Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Equipment Tips

1) How to reduce air pump noise
Any air pump will make some noise, but if you prevent the pump from vibating against a surface the noise will be greatly reduced. For example you can use a cheap kitchen sponge to keep the pump off the table or floor.

Glossary and Acronym List

A lot of aquarium forums make used of slang, jargon and short hand terms. I am going to start collecting them here.

Berried: described a female shrimp carrying eggs in her swimmerettes (see right)
Muppy: a hybrid of a gambusia and a guppy

Acronym List
CRS: crystal red shrimp
LFS: local fish store
MTS: Malaysian trumpet snail, also multiple tank syndrome
PWC: partial water changes
RCS: red cherry shrimp

Sunday, September 20, 2009


"Mosquito fish" is a common name used to refer to several small American Gambusia species, sometime introduced to ponds to control mosquito larvae. These three are Gambusia affisni holborooki.

The male, Spot, has his distinctive piebald coloration because he has melanistic spotting. This is a naturally occurring Y-linked mutation, meaning it only affects males. It also doesn't breed true, so some offspring of melanistic males are gray colored.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sometimes the snail chooses you....

A lot of snails arrive unannounced along with plants or other deliberately purchased livestock. This is my latest arrival, a diminutive species of ramshorn snail.

Enquiries on forums suggest that many aquarium owners have snails of this type. It is in the ramshorn group, small and carries its shell flat with with the ground or the surface it is on.

These snails are not reported to be prolific breeders, so I am letting them hang out for now. The numbers are growing somewhat and they largest snails are now almost 4mm across.

The common names I have heard suggested are mini ramshorn and button ramshorn.

They seem to eat plants a little, particularly my red lotus--but they are otherwise benign.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Providing calcium to snails

Snails require calcium to construct healthy shells. There are many ways to provide this calcium.

Coral sand

Cuttle bone

Plaster of Paris pucks
These can be home made of in the form of commercial "vacation feeders"

Liquid calcium
This may be purely to provide calcium or as part of a general snail health product such as "snail milk".

Tums can be used on plain or flavored forms. It can temporarily cause water to become cloudy, especially if dropped on a turbulent area of the tank such as near an air stone.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009