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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-20-2017 08:39 AM
johnson18 I've lost a couple of my Otos, each several weeks apart. I'm guessing it's fairly random. I found the last one Friday. Parameters all look fine. I haven't been supplementing their food with veggies or anything. I have seen them eating some of the shrimp food that I've been feeding about once a week.

I did a huge trim and replanting Saturday along with a large (~18g) water change. Largest WC I've done since added the shrimp. I've been trying to keep my changes fairly small ~5 gallons at a time plus any that has been lost to evaporation. I'd just dirtied up the water with all my playing around that I wanted to get things cleaned up. I also gave the glass lids a good scrubbing. The plastic that holds the folding glass lids together has started to die. The right side, when facing the tank, has totally dried out and broken, I just took it off so the glass panels are separated.

I really hacked down the Hydrocotyle but replanted everything I cut out. I moved around a couple smaller crypts, this tank is seriously filled with them. I'm thinking about grabbing some more C. beckettii. I've been trying to just pack the area around & under the lily full of different species of crypts, mostly beckettii, pontederiifolia, and undulata. The C. pontederiifolia has been doing well in that space. I've been wanting a taller species to mix into the back left but I don't quite know what I want or if I just need to let the Lagenandra meeboldi 'red round' fill in as I've read those can be monsters.

I've added a couple new stem species, not sure I'm injecting enough co2/light/fertz to make them grow well. It's just two stems of each. One is Rotala macrandra mini pink & the other is Ammania gracilis. They've both been putting out new growth, but the rotala is losing some color. No surprise there. I put both of these in the 20L too. I guess I mostly just wanted to see what I could grow. These I grabbed at ANA for decent prices, I figured it was worth a shot. The AR stems have been doing well, still growing super slow but they look nice and healthy. I've read the super slow growth is the norm, which is fine which me! The Baby Tears was starting to look kinda [censored][censored][censored][censored]ty before I added the co2, getting a bit of algae on it. That all went away and its got nice bright green new growth. Everything else is doing well. Some of the random rhizomes that used to be nice looking Buce before the melt down have started to pop out new growth. The funny thing is that they have spread all over the tank. It's like as I cleaned and replanted the tank, the little bits of rhizome got spread around. I think it's kinda cool. I'm just leaving it alone unless it is in a location that it is likely to die.

I feel like the algae is slowly becoming less of an issue the longer the CO2 is running. I'm still running ~0.5bps. With the cerges reactor I've got no bubbles in the tank. The hair/string algae is still present but in smaller amounts all the time. Some of the big Anubias leaves have a few diatoms on them which I'm mostly ignoring to keep the inhabitants happy and fed! I suppose if it got worse I'd wipe it off. The other algae on the glass around the tank has mostly gone away or been greatly reduced to the point I'm wondering if I need to start adding food for the Otos and Nerites! [emoji23]

I've decided to start dosing a fairly light EI regime of fertz. We'll see how it goes. I'm mostly doing this because my 20L needs it because it's packed full of stems. I figured if I'm gonna take the time to get the fertilizers out daily I might as well add a little in here too! Any thoughts on fertilizers and shrimp that I need to keep an eye on?

I also threw some more root tabs around in certain areas. The new leaves on the sword right up front we're looking kinda funky so I wanted to get more nutrients to it! This same plant has a bloom stem shooting up which will hopefully be packed full of little baby plantlets soon! Gotta make sure those babies can grow!

The shrimp seem to be mostly doing well. I haven't seen any baby shrimp but I think a couple of the berried females are no longer berried. I saw one a couple days ago, who looked like a younger female, that had partially dropped her eggs. Her eggs were totally gone the next day. This was prior to working in the tank and the water change. I've been thinking about putting some IAL into the tank in the areas I've not got heavily planted.

I know this tank still has a long way to go but I feel like I've finally got things on the right track. Now to keep up the work!

Ok pics! From my iPhone of course....

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02-07-2017 02:20 PM
Originally Posted by BettaBettas View Post
when that carpet fills in more it will make the hardscape really stand out and grab attention, nice start

Thanks! I just surprised myself scrolling through the above pics on my laptop as I looked through a couple fts I took at the end of the photoperiod last night. The carpet looks so full compared to a couple weeks ago! The Hydrocotyle will probably need a trim whenever I get a chance this week. The MM I planted has settled in nicely.

Hair/thread algae continues to be an issue. I've been manually removing some of it on a weekly basis.

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02-04-2017 02:58 PM
BettaBettas when that carpet fills in more it will make the hardscape really stand out and grab attention, nice start
02-04-2017 01:59 PM
johnson18 Questions on the cerges reactor before I install it later today!!

Do I need some sort of media inside? Sponge? bioballs? etc?

I've also not installed a check valve where the CO2 line enters the reactor. I've done this under the assumption that the pressure from the tank will keep water from entering back up the line. The reactor will be about a foot below the outlet on the regulator, there's already a check valve at the regulator before the line outlet, and about 3 feet of hose. I was thinking I'd put a hook in the wall behind the tank to hold the CO2 line up to create an n shaped "loop" in between the reactor and the regulator.

