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Old 03-09-2015, 09:20 PM   #1
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Renegade's 15 gallon Planted for Peacock gudgeon and Scarlet badis - Suggestions?!

Title says most of it. Old 15 gallon is leaking and can only be filled half way. Working on a new set-up.

Tank: Tank: 15 gallon AGA with black trim

Top: none currently

Substrate: ADA Amazonian

Filtration: DIY PVC reverse flow UGF powered by a ZooMed 511 Canister filter
Dual-Sponge sponge filters

Plants: plan to include so anubias, but no firm plans beyond that

Lighting: A dual bulb t5 by Aqueon (have a LED by Current but not using it yet).

Existing tank;

Fish;
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Old 03-09-2015, 09:29 PM   #2
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Designing and building the reverse flow UGF (you will also have to forgive the quality as many were taken by students rather than by me);

UGF is constructed of 1/2" PVC pipe, the pipe was fitted (but not glued) and holes were drilled into the inward faces of the PVC pointing slightly downward.


I used Fluval Ceramic media between the PVC pipe;


Covered the filter media with a plastic screen mesh and zip-tied it in position to prevent too much soil from settling into the filter media. A plastic barbed connection was added for connecting the return hose of the canister filter.


Covered the whole works with ADA Amazonian soil;


Connected the siphon tube and hose, and messed with hardscape.


Started adding water; system is currently running, until the ADA makes its required pH adjustment. Looking for any input on hardscape.
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Old 03-09-2015, 09:41 PM   #3
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Hi Renegade, long time no see! The tank looks really natural, it looks great! And the new tank's hardscape looks amazing.

So, I was wondering, do you use the substrate for pH adjustment for the fish you will be adding? If so, when you do a water change, do you have to adjust the pH of that water first prior to placing it in the tank, or can you just put your regular water in and have the substrate adjust it on it's own? I hope that makes sense, thanks!

I am following along!
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Old 03-09-2015, 09:57 PM   #4
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Hi Renegade, long time no see! The tank looks really natural, it looks great! And the new tank's hardscape looks amazing.

So, I was wondering, do you use the substrate for pH adjustment for the fish you will be adding? If so, when you do a water change, do you have to adjust the pH of that water first prior to placing it in the tank, or can you just put your regular water in and have the substrate adjust it on it's own? I hope that makes sense, thanks!

I am following along!
Hey redsea, yes it has been awhile - finishing up my masters degree kept me way too busy and fall was a flurry of activity. Things may be starting to slow down - will just have to see. Thanks much! I'm hoping to get some suggestions for improvement as I'm not super satisfied with the hardscape at this point.

I use the substrate primarily because it was highly recommended for plants and for shrimp, and have a small population of an unidentified ornamental that showed up in the original tank. Since the babies are a potential live food source for both the gudgeons and the badis, I figured I would go with it. I use RO water for this set-up and reconstitute using Bee Shrimp Mineral GH+. I've not had issues with having to adjust pH because of the use of RO and reconstitution. Hope that answers your question.

BTW, love the signature line
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Old 03-10-2015, 12:20 AM   #5
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Thanks for the comment on my signature line. I always want to offer advice, but often am held back because I never want to tell anybody something that may not work for them. I figure one of the best ways to get info is to get advice from multiple people and come up with a consensus. It is like taking an average! LOL

Oh, that makes sense. So if you have Cardinal Tetras for example that like acidic water, it is best to start with RODI, and then use peat moss or something to treat it BEFORE adding it to the tank. That way the fish won't be stressed.

That's really interesting about the ornamental shrimp! I just love shrimp, they really add to any type of aquarium!
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Old 03-10-2015, 01:06 AM   #6
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Makes perfect sense to me, I often wish people would take more of an "average" consensus when getting advice on a forum.

I've never used the peat moss myself, so really can't speak to that specifically. I know I have seen threads were individuals are using it to soften the water and reduce the pH of the water. In my understanding, that also involves removing Ca+ and Mg- ions from the water, since shrimp need the Ca+ for building their shells, I'm not sure I would go that route for a tank with ornamental shrimp, but I've read that it does work for some types of fish. Personally I think using an additive to RODI water is a good way to go, provided to know and understand which chemicals are being added back in and why, and which ones are not, and why. People have being going that exact route for years now with saltwater aquariums with great success. Assuming that you maintain the desired levels in your tank that match the levels of treated water that you are adding, you should have no issues with stressing the fish. Personally I think that water added to a tank should always be matched as closely as possible prior to adding, definitely less stressful on the inhabitants then if you just add the water and then try and change the parameters.
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Old 03-10-2015, 01:45 AM   #7
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Makes perfect sense to me, I often wish people would take more of an "average" consensus when getting advice on a forum.

