Riparian Zone: 12 Gallon Long Journal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 106 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
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Riparian Zone: 12 Gallon Long Journal

Aquarium
Aquatop high clarity 12 gallon long

Filtration and Circulation
Eheim 2232
Subtrat pro
Purigen
Eheim 1250 with custom intake

Lighting
Current Satellite Plus Pro

Photoperiod: 11:00 - 22:00


LED settings
Red: 100
Green: 50
Blue: 100
White: 100

Substrate
ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia (regular and powder type)
Seachem Fluorite
Onyx Sand

Fertilizers
NilocG Thrive: 1 pump M, W, F
Flourish Excel: 4.0mL daily
1000mg CaCO3 + 500mg MgO supplement: M, Th
50% water change Monday morning and Thursday evening

Nutrition
Frozen baby brine shrimp
Frozen daphnia
Frozen mysis
Frozen bloodworms
Repashy Soilent Green
Repashy Meat Pie

Hardscape
River stone

Flora
E. acicularis
C. beckettii var. petchii
C. dewitii 'Papua New Guinea'
C. nurii
C. wendtii var. 'bronze'
C. wendtii var. 'green'
S. repens
Bucephalandra sp. 'black pearl'
Bucephalandra sp. 'pink lady'
Bucephalandra sp. 'penelope'
Bucephalandra sp. 'royal blue'
Bucephalandra sp. 'super mini'
A. barteri var. nana 'petite'
L. minor
L. laevigatum
R. fluitans
P. helferi

Fauna
D. erythromicron x8
Otocinclus cf. affinis x6
T. albonubes x12


I planted and flooded the aquarium on 3.01.1 and am really pleased with how things are coming along so far. My hardscape shifted when I had to move the set up to its permanent location. I didn't want to traumatize the plants anymore than they had been, so I left it as it settled.

Frustratingly, all of the HC I had in the carpet was uprooted by sloshing during the move. I had a tremendously difficult time replanting it (my planting pincettes are not fine enough to make a clean retraction from the substrate without unsettling the plant). What was worse is that the plants got shuffled and were really just a tangled mess of tiny leaves, roots, and stems. Unable to psychologically commit to sorting through the mess and replanting each piece, I decided to try to arrange the strands of HC into mats, press them against the substrate and sprinkle some AS sparingly over top. While this isn't the most presentable option, the HC is growing and starting to take root once more.

This is also the point at which I decided to intentionally mix other plants into the HC. Previously I had the HC as its own field and had planned to aggressively cut back any DHG and L. mauritiana that moved in. After having to reset the HC I really thought about what I want the scape to look like. I decided that mixing together the carpet plants would lend a much more natural look that suggested the shallow marginal areas of flooded fields from which the celestial pearls and rosy loaches hail. Into the HC was mixed S. repens, C. parva, L. mauritiana and E. acicularis. I have been carefully trimming plants to ensure that none are choking the others out as the more slow growing plants fill in. Once the plants are as nicely established and grown in as I would likeI plan on dialing the lighting back some, adjusting fertilization accordingly, and let this become a more low maintenance scape. Reading what Tom Barr and others have to say in regard to using less lighting and having a more steady system has really convinced me that's the way to go. Until then, as I am always very obsessive when starting up a project, the frequent care currently required is actually perfect.

As for the rest of the plants, all of the crypts melted (as I was expecting). I helped mitigate the amount of crypt slop I had to pluck out of the aquarium by trimming off all large leaves prior to planting. Each portion of crypt has new growth coming up , so it's just a matter of time before things fill in as I would like. I think the C. wendtii 'bronze' will be striking once it bounces back.

Wow, typing this up has been a great distraction from studying for my finals tomorrow. Any way, thank you for reading this! I would love to hear constructive critiques, especially of the stones, as I intend to rearrange them a bit once things have settled in more.

All my photos were taken with my iPhone 6, and are of according quality. A few are crooked, and while I generally would take the time to edit them to fix that, I have been far too good at procrastinating already.

Day 01

After planting the tank, before flooding it:



Aquarium in temporary location:



Day 04

Murkiness has begun to settle:



Day 09

After moving the aquarium to its permanent location:



Day 10

Just a mess of HC. I added Purigen because of frustration from the cloudiness caused by disturbance to the substrate.



Looking nasty:



Day 11

Thank you, Seachem, Purigen is a miracle worker!



Day 15

The plants are recovering nicely and starting to look more vibrant.




Day 17

Not much to report today. Ammonia levels have been holding at 0.0 ppm since Monday. Nitrites are down to 2.0 ppm from >5.0 ppm the past several days. Nitrates were somewhere between 10.0 and 20.0 ppm yesterday, now there are down to 5.0 ppm. I have not done a water change since Sunday evening, so I assume the plants are accountable for the drop in nitrates.

Full tank shot from this morning before work:



Aerial shot of the right side; some S. repens, sprouts of C. wendtii 'bronze' and C. parva:



Checking the water after work (~12 hours after first reading), the nitrites had dropped to 0.25 ppm.

