Fat Guy's ADA Iwagumi- eleocharis belem, rocks and snails - Page 3
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:58 PM   #31
lasutaku
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haha, you are really the diy master.

I was in NYC two weeks ago for work. Had a mini snow storm while I was there, not as bad as it was said to be. Going back there on the 20th of next month.

You think it'll still be snowing then?... Hope not~
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:13 PM   #32
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I really like the new way you have arranged the stones. One of the better Iwagumis i've seen in a while. It looks so simple and elegant. I haven't read through the whole thead, but what plant is in the back left?
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:11 PM   #33
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Hey Lasutaku...I'm currently watching the pipeline masters. I wish I was in Hawaii right now. We've got one more big snowstorm on the way next week.

Hey Zeldar, thanks for the nice comment. I'm really enjoying this tank. The plant in the back was glosso that I was growing, kind of like a bush, but I decided to pull it because it was really starting to take over the tank and replanted with HC that I had propagated.

The bubble counter is working like a charm. I hooked it up and hid it behind the cabinet.


Action shot of a water change.
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:01 PM   #34
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Very nice Fat Guy. I've taken a lot of inspiration from you so far, although the aquascaping design that I have in mine will be a bit different from yours. I do like your Iwagumi set up though. Thanks for all the help, and keep rocking that tank.
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:38 PM   #35
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Thanks IntrepidAquarist, totally looking forward to your setup.

This morning I noticed some browning on some of the HC leaves near the diffuser and near the glass. Everything is growing very well and I'm not sure if the browning is from:

a. too long of a photoperiod
-yesterday I accidentally had my lights on for 12 hours rather than the 9 hours that I usually run them.

b. nutrient deficiency.
-for the past five days, my nitrite and ammonia levels have been zero so my tank has been showing signs of being cycled. Then it dawned on me that because I've only been dosing potassium and trace elements for the first three weeks, all of the nitrogen was really being supplied by the higher levels of nitrite. So today I tested my nitrate, and my levels were zero. I don't have any inhabitants in the tank. I took the cardinal japonica out and placed him temporarily in my shrimp tank until my solenoid arrives. I know that there are nutrients being supplied via the aquasoil, but having zero nitrates in the water column got me thinking.

So I used the seachem formula to determine dosing of nitrate:

.05(v)(n)=m instead of on the bottle where it reads .25(v)(n)=m

where "v" is volume in gallons, "n" is desired amount of nitrogen in ppm.

I think if my target nitrate levels were 25ppm then I would use the latter equation and change "n" to 25. Would that be correct. The first equation I discovered through researching a post on APC here

so I plugged in the following:

.05(5.5gallons)(5nitrogen)=1.375ml

So I decided to dose 1.5ml of seachem nitrogen in my tank today which should give me just a little bit more than 5ppm nitrogen and is easier for me to measure. Which is not a huge amount, but I'd rather adjust slowly and monitor it than shoot for the moon to get the nitrate levels up to 25ppm. I plan on adding the white clouds by the end of next week which should supply more nitrates to the tank and maybe an otto or two to control the diatoms. Which brings me to:

c. diatoms
-is the browning on the hc leaves actually diatoms. on closer inspection, the browning on the leaves appears slightly fuzzy and on the surface of the leaf. It looks like a topical problem, and not from within. But then again, I'm not 100% sure.

I'm just using deductive reasoning to find the answer to the browning. There were two major changes in the tank. 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates (leading to a nutrient deficiency in the water column) and an accidental prolonged photoperiod. Each probably having something to do with the small change on some of the leaves. I know that the aquasoil is rich in nutrients, but I think that will really become evident once all of the HC starts to deep root into the soil. Right now, I think that some of the HC are benefiting from the substrate, and some haven't gotten to that stage yet. So the addition of nitrate may not be a bad idea now, especially before I put the fish in the tank.

