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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Set-up/Equipment
- 5g Fluval Chi ii (10" long ×10" wide× 14" high) with stock filter and 17 LED light box
- Finnex fugeray planted +aquarium LED lights plus moonlights clip light (10" length), no timer so just left on for the workday (12-14h)
- Original theo hydor submersible heater 50w, set to 79F currently
- API freshwater master kit, using daily

Substrate and Décor
- CaribSea Eco Complete substrate
- Malaysian driftwood
-Live Plants
Amazon Sword
Java fern (anchored to drift wood)
Egaria
Bacopa monnierii
Rotana indica
Crypt wendii or walkerii
Hygrophila difformis

Livestock (Just the Cleanup Crew for now)
- 2 snails (Nerite snails - 1 zebra, 1 tiger)
- And an unknown but hopefully low and soon to be extinct number of pond snails (killing them as I find them)

Supplementation
- Seachem flourish, dosing weekly
- Seachem flourish excel, dosing daily to every other day
- Seachem prime, as needed for wc's

Tank has been cycling for 3 weeks.

Elected a fishless cycle (although I did add my snails ~2w in).

Was using fish food first for ammonia source but transitioned to Dr Tim's Ammonia about 1.5w in (just couldn't watch food mold!), and have been adding enough to raise levels to 2 ppm daily

Also able to get a friend to donate some of her filter medium (she cleaned all her tank filters (300g combined) in a shared gallon container of siphoned tank water, which I then used to top off my tank daily with for 3 days. Started using the "poop water" 1.5w in.

Water changes (WC's) - trying to not to do too frequently but have done 3 big ones (75% +) since starting, essentially weekly.
- The first to address the nasty rotting fish food I couldn't stand watching.
- The second to facilitate some aquascaping when I added some new plants.
- And the third to address a soft brown algae bloom.

Not rinsing the filter pad. Just grossly cleaning it of obvious debris and then rinsing it out with water removed during a WC to maintain my bacteria.

This past week
Ammonia levels checked 12-24h after adding Dr Tim's Ammonia (adding to get 2 ppm daily)
- reading 0.25-0.5 ppm at 12h post, reading 0 ppm 24h post

Nitrites - 0.5 ppm 12h post, 0-0.25 ppm 24h, highest even seen was 1 ppm

Nitrates - ranging between 0-20 ppm but usually 5-10 ppm


Feeling pretty good with what I?ve done so far but don?t want to add fish too early.

Is there something else I should be doing and have forgotten? I know I haven?t been checking pH but I didn?t think this was important until I started adding fish. It?s not like I would try to mess with that too while I was establishing my bacteria.

Am I wrong?

Also assuming once I have a week of 0 NH3 and 0 NO2 ( and variable NO3 levels) I should be good to go.

Should I go longer?

Planning to add a trio of scarlet badis (1 male 2 female), a marimo Moss ball and some cherry shrimp?.slowly, over a couple weeks.

Still planning to upgrade my filter (ideas??.HOB favorites?) And need to invest in some aquascaping tools as some of my plants need pruning already. Definitely plan to have a jungle but some order is needed!

Other ideas?
Recommendations?
Criticism?
 

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Seachem prime is only needed after a water change. You can use it if there is an emergency and you have an ammonia spike, but a water change would be much more effective.

Leaving the planted plus on for 12-14h may end up causing problems. I would start off with eight, especially until your tank is a little more established.

Seachem ferts are expensive. Using a planted plus you may end up with some nutrient deficiencies in the long run. If you want high plant density this is even more important. I would invest in some small measuring spoons (<1/4 tsp) and dry ferts. You can get dry ferts from users on this forum or green leaf aquariums.

Be careful about keeping badis with cherry shrimp. Scarlet badis are notoriously picky and prefer live food. They will likely eat any young shrimp. They may even harrass the adults.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thankyou for the feedback.

Have only been using the Prime after my water changes. Have not even considered using it as yet to address NH3 spikes given I am causing/promoting these.

Scarlet Badis eating the shrimp...that was kind of my goal! Had this idea in my head that the badis may keep the shrimp population in check if they went after the juvenile shrimp. Read somewhere they would leave the adults alone but pick off the babies. Was initially going to add the Badis then the shrimp but am thinking I should flip flop that. Would rather get those kids comfortable and multiplying before adding the trio of fish.

Or would it better to the fish first?

Lights - Will try to cut down. Have had to leave on for so long just because of my work schedule. Need to get a timer set up soon.

Planted ferts? Like tabs? One per plant? Probably a dumb question but i sm asking all the same. Will check the for sale area.
 

