Domqp's tank for the Best Little Boy

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domqp

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Hi friends,

Decided to keep a photo journal. I've been logging my parameters in a spreadsheet and keeping my receipts. I thought it would be a good idea to also tack them onto my updates. I'll also be posting pictures and videos for posterity.

I'll be using the following template:

Water Parameters

GH (ppm):
KH (ppm):
PH:
NO2:
NO3:

dGH:
dKH:
 
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domqp

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06 December 2019 - Day 1!
Water Parameters

GH (ppm): N/A
KH (ppm): N/A
PH: N/A
NO2: N/A
NO3: N/A

dGH: N/A
dKH: N/A
Purchases
After a year of pushing it back, finally decided to pick up a tank. Didn't realize how expensive it would be to get started, but had an amazing time aqua-scaping.

Struggled a bit not knowing the order to do things. Would have definitely rinsed the substrate first and boiled the mopani before hand.

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domqp

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07 December 2019 - My plants are dying :(
Water Parameters

GH (ppm): N/A
KH (ppm): N/A
PH: N/A
NO2: N/A
NO3: N/A

dGH: N/A
dKH: N/A
Purchases
Very stressful day. Some of my helanthiums weren't properly anchored. I need to replant the portion in front of the mopani facing the front of the tank. My Anubias Congensis started peeling a bit too. Wasn't sure if it was going to survive.

I had soaked my Mopani in warm water (but not boiled). When I put it in the tank yesterday it didn't leech out any tannins. I think because it was warm and the water was cold, the leeching was kept to a minimum. Started to become quite obvious as the day went on.

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domqp

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09 December 2019 - The Bestest Little Boy :shame:
Water Parameters

GH (ppm): 180
KH (ppm): 180
PH: 8
NO2: 0
NO3: 0

dGH: 10.1
dKH: 10.1
Purchases
I was doing 30-40% water changes daily to help with the tannins. I decided that I could probably risk putting in a single fish in the 9G and doing a fish-in cycle.

Ended up going to the local fish store just to see what they had while I considered the fish-in cycle. The spouse and I were pretty disappointed at the health and selection of the Betta fish they had. That was until we saw the Bestest Little Boy. He was on the clearance rack at 5 bucks. His colours were vivid, he was energetic, and I had to have him.

Took him home, acclimated him to the tank, and then we had our first tank mate.


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domqp

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10 December 2019 - Strong Currents :banghead:
Water Parameters

GH (ppm): 180
KH (ppm): 180
PH: 7.5
NO2: 0
NO3: 0

dGH: 10.1
dKH: 10.1
Purchases
Started worrying today about not being able to provide the home the fish needs. Decided to get some Seachem Prime as a failsafe in case the water changes can't get rid of the ammonia well enough. And more worryingly, I ordered two sponge filters to strap onto the output.

The current was so strong there are sections of the tank where he just does barrel rolls and back flips. Unfortunately those parts of the tank are the ones with some coverage and hiding spots. I spent a good hour trying to cut sponges to size to stuff the output in the meanwhile, but nothing worked well. He's found a corner or two he can rest in, but it's not ideal. Can't wait until tomorrow for Amazon to deliver so that I can throw on those filters.

I did get some nice shots of our Bestest Little Boy, however.

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domqp

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11 December 2019 - He's Home :lurking:
Water Parameters

GH (ppm): 180
KH (ppm): 180
PH: 8
NO2: 0
NO3: 0

dGH: 10.1
dKH: 10.1
Purchases
  • N/A
Got the Prime, siphon, and filters today. The siphon made my 35% water change so much easier. I popped the intake filters onto one of my outflows and the current has been greatly reduced.

Our bestest little boy is starting to feel at home. He's more active at the bottom exploring the aquascape. He's also poking at gravel anywhere where there's debris that looks like a worm.

The next thing I need to get him is a way for him to rest near the top of the water column. At night he's been sleeping on the intake filter because he doesn't have anything to rest on near the top. I was hoping he'd sleep ontop of the Anubias leaves but I stupidly planted it right next to the outflow.

