My first planted aquarium Petco 6.6 Bookshelf Iwagumi (Full Tank Shot 09/27/2012) - Page 6
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:04 PM   #76
SaltyNC
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My first planted aquarium Petco 6.6 Bookshelf Iwagumi (Full Tank Shot 09/27/2012)


I think I finally determined what caused my dwarf hairgrass die-off several weeks ago. It was a combination of two things. One, I was developing rhizoclonium algae in my DHG as I began injecting pressurized CO2 into the tank. During this time, I was experimenting with the CO2 flow rate, the on/off cycle of the CO2 in correlation to the light cycle, and if that weren't enough, I also adjusted my light cycle during this time. This induced rhizoclonium algae in the DHG, and while I was away, it was not removed and quickly formed a mat over the DHG. The second piece of the puzzle was that I had forgotten to turn the flow of the filter back up to full after cleaning the tank, so for several days, the water flow was very low. I believe that these two conditions combined to simply smother out the dwarf hairgrass.

I have since dialed in my CO2, and my rhizo algae problem is slowly but surely being eliminated. I am leaving my CO2 on for much longer, even with lights out, and this is keeping my CO2 rate very constant. With such a low volume of water in my tank, and with high surface agitation, and with a relatively low plant mass, having the CO2 on nearly all the time is providing much greater consistency than when I was turning it off and on close to the on/off of the light cycle. Since the CO2 level is not rising during the night, there is no threat to the fauna in the tank.

I also have been absolutely overrun with ramshorn snails. Their eggs arrived on some of my plants, and I did not notice them until it was too late. I was removing them several times a day, but finally I decided to just let the population explode and hopefully eat some of the algae in the hairgrass, and then the population should crash. Well, that's the hope, anyway.

The hemianthus glomeratus was trimmed back heavily this week, and after two more trimmings, it should reach the full thickness I intend for behind the rocks. I'll post up a picture of that after it grows back in, and that will likely be the final shot for this journal.

I took this shot before the trim. I have rarely posted pictures of the full tank, since the Petco Bookshelf lacks the minimalist beauty of ADA tanks, but I think it is time to show the tank as it truly appears on top of my bookcase. Please excuse the glare on the tank. I didn't notice it when I took the shot, and I needed the shot in daylight to have enough light in the room to show the full tank without losing the surrounding detail. You may notice the water level is a little low. I keep the tank at this level most of the time to produce higher surface agitation. The design of the included filter produces no surface agitation if the water is any higher, and I found this causes problems with surface scum and the plants suffer.


And here is a closer shot like I have been posting most of the time.


As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions, and many thanks to those who have offered me helpful advice along the way.
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:20 PM   #77
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I think it looks great! Thanks for sharing the pics.
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:56 PM   #78
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Just read almost this whole thread! Finally convinced to go to Petco to buy the bookshelf aquarium- I've been considering it forever but something has been holding me back (probably the fact that I have 3 tanks going already in my college apartment... moving is going to be quite the ordeal lol). My first planted tank looked a lot like that sad lonely bonsai picture- I'm totally blown away by your sense of scale and eye for detail. You'd never guess your tank is as small as it is by looking at pictures. Amazing!
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:00 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by callisto9 View Post
I think it looks great! Thanks for sharing the pics.
Thanks, Callisto! How are things going with your new tank?

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Originally Posted by KatJack View Post
Just read almost this whole thread! Finally convinced to go to Petco to buy the bookshelf aquarium- I've been considering it forever but something has been holding me back (probably the fact that I have 3 tanks going already in my college apartment... moving is going to be quite the ordeal lol). My first planted tank looked a lot like that sad lonely bonsai picture- I'm totally blown away by your sense of scale and eye for detail. You'd never guess your tank is as small as it is by looking at pictures. Amazing!
Thank you for the kind compliments, KatJack. I think it is neat how scale can fool the human eye. Good luck with your bookshelf aquarium. It's a neat little tank. I wish more companies made these dimensions in affordable all-in-one units. If I could change one thing on the dimensions, I wish it were just a tad deeper from front to back (not height). But, with micro fish like boraras, it's like a football field to them.
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:22 PM   #80
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Salty, I got brought over from your link in your sig. Very nice and small tank. As KatJack said, 6.6? I can't believe it.
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:24 PM   #81
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Thanks, Callisto! How are things going with your new tank?
Not well. I've had five guppies of out eight die. Water params are fine. I can't figure out what the problem is...
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:51 PM   #82
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I, too, have been considering one of these 'bookshelf' tanks, and seeing the beautiful setup you've made with it, I'd love to try one myself. Thanks for the inspiration!
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:46 PM   #83
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Salty, I got brought over from your link in your sig. Very nice and small tank. As KatJack said, 6.6? I can't believe it.
Thank you ipkiss. With the rocks and substrate, it's probably closer to 6. The tiny boraras really help fool the eye.

