Mr. Aqua 11.4G High-Tech Aquascape V2 | Updated 3/2/2015 - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 159 (permalink) Old 02-26-2014, 06:09 AM Thread Starter
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Sadly, I know. Instead of borderline OCD I should have said excessive OCD. Thanks for the appreciation!
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post #32 of 159 (permalink) Old 02-26-2014, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
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Unrelated to this tank, I went hiking this past weekend. You guys ever have those aquascaping thoughts go through your head when you come across something that would look great in aquarium, like a rock or piece of driftwood or even some plant growing in a stream or runoff? Well anyway, I hiked to the Golden Gate bridge this weekend. I picked the coastal trail since it was more scenic.





Came across these wonderful looking green rocks, which look like this below.



I thought to myself, how nice would it be to collect some for my nano tank. A green rock vs black sand contrast would look spectacular. But of course, you can't have time to stop and pick when you're hiking with your girlfriend who's already raising an eyebrow at you with 2 tanks in your room. On the way back, I saw a sign talking about the type of rock in the area. It was serpentinite. On the sign, it talked about how serpentinite rock is high in nickel, but low in magnesium, calcium, and NPK, and the plants growing in the area are uniquely adapted to these conditions and can only be found here.

I didn't collect them, but I wonder if these would have been bad for setting up a tank. Anyone use serpentinite rock?
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post #33 of 159 (permalink) Old 03-04-2014, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Week 4 Update

Tank Shot: 3/3/2014





Fifth week into the tank. I've been getting some green dust algae and diatoms. They blend together to look like green diatoms. They are attacking the old and dying leaves. The tank's almost done cycling (I hope), so in the next two weeks, I plan on moving my ottos and amanos into the tank to clean the glass and algae.

I've been struggling with stunting/twisted tips in my plants for a few weeks now. Here are some photos of my limnophila aromatica and AR mini.







I've done a lot of research on why might my plants be stunting. Here's my deduction process.
  • Most threads typically explain it as a CO2 issue. Since I don't have any livestock in the tank, the CO2 is blasted to the point where the bubble counter shows a stream of bubbles and the drop checker at 5dkh turns yellow. I'm using an inline atomizer with a lily pipe that doesn't break the surface. The ph is at 6 or below. No noticeable leaks in the system. Circulation is also good given the plants are still short. Videos to show.


  • Lighting is not extraordinarily high either. Using Hoppy's PAR thread, I get about 100 par at the substrate. I've grown the same plants in a previous tank before with the light lower so not too much light.
  • Started dosing EI ferts from nilocg about a week or so ago. Nutrient levels have been tested and are good.
  • GH? I think this may be the culprit. I've been messing around with GH levels with crushed coral, making drastic changes in the past few weeks, which probably has lead to inconsistent KH and GH. The plants probably didn't like it. KH and GH had gotten a little high, so I did some water changes to lower the KH and GH. Since my source water is really soft (1-2 dKH and <1 dGH), I started remineralizing with GH Booster on my water changes this past weekend. Currently at 1-2 dKH and 3-4 dGH after adding GH booster. Let's see what happens next week.
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post #34 of 159 (permalink) Old 03-11-2014, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Week 5 Update

Tank Shot: 3/10/2014





Another week down. Getting a lot of good growth in the tank. I can grow plants! Here's a top view of the tank when the lights are out.



The really good news too is that the tank has cycled! All this time my amanos, RCS, and fish have been sitting in an unlit quarantine tank on the floor. I wanted to start with adding the amanos and one RCS into the tank first, and then slowly stock with the rest of the fish.





Unfortunately my 15 or so RCS did not have enough cover in the quarantine tank and were picked off by my neon tetras. The one above is the LAST one I have...

The one thing I'm having trouble with are my dwarf baby tears. Some parts seem to show great growth, sending a lot of shoots, and others show lots of transparent bluish melts of the new tips. Not exactly sure why they are melting. Here are some pictures. Notice the darker, bluish parts of the clumps. Those are all dying tips.



