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Heliwyr
01-11-2009, 01:00 AM
Probably not that amazing.

Setup:

-Regular gravel
-2 10W flourescent bulbs, so medium to low light
-Ferts: weekly Flourish excel and Flourish comprehensive Supplement

Plants (see diagram below)

- 3 Banana plants
- 8 Indian Water Fern
- 1 Water Sprite
- 5 Wisteria Plant Stems
- 4 Ludwiga Repens Stems
- 3 Java Ferns
- Blobs of java moss

Decorations:

-4 medium sized river rocks
- Some driftwood


Yes, it's a lot of plants. I plan to take some of them out as needed once they get established and take off. The water fern will likely be the first to get downsized.

The driftwood is absent at the moment because it's soaking, along with a bunch of other pieces, in a tub. You will not see it for the next month.

Stocking plan:

I like to keep things simple, and I've chosen these fish because I think their colours will contrast nicely:

-6 ember tetras
-2 peacock gudgeons

Depending on what happens later, a few more tetras or another gudgeon may be added, but I find that doubtful.

You will not see fish until the tank is cycled and the driftwood is in place. So, one month to 6 weeks.

The tank as it looks now: (yes, that is a big blob of moss stuck around the intake. I'll clean it later.)

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/Tanklayoutday1.jpg


http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/Plantlayoutnotes.jpg

Northernguy
01-11-2009, 01:06 AM
It looks great!thumbs2:
How are you cycling it?

Rue
01-11-2009, 01:10 AM
I'm amazed!:hmm3grin2orange:

I like it!

And I have never heard of a gudgeon! That's a new one for me...gonna go look it up...

Dave66
01-11-2009, 01:15 AM
Nice little tank, heliwer, but just FYI, the green 'bananas' of the banana plant should be sitting ABOVE the gravel; no part of them should be buried. The plant will put out roots from above the tubers to secure itself to the substrate.
Tubers (the 'bananas') will rot and the plant will die if planted like you have it.

Dave

Sharon
01-11-2009, 01:26 AM
Glad you said that, Dave...now I know why mine aren't doing well. I've been so careful keeping the banana like thingies covered up!:14:

Brookfish
01-11-2009, 01:29 AM
Tank looks good, it will be lovely when it fills out!

Rue
01-11-2009, 01:30 AM
...the gudgeons are adorable...and I luv their name...

I saw a price posted...thought it read $149.99:ssuprised:

But it really was only $14.99...much more affordable...:hmm3grin2orange:

Heliwyr
01-11-2009, 01:30 AM
Nice little tank, heliwer, but just FYI, the green 'bananas' of the banana plant should be sitting ABOVE the gravel; no part of them should be buried. The plant will put out roots from above the tubers to secure itself to the substrate.
Tubers (the 'bananas') will rot and the plant will die if planted like you have it.

Dave

Ah, okay. I thought they'd just need to be partially buried. Thank you! Will pull them out.


It looks great!thumbs2:
How are you cycling it?

Fishless.

Since these rooms in this apartment are quite small, I'm avoiding straight ammonia and am instead using betta food that I don't need anymore (flakes and pellets. The pellets are quite messy to leave in there, so I may just use the flakes). If you have any other fishless methods aside from using straight ammonia, let me know. I've read that using food will work, but it's slower...and messier, of course.


I found a pond snail in the tank. He must have been living on the ludwigia from my 3 gallon.

bushwhacker
01-11-2009, 01:30 AM
nice tank heliwyr

Heliwyr
01-11-2009, 01:56 AM
To help myself maintain perspective, every entry, I will list the projected time to "completion" (i.e. stocking).

As of today, I have taken into account that this tank has been set up for 1 week already. I'm going to add a couple of weeks to the end because I have made myself realise that the currect cycling method is slower, and will likely take 6-8 weeks instead of 4-6 weeks.

So...

Start Date: 1/3/09
Time since start: 7 days
Projected stocking time left: 7 weeks
Projected stocking date: 2/28/09

SamAnthrax
01-11-2009, 02:00 AM
nice tank, i have ember tetras also and I love them

troy
01-11-2009, 04:15 AM
Lol. When i read how many plants were in there I thought the tank would look like a giant mass of plants.:hmm3grin2orange:

Heliwyr
01-11-2009, 04:57 AM
Lol. When i read how many plants were in there I thought the tank would look like a giant mass of plants.:hmm3grin2orange:

Haha, no, not yet. They're all mostly clippings from the other tanks in the apartment.

Heliwyr
01-11-2009, 07:01 PM
Start Date: 1/3/09
Time since start: 8 days
Projected stocking time left: 6 weeks 6 days
Projected stocking date: 2/28/09


Today I'm posting the driftwood pieces we have soaking.

On Friday, we went to Tybee Island to look for driftwood and also to enjoy being near the ocean. We found a number of good pieces--I even found one perfect one with a hole right through the middle and another hole through the top. But as fate would have it, it broke when I dropped it and after I picked it up, it crumbled. Oh well.

When we came home we set up two large pots and boiled all the ones that would fit inside for 10-20 minutes. The largest ones were placed in the dishwasher and left to run through a soapless cycle. All pieces were thoroughly scrubbed prior to boiling.

Because the wood came from the beach, they must be soaked for a month (instead of simply two weeks to get them waterlogged) to not only remove the tannins but also to remove the salt.

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/Day3ofwoodsoak.jpg

Here's the tub after two days. The water is the colour of tea, but is much lighter than when these pieces were first boiled--then the water looked like coffee. I changed the water today. It was still very salty.

