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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after many years of aquarium maintenance, breeding and propagating plants I'm done with high tech plant only tanks and completely undecorated single species breeding tanks occupying every single inch of floor and wall space of all 3 floors of my house. The only 2 tanks I take responsibility for in my house from here on out will be this 40B planted community tank and my 20G "garbage can" tank for plant clippings to propagate so I can sell or use them.

This tank has been running for a long time but this particular set up is only 5 months old, started stocking about 2 months ago. I'm still getting used to low tech planting so I'm battling algae and getting used to liquid fert dosing. I just rescaped yesterday to move the anubias into more shaded areas and got rid of the ones that died (rhizomes turned to mush). I'm tempted to DIY a CO2 unit but I'm going to try API CO2 boost for now.

Set up
2 fluval internal filters (floss and sponge only)
1 aqueon adjustable heater
1 large sponge filter
Aqueon (?) Dual ballast light running TropicSun T8 and 1 off brand 6500K T8- I will be getting a finnex 24/7+ planted 36" next Friday (I'll probably need to DIY pressurized CO2, huh?)

Substrate
1" laterite/ planted substrate that I forgot the name of mix
2" gravel (yea, I know I can't grow runners- tell that to my clover's, though)

Stock
10 rummynose
8 cardinals
8 oto
6 spotted cory cats
Currently removing guppies everyday, big mama n little mama are gone so I'm hoping to make them all disappear sooner rather than later so I can add rams.

Plants
Narrow leaf java fern
Random tangle of various java mosses
Crypts
Aponongoton
Dwarf anubias
Unknown sword plant
4 leaf clover
(No clue the exact types of crypts, aponongoton, mosses or sword because they came from the garbage can tank and were tangled together)
Plant Pet supply Fish supply Organism Grass
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Rando pic of my turtles in their tub
Liquid Tableware Fluid Frog True toad

I like the pots. There's a tank on here somewhere that also used bricks as scape. I could see them working well with the pots.
I like that idea, I have bricks in the turtle tanks, maybe I'll just borrow a couple. Hmm... I have to give it a little bit cuz I just rescaped a couple days ago... I'll be coming up with ideas... Thank you for the inspiration!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
:LOL::ROFLMAO::LOL::ROFLMAO: so I got concerned because my rummynoses started huddling in a corner mid column... This happened right after I fed them. They stayed huddled tight wriggling amongst themselves.... Then it happened- a gravid female took off like a bat out of h e double hockey sticks with 4 males chasing her... Guess they just really liked the food ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Got my finnex a week early.... I am definitely going need to cut the brightness back, but I'm enjoying watching the fish colors for now.... I sense a trio down algae bloom road soon 😂 I'm probably going to diy a sugar/ yeast CO2 supply until I can get a decent not too high tech but reliable pressurized unit.... Cheese n rice- I just freaking downsized n now I'm back at it again...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Soooooooo... I let the finnex do it's thing- ramp up, wind down.... This is day 1 but I'm beginning to think my prior algae problem may have been lack of lighting to certain areas. The algae on my aponongeton and higher placed fern are disappearing. Though my anubias is looking a bit sad. I think I'm going to replace them.... This tank may wind up being a crypt heavy feature. I want to fill the back wall with tall plants, maybe filling the center with more aponongeton in the middle and swords to the sides. I honestly don't think I'm going to need a pressurized CO2 unit if I can keep just these low maintenance plants. I guess I'll keep an eye on it cuz everything could change tomorrow...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Turned down blue and white on the finnex, turned on the old ballast. The old growth on the aponongeton used to be covered in algae and was going to be removed next weekend when I did my pruning. The new growth was not a full looking before. I'm showing it all, good, bad or ugly lol Plant Houseplant Botany Terrestrial plant Grass
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So I'm monitoring algae and I'm pleasantly surprised that it's actually only building up on my bogwood and old clay pots, the new ones seem unaffected. The algae on my plants is starting to disappear other than 1 of my anubias. It hasn't been a week yet so my fingers are crossed. I do not want to have to get a CO2 unit. My goal was to get back to basics, not build a high tech showcase. Ah the joys of experimentation!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
A week into having the finnex and running it with the presets. As expected algae is getting pretty ridiculous. I was surprised my java fern and anubias were dying. Couldn't figure it out. Everything in my inert substrate was doing fine but everything attached to wood or rock was starting to wither.... And then I remembered iron. My tap water is actually pretty decent- no ammo, no trite, no trate, gh 2 ph 6.5- 6.8 my water has no iron either. Slowly dosing up to .1 for iron and will keep up with changes.

