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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was inspired by another member, ua hua, to do a dutch aquascape challenge. I decided to make a journal of it and share my progress. I am open to any constructive feedback and guidance.

Current Image of Tank 6/12/2014

Equipment{
Tank size (75 gallons)
Lights ([STRIKE]zoomed T5HO[/STRIKE]; current satellite plus led; BML Dutch plus)
Eheim Canister [STRIKE]2215[/STRIKE] replaced with 2217 on 6/7/2014
Pressurized CO2
Foam Wall (Sakrete EZ Base Patio stone and paver base)
hydro inline heater
UV Sterilizer (added 5/4/2014)
Ista Max Mix CO2 Reactor
powerhead
}

Substrate{
Flourite Black (5 bags)
Flourite Black Sand (2 bags)
}

Plants:
Walls {
Left wall (Taiwan moss; [STRIKE]anubias nana[/STRIKE])
Back wall (java moss. [STRIKE]Microsorum pteropus 'Windeløv[/STRIKE]')
Right wall (Taiwan moss; [STRIKE]Microsorum pteropus 'needle'[/STRIKE] removed because it seemed to block the inflow)
}

{
1. Lace Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis fast grower pH 5.5 - 8)
2. Rotala rotundifolia (fast grower pH 5.5 - 8)
3. Jungle Val (Vallisneria americana var. americana fast grower pH 7)
4. Ludwigia repens (fast grower pH 5.5 - 8)
[STRIKE]5. Amazon Sword (Echinodorus bleheri fast grower pH 6 - 8)
[/STRIKE]6. Bacopa caroliniana (fast grower pH 6 - 8)
7. Tiger Lotus (Nymphaea lotus fast grower pH 6 - 8)
[STRIKE]8. Cabomba purple (fast grower pH 6 - 8)
[/STRIKE]9. Lobelia cardinalis (slow grower pH 6 - 8)
10. Downoi (Pogostemon helferi slow grower pH 6 - 8) -- trying it again
[STRIKE]11. Rotala macrandra (Butterfly fast grower pH 5 -7)
[/STRIKE]12. Echinodorus angustifolia 'Vesuvius' (slow/ medium grower pH 6 - 8)
13. Hygrophila corymbosa (slow grower pH 5.5 - 8)
Moss ball (Cladophora aegagropila slow grower pH 6 - 8)
14. Limnophila hippuridoides (slow/medium grower pH 6 - 8)
15. Brazilian Pennywort (Hydrocotyle leucocephala fast grower pH 5.5 - 8)
}

Animals{
Top Level Swimmers:
[STRIKE]3 Marble Hatchet (Carnegiella strigata 2" temp 75-81° F, KH 10-18, pH 5.5-7.5)[/STRIKE] (3 died from ick 4/29, 4/30)


Top - Mid Level Swimmers:
[STRIKE]7[/STRIKE] 5 Boesemani Rainbow (Melanotaenia boesemani 3" temp 72 - 77, KH 9 - 19, pH 7 - 8) {4/24: 1 Boesemani disappeared; 5/3 : 1 Boesemani died from internal parasites or white lesions and missing scales}
[STRIKE]3[/STRIKE] [STRIKE]2[/STRIKE] 6 Threadfin Rainbow (Iriatherina werneri 2" temp 72 - 77, KH 7 - 10, pH 5.8 - 6.5) {4/28 : 1 Threadfin disappeared}
3 Praecox Rainbow (Melanotaenia praecox 3" temp 64 - 72, KH 8 - 12, pH 5.8 - 6.5)
1 Turquoise Rainbow (Melanotaenia lacustris 4" temp 70-77, KH 10-12, pH 7.0-7.5)

Mid Level Swimmers:
[STRIKE][STRIKE]7[/STRIKE] 3 Von rio flame tetra (Hyphessobrycon flammeus 2" temp 72 - 77, KH 4 - 8, pH 5.5 - 7.5) {5/2 : 1 died may be due to ick; 5/4 : 1 died from possible internal parasites; 5/5 : 1 missing, assumed dead}[/STRIKE] removed remaining 3 to other tank

