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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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So I picked up the tank from my cousin and this is my unboxing. Disappointed that the light does not work. I messaged the people my cousin ordered through and hopefully I will be able to get a replacement light. I'm very surprised the tissue cultures are seemingly in great shape. Although I am kinda wondering about the ultricularia graminifolia as it's dry but still green. I will post a pic of it after I'm done the unboxing pics
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Any ideas? Do you think the ug is ok? Should I not do the dry start. Still have to clear out space and set up, but was too disappointed with the light situation to put much thought into it right note. Plus I only have 4L bag of substrate so I have to go get some sand to add up to 8L to fill in the substrate. I have a bunch of quartz that I collected, scrubbed, filed and vinegar tested from my most favorite collection point (12 mile dirt road to the edge of the forest 6 mile hike to the collection point) that I plan on using I think I'm going to leave wood out of this build to mix it up a little. I could change my mind, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Finished filling it last night. Haven't hooked up the "bio co2" unit yet as it's basically the same concept as sugar and yeast diy- at least I have a cool little bottle and am input connection point on the filter- though I have to choose- high flow or CO2, I cannot have both because it's a passive system. It also has a cool little cardboard cut out holder for the "reactor" and the bottle. Pretty funny if you ask me, I'll probably just wind up reusing the bottle and doing sugar and yeast instead of ordering a replacement kit and save a ton of money. I'm no stranger to diy co2, and hey, it's safer when you don't have adequate testing supplies. I'll probably post some pics later. I am kinda rethinking the shrimp thing, all things considered. I'm just gonna keep an eye on parameters that I can test with a master test kit and take it one step at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Must say I am impressed with Dennerle scapers soil. Held up great, easy to plant in, nice texture and heavy enough to keep everything down even with me moving the nightstand around on accident when I spilled my soda and bumped it cleaning up the mess. Not even one plant out of place. Just figured I'd add this observation. I'll be checking parameters at 8p which is 24 hours from the final addition of water. Will post results then. If this soil does what it says it does, which from all I've read it's one of the better aquasoils on the market, and I can get a good cycle from it I will definitely be recommending it highly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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Parameters- ph 6.8 (though I doubt it really is- test tube had some water in it and I couldn't get it all out.)
Ammo- 2
Nitrite- .25
Didn't test nitrate as I'm running low on solution and it doesn't really matter that much right now. 50% water change done

Plants
Ludwigia inclinata 'crystal' (crystal doesn't really mean anything as far as I can tell)
Staurogyne repens
Hydrocotyle tripartita 'japan'

Doing good so far. The aquasoil held everything in through the water change, didn't shift any. Quite impressed. Love that the ammonia built to only 2 over 24 hours and nitrite is showing already (I did cut a piece of my sponge filter in my 40b to seed this filter).

I'm contemplating just doing a betta and some Amano shrimp now, but I'm still up in the air. I honestly don't know if I can get my tds right (got my towns report and it's only 80). I'm still on day 2, I still have a long ways to go until I'm ready to stock this thing anyway I suppose I'll figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Forgot to put eleocharis pusilla down as one of the plants last night. So

Plants
Ludwigia inclinata 'crystal'
Staurogyne repens
Eleocharis pusilla
Hydrocotyl tripartita 'japan'

That's the full list.
 

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I love seeing progress, more pictures, more pictures! So, I learned this from watching videos, etc, if in the future you do not want to see the layer (it's just a matter of preference), you can have the darker layer further away from the glass, and then fill around it with the white sand and it'd look just one color.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I love seeing progress, more pictures, more pictures! So, I learned this from watching videos, etc, if in the future you do not want to see the layer (it's just a matter of preference), you can have the darker layer further away from the glass, and then fill around it with the white sand and it'd look just one color.
I don't mind the line, I actually kind of like it- it reminds me of the banks of the rivers in my area where the sand meets the trees- greatly appreciate the protip, though!! I'll definitely be posting more pictures 😉👍 this is my first new set up in almost 15 years so I'm excited to document it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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This is what I see from my pillow.

Day 3- ammonia 1, nitrite .5, didn't test nitrate tonight, will be doing that tomorrow night. Did a 60% change. I see roots starting on a runner on the eleocharis. Modern Aquarium's tissue cultures are really really good!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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Day 4
Ph- 6.0, but test doesn't go below 6.0
Ammo-.75
Nitrite- 5
Nitrate- 40
60% water change done. Started dosing lean (1/3 of recommended dose) Dennerle complete plant elixir. Parameters were checked before water change. I think the s. repens is growing but I'm not sure. I'll post a weekly comparison on day 7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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Day 5
Ph 6.0
Ammo .5
Nitrite between 1 and 2
Nitrate between 20 and 40
Readings taken before 60% water change

Found some API leaf zone (iron and potassium) so I'm using that instead of the dennerle plant elixir to avoid adding nitrogen until my cycle is done. Nothing really new to report. Everything is holding up well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Side note- starting photoperiod of 6 hours (4pm-10pm) 100% (no dimmer) 5W 6500k dennerle power led 5.0. about 8 inches from the surface. I do not have par meter. I'll be making my way to the closest decent lfs 2 hours away this Thursday and will most likely pick up a bunch of stuff and price out what it'll take for me to get regular shipments sent to my cousins as I live in an unincorporated township and as of covid times they have stopped shipments to my house. I have to pick up my mail at the closest post office 45 minutes away 😱 I'll see what they have for testing supplies and the like. I have the feeling I'm heading down the rabbit hole again lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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Day 6
Ammo between .25 and .5, nitrite between .25 and .5, nitrate between 0 and 5. Added plant elixir as my nitrates are low. Lost a few leaves on the Ludwigia but there's new growth so I'm not that concerned. No algae yet but plenty of biofilm adding up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
First night since set up that I haven't had a crazy amount of condensation on the glass cover. Don't know why it worked itself out, but apparently it did. I have a feeling with the piece of sponge from my 40b I may be almost done cycling... That thing was heavily seeded from a well (almost fully) stocked tank. If my parameters are settling in nicely and I level out at ammo and nitrites at 0 by tomorrow I will probably get a single spiny nerite snail. If the tank isn't ready and the snail doesn't do well I'll just throw it in the 40b until I've got everything under control, no biggie, I love nerites for this. I feel they'd be a good indicator of whether or not I could get other inverts to live.

Personal experience has told me I can keep red claw and fiddler crabs, all types of crawdad and any snail alive in my ntp tanks, I don't know why this leap into shrimp it's scaring the crap out of me. Maybe I'm just overthinking it too much. Maybe it's because I've never personally tried to combine inverts and high tech. I mean I don't even really consider this a high tech set up but I suppose with the lighting, bio CO2 set up and aquasoil it would be considered one. Should I be looking at it like that and not overthinking? I don't know.
 
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