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Fluval Chi: Buce and Shrimp

7862 Views 28 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  ChemGuyEthan
Greetings all!

UPDATED PICTURE 11/23/2014
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Thought I would get this journal rolling as I'm hoping to get the tank set up this week!
I have this:


Which is actually the first aquarium I ever bought over a year ago. It's been collecting dust for the better part of that time (I caught the new tank bug pretty quick :icon_lol:) and I want to revive it to set up as a shrimp tank!

I'm planning on doing a pretty aggressive hardscape with this one, also want some sort of carpet and moss with some smaller plants. We'll see what I can find at my LFS tomorrow.
Here's the full shot, gotta remove that pesky filter holder first...


You can see in the background the lovely box I got this week (if you can ignore the mess that is my room :icon_redf ), I had ordered some Ohko stone that I've been soaking and cleaning for the past few days. Also got some Aquasoil, both normal and powder.

I'll keep this thread updated as I go along with the setup as I've never really documented a tank setup like this before. I'm really considering the dry start method for the carpeting plants, which I've never done before. I've also never kept shrimp, so this will be a fun little experiment.

Going for the mountain scene, big substrate slopes and tall cliffs with the ohko stone. I figured the narrow, tall tank is well-suited for this type of scape. As always, thanks for looking! I should have a preliminary scape set up tomorrow!

-Ethan
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Badabing! And I want some opinions on my scape please!

Hey everyone,

I wanted to post my inspiration for an attempt like this. There was a thread posted by Dantrasy that I came across about a month ago that immediately made me want to try and do something similar. His tank looks awesome! I'm hoping mine will look even a tenth as awesome. :icon_mrgr

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=461217

So back to my tank, I cut up some egg crate to try and keep things a little more stable.


Filled in the back with some leftover Eco-Complete I had from another tank.


And now...the stones!


Poured in a fair amount of the normal sized amazonia to fill things in. I figured out I could group three similar rocks together to make what looks like one really big peak. If I decide to keep it, I'll hot glue them together a little so they don't collapse at some point down the road.


Or this... I think it looks too cluttered in the back.


And the one I've settled on as of now.


Here's a top-down view. I think if I keep this, I'll pour some amazonia down the middle so I can plant some moss or some other low growing, hanging plant to just creep over the top of my "mountain."


And finally just to complete the post of many images, these are the two stones I have left, not sure if I can use the blocky one, but the one on the left was what I put in the back left corner in the second layout.


I plan on eventually finishing off with a top layer of the powder amazonia for scale. I would greatly appreciate any and all advice on the scape. I'm gonna go see what my LFS has for this little adventure. If I decide to change it, I can always keep the plants in one of my other tanks for a few days until I get this one settled in.

Again, thanks for looking and any advice.

-Ethan
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I'm open for plant suggestions.

I am really only wanted to do low profile plants, nothing to overwhelm the rocks. I guess that would be Iwagumi style or sorts.

My local place didn't really have anything worth purchasing so I think I'll do an online purchase.

Let me know if you have suggestions for something that would look good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Still no plants yet. The scape hasn't changed a whole lot. I split the main peak into just two stones and moved the other to be a smaller adjacent peak.


Top-down


Currently I'm looking to add mosses and grasses. Haven't decided on the kind of moss, I just bought some fissidens, but I don't know if it'll work with this. DHG and blyxa japonica will go in along with some staurogyne repens. That might be about all. If this ends up a shrimp tank, I don't need much more than ground cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Rocks definitely look great. I'm liking how well you used the eggcrate to elevate the rocks ;).
Thanks! I think I am settled on this scape. :proud: The two that make up the larger peak fit together really well so just a little hot glue is all I'll need.

Wow, you guys get nice rocks in the state. They call those rocks, "Dragon Stone" up here and the price is really high.

Anyways, nice Fluval Chi! Your scape has a "Lord of the rings" vibe to it.
Haha, thanks! I see what you mean with the lord of the rings vibe. It wasn't terribly inexpensive here, I ordered it straight from ADA. But I really like it so I'm happy. :D
 

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Still no plants yet. The scape hasn't changed a whole lot. I split the main peak into just two stones and moved the other to be a smaller adjacent peak.