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/Driftwoodpieces.jpg

Here's the collection of wood. I am worrying now about two of the pieces as they seem to be softer wood, but we shall see after a month. If they have degraded too much, they can't be used.

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/TheBigRootPiece.jpg

The biggest piece (and my toes, evidently...aren't they marvelous?). I think this was a root from some tree. It's probably one of the softerwood pieces. Because of its size, the plan is to cut it in half once it has soaked. It may be too big for the setup I have in mind, but again, we'll see. I suspect the bark that we couldn't get off will be easier to remove.


As for the tank, the banana plants have been left to sit upon the gravel. I did some research and discovered their odd ways of reproducing.

Every new pair of leaves the ludwigia puts out seems to be getting redder. Which is nice, given that their time in my 3 gallon left the undersides rather pink. I suspect it was a lighting issue.

Heliwyr
01-12-2009, 11:28 PM
Start Date: 1/3/09
Time since start: 9 days
Projected stocking time left: 6 weeks 5 days
Projected stocking date: 2/28/09


The tank is starting to leave the room smelling a bit stale. I know this will pass and once established will have that lovely damp potting soil smell. But for now, it tells me there's definitely a good amount of ammonia in the tank. Will test it later tonight.

Test results:

Ammonia: 1-1.5
Nitrite: 1.0
Nitrate: 5

So I've either already peaked with ammonia, or nitrite and ammonia are peaking together, which I see is possible given that the tank was seeded a little bit.

Yesterday I put in an airstone that I'll turn on at night to help the plants respirate when the lights are out.

Have decided that one week before the projected stocking date, I will trim all the plants, make final arrangements, and spend time getting the tank into a pristine state. Turn the heater down, wipe out any algae in the filter, scrub the mechanical cartridge thoroughly. No rotting food is allowed, and with this process, it will take several goes at it with the gravel vac to get it in good shape.

Everything's looking good. One of my banana plants is already sorting a newly unfurled leaf. The wisteria is closing in on hitting the surface again. Everything else is developing nicely and starting to look nice and bushy.

Diatoms have appeared. You can see them clustering on the heater in the picture.

Also, I wish to be educational to new beginners who may read this. I want to explain what you should NEVER leave in your tank when it has fish. (I am leaving this in the tank, because there are no fish and the fungus helps to expedite the decomposition of the food.)


http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/004.jpg


Those fuzzy blobs are very dangerous for fish. That kind of fungus is always present in your tank, but it can get out of control when you overfeed. Stressed fish can have this grow on them. It is disgusting and bad for them. So always make sure you get anything like this up when you see it.

Heliwyr
01-13-2009, 06:07 PM
Start Date: 1/3/09
Time since start: 10 days
Projected stocking time left: 6 weeks 4 days
Projected stocking date: 2/28/09

Ammonia: 1
Nitrite: 1-2


I have planaria in the tank now. Also these tiny, tiny white lobstery-shrimp things. I think it's Daphnia?

Hair algae is starting to show up on other things. I think it may well be time for a small water change this weekend. If only to freshen the environment a bit.

Heliwyr
01-13-2009, 06:28 PM
Edit: They aren't daphnia but are cyclops/copepods.

Copepod - Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copepod)

Cameron
01-13-2009, 08:21 PM
Start Date: 1/3/09
Time since start: 9 days
Projected stocking time left: 6 weeks 5 days
Projected stocking date: 2/28/09


The tank is starting to leave the room smelling a bit stale. I know this will pass and once established will have that lovely damp potting soil smell. But for now, it tells me there's definitely a good amount of ammonia in the tank. Will test it later tonight.

Test results:

Ammonia: 1-1.5
Nitrite: 1.0
Nitrate: 5

So I've either already peaked with ammonia, or nitrite and ammonia are peaking together, which I see is possible given that the tank was seeded a little bit.

Yesterday I put in an airstone that I'll turn on at night to help the plants respirate when the lights are out.

Have decided that one week before the projected stocking date, I will trim all the plants, make final arrangements, and spend time getting the tank into a pristine state. Turn the heater down, wipe out any algae in the filter, scrub the mechanical cartridge thoroughly. No rotting food is allowed, and with this process, it will take several goes at it with the gravel vac to get it in good shape.

Everything's looking good. One of my banana plants is already sorting a newly unfurled leaf. The wisteria is closing in on hitting the surface again. Everything else is developing nicely and starting to look nice and bushy.

Diatoms have appeared. You can see them clustering on the heater in the picture.

Also, I wish to be educational to new beginners who may read this. I want to explain what you should NEVER leave in your tank when it has fish. (I am leaving this in the tank, because there are no fish and the fungus helps to expedite the decomposition of the food.)


http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/004.jpg


Those fuzzy blobs are very dangerous for fish. That kind of fungus is always present in your tank, but it can get out of control when you overfeed. Stressed fish can have this grow on them. It is disgusting and bad for them. So always make sure you get anything like this up when you see it.



You mean like this: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=12253&d=1231365572

Its going away, but im glad i read your post, i'll make sure its gone before i get fishys!!

Heliwyr
01-14-2009, 10:48 PM
Start Date: 1/3/09
Time since start: 11 days
Projected stocking time left: 6 weeks 4 days
Projected stocking date: 2/28/09

Ammonia: 0!
Nitrite: 1-2

So I've hurdled over the first stage, hurray! I now probably have 2-3 more weeks to do before the cycle is finished.

Heliwyr
01-16-2009, 06:00 AM
Start Date: 1/3/09
Time since start: 13 days
Projected stocking time left: 6 weeks 2 days
Projected stocking date: 2/28/09



As wolf_eyes said in the thread she started, we did indeed go impulsively grab 50-pound bag of playsand. Thanks to her herculean strength, we got it out of the store without falling over ourselves.

