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Discussion Starter · #101 ·
This leaves me, in the 10 gallon, with the following stock list:

1 Dwarf Puffer
3 Otocinclus
5 Neon Tetra
Just another quick (and somewhat surprising) update for my 10 gallon. My last remaining puffer is M.I.A. and, after over a week of wondering if he was maybe just hiding, I would have to say he is confirmed dead. He must have jumped, I'm guessing, and been snapped up by my cat or dogs. I have torn the tank apart (as much as I dared) and there is literally zero trace that I can find in or around the aquarium.

I semi-frequently fed frozen bloodworms, and occaisionally saw the puffer eat them, but I think it's pretty telling that less than 2 weeks after the disappearance of my last cherry shrimp that my puffer called it quits. I'd imagine he was likely surviving on shrimp fry and adults over the past few months, explaining the steady population decline and eventual decimation of my cherries. Strange, as I never ever saw him even nip at another fish or shrimp (just snails), but it's hard to argue with the evidence...


This means my current 10g stock list is now as follows:

3 Otocinclus
5 Neon Tetra


The plants are all filling in nicely (I'll post some updated pictures later tonight or tomorrow) and the scape is slowly evolving as usual, but now that I am puffer-less I am a bit more excited to re-stock this tank! The neons can go back into the community tank, if necessary, and the otos are pretty much compatible with anything, so I've been day dreaming a bit lately lol

Is there anything interesting I could plan to house in this tank?

It/they have to be small enough to remain in a 10-11g (I plan to upgrade, eventually, to a Mr. Aqua 11.4), be plant-safe, ideally I prefer a small group (rather than a single centerpiece fish) and not common jumpers (for obvious reasons). Bright(ish) lights and high-CO2 are also factors.

I could just stick with the neons and maybe even add a few more? Or I could just go shrimp-only (keep or remove the neons/otos?) or maybe just add a nice looking betta? I have always liked pygmy cories, but never housed them, or I'd even consider some interesting snails. I'm really just looking for ideas right now.


If you had an empty, but well cycled, medium-tech 10g planted aquarium and could stock it with anything at all, what would you have?? Inspire me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #102 ·
No stocking ideas, guys? :sleep:


Quick question for the day: I'm going to be making some upgrades over the next week or two, primarily to the height/intesity of the lighting on my 10g. But I could use a few opinions to help sway my decision.

Currently, the stand that it sits on it raised with 4-5" risers in order to reduce the distance between the single Current USA Sat+ light and the substrate. Coverage is ok, but intesisty is lacking. My carpet plants are growing and spreading, but not as compact as I'd like to see. My goal is to shorten the risers to lower the stand and subsequently gain about 3" of further separation between the light and the water surface (for looks, but also to make it easier for maintenance). Obviously, this will further reduce PAR at the substrate (but greatly improve the overall look, I hope), so lighting upgrades will be necessary!


OPTION 1: Up until a few days ago, my plan was to buy a second Current USA Sat+ (and cable splitter) which would increase PAR enough to accomodate the raised lighting (I believe) and improve spread/coverage front-to-back. I could easily add it in to my existing setup (using the same ramp timer/remote w/ a splitter) and Bob's your uncle. Where I live in Canada, it's not very easy or cheap to get anything like this (honestly), but I can score a second 18" Sat+ and splitter for ~$160 CAN shipped from Dr. Foster and Smith or Marine Depot (are there any other known cost-effective options for Canadians?)

OPTION 2: However, I just noticed that there's a new contender: the new E-Series light from Ecoxotic, which I understand is Current USA's "sister" company, seems to be exactly what I'm looking for in a single lamp. Apparently, with this new light, I'd be looking at 70-80+ full spectrum PAR at the substrate (even @ 15-16"), 120 degree lenses, an integrated timer w/ 24 hr customizable lighting schedule, etc. Looks like I can get an 18" version of this light for around $225 CAN shipped. Obviously more expensive, but it would also leave me with an un-used Sat+ w/ ramp timer that I could either sell (unlikely) or use to start another nano for my office (more likely), so it seems like a reasonable option.


