The Black Lake (10g / high tech) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 149 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Post The Black Lake (10g / high tech)

Tank up to date (MAY/7/2015):


Tank up to date (APR/5/2015):


Tank videos:
Tank Update Video - 19/01/2015

Tank Update Video - 10/02/2015

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[ORIGINAL POST]

Greetings aquarists!

I've very recently become absolutely taken by the aquascaping art/hobby. It greatly appeals to my design aesthetic and love of nature/animals.

This is my journey so far with 2 small tanks.

------------------------------------

So I started by buying a Fluval Edge 6g tank and installing it in my bedroom, without doing a ton of research. I bought EVERYTHING at once, including 3 bright male guppies. It's been about a month of constantly messing with that tank, and they're still fine, so at least I didn't kill them.

I started that tank with white sand bottom and a plastic hollow log and one large hornwort plant for decor. Only other non-stock equipment was a small tropical heater.

Side note: Fish tanks make for GREAT cat TV (other cat owners agree?)





That lasted about a week, since I was still discovering more about planted aquascaping, I was no longer satisfied. I started by adding about 5 ghost shrimp. I found that they were always hiding in the log, and that was kinda boring. Then I added an enormous black mystery snail, and he was honestly the coolest thing to watch once he came out of his shell, so to speak.

I was about to discover how messy/involved it is to re-scape a tank. And just how many things I had yet to discover.

About 1 week or 2 after initial setup, I emptied out the aquarium and re-scaped it to this (kinda embarrassing). I also added 6 neon tetras.



Shortly after Christmas, I was still unhappy with it, and planning on doing something about the tank.

Currently it's sitting with a black sand/soil bottom and a piece of real driftwood (and the hornwort is still going). It's lonely, and ugly, and I'll do something with it soon. But at least the guppies and snail still seem fine.

------------------------------------

Plants, ah yes. Unfortunately, I had absolutely no local aquatic plant dealers, and it's the middle of winter. So I took to the internet and discovered theplantguy.org. He would ship in winter, but not until early January.

I'm actually glad it took so long, since it allowed me more time to research everything I would need, and allowed me to consider my final setup.

------------------------------------

At this point, I bought a new Marineland 10g Half Moon tank and installed it on my desk. I also bought a a nice piece of riverwood. Immediately I did some basic escaping, but I knew I would change it up when I got my plants. I was also debating CO2, lighting upgrades, etc. I found some (very expensive) plants locally (mostly anubias), and here is the original setup.

BIG jump ahead, I know. I didn't take process/design pictures the first time.




I knew right away the AWFUL light that came with this tank had to go, and I must have spent hours online looking for inexpensive upgrades. I found that most lights designed to sit on rimless glass aquariums won't fit a half-moon shape, so I ended up purchasing a clip lamp and chain from Home Depot, and installing a Philips 23W Daylight (6500K) bulb in it.

I'm STILL looking for feedback on if this is enough for my tank, since the tank it pretty deep, even though it's volume is low.

The stock in the new tank are 4 neon tetras (from the other tank, still not sure where the other 2 went) and --initially-- 9 glowlight tetras (now down to 6) and the 4 ghost shrimps.

It seems that some people find this too much, but I'm very good with my water changes, and I'd like to think the aquarium should eventually be able to sustain that no problem.

Once my online order was placed for plants, I started gathering everything I'd need for the final scape (yes, I tore it down AGAIN and started over yesterday).

------------------------------------

The plants arrived yesterday, and it was also my day off, woot!

Aquascaping process













So here it is, my first ever nature aquarium (actually, pretty much my first non-beta in a bowl aquarium), DAY ONE. The curved glass is SO much better in person, it's very hard to emulate in photographs. I tried.

It's still pretty cloudy, even as I'm posting this. I'm heading out to pick up some almond leaves at my local store in a bit.





