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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Latest FTS (2/22/21):
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Tank size: 36"WX18"DX24" 65 gallons
Substrate: Eco-Complete
CO2: Pressurized, JBJ regulator and bubble counter, ISTA reactor
Heater: Hydor ETH inline 300W
Filter: Eheim Pro II 2026, Filter medium: Fluval pre-filter, coarse filter pad, Eheim Substrat pro, Seachem Renew, fine filter pad; AquaTop SSK-65 surface skimmer
Ferts: EI
Lighting: Chihiros WRGB II 90
Plants: Rotala Indica, Rotala Macranda Mini Pink, Rotala Wallichii, Hygrophila Angustifolia Rubra, Hygrophila Salicifolia Rubra, Ludwigia sp. "super red mini", Eleocharis acicularis, Anubias Nana, Anubias Nana petite, Anubias nana golden, Anubias Barteri coin leaf, cryptocoryne undulata 'red', myriophyllum tuberculatum, Staurogyne Porto Velho
Livestock: 5 Julii Cory, 10 Neon Tetra, 2 German Blue Ram, 3 Oto, 2 SAE, 5 Amano shrimp, 1 albino bristlenose pleco

Hey everyone! It’s been a long time since I’ve been here. When we moved from South Carolina to Colorado in 2011, I tore down this tank and it’s been sitting in our basement ever since. 9 years, 2 houses and 2 kids later, it’s time to bring it back! I kept all of my equipment when we moved, so luckily all I needed to get back going was a new stand, hardscape and miscellaneous parts. So here we go!

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Tank is currently setup and running after water and equipment testing. We’re on day 6 of Seachem Stability treatment to get the cycle going. I also squeezed the sponge filter from my 5.5 gallon into the tank to try and kickstart the bio filter. I also had some lovely bio-film crop up, so I swapped the power head in the picture for the AquaTop surface skimmer. While getting the hardscape from my LFS, I picked up some kind of rotala (need to find out which 😬), anubias nana and dwarf hairgrass to hold me over until my AZ gardens order arrives on Friday. Here’s what’s coming:
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I’m still undecided on fertilizer routine. Now that I’m older and busier, I don’t think I want to mess with EI or PPS-Pro. So I’m going to try regular ole Flourish every other day and see how that goes. (unless something else groundbreaking and easy has come out in the past 9 years)

For livestock, I’m still undecided. I really liked the tetras and apistogrammas in the old tank. But our water is much harder in Colorado than SC, so I’m not sure how well they’ll do. More realistically, I’ll probably end up with whatever the kids like (with my guidance 😉).

Anyway, it’s good to be back! Let me know any suggestions, comments, things I’ve missed in the last 9 years!
 

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I’m back in the hobby after 10 yrs., as well, new to high tech and with a similar set up - 68g with med. to high lights, canister filter and co2 injection. I am using ADA Amazonia and decided to go EI dosing. I’m finding that it is not any harder, more complicated or time consuming than liquid ferts (unless you want it to be, lol).

I used this chart, measure with spoons and dose micros and macros every other day. I like to dip a small bottle to grab some tank water and briefly shake up the dry dose in that, then pour in, but I believe you can just as effectively drop the powder directly in. Nothing could be easier, really, and the money savings is worthwhile. Also, the flexibilty is nice. My phosphates seem to be a bit high, so I am just skipping those for a while till they read where I want them.

Things are going well in my tank with this regime, and I have time to read and learn more about dosing and tweeking in the meantime. Good luck with your new venture!

40-60 Gallon Aquariums

+/- 1/2 tsp KN03 3x a week
+/- 1/8 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
+/- 1/8 (10ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
50% weekly water change

60 – 80 Gallon Aquariums
+/- 3/4 tsp KN03 3x a week
+/- 3/16 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
+/- ¼ tsp (15ml) Trace 3x a week
50% weekly water change
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I think it’s more the weekly water changes that would bother me. water isn’t as cheap in Colorado as it was in South Carolina either!

here’s the mystery rotala I bought. After looking at some pics, I think it’s rotala indica. Will confirm this weekend when I go back to my LFS.
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I’m not sure how you can maintain a clean tank free of debris (one of the main controls for algae) without vacuuming the substrate at least weekly. It takes right around 50% of the water for me to accomplish that in my 40”x18” footprint and it still isn’t as thorough a job as I would like. My tank has only been set up for a couple months with 6 small danios added last week for livestock.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
so apparently in my 9 years away I forgot regular Flourish doesn’t have Macro elements 🤦🏻‍♂️So I mixed up me EI ferts last night and will start it Monday.
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Also went ahead and did a 50% water change since my Python faucet adapter arrived. Plants arrive tomorrow. Then hope to slowly start stocking on Sunday.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well USPS lost my AZ Gardens shipment between Arizona and Colorado somehow 🤬

Consoled myself by buying Luwigia sp. “super red mini” from my LFS
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also got our first livestock. The LFS had a lot of things quarantined, so our choices were limited. The kids ended up picking 5 peppered corys and neon tetras from their selection. I did put some von rio flame tetra on hold for when they are out of quarantine. So our two schools of fish will be neons and von rio.
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I also combined my two hobbies by adding some “smarts” to the tank with a connected power strip. Now I can schedule the lights better and tell Alexa it’s feeding time so she turns off the pumps for 10 minutes and automatically turns them back on. Also added a water leak sensor just in case 😬

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks!

