------NEW SCAPE Fat Guy's BIG ROCK Iwagumi 60P------ - Page 6 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #76 of 100 (permalink) Old 07-28-2020, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Everything is filling in nicely. Moved the Corydoras to their own tank (More on that later). But here’s a quick shot with my iPhone. The h. tenellus is awesome. I just have to steer the runners in around the rock and not let them get into the s. Repens. About to update my nano thread as I took the ada mini m out of the garage and set it up in my kids room for a driftwood moss Bucephalandra Anubias shrimp Cory tank.

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post #77 of 100 (permalink) Old 07-28-2020, 07:42 PM
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I love this tank! Thank you for sharing!
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post #78 of 100 (permalink) Old 07-31-2020, 05:46 AM Thread Starter
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I love this tank! Thank you for sharing!
Hey thanks!! I love it too!!

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post #79 of 100 (permalink) Old 07-31-2020, 06:06 AM Thread Starter
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I recently picked up the book Ecology of the Planted Aquarium by Diana Louise Walstad. Iíve hear a lot about this book but stumbled upon it when I was doing a search in Scribd and was able to download it for free with my scribd membership. Itís awesome. I mean like really awesome. Thereís so much useful information in it and it really makes me feel like a noob even after over 30 years in the hobby. The biggest noob mistake I have made is not taking a closer look at the water quality report in my area. Iíve discovered that my tap water has a real Cu problem and other heavy metals that can show up. Iíve realized that the issues I have been having when adding invertebrates to some of my tanks here in SoCal has been Cu. The levels of copper fluctuate between .33 - .66 in my water. That is no bueno for my invertebrates.

I just setup my ADA Mini M for my children and have made it a cherry shrimp and Pygmy Cory tank. I had four shrimp deaths that baffled me before I looked at the water quality report and boy oh boy did I feel silly after reading the levels. I have a Berkey Filter that I have used to prefilter my tap water and am storing it in 2.5 gallon containers for partial water changes for the mini M. Iím actually going to do fewer water changes on the mini m and try simply topping off with the filtered water from the Berkey. And so far so good. The shrimp and Coryís have completely turned around and are existing in a 5 gallon homeostasis. That tank (which I need to update on another journal) has a ton of mosses, anubias, bucephalandra and helanthium tenellum.

For the 20gallon Iím not going to change much with the water. Things seem to be working well in there. The cardinals are at ease and super hardy as well as the ottos. The plants are thriving and the algae is where I want it to be with my desired photoperiod. I picked up a current serene background light which I really love. The difference it makes on your aquascape is enormous. If you have the extra cash to spend, I highly recommend picking up a background light. It doesnít have to be current USA though. Although their customer service has been superb. Iíd love it if that company put Bluetooth tech into their background lights. I never thought that using an IR remote would seem dated, but with the tech thatís out there, why not spend the money developing an app for the phone for the background light. I purchased a cheaper one for my ADA mini M and itís ok quality and serves its purpose. I really love the lighting effect though. I feel like it is kickstarting some growth with the H. Tenellum behind the large rock.

Also, I really love the Fluval 307 and the deal I got on it from Petco. I run it full steam ahead with the lily pipes and it does a superb job and is so easy to clean and add biomedia to. I added a glass hang on drop checker after my diy acrylic one developed a crack and was taking incorrect readings. However, Iíve made a bunch of other acrylic drop checkers that work well. I just overestimated their durability.

Anyway this has been a long update. Thanks for those that are following. If you havenít picked up the Waltsad book I encourage you to do so. And if you read all the way through this post go take a gander at your local water quality report if you are using tap water for your tanks. You may be surprised and feel as foolish as I did when I read the heavy metal list.

Keep on keeping on and stay safe.