------------------------

My setup (oww my wallet): [UP TO DATE 29/01/2015]

- 10G Half Moon tall glass aquarium
- 2 xclip lamps hanging from ceiling with chain
- 2x Philips 23W 6500K daylight CFL
- Eheim 2213 (originally stock Whisper filter)
- Hydor 100w inline heater
- Glass lily pipes from eBay
- GLA Gro CO2 system w/ 5lb aluminium tank and 45mm Atomic diffuser
- Cal Aqua nano drop checker

- ADA Amazonia (powder type) substrate (OMG my wallet, for dirt)
- Flourish tabs under major plants/groupings
- dragonstone
- Riverwood (I cut it down with a table saw to better fit it in the tank)

(Think this is everything!)
- Rotala Indica/Rotundifolia
- Anubias (several sizes, including petite)
- Lilaeopsis mauritiana (Micro sword)
- Echinodorus tenellus (Mini amazon sword)
- Pygmy chain sword
- Isoetes lacustris (octopus plant, basically a freebie)
- Cryptocoryne wendtii
- Ocelot Sword
- Eleocharis Parvula (DHG)
- Eleocharis (regular sized hair grass)

- 1 half moon betta
- 3 Otocinclus
- 5 nerite snails

Current dosing (Please make suggestions!)

- Flourish Excel (1ml/day)
- Flourish (trace nutrients) (1ml 2/week)
- Flourish Potassium (1ml/day)
- Flourish Prime with new water
- at least a weekly 50% water change (too much/not enough?)

PLANNING TO ADD:
- 10 Amano shrimp (already on the way from theshrimpfarm.ca)
- almond leaves (thinking of lightly tinting water for slight blackwater effect)

[ORIGINAL POST CONT']

Really looking forward to getting rid of the crappy whisper filter. It takes up much needed space, leaks over the back of the tank occasionally and if just UGLY. I bugged my mom to get me an Eheim 2213 for my b-day next week, since my BF will kill me if I spend ANOTHER $150 on something for this tiny tank). Not only will the Eheim (with the clear glass lily pipes I ordered) look WAY better, they'll actually add effective water volume to the setup, yay! I've researched it pretty well, hoping the flow isn't ridiculous for my fauna.

I also don't plan on adding a CO2 system unless I come into some money sometime soon, so I'm sticking with Flourish Excel for now. I'd love to hear some tips for this.

------------------------

SO, I'm looking for opinions, comments, suggestions and tips! Mostly regarding ferts, Excel, soon-to-arrive Amano shrimps, the addition of an Eheim 2213 filter (flow rate) and almond leaves in this setup.

Last edited by Mitashade; 06-17-2015 at 02:18 AM. Reason: Changed thread title.
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post #2 of 149 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Will post more pictures (including up close shots) when the water has cleared up.


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post #3 of 149 (permalink) Old 01-09-2015, 02:34 AM
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Really nice evolution. Looks great

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post #4 of 149 (permalink) Old 01-09-2015, 02:43 AM
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I think you're on the right track with the 2213. If it were my tank I'd use a 2213. I have one on a 19L and it's not too much.


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post #5 of 149 (permalink) Old 01-09-2015, 02:50 AM
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That's a pretty cool looking tank wonder what it would look like if it was a nano reef.


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post #6 of 149 (permalink) Old 01-12-2015, 12:29 PM
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I really like that half moon aquarium; I've never seen one of those before. I despise those little Whisper filters too. I've had nothing but bad luck with those. Keep an eye on that compact Whisper HT heater as well because they have a tendency to explode and litter the tank with shards of glass. Cobalt makes a really nice all-plastic compact heater that would be easier to hide. Your hardscape looks awesome too; can't wait to see what it will look like in a few months when all the plants grow in.
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post #7 of 149 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodbytes View Post
I really like that half moon aquarium; I've never seen one of those before. I despise those little Whisper filters too. I've had nothing but bad luck with those. Keep an eye on that compact Whisper HT heater as well because they have a tendency to explode and litter the tank with shards of glass. Cobalt makes a really nice all-plastic compact heater that would be easier to hide. Your hardscape looks awesome too; can't wait to see what it will look like in a few months when all the plants grow in.
I ordered an Eheim 2213 and a Hydor inline heater. Should be here in a day or two.


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post #8 of 149 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 03:23 AM
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The shape of the manzanita gives the small tank depth!
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post #9 of 149 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
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Moved things around, amped up the lights.

So, you may or may not have seen my posts in other threads, but all my Glowlights died. I now believe that -- apart from my bad decision to cycle the tank with them -- the ADA Aquasoil was probably to blame. I didn't realize that it leaked ammonia so badly. Even with 2x/day 50% water changes, they all died. Amazingly, the 4 neons (my little troopers!) are fine! And I had since added 3 rummynose. Since then, one has gone missing. Can't find him in or out of the tank. I suspect he jumped and got eaten by my cat (yikes!).

