Fishproblem's FIRST High Tech Planted (6g) - Page 2

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Fishproblem

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Today I wiped most of the brown algae off the glass. I don't know why I didn't earlier. I think I felt disingenuous to remove it while I try to get everything balanced? Whatever!

The staurogyne repens seems to be doing well, but it's the only one. A single stem of bacopa caroliniana is holding on by a thread, the alternathera is all kinds of stalky, and my hairgrass grows browner by the day (except for some of it, which is green and sending out roots and runners like crazy?).

I think much of the problem is my CO2 not being high enough/consistent. I have it turning on at 7am and off at 7pm, while my light turns on at 8am and off at 8pm. The drop checker is not green by the time the light comes on. Also, my gh and kh is testing all over the place. I'm not sure what to do next!
 
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Fishproblem

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Long time no update! The betta that was living in this tank finally succumbed to a tumor on his tail, which was a huge bummer, but gives me space to tinker without worrying about livestock. I'm treating with kanaplex for cyanobacteria, and have swapped to distilled water remineralized with Salty Shrimp GH/KH+. Also got the ONF Flat Nano! I think the Fluval COB was strong enough to grow a LOT of hair algae and not strong enough to get the plants thriving. Started dosing with Tropica Specialised as well. Lots of updates, all to say that the tank is clean, and I think I'm getting closer to success every day!

Hoping to see better growth in the dwarf hairgrass and smaller leaves on the stem plants with the new light. I think I'm going to replace the alternathera with a smaller-leafed red plant soon. I think the leaves are too big and far apart for this scape, even when growing well.

Now I just have to wipe out the pest snails in here...
 

AcornTheBetta

Member
Fishproblem said:
Long time no update! The betta that was living in this tank finally succumbed to a tumor on his tail, which was a huge bummer, but gives me space to tinker without worrying about livestock. I'm treating with kanaplex for cyanobacteria, and have swapped to distilled water remineralized with Salty Shrimp GH/KH+. Also got the ONF Flat Nano! I think the Fluval COB was strong enough to grow a LOT of hair algae and not strong enough to get the plants thriving. Started dosing with Tropica Specialised as well. Lots of updates, all to say that the tank is clean, and I think I'm getting closer to success every day!

Hoping to see better growth in the dwarf hairgrass and smaller leaves on the stem plants with the new light. I think I'm going to replace the alternathera with a smaller-leafed red plant soon. I think the leaves are too big and far apart for this scape, even when growing well.

Now I just have to wipe out the pest snails in here...
It looks really good! I'm sorry to hear about your betta! :(
 
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Fishproblem

Member
So I guess it's time to think about the future! I'm going to see how things progress with the plants for the next few weeks, and then begin to stock the tank. I thought I was going to get a betta, but I have another betta now in a different tank, and I'm thinking I want to do something that is really interesting. So, I've been quietly putting together a plan for a nano community. Before I stock, I want to wipe out all signs of life in the tank. I know it sounds a little aggressive, but the pest snails are unstoppable and are pooping everywhere, and I do worry about having brought other unwanted hitchhikers in. To that end, I want to treat with Planaria Zero to kill unwanted guests. Between that and the antibiotics for cyano, I'm sure I'll be rebooting the cycle, but it feels worth it to not have any unknown factors in here.

Here is my working stock plan:
5 Thai micro crabs
5 Blue Dream Shrimp or 5 Neon Yellow Shrimp
5 Black Panda Shrimp
6 Celestial Pearl Danios
1-3 Scarlet Badis

Gonna go to Pacific Aquarium this week to see if I can't find a better red plant, and to gawk at the shrimp and nano fish. Pics in the next post, I promise!
 
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Fishproblem

Member
A multi part update!

I didn’t make it to pacific aquarium last month but I did order a bunch of new plants from Buce plant for the background. (Moved the alternathera to my 30g SA tank where it’s looking great.)

My new background plants are:
Rotala Vietnam
Rotala Bossii
Rotala sp. Araguaia Red Cross

And I’ve added Rotala Macrandra Mini to the midground for a bright pop of red.

It’s all going through an awkward phase now. I just trimmed the melted parts away, and have replanted the rest, which all looks a little shabby but strong root systems are developing. In a week or so I think I’ll see really good new growth.

remeber that bacopa that completely melted away when I first planted this tank? One tiny stem made it after all. And from it, I’ve managed to propagate a whole bushy section of bacopa! So I’m confident about these new stem plants growing in.

