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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After a six month "break" I am finally back fully into the hobby. During the last six months all my tanks crashed leaving me with a mess to clean up. Last time I let duckweed go unchecked. I am slowly rebuilding my other tanks, which resulted in me visiting a few shops in the Bay Area over the last few days. I ended up jumping the gun and picking up a cheap imitation 45-P tank. I wasn't planning on setting up this tank for a few months and it was supposed to be a real 60-F but oh well.

Equipment:
Tank: 45-P Chinese Copy
Lighting: Finnex 20 inch FugeRay Planted Plus
Substrate: 4.5L of Amazonia
Filters: UGF Powered by a Rio+ 50 and ZooMed 511
Temperature Controller: DIY ebay temperature controller to control the heater and fan. Still need to decide if I am going with a pre-made aquarium fan again or rigging up a DIY PC fan setup.

No ferts and CO2 after the tank is ready for shrimp. Not much yet but I am going to get more plants over the next few days. This might be a slow process. I still need to fix up my Evolve and OEBT tanks.



 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Here is how it looks after some changes made over the last two days. UGF is running now and some plants have been added. Finnex Planted Plus and components for temperature controller have been ordered.

Don't mind the floating bio stars keeping them alive just in case a local needs them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Using an ikea lamp I have had for years. It's soon to be replaced by one fugeray planted plus because it's running 4-18 watt cfl floods and one 14 watt daylight flood right now, which is a lot of energy. I have a habit of using ikea lights. My OEBT and Betta bowl both have ikea lamps running LEDs, but I think I might slowly make the switch to all Finnex LEDs.

The tank cost me $17.99, but I feel like it was a great purchase so long as it doesn't leak. It's not a true 45-P style because the front and side glass is one piece. It wraps around and is connected to one back piece and one floor piece. It has the same dimensions though and the Chinese company used 45-P in the name of the tank. I saw the tank and felt it was perfect for this little nook in my bedroom and finally caved on an impulse buy and allowed a tank in my bedroom.

Going to go out and get some more plants right now.

Btw I am keeping an eye on your "budget" and rimless builds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The Finnex Planted + finally came in today. I am surprised by how small the unit is.
Here is a picture with just the Finnex on:


Most likely going to convert all my tanks to LEDs eventually and it looks like Finnex might be the choice for all the other tanks.

Here is how it is running now: (Running extra lights because I want as much plant growth as I can get before I shut off CO2, ferts and lower the lights.)


Got some more needle leaf java fern and some shrimp products today too.

Water parameters as of 2/11/14:
Ammonia: 4ppm
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 5-10ppm - Seeded with live filter media
PH: 6 or below - Using tap water right now because of the frequent water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Changed some things around:
-Exchanged the Aquaclear 20 with a ZooMed 511.
-Added 3 Otos and 4 Amanos after Ammonia reached 0ppm
-Removed the supplemental lights
-Added the heating and cooling system.

Notes: Downoi has melted but there is green new growth in the middle of each melted mess. Trying to keep everything running so a good biofilm grows over the tank before I find some TBs to place in the tank.


A happy Oto:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ugh. This tank is killing me. Right before it becomes ready for shrimp I have an out break of two big problems: planaria and spirogyra algae.

I don't understand where the planaria came from. I haven't even fed the tank yet. All that is in the tank is two ottos and four Amanos that have been grazing on the biofilm/green algae I have been growing for my TBs. All I had was a die off of one Otto that I didn't catch for a day. It caused an ammonia spike but no other food source. I am treating the tank right now for the planaria, good thing I still had one packet of meds.

The spirogyra algae is a bigger problem. It was caused by the one Otto that died off due to rough handling by the LFS. One Otto arrived home completely blind, you can see the fuzz on one eye in one of the pictures. One Otto arrived home with a battered head and died from internal bleeding and was the one that was stuck on my fern and didn't look dead until the mold started. The ammonia spike caused an spirogyra outbreak and it has been one tough battle. Turned off co2, cleaned the filter, changed water and now am going through a 7 day black out. There is a black background installed on the tank now so the ambient light from the window will not be a big problem.

If this does not go away I will have to treat the tank with AlgaeFix which will set me back a long way because it will kill off all the green algae and biofilm I have been growing. Sad because I have a nice layer of it on the side glass, substrate and drift woods.

Tank parameters:
PH: 5.7
GH: 4-5
KH: 0
TDS: 137
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: trace-5ppm
Temperature: 22.0
 
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