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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here is my tank contrast from September 2018 to June 2019 for my first planted tank. Substrate is sand over organic potting soil from a local composter. Only one of those original plants is still in the tank! I have learned a lot along the way, and I love being back in aquariums.

Cheers

PS, I finally realized I should go feed mode (no filters) for still photos.
 

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Looks like you learned difference between true aquarium plants and some of the crap fish stores will try to sell beginners. Seems we all have learn that lesson in the beginning.

Looking good.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I downshifted to just two Fluval Nanos after the update, and swapped a pair of MF-10s (which I still love), for a pair of Tunze Comline 3161 filters, which give me deep-water filtration and surface/sub-surface skimming, and let me hide my Apex probes. There is an MF-10 in the middle for the video, but I was just comparing the flow with different levels. Inside, I used MF-10 filter foam sideways, plus the foam from the Tunze, plus cylindrical foam around the Apex probes. I get a lot of surface turnover without having a spray-bar above water.

I'm running two siestas, feeding the fish, and just topping off water.

https://vimeo.com/357027079


Cheers
 

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Man, those Tunze look like nice internal filters, hadn’t seen them before. Mag mounts, user fillable media compartment, skimmer/high-low intake, heater/probe holder. Goes down to 60gph making it small tank friendly.

Price not as bad as I was expecting either for a Tunze product.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I bought them from Marine Depot with no reviews. One came with a Euro plug pump, and their Tunze rep sent me a US one the next day!

I previously tried the Eheim skimmers, but they were not safe enough for anything small. I'm sure they would be great in a larger setup with no surface plants.

These filters have intake both from the bottom grill and one or two top layers (your choice). I am using both of the top layers, with the lower level open forward, and the top skimming layer open aft. I am not using the covers, because I want floating plants to be happy spinning in the filter intake.

Both filter intakes lead up to the top of the internal part of the filter (like a foyer with two outside doors), which is the top of my foam-stack. I think there is enough surface area and water volume before the foam that shrimp and fry can swim out of the filter gates. I will try to show more video shortly, since I think these are really cool filters.

Cheers,

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I have an update about those Tunze Comline Nanofilter 3161 units.

I tried using them with both intake hoods, one submersed, and one at the surface. I realized I wasn't getting the skimming I expected, so I pulled the top hood on each and moved the filters up a bit so each is just skimming thru one grill. This increased the skimming action and finally started to remove the thin biofilm I had after changing filters.

Now because of the flow to the surface from the outputs, which pushes water towards the surface in the back of the tank (in between the filters), the remaining duckweed flows "downhill" away from the back, and no longer collects at the skimmer intakes. The little bit of duckweed stuck inside the intake is now sucked down to the foam instead of just spinning on the surface. My loach and otos love playing in the output flow in the back of the tank, and other fish will take little surfing trips to ride the current for a bit, but they can also chill out at the front of the tank.

I'll try to share a photo or video later today.

Cheers

https://vimeo.com/359648619
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I would appreciate some advice on this tank. It is super-stable. I just feed, top-off water, and enjoy. I setup other tanks so that I don't fiddle with this one.

However, during my impatient phase of tank-keeping, I bought Amano shrimp and a loach for my main tank, to go after stray algae and snails, respectively.

Now the tank is totally snail free, a couple of Amanos are still around, and once in a while I see a neo or tangerine. I really miss having snails and breeding neos in this tank, but my loach is so cool. I could move it to either of the two un-stocked tanks I setup, but they are both smaller. Maybe I put it in the 16G and get pea puffers and make a carnivore tank?

I am also willing to give the loach away to someone who can offer a bigger tank.

You can see it in the last video, among others.

Please let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I am going to follow your advice and lean into what I have, and not evict anyone to another tank. Do you think I can get away with adding more loaches, otos, or any more of my current fish?

I have two other tanks that I am very patiently waiting to stock, so this tank doesn't have to be everything. Plus my two other shrimp tanks.

I also bought some Bug Bites, so if I feed my loach more, maybe the shrimp won't get snacked on?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #11

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Discussion Starter #12
I bought a second yoyo loach to keep my big one company. It is so much smaller, like one inch compared to 2.5 inches.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
All amano shrimp and the remaining tangerine seem to be going strong in the tank. I'm feeding more Hikari and Bug Bites. Shrimp breeding seems to be working in my shrimp or shrimp + oto tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
New year update video. The tank currently has a couple of Celestial Pearl Danios, several White Cloud Minnows, some Leopard Danios, two Yo-Yo Loaches, a bunch of Otocinclus, a new Rainbow Shark, a few Amano Shrimp, and one or two Tangerine Tiger Shrimp. I'm running two MF10 filters, two Fluval Plant 3.0 Nano lights, and monitoring with an Apex EL. The substrate is organic soil capped with mixed sand and gravel.

https://vimeo.com/382293816
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The new Rainbow Shark did some chasing at the beginning, and does a little at feeding, but in between, he or she (can anyone tell?), loves to chill and graze the crypts. I think it might help that my two Yo-Yo Loaches are bigger and smaller than the Rainbow Shark. I enjoy how store fish chill out when they finally get to live with plants.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
The Rainbow Shark has been doing more harassing, especially of the Leopard Danios, one to the point of injury, I think. That one didn't make it. :(

It doesn't bother the Otocinclus, Yo-Yo Loaches, or Amano Shrimp.

I am now transferring all my Danios and White Clouds to my 16 gallon bow front. About 7-8 done, and one Leopard Danio and two hard-to-catch CPDs to go. I might have to remove my Mopani wood for an hour, but I think I'll give them a break for a bit before I try again.

I'm not sure what I will do next, but I will never make an impulsive purchase of a new-to-me species ever again!

Are there other semi-aggressive fish that could co-exist with this Rainbow Shark?

Thanks
 

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Ive been there. It happens with us fish-lovers, unfortunately.
Ive never kept a Rainbow shark so have no experience with compatible species that have actually worked and not just been suggested to work on some random internet page.
maybe others who do have rainbow sharks will chime in on compatible tank-mates to try.
 

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The Rainbow Shark has been doing more harassing, especially of the Leopard Danios, one to the point of injury, I think. That one didn't make it. :(

It doesn't bother the Otocinclus, Yo-Yo Loaches, or Amano Shrimp.

I am now transferring all my Danios and White Clouds to my 16 gallon bow front. About 7-8 done, and one Leopard Danio and two hard-to-catch CPDs to go. I might have to remove my Mopani wood for an hour, but I think I'll give them a break for a bit before I try again.

I'm not sure what I will do next, but I will never make an impulsive purchase of a new-to-me species ever again!

Are there other semi-aggressive fish that could co-exist with this Rainbow Shark?

Thanks
Random internet page: ;)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_shark


Think that's bad, wife picked a African Blue Cichlid for her tank. Proceeded to wipe out all the other fish..
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ouch!

Thanks for the link. Barbs could be fun. Would a 20 gallon be too small for Rainbowfish?

Or... could this be my opportunity for a Dwarf Puffer?

It is surreal to be partially rebooting the fauna in my oldest tank.

The side benefit is that I now have fish in my 16 gallon that won’t just hide in the Crypts.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
https://vimeo.com/391394396

In order: moss pico, red neo gemini pico, blue neo gemini pico, nano cuboid, nano cube, pico cube, three utility picos, bowfront nano.
 
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