Safado's 55g (Warning 56K) New Pics 10/08
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Old 07-21-2005, 04:29 AM   #1
Safado
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Safado's 55g (Warning 56K) New Pics 10/08


I decided to start a journal. Hopefully when I mess up you pros out there can help me out, and more importantly, this may help some future newbie.

Beginning fauna:
7 Otos (one doesn't look like it'll make it)
A bunch of guppies (15 or so feeders, 3 fancy from a shrimp holding tank) I had bought to "cycle" the tank, which I discovered didn't need to be done.
7 Mystery snails

Lights: 4X 40W
lighting schedule by timer: on at 6:00 am-10:00AM, and on again 4:00PM-10:30PM.
PH without CO2: 7.8-7.9ish
KH between 180 and 300 ppm (does anyone know of a more acurate test than Jungle quick dip?)
GH 75 ppm
when the tank is lit I keep the ph at 7.2-7.3 with Pressurized CO2 and a Milwaukee PH SMS 122 meter. Will it hurt the fish, and later the shrimp if I allow the PH to swing back to 7.8 during unlit hours?


Here is the before picture:


I got the plant package I had ordered, and here is what attempt 1 looked like:


One plant didn't live through the hot temperature in transit. I think it was the glosso. It was just a colorless glob when I got it.

I got another package today with tons of healthy plants. I think it is much better to buy from other hobbiest either through this forum or aquabid. The plants are healthier, and bigger proportions.

Here is the current set up:


Here is the view from where I sit:


Here are the questions. Can I get Java fern, and or moss to attach and grow on this piece of aquarium decoration? that is a little moss ball sitting on top now:


would Calcium Carbonate be beneficial or harmful? I bought some from Greg with my ferts, just in case.

Here is what else I got from Greg, though I have heard it is best to give the plants time to settle in before starting to start dosing.

Potassium Nitrate
Mono Potasium Phosphate
Potassium Sulfate
CSM+B

What I have read about dosing seems daunting, but hopefully I can take it in stride

Last question:
Is it good, bad, or does it matter if other light enters from the side? I have a 65W twist in Fluorecent bulb sitting next to one side of the tank with a few house plants under it.


Thanks for looking and your comments!

Last edited by Safado; 10-09-2005 at 03:28 AM..
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Old 07-21-2005, 11:29 AM   #2
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Hey safado - Looks like you've got almost everything you need ready to rock and roll. Definitely find a more accurate KH tester. Any test kit that is not based on dip strips should be better. Dip strips are just too inaccurate for what you'll need. And without having a decent KH measurement, you really can't determine your CO2 levels, and that's one of the keys.

I think you'll enjoy seeing the progress, so the shots you've captured will definitely give you something to look back on. Keep the questions coming!
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Old 07-21-2005, 11:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Is it good, bad, or does it matter if other light enters from the side? I have a 65W twist in Fluorecent bulb sitting next to one side of the tank with a few house plants under it
I don't think it will be enough to matter anyway. Having too much sunlight in the tank is what to watch out for, but this shouldn't matter.

Quote:
Can I get Java fern, and or moss to attach and grow on this piece of aquarium decoration?
Either will attach, but they both will take a little time. I doubt its as porus as regular rocks or driftwood, but it can be done. People have even got moss to stick to glass before.

Good Luck with the tank!
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Old 07-22-2005, 03:17 AM   #4
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Default Pearling?!!!

From what I understand it to mean, my Parrot Feather is pearling!

For perspective on the other two, here it is just about life size:


Zooming in:


Zoomed in:


How big does this plant usually get? I think it is one of the plants I like most in the tank right now.
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Last edited by Safado; 07-24-2005 at 02:08 PM..
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Old 08-05-2005, 05:48 AM   #5
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It has been a while since my last post. I have a few pictures here, but I don't want to post a full picture because It is going through some growing pains.
The biggest issue is my Parrots feather. That pic above, it was taken after the plant had grown about two inches. It has since exploded. 4/5 of the stems grew to the surface. I cut them in half and just stuck the tops back in the gravel. They are now about 2 inches from the top again. I am thrilled, but I didn't know enough about the plant. It looked so short and thick when I got it. I planted it in the front, and now it is effectively a curtain to the rest of the tank. on the right side. I need to do some replanting this weekend.

I also put in a moss wall, following Troy McClure's instructions, Using some Java moss from the Swap and Shop page. I am not planning on keeping it in this tank, but thought the CO2 and extra light may give it more of a kick start before I move it to my 10g low tech.

Can anyone help me ID this? A full pic is below.
Is it normal for plants to "spring a leak?"



Can anyone ID either of these two? The one on the bottom left seems to do really well. I really hacked a big piece off last week. It could already use another clipping. This picture is about three days old, and already it has grown in front of the plant on the right. I got so many packages when I set up this tank that I don't remember where I got it.



I thought this was pretty funny. This snail climbed right under my return from my pump. The current was a bit much, and it was struggling to keep its shell. I got nervous a few seconds after snapping this and shut off the pump until it got out of the way. It reminded me a bit of a dog with its head out the window.




Now I just can't wait until my cherry's have some babies. I'll be able to add some shrimp to this tank in a month or so.
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Old 08-05-2005, 04:17 PM   #6
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The "leak" occurs when there is some damage to the plant. The o2 literally leaks out of the damaged area.
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Old 08-05-2005, 07:31 PM   #7
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Heh one of my bacopa stems just sprung a leak My Vals will bubble for days but the bacopa only bubbled a short while.
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Old 08-06-2005, 08:53 PM   #8
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Another wordy post, but what are journals for, eh?

