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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
FTS:
Dec 2020


Feb 2020


So I finally have my 55g tank scaped! It's been running for about two months now, and seems to be settling in well.

Dec 2019

It's currently stocked as follows:
8 Paracheirodon axelrodi
2 Corydoras trilineatus
1 unidentified Corydoras sp. (was sold from the LFS as Corydoras trilineatus, but it's clearly not)
100+ Neocaridina davidi

Added Oct 2020:
6 Corydoras sterbai
5 Apistogramma hongsloi
4 Corydoras paleatus "Longfin"

...and some pond snails that I've decided to live with. If I don't overfeed, their population stays relatively low.


Here's the plant list (so far):
Echinodorus osiris
Echinodorus cordifolius
Echinodorus vesuvius
Echinodorus bleheri
Echinodorus 'Barthii'
Microsorum pteropus
Sagittaria subulata
Vallisneria spiralis
Lobelia cardinalis
Cryptocoryne wendtii
Cryptocoryne walkeri
Fissidens fontanus
Bucephalandra


Lighting
Fluval 3.0

Filter
Cascade 1000

Heat
Finnex 300w titanium heater w/ Inkbird temp controller

Substrate
Pool filter sand + safe-t-sorb

Ferts
N and K are provided by the bioload for now, with occasional dosing for trace + P. I'm planning to switch to PPS when I get CO2 going.

All of the hardscape (wood/rocks) were collected from my backyard. Branches are either maple or birch from trees in the yard.

I have gathered all of the equipment to convert to CO2, but I'm happy with how the tank is doing, so I'm going to hold off on setting it up for now.





 

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Discussion Starter #2
I ordered the corys and the tetras from The Wet Spot in Portland, OR. They shipped overnight to Vermont! And all arrived alive and very healthy. I ordered from TWS because they had the best selection of corydoras that I could find online, and very reasonable prices. I'm very happy with the order! Would definitely recommend them to others. Here are videos of when the fish first arrived.

https://i.imgur.com/4zlYl0p.mp4

https://i.imgur.com/pm7ok90.mp4



Also, here is a picture of the mystery corydoras. I did not get this guy from The Wet Spot, he came with 5 trilineatus from the LFS. Any ideas what sp. this is?



 

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Discussion Starter #4
So I still haven't gotten the CO2 system setup. I was finally able to track down all of the misc hardware that I needed, but haven't had the time to assemble it yet. However, growth has been steady in spite of this. I also finally got a magnetic cleaner (Tunze Care Long) and a scraper from Bulk Reef Supply, so the tank glass got a cleaning and I took some newer pictures! [unfortunately my phone camera isn't very good]

Here are the left and right sides of the tank:




Some close-up Cory pics:








The cardinals are camera shy, so it's been hard for me to get a decent picture of them:


And the RCS are breeding prolifically in the tank without any trouble, which I was both mildly surprised and very happy about! [I'm not so happy about the hair algae that is in the moss nearest my lights, hopefully CO2 will help with this]
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's been a while since I've updated. I added some new fish, the lighting was right to keep glare to a minimum, (and I cleaned the glass!) so I figured it was a good time to snap some pictures.

I won some fish from the local auction. Due to Covid, we ended up bidding online and meeting in a parking lot (with masks) to exchange fish. One of our members setup the bidding site, and also was awesome enough to drive 3 hours to and from MA (from Burlington, VT) so that MA folks could participate in the auction as well. All of the lots I won ended up coming from MA, so that worked out well for me.

I added:
6 Corydoras sterbai
5 Apistogramma hongsloi
4 Corydoras paleatus "Longfin"

I also have decided to hold-off on setting up the CO2 system, even though I now have all of the components. The tank has been doing quite well without it, so why complicate things? At some point, I'm sure I'll get bored and want to do a full or partial rescape, and I figure I can add it in then.

However, I am experimenting with turning the tank into a blackwater tank. I setup an RODI system recently for a nano-reef tank I'm planning, so I've decided to starting mixing in RODI water on the water changes for this tank, as well as adding in leaves to try to lower pH and TDS. I'm aiming for ~6.5 and 2-4 dkh, my tap comes out at 7.4, with 7 dkh. I've added some leaves from the Northern Oak into the tank, but it doesn't stain the water very much. I may experiment with adding some maple leaves as well.

Here are some pictures:












 
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