The one real question I have is regarding the 24 hour programmable timer with the new E-Series light. It makes it seem like it will accomodate "random" weather effects (passing clouds, tropical storms, etc.) but can anyone confirm if these are only "on-demand" effects (like the Sat+) or can they actually be programed to happen randomly (or even planned) through-out the 24 hour schedule?? This isn't a make-or-break option, but it certainly make it more "fun".

So... should I add a second Current USA Sat+ or should I spend the extra $70ish go for the new E-Series light from Ecoxotic?? I'm super torn. Help me.
 

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Looking good!

Ive been wanting to try some shrimp, so if it was me I'd probably do that. Im not sure about their compatibility with your current stock or anything though. A bunch of male Enders would look good in that tank, and Pigmy Cories, yes.

That E-series light sure looks sweet. I'd go w/that bad boy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #104 ·
Looking good!

Ive been wanting to try some shrimp, so if it was me I'd probably do that. Im not sure about their compatibility with your current stock or anything though. A bunch of male Enders would look good in that tank, and Pigmy Cories, yes.

That E-series light sure looks sweet. I'd go w/that bad boy.
I haven't had ANY luck so far with shrimp so, aside from going shrimp-only, I don't think I'd try again. Shrimp-only (or with just the otos, maybe) is still a total possibility, but some small group of interesting fish seems less prone to failure. I'll have to check out endlers (totally new to me), but I do love me some pygmy cories!

As for the light, it really seems great! But if I can accomplish pretty much the same thing (PAR intensity-wise) with just a second, much cheaper, Sat+, am I being crazy to upgrade to the Ecoxotic for the hope of random weather effects?! (when I know it's probably just on-demand like the Sat+)
 

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Discussion Starter · #105 ·
Not sure if anyone is following this at all, but here's a quick update!

I have had a super busy last few weeks containing 2 funerals, 2 weddings and a week away at our cottage and, as a result, all of my tanks got a bit neglected.

I hate when that happens and it's crazy how quickly a planted tank can start to look terrible when the CO2 runs out and/or the water change and fert schedule isn't kept up, but I managed to turn things back around with a few hours of trimming and cleaning when I got home.

My 33g community was less affected, fortunately. All that it really needed was a recharge of my CO2 system and a massive trim to bring it back to life. I still need to clean the filter and give the glass a wipe down but, once I do (probably tonight), I will take some updated pics. It's coming along nicely!

As for my 10g - it was looking pretty hard when I got home from my week away. The CO2 had run out completely and I didn't fertilize or change the water for almost 2 weeks. The grasses were overgrown (but healthy) and just needed a trim, but the glosso took a pretty big hit. Roughly half of it melted away and the rest started growing pretty leggy. I moved the big clump of dwarf saggitaria from the 10g over to the 33g, just because I wasn't liking how it looked, then I trimmed and replanted the remaining glosso, recharged the CO2 and gave everything a good scrub and now I'm just waiting for everything to recover and fill back in. It should bounce back pretty quickly, I believe, as I've finally upgraded the lighting!


I ended up just buying a second Current USA Satellite + and have already installed it into my canopy. I still plan to build shorter risers to lower the stand (thus raising the light) by 3", but I likely won't get around to that until I pull all my tools out this weekend at best.


My lighting schedule in the 10g is now as follows:
12:30pm - Background accent light begins 15 minute ramp up.
12:45pm - Main Sat+ (on full spectrum "yellow" setting) begins 15 minute ramp up.
2:00pm - Second Sat+ (on dynamic rolling clouds setting) turns on.
9:00pm - Second Sat+ turns off.
9:50pm - Moonlighting turns on.
10:00pm - Main Sat+ begins 15 minute ramp down.
10:15pm - Background accent light begins 15 minute ramp down.
12:00am - Moonlighting turns off.


So, basically, my total "viewing time" is from 1pm to 10pm (9 hours) with a mid-day burst from 2pm to 9pm (7 hours) and half hour sunrise/sunsets on either end. I may have to reduce these times if algae becomes an issue but, for now, it seems to be working great!

