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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been commenting and giving advice again after my little hiatus so it only seems fair that I start up a journal of my own (so those of you whom I have been commenting on, can finally have their chance ;) ). A little background before I ramp off:

I've had this tank since 2010. It was a Christmas gift and one I've always cherished. At the time, the Fluval EBI/Flora systems were a rage. A malfunctioning heater turning the original aquascape in 2011 into a Rasbora and Plant soup diffused my enthusiasm for Nano tanks until 2013.

2013 I decided to give it another whirl, purchased two Finnex Planted+ FugeRay (the original light lasted about 3 weeks), removed the background, used the Stratum substrate. Had ok success with it (only used one light, kept the other for a spare) but nothing compared to what I wanted. Grew some Sunset Hygro, kept a Betta (named Art) grew C.parva with success.

Tore it down in 2016 as at this point, my large Rift Tank garnered my attention and tank suffered literally from lack of attention.

Cleaned it up, packed it up for another time, another place.

2018 realized that my office is missing something. I didn't want a big tank (one more move to make before putting my own personal roots into the ground) and needed something a bit more "portable". Then I realized, I have two of these tanks at my disposal. 2 Finnex Planted+ LED Lights and some bits and pieces I've kept over the years.

I decided it was time, and I wanted to go Hi-Tech. A challenge, something different.

Rather than rehash September 2018 right up to this morning, I will provide a link: Office Space II

As I do updates, I will hit my Local Aquarium Society Page and here. So new stuff in this section, will start tomorrow.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·

Excuse the Powerhead, I keep it running as I find the output for the Eheim 2211 a little on the low side. I am considering upgrading to the next size up which means new lily pipes as well. When I do my "professional shots" with my DSLR for the contest, I am obviously going to be removing it. Still going to change out the clear white tubing for black on the CO2 input.

The filter does need a good cleaning as I can clearly see diminished flow with the Co2 bubbles.

Tomorrow, 10 more Chili Rasboras and Hygrophila pinnatifida, and an updated picture. According to FedEx, before noon. Good, hopefully during one of my morning meetings.

Then I begin the maturation of Tank. I trimmed down the HC on the rock at front as it was starting creep over the Hairgrass lawn, a little yellow showing as I really removed a lot. The empty space on the right side is for H.pinnatifida. So looking forward to this, it's my version of Christmas.

Going to be trimming the Buce on Saturday, as I plan to bring some to the Aquarium Society Auction on Sunday.It's starting to grow "out" rather than "up".

Comments, suggestions, gifts of high end electronics welcomed...

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Even with the lights dimming down for the night Office Space II looks nice.

Here is the start of the new look. The empty gap has been filled with the Hygrophila pinnatifida. Now to get it to transition to the tank and have it start growing up the rocks. Which I will need at least 2 more to fill in some gaps, to clean up the effect.

19 Chili Rasboras in the tank, for Fish bioload, I am complete. Still looking for Crystal Red Shrimp (Males and Females) and that is it. Then it's time to get the tank ready for the AGA competition.

Gary
 

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Even with the lights dimming down for the night Office Space II looks nice.



Here is the start of the new look. The empty gap has been filled with the Hygrophila pinnatifida. Now to get it to transition to the tank and have it start growing up the rocks. Which I will need at least 2 more to fill in some gaps, to clean up the effect.



19 Chili Rasboras in the tank, for Fish bioload, I am complete. Still looking for Crystal Red Shrimp (Males and Females) and that is it. Then it's time to get the tank ready for the AGA competition.



Gary


Really gorgeous tank! Thanks for sharing.


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I did a pre-trim today.


  • Removed a bunch of Blyxa japonica for a member of the Aquarium Society
  • Cut a nice sized piece of Buce kedagang for the Aquarium Society Auction Tomorrow
  • Trimmed some of the H.pinnatifida, just a small amount but enough to get a plant or two started. Not sure if I am going to give it away or just put in the auction. Undecided yet.

I'm going to see how this works on the whole Sunday maintenance. Whether it makes it easier or not we will find out. But the Blyxa has been taken care of. I'm glad that someone is taking it and going to grow it as opposed to me throwing it away all the time.

Mind you, I took quite a bit out so it may be a while before freebies are available again.

The H.pinnatifida is already growing smaller, browner leaves! Yeah! Awesome, soon I'll just start covering my Seiryu stones with it and really flesh out this aquascape, I can't wait to mature this out.

Staurogyne is looking a little thin or maybe I am just tired. Either way, it's grow out time! Let the games begin.

Pictures to follow. Need to do some cleaning, top up the water and remove more snails.

The new fish have started to really color up. The days of feeding almost daily are over. Back to the routine. Everyone is doing well. Now about those Red Crystal Shrimp...

