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Biding Time (22 gal, no CO2)

ElleDee

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I thought I’d be starting a journal for my new 75 gallon (280 L) aquarium about now, but surprise! The shipping on the tank has been delayed for a couple more months (cries in American) so while I’m waiting, I am going to replace and upgrade my first planted tank ever - my 20 gallon long. I am using this opportunity to try out a lot of the ideas I have been batting around in my head for the big tank, only at a scale I am very accustomed to.

This tank is going to have two phases. In phase 1, I want to try out a bunch of new things, learn some new tricks, and grow out some new plant material for the 120P. In phase 2, I apply what I’ve learned and get everything how I want it long term.

For a little background, the build I’m ultimately replacing is a very humble set up - cheap framed tank, very basic low lighting, HOB filter, potting soil substrate, rocks out of my yard, only tried and true easy plants, and of course no CO2 injection. I did not try to do an aquascape per se; my goal was to grow plants and have a nice environment for my fish and I feel I have done that and learned a lot in the process. I have no regrets taking a conservative approach to its setup as a total beginner, but now that I have some experience I am ready to level up. Here is the original tank that I am sundowning:

PXL_20220222_223416218.MP-2.jpg


Don’t @ me - I know it’s overgrown! You can't even really see the hardscape. And trust, if it weren’t a dirt tank I would have completely rescaped it a year ago, but I don’t think that’s possible to do without destroying the substrate and making a huge mess, so instead of doing a total tear down, I just started planning my big build. I have since been scared to throw away any plants I might need for that build, hence the thicket. It’s a cage of my own making at this point.

Enough about my old tank, let’s talk about the new one! I dark cycled it for two weeks, and then got antsy and planted it today:

P4190163.JPG

(Note: there is a temporary rock on the driftwood to hold it down and the white sponge on the right is a placeholder.)

Specs:
Tank: Mr. Aqua Exquisite Ultra Clear (36” x 12” x 12”, 22 gallons or ~83 liters)
Light: Finnex Planted+ ALC
Filter: Eheim 2215 with a slight remix of the provided media (2x the coarse sponge, no carbon or polishing pad)
Substrate: UNS Contrasoil, Caribsea Torpedo Beach cosmetic sand, a little Caribsea Gemstone Creek polished gravel
Hardscape: dragon stone and some driftwood

This is the first canister I have ever used, and aside from the fact the first one arrive with broken clips, it was easy to set up and virtually silent. Luckily I was sent a replacement within two days and they let me keep the old one, so I've got tons of spare parts now. I also am not totally acquainted with all the functions of the light yet, but I have it turned down at least, and have it set to a warmer color. I assume programming it will be annoying, but for now I've just got it on a smart timer.

I am still deciding if I ever want to try injecting CO2, but right now I am going to try to get as much out of my plants as I can without it. I am not itching to grow a bunch of stem plants with bad reputations, but I do want more color. Obviously @Sudipta has figured out how to do this to great effect and I hope to go in that direction even though I'm going for a somewhat different style of scape. Luckily my tap water has fairly good parameters to start with, but I anticipate a few areas that may come up short:
  • My kh is decently soft at 1.2 dkh according to my local water report (my test kit puts it between 1 and 2, so that number seems very reasonable), but the pH has been raised to ~7.5 out of the tap. Fresh aquasoil can buffer the water to be softer and more acidic, but I don’t know how challenging it will be to maintain that long term.
  • I only have aquasoil covering about 60% of the tank. This is an aesthetic choice I am making, but if I decide that it’s holding me back I could easily replace it with more aquasoil later.
  • My light isn’t strong enough to do 150+ umol PAR at the substrate. I should be able to get ~125 in the brightest spots and hopefully 100 at the edges. I could always replace the light or get a second, but as it is it’s way brighter than I’m used to dealing with. I’ll slowly ramp up intensity and see how it goes. I should be so lucky to have this as a problem, as it would mean that everything else is going very well.
Let’s talk about the plants! I’ve noted the form of the plants as follows: bold plants are plants I currently grow submersed, (plants in parentheses) are new purchases that should theoretically already be converted, and the remainder are in their emersed form or from TC

Stem: Ludwigia repens, L. ‘Super Red’, L. ‘Rubin’, Rotala ‘Super Mini Red’, (R. ‘H’ra)’, (R. ‘Blood Red’), Bacopa caroliniana, (B. monnieri), B. myriophylloides, Myriophyllum ‘Guyana’, (Alternanthera reineckii)

Cryptocoryne spp.:: C. purpurea, C. lucens, C. petchii, C. affinis ‘Red’, C. wendtii ‘Tropica’, ‘Mi Oya Red’, (C. retrospiralis)

Other rooted plants: red tiger lotus, (Blyxa japonica), Helanthium ‘Vesuvius’, (Aponogeton ‘Purple’)

Temporary nutrient sinks: anacharis

Epiphytes: None for now! I have a lot settled in my current tank, but I don’t plan to move any over until phase 2.

