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Old 10-28-2012, 07:59 PM   #16
etane
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I ordered a lily pipe cleaner a few weeks ago off an ebay seller in HK. It finally arrived yesterday. So, today is canister and lily pipe cleaning day.



It's the first time I am cleaning these since I got my tank set up in May. I probably don't need to clean my canister yet as there's no resistance to the flow. However, I question how well it is keeping my water crystal clear since it's probably filled with shrimp sand especially the bag of Purigen. I stirred up quite a bit of sand during my transition from 60F to 60P a few weeks ago. Look at the black hoses. They were clear just a week ago.

Pipes are clean.



Hooked everything back up. The "black" opaque clear hose is replaced with Eheim OEM hose. The new hoses are still trying to curl up.



A few notes of observations. I have a total of 5 juvie CRS. One of them molted yesterday. Saw it today, and it's huge. Looks like it double or even tripled in size. Is that possible? It's probably as large or larger than my 6 months old Snowball mama shrimp. And, it seems the shell color gets a bit fainter after the molt. Maybe it's because of the extreme growth?

I replaced one bag worth of sintured glass media and replaced the Purigen bag today.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:54 PM   #17
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New tank shot.



Moved some stuff around. Added Eleocharis Acicularis. I bought a few pots but never ended up using them. Had these in a vase for the last 5 months.

Moved all the pelia behind the larger rocks. I think eventually the pelia will get kind of big, so I don't want them in plain view. They are there for the shrimps.

I think I am getting a line for more True Rotala Indicas. When I get them, I will put them behind that rock that is behind the Eleocharis.

THEN, I think I will be done with this aquascaping thing for at least 6 months and get my sanity back.
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:16 AM   #18
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looking good
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:10 AM   #19
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Do I have hair algae? I just moved this plant into my tank today. It was in a small vase for the last five months with partial direct sunlight hitting it. So, I am not surprised if it did have hair algae. Can't see it with my naked eyes.

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Old 10-29-2012, 06:11 AM   #20
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looking good
Thanks!
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:50 AM   #21
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About a month ago, I picked up some fishes and shrimps the same time I bought the 60P. I think that was a mistake. The tank water and filter was from a used tank, so the water was cycled but only half of it was as the new tank's volume is larger than my old one, a 60F. So, 2 of 3 CRS, 3 of 8 Gertrudae and 12 of 12 Brigittae died all within 3 days of setting up the tank. Since then, I've not lost a fish. I also added 6 more shrimps a few weeks ago,. And, I've not lost a single livestock. My tank must be fully cycled.

To test, I went to the store I picked up the 60P and bought some more Brigittae and see whether they will make it. I only picked up 4 just in case they don't. I brought the fishes home and used my new TDS meter to test the water. The store's tank water was at 600 TDS. I didn't know they can get that high.

My tank water now is about 140 TDS and was probably at below 50TDS when I first set the tank up. Back then, I didn't have the meter, so, although I acclimated the fishes before dumping them into the tank, I couldn't have acclimated the fishes with such a high variance between the tank waters' TDS.

This time around, with my TDS in hand, I carefully lowered the 600 TDS tank water down to 170ish before dumping the fishes into my tank. Took me half a day. At first, I was replacing the LFS' tank water with my tank water, 140 TDS replacing 600 TDS. After about 4 hours of replacing water, I could only get it down to 400. So, I then put the bowl directly under the RO filter faucet and turned it on just enough, so it was dripping a drop per second. My RO water is 18 TDS, so this would get the TDS lower faster.

After about an hour, I finally got the TDS down to 170. Then, I dumped the fish into the water. That was Saturday. Today is Monday, so it's been a good 48 hours. No fatalities so far. The fishes look fine. They are swimming and competing for food with the resident fishes fairly well. The Brigittaes I had before were not competing for food.

Dunno why the LFS' water's TDS is so friggin high. And, I found out another thing. The fishes I got is not Brigittae. Turns out they are Boraras Urophthalmoides.

