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Old 10-28-2011, 10:08 PM   #1
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Hi all, new to *ALL* of this

I need to start by saying that I never intended for this to become a hobby. I used to keep orchids and between a move to a climate that requires air conditioning, therefore a greenhouse and a cat...well...all the orchids died. I had bad luck with regular house plants but needed something green inside so I decided aquatic plants would be perfect. I started mostly collecting wild specimens from the bayou, the occassional addition of something or other from Petco or Walmart and a couple purchases from ebay. Then the snails showed up. Ok, no problem, I like snails and won't feel bad if they die. Got some fish food to give then occassionally and a cuttlefish bone or eggshells to keep them from canabalising each others shells. This went from "wanting plants in the house" to hobby about the time I got the test kit.

My largest aquarium is 1 gallon and I haven't had to change the water in months. Once in a while I have to cut the plants back because they over-crowd the space. I use treated tap water and occassionally give them all a couple tablespoons of bayou water to keep them healthy. A month ago I did some plant collecting snd realised when I got home that I ended up with some fish and a shrimp, all of which are doing amazingly well. I usually kill anything more complicated than a snail and less than a cat. The nitrate and ph levels have remained constant, the fish (no idea what they are) and shrimp have been happily grazing at the algae, the fish go after the smaller snails, snail eggs, and larger micro organisms. My smallest, I guess you can call it an aquarium, is about 2 cups, has a couple snails, java fern, and a bit of ivy growing out of it. One crashed 5 months ago excrpt for a fern so I left the water to see what, if anything, would happen. After zero activity there is now life coming back. My plan is to see if I can keep it going now.

Thing is...I have no *clue* what critters I've got living in there (besides pond and rams horn snails). I'm not even sure how I got 2 of my 5 vases so stable. I'll try to get pictures but the shrimp is only out at night and the only way I know it's there is by watching for the black eyes moving. The fish hide most of time.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:19 PM   #2
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Also, none of these have any sort of powered filtration or airation or special lighting. I move them around the house to control plant and algae growth.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:02 PM   #3
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So it's a wild fish? Any pics?
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:23 PM   #4
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Unfortunately no pics yet. Might give it a try this weekend. They're about an inch long, transparent bodies, silver bellies, black stripe, black spots on the dorsal and pectoral (?) fins. My gut reaction was to drive the 2 hours to put them back. Then I figured I'd see what happened, figuring at worst they'd be snail food and plant fertiliser. I've seen this same species living, thriving, in puddles left by rain and rising water.

After searching around I thought I was nuts for wanting algae to grow but it's working for me. Sll the containers are small enough that I can move them around the house to keep it controlled. The one with the fish is about 3 years old and the snails were't introduced till about a year after I started it.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:27 PM   #5
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So the fish is living in a little bowl???
The fish you're describing sounds like a cichlid, livebearer, catfish, or maybe it's a native fish, perhaps mosquito fish? Hard to say without a pic.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:55 PM   #6
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Tall vase actually. Originally so the plants would have room for growth. The snails were unintentional but I let them be because they ate the dead growth. The snails seemed to help fet things stable. I bought the test kit just to satisfy my curiosity about what was happening. The addition of the fish and shrimp was what prompted me to find a good forum.
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:06 AM   #7
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Welcome to AA! Thanks for joining!
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Old 10-29-2011, 07:44 PM   #8
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One of my wild fish.
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawst View Post


One of my wild fish.
They look very cool! Maybe it is a Mosquito fish?
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:17 AM   #10
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Mosquito fish.
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