I have tried to pick a lot of plants that can potentially be very colorful without being too demanding overall. The first order of business is to get all the plants settled in and then I'll work on increasing the light and hopefully coax a few taxa to color up. I love crypts and have seen some interesting reds and browns from them even in low light, so I’ve made a big push to try varieties that tend to wander from green. I have been growing out crypts emersed for the past two months for this purpose and have found them to be insanely undemanding, even from TC. If anyone wants to hear about my emersed setup, I’m happy to talk more about it and share pictures.

I have held off on planting tissue culture Ludwigia ‘Super Red’ and Myriophyllum ‘Guyana’ as I want to let the tank settle in a little first, but everything else on the list has been added. I already suspect this is way too many species of stem plants for me to manage, at least for a tank this size. But some of them might not make it anyway, especially those that have to go through the trial by fire that is conversion.

The next little bit is my least favorite part - watching for melting plants and for algae issues. 😱 I know it’s going to be a wildly different tank in a year, but who knows what will happen in the meantime. I go back and forth between feeling like I’ve knocked it out of the park with this project (by my own standards, not trying to get any prizes here) and that I’m doomed for failure, though I know the truth is likely somewhere in the middle. I’m being a little melodramatic, but I have fully stepped outside of my comfort zone. Have I bitten off more than I can chew? I guess we'll see! Wish me luck!
 
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Hi there,
I actually like the overgrown tank! A bit of a jungle is great & the red tiger lotus stands out in the green.
I don't think you'll have too many problems as you're used to a low light set up & can increase the intensity slowly when the plants start to grow in.
Have you decided what fertiliser to use? There are experts in all forms of plant nutrition here if you need help!
Looking forward to seeing more photos etc!
 

ElleDee

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Hi there,
I actually like the overgrown tank! A bit of a jungle is great & the red tiger lotus stands out in the green.
I don't think you'll have too many problems as you're used to a low light set up & can increase the intensity slowly when the plants start to grow in.
Have you decided what fertiliser to use? There are experts in all forms of plant nutrition here if you need help!
Looking forward to seeing more photos etc!
I didn't mind how overgrown it was for a long time, but the dwarf sag just got to be too much. And now I've got stuff like this massive hunk of Narrow K java Fern that provides great texture and the shrimplets love it, but it's finally completely shading out some stuff below, even crypts are struggling. The balance is gone, but it has a great run for a first attempt.

So for fertilizer, right now I'm just doing 2 mL of Thrive (about 3 ppm NO3, 0.5 ppm PO4, 2 K, 0.11 Fe + other micros) and remineralizing with 11 ppm Ca as CaCl2 and 6 ppm as MgSO4 coming to ~4 dGH in my tap water.

This is not what I'm using on my current display at all though, where I have a pretty heavy fish load that I rely on for N and P and add more GH for my invertebrates. This tank has fresh aquasoil and a different mix of plants too, so I feel they are just too different for the same approach. I'm going to have to feel it out and I expect it to change over time as it matures and I move livestock over.

At the moment I've got a couple weeks of frequent water changes, so the fertilizer is going to be reset to baseline multiple times a week. I'm not real worried about it TBH.
 

ElleDee

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Overall, things are moving forward.

P4230269-2.JPG

  • No algae yet! I know it’s coming, but the longer the plants can situate themselves before it shows up the better.
  • All the plants that came from my existing tanks look great! I expected nothing less, but I’m really relying on them to provide healthy, growing plant mass to stabilize the tank. I also threw in some pearl weed at some point this week.
  • Most of the new plants are looking pretty good, and I’m especially pleased with the new growth on Rotala ‘Blood Red’, R. ‘Super Mini Red’, and Bacopa myriopylloides. ‘Blood Red’ came already converted to submersed growth, so it’s not too surprising that it’s added a few nodes of growth in the days since I planted it, but obviously I’m still pleased. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the other two; neither seems particularly common and I read mixed information about how hard B. myriophylloides is to grow and I can’t find any reliable information about R. ‘Super Mini Red’ apart from the place I bought it from. (This is partly because Ludwigia ‘Super Red’ is so ubiquitous it confuses the search engines.) It’s going to take them much longer to fully convert, but they are up and moving at a nice clip.
P4210152.JPG

