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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Three Weeks



I almost didn't want to post this week because I feel like things are kind of sad. I don't know if it was time yet, but I took some Wisteria cuttings that had roots growing down and replanted them to try to get more plants going, so things actually look MORE sparse this week than last. The cuttings were planted behind the stump and log, so you won't really see them on a frontal shot like this until they grow.

My glut arrives today.

In more detail, I had thought the Lobelia was doing alright, as I had seen new growth and roots. Now, I am not so sure. The one in the middle has suddenly lost almost all its leaves.



Lastly, I just wanted to post this shot because I find the little sunset hygro plantlets so cute. Also, you can see the new leaf on the anubias nana petite.

 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Amano Shrimp ... my rock background goes all the way to the top trim on the tank. I've been running open top and I would be concerned they would climb out. I could put the tops back on (and actually, I might have to if I continue losing a gallon a day to evap!), but I generally prefer it this way. Thoughts?

Rabbit Snails ... just saw these guys for the first time and thought they were pretty sweet. Some people say they eat plants, others say they only eat dead plants, and I have no idea if they would crawl out of the tank. Opinions?

I just love having a diversity of life in my tanks. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I suppose I should talk about my DIY "behind the tank filter" a bit in this thread and not just other's. :D Its a 6 gallon planter box sitting on a shelf behind the tank containing lots and lots of media (ceramic, pot scrubbies, purigen). There is a chamber for my heater in there, but I haven't moved the heater yet. The hob lid has 5 holes in it, in which I put flex pots. Each plant is in one of those flex pots with hydroton.

I may change the order of the plants as the two cuttings grow in. From left to right: pilea involcrata (friendship plant), epipremnum aureum (pothos - cutting), pilea cadierei (Aluminum plant), tradescantia fluminensis 'variegata' (a wandering jew), last one is unknown clipping.

My hope is eventually they will cover the whole filter and back of the tank, and you won't see any of the filter anymore. This will make cleaning a bit more of a chore, but I've already had comments on how much nicer it makes the tank look.



Here is the unknown clipping, if anyone can ID it.



I'm working on a GU10 track light system for lights. I picked up 4 3x1 GU10 LED lights, 4 swivel light holders and the track from the local ReStore for $8.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Picked up some more wisteria as well as some Dwarf Sag and a few others from a local forum member last night. Rearranged the plants a bit to try to get some more cohesive groupings going on. Going to give the wisteria a few days to settle in before I trim it. Its pretty ridiculous at the moment. :D I hope the dwarf sag takes hold, I like it.

FTS tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Four Weeks



Wow, four weeks already. Look at all that growth? JUST KIDDING. I picked up a bag of plants from a local forum member. Giving those tall wisteria a little time to settle and then I'll trim them down a bit. Also got some Dwarf Sag in front, and rearranged the Sunset Hygro around the stump more. A few tiny java ferns tied to rocks on the log and upper shelf. The right side is a bit barren, but its because I'm waiting to see if certain plants take hold before I go rearranging that.

The sword plants are all growing new leaves and roots. Hooray! Same with the two tiny anubias. I'm unsure of the lobelia ... I like it and its growing lots of roots, but the leaves of the plants are getting some algae. I think I have seen some new leaves, but I'm not certain. I know the light is probably too low for this plant. The bacopa is starting to grow now, but I think its my least favorite.

I think I lost an apple snail last night. Looks like he was chewing on some leaves stuck to the powerhead and got his head stuck. Probably going to have to get a prefilter. The tank also feels a bit understocked at the moment, but two things are happening preventing me from acquiring more fish: 1.) A 150 Gallon tank is in the works, yay Craigslist. 2.) I am waiting to see if my mother angelfish (different tank) recovers from parasites.

Depending on how those things work out, I may be shifting tank locations and fish around.

Before I added these new plants, the two bolivian rams had staked out territories and stayed in them most of the time. Now, they are out and about and playing with each other.

I really like how this section of the tank is coming together:



A couple of the tiny java ferns, as well as another new leaf on anubias nana petite. Sorry I suck at close up photos:

 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Love the filter. Any pics of the internals and plumbing?
I have a few pics from during the build. I do not have any pictures of the final configuration yet. It will give you an idea of what's inside, but its not exact. Much of the internals are built from $1 plastic baskets from the dollar store, styrene light diffuser from the ReStore and needlepoint plastic grid.







The whole filter can be thought of in three vertical layers. 1.) Submerged media and heater chamber. 2.) Filter floss, pot scrubbies, purigen 3.) plant flex pots

Water is supplied by a 350 GPH powerhead with 3/4" tubing. There is only about 6 inches of head, so this actually more water than the planter outlets can handle. To compensate for this, I spliced in a t-barb fitting and an old Magnum quick disconnect. Automatically, the water splits at the t-barb adding flow to the tank, reducing the flow into the planter. I can also regulate the flow with the quick disconnect ( acting as a ball valve), but it turns out that its pretty close to perfect already. The water flows through a 90 degree watertight fitting attached to a scrap of styrene. There is a slot in the lid, where the fitting slides through the lid with the square of styrene under the lid. This holds everything perfectly in place.

