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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-13-2014 06:59 PM
Kathyy
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypsophrys View Post
Sorry to hear about your mom...

I would focus on water changes almost exclusively right now. Get your TDS and hardness matching the tap water, to start. No ferts except a couple of root tabs, for now.

Change your light bulb, and see how the plants look in a month.

You can keep RCS in your tap params, IMO. If you want to optimize it for them, you could start mixing your WC water with RO and shoot for cutting KH and GH in half.

I'd be more worried about the neons eating shrimplets than the water hardness.

HTH
Agree with the above. If the tank hasn't had water changes then go slow. I changed about 10% when I started taking care of the tank again and my male Congo tetra wasn't happy. Continued to make small changes and he perked up. Topping off likely increased the hardness of the water more than the rock dissolving. Changes in hardness can be hard on fish. Once tank hardness and tap water hardness were the same I started making bigger changes.

30ppm nitrate is fine for a planted tank. Algae is more apt to be a problem if there is too much light and/or not enough nitrate, phosphate, potassium and the minor nutrients so the plants cannot grow well.
12-13-2014 06:37 PM
hypsophrys Sorry to hear about your mom...

I would focus on water changes almost exclusively right now. Get your TDS and hardness matching the tap water, to start. No ferts except a couple of root tabs, for now.

Change your light bulb, and see how the plants look in a month.

You can keep RCS in your tap params, IMO. If you want to optimize it for them, you could start mixing your WC water with RO and shoot for cutting KH and GH in half.

I'd be more worried about the neons eating shrimplets than the water hardness.

HTH
12-13-2014 02:47 PM
Saxtonhill Kind of beginnerly questions that I have to ask:

This 20 gallon tank has been running for about 5 years. Are the high nitrate levels (about 30 ppm) a result of it being an older tank with perhaps more accumulated plant mulm/waste in the gravel?

As I continue to do 25% to 30% weekly water changes and vacuum the gravel with the hose, will the nitrates continue to go down?

Will adding more plants help reduce the nitrates?

Was I in error adding a little bit of liquid ferts (Flourish Iron and API Leaf Zone) to a tank with 30ppm nitrates and am I looking at a possible algae bloom in the future?
12-13-2014 01:08 PM
Saxtonhill This morning the 20 gallon TDS is 764, the PH is still 7.6, and the Nitrate reading is about 30 ppm, with the API test color reading about the same bright orangish red. It might be the rocks that are making the water more hard? It's mostly slate, but I do have a chunk of something the LFS called peacock rock (the striped layered rock to the left in photo below) Not sure about the nitrate reading but I will research that.



My gut reaction is to not try to change things up too much in this aquarium. The neons are active and poking through the plants looking for things to eat, they quickly come to the front of the tank to get their fish food, their colors are bright. The anubias are sending out new leaves. the algae levels are way down. The crypts look a bit more green, olive and reddish this morning. The leaves on the sad sword plant are greening up.

Going to keep the light time period to no more than 5 possibly 6 hours. Going to do small liquid fert doses every other week and if the algae increases, I'll back off on the light duration and the ferts. The bulb is an Aqueon 18 inch T8 fluorescent at 8000K. Going to do the 25 % water changes weekly.


If I want to keep shrimp, I will have to set up an aquarium with RO water and make the habitat specifically for red cherry shrimp. I purchased a 20 gallon long last year for this purpose but became very busy caring for my Mom. So maybe it is time to dust that aquarium off (it's sitting on a dresser with no water in it) and re-investigate the aspects of shrimp setups. I have a dish full of java moss and algae that will do very nicely in a shrimp tank.
12-12-2014 05:37 PM
Saxtonhill I'd like to add more root tabs to the gravel substrate and dose the water with a little Flourish Iron and API Leaf Zone. These were the ferts I was using with better success in the past. I did not add any tabs or ferts during the past 10 months.
12-12-2014 05:08 PM
Saxtonhill Today, before I did the 25% water change on the 20 gallon, I tested the water, thinking that with the top offs due to evaporation over nearly 10 months, the water was going to be pretty badly concentrated with wastes, etc. I kind of hesitated to post the results but I won't learn anything if I don't post them...so please chime in and let me know what are your thoughts

Here are the test results before the water change:
Temperature 74 F

Used API Freshwater Master Test Kit
PH 7.8
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
Nitrates about 40 ppm (bright red nearly matching the hue of the 40 ppm test chip)

TDS 826



After a 25% water change: (used API water conditioner)

Temperature: 74 F
PH 7.6 (Tap water tested at 7.4)
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
Nitrate closer to 30 ppm (bright orange reddish color which was in hue between the 20 ppm and 40 ppm test color chip) After testing, I put a Purigen mesh bag in the HOB filter. I only rinsed out the filter pad.