Rotala 'Blood Red'

P4230248.JPG

Bacopa myriophylloides (L) and Rotala rotundifolia 'Super Mini Red' (R)
  • I’ve lost a few individual crypt leaves here and there, but otherwise they look the same. Seems normal to me.
  • Rotala ‘H’ra’ has some melting lower leaves and new growth. It should be converted already, so it’s possible that they were damaged a bit in transit. Some of the old leaves on the Blyxa are also melting, but the larger of the two clumps has some new growth as well.
P4210160.JPG

Rotala 'H'ra'
  • I’m not feeling super confident about the survival of Ludwigia ‘Super Red’. I planted it from tissue culture Wednesday and it looked fine coming out of the cup, but it has been slow to orient its stems towards the light yet and I’m seeing some very localized melt. Usually positive phototropisim is an early sign that the plant’s cells are metabolically active, so even if it hasn’t begun to put on mass you can see that it’s responding to the environment and trying to get its act together. ‘Super Red’ is just sitting there like a lump of spaghetti with only some of the very, very tips facing up. It’s still too early to say, but I don’t like it. I also planted some ‘Super Red’ in my emersed setup as a potential failsafe, but it’s also looking very sad. As long as I can convert a couple stems I'll be good for the long term, so even if the majority melts I'm still in business.
  • In contrast, Myriophyllum 'Guyana' seemed pretty delicate coming out of culture, but perked up right away.
 

ElleDee

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Day 10 after planting.
P4270270.JPG


It’s a time of transition. A big chunk of the tank is having to make the big conversion to submerged growth and even though plants in our hobby are evolved to make this transition, it’s always a bit nerve-racking for me because if the older growth deteriorates faster than the plant can put out new growth it’s doomed. It's a high stakes operation, especially in a new, unseasoned aquarium. Except for crypts of course - they may melt, but I have a lot of respect for a plant that can lose all its leaves, take a minute to recover, and then come back stronger than ever.

The most sudden transition has been Helanthium ‘Vesuvius’, which started sending up entire leaves with its characteristic spiral. I can’t believe how instantaneously the leaf morphology changed, but how delightful! I suspect this plant is going to be a pain with the runners it puts out, but I love the distinctive form.
P4270279.JPG


Bacopa myriophylloides and Rotala ‘Super Mini Red’ continue to grow well and the new leaves are starting to look more like they should.
P4280351-2.JPG


Ludwigia ‘Rubin’ also seems to be transitioning nicely. Aponogeton ‘Purple’ is also adding leaves and looks pretty good, though it's small and way in the back where it's hard to see in detail. On the less promising side, L. ‘Super Red’ and Blyxa continue to have both significant melt and new growth. I’ve lost a few crypt leaves and new leaves are replacing them, but it’s as slow a process as you might guess.

I am running my lights for 5 hours set to white 30%, red 60%, green 10%, blue 20%, up 10% in every channel from week 1. It’s still pretty dim, and I think I will continue to up the lights incrementally until the red channel is maxed out or algae becomes an issue and then reassess my next steps.

Oh, also I turned on my lights last night to take some pictures and all the new leaves were closed on most of my stem plants. I freaked out for a second because they were not doing it just a few days prior, but apparently this is very normal to happen at night for many species. I have never grown many stem plants before, so I just didn’t know this was something aquatic plants did. It’s probably a good sign that they are settling into the rhythms of the tank, but it was not unlike the first time I turned on the lights when my fish were sleeping and thought they must all be dying since they were all pale and unresponsive.
 

ElleDee

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I love the bacopa myriophylloides, it's just so beautifully delicate!
I agree, and so far it's been an easy keeper. Fingers crossed! 🤞

I am interested to see how it compares to Myriophyllum 'Guyana' once they both convert as they have a similar feathery texture.
 

ElleDee

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I am two weeks out from planting, and four weeks from when I first flooded the tank. Nothing major has changed from the last update, so I’ll hold off on a full tank shot for the moment. The story is still just more growth and more removal of melting leaves and other detritus. I am tired of doing frequent water changes and moving to twice a week now.

I bumped the light intensity up again today as planned, but I can only guess what the PAR really is. It’s not to a point where any of the stem plants are coloring up to a significant degree, but I’m not even at 50% of what the light is capable of, so it’s too early to worry about it. I think in 2 to 4 weeks I’m going to have enough new growth for massive trim/replanting that will help purge most of the emersed material from the tank.

