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Third Time's the Charm

Jake101

Member
Joined
28 Feb 2014
Messages
126
Location
Solna, Sweden
After we moved to a small apartment I got a subtle hint that the large aquarium was not suitable to our current interior design. I had to admit that I wasn't happy with the outcome of the previous tank, so I didn't mind at all to start this new one.

LFS was selling a nice 84 litres Opti-White tank, but the cabinet became a huge issue. The only design style cabinet I found in Sweden was ADA's cabinet with a ridiculous price tag (about 1000 euros), so no thank you. I had a contact with several stores abroad, but no luck sending it to Sweden. One store tried, but the first cabinet was lost by a delivery service and other damaged during the transportation, so they gave up. In the end I found one from Hungary and everything went smoothly.

Specs:
84 litres rimless Opti-White tank, 60 x 40 x 35
JBL CristalProfi e701 and Eheim surface skimmer
2 x TMC AquaRay Mini 400 led tiles
Seachem Flourite Black Sand

No CO2
Low-tech EI ferts
Seachem Flourish Tabs

Plants, otherwise from the previous tank except microsorum:
Microsorum pteropus
Cryptocoryne moehlmannii
Cryptocoryne walkerii
Cryptocoryne wendtii
Sagittaria subulata
Hygrophila corymbosa
Hygrophila polysperma

At the moment there are few Amano Shrimps, but the main livestock will be pygmy corydoras and ember tetras.

Rinsing Seachem Fluorite sand was a pain in the butt until I figured out a decent method. I filled one-third of the bucket with Fluorite and let the water run in the bucket for some minutes. I tilted the bucket a bit so that the flow on the surface was a directed. At first the sand produced a lot of foam, but when the water turned from brown to greyish the rinsing was apparently done enough.

The picture was taken about 12 hours after adding the sand and planting.

IMG_1934.jpg
 
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Lindy

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Joined
29 Jun 2012
Messages
2,823
Location
Ayrshire, Scotland
Do you have a controller for your tiles? Without one and without ability to raise the tiles you risk an algae farm.

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
 

Jake101

Member
Thread starter
Joined
28 Feb 2014
Messages
126
Location
Solna, Sweden
The Redwood root has develop a massive white fungi coating. During a 25 % water change I removed the root and rubbed it with a toothbrush. Normally I would not mind, but the pure amount was too much. It is also interesting to see if this removal have any other effect or is the fungi back tomorrow in same measures. Unfortunately I couldn't get a good picture.

Also, I have never had Amano Shrimps with a substrate color where their manure is clearly visible. It is amazing how much 4 adults can produce poo in a day and a half. They seem to be good fertilisers. Though, I would not like to see the bottom with one Amano per five litres water as Tropica recommends for the start.
 

Jake101

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Thread starter
Joined
28 Feb 2014
Messages
126
Location
Solna, Sweden
Things were running smoothly until this morning. Some expected crypto melting happens, but rather uneventful week otherwise.

So today, after waking up I was on my way to the kitchen and glanced the aquarium. The water looked milkish gray with a deep pit in the bottom substrate. Eheim surface skimmer had fallen during the night and was happily blowing the water directly downwards. Everything in the aquarium was covered with the Fluorite sand.

The water cleared pretty fast after I unplugged the skimmer and adjusted the main filter to a minimal flow. After having a quite rough week at work I was aiming for a superlazy Saturday, but plans apparently changed a bit.

On the other hand, I had some luck here too. I happen to have an extra bag of Tropica Plant Growth Substrate in my closet, and I until last minute I was pondering whether to use it with this tank. I ended up taking the Flourite sand + root tabs road. At this moment I am particularly happy with that choice.

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FullSizeRender2013.jpg
 
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Jake101

Member
Thread starter
Joined
28 Feb 2014
Messages
126
Location
Solna, Sweden
Tank has been running now for three weeks. Almost nothing happens, which is pretty much what to expect with a low-tech tank. On the other hand, it should be a good thing with a low-tech.

Both hygrophilas are growing ok, and even some cryptos seem to be pushing new leaves while dropping an old one every now and then. Though, I am not sure whether the new growth in cryptos is a sign of adequate root tabs and water column ferts or are the plants just using their reserves. Nothing visible has happened with sagittaria, but microsorum is producing few new leaves.

I was tempted to try pressurised co2, but I think continuing with the low-tech was a right choice since I have been working a lot after summer vacation and usually I have only time to check that everything looks fine with the tank and remove the few leaves cryptos are dropping. I do change 20 litres of water twice a week and add weekly ferts, but this operation takes less than half an hour.

The other day I noticed some water under the external filter. Just as a precaution I checked the seal, added some white vaseline and put the filter in a small bucket. I am not sure when or how the water got there but everything seems to be ok right now.

I should have some extra free time in few weeks and get the planned 15 pygmy corys from LFS.

