Basil’s Tanks

  • #1

CC722D4F-B270-4B15-9406-E3663FC23569.jpeg HI all!
Just changed my user name to the name of my dear retired oldest horse. I was previously ReFishKeeper which I thought was rather boring lol!
And I kept forgetting about this section.
So here goes:
I currently have a 40 g breeder and a 75 g that are occupied. I just moved fish from my 29 and plan to turn that one into a quarantine to finish stocking the 75.
I have some plans to slightly change the scapes of both tanks so I’ll have something to write about.
Above picture is the 40.
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  • #2

19AE42C4-40CD-4B4A-BE82-6E00458B0836.jpeg And here’s the 75
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  • #3

6C24BF76-B2A3-4834-BEA8-EA08457D6929.jpeg Today I went shopping for wood....on my farm.
Procrastinating cleaning up downed trees and branches gives me a nice selection. Plus we’ve had the farm for 20 years and we do not use either pesticides or herbicides. And I know just what kind of wood it is.
I’ve got pieces for both tanks plus a piece for the 29 once it’s finished as my quarantine tank.
The large piece of course needs major trimming and they all need some sanding, scrubbing, and soaking.
  • #4
I especially love the first one!
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  • #5

6BD40FB0-AAA8-4C96-9238-26D18AA1AF52.jpeg Got the 29 redone as a quarantine. And yes, I do have decorations and some sand in it. It’s mainly for the Golden Zebra loaches and I want them to feel secure.
I don’t mind trashing it all if I end up with a nasty outbreak of something. The Java fern in the back will come out before I add any fish.
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  • #6
Ughh. Just when I thought I was maybe getting the hang of this hobby.
Did a WC on my 40 gallon on Tuesday and all was well.
Did one on Thursday on my 75 gallon and noticed after refilling the tank that all my barbs seemed really stressed; heavy breathing and hiding. Yikes!
My water change routine takes a bit longer now that I don’t use the python to refill. And I got ahead of myself and siphoned before my replacement water had heated sufficiently. So my filters were off about 3 hours.
I lost one golden barb but the others seemed to have bounced back.
So I thought it was the length of time the filters were off.
Then yesterday my RTBS in the 40 seemed a bit stressed but the rasboras seemed fine. Shark died this morning.
Now I’m all paranoid there is something wrong with my water, or I contaminated the trash can somehow. This time, I filled it the day before as it takes forever to get enough coming through the nitrate filter. I put an air stone in to keep it aerated until I used it.
My husband also changed out the nitrate filter and added a fitting to control the flow. We needed to slow it down so it would actually filter the nitrates.
So I don’t know if he used anything that might have inadvertently contaminated the water. Sigh.
I’m thinking I should do water changes again but I’m terrified to do so until I can figure out what went wrong.
RIP Sharkey and Golden.
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  • #7

CCD52D7A-9EA7-4409-899B-12C4B9BCF602.jpeg Fish all seem fine after whatever happened last week.
This week I’m on a staycation which is much needed after a hectic summer and fall at work. But I’ve turned it into a fish-cation lol! Doing a bunch of small updates to mainly the 75 and hopefully adding fish to both my quarantine tanks.
And to follow @jenmur’s example, here’s what I did yesterday.
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  • #8
Yesterday I did a slight rescape of my 75.
Took out the moss wall and used the healthiest moss to attach to 2 pieces of driftwood. Replaced the smaller rocks in front of the waterfall with one larger smooth round river stone. And used another smooth rock to create another small rock cave. So I have a rock cave on each side!
Moved an amazon sword forward and put the sponge filter back in the corner of the tank so it’s a bit hidden.
Removed 2 plants that were not growing well. That will make room for the crypts I have ordered.
Put in the driftwood tied to rocks.
Although I think I’m going to have my husband attach the new driftwood to some slate that I have. It’s annoying that I can’t get it placed exactly where I want it since it wants to float lol!
And the barb contingent is loving the new decor. They were swimming all around the driftwood and back and forth behind the waterfall rock. There is a lot more room behind it with the moss wall gone.
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  • #9
So I had purchased 7 Botia Darios (Bengal or Queen loach) and 10 dwarf chain loaches. Put them in different quarantine tanks.
Catastrophe struck the 29 gallon and I only have 1 Dario left.
It’s a long story so here’s the link to the thread.
Ich This Quickly?

