Tinkerpuppets 10gal - Take 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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Tinkerpuppets 10gal - Take 3

After being out of the hobby for the last four years, I dug out my old 10gal and got it running again today. While I've been thinking about it for a couple months, a lot of it was spur of the moment, and making do. I found out that the incandescent light fixture in my hood no longer works, and I seem to have lost my heater. I also had no filter media, and I have also lost the little piece that controls the flow in my filter. So I dealt with what I could, and I'll replace things over the next weeks while my tank cycles.

I found a lady local to me who sold me a ton of great looking plants to get me started, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. I think it will fill in nicely and I'm going to a fish club auction next weekend and may pick up some more plants.

Specs
10 gal tank
Marina Slim S10 filter (media - various sponges I had in the house)
Heater - none
Light - desk lamp with 6500k cfl. Thinking of replacing with a Nicrew LED
Lid - nothing - thinking of DIY'ing a sliding glass lid
Substrate - pool filter sand
Ferts - osmocote tabs

Flora (someone's trimmings)
Crypts! tons of crypts
Tiger Lily
Rotala
Dwarf Sag (that she grew with CO2, not so dwarf!)
And a little plant that is super cool, I can't remember the name of!

Fauna
Nothing yet, doing a fishless cycle.

Parameters
Ammonia - 4ppm (added ammonia)
Nitrites - 0ppm
Nitrates - 0ppm



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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 05:09 AM
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Very nice! The plant in the middle looks like Nymphoides hydrophylla 'Taiwan'.

I may come across as a know-it-all. In reality, I have no idea.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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I am now on Day 12 of (fishless) cycling. I'm using a 'Live Nitrifier' that my LFS sells, mostly as an experiement to see if it helps speed things along.

Ammonia - 2-3ppm
Nitrite - 2ppm
Nitrate - 5ppm

The Ammonia and Nitrite have been stable, the Nitrates have been about 40ppm until yesterday when they dropped to 5ppm. So things are happening.

Day 8 baby pest snails turned up, all the plants I have were from other peoples tanks, I'm not surprised in the least.

The plants have been doing okay. There was a lot of melting, but that seems to be ending. I moved the lily to the back left corner and you can't really see it as the big tall leaves melted off, but there are some smaller leaves still vibrant so I think it will make it. The crypts are also looking better. I was at an auction on the weekend and picked up a great little bunch of anubias petite (I centred it in the rocks on the right side, it looks like a wee little bush) some java fern windelov that I just need to attach to something before I add it, and a nice sprig of anubias nana (not added yet).

I still have the two lights making do for now. I think I'll be ordering a Nicrew this weekend. I've also got an estimate from a glass shop on a custom lid that's very inexpensive that I'll order on Thursday (need to go into the shop).

And I added the wee mini sponge filter that I had soaked in the Live Nitrifier to help seed the cycle. That will come out when things are running smoothly. The plants are too dense in the back for me to hide it, but as it's temporary I figure that's ok.

Starting to think about fish/fauna. With the baby pest snails (which at the very least I hope are helping with the cycle), I am considering getting an assassin snail. But I was wanting a few MTS to help aerate the sand, and I really like mystery snails, nerite snails and ramhorns, so not sure I was an assassin. Maybe I'll just borrow one first to take care of the pests, then rehome it when I want to get different snails. I'm also sourcing out a betta, some pygmy cories, and some amano shrimp for when the cycle is complete.

Enjoying the process!

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Today is Day 19 if the cycle, and I had a surprise! A wee little baby fry appeared from nowhere! Obviously it came from some of the plants I’ve received from a few different local hobbyists, but I haven’t noticed it until now. Guess we’ll see what it turns into if it makes it that long.

Cycle is still doing its thing. Each day ammonia is down to <0.25, nitrites are steady at 2, and nitrates are usually at 5. I then raise the ammonia back to 1-2ppm. I finished the bottle of live nitrifier today. Not sure if it’s helped speed things up? Certainly wasn’t a miracle in a week like they claimed. But I’ll see how much longer it takes to finish the cycle. It was also a fun experiment.

Plants are doing pretty good the melting has mostly stopped. The lilly has put out new leaves, and the rotala has new growth. The crypts have sent out a few little runners. But the little plant in front of the rock is pretty much gone, I never did know what it was.

I added some Java Fern Windelov that I really like, some red root floaters and a little bit of Anubias nana petite (which I just have in the tank but haven’t actually decided where to put it yet). I also have a nice stem of regular size anubias I can’t decide where to put. Somewhere peeking out from behind the big rock I think, or maybe the right side could use something a little more solid/substantial then just the stems.

There is some brown dust (diatoms?) but I think once I have some fish in there that will clear up (especially with cories swimming over it).

Oh, and I replaced the big 100w heater with a small 50w heater that fits in the back left corner. So far the temp is stable so I think it will work.

So far I’m happy with it all!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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Day 29 - Iím officially cycled! Yesterday my tests finally read Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, and 40-80 Nitrates. Today read the same, I did a 50% water change, and my Nitrates are now at 20ppm. So in total it took 28 days to cycle. Not sure if the bottle of live nitrifier helped speed things along? Maybe I'd still be waiting now if I didn't use it, but it was a fun experiment.

I still have that surprise fry living it's little life, we've named it Waldo. And the snails that appeared have turned out to be ramshorn, I'm actually enjoying them.

I'm planning on getting six pygmy cories and six amano shrimp this weekend. Once they're settled I'll add a betta (maybe next weekend or the weekend after).

