New 40G Breeder (With Video!) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Seattle, WA
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New 40G Breeder (With Video!)

Hello everyone!

So, here's a couple videos of my new 40G breeder. I went with the fishless cycling method (utilizing liquid ammonia), and after 3 weeks of cycling, it was finally ready for stocking. Started stocking this last weekend.

The first video is right before I added some Wisteria. So far the tank is stocked with:

13x Harlequin Rasbora
9x Glowlight Tetra
6x Otocinclus Catfish
6x Ghost Shrimp

I don't have the full species list of the plants on me at the moment.

Equipment is:

Fluval 306 Canister
Aqueon 200W heater
AquaticLife dual T-5 HO fixture (78w)
80lbs Eco-Complete
Liquid C02

Going to either be purchasing or DIY'ing a spray bar here soon. Also intend to move to a full C02 system in addition to another AquaticLife fixture, to turn this into a high-tech tank. For now, keeping it at low-medium light while I save up finances to add to the tank.

Also intending to do another round of plant/fish stocking this weekend/next week. Will have more videos once that stocking is completed, and will try to post weekly videos of the tank to track it's progress.

As far as the tank itself:

Everything seems to be doing very well, except the dwarf hairgrass. I'm sure my lighting is a little bit low, but one thing I've noticed is that most of the hairgrass clumps have lost tons of leaves. They get all bleached out and transparent and just sit there waving around kinda dead-like. Research indicated to me that this might be normal, as the plants were likely grown emersed, so when they become immersed, any leaves that were growing emersed will die off and be replaced by new growth. It's growing so slowly that it's hard for me to tell if that is happening, but there does appear to be green and healthy new growth in most of the clumps.

Have some brown hair algae, and will probably be picking up a few amano shrimp to help keep that in check while the tank matures. Had what I believe were diatoms on most of the plants, but the Oto's literally cleaned it all up within 24 hours of adding them to the tank. They all look nice and fat now!

Currently feeding TetraFin Tropical Crisps and Hakari FD Blood Worms. Not sure how the fish feel about these foods. Thinking the crisps will be primary food choice for now, and I'd like to move to frozen blood worms for an occasional treat, as I don't like how the FD blood worms float at the top of the tank.

I have noticed that the Harlequins and Glowlights tend to hang out more towards the substrate when the lights are on (though yesterday they ventured more towards the middle of the tank). They won't go to the surface at all with the lights on.

Turning the lights off and they immediately rise within the tank, and seem to happily hit the surface in quick strikes for some FD blood worms. Trying to let them get more comfortable before deciding if this behavior should influence whether I feed during light or dark conditions. Any input would be appreciated.

Here's the first pre-Wisteria video:

And the second post-Wisteria video:
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 06:24 PM
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FD foods: just soak it for a couple minutes first. Either hold a pinch of the food in your fingers under water or scoop some tank water out into a smal container and add the FD stuff to soak for a minute or so before pouring it back in the tank.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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I will give that a try. I definitely think I'd have to hold the FD Blood Worms underwater, as putting them in the tank, even with a fair bit of surface agitation, they'd float for hours. The only time they would sink was when they got pulled over by my filter output, which would cause current to push them down into the tank where they'd swirl around for a minute and either be eaten, or float back up to the top.

I'll definitely give that a shot though. Maybe tomorrow evening when I feed the blood worms again.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Here's some still pics for those interested. Please also check out the videos, as I think they're a bit higher quality than the pictures. Unfortunately, it seems our decent digital camera has been pilfered or lost, so using the iPad or phone cameras for now, until I can get a better camera again.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Took a bunch of video today when I woke up and noticed the fish were exhibiting spawning behaviors. I was literally shocked, given that they've only been in the tank for 4 days now.

I'm slowly going through the video and tossing together some edits. Quality isn't uber-fantastic, as I'm just starting out and don't have a great camera. Perhaps down the road!

Anywho, here's a nice slo-mo of some Harlequins doing the breeding dance.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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No pics for this update, but:

So, the Dwarf Hairgrass I have is in pretty sad shape. I'd say about 80% of it is bleached out and rotting. The other 20% was a nice shade of green but has begun to yellow. I originally just thought the loss was due to it being grown emersed and it going through transition, but now I'm wondering if I've got the tank set up to grow it well. I still don't have CO2 running (just dosing excel at this point) and haven't done any ferts yet, as I don't have a gram scale.

