I'd been doing water changes every few weeks (pretty much when I have to change the filter, I'd do other general "clean-up" stuff, too). At any of those changes I'll do about 20% to 50%, just going by how the water looks or how much of a mess she's been making eating. I'll also have to ADD water in the mean while due to evaporation. Since I'd noticed the apparent increase in nitrates, I started doing weekly (about 20%), but this past weekend I stripped the whole aquarium, but added a tiny bit of the old water back in along with stress coat. When I cleaned out the sand in the bottom, I got some murky water, but it wasn't horrible.
The filter brand I have..not exactly sure. I bought the entire set-up together from PetSmart (aquarium, hood, filter); I have a separate heater, but it's only necessary in the winter. The actual filters are TopFin, so the housing unit might be the same. I used to have a biowheel, but it splashed water all over the place.
I have mosquito larvae and bloodworms for her also, but they are in frozen cubes and make as much mess as the beefheart because of the way they fall apart. I'll look into those other food sources. The petshop I went to long ago used to have live brine shrimp. I have a very limited selection here, though (which is why I haven't switched to guppies - nobody has 'em). What are your thoughts on regular old silver minnows from a bait shop?
I'll also look for an actual test kit next time I'm out, and I'll start looking at the aquaria some more. The 20 long sounds interesting - I saw them at the petstore, but they didn't have any with HOODS, which is an absolute necessity. I'll look online.
I don't currently have the java ferns "planted" - I think I remembered that from some other thread. I had one (the one I bought) tied to a decoration, but it keeps reproducing, so there are a bunch a little ones floating around. Some seem to be wrapping themselves around stuff - I'm just letting them do what they will - is that okay?
Whew - thanks!
For a 10-gallon with an ACF you might want to try doing two 20% water changes a week...this will help a lot especially since they're so messy. Top Fin filters aren't really that great but they aren't horrible either. Maybe some time in the future you could look into AquaClears...those are my personal favorites
. Not much more expensive then a Top Fin, either. Oh, and in the future don't change your filter media the same day you do a water change...you'll be killing off a lot of bacteria and that can lead to ammonia/nitrite spikes. That's a great thing about AquaClears...you mostly just change the carbon and rinse the other stuff off rather then replace it. This means all the bacteria stay. And they have filter media that is designed to help get a small colony of nitrate-eating bacteria going
I don't know about the bait shop minnows...They aren't really a common food for ACFs and I don't know if it's because they are bad for them or because they aren't as easy to get.
With the frozen foods you should thaw out the cube in a cup of tank water anyways so I don't think there should be a huge mess. I thaw it out for a few minutes and then use tweezers to take out the food and feed it to my fish/frogs/crabs. Is there a petstore or anything that you could order guppies? It's crazy how you can't get them. Where were you getting your minnows? Wouldn't that place be able to get them?
If you're looking online I totally recommend Pet Supplies, Dog Supplies, Cat Supplies, Pet Meds & Pet Products: Drs. Foster & Smith Pet Supplies
. They have great prices and service. There are a lot of different frozen foods on there, too, that you could check out.
Yeah, that sounds fine
. I just wanted to make sure you didn't plant the java fern since a rotting plant would certainly not help!
Oh, and you know what some less messy frozen foods are? Krill and silversides. I don't know if silversides would be a good staple but krill is an awesome food for pretty much every animal, it seems. You could just defrost a whole one and feed it...no mess there