The impulse partly came from seeing kuli loaches and going..."Maybe I can stock one of those..." and then thinking "They like sand, don't they." (Am researching them at the moment. Won't add them before I've gathered enough information and weighed the costs. I think they might be too big and thus have too much of a bioload. Advice on this is appreciated.) But I've also wanted sand in a tank for some time now. I think it looks lovely.

Right now the tank is very cloudy--in spite of...what...5-10 washes per 2-3 pounds of sand? We used up probably 40-45 pounds of the stuff. While wolf_eyes has replaced her gravel, I instead, made a "pool" of sand in the middle-right of the tank.

And I just realised the intake tube was lifted up just a little bit, so the filter hasn't actually been running completely...just sort of filling up with water and gurgling every now and then. It's fixed now, so hopefully it'll clear up soon.



One of the Indian Ferns escaped and made a break for the surface.

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/2009_01160096.jpg

Heliwyr
01-17-2009, 08:16 AM
Start Date: 1/3/09
Time since start: 14 days
Projected stocking time left: 6 weeks 1 days
Projected stocking date: 2/28/09
Wood Soak Timer: 8 days
Wood Soak Projected Finish: 2/7/09

Ammonia: 0 (consistently testing as such)
Nitrite: 1ish

Inspite of the 50% water change I had to do to add the sand, I'm pleased the see the Nitrite still high. Today I went and grabbed a handful of gravel from the 3g in the living room and dropped it under the filter intake. Hopefully this will speed things along.

The water is clear and the plants have stopped making a break for the surface.

I'm adding a "wood soak" timer because my sense of time is very poor when I'm busy.

If the cycle finishes before the wood is done soaking or the plants aren't high enough (they probably will be in two weeks time), I'm ready to say "screw it" and add fish. The first ones will be the two gudgeons.

I'm still keeping the stocking date as it was, because I'm going to now consider it the "finished with basic set up" date.

wolf_eyes
01-17-2009, 06:56 PM
And, if i may say so myself, the sand has made both of our tanks lovely!

Heliwyr
01-17-2009, 09:27 PM
Start Date: 1/3/09
Time since start: 14 days
Projected stocking time left: 6 weeks
Projected stocking date: 2/28/09
Wood Soak Timer: 9 days
Wood Soak Projected Finish: 2/7/09

We went to PetsMart and the lfs today. Mostly because I was considering getting an el-cheapo salinity tester, but they do not exist. So we went and looked at the fishies instead. Today was "fish day" in both places. Petsmart had another peacock gudgeon added. We tried to tell the difference between the three in the tank. I found one at the back that had the odd reflecty-eye-thing that males have and another who just looked big, fat, and kinda like his face was squashed (you have to remember, the fish in there are 1-1.5 inches and it's very hard to see them well with all the other fish swimming around). The other must have been a female since she was "dainty" looking.

The reason why I want to tell the difference is I'd like to have a pair. If they breed, whoopie. If they don't, whoopie. I don't plan on keeping the fry. And it may seem cruel, but if they do breed, in my mind, it's free live food for the inhabitants.

I also woke up this morning, looked at my tank, and said "I don't like that. I'm going to change it." And so I did. I will post pictures later. I also got fed up and stuck two of the pieces of driftwood in the tank. Wrapped moss around the longer piece so that when it grows, it will look like this nice, bushy, beard that hangs down. It looks much, much better. Will post a picture when it's less cloudy.

Part of the inspiration for changing it came from looking at more aquascaping pictures and thinking about the advice I gave about considering line and shape. I realised I wasn't taking my own advice. So, I sat down and sketched in Photoshop until I came up with something.

Edit: The reason why I wanted a salinity test was to see if the wood would leach salt into the water, but they aren't very big pieces of wood and when I found the two I'm using, they were bone dry and above the high tide mark. To be sure, I'll keep an eye on it. I suspect it's the very large piece we found that's leaching salt into the tub and making it smell like a marsh if you lean too close.

Edit edit: The snail lives. His name is Speed Racer. There was another snail too, this morning, but it's gone now and was probably too tiny to find easily. I hope they eat the hair algae.

Heliwyr
01-17-2009, 11:18 PM
Pictures:

Speed Racer:

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/DSCF0115.jpg



The tank:

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/DSCF0116-1.jpg

wolf_eyes
01-17-2009, 11:21 PM
Speed racer!
Love the new tank layout, it's really nice looking. I cant wait for everything to grow out

waterboy12076
01-18-2009, 12:57 AM
Great looking tank. I also like how you "diagramed" the plants. For us newbies, it shows us the name of the plant AND what the plant looks like...Kudos to you...thumbs2:

Heliwyr
01-18-2009, 06:34 PM
Start Date: 1/3/09
Time since start: 15 days
Projected stocking time left: 5 weeks 6 days
Projected stocking date: 2/28/09
Wood Soak Timer: 10 days
Wood Soak Projected Finish: 2/7/09


Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: somewhere between 2 and 5ppm

I've discovered that the Nitrite has probably been this high for the past few days. I haven't had the chart on me for a week and just knew "really purple" is >=1 (and even on the chart 1, 2, and 5 are very close in hue). So, since it's been this similar colour from what I recall, Nitrite has officially peaked and is doing its typical rollercoaster hang on as it crests the hill.

*twiddles thumbs*

Northernguy
01-18-2009, 06:51 PM
Its coming around!:22:
Why are keeping speed breeder...er.racer?

Heliwyr
01-18-2009, 07:01 PM
Its coming around!:22:
Why are keeping speed breeder...er.racer?

