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post #16 of 255 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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I think I found the egg-layer I had mentioned before too...I saw a nice big pond snail in my sag today. I saw what looks like a baby ramshorn on my driftwood too...I swear, those snails are like ninjas! I didn't notice a single one while actually planting my plants.

As for the melting leaves, I assume I should snip the ones that are completely clear and mushy? I've just been leaving the plants alone so far.
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post #17 of 255 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 03:07 AM
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Yup, go ahead and remove the dead and dying leaves, they'll just decay and potentially add to a nutrient imbalance.

Once a leaf starts yellowing, it won't come back. Might as well trim it to encourage the plant not to waste energy on it, but put out some new leaves instead.

Some of your plants are probably converting from emersed to submerged growth, which is part of the big die-back. It's normal.

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post #18 of 255 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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Some of my plants (the crypts in particular) definitely look like they were grown emmersed, so no surprise there. The sword "looked" like submersed growth, but I could be completely wrong. It probably just isn't liking the move, and the fact that I probably trimmed too many leaves from it so it wouldn't shade half my tank...

I'll get in there tomorrow and trim off some of the dying leaves.
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post #19 of 255 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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I got most of the dead leaves out (I noticed one more after I had finished, but at that point my arm was done with swimming.) In the process of trimming my Crinum it came out of the substrate, so I took that as an opportunity to move it to the left a bit out of the right rear corner. It should get a little more light where it is now and might be happier. I think I may have ID'ed the weird white filaments as some sort of fungus after all- it only seemed to be growing on leaves that were dying. I had to trim another two leaves off of my sword becuase they were melting and almost completely transparent (and had that weird fungus stuff on them.) Some of the other sword leaves are showing signs of dying back too- I didn't expect quite so much melt from the sword; sort of annoying since I bought a large one simply so it wouldn't have to grow out. Quite a few of the C. Crispulata leaves have melted, and I think at least one or two of the plants have melted back to the roots...but should come back.

The good news is that I am getting some definite new growth on my Water Sprite (which looks much prettier than the emmersed leaves,) and it looks like I am getting some new leaves on my C. Wendtii and perhaps a little bit on the tips of my Bacopa as well (although some of the old leaves on them are melting off.)

If my water parameters are good by this weekend (still haven't tested,) I'm thinking about starting to add fish this weekend, starting with Otos and perhaps the Cories. Some clean-up crew to take care of the fungus on the driftwood and other assorted growths starting up would be nice. I might also get some Rotala from my LFS since I'm still a bit bummed that the stems that I ordered looked so bad when I got them (ironically, Rotala was the only plant that actually looked good at my LFS the last time I was there.) I would probably place it in the corner where the Crinum was, since I have a bare patch there now.
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post #20 of 255 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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I think the plants are finally acclimating, because I am seeing growth on just about everything now I did my first water change over the weekend (25%,) and have brought my Excel dosing down to 1 cap a day for the past few days. I also moved one of my clumps of Water Sprite to the back right corner to fill in the bare spot where my Crinum was originally planted. I am going to be adding fish next week, as I will be away for a bit this weekend. I tested my water last week, and aside from a fairly high pH (somewhere between 7.8 and 8.0,) it was fine- ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates all at 0ppm. (as expected for the latter two as there's no way it is cycling yet, and the abscense of ammonia just means that the plants were using the bit that had to have been introduced by the melting leaves.) I'm sticking with my plan of adding Otos and Cories first, before adding Rainbowfish, and then Barbs. After seeing the cleaning ability of the RCS in my nano, I'd love to keep Amanos in this tank but am all but certain that they would become expensive live food. Ah well. My final stocking list is planned as so:

6 Bosemani Rainbowfish
8 Cories (Panda Cories)
8 Otos
15 Tiger Barbs

I may also consider Kribs eventually...I'm going to see how my initial stocking plan goes. I also have a quickly growing population of pond and ramshorn snails...

New growth pics!

