New house, new 15g tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-27-2020, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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New house, new 15g tank

Moved from a studio to a 2 bedroom house so thought it was time to set up a tank. Technically I bought most of everything before I knew we were moving and then was halted for a month but same same.

So far equipment wise I have:
15g rim tank (with frosted background)
Eheim 2213
Stainless steel in/out flow pipes with surface skimmer
10lb co2 tank (been in storage for like 5 years from my 75g tank tear down)
GLA pro co2 regulator and bubble counter
Finnex planted+ LED light
ADA aqua soil powder and amazonia
Yamaya stone from AFA
Branch wood from AFA

Need to get a test kit to check water parameters as I've moved just a couple counties south of the city.
Also due to Covid the only set back I have now is sourcing plants locally. Typically I would go to AFA in SF but they've been out of stock online and I'm not sure if they have normal in-store hours yet. Will have to check for a store even closer unless I want to make an hour trip each time to AFA.
Lastly, I'm debating changing direction layout wise. The new place has huge bright windows west/east so it's practically always sunny and I have a feeling with my finnex and these windows I'm going to have algae problems. Not a big deal, just need to regroup design now and possibly consider algae eaters.

So for now some pics! This is in no way a layout concept, just wanted to soak the branch wood and get the filters going so it didn't look so sad in the corner.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-27-2020, 11:09 PM
fpn
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AFA is open for curb side pick-up, best to call so they can put everything together.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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Water parameters:
tap water:
ph: 8.8
nh3: 1ppm
no2/3: 0ppm

off gassed tap water:
ph: 7.2
nh3: 0.25 ppm
no2/3: 0ppm

tanks current ph is 6.8 running only with filter and branch wood. Wood is still leaching some tannins, but it's only been soaking for a week. I'm still waiting on a GH/KH test kit.

ALSO.. I'm still debating between a centered island with surrounding AFA la plata sand - or else sticking with my original idea of a right sided island/cave and carpeting the left side with DHG or MC. Now that the tank is pushed to a corner of the house I feel like a centered island might be more eye catching as well as less maintenance, although I don't mind several hours of plant therapy.

Speaking of plants so far I'm thinking..
Buce
DHG or MC
H. pinnatifida
jungle val
AR mini

does anyone have any other recommendations?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-06-2020, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Update

Tested today GH: 1 KH: 1

Also decided to flood the tank.

Going to call AFA tomorrow and see what plants they have, if nothing peaks my interest then I'll be ordering online.

I am truly terrible at scapes so I played around with it for 2 hours and this is what I came up with. Thoughts?
*I cannot figure out how to upload photos into the thread without attaching directly to the site, can anyone help with that?
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Last edited by belka085; 07-06-2020 at 05:56 AM. Reason: pics
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-07-2020, 04:49 AM Thread Starter
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Was able to get some stuff from AFA and plant a little today! Slim pickings so I will be ordering more plants tonight - thinking of carpeting DHG all along the right side and not sure what else to fill out with. Got the old co2 tank going and dialed up as well- been around 4/5 years and was surprised I even remembered how to hook it all up haha.

Plants:
3 (teeeeeny tiny) buce red mini
3 hygrophila pinnatifida
and some vallisneria..
they were out of jungle val and he said they had another type that was smaller so unclear. Ididn't catch the name as I was somewhat in a rush.

I haven't kept any of these plants but thought I'd change it up from my previous tanks. Any thoughts/recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-08-2020, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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Made a detour while out grocery shopping to "browse" a random mom and pop fish store and then walked out with some dwarf baby tears. Was hoping they'd have some DHG... but unfortunately it seems to be sparse local/online so this will be a little experiment. I've fiddled with baby tears before and have done mildly okay but since it looks like it'll be a while until I can source DHG this will do. I'm carpeting half with baby tears and if I end up loving the outcome I may just stick with it.

Did a quick peroxide/water dip and then went to work on gently pulling out clumped roots then planted. I think I only want 2-3 more plant varieties and then I'll settle and let it fill out. I'm on the hunt for some AR mini if anyone has some to sell!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-11-2020, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Weekend update

Did a 50% water change today and cleaned up the glass a bit as well as some spot algae on some plants/rocks. Dosed the tank with 2ml of peroxide just to be safe, will be turning down the light schedule as well. I could've probably done more but I didn't want to overdo it and its mostly just precautionary.

Val is melting but I'm hoping it will bounce back in a few weeks. H. pinnatifida is doing pretty good, some leaves look like they may be starting to curl so I will have to finally figure out micros/macros. Mini red buce is looking real good and I'm seeing some growth! Baby tears are doing the best and I can see little runners every day, I broke up some of the bushier clumps and spread it out a bit and am really happy with it. Will probably trim them in a few days but I wanted them to get a little more established before I start wacking them down.

