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Old 02-11-2014, 11:31 PM   #391
crazymittens
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Phil, this'll have to do for now. I have no time/desire to break the tripod out for a proper picture of the new lighting. Suffice it to say it's like high noon.

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Old 02-12-2014, 12:41 PM   #392
Phil Edwards
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Nice fish, but are they living in an 8"x8" tank?
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:02 PM   #393
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Dagnabbit, Phil!!

Seriously, though. They spawned again. Hence the pic.


This weekend. Really...I pro-...no, not really.
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:55 PM   #394
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*evil grin*

Congratulations on the spawn. Here's to hoping some of the fry survive.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:03 PM   #395
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Hm, been a while since I updated.

The new lighting is working great, I've settled on 50-75% with two 4-hour photoperiods (separated by 3 hours). Every 2-3 weeks I pull out a few clumps of green hair-ish algae from the areas that get blasted with light (very top of driftwood and the gutter guard under the light). Aside from that, no algae to speak of.

We had one phantom tetra die a few weeks ago, I think just old age.

Umm...yeah. Plants are growing in nicely. I think the bacopa doesn't like the water or something, it grew well to start, but just isn't lasting. Whatever that feathery plant is called...it's going bananas. The reddish plants are growing really well, too. Vals are coming in, but will probably take a while for a 'forest' to grow out. I'm guessing in 6-8 months (so the 1-year mark) things should be just about where I'd envisioned.

Oh, the angels keep spawning and eating the eggs every 3-4 weeks I think. The black skirt tetras seem (imagination?) to continue growing...the largest has to be almost 3" long now. I still would really like to add another 20 or so cardinals in, there aren't enough of them to really enjoy the colouring. One day.

If I remember/have time I'll post up some pictures. Now that the weather is nice car/home maintenance will be taking up most of my spare time.
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:29 AM   #396
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Tank has now been online for almost 8 months.

Fish update
  • I bought a dozen cardinals a few weeks ago during a BigAl's sale. They promptly all died within a week. Got a 6-month in-store credit for the purchase price.
  • I believe they brought something in...3 of the 6 existing cardinals have since died (they were purchased ~1.5 years ago, so maybe fluke (pun) timing)
  • BigAl's suggested I bring in a sample of my water, because 'cardinals are sensitive'.
  • I tested my water yesterday - ammonia@0 nitrates@10 - so unless these particular cardinals didn't like the hardness...must have had something wrong with them?
  • Two of the black phantom tetras died last week, assuming old age or hassling from the angels.
  • Angels, black skirts, platies all 100%.

If we get more fish, I think they'll be black skirts. Those things are tanks, and are the only fish (tetras) that seem to enjoy the 'mid-level' portion of the tank. i.e. Where we can see them. I need to read more on this, since they are kinda plain...but hardy, schooling, mid-level fish = what we want.

Plant update
  • Stuff isn't growing like how I'd expected. I believe due to all your beautiful CO2-enhanced tanks.
  • So we're going to revisit the CO2 debate.
  • I really need to get a 'how-to' for pruning/encouraging growth of aquatic plants
  • The angels destroyed all the Vals - pecking at it pre-spawning

Equipment update
  • The overflow is working fine as-is, I never did get around to fixing the siphon size issue. It's a little noisy, but nothing obnoxious. One day. Maybe.
  • My ancient heaters finally died, replaced with something expensive from BigAl's (like $50/ea).
  • Sump is a beast. Water has been crystal clear 100%.
  • The new-new-new light hasn't broken yet. So that's good. It is also a beast, currently set to 30%, awaing us moving to CO2. SEE! I knew it was a good idea to get the monster and dim it down.


So yeah...I think we're going to go down the CO2 route. I have been super happy with the tank except for plant growth...so starting the path to CO2 goodness.
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Old 07-19-2014, 03:53 PM   #397
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Fish update
One of the angels died - I believe ate too large a chunk of flake food. Kinda sad to see the last one just kinda hanging out. At least the good news is that whatever those cardinals brought in hasn't done any more damage.

I'm picking up some (50? 75? 100?) neons on Sunday because work is starting to pick up and this is the last chance I'll have for quite some time to do much with the aquarium. (logic!...?)

So we'll see what happens. The price is too good to pass up ($0.50ea), so maybe while I won't have a large school of cardinals, a large school of neons is almost as good.

Plant update
And yeah, no CO2, but I still want to keep up the trimming. Plants grow when I trim them. Fun times!

It still boggles my mind how clear the water has been. Gotta do some trimming - moar plants!
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:12 AM   #398
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Picked 'em up - 70 (well 69 now that the angel ate one - he's moved to a 'come get a free fish' tank).

They are schooling with the remaining cardinals, and THIS is what I always wanted in a fish tank. Anyways, we'll see how things go, but so far, so good. They are eating healthily, and apparently are stock imported from Peru - not bred locally.

Tiny little guys, though - most are 3/4", so no bioload fears.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:17 AM   #399
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Id love to see a vid of the fish schooling, and also at feeding time!
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:00 PM   #400
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Well 27 pages later.... Great thread!!!!
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:45 AM   #401
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27 pages! Yeesh...my forum prefs only have it showing up to 10 pages. Fancy.