I asked myself that when I first saw it, knowing how fast they can propogate. My gimpy reasoning: it'll help tidy up just a tiny bit of the algae and bits of food lying around. Come stocking day, I'll try to find him and all of his bretheren and put them in a cup or something. I don't want to kill them...yet. I'll kill them later...and feed them to the fish...(their shells are so fragile it's easy to break them and have just the meat--I've crushed many moving decorations around and realising that little crunch under my finger was a snail).

s72450
01-18-2009, 08:54 PM
Beautiful tank! I have a planted 10gallon as well and I just love it.

Where did you get the river rocks? I'm looking into getting some slightly larger ones like you have for my 55gallon that I'm working on.

Heliwyr
01-18-2009, 10:03 PM
Beautiful tank! I have a planted 10gallon as well and I just love it.

Where did you get the river rocks? I'm looking into getting some slightly larger ones like you have for my 55gallon that I'm working on.

I bought them at the LFS. They have boxes and boxes of different kinds of rocks. I liked the smooth ones because of their texture when you hold them. We have a river here, but...well...it's a major port river and I wouldn't trust the rocks to be clean at all.

Heliwyr
01-20-2009, 02:48 AM
Start Date: 1/3/09
Time since start: 16 days
Projected stocking time left: 5 weeks 5 days
Projected stocking date: 2/28/09
Wood Soak Timer: 11 days
Wood Soak Projected Finish: 2/7/09

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: a solid 5

*sigh* *waits*

Heliwyr
01-21-2009, 05:55 PM
While I'm sitting here twiddling my thumbs, I'm going to tell a slightly educational story.

This past year I had a betta. He was a beautiful mustard gas crowntail that had been hanging out on the back shelves at Petco. I took him away with me to Savannah, and brought him home to Atlanta during breaks in the school year. Was very easy to transport him and I never had problems. However, over the summer I went home, as I do. Whenever I'm home it's always a depressing time when I can't secure a short-term job--my family tends to chide me about it regardless of how hard I tried to get one. With little to do and too much time and space to dwell, I found myself becoming depressed. This got worse when a close friend pretty much dropped off the face of the earth and I stopped hearing from him completely. I found myself spending many days just lying down and not doing or thinking anything. Just listening to the quiet, slow, downward spiral of my thoughts like watching drops of water run down the window panes on a rainy day. That kind of quietude.

Well, this is a roundabout way of explaining what happens when you get depressed and start to neglect your life and yourself. My betta, which I had named Fuji after Hokusai's "Seven Views of Fuji" series, was forgotten and left to his little three-gallon tank to be fed only when I could remember to do it (which wasn't often). Water changes were forgotten because just summoning up the motivation to feed him was difficult in and of itself. Three weeks went by without a water change in that small tank that also had snails. You can imagine the filth that accumulated in the water. One day I remembered how long it had been since I had bothered, so I changed the water. All of it. And my life seemed to start to pick itself back up.

Fuji was not so fortunate. His life never picked itself back up where it went downhill. Oh, he was fine for a while. At least outwardly. But then, I noticed he didn't have the same pep. He was listless most of the time--exhausted. Hanging out on the bottom of the tank looking as if he'd tried to swim around the earth in a matter of minutes. I started medicating him. I figured it was an infection. Nothing I did helped him get better, but at the same time, he never really got worse. He just kept hanging on in that same exhausted way. Days went and weeks went and months went and he still stayed the same. Many days I would watch him and contemplate putting him out of his misery. Just before coming back home in the winter, I tried to look up nitrite poisoning and if it was recoverable. It was, but the effects are said to last for months and months. I guessed that was what was wrong. So, I took him home. I watched him get worse. After New Years, I couldn't stand it anymore. It obviously wasn't fair to let him stay in that limbo, and he was starting to drift and float oddly. So I got a bowl, filled it with water, and put it in the freezer. When it had a layer of ice on the surface, I took it out and broke the ice. I brought the bowl upstairs, next to my tank. And I put Fuji inside. And then I counted. One second. He seemed confused about where he was. Two seconds. He looked around. Three seconds. He started to spasm, twitch, and then he was still.

So Fuji is no more. I'm not proud of what I did, but it's already happened and I can't do anything to take it back. Anyway, it's a good lesson in understanding how one's emotional state had drastically effect the lives of those around them. It's also a lesson in the effects of ammonia and nitrite poisoning and why it's so very, very dangerous to fish even if they survive it and appear "okay" afterwards. Odds are, they probably aren't.

I can't guarantee I won't make that mistake again, but I will probably try harder to avoid that situation entirely.

Heliwyr
01-22-2009, 05:46 AM
Start Date: 1/3/09
Time since start: 19 days
Projected stocking time left: 5 weeks 2 days
Projected stocking date: 2/28/09
Wood Soak Timer: 14 days
Wood Soak Projected Finish: 2/7/09

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: down to 1!

So I'm getting to the end! Tested stuff today after leaving it for a few very busy days, and the test thing is noticably less purple! Getting close. Fish day may well be Saturday. Or it might be a bit later ./shrug. At least it could be a reward for a *very* busy week. (And stressful one!)

