View Full Version : Postal's 20 gallon long

05-18-2009, 04:22 AM
Well I am finally getting around to putting this tank together and have entered it into the tank competition (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=42071). So I figured I would document my progress, successes and failures.

My plans are for a tiger barb colony. They were my first fish before I gave them up due to only having a 5 gallon tank and have always wanted them again. The tank will be heavily planted with various plants since I find that live plants are a great nutrient balancer in the aquarium. I found some cool pieces of driftwood along the river by my house and the lake at my girlfriend's parents house.

I have a fully cycled Eheim on my 10g that I will use to instant cycle this tank so the tank should be hitting the ground running and fully stocked in a few days.

20 gallon long AGA
Eheim 2213
9W inline UV
Hydor 200W inline heater
40lbs Eco-complete
48W Hagen GLO T5HO dual strip lighting w/ 6700K bulbs

Planned Stocking
6-7 Tiger Barbs
3 Male platys
Some type of shrimp for substrate cleaning

Plant List: Sure to change
Rotala indica
anubias nano petite
hygrophilia corymbosa
Plus any others that strike my eye

The tank with the Eco-Complete(note the coathanger and spatula substrate scaping tools): http://i496.photobucket.com/albums/rr327/postalpenguin/20g/IMG_4500.jpg

More pictures to come and thanks for looking. thumbs2:

05-19-2009, 03:11 AM
Went to "That Fish Place" today and it was a mecca for fish. Everything you think you need and even things you didn't know you need, they have. Their fish were overall much healthier looking than the other LFS I go to. It seemed they had several employees whose job it was to just clean tanks, acclimate fish and other house keeping. Too bad its an hour drive or I would be frequenting it more often. I ended up picking up 5 Tiger barbs, 2 green tigers and 4 cherry shrimp for the tank. Also got an API Master kit for $19.99. Seeded the filter with media from my other filter and plopped the fish in. They are all doing great.

Picked up some plants: rotala, a sword, and a tiger lotus. Tank still needs more plants. My driftwood seems to have some white fuzz growing on it but if it gets worse I can move my otos over into the tank.

I am rethinking moving the platys into the 20g since the tank looks great with just the tigers so I will probably move the cory into the 20g and give him some friends.

And finally the pictures:

FTS pre-plant

My tiger barbs:

FTS w/ some plants:

Z Fish Man
05-19-2009, 03:14 AM
Wow great start. How is that eco complete working water wise? Do you see any white particles in it? Will look awesome once those plants start growing in.

05-19-2009, 03:28 AM
Wow great start. How is that eco complete working water wise? Do you see any white particles in it? Will look awesome once those plants start growing in.

What do the white particles look like? The water is still cloudy at the moment since I only filled it today but I haven't seen anything I would call particles. My eheim has filter floss in it so I hope it will clear up the water in a day or two.

Sir Tristen
05-19-2009, 03:40 AM
Tank is looking awesome! I love the driftwood thumbs2: I'll definitely be keeping up on this one :19:

05-19-2009, 04:47 AM
Tank is looking awesome! I love the driftwood thumbs2: I'll definitely be keeping up on this one :19:

Thanks! And that driftwood was all free, found on the banks of the river by my house and the lake my girlfriend's parents' house is on. Floats like a cork though.

05-19-2009, 04:59 AM
nice tank :19:
makes me want to buy a 20 gallon tank :18:

05-19-2009, 05:05 AM
good start for the competition, love the black gravel always wanted to use it

05-19-2009, 06:00 AM
Tank is looking great!! Good luck in the comp!

05-19-2009, 08:01 AM
Nice setup, wish I could find some affordable pieces of driftwood here. Those shrimp I'm afraid are gonna end up as food for your barbs.

05-19-2009, 02:08 PM
Nice setup, wish I could find some affordable pieces of driftwood here. Those shrimp I'm afraid are gonna end up as food for your barbs.

Well the tigers so far have only "sniffed" at the shrimp but that may change as they get bigger since right now the shrimp are almost as big as the fish.

And check craft stores for driftwood. Someone on here found driftwood for pennies on the dollar compared to what they sell it for at fish stores. And it was basically the same stuff.

And an update on the tank:

Did water checks and got:
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrates: between 0 and 5

Hooray for instant cycle! thumbs2:

Wild Turkey
05-19-2009, 03:47 PM
Tank looks great so far PPthumbs2: Love the wood placement

If you provide a large amount of cover and moss type stuff for the shrimp, and add a considerable amount more you could have shrimp in there as part of the stocking, but as is the tiger barbs are probably sizing them up, im surprised they havent taken a taste yet.

