More stuff worth mentioning:
Priming a canister filter when you have no idea what you're doing is a PITA, haha. It only took a few hrs of practicing with a couple buckets, but I finally got the technique down.
I'm noticing bubbles leaving the substrate here and there. No mounds of gas building up, so it looks like I didn't overdo the cap. As far as water quality goes:
Ammonia - 2.0
Nitrites - 0.0
Nitrates - 5.0 (not tested...but I dosed)
I decided to dose the tank a few days ago. The melt was getting out of hand with a few plants. I also put some amazon frogbit in there just to see how it'd do earlier this week. I've found that it responds quicker to changes than anything else in my other setup...and it did the job for this "test". After 2.5 days, I started noticing pinholes and yellowing in the leaves of the frogbit, so I dosed conservatively to see if I could keep the stems from melting away. The ammonia was a huge surprise, it was 0.5 on Tuesday, I dosed Wednesday since I was concerned about nutrient deficiencies...then yesterday the ammonia was suddenly up to 2.0. Looks like the MGO may be responsible since there is no fauna in the tank.
Today I took some bio-media from my other tank and dropped it into the canister filter. I also took the pre-filter sponge off that established tank and placed it in this one. Hopefully the introduction of bacteria starts to chew through the ammonia and cycle the tank. That was my initial plan...I was just kind of surprised to see ammonia that high so soon.
My confidence in the submersed plants has been fading...I definitely didn't notice anything this severe in my nano setup...but we'll see what happens. The crypts all melted as expected, along with the H. zosterfolia (also expected). The lower leaves of the hygrophila sp. 'tiger' definitely disappeared too though, which is when I got worried. I think the main culprit was extremely low light though, due to the cloudy water. Hopefully the purigen clears things up and things start to rebound here soon.
No algae blooms yet...just that layer of "slime" on the manzanita from soaking all week. At some point soon, I'll update the initial post with a plant list, etc.
As far as stock goes for fauna, it looks like I'm going to go with a species tank of Boraras brigittae once the water parameters are stable. Other than that, it'll probably be inhabited by a few nerite snails and amano shrimp for the "cleanup crew". I don't think I'll be doing a shrimp colony in this one...although I'm sure I'll be tempted.
Last edited by jahmic; 04-24-2011 at 04:09 AM.