Complexity Journal: 29g / Low Tech with breeding pair of Pelvicachromis - Page 2
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Old 12-09-2008, 02:55 AM   #16
Karackle
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Oh Vicki it looks fantastic! I think that will look stunning when planted! Thanks for letting me know what eggcrate is and why it's used, I don't use many rocks, but it's good to know for the future! The one large rock I do have in the 30 makes me slightly nervous, i might think about getting some eggcrate when I move the tank.

Also on a bit of a sidenote, I really like the color of your tank stand
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:04 AM   #17
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I love the wood, Vicki. And I think the 2 pieces at the bottom really add to the interest.
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:14 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
I think the 2 pieces at the bottom really add to the interest.
Definitely agree with this!!!
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:18 AM   #19
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I'm looking forward to this. I've mentioned before that your larger tank is one of my favorites, and I'll be looking to this setup for inspiration for my own tank of the same size. Looking good so far!
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:41 AM   #20
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Thank you all for the nice words!

The CO2 reactor arrived today so I'm ready to go. The only thing I don't have is the CustomFlo kit for the intakes and outtakes, but I can proceed without that for now. I may just paint the XP2 gear black and let it go at that.

Karackle, thanks for the mention of the stand color! It is actually one of those Sedona stands by Perfecto. I went back and forth on getting it for over 6 months, but I finally decided I would give it a try. What brought me to get this particular stand is it was the only one I could find that fit a 29g and had a matching canopy!

https://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/group/2035/product.web

It's not going to win any awards for quality or looks, but it's definitely a nice looking stand. I really like the overall look when the canopy is on. I don't like the canopy design, but it works.

I'll get a full shot of the stand and canopy later. I tried to find a real life picture of it all over the place, but couldn't find it. So I want to be sure to put one online for others.

The stand does not have a rim to cover the bottom black rim of the tank, but they gave a square piece of wood that you put over the tank to hide the trim. If you look closely, you can see I don't have it centered yet. I'll do that just before I start adding water.

Here's a picture of the stand with the canopy:

http://www.elmersaquarium.com/image_...0Red%20Oak.jpg
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90g - Journal Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' 75g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' Better Pics 8-24
29g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' -- 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:50 AM   #21
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Hey that does look pretty nice! I like the red oak color Can't wait to see your real-life shots of it
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:58 AM   #22
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I debated for what seemed to be forever on whether to get the red oak or black color. I like the red oak that I selected. It's a bit garish on the red, but it gives that "furniture" look rather well.

I need to trim off the bottom of the driftwood "tree" and attach it to some slate so I can finally begin to water log it. Hopefully, I'll get that done tomorrow.
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90g - Journal Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' 75g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' Better Pics 8-24
29g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' -- 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:03 PM   #23
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Update! This has become my problem child... err... tank. Where to begin... I think I'll write this in sections.

Driftwood that refused to cooperate:

First, gluing and screwing the wood in place didn't go so well. I'd get one part done, but when I'd get it in the tank and start to place the lower pieces of dw with it, I'd end up messing something up. So out it came. And back in. And back out. Each time, I added screws, tie wraps, regular JB Weld and even Waterweld. I finally got it in place. Not quite the way I wanted it, but I gave up out of exasperation.

At this stage, I was able to get the tank up and running with one of my two XP2 filters. I added new substrate at the bottom (to thicken it up) while putting the old substrate on top. I let all the mulm come right on in. After settling for an hour or so, I turned on the filter and let it work on the water. I could then put the fish in.

Things looked pretty good at this point. I got the electrical wiring the way I wanted, moved over my other filter, and had the CO2 with the pH controller running. All seemed to be going well.
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90g - Journal Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' 75g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' Better Pics 8-24
29g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' -- 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:07 PM   #24
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Bubble counter fluid:

Having blundered the CO2 earlier, I was left with an oil slick of bubble counter fluid. While it's not supposed to be harmful, it is unsightly. So I wanted to at least get out what I could.

I decided to try to get some of it out by using the python as a skimmer of sorts. So I skimmed off the top, added water, skimmed it again, on and on.

During this time, one of my guppies (my original mama) swam into the python. She was only about 6" into the hose, but nothing I did could get her to go back. She would just swim further and further down the hose. So I decided, fine. I'll see if I can push her back out by reversing the water.