Need to get him a plastic leaf hammock for now. Once I have more available nitrates in the water, i'll get some frogbit.

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Sunflower

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Tank looks great! You're doing just fine, don't stress yourself :)
 
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domqp

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13 December 2019 - Bubble Nest
Water Parameters

GH (ppm): 180
KH (ppm): 180
PH: 8
NO2: 0
NO3: 0

dGH: 10.1
dKH: 10.1
Purchases
  • N/A
Our Bestest Little Boy is doing great! I woke up this morning to a small attempt at a bubble nest. Considering the tank hasn't cycled and he's only been with us for a handful of days, I took it as a good sign.

He's very social now. Coming up to me any time I approach the tank, and darting up to the top if I lift the lid of put my hands in the water. Made it kind of difficult when I was water changing because he kept coming towards me and the siphon.

Water parameters are stable. Noticed ph 8 is when I test post water change, 7.5 pre water change. Must be the Mopani lowering the ph over the course of a day.

Still doing 30-40% water changes until I see those nitrates spike.

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Momgoose56

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domqp said:
Got the Prime, siphon, and filters today. The siphon made my 35% water change so much easier. I popped the intake filters onto one of my outflows and the current has been greatly reduced.

Our bestest little boy is starting to feel at home. He's more active at the bottom exploring the aquascape. He's also poking at gravel anywhere where there's debris that looks like a worm.

The next thing I need to get him is a way for him to rest near the top of the water column. At night he's been sleeping on the intake filter because he doesn't have anything to rest on near the top. I was hoping he'd sleep ontop of the Anubias leaves but I stupidly planted it right next to the outflow.

Need to get him a plastic leaf hammock for now. Once I have more available nitrates in the water, i'll get some frogbit.

4.png
You do need to test ammonia. The strips you're using don't do that.
In addition to ammonia test strips, the Seachem ammonia alert is a handy little safeguard to have stuck on the side.
It'll take 2 to 4 weeks for nitrates to show up. In the mean time you'll need to keep the total ammonia+nitrites below 1ppm with water changes for the Prime to be able to protect the fish.
 
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domqp

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23 December 2019 - It's growing!
Water Parameters

GH (ppm): 180
KH (ppm): 180
PH: 7.5
NO2: 0
NO3: 0

dGH: 10.1
dKH: 10.1
Purchases
  • None
I haven't updated in a while because things have remained the same, but things are going great and I got an unexpected surprise today.

First of all, our bestest little boy is starting to really colour up. He's losing his aqua colour for a deep blue and his red is really starting to show. It's not a great picture but comparing to previous ones, he's really starting to show that deep red. His little clear pectoral fins and now becoming metallic blue. Where his ventral fins attach to his body used to be that turquoise/aqua colour as well, but his scales have actually turned bright red.

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He's a lot less shy now. Looks like a puppy when I get close to the tank. Starts freaking out and gets ready for food.

Last week I was worried because plant melt. While I do still have some brown, i've had some great growth pop up. My moss is starting to grow tendrils extending toward the top of the tank and my anubias has started growing it's first new leaf.

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What I was not expecting was bladder snails. I had 2 sliding around the glass. Panicked, picked them out, and wasn't sure what to do with them. Ended up taking some leftover substrate, marimo balls, and a piece of helathium and made myself a jar for my desk. I'll see if I decide to keep them, not even sure if they'll live.

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jar.png
 
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domqp

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01 January 2019 - We got inverts!
Water Parameters

GH (ppm): 180
KH (ppm): 180
PH: 8
NO2: 0
NO3: 0

dGH: 10.1
dKH: 10.1
Purchases
The tank is finally turning the corner. Had some brown algae and a lot of hair algae so I decided to pick up the cleaning crew.

The nerite snails made QUICK work of the brown algae over night. My anubias congensis looks like it's made of plastic now.

The shrimp are doing great, especially with the extra anubias barteri. They're hiding in the helanthiums, in the christmas moss, and under the plants. I absolutely love watching them graze.

This time, on the moss that came in the shrimp bag and on the plant, I only found 4 unwanted snails (one unknown, too small to tell, rest are bladders). Threw them into the snail jar.

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