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Discussion Starter · #321 · (Edited)
THE UGLY ANGEL

I have had this one since tiny. I've tried to mix with the other two but he always attacks.

I'm trying to integrate in the 75g tank. He fought with gold, now gold, other angels hiding. Now he's attacking keyholes.

Will he calm down, or is it a lost cause? Last time I tried to mix, I pulled him after a couple hours. I might leave him overnight but afraid he will kill the gold angel (who is stunning).
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I'd be too afraid to leave him lol I've had horrible endings to single nights of mixing cichlids, seems like they always choose to kill their tankmates in the middle of the night or whenever you're not there. Good luck with him, i think he's gorgeous!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #323 ·
I'd be too afraid to leave him lol I've had horrible endings to single nights of mixing cichlids, seems like they always choose to kill their tankmates in the middle of the night or whenever you're not there. Good luck with him, i think he's gorgeous!!
Thanks. I'll take him out. Not worth the risk. Even if they coexist, I like the gold out in the front of the tank, not hiding!
 

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Discussion Starter · #324 ·
Thanks. I'll take him out. Not worth the risk. Even if they coexist, I like the gold out in the front of the tank, not hiding!
Thanks. I'll take him out. Not worth the risk. Even if they coexist, I like the gold out in the front of the tank, not hiding!
I wanted a couple more angels in the 75. I wonder if I get another pair and grow them out in a 50g tank, can they then be added to the 75g main tank? I could put the marble angel in a 29g by himself with some cories.

Are they all crazy aggressive like the marble? The other two I believe are also male and haven't paired, but get along well enough.
 

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No, they aren't all like your marble, but there's always the risk with any larger bodied cichlid that they are going to throw a hissy fit and hurt their tankmates. Angels that I've kept (altum) have all been individuals and it took a couple months of trial and error to find trio that worked in my 90 gallon hex. I do wonder, though, if overstocking them might help displace aggression. I've never tried with angels before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #326 ·
Dick's Sporting Goods no longer refills paintball tanks, and in response the local homebrew shop jacked their prices to $18 for a 24oz fill !! So this has required I get a "real" CO2 setp. Found a 10# aluminum tank locally and a place to fill for $23. New regulator should be here today, fingers crossed.

Everything I put in the tank grows. Cant vouch for how "well" it grows, but I don't typically see nutrient deficiencies. The only problem is algae and more algae.

Below is a pic of the AR group I have growing. This was recovered from a small sprig that had gone into hibernation when I was running the tank on low light when I didn't have time to deal with maintenance. The leaves are a good size and its growing well, but just like the glass, lower leaves are covered with algae. I will use this plant as my barometer for success.

Now that I have the auto doser, and seeing good growth/pearling, I'm refocusing on basics. Now that I'm not constantly mixing and daily dosing ferts, I have more time to focus on other aspects. Namely, filtration and flow. (And plant choice)

This tank has two canisters, a hw304b and a 302. While they are rated at 525 and 265 gph respectively, videos show that SunSun filters have less flow. The 304b has measured 300gph, and the 302b probably around 150. So 450gph. On a system with 80 gallons that is only 5x turnover/hour. I should be aiming for 10x/hr from what I've read.

I have another old 302b that can be refurbished and put back into service. That would add another 150gph and additional bio media. Probably should just buy another 304b, or figure out an overflow/sump setup.

I also added a new set of sponge filters so hopefully that will do a better job of filtration.

The angel in the pic was a pandemic "rescue", starving in the LFS tank. Nice looking fish, but topped out at this smaller size. Another angel I bought later in the pandemic and raised exactly the same way has gotten quite a bit larger.

Tank has seven keyholes, two angels, two SAE. Two small feedings a day. I hesitate to feed less although I know that would cut down on organic waste.

I bought a sprig of Willow Hygro with the intent to eventually replace the swords in my tank. Hopefully it will become a fast growing and dense background plant.

