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The First Stone 60L aquascape

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by TheGreenFrat, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    If it is the "White Fungus" it can be a problem can you take some of the moss out and take a good macro photo please.

    Take it to your LFS for identification a well.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     

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  2. TheGreenFrat

    TheGreenFrat New Member

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    Hello,

    it's actually so small that it can't be seen even on macro-photo's. I read that it may be caused by hitchhiking minerals and organic material on the rocks, and that it will disappear once it runs out of nutrients. I'm not yet worried, it has been like this for a week and it seems to get less already.

    Measurements today:
    Temperature: 26*C (slowly driving it up to 28*C)
    KH: 2.0 dKH
    Acidity: 6.7 pH
    NH4: 0 mg/l
    NH3+: 0 mg/l
    NO2: 0.2 mg/l
    NO3: 20 mg/l
    Fe: 0.05 mg/l
    CO2: 20 mg/l

    Seems like cycling is getting along pretty well, I expect the NO2 to be near zero after winter break.

    The KH has me worrying. It seems to keep getting lower, even though I do ~30% water changes twice a week. I want to do more, but coming two weeks I'll be off and can only do maintenance twice a week tops.
    Iron levels are also very low; will keep adding more fertilizers. The dosing according to the description manual is probably not enough for my somewhat densely planted tank.

    Greetings,
    Bart
     
  3. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Bart

    Do two 50% water changes.

    Forget about adding additives except a good quality Bio Starter eg Seachem Stability or Sera Nitrivec, both are excellent products and follow as per instructions.

    Have you bought any cheap floating leafy plants eg Floating water Wisteria.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  4. TheGreenFrat

    TheGreenFrat New Member

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    I'm using the Easy-Life EasyStart starter, which has been working fine so far. It's probably a product much like Seachem Stability or Nitrivec.
    Today I measured zero NH4 and only about 0.07 mg/l NO2 (the colour was somewhere inbetween the 0.05 and o.1 references). Seems like my cycling will be well done when Christmas break is over.

    Why would floating plants be needed? I don't mind getting them, but for what reason?

    I suppose by not "adding additives" you are talking about any KH-raising products, and not about fertilizers? I'll keep doing water changes about 50% every day until I head back home to my parents. Then I'll try to come back every 3-4 days and do 50% water changes.

    Got a new CO2 diffuser ordered it off aliexpress for about $2, including some accessories. With this new diffuser I can finally see how great the DIY fertilizer works. I didn't know such a high pressure was needed for a ceramic diffuser to work, so I was worried that the yeast thing wouldn't give me enough pressure but it's fine!

    DSCI0044.JPG

    I've also ordered a permanent CO2 tester. I'm going to try automatizing my CO2 process, by glueing a photo-resistor (light sensor) to the glass. Depending on the color of the solution inside the bulb, the resistance should vary. Using an arduino and a solenoid valve, I can then open a release valve when CO2 gets too high (and also shut it off at night) .

    Most plants look fine, except for the Myriophyllum; some stems look great and others look like are going to rot away soon.

    Greetings,
    Bart
     
  5. TheGreenFrat

    TheGreenFrat New Member

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    I just got some floating plants. It doesn't look good though; it keeps getting thrown around by the pump outlet. I'll have to find a solution for that, I guess eventually I would have needed to get some floating plants anyways. Right now I'm using a piece of floating silicone tubing to keep it in place, but it is looking like a packed mess in there.

    DSCI0085.JPG

    Kinda frustrating because it is again another problem with maintaining the tank; whenever water drops or maintenance is done it gets messed up again. Can't easily remove the hood anymore either...

    All frustrations apart, here's a really nice pic of my underwater mountain :) I've been experimenting with different camera settings and spots to photograph. I love this angle.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
  6. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Bart

    I have used and recommended Seachem Stability and Sera Nitrivec every since I have been involved with Forums main reason they are both high quality products and usually easy to get at your LFS.

    Other products some are good and some could be a waste of money.
    The reason they speed up the Cycling process.

    I am referring to all additives during the Cycling process and water changes its not required.

    There are experts here at ASW who can help you with the Co2.

    If any plants are rotting away either remove them or cut the rotting pieces out.

    Rotting plants can increase the Cycling time.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  7. TheGreenFrat

    TheGreenFrat New Member

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    To be honest, I have no need to speed up the cycling process. As you can see from my measurements, it's going just fine and I still have two weeks until the first fish will be bought. I don't think many of the experts around here can help with the CO2 either; when I look around, all I see is fancy equipment (which is above my budget) or DIY setups that are not more advanced than mine.

