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Old 06-24-2013, 01:04 AM   #151
Jahn
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Well the kids were sad that the supermoon was hidden behind clouds tonight, but i told them something would show up that appears only once in a blue moon too - our one full blue velvet made an appearance! it's as big as a CPD now - man, that thing is a trooper!
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:12 PM   #152
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Well the tank has been sitting at 82 degrees for a week here- why is NYC so freaking hot right now? But the fish all look fine and the pH is at a steady 6.4, so...that's Blue Ram Parameters! Matt13 sent over three Long Fin Diamond Blue Rams and all three arrived today in good spirits. Plop and drop and fed bloodworms to distract the tank, and they are off to the races! Did a water change two days ago so no drastic stuff until the end of the week - just fattening up is in order!

About 20 minutes later, and they've already gone into Cichlid Mode - two paired off, a male and female, and claimed the Amazon Sword corner. The opposite corner? The other (and in my opinion, better looking) male claimed the Marimo Ball area. Which is a smart move on his part, since that's also the feeding area, but maybe not so smart, since that's also the water dumping area, haha! Well he'll soon find that out...didn't take long for them to color up at all, but they're not snatching either the bloodworms above or the algae wafer below (I blame the latter on the pleco pretty much laying on it and sucking away). Maybe I'll garlic infuse some bloodworms for them tonight, and order some sinking pellets too.

By the way I believe they are a few months old, so they are of breeding age, but they aren't much bigger than the Emperor Tetra - I'd put them just short of 3 inches right now. In other words, not as gigantic looking as they seem on the internet, haha! Makes me feel better that I didn't overstock a 20 gallon with these guys. I feel sorry for the two remaining blue velvet shrimp, but hey, if they were able to dodge whichever tetra has been the shrimp killer in the past few weeks, I'm sure they'll be quick enough to dodge these guys too. If not, hey, it'll be a pricey way to get the rams to start eating!
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Last edited by Jahn; 06-26-2013 at 08:33 PM.. Reason: Ram feeding
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:42 AM   #153
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Here's a pic of one! I'm sure it'll color up even more, but this is day one after all!

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Old 06-27-2013, 02:27 AM   #154
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And here's a video! Got all three hanging out at the feeding area, one even ate one bloodworm! Can't feed anymore otherwise the rest of the fish are going to get overfed while I'm trying to get these guys to eat. Yep, color will probably definitely get more intense when they fatten up and feel more comfortable.

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Old 06-27-2013, 06:19 PM   #155
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That bloodworm eating Ram fed at the surface with everyone else this morning - flakes, but the other two hung out down below. I'm worried that those guys may not get enough food and they're not coloring up quickly, so I bought some New Life Spectrum Thera-A 1.0mm sinking pellets for them. Hopefully they'll eat those while I distract the rest of the fish with some bloodworms this evening.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:34 PM   #156
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Wow the Rams really love the NLS Thera-A sinking pellets! The other fish do too, but all three Rams actually made an effort to grab them first, which is pretty tough since the tetra and danio are superfast!

Nitrates went from 20ppm last night after too much feeding to 8ppm today after an 8 hour photoperiod. Having plants is handy, but I'll do one more waterchange tomorrow just in case.

Rams are smart. They saw me plucking out detrius from the tank with tweezers, then zoomed into the resulting cloud for stuff to eat - smart, and fearless! They are coloring up a bit more now too, and I set the heater for 80-82F in their comfort zone.
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:02 AM   #157
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Here's a full tank pic after some pruning!

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Old 06-28-2013, 01:23 AM   #158
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Everything is looking so good, loving the fish and the current scape
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:08 AM   #159
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Thanks! Since feeding these pellets and raising the temp to 82, the Rams actually are starting to act like rams - claiming territory, rooting around the substrate a bit, and in terms of coloring up, the black spots and stripes actually showed up nice and strong! The current 'scape gives plenty of escape routes and breaks up line of sight, and the tetra and danio make for really great dither fish.
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:31 PM   #160
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This morning the Rams were all nabbing pellets like bandits, no worries on feeding now!
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:44 PM   #161
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I really like that tank, it looks awesome!
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:46 PM   #162
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Thanks! Just got back from our July 4th vacation and I guess a whole algae wafer and some extra sunken pellets did the trick - all the fish are still alive! The heat inside without A/C though was very hot, the tank water was 84F, yikes! I quickly did a water change, fed the fish, put in 10 Amano Shrimp waiting downstairs from a RAOK that arrived last night (they all made it safe and sound, but I couldn't pick them up last night, the front desk was closed!) and plucked out as much plant detrius as I could - it clogged up the Koralia a bit so the flow was less. Oh, and the coarser marineland prefilter sponge came, I swapped that in and the HOB filter flow increased too.

The ceramic CO2 diffuser was clogged! I couldn't figure out a way to clear it until I remembered that Magic Eraser I had to scrape BBA off things - I wiped that across the top a few times and bingo, the CO2 bubbled through again. Man, Magic Erasure sure is handy!

No algae outbreaks thank goodness - I see a few sprigs of BBA on the petrified wood though, so I'll eraser that off once the lights turn back on (they're in a siesta right now) and some leaves have a bit of brown algae on it, but I will leave those alone and see if the Amano Shrimp will handle that. Pretty much the worst thing that happened during the vacation was the plants wilting a bit, especially the floaters. So I dosed PPS-Pro again and let's hope that helps. Funny thing is, with the lack of nutrients, one of the ludwigia REALLY turned red with new leaves up top closest to the light - cool, but also shows how much deficiency was going on!

So that's it, I'm going to let the tank settle a bit and take pics later on tonight. Whew!
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:53 PM   #163
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As promised, here's a pic! There's a BIG blue one, my fave, but it lives under the cholla wood right now, rats. so here's a pic of a pair of them, wary of the Ram lurking by the Marimo...

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Old 07-04-2013, 10:48 PM   #164
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OK, finished up the post vacation manicure - moved the brazilian pennywort behind the petrified rock, and put the red cabomba that was there too back into the forest. Now the pennywort arches over the middle of the background, tying the two forests together. One of the Blyxa got big enough to split, and sure enough it had two chicks. I moved the hen next to the pagoda behind a petrified wood, put the biggest chick in front of that wood, then put the baby chick where the hen used to be.

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Old 07-05-2013, 12:09 AM   #165
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Haha wow Rams really have a lot of character - no fear! One of the cabomba was uprooted so I grabbed it with the tweezers- and one of the Rams immediately zoomed over VERY suspicious - maybe it was his territory? So anyhow I pushed it into the substrate, and the Ram then got right down to where the plant met the substrate, checking it out...and when I brushed some substrate over there to keep the cabomba there, the Ram spun around and BANGED the tweezers - I heard the "clunk" and felt the impact, haha! Love these little guys!
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