I'll try and do a decent video tonight, the one last night was a bit random. Same with pictures, it really needs to be dark out, lights off.

The good news is that as far as I can tell, the new guys are happy. Also, someone is coming tonight to pick up the angel. Sad, but good.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:07 AM   #402
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Video uploading now...sorry, didn't have time to really go nuts on quality.

http://youtu.be/YZtUVXXIeRI
Edit: I'm assuming that the HD version will show up eventually.
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Old 12-30-2014, 03:18 PM   #403
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Huh, guess it's time for an update. June! Yeesh.

The good
  • The jungle vals are really taking off now that I've started trimming them
  • New boxing day fish - roseline sharks (torpedo barbs?), got 5 - very nice fish, acclimating well so far
  • The tank is still pretty much maintenance-free, just top-offs and feeding when I remember

The bad
  • My youngest son is 'a vertical child' and used the outlet piping as a monkey bar, dislodging it from the sump pumps, causing minor flood (~10G on the carpet) - no issues since we trained him to stop doing that
  • That spindly plant that was growing like crazy for a while suddenly died off - I think due to me not pruning it

The ugly
  • A bunch of fish (half dozen) have died over the last 6 months, I presume age
  • The angels all went belly-up - possibly due to the heavy fighting when initially introduced, possibly due to genetic issues, possibly due to water params

Fishues
Despite the 'mass deaths', we still have 80-90% of the original Tetras going strong, plus the new group of neons stopped disappearing shortly after being introduced. Seriously, the black skirt tetras we got ~2 years ago have not had a single death through all of this. Seems like some fish just don't deal with the water params (i.e. hardness/dissolved solids or whatnot). Ammonia/nitrites/nitrates are 0/0/~10-15 whenever I bother checking them - so considering I do not do water changes, I'd say pretty darn good, and consistent.

Maintenance
Evap rates are something like 5-10 gallons a month, but then I have an open overflow and not 100% sealed sump (95%). So really just 5-10 minutes a month to refill and add a little water conditioner.

Algae grows up near the light (green hair stuff), but I just pull out clumps of once a month or so to keep it in check. I'm thinking that if I can trim/prune to encourage growth, it'll further slow the algae.

More fish?
For Boxing Day sales, the local BigAl's had German rams - standard gold/blue, plus electric blue (plus electric blue balloon!). I'd read they were fine if you had a consistent and established tank, but they did not (could not find?) any females, and the whole parenting thing is kinda why you get them right?

Beyond that, going forward the only thing I'll be adding is neon tetras from local suppliers. The school of 30 or so is the beginning of just what I wanted in an aquarium.


The to-do list
  • Take some updated pictures & video
  • Learn how to properly prune/encourage growth of other plants
  • Reconsider adding shrimp in...maybe this time they won't get eaten...
  • Do (more) water changes to help plants grow
  • Some day make a cover for the overflow
  • Some day seal the sump
  • Some day get into CO2
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:04 AM   #404
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Okie dokie, pictures from the pOtatophone.

Full tank shot


I've been trimming the vals quite consistently and it's paying off, runners galore. The crypts on the right might be growing...but not much. I trimmed a few leaves off every plant in that section a few weeks ago.

The reddish stem plants on the left I've started trimming in the hopes of encouraging growth. The moss is growing quite well, too.

Algae growth near the lights (trimmed today)
By 'trim' I mean, 'grabbed a bunch'...


Fish
Neons and black skirts
Not sure if I mentioned, got a whole whack of these from a local guy. He bought them from some South American wholesaler or something. Originally bought 60-70, their population has been stable for months now, but probably only.. 30? left. Impossible to count. I suspect the black skirts were eating them, but then they grew too large. Probably have grown 30-40% since I got them.

Neons and platy
The last platy. He's a trooper.

Roseline sharks
These could also be 'torpedo barbs', or a whole pile of different names. Supposed to get quite large - 4-5" - so the LFS staff recommended maximum 3-5 for this tank. I thought that was kinda low...but hey. So we got 5.

My keep-my-nose-insidey-hole
I want to get a pair of rams to live here. Make those good-for-nothing tetras swim a little!! Buncha grumps.


Plants
Need this section to grow in

The bottom of this guy started sprouting...

So I took a chunk off the middle, left it floating - anchored by roots

Runners from the vals

This...sword?...has never really thrived, but a 5th leaf!

Anubias finally recovering

Jus' a lil guy...


Bump: Also, I have had a wacky idea to build a custom tank for my desk at work. If that becomes a thing, I think I'll quite possibly build a full-length sump (think 100 gallons) and just fill this tank with neons. Crazy new-year ideas!!
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:21 PM   #405
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This really is amazing. I just spent the last 2 hrs reading all 27 pages of this thread. I like DIY but I think I would have tapped out a long time ago. VERY NICE. Congrats on the completion, sorry for the losses and a question. How do you like the BML light and if I missed it whatever happened that casued the light mishap, only half of it to light up?
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