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Old 04-28-2014, 02:53 PM   #1
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New here, new hobbiest

Hey everyone, I'm new to the forum (and new to tapatalk, so forgive anything that goes wrong posting this).

I have had a few tanks over the last 20 years, one as a youngin which started my interest, as well as a 5gal betta tank with 2 ADFs. Those both had all plastic plants and aside from the betta nothing special or significantly amazing.

My newest tank (3months old) is what I would call, a sign that I'm getting more enthusiastic about this hobby.

So far its a 30gallon standard shaped tank with 1/3 sand and 2/3 gravel substrate. Hair grass planted sparsely throughout the sand that I trim on occasion to promote spreading/carpeting, I didnt go hogwild on breaking up the grass and spacing it so the carpeting is slow, but prograssing (hehe, that was a typo but was hilarious so I left it). I have learned a fair amount about hair grass in the short time ive had it, so if you have questions please ask.

In my tank I have 2 mollies one black female and one silver male, it started with 4 but 2 succumbed to a difficult to diagnose illness in their first 2 weeks in my tank and died. There were no symptoms that I could see except weight loss (they ate, but very sparingly).

I also have 4 oto catfish that have been happy and healthy since day one.

And lastly 3 amano shrimp that are very new inhabitants of the tank, it was 4 but one darted out past the filter box about 30 minutes after being introduced and was never seen again. The 3 remaining seem happy (although fearful and skittish).

I have 2 mild algae infestations, green film type algae that the otos control, and a progressive green hair algae that I'm hoping the amanos will munch on.

My initial setup included 2 weeks with no filtration and 1/4 tank of water with mild dosings of ferts for the hair grass to establish, followed by 1 week of running the filter (single cartidge waterfall) and filling the tank discontinuing fertilizer dosings, after which the green film like algae showed up, added the otos, 2 weeks later added the mollies, and then just this week the amanos.

My nitrogens have been stable and near zero (nitrate around 5ppm) since the end of the fertilizer dosings, no spikes since. I'm using liquid test kits. I have been doing the very seldom and minimal dose of seachem flourish with the odd biweekly water change which I will probably discontinue with the amanos in the tank.

Cool well thanks for reading my novel lol.

Any questions please ask away!

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Old 04-28-2014, 03:05 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum would love pic's!

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Old 04-28-2014, 03:09 PM   #3
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Thanks will do what I can to get photos up in the near future.

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Old 04-28-2014, 03:25 PM   #4
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New here, new hobbiest

Lee. I am setting up a couple small tanks myself for the first time (20 & 10)and I am wondering if I should start off w a salt water tank. Your post makes it seem more complicated than I hoped. Maybe I should started/fresh.
Gonna get aquariums for dummies before I start. Do most people do that?is S/w tanks more difficult?why no filtration at first?
Good Luck
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:36 PM   #5
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:45 PM   #6
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Mine is freshwater and aside from some diving in mexico and some west coast salmon fishing I have exactly zero experience with salt water fish. But most aquarium hobbiests will tell you there are 2 ways to setup your tank, you can either do a fishless cycle or a fish in cycle. Aquariums for dummies will probably tell you why/what cycling is, but here's the short version.

Fish eat, fish produce biowaste. That biowaste releases ammonia into the water, ammonia is toxic so high levels or even constant moderate levels are lethal. But over time a good little bacteria that eats ammonia forms in your tank (either by adding it from a bottle bought at the fish store) or by natural occurrence. The natural method takes much longer but tends to be a much more stable effect. The bacteria that consumes ammonia excretes nitrite, which is also toxic (le sigh), the good news is its less toxic than ammonia and there is another bacteria that comes along and munches on it. This bacteria is mainly naturally occurring and I don't know of any products that contain nitrite eating bacteria. Now as I'm sure you have already guessed this bacteria excretes something else, nitrate (minus the I add an A) and nitrate is much less toxic than nitrite and ammonia, but can still be toxic with high amounts, this is where initial tank setup is key. I have live hair grass, almost all aquatic plants consume nitrate enmasse, if you go with a plantless setup then you will need to do a ~25% water change weekly (this number differs from hobbiest to hobbiest, use your best judgement) with aquatic plants (in sufficient volumes) you can minimize your water changes. I am down to about 5% weekly myself do to a good natural balance.