Top-down


Currently I'm looking to add mosses and grasses. Haven't decided on the kind of moss, I just bought some fissidens, but I don't know if it'll work with this. DHG and blyxa japonica will go in along with some staurogyne repens. That might be about all. If this ends up a shrimp tank, I don't need much more than ground cover.
I vote for this scape. Those rocks are really nice, where did you get them from? I have two tank I am rock shopping for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry I missed the comment aquarist. Hope you got my reply to your PM.

I decided to go with that scape, more or less. I think I'll pull out the smaller stones in the front, maybe shift the big one forward a little and higher in elevation, then call it good.

I want to put a nice lawn of grass in front of that bad boy. Off to my LFS I go!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Planted!

Just to update everyone,

I got everything set up yesterday and am in the process of getting things how I want them. Here's the tank before planting and filling. Pretty high substrate in retrospect, 3.5 inches in front up to 5.5 in the back, hopefully that's not too high to give me troubles.



Here's halfway through planting, got the DHG down then flooded. Little bits of grass everywhere. I should have rinsed it all off before planting it...



And here it is this morning!





Current list for those interested:
Equipment
Fluval Chi 25L
Eheim 2211 with spraybar
Paintball CO2 at about 1.5 bps with ceramic diffuser
Finnex Fugeray, 10 inch (have a fugeray r that I need to put on it actually)
ViaAqua quartz 75W heater, probably overkill... and I want to replace it cause it just looks awful

Scape
Ohko stones
Amazonia regular topped with powder

Flora
eleocharis parvula
staurogyne repens
blyxa japonica

Fauna (yet to be added of course)
Spotted some blue axelrod rasbora at my LFS yesterday...do want! They look awesome and are nice and tiny to go with the scale of the scape here.
Some easy to keep shrimps (cherries or the like)
Probably some otos for the usual algae assistance
Perhaps a nerite or two, we'll see

I plan on adding some sort of taller plant behind the main rock since that's currently bare.

I also want to get maybe some glosso or crypt parva, or both to add some different leaf shapes to the layout.

Suggestions for the background plant would be appreciated, it'll probably be something grassy...I don't know if I want a big stem plant back there.

Also a suggestion for a quality, small heater that will be less a part of the scape and more hidden would be appreciated. Room temp here usually drifts from 70ish up to 80 in the late summer.

Thanks for looking and for all the suggestions during setup! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Man, I'd heard amazonia leaches ammonia, but wow... :eek5: maxes out the api chemical test. I checked this morning and it was maxed, did a big water change, just checked again and it's right back up there. Nitrite is still about zero, nitrates are also through the roof (showing at least 160 ppm), phosphates are basically nil, and pH is around 6.4 or 6.0.

I think I might be starting my cycle... ;)

I guess I should keep doing water changes daily until things are back to normal?

Also, this is a bit of an ignorant question, but I've never had a CO2 system on a tank that wasn't already cycled. Should I be running CO2 while it cycles, or is this just inviting algae with all the parameters going haywire?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, thankfully cycling didn't take too long. About 2 weeks. Everything nasty read zero as of yesterday.

Picked up some blue axelrod rasbora (Sundadanio axelrodi, I believe) today too! Along with a couple otos (they have been so hard to find lately).

Pretty excited to finally be able to add some movement to the tank!

I'll keep a close eye on water parameters, but I think they'll be fine.

More pictures will come maybe tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Unfortunately I've lost 3 of the 8 axelrods. Maybe I should have waited another week, but I was too tempted by a buy one get one half off sale. :icon_neut

Hope to see the other 5 survive. All the tank parameters look normal, so I guess it's a shock sort of thing.

The tank is progressing alright. Seeing a little bit of diatom growth. I'm starting my EI schedule so that should be that. I also have some otos in my other tank and I could transfer a couple over from there.

The s repens is melting some, perhaps a result of cutting back my co2 before adding fish. Anyone else have any thoughts on why else it could be?

Finally, I added a light-diffusing backing and bought some glass pipes, now I'm just waiting on the smaller heater to be delivered.

Here's the picture.


As always, thanks for looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well the s. repens decided it no longer wanted to live in this cruel cruel world...


...so I moved it, haha.

