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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys, recently joined this forum and decided to post my tank here and keep it as a journal for myself to see changes in it over time and get some tips and advice on it.

To start off I made a huge mistake... will get to it later.

Bit of back story. Had a 10 gallon a few years back for atleast 3 years mainly kept bettas, shrimp and tetras, but was moving so had shut it down didn't have a anything for 2 years or so.

This year restarted my 10G went with a few shrimps (cherries and amano). Decided to upgrade, due to space limitations in my room I was only able to get a 29 G.

Did a fishless cycle with fish food and used some filter media from the old tank. Used Fluorite Black, and sand from my old tank as substrate since I wanted to go heavily planted this time, once cycled added the shrimps there is a nerite snail too but rarely see him(last saw him 3 days ago).

Now for the stocking decided to go with mainly two schools of tetras, and few oddballs or center pieces, such as rams or gouramis...
2 days back went to pick up some neon tetras since they were on sale at my LFS decided to get 9 , was looking around when I saw the mistake "a DISCUS" :/ . Was looking at it the store guy came up and asked If I wanted anything in particular, asked him about the discus. Now I usually do my research but this guy was so damn shy an in the back alone compared to the others who were up front when I came up to it, and they looked so beautiful. So told him what I had he said it would do fine in a 29 for a some time but might need to be moved to a bigger tank later..... so I decided to get him :(

SO here are my tank details.
Livestock:
-10 Neon Tetras
-1 Discus around 2"
-3-5 RCS
-2 Amanos Shrimp
-1 Nerite

Plants:
Java Fern
Java Moss
Hygro Difformis
Jungle Val
micro sword narrow leaf
Some pant I got on sale for $2 ( I think its Cabomba)

Equipment:
- Lights Stock Marineland hood leds(I know they're too less for my plants, just waiting for my leds to come in this week, so I can set it up gonna be 40W around 900 lumens)
- Penguin BioWheel 200
- Marineland C-220 Canister
- 200w heater which never turns on cause my room is always too hot(tank temp is already at 82f during day and 78 around night)

SO do you guys will be okay in there for the time being, he's been sticking to the right back corner of the tank since I put him in. Fed yesterday he would just stay there he did peck at some flakes after they fell on the substrate. Today he was a bit more active, stayed in the back but was exploring the left more also chased a tetra going after some food which was in his 'teritory'.

Don't have any pics right now since my phone camera sucks, but will get them asap for now enjoy this video (sorry about the crappy quality.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDlg51u3mUk

Also my tank doesn't look amazing as most of the tanks here but its my first time trying planted so any tips would be nice and I did put some root tabs near the val and swords, is that helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So here are some quick pics this is after feeding so tetras are a bit fat.

Full Shot



Random Plant 'Cabomba' (anyone know what it might be) with Tetras



The Discus, the right side with the black fluorite is pretty much where he stays mainly towards back side near the Java ferns.




One of my Amanos


They're still quite shy and hide from people so couldn't get any good shots of the fish, will try when they come out more.
 

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Are you trying to breed the shrimp?

So here are some quick pics this is after feeding so tetras are a bit fat.

Full Shot



Random Plant 'Cabomba' (anyone know what it might be) with Tetras



The Discus, the right side with the black fluorite is pretty much where he stays mainly towards back side near the Java ferns.




One of my Amanos


They're still quite shy and hide from people so couldn't get any good shots of the fish, will try when they come out more.
 

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Well it is a huge mistake to own discus in such a small tank and even bigger - to own just one. If you don't want to starve him, give him some frozen food or pellets at least, mostly they won't eat flakes (and mostly flakes are messy).
Without the discus it looks like a good start :)
 

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Is your substrate black gravel and sand? How are you planning to keep the sand separate from the gravel?