The first vertical basket is not like that in the final version. It is similar, but the input goes into a basket with a plastic grid lid filled with filter floss. This catches all the plant bits and such. It is the easiest part to access, as I only need to remove one plant and slide the lid back 4 inches. The water then hits baffles forcing it down.

Under that basket is ceramic media. The water flows around the ceramic media, then up into a couple baskets of put scrubbies, as well as plant roots. Continuing right, it hits the purigen basket and then hits another baffle, where it goes down to the heater chamber. Finally, it passes through a plastic grid and then into the 1" PVC watertight fittings (find in electrical section).

During normal operation, it is completely silent except for a low hum from the powerhead. The flow is tuned such that a single outlet can handle the entire flow via full siphon if one outlet should get jammed. It makes funny slurping noises when transitioning back and forth between full siphon and not, which acts as a nice audible alarm if something should go wrong. The planter is sitting on a planter tray, which catches any drips (there shouldn't/aren't any during normal operation) and would give at least a little bit of time if something doubly bad (both outlets blocked?) should happen.



If I was to build another one, I would do a couple of things differently. Due to the design of this specific planter (vertical slats molded in), I had to mount the outlets very high where the box is actually flat, as well as at nearly the same level. I would much rather have had the outlets in a vertical orientation, with the lower one being lower overall. The level in the planter is pretty high, within 3/4" of the top and in emergency mode (one outlet running) it gets up to about 1/4" from the top. I would like to have a little more comfort zone.

Here is a pic I took during testing emergency mode (one outlet sealed off):
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I believe they are Trilineatus (False Julii). I only got two, but there are the albino cories in the tank already to keep them company.

I've been trying to get a better shot of lady bristle, but she's always in inconvenient places.

PS: Since its related to your question, here is a thread I started a week ago about mixing corydoras http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=678538
 

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Once the bristlenose is settled in you'll see more of her in easier to photograph areas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Five Weeks



I almost didn't bother with an FTS today as things haven't changed visibly in it. Plants ARE growing though, no doubt about it. I continue to propogate the "grove" of Sunset Hygro near the stump. Love it.

Bacopa Caroliniana - Slowly growing in

Lobelia Cardinalis - Continues to lose original leaves and produce new ones. My light is supposed to be too low for this plant so I am not terribly surprised. This is one of the plants I've had algae on, as well.

Micro Sword - The cories keep uprooting this. Its not really doing much either. I'm guessing the dwarf sag will eventually outcompete it.

Big Swords - All three have a new leaf, almost at the exact same time. The oldest leaves on the sword in the stump may indicate some sort of deficiency? I'm debating whether I should try to solve it, or watch the new leaves.



Not a good picture, but I now have several great looking stems of one of my original plants, but I am not sure which one it is. (its NOT the bacopa in front)



These two (alt reneicki ?) finally seem happy:

 

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Last pic of the plant looks like possibly a variety of Vinca vine. Periwinkle.




I suppose I should talk about my DIY "behind the tank filter" a bit in this thread and not just other's. :D Its a 6 gallon planter box sitting on a shelf behind the tank containing lots and lots of media (ceramic, pot scrubbies, purigen). There is a chamber for my heater in there, but I haven't moved the heater yet. The hob lid has 5 holes in it, in which I put flex pots. Each plant is in one of those flex pots with hydroton.

I may change the order of the plants as the two cuttings grow in. From left to right: pilea involcrata (friendship plant), epipremnum aureum (pothos - cutting), pilea cadierei (Aluminum plant), tradescantia fluminensis 'variegata' (a wandering jew), last one is unknown clipping.

My hope is eventually they will cover the whole filter and back of the tank, and you won't see any of the filter anymore. This will make cleaning a bit more of a chore, but I've already had comments on how much nicer it makes the tank look.



Here is the unknown clipping, if anyone can ID it.



I'm working on a GU10 track light system for lights. I picked up 4 3x1 GU10 LED lights, 4 swivel light holders and the track from the local ReStore for $8.
 

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Is that how to treat the inlaws or how to treat the Cholla? LOL My Mystery snails and Ramshorns would do a great job cleaning them. I would give them a shower and put them in a plastic tote/tub and weight and soak them for a few weeks.

Those are very awesome. Good job Inlaws! Those are keepers, the Cholla and the inlaws:smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Is that how to treat the inlaws or how to treat the Cholla? LOL My Mystery snails and Ramshorns would do a great job cleaning them. I would give them a shower and put them in a plastic tote/tub and weight and soak them for a few weeks.
Hilarious! :D

I have large plastic tubs, I just don't have any large enough. I don't think my wife would appreciate me using the downstairs bathtub, but she also doesn't look in there very often .... :eek:
 
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