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Old 04-28-2014, 03:50 PM   #7
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As to the filtration for the first 2 weeks that was mostly due to the hair grass, I like the look of beach sand, but freshly planted hair grass does not have the best grip especially in sand, so I didnt want to create any unnecessary turbulence in the water. Its worth noting I had no fish in my tank until after the first 3 weeks (2 weeks with heavily polluted water due to the fertilizer I was using and 1 week with a filled tank, filtration running on full and zero fertilizer added) before adding fish.

I also went for a natural biological cycle, filtration tends to slow bacterial growth if it isnt allowed to first establish itself, luckily the fertilizer I was using contained ammonia nirtite and nitrate, which gave the good bacteria something to munch on and get established.

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Old 04-28-2014, 04:15 PM   #8
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With planted tanks you usually want to do PWCs every week, just like in unplanted tanks.

Planted tanks you want to have Nitrates about 10, but no higher.

What lights are you running. DHG is picky on lighting.

You need Ferts to help plants out compete algae. And hair Algae is a pain. Don't count on anything to eat it, they might, but it's better to address the problem and figure out the cause.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/planted-tank-basics/

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/introd...-planted-tank/

http://www.plantedtank.net/articles/...lanted-Tank/4/

DHG is usually considered a high light/high tech plant. It may grow for you , but without proper lighting and CO2 it may not thrive.

For small tanks like mine I have this routine...

PWC weekly
Add Seachem Flourish comprehensive and API Leaf Zone liquid ferts.

Add Seachem Excel ...depends on stock and a few plants are sensitive like Vals. This is my Carbon source as I don't run CO2.

I add Root Tabs about every 4 months. I love my Crypts.

For your Otos you can also feed Rapashy gel diet or put smooth stones in sunny window in shallow water to grow soft Algae buffet.
Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByTapatalk1398712506.753687.jpg
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ID:	235280

Old pics of one of my 10g tanks





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Old 04-28-2014, 04:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coursair View Post
With planted tanks you usually want to do PWCs every week, just like in unplanted tanks.

Planted tanks you want to have Nitrates about 10, but no higher.

What lights are you running. DHG is picky on lighting.

You need Ferts to help plants out compete algae. And hair Algae is a pain. Don't count on anything to eat it, they might, but it's better to address the problem and figure out the cause.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/planted-tank-basics/

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/introd...-planted-tank/

http://www.plantedtank.net/articles/...lanted-Tank/4/

DHG is usually considered a high light/high tech plant. It may grow for you , but without proper lighting and CO2 it may not thrive.

For small tanks like mine I have this routine...

PWC weekly
Add Seachem Flourish comprehensive and API Leaf Zone liquid ferts.

Add Seachem Excel ...depends on stock and a few plants are sensitive like Vals. This is my Carbon source as I don't run CO2.

I add Root Tabs about every 4 months. I love my Crypts.

For your Otos you can also feed Rapashy gel diet or put smooth stones in sunny window in shallow water to grow soft Algae buffet.
Attachment 235280

Old pics of one of my 10g tanks





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Hey cool, and thanks for the tips, my DHG is growing decently well, not spreading as fast as I would like but that is mainly due to my lack of diligence in breaking it up. It is however green as green gets and slowly spreading, I trim it weekly and within 48 hrs new shoots appear all over and the trimmed ones are regrowing. I'm hesistent to go nuts with the ferts due to my amanos as ive read they don't do copper well. As for the GHA I use a fork to clean the large chunks and the amanos seem to like eating it. But yes its still a pain.

My lighting is a single tube 20watt lifeglo which is shifted into the red lumens. Aside from a less than desireable orange glow to the tank nothing seems to dislike it and again the DHG is growing healthily.

I'm extremely patient and don't need my DHG to carpet the whole tank right away just so long as it maintains its slow steady progression.

My otos have some patchy green soft algae to work on as well, they don't really do anything with the GHA, that'd be the amano shrimps (x3) job.

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Old 04-28-2014, 04:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by shellyx View Post
Welcome to the forum would love pic's!

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Thanks again and I put a few photos in an album on my profile. As an invert owner I'll just throw this guy in the comment.


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