I am much less concerned with the survival of Ludwigia ‘Super Red’ than I was initially. In the picture below I’ve circled a chunk that seems to be sizing up nicely that I bet will make it. You can see some sparse area to the right where I lost some to melt as well. I know it looks yellowish here, but you'll have to trust me that it's not actually chlorotic - I'm still figuring how to get more accurate color with my camera.

P5030108~2-2.JPG


I also have a mystery stem!

P5030122.JPG


I think it was bagged with the Bacopa monnieri, which itself was added to my order as a surprise freebie, but now that it's been growing some, it’s clearly something else. A rotala of some sort? It doesn't look identical to any of the other rotala in the tank, so I'm interested to see how it grows over time.

I think later this week I’m going to move a nerite and an amano shrimp in. If that goes well I might start moving in some white clouds. As much as I like the plants, it is really meant to be a home for livestock first and foremost. Ultimately I want a pair of apistogramma in here with my espei rasbora and another nanofish school (probably green neons), but that seems like a long way off now. The last shipping estimate had my 120P leaving China this month and getting to me in July, but who knows if that date actually stands - there's a lot going on in the world right now. The bottom line is I can't get new fish until it gets here.
 

ElleDee

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It’s three weeks after planting and I’m finally getting some algae. Not too much, just a light dusting of diatoms in some spots and some weird string algae appearing on the deteriorating emersed growth on a few stem taxa. I trimmed some of that out, and had to chop back most of the Ludwigia repens. I also have moved some small bits of java fern (‘Narrow K’, ‘Windelov’, and ‘Ishikawa Island’) from my other tank along with a little bit of anubias ‘Nana Petite’. I just had too much in the other tank, so if all this succumbs to algae it’s no big loss, not that I think that’s likely in the long run. I plan to have a lot of epiphytes along the rock line to soften that transition, but even just the few I added today helps a lot.

P5100066.JPG


If the algae stays at a low level I will just continue to tackle it from a hygiene perspective and discontinue ramping up the lights which are currently at white 40%, red 70%, green 20%, and blue 30%. If things get significantly worse I'll change tactics, but I think the best course right now is to keep things clean and stable and give it some time. A couple days ago I added a nerite and an amano shrimp to liven up the place and help the tank mature. I don’t believe that clean up crews really solve algae issues, but they I appreciate it when they do their chores. These guys have been going to town on the slime on the wood and they are just pooping nonstop - I forgot how much they make when they have a fully stocked buffet. I also have bumped up my GH a bit to keep them happy.

I’m glad I planted the Bacopa myriophylloides and the Rotala ‘Super Mini Red’ right in the front, because their transformation to submerged growth has been dramatic and fun to watch. I posted them about 10 days ago, but check them out now:

P5100086.JPG

It's hard to believe they are the same plants.

The loser of the tank is currently Blyxa japonica. A lot of the outer leaves have melted, and though it still has a core of healthy leaves it hasn't really put on any mass. I'm not sure if it's going to totally melt away or if it's just taking a moment to grow some roots before it takes off - both seems plausible and I don't have any direct experience to work with. I guess we'll see. Everything else in the tank is doing well, so I'm not going to worry about it too much.

I won’t spoil the surprise now, but this tank is going to get some new inhabitants later this week! The last time I got new livestock was November 2020, so I’m pretty excited.
 

Hufsa

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I'm not sure if it's going to totally melt away or if it's just taking a moment to grow some roots before it takes off - both seems plausible and I don't have any direct experience to work with.
If its still embedded into some aquasoil then my money is on it making roots, and it bouncing back 🤞
In low tech ive found it relieves a lot on its roots.

Love the updates, keep em coming 😃
 

Simon Cole

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ElleDee

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My money is on Rotala ramosior - a very nice surprise freebie if it is!

Lithophytes - but we do have a Scottish (GB) definition of an epiphyte just in case.

So am I. It looks stunning! Your whole aquarium is pretty wonderful too.
Thanks for the kind words!

Rotala ramosior would be very neat, but it's not a species that I've seen the seller list before, so that might be a long shot. It could be the Singapore version of 'Blood Red', maybe?

And I hadn't noticed that the hobby was abusing the term "epiphyte", but I think you're right about that.
 

Simon Cole

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I don't think so. The leaves are too short, and R. ramosior is far more common in the southern USA where it is endemic. We really struggled to get it over here for years and I remember some varieties were £100 per stem.
 