Nothing special per se in this tank or layout, but I am pretty happy how it goes and looks now.

Edit: I like hygrophila corymbosa as a plant, but I feel the leaf size is way too big for tank this small. I am going to replace it later when the tank has reached more balance and all the other plants are showing a good, steady growth.

Also, there is no smooth transition between sagittaria and the wall of cryptos, so maybe a plant row of 10 cm height between those two would make a more balanced look.

IMG_1995.jpg
 
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Jake101

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Thread starter
Joined
28 Feb 2014
Messages
126
Location
Solna, Sweden
Some small events after last update.

One week ago the inhabitants arrived, 14 corydoras pygmaeus. I could have taken few more, but LFS had only 14 quarantined and ready to move. I like to keep my tanks with a moderate or low bioload, so I do not have any plans to get other fishes.

pygmies.jpe




I got rid of the hygrophila corymbosa, which looked out of place since it was just too big for this tank. Instead I planted some hygrophila polysperma 'Rosanervig'. All the cryptos are doing just fine and producing new leaves, but sagittaria is not doing too well. Only few of them seem to thrive. If I cannot figure out how to make them grow better, I might try bacopa monnieri 'compact' as a foreground plant.

Yesterday I noticed that the canister filter, JBL e701, is leaking. The filter is in a plastic box, so small leak didn't cause any problems for the cabinet or the floor. I tried to fix the filter by cleaning, but the leak didn't disappear. I couldn't find the exact spot, since it was somewhere between the canister and the lid. I checked everything as closely as I could, changed the seal ring and also tried to put the canister other way around, but nothing helped. Since I need to work and I do not fancy leaving a leaking filter home while I'm away, I went and bought a new filter. I try to figure out the problem during next weekend, but after that it will go back to the seller.
 

Jake101

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Thread starter
Joined
28 Feb 2014
Messages
126
Location
Solna, Sweden
Leaking filter stayed leaking, so it is on its way back. One possible thing that might have affected was the necessity to adjust outflow, since the pointy streams from the bar were just too powerful and the tank looked quite "windy" without adjustment. Since the filter (700 l/h on paper) should not be too big for 84 litres tank, I took a drill and made the holes in the bar bigger. Diameter is now double from the original, and the flow is fine with the full power.

The newest full tank shot.
106699e1-d21b-49ad-9b1e-573c44cdb69f.jpg


The first row of sagittaria is a bit yellowish and is not growing as well as the second row, which is a bit shaded by the cryptos. The light should not be too bright, but I'll measure PAR levels tomorrow. The open front corner will get some eleocharis parvula, as soon as they arrive. Java fern is growing really nice. A bit GSA is here and there, but mainly on the largest and oldest leaves, so pruning takes care of that.
 

Jake101

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Thread starter
Joined
28 Feb 2014
Messages
126
Location
Solna, Sweden
The problems with sagittaria seems to be solved. I add a bit Equilibrium every week and the plants are doing much better. Some issues still continue with hygrophila, but even that is getting better and less damaged leaves appear. Cryptos are spreading nicely, they pop some runners here and there. They really seem to appreciate root tabs. About two months ago one group of cryptos (maybe 6 plants next to each other) decided to melt their leaves, but after that rebellion they started to push new leaves without any problems. I didn't knowingly change anything before or after, so the whole event is a pure mystery.

I added yesterday couple new crypto species as well as Limnophila sessiliflora and Java moss. I lost couple of dwarf corys pretty soon after they arrived, but others are doing just fine. I probably add about ten more in the near future, aiming for a shoal of 20 dwarfs or so. I bought frozen black mosquito larvae and Hikari sinking wafers recently, which both are consumed eagerly. They have learned to eat even on midwater. Earlier they ate only from the bottom even if there were some pieces of food slowly sinking. One larger female have found a place on the branch and is quite often resting there.

A picture update:
8f96aa00-6e99-48bb-985a-35a1f0509158.jpg
 

Jake101

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Thread starter
Joined
28 Feb 2014
Messages
126
Location
Solna, Sweden
It has been almost a year since my last update, and the tank worked well as it was. Nevertheless, I got the urge to change it for a bit more minimalistic direction. I decided to keep the substrate (white sand) plantless, and have rhizomes attached to bogwoods and floating plants.

At the moment I have only Microsorum under water, and Pistia, Azolla caroliniana, Hygroryza aristata and Ceratopteris thalictroides floating.

I also bought more pygmy cories and the shoal is now about 20 fishes.

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I would like to hide the devices better, but some woodcrafting is necessary to hide the surface skimmer and the heater better. I need to visit the LFS and look for a suitable bogwood candidate for that role.

I'll add more plants during the coming weekend. Some bucephalandras for the larger wood on the left side and more Hygroryza aristata on the surface. I am going to build a divider (some net covered with java moss) on surface to have a less turbulent area for the floating plants. I also drilled larger holes to the spray bar. Now the streams are more gentle for the floaters and I do not need to reduce the outflow from the filter.

