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Nano30_First attempt

FrankR

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Joined
7 Sep 2018
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166
Location
Cambridgeshire
HI all,

Started cycling this tank 3 months ago (Feb 19, 2022) following the dark start method. I know it's too long, but work's a priority.
Anyway, yesterday I added the plants, CO2 and the light. Here's the details.

Tank: Dennerle Nanocube 30 litre (30x30x35 cm)
Light: Chihiors C2 RGB programmable, 20W, 1580 lumens. 6 hour photoperiod (12:30-18:30) 40% power at peak and 30 min ramping.
Filter: Fluval 107 and 13mm glass lily pipes
CO2: CO2Art Pro-SE Regulator, CO2Art inline diffuser and a 950cc disposable cylinder
Fertiliser: TNC Complete (3ml once a week)
Substrate: Tropica Aquarium Soil Powder

Carpet plant:
Hemianthus Callitrichoides

Middle ground:
Eriocaulon Cinereum,
Alternanthera Reineckii Mini
Bucephalandra Pygmaea (on wood)
Taxiphyllum Flame (on wood)
Monosolenium Tenerum (on rock)

Background:
Rotala Indica Bonsai
Bacopa Caroliniana

Floating plant:
Salvinia Auriculata

And some photos:
Front

Nano30_01.jpg



Nano30-02.jpg


Side

Nano30_03.jpg


Cheers!
 
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FrankR

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Location
Cambridgeshire
I think I'm going to need more plants. What do you reckon?
Also, any recommendations or advice on the scape are welcome.
 

FrankR

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Yesterday was maintenance day.

IMG_5490.jpg

I trimmed the HC Cuba, removed all the Eriocaulon Cinereum plants, some Alternanthera Reineckii Mini and added an Anubias Nana petite and a Pogostemon Helferi.
Today's test results
pH: 6,5
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrites: 0 ppm
Nitrates: 40 ppm
KH: 7 dKH (previously 8 dKH)
GH: 12 dGH (previously 13 dKH)

Although I did a WC with 50/50 RO/tap water, Nitrates are still high. API's NO3 test doesn't help much, as the colour on the card is almost the same for both 40 and 80 ppm. So, either my previous results were at 80 ppm and now it's 40 ppm. Or, no matter how many RO/tap water changes I do, Nitrates will remain high, probably because the Tropica soil is releasing NO3.
Time will tell.
 

saundersbp

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14 May 2022
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25
Location
Yorkshire
Lovely aquarium! I started quite a similar tank in May with a similar design: small cube with wood sticking up vertically so I'll be watching your tank develop with interest!
 

FrankR

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7 Sep 2018
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Location
Cambridgeshire
Lovely aquarium! I started quite a similar tank in May with a similar design: small cube with wood sticking up vertically so I'll be watching your tank develop with interest!
Thank you!
Right now I'm more interested in learning the ropes, rather than setting up a proper aquascape.
Is it going to be a balanced system? I'll be able to tell in 6-12 months from now.
 

FrankR

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7 Sep 2018
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Location
Cambridgeshire
1 Month update

IMG_5518.jpg IMG_5517.jpg IMG_5516.jpg

Maintenance day. Basically a WC, (2 parts RO/DI, 1 part tap water) nothing else. I love how easy that is. I don't even have to clean the glass!
All plants look healthy. The HC Cuba is growing like crazy. There are runners everywhere.

