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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Current photo:


March 2015:


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Hey everyone,

I'm looking for some advice on a tank I just set up, a 10g with a few fish and plants that were scavenged from previous tanks. It's only my second planted tank (the first was one of the ones I took the stuff from) and I want to keep the hardware fairly minimal. So... here's what I got:



Plants:
corkscrew vals
Cryptocorynes (wendtii and spiralis)
Anubias nana
dwarf sagittaria

Fish:
Krib (one grumpy dude)
Australian Rainbowfish (the only egg-layer fry I've ever successfully raised)
Upside-down catfish (Synodontis sp.)

Setup:
10 gal tank
2.5 inches of 4mm gravel
7000k led lighting
Finnex PX-360 filter (brand spankin' new)

I got the canister filter to replace a little overhanging one because I figured my bioload was pretty high and the increased flow would help keep the cyanobacteria down. However, I'm thinking about adding some other fish to help keep the Krib from beating up the rainbow fish, maybe some zebra danios or rosy barbs.

I also want to get more Crypts and Sags to fill in the foreground, so this tank is very much a work in progress. Stay tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Well, a week ago I got some more plants, a few assorted crypts (I have no idea what species), some Bacopa caroliniana, and what I think is another Sagittaria of some sort.


So here's what it looks like.

I'm trying to dose with liquid ferts and flourish excel, and I'm getting mixed results. The Vals are exploding; they're growing several inches a week and sending out lots of runners. Most of the crypts are sending up new leaves, but they're a bit slower. The Bacopa isn't doing too much yet, but I'm still waiting for it to establish itself. My biggest concern is the cyanobacteria which is coming in strong. I'm afraid it's sucking up all the ferts, and it's getting all over the leafy plants. :icon_frow

Still, the tank has only been set up for two weeks now, and I'm going to get more plants this week. I think some Wisteria might do well, and I'll see if they have any snails (mystery or MTS) to help keep things chugging.

See you later!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·


Tank's taking a nap for the weekend- the BGA got really bad and I'm sick of it. Dr. Dpod prescribed a 5 day black-out and Erythromycin, and hopefully it'll be nice and clean when it's done.

I added some narrow leaf java fern (Microsorum pteropus) before the lights went out, but considering it had been in petsmart stasis gel for who-knows-how-long, I'm betting it'll be fine on Tuesday when things go back to normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My little friends

For the fun of it, here's the oddballs that live in here

The Krib


The Aussie Rainbow


The upside down syno hangs out in its' cave most of the day, but it's an ugly bugger anyways. :red_mouth

Good news: the treatment worked great. I'm sure that I'll be fighting other algaes soon, but there's no more cyanobacteria and it's fantastic.

I'm going to add more plants soon, so I'll add a pic of the whole tank after that. Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, today I got a whole bunch of plants (Thanks tobinkinz!) and filled in some of the space. It meant pulling up 3/4 of the spiral vals, but that's no big loss considering how fast they grow back.

Whole tank:


Left side- whole bunch of new C. undulata


Right side- Ludwigia repens, Hygrophila difformis, and some more C. undulata


I'll post more pics after everything has had a chance to perk up, but I'm pretty happy so far. I added root tabs and have been dosing with liquid ferts, and I think it's working. The krib still beats up the rainbow, though :(

Bump: So now (with the recent additions) I present the current, significantly expanded, list of plants in the box:

Anubias barteri "Nana"
Cryptocoryne spiralis
C. undulata
C. wendtii
C. unknown- under the category of "assorted crypts" at the lfs
Hygrophila difformis (water wisteria)
Ludwigia repens
Microsorum pteropus (java fern)
Sagittaria subulata (dwarf sag)
Vallisneria asiatica var. biwaenis (spiral vals)

A few more than when I started the tank a month ago :hihi:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's always nice to see stuff growing!


here's the tank after I cleaned it today:


nice to see the stems on the right growing in!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
New line-up!



There were big changes in the tank over the last few days: new inhabitants! The Krib went to the LFS to be re-homed, and instead I've now added 7 neon tetras. They're a lot prettier than the krib, who was honestly a complete grouch, and now all the tank's inhabitants are far happier and less... bitten. My mystery snails are crawling all over the place and the rainbow is no longer hiding in the corners. Plus, I got a huge bunch of Bacopa caroliniana because the guy at the LFS wanted to get rid of it. So now, the background is all filled in, and everything seems to be doing well.

Just as an observation, it seems that 7 neons in a 10 gal is what it takes to keep them happy and schooling in the open :) I got six at first and they were skittish and hiding, even while feeding. One died overnight :)icon_frow) but I got two as replacements, and now they're all schooling up front near the glass and playing in the current. As soon as the school found the two newbies, they ran out to play!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Very nice. I am normally not a flower pot fan as far as ascetics, but I love yours!
Thanks! I don't think it looks too bad, but now that I got rid of the krib I think I'm going to try and replace it with some driftwood. It was only in there so he would have a nice cave.
 