Any thoughts?

best,

el g
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:56 PM   #36
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When I started my mini-m out, i had it inhabitant-less for over a month. So I did dose nitrates once a week. Don't know if nitrate deficiency would be your answer to your browning, but what your saying makes complete sense to me.
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:39 PM   #37
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Hey Lasutaku,

I think your right, I don't think what I'm seeing is from nitrogen deficiency. I'm pretty sure now that the browning is from diatoms. when I look closely at the leaves, it looks like a brown topical dusting. So I'm gonna pick up an otto next week. There is, though, a definite need for nitrate in the tank now, which makes sense that it is currently inhabitant-less. After dosing yesterday, this morning I did notice a lot of new roots shooting through the substrate on the side of the tank. I don't think it's directly related to the dosing the day before, but I take it as a good sign. I remeasured the levels this morning and my nitrates were at zero. Increased them to 20ppm today and will measure it again. The HC that I propagated and replanted where the glosso was is lookin good. Diggin the tank.

best, el g
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:06 AM   #38
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My burkert solenoid arrived today that I purchased from AquariumPlants.com Very excited as now I can prepare the setup for fish. Unfortunately, my regulator didn't have the proper fittings for the device, so I had to make a trip to home depot. Picked up the Watts A-738 Pipe Hex Bushing 1/4" MIP x 1/8" FIP to hook up directly to the regulator. I also got the Watts A-715 Brass pipe nipple 1/8" MIP x Close. Spent about $3.65 total. Unfortunately, Home Depot did not carry a swagelock male 1/8" to metering valve fitting to connect the solenoid to the needle valve. But when I got home I was able to salvage this fitting from the original setup that I had attached to the regulator. I was lucky to discover the following link to a post here on TPT that diagram said pieces above. It's important to note that the 1/4" to 1/8" fitting that connects the regulator connects at P on the Solenoid. You can better see in the picture what I'm talking about.

Plugged the solenoid and light into a power strip that is connected to a wall timer. This device works like a charm and so far no leaks. Before I received this solenoid, I realized that I had been experiencing a lot of additional co2 being diffused into the aquarium after I turned the co2 tank off. In fact, after shutting the tank off, co2 would continue to diffuse for nearly 3 hours. Which meant bad news if you were a fish or invertebrate. I think it would be safe to deduce that the the additional co2 diffusing into the aquarium after the tank was shut off was a bleed off from the co2 stored in the regulator. Now, however, with the solenoid, once the valve closes, the co2 diffusing into the tank ceases almost immediately. Once I can stabilize my co2 levels I think it'll be safe to add the white clouds. I added an otocinclus today. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he will make a good dent in the developing diatoms. Kept the light off for a while when I first introduced the fish to lower its stress level. He seems to have adapted very well to the new environment. Nitrates were zero this morning. Did a 50% water change before adding the otto. Didn't add any additional nitrogen. I will measure tomorrow morning to see what affect that oto is having on the levels. Probably not that much of a change at first. But once the white clouds get in there I'm sure the nitrate level will change. All in all, two nice additions to the tank today.

New equipment shot:
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:52 AM   #39
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Nice solenoid. Yea, I think what your saying is right, about the excess CO2 being in the regulator, and not in the line. I watched my co2 after the solenoid switched off, and my diffuser stopped bubbling within a minute. I was so excited about shutting my co2 off a few hours before lights out too lol.

looking forward to pics of your white clouds. I went with 5 CPDs.
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:06 PM   #40
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I have to say the repositioning of your main stone makes the scape stick out a lot better! Almost looks like mr. amano created the scape himself!
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:13 PM   #41
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This is probably the best iwagumi I've ever seen on the forums. Also one of the better threads. Awesome.
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:15 PM   #42
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Thank you for all of the nice comments. I'm still battling diatoms, the otocinclus is doing a wonderful job removing it from the glass. It is mainly on the HC now and a little on the rocks. My pipes are starting to get a little dirty (as if they were going to stay crystal clear forever). Added the white clouds yesterday. Really pretty swimming in the current. They are a lovely fish. The dominate males get aggressive during feeding, but calm dow a couple hours afterwards. They spend a lot of time low in the water, I imagine looking for a good spot to lay eggs as they are substrate spawners (as I've just read). Lost my amano shrimp yesterday morning. he had climbed out of the tank (even with the glass top on) and found one of my cats batting it around the apartment.

