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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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May 16th, 2021 ^^^^


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NEW!! Fat Guy is back!l 20g UNS 60P

Last seen here when I was living in NYC five years ago. Reestablished in LA now. Different water out here that's for sure. Introducing my children to planted aquariums. I picked up a UNS 60p 20g from Bob’s Tropical fish in East LA. Amazing store. This is an amazing size Aquarium. It's 2 inches deeper than the ADA 60p which that store carries as well. And the glass (to me) is just as clear. I also stumbled upon some great stones on my travels around LA and started arranging an Iwagumi scape.



The main rock is huge and works well in this aquarium because of its depth.




Just the beginning here. It's simple and the goal is low tech. Starting off with some Staurgoyne Repens and some Java Fern that I had from an old Fulval Edge. Two Amano shrimp, a nerite snail and one cpd from an old tank. Gonna stock it in a week. Any suggestions? I like Harlequin Rasboras but they seem like they may get a little big and throw off the scale of the rocks. Maybe 10-15 emerald eye tetras??




I’m essentially using all of my old stuff from my Mini M and Edge Tank. Hence all the filters I have running. Using the established bacteria colonies to bypass cycling of the tank and some of the old water from the cycled tanks.



10% Water Changes every day for now.

Here are the stats:

Tank: 20g UNS 60p
Filter: Random- Eheim 2211, Aquaclear 20 HOB, Sponge Filter
CO2: 10lbs Pressurized
Substrate: Aquasoil
Flora: Staurgoyne Repens and Java Fern
Fauna: 1 CPD; 2 Amanos; 1 Nerite Snail
Lighting:
24” Beam Works LED w/dimmer (cheap yet amazing) for $38.

Will start dosing once the s. repens starts to establish itself.

Thanks for looking. Hello again to those who remember me on here and hello to those who have stumbled across this thread.

Catfish added outside of tank.


-el gordo
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Picked up a dimmer from Beamworks today that is compatible with my light. It works great for the price. I can control the intensity of both the white and blue LEDS and it also works as a timer.



I've got the setup down to:

12p-6p co2
1p-7p lighting 100% 6500K 10% blue
8p-12a blue moonlight



I don't mind the sponge filter in the corner for now. I'm just trying to get as much bacterial filtration going before I add either Harlequin Rasboras or Emerald Eye Tetras or Rummy Nose Tetras...not sure yet. Anybody out there have experience with these in their 20g planted setup?



Recently purchased dome Blyxa Japonica, bacopa colorata and aromatica mini from Maryland Guppy here on this forum.

Looking forward to adding on to the scape. The S. Repens is doing great.

Thanks for looking.

-el gordo
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pride Rock with Vids!!

Update for this week. I should probably just start my own blog, but I've been using Planted Tank to document my progress in the hobby and to share it with others.



Added 17 Cardinal Tetras and moved the CPD to my friend's tank. These fish are so beautiful together.

I purchased plants from a member on this forum and when they arrived they were in terrible shape. They were slimy and translucent.I floated them in my tank hoping that they would rebound and in one day I had green spot algae and hair algae on the plants that were sent.The old me would have hoped for the best and waited to see if they rebounded.But after many years in the hobby I knew these plants were melting and creating world of problems so I took them out and threw them away.It'll probably be the last time I buy plants on this forum.I'm sure that when they were clipped they were in good condition, but they were shipped in a box with no insulation and I think that's what caused them to go into shock.They were shipped cross country to the Southwest here and probably sat on a hot truck in transit for too long.[censored] So I pretty much paid for an algae bloom. Live and learn.

On the positive side I did have a chance to visit my favorite LFS here in LA and picked up some healthier plants.
Added:Bacopa Colorata; Cryptocoryne Crispatula; Cryptocoryne wendtii Kompakt; Brazillian Pennywort.