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post #35 of 159 (permalink) Old 03-14-2014, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Midweek update. I received some cherry shrimp from lemonnoodle on this forum. She provided me with a colorful and plentiful batch of shrimps with great shipping. As you might expect, coming home after work and opening up the package was like Christmas morning for me. I geeked out pretty hard for a bit. After I added the shrimps, I added 5 otos from my quarantine tank. All were added via drip acclimation. I found that using this method has reduced casualties if not prevented them. I have not lost a single oto since I tried this method.

Anyway, thought I'd share the milestones with some pictures.









Check out the size of the amanos compared to the RCS. This is the biggest I've seen them. One of the big ones recently molted. Check this video out of them side by side.


Since I have my industrious algae fighting team in the tank now, I have decided to lower the light by two inches, risking growing algae while I increase the intensity of the light on the plants to improve coloration. Check out the difference in the coloration of the limnophila and ludwigia red. This is all within a few days. Can't wait to see what they look like when they hit the surface.

Before:


After:




Before:


After:


Also, check out this string of bubbles pearling by my blyxa. For lack of a better description, it's "leaking" oxygen...




Last edited by Asu1776; 11-11-2014 at 09:36 PM. Reason: Update
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post #36 of 159 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Week 6 Update

Tank Shot: 3/17/2014



I added my neon tetras into my tank. Changed out one of the light bulbs in the fixture for a roseate bulb. It really brings out the colors in the plants and the fish and doesn't seem too dim when mixed with a 6500k light bulb.



My bubble counter from Aquatek started leaking a few days ago. Found out with the water test. Seems like the CO2 corroded the rubber seal on the top of the counter. Nothing lasts forever.
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post #37 of 159 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Week 7 Update

Tank Shot: 3/24/2014







Short update. I switched out the roseate bulb since I started noticing my limnophila losing a little color at the tips. Let's see how it turns out.

My baby tears are having a hard time spreading. The stems seem to be frail. My shrimps pick at it a lot and frequently I see stems and leaves floating at the end of the day. I've started dropping in algae wafers to feed the shrimps so they don't need to scavenge so much. Hopefully that will make a difference.



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post #38 of 159 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 02:10 AM
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Awesome tank. Reminds me I need to stop in Albany sometime soon as well. I used to always be out there but now I am so far East.
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post #39 of 159 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 06:34 AM
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Looks great! I'm totally new to aquascaping and I tend to just throw stuff in and hope for the best. I'm setting up a 3 gallon shrimp tank and I plan to actually plan this one out. Subscribing for updates.

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post #40 of 159 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 06:44 AM
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Nice work! I like the way you have the different textures together.
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post #41 of 159 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 11:16 AM
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I love that scape. Very nice
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post #42 of 159 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
Awesome tank. Reminds me I need to stop in Albany sometime soon as well. I used to always be out there but now I am so far East.
Thanks! I'm a big fan of Albany Aquarium, although it can be pricey. Their livestock is always really healthy. That store and AFA are my favorites in the bay area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heifzilla View Post
Looks great! I'm totally new to aquascaping and I tend to just throw stuff in and hope for the best. I'm setting up a 3 gallon shrimp tank and I plan to actually plan this one out. Subscribing for updates.
Thanks! I know how you feel. When I first started, I kept my plants in the pots they came in. Haha. I have a 3 gallon soon to be shrimp tank too. So easy to do water changes...

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Nice work! I like the way you have the different textures together.
Thanks!

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Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
I love that scape. Very nice
Thanks!
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post #43 of 159 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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post #44 of 159 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 02:57 AM
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Really like the tank man. I think the 11.4 gives nice dimensions (added depth) for fully realizing an aquascape. Your tank looks really lush and colorful, I love that. I'm so jealous of your downoi and really need to pick some up for my 11.4 I'm setting up.

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post #45 of 159 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorsmashed View Post
Really like the tank man. I think the 11.4 gives nice dimensions (added depth) for fully realizing an aquascape. Your tank looks really lush and colorful, I love that. I'm so jealous of your downoi and really need to pick some up for my 11.4 I'm setting up.
Thanks for the kind words. The 11.4 is a great size indeed. It's on the leaner side of space, but that makes it more manageable and easy to work with. At some point I'm debating upgrading to a larger tank when I have more space, but then thinking if I got for the 60-P or 90-P and it just goes on. Haha. Downoi's a beautiful plant. Definitely suggest picking it up.
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