lasutaku, cpds sound like an awesome addition. My bonehead move today was not adding teflon tape to the brass fittings for the regulator. Realized I had a serious leak near the solenoid (applied a little soap and water to check for bubbles) and low and behold, definite leaks. My gauge read that the tank was almost empty. Part of me didn't want to believe it, but it was true. Need to go get a refill on Monday. Purchased yellow gas line ptfe thread seal tape and redid the connections. Taa Daa!! no leaks. also flipped the burkert solenoid as suggested. Now I need to take a trip out to awisco gas and welding supply in Maspeth on monday to get a refill. Once I get a chance, I'll see if I can get some pics up with the white clouds doing their thing. best, el g

Here's the tape that I bought:

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Old 02-07-2011, 06:44 PM   #43
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Took a trip to Maspeth and went to Awisco welding supply today. Spent $16 to refill the 5lb co2 tank after the leaks that I had been experiencing from the improperly installed brass fittings I connected to the solenoid. A while ago I had traded the aluminum tank that I used to own for one of their steel ones. I'm glad I did. The entire process is very easy and simply cost effective for a tank that will last me a long time (if installed correctly). I go there and swap out their empty tank with one of their filled ones. No bother having to get the tank tested and I like the weight of the steel tanks. I was having some difficulty getting a tight seal when attaching the regulator to the tank today and opted to take a risk and add a little Teflon tape to the fitting. Not necessary as the tank and regulator should have a tight seal with the rubber gasket, but I was still getting leaks when I did the soap test. So I made a trip to the hardware store and picked up a 12" adjustable wrench, which really gave me some nice leverage attaching the regulator. This is the style of wrench I purchased:

Really cranked the regulator on tight. And ta-da, no leaks from the regulator connection.

I reduced the water flow in the tank yesterday. After observing the white clouds for some time, I noticed that the increase in current seamed to create more aggression from the dominate male in the group. I'm not sure if more current encourages spawning behavior, but with the current full blast, the fish seemed very agitated with each other. Just a quick note, it's not that they appeared stressed from the fast current before, it was mainly their tempo in the small tank that was stressing me out. Decreasing the current has really made a difference. I still have enough flow to spread the co2 around, and it also seems like just enough flow to encourage some nice schooling.

With my DIY bubble counter, I've reduced the co2 bps to 1 every 5 seconds (inside the larger cylinder). The DIY counter is great, however, the way that I built mine, you actually get two very different rates of bubbles: one from the check valve cylinder (as the starting point), and another from the main cylinder where the bubbles from the check valve cylinder release into the water column in the larger syringe cylinder before they make their way to the diffuser.

The otolincus is doing a wonderful job on the glass, and just started cleaning the rock. I am missing one white cloud (a jumper even with the glass lid on) however, I have no idea where it is in my apartment. I imagine that one of my cats ate it. So I currently have 6 white clouds and three cherry shrimp and one otocinclus. I am still battling diatoms on the plants, which has seemed to stunt the initial rapid growth of the HC, however, the majority of the HC is deeply rooted and many many new, tinier shoots are appearing. I dosed 2ml seachem nitrogen during a 30% water change yesterday and am feeding the white clouds 3 small flakes of food a day. When I test nitrates, they are still at zero, but hopefully the nitrate levels will increase with the recent addition of the white clouds. Thanks to all who have been following this thread. I get a lot of enjoyment from this nano tank and enjoy looking at scapes that others here have made. Once the diatoms clear I'll snap some photos of the fish...maybe even take a video. best, el g
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:05 PM   #44
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Looking forward to the updated tank pics!
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:32 AM   #45
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So here's the story. I really enjoy white clouds, and was quite fond of the fish that I had been keeping. Unfortunately, I decided today to pull the white clouds from the tank. For the setup that I am trying to create, I want an active yet peaceful fish. And the white clouds (which are incredibly beautiful under good lighting) were making the environment too chaotic. I thought, as I wrote before, that they had calmed after I slowed the current down in the tank, but I was very mistaken. I had 3 males (one of them being an extremely dominate male in the tank) with 3 females. From lights on till lights off, the dominate male was bullish. I think the mini m is just too small for white clouds. If I had more space, I think the breeding aggression would have been diluted. So I made an executive decision and removed them and went on a journey to Pacific Aquarium on Delancey and made a trade.