My Java Fern and S. Repens are doing great!
Also went to Home Depot and got some 1/2" tubing for my lily pipes so I could get the Eheim 2211 to sit on the floor. The tubing works great and fitted it on my CalAqua Lily Pipes from six yeas ago.
One of the best investments for this tank has been the dimmer from Beamworks. I'm running these LEDs at half the intensity and have the blue lights come on at night at 1/10th the intensity. It's nice to have control over the light intensity as the plants in this tank are very low maintenance.Want to get them growing slow and steady.The light is like a gas pedal, so I'm laying off of it to keep things in balance.



For anybody who is interested in this journal here are some vids.I pushed the rock on the left down a bit further into the substrate to balance out the layout more effectively.I can watch these fish for hours.


nighttime cardinal tetras!!

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Fat Guy's Pride Rock Cardinal Paradise

Guess this journal is exclusive to me. Dear me, I’m in the process of dialing in my CO2. Have a skimmer on the way. Now that the cardinals have acclimated I’ve removed the sponge filter. Having a small hair algae issue that occurred when I put melting plants in my tank. Removed them after a day but they wreaked havoc on my water. Adjusting the CO2 and have been increasing gaseous exchange. KH 4.1 pH 7.8 out of tap. ph 6.8 after CO2. Dosing Thrive twice a week. LED light is at 6/10 the power. Plants pearling like mad. All the crypts are pearling too. Going to Airgas tomorrow to swap a new CO2 tank. I’ve had my 5lbs CO2 tanks since 2010. It’s been a while. Yikes! Also switched all my tubing to CO2 tubing. Installed a bubble counter and 2 check valves just to be safe. Running the atomizer in line on the Eheim outflow. The fluval 30 HOB with the extra media and sponges crammed in along with my Eheim canister filter are packing a mean punch for filtration. Looking forward to the skimmer tomorrow for optimum gaseous exchange. I love this tank’s’ dimensions. These cardinal tetras are insane. Dear me, welcome back to the hobby. A lot has changed and evolved for the good since 2003. Mas later. -el g
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Dear Me,

Everything is going great. The only issue has been a slow battle with hair algae that appeared from my own negligence and stupidity. I've been dosing Thrive and spot treating the hair algae with hydrogen peroxide daily after a water change. Added another Amano Shrimp as well. Pushed up the CO2 and added a surface skimmer to the HOB Filter and it works great. Have great gaseous exchange happening in the water. Trimmed off some old leaves of the s. repens that had too much hair algae and removed a couple java ferns. Traded those ferns in at Total Fish & Pets in Alhambra for the Amano Shrimp. Awesome awesome local store near me. Raised the light an inch off the glass. Going to a plastic supply store in Burbank today to put together my own DIY of an acrylic bracket to raise the light another couple of inches from the surface. The Beamworks light is great but these lights sit too close to the surface and the spread of light is too intense on the rock in my tank. Just lifting it a few inches off of the surface has already made a world of difference. Tank is doing great though. Dear me, I'll post a pic of the lighting mod once I finish it. Very happy with the progress so far. Mas Later, el g.



tetras feeding to music

 

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Hey Fat Guy! Add another viewer to your journal!. I love the scape. That stone is dramatic and perfectly sized for the tank. Will be following along as this develops and you do battle with the algae invaders!
 

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Fat Guy did you contact the member that sold you the plants ? Seems everyone on here is honest in their dealings , at least give them a chance to make it right .
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey Fat Guy! Add another viewer to your journal!. I love the scape. That stone is dramatic and perfectly sized for the tank. Will be following along as this develops and you do battle with the algae invaders!
Hey Thanks!! I love how the stone and the scape work together. Feel like I'm getting a hold of the algae. Haven't noticed any new hair algae as of now. Been spot treating and upping the co2 and it seems to be working. (knock on wood). Thanks again! :grin2:

Bump:
Fat Guy did you contact the member that sold you the plants ? Seems everyone on here is honest in their dealings , at least give them a chance to make it right .
I sure did. In the end after a couple back and forths with the seller, I accepted the loss and moved on with no resolution. I just threw the plants away and ate the $25. I've been on this forum for a long long while. These things happen. My new LFS here sells the same plants for half the price. Lesson learned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
New Acrylic DIY LED Brackets