Day 18

Some of the crypts are growing surprisingly quickly, many patches of grass could use a trim, and I'm still fighting to keep my HC rooted, though some has taken hold and is creeping.

Ammonia: 0.0 ppm
Nitrite: 0.25 ppm
Nitrate: 10.0-20.0 ppm (very difficult to tell difference in hues on API chart)

I also pulled the emergent plants out of the top last night.

Last edited by TaylorTurner; 08-23-2018 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Typos; updates.
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post #2 of 106 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 02:19 PM
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Lovely tank, you're making me regret not getting a 12 long, haha.

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post #3 of 106 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 02:23 PM
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It is coming along very nicely. Where did you place the crypts in the scape? It is hard to tell in the photos
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post #4 of 106 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ArchimedesTheDog View Post
Lovely tank, you're making me regret not getting a 12 long, haha.
Thanks! The dimensions have been fun to work with.

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Originally Posted by touch of sky View Post
It is coming along very nicely. Where did you place the crypts in the scape? It is hard to tell in the photos
Yeah, they are hard to see because how much melted down. All the bronze wendtii is planted around and behind the rocks on the right side of the tank, with the green wendtii tucked in the right rear corner. The parva is peppered throughout the scape. I'm hoping that in a month or so it will have rebounded nicely.

Thanks for checking it out!
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post #5 of 106 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 06:42 PM
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nice tank!!! I have a CPD tank with scarlet bad just wish the CPD's weren't so shy/scared


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post #6 of 106 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 06:51 PM
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nice tank!!! I have a CPD tank with scarlet bad just wish the CPD's weren't so shy/scared
I used to have a tank in which they were the focus of the upper strata, everything else was a bottom dweller, that helped a lot with the shyness. So does just plain time, as they get used to their environment. Captive-bred ones are better, too. IME

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post #7 of 106 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 07:12 PM
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Nice tank!

I keep rosy loaches and CPD's as well. Mine have been bold and adventurous since day one, never timid/skittish as many report. They spawn and all, not even scared of larger fishes, and mine are wild caught.

If you really want to do a biotope for the two naturally occurring inhabitants I believe they have been said to also have areas of taller dense vegetation. Though the biotope idea of dense plants might not fit the aquascaping look you might want.

I believe Blyxa aubertii gets quite a bit larger than Blyxa japonica. Might end up touching the water surface.

Seriously Fish lists some plant species in their natural habitat
Petruichthys sp. ?rosy? ? Rosy Loach (Yunnanilus sp. rosy, Tuberoschistura arakanensis) ? Seriously Fish
Celestichthys margaritatus ? Celestial Pearl ?Danio? (Danio margaritatus) ? Seriously Fish
Found some other info as well
The Celestial Pearl Danio: A Cautionary Tale | Details | Articles | TFH MagazineŽ
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danio_margaritatus
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post #8 of 106 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
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Nice tank!

I keep rosy loaches and CPD's as well. Mine have been bold and adventurous since day one, never timid/skittish as many report. They spawn and all, not even scared of larger fishes, and mine are wild caught.

If you really want to do a biotope for the two naturally occurring inhabitants I believe they have been said to also have areas of taller dense vegetation. Though the biotope idea of dense plants might not fit the aquascaping look you might want.

I believe Blyxa aubertii gets quite a bit larger than Blyxa japonica. Might end up touching the water surface.

Seriously Fish lists some plant species in their natural habitat
Petruichthys sp. ?rosy? ? Rosy Loach (Yunnanilus sp. rosy, Tuberoschistura arakanensis) ? Seriously Fish
Celestichthys margaritatus ? Celestial Pearl ?Danio? (Danio margaritatus) ? Seriously Fish
Found some other info as well
The Celestial Pearl Danio: A Cautionary Tale | Details | Articles | TFH MagazineŽ
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danio_margaritatus
Yeah, I am trying to temper aquascape versus biotope accuracy. I read that thread and article along with countless others while I was doing my obsessive research for the tank. It seems to me that the rosy loach is kind of an overlooked fish.

As for the blyxa, it was thrown in with the rest of my plants (can't say no to a free plant). I figured I would let it grow out in my tank then try to figure out something to do with it.

Thanks for checking it out and passing along information. It's pretty cool that you also keep these two fish together. What is your set-up like? Do you have a journal on here for that tank?
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post #9 of 106 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 05:19 AM
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Nope, I don't do any tank journals. I didn't keep them in a biotope tank, just a regular community tank with tons of other fish. I've kept them in non-planted to sparsely planted to heavily planted, mine didn't seem to mind at all, but they do like some dense vegetation areas to spawn "play" in. Rosy loaches like to perch on objects/plants. They naturally come from brightly lit places (some areas are densely planted, some areas are open water) so I am sure a biotope of tall plants is not really necessary, so you'd be fine the way the tank is. Though personally, from the look of the tank now, it looks nice, but I could see it feeling rather bland/incomplete until you get more diversity in plant shapes. I think some red plants in there would look really nice. With enough iron and light, Blyxa should end up turning a nice red as well, which is a treat to see!