05-19-2009, 04:04 PM
Looks like you're off to a great start! thumbs2:

05-20-2009, 01:02 AM
Today's Update:
All fish healthy, though the stress of the move may have caused an ich outbreak. Hopefully as they settle in their immune system will fight it off on their own. If not I have shrimp safe ich medicine.

All 4 shrimp are moving around. The tigers seem to be ignoring them at the moment. Hopefully the plants will grow in to provide more cover for them by the time the tigers start getting hungry for shrimp.

Planted some microsword on the front left but I have no pictures since my camera battery is dead and I cant seem to find my charger. :scry:

05-20-2009, 02:54 AM
And check craft stores for driftwood. Someone on here found driftwood for pennies on the dollar compared to what they sell it for at fish stores. And it was basically the same stuff.

Good idea on the driftwood, there happens to be a craft store right by a petsmart I sometimes go to. If that fails, I may have to go along on a fishing trip a buddy of mine invites me to every month or two. Sitting in a boat all day fishing doesn't really appeal to me. He can fish and I can scour the shore for interesting bits of driftwood.

I still think the shrimp are gonna end up food, keep us updated on that hehe.

05-20-2009, 04:44 AM
Good looking tank! I'm still in the process of setting mine up for the same competition. :hmm3grin2orange:

05-21-2009, 12:10 AM
Todays update:
Borrowed my gf's camera so I have pics!

Tested the water and have a nitrite spike but should be gone within a day or two. No ammonia so I am pretty sure its just the biofilter lagging behind the fish load. I seeded the filter with several handfuls of bioballs from my other canister so I am not worried about going through another cycle.

Tigers are starting to pester the shrimp so I may be minus shrimp in a few days. No casualties yet but we will see.

I am growing quite attached to the tigers since they're antics are quite entertaining to watch.

Plants are growing great. Rotala is turning red and so is the ludwigia. I may need to find a green background plant to contrast with the red. Daily dosing with excel and a few drops of liquid fertilizer.

And finally the pics:

Lone Tiger:


Left side:

Right side:

05-21-2009, 12:47 AM
Looking good!

05-22-2009, 12:59 AM
Nitrite was at 0.5ppm which prompted me to do a 25% water change to bring that back down. Ammonia was at 0 and nitrate was at 10. May be due to my overfeeding since the tigers are so entertaining to watch eat. (blush) I have started rotating foods since I have read they are omnivores so they are getting a mix of lettuce, shrimp pellets and hikari sinking wafers with a few flakes every now and then.

In other news my 10g seems to be heading towards disaster. My cory has lost his barbells and appears to have some sort of mouth rot. I am treating with melafix and hopefully he will recover. I need to get him some friends. One of the platys is also floating like a cork and unable to do anything but float at the surface. He still eats and attempts to swim which makes me hesitate to euthanize him. He still is active and is just unable to sink.:scry: The plants are also not doing all that great. I seem to have growing algae problems. Once I get the 20g settled in I am going to move all the 10g inhabitants into a 20g high tank. The tank needs to be overhauled and a 20g high is almost the same footprint with double the volume so its a no-brainer.

In good news I found a solution to my platy fry problem: feeding them to the tigers. (blush) I dropped one in and within literally 30 seconds my large barb had caught and eaten it. I wish I had filmed it, the whole school was racing after the fry. Quite a sight. I have dubbed my tigers a "little pack of piranhas." They are definitely bothering the shrimp now and the shrimp have taken to hiding in a cave under a rock. Hopefully they will survive until the plants grow denser.

05-22-2009, 02:40 AM
Lookin good! With that lighting your Ludwigia is gonna turn into a spastic weed and totally fill that tank, good thing its pretty lol :14:

Sorry to hear about your 10Gs problems. My Tiger barbs are the same way, I had an older than dirt glowlight tetra in with mine as he was the last survivor but hung out with my black widows and such and was oK...the barbs all circled him and ambushed the poor thing and killed him on spot. Not to mention they constantly eat..my poor pleco has a time finding food because of them.

05-23-2009, 03:54 AM
So I may have found the partial cause of the wierd symptoms in my 10g: a dead oto. I found a sac looking thing in a small cave under the driftwood which I think was a decomposing oto.:ssuprised: It wasn't eggs since when I went to move it disintegrated into a mushy cloudy mass. I immediately vacuumed it out. I can only see 3 otos so I assume one was lost.

I checked the water and it read 0 on ammonia and nitrites. We will see if the tank health improves without a dead fish fouling up the water.

