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Old 02-03-2014, 07:15 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menace View Post
I only have the straight tweezers. Didn't want to spend to much. This is the one I have. (Spent $4.75, free shipping) 14" would be better, if possible I still have to dip my hand some in the tank with the 12"
I have the same pair, good so far. Tho I like the bent tip of the fluval ones better. Still have to put my hand in a bit, of course. Worse for me due to the manzanita partially blocking the opening.
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Old 02-04-2014, 01:24 AM   #77
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Tank looks great so far, and you did a great job on that table to.
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Old 02-04-2014, 01:29 AM   #78
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Tank looks great so far, and you did a great job on that table to.
Thanks a lot Anny, I really can't wait to have it stocked and for my dhg to grow! Though I'm being patient till the water is ready.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:55 PM   #79
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I have the fluval bent tweezers. It does the job, but every now and then I'll have a plant that will refuse to stay planted.
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:42 AM   #80
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Day 18

Just a little update. I usually like to have some pictures or a video to go with an update but I haven't added anything.

Food: I was using some cheapo Topfin food that I bought to help as an ammonia source but I have recently (today) switched to the New life international brand, and my Platy is in heaven.

Water conditions: Sadly my water parameters have remained somewhat of the same. .25 ppm Ammonia, 5+ ppm Nitrites, and 10 ppm Nitrates. I'm not sure where this puts me in the timeline for cycling but I'm resisting adding anymore bacterial type treatments and letting it run its course naturally from here on out.

Additions: I got a cheap thermometer from walmart. It was under $2 and it floats and has a suction cup but the suction cup was useless. Nonetheless from what I can tell it reads true temps so I'm happy about that. I also removed the Carbon from the filter and replaced it with Seachem Purigen; hopefully this doesn't delay the cycling process much.

Plants: The Java fern hasn't done much since I removed it from the substrate. The leaf growing on another leaf in the center has doubled in size but that smaller leaf growing from the rhizome on the other plant doesn't seem to be doing well anymore. Since I added the DIY Osmocote root tab the DHG hasn't done much either, infact some of the blades have turned clear but we'll see.

Other observations: Platy has been acting weird. I saw him nearly tipping vertical and then spring back to horizontal earlier tonight, sleeping or dying? I dunno. He does love the new food I bought (especially the granules). I'm also smelling an "earthy" soil type scent from the tank. Any ideas? The snail did dig up the root tab I planted and I kind of pushed the osmocote individually into the substrate when I saw he had pulled it out. Not sure if he has pulled any individual osmocotes from the substrate or if he was just after the gel capsule.
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:52 AM   #81
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Be patient with java fern, it can take over a month to acclimate to a new set up (or major changes in a set up) and in that time, won't grow very much. They are semi slow growing plants under low light without co2, but can grow quite a bit faster (when established) in hi-tech tanks.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:15 PM   #82
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Day 20



My collection of new foods have arrived. Platy enjoys them and no more disintegrating topfin flakes as soon as I put them in the water. Granules so far are the winner (wafers are being saved till I have the bottom dwellers).



Sure. This seems like a great place to nap.

Last edited by Menace; 02-08-2014 at 01:50 AM.. Reason: .
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:37 AM   #83
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Day 24

Sadly, water parameters still no good.

Ammonia .50ppm

The ammonia color started out a really really dim clearish yellow, so I thought it would just turn yellow instead it still shows a presence of ammonia.

Nitrites .25ppm

The Nitrites, again showed a really dimish blue starting out (normally it shows a hint of purple) but it gradually turned purple. The good sign is that it's no longer 5+ ppm.

Nitrates 5ppm

This one fluctuates between 5 & 10

Based on my length of time cycling I would think I've got to be getting close. I thought the Nutrafin Cycle would have sped things up a bit faster.

Plants

Java fern is doing well as expected. That sprouting leaf that I had earlier is wilting away, I don't know if it's because of its new location but I'm not too concerned. The center leaf has 3 rhizomes branching out of the leaf now and it's kind of weird that it's growing directly from the leaf and not from the rhizome?

Dwarf Hairgrass isn't doing so well. I don't know if the constant uprooting and replanting or if it's just not getting enough nutrients, or if the snail is simply eating at it. Leaves are turning clear. I do have Osmocote (not plus) under the substrate and of course my liquid dosing of Flourish. I did have to bury them in a little deeper to prevent the snail from digging them out but we'll see.