While at the store, I also picked up a few bunches of Rotala Butterfly and a few stems of Staurogyne Repens. The Staurogyne was named Tropica 49. Never heard of it, but thought the plant is pretty as the stem is long and leaves are structured. Only learned after I got home that what I bought is Staurogyne Repens which is what people on this forum use as foreground "lawn" plant. I intend to grow it taller like I do with my Bonsai plants.

Another update is I've been searching for a macro photography solution. I don't want to buy a macro lens because I won't use it anywhere else except for the tank. And, my tank isn't interesting enough to warrant a $1k purchase of a stellar macro lens. I picked up a vintage macro lens on ebay for $12 which is a good lens but is noisy if pic is enlarged. So, I guess this is what they mean when they say a lens is not good for "digital".

So, I bought a diopter for my 17-55mm f2.8 lens. Got the B+W 77mm +5 version. Now, I can get my lens up to about 4" away from the subject. And, with a 55mm plus 1.5x crop factor, I now have a decent macro lens. I experimented with it yesterday, but I couldn't get too any satisfactory photos with it. Just when I was about to give up, I randomly took a few shots at about 8-10" distance from the subject.

When I was closer to the subject between 4"-6", the subject appears to be in focus through the eye piece and the camera was able to auto focus on the subject with no effort. The image looks great on the camera's screen too. But, when viewing on my 32" 1080p monitor, they all look blurry. Then, when I was shooting at between 8"-10" from the subject, I then got a few decent shots. The shots are not as close up but it's good enough for me.

Here's a few of the good ones:





Finally, here's a FTS. The glass is getting a little fuzzy so will be needing a good glass scraper. Been using a toothbrush which works well on the 60F but too short for the 60P.

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Old 11-13-2012, 04:55 AM   #22
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looking clear, how do you like the cal aqua nano pipes?
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:40 AM   #23
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looking clear, how do you like the cal aqua nano pipes?
They work!

I got them for the 60F. I was afraid that I wouldn't get good water circulation with the 60P as the nano pipes isn't designed for it, but it seems like the water is circulating just fine. I can see the plants in the far corner moving gently with the water current. So, there shouldn't be any standing water anywhere in the tank.

Plus, the shorter form factor is an advantage aesthetically as it takes up less tank space hence block less of the view.

Lastly, I now really appreciate the shorter pipes as it solves one of my problems. The Gertrudaes are better at hunting for food as they pick the food off the water surface. Whereas, the Danios wait for the food to come down to them. So, I was overfeeding the Gertrudaes and underfeeding the Danios when I merely drop the pellets on top of the water's surface.

The shorter output pipes is shooting out closer to the water's surface. This means, if I put the pellet food at the mouth of the pipe's output, it then shoots the food directly to where the Danios are. So, now I put half the food on the far side of the tank from the tubes, and the other half directly at the mouth of the output tube, and all the fishes will get their fair share.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:24 PM   #24
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We were casualty free for many weeks straight but the streak is finally broken. One CRS died a few days ago and a cory cat died yesterday. Who knows why the CRS died. But, the cory cat was suffering from signs of gill burns. Few days before he died, he was hitting the surface for air quite a bit and totally lost appetite. Then, I saw the gills were turning red.

Did a water test and found the PH to be around 8 but everything else is in zero range. Dunno why the PH is so high. Previous water tests had the PH under 7. So, I ordered a PH meter off amazon which took a few days to arrive with prime. In the mean time, I did a water change and found that the small rocks I bought at Joanne's that I used at the bottom of the tank is actually leaching lime. So, I removed as many of the rocks as I could without disturbing the rest of the tank which is about 3 hand full.

Finally got the meter yesterday night and used it this morning to find my PH is actually at 6.5. So, it seems my water parameter is fine. I also got the Seachem ammonia alert, and it says my water is "safe" (yes, I've read this product is iffy but only using it to confirm my other tests). So, it's a mystery why the cory cat got gill burn.

Anyways I got a new lens, Rokinon 85mm 1.4. Here's a FTS with the new lens. Tele is too high with the 1.5x crop factor on the D90, so parts of the tank is cropped. Here's a sample at f1.4:

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Old 11-22-2012, 10:37 PM   #25
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mystery indeed.

for a foreground plant I am going to suggest C.Parva or MM.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:40 PM   #26
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Wow the water is super clear!
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:11 AM   #27
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Update time.

