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Little 20l AIO

Little

Member
Joined
26 Dec 2023
Messages
173
Location
Kent
New member here.
First tank.
First post.

Got a DOOA system aqua 30 from the lovely people at Horizon Aquatics.

Substrate is Power Sand S then Amazonia v2 and finally Amazonia Powder.

CO2 system from co2 supermarket installed and am testing what bubble count and duration to use for a decent light period.

Air system installed and will run when the CO2 is off.

Grabbed a Chihiros Dr as I’m a sucker for snake oil to make me feel like I’m doing everything I can to start well.

Added a AquaEL ultra 25w heater set at 27 degrees.

Added a liter of Aqua Rio G (sintered glass media) and a liter of Aqua Rio (pumice with bacteria and additives) as an addition to the sponges in the filter.

Added a bag of carbon to get rid of wood tannins.

Dark start will be ongoing until the plants I want are in stock but the tank is now fully cycled after four weeks.

Light is a UNF Flat Nano Plus, will need to figure out lighting (and co2 timing) to use after planting.

Planting plan is:
Lutea Hobbit for ground (or Pava if I can’t get hobbit)
Crypt Flamingo and Nuri Rose Maiden for back and sides (unsure it I should mix them or do one type each side)
Buce Needle Leaf for in the tree branches
Buce Serimbu Brown for around the tree roots
Anubis Pinto for in the glass jar

All slow growing but I hope with CO2, correct lighting and lean dosing it will work out.

Inhabitants will be Neo Shrimp
I’m also considering a Betta, still unsure if the tank setup and layout I have would be suitable.

Any advice or feedback is very welcome.

In particular…

1. Is that end chamber too busy? The CO2 bubbles all get sucked into the pump but I’m not sure how effective the air stone will be in there. Also if the heater is safe for the air tubing so close to it.

2. Is the flow / surface agitation too much for a Betta and is the tank appropriate for one to be happy.

3. Are the plants a good choice? I don’t really want to be trimming plants. I’m happy to dose fertiliser, run CO2 and do water tests and changes etc… just plant maintenance is not appealing to me.


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Congrats on the scaping, I've had tanks for 52 years and never managed to accomplish anything as eye catching.
Your plant selection is all slow growers just keep your CO2 on low side and keep it stable. There's nothing stopping you from getting it dialed in now so you're good to go when planted.
I've tried and failed to keep Hobbit twice in the past but that's probably my fault.
Cheers!
 
Thank you so much for the comment Bazz.
I will take your advice and go for a low co2 level (steady over 8ish hours). If the Hobbit forsakes me too, it will be Pava.
 
Thanks for the comment Maq. I’m not sure if that is a lord of the rings reference (Old Man Willow)… if so, great catch as it was why I want the Hobbit at the front of the tree.
 
Thanks for the comment seedoubleyou. I thought it may be a bit too small for a Betta. The filter eats up a third of the room so only leaves a 20cm width x 30cm length x 30cm hight for “swim space”. Probably will stick to around six Cherry Shrimp.
 
There are some smaller fish that might do just fine in that tank.
Badis badis would likely work.
Thanks for the comment seedoubleyou. I thought it may be a bit too small for a Betta. The filter eats up a third of the room so only leaves a 20cm width x 30cm length x 30cm hight for “swim space”. Probably will stick to around six Cherry Shrimp.
 
Thanks for the suggestion seedoubleyou.

It’s only around 27 liters of water with 9 liters taken for the back filter area. It only leaves 18 or so litres as “swim space”.

I don’t feel particularly confident about housing anything other than shrimps in a tiny tank like this. I will keep an open mind to everyone’s experience though.
 
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Was hoping to get the plants ordered next week but I’m told they won’t be in until the end of January.

Looks like my four week dark that became a six week will now be nine or ten weeks.

While I wait, anyone have recommendations for keeping the Cryptocoryne Wentii Flamingo and Nurii (rose maiden) planting as separate sides of the tank or if my idea of mixing them would look good / work?
 
Thanks for the suggestion seedoubleyou.

