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Old 01-16-2014, 07:25 PM   #31
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I love you Pleco!!!!!!!!!!!!!
he's so cool, I really want a sailfin but I like my bristlenose as well!
good luck, its looking good
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Old 01-20-2014, 04:50 PM   #32
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Default The ever illusive aquatic dimetrodon

The ever illusive aquatic dimetrodon....Also know as a sailfin pleco (no real relation)
he does NOT want a photo taken when in full glory form (sail up) but I got him finally!!


And then thers a gaint brown blur and he's gone again..


You see those suctioncuped plants (anacharis) behind him? He decided to get back at me by ripping up 1/3 of them last night after I got these photos... thinking of switching to riparium plants to absorb nitrates and just give up on plants in the tank with him =.=
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:22 AM   #33
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Consider hygrophila. I have had good luck in tanks with big plecos with it in the past. Grows fast, develops good roots, and mine at least didn't eat it. Its cheap and easily available typically, though many species of it cannot be shipped interstate now.

Also consider floating plants. Some look very nice and the faster growing ones will suck up lots of nitrates as they aren't carbon limited like submersed plants usually are.
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:01 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Sotty View Post
Consider hygrophila. I have had good luck in tanks with big plecos with it in the past. Grows fast, develops good roots, and mine at least didn't eat it. Its cheap and easily available typically, though many species of it cannot be shipped interstate now.

Also consider floating plants. Some look very nice and the faster growing ones will suck up lots of nitrates as they aren't carbon limited like submersed plants usually are.
Thank you for the suggestions. I won't be buying plants until the spring when the weather is more shipping friendly for them. I've not tried hygro, I'd thought from looking at photos that he'd snap the stem or just eat the leaves, but if its cheap I'll give it a whirl, slap it in there with a root tab and see how it does.
As for floaters, I have a clear hood over my tank, and though it has corners cut for filter, heater cord, and airline tubing, its not enough air flow for floaters it seems. I've tried duckweed.. it did not grow at all, just vanished bit by bit with each water change. I also have amazon frogbit in the 3 gallon, it also has a hood with small silts for air but its not enough, the lily pad like leaves turn yellow and then transparent. I cannot remove the hood as I have rainbows and the pleco in there, though they have not tried, their species are listed as "jumpers" so to avoid finding a cat eating a dehydrated fish snack on the carpet I have to keep the lid on.
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:46 PM   #35
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Default cleaning day + other babble

I removed the spray bar from the outlet a week ago since its small holes were always getting clogged with mulm. So water just flows into the tank from the elbow it connected to, it creates great water agitation to help aerate and the fish don't seem to mind the faster movement.

Here's another pleco photo from a few days ago, as you can see, all the anacharis is ripped loose.


I still cannot get a decent photo of the Madagascar *sigh* fidgety lil' bugger.

I don't take any full tank photos now as its not so pretty to look at since the pleco refuses to let me keep the anacharis where I want it =,=

Today I did the messy canister clean today, haven't cleared it out since before the fish went in. I used trash bags around the canister to keep the carpet from getting nasties on it. Again the water in it was black-brown from all the mulm build up, concentrated poop and rotted plant/food.. yuck. The filter floss pads that came with the sunsun filter are pretty much gone (started falling apart as I rung them out/agitated them in the water basin) but I don't have replacements so I have to put them back in. I use a screen filter over the sink drain to prevent anything from clogging the pipes or any snails/plants getting out when doing water changes.. and it gets completely clogged from all the mulm from cleaning the canister and doesn't drain well so I spend a good bit of time dealing with that mess.. more dipping my hands in concentrated mulmy-goodness...

Last time I did a canister clean I think was too vigorous and ended up cycling again (took a week to get parameters right) but it was before the fish went in.. I hope that does not happen again, or I will have to do more research into how to clean a canister without loosing all the BB... also should look into better filter pads while I'm at it. We'll see how things go.
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:09 PM   #36
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The best photo of my Madagascar I've gotten to date

can't get the camera to stay focused when she swims so have to wait for her to stop and stare at me.

