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Your tank's starting to look very nice. Just be aware that once that water lettuce you have on the surface takes off, it starts to suck in nutrients like crazy.
 

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we have almost the exact same set-up, hehe. looks like you are off to a good start. you may need to add a small power head to get enough flow in there though.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The water lettuce was mainly in there for starting up with the aquasoil.
I may need to put in a powerhead. It seems like the BGA comes everywhere that doesn't get hit by the filter output. The only problem is that the gouramis can't really swim in any kind of current. Any recommendations for any stem plants behind the java fern on the left?
Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I just ordered the medium tech "package" from pfertz. I was going to go EI, but it seemed like it would be too labor intensive for someone else to do when I'm gone. Plus, they come in such sleek and stylish bottles. I didn't really dose anything before this. I pretty sure that I need to dose nitrogen to help ward off the BGA.

Here are a few pics of the chocolates.
 

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Those Chocolate Gouramis are so beautiful. I'd love to be able to keep them, but I've tried in the past and had no luck with them. I've read about them and even that they can't be kept long-term in an aquarium, but that's very doubtful and more than likely, there's just something lacking that I haven't been able to figure out. How long have you had those, jman?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I did some research before I got them and I wasn't sure if I would be able to keep them alive. It seems it just depends on the fish themselves. They've all been in here for a month (fingers crossed). I've heard of people who just had them die on them after keeping them for a while. I keep them at around 81 degrees and feed them frozen food, but they like the flake a lot too.

Have you seen any with a more white coloration? I had one that initially was mostly white, but then gradually is turning more brown, and now, one that was brown has almost turned albino on me. They appear to be healthy, but it is puzzling. I hope it's not sick.
 

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I think...but, I'm not sure...that the problem that I've run into with them is that I've always had other gouramis in the tank. I think that they need a placid setting and you're offering them that, so maybe you're going to have prolonged life from them.
 

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I've never seen one as white as the one depicted in your photo. So long as they are eating well in whichever color that they seem to be, they're probably just fine. But, speedie does make a point regarding your water's current status. Have you been testing for ammonia, nitrite and nitrates since it's such a newly set up tank?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It's still a bit cloudy from the aquasoil. I never did the frequent massive water changes during the start-up because I don't really mind the staining. Instead I usually do a 10% around twice a week. Ammonia and nitrite read zero, nitrate closer to zero, which, in combination with the lower flow in this tank, is why I think I have some BGA. I'll be dosing nitrogen as soon as I get the ferts I ordered. Do you think any inverts would do well in the warmer water (81 degrees)?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm hoping to add some of the following plants soon. Here are a few I had in mind. Trying to keep it simple, with only one or two of the stem plants listed.
  • Vallisneria nana
  • Ludwigia cuba or
  • Pogostemon stellatus or
  • Rotala nanjenshan or
  • Bacopa caroliniana or
  • Alternanthera reineckii
  • Blyxa aubertii
  • Blyxa japonica
 
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