10 Gallon 'Seed' tank - return to the hobby - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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10 Gallon 'Seed' tank - return to the hobby

Ah yes, the enjoyment of a clean canvas. This is the golden moment, when a new tank is nothing but potential and dreams. There has yet to be heartache and torment. In my mind this is going to be a wonderland of aquatic bliss. We all know the truth may be a rockier path, but I'm sure you know the feeling.

This is a small 10 gallon 'seed' tank, as I'm calling it, as I get back into the aquarium hobby. The basic goal is to get myself re-acquainted with water chemistry and husbandry in a planted freshwater setup. Long term I'm planning on an additional tank of approximately 100 gallons at this one is to get myself a strong bacterial and livestock base to begin stocking that larger tank. While I feel confident in my ability to keep fish.... I've only casually ever tried freshwater plants. All my chemistry knowledge (which is a mite 'stagnant' from being out of the hobby) was really based around reef tanks.



At the moment, it's a boring box of water that I set up three days ago. Basic 10 gallon tank, Aquaclear 30 filter, Nicrew 50w heater, CaribSea Eco Complete for the substrate, and a Finnex 24/7 Planted + HLC light. Water is coming from a 4 stage RO system, I also have a DI module but it's not currently being used. Next step is going to be some hard-scaping, but I'm having trouble finding what I want locally. Otherwise I'm content to just let it continue to cycle.

Hopefully more updates later today after I make another sweep of town to find a few more things.

Bump: Hmmm.... adapting to a new forum still, looks like I have to really start trimming down my image sizes. 250kb is rather anemic these days. I'll need to find a good compression percentage to hit that and not lose too much image quality.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like I have to figure out some new-to-me stuff for my web hosting to get images to show up here.
So, I apologize for the lack of photo in the first post.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like I need to go back to my ISP and sort out an HTTPS certificate before I can start linking picture from my own site.
So I'll use some of the storage on-site here until then.

Cycle appears to be going well. Ammonia has been consistently near zero. PH is steady at around 7.6. gh of 11, kh of 6.

I'm currently not testing nitrites or nitrates. I tend to not worry too much about either of those to be honest. Outside of an initial cycle, I can't remember ever actually having a positive test for nitrates in any tank I've owned. Nitrates I'll worry about after things get a bit more established and start monitoring for the sake of plant health. I'd like to bring that ph down a bit, and will be adding some driftwood for both ph and cosmetic purposes.

I sourced some local rock (from my front yard landscaping), it all passed the vinegar test. Didn't alter my gh or kh at all either. Which is good because I like the way it looks. Never did find that black slate I wanted initially. I'll do that to the big tank next year.

I initially started light feeding in the empty tank, and added a few 'ghost shrimp' about a week ago as well as a Java Fern. Two of the four shrimp remain, but I don't think that's a water quality problem, I know they can be cannabilistic if there isn't enough food and in a new tank there isn't much for them to scavenge on. The Java Fern seems to be doing well. Doesn't appear to be growing, but is still a rich green with no signs of stress.

Then yesterday I decided I needed something with some fins. In went two female guppies, one yellow snakesin endlers, and one orange cobra guppy. One of the females had a very impressive iridescent sheen to her fins, but today it looks like she's been nipped a bit or she may have some fungus coming in. I'll have to keep an eye on it, and will grab some salt here in a little bit. That Endlers seems to be a bit aggressive toward the females but it is their first 24 hours in the tank, so the social and territory heirarchy is still in limbo.

I also added a cutting of staurogyne repens yesterday as well, which I hope will take as well as the Java Fern. I did start dosing Flourish Comprehensive a week ago also. About 1/5 of a capful once a week.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-27-2019, 09:19 PM
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Some hygrophila compacta would be good choice for a simple easy to care for plant in that size tank.

Needs more plants.....

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
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Totally agree on the 'needs more plants', but it's just too barren still from a nutrient standpoint. I'll have to look into the compacta, would make a good mid-tank plant.

I'm not holding out much hope for the fit-rotting guppy though. It sure did progress rapidly over the last 24 hours. I wasn't even sure I was seeing symptoms last night, by morning it was obvious, and by the afternoon most of the tail fin was down to just the horizontal cartilage. I gave the affected fish a salt-dip, and added about 3tsp of salt to the tank both to help cure this fish and protect the others. The muscle at the base of the fin was showing a band of fungus at that point too. Typical mid to late stage appearance.

The white is slowly fading now, so I've got my fingers crossed. But it's acting sluggish and showing some signs there may be swim bladder issues.

Oh, and I did finally find some aquarium driftwood. Once things settle down I get a fresh photo.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 06:32 AM
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Sounds like osmotic shock.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 05:56 PM
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10 Gallon 'Seed' tank - return to the hobby

Water quality issue. Tank has not been properly cycled before adding live-stock. The rapid deterioration of fins consistent with ammonia or nitrIte toxicity. As well as the signs of weakness- neurological / internal organ damage from exposure.


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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 discus pair and wild Altum Angels
30 g. low tech - Breeding tank
30 g. low-tech Shrimp tank - wild-type neocaradina and Caridina cf. babaulti "Zebra"
9 gallon Shrimp tank- Caridina cantonensis ("Golden Bee's"). *Tank still at cycling stage.

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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My ego want's to say "no no no, I'd never cheat, try to short-change a cycle, cheap out on test kits, and succumb to temptation".....

But you guys are likely correct, and a nitrite test kit is already on the way to verify where I'm actually at in the cycle. Then I can make the proper decisions to get it corrected and back on track.

I'm still going to watch for fungus issues though. The endler was aggressive toward that sick female, and I saw it nipping at her fins multiple times. Then the endler got a very obvious case of cotton mouth. Both have since died. He probably also died from the water conditions but I need to at least watch what's going on.

Other than losing a couple fish I'm actually quite happy with the appearance of the tank right now. So the plan right is to not introduce any new variables (or fish) and let it continue to cycle, with 10% water changes twice a week. Keep testing water parameters (including the nitrites). And let it just mature for a while.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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And just to follow up.... it was nitrites. Ammonia still testing close to zero but nitrites were about 1ppm or so. Not sure if that's trending up or down yet, further testing will confirm.

-Hans
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