Great to hear you do research your fish a lot!

Rosy loaches are definitely a great fish. To me, they are like a CPD and pygmy cory mixed together behavior-wise. They swim around and hang out on plant leaves like pygmy corys, but also like to stay mid water more and play around/in vegetation like CPDs. Whoever likes pygmy corys, would love rosy loaches even more! Definitely overlooked, though I think a big reason is that they aren't widely available (not as easy to breed like pygmy corys as well). Being in Portland, Oregon, I am sure you probably got yours from Wet Spot That's where I got mine (shipped, WA state). My LFS don't really get them ever, just once a year or so and they get them from Wet Spot as well.

CPDs and rosy loaches don't really pay any attention/interact with each other, but they are very peaceful and active little fish. Nice colors as well.
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post #10 of 106 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 05:35 AM Thread Starter
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Nope, I don't do any tank journals. I didn't keep them in a biotope tank, just a regular community tank with tons of other fish. I've kept them in non-planted to sparsely planted to heavily planted, mine didn't seem to mind at all, but they do like some dense vegetation areas to spawn "play" in. Rosy loaches like to perch on objects/plants. They naturally come from brightly lit places (some areas are densely planted, some areas are open water) so I am sure a biotope of tall plants is not really necessary, so you'd be fine the way the tank is. Though personally, from the look of the tank now, it looks nice, but I could see it feeling rather bland/incomplete until you get more diversity in plant shapes. I think some red plants in there would look really nice. With enough iron and light, Blyxa should end up turning a nice red as well, which is a treat to see!

Great to hear you do research your fish a lot!

Rosy loaches are definitely a great fish. To me, they are like a CPD and pygmy cory mixed together behavior-wise. They swim around and hang out on plant leaves like pygmy corys, but also like to stay mid water more and play around/in vegetation like CPDs. Whoever likes pygmy corys, would love rosy loaches even more! Definitely overlooked, though I think a big reason is that they aren't widely available (not as easy to breed like pygmy corys as well). Being in Portland, Oregon, I am sure you probably got yours from Wet Spot That's where I got mine (shipped, WA state). My LFS don't really get them ever, just once a year or so and they get them from Wet Spot as well.

CPDs and rosy loaches don't really pay any attention/interact with each other, but they are very peaceful and active little fish. Nice colors as well.
Yes, I will be getting them from The Wet Spot, and now you have me even more excited to get them. When I was younger I had some pygmy cories and really loved their whimsical nature.

I think the bronze wendtii should add a nice pop of color once it fills in, but I have also be considering some A. reineckii for something a bit more bold.
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post #11 of 106 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 06:03 AM
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A. reineckii is definitely a nice plant (get the mini version if you can). There are plenty of other smaller leaved red plants (such as some ludwigia and rotala species) available from members on this forum (check for sale section).

Let things grow out then go from there. Just a heads up, for new livestock (fish, shrimp), make sure to acclimate slowly especially when you are introducing them to co2 injected water. Constantly monitor the first days as well just to make sure you aren't injecting too much co2 for the fish to handle.
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post #12 of 106 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 06:06 AM
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So beautiful!


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post #13 of 106 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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A. reineckii is definitely a nice plant (get the mini version if you can). There are plenty of other smaller leaved red plants (such as some ludwigia and rotala species) available from members on this forum (check for sale section).

Let things grow out then go from there. Just a heads up, for new livestock (fish, shrimp), make sure to acclimate slowly especially when you are introducing them to co2 injected water. Constantly monitor the first days as well just to make sure you aren't injecting too much co2 for the fish to handle.
Thanks, I will definitely do a nice, slow drip acclimation when adding stock.

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So beautiful!
Thanks for looking!
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post #14 of 106 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Day 17

Not much to report today. Ammonia levels have been holding at 0.0 ppm since Monday. Nitrites are down to 2.0 ppm from >5.0 ppm the past several days. Nitrates were somewhere between 10.0 and 20.0 ppm yesterday, now there are down to 5.0 ppm. I have not done a water change since Sunday evening, so I assume the plants are accountable for the drop in nitrates.

Full tank shot from this morning before work:



Aerial shot of the right side; some S. repens, sprouts of C. wendtii 'bronze' and C. parva:



Update: Checking the water after work (~12 hours after first reading), the nitrites had dropped to 0.25 ppm.
Hetzer and Hetzer like this.

Last edited by TaylorTurner; 03-18-2016 at 05:50 PM. Reason: Update
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post #15 of 106 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 03:23 AM
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If I'm not mistaken, the ammonia levels are supposed to be kept consistantly present (whether or not that requires dosing daily to keep ammonia levels at 2ppm for example to keep the ammonia-oxidizing and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria fed and growing).
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