But before I jump to what I purchased, I found this great .pdf file that provides wonderful information regarding the burkert solenoid valve and the technical principles of their valves. I stumbled upon it after researching the temperature that the burkert solenoid valves operate at. I touched the metal nut on top of the valve today and found that it was incredibly hot. But after further research, did I come to understand that they operate under a high temperature during use. Wanted to post that link just in case anyone out there is using a similar solenoid. May as well understand what you are purchasing.

So....back to the white clouds. I returned them to pacific aquarium, which is the one lfs that I have come to trust and one that treats their livestock well here in nyc. In a trade exchange, I picked up 4 neon tetras (for my fluval edge cherry shrimp farm). I had called around to different stores trying to find ember tetras, as I really liked the way that they looked. But my hunt came up empty as not one store in my vicinity had them in stock. Regardless, I was determined to pick up some fish today for the m. I had been considering celestial pearl danios, and found some at Pacific, and was a couple of heartbeats away from purchasing them. But took a couple careful walks around the tanks and observed the tetras and rasboras et al and watched how they behaved and tried to imagine them in my tank and the aquascape that I have created. And then I came across a tank labeled "Chilli Rasboras 'rare'"
<quick note, this boraras brigittae photo is not from my tank.>

- which were a tank full of lovely boraras brigittae that were going for $6.98 for 3. Regardless of the price, I really enjoyed watching the shoal and the handful that were really pushing into the current in the tank. So I picked up 12 of them (and got one free by accident...which balances the purchase out because I noticed a short while ago that one of them was missing an eyeball). I noticed two spots of ich on one of them so am expecting an outbreak that I can only keep my finger crossed to avoid because I did not quarantine them. Brought them home and added the rasboras to the mini and yahtzee, a lovely lovely fit. They mesh extremely well with the scape I have created. I also pulled out a large female cherry shrimp from my edge breeding tank and added her to the setup. The cherry shrimp are bigger than the boraras brigittae. Awesome. The otocinclus now looks out of place, but a wonderful inhabitant nonetheless. I decreased the current even more in the tank to a nice gentle flow. Now I will have to see how the balance of co2 I have been maintaing is affected by the reduction of water flow. I snapped a few photos of the tank to keep up with this journal/thread. Definitely still battling diatoms on the HC as you can see, but new growth is really pushing through and a lot of the roots are close to the powersand which makes me a happy planted aquarist.

Here's a photo of the tank with just two cherry shrimp and an otocinclus.



this shot is from a little farther away. I'm fortunate that Ikea makes such great stands and containers (and meatballs)


the boraras brigittae getting acclimated in a deli cup.


Here they are in the tank. It's nice to see the otocinclus cleaning the diffuser in this shot. Now I need to find a way to get him to clean the diatoms off of the lily pipes. The otocinclus is such a great fish for a nano like this. I was moments away from accidentally gassing him with too much co2 when I first added him to the tank. I'm very glad that I did not. Looking forward to the diatoms clearing and snapping a photo of a tight school of the brigittae.


as always, thanks to all who have been following this thread.

best, el g
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