Bottom Level Swimmers:
[STRIKE]2 German Blue Ram [/STRIKE](Papiliochromis ramirezi 3" temp 72-79° F, KH 5-12, pH 5.0-7.0) Male died 5/3 with no outward signs of problems; female died 5/6 with popeye
[STRIKE]1 Apistogramma borellii [/STRIKE](4" temp 68 - 79, KH 8 - 18, pH 6 - 8) { died 5/4 with no outward physical symptoms, possible due to internal parasite}
7 dwarf cory cats

Clean-up Crew:
5 Otocinclus Catfish (Otocinclus sp. 2" temp 74-79° F, KH 6-10, pH 6.8-7.5)
[STRIKE]2[/STRIKE] 1 Siamese Algae Eater (Crossocheilus siamensis 6" temp 75-79° F, KH 5-10, pH 6.5-7.0) [STRIKE]{moved 1 to 20 gallon bc he was being too aggressive 5/9}[/STRIKE] added 1 back when the plants grew in more
[STRIKE]1 Zebra Netrite snail (Neritina natalensis sp. "Zebra" 1" temp 72 - 78, dH 8 - 12, pH 7 - 8.5)[/STRIKE] {pronounced dead 5/5 since it hasn't moved and it's body isn't retracting back into the shell when touched}
1 Black Mystery snail (2" temp 68 - 85, KH 12 - 18, pH 6.5 - 8)
[STRIKE]1 Apple snail (2" temp 68 - 85, KH 12 - 18, pH 6.5 - 8)[/STRIKE]
}

Notes from www.aqadvisor.com
Note: Marbled Hatchet may jump - lids are recommended.
Warning: At least 5 x Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish are recommended in a group.
Warning: At least 5 x Turquoise Rainbowfish are recommended in a group.
Warning: At least 5 x Marbled Hatchet are recommended in a group.
[STRIKE]Warning: At least 5 x Threadfin RainbowFish are recommended in a group.
[/STRIKE]Recommended temperature range: 78.8 - 80.6 F.
Recommended pH range: 7 - 7.
Recommended hardness range: 10 - 12 dH.

If I remove the snails
Recommended pH range: 6.4 - 7.
Recommended hardness range: 5 - 12 dH.


GOALS:
Judging criteria for the planted aquarium

1. Hardware
- All equipment should be out of view (need to move CO2 diffuser)
[STRIKE]- Flourite is very low against the front glass[/STRIKE]

2. Plants
- 80 percent of aquarium floor needs to be covered
- No more than one plant specie for every four inches of tank length.
- Use of color and contrast

3. Animals
- Appropriate number of fish to the size of the aquarium
- schooling fish should be at least ten [STRIKE](need 2+ Marble Hatchets; 2+ Threadfin Rainbow; 2+ Neon Dwarf Rainbow; 4 Turqoise Rainbow)[/STRIKE]
- Compatibility of fish species and other animals

4. Water Conditions
- Optimal temperature 78
- nitrate level
- phosphate level
- hardness level 7

___________________________________________________________
Beginning of the journey

Week 1:
I am still in the process of planting but here is my attempt at the traditional dutch style with modifications...
1) it's a 75 gallon, not a 90
[STRIKE]2) I can't afford the cabinet so it is what it is
[/STRIKE][STRIKE]3) I am in the process of figuring out how to make a java fern or moss wall. Where do you get the foam board backing for the back wall??[/STRIKE]
4) If there is supposed to be 1 plant per 10 cm width and my tank is 48 inches or approximately 121.92 cm wide, I think I'm supposed to only have 12 to 14 stem varieties of plants, right? Does that include the plants I use as "streets"?
5) I need help with lighting. I have the zoomed aqua sun ho led but I don't really feel that it's sufficient. I tried to read the many threads on the forum but feel overwhelmed. Any suggestions?
6) so I tried to follow the focal point guideline... Hopefully it's noticeable:) I drew lines all over the front of the aquarium trying to get the 1/3 measurements just right so if it's not apparent as they grow in then I will need to make some adjustments.
[STRIKE]7) some of the plants are from existing tanks I have, others are from my lfs and some from the big chain pet stores. Unfortunately I don't know all the names of the plants so I don't know the growth rates. Only time will tell. I suspect that the plant with the purple flowering buds isn't even aquatic, even though it was sold that way at the chain pet store. I'll need help identifying it. Are there aquatic plants that flower underwater other than Anubias? I'll be ecstatic if there are :icon_eek:[/STRIKE]

So who else is up for the dutch challenge?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Making adjustment to Dutch Aquarium

Thank you Phil.