TODO
- Add additional filtration for more bio and flow. Stay on top of cleaning. I think the reason the tank has algae is not enough filtration / flow. Look into replacing some of the lava rock with better media.

-Monitor new CO2/regulator system closely.

-Frequent filtration cleaning and media changes

-Purigen

-Grow out Willow Hygro or find another plant to replace the Amazon Swords. (They eventually get too big in a high tech tank and can't be trimmed to a smaller size.( Ive been replanting the plantlets that they throw off and restarting them every six months or so.)






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Discussion Starter · #327 ·
Here are some tank shots.

I just realized why everyone uses dark/black substrate! The reason is that many digital cameras can't cope with the contrast between a light substrate and darker background and plants. I personally think a light substrate looks better in person, but it requires a camera with a greater dynamic range. I can only get decent shots when I am up close and focused on specific plant groups (but then you see all the algae too!)

The two pics below are the same phone camera setting, you can see how it changes when I zoom out. Need a better camera.

The left hand side is generally how I want it to be. The right hand side, the amazon swords are not a good fit for this tank. They shade anything in the mid/foreground so makes it difficult for midground plants to grow. I want the hygro poly to form a hedge like it does on the left, but it wont grow backwards under the swords. The plan to fix this is to grow out the willow hygro and replace the swords. The keyhole cichlids use the dense plants as their home. When the light dim low, they all hide in the plants.

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Discussion Starter · #328 ·
BUBBLE MYSTERY SOLVED

I remember when I set up this tank and was having algae problems, and I told people I was seeing "3BPS", they thought that lack of CO2 was the culprit.

Not all bubbles are created equally.

When setting up the new regulator, I found that 3bps in the tiny bubble counter was very little CO2. When I checked against the tube in a bottle of water, 3 BPS is equal to uncountable bubbles in the tiny bubble counter.

So yes, all along I was getting good pH drop.
Nothing wrong with the pH test.
A 24oz paintball tank will last a good two months if set up correctly.

Whenever I've advised someone about how many BPS I am seeing, multiply that by ten.
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This is where that flow meter is good! You have a legit number/volume that's measured.

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Discussion Starter · #330 ·
This is where that flow meter is good! You have a legit number/volume that's measured.

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A real flow meter would probably be a good purchase, but being able to test the new regulator in the same way I tested the old one got me up to speed quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #332 ·
x2 on the flowmeter. Life changer for me. set it and forget it, kinda. Way more reliable than a bubble counter, and way less maintnance.
I just looked them up and its not clear to me what a flow meter does/works. Is it something that can be added to an existing regulator? Can it be installed remotely so that you can see flow?

Afaict, a flow meter works in similar fasion to bubble counter, except that it works in the range of flow that we use for large planted tanks.
 

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I just looked them up and its not clear to me what a flow meter does/works. Is it something that can be added to an existing regulator? Can it be installed remotely so that you can see flow?

Afaict, a flow meter works in similar fasion to bubble counter, except that it works in the range of flow that we use for large planted tanks.
Yes it can be added inline post regulator. That's where most of us have ours. We mainly use it to set a specific flow level. Vs trying to guess count BPS and as it seems you've found different bubble sizes make a difference too. I still have a bubble counter to use as just a visual indicator that things are working.

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Discussion Starter · #334 ·
Yes it can be added inline post regulator. That's where most of us have ours. We mainly use it to set a specific flow level. Vs trying to guess count BPS and as it seems you've found different bubble sizes make a difference too. I still have a bubble counter to use as just a visual indicator that things are working.

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The way I have been doing my tank, I set the flow to 3 BPS (with tube in a bottle of water). That is uncountable bubbles in the tiny bubble counter.

When I want more CO2, I scale it by making the ON intervals longer. Turn it on earlier in the morning, etc. That way, to calibrate my CO2, I just have to check that I am getting 3 BPS. These cheap single stage regulators dont have a lot of fine control, but once you get them dialed, they don't change IME.