Test results

WC water
pH: 7.6
KH: 7dKH
GH: 9 dGH

Tank water (2 hours after WC)
pH: 6.6
KH: 8dKH
GH: 12dGH
NO3: 40 ppm

A couple (or three) issues:
1. One of the Bucephalandras has slightly yellowish leaves, but the veins are green. Could be Mg deficiency or too much light. I've dosed half a teaspoon of Magnesium Sulphate Heptahydrate (Epsom Salts). If the leaves are green in 1-2 days, then problem solved. If not, then I'd have to move it to a spot with less light. (Thanks for the advice guys!)
2. Not actually an issue. A bit of diatoms on the front glass (!). A spot about 5 x 5 cm. Now gone.
3. Nitrates still high. Seems that I can't get Nitrates below 40 ppm. I thought the culprit was the fertiliser, so I didn't add any after the WC. But I guess that's not the case. So, I see 2 possible scenarios:
A. Could be the substrate, still leaching ammonia.
B. NO3 was 80 ppm and now it's 40 ppm. Hard to tell with that API test. 🤔
I'll do another WC tomorrow and post the results.
 

FrankR

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Location
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I did a WC yesterday. 2/3 RO/DI and 1/3 tap water. When I tested the WC water I got
pH: 7.6
NO3: 20 ppm
I tested the RO/DI water for NO3 and I got 0 ppm. That means the tap water has NO3 around 60 ppm.

After the water change the tank had
pH: 6.4
NO3: 30-40 ppm

Today I did a 10 litre WC with RO/DI water only.
Now the tank has
pH: 6.4
NO3: 10-20 ppm
KH: 6 dKH
GH: 9 dGH
I'm happy with these parameters. I haven't dosed any fertiliser since Friday, because I wanted to lower the NO3 first.
So, from now on I'm going to dose as usual and do my WC with 2/3 RO/DI and 1/3 tap water. Problem solved I guess.
 

FrankR

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Location
Cambridgeshire
My tank's been running for 3 months, well, 6 months if you count the 3 month dark start.
Today I've spotted apatches of Cyanobacteria.

IMG_5599.jpg IMG_5600.jpg

Here's my tank parameters:
pH: 6.4
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrites: 0ppm
Nitrates: 40ppm
KH: 7dKH
GH: 9dGH
Temp: 26 C

I assume the cyano showed up either because I ramped up the light from 60%, to 80% last week, or because of the Nitrates.
Either way, I want to solve this issue without using any chemicals. I've bought a bottle of FritzZyme 360.
Their website says that this product can be used against cyano.
Time will tell.
 

Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
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3,271
Location
Nottingham
My tank's been running for 3 months, well, 6 months if you count the 3 month dark start.
Today I've spotted apatches of Cyanobacteria.

View attachment 191814 View attachment 191815

Here's my tank parameters:
pH: 6.4
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrites: 0ppm
Nitrates: 40ppm
KH: 7dKH
GH: 9dGH
Temp: 26 C

I assume the cyano showed up either because I ramped up the light from 60%, to 80% last week, or because of the Nitrates.
Either way, I want to solve this issue without using any chemicals. I've bought a bottle of FritzZyme 360.
Their website says that this product can be used against cyano.
Time will tell.

Why did you feel the need to increase the light, it looked like your HC carpet was growing just fine? It looks like you've got some diatoms going on also - I assume that's what has cover the moss and is in the HC carpet. I've always found BGA seems to prefer low dissolved oxygen levels, so what is your level of surface agitation like? BGA has also been linked to low nitrate levels.

I would:

1. Increase your surface agitation by raising the lily pipe (you may have to increase your CO2 to compensate for the increased off-gasing)
2. Give the HC carpet and moss a good trim to promote new growth, and vacuum off any BGA and diatoms
3. What are you dosing in terms of ferts? Nitrate test kits are notoriously unreliable, so I would ditch that kit, and just focus on consistent dosing of ferts.
 
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FrankR

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Why did you feel the need to increase the light, it looked like your HC carpet was growing just fine? It looks like you've got some diatoms going on also - I assume that's what has cover the moss and is in the HC carpet. I've always found BGA seems to prefer low dissolved oxygen levels, so what is your level of surface agitation like? BGA has also been linked to low nitrate levels.

