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Old 02-26-2017, 04:48 PM   #21
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Carbon source? Excel?
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Old 02-26-2017, 04:53 PM   #22
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Carbon source? Excel?
Yeah, that is the one I am currently thinking to grab for myself. I'm looking into it's use in the aquarium for the first timer (first time with plants) and that sort of thing. Since I have only low light plants in the tank I didn't think I would need it (I did grab Flourish Comprehensive though) but since I have so much light I am just considering the necessity to avoid excess nutrients leading to algae.

I don't like to to jump into things half-assed. In line with my worrywart nature I have a tendency to overanalyze and research anything that catches my eye. Thankfully, it has saved me some cash more than a couple times. Sometimes it costs me a chance to do something (once in a lifetime opportunities you know how they are) but it saves more than it costs me.

Any advice, oh wise masters of the tank.
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Old 02-26-2017, 05:04 PM   #23
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Idk that you have high par to get overly worried. Manage the photo period. Can always screen or raise if needed. Ease into the time on the photo period. Excel is a useful tool. I have pressurized but still do dose daily. In a tank your size the cost won't be a factor.
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:47 PM   #24
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Day 21

Hey all!

I went ahead and grabbed myself a bottle of Excel from one of the LFS's close to me today. I thought about grabbing myself an API 10 Superclean internal filter but from what I have found online decided that it would not be the wisest investment. Apparently these filters are more like powerheads than filters, and I was surprised by the videos that were posted alongside to prove that. I'm thinking of possibly grabbing a carpeting plant, most likely Lilaeopsis or Monosolenium. Probably won't decide on that for a month or so. :P I'm fickle and want to do some research...a lot of research.

I browsed the fish the store had in stock and was surprised to see a dozen Scarlet Badis, since I am pretty sure that they are a pretty rare fish to see in the store (or so research online as told me). I only recognized them because I saw them online earlier today (no label or for sale thingy). I asked one of the employees about them and found out that the Scarlet's are currently in quarantine because they did not take well to the transport over from the store's supplier. It looked like the majority of the ones in the tank were doing well though there were still a few that weren't looking too good. Using that information I browsed around the store and noticed that they did actually have quarantine tanks set up and in use. Even better, I noticed that they had moved the Figure Eight Puffers I saw on my first visit to the store from the FW part of the store into the SW tank in the SW section. One of the employees even questioned me about my tank when they saw I was purchasing Excel. Makes me feel better about shopping at this spot. Shows they actually know what they are doing and care about their customers.

Anyways, beyond the store trip the tank has been doing well. Diatoms are still hanging around and I am still itching to go get a Nerite or Inca Apple Snail to 'deal' with them (maybe I just want a snail). Buck has been enjoying the tank, he is enjoying the additional driftwood in the tank. In fact, I've noticed that when lights go off that he'll sleep on the Java Fern I have 'attached' to the backmost branch of driftwood and hide himself somewhere around there. He doesn't even try to use the little cave I got for him when he was in the 1 gallon anymore so I just removed it, didn't look as nice with all the real plants too. Oh! Before I messed it up today as I was doing work on the plants, he had what had to be the biggest bubble-nest I have ever seen from him. Thankfully I took pictures of it, I might post it later.

In regards to my planting endeavours, I went ahead and snipped off the smallest buds from a couple of the tallest Bacopa plants as the start of encouraging them to propagate more stems. The Banana Lily is doing great, and is now hanging two lily's at the water's surface. The two lilies could not be more different, one likes to hang out at the back of the tank and is a brilliant emerald green on top and purple/green on the bottom while the other is a purple/red top and bottom and likes to hang around the front of the tank. There is yet another lily sprouting and it is currently about an inch and a half from it's sprouting point on the tubers to the tip of the bud. The java ferns are doing alright, I think. I am not sure, but I think I am seeing new growth from them. It's hard for me to tell, since they are all in the back of the tank. The Anubias are doing pretty well too, though I had to reattach one of them to the driftwood I want it on.

