I just realized 'aquarium addict' would've been a cool forum name... but I'm sure someone already has it. I'm happy to be here, and share with others in my/our love for this peaceful joyful hobby!
I know this is a broad first post, but feel free to reply to just one (or all 3), as you're able to help out!
I live near a wetland marsh, with countless sources of freshwater moss and plants in flowing natural springs. Would I be able to introduce any of these to an aquarium, and if so, is there a certain prep/cleansing process to follow so my current water parameters and tank inhabitants aren't affected negatively?
I have some cory catfish, and one in particular continues finding restrictive places to hide within the aquarium, such as nestling in a plant, burrowing into a small shelter, and recently (for a couple days-on-end) vertically swimming into a small opening in a canvas mast of a ship decoration I have. It looks uncomfortable and the stagnation has me concerned. While I know they're nocturnal is this normal behavior, or could it signal a pregnancy or signify poor health?
I've read wildly varying opinions online and from many of the YouTube channels I follow, concerning alder cones and mineral balls in shrimp populated tanks; everything from 1 per gallon to 10 per gallon -- while others even say they can stay in 'forever' to generate bio-film for feeding, and others say after a while they should be swapped out for new balls/cones to maintain water health. Is there some sort of consensus here I'm missing, or does everyone simply have their own theory?
I HUGELY appreciate you, and sharing your knowledge on the above!