I just received some gUSH crystal pods. Not sure yet which plants I'm going to have in those.
 

Jake101

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Thread starter
Joined
28 Feb 2014
Messages
126
Location
Solna, Sweden
A year and a half since the last update. Things have changed a bit in the tank.

I added a small HOB filter and also drilled larger holes (7 mm) to the spray bar. A nice turnover rate for a low-tech, but the flow in the tank is rather calm.

The livestock is a pair of Apistogramma cacatuoides, 14 Pygmy cories, and 2 Amano shrimps. Plants are Java fern, Najas guadalupensis, duckweed and couple of marimo moss balls. Pothos is growing from the HOB. I added lots of roots in the tank, couple of coconut caves and some Catappa leaves.

48F7B3A2-2C16-4A98-8F8E-5D2BDA4B7481.jpg
 

Jake101

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Thread starter
Joined
28 Feb 2014
Messages
126
Location
Solna, Sweden
Quite a while has gone again, and I still have the same setup. Nothing has changed that much, just taking care of the tank and enjoying of it. A year ago something happened, never figured out what for sure, but both Apistos were dead one morning, as well as some pygmy cories. I measure only the electric conductivity and that had not changed. I added Prime and made a lot of water changes in the following days, and no deaths after that. I am planning on changing the setup in the coming months, so these are the last pictures as it is now.

Jh3DZlwURBzM8jToKIPdPGgzIzsA_SThPVUwBeHi8fFg7nQTzGmuoTM6k38vzV7ZmoU9khnFonTNh62As3ZDY0UyWPhrXqJvPgiiucs1818qZtRX9cMFg-Q6qMjin58JeqwwGfzVNpqscsIt1Kh2804GjdpvNacglHwubayKPyCXvd86VMQFAyBIkv0i8NG4NMYBFKXrnLzJeruoj9KURPhB9jo2UsqdfvkOPsaDX59u0dv61SOVstgo3BYP1aj20MXvJT3ixWDr0rAg_7rZLx0Dbwz0ySt5dZzzvOtTq4pdcLiu86FnUOnNiYmVwx8gydpshQfvi6SJ3y-2CdZB28KWMUqesuhAn1issrC41zvzR4lqzre3u9a3s4YCBw00plj5c1vikxjCxkvQVK3xBQcjz5eIlG150JoL-vsMRpRn913PfJgQEWPXVtBnzVVp3ueH8KoJGE1pWFGUp7EVO-qplPFSRA3FDwbfU6NonmEhvB5o2plKek4P6DIZdXo2pVAy0--SR7E08iwRNrC1L_2iM82zdOW5Uoj7AoBB2JOQwOrN0nVIu4DdqaCe3YRTGNvERUpDKoA0hct8o9jmhqapKUX4Wn0WSr6WS302De47jDa6BILmgMzFKE2EC_Lz5aY5ozY1dE-4gtIR-fFL1MEZ3dihYmxO4nFS7LSBDZfBQy9izCdHMACjwT_o=w860-h645-no

U37az0KjRIiIkWEa9uNitdJqA6ATbH109ANC78Fj7vjzvje2V-hgUewGLcYWIb_ixtK5XUizLVTQ2Rx2pnX3ezX52dsqQ5DkkZO__JU2XhZf8t4xstj9g7xpmiZAtiVUO7cDcvEXwOLS3_E2PXSJ3EDak0uQHYT5iUvTfhdGBOugR1u-hiFTh3akyEwC2bH0nTZdUtHas_U8hkm49L-efmUWiVNMo6tuz6p90xUxMRwUVjhjx3jBkFoi8eyJMSFunIugKTxtec7LYXwYSmXioAhm8CgkY0PrTLafjlBomZLPFmX4XxLiZlfvOK7g3y1hZqeeg2IbYQrB508iHD01GaoS9YlgVwe8aBZ_N33sKG3Dj5yY5WCpmAQxz6Jd_osB7eJVz4PglZ-p_1xQQuUUe6B8PQz8NdEV8Lo_uWdt2mNcBNN9ppK87uwPG3PZBvfuUXmcRrWG83Ll47gmtVAGyUXm_7-TSJNrlDs57Gu0V9TjwmxNK5qygRWOoVZCRZy6n9pAIrITadc2qN0V9_Fab0kxmU0MNto4nRkqtCjl4iXxfvWqU1LWWUcy02oHynLzGNMSuH_g_pmihoXzNVWXLnrGjQZLVyDInrCrrz8zcY9XDYX0N_Zq-Zq1CTntl_ym0BEOhIy2v07pUBCJWh1Sx8U-bHrcvykpOWdOD8UWzUK4YiRXDooJ9Jfa7g5P=w860-h645-no
 
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