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Old 08-06-2009, 03:22 AM   #1
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55 gallon update

Well things had been going well with my tank-stable pH, cycle ended, added more lighting, etc. I decided to leave for vacation for a few days with the family. To ensure the months work wasnt all for naught, I had the gf run by the house a few times to check on the tank and my lizard. Unfortunately she felt that my requests that she shut off the light to the tank were optional...well I think the pictures below give you an idea of what 72+ hours of light can do to an aquarium LOL. Well after a massive water change to improve clarity things are starting to improve. I added my driftwood (being anchored by the rock in the last picture, as it hasnt become waterlogged enough yet) and my java ferns and anubias frazeri. Fortunately none of my fish or plants failed to survive the "green-out" and the last stem of myriophyllum that survived the original set-up has several new shoots and has benefited greatly from the improved lighting. Ive tripled the number of vals I have on the bottom and my sword already has another one growing from the roots I split when I got the plant. Current stock includes 3 ghost shrimp, 4 otto's, and a small striped raphael cat. I plan on adding a school of rummynose tetras and a few GBR's but am open to suggestions. I will hopefully be adding the rummynose this weekend and slowly improving water clarity during that time as well
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:02 AM   #2
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One word :p

Timers.

I have a timer on all three of my tanks. They come on from 4 - 5 am for the morning feeding, go off, then come back on from 1 - 10 pm.

Made life a lot easier when dealing with the occasional pet sitter issues.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:30 AM   #3
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Yes, timers are the best $$$ you can spend IMO. I got a dial type timer which was only $5 but you get what you pay for... it stopped working after a few months, it wouldn't click all the way over, you would manually have to spin it to get it to come on.

I went out and got a digital timer and an adapter to make one electric outlet, two or more outlets. All together (digital timer and adapter) were about $15 at walmart. I plug both my lights into the adapter, the adapter in the timer and I'm set. The timer I got also has a back up battery so if the power goes out it won't loose the settings/time.

Nice recovery! Looking good!
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:14 PM   #4
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Ironically I have a timer in my house somewhere and had been inquiring to its whereabouts before I left. I just found it today so this problem will be avoided in the future! Im probably going to add in some wisteria tomorrow to fill up one of the sides. Still a work in progress but I have faith that in a couple months this will look pretty decent.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:17 PM   #5
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LOL. Sorry for the troubles, but the pictorial proof is priceless! I agree with the timer suggestion. It's too bad that you don't have hard to feed fry, that green water looks tasty!
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:17 PM   #6
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Oh my!!!
I guess now she knows to turn off the lights... lol. I've never dealt with green water, but hopefully it will go away soon with extra water changes or something.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:24 PM   #7
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Well its unfortunate because I had just finished getting rid of green water and now Ive got to start all over again :/ but this is the third time ive dealt with this so I know how to rid it. And ur right HN1, this would be great for fry, but unfortunately I havent starting breeding my ember tetras, and the tank isnt quite ready for the GBR's yet.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:28 AM   #8
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Speaking of my GBR's would it be smarter to stock them all at the same time so they can each stake out territories simultaneously or stock them slowly?
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:50 AM   #9
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If the tank is mature enough you could add them all at once. If you are planning on adding 3 pairs or some large amount then I might do a few at a time. I'm sure you are well aware of the current state of the GBR stock. It is pretty poor unless you can find a good breeder.
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:22 AM   #10
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I agree with meegosh. I've talked to people that ordered GBRs from Aquabid breeders (or local breeders, if you can find one), and they have great luck with them. On the other hand, it's really rare for me to hear the same from folks who buy them from a LFS. They rarely seem to last more than a few months.