I took your advice and moved the sword out of the right hand corner and replanted it towards the center of the tank. I originally put the amazon sword in corner to camouflage heater.

The banana looking plant was actually a Nymphoides sp. ''Taiwan'' that was melting away because of all the moving around. Hopefully it will recover in my other tank. I was hoping that it would create that "curtain" effect... maybe not:(

So I have 14 plants in the tank now, that's 2 over the recommend guidelines. I'm trying my best to keep to the 1 plant per 10 cm.

I think that the left back corner feels cluttered. My LFS gave me some Limnophila aromatica for free so I had to find a place for it. I put it in the corner hoping that it will hide the equipment. I placed it next to the water wisteria (left of the amazon sword) but I'm on the fence about these two plants. Maybe I should let the tank grow in a little before I do more editing.

The other thing that I am trying to figure out is if I should keep the Echinodorus 'Vesuvius' where it is. Is it considered a stem plant or a grass?


I have 2 red plants in the tank, a red tiger lotus and some Ludwigia glandulos which looks really sad right now. I'm not loving it...
any suggestions on red plants? Something that is going to stand out.


Here's some pics I took with my phone. Disregard the white lines on the tank, I was making sure I had the spacing right. Yes, I know... a little OCD :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Phil,

I saw your post too late as I already changed some plants around this morning because I didn't like some of the plant placement. UGH. Hopefully the plants won't melt too much. So now I'm just going to wait for the plants to grow in :)

Ua Hua,

I was actually inspired by your previous dutch aquarium post so I decided to keep a journal of my dutch aquarium challenge. I have been trying to keep to the dutch guideline as close as possible. I still need to build a moss wall for the sides of the tank. I am still debating if I will do what everyone else does and sandwich moss between plastic mess or use Styrofoam sheets. Currently I have some java moss clipped to the back of the wall with suction cups until I figure out a more permanent solution.

Has anyone had any experience using Mattenfilter / Poret foam filter as walls?

Here are some more pics of my tank after I moved the "street" again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Next challenge ...

Phil,

3 weeks without touching the tank?! WOW, that's an eternity. I'm going to try my best though. Good thing I have other tanks to mess with... plus I have school work that I need to do :icon_mad:

Planted wall {
How would you attach egg crates to the wall? Would "instant ocean HOLDFAST" work? Maybe not since the aquarium walls have to be dry:( I guess I could always move the fish to another tank for a couple of days if it comes to that.
}
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Planted Wall

Phil,

I want Juwell background but can't find in the States. I found this how to build a foam wall by Smooth-on. Although it looks awesome, it also looks really messy and frustrating to a novice. I don't think the time and money invested in the "smooth on" option will produce anything as nice as what was done in the video.

I really like the styrofoam idea with the magnet attached to the back. I think that using silicone to permanently attach the styrofoam to the tank isn't an option (because my husband says so :frown:) Do you have to seal the styrofoam with cement or can I just paint it with water resistant spray paint or paint it with acrylic?

I was also looking for black egg crate for the aquarium wall and ran across Universal Rocks 48-Inch by 20-Inch Rocky Flexible Aquarium Background. What do you think? Too thin?

Anyone have any experience with Universal Rocks?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Phil,

Thank you for the tips. I went to Home Depot to to gather my supplies for the foam walls and got sidetrack when I went to the plant section of Home Depot. I stumbled across "Sakrete EZ Base Patio stone and paver base" and had an idea:icon_idea

Table Rectangle Wood Yellow Flooring


My husband and I decided to put all the white egg create, pink foam, and paint stuff back... We figured, we needed a black foam board that was waterproof, so why not give it a try. We purchased suction cups and coral glue too but ended up not using them.

