VioletAqua 55g Tank Journal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Cool VioletAqua 55g Tank Journal


Current Photo (5/13/19)

Introduction:
Hello and welcome everyone. I'm very excited to be starting my aquarium. I've started this journal as a resource to view my tanks progression over time.




Background:
I'm almost brand new to the fish keeping hobby. This is my first tank and it's been up and running for almost 2 months. Today's the first day the C02 system has been running. I'm looking forward to seeing the plant growth.


Fish:
x4 Angel Fish
x12 Black Skirt Tetras
x2 Dwarf Gouramis
x1 Bolivian Ram
x1 Bumblebee Catfish SA


Plants:
Giant Hydrophilia
Anubus (several types)
Java moss
Bacopa
Amazon Swords
Ludwigia Repens (just planted 2 days ago. arrived in mail)
Cryptocoryne
Dwarf Lily (just planted 2 days ago. arrived in mail)
Dwarf Sagittaria (just planted 2 days ago. arrived in mail)


Specs:
55 Gallon (48"x22x13)
Fluval 406 filter
Eheim 200 Watt heater (set with Inkbird temperature controller)

10lbs C02 Bottle
C02 Art Pro SE reg

Default LED hood lights
x2 White LED strips (added)
x1 Blue LED strip (added)


Current Challenges:
Bolivian ram is recovering from internal parasites. 1 week after getting him he stopped eating and seemed to be about to die. White stringy poop. Treated whole tank with general cure and he is making a great recovery (treatment ended 2 days ago).

Algae growth is annoying. Glass needs a scrub every 4 days or so.

Angels keep ripping out all the dwarf sag I planted!!
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Last edited by VioletAqua; 05-14-2019 at 08:26 PM. Reason: added current photo
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Update Mar 28 19:
Plants are showing growth. Increased CO to approx 6-8 bubbles per second. The bottle of Thrive I ordered arrived this week and I have started dosing 5 squirts thrive after water change and 1 squirt every 2 days after that. Water changes are at 50% each week.

(How does anyone ever count higher bubbles per second? They come out so fast!)

Fish are looking good.
white poop from 1 tetra
Bolivian ram is struggling to make a recovery. He still has the occasional white poop. Sometimes wobbly when swimming around. Looks pale sometimes. Very low appetite. seems like a nibble of a flake every day tops.
(Treated whole tank with general cure already. Any further recommendations out there for him? He most likely has or had internal parasites.)

Bumblebee catfish is becoming very active. He makes an appearance every feeding time and swims around the whole tank looking for food.

Changed lighting from 12 hours a day to 9 hours. Algea growth has slowed.

Will be adding some Nerite snails this weekend!

PS. what's the best way to have your photo's show up first? I tried using a dropbox link and they don't seem to load.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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Here's a picture from when the tank started (around 2 months ago).

Original Inhabitants:
4 Angel fish
6 Black Skirt Tetras
4 Red Eye Tetras
4 Red Serpae Tetras

We brought the Red Eye's and Red Serpae's back to the fish store because they terrorized the angel fish. We were on the fence about bringing the Black skirts back. They were kind of nippy as well, so we decided to up their numbers instead. That made a huge improvement. Immediately the angel fish started swimming all around the tank, and stopped hiding in their corner.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 04:05 AM
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Did you lose the Bolivian Ram?

It is common that accompanying a parasite infection you will see a weakened fish get a secondary bacterial infection. From the described symptoms, this is most likely what is happening. You would want to treat with an antibiotic that will treat internal bacterial infection. Kanamycin ( the active ingredient in Seachem Kanaplex) would be the best option.

Im assuming you dont have a quarantine tank because you didn't quarantine the Black Skirt tetras before adding to display tank- so will need to dose in display tank.
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180 g. low tech w/ wild South American cichlids, corydoras eques, and African Congo riverine tetras.
60 g. low tech w/ F1 Alenquer pair /Stendker "Tefe" discus and wild Altum Angels
30 g. low tech w/ Wild Tucano tetras
30 g. low-tech African Biotope
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your suggestion Discusluv. The Bolivian Ram (Gordy) is still alive and kickin'. I would put him at 39/100 health. He will also rub his side on objects making me think he could have flukes. It seems that he recovers enough to take a big bite of food, then he will spiral back and look like hes going to die and rest on the ground, then a few days later hes swimming around and the cycle starts again.

