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Everything posted by Daniel

  1. Thanks, Mandy! Here's a quick video. Plants are rapidly pearling, which never really gets old to be honest.
  2. Just thought I'd post a quick photo of my current set up. It's 9 days old today. I've had some really good growth so far. Hopefully I'll have a full carpet within another 1-2 weeks, and the stems should receive their first trim. Here is the prior scape. It was pretty and the fish certainly liked it, but it was a PITA to maintain. Too much wood/rock close to the glass, not enough depth in areas for me to develop proper bushy stems, etc. Here is the current scape. I recycled about 90% of the plants from the previous scape, but the hardscape is much simpler and allows me to have more of a foreground and background. Boring to look at when the plants are still growing in, but it will look better in a month or so. It also makes maintenance a breeze. I think this will be a long term layout for me. It's simple enough that I can swap pretty much any plant group out for something else, without having to disturb other sections of the tank. Say I don't want java fern anymore, no problem, I can swap it for mini bolbitis. Alternatively, if I get sick of the stems, I can rip them all out and swap them for rotala wallichii, or rotala vietnam, or something more difficult like tonina fluviatilis. My emphasis this time is on horticulture and gardening. I'm treating it like bonsai and fussing over it regularly. Still, not much maintenance goes into it. I do 2 water changes a week and clean the glass, which only takes me about an hour all up. On non-water change days, I might stick my arms while the fish are feeding and give the plants a quick preen to knock off any sediment/detritus on their leaves. Older tatty looking leaves are removed then too. This only takes about a minute or so. Here's a snap of one of the ornate white fin tetras. I've been trying to get one of the rams, but they're too inquisitive and turn face on and follow the camera around. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- For anyone wanting to know the technical details: Tank: CADE 600 (60cm x 45 x 45) Light: Maxspect Razor 120W. Filter: Fluval 306 CO2 : Pressurised. Delivered via an inline Sera Flore 500 reactor. Fertilisers: Liverpool Creek Aquariums Premium Fert Mix (This is a commercial EI solution). Fauna: A pair of electric blue rams and 6 ornate white fin tetra. Flora: Micranthemum Monte Carlo, Eleocharis Belem, Crypt. Parva, Helanthium Tenellum, Crypt. Wendtii Brown, Crypt. Wendtii Green, Crypt. Nevilli, Anubias nana petite, Microsorum narrow leaf, Taiwan Moss, Sydney Stringy Moss, Sydney Fissidens, Rotala Sp. Green and Ludwigia Super Red Mini.
  3. You should get in contact with Jeff at Liverpool Creek Aquariums. I forget what he charges, but you might get a bargain.
  4. They're very sweet little fish. They occupy the top third of the tank mostly, so a good fitting lid or some floating plants is preferable.
  5. If you want an interesting native, try spotted blue eyes. They produce very little waste, so, in my opinion, you can get away with stocking a small school (8-10) even if you're stocked. You probably won't find them locally, but if you go online to Aquagreen or Liverpool Creek Aquariums, they both sell them. If they're not listed on their sites, send them an email, they usually have some.
  6. As the others have said, it's fine. Open holes don't really matter with glass tanks, you just need to support the edges of the tank.
  7. If you check places like UKAPS or the Planted Tank Forum, there's quite a bit on smaller tropical tanks. Given the high cost of running high tech Planted tanks, a lot of people start out small to 'test' the waters, so to speak. Personally, I love nanos, but I don't really keep any at the moment. They've since been converted into terrariums. As far as livestock go, most smaller schooling species will do fine in a 5 gallon, although I wouldn't go smaller than that. Most rasbora, tetras, rice fish, white clouds, spotted blue eyes, etc, are good options. I'd only stock the minimum amount necessary for a school (usually 6) though. While they won't produce that much waste, and there are those who argue heavily planted tanks allow for denser stocking, I just don't think there's much swimming space in something so small, so the fewer the better. Shrimp are the obvious choice, and I'm glad to see you're considering them. They're wonderful little creatures, especially when you get a breeding colony going. Start with something simple like red cherry shrimp. If they're doing well and breeding, you can introduce some more more exotic species. Some from the past I can find photos of. Tank is 5 gallons.
  8. As the others have said, nothing to worry about. The fish will eat them if they're in the water column.
  9. I've done it too. Then the pups sweep in like vultures.
  10. Even weaker, cheaper lights will penetrate water well and look bright. What you pay for, is really radiation penetrating power. The more expensive light units will give you greater PAR at depths. (PAR stands for photosynthetically active radiation. To put it crudely, it's the bit of light plants find useful.)
  11. Sorry for the delay in getting a response. If you're only interested in illuminating fish, anything will work. So yes, a regular LED of appropriate length will suffice.
  12. I'd check eBay. Canada has quite a few fish stores, but perhaps they're not in your area? J&L Aquatics is a well known store (well, well known enough for me to know about here in Australia).
  13. 2 tanks with fish in them. A third is just a dry moss terrarium.
  14. Less light is better most of the time. A lot of people mistake more light with more plant growth. It is true that more light will give you more growth, but it only does so in a healthy system where the plants have adequate amounts of fertiliser and co2 to access. Unless you're running a show tank or one for a competition, in my opinion, seldom do you need a lot of light unless you're growing specific types of plants (i.e., red rotalas, some ludwigias, tonina, hemianthus cuba etc). Can you change the timer mode without a remote? You definitely do not need lights on 24/7, even if it employs a night mode. At most, 10 hours in a well developed system. 6-8 hours is usually what I shoot for—there are exceptions, my low tech 'junk tank' (junk because it's where I dumped a lot excess plants I didn't want to bin) only has 4 hours of light a day. In a lot of streams, lakes, etc, most plants only have a few hours of direct sunlight. Although there are those that will disagree, from my time dabbling in planted tanks, I'm inclined to say get algae when a) you have too much light, b) you have inadequate co2 and fertilisers, c) poor circulation, or d) all of the above. You're probably right about having too much light if plants lower down aren't effected. PAR levels are lower the further down you go, so they're being hit with less light. I wouldn't worry about your window. Unless your tank is getting hit with direct sunlight, they're not as big a problem as people think they are. One of the nurseries here in Oz grows their plants without a shade cloth in full tropical sun and they're spotless. In my opinion, sun is only problem if you aren't prepared to adjust your system to deal with the demands it creates—and these can mostly be offset with more water changes. Getting rid of algae can be a problem, but the key things I tend to do, are, firstly, to remove all affected leaves. If too much of the plant is overridden, I just bin it. After that, I reduce my light's intensity by 10% (if this isn't an option, I reduce photoperiod by 1 hour), make sure my filter(s) and hoses are clean, and if need be, change circulation patterns. I tend to do a few more water changes for a little while as well—instead of 1-2 a week, 3-4x. The other option is dosing with hydrogen peroxide, but I prefer to go with holistic measures. Chemical ones kill algae, but they don't really address the problem itself.
  15. If you wanted, you could also cut the tubing and put a j-bend in it. That would keep it in place, although it might be cumbersome when draining/cleaning.
  16. I've never had that fear, but I'm always a bit cautious after I get my co2 cylinder refilled. I've woken up a few times and checked to make sure the active pressure hasn't exceeded what it's supposed to.
  17. If you're on Facebook, the group Planted Tanks has people posting stuff for sale all the time. That group is basically where people from the Planted tank forum have migrated, albeit without the oversight.
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