Thoughts?? Thanks for any advice!
01-29-2017 08:59 PM
Johnson18's 55gal Dirted Shrimp Tank

Idk what I did to my original post of this, but I obviously deleted the majority of it....

Since the semester is underway and gonna be a busy one I think progress on the Mr. Aqua 17.4 is gonna be kinda slow. So.... I went ahead and threw the new CO2 system on this tank. Right now it's running < 0.5bps w/horrible dispersion throughout the water column. I had originally set the system up using an upaqua(?) glass diffuser. I decided I might as well go ahead and make a C02 reactor. So like halfway through building a cerges reactor I went to move the glass diffuser to a better location and broke it. I snagged an air stone from my supplies and tossed it in. I unfortunately haven't had the time to plumb in the reactor for the last week. Hopefully I will find some time this week.

The plants have responded surprisingly well to the CO2 even with the [censored][censored][censored][censored]ty set up. I added some different plants two weeks ago. The main one being a Lagenandra meeboldi 'red round'. It arrived in rough shape leaf wise, but seems like it will recover quickly. Everything else is looking good.

Last time I counted there were like 5-7 berried PFRs. I keep checking around for baby shrimp, but not super hard. Hell, half of this last week I wasn't home at all during the time lights are on.

I don't remember what else I'd posted.
01-19-2017 03:46 AM
Originally Posted by johnson18 View Post

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UH OH!!!!! This Nymphaea rubra must've enjoyed the dose of macros a lot or finally hit an O+ root tab, or both. I came home this evening and these three leaves have easily DOUBLED in size AND there is a new surface leaf that is probably 6 inches BELOW the surface!! Damn!

I'll probably trim the surface leaf off tomorrow, if the lights are still on when I get home. I want to try to get it to produce more submerged growth.

The other SUPER exciting news of the day, I found a berried female! YAY for happy shrimp!
01-17-2017 12:13 PM
johnson18 25 Painted Fire Red Shrimp arrived the middle of last week. They look amazing!

Added four more Amano shrimp on Sunday! This will be the last livestock added for a while!

The current stock list:
40 cherry shrimp, mostly PFR grade
6 Amano shrimp
3 nerite snails
Lots of ramshorn & pond snails(too many)

Out of all the shrimp there have been several recent molts and probably 10ish saddled females!

I planted a small portion of Marsilea minuta throughout the "carpet" area on the left. There was a small amount already there but I wanted to mix a bit more in!

Since I was home today(sick af) I sat in front on this tank and ate my lunch. It was so fun to watch all the otos swim around together or play in the outflow.

I dosed some macros today(on both tanks). I drastically reduce EI. I don't plan on dosing regularly but I wanted to see how things went. I'll dose micros later in the week.

So... if you made it this far, thank you! Please let me know what you think or ask any questions you may have. Now here are a few pictures! I've only got my iPhone for pics, so that's what you get.


A couple shrimp pics...

Plant pics! This group of Anubias has been growing well & the shrimp love it!

"Carpet" area. You can see all of the crypts surrounding this area.

The "carpet"mix!

I guess I didn't take a fts, just this one that was only on my SnapChat

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01-11-2017 10:01 PM
johnson18 I'm planning on added quite a few more crypts to this tank. I would like to go for more of the rarer types. The plan is to get a couple of each for this tank and get a couple for the emersed set up. I miss having rare crypts around. This tank currently only has a few C. nurii and a C. affinis 'Metallic Red', the rest of the crypts are fairly basic & found almost anywhere. If anyone has some rare cryptocorynes they wanna get rid of let me know!
01-11-2017 05:06 PM

The unknown crypt

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01-11-2017 04:57 AM
johnson18 Added two Amano shrimp and ten Otocinclus today!! The PFRs have finally shipped, the seller chose to wait until the nasty cold weather had passed in his area of the country. I totally respect and appreciate his decision to do so! If all goes as planned with the USPS the PFRs should be here Thursday!!

I planted a bunch of the Hydrocotyle sp. 'Japan' to the left side as mentioned in my previous post. The previously planted Hydrocotyle has switched to submersed growth and is growing well. I would guess it will need a trim within a couple weeks.

Today I also picked up some new Crypts that I planted in this tank. They were marked as C. willisii, but are quite obviously not such. They are a brownish red color with bullated leaves, possibly Crypt. beckettii but more heavily bullated. Once they grow out a bit, I will take one of the baby plants and toss it into the emersed tank to flower and properly identify.

I will try to get some pictures within the next few days. Maybe I will remember to snap some pics when the PFRs arrive!!
01-06-2017 03:33 AM
johnson18 Today I picked up two of the spotted nerite snails, and three horned. The spotted ones are about a half inch in diameter, I put one of them into my 20L. The horned are the smallest nerites I've ever seen! They might be a quarter of an inch, but that's probably on the large side! I placed all three into this tank. Twenty minutes after adding them I could only find one in the area I originally placed them. I located one like halfway across the tank!

