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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-05-2015 08:32 PM
Major update

After a poor experience with Clado infestation, I completely re-did the tank and made it a low-tech, no filter setup. Has been very stable.

-Same 9W LED light on timer.
-10W Heater
-No filter/flow
-Automatic feeder

-Fauna - some platys and guppies, ramshorns, and one nerite.

-Flora - Anubias barteri and Anubias barteri nana. Crypt Parva, Java moss, some rotala, small amounts of microswords and java fern emerging up top. Duckweed.

After a massive removal of java moss/rotala/duckweed.

Close up of Top half

Crypt Parva, Check out that Mulm!! about 2-3 inches thick.


I also setup a second Fluval Chi as my high-tech.

-Azoo 13W CF on timer
-Aquatek paintball CO2 on timer
-Hagen Elite Mini Underwater Filter w/o any filter material.
-Small doses of ferts here and there.

-Fauna - Currently just one nerite snail.
-Flora - Dwarf (Japanese) Hairgrass, Rotala. Hope to add some shrimp.

Sorry for the rotated images.
05-21-2013 01:27 AM
snakeskin This would look lovely with some c. balansae growing in the back to cover the cords I think... they have a lovely dark greenish red color with those wrinkled leaves that give such great texture to the tank. Would really compliment the driftwood I think.
05-09-2013 12:24 PM
hyunbaw Update!

So I had a bout of clado, and although it looked kinda nice, it irked me. I took drastic measures by physically removing and excel/H2O2/bleaching everything. The best was the bleach, made clado turn white pretty quickly. Unfortunately the plants as well. So you have to use a diluted soln. and dip for maybe a minute. I also bleached the gravel and excel/H2O2'ed the driftwood. In the end, I just put back the microswords and the crypt parva.

Now, I am snail and clado free (so far). I replaced the driftwood with a local piece of wood I had been soaking. I added a tiny anybias node as well. We shall see how this all recovers. The other salvaged plant species are in a small "creature container" in the other room.

The Chi is doing well and the Beamsworks led light is good. Only gripe is that it is not square shaped so it will give strong light to a strip of area and low/med light in front or back of that strip. A square version would be awesome.

04-11-2013 03:25 AM
mcclure91 very nice chi I just bought one too new in box for $10 (it didnt have filter or light) any updates on your tank and how are you liking the beamsworks led
03-24-2013 01:44 AM

I've been running CO2 at ~1 bps and the growth has generally been great.
However, there are 2 things that are bothering me:

1. I think I may have Cladophora. It's sad, because so far, it has been the only algae problem I've had! And it sucks because it's not even a technical issue!! My lighting, ferts, CO2 seem to all be decent. Any help with this problem would be appreciated. I'm considering doing a drastic H2O2 cleansing.

2. One caveat is that my rotala seem to have some possible deficiency. *See Pic below* What could this be due to?

1/32 tsp of KNO3 per week
1/128 tsp of KH2PO4 per week
~5mL of Flourish Iron per week
A few drops of Flourish Comprehensive per week (I'm not a fan of this product. I'm considering getting new micros)

A) Potassium deficiency?
B) Micros deficiency?
C) Flow or light deficiency? (I redirected the light more toward the front a little while ago)

3. Plans:

- I'm considering either just taking out the Rotala in the back and just doing microswords all around OR adding more colorful stem plants in the back-right (to create a stem plant section in the back). What do you think?

- I need shrimp!! RCS, maybe give CRS a shot? I'm leaning toward mail-order. Any insight/tips on deals on this would be cool.

Enjoy the pics!!
03-02-2013 01:43 PM
hyunbaw So here's my aquatek on a christmas tree stand, hahah.

Doing some minor rescaping/maintenance, so pics of tank will be later. I moved the wood forward to make space for stem plants in the back and adjusted the plants accordingly.

My Victor HPT270B is leak free! It had the wrong gauges and some scratches, so I was worried about it.

I also got a cheap regulator with chrome cga320 nipple & nut and USG gauges for cheap, so I harvested them over to the Victor. Im thinking burkert solenoid with a decent needle valve, and SS parts in between. Estimated total cost should be ~$175. There are some cheap dual stage regs all over. I missed out on one for $20!

I may just sell the dual stage since the aquatek is doing ok for my 5g, but I always dream of bigger tanks...
02-22-2013 03:16 AM
hyunbaw JasonK, Ridgewood is where I got my microswords and crypt parva. Amazed that a store of that quality is close to me. I hope to get a tank & supplies from them as my career (hopefully) progresses. Most things in there are all quality and priced accordingly, yet fairly.