SO! That's enough bad news. It's been a few days and the remaining (sigh) fish are doing fine. I do small daily water changes (still cycling, of course). No more panting, they are swimming nicely (although I'm going to buy another friend or two for the rummynose, they're not as active with only 2).

---------------------------------------




Today, I removed one amazon sword, and replanted the other in the centre of the back of the tank, where it'll get way more light (it was tucked under the crappy filter before). I removed the front rock that was holding down the driftwood: the driftwood is NOT super stable in there. I knock it around all the time when I'm doing maintenance.

I moved the tall anubias and removed all but one almond leaf, which I cut down into 3 small pieces and tucked among the branches. One piece is tucked into the soil in the corner where the tetras like to sleep. Figured they'd appreciate it.

My Eheim 2213 should arrive tomorrow or the day after, looking forward to that. The debris builds up in my tank because the flow is pathetic on the whisper. At the same time, I ordered a Hydor 100W inline heater to go with the Eheim. No more tech in the tank!

As you can see, I added a second clip lamp hanging next to the first. They both have 23W Philips Daylight bulbs (6500K). I'm not sure if this is too much for no CO2. I just changed the timers to run only 8hrs per day, starting at noon (I work graveyards). I'm dosing a 50% increased dose of 1.5ml of Excel daily (the extra 0.5ml in the late afternoon after my small water change). Any opinions on this?

The java moss is actually showing sings of growth, I think. It's very bushy and green.
-----------------------------

As I'm speaking, the fish and shrimp are all out and active! The rescape really opened up the bottom of the tank, where they like to swim. I felt bad before because although it's a 10g tank, the effective swimming area for the tetras is a bit smaller, because the tank is so tall. SO it's much better now.


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Last edited by Mitashade; 01-14-2015 at 04:09 AM. Reason: Oops! Forgot to add the photo.
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post #10 of 149 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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Video of the tank coming in a few minutes.

Much better to look at than the photo. The curved glass is best viewed in person.


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post #11 of 149 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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Here is a video with a few different angles of the tank. Still hard to capture the depth you get in person. Watch in HD.

Watch it on Youtube.


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post #12 of 149 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 08:36 AM
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Nice video!


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post #13 of 149 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Filter came in!

My Eheim filter and Hydor inline heater arrived today, with my 10ft of clear tubing (to replace the neon green Eheim stuff). It wasn't as hard to get going as some people have said. I didn't bother with the instructions. The only messy part was the one small suck on the intake tube to get it primed.

I'm using the spray bar pointing against the back of the aquarium to baffle flow for now, until my glass lily pipes arrive in a week or two. With it pointed forward (even though I made the holes bigger) the flow kinda knocks the tetras around.

All in all, very happy with it so far. All the debris in the tank got knocked around and sucked up already, and the water is clearer than before, even though I just did a 50% water change. So happy.

I also bought a master test kit (I know, finally) and tested all the parameters. PH (6.0), nitrite and nitrates (0ppm) are good, ammonia is currently at 2ppm (down from 4ppm before water change), so yeah. Yikes. Now I know. My Seachem Ammonia Alert tag is still showing 'safe'.





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post #14 of 149 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 12:13 AM
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Nice little tank! I liked your vid. Ghost shrimp are hilarious, aren't they?

Definitely get a couple of friends for your rummynose tetras, as they're happiest with at least 3 if not more. (You can probably get away with 4, I think)

And I agree, see if you can lower the filter's output a smidge, as they do look like they're getting blown around a bit in there.

I've only played with those SeaChem alert tags twice. Utterly useless, for me, at least. They never budged even when I knew there were parameters off per the test kit. I'd trust the test kit over those tags, and not bother with them again.


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post #15 of 149 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kman View Post
Nice little tank! I liked your vid. Ghost shrimp are hilarious, aren't they?
Gonna go with 2 more rummynose, I think. Gonna wait until the cycle calms down a bit. And with the spray bar pointing backwards, it creates a nice calm flow in the front where they all like to hang out. Hoping the lily pipes work nice when they arrive, I find the spray bar draws too much attention right now. Also gonna remove the ammonia alert tag, can't see that it does anything. What a waste of nearly $30 (I have one in another tank, too).


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