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Discussion Starter #41
Plants...they can be so beautiful but in the same way so down right frustrating. I love Goliath's planted tank which has a T8 light forgot to mention. I have been struggling with plant growth which was great initially. Now was starting to see some yellowing of leaves and things just not as vibrant as before. Back to reading. Macro and Micro elements are like being in a chemistry class. I guess I am older now and it just takes a bit longer to process. Here is a good table I found.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Plants and Cory Cats

Flourish root tabs are wonderful. I have had very good success with those even with gravel based planted tanks. I have read different things about Excel. It seems to have mixed review as it is a carbon water additive. I have stopped using that now and have switched to using Flourish comprehensive. It is good for micro elements, trace elements and other nutrients. It is one that needs to be refrigerated. I have learned supplementing with Iron is good for plants that are red. It helps deepen their color. I just started using one called Fe Propel. You dose it 3x a week and it is suppose to have time released iron. I'll have to let you know what I think of it after more dosing. I need another supplement to cover more of the macro elements. I haven't bought anything for that as of yet. Also waiting for a small CO2 unit to arrive this week. I hope a combination of CO2 and supplements will spark good plant growth and health. So much to learn! Here is current picture of tank. I have also added 6 cory catfish. Yes that has rocked Goliath's world. He hasn't bothered them but again tries to eat their food. It is pretty funny though because the catfish are so active. They will shoot around all over tank and run into him head long. He is just stunned and doesn't know what to think. They are definitely not scared of him! He, however, gives me these looks at times like have I fallen into a daycare center of crazy kids? lol love him. Also some cory cat pic. They are so cute!! 2 panda, 2 albino, 2 peppered cories. Pandas are my fave but only 2 @$12.99/fish. Others are cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Benjamin

Benjamin showing off his fabulous fins today. I love how he has changed as he has matured
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Levi

Levi being Levi today. Such a character. He got new plants at his last water change. I think he likes them!
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Evelyn Hope

One more introduction before I get back to what I need to be doing...housework ugg. Procrastination is unfortunately a trait of mine especially when rather do something else like write about or photograph fish.

I happened upon Hope one day while out looking for plants for my tanks. It is always dangerous when you go in looking for something else! I stopped by a different Pet Smart than I usually go to. It is a brand new store, very nice and a bit smaller so easy to get in and out. I am not usually a big fan of Pet Smart fish because they typically have not been in the best conditions around here. There are exceptions of course. Sterling my EE is one of them. He was very healthy but got him on a shipment day. That day I looked through the bettas as usual. I was frustrated in seeing a dead one right off the bat. Don't let me find a dead betta on the shelf at your store or I will be visiting you. The females always seem to be neglected more. It seems not many people want them. I have several females and love them. They are just as feisty and full of personality as my boys. Sometimes their colors are not as vivid and obviously their tails are shorter but unique in their own way. I looked through them all. The waters were awful. Each fish looked very clamped and dispondent. I saw another one on the top shelf in the back. She was laying on her side and oh my goodness the water looked like pond scum! I am not even joking. It was a brownish green. I have never seen anything so bad. A thick residue of algae or something filled the bottom of the cup. I was livid and thought great here is another dead one to give to the manager. I picked the cup up and to my great suprise the fish was not dead but jumped to the top of the cup as screaming "get me outta here!!" This was unexcusable to find a fish in this condition. I immediately got a clerk and said "this fish need a water change NOW!" I would not give up on her until she did either. The clerk just looked at me with those deer in the headlight eyes. She said "well usually only the manager changes the waters". I said "well how often does that happen because obviously this one has not been changed in don't know how long". "Oh every week" she said confidentlly. "Plus we are so busy there is not time to get to water changes today". 4 people in the store including me and 2 clerks. Hmmm too busy? I relented that this fish had to have action now. I couldn't even tell what her color was it was so bad. Eventually the girl caved and went to the sink. Obviously she had not changed a water in her entire life as she fumbled around for cups and asked other girl what she could put fish in. Good grief. She finally found something and filled new cup with water. As she started to add the fish I reminded her "you are going to put dechlorinator in there right?" "oh" she said grabbing a few chemicals and randomly dumping in the cup. She said the cup on shelf very proud and said "ok here she is" and walked off mumbling. Well the poor fish sank to the bottom of the cup. I thought oh my goodness they have killed her! After a few minutes she finally recovered no doubt from probably shock of clean water and I'm sure different temperature. She was a dragon scale halfmoon female. Very unusual black with white dragon scales. Her eyes were silver and she had a little tint of orange in her fins. Her head was very abnormal though. I hadn't seen anything like it. It almost looked like a spine deformity. The clerk said "so do you want her?" " No one wants the females. They are really dull looking". Yes I am taking her home. I absolutely was not leaving her there. All I had at home was a half gallon quarantine tank but I figured that would sufice until I could get her a bigger tank. Anything better than that cup of death.