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Grobbins48! It's been the challenge I've been looking for to inspire me back into the hobby, for a little while, it seemed I was getting further away..

And now todays Journal Update...

Thankfully I did a pre-trim yesterday!

It was still an one hour and fifteen minute session, but I cleaned the filtration and did a really good cleaning inside the tank and some tweaking of plants.

First the plants:

  • Trimmed the H.pinnatifida. I cut back some of the larger emersed form leaves. Just a few, will slowly do this over a period of a couple of weeks
  • Did more corralling of the HC that just loves to spread anywhere it can root. Cleaned up the front clump
  • Staurogyne repens, yes, the leaves are smaller than before. Now that I have been really trimming, I left them alone this week. I will trim if necessary next week, replanting into some of the dead spots that were created by the B.kedagang
  • Hairgrass I left alone
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The filter was an epic mess. I do mean epic. The Media I had placed in there was "gunk o rama". It was heavy. I replaced it with fresh media and going to start a 2 month programme of cleaning the filter and replacing the media rather than waiting for the flow to reduce.

I restarted the filter after the cleaning and blew all the fish around the tank, I had to back off on the flow for now. Don't want to overly stress my week old group.

As usual pictures to follow, though the tank has already cleared up dramatically. Wow, that filter was nasty.

I did notice this evening that a good portion of my Blyxa has decided to uproot itself. So I am going to have to replant it.

This stuff is a pain to replant, but has to be done. May add a bit more substrate to keep it rooted firmly, looks like, for some weird reason, the substrate at the back of the tank is a lot lower than I expected it would be.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Blyxa needs to be replanted. More sections have floated up. Looks like it having a bad hair day.

Sunday's maintenance will be me adding a bit more substrate to the back of the tank, and replanting the large masses of Blyxa that have floated up. I cannot believe the amount of daughter plants it shoots off.

It's a real pain planting the Blyxa, the placement of the Spiderwood in the tank should have been much more forward. But alas, it is what it is. Just coping with it.

The Hygrophila (as you can see in the right of the picture) is producing small brown leaves at a very rapid rate. Tomorrow, I'm most likely going to pinch these off and place them on the rocks. Yes, I still need to get more. But what rocks I have, will be covered in Hygro rather quickly.

Since cleaning the filter, everything seems to pearling better again, I believe flow has a large part to do with this. If you notice in the picture a steady stream of tiny bubbles from the Buce.

Grow, trim, replant, repeat. Next little while. Still looking for Crystal Red Shrimp, seems when I need them, my Local source goes MIA. When I order them from someone else, my Local Source will reappear. Sigh.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Once I get my Blyxa back the way it used to be I will be glad. Each time I look in the tank, I get angry but such as life. I needed to add more substrate to the back (seems it collapsed in the back, it's only 2" deep) and then do a replant.

To add my overgoing list of problems, seems my little powerhead and a handful of suicidal/mercenary snails have cancelled each other out. Last night, more like early morning, I could hear this god awful racket throughout the place. Seems a few snails ventured into the intake of the Powerhead and enough of them to break the impeller.

Good news was it was a large group of snails bad news is that my little powerhead is toast.

I put my Emergency HOB back on and it keeps reminding myself how well this thing clears water. Sunday, it's going to be stuffed with Filter moss as after a substrate padding, the tank gets awful cloudy no matter how careful I am.

Going to let the HOB run for the week until next water change. Replacing Filter Moss throughout the week to polish up the water quick.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Blyxa Bashing - Feb 16th, 2020

As I stated, my goal today was add more substrate to the back of the tank and replant the Blyxa. What I discovered was that giant mass of Blyxa at the back of my tank was one piece. It was a mother plant with untold daughter plants.

As I started to remove it (I had to in order to add more depth at the back) I realized four very important things:
  • While wonderful (I loved the look before it fell apart) it was literally hanging on by one root system
  • As I removed the daughter plants, I realized I had more than I was going to replant (that was the largest amount of Blyxa I've thrown away :( )
  • I'm going to have to switch into high gear if I want my "look" back for the AGA Contest in September
  • Free Blyxa cuttings will not be happening for quite some time

I have noticed, as you will as well, my Buce is literally taken over that piece of Driftwood.

MacGyvered my little Powerhead. While the HOB did a wonderful job it also shadowed out the plants. The Powerhead also shadows, but a small small area almost enough to be negligible.

Going to be replacing the Eheim 2211 with most likely a 2217. Which means new Lily Pipes. Yes, I will remove the cardboard this time. I need more water flow on the surface and I have more options with larger diameter Lily Pipes. Trying to reduce equipment used in the tank.

In fact, I won't do anything until Sunday. This way, I am concentrating only on the tank.

While the substrate did cloud out the tank, it is not as bad as you might think. I plan to take a picture. Don't be alarmed, I did replant the best pieces of Blyxa (about 4 large pieces) and now it's time for grow out.