As for an update,

1. I did a nitrate test and saw it was consistently high, so I stopped dosing ferts and just continued with the Excel daily. So far, its doing ok.

2. I am starting to setup the proper components for pressurized CO2, probably paintball. I got the aquatek regular size with paintball adapter, but am thinking maybe I shouldve just went with the mini/paintball reg. I thought It would be useful in case i upgrade to a 5lb tank for a larger aquarium. But thinking about it now, when I upgrade, Ill just go all out with a dual-stage, and keep the paintball setup for a nano tank. So in hindsight, I shouldve just went paintball mini aquatek. Doh! Also, I bought a Victor hpt 270b on ebay, so ill be working on that when time permits.

3. I hope to stock the tank more:
- Maybe a few more sparkling gourami? I like tiny nano fish, but I want to have shrimp in there, so i'm refraining from the nice pygmy loaches i saw, even the pygmy cories (or are they ok with shrimp??).
- Plants-wise, gonna try the DHG in the front as planned, and i need to do something with those stem plants (rotala) in the back.
02-18-2013 03:14 PM
Jason K If you're in jersey, have you been to ridgewood aquarium? small store, but they had a lot of plant variety the one time I went there.

If you buy RCS from any pet store, you are most likely only going to get females. I know from personal experience that pacific aquarium in NYC chinatown only stocks females (whether they know it or not).

I have two ada mini-S, which are 3.5 gal (true water volume is about 2.5 gal). One currently stocked with 3 cardinal tetras and 3 RCS (only males left, btw), and the other thank with a betta.
02-18-2013 02:50 PM
hyunbaw Thanks JasonK, Nice to have feedback from someone with a similar setup.

I plan to have DHG as the main carpet in front, but I'm still in the process of getting some. I haven't seen too many pygmy chain swords around, but will keep my eyes open. Any places you know of? Regardless, it may be too tall to be the foreground for this 5g.

Discouraging news for the RCS! I'm leaning toward RCS, so I'll report back the results if I add some. I remember them being very cheap at those chinatown stores, but I may go mail-order. Another possibility are the amano's but they're kinda big and not as decorative.

Can I ask how stocked (and what volume) your tank was?
02-17-2013 09:10 PM
Jason K I like your tank...having a similar pico low tech excel setup going for 3 yrs now, I have a few comments.

Microswords did not grow well for me. Dwarf hairgrass and pygmy chain swords both grew much better.

Dwarf Sag took a long time to take off (3 months or so), but once it did, it grew really quickly.

RCS and other neos were a struggle for me, and most died off in after reaching adult size and usually after molting...i blame excel dosing, but who can be sure. But many people seem to have no problems with excel and shrimp tho.

I used EI dosing 1x a week, and have had no real serious algae problems after initial set up.
02-15-2013 04:12 PM
hyunbaw Update:

1/32tsp KNO3, 1/128tsp KH2PO4 ~Every 2-3 days
A few drops of Flourish Comp. ~Every week
0.5mL Flourish Excel ~Daily

2-3 large flakes of Omega Flakes, crushed given daily

1. Growth of rotala & dwarf sag; Slow growth of microswords, java moss, java fern, crypt parva.

2. Mystery hitchhiking plant in pot seems to be Glosso.

3. Noted some GSA after reducing PO4. Perhaps reduction was too much or too abrupt.

4. Fauna adjusting nicely.
02-10-2013 01:15 PM
hyunbaw A few things I have learned from reading and observing:

1. I should decide on how to approach this tank's fertilizing/Co2. In a nut shell, high or low tech?

If going high tech (ie. pressurized CO2), E.I. would do well, and in E.I., ratios of ferts are not very important, as long as theres enough of everything.
CO2 and to some degree, lighting, will be key.

If going low tech (Excel), I should focus more on "balance". I should consider lower lighting or smarter lighting placement and smarter scaping (Plant choice and placement).
Minimal ferts and perhaps higher fishload.
And above all, patience. Since everything is in a way, slowed down, It will appear as if the tank is evolving. It will take longer to see growth but also longer to see problems. A different approach to a different animal.

