6G Tank Setup At Work
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:44 PM   #1
chayos00
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6G Tank Setup At Work


Hey guys and gals! I work a desk job and wanted to bring a little something nice to work with me. So I found a Fluval Edge 6G tank at the local pet store that had been returned as the light flashed and didn't stay on steady. It was being sold for $60 when it normally runs for $130, I figured what the hell I planned on changing the light to something stronger anyways, so I picked it up. I contacted Fluval and they warranty replaced the light assembly. So now I had a 100% working tank for half the cost!! Fast forward a few months later and I finally decide to setup the tank at my work.

I picked up a Finnex Planted+ 16" lamp for the tank and a bag of ADA Aquasoil from the LFS. I was going to use the supplied filter (AC20) as long as it worked for the setup. I'm running an Eheim Jager 25W heater in the tank.

Equipment:
Fluval Edge 6G
Stock AC20 Filter & Eheim 2213
Eheim Jager 25W Heater
Finnex Planted+ 16" light

Substrate:
ADA Aquasoil Amazonia Removed due to poor plant growth and lack of nitrogen cycle working for 4 months.
Black Diamond Blasting Sand

Flora:
Dwarf Hair Grass
Anubias barteria var. nana
Staurogyne Repens
Cryptocoryne Undulata "Red"
Cryptocoryne Wendtii "Green"

Fauna:
2x Otocinclus
4x Paleomonetes sp. (Ghost Shrimp)
7x Nerita natalensis (4x horned, 2x tiger, & 1x zebra)
More later possibly Celestial Pearl Danio (Celestichthys margaritatus) and Red Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina denticulata sinensis).

So within a day or two I had a slight cloudiness of the tank. Usually normal on a new tank, or can be. So I keep going along doing what I did, no water changes and just top offs with dechlorinated water. I had seeded it from my other tank from home with some filter media. Cycle seemed to be starting, but still already had high ammonia that as I can see from Googling that is normal for ADA Aquasoil, even Tom Barr confirms this in a few post. I posted on reddit asking about the ammonia level and was told to let it ride and not do the recommended heavy duty method of 3 week every other day water changes since I could use that ammonia level to feed the bacteria for the cycle. But around a week or two in I notice the cycle seems to have stalled as my pH keeps getting lower. Googling again leads me to find low ph's in the 6 range stall out cycles and I find that I need to get the pH above 7. So I start to add baking soda to raise the kh level which also raises up the ph level, I do the same method with my hot tub, so I'm like no problem piece of cake. Well in doing this there ph raises somewhere in the 7 range, think initially around 7.2-7.5. The very next day BOOM.... Cloudy brown water! I'm like WTF, Google again leads me to now find that the higher ph allows the Aquasoil to release its hummic acids and leach tannins into the water even more. Think some of this info was found even on the ADA website for initial "how to with Aquasoil." So the carbon was recommended by ADA as not being a bad idea to use. This was around when I was wanting a better filter than the AC20 it came with, so I left in the carbon media and started to use the purigen as I had some at home for my other tank. This is when I started to do the daily swap of purigen and about a week later the brown level really went down but not gone. Think that took about 3 weeks to be mostly gone and the water was just milky white from the bacteria bloom. So somewhere along here I started doing the massive water changes to dilute out the ammonia levels to follow Tom barr's initial Aquasoil starting method as the ammonia wasn't going down or cycling through. Only had ammonia no nitrites or nitrates (plants used up any nitrates from the water changes in a day). Now keep in mind I have been dosing Excel and Seachem Stability each M-F when I am at work too. Since nothing was working and after the water started to stay clean and finally cleared up and ammonia was only up 1ppm in 24hrs after a water change and at 2ppm after 48hrs and going no higher I decide to use the Tetra Safestart bacteria bottle and that seemed to work for a day or two and the the cycle stalled again. I bought another bottle and this time only added enough that I could give it 3 days worth to try and get the bacteria growing plus a new bottle of Stability. At this point I was changing the purigen every few days, which changed from daily after the water wasn't brown anymore.

I play around with some hardscaping and figure out the following.


I decided I wanted to have some dwarf hair grass and S. Repens in the tank for my plant life. I decided upon the fishless cycle as I was using the Aquasoil and that would release ammonia for me. So off I go and get the plants from the LFS as well as a guy from the net for the S. Repens.


Found an good sign for my tank as people kept asking, when will you put fish in it! ugh.... so annoying when EVERYONE asks!


After letting it sit and running over the weekend, I tested the ammonia! All I can say is that it sure does release ammonia!!


12/29 - Wood staying down on it's own. Anubias barteria var. nana tied on the wood. Bit cloudy and the tint of tannins is in the water.


1/02 - HOLY MURKY MUD WATER!! Added just enough NaHCO3 (sodium bicarbonate) to bring pH up above 7.0 pH. My cycle had stalled out so I found that a low pH, I was about 6.2pH before.


1/20 - Missing my in between pics... ??? Update FTS. I had added an Eheim 2213 to the tank as I was thinking the AC20 couldn't handle the water as it was almost a mud brown color and I was rinsing out the filter sponges in tank water to clean out the muck buildup thinking it was "mud". I also added the Cal Aqua Lily pipes Efflux F1 (13mm) & Influx X1 (13mm) later on.


