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Old 12-03-2012, 12:25 PM   #1
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Hello Everyone!

So I am pretty new to aquariums. This year I started a test run in a small 2.5 gallon with an incandescent light and a small Aqueon filter (Betta Bow 2.5) just to see if I could keep some fish. I now have that same tank with a few changes. I changed the bulb to a Zoomed 10w 6500k, and installed a Duetto 50 that has 3 kinds of filtration: mechanical, chemical, and biological. I have sand substrate and live plants that are doing pretty well given the light they get. They are an Anubias (attached to lava rock), Argentine sword, and Hornwort. The fish I have are 1 Electric Blue (balloon) Ram, 1 Cherry Barb, 1 Otocinclus, 2 Fancy Male Guppies, and 2 baby Balloon Mollies. I am currently feeding New Life Spectrum (the .5mm pellets), as well as brine shrimp and mysis shrimp. I have learned a lot since starting my own tank, but I'm looking to get lots of advice here as far as live plants and fish go. My next project that I am planning is a 10 gallon tank, possibly with dirt and sand, but I haven't looked into it too much. I'm glad to be a part of this site! I heard that it is great! I attached a picture of my tank. You can see the EBR and a little of how the rest of the tank looks. Hornwort grows fast so everyday my tank looks different!
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:48 PM   #2
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:22 PM   #3
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Thank you very much! I look forward to learning a lot so that I can have an even better aquarium experience! I am hoping my picture uploads this time...
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:04 PM   #4
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Welcome aboard. We are glad you found us here at AA.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:19 PM   #5
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Thank you very much! My first order of business will be to learn more about electric blue balloon rams and how to make my Anubias bloom! I've wanted a flower on it for a while.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:46 PM   #6
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Welcome! Water changes are everything....your stocking is the most I would try for your size tank. Ammonia is your enemy, and your filters can do nothing about it. Your plants help in the nitrogen cycle (ammonia to nitrite to nitrate) by absorbing nitrates, but thekey is very frequent water changes. I suggest 10-20% per day...no less. There are plant tabs that you can get from your LFS that should help your plants greatly. As swords are root feeders, root tabs are key. Be careful on the lighting or you will get brown beard algae which is hard to treat. It is caused by too much light. it starts as little brown dots on your swords, and if not treated will quickly spread to other plants in your tank.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:32 PM   #7
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Welcome! Water changes are everything....your stocking is the most I would try for your size tank. Ammonia is your enemy, and your filters can do nothing about it. Your plants help in the nitrogen cycle (ammonia to nitrite to nitrate) by absorbing nitrates, but thekey is very frequent water changes. I suggest 10-20% per day...no less. There are plant tabs that you can get from your LFS that should help your plants greatly. As swords are root feeders, root tabs are key. Be careful on the lighting or you will get brown beard algae which is hard to treat. It is caused by too much light. it starts as little brown dots on your swords, and if not treated will quickly spread to other plants in your tank.
Good Luck.....Dwayne
Thanks for all of the information! I am not planning on putting anything else in my tank until I upgrade to a 10 gallon. I have tested my water many times and luckily my ammonia is very low. I actually have some root tabs that I put in there a few times but I noticed that they stained my glass/sand so I stopped...but I'm going to go ahead and add another for my plants to grow better. I usually change the water about once a week just to not stress out my little EBR (they tend to spook easily). I'd hate for the little guy to have a heart attack on me! I have noticed that some of my sword leaves slowly die, but then new ones grow in very frequently (they turn brown and die). Is this the brown beard algae?
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by prowakeboarder View Post
Thanks for all of the information! I am not planning on putting anything else in my tank until I upgrade to a 10 gallon. I have tested my water many times and luckily my ammonia is very low. I actually have some root tabs that I put in there a few times but I noticed that they stained my glass/sand so I stopped...but I'm going to go ahead and add another for my plants to grow better. I usually change the water about once a week just to not stress out my little EBR (they tend to spook easily). I'd hate for the little guy to have a heart attack on me! I have noticed that some of my sword leaves slowly die, but then new ones grow in very frequently (they turn brown and die). Is this the brown beard algae?
You are seeing issues with your swords because they are planted in sand. Root tabs will help. Increase your water changes to daily...the fish will get used to it. What kind of light are you using with your plants...could be the wrong spectrum. When doing water changes, let your water sit in a containes for 24 hoand then run through a charcoal media. A 1 gallon milk jug with filter floss on the bottom (about 2 inches) and charcoal (about 2-3 inches) and finally another layer of floss makes a very effective filter for your awuarium water BEFORE it goes into your tank. Thes will eliminate the need for water conditioners such as start right and other chemicals. Do 10% daily water changes and you should do fine. DON'T SKIMP ON THE WATER CHANGES....your fish will thank you for them. Your water changes are the equivalent to kidneys on a person. When the kidneys don't function well the person gets sick. When the kidneys stop working, the person dies. Remember the deadly ammonia...which can be reduced with water changes. Don't tolerate any ammonia...it is your enemy. Dwayne
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:10 PM   #9
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You are seeing issues with your swords because they are planted in sand. Root tabs will help. Increase your water changes to daily...the fish will get used to it. What kind of light are you using with your plants...could be the wrong spectrum. When doing water changes, let your water sit in a containes for 24 hoand then run through a charcoal media. A 1 gallon milk jug with filter floss on the bottom (about 2 inches) and charcoal (about 2-3 inches) and finally another layer of floss makes a very effective filter for your awuarium water BEFORE it goes into your tank. Thes will eliminate the need for water conditioners such as start right and other chemicals. Do 10% daily water changes and you should do fine. DON'T SKIMP ON THE WATER CHANGES....your fish will thank you for them. Your water changes are the equivalent to kidneys on a person. When the kidneys don't function well the person gets sick. When the kidneys stop working, the person dies. Remember the deadly ammonia...which can be reduced with water changes. Don't tolerate any ammonia...it is your enemy. Dwayne
I'm using an Ultra Sun mini light. It's 10w and puts out 6500k without getting hot or anything. I'll definitely tuck a root tab in there to help out the swords. I find that their roots tend to surface a lot and I believe it is because there are no nutrients in sand (unless I add tabs) and they are looking for them in the tank water up top. I'll also have to try the milk jug idea, I like that one! What exactly is filter floss and how would I set that up?
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prowakeboarder

I'm using an Ultra Sun mini light. It's 10w and puts out 6500k without getting hot or anything. I'll definitely tuck a root tab in there to help out the swords. I find that their roots tend to surface a lot and I believe it is because there are no nutrients in sand (unless I add tabs) and they are looking for them in the tank water up top. I'll also have to try the milk jug idea, I like that one! What exactly is filter floss and how would I set that up?
You should be able to find filter floss at your LFS or Wal-Mart. It comes in a bag and looks like cotton. Some is blue and others are white. Color does not matter. It just keeps the carbon from clogging your outlet tube. If you use this set up for water changes, the carbon will be good for about 6 months. Really easy and it works. when you add chemicals over and over to your tank, they reduce the fish's immunity and adds stress in the way of TDS or total dissolved solids, which are suspended in the water. Nerdy I know, but the point is chemicals lead to disease in fish. I never use chemicals...I use fertilizers for plants (ferts) which are usually trace metals and other naturally occurring elements, but never chemicals because I am lazy. Keep this in mind and your fish will thank you by living long and healthy lives. Remember the daily water changes and you will do just fine.
Dwayne
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