If you aren't totally set on GBRs, Bolivian rams or apistogramma spp. might be a little more rewarding experience for you. All are colorful little cichlids that are really similar in personality to GBRs.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:17 PM   #11
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Okay. I was only planning for a pair or maybe two, but that wont be for a month or so. And yes I am aware of the current condition of GBR stock in the u.s. I always liked the fish and was waiting until I had a large setup to get some. The reason im considering getting some is because I found a lfs in my hometown that actually gets its GBR's from a breeder, not mass-bred/hormone junky asian farms lol, so Ive been reading up on it for some time. Ive also accepted the fact it might take a few tries to get a good pair due to the poor survival rate amongst the species. In the mean time however, I went to the lfs today to grab a few more fish! Its been almost 2 weeks since the cat and ottos went in the tank and the water is looking great (aside from the algae, ammonia and nitrites = 0, nitrate = 10) so i added the first part of my rummynose tetra school. I got 5 today and will add a few more next week. I also saw some corkscew vals for the first time at an lfs, so naturally I had to grab some for the tank! They now occupy the left and right corners of the tank. Ill post pics later.
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Old 08-14-2009, 01:15 PM   #12
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Well another week has passed and unfortunately im still fighting green water (although this was expected given how bad it was). I decided that I wanted a second school of tetras, and thus 4 glowlites have become the latest addition to the tank. I also loved how the corkscrew vals were looking so I went and bought 2 more clumps of it to cover both ends of the tank. Already have runners and new leaves spiraling upwards. Also a piece of root system from my amazon sword that I removed before planting both about 3 weeks ago already has 4 new leaves shooting out from it. However my anubias frazeri is showing some major problems. Two of its older leaves started to yellow, and now are severely brown or transparent. None of my other plants show this problem. Niether the rhizome or roots are buried so that is ruled out. The plant is tied to driftwood currently. I suspect a potassium or iron deficiency but am unsure at the moment. Water paramaters still holding well.
Current stock: 4 otto cats, 4 glowlite tetras, 5 rummynose tetras, 1 striped raphael catfish.
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Old 08-14-2009, 01:24 PM   #13
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That looks a lot better. Glad you are getting rid of the green water!
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Old 08-14-2009, 01:35 PM   #14
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Indeed. I do need to get out the better camera however.
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:26 PM   #15
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Green water is cured!!!!! Well not quite, but almost 70% of it is gone and im in the middle of a huge water change. Just uncovered the blankets after a 2 and a half day blackout. Things are looking great, except for my plants who are hating me right now, but they should rebound quickly. All fish are alive and water is great. Here are a few pics before I started the water change a few minutes ago. The pictures dont quite do justice to how much clearer the tank is now!
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:05 AM   #16
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wow, thats a big change for 3 days! looks MUCH better
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfdrookie516 View Post
wow, thats a big change for 3 days! looks MUCH better
It really has cleared up dramatically. It is almost back to 100% visibility, as I can sit at one end of the tank and look down it and see the other side perfectly. I think if anyone ever asks how to cure green water ever again Im referring them to this thread as proof that all you need are water changes and blackouts--no need to drop money on a UV sterilizer or algecides.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:52 PM   #18
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yeah lol, i would have never thought about water changes having much affect... i would probably have went frantic and just took my fish out and emptied it, cleaned it with vinegar, and set it back up again... its always best to learn from others experiences thats the first time ive seen a tank that overcome by algea! btw, i love the way youve got everything set up
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:07 PM   #19
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Yeah water changes are necessary, especially after the blackout. And frantic describes my mood quite well when I first came home. I nearly hit the fan as it looked like chernobyl with the green glow in my room! But the tank looks awesome now. Just added some lloydiella (Lysimachia nummularia) to the left of my water sprite and what I believe is micro sword (Lilaeopsis novae-zelandiae) or something similar in the front right corner.
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:48 AM   #20
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Well I have been stocking slowly over the last week and now I have this current list:
4 otto cats
5 rummynose tetras
6 glowlite tetras
4 german blue rams
1 angelfish (girlfriend insisted, he will be getting a friend soon tho)
1 striped raphael catfish

The rams have adapted nicely and one of my females (the only non long-finned one) has colored up beautifuly since she arrived. As of tonight she just started fanning out a 1' deep pit in the right corner of the tank surrounded by my corkscrew vals and chainswords. All rams started eating the day after they arrived and have looked fine so far (knocking on wood). All other fish are fine. Tank is 100% clear of green water, although im beginning to be overrun with water sprite very quickly.
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