    Keith, I don't want to sound annoyed, but you've recommended the Seachem and Sera about 4 times; I get it, but I have already bought a similar product from another brand. I'm not going to buy a new one, first of all because so far this product has proven itself just fine; water values are looking great and clear progress can be seen, second because I'm not planning on cycling another tank for the rest of my life and still have the stuff that I have left, and third because my tank has passed the point where additives are needed because cycling is almost done.
    I get why you recommend proven products, but when someone like me, who's on a very tight budget, has already given in to a cheap brand and is actually trying to show that the product works, you should be open to that. Everything has to be tried for a first time; someone had to try Nitrivec and Seachem for the first time as well. I hope that, if this tank works out, people who read this thread won't think "I should buy Seachem" but actually think "Hm, I can try out that Easy-Life stuff aswell".

    So far I have taken a lot of your advice Keith, it is good advice. But I am not going to change anything about the products that I'm using for cycling while everything is working fine, just because many others had good experiences with other brands.

    Also, I think when Fe levels are literally zero, adding fertilizers is necessary. Growing any plants that feed from the water column without any minerals in the water column sounds like a bad idea, to me. Seems like a fine conclusion from my measurements, to me.

    Hope you wont be discouraged to comment, because I like your comments.
    I just feel you should give me some freedom in the products that I've chosen.

    Kind regards,
    Bart
     
  8. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Bart

    I am getting old and forgetful and at the moment a lot on my mind.

    Lately I am trying to reply to every post and its extremely hard to remember every thing.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  9. isla

    isla Aspiring Aquascaper

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    seachem are excellent product .
    easy life are product that do what they say too .

    as sachem is american and australia in common wealth , as easy life is Netherland brand and in europe .
    dont worry about that .
    i'm sure keith only want the best looking tank for us ....:cat:
     
  10. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    isla

    I located a big retailer I could buy it very cheap even after paying postage than any LFS

    One LFS charged me a 300% mark up and all they had to was make one phone call, I never went to them again.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  11. TheGreenFrat

    TheGreenFrat New Member

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    It is hard for me to keep the good and the bad apart on the internet, there's some people who only try to talk others down to keep up their ego and I have been getting lots of these responses lately, but I realize your advice is only meant constructive.

    Thanks for that.

    Greetings
    Bart
     
  12. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Bart I have been on Forums (not only Aquarium related) like that where there are so called experts (in their own lunch box) they are easily fixed just leave.

    I was asked to help set up a new Aquarium forum but the owner let a Mr know it all take over it crashed big in just over a year.

    No one was allowed an opinion as he knew every thing.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  13. TheGreenFrat

    TheGreenFrat New Member

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    Spotted some brown algae when I dropped by last wednesday. Decided to just do waterchanges and not dose any ferts. Watertests showed me great results, so decided it was time for some first inhabitants. Someone close to where I live put some red cherry shrimp on the internet, so I got 10 :)

    Will be dropping by to do water changes aqain today. Also to check whether my shrimp are still alive.

    DSCI0086.JPG
     
  14. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Bart

    Do you know how many M & FM you have?

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  15. TheGreenFrat

    TheGreenFrat New Member

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    I don't know to be honest. Probably around 5 of each.

    Went by yesterday, algae were gone and water seemed fine. The moss is revived as well.
    Will get fish next weekend.

    Greetings,
    Bart
     
  16. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Bart

    Make sure your Shrimps do not become snack food for your fish.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  17. TheGreenFrat

    TheGreenFrat New Member

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    I'll try, they certainly provide as a very good cleaning crew! The moss looks much much healthier now, the white stuff which I think was fungus is all gone, and the tank is so much cleaner it's truly amazing. When I visited halfway through last week the shrimps were totally colourless. Must have been due to moving-stress. By now they look better than ever!

    DSCI0092.JPG

    Found some shrimplets sticking on the front glass today. Must have hitchhiked underneat their mum's belly. I’m quite afraid that when I get fish, the shrimplets will soon enter the nitrogen cycle, but oh well, that's nature... There should be enough plants to hide though.

    DSCI0094.JPG
     
  18. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Bart

    What species of fish are you getting?

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  19. TheGreenFrat

    TheGreenFrat New Member

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    Keith,

    I got 6 Corydoras Pygmaeus yesterday. They are totally awesome, they school together very nicely whilst exploring every single corner of my tank.

    Next weekend I'll get 4 more of them. From what I heard, that'll make them less shy, although they don't seem to be very shy at all, so far. I will also receive 8 epiplatys annulatus, or clown killifish. I am going to prepare the tank for them this week, by getting some more floating plants.

    I'll shoot you some pictures soon!

    Greetings,
    Bart
     
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  20. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Bart

    Sounds very interesting waiting for the photos.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     

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