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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Tank: Aquatop High Clarity Low Iron Glass Cube 7.13 Gallons
Light: Finnex Fugeray 12" & Fugeray-R
Substrate: EcoComplete Black with a thin layer of Osmocote Plus at the bottom
Filter: Zoo Med 501 w/ Ehiem Substrat and Purigen
Heater: Catalina 50w
CO2: 5 lbs tank w/ Fluval nano diffusor

Flora: Rotala sp. colorata and green, Alternanthera Reineckii Mini, dhg belem


Fauna: 8 corydoras pygmaeus,
? ramshorn snails,
3 Chili Rasboras
2 Ginga Rubra guppies
3 Microrasbora erythromicron
1 Sparkling gourami
1 Amano shrimp

Decor: Buddha head I bought off ebay, looks to be made of concrete.

After seeing a few very well done "Buddha" tanks, I wanted to do on of my own in the living room. My wife is acutely aware of my growing MTS so I had to keep it small "nice looking".

I started with a dry start with the Eleocharis Belem and three tiny downoi plantlets. After 2 months I lost patience and flooded the tank. The E. Belem grew so slowly, it just started barely shooting out runners. The downoi on the other hand doubled in size.

I love the pymy corys! They are such an energetic fish. I hope I didn't make a mistake by putting them in a newly setup tank. My parameters look good since the media in hob is from a established filter canister filter.




I used self adhesive window tint to black out the back of the tank.


Right before planting and flooding the tank. I didn't bother photo documenting the last 2 months since it mostly looked like this. Maybe E. belem wasn't the greatest choice to go with dsm?


e. belem high after 2 months


Finished tank...for now.






Corys shoaling.
 

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Sweet looking setup you have going, I have the same 10" Finnex FugeRay on my Evolve 4. It's such a sweet little LED light isn't it?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Are you sure it's the 10" light? The 7 gallon cube is 12" all around.
Duh! You are correct it is the 12" Fugeray, the cube is 30cm about 11.8 inches.

When I had the light on during the dry start it didn't look like it was enough light. Now that it's filled it's looking pretty good. I'm aim toward the mid to high end of medium level lighting once the CO2 gets setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Ran into a bit of a problem with the Buddha head. I took it out to clean what I though was algae growing on the face. Lightly scrubbed it with a toothbrush and the white came off revealing a darker color underneath.

I thought the stone was naturally white but it seems it was some type of paint or coloring, the stone underneath is a lot darker. Took it out quickly then did a 80% water change. Hopefully whatever leeched out in the 24 hours won't kill my cories....
They seem to be acting alright. Will probably continue to do some small water changes daily for the next couple of days.

An hour of cleaning with 3 different brushes and here is the newly cleaned up Buddha head, it's a bit darker:





 

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Discussion Starter #13
After 3 days of Kanaplex treatment there are no more losses! Fish are back to acting like their playful selves.

Moved 2 amano shrimp from my main tank to this one to control some hair algae that I'm seeing start to appear on the glass.

Looking to add either Endler livebearer males or ginga rubra guppies as the next occupant.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Updates:

Tank is now clear of whatever infection was killing shrimps/fish. Total losses were 1 large amano and 2 pygmy corys.

- Added 2 croaking gouramis, I mistook them for sparkling gouramis. If they get too big I will move them to the main tank.

- Added aquarium hk brand lily pipe and intake


Pygmy cory meeting on top of Buddha's head.


Croaking Gouramis


FTS
 

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Has the DHG started coming in faster now that its flooded? I'm about a month in to my DSM with DHG and I'm only seeing a few runners at this point. I've been thinking about just flooding it and going from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Has the DHG started coming in faster now that its flooded? I'm about a month in to my DSM with DHG and I'm only seeing a few runners at this point. I've been thinking about just flooding it and going from there.
Yes, with the tank flooded and with co2, the dhg is settling in and putting out runners. I don't know if doing the DSM with dhg was necessary in my case. I did notice that the dhg did produce a nice root structure during the dry start. So if your not going to add bottom digging fish like cories I think you can skip DSM.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Updated first page:

I decided to add a Finnex Fugeray-r since the 12" Fugeray alone wasn't getting me the coverage I wanted. I found that as the stem plants in the back were getting taller they all starting to leaning forward toward the front of the tank because the back was darker. When I pushed the light further back, I didn't like the shadows it created with the buddha head. Now the tank if extremely bright. I cranked up the co2 a bit and hoping for the best. I put the main light, the 12" Fugeray on a different timer and a shorter time schedule.

Both lights:


Note on the left of buddha is a crypt parva, that I thought completely melted away is now coming back and started to peek through.

Fugeray-R reds only:


DGH "belem" carpet is coming along great! Looking back I should have skipped the DSM:



I thought I knew a lot about keeping freshwater fish until this nano challenged me and showed me that I have a long way to go. Things change fast with a tank this size, diseases spread faster. Livestock that most would consider peaceful in a 20g+ can turn downright nasty in a smaller tank.


Problems:

My downoi is no longer looking so hot. Getting small holes in the leaves and it's melted back a bit. Is this a K deficiency or is it getting shaded too much? I also started excel dosing for some hair algae I was getting. Does downoi hate excel?



Stocking issues:

I added 6 chili rasboras, one was immediately killed by the croaking gouramis I had in there. I re-homed them to my main 29g tank, lost one of them, it jumped but the other seems pretty happy in the more spacious tank.

Then 2 of of the chili's simply disappeared over the course of the next few weeks, leaving me with only 3 left. I can only assume they died and were eaten by snails.

Next I added 5 juvenile male ginga rubra guppies, noticed they started to die off one by one from what seemed to be fin rot. I medicated the tank again with Kanaplex, but still lost 2 of them. I then noticed that the largest was bullying and nipping at the smaller ones probably stressing them to death. I moved one to my ramshorn breeding bucket and left the two largest ones in the tank. My guess is i'll at some point i'll probably have to move the other to the main tank leaving only one guppy in this tank. Further research confirmed that I should have done a mix of 1male/2females. I went all male because I didn't want to be overrun with guppies, what I didn't know was they get extremely territorial as they get older.

I'm open to all comments and recommendations, even the smartass ones.
 

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Excellent little tank. Probably a good move to add the additional light, looks like you are going to a have a densely planted tank in no time at all!
 
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