Although it WOULD be nice to have a meter on the side of my tank so I can make a visual check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #335 ·
I just remembered I had this video. When I bought the angels they were tiny; about the size of a quarter. I had them in my 50g for the first month. After they grew to about the size of a silver dollar, I put them in the 75.

This is what happened.

I only had them in there for a couple days when I realized they were getting outcompeted for food, so I put them back in the 50g and grew them to their present size.

 

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Discussion Starter · #336 ·
The mystery of the missing neon.

I have four tanks. Main 75g, 50g on stand next to it, 29g below the 50g, and a temporary 10g set up on the floor.

The 10g has been set up for a couple months. I took the neons out of the 29g so I could temporarily put the bully angel in there.

The 10g has (had) FIVE neons. Its densely planted with VAL so I can't easily do a head count on the neons. However, over the past few weeks I've tried to count and only seen FOUR.

Today when looking in the 50g tank, I saw something suspicious and it was a dead neon! The only other inhabitants of this tank are a big angel, a handicapped keyhole cichlid (no swim bladder), and a handful of cories. Neon was not munched by the cichlids, looked like it had been dead for 1-2 weeks.

The neon couldn't have jumped from the floor 10g to the 55g tank.

I haven't netted anything from the 10g tank since I set it up. I did float some ambulia for a couple days, which went back in the 75g.

The 50g and 10g have WC on the same day. First I use pump to siphon 50% from the 50g. Then I siphon 30% from the 10g and 29g.

Then I refill tanks from a reservior. First the 50g, then the 29g, then the 10g.

AFAICT, the neon must have been sucked into the pump when I did the 10g water change. But what I cant figure out is how it got from the 10g to the 50g. Only explanation is that it got sucked through the pump when I was refilling the 50g, but that seems unlikely. The pump grate is smaller than a neon, and the small impeller would have either jammed or chopped up the neon.

Still puzzled on this one. Its almost as mysterious as the two nerite snails I had in a 50g with keyhole cichlids. Keyholes never expressed any interest in the snails. Assuming they killed the snails, I broke down the tank six months later and there was not a trace of either shell. If they had climed out, shells would have been found under stand when I broke it down. Cant imagine nerite shells would decompose over six months or less.

Does anyone else have any unexplained mysteries?
 

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The mystery of the missing neon.

I have four tanks. Main 75g, 50g on stand next to it, 29g below the 50g, and a temporary 10g set up on the floor.

The 10g has been set up for a couple months. I took the neons out of the 29g so I could temporarily put the bully angel in there.

The 10g has (had) FIVE neons. Its densely planted with VAL so I can't easily do a head count on the neons. However, over the past few weeks I've tried to count and only seen FOUR.

Today when looking in the 50g tank, I saw something suspicious and it was a dead neon! The only other inhabitants of this tank are a big angel, a handicapped keyhole cichlid (no swim bladder), and a handful of cories. Neon was not munched by the cichlids, looked like it had been dead for 1-2 weeks.

The neon couldn't have jumped from the floor 10g to the 55g tank.

I haven't netted anything from the 10g tank since I set it up. I did float some ambulia for a couple days, which went back in the 75g.

The 50g and 10g have WC on the same day. First I use pump to siphon 50% from the 50g. Then I siphon 30% from the 10g and 29g.

Then I refill tanks from a reservior. First the 50g, then the 29g, then the 10g.

AFAICT, the neon must have been sucked into the pump when I did the 10g water change. But what I cant figure out is how it got from the 10g to the 50g. Only explanation is that it got sucked through the pump when I was refilling the 50g, but that seems unlikely. The pump grate is smaller than a neon, and the small impeller would have either jammed or chopped up the neon.

