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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Redid my 20 gallon high today; replaced blue gravel with a 50/50 mix of black Floramax and original Fluorite. I'm really happy with the mix of grain sizes. I took out the plaster decorations and put in mopani wood, and added one new plant. Kept all the other plants/livestock (Nana/lava found a new home in my betta tank a while back) and hoping to get some (snowball shrimp?) for it. Will probably add moss if I can get some for cheap locally or a RAOK. Haven't seen any locally lately.

I have been so happy with the new setup, just seeing something that looks "natural" is a nice relief.

As always, please critique, let me know what you think! Thanks.

Before (forgot to get a current pic before teardown, so it looked a little different, plant-wise):


Dry:


Fish & water:


Still Cloudy:


Corys rooting around, and a peeping Bolivian:
 

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It seems like your tank is going through a cycle, since more or less you set up a new tank. I would advise, with these parameters, to take the fish out since all of these parameters are pretty detrimental to the inhabitants. At least do HUGE water changes, which obviously slows down the cycle, but your nitrogen parameters are all problematic. Also, your pH is basic, which converts ammonium to the much more toxic ammonia (loss of a proton) which also impacts your fish. As long as the parameters are this high, I would strongly suggest taking the fish out and letting the tank cycle. Put them in another container and change the water there daily. If you have no container get 2 5 gal buckets at home depot, put an airstone and heater (depending on your outside temp) in one and use the other one to age water. Then put the fish in the one with the heater and air stone and make sure to change the water daily. Regardless, you will put your animals through a bunch of stress so maybe come up with a way to reduce that!
 

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It seems like your tank is going through a cycle.
I ditto that.

I am thinking that adding more stem plants and floating plants, thus doing a silent cycle.l Rex Griggs talks more about it. Also do water changes and vacuum the gravel daily.

The Bolivian is the most sensitive of the fish you have to toxins. I would put him in a tank or bowl by himself with some moss or floating plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Current Look, 3/30/14

Packed up and moved to Utah, tank has been up a month and a half! Didn't lose any fish in the move; my Bolivian passed about a month after I got here, and strangly, I found one of the albino cats on the floor a couple days ago... Don't know how he managed to jump out :(


I added a school of rummy noses about 3 weeks ago, all are doing well. Current fish stocking:
4 Harlequin Rasboras, 1 Espei
5 Neon Tetras
5 Rummynose Tetras
4 Bronze Corys (2 regular, 2 albino)
2 Otos
1 Blue German Ram
6(?) Ghost Shrimp

I never used to understand the great appeal of crypts... Now I have them in all my tanks :D 3 different kinds.

BBA on the anubias and some of the wendtii leaves; also not sure if the water looks tinted from algae, tannins, or because the floaters filter the light from the hidden LED. I've ordered purigen so hopefully that will help out.

Dosing API CO2 Booster, lighting is hidden LED for now, also have a stock Marineland LED that isn't on right now (trying to work out the BBA issue). I will probably decrease the amout of time light is on and bring the intensity back up so the dwarf sag doesn't grow so tall.
 

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