I have a bar in the middle of my tank so I had to cut the foam into 2 pieces for the back of the tank. I actually had to cut even more off to fit in the opening of the tank... this is why I should have gotten a tank without the bar:(

I tried to attach the java moss to the wall with coral glue but it didn't look good. It left a white residue, plus messy when I was trying to attach the java moss to the foam board. I thought about push pins or stapling the moss to the foam board but eventually decided to just use fishing line. I figured if it doesn't hold up then I can just pull the fishing line off and try something else and no java moss would be damaged in the process. It isn't pretty but I hope that the java moss will grow in and cover all the fishing line.

Branch Plant Twig Terrestrial plant Grass


It was 1 AM and I was too lazy to get out the hose to suction water out of the tank so I just went for it. I shoved the foam boards into the tank, wiggled the bottom of the board into the substrate and tucked the top of the board under the lip of the opening. I didn't use the suction cup or magnets since it was such a snug fit... flush to the glass too, so no worries that fish will get stuck behind it. Plus my filter intake still fit over the foam so I didn't have to cut a place in the foam for it.
Grass Rectangle Plant Font Tints and shades
Tints and shades Terrestrial plant Metal Cylinder Font


Here's a bad picture of the back wall... I have a gap on the sides large enough for my heater and/or filter. I haven't gotten to the sides of the tank yet... I wanted to get some feedback first.

Plant Leaf Nature Window Botany


What do you think? Disaster or genius? Should the foam cover the entire back and side wall? I have a 3-4 inch gap where there is no foam, do you think that will be ok? I have extra foam so I could fill in the gaps. I wasn't sure and now having gone through it, I think that I could do a better job.

How should I have attached the java? I still have the side walls to do... but first I need to get more java moss. Or should I try some other plant? Any suggestion? I saw that you attached java fern to your walls... how did you attach them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Planted wall in Dutch Aquarium

The panels were $12 and I bough 3. The foam is soft enough to staple into and ridged enough to stand on its own. I went to the manufacturer's website but wasn't able to find any material composition or toxic information about the Sakrete EZ Safe. I emailed them but haven't hear back yet. I'll let you know when or if I hear back from them. I hope that it isn't toxic for the fish :frown: I really like the look and was thinking about doing it to all my tanks in the future. But I'll need to see how it holds up. I'm glad that it is easy to take out if I change my mind. The annoying part is that it makes a big mess to the substrate. I imagine that adding the walls to an empty tank is much easier... but it seems that I like to do things backwards and take the more challenging route. My tank was full of water, fish, plants and substrate when I added the foam walls :icon_redf I ended up pulling up all my plants... so I failed the last challenge of not touching the plants for 3 weeks :frown: I only made it a week. It was my fault that I didn't plan things out better.

I had to redo one of the panels on the back wall so that there were no gaps. I'm glad that I did because it looks a lot better. I completed the side walls too. I didn't leave any space for the heater or anything. I figure that I would let the heater just float in the corners and eventually it will be hidden once the plants grow in. Now I wish I went with an inline heater but I didn't realize that there was such a thing until after I purchased 2 jager heaters :mad: . Oh well, my husband will probably change it out in the future because he is convinced that the heaters are going to melt the foam. (I wasn't going to bring up the fact that boiling hot water is put in Styrofoam cups all the time and we normally don't keep our tank above 82 degrees :biggrin: )

Mess stapled to foam wall... what a great idea. :thumbsup: Why didn't I think of that? I'm going to try out the grid and staples on the side walls once I get more java moss. I have some Taiwan moss but I'm not sure if it will look right to have mixed mosses on different walls. What do you think?

If I could do it again...
1) Get a 90 gallon tank and hire someone to build the tank stand and canopy. This was a Black Friday impulse buy. Great deal on a 75 gallon though. We wanted a bigger tank but we should have gone bigger :)
2) Purchased an inline heater.
3) Done more research on lighting... I have Zoomed Aquasun LED HO and Current Satellite LED Plus running currently.
4) Put up the foam walls before adding substrate or flooding the tank.

Oh well, it's a learning process...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Sakrete Ez Safe foam

Got a response from the company... Sakrete EZ Safe can be placed near a pond and the runoff from it is safe, however they do no recommend using this product in an aquarium because the fish may pick or eat the foam.