My husband managed to get a good in-focus shot of the pleco darting for his favorite spot using his much nicer camera (i must learn how to use it) of course his face is hidden though... the large white blob in front is a very munched on zucchini


I probably won't do any full tank photos until the pleco moves out since he refuses to let me scape, all i can keep is floated anacharis in there with him... so many plant scape ideas *sigh*
I have a tomato growing on the windowsill with my to-techs thats outgrowing its little cup quickly, I'm considering adapting my old crappy hob (that came with the 10 gallon) to house it and pit it to the 55.. if i can figure out how to have soil in there and not lose it all into the tank..

Canister cleaning last week went well, both fish are alive and showed no sighs of stress so I managed not to clean out the BB colony this time (woot), still really need to get some replacement pads for the filter though...
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:43 PM   #37
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Lightbulb Aquaponics.. lots of rambling

So the tomato I mentioned in the last post got munched on by the cats once they found out they could reach it (grr) I'm currently trying to rehabilitate it in a bigger clay pot with more MGOPM and aquarium water. I don't know if its going to bounce back.. but in the mean time my research into growing the tomato in the HOB sent me on a tangent with aquaponics and I must say I'm quite fascinated by it.

Aquaponics is simple explained as using nutrients from aquarium water (nitrate and other soluble compounds) to feed plants which remove nitrate from the water making it clean before it goes back to the fish. I'd love to try this, since if successful, I would no longer have to do a 10 gallon water change 3x a week, instead only needing to remove the pleco poop, but not the water with it to reduce nitrates any more (plants will do that part).

I am hoping to try to set up a small simply system using my existing 55 gallon and canister filter, so all I need is some more umf for lights (I don't think my Marineland Doublebrights will be enough), grow beds, (light weight) media, and some seeds. I'd also switch my de-cholrinator to Prime and upgrade my filter media (get some real foam for there instead of the crappy stuff that's already breaking up) and possibly remove the activated charcoal. If this is successful I'd properly scale it for the amount of water volume and nitrates my pleco helps make, and whenever he gets his final large set up, build a large aquaponics garden to help there too.

For the initial test I'll probably try getting 2-3 6500k cfl bulbs and reflectors to supplement the Marineland (unless I can steal the t5 that is the tank rooms main light source and get some grow bulbs... our family room doesn't really need any lights in this basement.. right? >.>) , a medium/small grow bed box or maybe cement mixing tub, a light weight media (considering expanded shale or growstones), and use some leftover 2x4 we have to build an ugl.. I mean simply setup on top of the 55 gallon. Having lights raised up above plants (exact height will be determined by what is chosen to grow). I'll have the outlet tubing for the canister re-connect to the spray bar and have that in the grow bed and cut hole(s)/slit(s) with screen (if needed to keep media in) to let the water flow right back into the tank that the grow-bed is set directly over. I'd probably also remove the hosing for the canister and use the leftover black paint from trimming the outside of the house to cover it to reduce algae growth in the tubes (obliviously not getting any paint IN the tube and letting it dry before re-attaching) my husband insists on just buying cheap simple black hosing instead of painting existing. Also might finally get a background or some sort of glass tinter (or be cheap and just use old sheets) for the tank to also reduce excess light from getting down into the water (again to reduce algae issues).

Amusingly most people do aquaponics to gain healthy fruits/veggies/herbs and fish for their own consumption and/or to sell. Ironically I don't like to eat fish (and certainly won't be eating my pleco) or very many veggies so I won't benefit from the system, its mostly just for the pleco.. Though if I can successfully grow healthy food I'm sure my family who like a wider range of veggies than me will happily help take care of it.

I'd love to produce greens that I can then take a small sample of a make green algae to feed dalfina to then feed that to my rainbow fish (beautiful closed cycle feeding!), but for now I'll have to switch to a safe flake food to avoid hormones/steroids/color enhancers. I read that Paprika (i think) is a natural color enhancer so I might try tampering with that as I get more organic/safe with fish food. Once I've gotten the hang of growing with aquaponics I'd voe to use it to grow the pleco's own food supply (mostly heats green squash but will try to test anything I grow on him too) so I am only supplementing algae wafers.

Anyways I ramble too much.. will update with ideas/photos/etc as/if this happens *Cross fingers* just hope I didn't inherit my mother's 'black thumb' (bad gardener).
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Last edited by AquaAurora; 02-14-2014 at 07:32 PM.. Reason: added details
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:02 PM   #38
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Default Aquaponics under construction!