A glimpse of this week:

I had motivation problems with artwork the first few days of the long weekend. So, I had to make up for it by completing the thumbnails for 22 comic pages I needed for today in 48 hours. Rough work, but it got finished. Then, Tuesday afternoon, I found out I needed to complete an illustration I've been doing preliminary work for in 48 hours. Knowing that over half the free time I had would be taken up by thumbnails that were overlapping. I've managed to complete it and make it look pretty good. The painting took 6 hours to do. Less time than usual, and I felt a lot less confident about it until the very end. Needless to say, there was a lot of tinkering with it to get it looking solid (even now it doesn't feel as solid as I think it should be, but it is passable). Now, crammed before the class in which that painting is due, I need to redraw my final sketch (because I drew straight onto the paper) and complete 12 20-minute sketches (which I failed to do this weekend). I can do it, just, am going to be strung out and exhausted by the end of Friday. So, almost all of my free time this work week has been devoted to making art. Something that hasn't happened in a while. It feels good to be busy like this. Now that my game mod project is also finished (introducing the idea of constructable buildings to the game Oblivion), I feel like my mind is slowly being freed of all that has been cluttering it.

wolf_eyes
01-22-2009, 02:30 PM
Well if the cycle is done, you'll be getting your fishies this weekend, I really think you deserve it after this crazy week. I can't wait for saturday, I need a day to sleep and so do you haha.

AquaBANG
01-22-2009, 02:38 PM
Pictures:

Speed Racer:

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/DSCF0115.jpg



The tank:

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/DSCF0116-1.jpg

excellent layout. I like the natural look of your tank.

Heliwyr
01-22-2009, 02:45 PM
excellent layout. I like the natural look of your tank.

Thank you. :)

Heliwyr
01-22-2009, 11:47 PM
Start Date: 1/3/09
Time since start: 19 days
Projected stocking time left: 5 weeks 2 days
Projected stocking date: 2/28/09
Wood Soak Timer: 14 days
Wood Soak Projected Finish: 2/7/09

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: down to .5 in less than 24 hours since last test
Nitrate: 5

It took me a moment to realise why nitrate is so low. I only had to look at the mostly green tank and remember that the plants have probably eaten up most of the nitrates (along with the flowing mane of hair algae my heater has grown...oh Repunsel, Repunsel, let down your filaments...).

Heliwyr
01-23-2009, 11:40 PM
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: at this moment: .25

I topped off the water in the tank because the burbling was driving me mad. Used warm water to bump up the temp a bit. Added some fish food. Since it's close to the weekend, I've been testing like crazy (because I'm paranoid, excited, and overly hopeful).

I also went and moved the airstone under sections of the mossy driftwood to try to knock some of the gunk off the moss. It looks better.

Speed Racer is now .75" big. Fattest pond snail I've ever seen.

The plants need some serious trimming, and the addition of the airstone for the past couple of weeks slowed their growth (because it's turned up as high as it will go). But I had to decide: did I want the cycle to finish faster or have the plants grow faster? So the cycle won.

Heliwyr
01-24-2009, 04:32 PM
All right, ladies and gents, the cycle is complete!

Will, once I eat something I'm starving, do the big water change, wipe off the algae, trim the plants, adjust the temp, set up my bucket and drip tube, then head out to get the fish.

The snails are in a cup for the moment...and mating it seems like. Well I'm glad they like the cup that much.

I've put a small piece of wolf's filter media in just in case there's any funny business after adding the fish. As much food as I added over the course of the cycle, it was inaccurate and I just want to prevent a mini-cycle from occurring. I'll give her back the filter media after a week or two. Will continue testing through what I consider this "adjustment" period for the fish.


Oh happy day!

Heliwyr
01-24-2009, 08:14 PM
Acclimating fish at the moment. And dealing with a filter that cut out while I was out. We weren't gone long and I think it took a while to stop. Found some crap that was down near the impellor blocking it. Also figured out I had the mechanical cartridge in backwards. Typical. *idiot*

The petstore had 7 tetras and 3 gudgeons. They said that no one had bought any of them and they'd all been in the same tank for quite a while. So I now have 1 extra tetra and 1 extra gudgeon. The woman said it looked like 1 male and 2 females, and was very happy to finally have them gone as they weren't going to order any more. (See this is why I prepared for funny business.)

Heliwyr
01-24-2009, 10:44 PM
Fish are in. Well they've been in. I'm not naming the tetras, but I am naming the gudgeons.

So it's centered around a police force.

The tetras are just called "The Squadron".

The male gudgeon is named McGudgeon. The smaller female is Olivia his secretary (pronounced Oh-LEE-vee-ah...like Cartman pretending to be Jennifer Lopez). This works hilariously because 5 minutes after the male found the small rock cave, he started trying to display to her and lure her in. The bigger female is Ramirez after that detective in Dark Knight.

They've all coloured up rather nicely. The embers are now as orange as they were in the store (our Petsmart here is pretty top notch as far as perstores go). The gudgeons are way brighter and very pretty. Will take pictures later.

And the rock "cave" is officially McGudgeon's spot. He seems to stay in there cleaning the driftwood.

Northernguy
01-24-2009, 10:54 PM
LOL That sounds like a secure tank!

I am really looking forward to some pics!:22:

Heliwyr
01-25-2009, 12:22 AM
Could only get a couple of good ones. I'm still working out how to keep the fish in focus while following them/zooming in on them. I tried to get a picture of the male, but I couldn't find him. But Olivia was up front and curious.

The colours are very close to what they are in real life, except there's this aqua sheen to the blue that I couldn't seem to capture.

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/peacock.jpg

And here's most of the embers doing...something...I dunno they found the glass fascinating.

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/embers.jpg


Edit: I've noticed the peacocks do this weird flick thing on the ground when they're facing off with each other. It happens most often on the sand. Two will stare each other down, then one will flick their fins very fast and smack the sand hard enough for a little cloud erupt.

MrJim
01-25-2009, 01:34 PM
Great thread to read through~the sand/gravel mix is very interesting, love the look and bet the fishies love it too.