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Seachem ferts are expensive. Using a planted plus you may end up with some nutrient deficiencies in the long run. If you want high plant density this is even more important. I would invest in some small measuring spoons (<1/4 tsp) and dry ferts. You can get dry ferts from users on this forum or green leaf aquariums.

s.
Have to agree here lights on for no more than 8 hours and the ferts are dry macro micro mix that you add to a little water than your tank,also can add extra Potassium,phosphate and iron if need.The liquid ferts are mainly water so much more expensive.
 

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I had a Scarlet Badis with cherry shrimp. He mostly ignored the adults, and I assume he ate most of the juveniles, since only a handful of them made it to be too big to fit in his mouth. When I bought mine the clerk at the LFS assured me that they eat flake food, he lied. In addition to the shrimp I had black worms in the substrate for him to hunt, and cultured copepods and frequently added them to the tank. Fun fish, where are you planning on getting them from? Females are hard to come by at LFS's, anywhere I've ever seen them has only had males.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I actually found an online supplier that was selling scarlet badis as individuals and as a "breeding trio." Contacted the supplier to confirm what this trio consisted of and he said 1 male 2 females. Won't sell females individually, just in trio deal. Was very excited about this find as I too found females impossible to find. I am actually not interested in breeding. Just want a good group dynamic.

Quick pic of my tank tonight. Hopeful to see the jungle fill out in time.
 

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Thankyou for the feedback.


Scarlet Badis eating the shrimp...that was kind of my goal! Had this idea in my head that the badis may keep the shrimp population in check if they went after the juvenile shrimp. Read somewhere they would leave the adults alone but pick off the babies. Was initially going to add the Badis then the shrimp but am thinking I should flip flop that. Would rather get those kids comfortable and multiplying before adding the trio of fish.

Or would it better to the fish first?


Planted ferts? Like tabs? One per plant? Probably a dumb question but i sm asking all the same. Will check the for sale area.
I would definitely add the shrimp first. I think it will make the badis more likely to tolerate the adult shrimp. It would also give the shrimp time to get established.

By planted ferts I mean powder ferts. Specifically you would be looking for KNO3, KH2PO4, and a micro mix (I use csm+b). You can find these at green leaf aquariums if you search EI package or pps pro. Keep in mind this is really only necessary if you decide to go medium or high light. Seachem ferts are fine in a low light tank with standard plant density. If you decide to go with dry ferts, I would also go light on them at first since you tank is not very big.

If you want to stick with seachem, you might look into their root tabs. They are not super high in nutrients so I doubt they would cause problems even in a nano tank. This would help root feeders like your swords and crypts.

One last thing to keep in mind is that sword plants have a reputation for getting huge. You may have trouble in the future if it gets too big and you have to remove it. You might end up uprooting a lot of your tank.
 

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I would definitely add the shrimp first. I think it will make the badis more likely to tolerate the adult shrimp. It would also give the shrimp time to get established.

By planted ferts I mean powder ferts. Specifically you would be looking for KNO3, KH2PO4, and a micro mix (I use csm+b). You can find these at green leaf aquariums if you search EI package or pps pro. Keep in mind this is really only necessary if you decide to go medium or high light. Seachem ferts are fine in a low light tank with standard plant density. If you decide to go with dry ferts, I would also go light on them at first since you tank is not very big.

If you want to stick with seachem, you might look into their root tabs. They are not super high in nutrients so I doubt they would cause problems even in a nano tank. This would help root feeders like your swords and crypts.

One last thing to keep in mind is that sword plants have a reputation for getting huge. You may have trouble in the future if it gets too big and you have to remove it. You might end up uprooting a lot of your tank.
+1 on this^. Most of the time when you buy cherry shrimp they are juveniles, about 1/4 adult size. If you let them grow for a couple months they will fare much better with the scarlet badis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thankyou for the advice. Definitely going to stagger the shrimp and fish additions. Had naively thought a week or two would be adequate when I first started this process, but 1-2 months, or more, seem a better idea.

For shrimp...(thinking blue velvet)
I have tantori leaves already and plan to get and place some java moss and a marimo already ball or 2

Tourmaline balls? Montmorrilonite stones? Thoughts?
And is it absolutely necessary to have an air/bubbles stone? If so aesthetically pleasing recommendations?

Current pics below. New scape aand in process of transitioning from stock filter to a HOB (aquaclear 20). Original filter and tank cycled and stable for past week. Hooked up new filter yesterday (can't actually mount it in back till stock gone). Planning to run both filters concurrently for 2w. Current inhabitants, beside the plants, are my 2 nerites. Am hopeful I destroyed my last pond snail 3d ago. Naive, but hopeful.
 

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I doubt you will need an air stone, the HOB filter will add enough surface ripple. My shrimp do ok without the Tourmaline balls, but I would be curious about other people's experiences with them.
 
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