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Old 04-29-2012, 04:50 PM   #31
ArchimedesTheDog
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Doing a little more research, here. I'll be adding two Thai Micros this week (the original has presumably died, the Black Skirt Tetra was harassing it). I'm wondering if this is going to be a sufficient cleanup crew. LFS recommended another cherry shrimp if this one survives, but upon reading they may be competing with the Oto for Algae -- what I want are gravel pickers/detritus cleaners, the Oto has the algae under control, and the ramshorns are backing him up.
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:37 PM   #32
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Video from Saturday night: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWWbLx3ENrU

Last night I was witness to snail sex, therapy is required. I might start plucking the snails out, I already feel like I have a lot of snails for the tank size.

The Galaxies are really active and fun, now. I *think* I have three males and one female, but hard to tell for sure. One may be just lighter in color, I have seen photos of some Galaxies that look really very blue, these are more blackish.

The Clown Killies just stay stuck to the water line: one likes hanging out in the tangle of the Water Sprite, the other stays where the water comes rushing out of the filter, trying to eat particles that get missed by the filtration. They aren't bothering anything, but they aren't much of a "presence" in the tank.

The Cherry Shrimp swims a lot, and spent part of yesterday resting in the Water Sprite. He also bumps into the Galaxies a lot, for some reason.

The Oto has completely ignored peas and beans and Zucchini, now. He mostly ignores algae tabs save the occasional nibble, and the shrimp ignored the algae tab and the zucchini yesterday. I put a fresh algae tab in this morning to replace the one that disintegrated and got vacuumed out.

I did a 1-gallon water change yesterday. GH is now 10 and KH is 5, down from 16 and 8. pH is still higher than 7.6. I want to get a ~20-gallon tank later this year, but my poor tap water quality worries me. RO/DI hardware is not practical for me, but buying 5-10 gallons of water a week for changes seems very wasteful.

Last edited by ArchimedesTheDog; 04-30-2012 at 10:07 PM..
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:46 AM   #33
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More news from the front.



I was giving way too much light to the tank, so I got a timer. Because I check the fish in the morning and do the water quality then, I have the light on from 6-7 and 3-10:30, now.

Speaking of too much light, a couple of the Anubias are developing Black Brush Algae. I am dosing Excel directly onto it once a day, but since a daily Excel dose for this tank is .5ml only, I doubt it's going to go very quickly.

The Red Cherry Shrimp swims around a LOT, and doesn't spend as much time on the gravel as I anticipated. I am trying to figure out if there are more enthusiastic gravel-cleaner shrimp, though the RCS is very pretty. Years ago I got a ghost shrimp for my Angelfish tank, and the catfish I had in that tank ate the shrimp as soon as it hit the water. I'm happy to be able to enjoy watching a shrimp thrive, now.

The Clown Kilifish pretty much hang out at the water line and are boring; every so often they swim down a bit (more when the lights are off), but then return to the top immediately. One hides in the floating water sprite, the other hangs out on the opposite side of the tank. They gather together only when I change the water. They swapped territories yesterday, too, oddly. Not my favorite use of the bioload, to be honest.

The Celestial Pearl Danios are really, really fun to watch. I have a good colony of nematodes in my filter, now, and every so often a nematode comes flying out of the outflow and tries swimming away. The Danios have figured this out and hang around below the filter, snapping most of the worms up before they make it to the gravel. Kinda funny. No wonder the CPDs haven't seemed hungry. The rest of the time they explore, chase each other, and pick into the gravel. Love these guys.

The Oto has been very very active, rarely stopping in one place, and he occasionally chases one of the Celestial Pearl Danios around for some reason. He has started to nibble on a TetraVeggie tablet after it has been in the tank for a day or so, but very halfheartedly. I am a little worried about him, I hope it is pointlessly so.

I seem to have brought a pond snail in with the Java Moss. I found and removed her after watching for her all evening, but I am worried she left me a genetic legacy.

Next week I will add three Thai Micro Crabs. The LFS didn't get them this week as planned.

