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  1. Ben Rhau

    Floating plants: Do I need to remove the submerged ones?

    Hello, plant people. I now have a number of different floating plants across my tanks, and have some basic questions about maintenance. My main question concerns the (few) plants that linger just below the surface and do not stay dry. Is it crucial to remove these so that they do not increase...
  2. Ben Rhau

    questions about floaters (mostly about frogbit)

    Hello plant people, I’m in the middle of clearing out the duckweed from my tank, and am intending to go with a floater that’s larger, has longer roots and is easier to trim away dead leaves. Considering both Amazon frogbit and salvinia minima, with a slight preference for the longer roots of...
  3. Ben Rhau

    should i ever clean a sponge filter?

    Hi all, I've reading some advice that appears to be conflicting. 1. Stephen Tanner's article on biofiltration implies that one should rarely, if ever, clean a filter. This tracks with the design of the Mattenfilter, which looks damn near impossible to clean without disassembling the tank...
  4. Ben Rhau

    Stocking a backup tank

    OK, while I'm stuck in the house, I'm spending part of my time dreaming on tanks. I have one tank and can probably manage to scale out to 3 small tanks without too much marital strife. :) I'm spec'ing out both a 10-gallon hospital/QT tank and a 15 gallon backup tank that can accept fish from...
  5. Ben Rhau

    How much BBS is too much for fry?

    Hi, I'm feeding my fry BBS 3 times a day. I can see them eating it, but as these have only been free swimming for a few days now, they aren't very efficient at getting it all. Therefore, I spot feed them repeatedly to make sure they get enough. However, a lot of the BBS is getting lost in the...
  6. Ben Rhau

    Stocking question with intended fry growout

    Hi all, I had a community tank, and removed the predatory occupants to make it a breeding tank. I’d like to know how much capacity I need to leave in my tank if I want some of my apisto fry to grow out to juveniles, at which point my LFS is happy to take them. I’m not trying to scale or make...
  7. Ben Rhau

    water parameters for resticulosa-complex?

    Hi all, Following up on my first post <linked>, looks like I have some as-yet unidentified resticulosa-complex fish. Can you please give me some guidance on the ideal TDS to breed? My params: Tap water GH3, KH3, pH 8+, TDS 138 Peat-filtered tap: TDS 104, pH 6 50/50 tap + peat-filtered tap: TDS...
  8. Ben Rhau

    Do you discard the dying parts of anacharis?

    I'm not much of plant guy, so please bear with me. I have a planted tank with anacharis, anubias, java fern, java moss and pellia moss. Since these are all really easy plants, everything is growing like crazy. But I have a question about the anacharis that I have with all long stem plants (e.g...
  9. Ben Rhau

    sexing borellii or steel blue

    Hi, I have a trio of apistos that were sold to me as borellii. Two of them seem obviously female (more yellowish, rounded dorsal fin tip). Two pics of the same female attached. One was sold as a male, but I'm not sure. It is less yellowish, and has more blue on the face. However, it has black on...
  10. Ben Rhau

    Hello from SF

    Used to keep Malawi cichlids and returned to the hobby a few years ago after a long hiatus, when my daughter wanted a betta. Of course, I couldn't abide by keeping the poor thing in a bowl, so I set up a 5 gallon. That escalated quickly to a 20L community tank, and it was only a matter of time...
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