Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Santa Clara, CA
An Iwagumi called "Impatience"
Hi everyone, I thought I'd share my attempt at an Iwagumi. I've done several saltwater nanos with good success but i have to admit this little tank has tried my patience like no other. What was supposed to be a simple experiment just turned 6 months old.
Aquarium Master 5.5 gallon, derimmed (actual volume - 4gal with rock and dirt)
In-tank sponge filter AquaClear 20
Sylvania 23w CFL Daylight (6500k) - 4 hours on, 4 off, 5 on
pH - ~8.3 ( it was stable at 7.4 but it's crept up in the last 2 months)
Alkalinity KH - 12 dKH/214.8ppm
GH - 12 dGH/214.8ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate - 10ppm
72 deg F
Excel 0.5ml/day (damn algae)
Flourish Total - 0.5ml 2x week
Phosphate to 2ppm (not currently dosing due to algae)
Dwarf hair grass (Eleocharis acicularis)
Dwarf babies tears (Hemianthus callitrichoides)
Assassin snail food
Galaxy Rasbora (3)
Amano shrimp 2x -both went walkabout
Micro sword (Lilaeopsis brasiliensis) - too invasive
Blyxa japonica - Got holes, melted (the general consensus is to high pH)
I have good plant growth from both the hair grass and HC; however the Blyxa is growing very slowly. It's leaves regularly dissolve only to grow back, I'm not sure what's going on there. The only serious problems I have are snails and algae. The snails crap all over the place which I'm sure contributes to the algae. I do a 2x week 50% water change/vacuum to remove as much as I can.
Replace dwarf hair grass with something that can reach the surface (~8 inches), full size hair grass or something bushy.
Celestial Pearl Danio
Shrimp (Yellow, Blue Pearl, or CRS)
I'm also thinking maybe some frogbit or other small leafed floating plant.
Oh yeah, I should probably get a real light.
Any suggestion as to why the pH is climbing? I know the rock is adding to the hardness but why would it start climbing after 5 months?
Also, once i stock the tank I'm concerned about cleaning. When I do a 50% water change there's not much water in the tank and it can get pretty cloudy. As i remove the snails the amount of detritus has gone down considerably, but with so little water...
I purchased a more accurate set test kits (pH, KH, GH) and retested everything.
The tap water is: pH - 8.87, kH - 12 dKH/214.8ppm, GH - 16 dGH/286.4ppm
I've solved the pH problem; it was a combination of tap water (w/ high pH and KH) and evaporation top-off (using tap water :P). Coming from a salt water background I should have thought of it sooner. The snail problem is almost gone, there is still detritus but it's under control. As for algae, i let the diatoms go for two weeks and then vacuumed them out and that seems to have solved that problem as well.
Any feedback or criticism is appreciated,
Last edited by Am I done yet?; 04-30-2012 at 06:28 AM.
Reason: Updated pH