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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gentlemen,

New to the forum, and as a beginner aquarist been reading a lot of good stuff in this website.

Anyways, let me introduce my Juwel 180L tank. Got some ADA Aquasoil in it and a few plants (not sure that I got enough to make life easier for me).

So far, I'm on day 5 and reading Ammonia off the charts, some encouraging Nitrites and Nitrate off the chart too!

Been giving 9 hrs of LED lighting a day, dosing Excel and Stability.

Thinking of doing a 50% water change tomorrow to bring Ammonia and Nitrate a bit lower and compensate for evaporation.

Any inputs, comments, criticisms will be welcome! :wink2:
 

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Looks great! Only suggestion I have is, keep adding more plants. Tank start-up goes smoother with higher plant mass. Also, if your ammonia is off the charts, go ahead and do that water change. I recently cycled a tank with ammonia and ended up losing a fair number of anubias leaves to ammonia burn.
 

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I also agree with d33p, plant heavier! It makes life easier, but good going so far.
Also I would recommend going for a lower photoperiod to start off with maybe 6 hours, then increase when the tank matures. Go ahead with the water change, try to do quite a few during the intial setup to remove organics from the plants decaying/transitioning and the ammonia from AS. Nitrates aren't too big a deal you don't want to get a 0 value on them, as plants need them to grow.
What does Stability dose by the way?

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you everyone for your tips, greatly appreciated.

Few days later I have already completed two water changes and whilst still high, ammonia has reduced to around 6-8ppm. I keep doing water changes every few days to keep it from going too high.

Plants are thriving, the small ones have plenty of side runners and the stem ones are growing new leaves everyday.

I'm keeping up with daily excel dosage. Stability is a product designed to introduce beneficial bacteria to the aquarium and speed up the cycling process, whether is making a difference I don't know but I'm hoping that in the next week or so my aquarium will be completely cycled.

Thinking of adding red cherry shrimps, oto catfishes and cardinal tetras... any suggestions?

I take note of your advice to plant more but at this rate of growth in a couple of weeks i would be able to actually do some gardening cutting and replanting some of the stem plants to increase plant mass in the tank :)

I'm going to try and stay away from ferts and bottled CO2 for the time being, keeping it simple. Will see how it goes! I'll upload a new picture in the following days!
 

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Stocking sounds fine. Make sure you get a group of each, like 6 or so Otos and maybe 10 Neons (you can go higher but this is like minimum for each). I would wait a while till you stock fish maybe a bit over a month? And a month before shrimp, it lessens the organic load being put into the tank which still doesn't have mature bacterial colonies, and when algae crops up it's easier to deal with, without critters you are scared of hurting. Obviously, quarantining your fish is good practice as well, but I shall leave that to you to decide whether you wish to do so.
Excel is liquid CO2 by the way ;) The Stability probably is helping, no harm in using it. I think your plants may be able to survive on the nutrients from the AS, and then eventually fish waste. But, do not be adverse to fertiliser dosing. And try and get dry ferts if you can, to save money.
EDIT: Small note, don't just address the forum as gentlemen! There are ladies here too! (I'm a dude though hahaha)

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If I were you, I'd go for rocks that have more detail instead of smooth rocks, because it makes it look like a mountain. The smooth rocks make it look like a small rock. That's just my suggestion. It's up to you.
 

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What a lovely tank! Welcome to the forum. Some thoughts:

I like the rocks you chose. They look to me like they came tumbling off a mountainside and fractured on impact. I find it to be a very natural look, even if they don't look like they've ever been in a river. They are placed nicely as well - you have a strong focal point, with enough going on over on the right side of the tank to keep it interesting and keep your eye moving.

I might have opted for a less dramatic slope to your substrate, perhaps keeping it even across the back instead of building it up in one corner. We'll see though - it looks nice planted, and it may look even better once things fill in. Keep us posted.

Otos and cherry shrimp are good choices for the tank. They play nice together and ought to be an effective algae cleanup crew.

If you go with ferts, I suggest keeping it simple. Dose potassium and maybe micronutrients. It's working for me and Amano did this in almost all of his tanks. Liquid is fine IMHO. My bottle of Seachem Flourish has lasted me for months and it wasn't too expensive.

Lastly...think about injecting CO2. I know it's expensive initially, but it really makes a difference in the kind of lush growth your tank can support.

Keep up on those water changes, you have a great tank in the works!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for the encouragement guys.

Day #16 update

I got amazing growth, specially by the pinkish stem plants on the right side. Top new leaves are thriving, while bottom old leaves are decaying. Is it safe cutting the old transparent ones?

The carpeting plants are doing great and throwing dozens of runners everywhere. Rosettes are doing very well too.

Now the downside: got green algae on the left side of the main rock - I believe it gets a lot of light from the fixtures and since it is almost white it reflects a lot. Some of the other rocks are starting to have green algae, but so far it hasn't clouded the water or spreaded to the leaves.

Some brown algae can be observed on the bigger plants but nothing too alarming.

Stopped the Stability after 12 days, and still dosing Excel daily and with water changes. LED Lights are on 8 hrs a day now (wonder if it's still too much).

Ammonia is at 4ppm, Nitrites are 0 and Nitrates are around 40.

Since I'm a real beginner I'm quite lost with how to keep managing the tank... playing it by ear at the moment.
 

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I think keeping lights on for 5-6 hours for the first month or so and gradually increasing is better than the full 8. Keep doing water changes to remove the NH3 and organics from the decaying plants. Replant the stems so you get rid of the old growth.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well... finally I find time to update the Tank Journal and I need to ask for some help from you experts.

#5 weeks update!

Following your recommendations, I reduced the light period of my tank to 6 hrs. Also because I encountered different types of algae (cotton like, green and brown diatoms) across the tank. I also raised a bit the lights (as much as I could with the standard adaptors). I'm running a 895 easyled bar.

Tank is almost cycled (ammonia 0, nitrites 0.25, nitrates 10).

Been dosing std dosage of Excel plus frequent 50% water changes. Doing some pruning my red plants and the ones in the extremes of the tank are doing relatively well. I also upgraded the powerhead from 600 to a 1000 ltr/hr to give a better flow.

Problem is my glosso, after a huge expansion the first couple of weeks now seems to be dying off, I attach pictures. I can't figure out what's wrong with it. Need some help pls.

Gonna add some Ottos and Shrimps whenever I have a chance to go to the fish shop. Any advice is welcome! Cheers!

Bump: Detail of dying glosso...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have concluded that is a lack of CO2 what is causing glosso to die. So now I'm trying to decide if replacing it all for something less CO2 demanding or upgrading to a pressurized CO2 system. I got shrimps in the tank so increasing Excel dosage is not an option (already dosing to recommended)...

Shrimps and otos are doing impressively well, they cleaned my tank of algae in less than a week!
 
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