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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-27-2013, 05:08 AM Thread Starter
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Help/Opinion needed!

Dear all,

I am a new member to this forum and would really appreciate any help I can get from the many knowledgeable members here.

Before I start listing some of my queries/concerns, here is a bit of background and the rational I have followed to date:

I have recently (2 weeks ago) started an iwagumi styled aquarium. I am using 9 hakkai styled rocks to build the scape. The substrate used is ADA's amazonia black and I have also used other ADA products such as penac P and W, bacter 100 etc. I have an Ehiem filter which is more than sufficient for the current volume of water held by my aquarium, I believe. Of course, there is also Co2 setup and ready.

I have decided to try and use the fishless cycle during the beginning phases. I am currently trying to grow HC cuba.

I know that ADA substrate is usually rich in nutrients to begin with and that the initial setup phase will provide higher ammonia levels. Because of this, I have been dosing the tank with good amounts of K daily and also been using green bacter to help whenever I do water changes. The first week I did daily water changes and starting the 2nd week I have been doing a water change every 2-3 days. I have been feeding the aquarium Co2 and light daily with 5 hrs on the first 2 days and then 6 hrs daily up until now.

So far, I've noticed a few things after two weeks. The HC cuba went through a period of yellowing and going transparent within 3 days but has since experienced a slow rebound. They seem to be taking root and new leaves are growing out. No carpeting affect at this point as I speak.

Algae control has been alright as well. Since less frequent water changes began I have noticed spots of algae on the aquarium itself but nothing serious.

So here are my queries:

1. Am I dosing the right amount of ferts right now? I am using nothing but Brighty K for potassium and green bacter.

2. Am I growing the HC cuba correctly? I'm not sure why the HC died in the beginning and I'm also not sure why it's taking so long to come back to life. I must be doing something wrong?

Is the 6 hrs of light and Co2 enough for now? I plan to keep the lighting and Co2 levels to be similar and gradually make my way up to 8-10 hrs per day permanently (but with the introduction of algae eating shrimp and fish first).

I've also factored into account that the slow growth may be due to the fact that the temperature in my aquarium is around 29 - 31C. Will HC Cuba indeed completely stop growing at once if above 28C? If this is the problem, what kind of cooling unit should I use or are there other methods to help growth?

3. My final query is to do with fish. When should the fishless cycle end? Should I be adding algae eating fish or shrimp into my tank yet because there are some signs of algae? Or should I be waiting for the HC cuba to grow out more first before I do anything?

Many thanks ahead for any one who has willingly read a long post and am willing to help out with some insight!

Last edited by Dr.Horology; 05-27-2013 at 05:57 AM. Reason: .
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-27-2013, 05:39 AM
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The plant was probably grown emmersed, the melt is pretty normal. You will need a test kit to know when to add fish. Normally, you will want to wait the longest you can before adding a clean up crew.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-27-2013, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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Hi there steven,

When I bought the plants it was kept in water the whole time. The store is reliable here and my guess is that the plants were kept/maintained that way until I bought it. I bought Tropica HC's.

But has the slow growth been due to temperatures being too high? Do I need to get a cooling unit to keep water at 25C or is that not necessary?

I have a pH kit to test water acidity but am not familiar with what test kit you are referring to for fish... Are you referring to a test kit for ammonia and nitrite levels?

Last edited by Dr.Horology; 05-27-2013 at 05:57 AM. Reason: .
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-27-2013, 06:02 AM
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Yes, nh4, no2 and no3. Ammo, nitrite and nitrate. If it came potted, I can say with 99% level of certainty that your plants were not grown submerged. Even the best of the best stores get plants shipped this way.

I've not kept this plant, but I know from reading that the growth can be painfully slow. If you feel that the water being warm is stunting the plant, the cheapest solution would be to point a small fan at the top of the water, evaporation will cool the tank. If it is an ongoing issue, purchasing a chiller would be wise and save you from daily top-offs.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-27-2013, 06:16 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting. So does the plant being kept grown submerged and then planted by me cause it to die or grow weak at first? Anyway, the HC cuba is showing signs of life again but my main concern comes from the fact that after 2 weeks it still looks weak. So because of this, I'm actually not sure if the temperature is stunting the growth or not!

Maybe I'm just not being patient enough? I've also read this plant takes a lot of time to grow out as well.

And if it is such a slow growing plant, it adds all the more to my question of when to add fish? Should I wait till the HC cuba has grown considerably before doing so? Or should I just add fish regardless of the HC growth as long as the fishless cycle is completed and the biological filter is mature?

Last edited by Dr.Horology; 05-27-2013 at 06:27 AM. Reason: .
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-27-2013, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Horology View Post
Interesting. So does the plant being kept grown submerged and then planted by me cause it to die or grow weak at first? Anyway, the HC cuba is showing signs of life again but my main concern comes from the fact that after 2 weeks it still looks weak. So because of this, I'm actually not sure if the temperature is stunting the growth or not!

Maybe I'm just not being patient enough? I've also read this plant takes a lot of time to grow out as well.

And if it is such a slow growing plant, it adds all the more to my question of when to add fish? Should I wait till the HC cuba has grown considerably before doing so? Or should I just add fish regardless of the HC growth as long as the fishless cycle is completed and the biological filter is mature?
My HC Cuba didn't show signs of growth for about 3 weeks, it's now spreading slowly, compared to my Glosso but it is growing.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-27-2013, 12:59 PM
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I would wait a bit after the cycle, then start by adding fish that won't be digging or eating your plants.

The plant "dying away" is really just the plant going through a conversion. Under water, the cell walls of the plants are thinner, this allows for easier carbon and nutrient uptake. The plants also will be less rigid because of this transition, they stand up straight because of bouyancy instead of a rigid stem.


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