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Thanks! I don't think it looks too bad, but now that I got rid of the krib I think I'm going to try and replace it with some driftwood. It was only in there so he would have a nice cave.
Driftwood is great too! I look forward to see what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Mixed bag after a vacation

Came back after a week visiting my parents, and the tank's in a state :confused1:

Good news: I got some new Anubias, so now in addition to my nana I have A. coffeefolia, hastifolia, and a sp. "stardust". They each have a nice niche in the new driftwood. There's also some scraps of Subwassertang that I'm hoping take off and fill in the area in front of the driftwood. Finally, the Bacopa is doing great and the ends are turning a bit pink.

New Anubias and driftwood


Snails on the Bacopa


Bad news: While I was gone, the algae took over :help:. My gf fed the fish, but not the plants, and now there's gsa and bba growing on everything. Before I left all I had were some diatoms and gda to feed my snails. I got some H2O2 to treat it, and I'm considering either doing the 1-2 punch or trying to take all the livestock out, drain the water, and spray everything with the h2o2.


In either case, I need to figure out why my wisteria is melting. I'm guessing it's a nutrient issue, but everything else in the tank is doing fine (besides the algae woes). I'm also considering replacing it with water sprite or Brazilian pennywort. It's great contrast with the Ludwigia sp "red" behind it, but if it isn't growing well it'll have to go :(


Oh well. At least the fish are happy :icon_roll
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Messed around some more

I can't keep my hands out of the tank! Between the algae and my Bacopa melting and getting devoured by the snails, things weren't looking so good. I totally rescaped the tank and added some Cabomba, hoping that it grows well and helps suck up nutrients. Here's it now:


Some other gritty details:
All plants were removed and the gravel was sloped (forgot to do that first time I set it up)
Added O+ capsules when I re-did it.
One of the mystery crypt species is doing great, but I have no idea which type it is. It's throwing up runners and making me happy :)
A neon tetra died :(
The Wisteria is continuing its slow decline/melt. If it doesn't rebound, I'll move the Ludwigia forward and to the right, and put the Cabomba behind it. Right now the Cabomba is in front of the Vals, which didn't take the rescape very well. I give them a week before they get back to their incessant, vigorous expansion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Another update



Not too much to note this time around, just figured it was time for an update. My Anubias seem to be stabilizing; I've got new leaves on both the A. coffeefolia and stardust. The Ludwigia sp. "red" isn't staying too colorful, but at least it's growing a bit. Same with the Bacopa and Cabomba. At the very least, I'm happy with the couple of crypts that are putting out runners :)
More Crypts for the jungle!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
major changes

Greeting TPTers,

It's been a while, hasn't it. Like, months. Several months.

In the meantime, things have evolved a bit both inside and outside the tank. I got a new job and moved to my own apartment. Things seem to be going well, besides the general lack of furniture in here. The tank is also getting overhauled: no longer is it a small box of big fish, but a peaceful community of appropriately sized critters. I finally decided that the rainbow and catfish needed to be re-homed (it's hard to give up your babies), and today got four otos to take their place. After a little more than an hour, three of the four have headed off into the jungle, eating their way through. They're skinny little things though, so I hope they pull through :icon_neut



The plants, well, they're doing all right. The Ludwigia 'red' hit the gas and has finally started growing quickly, yet my anubias are valiantly holding on in the face of major melt-down. The crypts of all varieties, particularly C. undulata and C. spiralis, are doing great and sending out runners. However the Bacopa caroliniana isn't doing much, the cabomba is slowly disappearing, and the java ferns seem to have caught some sort of gall-producing infection. I've had to stop dosing excel to save the Vals from melting to nothing, and since then they've started to bounce back. Finally, I got some extra pennywort from my brother when he was setting up his tank over Christmas and I'm trying to grow it emersed in the hob. So far, half has melted but the rest seems poised to explode in happiness.

As you can see from the picture, there's a lot of algae in the tank. It's a veritable smorgasbord with a little bit of everything, but I'm hoping that just means that my otos have plenty to munch on. I'm guessing that a lower bioload will help a bit, and the otos should help the mystery snails pick up the slack. They're pretty, but honestly, they gotta work harder for their keep :icon_mad:

Here's two of the lil' cuties


With things settling out, I should be able to update more often. I've been dreaming about upgrading to a 20g long, but we'll see. If I did, I think I'd bring the neon school up to 12 and add a few black mollies. Oh well, we all need goals in life :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, I was wondering when the magical overnight cleaning was going to happen, but I forgot that otos need really good water. I checked my parameters for the first time in a while, and I was a bit surprised in how far out of bounds they were:

pH: 6.4
ammonia: between 0 and 0.25 ppm, I'm guessing around 0.1 ppm
Nitrites: 0 ppm (phew!)
Nitrates: between 40 and 80 ppm, apparently ~50 ppm
phosphates: between 2.0 and 5.0 ppm, probably around 3 ppm
72 degrees F



As the nitrate test is a pain in the rear to read, I made a 1/5 dilution of tank water with tap water and tested the tap as well. Since it's just about 0 ppm coming out of the tap, and the dilution read maybe a little under 10 ppm, I'm guessing that the tank is at 50 ppm. Which is, especially for otos, waaaaay to high. Time to do some water changes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, either the long-overdue water change made a difference or it just took a few days for the otos to settle in, and now they've plumped up and are getting a little more comfortable with my big face staring at them every now and then. The tank is definitely looking a bit more polished than it used to.
 
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