I'll post pictures tonight or later this week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #107 ·
Let us know how the 2xSat+ fixtures work out. I run 2 as well. I vote CPD's for stocking idea. I got some with my neon tetras and I love them. Great looking fish.
I will! From what I can tell, 2 Sat+ fixtures seems to do quite well (assuming they're not too high off the substrate).

After I lower the stand, my lights will sit between 13-14" from the lowest point of my substrate so, as far as I can tell from my research, that should be just about perfect.

I'm still not sure about the stocking. I'm slightly leaning towards moving the neon tetras back to the community tank, going shrimp-only, and trying my hand at higher grade cherry shrimp again - but I haven't had much luck with inverts, so that concerns me. I don't think I've ever seen CPDs at any of my LFS, but they do seem really interesting. I'm still torn.

Once I get all of my stand modifications and little upgrades completed I'll focus more on the livestock. I'd still love to hear any other ideas y'all might have!
 

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Discussion Starter · #108 ·
Sorry for the delay.

I had a good maintenance day yesterday and got everything caught back up for all of my tanks.

I managed to build and install some new risers on the stand for my 10g. It lowered it a little over 2" from where it was previous (effectively raising the light the same amount). I like it SO much better! I am much more easily able to trim and maintain the tank with more space to get my hand in there (without pulling the whole stand out from the wall, like I was before) - plus I think it looks much nicer. The total height from the lights to the lowest point of the substrate is now a hair over 13".

I'm hoping this new setup will be enough to grow back my glosso. It's only early, but things are looking good so far. I'm optimistic that it should all (hopefully) take off from here!

I'm down to only small tweaks here and there but, I would have to say, that my initial build plan is now 100% complete for my DIY 10 Gallon. All of my original ideas (as well as lots of other new designs) have been turned into reality and, from here on, it's just time to sit back and grow some plants! Whew.



I will post an update of the 33 gallon shortly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #110 ·
I was asked the following question in one of my other threads for my 33 gallon community tank:
Could you post your fauna stock list?
Now that I've merged all 3 of my tanks into this single journal, in the interest of keeping everything together, I decided to post the reply here.

My 33 gallon community tank is pretty much a "catch all" for any fish that I end up with, so it is very over-stocked with some species that shouldn't technically "work" together, but I haven't added anything or lost any fish in over a year now (aside from a few hitch-hiking fish that came with plants, but I'll explain more below), so it seems to be working.

My current stock list as of 07/07/2014 is as follows:

Rosy tetra - 2
Dwarf flame gourami - 1
Sunset platy - 2
Stream catfish? - 1 (unknown hitch-hiker)
Cory catfish - 5
Red eye tetra - 11
Neon tetra - 1 (supposed to be moved to my 10g, but I can't catch it)
Betta (male) - 1
Chinese algae eater - 3 (purchased to combat BBA spike, haven't removed them yet - might transfer to cichlid tank eventually?)
Clown Pleco - 1
Guppy - 2 (both hitch-hikers from different plant purchases)

Total - 30 fish

As mentioned, I do plan to eventually move the neon over to the 10g, the CAEs to the 55g and the guppies and my unknown catfish are just unintentional inhabitants.

The unknown catfish is really neat, but I never properly ID'd it. It's small, still after a year even - maybe 3" or so - and it buries itself in the sand completely during the day. No idea how big it might get or what it is, but it's a cool and elusive fish that it's fun to search for (and always a shock to see). The guppies came in different bags as very, very tiny fry and have grown into nearly mature male and female guppies. I'm sure these will eventually be an issue with the betta (or that they'll start breeding like crazy - or both), but for now they're still kicking!



Lastly, here is a quick video that I took last night showing all 3 of my tanks:
 

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Discussion Starter · #113 ·
I want to see the catfish!
I have some pictures from when I first discovered it in a bag of plants (after 3 days on the road) that I'll upload and post shortly. I very rarely catch it out before the lights go out, but I did once have it jab me with it's barbel thing when I inadvertently tried to plant hair grass on top of him lol

Maybe someone here can finally identify the little bugger!