ElleDee

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New livestock is here!

PXL_20220513_161719695-2.jpg


I got a school of Pseudomugil gertrudae Aru II! This is the first time I've ever bought anything from a breeder and it has been a great experience so far. They are still settling in to their new home, but they look amazing. It's too bad I don't know how to take descent pictures of them yet!

It's funny, because I often have detailed stocking plans that I carefully consider for months, only to change my mind at the last minute. For this tank the plan was a school of espie rasbora (that I already have), a school of green neons, and a pair of some color strain Apistogramma agassizii, but I saw these guys on Aquabid and I remembered that I was planning to get them for my first tank and then chickened out and got white clouds instead. So I abandoned a plan for an old abandoned plan! The current, new plan for stocking this tank is these kids, the espies, and an Apistogramma borellii male (I decided I didn't want to subject the blue eyes to cichlid breeding aggression). And maybe another school of nanofish down the road if it seems like there's space. Aqadvisor, which I know is not perfect, puts the stocking plan at just 57% of capacity, but I'm not sure what I'd put in there right now. That's all way far in the future; these guys are going to have the tank to themselves for a while.
 
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ElleDee

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I haven’t updated in a little bit because it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster and I've been a bit busy getting everything under control.

I’ll start with the bad. The Pseudomugil gertrudae were colored up and eating, but they were very alarmed every time there was movement near the tank and darted to the top of the tank. I dropped the waterline an inch and a half, but unfortunately I had a couple jump out in the first week. I stress out when I get new fish even when everything is going well, so actually losing some and having it basically be my fault, well, it felt pretty awful. They clearly weren’t happy and it was only a matter of time before others jumped, so I knew I had to change things up.

It took some problem solving, but I have worked out a stable solution and to get there I ended up swapping around a lot of my fish between this new tank and my existing 20 long. The Pseudomugil gertrudae are now happy in the 20 long with a small school of white clouds and a bustling shrimp colony. I think they like the tank being less open and the fearless white clouds are helping them feel more secure, but whatever the reason their behavior changed the moment they hit the water. They no longer respond to movement in the room, they aren’t schooling tightly and, most importantly, they aren’t darting about at the surface. They seem to be interested in showing off to each other and eating, as you would expect. Whew, what a relief.

It took a little longer for peace to return to my new tank. At first I moved in my school of 10 espei rasbora, but they were also not happy on their own in the new tank. Luckily they hug the substrate when stressed, so jumping wasn’t an immediate concern. I took a page from the 20 long and added some large java fern and a large indian almond leave to give more cover, as well as two male endlers and a few white clouds for emotional reassurance that everything was safe. I did not get the immediate transformation I saw with the Pseudomugil gertrudae, but within a couple of days the rasbora were back to normal. I think they would like a few more dither fish, but I don’t want to upset the balance in the other tank. (My quarantine tank is filled with emersed plants right now, so getting more fish is probably not in the cards for now.) I’m counting it as a win.

I feel like such a newbie with fish and this was a learning experience I didn’t ask for, but I’m glad I was able to figure out a solution. I guess it just goes to show how a few small tweaks to an aquarium can result in big behavioral changes in the fish. I should clarify that I was closely monitoring water quality and considered other physiological issues, but I felt pretty confident the issues just came down to the fish not feeling totally safe.

I’ll be very brief about the plants because it’s been less eventful. Here’s a full tank shot:

P5290063.JPG


You can see how much aquasoil the fish have knocked into the sand - mostly from the rasbora being skittish. I will try to clean it up a bit at some point, but it's not a high priority task right now. I am getting some algae on the glass and some fluffy diatoms on old emersed growth, but I think it’s actually improved some over the last two weeks. I'm not concerned about it given the young age of the system. Today I finally did a big trim of the stems in the middle of the tank, so I was able to ditch some ratty old growth. I am still doing twice a week water changes, and though I’m pretty tired of this accelerated schedule, I think keeping a super clean tank at this point is worth it.

Around the appearance of the diatoms, the Bacopa myriophylloides seemed to stall and now I’m seeing a lot of melt from the top. It’s a shame - this had been a real star until now. I’m skeptical that I will be able to salvage the stems where I’ve completely lost the apical meristem because I don’t think they have enough reserves left in the old growth, but I think there are a few that have managed to hold on. I’ve got some in my emersed setup, so if I lose this bunch I can try again later.