20g: Plants are growing rapidly, especially the ludwigia. Its turning a deep, deep red so it should be quite beautiful. thumbs2:

05-23-2009, 04:48 PM
very nice tank, lol i cant join the comp as i refuse to have a small tank... my 30 hex is as low as i'll go and thats gonna turn into a fry tank soon as i get my butt outta this chair and start to rebuild the 110

05-25-2009, 09:28 PM
Tank refuses to cycle even though I seeded it with a healthy amount of established media. Readings as of today:
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0.5ppm, ARGH!!!
Nitrate: 5ppm

Will do a water change tomorrow. There is an oil slick on the surface of the water probably due to the poor water conditions. I will probably hold off on feeding them for a few days.

Shrimp are mostly MIA, the tigers have probably picked them off or driven them to hiding. The water cant be that good for the shrimp either.

Plants are growing well. The tigers took it upon themselves to uproot some of the microsword, the buggers.


05-26-2009, 08:06 PM
Nitrites were still at ~0.5ppm, though compared to yesterday they seem to be a little lower. So I did a 50% water change. I am getting some algae on the glass, almost like a green dust. Again, probably due to the tank not being completely cycled.

And in big news, I upgraded my 10g to a 29g! :19: Fish seem a lot happier, especially the otos which are all accounted for. Much more room. Now I just need to figure out what to fill out the stocking with. I am thinking a pair of German blues but first I need to get it more densely planted. And that will require getting better lighting. Any other options feel free to leave. I am looking for some interesting fish.

05-26-2009, 10:18 PM
I would wait until the biofilter, plants, and current fish achieve balance before adding anymore fish. That can take as long as a couple of months. It sounds like things as still in flux with your tank. I would wait until things settle down before adding Rams as they are a bit sensitive.

The "oil slick" sounds like biofilm that forms on the surface of your water as the bacterials colonies grow.

05-27-2009, 12:25 AM
Stunning tank, its pretty simple but well laid-out.thumbs2:

05-27-2009, 12:48 AM
Wow, I love your tank! It looks very natural, wonderful job.

05-27-2009, 02:23 AM
I would wait until the biofilter, plants, and current fish achieve balance before adding anymore fish. That can take as long as a couple of months. It sounds like things as still in flux with your tank. I would wait until things settle down before adding Rams as they are a bit sensitive.

The "oil slick" sounds like biofilm that forms on the surface of your water as the bacterials colonies grow.

The rams would be headed into the 29g, not the 20. My fault for giving updates on my other tanks in my 20g thread. (blush) My 20g's current stock is what its going to be. I like the look of just the tigers swimming around so I wont be adding any other fish. And I agree that the biofilm is a result of the cycling.

And thank you for all the compliments! :shappy:

05-28-2009, 03:23 AM
Nitrite was down to 0.25ppm! Did a 20% water change just to bring it down some more. Hopefully it will fully cycle in the next few days. I got a little fountain pump at Lowes that I use to pump water from the bucket to the tank allowing for some easier water changes.

Shrimp have become expensive tiger food. I found a dead shrimp being picked at today. There are two confirmed shrimp left, they were swimming around at night while the tigers sleep.

Plants were pearling today, I think. Microsword is sending out new shoots, ludwigia is sending outs lots of new shoots and rotala is growing like a weed. Radican sword is sending up a new leaf.

Overall tank is doing well.

05-28-2009, 03:37 AM
That oil slick can also be caused from skin oils, lotions, and since its open top dust and various household things. Glad the tank is cycling for ya finally :)

05-28-2009, 03:30 PM
Could be oil from foods, too.

05-28-2009, 03:37 PM
I got a little fountain pump at Lowes that I use to pump water from the bucket to the tank allowing for some easier water changes.

:thumb: :thumb:

The tank is looking marvelous, simply marvelous.

05-31-2009, 12:26 AM
Today's update:

Good news: I didn't feed the tigers for two days and the biofilm is gone. Nitrite is between 0 and 0.25ppm and dropping! Plants are continuing to grow. I even saw two remaining cherry shrimp.

Bad news: Tank is being covered in brown diatoms and some type of green algae. The microsword is covered in diatoms and I am hoping it doesn't get choked out. I am going to do some more water changes and shorten the light period. It was at 10-12 hours and I am dropping it to 8 hours. I also moved an oto over from my 29g and it has cleaned off a lot of algae already.

I will get some pics when I clean the glass and charge my camera tomorrow.

05-31-2009, 12:33 AM
best of luck with the diatoms, they are horribly unsightly. Sometimes it can grow in such a fine, uniform film it makes my water look really dark until i realize im peering through tinted glass :P

05-31-2009, 04:15 AM
Just a late night update:

I saw 3 shrimp alive and active! I have a red colored LED head lamp that I use to peer into my tanks at night and saw three shrimp wandering over the driftwood. So apparently the shrimp have become nocturnal creatures to avoid the tigers. During the day they hide in the caves and at night come out to eat. I saw two females and a male so hopefully I will get baby shrimp and maybe they will grow in population if the tigers dont eat them all first.

