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Old 06-10-2013, 03:08 AM   #136
drewsuf82
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Wow looks amazing
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:57 PM   #137
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Thanks! The latest replanting was my wife and son's idea after I trimmed - they thought it wouldn't look as "messy" if we separated everything into two forests.

http://www.aqadvisor.com/AqAdvisor.p...rchMode=simple

So that's our current bioload - just under the wire with 99% capacity! We're going to chill with this for a while unless we lose enough to consider more - so let's hope it doesn't come to that!
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:29 PM   #138
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Well Ghostly the one-eyed Emperor Tetra finally gave up the ghost- floating on the surface, caught it before any fungus started in though. Did a water test just in case, and poignantly the params were never better - Ammonia zero, Nitrite zero, Nitrate five, pH still 6.4.

I was noticing some holes in the ludwigia leaves - why the potassium deficiency? Then I realized - I needed to dose BOTH bottles of PPS-Pro I was given - one is for micro, which I was using, and one was for macros! So the past week I've been basically just doing a glorified Flourish Complete, haha.

So I filled up the Macro bottle with distilled water and dosed macros for the first time. Man, the plants were already taking off, I can't imagine what it'll be like now!
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Last edited by Jahn; 06-11-2013 at 01:44 PM.. Reason: params
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:10 AM   #139
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Taking my son's advice, we cleared out the rest of the foreground plants that were too high but wouldn't look good trimmed, and moved them either into the forest or onto the hill on the back. We trimmed the left forest a bit more as well, and smoothed out the substrate on the left foreground. We figured we should do all this before the macro ferts made the root systems too entrenched to move. Here's how it looks now from the front and side!



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Old 06-13-2013, 12:22 AM   #140
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Well we were down to two neons and the cardinal that hung with them. The two remaining neons were both males, and this morn I noticed that one was harassing the other pretty hard. Time to get a few more neons to control the singled out aggression! Picked up 3 more, the biggest they had to fight the bully, and just in time- when I got home the loser neon had lost a lot of color and exhausted was just floating near the red root floaters very still. I introduced the 3 new new neons and put an algae wafer in. Everyone joined in including the new neons and the tired one, and after the frenzy was over I took out the wafer, dimmed the lights and added melafix. The Emperors went right into sleep mode, but the dominant neon went right to work bugging the other 4 neons and cardinal for pecking order. Hey, just spreading the pain! The tired neon regained color but is still swimming a bit slowly. Lets hope all six shoal up and get happy soon!
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Old 06-13-2013, 01:13 PM   #141
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Last night I saw the algae wafers give the fish gas, so in the future ill soak them before putting them in.

All 6 neon/cardinals were happy this morning. Put bloodworms in, and the emperors and CPD attacked them at the surface. Neons and cardinal stayed mid level, I hope some bits make it down there!
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:39 PM   #142
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Remember a while back I got three blue rili for the kids? One was a full blue rili, stripes and all, the other looked more like a regular red rili but with a blue tinge to the translucent parts (in this video post, second half), and the third was MIA. Honestly, that one was tiny and I thought may have gotten eaten the second it landed in the tank when I took my eye off it, haha.

Well I'm glad to report that it's alive and well! It has very cool markings, and the kids want to call it either the Superman Shrimp, or the Neon Tetra Shrimp, for obvious reasons:

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Old 06-14-2013, 12:38 PM   #143
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Don't worry the fish aren't gulping for air- they are gulping down flakes for a morning feed! Been a while since we took a daytime pic so here we go. Moved another foreground plant that got too tall and put it midground, in the middle valley. Re-added the pleco cave under the cholla wood, hopefully that placement will be more popular, i feel bad for the pleco just living on the amazon sword. My daughter is an expert pond snail pointer now, but I told her it's not bad right now so the rest get to live on!

Oh and awesome news - I can't even tell which neon was the aggressive one now, since the aggression went way down with the addition of the three new neon. The bullied one still doesn't have as vibrant a color as the rest, but at least he rejoined the group and isn't getting singled out for abuse. More neons=happy neons!

And since I started dosing the macro ferts, MAN the growth really shot up!

http://www.aqadvisor.com/AqAdvisor.p...chMode=simple&

So it looks like we're all done stocking fauna for now - and who knows if all 17 shrimp are still around, but we saw that baby Pumpkin walking around, one fire red hanging upside down on a red root floater, and a blue rili hanging out in the valley, so they are probably all there, just hiding!

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Last edited by Jahn; 06-14-2013 at 03:02 PM.. Reason: Neon
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:36 AM   #144
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I changed my mind. The platy wasn't the only killer in the tank - I bet it's that neon tetra that just bit off another Red Sakura shrimp head! My daughter pointed out the headless body, yikes, and my son spotted a small ammonia spike possibly as a result of the body being there for a day - .15ppm. So now I don't think there's any Red Sakura left! All the Blue Rili are around, and at least 2 of the 5 Pumpkin, so maybe the tetra just want to play head choppin' games with the reds. Good think the Blue Rili camouflage pretty well!



