Two old Osaka cubes getting a makeover - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Got the controller and smart plug up and going. It was all a bit involved since I'm also trying to keep wires neat and tidy. Now onto the tank breakdown. I might be burning the midnight oil on this.

Most of the plants look so bad I'm tossing them.


The Eco Complete was almost solid with Cryptocoryne roots. You might recall it was carpeted with them before the melt. Makes me kind of sad but I'm not trying to save any C wendtii so it's all got to go:


I'm blaming the sulphur smell my wife is complaining about on the dog. She looks guilty:


The keep pile is the 5 gallon bucket. The vast majority of it isn't going back in, nor the old Mopani wood.


The spiderwood soaking outdoors froze overnight, but I've got it in a bathtub now.


Fissidens moss is floating in a spare tank. It's going to be painstakingly tied to that wood once the tank is clean and set back up:


I have quite a bit of needle leaf Java fern which will go around the base of the wood. And a few Buce and E. Vietnam, but it's going to be rather empty until I decide everything that I want. Hoping to make this one a high tech, low light, slower growing setup. Will update when it's back together.
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post #32 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Not the greatest looking tank just yet with tied down clumps of moss and very little else. I was careful to point the moss in one direction before tying it, and positioned it all on the same side of each branch to simulate how it would grow in nature. Once the stump went in the water, the air trapped in the moss created buoyancy that curtailed that effort where it wasn't wrapped down in several places. And about 20% of it came free completely after a few minutes under water current. But I tied it back down underwater the best I could. This isn't a tank I set up to gratify immediately, so not too stressed about it.

It was a cloudy mess until a couple of hours ago. I used Accu-Clear, which isn't a product I endorse but it works and there's no fauna except for ramshorn snails. Pieces of fern are still coming loose from time to time so I'm running big sponges over the intakes. This eyesore won't be permanent. I fully expect this to take 6 to 12 months with CO2 before this gets where I'm envisioning, but the framework is there if the moss takes off. I feel sure the plants in the substrate will.
Tank #2 -the sun is bright so pardon the glare until I can get some better shots.




Hard to capture cube tanks in a photo, so I took a phone video showing them from all sides. Hated to film vertically, but the tanks are taller than wide. This is just one reason I don't publish these as "public." Eleanor decided to do a backroll and grunt the whole time I filmed it.

Tank #1 is doing fantastic. Tons of pearling in the E. Vietnam and Blyxa and I can almost watch the stems grow. Though I'm not sure I'm keeping any in this tank. I think I'll remove all the old growth Anubias barteri here soon. And some of the newer growth, seeing as buce is covering a good bit of real estate and I'd prefer smaller leaves on the stump. Have some A. nana "bonsai" in the substrate I'll attach if there's too much in the way of bare spots.


All in all, it's certainly worth the hours and dollars I put into this upgrade. I'm going to keep an eye on pH levels for a few before I add any shrimp or fish. My better half would like to see some fauna and I am happy to do anything that adds to her almost saint-like tolerance for my hobbies. I still need to put all my aquarium stuff back in the cabinets, but took an early picture of the living room anyway.

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post #33 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 12:06 AM
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Well the dog appears to be enjoying the view.

What kind is he?

And the tanks are coming along nicely. Just takes time to get it all balanced out.
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post #34 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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She's 75% English bulldog and 25% American bulldog according to wisdom panel. We adopted her at about 2 years ago Thanksgiving, she was in rough shape. Has the life now though.

Just from a couple of weeks of getting the gas levels up and slightly bumping the lights in tank #1 it's such a big difference. This one is going to require some patience though. Worst case scenario by summer it doesn't look like I was aiming for and I pull the moss off and try another approach.
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post #35 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 02:45 AM
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She's 75% English bulldog and 25% American bulldog according to wisdom panel. We adopted her at about 2 years ago Thanksgiving, she was in rough shape. Has the life now though.
Very nice. I have two Pitbull mixes we have rescued. Also came from rough environments.

Two of the sweetest best dogs I have ever had.
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post #36 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 04:01 AM Thread Starter
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Nice, it's always great to know some of the neglected and mistreated dogs out there might get a do-over one day. Pits, other bullies and their mixes in particular seem to wind up in shelters around here. Eleanor wasn't exactly planned. I thought I would make a donation of dog food and supplements for this dog who came in a county shelter in bad shape, while meeting some other dogs to potentially adopt. The shelter had posted photos and they were heartbreaking. But truth be told, I thought she was going to be too far gone to rescue. But the shelter and foster had done a great job and she was the happiest little thing. Today I can barely look at some of the before pictures, but I'll post this one because it's nice to see how far she's come. In link form, warning for slightly graphic malnourished sad dog photo:
https://imgur.com/uR7DXbw
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post #37 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-15-2020, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Tank #1 is farming some algae all of the sudden. I literally have every nuisance algae except BBA going! Brown slime is forming on the Anubias, with a dusting of diatoms and GSA, cyano at the substrate line, and tufts of green hair are popping out from the high plants.



Plan to do an 80% water change today and clean filters and such. Will sample and test water then and report. Really tempted to grab a bottle of Excel but I'd rather avoid it if I can treat via natural means. Shrimp are coming next week.
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post #38 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-15-2020, 04:34 PM
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It looks like you have some shrimp food ready!
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Style: Organic potting soil, gravel, sand, wood, plants, algae, biofilm, snails, shrimp, fish, dual siestas
Tech : Small tanks, Fluval Plant 3.0, Top Fin MF10, Eheim Classic 150, Neptune Systems Apex EL
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post #39 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-15-2020, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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This day just keeps getting better. Drained the tank for a water change. Killed the switches for the heater, canister, and controller. And my bubble counter drained completely. I have two check valves too.