However, here's the upcoming plan:

This weekend I'm going to be placing a pretty large order from LiveAquaria consisting of some more Harlequins and Glowlights, a few clams, some amano shrimp, a rio-negro pleco, a marble-veil angel, and some more ghost shrimp.

Also going to order some more plants. Don't have the full list in front of me, but it'll be something like Anubias Nana, Cyperus, Dwarf Baby Tears, Microsword, Spiralis, and Water sprite.

Also, Petsmart has a sale going on now, which is where I picked up the first batch of Harlequins and Glowlights, and I'm going to be picking up some Cardinals from there as well.

Lastly, I'm debating dropping the cash to get a pressurized CO2 system this weekend. After pricing it out a bit, I found some cheaper parts and seems like I could probably swing it for under 150$. Haven't decided yet though, especially as I can't afford another lighting fixture at the moment. I do think that the CO2 would definitely help the plants I have in there, and may even be entirely necessary given the amount of plants I'm intending to add over the next week.

So, I'm going to try to get my hands on a decent camera and document the entire process. I will probably update again this weekend with the final purchase list, and then I get to play the waiting game for my order to arrive!
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Well, lost some fish yesterday. I went in and was doing a bit of re-scaping a few days ago to prepare for the order I'm placing today, and moved the big log I have in the tank. When I did that, it appears that I pinned some fish under the log. 2 Harlequins and 2 Glowlights. Yesterday when I was fidgeting with it again, I moved the log and up floated 4 dead fish to get stuck against my filter intake.

I double checked them for any signs of disease and they all looked fine, so I'm pretty sure I somehow pinned them and it killed them. I am very unhappy about it It's one thing to lose a fish to a disease, it's quite another to know they died because of your negligence.

So, lesson here, if you're moving large heavy scaping materials, make sure to check and chase off any fish nearby at the time.

Had a little ceremony for the dearly departed and they got flushed. But, it's time to continue moving forward.

Today and tomorrow will be busy days for me. I need to head to Harbor Freight and pick up a scale to measure my ferts. I'm going to be purchasing parts for a pressurized CO2 system. I've got a big plant/fish order to place. I'm also going to be doing a DIY spray bar (am intending to make video of this), as I find that I want a lot more surface agitation. The last few days I've had a pretty heavy film building up at the surface of the tank, which I've been eliminating by doing water changes with surface water.

As far as livestock goes, I've been flopping around a bit trying to decide what to ultimately do. I was hoping to pick up 13-15 Cardinal Tetras from Petsmart today, as they've got them on sale for 1$ each, but it turns out the shipment they got on Friday sold out within an hour. Nobody else has that good a deal on them locally.

So, instead, I decided to drop the ghost shrimp, remaining harlequins, a few plants, and a few other fish off my online order, and replaced them with the Cardinals. The Harlequins I can get locally for 1$, and the Ghost shrimp I can get locally for .36$ each, which is far cheaper than LiveAquaria anyway. So, in the end the money comes pretty close to balancing out.

So, the order today will be:

1x Rio-Negro Pleco
2x Freshwater Clam
3x Japonica Amano Shrimp
1x Tiger Blood Nerite Snail
1x Zebra Nerite Snail
1x Marble Veil Angel
13x Cardinal Tetra
7x Sterba's Cory

2x Water Sprite (Potted)
3x HC (Potted)
4x Cyperus (Potted)
1x Anubias Nana
1x Micro Sword (Potted)

Anyone see any issues with that stocking list? They will be going in along with:

17x Harlequin Rasboras
15x Glowlight Tetras
6x Oto's
20x Ghost Shrimp

Fairly heavy Bio-Load, but I'm hoping it'll work well, between frequent water changes, and my filter pushing a high GPH for this size of tank, plus moving towards heavily planted status.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Little update:

Got the spray bar done and it's in the tank. I have the video, just need to overlay the audio and I'll post up a DIY video on that (even though I know there are a ton out there already).

Decided to wait a bit longer for the CO2 system, so that's on hold.