Were heading into the fish store this weekend and I'll pick up Kanaplex if it's available. Canadian stores seem to no longer stock fish medicine so I've stock piled general cure, ParaGuard, Prazipro, melafix and cupramine.

Don't have a quarantine tank yet. I'm considering getting one this weekend to help the bolivian ram in his recovery. I have been hesitant due to space restrictions in the condo.

As an aside, I finally got a good picture of the bumblebee catfish. The guy swims around so fast hes just a blur in the pictures!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 07:25 PM
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Very nice start, and welcome to the hobby. Enjoy the process and be sure not to rush anything! One thing I have learned from planted tanks (let's be honest, I have leaned more than I ever thought, and continue to gain more knowledge about them every day), Patience!

Looking forward to seeing where this progresses!



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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VioletAqua View Post
Thank you for your suggestion Discusluv. The Bolivian Ram (Gordy) is still alive and kickin'. I would put him at 39/100 health. He will also rub his side on objects making me think he could have flukes. It seems that he recovers enough to take a big bite of food, then he will spiral back and look like hes going to die and rest on the ground, then a few days later hes swimming around and the cycle starts again.

Were heading into the fish store this weekend and I'll pick up Kanaplex if it's available. Canadian stores seem to no longer stock fish medicine so I've stock piled general cure, ParaGuard, Prazipro, melafix and cupramine.

Don't have a quarantine tank yet. I'm considering getting one this weekend to help the bolivian ram in his recovery. I have been hesitant due to space restrictions in the condo.

As an aside, I finally got a good picture of the bumblebee catfish. The guy swims around so fast hes just a blur in the pictures!
If dont have kanamycin available- just look for a gram negative antibiotic that works for internal bacterial infections.

180 g. low tech w/ wild South American cichlids, corydoras eques, and African Congo riverine tetras.
60 g. low tech w/ F1 Alenquer pair /Stendker "Tefe" discus and wild Altum Angels
30 g. low tech w/ Wild Tucano tetras
30 g. low-tech African Biotope
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the welcome Grobbins. This hobby is proving to be an amazing teacher of patience!

Update on Ram:
The Bolivian Ram passed away this morning. I got a quarantine tank last weekend and moved him over into it. I was unable to find Kanamycin. I can't even order it from the states and ship it into Canada. I decided to treat him again with general cure and melafix. It seemed to be working well, he was pooping out white poops over 4-5 days. His biggest challenge was eating. He wasn't eating to regain strength. I tried blood worms, brine shrimp, pellets, flakes, he just wasn't able to eat. He slowly got so weak that he just kind of got sucked against the filter intake and I found him there in the morning passed away.

55 Gallon tank:
Added 7 Nerite snails and 1 mystery snail last weekend. They have been doing a great job of keeping algea down. I just had to give the front of the tank a quick scrub this week and that was it. I used to do 15 minutes of algea scrubbing now just 2-5 minutes.

Mystery snail. This is a funny guy. We got him from the store and he turned out to be a floater. All the nerites sunk to the bottom but this guy just floated around on the surface all night. Left him like that overnight and he ended up submerged like the other snails by the morning. Since then, I have been walking by the tank and on occasion the mystery snail will be "moon walking" around the tank. He goes from being on the bottom to using his air somehow to float jump around the tank. It is very interesting.

No major issues in the display tank. I turned up the CO2 just a little bit. The dwarf lilly is taking along time to grow larger leaves. Next weekend I'm thinking of replanting the bacopa and removing the ceramic ring that they came in, to space out the plants alittle bit.

The catfish is doing a great job eating the left over food that hits the tank bottom. He's starting to get some love handles though!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Revamped the aquascape today.

Goals:
- Hide the filter intake/ outtake + heater.
- Create a thick wall of plants along the back.
- Prune dead leaves from ludwigia repens and relocate to more light.
- create more hiding spots for the "dueling" gouramis


- Trimmed and separated the Bacopa. Cut down into 32 seperate plants. We'll see if they grow being propagated into 3 plants for each tall plant.
- Kept only 1 of my swords and centered to hopefully create a barrier for the gouramis

Looking forward to seeing how things grow in.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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After viewing the tank I wasn't pleased with how the aquascape turned out yesterday, so I revamped it again today.

Aquascape update:
- removed wood branch from middle
- relocated logs
- all plants relocated

I've decided the giant hygro is going. I've left 2 on the left temporarily until the new plants arrive. (They are blocking to much light and they are bare around the base.)

