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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, its been over 5 years since I owned a tank. Unfortunately with changing careers and moving, I had to give away my old 30 gallon tank. In any event, this is my start back into the hobby. I appreciate everyone's guidance as this tank comes together.

Here's a picture of the tank right now. It's still cycling and the water had a bit of a haze still. Plants need some time to fill in and grow before it gets to the right proportions. All critiques are welcome.



Here's the hardware breakdown:

15 Gallon 24" x 12" x 12"
Finnex FugeRay 24" LED light
Eheim 2213 filter
Hydor in-line heater

Plants:

Rotala Indica (back left and right)
Green Wendii Crypts (mid-ground, small right now)
Narrow Leaf Chain Sword (foreground)

Fauna:

(5) Blue Tetras

Substrate:

Fluval Stratum Substrate


Thanks for looking!
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So there seems to be white 'fuzz' on my manzanita branch. From what I read, its fine and not catastrophic. Should I just leave it and let it run its course? It doesn't seem to be getting worse or better...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Starting to see some signs of algae on the dwarf chain swords. I'm apprehensive to throw in any otocinclus in the tank for another week to two because its still cycling.

What do most hobbyists do in this situation? The last thing I want is for the algae to take hold... but I'd feel more comfortable giving the tank some more time to cycle.
 

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Mike,

The white fuzz is a fungus and will go away. Ottocinclus or Plecostomus should eat it. Alternatively, you could just boil the wood to kill it, but either way it'll disappear in time.

As far as algae goes, I suggest getting more plants in there ASAP and/or reducing your photoperiod. Are you running any type of CO2? You should probably at least DIY CO2 and a reactor to start with.

Welcome back to the hobby :)

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mike,

The white fuzz is a fungus and will go away. Ottocinclus or Plecostomus should eat it. Alternatively, you could just boil the wood to kill it, but either way it'll disappear in time.

As far as algae goes, I suggest getting more plants in there ASAP and/or reducing your photoperiod. Are you running any type of CO2? You should probably at least DIY CO2 and a reactor to start with.

Welcome back to the hobby :)

Scott

Hey Scott,

Thanks for the follow up. I washed the branch again (2nd time) and I'm not noticing it coming back as much. I think I might be in the clear on that one.

The algae is minimal right now and seems to only be on the chain swords. I'm starting to think that it might have been there from the LFS because the other plants, rock, or wood isn't showing signs on algae. As a preventative, I think I'm going to reduce my photo period for the next few days. BTW, I'm also dosing Excel for carbon.

What other plants to you recommend? I'm trying to give to rotala some space to grown right now. Its been in the tank since last weekend and I'm starting to see new growth. I'd love an interesting low growing plant in the front...
 

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When starting a new tank I like aggressive growers like Hygrophila polysperma or Heteranthera zosterifolia (stargrass). For low growers, my absolute favorite is Glossostigma elatinoide. Staurogyne repens is excellent as well, but it's a bit more maintenance to keep it low. Hydrocotyle sp 'Japan' is a great midground plant. If you don't have any luck locating a source for plants, send me a PM, I might be able to help you out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When starting a new tank I like aggressive growers like Hygrophila polysperma or Heteranthera zosterifolia (stargrass). For low growers, my absolute favorite is Glossostigma elatinoide. Staurogyne repens is excellent as well, but it's a bit more maintenance to keep it low. Hydrocotyle sp 'Japan' is a great midground plant. If you don't have any luck locating a source for plants, send me a PM, I might be able to help you out.
Thanks for the advice! I was thinking of glosso for the front, but though it was a bit more demanding than what I have for lighting. I have the Finnex FugeRay, which gives me about 38 PAR, or medium light. Think I should give it a shot?

Hydrocotyle sp 'Japan' is a sweet plant. I'm sure I'll need to order it from somewhere, I haven't seen it locally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, checked the water yesterday and all parameters looked good. Did a 25% water change and dosed Flourish ferts.

Started reducing the photo period from 10 hours to 8. Also purchased an otto and six sakura shrimp to help combat the algae. Hopefully that and increasing the Excel dosing from 1.5ml to 2ml will help.

Rotala is starting to look a bit dull. Not sure if its the algae or if its missing nutrients. I'm hesitant to dose more for fear the algae will really take over. Is once a week enough? Crypts and chain sword are doing well otherwise.

Will post updated pictures later.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
New Update:

Can't find any of the sakura shrimp. They were small, so I think the blue tetras got a hold of them during the night. :icon_cry: Well, I tried and know to either get bigger shrimp or forget about that all together.

Over the weekend I installed the Tom's surface skimmer. I was having a horrible time with surface film and this did the trick. Its a little big for my liking, but I'm sure once the rotala fills in it won't be too notable.

I'm excited to see some of the hair algae going away. My photo period has been reduced to 7 hours and I upped the Excel dosing to 2mL. I'm also splitting the Flourish ferts twice a week. Half a dose on Monday.. the other half on Thursday. Is 1mL enough? I guess I'm afraid to overdo it.

The chain swords are finally settled in and sending out new shoots. I'm thinking of trimming some of the larger leaves and just leaving the fresh newer growth. Would that cause any issues?

Here's a picture of the tank a week later. All comments and critiques are welcome.

Thanks,
Mike

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the words of encouragement!

Tested the tank yesterday and noted that my Kh is about 17ppm.. pretty low. Would this cause any issues? Recently the rotala is looking a little dull, so I think I think need to increase dosing.

Here's the full results:

pH 6.8
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10-20 ppm
GH 107 ppm
Kh 17 ppm

For the past few weeks I've been dosing 1mL twice a week of Flourish Comprehensive. I'm thinking of upping that to 1.5mL twice a week instead. Should I also include other ferts?

In the meantime, I've cleared some room in the back right and left corners for another stem plant variety. I'll see if there is anything good at the LFS. Chain swords are sending out runners like crazy. Already have three little guys sprouting up!

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Picked up some Limnophila hippuroides yesterday at the lfs. This stuff is awesome looking. I just hope that it grows well in my tank. It needs some time to straighten out and root itself. Fingers crossed.

Also got a couple of Amano shrimp. So far they are going well and none of the fish are messing with them. I think it helps that they're a lot bigger than the Sakuras.

Anyone have input on dosing and low Kh? I noted a couple crypts has yellow leaves. Could be that they are still settling in, but I would have figured this would have presented itself a few weeks ago if that was the case.

I did a water change yesterday and dosed ferts after, so I'll see how things are looking today.
 

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What are you feeding your otos? If you aren't supplementing that algae then I would recommend it. Tank as new as yours doesn't really have enough slime/algae built up yet. De-seeded zucchini was a favorite of mine. Never blanched it or anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What are you feeding your otos? If you aren't supplementing that algae then I would recommend it. Tank as new as yours doesn't really have enough slime/algae built up yet. De-seeded zucchini was a favorite of mine. Never blanched it or anything.
I've been trying to get the otocinclus to eat Omega One veggie rounds but without luck so far. Seems interested, but never goes for it. I'll try to zucchini tonight and see if that helps. How long do you leave it in for?
 
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