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The Root Among The Rocks

Update time, hope everyone is well.

I have been doing daily water changes for week 1 then continued for few days as was findinf dead shrimp unfortunately, been doing every other at the moment as tanks has settled and shrimp seem fine now, added 1 more pot of montecarlo today and also rotala hra at the back and removed some of the larger crypts i planted.
Everything else going smoothly really, still not cleaned inside filter as didnt want to disturb my media but may clean soon as didnt clean for a month or so before i rescaped. i imagine may be bit dirty as had running when was disturbing substrate etc when origionally removed plants.

Think i am starting to see growth on the hra and montecarlo so thats good, still messing with co2 as dont think gassing off over night as still light green any ideas ?
I cant lift lilly pipe as skimmer on outflow was thinking about making it draw air in over night ?

Thanks Dean
 

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Quick water change today dropped my ADA thermometer and smashed into bits 😡, cant remember how many of these i have broken over the years 😅, thinking about stocking soon cant wait to see a nice shoul off fish in my tank.

The shrimp deaths have stopped and seeing growth in the plants, lost a lot of bucephlandra leaves when first set up anf removed holed leaves hopefully the loss was due to new setup maybe ammonia spike from substrate but hopefully settling now and will all regrow.

Any hints on feeding ottos, i feed red pepper every 4 days or so and feed shrimp there food every few days ?

Thanks dean
 

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They like zucchini/courgette slices and cucumber as well. Something I learned recently is to place it close to the plants/cover so they can dart away if needed. I used to put it on a stick somewhere in the centre of the tank but the ottos rarely visited, mostly shrimp. After reading the tip to place it close to cover they visit it a lot more. I've found they also love certain shrimp lolly sticks (spinach was a favorite).
 
Also nettles, sweet potatoes and Hikari Algea wafers. They feed primarily on aufwuchs , so I drop in a couple of dried leaves every couple of weeks that mine like grazing on. (Aufwuchs is the German name for the slimy coating which grows on the leaves of aquatic plants, decomposing leaves, etc. Aufwuchs is composed mainly of diatom algae but also includes animals such as rotifers, mini crustaceans and protozoa. And that mix is apparently essential for happy Otos).
 
As the other guys have said, my Oto's love cucumber - just be careful how long you leave it in the tank, as it turns to mush after about 48 hours and needs removing just before it reaches that point (though I no longer have to do that in my tank as the snails devour everything in less than 48 hours anyway). I second the Hikari Algae wafers too, mine love those.

Somewhat surprisingly also, my Oto's happily shoal up next to my Habrosus Cory's and willingly chow down on whatever they are eating, including Fluval bug bites, and live BBS and Moina.
 
Came to say blanched nettles have been truly destroyed by my otos in the past (and shrimp).
Brown dropped Oak leaves blanched then when cool left in the window with some aquarium water for a couple of days. Drop them in once a week or so and they go wild for it.
 
My otos started to ignore the cooked veg once I began to add dried leaves (I add a lot of all sorts, mostly brown). Their 100% favourite is dried green walnut leaves, which get stripped to nothing in 2-3 days and won't go gross like veg does. The shrimp and other catfish really like them too, I wish I'd collected more!
 
What sort of dried leaves are we talking about? Do you just go out and collect anything? @shangman
Is there a certain rule on what's good and what's not when it comes to fallen leaves?
Sorry to hijack @Deano3 😁
What fish are you planning @Deano3
 
What sort of dried leaves are we talking about? Do you just go out and collect anything? @shangman
Is there a certain rule on what's good and what's not when it comes to fallen leaves?
Sorry to hijack @Deano3 😁
What fish are you planning @Deano3
I've got a thread I'm meant to make about this very subject that I've been avoiding cos I've got loads of work on atm 😂 <you can see some discussions about it in the last 2 pages of my journal> there is extra info there with some more links and suggestions.