Still puzzled on this one. Its almost as mysterious as the two nerite snails I had in a 50g with keyhole cichlids. Keyholes never expressed any interest in the snails. Assuming they killed the snails, I broke down the tank six months later and there was not a trace of either shell. If they had climed out, shells would have been found under stand when I broke it down. Cant imagine nerite shells would decompose over six months or less.

Does anyone else have any unexplained mysteries?
too many to count though some are eventually explained.
Like has some odd catfish (friend moving dumped odd collection of fish on me) that disappeared day 1 never to be seen again.
Since I had plenty of mystery disappearances (tanks have/had glass tops and on tank hoods no jumpers) no big deal.
2 years later it "showed up" never to be seen again. I know not soo mysterious on a heavily planted tank but just odd.
Oh and as above seems I can dump 5 fish in but only 4 get counted days later.
no bodies.. nothing.

I do know the bladder snails will digest them though.
My latest goes like this.. Bought 3 orange guppy males.
One did the usual next day... gone
One was fine for about a week then... dead
Soo went to petco told then the story (including apparently they miscounted some zebras which I didn't notice at first).
Decided to replace the orange males w/ 2 asst. females.
Figured I re-start my guppy orgy and refugee camp.
Well next day.. only 1 female..one ..... gone.
SOP for me I guess.

One still here and the left over pair seems quite happy.

Reminds me to try to count my Columbian tetras.. Should be 5, bet there are only 4.. ;)
And clip my jungle down.

As to traveling fish or snails.. nope..
 

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Discussion Starter · #338 ·
New things to look at.

Limnophilia Hipporidides. Not in great condition. Stems really tough, leaves shedding. I think this was probably grown emmersed and in the LFS tank a few weeks. Chance of survival, low. Very low. I should have learned my lesson to not buy plants in this state.

Hygro Araguaia. This looks like one of those fast growing plants that is impossible to kill. Looking for something dense and fast growing to replace the swords. This has a silvery look, so it contrasts the other things in the tank.

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Discussion Starter · #339 ·
Came home and found the 75g tank water was an inch lower and the carpet in front of tank pretty wet.

Inside of stand is wet, search for the culprit and (thankfully) its the SunSun 302b filter I just installed a month ago, and not the tank.

The previous 302b I had installed, the coupling mechanism was on its last leg. I replaced with an identical filter. I had the old 302 running on another tank to test it out and noticed wetness, so assumed it was leaking, but now I'm not sure if one or both of them are leaking.

Looks like I have some plumbing to do. This is not a good time for this.

If I can't get the 302b to work without a leak, I will have to put the Griggs reactor on its own pump to keep the CO2 flowing.

What would be the most elegant way to run a griggs reactor without a canister? Is there any way to avoid having an in-tank pump? I could temporarily use my water change pump, but long term I don't want anything that large inside the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #340 ·
Sunsun me once, shame on me....

Week ago, ordered a second 304b to put on the tank, arrived yesterday. Plan was for symmetrical 304+304 and 302 (low flow) for CO2.

Coincidentally, another pool of water on the floor today when I get home. Turns out the replacement 302b is leaking. The original 302 did something similar a month ago.

So I am ripping everything apart, kneeling in soggy carpet. Not fun.

Install the new SunSun 304b, for a symmetrical flow, and this thing is jet powered, like a hose. 2-3x the flow of the other 304b.

I don't remember the original 304b with this much power. I've got it aimed back at the glass and lots of stems are leaning over. Same media as the other one.

Which leads me to believe the original 304b is not a real 304b. I never thought it was 525gph. Frankly, I wasn't really sure it was half that. It might be a mislabelled 303.

302b - Enough to run the CO2.
Old 304b - Twice that or more.
New 304b- Twice that again.

So.. besides the leaking.. you never know what you are getting with SunSun.

I have been running the tank these past three years on underpowered filters. If it turns out the additional filtration cures my algae woes, then that is three years lost to underperforming equipment. Sure I saved $100-200 bucks, but its just not worth it.
 
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