I haven't touched the H.pinniftada as I'm going to let the tank settle for the week. Fish are pretty stressed out. Their Blyxa hideout is no more.

Next Sunday, its Hygro and Hairgrass.

The tank looks alien, almost like another tank, resembles actually what it looked like (somewhat) when I first started the initial last layout grow out. All this in one hour and ten minutes.

I did get a chuckle though, as I was watching the tank after the session and typing this, I noticed a snail clinging onto a Stauro leaf that is blowing around the tank by the flow of the Powerhead. Would this be considered Para-snailing?

Music for today was Dead in Vegas, "Contino Sessions" and Morcheeba, "Who Can You Trust?" (this is an excellent album, really bluesy with electronica thrown in, very chill).

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

I have no doubt that the Blyxa will grow back into it's former glory, hopefully, rooted this time.

Will give me time to tweak, trim, grow repeat the plants until then. My poor Chili's are just freaking out, they spent a lot of time in the Blyxa tree and they have been swimming around there as if in disbelief.

As General MacArthur once said, "I shall return."

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I found and purchased some Crystal Red Shrimp! I picked up 20 of various sizes and ages. Enough to start and keep a viable colony.

I am not going to bother them this evening with my Shutterbug habits, but tomorrow, all bets are off...

This completes the bioload stocking for the tank.

I had two pieces of Blyxa pop up this morning, during the replanting (I will admit, I am fiercely awkward and clumsy) I managed to uproot one more. Re-planted two out of the three, and the third plant was given to the person whom I bought the Shrimp from. Both parties are happy.

I have been handing out Blyxa for free to most of the Aquarium members to keep this plant in circulation in the City. I am personally making a hard to find plant become common place amongst us Wet Thumbs in the area.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·


Let there be Crystal Reds. Excuse the Chili Rasboras, they can't help but photobomb now.

While most of the Shrimp hang out in the back of the tank (I guess there is more "food" back there), a few are brave souls and hang out front. They've already cleaned one rock pretty good.

Tomorrow when I feed, I am hoping the lot come out for a big group photo, we will see..

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks, time to grow out that Blyxa and start getting the Hygro where I want it!

I've looked for quite some time for those Shrimp, I swear it felt like Christmas when I was a little kid. True sign of the die hard hobbyist.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks, if I could do one thing over it would have been the placement of the wood. I put it too far to the back and failed to consider the eventual size of the Blyxa, other than that, it's been a labor of love.

Great sized tank, took 2 years to get this far.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Going to be a definitely Aquarists Sunday today.

I have a CAOAC Remote meeting at 11am, which is supposed to last until 1pm, then of course it's the Trim and pamper for Office Space II.

My goals today are the Hairgrass and Hygro. One of my Buce Plants is sending a massive amount of runners into the water column at the back of the tank. I plan to trim a few of these down and neaten it up a bit. Hopefully, not uprooting that one Blyxa plant that if even sneezing in it's general direction, will uproot.

The Shrimp have adjusted nicely and really started going after the patches of algae. While no tank is perfect and will have some sort of algae or another, they are doing a bang up job getting rid of the noticeable stuff at the front.

They really LOVE the Hairgrass/HC area. They tend to congregate in this area quite a bit. Unfortunately, to get head count, food is involved.

Put in some Brine Shrimp yesterday and the Shrimp were zipping into the water column to get some. They have the exact personality of Amano's and food. Greedy b-----ds, the lot of them.

Hygrophila pinnatifida is not the fastest growing Hygro. While I cut all the tops off and replanted, I was surprised at;


  • How fast it transitions from big ugly leaves to small pinnate ones
  • How little I actually have after trimming
  • How little I actually have after replanting

Will need to continue with propagation of this plant at a slower rate than I previously thought. I was expecting to cover the rocks at the back with it, I'd be lucky to do that with the rock in the front of the tank.

Trimmed the wandering roots from my Buce at the back, yes, I uprooted two of the three Blyxa. Created a few new swear words replanting.

Hairgrass trims up nicely, it's just a pain to remove. I spend a good deal of time, just capturing errant pieces and there is still a few left in the tank. Though it does look much nicer, I think I need to create a Hairgrass Comb to speed up trimming and making it more even. I'll be a Barber to the Plants.

Started designing my dual output system. This way, I can remove the Powerhead and solely rely on the filter for water movement, CO2 distribution and of course, filtration.

The dual output will still have the "Violet" glass (or stainless steel deciding) output while the secondary will be Jet facing towards front right to spin the water around the tank and create movement. Which means upgrading to a much larger filtration unit. Eheim 2217 should be able to do all I need.

I can throttle back somewhat if I need to keep the flow from turning the Aquarium into the raging torrent of death.

Gary
 
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