Crypt Wendtii:

Water Sprite:

Christmas Moss:

Crypt Crispulata (recovering from a major melt):

Dwarf Sag, putting out a runner:

New FTS:

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post #21 of 255 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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The first school of fish are in! I got 8 Otos this afternoon (from Petsmart...I know, but one of the stores near me actually appears to take good care of their fish and they usually look quite healthy. They're also on sale for $1 each ) I did a slow acclimation (not quite a drip, but many small additions of water using a cup) as my water is fairly hard. Right now I have the lights out to help prevent stress, so no pics yet. So far they seem happy enough, and are mostly swimming up and down the left side of the tank where the most current is. I also have some zucchini in there for them to nibble on if they want.

I plan on stopping by the LFS that I've been starting to go to that carries a more interesting range of fish tomorrow to get some Panda Cories. Then, I will wait a bit, add Rainbows, wait a bit, and add the Tiger Barbs. I'm going to see if my LFS carries the Rainbows tomorrow...that same Petsmart actually does, but when I checked their stock today, it appears that all of their Bosemanis were female! (I'm pretty sure that the last time I saw them in there, they were all male with the dual coloration.) I actually thought that they were some other type of Rainbowfish that they were trying to sell as Bosemanis, but when I looked up pictures of the females online, I'm pretty sure that's what they were. The fish were not as "tall" as the iconic blue/yellow pictures that I mostly see (more torpedo shaped,) and the coloration was an even yellow-silver with a few black markings. Does that sound like female Bosemanis? Ideally, I want to have a mix of male and female...I really hope that I can get both locally, as the shipping prices for all of the online sites I've found that sell them are really high.

I should have some new pictures of the tank tomorrow. I trimmed off all of the old sword leaves, as it has a good 4 or 5 new leaves that are coming in very red (and all of the old ones were starting to die back.) My Crinum Calamistratum appears to finally be adjusting to the tank, as it is putting out new leaves too. Pretty much everything is growing now, which makes me happy I'm also about 95% algae free so far...hopefully I don't jinx myself by saying that
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post #22 of 255 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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The LFS didn't have Panda Cories today...well, they had 2, but I want a good 8-10. The owner said that he should have more next week. He also said that they do normally have Bosemanis, but probably won't for another two weeks or so. That actually fits my stocking plans anyways, so no big deal there.

So, no pics of Otos and Cories...but I do have lots of new pictures of Otos and plant growth! So far everything is looking pretty good I think. I can already tell that I would probably be interested in running a high-tech setup at some point, as I am always impatiently looking for new growth. However, not having to get in the tank very often (its been mostly just removing melted leaves so far) has been nice.

Current FTS:

Otos and the left side of the tank (this side gets a lot of downwards flow that they seem to really like.):

New sword leaves. I finally trimmed off all of the remaining leaves that came with the plant. It is looking sparse for now, but seems to be growing back pretty well:

Crypts, moss, and Oto food:

Right side of the tank. The Water Sprite continues to put up new shoots:

Lengthwise with Otos:

Angled shot, from the left:

Angled shot, from the right (near the wall):

New growth continues from the Crypt Crispulata:

Darn you, pond snails!:

Closeup of Crypts:

Looking down at my moss...is that some Riccia growing in there? It sure looks like it...:

Happy Otos eating:

What the tank looks like from my couch:

Well, let me know what you think! I've been talking to myself for a while here
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post #23 of 255 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 05:30 AM
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I think it looks great! I need to kick my 55 back into shape...it looks rather crappy and I've lost most of my favorite plants from the dreaded floating and interest being put into the SW tank. >.<
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post #24 of 255 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 11:49 AM
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I just enjoyed reading through this thread. Your tank looks great. Nice show piece for your living room.
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post #25 of 255 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks you two! I am definitely pleased with the way it is looking now, despite my earlier worries. I am really looking forwards to the next few months, when my plants will be more grown in and the fish will all be stocked. I am checking in with a few other LFS that I haven't been to yet to see if they have some of the fish that I want as well.

