21g tank - tons of new stuff (Aug. 7, 09) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-21-2009, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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21g tank - tons of new stuff (Aug. 7, 09)

Hardware specifics

Tank: Hagen Waterhome 20 (approx measurements by memory = 23.5" x 14" x 15.5")
Filter: Eheim 2215
Light: 27W quad desklamp for now...
Heater: Stealth 100W
Substrate: 1 bag eco-complete, 1 bag flourite
CO2: nothing right now...

Current FTS

Ugh, after seeing what horrible pictures my camera takes, I am starting to think I'll need to investigate into another camera.

This tank has been sitting in my bedroom for almost a year now, so I am very excited to get the ball rolling.

Current inhabitants include a Crypt wendtii 'green', some gross algae and some hitchhiker snails. The rock was found by a lake and the branches we picked up off the ground of a hardwood forest and soaked for several months.

Unfortunately, my tap water is hard as hell with a pH of ~8.5, so I must wait to get my RO/DI from storage and hooked up before I begin stocking with future inhabitants. Although I will likely use distilled to tide me over.

Future stocking plans include cardinal tetras, dwarf cories and otocinclus. Possibly shrimp of some kind and African dwarf frogs, but I am not sure if they are jumpers or will play nice with small schooling fish. It also bothers me to stray from a SA theme, but I suppose the frogs and shrimp could emulate a SA species.

I thinks that is all I have to say for now, but stay tuned! I plan for more updates once my swag arrives!

Comments and criticism are welcomed!

Last edited by JamesQuall; 08-07-2009 at 11:22 PM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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So I have officially earned my algae grower title. Shown below is the side of the glass after about three weeks, I think. Three kinds of algae, some snail eggs, and another kind of snail.

I've seen a lot of interesting changes over the past little while. First the wood in the tank became covered in white mold. The crypt brought what looks to be GHA, some sort of white biofilm depositing bacteria, and two types of snails.

Snails getting it on: (bow-chica-wow-wow)

If nothing else, I have learned how important a KMnO4 dip will be.

Half the water was changed, and refilled with distilled water. Test results showed

NH3 = 0
NO2 = 0
pH ~8.2
GH = 80 mg / L
KH ~ 140 mg / L

I'm not sure if the GH and KH results make much sense, but I'd love to talk chemistry if anyone wants to school me.

So today I went to a fish store as it was time for a CUC. Purchased was 1 dwarf african frog, 4 otocinclus, 1 assasin snail, and 8 'pinnochio shrimp' (Caridina gracilirostris). I feel slightly guilty as I am a strong believer in researching each specimen before it is baught, but since it is such a PITA to get to a good LFS, I took my chances. Luckily, from what I have read, they will be excellent shrimp for my tank. They only need SW to reproduce, which is the only downside. I think when they go, they will be replaced by CRS or amano shrimp.

But I must say that these guys are little workhorses. They make my otos look like lazy hobos. They have rapidly devoured almost all my red and hair algae in the tank.

They like so swim in a lot too, frequently jumping off a stick devoid of algae and then cruising, nose down, while swimming with their pleopods to another location with more food. Their almost flourescent orange/red nose and marking make them rather striking in appearance too.

Hard at work:

Almost done:

Top down:


Thats all for now folks.

Last edited by JamesQuall; 07-08-2009 at 01:05 PM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Lost 2 shrimp from the frog trying to hunt them down one night. They were found dried up on the floor. I guess they got spooked.
Bought 4 more, and one if this batch jumped the first night. I also got 4 more oto cats. 1 was lost of the original batch. It was always acting crazy, and one day it dropped off.

Also, the frog went carpet surfing too. I tracked him down on the other side of my place in a plastic garbage bag (after 30 mins of frantic searching under desk, couch, etc with a flashlight.). He was all dried up, but I threw him into the tank just because I suspected he could tolerate such conditions, and he sprung back to life.