It’s only around 27 liters of water with 9 liters taken for the back filter area. It only leaves 18 or so litres as “swim space”.

I don’t feel particularly confident about housing anything other than shrimps in a tiny tank like this. I will keep an open mind to everyone’s experience though.
It’s good to admit that now mate before trying.
You can always add fish at a later stage if you feel it’s achievable.
 
While I wait, anyone have recommendations for keeping the Cryptocoryne Wentii Flamingo and Nurii (rose maiden) planting as separate sides of the tank or if my idea of mixing them would look good / work?
Just go with your gut - in my experience the Rosen maiden will spread reasonably* rapidly once well established, and mine has got quite a bit bigger than the flamingo. I’ve struggled to keep the flamingo very pink.

* I’m very much a non-CO2, small tank person - quick = months not weeks!
 
Thanks for the comment aec34.
Your insight into the growth and spreading of Rose Maiden vs Flamingo is very helpful.
 
Today, I think I have the CO2 dialled in to “low & stable”.

Took four days of amateurish attempts swinging between 1 bubble per 6 seconds doing nothing and 2 bubbles a second pushing the drop checker yellow.

This is at slightly over 1 bubble per second from 7am till 2pm.

Starting point is off-gassed tank water at 7.7ph with blue on 4dk drop checker.
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Two and a half hours of co2 moved to 7.4ph and dark green on the drop checker.
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Another two and a half hours later it’s 7.2ph and a lighter green.
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Another three hours later (an hour after co2 switched off) was 7.2ph and a lime green (I think this is 15 or so ppm?)
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Will test Ph and drop checker colour tonight, I hope everything will reset and repeat tomorrow.

My water is “very hard”. And the tank has 400tds. Perhaps it’s why the bubble count needed to be a lot higher than my research suggested.
 
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Eight hours after co2 off and PH is up to 7.6 (just under the degassed baseline) but weirdly the drop checker colour is still pretty green. Some googling says it’s not uncommon. Please shout if I’m getting everything wrong.
(Edit: not sure if it’s worth mentioning but KH is around 5)
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While the drop checker is an important visual indicator of CO2 levels it must be remembered they usually have a 2 hour time lag so your readings don't look too far out.
Now you are becoming more knowledgeable and proficient, when you find the time you could research doing a pH profile which will give you a far more accurate result (if you have the inclination that is).
Still having a slightly green drop checker after the night period is not uncommon as there is quite possibly still some residual CO2 in the system (not a problem) especially if you are not actively offgassing with an airstone or surface skimmer, that's why we take an offgassed tank water reading as a base value.
I too have both Rosen Maiden and Pink Flamingo and once established will proliferate and spring up anywhere (and probably everywhere) within the aquarium.
Cheers!
 
Thanks for the comment Bazz.
Nice to know I’m in the ballpark on co2.
Was only able to fit in PH readings every 2.5ish hours yesterday. Always something going on. Oh and I had 8 hours of air stone running after co2.
Thanks for the confirmation on crypt growth. Will definitely plant them mixed together.
 
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Hi all,
My water is “very hard”. And the tank has 400tds. Perhaps it’s why the bubble count needed to be a lot higher than my research suggested.
That is why you use the 4dKH solution in the drop checker. It is your "standard" and the colour change is entirely dependent on the CO2 that diffuses over the air gap between tank and drop checker solution. This is why you get @bazz 's time lag and also why the <"tank water's hardness isn't relevant">.

cheers Darrel
 
Thanks for the comment Darrel. I really appreciate everyone helping me learn. Being my first ever tank, all the comments are hugely valuable.

I mentioned the hard water as the vendor of the co2 kit had instructions suggesting 25liters would be around 1 bubble per six seconds for 1 point Ph reduction and lime green drop checker.

It took me six times their recommendation, 1 bubble per second. That achieved a 0.5 point (7.7 to 7.2) ph reduction and lime green drop checker.

I think I will do a big water change tomorrow and do an hourly ph profile next weekend.

After that, I plan to set up some type of scale / weighing process to measure when the tanks will be running out of co2. It’s a single stage regulator and I just read they can co2 dump when almost exhausted.
 
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