I did lose one sid after about 4 days. I have 2 that are looking a bit small and skinny while the others have clearly grown.
So tonight I did a WC and dosed the tank with Prazipro. I’m so afraid I’m going to do something to kill them all. So I’ll be holding my breath when I check on them in the morning.
I also added 2 crypt balansae, 1 crypt wendtii, and one crypt willisI to my 75.
The barbs are loving the new plants!
  • #10
I would love to see an updated pic of the 75!
How is the last Dario holding up, or is he?
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  • #11
I would love to see an updated pic of the 75!
How is the last Dario holding up, or is he?
The last dario seems to be doing well. And the sids are doing fantastic. I did lose the smallest one so have 8 left. There are 2 others that are smaller that I’m worried about. 5 days after dosing with Prazipro, I did a WC and added the charcoal back into the filter to clear all remaining Prazipro. Today is day 3 with charcoal back in so I’m going to remove it and dose with Prazipro again. If the 2 smaller sids don’t perk up after this treatment, I guess I will look into using levamisole.
Here’s an updated picture. The new driftwood has not gotten water logged yet so it’s tied to rocks and not quite where I want it placed. I also have another crypt to add under the new driftwood on that left side.
B095C4FE-2502-4E89-84F6-90DF4676ADF0.jpeg I have some slate to attach to the driftwood if I ever get the time for that project lol!
And excuse the torn background. It’s only wrapping paper and I need to put a new sheet up.
Thanks for following!!
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  • #12

CC107796-D1A6-4623-A242-FAF1F9FDDF0C.jpeg Ha! So my one piece of driftwood did decide to sink yay! Just waiting for the other so I can arrange them properly and add some plants underneath.

So it’s been a good fish week. I’ve been playing around with the RO water and doing small WCs to both the 40 and 75 using a mix of RO and bottled purified plus adding equilibrium equal to the amount of RO water I’m using.
To be safe I’ve only been using bottled in the 10 g quarantine.

So the othe day, I pulled the 30 cube out and rinsed it off ( with bottled as I am petrified to use my well water on anything fish related) and set it up. Since it will be a quarantine for more loaches and since I had plants that I had ordered and not gotten planted yet, I washed a bag of black sand and added it and put the plants in. It’s all temporary and I need more sand for a permanent planted tank but it looks quite nice especially with the black background.

I hauled 40 gallons of RO from my LFS and added only the RO to my Rubbermaid trashcan and added equilibrium to bring the GH and KH to between 3-6 according to the directions. Heated the water and made sure it was well mixed and pumped it into the 30.
Next day, the GH was 5 and KH was 3 in the tank. Ph was 6.8. Perfect! So I then added seeded sponge material that I keep in the big Marineland HOB that’s on the 40 and was ready for fish!

So then yesterday, I purchased 8 cherry barbs to quarantine. I’m pleased to report they all look great this morning and ate with gusto!

Oh and umm, although the cherries were supposed to eventually go in the 75, I may keep them in the 30. Red fish and green plants and black sand and background looks amazing!

Please excuse the stickers on the back. I forgot they were there andxneed to scrape them off.
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  • #13
Happiness is purchasing 4 more sids and 6 more Botia Darios and getting up this morning to happy loaches.
I put the new Darios plus the surviving one straight into my 75 g. (after acclimation of course).
Some hid and a couple started exploring immediately.
Some of my golden diamond barbs were little jerks but the Darios are supposed to be a bit gregarious and seem fine. One was even swimming with the barbs!
Fingers crossed they continue to de well!
The sids went into the 10 gallon holding tank and I have 9 lovely and active sids this morning.
Both tanks will be dosed with Levamisole probably tomorrow.

I’be decided to not keep the 30 g cube set up as a display tank and to rescape my 40 g with black sand, a large piece of branched driftwood, and plants.
Stocking in the 40 will eventually be the current scissortail rasboras, cherry barbs, and the dwarf chain loaches.
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  • #14
Oh and happiness is also doing water changes and having happy fish afterward!
I’m using purchased RO from my one LFS and dosing with Equilibrium.
It’s a chore to do WCs but soooo worth it to see my fish thriving.
Eventually, we will purchase an RO system but for now, my trusty Subaru gets to cart 40 gallons of water every week.
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  • #15
So currently, everything is great! I’m using approximately a 50/50 mix of RO water from the LFS and bottled purified water with Equilibrium added.
I discovered that all RO does not hold the ph steady but adding the purified does even though the KH in my tanks reads a 2. I just received Seachem alkaline and acid buffers. So I’m going to play around with mixing them all to see if I can get the desired KH and keep my ph at a good range for my fish.

Because I felt sorry for the lone Dario and because the bigger LFS still had some, I purchased 6 more and added them plus my surviving guy right into the 75. I know it was a risk but all are doing great and I just finished the first round of levamisole.