Dear Me,

I went to Plastic Depot in Burbank yesterday and had some acrylic rectangles cut at 3/8". I then glued them together and made custom risers for my BeamWorks LED light to raise the light higher from the water's surface. I feel like these LEDs are great and even though I have a dimmer for the light I still find it to be too intense and not evenly distributed. So I raised it about 5" total off of the water which opens the tank up more and disperses the light better. Super happy with the outcome. It's not the sleekest DIY however, it wasn't that expensive to modify considering how cheap this light was. I spent about $30 on materials (almost the price of the light to do this) but am satisfied with the outcome.

The cut materials:



Lining them up, gluing them and setting them. Acrylic glue is no joke.



Installed on the tank:





If I could do the DIY again it would be to practice getting the air bubbles out of the acrylic pieces when they are sandwiched together. I was short on time but the pieces all trued up and support the light extremely well. I thought about putting shelving brackets in first and then having the light rest over the tank. But I think the outcome of this looks cleaner and I didn't have to put any holes in the wall.



Thanks for looking.

Mas Later, -el g
 

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Hey Fat Guy! Just stumbled upon this thread..love your tank/scape! I'm very intrigued by your DIY light brackets, too. I have tons of acrylic sheet lying around, and the acrylic cement, too, and have always wanted to make my own light risers. I haven't had a chance to figure out just how to custom make them for my lights and tanks...all of my tanks have the plastic rims at the top, which always complicates fitting anything to them! Any tips on making custom risers? Anyway, just wanted to tell you that your scape is really eye-catching!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey Fat Guy! Just stumbled upon this thread..love your tank/scape! I'm very intrigued by your DIY light brackets, too. I have tons of acrylic sheet lying around, and the acrylic cement, too, and have always wanted to make my own light risers. I haven't had a chance to figure out just how to custom make them for my lights and tanks...all of my tanks have the plastic rims at the top, which always complicates fitting anything to them! Any tips on making custom risers? Anyway, just wanted to tell you that your scape is really eye-catching!
Hey Thanks!!

As for the brackets I spent a lot of time staring at the tank and trying different scenarios with wood before I settled on the design I came up with. Not sure about what to do with the plastic rim. You could do something similar maybe with 3/4" acrylic rods. I thought about using rods but settled on this design. There is a little space between the glass and riser on the inside of the aquarium. If they were too flush with the side, water would leak over the top and onto the floor, traveling up the riser. So whatever you decide on building make sure there is enough of a gap between the riser and the glass on the inside of the aquarium to prevent this from happening. Thanks again!! -Fat Guy

Bump:

Bump: Dear Me,

I've been missing my Amano Shrimp for the past two days. I cleaned out the hang on back filter today and when I pulled the media out guess what I found? The shrimp. They had climbed over the skimmer that I added and then went down the pipe and into the filter. Kind of amazed how they made it through. Have no clue really how they survived. I was thinking that my water params were messed up when they went missing. It was serendipitous that I found them today. I cut out a small foam circle and it now sits in the intake of the skimmer preventing any future shrimp exploration.

Took a vid of the side of the tank. This tank is 14" deep and 14" high so there is a lot of room to play with and for the fish to swim. The side view is just as interesting to me as the front view. Things are pearling like mad.

Mas Later, el g.
 

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Subscribed to this thread :)

I have to say that rock as the center piece is beautiful, do you know what kind and where did you buy it from? This'll be my inspiration for my next tank
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I'm jealous! Simple scape, makes the aquarium look huge. Is it smaller on the outside?
Hey Thanks!! I'm really liking this layout as well. It's a 20g tank that has equal depth and height so has a bigger footprint than the ada 60p. I think that really helps when arranging the rock and the plants and makes the setup feel bigger all together.

