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My UNS 45S finally completed cycling at the beginning of this week, and I stocked the tank with some bumblebee gobies from Aquatic Arts. I thought I'd post some photos and ask from some plant growing advice.

The tank
  • UNS 45S (45x28x18cm) ~6 gal
  • Azoo Mignon 150 HOB filter
  • PGFunny 25W heater
  • UNS controsoil capped with sand because I'm cheap
  • SANSI 10W LED bulb (lamp is at least a foot above the water surface, 3 hrs on, 2 hrs off, 3 hrs on)
The water parameters
  • pH 6.6-6.8
  • kH 1 deg
  • gH 3 deg
  • NH3 0 ppm, NO2 0 ppm, NO3 5 ppm
The flora and fauna
  • 6 Brachygobius sp. (sold as xanthomelas, but almost certainly aren't)
  • Eleocharis parvula (dying/dead)
  • Eleocharis acicularis (growing, but inundated with filamentous diatoms)
  • Lobelia cardinalis (grew rapidly initially, but has slowed)
  • Anubias nana (growing, 3+ new leaves on each plant)
  • Sagittaria subulata (growing, slowed a little towards the end of the cycle)
  • Staurogyne repens (finally starting to grow, but growing slowly)
  • Cryptocoryne sp. (melted twice, but put out multiple leaves recently)
  • Microsword (possibly growing? certainly not dying)
I've been having problems with filamentous diatoms. I think this was part of what killed the E. pavula. I think my problems with filamentous diatoms is due to the cycle. For some reason, I was running really high nitrates during the cycle (80 ppm and up) even with nearly daily 75% water changes.

Some plant/diatom questions:
  • I'm surprised the E. parvula died. It looked great for the first few weeks. It was a tissue plant, but it quickly grew roots. However, the filamentous diatoms and the later stages of the cycled really killed it.
  • Will reducing the nitrates get rid of the diatoms?
  • Is very high nitrates like that bad for plants?
  • Besides removing the diatoms and waiting for the tank to stabilize, is there anything else I can do to get rid of the diatoms?
  • Is my lighting too much? I kinda feel like it is and I've posted about it before, but I never really got a solid answer. I tried a Nicrew LED, but it was too low over the tank and wasn't lighting the whole footprint (tricky in a shallow tank like this). I also think the gobies would prefer a dimmer light, and I think they should "show" better in a dimmer tank.
  • Should I increase the photoperiod?
  • What should I replace the E. parvula with?
  • Should I look at adding some floating plants (e.g. red root floaterto break up the lighting some?
The Bumblebee gobies have been eating baby brine shrimp I've hatched. They go for basic flake food too, but it looks like they're spitting it. Hopefully, I can get them to eat it eventually. I'm going to try some small pellet food and frozen bloodworms. Any other food suggestions? I was thinking about setting up a bowl with daphnia to supplement their diet. Will they take microworms or are these too small? Are there any really easy live cultured foods I could try?

It looks like the Bumblebee gobies arrived with some fin damage. I haven't really noticed much aggression since I've had them though. I'm hoping it stays that way.

The big rock in the scape is to hold down the wood under it. It's taking a very long time to sink that wood.

Tank shots:
Plant Wood Grass Flooring Table

Plant Vertebrate Wood Grass Tints and shades
Grass Gas Glass Wood Aquatic plant


Dying/dead Eleocharis parvula
Plant Plant community Water Wood Grass
 
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