And for Christmas, my wonderful hubby just ordered the 5 stage RO/DIsystem from Bulk Reef supply. It won’t arrive until next week but I’m looking forward to not hauling water soon!
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  • #16
75 gallon still doing wonderfully. I call it the hooligan tank for good reason! The Botia Darios are active and don’t take any from the barbs lol! However, I lost a golden diamond barb a week or so ago and I’m wondering if they all ate it. I can’t find any trace of it!
I think I’ve gotten the hang of mixing the RO/DI water. Although the KH is staying at 2, I’m doing 2-20% water changes a week so the pH is staying at a consistent 7.0. So I’m happy with that.

We finally got the RO/DI system hooked up in the utility area and turned it in only to have it start to leak. Discovered that the plastic intake valve going into the top RO canister was broken. We used the utmost care in unpacking and installing it, so hopefully BRS will make it right and send us a new cap piece for that canister. So I’ll still be hauling water from my LFS for at least this week.
I’ve yet to rescape the 40 b. But I really need to get on that! Just did the second dose of Levamisole for both the sidthimunkis in their 10 g holding tank and also did the 75.
So the sids will be ready to go into the 40 very soon.

I think I’m going to end up switching some plants around. I’ve discovered that the Darios are plant munchers. Especially the one Amazon Sword neatest to their favorite spot in the tank.
So I may replace it with something else that they, hopefully won’t like as much lol! And put the sword in the 40. I also need some more shade in the 75 as the barbs do not like the lights on at full brightness. So I’ll try to separate some java fern and attach it to the big piece of driftwood in the 75. And I’ll try another variety of floating plant. The dwarf water lettuce didn’t seem to appreciate being flung around by the flow in the 75. But it seems to be doing better in the 40.
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  • #17

D8A2718F-9E60-49CE-8D5B-6F3DCE33FB31.jpeg And a couple pics of the 75. They are all difficult to get pictures of as they rarely hold still!
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  • #18

D926664C-6245-4DF6-8AFA-668F2B88BBF3.jpeg After receiving some very nice plants from Dave125g, I did some replanting in the 75 today.
Took out all of the amazon swords as the Queen loaches were munching on them. Not saying they won’t munch on what I put in, but we’ll see.
From Dave, I got the water wisteria on the left, the Tiger lotus front left, jungle Vals that are behind the driftwood on the right and anarcheris that I’ve left floating. The fish are totally loving the new plants.
Oh and I treated myself to a Finnex 24/7 planted light.
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  • #19

7F0DD856-0CE6-4CF5-9AAC-8418F918404A.jpeg I finally rescaped the 40 b. Put the scissortail rasboras or Edward scissortails as I call them in a bucket with the tank water, heater, and air stone. Put the filter media in another bucket of tank water.
It took about 5 hours to get everything done. I put about 40% of the original tank water back into the tank and the rest new water. Added Stressgard to the tank and put the fish back. They seemed a little stressed at first and gulped a bit at the surface which freaked me out but slowly became less stressed and back to normal.
I have a Seachem ammonia alert on all my tanks and it stayed in the safe ammonia level. Ph stayed steady and no nitrite spike. But I still lost the smallest Rasbora after 5 days
I added more plants today but after observing the tank a bit I want to rearrange a little. So I’ll add an updated picture in a day or so.
I’ll let the tank settle a bit more and make sure all is good than start adding the sidthimunkis from their holding tank and the cherry barbs from theirs.
  • #20
Beautiful tank!
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  • #21

232894B6-E82F-42FB-B377-EAF9ABE2E999.jpeg Just wanted to add a picture of the cool contrast between the golden diamond barbs, Tiger barbs, and the red tiger lotus (which you can only see half of. It’s much larger). This is in the 75 g. Thanks Dave125g for talking me into the lotus
  • #22
It's nice to have a plant or 2 with a different color. Tanks looking good.
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  • #23
Wisteria and jungle Val now planted where I want them. A third grey rock will go in the front. It is currently holding down tbd right end of the wood.
So plants are java fern on the wood; wisteria, jungle Val, crypt wendtI red and crypt willisI planted; and Anacharis and dwarf water lettuce floating.