I would:

1. Increase your surface agitation by raising the lily pipe (you may have to increase your CO2 to compensate for the increased off-gasing)
2. Give the HC carpet and moss a good trim to promote new growth, and vacuum off any BGA and diatoms
3. What are you dosing in terms of ferts? Nitrate test kits are notoriously unreliable, so I would ditch that kit, and just focus on consistent dosing of ferts.
I'm dosing TNC Complete, 3ml two times a week.
As for he light, some plants, like the Pogostemon Helferi and the Alternanthera Reineckii, were growing taller. So I increased it to encourage more compact growth.

I did some research and I don't think the light is the problem. Also, the advice about cyano and nitrates is contradictory. It appears even when nitrates and phosphates are low. I've come to the conclusion that the main culprit is the flow.
I broke the lily pipe a couple of weeks ago and the only thing I had to replace it was a spin pipe. That has reduced the flow in the tank dramatically. The CO2 distribution has been reduced as well.
That also tells me that my tank's biome is not balanced. That's why I bought the Fritzzyme 360 and I'm expecting a delivery of a new lily pipe.

You are right about the trimming though. The HC and the flame moss need a good "haircut".

Edit: Once I receive the lily pipe, I'll trim the plants, remove as much cyano as possible and dose the 360. It'll take some time to eradicate it, probably a month or so, but I'm patient.
 
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FrankR

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A couple of days ago I did a 50% WC, cleaned as much Cyano as I could and dosed 2 caps of FritzZyme 360.
I forgot to lower the light intensity though and the bacteria came back. Now there are patches everywhere.

IMG_5602.jpg

Today I went to river Cam's source. I know many rivers are polluted. So I thought that a river source would be the cleanest water I can get.
Here's the test results:
pH: 7.6 (Could be higher. That's the maximum in the test scale I have)
Ammonia: 0 ppm
NO2: 0 ppm
NO3: 40-80 ppm
KH: 12-13 dKH
GH: 18 dGH
I got a sample of the sediment and I also found a few river shrimp/scuds. Apologies for the terrible photos.

IMG_5609.jpg IMG_5613.jpg

I've added the sediment into my tank and the scuds are being acclimated.
 
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AlecF

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15 Sep 2021
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Edinburgh
I winder what the higher temperatures would do to the microorganisms – or maybe he temperatures in Cambs are the equivalent of an aquarium these days!
 

FrankR

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7 Sep 2018
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Location
Cambridgeshire
I winder what the higher temperatures would do to the microorganisms – or maybe he temperatures in Cambs are the equivalent of an aquarium these days!
Right now the temperature in the tank is 27.5 C, when outside is 31 C. Drops at 24-25 C at night.
I haven't added any microorganisms in the tank yet, because of the high temps. I'm keeping them in a specimen container next to a north facing window.
 

FrankR

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7 Sep 2018
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Cambridgeshire
Just an update.
Bought 3 Otos and 3 Galaxy Rasboras four days ago. I'll upgrade the tank next month so the Otos will have more space.
I've started green algae cultures and hopefully I'll have enough pebbles covered with algae for them to graze on by the end of the month.
The diatoms are almost gone and the glass is clean again thanks to the Otos and the Nerite snail. However the cyanobacteria are still there.
I've changed the light spectrum, lowered the Green to 20% and the Red to 35% and kept the Blue at 65%.

Here's the tank on 7/8.
IMG_5603.jpg
On 9/8.
IMG_5615.jpg
And 10/8.
IMG_5620.jpg

I've also replaced the fertiliser, from TNC Complete to 2hr Aquarist APT 3 Complete.
I did a WC yesterday, dosed 3 ml APT and 2 caps of Fritz 360. I cleaned the cyano that was on the Bucephalandras, but I left all the patches that are on the Alternanthera, the HC and the Flame moss deliberately.
Today I noticed that the distinctive smell is gone and it didn't spread like it did the last time I cleaned it. Is it dying?

To be continued...
 

FrankR

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Today, 13/8.
IMG_5623.jpg

Comparing the Alternanthera in this photo to the previous one, I noticed that something's eating it. It's leaves have definitely less cyano.
 
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