Water Conditions: 21 Days after Set-Up
Ammonia: 1.0 ppm
Nitrites: 0.0 ppm
Nitrates: 0.0 ppm

It doesn't seem to be budging at all. You would think that at least the Ammonia levels would go up a touch more, but nope. Normally I would be happy with that but I want this cycle done and over with. Do you guys think that it is possible that the Nitrite and Nitrate phase sped past me when I wasn't looking (since I only check every four days)? Or is that kind of thinking just me being WAY too optimistic?
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Old 03-04-2017, 10:54 PM   #25
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Hey all!

Sorry about not posting about the tank for a while, been recovering from my mid-terms. As a reward for getting through it all alive I decided to head out and grab myself a Nerite and a Crypt. I'll post pictures tomorrow of all the changes tomorrow, and formally introduce the tank's newest member to you all then.

Nothing major has changed since the last post, though I haven't had time to check parameters so that might have changed (hopefully towards actually being fully cycled). I did check the roots of the plants when I did my water change yesterday. I'll quickly go over those in the order I got the plants in.

The Marimo Moss balls are doing alright. No major changes, not that I was expecting any, since I bought them so they are still looking as lush and green as when I first got them so all is good on that front. The roots of the Bacopas are doing well, with only two exceptions who are still being stubborn (why show new growth but not grow roots ). The Banana Lily is growing roots like mad and the shoot I talked about last post has reached the surface. I like the way the second lily has matured, it is now much bigger and nicer than the lily the plant had when I bought it. I'll post a picture of it tomorrow but it looks really nice.

The Java Ferns are doing well. I have attached some of them to a loop of driftwood and I noticed a new leaf developing on that chain so I think I can say they are prospering in my tank. There was a little melt in the days after they were added, but nothing overly major at this point. I went ahead and attached the two Anubias I have to the same piece of driftwood and they look like they are doing well so far. It is kind of interesting to see them side by side, because one is a far brighter green than the other despite both being Anubias Nana. All I have to say tonight. Talk more tomorrow.
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Old 03-05-2017, 09:07 PM   #26
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Day 26

I said yesterday that I was going to introduce the newest member to the 5.5 Gallon set-up. Meet Jeb the Zebra Nerite.

I do not know the gender, but I am going to assume he is male for now. With that in mind I have started to call him Jeb, I don't really know why other than it felt right. I got him March 2, earlier this week. He is not fully grown, he was noticeably smaller (and a little more active) than the other Zebra Nerites in the LFS. I also got some algae wafers to give every couple of days to ensure that he has something to nibble on. Since he is the only algae eater in the tank I'm thinking maybe just put in one every 4/5 days or so since he can't all of a wafer at once, and Buck doesn't touch it beyond a quick snap when I drop it in. He has a tendency to just disappear for hours on end then suddenly pop up on the other end of the tank, even when I do half hourly checks for him as best as I can without entering the tank myself. So far, his favourite spots are the far right driftwood loop (as seen in the photo) and the driftwood loop at the far back with the Java Ferns attached.

I have had to do some trimming of the plants today, the Banana Lily was starting to melt on the leaves it had when I first got it so I snipped those off. The lilies it has grown since I added it to the tank are doing great though. I'll post a quick picture of them under this paragraph. The plant I got alongside Jeb was just a small thing of Crypt. Beckettii. I haven't separated them from one another yet, but I am planning on doing so and placing them around the mid layer of the tank tomorrow or Tuesday.

Water Conditions: 26 Days after Set-Up
Ammonia: 0.5-1.0 ppm (can't quite tell which shade it is)
Nitrites: 0.25 ppm
Nitrates: 0.0 ppm

Looks like the cycle is not finished yet (haha like it even would be ), but at least it has begun to progress from the Ammonia Stage to the Nitrite stage. Don't worry, I am keeping on top of the pwc's for the tank. Things have been going pretty well thus far though so I am not too worried.
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Old 03-09-2017, 10:27 PM   #27
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Day 30

Great news!

