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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-13-2011 04:40 PM
moonshinetheslacker The plants aren't very green, but the picture makes it look a lot worse than it is. The crypt on the left melted, btw, and now the ram is dead, but I 'think' I can make the plants green up a bit more with more light. Which is one of my many projects that I need to do. Nonetheless, since the ram is gone, I think I'm going to try a bunch of fire red cherry shrimp. That should give it some really good contrast, I think.
06-28-2011 04:51 PM
digitallinh The tank definitely looks a lot better with the natural look. I am not sure if its the photographs or the plants, but what could you do to get your plants to brighten their greens? or are those plants simply that color? Really need that green to sparkle to give the slate some constrast I think!
03-09-2011 04:14 PM
warhead_71 Marselea Minuta doesn't grow very thick or very fast in low-light... might grow algae on it. I think HC would do much better.
03-09-2011 12:52 PM
AquaStudent I'm sorry to hear about your Ram. They were a very pretty fish. There's nothing worse than coming home to a casualty.
03-09-2011 03:16 AM
moonshinetheslacker Not really intending to bring this thread back from the dead, but I wanted to do a little bit of whining... My german blue ram, Moe, was dead when I got home today. Somehow she swam sideways and jammed herself between two of the pieces of slate in my stone wall... Not really sure how she did it... certainly don't know why! I guess she got spooked about something during the day. We do have some minor construction going on. Also, she had gotten a little aggressive about owning the entire front half of the tank, and maybe she was chasing one of the other fish away? Don't know... But she was certainly my favorite fish.

Also, thought I'd say thanks to everyone who helped with this thread again. I REALLY can't wait to get my SLR back from my parents so I can take a picture of the tank that doesn't suck. The pics truly do NOT give it justice. Even if I am missing my centerpiece ram now...
02-12-2011 04:14 AM
moonshinetheslacker Ammonia zero, nitrite zero, and I personally think the tank looks a LOT better. Even if my photography skills suck more than a hungry SAE!

Thanks to everyone for their advice. I really appreciate it. I hope my plants do well with the MTS and all the substitutions I made. I capped everything off with some white play sand. It washes out my ram quite a bit, but for the overall look of the tank, it brightens it up a bit against the grey slate background.

Once again, thanks y'all!

02-10-2011 01:09 AM
moonshinetheslacker 72 hours. Been doing daily water changes. Ammonia is way down, nitrite is at zero. All fish are still alive and active. Just as the dirt settled down, I put in the white sand topping, so the tank is all cloudy with sand particulates now. Hopefully I'll get some pics up by sunday.
02-08-2011 01:17 AM
moonshinetheslacker Thanks for the input, Goodwill. I tried calling the manufacturer about the stuff, and they read to me word for word what was written on the back of the bag. When I told the guy that, he sounded pretty embarrassed. Nonetheless, what you say both makes sense, and does clarify things a little bit. If the only problem with a critter eating this stuff, is that it might impact their digestive tract, then it obviously doesn't have any chemicals in it that are too terrible to life, otherwise the reptiles would die of some sort of poisoning.

Update thus far: it's been about 36 hours since the new substrate went in. Since there was still about 4 inches of water in the tank (couldn't drain all of it, because the khuli loaches under the wall would die) I didn't put the NoSalt and calcium carbonate layered on the bottom, as per recommendations. I just mixed a couple table spoons of each, with the dirt, after I took it off the stove. I also poured in the nasty rust water from the steel wool, as the mud was boiling. I'm sure the substrate now has plenty high iron content! Well, I planted one crypt spiralis, two crypt parvas, some sort of grass that I picked up from petco about 6 months ago (sort of a long story about that stuff) the anubias, and a single strand of my unknown grass from the chesapeake.

Ammonia spike.
Nitrite spike.

I did a 30% water change, threw in an ammonia neutralizing alka seltzer tablet thing, along with some extra bacteria culture I had from when I cycled the tank. I also put some metafix (tea trea oil) and solazyme (alo vera extract) in, just in an attempt to keep the fish a little healthier. Once the water is all cleared up, I'll take another pic.
02-07-2011 08:48 PM
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
I remember hearing some bad stuff about using that stuff in reptile tanks... Can't remember exactly what the issue was and if it would transfer to an aquarium, though?
My wife has had a variety of reptiles. From what I gather talking to her, the main issue with the calcium sand is that the critters can swallow bits of it while feeding, which can potentially become impacted in their intestines causing nastiness.

I know that may not clarify things in this scenario as far as water quality goes, but thought I would just throw that out there.
02-06-2011 05:17 PM
moonshinetheslacker Well, the tank is full of mud today! Once the water clears (tomorrow, or the next day probably) I'll plant the crypt parva I just picked up, along with the crypt spiralis going up along the left side, and the anubias is jammed between the stone wall, and the glass, on the right side. I'm still trying to find some marselia minuta, but if nothing else, I'm wondering if I might be able to make a carpet out of the parva?

Quick update on the clay and steel wool: Don't bother. The clay melts within about 24 hours. But, I suppose the steel wool will just rust away under the substrate anyway.
02-04-2011 10:45 PM
Budget aquarist first, if you have such low light wattage, i recommend taking out the duckweed, then, i would get driftwood, eco-complete black gravel, and a few low light plants. ( anubias, java moss, java fern, bacopa, and spiranulis crypt)
02-02-2011 01:54 AM
moonshinetheslacker Here's a couple pics of the planter I did on the top of the wall

Also, some pics of the substrate science experiment that's taking over my kitchen counter, lol!

There's the steel wool, the encapsulated steel wool, the small amount of substrate I made for the HC, and a pot of boiling dirt. I threw the duckweed in there because DEATH TO DUCKWEED! hehe... I figured boiling it for 15 minutes would make me feel better. And it did.

Oh, and Seadreamer, I just wish there were a book entitled "Crypts, sizes, and needs" It would make things a bit easier, that's for sure!
02-01-2011 05:02 AM
Originally Posted by moonshinetheslacker View Post
Seadreamer: You know, as soon as I read your post I said DUH! Yeah, I certainly can leave just a little bit under the wall. In fact, do you by chance know of any aquarium safe clay I could put under there? If not, it's really no big deal, I can certainly leave the ugly blue gravel, and just cover it with something else.
Sorry. I forgot I responded here. Looks like you've moved on but, no, I don't know about aquarium-safe clay. It may exist. I'm no expert.

You might consider crypts for some low-light plantings. Lots to choose from.

As for growing moss near the surface, I've done it and had no problem. I think it was java moss. I had it tied to a piece of wood and hung from the top of the tank. It made a moss overhang, which was my intent. Anyway, it was about 2 inches from my lights (had a glass top) and thrived.
02-01-2011 01:07 AM
lauraleellbp I remember hearing some bad stuff about using that stuff in reptile tanks... Can't remember exactly what the issue was and if it would transfer to an aquarium, though?
02-01-2011 01:02 AM
moonshinetheslacker I stopped by petsmart today, as I had a little bit of time on my hands (very rare) and saw some stuff in the reptile section called "calcium sand" made of calcium carbonate. Anyone know about this stuff? I called the manufacturer to ask them a question, and the guy read to me exactly what was on the back of the bag, and said that's all the info he had.
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