I took out my otos (except for 2 that wouldn't be caught and were fat anyway) because they stopped eating. My parameters have not changed, nothing has changed (0 ammo, 0 trite, 15-20 trate, 2 gh, 6.5 ph). The only thing I noticed was the rummynose started nipping them when they were swimming with them. I lost 1 and rehomed the other 5 that were suffering. I added 2 nerite snails in their place. They seem to be doing very well. My stock now stands at 10 rummynose, 8 cardinals, 8 spotted cory, 2 oto, 2 nerite.

Before having my epiphany about iron I ripped a bunch of java fern out of the tank and decided I was going to go with a crypt based tank. I'm planning on letting the crypts take over where the clovers are because I am not impressed at how they are growing in. It looks like a star because of where I put the root tabs and it doesn't look natural at all. I'm leaving the ferns and anubias I have in there now. I've been doing a lot of water changes and have switched to excel, flourish and flourish iron combo along with flourish tabs. I'm going to give this a shot. My bogwood is starting to degrade and I may have to replace it. I'm going to clean my filters next weekend because I planted 6 clumps of crypt lucens, though I suspect there's more than just lucens in there. I'll scrub my bogwood and do a 50% change.

I'm going play around with my lights a bit after that. I'm just going to take it slow and play the algae game for a couple months at least. I remember when this would be the most frustrating thing in the world to me.... Now it's actually fun. My fish now aren't stressed, my parameters are perfect, it's been cycled a few times over and algae and shedding bogwood are my biggest concerns. I'll post a picture at some point soon. I've been doing 25% water changes per day because I've been working on vacuuming up as much of the bogwood sheddings as I can because that's been growing algae very quick and it's spreading to my gravel that it falls on.

Hoping someday to add rams still, but really not worried about it for now. Ah I love algae 😂 at least I know my tank is healthy. I'll find the balance soon enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Had another aha moment.... Wound up figuring out the real reason my otos were upset.... One of my filters clogged up and wasn't circulating at all. I noticed my rummynoses acting weird pecking at the filter and remembered that they can't peck at the filter, the output is too high... There was a whole bunch of plant debris stuck in there from when I was ripping java fern off my bogwood. Anyone else noticing a trend with the bogwood? I should have left the dang thing alone and tested my water.... I'd like to say lesson learned, but we all know it's not... It's just one of those things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Finished cleaning my filters, stuck some hornwort in the back. I'm cleaning algae all the time now lol. Will be adjusting intensity of lighting next weekend. Figured I've been slacking with the pics. Pardon the fogginess I just did a 50% change and added bb and ferts.
Plant Water Vertebrate Nature Organism
Plant Water Vertebrate Nature Organism
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Soooooo, you're shoulder deep into an algae cleaning the other daaaaaaaay..... (Kudos if anybody is actually reading my babble and understands that reference- Lord knows I love entertaining myself). I'm not sure if moderators get grumpy over airing of personal grievances in tank diaries or not but I suppose I'll find out.

In the middle of an algae cleaning of the 40g I get a phone call from one of my old clients... Apparently the girl I left my old business to when I retired mismanaged, fired employees and tried to turn it into a one man show, got sick and ran a 25 year old business into the ground in a little over a year.

10 minutes later I received a text from another former client. Another call, another text, 10 emails..... She's gone, cashed out, took the money and ran. I tried to get in touch with her to grab some more crypts and her number is disconnected, drove by her house and it's vacant with for sale signs in the yard.

This is my life.... I've been cleaning tanks for 2 days straight... I'm not getting paid either, all of them pre-paid for the year.... Let this be a cautionary tale.... Even your childhood friends can double cross you... I'm working on coming up with referrals and refunds but this is ridiculous... This will set me back a lot on actually doing anything hobby wise for a little bit.

:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
 
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