The plants are all doing pretty good. I moved a few things around, replanted the rotala stems (I had planted them in big bunches, I separated and planted the stems individually). I hid the little sponge filter that I'll keep in there as backup for a quarantine tank. My anubias is melting which I'm not sure about, at this point the other plants have all stopped melting, I would have thought it'd be doing better.

I'm also about to order a new light to replace the hodgepodge desk lamps I have rigged up with cfl's. I like the cfl's, just not the esthetic of the lights (it's in the middle of our main living area). I'm pretty sure I'm going with a Nicrew LED. And a glass shop quoted me for a custom lid (the diy sliding lid), I just have to actually go in and order it now.

Overall things are going good and I'm looking forward to adding some bigger life in there!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
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I just realized that you can now see Waldo! It’s still too small for me to tell what it is, but if anyone is able to zoom in and can tell, I’d love to hear what you think!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by tinkerpuppet View Post
I just realized that you can now see Waldo! Itís still too small for me to tell what it is, but if anyone is able to zoom in and can tell, Iíd love to hear what you think!

he is so tiny!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
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Day 40 - I added four more peppered coryís and three Amano Shrimp a few days ago. One shrimp crawled out of the tank the first night and we found it halfway across the house the next morning. So I rigged up a temporary cover for the small gap at the back of the tank where the filter is until I can get a proper cover. Today I do a water change and think things are finally starting to come together. No more deaths, plants are doing well, I ordered my new light which should be arriving in two days. Everyone seems happy.



Take a nice tank shot, admiring my tank, when I notice I missed wiping up a few drops of water on the stand. But wait. The stand is pretty wet. And I see some water damage I donít think was there before. I lift up the edges of the shelf liner the tank is on, and itís soaked. Much more than a water change would have caused. Oh crap. A leak? The Ďtemporary coverí that I had used to block the shrimp was a hand towel, and I did notice it was quite wet when I took it off. Maybe it had just wicked water and dripped down onto/under the mat. Or maybe itís a leak.

So I end up having to drain the tank down, move all the fish to my back up five gallon tank (always have a back up!), and the tank is now sitting in a plastic tub to see if it leaks overnight. My husband moved the tank as gently as possible, but Iím sure everything is all messed up. All my happy fish are all freaked out being moved to the small tank. And there is a little water damage on my stand, but just cosmetic.

So much for feeling like it was all coming together!

Any suggestions for what I can put under the tank once I have it set back up? From watching the tank in the tub for a hour I donít see any signs of leaking, from the bottom, and the sides going up weíre all dry. So Iím thinking it was just wicking from my poor choice of cover. Iím hoping I can put it all back together tomorrow. Should I use the shelf liner again and just make sure to keep it dry?

Sad way to end the night.








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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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Tinkerpuppets 10gal - Take 3

Day 49



So thankfully after the panic of thinking my tank was leaking, it wasn't! It was my dumbass idea to cover the back gap with a towel, that had got wet and dripped water down. So I got the tank set back up, and it's been great since.



I added this mesh plastic to try and avoid any more shrimp leaving, but sadly another one got out. But no more since, so fingers crossed!





I also got my new light, a Nicrew. I don't love the colour of the light, and I don't think it reaches all the corners of the tank well, but it looks really nice, my husband MUCH prefers it over the desk lamps I had rigged up, so it will be fine.



And the piece de resistance! I finally got a betta! The colour choices are amazing now compared to even five years ago. I'm very happy with my boy. He's pretty spicy personality wise, Waldo is now living in a DIY breeder box to stay safe. That is definitely not my favourite part of the tank, ha!






Today I did notice that my green tiger lotus is melting a ton. I think maybe Waldo's container is blocking the light? And my Windelov java fern is also dying back a bit. I didn't have a timer on my lights before, so they were only on for about 5-6hrs at night after work. But I have a timer now and the lights are on for 8hrs. Thinking I might increase it to 9 and see if I have any algae breakouts. I tore down my tanks years ago because I gave up on the algae battle, I'm a little worried about overdoing it.






But all in all everyone/thing seems to be settling in well!


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Day 77

Not much new to report. I'm down to one amano shrimp, I think they were still climbing out even past my mesh. But it's been weeks since the last disappearance, so I hope this guy stays put.

My plants seem to be settled, although my rotala looks terrible. I've been cutting it near the bottom, trimming off the bare stem and replanting the healthier tops, but I think I might cut my losses with this plant soon. I've never had luck with rotala. I am using root tabs that were added when I started the tank, not sure if they're 'used up' at this point, or if it's time I start looking into adding ferts to the water column. My lotus was melting really badly, but I trimmed it right down and it sent out new leaves right away. I even have a baby that I found floating in my red root plants that I stuck back in the substrate and it seems to be doing well so far too. The java fern windelov wasn't doing great, but I think it was really struggling for light, the breeder box I had up for Waldo (the surprise fry) was blocking a lot. Now that Waldo is out in the open I'm hoping the extra light will benefit all the plants.

Speaking of Waldo, s/he's getting much bigger! Starting to yellow up at the tail. Can anyone ID him yet? I'm still thinking rasbora, but the yellow is throwing me off. Guppy seems possible, but I don't think Waldo is 'chesty' enough (different body shape).

And my betta was doing well I thought, until I looked at this thread from when I got him. Now I'm thinking maybe his tail isn't looking so hot. Any idea if he's nipping? And why he would be and what I could do to help him?

Please ignore the extra media that I'm seeding for my next tank, it will hopefully be moved soon! And also please ignore the meowing, my foster cat was quite indignant that I was paying attention to the tank and not her!

Thanks!




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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Well I tore down the 10gal, and replaced it with a 20gal long! My new tank journal is at https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...ello-20-a.html


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