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Not well. I've had five guppies of out eight die. Water params are fine. I can't figure out what the problem is...
Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that. I've never tried guppies, but my son did, and he didn't have any luck with his, either. I wish I could be of help, but I know nothing about them.

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I, too, have been considering one of these 'bookshelf' tanks, and seeing the beautiful setup you've made with it, I'd love to try one myself. Thanks for the inspiration!
Silmarwen, thank you for the kind compliment. Please post a tank journal if you decide to try one. I like the 12 gal long tanks, too. After the water flow issue is out of the way, those make very nice compact tanks that look much, much larger than they are in reality. I wish you the best with your tank.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:59 PM   #84
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Silmarwen, thank you for the kind compliment. Please post a tank journal if you decide to try one. I like the 12 gal long tanks, too. After the water flow issue is out of the way, those make very nice compact tanks that look much, much larger than they are in reality. I wish you the best with your tank.
You're very welcome, and I most certainly will post a journal if I get to do one. I looked a bit at the 12 gal longs and perhaps, if I can get a hold of one, that might be the tank for me. Thanks again!
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"You're not putting a hundred gallon tank in the living room," my roommate replied.


10g "Community" of nothing but Danios - 2g (barely) planted Betta - 2.5g Betta - 1g Pond Snail Repository

My aquascape style tends towards 'tall in the back, short in the front, lots and lots of green and stuff. And maybe a rock somewhere...'
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:14 PM   #85
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Default Week 14 Update - Almost complete

Week 14 has come and gone, and I will wrap up this journal in a week or two with a final image of the tank.

Against popular recommendations, I moved my CO2 diffuser next to my HOB filter's outflow. Contrary to the reduction in CO2 as I have seen reported, in my case this increased the amount of CO2 in the water. When the diffuser was against the side, there was a slow, easy flow of water past it, such that many of the CO2 bubbles simply rose to the surface and most were lost to the atmosphere before they could be absorbed. This also leads me to question why Amano's diffuser with the curved glass tubing is so high on the side of the tank. Wouldn't it be better positioned at the absolute lowest position in the tank to give the CO2 bubbles the greatest amount of time in the water as they rise? If anyone can explain that, I would appreciate it.

After moving the diffuser next to my HOB filter, the bubbles begin to rise, but the bubbles are then pushed down into the water column where they swirl around the tank for much longer and many appear to completely dissolve. All of the plants began to respond positively. The greens are now the most intense I have seen thus far, and the algae has been practically eliminated. I will likely alternate the location of the diffuser back to the corner every few weeks to try to evenly distribute the CO2.

The microsword (Lilaeopsis brasiliensis) is spreading into the dwarf hairgrass and is producing an interesting look. Right now, I like the look, but eventually it may push out the DHG.

The boraras brigittae continue to color up, but then inexplicably seem to lose color at times, creating a cycle of intensity. Perhaps it is the stress of the weekly water change. I keep the parameters (hardness) and water temp consistent when I change the water, but perhaps it is just the stress of a lowering water level and then the replacement of that water that stresses them into their pale alter-egos.

I am overrun with ramshorn snails, but they eat algae, so they remain for now. My nerite travels the tank daily, making his slow rounds, his mouth part always scraping away. If I didn't know I had Amano shrimp, I sure couldn't tell from looking into the tank. They rarely come out when the lights are on.

The prominent rock in the center of my scape is lighter than the rest. It didn't appear so when I collected it, but with the close proximity to the light, it makes it appear even lighter. That is clearly a mistake. I should have also added a little more slope to my substrate and probably should have used some substrate supports to maintain that slope. I'm sure there are many other mistakes, but I like to point out what I consider mistakes in the hopes that it will help others just starting their journey.

No pics this time, but stay tuned in a week or so for those with any interest in my feeble attempt at aquascaping.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:03 AM   #86
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It looks really good. Keep up the good work.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:15 PM   #87
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It looks really good. Keep up the good work.
Thank you, Matt.
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:09 PM   #88
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That's a beautiful tank.
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:49 AM   #89
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That's a beautiful tank.
Thank so much, GM.
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:55 AM   #90
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Default Week 14 Picture

I wasn't planning on posting any more pics until my hemianthus glomeratus filled in completely and grew to the top of the tank, so I could trim it into a curving outline behind the rocks, but...

L8nite posted a generous RAOK that required a tank pic with a notecard to enter, so here's the Week 14 shot. As you can see, I have a little algae on my rock, but I don't mind that. This shot also shows where I moved my diffuser next to the HOB filter. The blurs are my boraras brigittae darting all over the place. For the final shot, I'll remove all hardware, throw some flash on those fish, and get a hi-res shot. See you in a few weeks.

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