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Old 02-05-2013, 05:39 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by hyunbaw View Post
1. So I noticed the plants were getting slightly yellow, so I diluted some of my ferts (kno3 & kh2po4) and I dosed another 1/32tsp equivalent. Perhaps I should dose more often than just once weekly.

2. The algae on my potted plant wool has been pearling. I hope that's a good sign??

3. What is the consensus on pond snails? I saw one or two and am debating removing them.

4. Which shrimp would be best for this setup? I guess I should check my pH. I'm leaning toward CRS. Any thoughts? I wish there was a simple cheat sheet with pics, pros/cons, compatibility, pH/environment, etc. Pls give some advice or point me in the right direction.

5. Any info on this little "pygmy"? honey gourami? Anyone heard of one?
1.) If your plants are yellowing, you should dose Iron.
2.) Algae is never a good sign and pearling does not make it good. As long as it isn't appearing in other parts of your tank, you're fine.
3.) Pond snails are annoying and can infest tanks with even two. I don't like them, but they are interesting to watch.
4.) Have you kept shrimp before? CRS would be a little frustrating to be your first shrimp as they tend to be finicky and every batch seems to have their own eccentric need to truly thrive.
5.) Never heard of it.

Hope this helps!
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:03 PM   #17
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Pond snails are fine and are a sign of a healthy tank. If there's not an overabundance of food, they won't overpopulate.

Since you're not new to aquaria, Crystal Red Shrimp may work for you. But you'll need to use a buffering substrate like Aquasoil and remineralized RO/DI water. It's not really true that each batch have their own eccentric needs to thrive - CRS are pretty hardy these days. Just keep your KH at 0, GH at about 4-5, use a buffering substrate, change 10% of your water every week, don't overfeed, make sure you provide a well-established tank and you'll be good to go.

But Red Cherry Shrimp would be much more suited to your tank.

Please check the shrimp sticky in the shrimp forum regardless of what you decide.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:38 PM   #18
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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!
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:43 PM   #19
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Thanks SomewhatShocked. I guess Ill keep my eyes open for some nice cherries or some cheap RCS to get my feet wet. Any reason for the need for RO reconstituted water & the zero KH?
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:00 PM   #20
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Ah, found some info on the CRS. Perhaps I should stick to cherries and the like for this setup.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:29 PM   #21
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Tank is looking great. Is your java moss doing better? I read that java moss does not do well with Excel. Just wanted to throw that out there for you....something to look into. BUT, everything is looking good. I've been thinking of starting up a nano tank like this myself. Threads like these definitely inspire me to start one up.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:31 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by hyunbaw View Post
Ah, found some info on the CRS. Perhaps I should stick to cherries and the like for this setup.
Cherries are definitely the easiest to work with. You may want to consider another color though....yellow, orange....they are neos as well and will be just as easy. Again, I am DYING to get one of these going!!!!!
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:54 PM   #23
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Thanks Shloken, Ill keep an eye on the moss regarding the Excel. Yea, I was thinking of possibly getting a different color, but we'll see.

I syringed a double dose of the Excel on trouble spots today and have noticed:
1. No pearling of algae on the spot that i treated.
2. Some browning of java moss on areas i treated.

I didnt get to treat much bc a double dose meant 1mL of Excel.

Shloken, you should go for it. In hindsight, I would recommend planting everything before filling the tank (i.e. dry-start method).
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:52 AM   #24
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Quote:
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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Old 02-08-2013, 02:13 PM   #25
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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:

http://www.unitedwater.com/eBooks/uw...html#/7/zoomed

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.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:55 AM   #26
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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?
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:15 PM   #27
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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.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:12 PM   #28
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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.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:10 PM   #29
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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.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:50 PM   #30
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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?
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