I just did the weekly water change. I will take a picture later today after the dust settles. I also turned on the 15 Watt Aqua UV Sterilizer. I have this with a pump rated at about 200 GPH at the nearly four feet lift to the tank from the sump. I imagine it cuts down on the flow somewhat, but I think there is still enough. I also have the pressurized CO2 being added to a Venturi valve on the pump outlet. I don't have a reactor, but the bubbles reaching the surface of the tank seem to be significantly smaller than when I was using a glass disfuser, and I have increased the ammount of CO2 being added. Despite there being a large bubble every once in a while, I think this is a lot more efficient, and I don't have the tubing or disfuser in my tank. I keep the PH at about 6.7 for 45 ppm. I have never seen the guppies or ottos react in any way (gasping or hoovering at the bottom) to the increased CO2. I think the increased surface area and agitation of the overflow to the sump/ filter box provides plenty of O2, and the CO2 goes off at night. I will try to get a picture of the 10 g sump setup, as I am not being very clear. I also have the PH meter, and heater, which isn't plugged in now, in the sump.

Besides chopping a few of the plants, I repositioned the Parrot's Feather to the back of the tank. It is back down to about six inches. I left the bottoms, as they have a bunch of roots, and also replanted the tops, and some middle portions. I understand this is not a naturally submersed plant, but I like how it looks, so as long as it is looking good, and growing, I'll continue to enjoy itenjoy it. Cross your fingers for me. After the WC I tested the Nitrates and the Kh.

Kh is just under 130 ppm (3 drops of tank water added to the initial 5 ml brought it back to equilibrium).

Nitrates are under 5 ppm.

I haven't started dosing regularly, but I have added a bit, ("dash") of KNO3 here and there. (everything I have other than some Flourish, which I haven't used) is from Greg Watson.

Using some tupperware measuring spoons, I added a "dash" of Potassium Phosphate and Calcium Carbonate, a "pinch" of Potassium Sulphate and mono potassuim phosphate, and a "smidgen" of CSM+B.

After 15 minutes I tested the Nitrates again, and they were around 10 ppm.

I will test the Kh again later today as I understand it takes a bit longer for the Calcium Carbonate to disolve, but I don't see any clumps of it on the bottom.
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Old 08-06-2005, 11:20 PM   #9
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I forgot to mention above that I also attempted to 2X overdrive one of the shoplights. I did notice a bit more light from it than the other one. I also balanced the bulbs. One is a Phillips plant and aquarium (Pink), and the other is a GE plant and aquarium (white). Now each shoplight has one of each.

Here is how the tank looks today. Click for a high res version.


I added the moss wall, to cover up the cords in the back, but this is temporary. I will be moving it to the 10g as soon as it fills in.

As you can see I am lacking a foreground. I have one dwarf sag, which I hope will fill out a bit more.

I also have the plant below that I need help with the ID. I think it is one of these, which all came together:
Lilaeopsis novaezelandiae
Nymphaea stellata
Echinodorus quadricostatus
Cryptocoryne becketti
Myriophyllum simulans
Nuphar lutea
I am off to the plants pages to see if I can find out what it is, but if any of you know off hand, please let me know.

This is it on 07/25/2005. It is growing nicely. I planted it a few days before starting this journal. It had one leaf which promply fell off. I thought that it had gone the way of the glosso, which is now mulm.


Here it is today:


Here is a better picture of the plant I asked for help IDing the other day. It is growing really well. I cut a lot of it out today. I like it, but I am a bit annoyed that it breaks off easily, and bunches go floating around the tank every time I mess with it. I can't remember when I got it, but I don't think it came with the initial package. When I was setting up this tank I ordered a bunch of stuff, without doing the proper research. If it said it was easy to grow, I ordered it.


Any ideas on what I can do with the forground? Should I wait until the Dwarf sag and the reddish plant grow more, or should I try glosso, HC, or Riccia, or anything I've not thought of?
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Old 08-07-2005, 12:50 AM   #10
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I think the red plant above must be Nymphaea stellata. It looks a lot like the "NYMPHAEA LOTUS (ZENKERI) 'RED'" on the plant pages.
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Old 08-07-2005, 03:00 AM   #11
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My best guess for your brittle plant is guppy grass
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Old 08-07-2005, 03:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jake
My best guess for your brittle plant is guppy grass
You are right. That sounds and looks just like it.
THANKS!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantGeek
Care
Undemanding, fast growing plant. Can be planted but the stems break easily.
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Old 08-08-2005, 03:51 AM   #13
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Nice tank.

You should raise the output on your return, if your power goes out for whatever reason it will drain most of your tanks water onto the floor.
Just thought I'd point that out.
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Old 08-08-2005, 04:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenceo
Nice tank.

You should raise the output on your return, if your power goes out for whatever reason it will drain most of your tanks water onto the floor.
Just thought I'd point that out.
Thanks! It is a valid point. I took two precautions. First I added a check valve during set up (about $5.00, if I remember, from HD), and the output is actually a spraybar with the part you can see in the pic at the bottom of it. the top hole is about three inches below the surface. if the check valve were to leak, and the power went out for an extended time I'd "only" have about 10 g on the floor. It'd still be enough to cause a huge mess. Still it is good to have it pointed out for others looking at the set up. I did unplug the pump after set up for a few hours, and I couldn't see a change in the water level of the sump.
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Old 08-09-2005, 06:14 AM   #15
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After just over 48 hours the Kh has gone up to just under 150, which is where it was prior to the water change. In preparation of moving some cherry shrimp into this tank, I moved the guppies into the sump. There are now about 14 of them in the 10 gallon sump. One Male fancy guppy and some fry, that weren't in there two days ago, were left in the main tank. I also changed the Ph meter to turn on the CO2 at 7.0. That will give me 25 ppm, which according to Chuck's calculator is high.

I can only find four ottos in there. Three of them always stick together, and one is a loner.
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