Well, I figured that I'll take the chance with Sakrate EX Safe in the aquarium. It's been a week and all the fish are still alive. I'll be sure to keep an eye on the foam and the fish.

If fish picking at the foam is an issue, I decided to also experiment with a white plastic grid and moss on one wall to see how the moss grows through the grid. If the fish end up picking at the foam, then I will cover the moss with a plastic grid on the remaining walls.

I used some plastic pegs I got from Joann's Fabric in the Styrofoam area.
Organism Gesture Finger Wood Thumb


Push the plastic pegs into the holes of the foam board, lay moss down, then cover with plastic grid.
Plant Automotive lighting Terrestrial plant Organism Vegetation



Here are updated pictures.
Plant Leaf Rectangle Pet supply Terrestrial plant

Water Plant Green Light Botany
Plant Water Botany Terrestrial plant Organism
Plant Terrestrial plant Grass Window Aquatic plant


I had to replant everything since I did everything in reverse. I'm not sure if I like the plant relocation but I'm going to let the plants grow in for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update:
Added 7 Boeseman's Rainbowfish
Added 7 rio tetra
Added 1 nitrite snail
Added 1 mystery snail
Added salt and increased temp to 84 for 10 days due ick from new fish
Added crushed coral - suspect snail shell pitting

Lights:
zoomed T5HO $25 deal at petco
current satellite plus led

Fert: EI dosing micro/macro (when I remember)
Pressurized CO2

no changes to the foam construction; no discoloration; no dead fish from walls

Walls {
  1. Left wall - Taiwan moss; not much growth; some green algae
  2. Back wall - java moss doesn't seem to be growing. added Microsorum
    pteropus 'Windeløv' into a hole in the wall
  3. Right wall - Taiwan moss - some green sprouts
}

I suspect stunted moss growth is due to the snails and siamese algae eaters snacking on it or the temp is too high.

Plants { from top to bottom, left to right
  1. Lace Wisteria; growing slow
  2. Cabomba purple - growing fast; trimmed once
  3. Downoi (Pogostemon helferi) - planted 2 packs from PetSmart; only a few remain
  4. Amazon sword - growing like crazy; has bba
  5. Tiger Lotus - growing fast
  6. unknown broad leaf plant from Petco - minimal growth - this is my least favorite and probably will be replaced
  7. unknown little leaf plant from Petco - fastest growing
  8. Lobelia cardinalis - slow growth; brown algae
  9. Echinodorus angustifolia 'Vesuvius' - brown algae on tips; growing side shots
  10. Ludwigia repens - growing fast; not red enough
  11. Hygrophila corymbosa or maybe blue hygrophila - new sprouts
  12. Limnophila hippuridoides - new sprouts growing slowly
  13. Brazilian Pennywort - growing algae; no noticeable growth bc of rearrangement; stuck stem btwn fishing line going up the wall
}

Disregard the moss ball.

 

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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
Update:

Moss wall: Took the white plastic grid off the left wall because the moss didn't look like it was growing through the mesh. Ugh... I removed it too soon. The moss was attaching to the wall and growing in nicely behind the grid. Plus the moss was growing in evenly. I should have left it on for a little longer. Overall the moss has been attaching to the wall and looking great.

Plants: Removed a plant that was only growing green algae. It was looking ugly so I removed it.

Did some light trimming and replanting. I need to work on learning how to trim the plants so that they look nice. Currently they look like they got a lopsided haircut. Any advice?
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Removed heaters since the weather has gotten warmer.

Removed 5 small platyes.

Rearranged plants and did some light thinning. Trimmed the mother Amazon Sword to the substrate... Not sure if that was a good idea or not.

Phil and friends,

I have a bunch of questions:
1) Do I trim the moss wall?
2) Should I cut the stem plants all the way to the substrate for it to grow in thicker?
3) Do I trim the tiger lotus?
4) Any suggestions on the plant arrangement?
5) Any suggestions on which plant to remove or plant?

Thanks in advance everyone :)

Plant Plant community Botany Leaf Vegetation
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
One step too far...

Purchased some Rotala Butterfly from a member on this forum (thanks Mot). I had so much that I thought that I needed to rearrange the set up.

