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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
From this 4+ years ago....



to this....



and eventually this tank of death and despair....



and as of today, the rebirth....



It will be housing my red neos from my 12" cube Mr. Aqua. Current setup is:

11g Mr. Aqua 19" x 11.5" x 11.5"
AquaClear 30, might upgrade to an AC50
Finnex 24/7 Planted+ LED light strip

Plants include:

s. repens
Java Fern regular
Java Fern narrow leaf
AR mini
A few crypts...no idea which
Chain sword

Hardscape:

Black lava rock "sand"
Local blue stone with some pretty cool white quartz stripes...might not show well in pics...I'll try to get better
Couple sticks of cholla
Might attach some Java Fern to so Manzanita sticks at some point and drop in the tank. I have some nice fern in the 12" cube...just not sure how to incorporate it into the new tank yet.

Livestock:

Neos. Just a mix of fire red and a few painted. Had some OEBT...might still be a couple in there...but they haven't done fantastic for me. One of these days I'm determined to make them work.
Snails. Pond and ramshorn. They don't bother me...so I just let them be.
Probably going to add a few amano shrimp at some point...soon as I can find some locally or when I'm ready to place an order from someone that sells them in addition to whatever else I'm ordering.

Dosing ThriveS. Bumping up to 2x weekly for now to see how that works out. Tank has only been planted for 10 days. Light has been over it for 3 days but for the 7 days prior I had my sbreef FW light over the tank. So I need to play with and dial in lighting and ferts. Tank has been running empty (substrate only) for probably 6 weeks...fishless cycle. It's ready for the shrimp transfer. Doing that over the next few days as I can catch them.
 

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Thinking about moving that java in the middle to behind the rocks. Maybe putting something shorter in between or just leaving it open.
Exactly what I thought when I was looking at it. In fairness it looked pretty freakin killer before though!! One day... one day... I will again try carbon Rili and oebt. My only suggestion would be more moss or moss like stuff. It looked awesome in the previous iteration.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Moved the regular java but the space looked kinda weird. So I stuck a narrow leaf in there for now. I think it looks a little better.

I'm guessing from higher light...seems like the color in the plants are kinda faded and the regular java, the tips are turning a dark semi-translucent color. Think it's from just the new environment and new light? The Finnex has been on there since Christmas day so only about a week and a half.

Moss...I have a bunch of java moss. Just haven't figured out how I want to get it in the tank yet. I have some Manzanita twigs that I thought I'd water log and then tie some moss on them and place them in the tank somehow...just haven't decided the placement yet.

I noticed I'm getting snail deaths too. Parameters are fine. Nitrates only up around 20. KH is 4, GH is 9. pH 7.6. TDS 200-ish. Pretty much identical to the tank that they are coming from. But I keep finding them dead sucked up against the filter intake. So I'm trying to figure out if they are crawling on the intake and getting pinned by the suction and dying or if they are dying and the filter is pulling them to the intake. There's no pre-filter on there yet. Main reason I'm not moving shrimp over to this tank yet. I have a sponge but it sucks...not literally because it seems to clog way to fast and cut the flow of the filter by about 95%. I ordered a stainless pre-filter but it's coming from China so hoping it will be here in a couple weeks or so. There are live snails on some of the plants. I did put one lone shrimp in the tank about a week ago...haven't seen it for several days so not sure his fate. With good parameters...not sure exactly what would be killing anything that is in the tank.

 

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What's that plant in second photo, on the left, way above water line?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What's that plant in second photo, on the left, way above water line?
I don't remember what the plants were that I used in rip setup. I'm bad with plant names as it is and then being several years ago on top of that...lol

Tank still chugging along. S.repens and AR mini still looking pretty rough. I thought I'd try some DIY root tabs using dry ferts and red clay. Shoved a few under some select plants to see if there was a difference between them and plants without the tabs. Only thing I noticed so far was an outbreak of hair algae :icon_evil

So, manually removed most of it, huge water change, cut back liquid ferts, and reduced lights from 8 to 6 hours and so far it seems to be holding off the hair algae. L
Also added more plants. Got some huge Needle Leaf Java Fern, some really nice Java Windelov , big clump of Bolbitis heudelotii, some really cool looking Blyxa japonica and a few stems of Ludwigia repens 'red', and finally a few small crypts. Hopefully it all does well. Some of the plants will be moved to the other tank eventually.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Quick update...moved most of (maybe all) the shrimp from the 12" cube tank to this one and added an additional 25 sakura/fire thanks to the shrimp I bought from FishRFriendz. Nice to finally see some critters in there. Now to decide what to do with the 12" Mr. Aqua...thinking of moving the Betta into it...guess we'll see.



 
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