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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I got plants in the mail yesterday from @mrbishop1126 and put them in the 125!!! There are also some blyxa from @pilla that the post office may have killed, they were sent out 28 Oct and I did not get them until 2 Nov. They were sent as 1-Day shipping and they got lost in Chicago!!! So 1 day ended up being 5 day... I planted them as soon as I got them and hope that at least 1 lives... And while planting I tested the wood and was able to remove one of the large rocks! I am happy that the wood is starting to become waterlogged, the second one may take longer since it had had termites that made a lot of tunnels that are most likely filled with air.

Some pictures of the added plants:


In this next you can really see how the blyxa is not happy. Most of the smaller pieces are gonners and I will end up just removing them.

I am thinking of attaching a Banana plant to the rock... or maybe I will put it where the rock used to be...



I like the location of the Anubias so far, and once it roots to the wood I can move the smaller rock.



I hope to get some funds here in the next week that I can use to get some real lights, the current ones have been working so far but I really don't like them...
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
Made a surface skimmer today, it is working ok. It doesn't have much suction power as all I did was take an air line into the Fx5 intake and attached the other end to a tube with slits. But it is still skimming, the crud that was just sitting on top one one side of the tank is either gone or so thin that it is almost unnoticeable. The Fx5 creates enough surface agitation on the other side that there is almost nothing there (it was pushing it all to the other side). I have an idea to make it a little stronger by adding a T splitter to the air tube and having 2 lines going to the Fx5. I will post a couple pictures once I take some.

And a week later here are pics:



 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Some of the plants are starting to show some good growth, the Blyxa is not wilted and withering some died but it seams that the remaining plants were the strongest and/or largest and should survive. I got some Rotala Mini Butterfly from @blackdog76 it is a little wilted right now, and but I have hope that it will pull through. I will post some before and after pics later on (week or 2) to give an idea of how they fare. I also met up with @Termato and @cjubert who I got some snails and plants from. (More on them as I may need some help identifying after everything starts growing in.)

Update picture:

 

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What lights are those?

That one is a little risky unless you have a topper there now and I don't see it. Make sure to plug those in a fused strip for safety.

I used to do CFL but I switched to all LED now. I got some sweet deals from ebay on 22watt cool white leds that grow mad plants. I had 4 pin 55watt cfls before and it was a quick swap in *dropped the power by more than half and heat considerably.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
@Termato Good to know I will add it to the list of known plants. There are others (not just the ones from you) that I am not 100% on but will need to grow/perk up to even hope to identify.

btw the vals you gave me are to the right of the skull, the reopens are to the right of that. The Anubias is on the wood all the way to the left, and the if you look under the little rock above the skull that is where I put that other plant you gave me. The others are scattered around over by the rock all the way to the left or in the open area all the way to the right, lastly I believe the small rock on top of the larger wood on the right is holding down one too...
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
@Termato Ok, I will adjust it. I wasn't sure if it was one that needed the plant to be out just slightly (like some of the sword or grass plants) or if I could just push it in deep.
@fedge honestly I am not sure what lights they are. The person I got the tank from had a red eared slider in it and these were the lights she used. I do have them each on their own strip and whenever we leave the house they are turned off. (makes for a hard time ensuring proper light time sometimes but since the wife is a stay at home Mom the plants are getting enough). I don't have much money and so have been looking at getting either T8 fixtures, or maybe doing a DIY LED setup. But all of the different information that is out there is making information gathering an interesting experience. @Hoppy has a lot of good information on lights that I have been attempting to decipher it is just taking me a little bit of time.

Plus to add to everything this is one of the odd tanks that make it interesting to find stuff for. I was originally going to get glass tops for it and just trying to locate them proved tiring. This is the 60"x24"x18", so I am figuring I have to get the light to penetrate 20-22 inches of water with a mid-low light at the substrate.

Well now that I have burdened you all with that it is time that I get some shut eye. If anyone has any input please share, I will read everything and weigh it into what I am doing (not to say that I will agree with or even listen to everything said, but I will read it over and think it over). Ok, for real tired rambling are stopping.

Night all!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 · (Edited)
I built the frame of the canopy today. Just some 2"x2" pieces but they look nice. Just need to get some sealer to protect the wood and then all that will be left is betting the 1"x12" 's and some hinges. Oh and I am still not sure how I am going to stain the outer portion yet but that is needed too.

I took some pictures and will load them later.

On other news it looks like my albino Cory cats are breeding! I found eggs on the glass about mid-late day (just after finishing the frame). I had done a 10-15% water change and messed with some of the plants this morning and there was nothing there. I am thinking the water change prompted a spawning... I will post some pictures of that too, and I will let you know if the eggs are fertile or not too. Does anyone have any advice on ensuring they live if they are fertile? I have read that they can be scraped off, but that it can be very dificult to not hurt the eggs... I lost some to my Bala Sharks already, I used the cleaning magnet and large net to cover the remaining few dozen.




 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Here is a picture of the Cory Eggs. They are about 30 hours right now, and I am not sure if they are fertilized or not. The wife thinks so since they are a slight tan/brown color, and she says she thinks she can see something inside. But they look kind of milky to me... I guess we will just have to wait till this Wednesday-Friday to see if anything hatches. If nothing hatches then there are 3 females in my tank or if there is/are males then they are to young or lazy... It would be really cool if they hatch though!!!

