bladder snails quickly took care of.
 
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