I've never used the peat moss myself, so really can't speak to that specifically. I know I have seen threads were individuals are using it to soften the water and reduce the pH of the water. In my understanding, that also involves removing Ca+ and Mg- ions from the water, since shrimp need the Ca+ for building their shells, I'm not sure I would go that route for a tank with ornamental shrimp, but I've read that it does work for some types of fish. Personally I think using an additive to RODI water is a good way to go, provided to know and understand which chemicals are being added back in and why, and which ones are not, and why. People have being going that exact route for years now with saltwater aquariums with great success. Assuming that you maintain the desired levels in your tank that match the levels of treated water that you are adding, you should have no issues with stressing the fish. Personally I think that water added to a tank should always be matched as closely as possible prior to adding, definitely less stressful on the inhabitants then if you just add the water and then try and change the parameters.
That makes perfect sense, thanks! Sorry for getting off topic there with all my questions, my bad!
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Old 03-12-2015, 10:34 AM   #8
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Minor set-back, the UGF was pulled up when the students were attaching the hoses, so I had to completely drain and tear this down, clear the soil out of the way, and reset everything. Once I did so, I also took the advice of several of the forum members and redesigned the hardscape, see the following thread; Hardscape Suggestions Needed I ended up adding a bit more soil, so it is up and running, but was far to murky for photos. It was clear this morning, but I needed to move some of the soil that was disturbed by adding water, so it is dark and murky again.



Open for suggestions on plants - I'd like something tall and very green in the back right corner to cover the intake and I'm interested in something short and green around the stone. Also a moss for the branches of the driftwood, but I would like something that stays tight, not something like Java Moss that gets all strung out. Of course that left side will need something as well.
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Old 03-14-2015, 05:52 PM   #9
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Just wanted to say I love that piece of wood on the right
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:08 PM   #10
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Just wanted to say I love that piece of wood on the right
Thank you, I think it looks much better over there as well. By Monday it should be cleared up nicely and I can start messing with it again.
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:45 PM   #11
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My sag is the greenest thing in my tank and my tank is nothing but green. It's also the tallest - but my tank is only 5.5g Looking forward to seeing this build
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:00 PM   #12
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My sag is the greenest thing in my tank and my tank is nothing but green. It's also the tallest - but my tank is only 5.5g Looking forward to seeing this build
One of my favorite plants. How tall are yours? I'm considering taking the java fern out of this tank and replacing it with dwarf sag.
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:03 PM   #13
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One of my favorite plants. How tall are yours? I'm considering taking the java fern out of this tank and replacing it with dwarf sag.
The tallest leaf is only a couple inches from the top of the water line. I'm with you! I feel guilty because they're supposed to be so hardy and awesome, but I'm kind of over my Java Fern. It just doesn't look as good as the other plants in the tank. I'm thinking of replacing mine, too. Good to know I'm not alone.
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:48 PM   #14
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My sag is the greenest thing in my tank and my tank is nothing but green. It's also the tallest - but my tank is only 5.5g Looking forward to seeing this build
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One of my favorite plants. How tall are yours? I'm considering taking the java fern out of this tank and replacing it with dwarf sag.
Thank you ladies, I'll do some additional checking on that. TankinWithUs, if I remember correctly from your thread, you added quite a bit of Dwarf sag did you not?
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:55 PM   #15
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Pygmy chain sword is also nice, more delicate looking than dwarf sag. I have a small lawn of it in my Evolve 4.
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:57 PM   #16
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Not a lot to report today, debris has settled, and I got a picture or two with water added that I will put up in a bit. Obviously going to be a bit before we will be adding any critters to the tank, so I'll be focus mostly on the plants to start. I've decided to go with as close to a natural look as I can get. Current population in the existing tank consists of multiple pond and ramshorn snails, two Tiger shrimp (yes we confirmed the presence of a second one today - pictures to come), 4 to 6 Peacock gudgeon (at least one female is displaying the yellow belly and we are seeing some color displays, so hopefully she will lay some eggs), 4 to 6 scarlet badis, and 1 or 2 Threadfin rainbows. Once the tank is well established, I hope to increase the population of the Tiger shrimp. Since the new build is progressing slowly, thought I would toss up a few pictures of the livestock in the existing tank.

















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Old 03-16-2015, 01:58 PM   #17
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Some of my favorite fish, yay! Really like the looks of that tiger, may have to check into those
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:59 PM   #18
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And a few of the P. gudgeons;






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Old 03-16-2015, 02:02 PM   #19
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Pygmy chain sword is also nice, more delicate looking than dwarf sag. I have a small lawn of it in my Evolve 4.
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Some of my favorite fish, yay! Really like the looks of that tiger, may have to check into those
Thanks Theresa, does it do well in a low tech setting? I'll check it out.

The S. badis are definitely a nice fish - I love their coloration and their small size. I like the fact that the tigers are larger, they are zipping around the tank this morning like crazy, absolutely fearless despite all the fish.
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Old 03-16-2015, 02:11 PM   #20
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Thanks Theresa, does it do well in a low tech setting? I'll check it out.
I use the led light that came with the tank, substrate is Tahitian moon sand. It has nice color and I've actually had to trim it which is surprising because I am still very much a plant novice

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