 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
The eggs were not fertilized... I will be adding more corycats in later so maybe I will end up with a male as the three I have right now might be all females... Or the male in the group just didn't do his job...
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
It has been a couple weeks since my last post, and there has been some really good growth! I have one plant that is the entire length of the tank! So needless to say I will be doing some trimming... I will make sure to post a before and after pic.

I also went and got some purigen to help remove tannins, and keep the water clearer. But I am not sure which basket in my FX5 to put it in, anyone that can help me out please?
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Did a bit of trimming and some rescaping, and tested my wood to discover that with some smaller rocks on one log I was able to remove the large rock! I am extremely happy about that!!!! I had some Anacharis that had reached lengths of six feet at least and the Hornwort is very happy too. (I am thinking I will be doing a RAOK for the extra that I have of that I just moved the extra to my QT for now.)

You will also see that there is a new hardscape addition in the tank too. When I first started setting up this tank I was wanting to do a bunch of shipwrecks, planes, subs, a helicopter but never had the money to go buy a bunch of them (since they are $35-$135). Well my Mother-In-Law decided that she would get me one for Christmas. Now it doesn't really fit in with the current theme to well, but I don't really care!!! I like the little pirate ship and think it looks kind of cool (I also think that it matches perfectly with my skull).

So to the person that I had sent a picture of it in my tank that went all stupid about it messing up the perspective/size of everything else you can go *BLEEP* Yourself!!! (Sorry Rant over)

Now to what everyone really wants/what I want for documenting purposes. The pictures!!! (the after timming pictures are a little cloudy, I will be taking new ones after the tank clears)

Here is a Pre Trim photo


Water results taken on the 26th, not sure why the Ph is so low. Going to do some water changes till it reads more normal.


After the trim, and slight rescape.


After trim Left Side. Here you can see the new pirate ship :) You can also see the smaller rocks that have been added temporarily.


After trim Right Side. Here you can see all the new open space!!!
 

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60% is the maximum water change I'd recommend for a low tech. They just don't like big water changes much, upsets the balance of things. If you can, do the water change well outside of the photoperiod to allow some time for CO2 levels to equilibrate before photosynthesis begins. This helps to avoid algae following big water changes.

Your nitrates are sky high. Concentrations over 40ppm are detrimental to fish health. Quick action is required.

Your nitrates will still be high after a 60% water change. Another water change of 60% 5 days later will probably then bring nitrate levels down to an acceptable level.

Once your levels are down, work at maintaining a concentration of no more than 10ppm nitrate. I've never seen a low tech that requires more than this. This may mean more frequent water changes or increasing the number of stem plants. Stems are nitrate sucking machines.

Purigen is good for a few things, but not much good at reducing nitrate levels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
60% is the maximum water change I'd recommend for a low tech. They just don't like big water changes much, upsets the balance of things. If you can, do the water change well outside of the photoperiod to allow some time for CO2 levels to equilibrate before photosynthesis begins. This helps to avoid algae following big water changes.

Your nitrates are sky high. Concentrations over 40ppm are detrimental to fish health. Quick action is required.

Your nitrates will still be high after a 60% water change. Another water change of 60% 5 days later will probably then bring nitrate levels down to an acceptable level.

Once your levels are down, work at maintaining a concentration of no more than 10ppm nitrate. I've never seen a low tech that requires more than this. This may mean more frequent water changes or increasing the number of stem plants. Stems are nitrate sucking machines.

Purigen is good for a few things, but not much good at reducing nitrate levels.
I am working to bring them down, and will do another large water change this weekend. I will probably do a large water change for the next couple of weeks to ensure that my levels return to more normal levels. One good thing is that the fish have not shown any sign of stress, this doesn't mean that there wasn't a problem just that the problem has not affected them much yet. Lets hope it is corrected before that happens!

And the Purigen isn't for the nitrates, I had gotten that more to try getting rid of tannins than anything else. I just wasn't sure where in the canister to put it.

Maintaining 10 ppm nitrates may be difficult. I go from 20-40ppm nitrates every week between my 50% water changes.

What is your water change schedule? I didn't think you had a high bio load.
I was doing a 25% every weekend and had 20-40ppm but for the last 2 weekends I was unable to do more than 10-15% (maybe) which is why I believe I had a spike. I also do a canister cleaning once a month and was a week overdo for that (finished that last night too).

My bio load is still not that great yet no, and I will be waiting to add any more till the ppm is able to be maintained at the correct levels. (as hard as it is not to try getting more for schooling)

Thank you both for the information, and quick replies. Sometimes it can feel like you are talking to yourself in a journal, and even though it is more for personal chronicling of my tank having outside input is nice.
 

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I have a fine sponge prefilter on my shrimp tank that absorbs a ton of tannis (if that is possible?). I rinse it ever week and just running fresh water through it turns the water brown. So maybe a fine prefilter would help too. The purigen will load up quickly and require cleaning if you have a lot of particles to be removed. Well, that's just it doing it's job isn't it? haha. Make sure you check on it! If it is dark, it isn't going to absorb any more particles.

And I really feel you on the journal thing. My tank just isn't popular, so I chronicle things mostly for myself and to give reference when I leave replies for others.

I think your 'skip week' of water changes probably did bring them up. You'll want some fast growing plants in there to absorb those nitrates. I suggest floaters, water sprite, and spiral vals. They have all been fast growers for me.
 
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