The tissue culture plants are coming along slowly. I have a lot of very short stems that are healthy, but they aren’t full size yet. I am looking forward to having fewer, longer stems, but I’ll have to be patient. This is also the case with all the crypts. They are slowly adding leaves, but they have a long way to go before they reach their full potential.

I’ll try to get some better pictures for my next update and spend less time gabbing.
 

ElleDee

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Glad you've got back to happy fish; some quick thinking there!
Interesting to note that the Trigonostigma hengeli I have, that look almost identical to the espei, hang out in the top third of the tank and wouldn't dream of going anywhere the substrate.
Thanks! The espei have been midwater fish for me when they acting normal, but I've only kept them in pretty shallow tanks. I've had them about two years and have never seen them act the way they did last week, even when they were brand new and in quarantine. Though, I guess this whole episode shows I'm not great at anticipating what fish are going to do. 🤷🏼‍♀️
 
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ElleDee

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Here’s a fun little surprise - I found a fry during a water change. It’s still basically an eyelash, so I’m not even sure which species it is. A couple of years ago I only had white clouds and I got fry all the time and quite a few survived with very little intervention on my part, but that ended abruptly when I added the espei rasbora. I guess I could have moved a white cloud egg over on a plant, or this could be from the blue eyes or the espei (least likely, if I had to guess). My tanks are a little warmer now that it’s summer and I’ve been making it rain baby brine shrimp as a way to reassure my nervous fish that everything is good, so that probably helped. I wonder if I will be seeing more? I am rooting for the little guy, but I’m not going to get my hopes up.


In other news, I’ve been dropping yellow cherry shrimplets into this tank and it looks like they are having no trouble surviving because I’m starting to find them here and there at a much bigger size. These guys are from the nano tank in my kitchen where there are always some thriving in the filter between cleanings. Here’s my nano (4 gallons/15 liters) with too many shrimp and a handful of chili rasbora. It’s completely dominated by crypts at this point, and generally a very chill, trouble free aquarium. It’s a little dark, but the bright livestock really pops. (I know, I know - I really need to clean the glass.)

P5310013.JPG


Anyway, back to my new build. I’m really feeling Rotala ‘Super Mini Red’ right now. It’s not red, but it’s growing very well and the leaves are much smaller than the other rotala. You can see a little scumminess on the lower leaves. That's about the level of algae I'm dealing with right now.

P5310105.JPG


I have two tissue culture crypts that are starting to put on some size. I’m really liking the colors on C. affinis ‘Red’. Some leaves have a green stripe down the center, but others are kind of a stripey brick red/pink combination that I’m not doing a great job capturing in pictures.

P5310100.JPG


The other is C. petchii, at least that’s the name it was sold as. I am not sure if this is supposed to be the same as C. beckettii ‘Petchii’ or not, but I was hoping for something in that ballpark. I just… don’t know about this splotchy red color that I’m getting on the leaves. It’s not very attractive IMO and I hope this is just an ugly ducking phase and it matures into something more dignified.

P5310097.JPG


But it’s still early days on these guys - I have done crypts from tissue culture before and it took more than 6 months before they started looking normal, and even longer to approach full size. Right now I have extras of both kinds planted so I will have some fully converted for the big tank. If C. petchii doesn’t meet the bar I will take it out of this tank entirely - the space is too small for plants that aren’t bringing me joy. You can see a little Myriophyllum ‘Guyana’ peeking out around the C. petchii too, as well as some other odds and ends.

I have bumped my light up to white 80%, red 100%, green 30%, and blue 40% and extended the photoperiod to 6 hours. We’ll see if the algae responds in kind. I have no idea what the threshold is for improved color at all. All my ludwigia are a little orange and my rotala are a little pink, but my incremental increases have not made much difference. (And certain stems have lost vibrancy, I assume because they came from a higher light tank.) I am starting to think about getting a stronger light, but I’m not there yet.
 

ElleDee

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Welp, I've gone from one fry to at least 3. How long to fish eggs take to incubate? On the order of a couple of days, right? It's been almost two weeks since I moved the blue eyes out and even longer since I added any plants, so I think that means these are probably baby espei rasbora since they are the only females in the tank. Fun!

Now that there are more of them I'm starting to feel guilty about not doing more to help them survive, but I'm not sure what would make the biggest difference short of giving them their own setup. Are they more likely to starve or be eaten by their parents? I imagine once they are big enough to eat baby brine shrimp they will be in a much better position, but I have no idea how long it takes them to get to this point. Is this likely to end in total failure unless I go all out, or am I likely to have a few make it?
 
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