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Total Novice First Tank

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by Di Sen, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Reduce the media in the filter. If it is one big sponge cut it in half and push it to the bottom over the intake holes. :)
     

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  2. Di Sen

    Di Sen New Member

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    EDIT: Switched all images from Imgur to Photobucket

    Hey Guys,

    It's been awhile since I gave an update! Long story short.. this first tank of mine taught me a thousands lessons and served well as a crash course into planted tanks. I moved apartments a few months ago and this tank is now a low-tech tank.

    Here are some pics.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    With the lessons learned from this tank in mind, I started a new 90 L high-tech tank. Here are some pics, the tank has been setup for about 24 days today. The following are Day 1, end of week 2, and 24'th day (today). Dosing EI on this one, Neon Tetras, Amano Shrimp, and some Ottos will be added in shortly.

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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
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  3. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    De Sen

    No photos after the first photo.

    Photobucket is very easy to use and its free.

    Keith:):)
     
  4. Di Sen

    Di Sen New Member

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    Hi Keith,

    I uploaded to Photobucket, can you see them now? I would love to hear your feedback!
     
  5. isla

    isla Aspiring Aquascaper

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    hi Di Sen ,
    yesterday i saw the pict , now the size is better.
    it's look like it's growing nicely
    isla.
     
  6. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    Di Sen

    Those rocks have plenty of character a great choice for your Aquascape.

    I suggest you remove the rock and allow for more planting.

    At the moment it looks like a row of rocks blocking off what is behind them.

    Something for you to consider.

    Keith:):)
     
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  7. Di Sen

    Di Sen New Member

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    Thanks for the response. Actually I'm not very satisfied with the hardscape, prior to planting I probably tired about 15-20 different layouts and could never satisfy myself. Eventually I just decided to get on with the program.

    I agree that removing that rock would be for the better, however I would be hesitant to do so; that rock is quite deep into the substrate and provides quite a bit of support for the larger rock and all the banked up substrate in the back.

    Even though I'm not totally satisfied with the hardscape, I'm very happy I've managed to get the baby tears to take off as well as they have!
     
  8. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Di Sen, That looks fab love the rocks and planting (y) The HC is doing well :cool: It will need constant trimming now though ;):D
     
  9. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    The HC looks like it is growing very well. That is a good sign.

    Design wise, you may want to look at smoothing the transition between your foreground and your background.

    Either use the stones or some other plant so we do not see all the way to the bottom of the tall stems. They should be peaking up and over something.
     
  10. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Di Sen

    Can you move that rock back so that its under the big sloping rock it would give it support plus still bank up the substrate behind it.

    Keith:):)
     
  11. Di Sen

    Di Sen New Member

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    Hey Guys,

    Another update, first tank details which I never mentioned:

    55x40x40 23G/88L
    Canister Filter rated at 800 L/H - Bottom tray has coarse/medium/fine foam - mid and top trays both have Bio material (lava pebbles I think it's called)
    PL Tubes 55w x2 (110w total)
    Pressurized c02

    Photoperiod 7 hours with c02 on 75 mins before lights and of 60 mins more lights off.

    I'm dosing EI with dry Macro's and using commercial liquids for a comprehensive micro solution and an iron solution.

    Fish: 18x Tetras, 4x true SAE, 18x Amano shrimp

    (Click through on images to view full resolution on photobucket)
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    I played around with the hardscape and different plants a couple of times, that is what i finally settled on. I don't think I will change much for a while now as I want to focus more on tank balance. I have a slight problem....Green Dust Algae!

    I'm getting GDA build-up over the coarse of each week, I remove as much as I can when I do my 50% WC..however by the end of the week it's built back up. Note that it's not a huge amount, but I hate the fact that it's there! it builds up the most on the back glass behind all the stem plants. Any suggestion on this would be welcome.

    I'm thinking maybe I have to much light? Should i reduce the photo period from 7 hours to 6/5,5. I would also like to try to put a small powerhead or pump in, something tells me I need more flow. I don't have any obvious deadspots, but I think I need a bit more flow through the stem plant forests..more even distribution of ferts and c02 seems like it couldn't hurt.

    Looking forward to more replies!
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
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  12. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Looking great, things seem to be growing in well. I find myself fighting GDA on the glass as well. Seems to be one of those things some people get and others don't. It can appear in tanks with healthy growth. The biggest factor I have noticed is higher light. Just clean the glass regularly and it'll be fine. I wipe it good once a week and give another quick clean midweek. Takes very little time. GDA isn't an algae that can be a sign of things not going well.