Tank shot:



Added more Anubias Nana mini. So, my wife actually bought the first two pots of Anubias Nana from an ebay seller in Taiwan back in May when we both started our glass vase planted tanks. All this time I thought her plant is regular Anubias Nana instead of the mini variety. Then again, I've not found any information about Anubias Nana mini from any other source. But, it's definitely a lot more compact and shorter than the Anubias Nana I bought from Petco. Since my wife accidentally shattered her vase, I've welcomed her Anubias into my tank. The plant proved to be bullet proof as even I have kept it alive all this time.

Actually, for some crazy reason, all my plants are doing quite well in my tank and I don't even use any CO2 or ferts. Well, I did add some Seachem Comp when I first started this tank but only a few drops. I think the fishes are providing enough ferts, so I've stopped using the Comp.

Now, my CRS seems to love eating the Staurogyne Repens that I bought about a month ago. All the bottom leaves are chewed up.



I guess I can just put a bunch of Staurogyne Repens in the tank for feeding the shrimps incase I go on a trip. BTW, the pic is taken with a Rokinon 85mm 1.4 with a B+W +5 diopter. I can't seem to get a handle on the focus.

Here's one out of maybe a hundred shots that I am somewhat happy with:



I purchased 3 Blue Velvets from Nick about 2 months ago. When I received the shrimps and placed them in a bowl to acclimate, I found a very rambunctious 4th shrimp that came along for the ride. He was too small to be placed in the tank or at least I feared he'd be eaten as he was maybe half a centimeter small at the time. He was placed in a glass vase that's filled with Java moss for about 2 months. I had no idea whether he was still alive as he's too small to be seen in the vase. One day I got curious, so I took all the Java moss out to find him. At first he was no where to be found. I thought he died and started to give up trying to find him. Just as I was about to put the Java moss back, he jumped out from under a rock and started swimming around. By this time he's about 2/3 the size of a juvie, and I have more plants for him to hide, so I dropped him into the big tank. But, afterwards, he's no where to be seen again for a few weeks. Then, a few days ago, he popped out and maybe 30% bigger than when I put him in the tank a few weeks ago:



I thought this baby shrimp would grow up to be blue since he was found in the same bag as the Blue Velvets. But, he looks to be a Snowball. The pic up top is of the kid shrimp and of an older Snowball shrimp.

Oh, I added some Ranunculus Inundatus a few weeks ago. I planted about 6 nodes (bought 10 but planted only 6), and they've already exploded to what you see behind the Anubias. I am happy that they are growing very compact as I think this looks better. I've read that if they don't get enough light and nutrients, then they will grow tall and far apart from one another as well as close up their leaves. The few tall ones were already tall when I received them.

I was walking around PetSmart with my wife today and found they have a new shipment of Otocinclus Affinis (I think). Really wanted to get some Zebra or Cocama Otos from MzJinkz (sp) but don't wanna only buy a few fishes from her as shipping to CA will be a lot, and I only want 2 or 3 more fishes. All the employees were busy helping Santa and the rescue dogs, so I had to go without the Otos today.
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Last edited by etane; 12-02-2012 at 03:32 AM.. Reason: add pics
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:55 AM   #28
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Yes, the tank is looking great and super clean, I don't see a spot of algae! The new inhabitants look cool!
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:46 PM   #29
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Yes, the tank is looking great and super clean, I don't see a spot of algae! The new inhabitants look cool!
I got the TOM aquarium scraper and have been doing weekly cleaning on the glass. Otherwise, you'd see plenty of algae. There's plenty on my rocks as you can see in some of the pics above. Love the TOM btw.

Have been wondering whether I have too many or not enough fishes. I suppose algae grow because there's too much fert and O2 in the tank. If I have more fishes, there'd be more CO2 but more fert too...
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:34 PM   #30
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Awesome thread. Still following. Awesome tank
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