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post #40 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-15-2020, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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About a 90% water change and cleaned all sponges. Still need to fix the bubble counter. Algae is coming off in sheets though. Not sure why I have so much green spot all of a sudden.


Went ahead and drained the other tank too for good measure. It got the same upheaval as this one and anything I can do to nip algae in the bud I want to:
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post #41 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-26-2020, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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As detailed in another thread, I've had to turn CO2 way back to keep shrimp alive. This has slowed growth considerably from what I was seeing when it was a full pH point drop, but everything so far seems pretty happy. A lot of old growth Anubias is going to be trimmed away because it's the place almost all the algae is growing. Tank #2 is doing a lot better and the moss is starting to spread. Still haven't decided if I'll keep the moss or pull it and replace with A nana "bonsai" and Buce. I want to give it a few months to see what it could be before deciding. I don't love the look currently, but a lot can change -and has already. E vietnam is growing thicker in both tanks but no new plants yet. It's still early, and I should probably temper my expectations.
Here's an update of each:

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post #42 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-26-2020, 10:36 PM
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Nice, it's always great to know some of the neglected and mistreated dogs out there might get a do-over one day. Pits, other bullies and their mixes in particular seem to wind up in shelters around here. Eleanor wasn't exactly planned. I thought I would make a donation of dog food and supplements for this dog who came in a county shelter in bad shape, while meeting some other dogs to potentially adopt. The shelter had posted photos and they were heartbreaking. But truth be told, I thought she was going to be too far gone to rescue. But the shelter and foster had done a great job and she was the happiest little thing. Today I can barely look at some of the before pictures, but I'll post this one because it's nice to see how far she's come. In link form, warning for slightly graphic malnourished sad dog photo:
https://imgur.com/uR7DXbw
Oh my! Poor little girl. I just dont understand how anyone lets there dog get to that point when they cannot take care of it. Its heartbreaking. She is so lucky that she met you and your family.

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As detailed in another thread, I've had to turn CO2 way back to keep shrimp alive. This has slowed growth considerably from what I was seeing when it was a full pH point drop, but everything so far seems pretty happy. A lot of old growth Anubias is going to be trimmed away because it's the place almost all the algae is growing. Tank #2 is doing a lot better and the moss is starting to spread. Still haven't decided if I'll keep the moss or pull it and replace with A nana "bonsai" and Buce. I want to give it a few months to see what it could be before deciding. I don't love the look currently, but a lot can change -and has already. E vietnam is growing thicker in both tanks but no new plants yet. It's still early, and I should probably temper my expectations.
Here's an update of each:

The tank is so much better! Looks great! What shrimp do you have in here again? I know you have told me before but I forget.

Have the crypts that started melting in one of your tanks began to come back for you-- or did you completely lose them? I remember when they were at there full glory, when you gave me some.The ones I put in the 60 gallon cube didn't do all that well but they are growing like mad in the 30 gallon
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post #43 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-27-2020, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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I don't get it either, how anyone can not see that their dog is in such bad shape. Denial is real. And I didn't show the bad part. Her face was her "good" side, that back end was open sores and near hairless. And she was 20 pounds underweight. But her little nub never stopped wagging, and she's up to her goal weight and spoiled rotten now.

Tank #2 just has 5 Amano shrimp. Tank #1 has 5 Amano shrimp and half of the yellow Neos you sent me. I didn't 100% trust it enough to put all of them in, but they seem to be doing fine. Both have a variety of snails -and a few guppy fry that I was hoping would be high CO2 indicators. They aren't at all though -the shrimp are far and away the first thing to show stress (or just die while the guppies aren't even showing signs).

The plan is OEBT and yellow Neos in tank #1 if I ever can get OEBT to produce. Tank #2 is to be either bloody Mary or blue dream Neos and super tigers. Once shrimp get a population going I might add Boraras or something small. We have a betta that I found on my store doorstep when I came in to open one day, but he pesters everything. Not decided on what I'll do in the way of fish for these yet.

I pulled all the Crypt roots. It was a shame because they were just starting to come back, but there was no way to clean out this tank with 100 feet of roots in the substrate. And for every 3 feet of roots there would be a tiny leaf at the end. I have wendtii in other tanks though, and all came from a plant or three I bought 15+ years ago so I can't feel too bad about tossing some.
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post #44 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-27-2020, 05:49 PM
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If you have issues with this batch of yellows, just let me know nd I will send you more. They really shouldn't though, they are very hearty.
How are the bloody Mary's I sent you? Funny thing is I thought I had sent you all that were in that tank but I missed several babies AND 1 Red King Kong extreme! LOL!
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post #45 of 63 (permalink) Old 02-27-2020, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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I am ashamed to say that I lost those bloody Marys. I don't think it was the busted box, shipping stress, or the 48 degree bag because they acclimated and all lived overnight. I think my .8 pH drop via CO2 did it. Everything I could find on the internet assured that this would be well in the safe range with a 2 KH, but it doesn't seem to be. This is why I've got the air pump turning on each hour now, and pH set to just 6.8 from a 7.1 degassed value. The plants will have to grow a little slower.

The yellow Neos are doing great. I only moved half of them in just in case and put the other half into my OEBT tank. They seem active and happy in both. And as small as they are, I noticed one female is already becoming berried.

To anyone reading this and not knowing the backstory, Amy sent me a box of 3 bags of different shrimp varieties. When the mail carrier brought them, the box was smashed, torn apart and contained one bag of very cold shrimp. It was a USPS Priority box and packed well. I can't imagine what happened to have it arrive in such shape.
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