I got her home and treated her with a methylene blue bath. I then added Aquarium salt in her tank and gave her an IAL. She was a feisty little thing and just seemed so grateful to have a home. I did some more research on her deformity. She is actually called a spoon head. It is a spinal deformity. From pictures you can see how the top of the head slopes down towards the mouth forming a spoon shape. I figured her deformity would have also made her much less likely to be adopted. That plus being female and in the cup of death could have ended it for her but she had HOPE. So that was her new name. Some while back I started giving my girl fish 2 names. Silly I guess but a lot of them are given names that are the fruits of the spirit from the book of Galations in the Bible. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Hope today

Here is Ms Hope today. She is much calmer than my other females. She is always a delight to see as she wiggles that little body at me trying to get my attention. She is in a 1.5 gallon tank now. I also recently rescaped her tank with live plants and rock. I have a automatic heater I keep in my fish room. it comes off and on and maintains the room at 80 degrees. I use this because it is difficult to regulate the smaller tanks. Hot room but happy fish. All of the larger tanks have individual heaters.

Her dragon scales are very thick. You can see clusters of them on her side. They are gradually turning blue as she matures. This seems to be the case in most dragon scaled fish. A very happy girl who I am blessed to have in my home.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Just wanted to also post a thank you to all of you that have spent time and read/looked at my journal. I enjoy telling stories and background about my fish. Each one is special. I hope I can be helpful by sharing things I have learned over time. Mostly, I hope you enjoy seeing pictures of the fish. I have thoroughly enjoyed this forum and it is a privileged to be able to share. And yes more fish to come haha
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Neil Diamond

I had read on the forum how one of the members had success treating a fish with diamond eye with banana leaves. I was really intrigued by that since I had seen a pretty significant diamond eyed fish at Petco. The fish was going blind and could tell already had limited vision but he would respond to me. I explained the situation to the clerk and told him I had done reading on this and I thought I might be able to help him. He gave me the fish at half price.

I got him home and couldn't wait to start treatment. Amazon is a great source for most things fish so was able to get banana leaves from them. I had to think of a great name for him...Neil Diamond! I just couldn't resist ;) He was a beautiful delta tail. He seem to fit right in.

I have been treating Neil for a couple of months now. I have seen results with the banana leaves in that his color has faded some. That is a side effect of the treatment but the quality of vision restored would be so much greater result. His eyes were very opaque looking when first got him. There may be small spots on the bottom of the eye that has cleared some but overall have not seen improvements as would like too. It is not a quick fix solution. The people that I have heard to try this have treated several months. So I continue and hopes for a brighter day for him in the future. I know he sees shadows because will respond to other fish moving. He has trouble finding his food sometimes but I have tried to make sure I put it right in front of him. He had done better with that. The other problem I have encountered with him is that he is a biter. Unfortunately his beautiful fins are pretty torn up right now. I have tried several different things to help keep his mind off his tail but I think for him it is frustration. He is currently in a 1.5 gallon but plan to move him to at least a 2.5 soon. I hope the additional swimming space will help and plan to add live plants as well. Keeping things consistent so he knows where things are in the tank is helpful to him. I hope that will make him feel more secure. Here are some of my favorite pictures of him.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Titus

Titus was the next guy to come home. He was also a Walmart rescue. By this time torn up fishes in rough waters didn't faze me. Titus had some pretty coloration. Black and grey with a little burgundy tint on fins. I think he might be considered a black orchid coloration. Benjamin, Chance and Levi, all Walmart fish, had blossomed so I looked forward to see how Titus would do as well.

It has become fairly routine now to do methylene blue baths with new rescues. It is really a great way to be proactive in preventing/treating potential illness. For fish in bad water it helps a lot with ammonia poisoning as well. If you don't have this on hand, I encourage you to get some. It is one of my must have chemicals. Aquarium salt would be another must have. Again I usually will start rescue fish out with salt in their tank. This helps with gill function and if they have any fin rot starting a good help with that as well.