Next thing I knew, the water exploded along with my mama guppy who was now decapitated. At least it was fast so she didn't suffer much.
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90g - Journal Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' 75g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' Better Pics 8-24
29g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' -- 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:12 PM   #25
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Bubble counter fluid again:

I let things rest for a couple of days and then decided to try to get some more of the bubble counter fluid out using the python again. I also sucked up some floating leaves while I was at it.

When I finally decided I had done enough of that, I pulled out the python, but instead of sucking the water in, the water started to come back out. Now that's not right.

I started to yell for my husband to turn the water off when it started going back down like it was supposed to. I shrugged it off.

Well, let's just say I figured out what had blocked the hose. Another guppy lost.

I later found a 3rd one in the sink. I don't know how long it had been in the python hose (days).

And then I found a 4th one floating in the tank.

And then a 5th one got sucked in, but came out alive. Well, for a couple of minutes that is. It was pretty much skinned alive. I put it out of its misery.

By now, I'm getting really worried. I've used my python for over a year with guppies and had never had anything like this happen. I could understand it happening when I was using the python as a skimmer, but so many guppies?

Saddest of all is that I not only lost my original mama guppy, but I also lost my female ender.
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90g - Journal Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' 75g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' Better Pics 8-24
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:18 PM   #26
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Looks very nice.... Looking forward to seeing this tank evolve.
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:23 PM   #27
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Just when you think it's safe...

Okay, got everything stabilized and decided I had better get back on schedule for my water changes and ferts.

Did a 50% water change. Gave the bottom dwellers and amanos some sweet potato and turned off the lights.

The next morning, I woke up to dead fish.

9 out of 11 of my amano shrimp were dead, scattered all throughout the tank.

My Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Nigerian Red' that I was going to trade in for a new male Kienke was dead.

And one of my chain loaches was dead.

I cleaned out the dead bodies and tried to figure out what went wrong.

The only thing I can come up with is CO2 poisoning (although, the living fish were not gasping at the top). My convoluted idea is that the pH was artificially dropped by the new driftwood in the tank. So when I adjusted my pH controller, I was already starting out with a lower pH than I should have.

So when I did the water change, I removed the water with the lowered pH from the wood. The new water then came in with a higher pH which the pH controller then lowered back down to the setting I was using. Only this time, the lowered pH wasn't a combination of the driftwood and CO2, but just CO2. Thus, overdosing the CO2.

I did a 50% water change making sure to add oxygen into the tank and raised the pH setting on my pH controller.

The fish have survived overnight with that, but I don't think they are all well. One of my chain loaches is very pale which is not a good sign. I'm not sure if the other fish are okay or not. When you start looking for signs of problems, everything suddenly becomes a sign.
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90g - Journal Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' 75g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' Better Pics 8-24
29g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' -- 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:31 PM   #28
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Leak:

Having performed an emergency water change to lower the CO2 in the tank, I finish it all up and turn the filters back on. All is well. Right?

Nope.

A couple of hours later, I realize that the water was about 1" lower than I had filled it. Uh oh!

Yup, a leak. I had not secured the quick disconnect on one of the filters properly which caused it to leak. I couldn't see the leak because it was in the back corner.

No problem. Fixed the cause of the leak, cleaned up the water and fired the filter back up. Worked great!

Umm... problem. The water has caused the cheap stand to start splitting at the bottom. The corner now has a 1/4" gap while the so called "wood" is curdling on the outside at the bottom.

No! I had worried about the stand, obviously with good reason. So while I've had the stand for only about 2 months, I need to replace it. It clearly won't last.

So now I'm watching Craigslist.
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90g - Journal Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' 75g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' Better Pics 8-24
29g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' -- 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:45 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fshfanatic View Post
Looks very nice.... Looking forward to seeing this tank evolve.
Gotta love those ninja moments!

Thanks for the nice words. I hope to see it evolve, as well. Not a good start, but these things happen. Live and learn!
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90g - Journal Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe' 75g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'Lagos Red' Better Pics 8-24
29g - Journal Pelvicachromis pulcher 'unknown' -- 29g - Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Moliwe'
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:46 PM   #30
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Yikes... seems it's one of those 'when it rains, it pours' time periods, isn't it?

I hope my bad luck hasn't been rubbing off...
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