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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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My first tank:

I just started my tank this past Friday, 02/20. It is a 29G tank with two 30" Coralife Aqualite 2x18W light fixtures (1 6700 and 1 ColorMax each). I place two Eco Complete, black, bags into the bottom. I currently have two large and two smaller Malaysian driftwood pieces. There are three clumps of micro sword. One anubia narrowleaf, one anubia coffeefolia and an african water fern. The microsword is dying back a bit. There are a few light colored leaves now. I don't think it was grown submerged..so may be in a bit of shock. The African Water Fern looked a bit rough on arrival and looks about the same now, not bad..but not good yet....hoping it does well. I soaked the diftwood for almost a week and it did make the water very slightly tea colored right up until I transfered it...but I haven't noticed any coloration in my tank yet.. maybe the filter is removing it... I had some sizeable ammonia reading until today...3 days. I had the heater set at 75F..until last night...when I turned it up to 82F. todaythought it would help thebacteria get established. I took a reading today and the ammonia was zero...nitrites were sizable, first time I really saw much in the way of nitrates. I added some prefilter material from a friends tank directly to the water on day two. Today, day four, I added some Seachem stability...the dose seachem indicated for a new tank on day one.

I am thinking about three to four feathery plants for the back ground...and then just see how things grow..if they do grow. This is my first tank after all.

Possible future fish...honey gourami (red flame), peacock gudgeon, Danio erythromicron....still a work in progress...any opinions, ideas or advice is greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 03:21 AM
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I agree that some tall plants at the back would improve your design.

Are you doing a fishless cycle on the tank?
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 01:08 PM
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Have read that the micro sword grows faster if thinned out.

I think you should add some wisteria. It would help speed up the cycling.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply Sky.

I guess the fern and the anubias will take quite some time to grow to height that will look better...I had thought they might arrive larger. I ordered a couple more plants last night so hopefully it will make for a little better habitat for my fish until everything grows in...but then again..they will probably be small at first too..... The fishless cycle has been a little confusing to me. I had a very high pH and a moderate ammonia spike after adding the eco complete and filling the tank. I can only assume it came from the eco complete. I now have very little ammonia and a whole lot of nitrite. I have been thinking once this mini cycle is complete I would add a small gourami. i did add some "squeezings" from a buddys filter... Howeever, at this rate..I'm thinking I will be able to add the gourami late this week..or atleast by the weekend. does this sound alright? I had thought it might be best to add the gourami later...but it seems to be the only locally available fish I want for my tank.

I did have one concern though... I also want to add a group of 10 to 15 very small fish, maybe danio. However, I can not figure out the best way to do it. I do I add them all at once...I don't think my tank will be ready for all that...and I really dont want to have them shipped 3 at a time and pay for shipping 5 times...howe do people ususally handle adding schools of fish?
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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I was wondering if I should break up the clumps of micro sword before I put them in.. but I really liked the way the clumps looked under the lighting. I really don't want it to really spread much at all..just a little. The bright green in front of the black really seems to almost glow under the lights. That's good advice though...maybe I'll go in and break the clumps up a bit and give them a little more breathing room. I guess I need to go in a cut back the leaves that aren't going to make it anyway.

Wisteria is probably a good idea. Thanks Hilde. I should resist the urge to change the water during cycling right? I need the bacteria growth...correct?
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 01:35 PM
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You can change water all you want. The ammonia concentration needed for bacteria to grow and maintain population is below the amounts measurable on hobby test kits. It is a myth that changing water will slow bacterial growth in a silent-cycle tank.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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I haven't taken pictures yet..but I had some whitish hairlike material (algae or fungus..not sure) on the drift wood, glass and a on my anubia attached to the driftwood I had a cotton ball like forming around the root structure. I tried to remove and clean it and it essentially fell apart. Very upsetting. It was also begining to look a bit yellowish on some leaves. My micro sword is also stalling more than anticipated. Last night I did a 50% water change. siphoned up as much of the white material as I could. I also planted a few bunches of myrio filagree, myrio mattagrasso and some Limnophila hippuroides (which I have serious doubts it will do well in my tank/let alone remain the bright purple color.)....I planted them in groups of three per planting. It almost all went in the back left corner with some remaining planted in the back left by the filter. I was surprised to see they had not root structure. I hope they take. I really like the mattagrasso's wispy loo...bot sure about the filagree yet..mine does't quite look as nice as the photos I've seen. I'll have to update later. Currently, I have the one coralife fixture on 11 hours and the other running 8 hours.

Any help, concerns or advise would be greatly appreciated.

However, the other anubia, planted in the substrate is looking really really good, bright green and has grown fairly well in this short time...I guess it's all trial and error...