I forgot how fun it was to watch corydoras bounce around the tank. Here you can also see some of the fuzziness the wood is getting as it matures. Will brush it off this weekend with the water change.
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One cory bounced himself right into my surface skimmer somehow overnight 🤦🏻‍♂️
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I also have a few small sprouts of something coming up around the tank. I assume it’s something that survived in the substrate from 9 years ago. So it will be interesting to see what it turns into.
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the rotala indica is putting off new leaves and shoots like crazy
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Welcome back. I’m restarting mine from way back when too! A few kids and moves more me as well.

Great idea on the smart power strip. I was actually researching basic timer power strips this AM. Glad I didn’t pull the trigger right away.

Looking good. I’m following ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great idea on the smart power strip. I was actually researching basic timer power strips this AM. Glad I didn’t pull the trigger right away.
Thanks! Just make sure you check any power draw limits and device restrictions (some say no heaters, etc).
My ludwigia sp. “super red mini” seems to be gaining its colors

here’s when I got it on Sunday:
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Here’s today:
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I’ve given up on my AZ gardens order arriving in any kind of usable condition considering it’s now 4 days late. So I raided my local petsmart plant section for some more anubias nana and eleocharis acicularis. I also grabbed some crypt undulata ‘red’ to go under the wood. I figured it would do ok in the shade. We’ll see how it fares after the typical crypt melt.
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I’m trying the anubias emersed on top of the wood. We’ll see how it does in our dry Colorado air. The leaves are already curling some, so it may end up getting dunked after all.
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I also added 10 von rio flame tetras and a red bristlenose nose pleco that came out of quarantine at my LFS. The pleco is tiny and in my 5.5 gallon tank until the 65 gets more established. This will probably be it for livestock for another week or so until the tank gets more established (easier said than done!). Here’s an updated FTS.
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Discussion Starter #11
update time! The AZ gardens order finally arrived , but 5 days late thanks to USPS. The plants were in ok shape except for the staurogyne repens. It was mush. I ordered way too much hairgrass. Ended up tossing most of it after unsuccessfully giving it away to locals. What is supposedly ludwigia inclinata Cuba doesn’t look like it to me:
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we’ll see how it grows in and try to ID it. The anubias nana also appears to not be nana at all. Some are 9” tall! So that’s annoying. We did add 6 cardinal tetra over the weekend. I also scrubbed the wood, scraped diatoms off the glass and performed a 50% water change. So far things seem to be settling in nicely. We did lose the small red bristlenose that was in our 5.5 gallon tank that’s been established for a while. Not sure what happened to him but the RCS in that tank have also resorted to hiding, so something strange is going on. I think they may not like the tap water. Previously I was getting water from before the water softener, so I’ll go back to that for the small tank. Anyway, here’s the latest FTS.

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Discussion Starter #12
What is supposedly ludwigia inclinata Cuba doesn’t look like it to me:
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So after some digging around on Facebook groups and the internet, it looks like this plant is the terrestrial Aluminum plant (Pilea cadierei). On top of this, I haven't received any response on my DOA claim for the Staurogyne repens. Needless to say I'm not too happy with Arizona Aquatic Gardens and do not recommend anybody buy from them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
18 days since last update, I guess one is due? :)

First the bad news: shortly after the last update, something went very sideways in my tank and over a week almost all of my livestock died :( I'm guessing it was either a mini cycle, my water softener or CO2 toxicity. I'm guessing a mini-cycle because I did see a re-emergence of some nitrites and diatoms. But no amount of water changes seemed to slow down the deaths and eventually everything went belly up over a week long period. Not really sure what caused it, but could have been the chunks of hairgrass matts that came half dead in the mail, were in the tank for a week and then removed. So I let things stabilize for a week after that and implemented some changes in the meantime:

1) Put the CO2 on my smart powerstrip. It's scheduled to turn on 2 hours before lights on and turn off with lights out. Was previously on 24/7
2) Running the surface skimmer 24/7 (was previously only running at night and for 30 minutes in the middle of the day). The idea is it will help oxygen exchange at the surface.
2) I was using tap water that had gone through our water softener. I now put the softener in bypass mode when doing water changes. This way at least the cold water I'm adding to the tank doesn't have sodium chloride in it (in theory).
3) Bought Alert monitors from Seachem. The hope is I'll get an earlier warning on the Ammonia reading if I do somehow induce a mini-cycle
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4) Bought a new Jebao SLW-10 wavemaker. The old Top Fin one was ugly and loud. This one runs silent, has better flow, is adjustable and gives more surface ripples. I added the guard since my bristlenose seems to like to get dangerously close to it
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I picked up some new plants from some locals and Aquarium Plant Supplier (also somewhat local):
Hygrophila Angustifolia Rubra
Hygrophila Salicifolia Rubra
Rotala Macranda Mini Pink
Rotala Wallichii
Staurogyne Porto Velho
Anubias Nana 'Golden'
Anubias Barteria Coin leaf

I'm really liking the Hygro Angustifolia Rubra:
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In the background of the pic above is the Rotala Macranda Mini Pink. As you can see, it's coming in green due to dim light at the bottom of this tall tank. I had been thinking about picking up a new light since setting up the tank. I had no clue how old the T5 bulbs were and less power draw with higher PAR from LED was appealing. After some research, I found the US supplier for Chihiros, aquarockscolorado.com , lives about 40 minute from me. So I treated myself to an early birthday gift and ordered a Chihiros WRGB II 90 this past weekend and picked it up. I'm liking it so far! We'll see how the plants respond:
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