This leads me to believe that ADFs are in fact not totally aquatic like I was lead to believe. I suppose it is my fault in the end though. Now he is living in a half-filled 10 gallon with a rock until I figure out what to do with him. Here is him sitting out of the water on said rock.

My shrimp have grown quite a bit as well as becomming more clear. Apparently body clarity is a sign of health. The particular shrimp shown in the photo is not as dark red as some of my others, but they wouldnt hold still.

I'm still waiting on a new light and some other stuff, but apparently aquariumplants.com ran out of it and just got it in monday... so hopefully soon.

Last edited by JamesQuall; 07-08-2009 at 01:07 PM.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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'mr. frog' died

the good news is that one of the shrimp is holding eggs:

Those white specs on her 'rear chamber' appear to be eggs. The pleopods continuously undulate in a breathing motion, to prevent bacteria and whatnot, I guess.

Anyone know what I should do?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 09:29 PM
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I'm surprised your shrimp don't climb straight out of the tank on the wood, I've read they'll climb out using wires etc, so that's like a staircase for them. Have you got any full tank shots now, from what I can tell the plants seem to have filled out since your first shot.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 09:56 PM
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My frog just died, too. Are they really not aquatic?

Your tank looks great......very cool shrimp!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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The ends of the branches are about 1 inch below the rim of the tank, so they don't go right out of the tank. Even so, I did find one big shrimp all dried up in the corner the sticks are in. Thankfully, I haven't had any jumpers once everyone was established. It's a risk I'm willing to take though. I must atleast construct the aquascape in my head before I go and tear it all down.

I don't have any updated FTS, but it looks pretty much the same. Growth of the crypts is slow. I did add a few more crypts, a bit of java moss and some ludwigia, but it all looks crappy right now. Still waiting on further planting and ordered equipment.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dindin View Post
My frog just died, too. Are they really not aquatic?

Your tank looks great......very cool shrimp!
Thanks, it is in progress. As far as can see, ADFs are more than able to walk about on dry land. While he was alive, he was sitting on top of that rock more than he was in the water. All I can say is that they are definitely less aquatic than a fish.

I would still like to find the COD though. The tank he was in wasn't heated, so maybe that? I dunno
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-07-2009, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Update time!

New light: Aquamedic Sunbeam 24W T5HO with 2 6500K lamps

Currently its sitting on crudely constructed legs made of wood and cable ties. I like the new light quite a bit. Reflectors seem to be really high quallity.

New CO2: 10lb tank with milwaukee MA957 regulator and aquamedic 100 diffuser.

I am really unimpressed with the regulator, actually. The bubble count would eventually keep lowering. So I would have to keep turning the main pressure knob to increase the pressure again. In retrospect, it was likely a plugged needle valve and I should have followed their drilling procedure. But I didnt know that, so I kept turning the knob and eventually the thing "blew". The low pressure gauge got busted, and the line blew out of the tank like a rocket. Upon trying to make it work again, the pressure release valve needed to be screwed in, but now all I can get is ultra high pressure - I think the diaphram is broken somehow? Eitherway, I am dealing with milwaukee to try and resolve the issue.

New Fish: 6 Beckford's Pencilfish.

I hate them. I though they were supposed to be a nice schooling fish but they are pretty much the meanest fish I have kept since cichlids. Males are just so aggressive they constantly chase the females and spar with the males. Her is a pic of one of the f#$&ers.

New plants:

dwarf hair grass
erect flame moss
taiwan moss
rotala rotundafolia
L. aromatica


The Crypt wendtii is growing some weird brownish coloured leaves... anyone know what causes this?

The l. aromatica is doing pretty good and pearling nicely.

I am also suffering from every kind of algae known to man. GSA, BBA, staghorn, some red crap, and probably other stuff.

I am dosing excel at 2x recommended dosage. Cant find any dry ferts in my area, so dosing flourish heavily until then.


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