In it's place I added some hydrocotyle sp. japan. I received some originally intended for my new tank, but I had enough to add to both! :bounce:

I also received a large semi-random plant package with some mosses and crypts. I took the mini pellia and crammed it into some of the holes of the ohko stone. I think I want to use some of the other moss, christmas moss in particular, to make a tree to go behind the main rock and extend over towards the front. First I need to find some manzanita wood that'll work for that purpose... Here's an updated picture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update: 07/30/14

Hi everyone!

Finally got some pictures. The tank has changed quite a bit. I added some manzanita with some xmas moss, hoping to have it fill in nicely to give the tree effect. I'm hoping the alternanthera reineckii in back will color up to add some nice contrast. Not sure about those random sprigs of bacopa... They'll get moved around or out. I have also changed the heater to a cobalt aquatics neotherm, works great and fits nicely behind a rock, less obtrusive than the previous. I have also dialed in the CO2 nicely, as you can see in the pictures. Aaand, it may be overkill, but I've got a BML (at ~75%) 6300K dutch planted on this bad boy. So far no algae outbreaks, but I'm keeping a close eye on it. My photoperiod is only 6 hours, so maybe that's helping. The axelrod rasbora suffered only one more casualty, so down to 4. I'm hoping my lfs gets some more so I can bring the number back up a bit. There are also some amano shrimp running around and I hope to get some RCS's in the near future...

Anyway, enough talking!:bounce:

Full Monty:






Fishies chowing down :fish:


Thanks as always for looking! :icon_cool
 

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Man, I'd heard amazonia leaches ammonia, but wow... :eek5: maxes out the api chemical test. I checked this morning and it was maxed, did a big water change, just checked again and it's right back up there. Nitrite is still about zero, nitrates are also through the roof (showing at least 160 ppm), phosphates are basically nil, and pH is around 6.4 or 6.0.

I think I might be starting my cycle... ;)
Haha did you actually need to add any ammonia or did the tank cycle itself using just the Amazonia?

Congrats on the awesome looking tank! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Looks very nice! Keep us updated
Thanks! I've been following your 30 gallon thread, looks good! Though it's too bad about the temperature spike. This tank is in the living room of my apartment and even though it only gets morning sun, right now I can't keep the temp below 80...

Haha did you actually need to add any ammonia or did the tank cycle itself using just the Amazonia?

Congrats on the awesome looking tank! :thumbsup:
I did not add any additional ammonia. I found the amazonia poops out enough of it.

And thanks! I'll keep pics coming every few weeks at this point unless something dramatic happens...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wow, hard to believe it's been a month since I updated this...

Well as you may anticipate, the plants have actually grown. Shocker, I know. I mean, they haven't grown much, you can see from this picture they've really just barely done anything...barely...
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...just sad really...
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Ok, in all seriousness, these plants grew like wildfire! And thanks to a healthy dose of neglect from myself in trimming (but not in my fert dosing :thumbsup:), things really overgrew the tank. The fish barely had room to swim anymore. So, TRIM TIME!!! :red_mouth



Amazing how different things look. The "tree" is starting to grow in nicely. I like the look of the xmas moss for trees. The mini pellia is also looking good in the ohko. I divided my once, three plants of blyxa japonica into about 15 stems worth! Most of which made it's way into the 40 gallon to supplement what I already had in there. Hoping to get a nice patch grown in on that one. I removed the bacopa that was in there, not really feeling it in this scape. And my final comment is on the alternanthera reineckii, It's really making a nice wall of red in the back that I wanted. I'll probably have to trim that soon too, getting close to the surface.

I had hooked a rig up to hang the light from instead of having it resting on the tank, as I've had some thread algae on the upper most parts of the plants, but then it broke... So I gotta figure something else out.

The final fun little tid-bit. Somehow an amano shrimp made it from this aquarium to the bathroom...still alive at the time...still alive tonight. :eek: My roommate called me while I was at work this morning, very confused... as was I, haha. He found the shrimp this morning and cleaned him off a bit, then put him back in the tank for me. I barely believed it until he sent me a picture. At the time, I hadn't done anything to the tank except add some more water to it (it's been so hot here that the water is evaporating quite quickly), I did the trim tonight. I had no idea these little shrimp were so resilient, that's about a 30 foot journey across carpet and tile...a very dry, 30 foot journey. :confused1:

Here's the picture, kinda blurry, but you can tell it's a shrimp!


As always, thanks for looking!
 
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