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  • #24

F8AFBC4F-B732-43AC-A2D1-758DECC7944D.jpeg And I also finally got the java fern attached to the wood and rock like I wanted in the 75. That’s it! I’m declaring both tanks done lol! Now to finish stocking!
So final plants in the 75: java moss and java fern attached to tubes, rocks, and wood; wisteria, red tiger lotus, jungle Val, crypt balansae, wendtI red, and willisI planted; and Anacharis floating.
I’m highly satisfied with both tanks!
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  • #25
Actually not quite finished lol! I
Bought a slightly darker blue fiber board today to replace the torn blue paper as the backing. But that’s a project for another day!
  • #26
Lol are tanks are never done. There constantly evolving. They look really good. Can't wait to see it in a few months when those plants start growing and spreading out.
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  • #27
Lol are tanks are never done. There constantly evolving. They look really good. Can't wait to see it in a few months when those plants start growing and spreading out.
I know lol! I’ve already noticed some tweaks I want to do!
But I do think I’m finished with the major changes.
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  • #28
Ughh. Just when you think that *maybe* you are getting the hang of things, you realize you are so wrong
I am so in love with the rescape of my 40b. But my poor scissortail rasboras were definitely stressed afterward. Even though I thought I did everything correct by having them in a bucket of the tank water with an air stone and heater. I lost the smallest, slightly crooked one. He had been crooked since I got him last summer.
The rest seemed to come around. Then I decided the tank really needed more sand. I had 20 lbs. of the same caribsea black sand in a 30 g that had been holding my plants. I wanted to empty the 30 anyway. Put the sand into the 40.
The next day the scissortails wouldn’t eat. And I gradually lost all but 1 in the next week.
Long story short, I did several water changes and stirred up the newly added sand in case there had been something toxic that had developed in the other tank. There had been cherry barbs in the 30 but I eventually lost all of them. But there had been a heater malfunction as well as pH stability issues as I was just starting to use 100% RO and was trying to get the added minerals correct. So I never did any water changes after all the cherries died since I didn’t think there was disease.
In the 40, I also changed out the charcoal in the filter doing one bag at a time, a week apart. Filter is a Marineland Emperor 400 HOB.
Remaining scissortail seemed better and started to nibble food. I worried he was stressed being alone. But no LFS has scissortails in stock. So I got 6 cherry barbs. As much as I hate to say it, I have no other way to determine if a tank is ok than to put fish into it. I never lost the cycle after the rescape and as of a couple days ago, readings were 0.25 ammonia (I’m getting 0.5 amm out of my RO/DI system for some reason so I do treat with Prime and the Seachem ammonia badge has consistently read <0.02) 0 nitrite and 20 nitrate. I’ve tested consistently since the rescale. So if there was a cycle disruption, I missed it.
Cherries never ate with gusto and have now stopped eating and I’ve lost 2.
I am trying to not tear the whole tank down so today I will try decontaminating the new rock as I soaked it but didn’t wash it with hot water. I have java fern glued onto the wood so that may be a bit trickier to reclean.
I’m thinking there is some sort of toxin but I have no idea where it is coming from.
So I just wrote the novel to help me strategize. But thanks to anyone who managed to get through the whole thing. And of course, all comments are welcome!
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  • #29

2FB19D72-6C12-4A46-8990-E8E0C5B24D99.jpeg On the other hand, my 75 g is thriving. Here’s a picture from today. I’m amazed at the wonderful plant growth in just a couple of weeks since adding more plants. Now to get that torn background replaced!
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  • #30

D0826B3C-596C-4FCB-9718-F8F6105B3448.jpeg So I noticed something about the 40b....after the rescape I didn’t have that “mature” tank smell. The one I remember from my tanks as a teen that is a cross between a bacterial and a pond smell.
Well when I did my WC on Saturday, I realized it’s back!! And my cherry barbs have perked up a bit.
So I added 8 Brilliant rasboras. Yes, I will definitely keep a close eye on the ammonia and nitrites since I just added 8 fish.
So far so good.
And my Italian Val melted a bit. I’m thinking it didn’t like being sucked into the filter intake. So I moved it to the other side of the tank and put in some giant hairgrass that I also purchased yesterday.
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  • #31
Well still not sure about my 40 g. Sigh. Lost 1 Rasbora and only have 1 cherry barb left. They are eating but not as robustly as my other tanks.

Tank parameters are steady at <0.02 ammonia (I use the Seachem badge as I always get a 0.25 ammonia reading with the API kit; the rest of my testing is API. Nitrates: 0 and nitrates 10-20.
I do 2-25% WC a week.

I’ve had horrible luck with cherry barbs so I’m not sure if I’m going to return the lone female (she looks great. She’s really colored up nicely!) or try another group. Maybe third time will be the charm??