El G
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post #80 of 100 (permalink) Old 08-19-2020, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Everything is growing strong. Had a random Otocinclus death 💀 but the tank is cooking along. Just trimming stray runners and a few cyst leaves here and there. Very pleasing to look at where it sits in my house. Debating pick up more cardinals...I have 7 right now. Or let them play out and use a different fish farther down the road. Definitely digging it!
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post #81 of 100 (permalink) Old 09-02-2020, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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Added some new metal tubes to the back. The gaseous exchange is so much better now. Goodbye surface film. The bad news is that they are ugggglllyy but will be so much easier to clean. Easier to adjust than the glass lily pipes and a hell of a lot more durable.

I’m trying to get the water hardness down. Out of the tap we have 10 GH and 14 kh. A week of no water changes and the tank is 20 GH and 25 kh. The “sieryu” stone is to blame. I did a 60% ro water change which took forever to treat/filter the water before. I think I’m just gonna Ro water my mini m tank and do 50% water changes on the 20 g twice a week.

Reduced lighting to 20% at its peak after experiencing some repens leaf drop and tenellus melt and things seem to be turning around. I think a lot of times we think we need more light on our tanks when actually a tank this size and this height doesn’t need a ton of light over it. I think many of us forget that a lot of these plants if not all of them that are sold are shade plants in the wild. I think also as hobbyist sometimes we find ourselves chasing after fertilizers and thinking we are not adding enough. But if you’re EI dosing then you definitely have adequate fertilization in your tank. So there’s no real reason to need to tweak that. but I think my fish and my substrate will prefer a lower GH and KH. With the surface KMR I can now target more CO2 to the bottom zone in my tank. We shall see what happens. In other news after switching to Ro water for my mini M three of my female shrimps are berried. Going to stop by Bob’s tropical Fish tomorrow to take a look at a new shipment of tissue cultures they will get in. Thanks to all who follow and Unfollow this thread. best! El g
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post #82 of 100 (permalink) Old 09-02-2020, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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More pics new background lighting.
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post #83 of 100 (permalink) Old 09-20-2020, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Dear me, here is an updated pic. Tweaking lighting duration and added some flourish root tabs which have really done wonders believe it or not for all the root feeders in this tank.
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post #84 of 100 (permalink) Old 09-29-2020, 06:59 PM
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looks beautiful!

Every time I see your tank it makes me want to frost my background and get SS inlet/outlet. It's nice not to see the junk inside!

By the way, I went back in the journal but I couldn't find where you got the frosted background, you mentioned it was DIY?

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post #85 of 100 (permalink) Old 09-30-2020, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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looks beautiful!

Every time I see your tank it makes me want to frost my background and get SS inlet/outlet. It's nice not to see the junk inside!

By the way, I went back in the journal but I couldn't find where you got the frosted background, you mentioned it was DIY?
Hey Thanks!!

Super glad I added the frosted background for this and combined it with the background lighting. It makes a world of difference. I'm also glad I picked up the SS lily pipes. When I first put them in I wasn't used to the way they looked, but now I really enjoy them. They are so easy to clean and the one I purchased has a great feature where it spins on top of the water. Super efficient removing surface scum and creating a nice gaseous exchange in the water. The flow is easily adjustable with my fluval 307. would definitely purchase SS again for another tank.

I'm not sure what brand of window film I purchased but I got it off of amazon. Search window film non-adhesive.

Here's a link to a similar product:

Then just cut to size and apply with water. backlighting the film creates a lovely sense of depth. I was on the fence about purchasing a backlight but I have no regrets and would add them to all my tanks down the road.

Thanks again!!

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post #86 of 100 (permalink) Old 10-08-2020, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Where does the time go? Added 4 more Otocinclus. Time to refill the CO2.
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post #87 of 100 (permalink) Old 11-02-2020, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Moved the outflow forward and grew a rock. The extra magnesium I’ve been dosing has really done the trick.
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post #88 of 100 (permalink) Old 11-02-2020, 11:15 PM
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Oh man I'd love to see a third rock in there as well!


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post #89 of 100 (permalink) Old 11-03-2020, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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Oh man I'd love to see a third rock in there as well!
Ha! Bottom right. The crypt is shading it. And the repens has grown a bunch.

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post #90 of 100 (permalink) Old 11-03-2020, 07:21 PM
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What are you using for the background lighting?
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