Heliwyr
01-25-2009, 04:52 PM
Great thread to read through~the sand/gravel mix is very interesting, love the look and bet the fishies love it too.

Thank you.



Woke up to find no one dead and everyone in good health. Had been testing the water last night and this morning. Last night ammonia was just a touch higher than 0, but now it's 0. Nitrite has nudged from 0 up to something close to .25. Will do a 30-50% water change to bring it back down. It's possible I've jumped the gun and found the Nitrobacters aren't completely efficient yet. No big deal, just roll with the punches.

The gudgeons have invented a game. I have this bit of curved plastic draped over the filter output so it doesn't look like there's a tornado in the tank. It's been there since the beginning and has existed since I've had bettas. Anyway. The gudgeons will dash up the back wall where the current is and try to swim through the loop in the plastic. Everytime one of them makes it, they dash around the tank for something like a victory lap. Most of the time they don't. Will try removing it and see what happens.

Heliwyr
01-25-2009, 05:18 PM
Tried feeding them just now with these Hikari micropellets I got. They are, even being so small, STILL too big to fit in the tetra's mouths. I've shut off the light and it seems to make the gudgeons braver and more willing to head closer to the surface to look for food.

What I think I'll have to do for all food is mash it up into something like a powder before the tetras will be able to do more than get a nibble off it.

Heliwyr
01-26-2009, 05:40 PM
Water parameters are more stable today. All alive and active.

All right, have found out the tetras just don't care terribly for the micropellets (or they nibble on all the very, very small pieces...I mean they're zooming around and some bits disappear but not the bigish ones just hard to tell), but the gudgeons love them. I'm going to train the gudgeons to understand that "slapshy sound above" = food. The splash will be nothing more than my fingers trying to knock food off the surface so it floats in front of them. They got so excited about the prospect of finally finding a good meal that they cruised to the surface and picked off the rest.

I've noticed the tetras have been gorging on the planaria. Yesterday I went and added another piece of driftwood to the tank so the two pieces form an "X". I think it's a little strong right now, but the shape should soften when the moss grows a bit more. I think the gudgeons feel more comfortable with the second piece because it's a bit fatter and blocks some of the light in the sandy part of the tank (where I've found they like to forage for leftovers since the food sits on top of the substrate). They have a penchant for munching on diatoms and the java moss. I don't know if it's because they see some cyclops or planaria hanging out there or because they require the fiber and vegetation as a small supplement. New holes and nooks and crannies opened up and they've found those too--the male seemed to enjoy finding the smallest of holes and seeing if he could fit in there and turn around.

Some pictures as I'm still practising getting the photo thing right.


The tank:

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/tank.jpg

Ramirez (foreground) and Macgudgeon (background):

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/ramirezmacgudgeon.jpg

Macgudgeon and the tetras. Here you can see the red eye reflection thing that's mentioned. This is also a much better depiction of their colour in reality.

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/macgudgeontetras.jpg

Heliwyr
01-28-2009, 02:12 PM
All is well.

This morning I went to class, came back, and checked on my tank since the light was on. I looked, counted, and thought "Where's MacGudgeon?" I couldn't find him. Anywhere. Not in any of the hidey holes (they're all placed so I can pretty much peak into all of them). Not in the plants. Not floating on the surface (thank goodness). And then, as I was looking, a strange thought occurred to me. Could he be in the filter box? At first I dismissed it because it was silly. How could he get into the filter box? The current's too strong, there's not enough water flowing out to swim into it, the top is on it and there's a basket over the intake. But I checked. Just to be sure. And sure enough, burried in a light dusting of diatoms was MacGudgeon. I netted him out ,stunned and slightly confused but otherwise unscathed, and put him back.

The only way he could have gotten in the box was by a very precise jump that must have landed him on the bit of wet, hanging plastic and caused him to slide down over the lip instead of being pushed back into the water by the outflow.

Very odd indeed. At least he was protected from the impellor.

So let it be known: Peacock gudgeons CAN jump in their thirst to explore everything and play "fight the outflow current" games. I'm fairly sure it's not because of the water quality. I've been testing it daily and it's unlikely it's gotten bad, but to be certain--and because there's still a bit of frozen brine shrimp left over on the substrate that's driving me batty--I'll do a bit of vacuuming and change out some of the water.

cer
01-28-2009, 07:01 PM
That is a great tank!

Heliwyr
01-29-2009, 06:08 AM
Thanks.



MacGudgeon has made the leap into the filter box. Again. I kept hearing this odd splashing coming from the filter and opened it up to find him in there. I've borrowed a bit of plastic mesh from Wolf in hopes that it's fine enough to make him bounce back into the tank when he jumps. I worry that the holes might be too big in places and catch his head or something. If I had some pantyhose, that would work perfectly. I'll be sure to pick some up this weekend. Right so I've put the plastic mesh over the filter output with the addition of the plastic bit to slow down the current. The result is something like a fish version of chicken wire.

I don't like having to do this, but if MacGudgeon keeps trying to impress the lasses with his amazing "jump in the big dark cave thing" stunt, he could eventually get himself seriously injured.

If anyone has any suggestions, please enlighten me. This is a very odd problem.

cer
01-30-2009, 01:26 AM
Can you tell me if you think gudgeons are good fish?

Heliwyr
01-30-2009, 02:26 AM
Can you tell me if you think gudgeons are good fish?

I do. They remind me (though I haven't kept any but from what I've seen) of cichlids...only mild mannered and less prone to destroying plants. Only had them a week, but they're rather quirky and reasonably intelligent and pretty hardy.

They haven't ever hurt another fish. They don't chase anyone around too much. They seem quite happy to pretend they're tetras from time to time and don't care much at all that they occupy the same territory.