So no photos yet but gathering supplies to build an aquapoonic system. Changed from trying a grow bed style to trying an NFT (nutrient film technique) using 4inch PVC and PVC "T"s to hold individual planters. My husband has been a big help in figuring out parts we need and we'll hopefully be getting most of the pieces tomorrow to set up a system. Will still need to get a light and grow media but I am waiting until the system is built as these will be the most expensive parts. Unfortunately all the non transparent tubing we could find at HomeDepo or Lows was too rigid for the set up so we'll be ordering online... need tubing that's not semi transparent, don't want to encourage algae growth.

Currently we have the planters (curtisy of a wonderful little nursary down the road that insisted I take them for free) and the PVC "T"s which need to have thier 'tops' cut down so the planters will sit about 1inch above sthe bottom of the pipe. We have one cut already so ill get a photo to show what I'm talking about later. What else.. we got the end caps that will keep the water in the PVC, just have to do a little plumbing to let it in one end and out the other.

Will try to have progress photos with next posted update^^

Last edited by AquaAurora; 03-06-2014 at 07:14 PM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:14 PM   #39
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Default Construction starts!

Here's some photos, will add more details later

Seeds


uncut 4 inch "T"s (x6)


cut 4 inch "T"s (same 6)


Planter in cut "T" (x6)


4 inch cap (x2)


Pre assembling (4 inch diameter drainage piping between "T"s 3.5 inch lengths x7) + hose parts


Glue to bind pvc


Post glueing






3/4 inch hose to use for tubing (will be cut to length)
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:01 AM   #40
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Very interested! I plan on setting up something like this within the year. Except, no pretty tank.
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:47 AM   #41
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Very interested! I plan on setting up something like this within the year. Except, no pretty tank.
Awesome! Be sure to make a journal for it, always fun to see what people build ^^. Do you know what form of container you will be keeping fish in if not using an aquarium? Ibc, barrel, storage container, per fab pond, or the always fun (imo) DIY build for fish 'tank'?
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:42 PM   #42
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Nice to see progress! Keep us updated. I might be tearing down my setup to go with a a NFT system. Beautiful Pleco too.
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:02 PM   #43
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Nice to see progress! Keep us updated. I might be tearing down my setup to go with a a NFT system. Beautiful Pleco too.
Will be adding more info this week and next hopefully ^^ Got the grow media today in the mail (PlantIT! brand). have to clean and water-log it to figure out overall weight of the setup to buy appropriate brackets etc for hanging it up over the tank.

I ordered some sodium ascorbate powder last week that's taking for-ev-er to get here (moron company took 4 business days to ship it out =.=). Hopeing to test it on my tap and see how much my pH swings. I tried asorbic acid (from cut open gel caps) 2.5 grams in a 5 gallon bucket of tap and got a 1.1 pH drop (insanely hard water here so not too much of a plummet). I'm hoping the other vitamin C form will drop pH less so i can switch out the tank water without stressing the fish too much.

Are you considering switching to NFT because the grow-bed is being troublesome? Or some of the plants you want to grow do well in NFT/raft type systems? How are you fish (and shrimp) in you aquaponic setup doing btw? Hopefully well ^^

I love my pleco but all his photos are all of him in 'camo mode'. His natural colors are darker brown all over with like spots, not the blotchy tan to dark brown look.. he won't let me get a photo of him 'el-natural'. I love his light belly though, always fake 'belly rub' through the glass when he's sucked onto the wall ^^
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:47 PM   #44
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Very cool way of using unwanted nitrates! That sailfin pleco is awesome. Pretty cute.

Grow some lettuce with his poop water and then feed the lettuce to him again!
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:20 PM   #45
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Yeah the ph drop with ascorbic acid was too much. I stopped doing that and now that I know my tap doesn't have chloramines in it I might just age the tap water or use my RO waste water. The difference between my tap and RO waste appears to be TDS of 47 and GH of 2, both have nitrates at 5ppm.

Fish are happy but the shrimp all became snacks for the fish. Plants a growing fine now besides the high winds, I just want to switch to NFT because I feel like I can utilize the my space better and it would be a little quieter. I can hear the burp (gargle) of my siphon breaking if my house is silent. Trying not to annoy neighbors too much. The kale is sprouting new growth, radishes are growing good roots and the spinach seems to be doing decently.

I didn't know you were supposed to waterlog the clay. I only had two floaters since setup, but I guess that is because with my setup it's all weighed down by dry clay on top.
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