I have been battling hair algae like crazy. I thought maybe my light wasn’t strong enough to let the plants outcompete the algae? So I used that as an excuse to buy the onf flat nano. But then I realized the issue was probably my 12 hour photoperiod. (I never claimed intelligence). I’ve had the light on 8am to 8pm daily. And I’ve started dosing H2O2 to deal with the algae, but obviously that wasn’t getting to the root of the problem. Do you wanna see how bad it gets after a week? You do. It’s bad. Here goes:


84A7F3D6-7A12-4932-A0BD-B844F51B9F2C.jpeg


OOF.

so, after my last huge tank clean the other day, the tank looks like this:


948B0AF6-E48E-4B17-B062-0ED793EE5626.jpeg


Much better. But the trick is to keep it that way, so I’ve reset my timers so that the light turns on at 8 for four hours, turns off from 12-2pm, and then back on from 2-6pm. I imagine that 4 hours less light per day will probably help.

Now, I said I wouldn’t add stock until the algae was sorted, but I got impulsive today while I was in Chinatown anyway, and got three yellow neocaridina for the tank. After a million years of drip acclimation, they’re in!


F71E54BC-1904-4140-9D32-A1155C455EBD.jpeg


I’m going to add a different variety before I do more of the yellow neos. I have to do a little compatibility research because I don’t want strains that’ll interbreed, but I’ve seen that bees and neos need different parameters.

so far, I’m not unhappy. I’m pushing through the algae, and having some livestock in there is definitely going to motivate me to be more attentive and find that balance I’ve been looking for.
 

AcornTheBetta

Member
Fishproblem said:
A multi part update!

I didn’t make it to pacific aquarium last month but I did order a bunch of new plants from Buce plant for the background. (Moved the alternathera to my 30g SA tank where it’s looking great.)

My new background plants are:
Rotala Vietnam
Rotala Bossii
Rotala sp. Araguaia Red Cross

And I’ve added Rotala Macrandra Mini to the midground for a bright pop of red.

It’s all going through an awkward phase now. I just trimmed the melted parts away, and have replanted the rest, which all looks a little shabby but strong root systems are developing. In a week or so I think I’ll see really good new growth.

remeber that bacopa that completely melted away when I first planted this tank? One tiny stem made it after all. And from it, I’ve managed to propagate a whole bushy section of bacopa! So I’m confident about these new stem plants growing in.

I have been battling hair algae like crazy. I thought maybe my light wasn’t strong enough to let the plants outcompete the algae? So I used that as an excuse to buy the onf flat nano. But then I realized the issue was probably my 12 hour photoperiod. (I never claimed intelligence). I’ve had the light on 8am to 8pm daily. And I’ve started dosing H2O2 to deal with the algae, but obviously that wasn’t getting to the root of the problem. Do you wanna see how bad it gets after a week? You do. It’s bad. Here goes:


84A7F3D6-7A12-4932-A0BD-B844F51B9F2C.jpeg


OOF.

so, after my last huge tank clean the other day, the tank looks like this:


948B0AF6-E48E-4B17-B062-0ED793EE5626.jpeg


Much better. But the trick is to keep it that way, so I’ve reset my timers so that the light turns on at 8 for four hours, turns off from 12-2pm, and then back on from 2-6pm. I imagine that 4 hours less light per day will probably help.

Now, I said I wouldn’t add stock until the algae was sorted, but I got impulsive today while I was in Chinatown anyway, and got three yellow neocaridina for the tank. After a million years of drip acclimation, they’re in!


F71E54BC-1904-4140-9D32-A1155C455EBD.jpeg


I’m going to add a different variety before I do more of the yellow neos. I have to do a little compatibility research because I don’t want strains that’ll interbreed, but I’ve seen that bees and neos need different parameters.

so far, I’m not unhappy. I’m pushing through the algae, and having some livestock in there is definitely going to motivate me to be more attentive and find that balance I’ve been looking for.
Looks good!
 

Berryblue

Member
Did you get the yellow neos from Pacific? I didn't realize that they had a variety of shrimp for sale.

On the algae, great job on cleaning everything out! I have been running my 7.5g for 2 months and have been desperately trying to ensure I don't have an algae outbreak. So, far, I have had success with running my ONF at 50% intensity for 6hrs. Normal biofilm shows up but no major algae outbreak. I will up the intensity to 75% once I stock it with shrimp. I am hoping for either orange or yellow neos and I am waiting for Monster Fish in Flushing to re-stock which they say they will do next week.
 
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Fishproblem

Member
Berryblue said:
Did you get the yellow neos from Pacific? I didn't realize that they had a variety of shrimp for sale.