Nice tanks dude! All you need now is a shrimp tank and a reef!
Thanks! I want a shrimp tank terribly, but I've tried and failed a half a dozen times. I just tried again and added 8 nice looking cherry reds to my 10g with a 4 hour drip acclimation and water as perfect as I can manage (400ish TDS generally, only due to EI dosing, and high levels of CO2 being my only areas of concern). I've lost all but 3 as of less than a week later. I just find them upside down or keeled over. No clue why. It's my only persistent failure so far in this hobby and it's bugging the [email protected]&# out of me!

But a reef would be pretty awesome! If it weren't for the fear of additional maintenance (and a promise to my wife that I wouldn't get more tanks until we get a bigger place lol) I would start one tonight haha
 

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Hey, great thread!


I was just checking out your plant IDs and whoever helped you did a great job, they are all correct as far as I can tell -- except one.

Number 10, your moss. Thats not java moss. Looks to be a taxiphyllum species such as taiwan, peacock, giant, or spiky.



Also loving the plantless cichlid tank. Iv considered doing a plantless angel tank, the thought of only having to do water changes and feedings are very tempting! If I go that route I would do a bunch of manzy sticks throughout the whole aquarium, that way if I really feel the need to add plants I can just wrap the sticks in moss.


Keep up the good work and keep sharing with us :icon_smil
 

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Haha glad to see I'm not the only one who's using that style of bottle cap co2 system!!!! Sweet tanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #116 ·
I want to see the catfish!
Here are some pictures that I took of it last August when it hitch-hiked it's way into my tank. As best as I can tell, it is a "Indawgyi stream catfish (Akysis prashadi)" as seen here: http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/akysis-prashadi/

Pretty neat fish, for sure!






Haha glad to see I'm not the only one who's using that style of bottle cap co2 system!!!! Sweet tanks!!
Yep, they work great! Coming up on almost 2 years using them, I believe. It took me a while to work out a reasonable maintenance routine, but I think the results I've gotten make it totally viable (low cost) alternative to pressurized CO2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #118 ·
Hey, great thread!


I was just checking out your plant IDs and whoever helped you did a great job, they are all correct as far as I can tell -- except one.

Number 10, your moss. Thats not java moss. Looks to be a taxiphyllum species such as taiwan, peacock, giant, or spiky.



Also loving the plantless cichlid tank. Iv considered doing a plantless angel tank, the thought of only having to do water changes and feedings are very tempting! If I go that route I would do a bunch of manzy sticks throughout the whole aquarium, that way if I really feel the need to add plants I can just wrap the sticks in moss.


Keep up the good work and keep sharing with us :icon_smil
I somehow didn't even see this post my first time around.

There was some question about the moss, due to the way it crept over everything instead of growing vertically. I suspected it wasn't java, but I have never tried to properly ID it. I still have a couple plants without 100% identification in my 10g, so maybe I'll post those up with some better pics of my moss and see what you experts have to say.

My cichlid tank is a dream compared to the other two (maintenance-wise). I literally just scrape the glass and do a 50% water change every Sunday (I do the other two weekly for EI dosing or else I'd probably only do every 2-3 weeks on the 55g), clean the filters every 3-4 weeks and top up the evaporated water every few days. It stays looking perfect and I never have to scoop dead leaves off the surface or out of the filter (or worry about ferts, co2, aeration, flow, substrate, lighting, photoperiod, growth, trimming, etc.etc.). It's a nice break, but if I didn't like heavy-maintenance planted tanks I would be on this forum :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #119 ·
That is one cool cat! That's a pretty lucky (for you) hitchhiker, I would say. I bet not many people have them. Of course, since he buries in the sand, probably hard to show off. :D
Very hard, but always neat when he pops out to say hello!

I'll literally not see it for months, assume it has kicked the bucket, only to see it come flying out of it's hiding spot at feeding time some random night. Last sighting was only a day or 2 ago. From what I can tell (assuming it is ID'd correctly) it doesn't get any bigger than it is now, so I should be able to keep him in the 33g. That was my main concern when I first saw it... that I might endup with a 24" monster in a year or two lol
 

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Awesome tanks and phenomenal tech support system. Your dedication and patience is amazing! Thanks for sharing your wonderful aqua journey. Really cool to see another Bluenoser on the forum! Good luck and keep posting !!!
 
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