This was the tank before the new addition
Plant community Plant Rectangle Botany Leaf


This was the tank after the addition
Plant Plant community Vertebrate Rectangle Terrestrial plant

I thought Rotala Butterfly's leaves were too similar to the plant that is to the left of it. So I moved this, trimmed that, etc.

I should have stopped there... after adding the Rotala Butterfly

A couple of hours later. This is what my dutch aquarium looks like now... I got carried away with the scissors. :(
Plant Plant community Water Vertebrate Leaf


One step forward, 2 steps back...

Now I'm second guessing the moves. I have 15 plants, one over the dutch rule of 1 plant per 10 cm... Ugh. One plant needs to go... maybe I should have left the purple cabomba where is was and just gotten rid of the plant that was to the right of the Rotala Butterfly. Maybe it'll look better when it grows in. :help::help::help:

Hopefully it grows in quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
You know you're addicted when...

... you have to wait for your husband to leave the house before you touch the tank because there is no one to control my impulses.

I couldn't help it. I was up all night staring at the pictures of my dutch aquarium. So I woke up this morning and waited for my husband to leave before I started to mess with the aquarium again.

I switched the Cabomba Purple (Red) (Cabomba pulcherrima) and Bacopa monnieri. The reason I prefer the 2nd image before the hack job, is because it looks like the focus is the Lobelia cardinalis street. The path looks like it leads somewhere beyond...

Full View

Plant Natural landscape Terrestrial plant People in nature Organism
Plant Vertebrate Terrestrial plant Rectangle Natural landscape



werner_eye,


Thank you for the encouraging words. It's hard to tell from the pictures but I do have algae. I combat it with oto's, siamese algae eaters, snails, and amano shrimps. Don't feel bad about your anubias, my anubias that are pinned to the wall is turning yellow and growing holes... Not doing well at all. I still have a lot to learn.

Lesson 1: Patiences
I need to let my aquarium grow in... otherwise there will be nothing left since I damage the bottom of the stems every time I move the plants around.

Lesson 2: Learn trimming technique
I'm still working on how to trim the plants without making it look like bad haircut. ;) My plan is to cut the stems an inch from the substrate and replant the tops. I'm hoping that the rooted stem will grow two additional branches and that the tops of the replant will root. Hopefully the short stems will get enough light and not melt away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
Question about fish for Dutch Aquascape

Now that I am waiting for my plants to grow, I want to focus on my fish selection.

Judging criteria for the planted aquarium
Animals
- Appropriate number of fish to the size of the aquarium
- schooling fish should be at least ten
- Compatibility of fish species and other animals

Current Stock
Animals{
Top Level Swimmers:
3 Marble Hatchet (Carnegiella strigata 2" temp 75-81° F, KH 10-18, pH 5.5-7.5)

Top - Mid Level Swimmers:
7 Boesemani Rainbow (Melanotaenia boesemani 3" temp 72 - 77, KH 9 - 19, pH 7 - 8)
3 Threadfin Rainbow (Iriatherina werneri 2" temp 72 - 77, KH 7 - 10, pH 5.8 - 6.5)
3 Praecox Rainbow (Melanotaenia praecox 3" temp 64 - 72, KH 8 - 12, pH 5.8 - 6.5)
1 Turquoise Rainbow (Melanotaenia lacustris 4" temp 70-77, KH 10-12, pH 7.0-7.5)

Mid Level Swimmers:
6 Von rio flame tetra (Hyphessobrycon flammeus 2" temp 72 - 77, KH 4 - 8, pH 5.5 - 7.5)

Bottom Level Swimmers:
2 German Blue Ram (Papiliochromis ramirezi 3" temp 72-79° F, KH 5-12, pH 5.0-7.0)
1 Apistogramma borellii (4" temp 68 - 79, KH 8 - 18, pH 6 - 8)

Clean-up Crew:
5 Otocinclus Catfish (Otocinclus sp. 2" temp 74-79° F, KH 6-10, pH 6.8-7.5)
2 Siamese Algae Eater (Crossocheilus siamensis 6" temp 75-79° F, KH 5-10, pH 6.5-7.0)
1 Zebra Netrite snail (Neritina natalensis sp. "Zebra" 1" temp 72 - 78, dH 8 - 12, pH 7 - 8.5)
1 Black Mystery snail (2" temp 68 - 85, KH 12 - 18, pH 6.5 - 8)
1 Apple snail (2" temp 68 - 85, KH 12 - 18, pH 6.5 - 8)
}

