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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Added small lights under my cabinet today. I chose these little battery powered fluorescents so that I would add more cords. I think battery should be fine since I will only need them on for a few minutes at a time. Building Wood Fixture Interior design Window
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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Here's the tank after a pretty big trim. I was getting some BBA on the anubiases (plural anubias?), so I moved them to shadier spots. The riccia balls are doing great, but I really need to trim them. Plant Leaf Organism Natural landscape Terrestrial plant
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I like the idea of dwarf hydrocotyle. I have never had that before, though. Do you think it would be hard to keep from mixing too much with the HC? It's still pretty sparse, but there is an HC carpet forming.
 

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It is a fast grower, but just do some regular trimming of where you want it to end, and re-plant the trimmings. You really can't kill this plant, and I like how it looks. You can check out how I use it in my 55.

Also, it is not really too invasive, I would be more worried about it mixing with stems, HC should be fine it it is low enough
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Angelfish Spawning!

Well, the two angels in my tank have paired up and spawned! Here are some picks of the Anubias Frazeri that they have made into a nursery. I don't know if this batch is fertile, and if it is, I may try to move the leaf into my 29 gallon hospital tank to try to raise the fry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Cool idea, that elatine triandra looks nice. My Rotala is growing really low and bushy in the front, and this looks similar but even lower. I read a little about it, and it looks like it's a stem, but will also spread? Do you just let it spread, or do you replant the trimming like a stem plant?

BTW, nice tank! looks like a similar basic driftwood structure as mine. One problem I am having is that BBA seems to love the upper bare branches that are exposed to lots of light . . . I am still working on the CO2 levels, which might help.
 

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Cool idea, that elatine triandra looks nice. My Rotala is growing really low and bushy in the front, and this looks similar but even lower. I read a little about it, and it looks like it's a stem, but will also spread? Do you just let it spread, or do you replant the trimming like a stem plant?

BTW, nice tank! looks like a similar basic driftwood structure as mine. One problem I am having is that BBA seems to love the upper bare branches that are exposed to lots of light . . . I am still working on the CO2 levels, which might help.
It will grow like most carpet plants, spread out along the substrate via runners.

Spot dose the bba with excel (i find it works better than h202)with the filters off, let it sit for 20 min. It should turn the bba a red/grey color within 6 hours or so, which is then easier to remove.

I seem to always get a few patches of b.b.a on wood in a new tank, as your plants are growing, the tank has a higher c02 demand than say a month ago, so this causes a drop in c02 levels and can induce algae, especially b.b.a as it likes fluctuating c02 levels. So stay on top of the c02, increase it slowly as your tank fills in more densely. make sure you have plenty of surface ripple, and attack the algae as you see it before it spreads.

edit, another idea on the bba. The way your outflow is setup, the flow is broken up between the heater and the c02 reactor. C02 becomes harder to dissolve as the ppm rises, so when the tank has say 30ppm, c02 is going to be harder to dissolve than say at 10ppm. This will create a larger pocket of air in the reactor later in the c02 schedule, which will also create more back pressure and push more water toward the heater, so this is probably creating a large variation is the amount of water being driven through the reactor, in turn creating a fluctuation in c02, which bba loves.
 

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Your tank is looking great. Are you still happy with the manifold setup for your equipment?

I am going to build mine this weekend. I keep putting it off. I think for pipe size I will go with 1/2 to save on cost and room in the stand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Hi Marc! Yeah, still happy with the manifold. No problems at all.

I did notice decreased flow a while back, but the cause was pretty obvious when I opened the filter: the polishing pad I had added was completely clogged with gunk. I replaced it this time, but I know I will get tired replacing it often, so eventually I will just add more bio media. I think the coarse pads that go around the media baskets of the FX5 are probably plenty of mechanical filtration. My water has been super clear, though, so maybe the polishing pad is worth the extra maintenance.

I am glad you are going to build a manifold; Post pics when you do! I don't know why more people don't use plumbing like this. I think people are worried about plumbing things in parallel. So far it works for me, and you can be guinea pig number two!
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Did a major trim, and cleared out some of the stem plants in the front. It really helped the sense of depth of the tank, although that is hard to show in pictures. Now I just need to choose some mid-ground plants to fill in the edges of the valley. Still considering the suggestions above--thanks again.

The riccia rocks are doing great, and I have added a few more from the trimmings. Man that stuff grows fast! Plant Plant community Leaf Botany Wood
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Hi Marc! Yeah, still happy with the manifold. No problems at all.

I did notice decreased flow a while back, but the cause was pretty obvious when I opened the filter: the polishing pad I had added was completely clogged with gunk. I replaced it this time, but I know I will get tired replacing it often, so eventually I will just add more bio media. I think the coarse pads that go around the media baskets of the FX5 are probably plenty of mechanical filtration. My water has been super clear, though, so maybe the polishing pad is worth the extra maintenance.

I am glad you are going to build a manifold; Post pics when you do! I don't know why more people don't use plumbing like this. I think people are worried about plumbing things in parallel. So far it works for me, and you can be guinea pig number two!
Thanks for the info. Yeah I hope to get it built this weekend.

Did you use 1 inch vinyl from canister to the manifold, then to the tank? I was going to order some black vinyl from marinedepot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Yes, 1" vinyl from canister to manifold, but I used the stock ribbed tubing to go from the manifold to the tank. It already has a rubber connector that fits on a 1" hose barb. That way you can use the stock fx5 tubing for both the inflow and outflow from the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Update: HC is really filling in. I have had some BBA issues, but I think I think it is receding now. I spot dosed H2O2, and also increased my co2, and I think it's working. I had to trim the alternanthera reinekii pretty aggressively, but its a pretty fast grower so I should be able to replant the stems soon. Right now there are some scraggly stems showing where I had to trim leaves that had BBA.

Still haven't decided on a mid ground plant to replace the stems in the front corners with. I want to wait until the BBA is gone before I change anything.

The angelfish spawned again, using an Anubia leaf again. Several eggs have already turned opaque, though, so I don't think these eggs are fertile. The parents are doing a great job fanning and guarding them, though. Plant Water Vegetation Pet supply Wood
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