Fish

Platy has adjusted to the new foods well. I think the crappy food really messed up his diet.

Snail is still doing his snail things, nothing new.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:57 AM   #84
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Nitrates are probably fine. Check your plain tap water and you'll likely find you're starting off at 5 (or even 10!) out the gate.
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:25 AM   #85
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I used to have dwarf hairgrass like you in a fluval edge. It's mostly likely cause it keeps needing to be replanted.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:40 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebeth View Post
Menace, When looking for slate, there's a very simple test you can do to determine if the rock actually IS slate: Bring a piece of chalk with you. Slate is very 'fissile', meaning it is prone to breaking along layers. Take your chalk board chalk out and rub the SIDE of the chalk along the SIDE of the rock (not the top or bottom). The chalk rubbings should highlight the fissile nature of the rock: if it's slate, you should be able to see parallel 'layers' on the sides of the rock, or parallel lines on the sides of the rock. These lines are the layers that slate is prone the breaking. Slate is also more smooth that shale or sandstone.

Thanks Ebeth. Originally when I was going about adding those things to the tank the first one I purchased had the appearance of slate but it wasn't. The second was slate but I didn't like it in the tank after I added it.

Last edited by Menace; 02-22-2014 at 02:12 AM.. Reason: .
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:10 AM   #87
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Day 34

Well, it would appear the tank still hasn't cycled. (Nutrafin Cycle & Tetra Safestart products used) Nitrites have cycled but still waiting on Nitrates to spike while Ammonia lingers around .50ppm. I was confident that the Tetra Safestart product would work that I went out and got 3 additional fish for the tank. (2 female, 1 male guppies)



Male to the right, Female top and Bottom. The females were "assorted" and the Male is I believe a Turquoise Guppy. They all kind of look the same though. I really like these Guppies as they seem very sociable unlike my Platy. Everyone gets along nicely. I'm only feeding one meal every other day so everyone has been pecking around cleaning up the tank.



A rare closeup of the Platy. He doesn't run off into hiding as much anymore. I'm sure he appreciates the company now. He is also a food hog and he knows when it's food time so he gobbles up as much as he can before the others realize there is food in the tank. I really wish I didn't get the Platy because I honestly like the Guppies so much more and would rather have more of those; but I'm stuck with him now and that's ok I guess.

Plants

The Dwarf Hairgrass is still doing ok. It's obviously not going to grow like it grows when Co2 is used but it has been growing and in some bunches they're spreading somewhat. Some of the blades are still dying off and some are constantly being trampled on by the Snail.

The Java fern is doing well as well. I think the center set was experiencing some rhizome rot because it was growing new leaves/rhizomes from existing leaves and they were growing rapidly as well. I had to reattach it to the slate under the substrate and I decided to trim the length of one. It took me a while to get it tied so hopefully the plant didn't suffer too much being out of the water for so long but it's possible. I also snipped the ends of the rhizome as they were a bit blackened (possibly rot?) and hopefully encouraging it to grow leaves from the rhizome instead of off the leaves themselves. Unfortunately when I put it back in I put it right near the glass and the Snail likes to springboard off it and that knocks it over so I'll have to move it back out again (but then the waterflow knocks it forward) so it's a constant battle with that one. Front right has some growth and the Rear left hasn't changed much. It doesn't get much light because it's blocked by the Driftwood.


Last edited by Menace; 02-22-2014 at 02:48 AM.. Reason: Editing
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:15 AM   #88
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Awesome! Your off to a great start! Just a warning I've used all of the "quick cycle" products and there is nothing better than just waiting it out. Keep up the water changes and test your water. Try to keep your ammonia down, when in doubt do a water change! Good luck tank looks awesome

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Old 02-22-2014, 02:30 AM   #89
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I just got done saying how everyone was getting along well but I definitely see something wrong with the Male guppy, being he is the smallest fish in the tank. His right fin looks damaged but I don't know how to describe it other than it looks abnormal. One of the female guppies does appear to be nipping. Also the male Guppy keeps trying to get close to the Platy and the Platy side-bumps him away. He also looks like he's trying to side-mount the girls (I don't know how fish sex.. but if I had to guess...)
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:21 AM   #90
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Looking good!

The fish will work it out, give them time.

Having more fish in your tank is actually a good way to get the cycle going stronger. That artificial start stuff never works as well as they say on the bottle, IME.
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