So there you go, need to do a water change. While I was at it, I took out the pleco cave again - it's just not being used, and it doesn't fit the look of the tank anyhow. I gave that wall-type petrified wood one more try after hammering out the side that kept growing white fungus, and we'll try round two for that too. So of course right after I stick it back in and use one of the cholla wood to recreate that triangle shaped cave, the pleco makes a beeline for it and tries to stuff itself in there, haha!



So here we are, a bit more au naturale now:



And it's been a while since we took a shot from this side, so here you go - we used the remaining two cholla to frame the other side of the petrified wood:

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Old 06-17-2013, 01:59 AM   #145
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oh no, one of the tetra is gulping near the water surface with red gills! i checked the pH - it's 6.0! usually 6.4 so...i noticed that the current HOB outflow is angled so that it captures CO2 bubbles and keeps them pushed down into the water a long time. I then moved the green amazon swords out from behind the drop checker and oh no - lime green, more yellow than green! So I turned the CO2 down from 2 bubbles a second to 1 bubble a second - hopefully that will help that tetra out!
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:13 PM   #146
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My daughter did her morning fish count and all the neons are still alive, whew. Actually the gills are less red too, and the drop checker is down from lime green to just green. I think one bubble per second is the way to go. I'll keep an eye out for algae though, if it stunts plant growth too much.

Still, it got me to thinking about surface flow, and the fact that the CO2 bubbles can just sit under the HOB outflow forever without any interruption. So I bought a circulation pump to get some crosstank flow going, a Koralia 240 I plan to aim from the far corner towards the surface and towards the HOB. it might shoosh the red root floaters around a bit, but it will also increase oxygenation and prevent any protein skins on the surface - plus who knows, maybe some of the fish might like a bit of current to play in.

Oh, last night my son noticed that 3 out of the 5 Emperors have "colored up" - they have that pearlescent sheen to their skin, and one even has that cool blue sheen. I guess they're adults now - definitely bigger than when we first got them, plus their fins are getting those black highlights, and the tails are growing out to the "crown" formation. Fun!
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Last edited by Jahn; 06-17-2013 at 01:23 PM.. Reason: Emperors!
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:46 AM   #147
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Good news, the one bubble thing seems fine for the plants so i'll keep it at that - no algae breakouts.

bad news, that gulping tetra gulped its last, floating on top. it probably was harassed almost to death before introing the 3 new neons, so the co2 finished it off, sadly. down to 5 neon, 5 emperor, pleco, shrimp and snails.

protein skin returned too, which can't be good for oxygenation at the surface either. that powerhead can't come soon enough! oh, and the red root floaters all of a sudden started taking off, and now totally covers the top of the tank - again, a good reason to get the powerhead to break it up at the surface.
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Last edited by Jahn; 06-19-2013 at 12:01 AM.. Reason: Neon
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:20 AM   #148
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Ordered a Koralia 425 - but when doing the water change today i found out why the current flow was so low. I took the pre-filter off and the HOB started putting out full current again! Man that pre-filter was filled with JUNK. The water was rust brown, like the color of micro ferts magnified by a million! TDS tap water was 44, but the tank water before the change was 213, yikes! Have to catch that at 140-145 and do a change. I think one of the neons didn't savvy to the conditions right before the water change and current flow increase, since it was apart from the rest of the neons and just floating on the bottom - hopefully this fresh water will perk it up along with the current. The Koralia will get here on saturday - can't get here soon enough!

trimmed again, the PPS-Pro dry ferts are really helping the plants take off, it's like a trim every week now. Pretty soon both forests will be filled out nicely, and it'll be time for some RAOKs!
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:33 AM   #149
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Wow the koralia 425 came quick! It is a tornado haha, blew away the floating plants in open water (and stirred up some shrimp, I saw two blue rili caught in a vortex!) so I moved it behind the heater which served as a baffle, moved the drop checker in front of it too, and moved the floating plant hoop fence from the HOB to the koralia. Finally it was tamed enough to circulate the surface without jet engine force! Protein has no chance now to film in the surface, there is good tank current and surface agitation for oxygenation, and the plants are pushed away from the center so the LED can get through. Oh, and the CO2 bubbles are pushed away from the HOB intake so they'll live in the tank a bit longer. All in all, pretty good buy!
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:07 AM   #150
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well the koralia is definitely putting more oxygen in the tank, i saw some pearling today. the fish all seem to like the current too, since it's not too strong but it's not dead spot heavy either. only funny thing is that the floating plants are all bunched up on the left side now, as you can see, so they cover only a third of the surface. maybe that's as much as it should be instead of covering the whole top - and it's time for a ROAK?


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