Easiest to collect leaves are Oak and beech, one of my favs is magnolia grandiflora (takes a long time to decompose and enjoyed by fish and shrimp alike + looks v tropical) which are dotted about in parks quite often. Best not to use leaves found at the side of the road in case of pollution. The leaves also encourage interesting behaviour that I never saw before I used leaves, they definitely make my fish more bold! You can also try palm leaves if you have them in your garden/a friendly neighbor, they have also done well for me.

The leaves need to have fallen off the tree and ideally be dry, though if it's wet or you can just dry them at home in a flat layer in a warm place. Some people wash or boil their leaves, I personally just chuck them in dry and let them sink over a day or so. I do make sure to wipe off dirt, and don't collect leaves that look damaged or diseased.
 
Leaves are great at growing bio-films, also cholla wood, seed pods, alder cones, etc.

When collecting leaves i would highly recommend doing it in the woods, as homeowners and the local council spray pesticides absolutely everywhere.
 
the local council spray pesticides absolutely everywhere.
I wondered about this in regards to parks as we want our botanicals to be as safe as possible, so I just asked my dad who works at a London park as a horticultural manager. He said not to worry about pesticides on your leaves from parks. The pesticides you're thinking of which you wouldn't want in the aquarium are used by farmers, but not in parks where tough plants are usually planted for ease of maintenance. If they do use pesticides they are nontoxic like SB invigorator type stuff, they are very restricted with chemicals allowed because the public use parks. The herbicides they use only on paving, almost always in the spring (not autumn weekend we collect) and very sparingly as they don't have time or money to spray plants. Trees and shrubs have never been sprayed by anything while he's worked there. And if there was anything, you can always just boil the leaves to get rid of anything that sits on the top.
 
I wondered about this in regards to parks as we want our botanicals to be as safe as possible, so I just asked my dad who works at a London park as a horticultural manager. He said not to worry about pesticides on your leaves from parks. The pesticides you're thinking of which you wouldn't want in the aquarium are used by farmers, but not in parks where tough plants are usually planted for ease of maintenance. If they do use pesticides they are nontoxic like SB invigorator type stuff, they are very restricted with chemicals allowed because the public use parks. The herbicides they use only on paving, almost always in the spring (not autumn weekend we collect) and very sparingly as they don't have time or money to spray plants. Trees and shrubs have never been sprayed by anything while he's worked there. And if there was anything, you can always just boil the leaves to get rid of anything that sits on the top.
Anything near paths and paving sprayed by the mobile tractor sprayer type with the handheld wand i wouldn't put near my tanks myself, i know about COSHH i have to for my job, regards to spraying trees and shrubs that doesn't happen you are right, but it's often about where you are picking stuff up and what the wind has carried it over previously, would you trust it with hundreds of quids worth of plants and fish?

However i would say many councils are working towards non chemical alternatives for these applications which is great including some london councils.

Another aside i would bring up is the spraying of basal growth on trees for oak processionary moth which mostly is done with deltamethrin which is very harmful to fish gill liver and kidney tissues, you can tell if trees nearby are affected by spot marking with spray paints in colours green and red.

shangman:
And if there was anything, you can always just boil the leaves to get rid of anything that sits on the top.
Prolonged exposure to 100c+ will do this for most pesticides indeed. :)
 
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Anything near paths and paving sprayed by the mobile tractor sprayer type with the handheld wand i wouldn't put near my tanks myself, i know about COSHH i have to for my job, regards to spraying trees and shrubs that doesn't happen you are right, but it's often about where you are picking stuff up and what the wind has carried it over previously, would you trust it with hundreds of quids worth of plants and fish?

However i would say many councils are working towards non chemical alternatives for these applications which is great including some london councils.