I definitely seem to have a lot of mulm and other signs of trouble in the tank, such as the BBA, burgeoning nematode population, cloudy-ish water, high pH... I have resolved to go four days without feeding, but not sure it's going to be a real cure for anything.

I am giving daily Excel and twice-weekly Flourish, now. I have new leaves on two of the Anubias, and the Water Sprite is sending out shoots. The Java Fern is fine, if not really looking like it is growing at all. Java Moss is less than a week in the aquarium, but it seems to have released a few loose tendrils today that floated around the bottom a bit. There is also some other tiny plant that came mixed in with the Water Sprite. I have left it floating but it doesn't seem to be thriving. It was out of the water for a couple hours after I got it home, I didn't see it in the bottom of the bag until I went to throw the bag away.

Mystery Plant:
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:59 PM   #34
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This is hilarious. The Thai Micro Crab is alive. Apparently, he just never ever comes out of the driftwood any more, or at least not while I am watching. The Shrimp was hiding this morning, and while I was inspecting the driftwood to see if he had found a hole big enough to enter, I noticed the crab's legs sticking out of a crack the way they used to. I thought maybe his carcass was finally drifting.

Then he moved.

It was like an aquarist horror movie. So now I still want to get more crabs, and I am hoping they will coax him out somehow. Maybe he will feel like he can explore again since the Black Skirt Tetra is gone and he has buddies.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:10 PM   #35
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Cool tank, I like the rock at the side. Think about adding a bit more, although it is a 5 gallon, it looks really empty for some reason.

I had some black brush algae on my Anbias and a few Amano Shrimp took care of it. I find the Anbias nana to be really hard to clean once infected with algae, you can always cut off the leaf and start a-new.

Even though you have low light, why not add some moss? They grow great in low light and are very hardy. I suggest the taiwan moss as it grows the fastest and is great on drift wood.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:52 PM   #36
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Thanks, I have been trying to find an interesting rock or a very small piece of malaysian driftwood to go behind that central stand of Anubias. I found a small end of driftwood at one store, but it was a boring lump. I haven't seen Taiwan Moss locally, I'll have to look around, but it might be cool to get a ~3-inch piece of mossy wood there.

I had been considering an Amano shrimp, but people say they resort to BBA last, and I hate to give my Oto too much extra competition for the rest of the algae. I should probably just bite the bullet on it. I have a 1.5g stashed in the basement that might get set up as a shrimp and moss tank, I could always put the Amano in this tank and then move him to that one, too.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:44 AM   #37
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I came home after 3 days away. Everyone was alive, and the Crab was out and about until we started moving around in the living room, then he buried himself in the Java Moss. Shy little guy.

I vacuumed out nearly two gallons of water and added more. Man, there was a LOT of mulm in the water. I also got out the pond snail, who got HUGE over the last few days. I had removed one pond snail before I left town, and tried to get the second but he was hard to grab. The Amano Shrimp I got last week is not very active, however: he may be resting but I also wonder if he is not faring well. Also, he has eaten basically none of the Black Brush Algae, as I feared.

I also discovered that I have a lot of Hydra all of a sudden, stuck to the glass and floating free. The CPDs ignore the Hydra but still go after any Nematodes they see. Great.

To be honest, the Hydra were a little disheartening to see. Not sure I can keep this tank clean enough, I barely feed, change 2 gallons once a week and 1 gallon twice a week, and still have lots of water issues. At least the fish are alive.

I added Flourish Iron to the dosing and am boiling a new rock and a new scrap of wood while I write this: I visited Pet Kingdom while I was in San Diego and picked those up. Without testing for it, I have NO idea how often to dose the Iron, I guess I'll have to get yet another test!

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Old 05-09-2012, 04:42 AM   #38
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I added a rock, a small chunk of driftwood, and two Micro Swords (novaezelandiae). Guy at the aquarium store said they grow slow, Internet says fast. I guess we'll see. Input please: is that sword too close to the filter intake?



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Old 05-11-2012, 02:47 PM   #39
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I woke up the next morning to discover that one of the micro swords had uprooted itself, so I took the opportunity to replant them all, fanning both of the clusters more, based on advice I had read, and splitting one of the clusters into two parts. I am not convinced these are actually novazelandiae, as the leaves aren't totally round. That said, it doesn't exactly look like photos of brasiliensis, either.