TDS 732
Only did General and Carbonite Hardness test after the water change.
Used API KH & GH test kit
KH 12 drops (test kit states 8-12 drops are about 140/200 ppm)
GH 23 drops (more than 400 ppm) (test kit states 11-22 drops are about 200/400 ppm)


The Tap water is:
PH 7.4
TDS 317
KH 14 drops
GH 18 drops

I don't think I want to put any shrimp in this tank yet. Anubias apparently don't mind hard water?
12-12-2014 04:35 PM
Saxtonhill It has been 10 months since I have updated this thread, due to caring for my terminally ill Mother with in-home hospice. Sadly, my Mother passed away last summer. In this time frame, I was only able to do water changes maybe 3 times, and generally just topped off the evaporated water and fed the neons.

The neons are doing great (maybe?) I had 15 and there are 11 remaining. The plants in the tank were mainly anubias, which are doing generally OK, but the crypts slowed down considerably and did not send out very many new leaves. The Hygrophilia corymboso has been reduced to just a few floating clusters, but with lots of roots. Sadly the shrimps are no more. The java moss was loaded with hair algae, so I pulled most of that out and will try to sort the moss from the algae in a dish. I was only keeping the hood light on for about 4-5 hours a day and some days not at all, so the algae over growth isn't too bad. However, a year ago the tank's plants were so much more lush looking and now...all looks kind of sadly dormant and neglected.

Last week, I did a 25% water change (first in several months), and discovered that the temperature of the water was 68 degrees due to the heater being unplugged for some reason. It must have been unplugged for a long time. However, the neons didn't seem to be very much bothered by this low temperature. Their colors were bright blue and red and they would come to the front of the tank to be fed when I came into the room. I plugged in the heater and after a few hours the temperature gradually went up to 74 F where it has remained consistently. The neons became a bit more active, but seem pretty much the same as they were in the 68 degree water with bright colors and good appetites. I have read that they like cooler temperatures in the lower 70s, but I also feel that I was very lucky that I didn't lose many of the neons! And also very lucky that the water temperature didn't go lower as we don't heat the upstairs rooms much past 62-63 F at night in the winter.






Below is a close up of the sad looking little red melon (?) sword that I transplanted last week into the 20 gallon from the 30 gallon. It is showing much more green than last week...I put in a couple of root tabs in the vicinity...but it is still very poorly looking.


02-26-2014 07:59 AM
burr740 Nice tanks. I've enjoyed this thread :subscribed:
02-24-2014 10:37 AM
Saxtonhill The ghost shrimp are doing fine. And I added some neon tetras to the 20 gallon tank recently.






The neons are fun, perky little fish...and yes I do have an algae farm...


01-24-2014 12:08 PM
trini_fella lovely tank and progress man
01-20-2014 12:48 PM
Saxtonhill Hi Fish-Tastic, I think maybe your note was intended for another discussion tpoic?

I still consider myself very much a beginner to growing live aquarium plants...I'm not sure I have much helpful advice to offer...

On tying plants with the black thread...I switched very early on from thread to using a small dot of super glue to stick my anubias to stones and mosses to stones, branches etc. Just be careful not to get too much on the anubia rhizome as the glue can smother the rhizome and then kill the plant.

Here is a link (below) to "Lighting Articles and FAQ" and you might want to take a look at the sub link "Lighting an Aquarium using PAR instead of Watts).

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=184634

Hope this helps!
01-20-2014 03:21 AM
fish-tastic
Thread thoughts

This is a teeny-tiny suggestion, because I think your tank looks really nice, and I greatly admire your efforts to learn about lighting. . . I have to admit that I find it all totally mystifying and don't even know where to start -- every source seems to compare apples to oranges when it comes to lighting, so I never even know where to start.
But I digress!
You mentioned using black cotton thread to tie plants to a surface. I tried that too, because the black thread becomes almost invisible. But it rotted pretty quickly, certainly before any new roots were growing in my super-low-tech tank.
So I tried clear nylon sewing thread -- much thinner than fishing line, if you're wondering, and almost invisible. Seems to be working just fine!
Is this now a thread about thread?
01-19-2014 01:16 PM
Saxtonhill The two ghost shrimp are out of hiding in the 20 gallon. They're a lot of fun to watch as they go about their shrimpy business of eating algae and 'walking' or swimming about.. (I think their eyes have picked up the flash from my camera!)

Here's the little one:





and the larger one:


01-17-2014 11:17 AM
Saxtonhill Thinking about doing some rescaping in the other tanks
01-16-2014 02:44 PM
Saxtonhill Here are a couple more photos of the larger shrimp...the other one is about half the size of this one





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