This is what I read 1 did -
Polymer clay, SculpyIII oven bake clay. Shaping the black polymer clay, and taking it out of the tank, this was tricky, for it was soft and long. Thus de-shaped, so I traced the path on parchment paper and then take the clay out and follow the tracing on the patchment paper, this took me quite some time. Baked at 275 degrees F for 20 minutes and let cool. As it cools it hardens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Alright time for a quick update:
So All the fishes are doing well, discus has started moving around the tank, though occasionally he hides near the java fern when he is spooked(like when i was doing a water change yesterday)

Feeding sees to be a bit of an issue not with the discus though. He eats flakes fine and brine shrimp, the issue is since i'm suppose to feed him multiple times the tetras seem to be eating a lot of it so i'm worried that they might get too bloated. Also about beef heart ive read in some places that tetras don't have the stomach for it plus its really messy. One my LFS sells live black worms would that be okay, is live better or should i go with frozen?

On a side note I've read discus need crystal clean water does that mean the ammonia,nitrites,nitrates, etc. or does that also mean like clear water. My PH is around 7.5 and my GH is high to so im thinking of adding peat moss to my filter since I don't wanna use chemicals and stuff to lower it, but that would make my tank tea colorish would that be okay for the discus.

Is your substrate black gravel and sand? How are you planning to keep the sand separate from the gravel?

This is what I read 1 did -
Polymer clay, SculpyIII oven bake clay. Shaping the black polymer clay, and taking it out of the tank, this was tricky, for it was soft and long. Thus de-shaped, so I traced the path on parchment paper and then take the clay out and follow the tracing on the patchment paper, this took me quite some time. Baked at 275 degrees F for 20 minutes and let cool. As it cools it hardens.
Wow thanks for the tip, yup its the gravel type fluorite. I put bunch a bunch of 1/2"-1" pebbles to seperate the two and covered them on top with sand :) hope fully that works. But just in case ill try the clay technique do you think i should keep it leveled with the substrate or would it be better to make it a bit taller kind of like a sandbox.
 

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Discus need water that is as close to perfect as possible. Absolutely zero ammonia and nitrites, 0-5 (if that) nitrates. You should be doing daily water changes. The tea color won't hurt him, but since you'd be doing huge water changes, you'd either be making the water chemistry fluctuate rapidly or doing nothing at all. Steadily hard water is better than water of fluctuating hardness.
Brine shrimp are NOT at all nutritious. He's already showing signs of stunting, you need to get him on a very high-quality diet as soon as possible. Live blackworms would be great, yes.
 

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Wow thanks for the tip, yup its the gravel type fluorite. I put bunch a bunch of 1/2"-1" pebbles to seperate the two and covered them on top with sand :) hope fully that works. But just in case ill try the clay technique do you think i should keep it leveled with the substrate or would it be better to make it a bit taller kind of like a sandbox.
Here is the thread it was used in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good news!!
I was able to return the discus back to the store hopefully he lives a healthy life and picked a bunch of assorted plants on sale, no clue what they are.... Will post some pics for help with Identifying them.

Now that the discus is gone I can of get some new fishes I was thinking rummy nose tetras or harlequin rasboras aroun 6-8. Any ideas on what might be a good addition?

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hm I kind of like the idea of more neons but my grandma keeps bugging me to get some other/bigger fish ( plus my entire family finds it weird that I have shrimp in my tank 😥 and I spend $3 on each rcs) . I might add 5 more neons got any ideas what else might be good match for the tank.. My lfs did get some cockatoo cichlids how about them?

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You could get Some apistogramma or microgeophagus.
if the rcs breed enough they should be fine, and they need enough hiding places

But basically every fish with a mouth big enough to eat a shrimp, will eat your shrimp
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Tank update for JULY

So been I have been a bit busy with life but finally have some relaxation this week so posting an update..

Week 2: (July 6, 2016)
Added a pair of GBRs basically a male and female, I know most people say to add a couple of them and let them pair off but that would cost me a bit beyond my budget for the week and was not quite sure about the territorial issues they might have with so many. So I found a male and female guarding one area of a piece of driftwood and hoped they were a decent pair. The person working there told me she had never seen them spawn or any eggs in the tank so was not quite sure if they were a pair.(fingers crossed).
Also added a small piece of driftwood to add a bit of height, since the top looks empty.

