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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I want to start this journal to keep track of my progress and share with others. This is my first high tech planted tank. I started this hobby a year ago with low tech nano tanks, so this is a big change for me. I put in a lot of time and effort to get this up and running especially since I did not know much about pressurized co2 setups and canister filters. Big thanks to Dou, MDT, battmanh, trip for all the help and advice, and nobert and other bcaquaria members for the tank and equipment.

Hardware:

  • ADA Cube Garden 60-P
  • Eheim Classic 350
  • Chihiros LED A-Series 60cm
  • ADA Garden Mat 60x30cm
  • ADA thermometer 6mm
  • VIV Lily Pipes 13mm Inflow/Outflow
  • Stainless Steel Prefilter
  • 10lbs CO2 tank with Regulator and Solenoid
  • VIV Co2 Diffuse Atomizer
  • Hinterfield Hang on CO2/pH Drop Checker
  • Glass CO2 bubble counter
  • Air pump and wooden diffuser
  • Clear vinyl tubing and co2 proof airline tubing with stainless steel check valve

Substrate/Hardscape:
  • Fluval Stratum and Tropical Aquarium Soil Powder
  • Ohko Stones

Flora:

  • Micranthemum 'Monte Carlo'
  • Anubias 'Petite'
  • Stauogyne Repens
  • Cryptocoryne Albida 'Brown'
  • Hemianthus Micranthemoides
  • Ranunculus Inundatus
  • Bucephalandra 'Mini Velvet'
  • Bucephalandra 'Freya'
  • Bucephalandra 'Lamandau Mini Red'
  • Bucephalandra 'Brownie Ghost'
  • Rotala Wallichii - Removed
  • Rotala Rotundifolia - Removed
  • Ludwigia Palustris - Removed
  • Cryptocoryne Becketii 'Wrinkled Edge' - Removed
  • Myriophyllum Tuberculatum - Removed
  • Blyxa Japonica - Removed

Fauna:

  • Sundadanio axelrodi x19
  • Hara Jerdoni x6
  • 'Fire Red' Neocaridina Shrimps x10
  • Crystal Red Shrimp 'SS grade' Hino/No-entry x6
  • Apistogramma cacatuoides x2
  • Dwarf Puffers x3 - Removed

Some plants and livestock are temporary, as I'm setting up another tank in the near future (ADA 60F)

Current:
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
July 23, 2016:
I picked up the tank, stand, and filter from another bcaquaria member. I was planning to do some research and browse other journals to see what set up I would like, but since it was already running, I decided to set it up right away so I don't have to cycle the tank again. I had some Ohko stones that I got a while back so I decided to use that as the hardscape. It was a good fit because of how tall and large the stones were. The original plan was to do an iwagumi style with the rocks, but looking at it now they seem a little too big for that style. Also, I didn't realize the inflow pipe for the Eheim was flipped due to an undergravel filter so I put tubing on it. :lol:




July 27, 2016:
Adjusted the rockscape to be less linear, and more angled/sloping towards the front. I played around with this for a week while the tank was running. I also did a small ammonia test to double check to see if the tank was cycled. I bought some clear vinyl tubing at Rona and replaced the green Eheim ones, but they were slightly looser fitting. I had trouble with a leaking double tap connector as well, but I managed to replace it with a spare.



August 7, 2016:
Finally figured out the inflow pipe! Moved some plants and livestock over from my other tank that I am taking down. I planted them temporarily but I might keep them, still undecided. I figured out how to run the co2 and set that up as well. Also, I realized my flooring (carpet) was not level, and the water level was pretty uneven. I had to go buy some shims and level the stand out, and it was already filled. Do not recommend.



August 12, 2016:
Received the VIV inflow and outflow pipes from eBay super quick! I was pretty excited to finally get the 'clean' look. My carpeting plant choice was Hemianthus callitrchoides 'Cuba' at first, but I decided to go with the Micranthemum 'Monte Carlo' instead because I feel it might be easier for a first timer with pressurized co2.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
August 14, 2016:
I plan to add some Ranunculus inudatus on the right hand side beside the large rock, and in between the rocks. Might also replace the other stem plants. Now I have to figure out the balance for light intensity, Co2 amount, and fertilizer.





August 18, 2016:
Got my ADA thermometer, for the aesthetics.