Thinking about changing the stock to
Animals{
Top Level Swimmers:
10 Marble Hatchet

Top - Mid Level Swimmers:
7 Boesemani Rainbow
7 Praecox Rainbow

Mid Level Swimmers:
10 Rummynose tetra

Bottom Level Swimmers:
2 German Blue Ram
1 Apistogramma borellii

Clean-up Crew:
5 Otocinclus Catfish
2 Siamese Algae Eater
}

Do all the Rainbow fish need to be the same type when considering a minimum of 10 schooling fish?

Should Threadfin Rainbows and Praecox Rainbows be housed together with Boesemani Rainbow and Turquoise Rainbow? The former have pH requirements of 5.8 - 6.5 whereas the latter group has pH requirements of 7 - 8.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
ICK Outbreak

So sad... I have an ick outbreak in my 75 gallon.

Day 1: I added aquarium salt and added heaters into the tank. I set the temp to 80.
Day 2: 30% water change. Turned off CO2. Stopped EI fert.
Day 3: 30% water change. Lost 1 Hatchet.
Day 4: Left tank alone.
Day 5: 30% water change. Moved spray bar over water level to increase O2.
Day 6: Everything seemed like it was looking up but then I woke up this morning, all my fish were covered with spots :( I'm so sad. My husband installed the inline heater and increased the temp to 85 and added more salt.

My plants seem to stop growing and I have cotton looking stuff growing on my plants... might be hair algae. I don't think I can do much about it at this time as my tank has an ick outbreak. Maybe I should decrease the light duration from 12 hours to 8.

I noticed that salt alone doesn't cure the ick, but it seems to sooth the fish as they moved around better with less flashing. It's only been a day with the temp at 85 so I'm hoping that I don't have any other deaths. Poor fish.

Can I continue with CO2 and EI for the plants while my tank has an ick outbreak? I feel like my SAEs started to flash right away after I dosed EI micro. I'm not sure if it was a coincidence or not.

My dilemma ... do I sacrifice the plants or the fish? Things were so much easier when all I had were cheap little platys in the tank. They were hardy fish and weren't bother by the CO2 or EI ferts. Now that I have spent a little money on fish, I don't want to loose them nor do I want to loose my plants now that I have them where I want them. ARGH! :icon_cry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I put in about a cup of aquarium salt the first day. Today I didn't measure it... just grabbed a handful and threw it into the tank out of frustration. The fish swarmed to it as it sank to the bottom of the tank. I should probably check the pH and hardness when I wake up to see if I need to do another water change.

My husband even put Fenbendazole into the tank just in case it might help... figured it couldn't hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Ick outbreak continues

The fish are looking better. Many still have white spots on them but not quite as much as before.

Sadly I only see 2 thread fin rainbows. I haven't discovered a body yet but that could mean that it was an expensive snack for his tank mates.

Well it makes my decision about populating my tank easier... I think the water param for the thread fin and others are too broad on the spectrum. The thread fin prefer cooler temp with softer water whereas the other rainbows like the opposite. Once the ick is under controlled I might sell the thread fin or put them in another tank.

Fertilizer{
added EI macro, excel, and add iron }
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Lost another hatchet... now there is one. Less spots on fish but female German Blue Ram not looking so well. She has been hanging out near the spray bar and not moving around much.

Did 30% water change and she seemed to perk up a little. She swam out a couple of inches, threw up something white, and then swam back to the spray bar. I'm not sure what to do to help her. If I isolate her I think that it will stress her out even more. ARGH!! :help:
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Another one bites the dust :(

Lost the last hatchet today. Could have been due to ick, the high temp, or a broken heart since it was the only one left.

Good news is that the german blue ram female survived. She was swimming around more but the male gbr kept chasing her around. She still looks like she has clamped fins. Hopefully she make it through.

There aren't any visible spots on any fish so I lowered the temp from 85 to 80. Hopefully I can resume CO2 and EI dosage again without worrying about losing any more fish.
 
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