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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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My Fissidens Fontanus is so dark and I don't know what is up. I may be cutting it to much and taking away the new - lighter - growth. I told myself I wont cut it for a month...
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
Video

Here is a video taken the other day of the new fish.


So far everything is going well with this tank.No algae, plants are pushing up growth, fish are doing well. May turn up the lights by 10%.

Bump: I can sort of see the appeal now of just a focus on plants with just a simple stocking of one or two types of fish that is so common on videos of scapes. It is very unlikely I will stick with it myself but it is nice for now. Already considering a school of ember tetras and pencilfish.

 

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Nice start and nice video! What kinda of paint/film did you use for your background? It might be due to the lighting, but I really like the look of it contrasted with the sand. It's like a very dark, dark blue almost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
Close up video of the fish eating a sinking wafer I dropped in.

Raised the light level 10% up to 60% today. A lot of the stem plants are putting on growth so I think it was the right move but I'll keep an eye out for any algae growth.

I can't get over how good all the plants look. My first attempts at high tech planted tanks I already had algae explosions and rotting plants at this point. So I feel like I am least learning from past mistakes. And I am thrilled with tissue culture plants.

 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Surface scum is pretty bad so I bought an Eheim Skim350. But of course there is something wrong with the motor or impeller and it doesn't work. Getting fed up with mechanical purchases not working. I am at the point where I automatically save all of my Amazon boxes assuming that I am going to have to send something back.

Any other brands to recommend or should I just get a replacement and hope for better luck?
 

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Surface scum is pretty bad so I bought an Eheim Skim350. But of course there is something wrong with the motor or impeller and it doesn't work. Getting fed up with mechanical purchases not working. I am at the point where I automatically save all of my Amazon boxes assuming that I am going to have to send something back.

Any other brands to recommend or should I just get a replacement and hope for better luck?
I have Skim350's on all my tanks (3) and I've never had a issue with them.
 

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I have Skim350's on all my tanks (3) and I've never had a issue with them.
The only issue I have with the 350 is the suction cups. Eventually like all suction cups they lose their ability to stick but Eheim does not sell replacement cups so I had to jimmy rig another suction cup to make it work. Otherwise it works great but is another thing in your tank.
@Triport
Did you try to get it going in a bucket of water, maybe take the sponge filter out to just get it going. Perhaps an air lock or something?
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Harumph. This is annoying. The other items that weren't working I was able to have UPS just pick the return packages up at my front door. For this Eheim skim350 they are making me bring it to a UPS store to return. I guess because of the vendor it came from. As a result of this inconvenience I think I will not order another one from them and will just figure something else out.
 

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Harumph. This is annoying. The other items that weren't working I was able to have UPS just pick the return packages up at my front door. For this Eheim skim350 they are making me bring it to a UPS store to return. I guess because of the vendor it came from. As a result of this inconvenience I think I will not order another one from them and will just figure something else out.
Is the magnet loose from the impeller? The last one I got, I had that issue right out of the box. I superglued the magnet to the impeller and all is well and been operating fine for months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Ordered a stainless steel lily pipe set with a skimmer built in. Going to set it up with a spare Eheim Ecco filter I had lying around. I think it will look nicer than the Ehim skimmer or any of the other brands. Hopefully it will work!

Overall really happy with the state of growth on my tissue cultured plants. Growth seems good so far and particularly in stem plants they just seem a lot more natural looking and are adapting a lot better than the usual emersed growth stems I have purchased in the past.

That said the P. helferi did melt but there is new growth coming up so I am hopeful. One Ranunculus inundatus also fell apart and melted but the rest look OK so far. Fingers crossed it was just a fluke. No algae so far but I am always on the look out. From experience it always sort of just explodes one day.

Aerial views 10 days after my initial photos show how much fuller and greener the plants look. I am especially happy with how great Staurogyne repens and Hygrophila pinnatifida look since these are plants I have never had luck with in the past when I bought them as individual stems. They are two of my favorite aquatic plants and it would be nice to be able to grow them. The Cryptocoryne 'Flamingo' has some beautiful new pale pink leaves coming in.

Aerial view of left side by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr

Aerial view of right side by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Did 50% water change today with my RO water mix. Last night I dropped in an algae wafer because I was a bit worried that the Otos wouldn't have enough to eat. This morning I found the remains of it in one of the clumps of Staurogyne repens and the plant was half melted. Oops. Won't be doing that again. Those Otos are on their own.
 

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Did 50% water change today with my RO water mix. Last night I dropped in an algae wafer because I was a bit worried that the Otos wouldn't have enough to eat. This morning I found the remains of it in one of the clumps of Staurogyne repens and the plant was half melted. Oops. Won't be doing that again. Those Otos are on their own.

Use a thin slice of zucchini held to the substrate with a wooden skewer or plastic fork instead- great way to catch any snails, too.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Got my Jardli Stainless Steel Lily Pipe with Surface Skimmer today. Was worried that they were more for a rimless tank and wouldn't work but it worked out fine. The plastic pipe holders fit perfectly onto the rim of my tank and rest on the ledge. I hooked it up to a spare Eheim Ecco because I didn't want to mess with my Eheim Pro's tubing if it turned out it wasn't going to work. And a little extra filtration never hurt anyone.

It isn't perfectly silent. There is a bit of a suction noise that can be dealt with by modifying the amount of water that comes in through the in tank strainer vs. the surface skimmer. You can tweak it so it is mostly quiet but there does seem to be a bit of suction noise from time to time. I don't mind because the tank is in my fish room and not a bedroom or other room in the house.

Within 3 minutes the surface was beautifully clear. The stainless steel hardware is attractive. It does stick out more into the tank than a regular pipe but it doesn't bother me and should be concealed by plants soon enough.

Before and after pics.

Surface Scum Removal by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr
 
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