1/28 - Holy algae! Think this was when I was out sick for a few days plus a weekend. You'll notice some java ferns that I took from my home tank to possibly bring in some bacteria from it to help out the cycle. (Still have ammonia!)


2/13 - Swear my phone's deleting my pics, I know I had more in between.


2/19 - I have added 7 assorted nerite snails, some small ones and some large ones. They started to make a dent in the algae.


2/20 - More algae removal from overnight!


2/23 - Think I added more S. Repens in the back.




2/25 - Otto's were added the afternoon of the 23rd and they are munching this stuff like it ain't no thing!


2/26 - One of the new Otto's!


3/3 - Otto's did a number to the algae over the weekend. Rocks cleaned up and the driftwood is MUCH cleaner!


3/3 - FTS with the Finnex Planted+ in the shot.


I was copying over my IMGUR album details above. I'll go over it when I get a chance later to add more details. Yup, at work! LOL

Since I was getting ammonia still after setting this up and it not going away, I tested the wood in a bag of fresh treated water to see if it was the source of my ever lasting ammonia, well the water tested at 0.0ppm, but I sure did have brown water as the tannins are still leaking like crazy! However it turns out that my ammonia source is still in my tank. I have 0.25ppm ammonia (before even adding any livestock including snails to the tank) and 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates (assume plants consuming nitrates). I just started to dose PPS Pro fertilizer in the tank on Monday, as my 0ppm nitrates doesn't help the plants grow and any S. Repens I add to the tank melt in a matter of a week.

Last edited by chayos00; 04-29-2015 at 09:05 PM.. Reason: Details
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Old 03-13-2015, 12:45 AM   #2
caffeinetherapy
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Diggin' the little caves you've got built into the hardscape! I'd love to set up a tank at work, but then I'd end up staying longer than I want haha. The otos look happy.
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Old 03-13-2015, 02:23 AM   #3
dru
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Those otos earned their keep!
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Old 03-13-2015, 02:40 AM   #4
chayos00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caffeinetherapy View Post
Diggin' the little caves you've got built into the hardscape! I'd love to set up a tank at work, but then I'd end up staying longer than I want haha. The otos look happy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dru View Post
Those otos earned their keep!
Thanks Dru and CT! I love the little caves too! I have stayed a bit after to do some of my large water changes, as I found if I tried to work on it during works hours, I always ended up with a job that lasted me an hour or two past go time!

Those Oto's sure do rock at what they do! However I noticed one looked a little "slow/sick" today. I noticed the gills seemed a bit on the red side, however I checked and my levels tested A-0.25 N & N both 0. So I did a 50% (3g) water change right after I got to work today and changed out the purigen (exhausted again) and the little guy seemed to liven up again, but the gills seemed a bit red still. Hope he/she makes it!!
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Old 03-13-2015, 05:24 PM   #5
chayos00
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So yesterday I got my supplies to make my DIY Root Tabs. I'm using the 00 capsules and Osmocote Plus ferts. So I made those up last night and inserted them in my tank at home (sand substrate with rooted plants) and this tank as well. However I'm noticing my Ghost Shrimp are trying to dig them out of the substrate in this tank now.... I keep having to shove some tweezers at this damned shrimp and shoo it away. I'm guessing the shrimp wants something more than algae and other stuff like that in the tank, going to have to bring some algae tabs to this tank. Hope it doesn't get them out of the dirt this weekend and "poison" the tank! I tried to get them as deep in the substrate as I possibly could!
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:32 AM   #6
chayos00
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4-29-2015 Update Time
So at the beginning of this month I gutted the tank. I removed the substrate and plants in the soil and let the tank run with just the rock and driftwood w/attached anubis. I removed it all due to the damned thing not cycling and the plants looking like sh!t. So I let it run bare bottom for two weeks and that got the cycle running. Which confirmed my suspicions that the Aquasoil was the source of my issues! So last week I put the soil back in with some osmocote and used black diamond blasting sand for the substrate. I replanted with the same plants and so far nothing has melted! I think I used a bit too much osmocote as I have a buildup of ammonia going on. So just letting it ride out this excess ammonia and seeing how it does.

Since my wife and I are expecting our first child in July and I'll have 6 weeks off from work, I'm going to not add anymore fauna to the tank till I return. Yes, I have a few coworkers who will watch after the tank for me while I'm gone. Hell at this point I practically don't have to do anything as it is! Maybe once a week I'll drop in a shrimp pellet to give to the shrimp (haha yes I'm evil that way) and I can practically hand feed them with it as they will go right for it.

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Old 05-10-2015, 05:43 PM   #7
chayos00
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So the tank finally cycled through the ammonia that was coming from the osmocote. No ammonia or nitrites anymore!

So my question for anyone willing to give it a shot. Where do you guys get the shrimp lily pipe screen mesh covers? The ones I keep finding are either not in the US or the reviews says it's flimsy. I currently have the AC20 prefilter on the AC20, but it's too ugly and large for the lily pipes. Plus that prefilter can get clogged easily and when I'm out of the office for 6 weeks coming up on July, that's not a good thing!

Here's a pic of what I'm looking for.
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:17 PM   #8
andrewss
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the tank is lookin good nice job
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