    Your blyxxa is a nice green color with very little golden hues, meaning I don't think you really need to reduce your light. Let plant growth guide you, not the presence of GDA. If it was green spot algae, brown brush, or staghorn we may have some suggestions....but for GDA the causes and prevention measures are less understood and like I mentioned can occur in healthy tanks. Your tank is healthy.
     
  13. Di Sen

    Di Sen New Member

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    Thanks for the reply! The blyxa has only been in there for about 5 days, but i'll use the plants as a indicator for light. Cleaning out the GDA once or twice a week doesn't bother me, I was concerned it was a sigh something is off, it's a relief to hear you say that

    Do you think my new hardscape and plants is an improvement from my previous pictures? I strongly took your and keith's suggestions into consideration when changing it up.

    Here is one more pic of another setup i tried before adding the second large stone

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Di Sen

    I think the third photo tells me every thing, its purely basic, simple well chosen and, positioned plants with rocks full of character.

    To me you have used the two basic design rules to perfection "Less is more" and "Keep It Simple"

    All you have to do as the tank develops regular light trimmings and the tank will develop its self.

    Keith:):)
     
  15. Di Sen

    Di Sen New Member

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    Thanks for the compliments and encouragement! Recently I've been reading that Busy Nose Plecos love eating GDA. I think they are very cool looking and would love to get 2 or 3, however I'm worried I might be overstocking.

    When I bought my SAE's it wasn't until after i realized they can grow to be 5~6 inches. Having 5 of them already makes me think things might be a bit crowded. My LFS has already agreed that I can put them in one of their large display tanks whenever I want.
     
  16. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Bushy nose plecos do a good job with the glass, but I've never been a big fan and they grow large. They also can root around disturbing plants.

    Overstocking can lead to issues. It tends to strain bio filtration capacity and can build organics leading to a loss of water quality. If you look at stocking levels for beautifully clean aquascapes you will notice they are sparsely stocked.
     
  17. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Di Sen Looking good (y)
     
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  18. Di Sen

    Di Sen New Member

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    Hey guys, I need some advice!

    Recently I've noticed that my Dwarf Baby Tears have started to develop a brownish color, I suspect this is because my light period is too long? However I found this a little confusing as I haven't really adjusted the photo period much during the entire time I've had this setup.

    I haven't really trimmed my HC yet as I prefer the natural bushy look, I did trim a few cm off a small patch and noticed it was much more of a lush green color underneath.

    One more question, I've been using the API master test kit.. my ammonia and nitrites read 0 but nitrates read 180+. I did the nitrate test on my of my tanks and my tap water and they all read 180+. I've been very diligent is following the test directions to a T.. is it possible I have bad nitrate testing solutions? I find this very strange as I haven't lost any fish or shrimps in either tank.

    Here is a big of the brown/yellowish HC, you can really notice the color change if you compare it to my previous pictures.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow, you've become a pro and there was me giving you advice :) That is spectacular progression in such a short time from the little tank to the first rock layout to the picture above. kudos to you and Congrats :)
     
  20. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    In the latest picture your rotalas do not look quite as healthy. Is there a bit of tip stunting? They also look to be bending a little. Is the tank getting some natural light it wasn't before?

    My guess is maybe some opportunistic brown algae, although it would be unusual to see diatoms emerge this late in a tank. You may need to fiddle with your CO2. It is important to clean the diffuser regularly to ensure optimal performance. If you get some dips in CO2 you could see it manifest this way.

    Trimming your HC frequently is good for it. It has shallow roots and can start to pull loose of the substrate. It has good growth and should respond well to trimming.

    In regards to the nitrate tests, if your tap is reading 180+ I would check your water report to see if you don't have high nitrates in your tap. My guess is the test is faulty. Reagents for hobbyist kits can go bad easily and they generally aren't reliable anyways. It is a bit of a myth high nitrates will cause sudden death in your critters. This is from an association high nitrates can have with high nitrites. The link is corollary and not causal. The nitrites are lethal not necessarily the nitrates (outlandish extremes excluded). We see this type of reasoning a lot in the hobby. The assumption pH change causes mortality....again this has more to do what the pH change represents (ions used for osmoregulation) and not the pH value itself (which, though closely correlated to various ion concentrations can be change independent of those ions like we see in CO2 injection).
     

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