I did place my plant/fish order, and it just arrived about an hour ago. They had to partial ship, so I'm currently acclimating some HC, Microsword, Water Sprite, Anubias Nana, and a bunch of cyperus.

Also have the fish acclimating: 1x Marble Veil Angel, 1 Rio-Negro Pleco, 2 clams, 3 amano shrimp (these guys look very similar to ghost shrimp. I thought they had more color and less translucence?), and 2 snails.

Unfortunately, the cardinals and corys didn't get shipped, so we'll have to hope they get those out to me sometime soon.

I'm intending to let the plant pots sit at the bottom of the tank for a day or two, so I don't disturb and further stress the fish too much by planting after I get them in the tank. I'll see if I can't get some update pictures in a few hours when I turn the lights back on with all the new fish and plants in the tank.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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Grabbed a couple shots of the additions. I've got the DIY CO2 set up now, bubbles rising into my powerhead where they seem to be getting shredded quite well. Just mixed up my ferts which I will start tomorrow (doing PPS-pro). One clam buried itself completely down to the bottom of the tank within 5 minutes of being in it.

It actually weirded me out, as I was standing there and kept hearing these really fast scraping noises that almost sounded like popping. I started to freak that seams were popping on the aquarium and I was about to have close to 50 gallons of water on my floor. But then I realized it must be the clam moving himself around at the very base of the substrate.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 01:04 AM
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The addition of so many fish at once may have caused a mini-cycle.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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Nope, I'm monitoring things. Still stable at 0ppm Nitrite and about 1ppm Nitrate. There should have been a pretty healthy amount of bacteria in this tank to start, as I did fishless with ammonia for cycling, and then put about 30 fish in. Didn't see even a small spike in Nitrite or Nitrate during that addition cycle. This time I only added a few fish, 1 Angel, 1 Pleco, 3 shrimp, 2 snails, 2 clams. That isn't a whole lot more bioload over what was in there already.

I also do frequent water changes, usually about 20% a day. I mostly do those to clean up oils on the surface from me sticking my hand in the tank too much :\

The second clam is digging himself into the substrate right now. Getting it on video
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Dosed ferts for the first time this morning! Hooray!

Last night I got a video of the second clam burying itself in the substrate, and hope to have that available soon.

I am a bit concerned about the Angel though. All of yesterday he spent his time huddled in the corner by the heater, behind the plants. He occasionally would venture across the back wall, but that's about as far out into the tank as he would come. He did poke his head out very slightly for a brief moment when I dropped some frozen bloodworms in the tank though.

This morning, he was still sitting back in that corner before I came to work. Anyone seen this type of behavior before? I'm assuming he's just not comfortable enough yet with the tank to head out into the open areas. There shouldn't be anything in the tank to alarm him though, all the harlequins and glowlights are much smaller than him. I guess it'll just take a bit more time before he feels ready to venture forth, I hope?

I'd really like to see him get a bit more comfy before I spend several hours digging around in the tank planting everything that came in yesterday, but I may go ahead and get it planted anyway even if he hasn't come out to explore by the time I get home from work.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 04:17 PM
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I think if he had some other angels to hang out with he would be more confident. Yeah the rasboras and tetras are small but when they school together they sure look huge from his perspective. And they are a lot more active and bumbling around the tank I'm sure and its probably adding to his stress. I also wouldn't count on your shrimp lasting really long once and if your angel starts feeling more comfortable and probably will hunt them down.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not too concerned about the shrimp right now. They're all pretty big, and the Angel is definitely still a juvenile. It doesn't look to me like he could fit a shrimp in his mouth yet. Perhaps one of the smaller shrimp, but I've got several that are pretty big 2-inch beasts.

If he does eat the shrimp, no big deal. I intend to set up a breeding tank for them eventually so they can be temporary cleaners/snacks for him, but I will definitely monitor the situation.

You are right about getting the Angel a partner though. I hadn't really realized that they prefer to have a friend. I'm a bit concerned that if I went with another Angel it would put me over my bioload capacities, given that I still have some corys and cardinals on order to add to the tank, but I will definitely consider it. Will keep an eye out for another Angel I like while I'm poking about LFS in the area.
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