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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Some background info.

Let's start with some honesty; I love my tank, but it has been a seriously long time since I've done ANYTHING but throw in food and top off water, (like, 10 months at least, maybe longer) but with good reason! In that time I've taken some ridiculously hard pre - med classes, my wife is now pregnant (30 weeks a long yesterday), & I studied for and took the MCAT, took a work trip to China, & other assorted things. I've had only two casualties, both over 8 months ago. My GBR had hole in the head and i had a mysterious Julii Cory death. I have a TON of plants. Several riparium plants that are doing well. (Mangrove, another I can't remember, a Pothos vine, & spider house plant) All of the plants have done extremely well, & have had a lot to filter.

While I was in China, the power went out at my house, & my old penn plax canister died. So my wife didn't know what to do, so my tank was without a filter and only an air pump for a week. When I returned, I decided I should probably up my game and fix it up before the baby comes. I just bought a sunsun 302. I put that together last night, it took a while, needless to say, and cleaning out the Penn Plax filter was one of the most disgusting things I have ever done. Needless to say I will NEVER go that long without cleaning a filter ever again. I think part of the issue is while I was in China it was stagnant, so I imagine there was a lot of anaerobic bacteria growth in there.

More importantly, the Sunsun filter is great, it has really cleaned up the tank pretty quickly and it looks great. I have floss in the top tray, Scour pads in the middle and seachem matrix in the bottom. I primed it with aquarium water and some lava rock from inside the tank. Anyway, I will take some more pics later of how much better it looks, but let me know if you guys have any suggestions or comments!




Here are some pics from before cleaning it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So after 24 hours of being silent my filter is making a subtle grating noise, any ideas why? It looks like my riparium plants might need ferts. What are the best ways to do that?

Here's a pic update as well.
 

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Filter looks like SunSun (or the 3-4 other names that canister gets sold under). Best to make sure your filter is not touching walls/bookshelf etc, and throw a piece of thick foam under it (or wrap it in foam to minimize vibration/noise). I have one too, kinda noisy... nearly broke my fingers trying to prime it once.. primer is very slippery when your hands are slightly wet. Honestly hate the thing and have ehiems on my other tanks (cost more but worth it!). There are two under my desk right now on a hard floor surface and they're silent! I'd forget they are thee if my foot didn't occasionally bump one.
I'm no expert with ferts, I just use the liquid stuff from Seachem: Excel, flourish, pottasium, and phosphorous, dosing as directed on bottle but using a needle-less syringe (easy accurate measurements).

btw love that pothos
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Filter looks like SunSun (or the 3-4 other names that canister gets sold under). Best to make sure your filter is not touching walls/bookshelf etc, and throw a piece of thick foam under it (or wrap it in foam to minimize vibration/noise). I have one too, kinda noisy... nearly broke my fingers trying to prime it once.. primer is very slippery when your hands are slightly wet. Honestly hate the thing and have ehiems on my other tanks (cost more but worth it!). There are two under my desk right now on a hard floor surface and they're silent! I'd forget they are thee if my foot didn't occasionally bump one.
I'm no expert with ferts, I just use the liquid stuff from Seachem: Excel, flourish, pottasium, and phosphorous, dosing as directed on bottle but using a needle-less syringe (easy accurate measurements).

btw love that pothos

Thanks for the advice! I loved that sunsun at first since it was so quite, but I'm bummed about the rattling, foam is a good idea. Where is the best place to buy it?

I should prolly start dosing again. I have a 3 L of flourish I got thru an amazon warehouse deal for cheap!

Isn't my pothos unreal????? It started with two- three leaves picked off of my in laws in Vegas that I drove home in a cup of water. I've had to prune roots 3-4 times so my fish could swim around that side at all. I have two small metal hangers with tacks that helped slightly but they mostly hold themselves up. I've been quite impressed with the progress over the shelf in the last 2-3 months
 

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No real advice on where to get foam for muffling, can try home improvement stores, arts and craft stores, amazon, ebay, etc. If you don't want to pay $ and don't mind the look of it, an unused blanket/comforter or thick tablecloth/bedsheet/towel will also do the trick, just wrap it up and try not to look at it lol.
I've only had my pothos 9 days but its already got new leaves forming, it transitioned perfectly from soil pot to HOB filter water, only ugly leaves were bad before I got them, no new die off ^^
 

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I do love your pothos! My own attempts with that plant went something like the opposite of yours: starting with a large houseplant, I took some clippings and slowly killed them off through neglect until now I have just a small whorl with a few leaves left in one of my planters.

I'm actually leaving my plants' roots crazy long at the back of my tank. My Malawa shrimp have recently been getting berried, so I'm seeing if any of the shrimplets will survive back there hidden from the voracious guppies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I do love your pothos! My own attempts with that plant went something like the opposite of yours: starting with a large houseplant, I took some clippings and slowly killed them off through neglect until now I have just a small whorl with a few leaves left in one of my planters.



I'm actually leaving my plants' roots crazy long at the back of my tank. My Malawa shrimp have recently been getting berried, so I'm seeing if any of the shrimplets will survive back there hidden from the voracious guppies.

That's a great idea with shrimp! I feel like my danios or neon tetras wouldn't let any shrimp survive, but I might be wrong on that front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thought I'd do an update. Last summer I moved to California for a couple months and then to Michigan for medical school. The tank survived both moves. Things have changed a ton. When I moved my pothos was 2 plants each 20+ feet long. I had to get rid of the mangrove because it got so huge and its roots can break tour tank :/ I'll post some pics of the timeline when I find them on my computer.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·


These are the most recent pics. I just put in 8 RCS and I have 3 cherry barbs, 1 julii cory, 2 flag fish, my bristlenose pleco, one remaining oto, 2 Florida flag fish, and a ton of assassin snails which control my MTS population. (they also killed my nerites ): ) I plan on increasing stock of my barbs and cory.


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Cheery barbs and juli cory are shoaling fish and should be kept in groups of 6 or more.

I may be wrong but I believe I'd read that flag fish get aggressive and aren't good with other species (or shrimp).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Cheery barbs and juli cory are shoaling fish and should be kept in groups of 6 or more.

I may be wrong but I believe I'd read that flag fish get aggressive and aren't good with other species (or shrimp).


Yeah that's in my to do list to increase their numbers once I get everything settled. I just did a ton of planting in the last two days and added the RCS. Both of my flag fish are females, I had heard they aren't as aggressive. So far that has been the case after a year. They're phenomenal algae eaters too


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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I finally put together an updated list of most of my plants. (except for the one in the front I can't seem to remember)

Riparium Plants
Pothos Vine
Ruellia simplex ‘Katie’
2 unknown house plants

Aquarium Plants
Java Moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri)
Java Fern (Microsorum
Crypt wendtii brown (Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Brown')
Sword (Echinodorus palaefolius var. latifolius )
Telanthera Cardinalis
Ludwigia Repens
Anacharis (Egeria densa)
Anubias Nana (Anubias barteri var. nana )
Rotala rotundifolia (Rotala rotundifolia)
Pothos Vine
Monte Carlo (Micranthemum 'Monte Carlo')
Staurogyne Repens
Unkown plant in the middle, looks like Sag?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·


Here's the tank with all the new additions. I'll probably do a plant ID post for that sag-like plant in the center and the house plants I have in the top. I don't think I mentioned it yet but I'm adding a planted + 24/7 to the top to increase the lighting in the tank. Right now I have three 9.5W BR30 LED lights about 24" above that do a good job on the riparium plants but not the submerged plants below the planters.




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