Feeding them can be a bit hard for some people, but mine will eat almost anything I put in there as long as it can sink to the bottom. They do get a little aggressive when feeding, and you'll notice the dominant female will chase others away if they get into her "feeding bubble" but it's not enough aggression to keep everyone from getting their share.

cer
01-30-2009, 09:09 PM
Ok. When I saw your fish I wanted them for my next tank.

Heliwyr
02-02-2009, 03:46 PM
Well the gudgeons have finally spawned. After seeing the eggy female (Ramirez) and MacGudgeon disappear for a few days, Ramirez has finally resurfaced and is no longer eggy. MacGudgeon is still holed up wherever he's hiding. I see him maybe once a day, when he peaks out for a moment in the evenings.

In a few days, I should see him resurface with a fat belly.

Heliwyr
02-03-2009, 03:58 AM
Hair algae is everywhere! And now I know why. I've been overfeeding a bit in my concern for the health of all the tank inhabitants. I'm going to cut back and see if that helps. Brushed all the algae off of things today and changed the water.

Am thinking about getting a few ghost shrimp to help clean up any debris.

Found two more pond snails. Next time I see them and I'm not delerious from lack of sleep, I'll remove them.

One of my banana plants has sent up a long shoot. I expected it to stop at the surface and open into a leaf and then possibly flower...but it just keeps on growing!

Heliwyr
02-04-2009, 10:52 AM
Still delerious. Even more so. Didn't go to sleep last night.

Added four ghost shrimp yesterday to try to help clean up any leftovers that might reach the bottom.

I have a small snail outbreak. Continually scooping ones and twos out every other time I look at the tank.

Heliwyr
02-05-2009, 06:34 PM
I thought one of the shrimps had died, but it turns out it molted a day after going into the tank (either that or we accidentally put in 5). Just saw all four at once. Three are hanging out on the water sprite, and one is at the back. It's very funny to watch them swim across open water.

None of the other fish seem to care or notice that they are there.

The male is still being a good daddy to his eggs. I've noticed they've gone from a clearish white to a darker brown colour. They should hatch soon, I suspect.

I'm starting to think Olivia is actually a male. Her head is slowly becoming more humplike and I see her displaying to Ramirez. Her belly also hasn't gotten any fatter, while Ramirez is starting to load up with eggs again. We'll see. Could just be my imagination.

Still keep pulling snails out of the tank. *sigh* Thankfully it's not swarming with them. I just keep seeing a few every day.

Still battling the hair algae. Starting to wonder if it's because I have too much light on the tank.

The indian ferns are almost to the surface, and the ludwigia has grown 3 inches since I last moved it. The wisteria is also making a comeback after I hacked away all the crappy "halfway changed" leaves. That strange shoot from the banana plant is finally opening. It only took it a week of growing all over the freaking tank.

Some shrimp pics:


http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/DSCF0311.jpg


http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/DSCF0315.jpg

Heliwyr
02-13-2009, 11:46 PM
The tank after a couple of weeks:

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/DSCF0320.jpg

troy
02-14-2009, 06:51 AM
Excellent setup! thumbs2:

karbomb
02-14-2009, 06:59 AM
your making me rethink my 10g setup!
your tank is beautiful!

Heliwyr
02-14-2009, 05:57 PM
Thank you!

Heliwyr
02-14-2009, 09:53 PM
Went to the LFS today. One of Wolf's cories accidentally died so we went to return her fish. They did it quite happily (in spite of not having a policy for returns) because we go there so often, and even if I don't buy anything, I usually go with Wolf.

Anyway, while we were there, I decided to get a scoop of brine shrimp to feed to everyone. The lady who was helping us was in such a good mood she gave us way more than was usually given in a scoop (so many that the bag was very pink at the bottom). We have enough left overs for a block and a half frozen. To freeze them, we took our little package that already had frozen brine shrimp squares and used two of the empty ones. It was fairly simple to strain them (just poured the water through the net), but I ended up putting them in the little molds by hand. Brine shrimp, when concentrated, feel a lot like jelly when you're picking them up with your fingers. To top it off, I put a very small amount of garlic powder in each of the squares once they were full of brine shrimp. And right now, they're in the freezer.

I put too many live ones in the tank as it was hard to get a small batch with so many in the bag. All my fish went nuts and ate a third of what I put in there. Then, to my surprise, they stopped stuffing their faces once they looked as full as my family after thanksgiving, and I took a net and got as many of the extras out as I could. The ghost shrimps were fun to watch as they would grab as many as they could hold and "sit" on them.

troy
02-14-2009, 10:06 PM
Cool. It's so weird watching ghost shrimp eating.

Heliwyr
02-16-2009, 12:08 AM
So I woke up from a nap and thought a dangerou thought, "I don't like the look of my tank. I'm going to change it."

Right now I'm researching forest images as I think it would be cool to re-sift the sand out from under the gravel and make a proper little "fence" to contain the sand. I'm thinking about taking some of my wood pieces and cutting them in half/standing them upright to create some tree shapes, but I'm not sure. I need to look more into various forest looks. Maybe even look at tree roots on river banks. I'm just tired of the way it looks at the moment.

