welcome to my underwater world...

I figured it was about time to dedicate a page to my actual aquarium. It’s a 29 gallon planted tank that’s pretty hands off, I originally tried doing a Walstad method dirted tank but it didn’t work out that smoothly (lots of hydrogen sulfide pockets! Yuck!) so it’s more of a weird hybrid situation. Regardless of that bumpy ride, it’s been a fun experiment and overall pretty successful I’d say for my first ever aquarium.

Q: Why does the water look brown?
A: It’s mostly from tannins that leech out of that hunk of driftwood on the left. For those who don’t know, this is an actual method used by aquarists to replicate the natural environments of many popular tropical fish species, like neon tetras! It was not in my original plan to have a blackwater tank considering most of the species of critter I keep fare better in slightly higher pH water, but the water in my area is very hard and basic so it just sort of canceled out and left me with neutral, hard, brown water. Note I said mostly because I do also have a pesky crop of brown diatoms that I haven't quite gotten under control yet but its food for my animals and it mostly just clings to the filter which i clean out regularly so eh. Not that big of an issue

Q: How often do you water change?
A: Honestly? Whenever I remember to or feel like it. My water parameters are very stable due to all of the biological filtration going on with all the bacteria and plants in there so I just do water changes for peace of mind. I tend to add more water than take out due to my climate which has the water evaporating pretty fast even with a lid.

Q: What are all of the plants you have?
A: It’s mostly pearlweed, a fast growing stem plant (cmon it has weed in the name), but I also have java ferns, rotala, amazon sword, duckweed (my blight but the snails love it), anubias, and a weird pellia moss that the guy at my local fish store sold me while having no idea what it was so I had to ID it myself lol. I tried to get some dwarf hairgrass and monte carlo to carpet but my floating plants had other plans. I don’t exactly have a green thumb but fish crap and a stinky 20 dollar light on a 10 hr timer has kept most of the flora in there happy and healthy.

Q: Ok yeah but what are your FISH?
A: This is primarily a guppy tank! I have a breeding colony in there composed of fry from several different generations (the original parent generation has mostly died off, such is the circle of life). I also keep ghost shrimp who have also reproduced and given me some wonderful little shrimplets. There are also between 5 and a jillion snails in here, such is the way with planted tanks. I got 3 nerite snails before I was aware that my plants were all probably caked in snail eggs already and here I am 6 months later with a snail explosion. There's all kinds in here and they're an awesome cleanup squad.

And of course, my centerpiece, my light of my life, My dear friend,

the poopsmith

He’s an albino bristlenose pleco and the star of the show. Yes he is the same species as the famous “she has found the persimmon slice” fish and might I say resembles her quite closely. I am aware that he is technically biologically female but fish don’t know what gender is. And his name is the poopsmith so really if you’re getting hung up about that come on. He’s a super awesome guy and I think he’s badass.

If you’re a fellow aquarist, please reach out to me to talk about the hobby, it’s one of my favorite things to talk about in the world =D