On the algae, great job on cleaning everything out! I have been running my 7.5g for 2 months and have been desperately trying to ensure I don't have an algae outbreak. So, far, I have had success with running my ONF at 50% intensity for 6hrs. Normal biofilm shows up but no major algae outbreak. I will up the intensity to 75% once I stock it with shrimp. I am hoping for either orange or yellow neos and I am waiting for Monster Fish in Flushing to re-stock which they say they will do next week.
I did! They don’t have shrimp - specific tanks but the community displays by their bunched plants usually have a great variety. Some really gorgeous black neos are in there rn that I was gawking over. I think they predominantly have neocaridina but the selection is awesome.

Thanks... wish I didn’t have it to begin with, but no way am I gonna let it stay around! Are you also injecting co2? How much? I have some plants that I’m really trying to bring out the reds in, so I’m definitely pushing it with the light. I think high intensity for shorter duration will get me what I want but I’m still so new to high tech. I’d love to hear exactly what your setup is.

I gottacheck out monster aquarium! What’s their shrimp selection like?
 

Berryblue

Member
Fishproblem said:
I did! They don’t have shrimp - specific tanks but the community displays by their bunched plants usually have a great variety. Some really gorgeous black neos are in there rn that I was gawking over. I think they predominantly have neocaridina but the selection is awesome.

Thanks... wish I didn’t have it to begin with, but no way am I gonna let it stay around! Are you also injecting co2? How much? I have some plants that I’m really trying to bring out the reds in, so I’m definitely pushing it with the light. I think high intensity for shorter duration will get me what I want but I’m still so new to high tech. I’d love to hear exactly what your setup is.

I gottacheck out monster aquarium! What’s their shrimp selection like?
Yes, I am running c02 with my lights at 50% for 6hrs/day. Similar to you, I have the c02 coming on/off 1hr before the lights turn on/off. Here's a link to more about my plants and pics: Planted Nano Cube | Freshwater Aquarium Builds Forum | 469242

One trick I learned to prevent algae is to do daily 50% water changes in the first week, then dial it back each week by going every other day, then every three days until you get to once a week. I don't think you can do this though since you already have your neos. I am using fluval stratum and I won't dose any ferts until I have my shrimp stock. I know I will not get much red in my plants until I turn my light intensity up.

Monster usually has a good variety of shrimp but they were completely empty this weekend. I am hoping to get some orange neos next weekend.
 
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Fishproblem

Member
Berryblue said:
Yes, I am running c02 with my lights at 50% for 6hrs/day. Similar to you, I have the c02 coming on/off 1hr before the lights turn on/off. Here's a link to more about my plants and pics: Planted Nano Cube | Freshwater Aquarium Builds Forum | 469242

One trick I learned to prevent algae is to do daily 50% water changes in the first week, then dial it back each week by going every other day, then every three days until you get to once a week. I don't think you can do this though since you already have your neos. I am using fluval stratum and I won't dose any ferts until I have my shrimp stock. I know I will not get much red in my plants until I turn my light intensity up.

Monster usually has a good variety of shrimp but they were completely empty this weekend. I am hoping to get some orange neos next weekend.
I just followed your build thread! Cool to see someone else starting a similar sized setup.

I did... not... implement the aggressive water change trick, mostly out of laziness that I’m paying for now. My low tech planted tanks are easy to ignore, so I’ve got some bad habits from them. I have also started dosing feets these last couple weeks, a half a pump of tropica specialised once a week. Why do you say that the shrimp eliminate the option for frequent water changes? My experience with neos is that they’re pretty unfussy, but maybe I’ve just been lucky!

I hope you post pics of the orange neos when you get them! Crystal blacks are next on my list, but I might need to wait until the tanks a bit more stable.
 
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Fishproblem

Member
Speaking of shrimp... the yellow neocaridina are doing great, bustling all over the tank. My existing shrimp colony is mid and lower grade RCS, so their color is super cool to me. Just having three is so fun - I’m dying to get two more yellows.


FBD47504-F209-4B25-943A-5DCB44C35F79.jpeg


A9E26CEA-18C0-4CF3-84F4-DA70A5F49990.jpeg


EE6E8FAE-EC6C-41A2-B575-C36566D2A6A3.jpeg
 

Berryblue

Member
Fishproblem said:
Speaking of shrimp... the yellow neocaridina are doing great, bustling all over the tank. My existing shrimp colony is mid and lower grade RCS, so their color is super cool to me. Just having three is so fun - I’m dying to get two more yellows.


FBD47504-F209-4B25-943A-5DCB44C35F79.jpeg


A9E26CEA-18C0-4CF3-84F4-DA70A5F49990.jpeg


EE6E8FAE-EC6C-41A2-B575-C36566D2A6A3.jpeg
They look great! Now, you are making me seriously consider getting yellow neos instead of orange, haha.
 

