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Old 02-22-2014, 03:50 AM   #91
Menace
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Thanks guys. The way they were acting was if they were starving. They're constantly roaming over the sand and driftwood looking for food like desperate scavengers. I gave them some food and they gobbled it up as soon as it hit the water. I don't think I saw a single pellet fall to the floor.

I'm considering feeding once per day instead of every other day. Suggestions?
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:09 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menace View Post
Thanks guys. The way they were acting was if they were starving. They're constantly roaming over the sand and driftwood looking for food like desperate scavengers. I gave them some food and they gobbled it up as soon as it hit the water. I don't think I saw a single pellet fall to the floor.

I'm considering feeding once per day instead of every other day. Suggestions?
I usually feed daily, with one day per week off. (Usually Sunday)
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:56 AM   #93
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One of the new ladies in focus (second in background) They look pretty much identical with the back half of their bodies turning a blueish purple and some leopard spots on their tails.



You can see in the back left corner some new growth sprouting out. I'm hoping it finds its way into the substrate.

Day 40

I'm pretty amazed that the tank hasn't cycled but at the same time with the help of the great Diana I think my pH and KH were too low preventing the bacteria to grow and eliminate the Ammonia even though the Nitrite seems to have cycled. I added some baking soda to raise the pH and KH back up and I'll test in the morning to see where the levels are at.

Plants

I decided to give the DHG a haircut but as you can see in the photos the roots are doing nicely but it's still not amazing growth as you'd expect with high light or co2. The great thing is it hasn't melted or otherwise died off. I also have no algae or any of that other stuff thus far.

I only used a small amount of the DHG I purchased and the remainder I placed in a bowl with some left over substrate. I usually set it on the window sill and sometimes the blades get exposed so it's semi-emerse but that hasn't really done much and does appear to have some melting as well as some algae most likely from the sun. I cut back the exposure time some and started adding a little excel. I'm not sure how people make those nano vase aquariums and have nice plants inside with that stagnant water like that. I add/replace water in the bowl all the time if it looks yucky but no success.

The Java fern is doing well as expected except I might've dried the middle grouping out when I reattached it to it's anchor, took me a bit fiddling with thread and clumsy fingers. It's the only one that has all this growth coming from the leaves instead of down towards the rhizome. It might be rotting some towards the rhizome and it's just doing what it has to in order to survive perhaps.

Fish

The Male guppy does appear to have a chewed on right fin, but I don't think that happened in this tank because he doesn't seem bothered by it so that suggests to me that he's had it for a while? I could be wrong.

I decided I'll stick with the 3 guppies and the 1 platy. I originally wanted up to 6 guppies. I do still want Kuhli loaches but they are hard to find and one store wants almost $4/ea + They only have black and I wanted the striped ones. I do have something else coming in the mail by Friday. I'm not sure the tank will be ready for them though.

Anyways as always if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions please feel free to chime in. As the title suggests I'm pretty new at Aquarium keeping so I like the feedback. Thanks!

Last edited by Menace; 02-27-2014 at 04:18 AM.. Reason: Editing
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:13 AM   #94
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Keep up the good work!

Key to low tech tanks is simple: Patience.
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:54 PM   #95
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Bad news as it looks like the pH crash has killed off the bacteria and the cycle is starting over again... I thought the pH would fluctuate while cycling so I didn't pay much attention to it, but I see now I'll have to keep a close eye on it and raise it if it gets too low.

Results
pH 7.0
Ammonia .25ppm
Nitrite .25ppm
Nitrate 5ppm
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:53 PM   #96
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Day 42

Unfortunately woke up to see the Male guppy had died. Besides the fin issue I also noticed (when looking down through the top) that his scales weren't flat against his body they just kinda angled outward. I'm not sure what that means.

The male platy decided he wanted to harass the females during feeding time and was way too aggressive so I had to remove him and I will be keeping only guppies in there from here on out. Since Petsmart guarantees their fish for 14 days I replaced the male guppy and this one doesn't have any issues like the last so if he develops anything I'll know.

Water parameters
pH 7.2
Ammonia .25ppm
Nitrites 0-.25ppm
Nitrates 0-5ppm

I just did about a 50% water change and added the new guppy. I also tested my tap water and found it has .50ppm Ammonia. Does anyone know if Seachem Prime is supposed to have a strong smell? I don't think I've noticed it in the past but it definitely has a scent now and I'm wondering if it's bad in someway.