Last edited by 7Star; 02-15-2012 at 03:37 PM.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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I forgot to add. I tossed most of my African Fern. It was mostly disintegrating from day 0. I left the portions that appeared healthier. I may order more and hope for a better batch.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Star View Post
I had some whitish hairlike material (algae or fungus..not sure) on the drift wood, glass and a on my anubia attached to the driftwood

The other anubia, planted in the substrate is looking really good
Have read that some get that on the wood. It usually goes away.

Plants that don't succeed usually aren't right for you ecosystem.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info on the white stuff. Apprecitate it. I'm a bit concerned that so much of the ecosystem is variable. One light fixture or two..how long... I see some people with some of the same plants with no co2...I don't mind minimal minimal dosing...but how much or often is also variable. Less is more on my part. I guess I can just do what I want and try to find wehat plants work..but I really hate to order palnts that don't have a chance...or could do well if I just changed my regime. Really I just want a good habitat, that's not too crowded, for a well stocked fish centered tank. However, I don't want to add any fish to my tank..ven after fully cycled with out atleast the basic plant layout in place. Seems too risky..
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Star View Post
I don't want to add any fish with out at least the basic plant layout in place. Seems too risky..
That depends on the type of fish you get. For example the chiclids are sensitive to water impurities, which could get stirred up when planting.

Try dosing K2SO4 (Potassium Sulfate) is used for dosing potassium. Many plants like a lot of potassium. Best source in liquid is Brightwell aquatics FlorinK. Dry form here.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Updated Photos

I pulled up the myrio filagree and matagrosso (I think that was how it was spelled). The filagree wasn't looking great..I loved the matagrosso ut at that point I just didn't want to deal with any additional trouble down the road, as I am more concerned with putting fish in my tank.

I recently ordered and recived the following plants: Anubias barteri Coffeefolia potted, Anubias barteri varient nana med, Anubias nana petite, watersprite, brazilian pennywort. I put the watersprite in the back left. It has some lowever leaves fringed with a bit of black..but has grown a good bit in the last week. I put the two larger anubuia in the back...and placed the smaller nana in the front. I placed the coffeefolia in the back, in front of the watersprite.

As you can see the larger anubias are currently a little curled and yellowish on the tips of a few leaves. I dialed my light way back. I now run the one fixture (the back one) for 11 hours..but am thinking about setting the front fixture up to run 2 hours in the evening for viewing. I like the effect of the light but running it too long was causing some havoc in my tank. The microsword is still looking pretty rough...I have been told since it was originally grown emersed that it may all die out...I have also heard of some people completely cutting it back and letting just the new growth come out over time... I guess we'll see. I'm gouing to leave it go. However, I did do this with the African water fern. The small leaves started to grow a bit and actually look better than the one large and just alright looking leaf. I cut it off and am just going to let it grow new. I did find a good samaritan in Singapore willing to ship me some new AWF for shipping costs. Not sure where I'll put it at this point though...or what type of shape it will arrive in though...
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Last edited by 7Star; 02-18-2012 at 02:45 PM.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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I also had trouble with the Limnophila aromatica 'hippuroides'. They were very yellow they would occassionally come loose from the substrate and the base was always looking...weak and maybe rotted. I finally let one just float and with in 2 days it was bright purple again and sprouting roots. i have thought about replanting it now with the good root structure in tact..but I know it would just turn yeloow again...and really like the floating purple color. It's been floating for a couple weeks now and looks better than when I recieved it. I have been having the same problem with the pennywort this past week...it's also floating now...I hoping for a similar effect and that I would definitely replant.
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Last edited by 7Star; 02-18-2012 at 02:44 PM.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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the bubble nest

The floating plant really brought out the natural behavior of my first fish, the gourami. Every morning he swims back and forth the entire tank and then primarly the left half. However, now every afternoon he begins bubble nest building and spends alot more time in theupper right corner of my tank..or scavenging for plant matter to put in the nest. That's how I realized it.. I was trying to capture him pulling up some of the loose microsword on video and ending up taping him builing a bubble nest. Not sure how or if we can upload videos yet... but here's a pic of the work in progress. (It's 20 minutes later now and he's still hard at work). For a while I thought the bubbles were the result of too much light on my floating plants...
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2012, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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My new fish finally arrived this past thursday. 12 Celestial pearl danios, extremely small baby fish and extremely active. I also recoeved 2 young, I'm hoping female as I requested, peacock gudgeons...and I starting to wish I ordered another 2..... Every fish was immediaely curous and active and ate both large flake and small fish crumble food indescrimately. They all make my little gourami look like a giant. ..and I'd swear he's also grown significantly bigger since I first put him in the tank. Pictures to follow. Anyone know how to post or link up videos?
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