getting back into the hobby - 14 inch cube - updated FTS on first page - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-12-2019, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Econde View Post
Maybe putting a little bit of filter floss inside of the overflow box or a sponge might help with the noise? I have no experience on this, just an idea that popped in my head.
if the noise starts to bug me I'll give that a try, but it's not too loud, and for now kind of pleasant.
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post #17 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-14-2019, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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In an effort to help keep the algae under control and help get rid of some of the decaying plants I have added the first inhabitants, 3 amano shrimp and 2 nerite snails (a zebra and a red racer). Snails are already going to town on the glass and the shrimp have started scavenging! When I snapped the photos they were all hanging out in the shadows but they seem to be feeling more comfortable already.

I also picked up some new plants - a bunch of what was labelled as heteranthera, but not sure of the specific species and an unlabelled floating plant that I think is a salvinia species. if you can help me identify either it would be much appreciated.

The heteranthera helps give some height to the two corners that were looking bare, and I think it will look even better once the Hygropilia grows up to a similar height along the right side. And I have always loved floating plants so happy to have some in there now. One of the original plant orders also had some duckweed hidden in it so there are a few leaves of that floating around too.

As for the original plantings I am having mixed results. The good - all of the crypts are doing well and showing new growth. The crypt parvas are growing super slow, I can't wait for them to fill in the foreground more. The hygrophilia is growing nicely and the java ferns are already propagating. One of the anubias barteri nana has new growth, the moss is growing well (although the top bunch is full of algae right now) and the green wavy buce seems to be doing ok. And the hydrocotyle still seems to be doing ok, definitely has some visible new growth in the past few days.

And the bad - some of the anubias nana had the rhizome completely melt, so I pulled it out. And the red buce has completely melted, but the rhizomes still seem good, hoping it can recover. Has anyone else had buce melt and come back? I think I let things get a little too dirty a week or so ago - no one to blame but myself for that. Hoping now that the tank is cleaned up a bit and with the cleanup crew the plants will look even better soon.

FTS:
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Amano Shrimp:
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with the recent posts about false Amanos is anyone able to confirm from this photo if these are true Amanos or not?

Zebra Nerite:
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Heteranthera sp. ?:
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If you know the species I would really appreciate it!

Salvinia??:
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Would love your help in confirming the name of this plant.
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post #18 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-14-2019, 10:46 PM
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Look like Amanos to me, but I'll defer to others' opinions. That does not look like my Savlinia, no bumpy texture. Also, besides reducing the noise, some floss in that surface skimmer should also keep baby shrimp from going in there when you get your Neos. Tank is coming along nicely and I second Econde's thoughts about your desk!

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #19 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-15-2019, 02:11 AM
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Dwarf water lettuce


Stem plant looks like ludwigia repens x arcuata
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post #20 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-15-2019, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Dwarf water lettuce


Stem plant looks like ludwigia repens x arcuata
Amazing - thank you!! I knew it wasn't water lettuce but didn't realize there was a dwarf variety.

the LFS had it marked as heteranthera but after looking at google I was skeptical - definitely look more like ludwigia repens.

Thanks DaveKS!!
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post #21 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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shrimp and snails are still doing well and have really cleaned things up - will take some photos later today after I do a water change and clean the glass. also, while looking into how to do spot treatment with H202 on youtube I saw someone use a toothbrush on the hairgrass to pull out algae and thought that would probably work on moss. the moss clumps closer to the surface in my tank were full of green algae and BGA/cyanobacteria and I really wanted to get it under control before it spread - tried the toothbrush and I would say it's visibly gone. I know I probably didn't get 100% of it out, but I think if I stay on top of it with the toothbrush I should avoid a massive breakout, fingers crossed.

and I just ordered my second wave of inhabitants - a few more snails and 15 dreamy blue neos. Should be here Tuesday or Wednesday - I am super excited!! if all goes well I will wait probably until early November and look to add some tigers and fish. Still debating between a small group of otos, pygmy cories, or ember tetras, but definitely leaning towards pygmy cories.
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post #22 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 02:02 PM
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Cool setup. I have that dwarf water lettuce in both my tanks. Once it takes off u will be taking out probably a handful or two every week to clear up the top.

I second the floss or something for the overflow. Even the adults will find a way in there, I've even had a few make it up the return flow path in my hobs.

GL


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post #23 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Cool setup. I have that dwarf water lettuce in both my tanks. Once it takes off u will be taking out probably a handful or two every week to clear up the top.

I second the floss or something for the overflow. Even the adults will find a way in there, I've even had a few make it up the return flow path in my hobs.

GL
there's already about twice as much of it - 1 week and it's doubled in size. but that's ok, will hopefully be able to find a home for the stuff I take out. if anyone lives in the Collingwood area and wants dwarf water lettice hit me up, should have some to give away in a few weeks!

and re the overflow/intake - I may buy some black plastic screen and glue it on the inside of the overflow and bottom intake hole to prevent shrimp from getting into the filter. any recommendations on the type of screen to use?

also, didn't end up having time yesterday to clean the tank but got to it today. not perfect, but really liking how things are coming together. there's more algae than I would prefer and the plants aren't all thriving, but most of the plants do have new growth and the shrimp and snails are all happy. also spotted the first hitch hiker snail today - not sure if it's a pond snail or bladder snail, any tips on how to tell them apart?