I really wanted to have moved the dwarf chain loaches to the 40 by now but refuse to do so until I know it’s 100% safe. But I worry about them becoming stressed in the 10 g holding tank. Still I guess I’ll wait a few more weeks and monitor the 40 g.
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  • #32
Oh and I’m still trying to get my RO/DI water mixed just right.
That may have something to do with the semi-failure of the 40 but the 10 and 75 are doing great.

I had it down perfect for the RO from my LFS. I would add a set amount of Equilibrium, Alkaline buffer, and acid buffer to 5 gallon buckets, dissolve, heat and add. Tank ph was staying at 7/7.2 and GH 4-5 and KH 2-3.

When I started with the RO from my well water, it seemed to be ok at first, but my 75 dropped to a Ph of 6.9 so I panicked and started playing around with the amounts of each.
However, now my tanks are staying at ph 7.4, KH of 5-6, and GH of 3. I slightly dropped the alkaline buffer amount and increased the acid buffer amount for this week’s water changes.
I guess I’ll hold here for now and monitor as at least the ph is steady although I don’t know about long term effects on fish that originated in acidic water such as my wild caught Queen loaches.
Fish keeping can be hard!!!
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  • #33

BC61AF3B-4208-4E75-ABB1-5078ED8CAFEB.jpeg My loachy gang. Love all these guys!
Fish in the 40 seem more active and less stressed so I’m hopefully getting that tank back on track. The sids are getting tired of their small tank and want to explore their grand larger house!
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  • #34

98874396-8C85-44E2-9056-F7984F86733C.jpeg Since it’s raining on my second day off this week, it’s fish day! The Fluval 406 is due for a cleaning; I need to trim some of the java moss and maybe I’ll finally get the foam board background put on the 75 lol!

I think I’m making progress in figuring out why fish won’t thrive and eventually die in my 40b. I hated to do it but I removed the cool branch about 10 days ago. Since then, all the remaining inhabitants have been eating and more active. Although I did lose a female cherry barb yesterday.

So maybe the wood was leaching something toxic? It came off my farm where we don’t spray any pesticides or herbicides but due to the shape of the branch, I didn’t soak it like I did previous wood. And I don’t know what kind of wood it is. So I guess it’s possible the type of wood could even have a natural toxin in it.

So I’ll monitor that tank for a while longer and add more fish in about a week or so if everyone continues to do well. Really hope I have this figured out!

Pictures of course!!
My gorgeous make cherry barb, Beau Brummell.
And a current picture of the 75 in sunrise lighting. Dave125g Look how the plants have filled in! This tank makes me very happy!
  • #35
Looking great
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  • #36
Soooooo. I’m now even more sure the price of wood was to blame.
I was picking up branches in the horse pasture when I came across s branch just like what I used in the 40 b. It was below a grove of the very invasive, Chinese “Tree of Heaven”. Umm, I have another name for them.

I did a little googling yesterday and discovered that the leaf litter from these trees can be toxic to other plants which is why they are so invasive. Would explain why the plants in this tank are just not thriving as in the 75 g. And I’m sure that whatever effects the plants was probably killing my fish.

The bad news is that my remaining female cherry barb is not quite 100% but Beau Brummell and the two remaining brilliant rasboras are doing super.

So fingers crossed that I can restock this tank and move my sids into it soon!!

Then I’m planning on setting the tank the sids are in up as a bedroom tank. Off to start a thread about it.
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  • #37

E2A1F1BF-FE81-4D3F-8DDB-25B835EFD9A8.jpeg The red tiger lotus in the 75 g is sending up a shoot. Cool! So far it’s only spread out.
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  • #38
Dodeedo. Just sifting through the sand.
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  • #39

FC290F45-E1BB-4040-A386-BBE6811C369C.jpeg During WC on the 75 this morning, I decided to trim the java moss on the larger PVC pipe. I had it attached with a hairnet. But while I was trimming, it slipped off. Couldn’t get it back on without loose pieces so I just ditched the hairnet and the java moss. I scored the pvc as an experiment to see if the java moss would attach. But it didn’t.
I like that I can now see the crypt balansae and Italian Vals in the back of the tank.
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  • #40

DFE0268A-94F9-4103-96A3-A31EB904B573.jpeg The cherry barbs I added to the 40 g a week ago are doing well.
Today I added a piece of driftwood that I’ve been soaking for the last couple of weeks and added back in the large, round grey rock.
Hopefully, everything keeps doing ok.
On an interesting note, I’ve noticed that the plants just have not really been doing well. It was not just the fish that were dying. I moved two wisteria today and they had not even rooted into the substrate. Hmmm. So I’m really hoping taking out the previous driftwood was enough and I don’t have to replace all the sand.

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