Week 3:
So ram pair have become more active since last week and started actually coming to the top when its lights on (aka food time) the male did chase the female around the first day but now they seem to do their own thing once in a while swim together.
Went to a lfs they had a neon tetras for sale decide to add 5 more. The tank they were in was at the bottom had driftwood and a lot of tanins but you could easily see them from the top. When I left and decided to check the bag they were all grayish transparent could barely see their bluish/green stripe yet alone red thought they were stressed probably that's why. Added them to the tank noticed they are different then my neons even when new my neon had some color. next day see their stripe and I realized something these were green neon tetras :surprise: .

Week 4:
Got an nerite snail with it kind of got an endler, was a bit afraid of adding it since I thought my rams would devouver him but they leave him alone more than my neons.
Bit of Plant update - my val is kinda reaching the top, trimmed and replanted cabomba since it was getting tall and I wanted a nice bushy forest. got a couple of crypts I think 'wendtii green'. Got rid of the most microsword since they were dying left some which seemed alright in place.
Fish update: start of the week nothing much but the green neons were colored up nicely and honestly am liking them way more than my regular neon. Also noticed they scool in the evening randomly through out the tank while my neons are just spread out (they stopped schooling the second day they were added). My rams (mainly the male) have kind of decided that this is their tank and sometimes chase a neon when the start looking for food in the sand as my rams do, my shrimps have all dissapered but once in a while see an amano and in a blue moon a rcs. Later that week around Thursday or Friday in the evening noticed eggs !!!!!. The spawned on the rock towards the left side by the outflow of my canister :frown2: even though I placed this nice smooth rock on the other side.

Week 4:
Thought the eggs would be gone by now since I kept reading all these posts by people saying how GBRs aren't that great parents compared to other cichlids and they eat their eggs especially on the first try and when they are young. Was worried that they would fight because my friend got two rams before and they spawned but after that the male kept harassing the female, luckily these two seem to both be doing their job. they've pretty much kept the neons on the right side of the tank. The neons didn't seem to bothered with the eggs. So sunday morning some of the fry were free swimming and me being dumb fed them brine shrimp (which I do on sundays) so they went all around the place instead of floating or falling down slowly like flakes. The parents were busy eating so little ol' frys thought they can make it on their own some swam in the open area and were eaten by neons. Rest of the day both the parents kept trying to keep the remaining in place, unfortunately what I was afraid of as soon as the frys even jumped a little the outflow would pus them away and close by is the intake so some got sucked by the filter. By next day all were gone :(

Week 5: Last week
Decided to give away 5 neons since they kind of look odd with the greens since they don't have the red part, I know its weird. I ended up getting 6 rummynose and 3 marble hatchetfish. did a slight bit of rescaping and moss trimming.

Alright so all caught up :)
Current stock:
2xNerite Snails
2xGerman Blue Rams
8x Green Neon Tetras
5x Neon Tetras (going soon)
3x Marbled Hatchefish(more coming)
6x Rummynose Tetras
Some shrimp somewhere :/

Now some concerns I have:
1. Water temp - on most days this summer my tank is reaching 84f and on rare days 86f( hopefully doesn't go above that), is it okay for the fish or should I try floating an ice bottle would that cause more harm than good. My heater is set to 80f

2. Bioload/ Nitrates - I currently do 20-25% water change weekly but have noticed my nitrates only go to 5-10ppm before water changes.Since I have never kept a planted tank before was wondering do the plants help with nitrates, is this normal with such a high bioload? also I have a pothos in there.

3. I have would like to get some floaters to help diffuse some light since my moss on the driftwood closest to the light has BBA or some kind of brown fuzzy algae and since it will help the hatchets. Only question is would it cause issues for my plants?

Will try to get some Pictures up by tonight
 

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Yes plants gobble up Nitrate as a Nitrogen source. Don't worry about them too much you need a really high amount to harm livestock.
As long as the mass of floating plants doesn't get too large your plants should be fine. If you are having algal issues you could also try and dim the lights if your lights are able to do that.


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