August 24, 2016:
Been about ten days since planting, I noticed the monte carlos leaves were really small and not growing too well, along with a bit of melting. I think I had my co2 too low, as well as having a small diffuser (2cm) that didn't allow the bubbles to travel through the ceramic. I turned up the light and turned the co2 up, but noticed algae on the glass after a day. So I turned my light back down to the previous setting and I switched to a bigger music note style diffuser I had hanging around (5cm). It turned out to be much more efficient and I almost gassed my fish to death. I managed to quickly turn on the air pump, and they seemed to have recovered today. Fingers crossed. I also manage to position the new diffuser underneath the outflow pipe, and I think the diffusion method is much better than before.

Finally got some ranunculus inundates from Dou, and a lot of myriophyllum tuberculatum. I removed the rotala rotundifolia, ludwigia palustris, and rotala wallichii, and planted the ranunculus at the base of the rocks. Myriophyllum tuberculatum in the background on the right hand side.





 

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nice hardscape. are you using anything to hold the slope?
 
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hmm, interesting idea. i've been using egg crates until now.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
September 4, 2016:
Bought a new stainless steel prefilter for the intake pipe. It's kind of ugly, but I do have shrimp in there so it's probably a good idea. Bit of algae growing on the rocks, glass and some slower growing plants such as the anubias and buce. I was warned about this for the slow growers so I'll have to decide if I want to take them out or hide them in the shade somehow.

I also got 20 sundadanio axelrodi and 6 more hara jerdonis from April. Obviously, I took out the pea puffers. I have been waiting for a while for axelrodis to be available since I learned about them months ago. I really like them so far, they're really vibrant and colorful, plus I have an interest for the hard-to-find micro fish. Now the only other fish I want are celestial pearl danios.





 

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Just be on the lookout for freshwater velvet disease, as Axelrodi's are very susceptible and sensitive to medications. They look VERY healthy.

Best regards,

Stuart


Tankful in Vancouver!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
September 26, 2016:
I ordered several accessory items from eBay recently. I got a substrate scraper, stainless steel check valve for the co2, co2 proof airline tubing (the regular airline tubing I used was really soft), a bubble counter, and a ph drop checker. I also bought a VIV co2 diffuser 4cm. In hindsight, I should have gotten the smaller 3cm one.

Not much change to the tank, just lots of ranunculus and blxya growth but I have been trimming. The monte carlo is slowly growing, but some stems are shooting up while some are spreading. Any advice on how to make them spread better? I am considering replanting some patches deeper.

Added 6 crystal red shrimps as well, want to see how they will do in a high tech tank. So far so good.













 

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Usually with Monte Carlo, trimming regularly also helps to force it to creep more. I'm having a different challenge with my Monte Carlo. It is growing different leaf sizes in different areas of the tank. It looks like HC in some areas and like typical growth in other areas.

Best regards,

Stuart


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Usually with Monte Carlo, trimming regularly also helps to force it to creep more. I'm having a different challenge with my Monte Carlo. It is growing different leaf sizes in different areas of the tank. It looks like HC in some areas and like typical growth in other areas.

Best regards,

Stuart

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yeah, it seems like the new growth are all low and creeping, but the ones that haven't really rooted that well are growing tall. Do you know if its suppose to have smaller or larger leaf sizes? It says on the tropica website that it should be small and compact under high light. Maybe some areas are getting less light?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
November 6, 2016:

Haven't updated this in a while, I have been busy with work so there aren't too many changes. I took out the blyxa japonica in between the rocks as it is growing too big for scale, and the myriophyllum tuberculatum in the right corner behind the big rock. I replaced them with some staurogyne repens and hemianthus micranthemoides respectively, and added crypt abilda brown. The plants are growing pretty well with increased lighting, and the bba and staghorn algae seem to have died down after spot treating with Seachem Excel.




For livestock, both fish and shrimps seem to be doing well. I even have a pregnant crystal red shrimp. I added two young dwarf cockatoo cichlids (Tried to get a male and female but I think both are males).



 

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Discussion Starter #18
December 10, 2016:

The Monte Carlo carpet suddenly started melting, and new growth had tiny leaves and algae on them. I tried a few things like increase the lighting, changing fertilizer dosage, but it didn't seem to work. I had to do some research, and I realized that too much light might be the issue. I switched to the PPS-Pro dosing method and decreased the lighting, and added root tabs and additional Excel supplement. The carpet seems to be slowly rebounding, and new growth are spreading and leaves are big and healthy. Hopefully I can find a good balance.

Added:
Bucephalandra sp Chili Pepper
Bucephalandra sp Fire Bird
Bucephalandra sp Lamandau Mini Purple
Bucephalandra sp Elegant Blue
x4 Assorted Nerite Horned Snails

Thanks to Dou for the photo editing!


 
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