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Old 04-24-2012, 05:16 AM   #16
ArchimedesTheDog
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The extra filter foam has made a tremendous difference in the water quality, holy cow. And speaking of huge differences, the Oto has been going to town on the tank, I'm worried he will run out of food immediately. I put a frozen pea in there but he has been ignoring it, tomorrow I will try Zucchini and some algae wafers. I read somewhere that the Hikari ones may not be great, so I was going to get Hikari and Tetra and try each.

I haven't seen the ramshorn in a day or so, he was on the back glass when the Oto landed, and he made off into the gravel I think.

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Old 04-24-2012, 04:32 PM   #17
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As noted, I have Flourish Tabs in the gravel and am adding Flourish Excel every other day. I didn't realize that the Excel wasn't also a fertilizer. Trying to figure out if I should also dose liquid Flourish or Flourish Iron or etc. Advice appreciated.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:08 PM   #18
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Okay, I now have a large number of water quality tests that in total cost about twice what the tank and equipment cost; my wife is trying to figure out what she can add to the garden to make up for it. Water this morning was:
  • Ammonia: 0
  • Nitrite: 0
  • Nitrate: 40ppm
  • pH: >7.6 (man, this API test is useless with such a narrow range)
  • GH: 16 drops/300ppm
  • KH: 8 drops/140ppm
I found a rotting green pea behind the rock, stuck in the roots of the Java Fern; pulling it out largely uprooted the fern, but demonstrated that the fern is rooting at least! Leaves on the Anubias in the back left are yellowing, I have a feeling I will be replacing that one at some point. Lots of beautiful moss at the LFS in ym neighborhood, but kinda scary, looks like a lot of work.

Saw three ramshorns at once last night, only one visible this morning. The algae tab I left had been eaten, not sure if by the oto or the black skirt tetra, but the tetra was picking at the remnants today so I have a suspicion.

Black skirt goes back to the store Saturday. I'm then getting a school of some sort of nano fish -- LFS has a lot of varieties -- and a shrimp.

Tonight is another significant water change -- draining the tank down near the inlet of the filter lets me add about 1 and 3/4 gallons back in to have the water coming out of the filter with a slight drop to create more turbulence. I'm going to add a prefilter over the intake, hoping the Fluval fits the tube.

Last edited by ArchimedesTheDog; 04-26-2012 at 08:18 PM.. Reason: brain freeze, leaves were yellowing, not rotting
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:09 PM   #19
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Am I in the wrong forum with this? Should this be in Tank Journals?
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:03 AM   #20
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which nano fish & shrimp are you contemplating picking up?
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:21 AM   #21
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i don't know if your root tabs will do any good for your java fern or your anubias. they both feed from the water column, and not the substrate, so having tabs in the substrate probably won't help a lot. i'd dose flourish comprehensive, it seems to have generally pretty good results.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:00 AM   #22
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Tank looks great!

I like it a lot.

What exactly was your "budget" for this project? I'm looking to start something similar of my own.
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:41 AM   #23
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Other than the water tests, I have spent about $95, and that's with the Cyclop-EEZ I got talked into, and all the equipment like gravel vacuum etc that I got rid of years ago.

I did a 2-gallon water change with filtered water from the store tonight to try to improve some of that water condition and put the fluval prefilter on the filter intake. I've seen enough material get sucked into the tube and be caught to feel this may affect water quality, but we'll see how it goes.

I am not sure what to get for livestock, the LFS I like has *lots* of nano fish and shrimp that come and go all the time, there were some really beautiful dark rasbora-looking things last time. I was hoping to get something colorful and small for both. I was originally considering Amano for the shrimp, but the Oto is really taking care of the algae, so I'd like to get a something to pick that prefilter clean.

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Old 04-27-2012, 05:45 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatB View Post
i don't know if your root tabs will do any good for your java fern or your anubias. they both feed from the water column, and not the substrate, so having tabs in the substrate probably won't help a lot. i'd dose flourish comprehensive, it seems to have generally pretty good results.
Huh, I had assumed the tabs just slowly leached into the water column. Something new every day!
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:11 AM   #25
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Today, the Black Skirt Tetra left. Thanks, Peter! Best of luck to you!

My wife named him Peter.

Anyhow, today Peter went back to the store, and I brought home two Clown Killies, a group of four Galaxy Microrasborae, and a Cherry Shrimp. I also removed the dying Anubias from the back corner and put a small ball of Java Moss there, tucking it under the driftwood until it takes hold.

The Killies are hanging out at the top of the water so far, like little sharks with fins above the water. I'm a little worried about them, but supposedly they are top dwellers. The Galaxies are hanging out behind the wood as a group, and the Cherry is happily puttering away. Lefty the Oto is as indefatigable as always.

I also dosed a medicine dropper full of regular Flourish before adding the fish.



The window is reflected in the tank, that's the grid thing.
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:14 AM   #26
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Quote:
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Huh, I had assumed the tabs just slowly leached into the water column. Something new every day!
i'm not sure, that's more of a guess than a from experience thing. but your substrate looks fine enough that i'm not sure how much of the fertilizer would get through it. what i do know is that people usually use root tabs for heavy root-feeders, and not plants that feed from the water column.
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:26 AM   #27
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Have you ever considered Ember Tetras for this tank?
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:51 AM   #28
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Well, with all the fish in there now, plus the crabs I will add this week, I am keeping an eye on the load. The embers are nice, but the Galaxies are also orange and I like variety.
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Old 04-29-2012, 03:17 AM   #29
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Quote:
Huh, I had assumed the tabs just slowly leached into the water column. Something new every day!
It'll do some good, but not terribly much. It's like feeding cat food to a dog: he'll eat it, but it's not really suited. I would save them for another time. Get some vals, swords, or crypts in there and they'll start to appreciate it much.

Most of the plants you have in there atm are pretty tough buggers. I keep anubias, moss, and java in a little tank with just inert pea gravel and indirect sun. No ferts. No lamps. No problems. I wouldn't hassle with flourish atm. These guys will be pretty frugal consumers in the conditions you have. If anything, macros would be more beneficial if you're going to dose something (and that's kind of just icing on the cake)
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:13 AM   #30
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Whoops, I didn't see the 2nd page. Forget that last post
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