I've never dosed dry ferts before but I expected I'd need to this time around so I bought a bunch from GLA before setting up the tank in preparation. I am frightened of all the calculations and research I need to do but I've been mentally preparing for this.. will probably start Monday.

and some pics!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-23-2020, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Update

Some exciting changes to the scape in the last 2 weeks- I wanted to make a small cave for future fish and also make room for some more plants. Was able to order from buceplant and planted some last week and today.

New plants (added 7/16)
- buce chili pepper
- hydrocotyle tripartita
- ammania senegalensis

(added today 7/23)
- DHG
- AR mini

Almost everything has been doing great. H. pinnatifida is not happy, the leaves are all slowly falling off. I have never used flourishglue before and it just went everywhere and I'm positive I covered all the rhizomes so now they are all slowly dying.
One evening I took out the heater thinking the ambient temp would stay above 70°F as it was a very warm week and I was wrong, woke up to one of the mini red buce in total shock and light green. It was my favorite one and was doing so well up until that chilly night and eventually I had to scrape off all the decaying leaves. I'm hoping it can come back and I've left the bare roots that look healthy but I'm still kicking myself in the butt for letting it happen. Rookie mistake- heater is staying in now unless I decide to get an inline heater.
After today's planting I think I've maxed out on space and I'm pretty happy with the look! I ordered a little too much DHG so the clumps are a little bigger than I'd like and I couldn't really space them out anymore but I'm hoping it'll just help fill it out faster. I also mowed down a bunch of the HC over the weekend to hopefully get new and better growth so it looks a little sad for now.
I started to slowly dose a little micros every 3 days or so, it seems to help everything perk up. I've been hesitant on adding macros just yet since the amazonia is still leaching nutrients and I want things to settle in more.

And now some pics! Idk why my phone makes the photo's look so crappy. I'll have to play with it or else try the hubbies iphone.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Update: added tankmates!

Wow. It's been a month since my last update. I had some ups and downs but all a part of the fun cycling process! Several weeks ago I thought I had planaria, then a small battle with green algae, and then some almost out of control bladder snails. Once everything balanced out and was cycled I headed out to AFA and picked up 8 pygmy corys and 4 red cherry shrimp.

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and big papa and mama snail plotting to take over my fish tank.
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I drip acclimated the shrimp for 2 hrs and only 1 little guy seemed stressed. He was exceptionally active and zoomed around from bag to cup to tank.
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Unfortunately on day 2 a heat wave came through and since moving I wasn't prepared with any type of AC. I spent 3 days straight trying to manage temps and keep it from going above 80F (the tank had been a consistent 75F throughout cycling). I also wasn't able to turn on any co2/lights consistently for those 3 days to avoid increasing the temps and possibly choking them out with low oxygen during peak hours. Also on day 3 one of the shrimp (I'm thinking my active guy) was no where to be found. I figured he could be hiding in a crevice to molt, died from the rapid increase in temps, or he accidentally got sucked into the filter even though I had it at low flow and covered the skimmer.

May I have found the culprit to the missing shrimp?
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Then on day 5 I woke up and the little sucker was alive and well! All four were happy and either chilling under some h. pinnatifida or on some driftwood. Luckily the heat wave was also passing and I was finally able to get everything under control.
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During the heat wave some plants did suffer, mostly HC and DHG began to lose color and melt. I also had cloudy water probably an algae bloom from lack of lighting. BUT everybody was alive and well. I was able to clear up the water a little these last couple days and do a small 15% water change. Bringing us to today, I now am prepared with a portable AC and GIANT commercial fan for the future. All water parameters are good 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 5ppm nitrates and I never saw any spikes throughout the week. Cherry shrimp are doing their thing and the cory's like to shoal or nibble at the exposed ADA soil. I still haven't been able to get them to eat any frozen blood worms so I'll probably go pick up some wafers today. I'm also hoping to get the carpet going strong in a few weeks but the heat wave set me back. I had wacked down some plants a couple days before picking up the fish so you cant tell how thick all the stem plants were getting. I replanted clippings of the ammania senegalensis in the back left corner as well as some of the AR mini. My red mini buce has not been doing well and melted a few weeks back, but the chili pepper buce seems to be doing ok. I'm not super happy with how thinned out everything looks but I'll get there sure enough... just need some patience. I'm planning to pick up a couple otos and about 8 celestial peal danio's in about 3 weeks but aside from that I'm just going to scream words of encouragement at the tank. I got into the habit from day 1 of planting to yell, " EFFIN GROOW!!" at the plants at least once a day and now my husband is sure I've lost my mind. Could be covid, could be me who knows.


So tank pics!
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