Subscribed to this thread :)

I have to say that rock as the center piece is beautiful, do you know what kind and where did you buy it from? This'll be my inspiration for my next tank
Hey thanks so much. I'm not sure what rock this is exactly. Looks a lot like ryuoh stone. I purchased it from a local nursery here in SoCal. The nursery has a special section where they sell super high end bonsai trees. I saw some of these rocks laying around and got really excited about adding them to my tank. There were some even bigger pieces that I debated about purchasing but went with this arraignment. There are actually little caves and tunnels in the main rock that the fish can swim through. It's also resting on its own so I didn't have to prop it up on any other pieces to create any extreme angles. Makes cleaning the rock a whole lot easier and if I bump it with my hand when I clean the glass it doesn't budge.

Thanks again!

Dear Me,

I'm contemplating adding an acrylic top to the tank. I have a feline friend that likes to jump up and drink from the tank at night. There have been three cardinals that have been spooked by the cat and went airborne.

Mas Later,

El G.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Dear Me,

Here's a quick snap of one of the cardinals. I've had a few jumpers in the beginning after my cat wanted to get a closer look but that has subsided. I've added a piece of foam to the intake of the skimmer to keep the shrimp from getting sucked in.

I've had some curled leaf growth from my bacopa. Extremely hard water out here where I live. Lots of calcium but little magnesium. So I added magnesium sulphate (about 3/4 tsp) to the tank and will see if that has any effect. I've noticed some darker veining on the s. repens and some lighter color between the veins. Tested the nitrates with the basic API kit. Have over 20ppm (or whatever shade of red that it is). At first I thought maybe a nutrient deficiency. I think in the beginning that my plants had a nutrient deficiency before ferts when it was just water changes. I think what I am looking at with the curved leaves is from that but am not sure. The Bacopa is shooting out other branches nicely now. Trying to dial in a good balance between the light, co2 and ferts. I'll test the nitrate count again tonight to see if there was a change. So far so good. running the light at a little more than half the intensity and the plants are pearling. Things are looking better. The aqua clear 20 on the back is a nice combo with the eheim classic. It does a nice job moving the water and allowing gaseous exchange.

Thanks for looking.

Mas Later,

Fat Guy

 

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Hey Thanks!! I'm really liking this layout as well. It's a 20g tank that has equal depth and height so has a bigger footprint than the ada 60p. I think that really helps when arranging the rock and the plants and makes the setup feel bigger all together.



Hey thanks so much. I'm not sure what rock this is exactly. Looks a lot like ryuoh stone. I purchased it from a local nursery here in SoCal. The nursery has a special section where they sell super high end bonsai trees. I saw some of these rocks laying around and got really excited about adding them to my tank. There were some even bigger pieces that I debated about purchasing but went with this arraignment. There are actually little caves and tunnels in the main rock that the fish can swim through. It's also resting on its own so I didn't have to prop it up on any other pieces to create any extreme angles. Makes cleaning the rock a whole lot easier and if I bump it with my hand when I clean the glass it doesn't budge.

Thanks again!

Dear Me,

I'm contemplating adding an acrylic top to the tank. I have a feline friend that likes to jump up and drink from the tank at night. There have been three cardinals that have been spooked by the cat and went airborne.

Mas Later,

El G.
Thank you for the info, I'll keep on the lookout for the stones
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you for the info, I'll keep on the lookout for the stones
You're welcome. It's really great when you find a place that sells the stones that you are looking for. You can purchase them online but you never really know what you are going to get.

Nice write up! How has your co2 dial in been going?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Hey Thanks! I've upped the CO2 a bunch and that has really made the plants happy. I haven't noticed any new growth of hair algae. I spot treated with hydrogen peroxide for 3-4 days and that seemed to have really helped.

Dear Me,

I added 5 pygmy corys 2 amano shrimp and 4 more cardinals. The corys are a lot of fun to watch. I especially like when they dart to the surface to take a breath and then zoom back down. A really cool addition to the tank.