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post #24 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 10:03 PM
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Just standard fiberglass window screen material from your local or big box hardware store. Usually comes in rolls. If it's not small enough to keep shrimplets from getting through, just use two layers of screen with one of them offset a bit to make smaller holes.

Here's how to tell Pond and Bladder Snails apart:



Quote:
Originally Posted by dspin02 View Post
I may buy some black plastic screen and glue it on the inside of the overflow and bottom intake hole to prevent shrimp from getting into the filter. any recommendations on the type of screen to use?

...

not sure if it's a pond snail or bladder snail, any tips on how to tell them apart?
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post #25 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Just standard fiberglass window screen material from your local or big box hardware store. Usually comes in rolls. If it's not small enough to keep shrimplets from getting through, just use two layers of screen with one of them offset a bit to make smaller holes.

Here's how to tell Pond and Bladder Snails apart:

cool - will have to pick some of that up this week.

think I have bladder snails based on the photo - the one I saw was still really small so will have to wait and see. both only eat detritus/decaying plants right? neither eats healthy plants?

thought I would've seen a few hitchhiker snails sooner - happy to have finally spotted one!
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post #26 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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some questions around photoperiods - I am currently using an 8-hour photoperiod and thinking of splitting it into two 4 hour periods. question for those of you who use two photoperiods, how long should the light be out in between the two? and are there any major pros or cons to two vs one photoperiod? thanks!
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post #27 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
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some questions around photoperiods - I am currently using an 8-hour photoperiod and thinking of splitting it into two 4 hour periods. question for those of you who use two photoperiods, how long should the light be out in between the two? and are there any major pros or cons to two vs one photoperiod? thanks!
Most will tell you use 4-5 hours on then 4-5 hours off and then another 4-5 hours on. I'm sure you can make the off time in between longer. Just depends on your setup and really just have to keep an eye out if it works for you.


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post #28 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 03:15 PM
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Nope, won't typically eat healthy plants. There's almost always some other good food source for them in a planted tank. If you think there's not, then you can feed them.

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think I have bladder snails based on the photo - the one I saw was still really small so will have to wait and see. both only eat detritus/decaying plants right? neither eats healthy plants?
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post #29 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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the new inhabitants arrived on Tuesday! 2 more nerites, a ramshorn, and 15 dreamy blue neos. A few of them aren't that dark, but hoping they darken up as they age. But some of the bigger ones are a beautiful deep blue. I love them.

I also didn't get to adding the screening to the filter before I had to put them in the tank, I added that yesterday. So they were in the tank for maybe 18 hours before I took the overflow apart to add screening and wouldn't you know it two of the amanos were in the overflow which was surprising and there was 5 or so neos in the filter proper. Lesson learned.

But yesterday I got screening on the holes on the underside of the overflow box and on the overflow itself so it shouldn't happen again. And I think the addition of the new tankmates has the amanos unsettled. For the first week and a half they seemed to like their new home and were super calm. Then yesterday, less than a day after the neos were added, two of the three ends up in the overflow and then last night one of them was in my master bathroom!!! so it somehow ended up outside of the tank and managed to walk from my office into the master bedroom and then into the master bath. I am happy we spotted it as we were about to go to bed. It lived, but that wouldn't have been the case if we found it this morning. I am assuming it got spooked and popped out of the water unintentionally. I tested the water yesterday and had 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and super low nitrates. I hope everyone settles in and gets used to each other soon, I don't want to find anyone else on the floor.

A quick photo of some the new guys below, will clean the glass today or tomorrow and take some better photos. There are actually three of them in this photo - I just love the deep blue colour!!

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Also, was really impressed with the seller and packaging they arrived in. They called to confirm my address before shipping and to make sure I would be home on the expected date. And the box was packed with basically shredded newspaper, but it was packed super tight so there wouldn't have been any movement of the bags inside the box. The top and bottom also had styrofoam sheets.

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post #30 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-28-2019, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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a little worried today

woke up to find one of my blue dreams dead, which was sad but odd to me. I checked the water parameters yesterday morning and there were 0 ppm of ammonia and nitrite, with 0 to 5 ppm of nitrate. the same parameters I have had for weeks.

so I decided to retest all parameters before doing a water change. It had been about two weeks since I tested the pH and hardness of the water and I was very surprised to find that my pH had dropped to around 6.0, gH had gone up to around 11 or 12, and kH was 0 or 1. Which is very bizarre as those parameters had been steady at 7.5, 6, and 3 respectively over the first 4 weeks or so. Will begin testing them more frequently again. Ammonia was also around 1 ppm while Nitirite was still 0 ppm and Nitrate around 5ppm. Immediately did about a 30% water change.

Would some of the rock I had collected be responsible for an increase in gH and decrease in kH? would the ammonia spike cause the pH to drop that much? since the kH was so low? Or is it simply another mini-cycle due to the large increase in livestock a few days ago? Any thoughts you have on what could've happened would be appreciated.

Will retest water again in a few hours and do another water change if necessary. Seems like I may need to keep up with regular weekly water changes to keep my hardness and pH consistent. Which is fine, but was hoping to get to a every other week, or every three week schedule.

I also added more of the Fritzyme 7 bacteria so hopefully, that helps too.

And non of the shrimp or snails have eaten any of the food I have added, which I guess was the first warning sign something was off. I have been pulling the food out after a few hours. I just assumed there was enough algae, bio film, and decaying plants for them to eat. Hopefully, the water stabilizes and I don't lose any more of the shrimp or snails.
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