The cycling is actually on the move. Looks like all I got to do now is keep on doing water changes and it'll be set. I am going to be doing one ASAP tomorrow, can't now because I was just doing the water testing before hitting the hay tonight.
Water Conditions: 30 Days after Set-Up
Ammonia: 0.25 ppm
Nitrites: 2/5 ppm (I hate being colour-blind to purple right now)
Nitrates: 5 ppm

In other news, I have been going over the plants in my 5.5 gallon and taking out the ones that seem to be having trouble adapting and transferring them over to the 1 gallon so that they can grow out in an environment where I can keep a close eye on them. In all honesty, the vast majority of the plants are doing just fine. Only two strands of Bacopa are struggling. I did find two leaves of Java Fern floating in the tank attached to roots so I took those out and put them into the 1 gallon. It has since grown a third leaf and grown itself a chain.

In the 5.5 gallon, plants are growing well. I had a few leaves melt on the Crypts and on the Banana Lily so I pruned a little and noticed a new stem growing on the Banana Lily. New leaves are also growing on multiple chains of the Java Fern, and one leaf as even managed to produce the orange dots/spores. Nice white roots are growing on the Bacopa strands, but I haven't gotten any propagation on them yet. Hopefully I will manage to do that soon.

Only bit of bad news I got thus far is possibly not even bad news. In the plant grow out tank I found a bladder snail. I was surprised and my first thought was that it came in on the Crypts since there were bladder snails in the tank with them when I got them. Second thought was that it came in with the Bacopa as an egg and only reached visible size recently. I'm on watch patrol in the 5.5 gallon to see if there are others but none so far. I'm keeping the bladder alive, but I found it funny that it was in the 1 gallon instead of the 5.5 gallon.

Buck is doing well, hasn't bothered Jeb at all when I'm around. Does great all day, and is beginning to like lounging on the Crypt leaves. If he isn't doing that; he either is making his bubble nest hiding in the Java Ferns, or patrolling the tank. He seems to disappear the moment I turn the lights off for the night, though that might be his dark colouration coming to play. Jeb, on the other hand, disappears all day. Only sign of his presence from dawn to dusk is little snail turds in his favourite spots, and a trail of turds and clean sand/glass over wherever he was last night. He is just as hard to find at night when I take a look for him, since he tends to hang out around my driftwood and his shell colouration lets him blend right into it...the striping really breaks up his shape.

Anyways, I'm heading home for the weekend so I'll being doing a check in at the LFS there again to see the stock and check on things...yeah totally doing it for those reasons and not to just look at fishies. Have a good time all!
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Old 03-14-2017, 01:01 PM   #28
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Day 35: Celebration Time!!

Hey all, just got back from my trip home yesterday. I was pretty busy just doing classwork yesterday so I was unable to test the water conditions until today and with those tests came great news!

Water Conditions: 17 Days after Set-Up
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrites: 0 ppm
Nitrates: 5/10 ppm

It looks like the 5.5 gallon is finally starting to look like it has finished cycling. I am unsure if it really has or not but if the conditions stay as they are currently, then I think that I'll have finished the nitrogen cycle for this tank.

The plants are doing great, despite not having been given the usual carbon/ferts I normally provide over the weekend. Only thing that happened is that a couple of the crypt leaves started to melt but that was expected since they are still new to the tank.

I don't really know much about anaerobic bacteria so I was kind of hoping to hear what you guys think about it. Is it benefical to a planted tank to have? Is it bad to keep around? I'm kind of hoping that your opinions can help me figure out what to do about that stuff when it starts to pop up.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:04 PM   #29
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Still Cycled! Day 43

Howdy all! From the looks of things, it looks like the tank has stayed cycled for about two weeks at this point. All good here.

Water Conditions: 43 Days after Set-Up
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrites: 0 ppm
Nitrates: 5 ppm

I went to the LFS closest to my location yesterday and found out there was a 20% off deal on all live plants going on...I couldn't resist and ended up getting two new kinds of plants for the 5.5 gallon, along with a couple of Utah Glass Rocks. There was some Sagittaria for 5.99, and what was labeled as Bacopa for 6.99. I do not know what the actual plant name, but from browsing online I think it is a Bacopa Myriophylloides. I have some of each floating in the 5.5 gallon and in the 1 gallon, according to how difficult it was to get the stuff to stay in the substrate.