I'm letting the bacopa grow out more and establish it's roots before I trim it and replant some of it. The only issue I'm having with it is from the curling of a couple leaves at the top. Some of the leaves are getting quite large on those stems that have the curled leaves. Did a 50% water change yesterday after noticing that some amanos found their way into the filter through the side of the skimmer. I have since modified the skimmer with a piece of fine foam from the filter guard for the fluval 20 HOB. So far so good. Added 8 ml of Thrive to the tank over two days to get the Nitrates up and everything looks legit. I've added 3/4 of a tsp of magnesium sulfate after every large weekly water change. Really enjoying the tank and the fish so far. Hoping that I don't have to add an acrylic top to the tank now that the cardinals seem to be more acclimated to their planted environment.

Mas Later-

Fat Guy
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Dear Me,

Things are going well. Almost all of the hair algae has disappeared. Only noticing a little algae on the bottom front right glass. It's similar to the brown algae that coats the inside of your filter or lily pipes. Comes off no problem. The modification I made to the skimmer has so far successfully kept the shrimp out of the filter. The pygmy corys are awesome and a really cool addition to the tank. The Cardinals are doing great as well and there has not been any jumpers of late. They are more accustomed to my presence now and do not scatter when I or my cat or children approach. Cleaned my impeller for my aquaclear/fluval20 HOB and was getting a lot of filter noise. Added a little petroleum jelly to the impeller and it has turned the noise into a light murmur. Wanted to upgrade the HOB but the next step up take up to much space on the side and will force the light to move more towards the front of the tank. I am not fond of that look. The more central the light the better. But having the HOB and the Eheim 2211 running together gives a nice 1-2 punch for filtration and gaseous exchange.



Raising it up has been a real blessing in disguise. I don't have to move it to work in the tank and the algae on the rock has been reduced to only two green spots. Raising it up has done wonders. I'm very close to being dialed in with the water.

Right now I'm doing:

Day 1:
50% water change, and 4ml of Thrive, 3/4tsp of Magnesium Sulphate.

Day 2,3,4 topoff

Day 5:
2ml Thrive

Day 7:
50% Water change and repeat.

This has seemed to work well fertilizer regime seems to be working well.



I still have a little curling of the bacopa leaves at the top of the tank. But they are now growing out of the tank. I'm going to let the bacopa over grow this week and maybe next and then do a trim. I want it to establish a strong root system before I trim.

Happy with how things are going. Getting closer to the equilibrium horizon. :)


Thanks for those who are following this thread or who have stumbled upon it.

Mas Later,

El Gordo

ps added an old ACURA 50W heater that I have had in storage since 2005. It's keeping the tank at 76 degrees and working flawlessly. Surprised by the quality of the heater.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Dear Me,

Tank is roughly a month old and I seem to have a good co2, fert and lighting balance.

Did a 50% WC today and added 9ml of Thrive and 3/4 tsp of magnesium sulphate. After checking my nitrates throughout last week I added roughly 5 pumps total of Thrive to maintain a good balance of ferts. I decided today to just do one EI dose for the entire week before the 50% water change.

Things are looking good. Had to do a major trim of the bacopa. And then replanted some stems back into the substrate about 2" in height. I hope this will give me some more time between trims and will help the tank fill in the way I want it to.



The crypts are doing great as well. I did lose one cory (I think) possibly from not being patient enough when adding them to the tank. But I can't find him so maybe he hiding out somewhere. The cardinals are insane feeders and super active. I have the temp around 74-75 degrees which seems to be a nice medium for the fish. I turn the heater off the night before I do a water change so that the tap water and tank water are close to being the same temp on the day of the change.



Amanos hanging out on the rock.



Hair algae is virtually non-existent. I am also not having any problems with the bacopa leaves curling like before. Maybe the magnesium addition had a positive effect. I did notice a little green dust algae on the glass but I think that is because the tank is too close to the window. The window never gets full sun, but nonetheless I think that is why I am seeing it.

Gave the bacopa to my neighbor down the road.



Thanks to those who are following this thread.

Mas Later,

Fat Guy
 
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