Titus had ragged fins when I first got him. They have filled in nicely and he has gone from a very timid fish to big, bold and beautiful. He recently got upgraded to live plants in tank as well. The first thing he did was go perch in them like "finally I have arrived". He had me laughing so hard the other day when he stuck his head up under a floating piece of cabomba. He looked like he had a wig on. A very fun guy that loves to flare at his buddy Benjamin. Here are some before and after pictures of him. The fourth picture is my favorite of him coming towards me.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Carly Joy

It is pretty funny now in that friends are starting to bring me tanks they find at garage sales and thrift store. And then people like my mom and dad buy me new tanks. Nothing like a new tank sitting empty so off to the store I go. hehe It had been awhile since I had a baby fish in the house so I thought it would be fun to have one again. This time, however, I was looking for ovaries! No more surprises.

Carly was the cutest little thing. She was very light in coloration but had tints of red so I knew she would be a red veil tail. I could see obvious ovary and egg spot too. She is very funny at feeding. She attacks the food like it is some major prey. She is also a jumper so you have to watch out if you open the lid. Her favorite food is brine shrimp. A great Joy to have! Carly means song of joy. How appropriate. Also a bit special to me because Mom and Dad gave me money to pick her out and bought me some really cool plants too. I got her for my birthday and since I was their little girl it seemed appropriate to get a little girl fish I could watch grow. Look at her fabulous red color now!
 

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Discussion Starter #52
Forgot to mention earlier: Titus' name means saved. Pretty cool for a rescue fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
Another fun fact before I call it a night: Carly has a pretend last name too.
Carly Simon. I had Neil Diamond so needed Carly Simon. Maybe they could sing Aquarius together lolol. What I do for fun ;)
 

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I just read your entire story! Wow your fish are so beautiful! Your story is a very inspiring one and I am so glad you shared it. I am rooting so hard for Neil to overcome the diamond eye!
 

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Discussion Starter #55
I just read your entire story! Wow your fish are so beautiful! Your story is a very inspiring one and I am so glad you shared it. I am rooting so hard for Neil to overcome the diamond eye!
Thank you so much SuperSwimmer! I really appreciate you rooting for Neil. Me too. I know eye issues are common related to how invasive the dragon scales are. I'm sure the more advance the eye the longer it will take to see improvement with the banana leaves. I think I mentioned Eli is just starting it so I am treating him as well. When I was photographing Hope the other day I noticed the scales on her head look like they have the potential of effecting herl. I will probably start her on leaves too as a prevention. Thank you again for reading the journal.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Snowball

Have you ever run across that fish that the first time you see it you think wow this is the most beautiful, stunning fish I have ever seen. There are certainly a lot of those fishes on Aquabid, the eye candy of the betta world. I have had several jaw dropping moments looking at the beauty of some of those fishes!

Snowball was one of those type of fish to me. I saw him at Petco one day while in for maintenance supplies. On first impression I thought wow he is a piebald and a beautiful platinum white plakat! He had gorgeous eyes and he was very active and healthy. I took his picture because such a beauty but wasn't ready for another fish at that time. Here is the first time I saw him.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
Avalanche of Snow

Well I manage to hold myself off for a month and 5 days. Blizzard was my other beautiful snow fish. I you know I just love snow! Snow days, snowmen, snowballs...yes I was off to the fish store. When I got there all of the racks of fish were empty. My heart sank thinking what has happened some store wide horrible illness? Then I saw them all stacked on the counter and a man standing there paying. Oh surely he is not getting all these fish. I walked around a bit more and the man left. Whew just water change day! I looked through all of them and didn't see Snowball. He just has to be here I thought. Finally I saw him. I was one happy fish mama at that point!!

Blizzard, my delta tail, was such a beautiful white when I bought him but as he has matured he has developed a red wash to his fins. It really makes him more beautiful but I was bound and determined to have a pure white fish...so I thought haha. Snowball was just that. I was so happy he was home. I fixed him up a planted tank with just a gravel base. He seemed very happy exploring. He also really liked his tank next door neighbor, Eli. They would race each other back and forth.

Snowball has been my favorite fish to photograph. He has these great poses with the plants and the white fins looks so pretty in contrast. Funny thing one day while having morning coffee I looked over at him and low and behold the stinker had up and marbled on me! Well so much for my solid white fish I thought. He started to develop dalmation spots on tips of his fins that were once translucent. Gradually, he has developed some red ones as well. He is still beautiful and I love him just the way he is but some day I will find a white fish that stays white haha. Here is his homecoming shot and some of my favorite Snowball pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #59
CO2 unit

I got my CO2 unit today. It is so cute! Not difficult at all to set up. It may just be me, but my plants already look greener to me. Very excited and hopeful this will be a great thing to increase plant health and growth. Will keep you posted!
 

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Glad you got your CO2 unit! When you've had it in for a week or two, you'll have to post some before and after photos to see the difference it's made to your plants :)

I love the picture of Snowball looking at his own reflection. Probably wondering where those black markings came from, hehe.
 
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