Honestly not sure what the status of the cycle is. It looks as if it's balancing itself out and I'll test the water later tonight after it's been through the filter to see what the Ammonia and Nitrite levels are at. Nitrite is dropping and I'm guessing the raise in the Ammonia is from the tap water addition.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:50 PM   #97
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Prime definitely has a slight scent, sort of garlicky. It goes away after a few days.

Don't forget that if you're using Prime, you'll get a false positive for ammonia. Prime renders it harmless to the fish, but it's still present and the test kit will detect it.
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:33 AM   #98
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Day 44



Cycling appears to be over! 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, but also 0 Nitrates. I suspect the plants are utilizing all the nitrates and the 3 guppies and 1 snail aren't making much of a mess.

Special thanks to Diana for all her help with cycling the tank

Plants:



Java fern is shooting leaves up from every bunch I have with the front right being the best bunch. The lower stems of the middle group is definitely decaying but the leaves continue to sprout new growth. I'll just let it do its thing and then replace it all with the new growth.

Dwarf Hairgrass is still slowly growing as is expected. I am considering doing some Co2 but I think once I get all the inhabitants in the tank that I want in there and things are going smoothly and healthy that I'll just leave the tank be.



Rotala rotundifolia I believe is the right term for this plant. This plant was in one of the Petsmart tanks so it might end up having some kind of algae or snails that will show up. I think it was about $4-$5 and I have the majority of it in another jar that has a ghost shrimp just to see if it would survive.



Elodea Plant on the right. This was shipped with my shrimp so not to waste a good plant I placed it in the tank temporarily to see how it would do.

Shrimp!: [Excuse the Cellphone pics] Luckily the cycle is completed because today I also got in my Blue Velvet shrimp. They were a bit of an impulsive buy. Sadly they were all juveniles and one is actually a baby so not sure he'll survive. I think an orange or yellow neo got mixed in as well. I'll wait a few days to see how many survive and see how their colors look.



The best one with the best coloring I've seen. None of them are more than about 1/2" big I'd guess.



Already hard at working cleaning. This one is going on a snail ride and the other circled dot is the TINIEST shrimp ever. I cannot believe the seller included this as one of the "purchased" shrimp.



This is the tiny shrimp. When I was acclimating and taking a photo. He's sitting on one of these pebble things he was shipped with. Remember the shrimp to the right is only about 1/2" big.

Fish: The female guppies look to be either Sick, Pregnant, or just fat because their bellies have some swelling. Last night I actually snapped a picture because it was insane how fast this one swelled. She isn't that big anymore though so I suspect a food issue. I did add another DIY Root tab for the Rotala that I planted and naturally the snail was quick to dig it up. By the time I noticed it I saw the guppies tearing away at the dissolving gelatin tab so I imagined they consumed a bunch of it.

The platy had been given away once he started harassing the other fish. I'm a little relieved anyway because he was a bit of a pig and pooped a lot in comparison to the guppies. Though it was a tough little fish.



Picture of the female last night.

Last edited by Menace; 03-04-2014 at 07:05 PM.. Reason: Edit
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Old 03-06-2014, 03:21 AM   #99
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Day 46

Some Nitrites showed up after the Shrimp were added so I'm hoping that it's just adjusting to the new bioload (they did scour every inch of the Aquarium in a day it seems and eat all the film on everything, especially the wood) Although I can only find up to 4. The guppies don't really seem too interested in them yet, I guess they like the food I feed them more.

That poor baby shrimp was never seen again though. I saw him once walking across from the left piece of wood to the right piece. I tried snapping a picture but my camera sucks on my phone and would have taken too long to grab my real camera.

The female guppies, at least one anyway, does look like she's got some babies inside of her but it's really early. I noticed a few times at night when the light gets turned off that the females lay on the sand (almost thought I had dead fish one time) but I read they get exhausted and that's when they do that. I imagine a horny male chasing them 24/7 can do that. Either that or they just like to rest down by the sand at night.

Since the tank has matured some the nitrates really started to pick up and levels are rising daily. The plants are really liking it as well. I haven't seen much from the two new additions but both of them are clippings so neither has roots started yet.

All in all I am really happy I went with the Fluval Edge. It makes some things challenging but overall it has a really great design and function. The lighting has been sufficient for plant growth, the filter is really powerful for this tank and the flow bounces off the front glass and because the driftwood is situated as it is it circles around them and back to the center. When the fish swim across the center they really have to swim to get through the flow. I keep it on full flow and I have it so when the filter is on the water level is like 1/8" just below the top of the opening. If it gets too low it begins to push the front part of the sand away.
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