I like the look of the anubus nana better than the larger leaf variety so I will likely propagate them and replace the the larger leaf versions as time goes on.

New plants ordered:
Alternanthera reineckii Rosanervig
Ambulia (Limnophila sessiliflora)
Limnophila hippuridoides
Rotala rotundifolia

I've attached a quick copy photo edit of the future plant placement. Will update with the new plants soon.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Tank update - Added new plants & snails!

Stock List:
x4 Angel Fish
x11(12) Black Skirt Tetras (1 quarantined)
x2 Dwarf Gouramis
x1 Bumblebee Catfish SA
x9 Nerite snails (added 2 new zebra onion nerites)
x1 Mystery snails


Plants

Fore:
Anubus (several types)
Java moss
Cryptocoryne
Dwarf Sagittaria
Dwarf Lily (finally showing some leaf growth!)

Mid:
Amazon Sword
Alternanthera reineckii Rosanervig (new)

Back:
Limnophila sessiliflora (new)
Bacopa
Limnophila hippuridoides (new)
Ludwigia Repens
Rotala rotundifolia (new)
Vallisneria

Floating:
Amazon frogbit (new)
Dwarf water lettuce (new)
Salvinia Minima (new)

Current challenges:
1 Tetra developed a growth on skirt. Have him in quarantine. Here's the issue:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/2...irt-tetra.html

Was pondering tank flow with the floating plants being added. I think I have solved it. Reference attached pictures. Spray bar has been raised up out of water and I added back in the power head. Seems to be a happy medium. This is where I was at before:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8...ng-plants.html

Looking forward to see how the tank develops.
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Last edited by VioletAqua; 04-23-2019 at 04:33 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Replanted the background stem plants to thin out their numbers and ensure they receive light.

The dwarf lily's leaves are growing fast now (after a month of nothing!). Removed a crypt to allow more room.

Floating plants seem to be doing well and growing.

Limnophila sessiliflora is growing quick. I estimate 1.5 months till at surface.

This is when patience is needed... I imagine these plants will take 4-6 months to hit the surface.
- Limnophila hippuridoides
- Ludwigia Repens
- Rotala rotundifolia
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quick tank update:

Bumblebee catfish has had a personality change. Used to come out every feeding. Now I never see it. After 5 days of not seeing it I moved around the logs to check if it was still alive. It was! Just wasn't happy to see it's cover moved around. It moved to the other side of the tank like a quick shadow flash.

Gimli the red dwarf gourami made a bubble nest. That's been very interesting to watch.

The bacopa plants are growing, but on the bottom half, all the leaves have died off. Anyone know why that might be?
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 11:50 AM
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First I want to say, what a beautiful set up for your 1st shot at a tank, you've really done well & it looks great. Myself, I didn't even try live plants until my 3rd tank set up. With that said, just a reminder, once you have cycled your tank, you should start adding your stock slowly. The rule of thumb is 1" per gal of fish (5" of fish for a 55 gal tank) after the cycle and then wait a week ( if your water chemistry is still stable) before adding another 5" inches of fish and so on. with 19 fish & 10 snails, in 2 months, this maybe why your having problems with disease. Basically, the good bacteria in your tank needs to catch up (and grow) with the waste being produced by your stock. If you know all this then just disregard. If you think this maybe a part of why your dealing with disease, you've set up a quarantine tank with is the best step. but I wouldn't replace any fish (save maybe and algae eater) until the disease goes away for at least a month.

Of course you can do everything right & still buy stock with disease, so don't beat yourself up if you think you may have added stock too fast. I just wanted to put this out to you because everyone who is in this hobby has struggled here & there & we all have had to start over at one point or another. For me, if I have an idea of what mistake I might have made, I'm more likely to not get discouraged when dealing with it. I once had a stunning Oscar that was a good 12" long and (when it got disease) I treated it wrong and it died. It wasn't until I knew what I did before I tried raising Oscars again. hopefully this is food for though

I wish you luck, and again, it really looks great!
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 12:45 PM
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How long ago did you buy / add the bacopa? Do you know if it was grown emersed or submerged?

If it was grown emersed as many plants are that are sold sans true aquatic species, it could be dropping the emersed growth and replacing it with new submerged growth. It is hard to tell from your pictures, but it looks like it is getting plenty of light and healthy.

More on bacopa and trimming it...

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