All of the shrimp I added yesterday are looking happy and healthy today. I went ahead and ordered 25 PFRs from a forum member!! I'm looking forward to getting them into this tank. When these shrimp arrive, they will be the last livestock addition to this tank for a while.

I'm thinking about adding more Hydrocotyle sp. 'Japan' to the left side. I'm hoping to create a kind of carpet look with it. I've got more than I could ever use in my emersed 55. Seriously, it is at least 4" deep all over and some places is more than half of the overall depth of the tank! I can definitely spare some more for this tank! The Dwarf Sag. appears to have begun growing. The biggest surprise of all is that the MM which was formerly part of the carpet prior to the neglect, has started to pop up in places!! This is a surprise to me as there was absolutely none left!
01-05-2017 01:43 AM
johnson18 After a trip to ANA & a nice convo with Ben, I added 15 nice looking Red Cherry Shrimp to the tank this evening. I will be grabbing a few Amanos next week when he gets some more in. My current plan is to order more shrimp from one of the members here this week. This will let me get a little diversity into the gene pool. I'm thinking that I'll probably order some PFR shrimp. I don't plan on adding the ember tetras for a month or so to really let the shrimp colony get established. I've never successfully kept shrimp so any advice or tips would be welcome!

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01-04-2017 08:12 PM
johnson18 I've done a bunch of work to this tank over the last month. A couple different deep cleanings. Added a bunch of new plants into it. There is still mulm on the substrate in places, which I've been unable to suck out during water changes. There's also a bit of hair/stringy algae in places. Most of it it left from when the tank was neglected & on slow growing plants like anubias. It seems to be slowly going away though.

Most recently (Monday) I removed the two pos fluval submersible filters that I'd been meaning to take out forever. I also replaced the Eheim 2215 with a new 2217. The 2215 got moved over to the 20L. I took about half of the media from the 2215 & swapped it for new media, placing the removed media into the 2217. I expected the tank to have some sort of cycle but I don't see much evidence of that after two days.
I tested the water today. The results are as follows:
pH 7.4ish
Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 0ppm
Phosphate <0.5ppm
KH 6 drops ~107.4ppm
GH 5 drops ~89.5ppm
TDS is 158
I use ro water on the tank but this is Tucson, we've got liquid rock for water. Super high pH here too, the tap water is crazy.

I think I mostly just want to toss some red cherry shrimp & ember tetras in the tank.

Here is a picture from almost two weeks ago. The plants have been growing great since then.

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12-12-2016 08:36 PM
johnson18 I'm finally going to get a little bit of time to focus on my tanks. This tank has seen months of neglect. I struggled with huge quantities of algae for months, it covered everything. I think it was a combo of unable to do water changes as often as it needed and the use of way too many root tabs with the brand new soil. even though I was getting some fantastic plant growth the amount of nutrients in the water was too high.

Unfortunately, I was unable to actually do much about it. I've got a bunch of back problems, so spending a lot of time bent over into the tank wasn't an option. I finally just shut off the lights, and left them off for about the last five months. Much of my house is windows, so the tank received some residual light but nothing else. The algae died along with a lot of the plants. I didn't originally set out to leave the lights off that long, but this fall semester kicked my ass. I was pretty much only home long enough on a daily basis, to sleep a little, shower and leave again. I finished my semester Friday, I spent several hours working on the tank Saturday but had to take a couple extra pain pills in order to do so.

I siphoned out more than 50% of the water, along with much of the degraded plant/algae material. I manually removed as much crap as possible. The tank looks better but still not decent. I plan on doing a water change at least weekly for the next month & sucking up as much junk as I can with it. I discovered part of the issue was that the filter out flow hose was kinked which reduced the flow to almost nothing. I have fixed that issue, hopefully in a permanent manner.

I added a few bunches of NL Java Fern & Windelov from the local petsmart. There are some remaining dwarf sag plants that I'm hoping will repopulate a new carpet. I also trimmed a bunch of the Hydrocotyle sp. 'Japan' out of one of my emersed tanks, and planted in as a carpet which should spread well.

I guess it shouldn't be much of a surprise that the Crypts are pretty much all still there, though their growth has been limited. I have no doubts that they will quickly rebound with fresh water and the return of light. From my last picture of this tank, the amount of Anubias has at least doubled! Most of the Buce. is also still around with stunted growth.

The lights are currently set on a three hour photoperiod. I will see how that goes and adjust from there.

Trust me, you don't want to see a picture. I will update with one soon though.
10-09-2014 02:33 AM
Johnson18's 55 Gallon II-Gettin Dirty

There's been a lot of growth since this picture. The Aponogeton in the middle has close to doubled in size. It's also got a shoot growing babies. A lot of other growth too. Like I said, I haven't had much time to pay attention to the tank, unfortunately. It's still only got a couple otos, like two black neon tetras and two clown plecos as it's inhabitants. I've would really like to add some more life to the tank. I've really been thinking about Rainbows lately. No, not just because of the article in the most recent edition of Amazonas, though it has made me think about adding them even more. My largest concern though is the amount of time I've had to do maintenance since school started. No point in adding more fish if I'm not gonna be able to keep up with the maintenance.
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