Berryblue

Member
Fishproblem said:
I just followed your build thread! Cool to see someone else starting a similar sized setup.

I did... not... implement the aggressive water change trick, mostly out of laziness that I’m paying for now. My low tech planted tanks are easy to ignore, so I’ve got some bad habits from them. I have also started dosing feets these last couple weeks, a half a pump of tropica specialised once a week. Why do you say that the shrimp eliminate the option for frequent water changes? My experience with neos is that they’re pretty unfussy, but maybe I’ve just been lucky!

I hope you post pics of the orange neos when you get them! Crystal blacks are next on my list, but I might need to wait until the tanks a bit more stable.
Oh, this will be my first time with shrimp and I have always heard that they can be sensitive to water changes, especially in small tanks. But good to hear that yours are super hardy so far.
 
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Fishproblem

Member
Berryblue said:
Oh, this will be my first time with shrimp and I have always heard that they can be sensitive to water changes, especially in small tanks. But good to hear that yours are super hardy so far.
I was very nervous about water changes with my RCS when I first got them, and then got lazier and lazier. It probably helps that we do have great water here, and I did in Providence as well. I'll go weeks without a wc on the cherries in a 2.5 gallon tank and then do an 80% change with unconditioned tap water. Truly a shrimp keeper's nightmare scenario, but they're thriving. (Not that I'd recommend this approach to anyone.) I think the plants remove an overwhelming majority of the nitrate and ammonia, so there's not much fluctuation.

For the yellow fellas in this tank though, it's all remineralized water and frequent, smaller water changes. Especially since they're soon to be living with somewhat more finicky crystal blacks. Whatever color of neocaridina you end up choosing, so long as you're reasonably diligent you should see great success and happy shrimp!
 
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Fishproblem

Member
I got to go to Pacific Aquarium again yesterday because I had an errand to run on Bowery. I picked up two more yellow neocaridina while I was there. I've been drip acclimating these guys. They transitioned into the tank just as happily as the last three. So now there are five!

While I was there, I checked in to see if they might have crystal blacks soon. The guy said he's going to have them in on Monday. Berryblue I also thought to ask him if they do anything special to treat the water for their neocaridina. He laughed! And said no, not at all. So I think you and I are going to be just fine with our neos. I did test the gh and kh of their water before I acclimated the last three, and the readings were dKH 4° and GH 6°.

Pacific Aquarium gets crystal blacks on Monday, so I think I'll get five of them then. Monster Aquarium said the ones arriving Sunday are SS grade, which is exactly what I'm after. But, I do love and am very loyal to Pacific, so I'll check theirs out first to see if I like the look of them and go to Monster Aquarium if I don't.

I posted this pic on IG yesterday - it looks like the siesta/reduced lighting period is really doing the trick. I haven't touched the tank other than to add shrimp in one full week, and the algae is barely there. Most of it is lingering dead stuff that I didn't get to siphon out in my last wc. I'm going to do a wc today and some maintenance, and I'm actually looking forward to it for the first time! Tbh I don't know how the week got away from me. I wanted to do a midweek wc, but here we are.


IMG_4784.jpg


Now if only I could get those background plants to grow in...
 

Berryblue

Member
Congrats on getting your additional yellows and happy to hear they'll be resilient with water changes etc. And I completely get being a loyal customer to Pacific as I totally like them too. :) Am looking forward to seeing your crystal blacks. Pacific, Monster and Amazing Aquarium are my fav LFS' in NYC. Amazing is great for hardscape material vs fish and shrimp.
 

AcornTheBetta

Member
How is this tank doing now?
 
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Fishproblem

Member
AcornTheBetta said:
How is this tank doing now?
My background plants WILL NOT grow lol. I actually just did a wc tonight, but it was after lights out. I'll post pics tomorrow :D
 
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Fishproblem

Member
I lied about posting new pics "tomorrow"! Whoops! I ended up encountering tragedy in this tank. Three of the shrimp molted after a water change last week, and then over the next night, between 11pm and 9am, I lost two of them.

I was so disappointed, and pretty sad about it. Obviously, they can be replaced, but I hate to lose livestock, and so rarely do that it felt like a real punch to the gut. The silver lining is that I dragged my feet in adding the crystal blacks, and haven’t yet. My thinking is that it’s related to the molting. Maybe their diet was too low in calcium? Or maybe planaria took advantage of their vulnerable state. I have to admit I don't know enough about shrimp to know what the problem could have been. I've never had trouble keeping them before!

