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I think that it is a common finding. I live in the S. of the UK, where we have hard water, and I've been in a situation where I couldn' t give away Apistogramma that were selling (or I'd guess not selling) in shops for £20 a pair.
There are only a limited number of people who want to...
Just ignore them, they are totally clueless.
In fact when you aren't on this forum just ignore what anybody tells you about pH, hardness, pH crashes and buffering, because it will all be wrong, very wrong or totally wrong.
I like to get the fish from the bag into the tank fairly rapidly as well. I usually <"pour most of the water out of the transport bag"> (through a net, I know that accidents can happen) and then submerge the bag, fish and residual water <"in the quarantine tank"> and hopefully the fish...
"Electrical conductivity" a measure of the amount of ions in solution, estimated from the electrical current they conduct. Usually quoted in micro Siemens.
Pure H2O is an electrical insulator (I'm ignoring the self ionization of water).
Conductivity doesn't tell you which ions you...
<"Fairly fine silica sand">, <"structural leaf litter">, <"plenty of moss">, <"Amazon Frogbit">, <"soft water">, <"live food">.
If I wanted a recipe to follow? I'd recommend @apistobob (Bob Wiltshire) <"website">.
Some-ones advice to follow? @Mike Wise ("Wise by name, wise by...
How are you cycling it?
I wouldn't think they will do any harm, but I wouldn't worry about their food grade status, as @Ben Rhau says it doesn't matter as soon as they are in the tank.
Samee for me, I've no idea why people buy "botanicals", unless they have no access to the outside...
You could try Ste Chesters at <"Premier Aquatics"> in Runcorn. He will know if there are any available and Ste is a very long term (and skilled) Apistogramma etc keeper.
Mention to him that you were referred from this forum.
<"Micro (or Banana) worms"> (Panagrellus sp.) are really <"easy to culture"> and most small fish will eat them. They also elicit the feeding response in fry (by wriggling) and that makes them more likely to eat small dry food items (powdered dry food, decapsulated brine shrimps, freeze...
This one <"WIO sand">? Silica sand to it should be fine.
I'll be honest I just "play sand" at a fraction of the price, but it is usually the colour of the "Heaven sand".
I've actually gone away from using mixed particle sized sand, it looks more natural, but due to sand sifting (by...
Just chuck them in, tannins and all. Tannins are a good thing. Have a look at <"All the leaves are brown">.
OK. The hair algae is a good thing <"in some ways">, if you don't mind Ramshorn snails they will <"graze most algae">.
They will, but I'm not a fan of root tabs (<"controlled...
Some more <"structural leaf litter"> might help with pair dynamics. @Sturl are you in the UK?
I'd also like some more plants, <"Ceratopteris thalictroides"> is a good one to fill in the empty space and may also help with your algal problems.
Do you know what type of algae you have...
With the traditional disclaimer that I'm useless at both sexing and ID, I think they probably are a pair of A. borellii.
The things that worry me a little bit is that "she" isn't very yellow and seems to have a lot of spangling on the cheeks.
The things that make me think "she" is a...
The amount of "good" advice you will receive about pH (and buffering) from most fish shops (or forums) in the UK could be written on the back of a postage stamp. I'd like to think that things would be better in Germany, Sweden, Netherlands etc.
Another vote got Apistogramma borellii. In a larger tank A. macmasteri?
Have a look at the "Aquarium Co-Op" video on "Seasoned Tank Time", it makes a lot more sense than "not cycled / cycled".
I've written a lot about <"letting tanks grow in">, but I've never given it an official...