Getting Back to the Hobby

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Signus

Aquarist, not Aquarius
Oct 17, 2004
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Gainesville, Florida
I'll talk with my wife about the hex tank and maybe reselling it or getting a 40 breeder for the fish room to have a different approach. We got lucky on getting back into the aquarium hobby because we found a cheap deal for a bunch of cichlids (Osars, JD, Convict, Sevrum, and Syno cats) that came with the 125 and hex tank (flying fox/SAE, rubberlipped plecos, 1 very lonely panda cory), then were given the 55, but then found a deal on a 75 with a stand to space out the overstocked cichlid tank. Two of the Oscars were ready to mate and then something spooked the female in the night and we didn't find her until morning... It was a pretty bad day.

I did momentarily think about getting local driftwood from the area and boiling it but the cyprus knees are likely not good for fish in the aquarium. The taller vals I can source from a friend's 1000 gallon tank that has relatively low light.
 

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
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SF Bay area, CA
Oh man, you really jumped back in to the hobby in a big way huh? I'm sorry about the oscar female. Most cichlids dig so that may (will!) cause trouble with plants. Java ferns & anubias come in a few kinds & are attached to rock or wood, low light, easy! These might be best with big cichlids. No ferts needed.

I've kind of lost the gist, but vals are easy (some are very tall, 3ft, or even 6, depending on species, there are a couple common smaller 1s). I love!! crypts in all their many forms. Stem plants can be pretty easy & grow like weeds...or very difficult needing high light & co2. Swords are not too hard, but they can really grow wide, think 18+ x 18+ inches for many. Root tabs for crypts & swords.

I'm very much into low maintenance; no co2 , medium light, mostly root tab fertilizers. dougall goes all out in some of his tanks but not all. He's very knowlegeable & also a crypt lover.

I can't remember what I've read about cypress knees, but they look cool! You should do some research...I may be confusing mangrove roots with them, also cool.

My great grandparents lived near Tampa (Ruskin) & their water smelled like sulfer, eww! For some unknown reason I think FL tends toward hard water...but they grow fish & plants in farms there...maybe in different areas? & I think a plant clubber has done some "ditch plant" collecting in FL...likely some of those invasive plants...we have some here too.
 
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dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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Pretty sure cypress is toxic to fish, so I would avoid.

and not sure how much work you think that a high nutrient substrate is. expense yes but not work. replacing root tabs is more work.

it will not create new growth, just prevent there being any deficiencies seen in root feeding plants. like swords or crypts... having CO2 is more likely to create more work, as is more light.

but you can add root tabs to inert substrates (or osmocote, or worm castings or whatever else you like ... just watch for it getting into the water column where it can cause algae issues also.

Florida is generally assumed to have liquid rock for water, because it's mostly built on old dead reef.. so high in carbonates. so know your water, not just iron.. if water is hard, you will have more difficulty with plants that prefer soft water... etc.
 
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Apr 2, 2002
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New York
I used to have a lot of cypress in my tanks. I used to get it from swampwiz (aka Curt) via AmazonMoosey. Both are now gone. I still have some in a few tanks. I have healthy fish and some spawn in tanks with cypress.

Where do we find cypress- in flooded area like swamps and marshes where fish also live.

A Study on the "Pond Fir-Fish -Duck" Eco-agro- forest Model

Tao Zhan and Wang Hongqing( Institute of Environmental Protection and Monitoring Research .Ministry of Agriculture,Tianjin 300191) ,Cai Huaichun and Chen Zhisheng (Forestry Bureau of Xinzhou County,Hubei Province,Xinzhou 431400)

An new eco-agro-forest model, in which pond fir trees(Taxodium ascendens)are planted, among the pond fir trees different fishes and ducks raised according to their water tolerant ability,has been established in Zhangduhu State Farm in Xinzhou County,Hubei province. It is found that the mean income per area of this pattern was over three times higher than that of fish pond with no trees and that of pond fir trees with no fish after eight years continuous operation, meanwhile lots of birds were attracted to this region to live. The local environment were improved and costs of controlling diseases and harmful insects were also been reduced. This pattern has a broad extending prospects in regions with water networks in sub-tropic and warm temperature zones.
from https://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTotal-ZGTN199502005.htm

Taxodium ascendens is also know as the pond cypress.

Or look here https://trid.trb.org/view/387180

I do not know why some sites say cypress is toxic to fish. At least the living trees are not for sure. My wood was completely dried out and boiled in a cauldron outside by Curt before being mounted on tiles to stay down. swampwiz sold this wood to fishkeepers for years. This would have stopped in short order if it was killing peoples fish.
 
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Signus

Aquarist, not Aquarius
Oct 17, 2004
275
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16
Gainesville, Florida
their water smelled like sulfer, eww! For some unknown reason I think FL tends toward hard water.
They're likely down (southerly) from a sink on what their well draws from. The limestone karst geology under the sand and clay beds creates these weird pockets of down flow and up welling as the water flows downhill towards the south. I'm in a pocket of up welling (Silver Springs, a first magnitude of world renown, is not far away) of deep water that has had time to off gas all of the Hydrogen Sulfide or at least the source water has had enough time to travel within the limestone to dissipate. I've cavern dived further north near Glen Cove Springs and had to pass through a boundary layer of HS and I could taste garlic through my exposed skin and regulator! Blech!

Dissolved calcium is OK, but not terrible like when I lived in New Mexico for a spell for work. Total kH is relatively low compared to other areas of the US on my well. The pH is neutral. We bowfish tilapia in winter, net hoplo, and spin cast for peacock bass (an introduced cichlid) in the state, so I can't begin to tell you if everything known in the hobby even applies to this state. It's like Northern Queensland of AUS in terms of some conditions. I do remember that FL's water problem isn't due to low phosphorus like other areas but low nitrogen. Since I have an agricultural well permit, I don't mind running the pump for water changes.

Maybe I'll try pulling one of the softer wood species from the river nearby with a winch and treat/boil it to see if that works.
 

Signus

Aquarist, not Aquarius
Oct 17, 2004
275
0
16
Gainesville, Florida
I have to add, plants most other hobbists love like Myrio (Peacock feather) is super invasive here... There's a weird mix of emergent growth turbid lakes with high nutrients and the clear lakes with beds of submerged growth that technically have low nutrient levels. Septic systems supplying the nitrogen to our waterways have resulted in the development of algae blooms and red tide in the saltwater estuaries.
 

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
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SF Bay area, CA
Likely it was the boiling that "fixed" the cypress knee issue...if there really was 1, I don't know.

In CA we have several escaped "weeds" & a few "weedy" fish species but not like in FL. My "ditch collector" clubber's wife also wanted all the different livebears she could find, lol.

I don't really understand the ban of weather loaches in Maine, MA & other species in some states...well, maybe now with global warming...

We in CA mostly have to face drought & possibly crappy water quality from algae blooms...if there's water at all...
 
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