I've since dosed the tank with Planaria Zero, and have been paying attention to a better diet for the shrimp. So far, so good. If I go a month with no further losses, I’ll start adding livestock again. In the meantime, I've ordered some chemiclean to deal with a persistent cyano problem, and I have to figure out what's up with my plants. Overall it's looking okay in there, but the starogyne repens is yellowing a bit, the DHG is still not super green, and the background plants are very slow to grow in. I think I need more of everything: light, nutrients, and CO2. Will be tinkering all week with that!
 

AcornTheBetta

Member
Fishproblem said:
I lied about posting new pics "tomorrow"! Whoops! I ended up encountering tragedy in this tank. Three of the shrimp molted after a water change last week, and then over the next night, between 11pm and 9am, I lost two of them.

I was so disappointed, and pretty sad about it. Obviously, they can be replaced, but I hate to lose livestock, and so rarely do that it felt like a real punch to the gut. The silver lining is that I dragged my feet in adding the crystal blacks, and haven’t yet. My thinking is that it’s related to the molting. Maybe their diet was too low in calcium? Or maybe planaria took advantage of their vulnerable state. I have to admit I don't know enough about shrimp to know what the problem could have been. I've never had trouble keeping them before!

I've since dosed the tank with Planaria Zero, and have been paying attention to a better diet for the shrimp. So far, so good. If I go a month with no further losses, I’ll start adding livestock again. In the meantime, I've ordered some chemiclean to deal with a persistent cyano problem, and I have to figure out what's up with my plants. Overall it's looking okay in there, but the starogyne repens is yellowing a bit, the DHG is still not super green, and the background plants are very slow to grow in. I think I need more of everything: light, nutrients, and CO2. Will be tinkering all week with that!
I'm not sure if I can give any advise since I've never had shrimp (that didn't get killed by my betta in under 1.5 weeks), a high tech tank, or planaria. I'm sorry for your loss tho. I always hate to lose fish because even tho they are easy to replace (unless this is some sort of rare fish) it is still a life lost. :(
 

Berryblue

Member
Darn, really sorry to hear about the losses. For my starter colony, I think I am down to 4 orange neos but I haven't really seen evidence of death with the others nut there are many hiding spots, so I can't be sure.

For the plants and algae, if there is anything I learned during this pandemic, it is that slow and steady is the way to go. Interestingly, when I upped my ONF to 75% (from 50%), I started seeing hair algae and BBA on my buce after two weeks. After seeing that, I dialed my light back to 50% as I think there is a direct correlation there, so be cautious about adding more light.
 
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Fishproblem

Member
AcornTheBetta said:
I'm not sure if I can give any advise since I've never had shrimp (that didn't get killed by my betta in under 1.5 weeks), a high tech tank, or planaria. I'm sorry for your loss tho. I always hate to lose fish because even tho they are easy to replace (unless this is some sort of rare fish) it is still a life lost. :(
Thanks, bud. I haven't been able to figure it out any further since I first told you about losing the shrimp, but I'm hoping it was a freak thing.

Berryblue said:
Darn, really sorry to hear about the losses. For my starter colony, I think I am down to 4 orange neos but I haven't really seen evidence of death with the others nut there are many hiding spots, so I can't be sure.

For the plants and algae, if there is anything I learned during this pandemic, it is that slow and steady is the way to go. Interestingly, when I upped my ONF to 75% (from 50%), I started seeing hair algae and BBA on my buce after two weeks. After seeing that, I dialed my light back to 50% as I think there is a direct correlation there, so be cautious about adding more light.
Thanks, and oof. Sorry to hear you lost a few too. Hopefully you get a berried female or two soon! That'll surely fill the colony out. I'm wondering if these fancier colors are a little less sturdy than the garden variety reds, but I hate to make that assumption and get complacent.

Yeah, dialing down the light was a huge win for me in terms of algae reduction. It's really not a problem any more unless I fail to clean the glass for over a week, and then I start getting that nice thin green coating on the tank. The cyano has been a totally different story though. It's been growing in mats since early days in one back corner of the tank, but now it seems to be spreading even faster with the reduced light. I tried blacking out the tank, treating with antibiotics, manual removal, peroxide treatments. All of it worked for the other algaes (and a reduced photoperiod permanently solved the problem), but the cyano persists. And now it's spreading.

I will absolutely be cautious about adding light though! I plan to research more in CO2 levels and start measuring that more meticulously so I can identify if I'm injecting enough before I ever touch the light. I'm also thinking of dosing more. I was lean dosing a half pump of tropica specialised after my weekly wc, but I think I may want to move toward the EI method. From what I've read, the S. repens is shedding leaves from either too little CO2, or a nutrient deficiency. Lots of considerations to make in order to ensure that the actions I take work in tandem, instead of causing total chaos!
 
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