KingFisher
02-16-2009, 12:52 AM
I think the tank looks great. I love the natural look. thumbs2:thumbs2:thumbs2:

Heliwyr
02-17-2009, 10:09 PM
I did end up rescaping my tank, it took me 3-4 hours to do so. Since I had to remove the gudgeon eggs, I'd had a breeder net in there, but that's not working out so well. I think three of them have hatched, but the rest of the eggs have mysteriously disappeared. Well, not quite mysteriously...I discovered my largest ghost shrimp hanging upside down on the bottom, yanking the eggs and a couple of the surviving fry forcefully through the netting. So now, there is but one little fry left that is alive and sort of free swimming. If he disappears tomorrow, then I'll just have to try again next time they breed, which may be in a week or so...they are horny little buggers. (I want to keep a few of the fry so wolf could have them since she has wanted gudgeons for a while, but I also want to try this to see if the whole venture would be successful.)

To make things easier, I took some extra 1.5" tubing and made two small closed-end tunnels and one curved open-ended tunnel and buried them in the substrate. To my surprise, the gudgeons can easily turn around in there... That way, if I decide to try again with raising the fry, I can just pull the little tube out of the ground. It's been funny to see the two males (as Olivia is officially Oliver) fight over the tubes whenever one gets caught trying to go into the other's.

Pictures will come as soon as the breeder net comes out. So it may be a few days...or a couple weeks...

Heliwyr
02-22-2009, 02:16 AM
Moved the fry net into Wolf's 10 in the living room.


Here's the tank after the remodeling session (I still cannot, for the life of me, to get my camera to stop blowing out the highlights...urrgh):

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/DSCF0104.jpg


Here's Stephens (once named Oliver and before that Olivia before the sex change) peeping out of one of the new tunnels I placed:

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/DSCF0123.jpg

He's named Stephens after Detective Stephens in Dark Knight. Stephens is the guy who beats up the Joker in the interrogation room. He says "I know you're going to enjoy this. I'll just have to enjoy it even more." I named him this after he ate the eggs before they even hatched and then immediately tried to get Ramirez to spawn with him. I swear he got bored.


Anyway...here's a small surprise... ME! (the girl, not the dog):

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Runai/IMG_04245.jpg

SamAnthrax
02-22-2009, 02:32 AM
LOVE IT!!!

:19:

:22: I shall tip my head to ya!!!

:fish:

Ellen4God
02-22-2009, 02:36 AM
Very lovely! Adorable dog. :]

brianyu
02-22-2009, 10:58 AM
nice tank , nice dog and ... nice hat :22: :hmm3grin2orange:

Heliwyr
02-24-2009, 04:49 AM
Thank you folks. I do love my hat. :)


The two gudgeon fry are about 1/4" long now. Still highly bitesize for anything in any of our tanks, though. Looking very healthy and active otherwise. Still quite transparent, but I don't think they'll get any semblance of colouring until a month old or more. They will have to stay in that breeder net for quite some time because they are so small.

This weekend I need to put them in a cup so I can clean out the net. Lots of small bits of debris on the bottom.

Heliwyr
03-01-2009, 08:01 AM
Fry aren't much bigger. The net was cleaned...was quite nasty and full of algae. When I scooped them into a cup, though, I discovered LOTS of cyclops zooming around in the water. That was encouraging as I know they are eating those guys at least.

I hardboiled an egg and have been feeding them powdered yolk mixed with the powdered flakes. I realised I wanted to increase the amount of fat and protein they were getting, and what could be better than egg yolk. If they aren't eating any of the yolk, I know the cyclops are, which ends up in the fry's stomachs anyway.

Because I've been feeding them yolk, the fry are a very bright yellow. It's odd, but makes them easier to see. They are also a lot braver and will swim up the to surface when I open the tank instead of scooting down into the corners of the net.

Heliwyr
03-02-2009, 10:48 PM
Asked Wolf if she wanted the egg tube out of my 10 since the eggs had eyes and bodies. A couple fell out while removing the male, but there are a good number still all right in there (the shrimp will take care of any extras). They are in the fry net (still in the tube) in the 10 with the other two. I borrowed one of Wolf's other air pumps and stuck an airstone in front of the net so the current is slowed, but still there. It should be blowing right through the tube.

I suspect I'll have a bunch of little new fry in the net in a couple of days. I know there's some infusoria living in the net along with the cyclops, so there should be plenty of food in addition to the egg yolk.

By the time we graduate, they should be large enough to add to the community tanks and large enough to transport with relative ease.

Heliwyr
03-09-2009, 09:13 PM
3 of the 20 or so eggs made it to frydom. Hurray. The two fry from the previous hatching are growing quite well and now have a little orangey-red near their bellies. They are also visible with the naked eye (meaning I don't have to necessarily stare into the net waiting to see movement). Probably closing in on 1/2" long.

Did some rescaping with the plants. Took out the indian water fern as I now have enough water sprite plantlets to replace them. I didn't like the shapes of the leaves and they ended up growing a little too crazily (I noticed some of the plants in wolf's 20 have changed the shape of their leaves from broad to thin and spidery...I don't think my tank has quite enough light/nutrients to allow for that). Also split up the giant blob of ludwigia into pairs of stems and scattered them around the tank. It feels good to cut down on the number of plant species.

I've noticed something odd about my tetras. Around the same time every single day (4-5pm), they will school on the side of the tank where I am sitting. I guess they're waiting for food as they look rather expectant.

The gudgeons bred again. Am going to let Stephens (now Bane, formerly known as Oliver and before that Olivia...jeez I just can't find a good name for this guys) eat his fry.

Oh it was funny last time when I took the tube with the eggs out. He kept swimming around where the tube was, opening and shutting his mouth, looking pale. It was funny, because I imagined this macho fish crying over the loss of the babies he was going to eat anyway. I've never seen a fish look like they were in the depths of despair. But then, I could be anthropomorphising my little fish.

I seem to have lost a shrimp at some point. Am down to 4 from 5. The preggo one still has eggs. They have tiny, tiny, tiny little black eyes in them now!