My wife still thinks I am a little nuts, but my cat is enjoying her new "TV" now that there are a few fish in it
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post #26 of 255 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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Fish group #2 is in- actually, they have been in the tank since last Wednesday, but I've been busy. I went back to my LFS to see if they had the Panda Cories I had been waiting for. Well, they didn't- the tank had Leopard Cories in it instead, which I ended up liking better anyways! So, I have 10 of them in my tank now

I just did a water change and fed them, so they were all out and willing to be photographed tonight. I'll post up some new tank shots tomorrow, the water was pretty cloudy and I am getting ready to go to bed anyways. The Otos tend to like to school with them as well, which is pretty awesome.

Here they are (my wife even likes these guys- win!) I should be getting my Bosemanis this week too...

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post #27 of 255 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 04:59 AM
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Lovely, the last full tank shot is my favorite. Can I have your tank?

Without Algae, death of mankind would be inevitable.
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post #28 of 255 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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That is a very flattering comment, thanks I'm really pleased so far with how well this tank is doing, especially since only a few months ago, I had never had a planted tank before!

I also realized when I went to update my first post with a new FTS, that the tank has been up for a little over a month now. Looking at the tank's growth over that period is pretty neat- the crypts have grown a LOT! I guess I must be doing something right. I am still sticking to my initial lighting and fert plan, although I did add an extra hour of high light a few weeks back. So,

12 hours total photoperiod, 2.5hr low, 7hr high, 2.5hr low
Pferts N solution Monday/Friday
Seachem Flourish Wednesday
1 capful Seachem Excel daily
25% water change weekly on Sunday

It's an easy schedule and it seems to be working so far. I may eventually go to dry ferts and do something like PPS-Pro (which I am sort of doing now...well, probably a leaner version.) As for feeding, I seem to be lucky in that my Otos absolutely love algae wafers as well as fresh veggies, so they have been very easy to feed. They are all very fat and healthy, although I did lose one last week. They also eat the Hikari sinking catfish wafers that I feed the Cories. I'm also feeding the Cories shrimp pellets.

Anyways, here are some more pics. I'm going to be calling my LFS tomorrow to see if they have Bosemanis in stock. I'll post again when I have them!

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post #29 of 255 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 01:47 AM
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Wow your tank looks great. Your moss is pearling nicely. Like the cories! Good luck!

Ha ha, he he! DAncE whEn yoU're HAPppy! He he he! DAnce, danCE, DANCe!

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post #30 of 255 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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A quick update (I still need to get new photos.) I got my 6 Bosemanis last Friday. Unfortunately, I lost one on Sunday (I'm guessing it must have been weakened from stress, I don't think they had been at the LFS very long ), however the other 5 have been doing well. I REALLY like them, which is actually leading me to re-think my last school of fish. My initial plan was to add ~15 Tiger Barbs and be done. Now, I am thinking that I might want to have the Bosemanis be the "star" fish of the tank, meaning that having a school of (eventually) largish and boistrous Tiger Barbs may not be what I want. If I go with this alternate stocking plan, I would like to increase the amount of Bosemanis to at least 8, and then add a school of smaller fish. I'm thinking something that will school well, contrast well with the Bosemanis, but not be too shy. Here's what I'm thinking of so far as possibilities:

Neon/Cardinal Tetras
Cherry Barbs
Gold Barbs
Harlequin Rasboras

The Cherry Barbs may be nice because they have a very different coloration from the Bosemanis (ie, red.) Red Wag Platys could be a possibility too...I'm a bit biased against Platies/Mollies becuase they always seemed to be very fragile when I worked at a pet store when I was younger. They could be quite different in a well maintained tank though for all I know.

Or, I could still add a few Bosemanis and keep a slightly smaller (10-12) school of Tiger Barbs. That would probably work too.

Any input while I mull this over?
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