2. Plants really do have certain conditions they love, (but CO2 seems to be a cure-all?)
Most plants have certain light situations in which they seem to work well, and are very particular. But it seems high-tech setups allow plants to do well regardless. Kinda cheating :P

My experience with microswords is this. They would do well in two main situations.
Situation A - medium to low light, preferably indirect light, less to no current.
Situation B - (assumed) high light with CO2, good current.
Anything in between and you're screwed.
If you place them in direct or higher (not even that high!) light in a low-tech tank they do horrible. Too little light or too much current is no good either.

So is this a difficult, moderate, or easy plant? It's very easy tech-wise if you put them in the right situation, but moderate to difficult if you dont know where to put them.

The same seems to go with java moss & crypts in my experience.
Crypts love indirect/lower lighting. I have a tank with no light, not much ambient light either, but with a high bio-load. They do amazing in that tank.
But when i had strong lighting (excel, no CO2) they did just ok at best. I think they got outcompeted for the nutrients required for such high lighting. (The ones in the shade did better)

This is a good lesson if I decide to go low-tech: Smart scaping/plant-choice is more important in low tech.

So for the current tank..

1. I adjusted my ferts solution, so it is now KNO3:KH2PO4, 4:1
I will experiment with the dosage, but I hope the change in ratio will help keep the hair algae back to some degree. (I know its not proven that PO4 causes algae, but it sure doesnt help in a non-CO2 tank to have too much PO4!!)

2. Yesterday, I did a 50% water change and half-dosed using the new 4:1 solution. We'll see how the tank responds.
I did notice that the red tops of my rotala turned greener after the water change. Some food for thought.
02-09-2013 12:55 AM
hyunbaw So I realized maybe my ferts ratio is to blame for my thread algae bloom.

The KNO3 to KH2PO4 ratio is 1:1, 1/32tsp ~2-3x/wk.
Im not sure why I decided to use that ratio.

So what KNO3 to KH2PO ratio do you guys use?
Do you supplement KSO4?
Pls give me some feedback on how you think I should be dosing. Even guesses are welcome.
Oh and should I do a water change and re-dose?
02-08-2013 02:13 PM
hyunbaw Thanks Tex, I appreciate the feedback/advice.

1. I gave a half dose of Flourish comprehensive until I get some Iron.

My current dosing regimen is still being adjusted, but right now it's

NPK 1/32tsp 2-3x a wk
Micros half-dose a wk
Excel recommended dose daily.

I feed ~3 crushed grains of Colorbits daily.

2. The thread algae (or spirogyra?) is slowly gaining on me.

I should have done a bleach dip on the plants from the LFS. I know exactly where the thread algae came from, but I didn't think it would cause a problem. :/ I guess I'll try adding an amano shrimp? (not the most aesthetic IMO)

I tried manually removing, but they just come back daily. I hope it isn't spirogyra as it seems like a PITA.

3. Maybe my water is pretty soft?

I was thinking about my high/unreadable GH, and did some digging. Seems like you often don't get a color change on my kit if you have very low hardness. I checked online for my water report and this is what I found:

If I'm reading it correct, I have pretty soft water.

4. After some research, it seems I may have a "true" honey gourami.

They often get mistaken for "dwarf honey/sunset gourami" which are actually larger than the "true" honey gourami (1.5-2" max). It also has a slight black lateral line on it, so it may be a female.
02-06-2013 05:52 AM
Originally Posted by hyunbaw View Post
Thanks for the reply!

1. Im cautious to dose my flourish comprehensive aggresively bc ive had fish get ill after doing so. Perhpas ill get new micros or just some iron. Any recs would be appreciated!

2. I have some thread/ green hair algae here and there but nothing crazy. Ive had BBA on a previous tank. That was the worst! Perhaps ill syringe my usual Excel doses onto the algae.

3. I'll remove the pond snail(s). I also found a lone ramshorn! Quite pretty with "sparkles". Mustve been an egg stuck on somewhere. I guess i should remove that sucker too.

4. Ive had an amano, and RCS before (in my brother's bowl) but thats about it. Would I need to feed (besides colorbits pellets) or supplement CRS something more?

5. I guess we'll find out if these are true pygmies.

Thanks again!
1.) Good! I personally use SeaChem iron on smaller tanks because you're less likely to overdose, and you can use it for a long time!

2.) Excel could work. Have you considered a small algae crew for this tank? Like Amano Shrimp, Nerite Snails, and Otocinclus?

3.) Haha don't like snails either! Good choice in my opinion :P

4.) CRS can be really finicky about TDS and temperature so I always keep that in mind.

5.) Good luck!
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