Another aside i would bring up is the spraying of basal growth on trees for oak processionary moth which mostly is done with deltamethrin which is very harmful to fish gill liver and kidney tissues, you can tell if trees nearby are affected by spot marking with spray paints in colours green and red.
To be honest I actually would pick up leaves from parks and use them in my tanks without much worry, in fact I already have! Often near paths too. They have almost all been London parks though, maybe they are somewhat less liberal with the toxins. In my dad's London park he said they've never done any pesticides or herbicides while he's been there. It's definitely up to people's own indescretion though.

That spray paint Oak tip is great, I will make sure to include that in a section about discretion when collecting and things to look out for, I've read it's quite rare, but always good to know and be aware!
 
Thats totally fine @SRP3006 as i was wondering the exact same thing, i will be nervous about going picking up any old leaves and adding to tank.

Do they have to have fallen and be brown ? And will any tree leaves do ? Also will it add tannins to tank as dont want brown.

Thanks so much for all suggestions i will also be purchasing some Hikari Algae wafers and @SRP3006 you will see later this week 😊

Lastly @shangman an article on this would he very helpful and appreciated when you have time

Thanks dean
 
I've got a thread I'm meant to make about this very subject that I've been avoiding cos I've got loads of work on atm 😂 <you can see some discussions about it in the last 2 pages of my journal> there is extra info there with some more links and suggestions.

Easiest to collect leaves are Oak and beech, one of my favs is magnolia grandiflora (takes a long time to decompose and enjoyed by fish and shrimp alike + looks v tropical) which are dotted about in parks quite often. Best not to use leaves found at the side of the road in case of pollution. The leaves also encourage interesting behaviour that I never saw before I used leaves, they definitely make my fish more bold! You can also try palm leaves if you have them in your garden/a friendly neighbor, they have also done well for me.

The leaves need to have fallen off the tree and ideally be dry, though if it's wet or you can just dry them at home in a flat layer in a warm place. Some people wash or boil their leaves, I personally just chuck them in dry and let them sink over a day or so. I do make sure to wipe off dirt, and don't collect leaves that look damaged or diseased.
I'll try adding some leaves when the tank is up and running again. Hopefully the cories and otos will like the extra food/cover it provides
 
Hi everyone quick update i went to horizon aquatics to purchase my fish, i went for 30 green neons but they seemed very shy and not the best at shouling so went woth 30 rummy nose tetras, they have settled in well, lost 3 on day one not sure if just due to the move etc but rest seem to be doing well.

Also any more info on exactly what leaves i can add for the ottos would be great 😁.
carpet seems to be growing in slowly but surely But struggling in middle where the light isnt the best and in shadow of the wood.

Lastly i need to remove 1 peice of frodo as grey and rest of frodo has a more darker grey/brown colour to it, not sure as previously been used or what but small one looks odd.

Thanks dean
 

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Quick update time, tank doing ok seem to have some small bunches of bba on rear left corner and rocks went very green think green spot algae so give a good scrub today, to be honest i dont mind green rocks as looks very natural. Any idea why getting green spot algae and bba is it usually co2 related?

Not got round to removing the grey stone yet will do tomorro or this week and add nore small dennerle rio xingo, why are some of the frodo stones more grey and some a more sandy colour is there just different types and sometimes look slightly different?

I am still doing large waterchange ever 4-5 days , also still struggling to get co2 perfect. My co2 comes on 4 hours before lights but not fully gassing off on night as baby blue in morning as i seen today when drained the water, could i make co2 go off 2 hours before lights off rather than 1 ?

Also lost around 4-5 rummy nose as 2 died when first put into tank and had 2 jumpers 😔 the rest seem to be doing great.

Lastly i dont think the middle section gets enough light for monte carlo to carpet but hopefully its spreads in from the sides.(in hindsight i think i had main wood further back before the colapse)

Tried attatching pics to show the algae also wanted opinions on the rear right or tank, do i trim the ludwigia palustrus to allow the rotala hra to grow at the back as its blocking the hra at the rear ? And do i up the light by 10 percent?

Any help appreciated. Sorry for long post 😊
Thanks dean
 

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