When I uprooted the second cluster of swords, the crab was hiding behind it, then he jumped on the mini wood piece, which I had to move, so it was a traumatic experience for him. I doubt he is ever coming out of the big driftwood again.

I am going to do a severe water change tonight, then I plan to dose with fenbenzadole for the hydra. I am completely incapable of measuring the .25g of the stuff that I need, however, so I am not sure how to approach the dose.

I feel I have room for another plant over on the left, I kind of want something that will be a good grower for nitrate consumption. I thought the water sprite would grow more explosively, but so far it's pretty slow.

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Old 05-11-2012, 08:06 PM   #40
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I also started dosing Potassium. The Nitrate levels are still about 20-30, so I am holding off on Phosphate and Nitrogen.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:15 PM   #41
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I really like this tank it is well put together. As for the Quality of water in your tank it is odd that you are running into issues even though u are regularly cleaning. My thought is it is possibly becuase you are still introducing new fish to the tank. That or Are you pouring your LFS's water into your tank when adding new fish? I also never had a tank that small maybe it's more common.
As for the micro swords based on your conditions is maybe what he meant by it being a slow grower. although now that you are hitting more macro nutrients into your water column that may change.
Anubias and java ferns are very hard to kill but very slow growers and as for the algae concerns, With the addition of potassium you could potentially see a decrease as more phosphorous can then be absorbed by ur plants, phosphorous normally builds in the water column from fish foods/wastes. Algae then gets a shot to pop up.

If potassium doesn't help think about changing ur timer slightly theres two theorys connected to a "siesta break" method for lighting The first being chloroplasts for algae require more time to start up and absorb light when compared to plants which is almost instant. Having an hour or 2 hour cool down (lights out period) in the middle of your 3-1030? (I think it was?)could potentially decrease the growth of algae as it will potentially throw off its energy production. chloroplasts then shut down and lights come back on taking the photosynthesis another 3-4 hours to be at its full power in algae(plants are instant-more complex). The other theory behind lights being out is it replenishes the co2 in the water and then allows the plants to go back into full swing absorbing more nutrients being that carbon (co2) and light are major factors to the amount of N P K ur plants absorb. The more they absorb the less is left in your water for algae.
I heard these light theorys somewhere and personally I follow it as a method but i dunno how much weight is behind it. I think it works for me but then again I could just be lucky.
Anyways good luck with your tank! U got me wanting to set up a micro.

One last thing! Check the phosphorous content in your fish foods, it is algaes favorite element, most are 1 percent. (overfeeding and algae growth would then go hand in hand) :0
-Matt
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:46 PM   #42
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Thanks a lot!

I was feeding exclusively Cyclop-Eeze because that is what the LFS feeds their nano-fish tanks. The fish were not eating much of it however, and once I got some Hikari Micro Pellets they joined the clean plate club; the Clown Killies seem to only be able to take a bite out of the pellets instead of a whole pellet, but they seem healthy. Frozen Daphnia every thrid feeding, too, but a tiny amount. I give a small pinch, watch to see if it all gets eaten, then give a second small pinch. Hopefully the tank clears up a bit and I need to start adding the other macros.

I accidentally dumped LFS water with the Oto, but otherwise it has all been clean transitions.

I'll try the timer change, at least I don't think it can hurt!
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:48 PM   #43
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Just know that you can still have the same amount of light in the tanks "day" just position the siesta break for the center of that portion. For example 3:00-10:00, would change to 2:00-5:30, 6:30-10:00. So your not taking away from the plants overall photo period.
I figured you would have known about the water from a store but sometimes it's something simple that people miss. Anyways Good luck controlling your algae. Hopefully the break helps, keep us updated.
-Matt
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Old 05-13-2012, 01:08 AM   #44
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I added crypts today, I felt like it needed more on the left, but now I don't love the change, any second opinions?

Before:

After:
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Old 05-13-2012, 01:51 AM   #45
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Nice progress.
Get your wife to grow Saffron, That'll up your aqua-budget!
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