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Thanks! Of course I only show it from the nice angles. It is definitely a work in progress!

Fish seem to be doing well. Now that they have been in the tank for 24 hours they are swimming around more and not letting the flow push them to one corner. So I think I may leave it alone for now.

This afternoon I lowered the photoperiod by about an hour and a half and lowered the intensity of the Current LED lights by 50% across all the spectrums. Does anyone know how I should go about raising it? Wait for the plants to fill in more? Raise it by 10% weekly or something? So far no algae growth of note but I figured I would get in front of it and try to keep it to a minimum.
Until you get plant mass where you want it, it will be a guessing game. If you give it too much light it will take a week to see the algae.. and even then it's dependant on C02 and fertilizer dosing. As long as plants aren't reaching I would stay more on the low end. I wouldn't increase lighting without a commensurate increase in plant mass. Maybe every couple weeks go up 10%? I have C02 coming on at 7am - 5pm and lights from 830 to 5pm. I had to cut it back this week.
 

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Downoi, for me, was very temperamental. I could only grow it in shrimp tanks and it was a set it and forget it plant. After a couple months it started growing like crazy and splitting off crowns everywhere. I'm not sure if that one can be grown emersed, but I would make sure the plants you purchase are fully submerged growth. I've even had Buce that was emersed fail to transition to submerged after months of being in the tank.
 

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It's looking fantastic! At 3 weeks all of my tanks are algae inundated cesspools. That's what inwas going to mention about fissidens. It's beautiful, but in newlywed up tanks with low plant mass they can really get trashed with algae. Then again your tank isn't the algae farms that mine are at that point. It's all relative to total plant mass. Once you've got some it's easy to get new things added and dialed in. The Corys will love that open area. I always liked how that looks, but I almost always end up planting something there. I've got crypt Parva in the top tank in the front. The bottom one doesn't really have an open area.
 

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That would be a pain. I started doing like 35% changes every 6 days just so I can leave all the filters and stuff running and it only takes a few minutes to pump it out and then pump new clean 78* water back in. I would bet that the RO water has helped with accumulation of organics that encourage algae growth. I can tell by a couple spots on the substrate when its time for a water change
 

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Would you believe that at the LFS near work they had signs for $7.99 PER cardinal and 4.99 PER neon? Good thing that I don't particulary want either. Phew! I couldn't believe it.

My favorite schooler, really shoaler, at the momment is my silvertip tetras. Actually, they pretty much fail at even shoaling unless they are really scared, but they have great personalities and I think they are really pretty.
That's more than Petsmart... the LFS by me that is the only place I will purchase from does Cardinals for $3 and Neons for $1.... and it still adds up fast. Their prices are very good, but they tend to run out of Cardinals, Neons, Rummynose, and many of the popular schoolikg fish days after the order arrives. You are left to either buy.and treat and hope for few losses or wait and maybe pick up 2 or 3 at a time. It's good business for them. They aren't having to always absorb the huge losses. When I saw the Lemon Tetras for $1 it was tough to stick to the plan. I'm headed back today. I know they have no Neons and I'm not buying anymore cardinals or Rummynose... so maybe more Panda Corys?
 

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I'm sure Wetspot has good fish, but at $1 a piece total... Neons are still costly when you have the inevitable losses... and that's without factoring in shipping. I keep drooling over the Lemon tetras... I need another tank... or to setup a 300 gallon here while I finish school.
This LFS has great prices on Tetras.
I want the Red and Blue Columbians they're $2 each
Lemon $1 each
Neons $1
Cardinals $3
Rummynose $3.
I'm thinking about asking them to do some Bloodfins. I'm sure they would be $1 and they blend in with the Rummys.
 

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I've heard that Columbian tetras can be nippy and lemon tetras like to nibble on plants. So be careful.
Thank you! That's all I needed to hear. I am not dealing with plant nibblers.
What are your thoughts on the impact of substrate on Corys? I originally had all black sand... then I added a few bags of eco complete and floramax...
I'm wondering if that is part of why my Corys arent as active as I remember and aren't roaming around in a group... I also have very little "open" area and I have crypt Parva growing there so I don't really want remove that substrate. Even with high light, ferts, and C02 that stuff takes a long time to fill in... I don't want a tank full of unhappy Corys that aren't playing though... these guys are nothing like the others I had. They are all very small though... I'm up to 12 I think.
 

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I ended up having to order 6 more black phantom tetras. I hope they are all or mostly males. If I get another 6 females I am going to be hella pissed! Also ordered 6 Corydoras concolor and 6 Corydoras loretoensis. They arrive Wednesday.

I am proud of myself for not going crazy getting a million different types of fish for this tank. (though really I could have gone with just one species of Cory). I hope I can stick with it.
This is something I struggle with as well. Once you make a choice its hard to rehome the fish and try something else. Or you end up with a crazy mish mash of fish. I will say there is a planted tetra tank on YouTube that has pretty much every tetra I know of and it looks pretty cool.
 

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Heck ya it looks great!! I've cut down on ferts quite a bit as well and I'm much happier. Most of my plants are slower growing anyway. It seems like once they get going they grow at a logarithmic rate. For months the sword in my lower tank didn't do anything. It didn't top 6". Now it looks to get about 30% bigger each week. It went from looking puny to causing me concern that I may have to rip it out in a few weeks. That H Pinnetifida is really looking good!
 

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Thought some of you gardeners might appreciate my outdoor landscape today.We are just getting into Aloe blooming season. I "rescape" my yard as frequently as my aquariums. Never fully satisfied with how things turn out, always wanting to tweak and remove or move things. Latest victim was an iceplant that got too big. Earlier this year removed a Grevillea that did the same and replaced it with more Aloes and smaller ground covering succulents. A bit more difficult and time consuming to redo the yard but I do it constantly.

Front Garden by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr
That looks killer. I love succulents. I built a 3 tray garden that is along the wall in our backyard with a bunch of different kinds. Looks pretty cool now that it's grown over. I'd love to be able to do that in my yard... but in Fl it's grass... well my yard is covered in some kind of weed / clover thing right now. I need to get the weed killer spread out there and get it cleaned up. Never enough time.
 

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I hadn't seen that. That is exactly what I need for my 11.4 Gertrude tank. With the spray bar all facing the same direction there is more current and disruption than I want. I took off the spray bar and just let it come straight out of the tube, but that really moves the substrate around and blows the sand out of areas. Good find
 

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24 Amano shrimp in just this tank?? I'd love to add some to all my tanks, but at $3 a piece and none surviving so far I'm hesitant. I think I added 3 or 4 at a time. I may try to pick some up tomorrow now that I'm thinking about it. How do you gaurantee that all those shrimp are getting food? Tetras of every type are voracious eaters.
I've always wanted a big group of dicrossus filamentosus, but they are hard to come by unless you do out of state shipping. They are gorgeous and with as small as they are you could probably get a pretty cool community going on in a 40 gallon. I'm going to keep my eyes open for them. I'd like to get 8-10 for my lower 75 gallon. I can't raise the temp to 80* for GBR's or EBR's and I've killed enough $50 pairs of Apisto's.
 
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