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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so I started over from my last attempt.

New light... I was far less worried about layout and was rather more interested to see if I could just get plants to grow.

Using a paintball tank with a small co2 diffuser, a zoomed filter with ada soil and powersoil, and pfertz macros and micros.

Here's pictures for the last 2 months on a weekly basis. I started emersed and filled after about a month.

7/12, 7/19, FILLED 8/3, 8/13, 8/20

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
8/24, 8/30, 9/3 (filter change)

I've been just doing kind of random macro+micro squirts every other day. I do 1 squirt P, 1 squirt N, 2 squirts K, 1 squirt Micro... and then maybe a little bit of excel carbon every couple days.

My main problem is those crypts are kind of melting... any solution?

I have no fish or shrimps in the tank... my only algae control is 24/7 co2 and water changes.

Will shrimp survive with Pfertz micros?
 

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It looks like you're off to a great start!

What's the huge plant in the back center? It doesn't look aquatic to me...

EDIT: Yes, shrimp will survive when you dose ferts, just as long as you don't overdose.

And yes, Crypts melting when you first introduce it to your tank is normal.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
These are the plants I purchased and put in the tank:

2 of : Cryptocoryne wendtii green
1 of : HEMIANTHUS CALLITRICHOIDES
1 of : Lobelia cardinalis small form <--- it's this one... but the one in the center keeps growing and growing.... I don't think it's the "small form". It's the same as the one directly to the right.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
9/7 ... two new ottos. I had to add a bunch of calcium + mag + baking soda to control the PH swings with CO2. Portland, OR water registers a 0 on KH & GH.
 

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Your water seems to be cloudy:eek: Try putting some Purigen in the filter, that always helps to clean up tank conditions.
 

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Why is your heater like half way out of the water? I think you need some livestock, looking good! I also thought that middle plant was not aquatic but it sure looks like it's growing great.
 

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that plant in the back kind of looks like L. Cuba in its emersed form. I purchased some like this, and when it transforms into the aquatic type it is beautiful
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Heater Halfway out b/c I snapped one of the brackets and I can balance it at that position. Plus I figure it doesn't matter b/c the coils are at the bottom anyway.

All I know is that that middle plant is supposed to be the same as the plant to its right. The leaves outside the tank are extremely red.

I'll have to pick up some purigen... is it expensive?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
9/12 after a water change.

I noticed that middle plant has decided to stop growing OUT of the tank and has bent itself to get back in the water. Weird. Normal?

Also, I posted a pic of the closeup of half the tank's HC. The right side grows great... the left side grows like this... should I be worried about death? Opinions on how to make it nicer?

I'm looking forward to starting over at some point with an actual hardscape... now that I know it's possible!

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Why is your heater like half way out of the water? I think you need some livestock, looking good! I also thought that middle plant was not aquatic but it sure looks like it's growing great.
I thought about this... but if the tank only has about 2.5 gals of water, and I already have two otto's ... what else can I really put in the tank safely?

I think it would be cool to have a small school of tiny fish... but can the tank really support it?
 

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I thought about this... but if the tank only has about 2.5 gals of water, and I already have two otto's ... what else can I really put in the tank safely?

I think it would be cool to have a small school of tiny fish... but can the tank really support it?
I have had a 2.5g (with plants but no CO2) going for about a year and a half now. The entire time it has supported 7 green neons and 2 otos (I have had a few otos I had to replace however). At one time I had all that plus 10 Crystal Red Shrimp. Now the shrimp are gone (I think from natural causes as they were large to begin with). As of today I have upped the oto count to 7 (in part to take care of ongoing excess algae).

I am not saying go hog wild or anything, but I have clearly seen that with a weekly water change of about 33%, a 2.5g can support a lot more than people will lead you to believe. The key is small fish and avoiding overfeeding at all costs. Hope this helps.

Great looking tank by the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Grant: Thanks! I'll definitely think about getting maybe 4 extra small tetras. I just worry about tons of waste in the tank. It'd be nice to have something that would eat the dead plant too.

The HC is looking MUCH better now that the ottos figured out they could bury themselves in it and eat all the glorious algae that was growing on the leaves and sand.

Otherwise, nothing has changed.
 

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Thanks for the compliment.

I used way too much soil. I put powersand underneath, then a layer of normal ada aquasoil, then I crushed up a bunch of normal ADA into a powder to do a top layer.

The front is 2" and the back is 3". I really should have planned a hardscape, but I just wanted to see if I could actually make something grow this time around after two prior failures.

I cut that big plant in the middle... I only have one tank, and now that I have two fish I can't really figure out what I can do to improve this one. Maybe plant some grass in the middle and back?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Not a whole lot has changed. I can't seem to completely control the string type algae on the HC. The otto's won't eat it. Ideas? Shrimp?

Also, there's a weird kind of grass or root or something growing in the back around the right hand side crypt. I put a closeup the best I could. Anybody know what this might be?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I guess I feel silly updating this tank b/c nothing is really new.

Filter change? Whoopie!

The fish are happy... the ottos school all over the glass all day long and eat eat eat.

My bag of purigen broke and it's leaking baby bits into the sponge filter inside the canister. I don't want to drop $10 and reopen that damn canister right now... anybody have problems with purigen leaking into the tank?
 

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I've read several reports of the basic Purigen bag leaking after some time. You can try out The Bag by Seachem:
http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/TheBag.html

That's the only solution I've seen unless you want to keep trying the regular bags that 100ml of Purigen comes in.
 
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