Despite already having a Zebra Nerite in the tank, I've noticed some algae starting to grow on the glass at the front of the tank last week. I decided to give her (turns out Jeb is a Jenny, egg-laying tells) a week to see if she got around to grazing on the front glass but she stayed in the back grazing on the driftwood and on the back glass. When I went to the LFS yesterday, I decided to get another Zebra Nerite for the tank to help out with controlling the algae (in case anyone gets worried about providing them enough to eat, I already have algae pellets available to provide as well as a couple rocks sitting in water in direct sunlight to provide fresh algae for them). The shell patterns on the two, surprisingly enough, are different enough I can tell them apart from one another. Jenny has a orange/brown shell colour akin to Mopani wood (makes her a pain to look for) with a few black stripes, while the new snail, Zach, has a darker coloured shell colour (almost black if not actually it) with many white stripes. He stands out a lot more in the tank and is much easier to find.

I'm going to take apart the current decoration set-up tomorrow and replant everything because I don't like the way the old set-up looks with the new plants. I'll post a picture of what it looks like then, since I am REALLY not content with how I have it looking now.

Now that the 5.5 gallon is all settled, I think that I'm only going to be posting updates about the tank when things change in it. Thanks for following this thread so far guys and thanks for all the help you have provided me.
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OH! I almost forgot but the 1 gallon tank now has two bladder snails in residence (1 full grown adult, 1 very tiny adolescent). I found one when I was inspecting the new plants for any hitchhikers. I think I'm just going to leave them together in the sunlit 1 gallon. I'm going to bake some soil in the coming days to provide the 1 gallon with a fertile substrate for the plants I decide to leave in it. The Java Moss that I left in it to grow has done so and is now doing much better than when I first got it about a month ago. I think I'm going to set up a thread for the 1 gallon in the Invertebrate section.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:21 PM   #30
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Sounds awesome!

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Old 04-11-2017, 04:13 PM   #31
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Hey guys, I have a question and was wondering if anyone of you guys knows the answer.

I have noticed that there are a couple of pest snails moving about in my 5.5 gallon, I don't know how they got in there, but I'm suspecting that the bladder snail I caught in there last week reproduced and left eggs. I was wondering if I was to get an assassin snail to take care of them, would it (the assassin snail) try and go for my nerite snails as well? I already have found a supply of feed snails so that I can keep the assassin snail happy after I get it, if I was to get it. I'm hoping that the assassin snail won't bother my nerites so long as it is kept sated with bladder snails, but I figured it would be better to get advice from you guys before going for it. I am actually somewhat attached to the nerites I have, Old Man Zach and Jenny, so I'm hoping that I can find a solution to my problems that doesn't end up with losing one of those two.

If it is possible the assassin snail will go after my nerites, I was wondering what other pest snails solutions you guys would advise. I would prefer solutions that avoid harming my nerites, but I can relocate them to a holding pin or something while I take care of the pest snails. I think the assassin snail is the best fit for me from what I could find though, and I figure that I can always relocate itl to the 1 Gallon cube I got if it doesn't get along with nerites after he gets rid of the pest snails.

Oh, and the 1 Gallon cube is doing great. Never got around to making a thread for it, but the bladder snail population in it has kind of exploded. If I am going to get an assassin snail, I have a quantity of live feed for it sitting in there for it.
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:14 PM   #32
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Assassins are non selective will kill all.
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:53 AM   #33
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Assassins are non selective will kill all.
Thanks for letting me know. I'll have to come up with a different solution then, I guess.

Anyways, move out from dorm is coming up pretty quickly. I decided to move Buck out to a friend's place while I nail down and study hard. I kind of lose myself when I study so I don't want to neglect him, Jenny, or Old Man Zac. The move from Dorm to my friend's place went over well. No problems in the move, snails were fine and Buck only got a little stressed out (not even stressed enough to show all of his stripe, only a little hint of it). Buck's settled in now and should be cared for well enough while I study away the next two weeks. I'll be unable to update on him until after exams are done so next you hear from me should be when I'm moving him home. Since my friend's place is a lot closer to home then dorm is, this was the major move. Water conditions haven't changed any with the water change I did at my friend's place so all should be fine.

I only gave instructions for the fauna care, the plants should be fine since where we decided to place the aquarium gets a little sunlight, but not too much. I don't expect to have much free time so I'll post again much later. See you guys around.
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