I strongly suggest that anyone with an aquarium to get a red colored light. Fish dont seem to see that colored light and are just as blind as if it was pitch black. I can watch my tigers sleeping, my corys rooting around and my platys blindly bumping into things. I think the shrimp can see the light since if I moved the lamp fast they scattered.

05-31-2009, 11:57 PM
Update w/ pics:

Finally cleaned the glass and charged my camera so I have pics today.

Full water parameters:
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: ~0ppm!! Slight purple tinge so not fully 0 but so very close!
Nitrate: between 5 and 10ppm
pH: 7.4-7.6

The carbon must be saturated in my filter as the tannins are staining the water. I will take it out tomorrow.

The tigers watched me the whole time I was checking the water and are quite the curious fish. They got 3 platy fry for snacks yesterday which has caused the biofilm to return very slightly but I think it is only temporary. I still for the life of me cannot sex the tigers. I think I may have 6 males and one female.

Pictures(My camera takes decidedly crappier pics than my gf's):


Right side:


And finally, "What are you looking at tough guy?"(note the diatom covered microsword, blech):

06-02-2009, 12:01 AM
Found the tigers picking at a shrimp today. It was still alive so I moved it to my 29g where hopefully it can recover. I have my doubts since I think it lost some of its legs and cant walk right. Saw another shrimp on the spray bar so I caught it and moved it to the 29 as well.

06-03-2009, 11:51 PM
Today's update:

50% water change done. Tigers are doing great. Added some java moss to driftwood. Attached it using superglue, well see how that goes.


06-06-2009, 10:29 PM
25% water change to see if I can get ahead of these diatoms. Otherwise I think I am going to lose the microsword.

No shrimp left in the tank, found the remains of the last one stuck to the filter this morning. The two in my 29g are still alive and they will be getting some friends in a few days.

Added some java fern from the 29g to the space between the two pieces of driftwood. Radican sword is doing great, sending up a new leaf every two days.

06-08-2009, 03:26 AM
Well the bio-film is back and seems to not be disappearing anytime soon. I am at a loss as to why it keeps coming back. The tank gets weekly 50% WC and the tigers are fed one shrimp pellet a day. It could just be the canister is not fully seeded yet but we shall see. The water tests fine with nitrates in the 0-5 range. I am going to lose the microsword to diatoms I think. The oto keeps the other plants clear of them but the microsword is too small for him to rest on so they are completely covered. I will wait until the diatom stage is over and then replant.

Finally figured out why I was having trouble sexing my tiger barbs. I have 5 males and 2 females. thumbs2: My large green tiger has really colored up and the other smaller males are getting red noses allowing me to easily tell them apart.

The large male green tiger has taken to chasing everyone else around, seemingly to defend the front glass as "his" territory. No fighting, just swims after them then returns to his spot. They got some platy fry today as a treat. Its amazing how they can fit an entire fry into their mouth.

06-09-2009, 04:16 PM
DIY CO2 hooked up to a nano diffuser which is creating an awesome amount of tiny bubbles. I will check the pH tonight to see how much of it is being dissolved. Found a snail on my front glass, think it was a ramshorn but I chucked it anyways since I want no part of snails.

My oto looks like its about to burst its so full of algae and diatoms. Its happily swimming about so its not constipated but its just eating so much.thumbs2:

Biofilm is still there, though I'd say it was less than before. I will post a FTS later tonight.

06-09-2009, 09:32 PM
Pictures! CO2 is really pumping out a lot of bubbles. pH is now about 7.2 vs. 7.6-7.8 before so its working. Fish seem fine, no gasping at the surface but I will keep an eye on it. I think my birthday present to myself will be a fully automatic pH controlled CO2 system since I'd rather not lose my fish to a DIY disaster.

Plants are pearling quite well.

But anyways here are the pics:



06-09-2009, 09:36 PM
Looks great!:19:

06-09-2009, 10:54 PM
Looks great!:19:


And I couldn't help myself, pH controlled automatic CO2 system is on its way. Now I just have to get a CO2 bottle.

06-10-2009, 08:05 PM
Looking good!!

06-13-2009, 01:46 AM
Started to dose Flourish Micro and Iron along with Kent Marine Pro-Plant for a nitrate source. My plants are growing so rapidly that nitrate reads 0 even at a week between water changes. And yet the bio-film still remains. I am thinking it is the Omega 1 shrimp pellets since they are the staple of their diet. I am going to stop feeding them the pellets and switch to Hikari's omnivore wafer. Time will tell if that helps with the bio-film.

Hooked up my pH controlled CO2 system. The pH is set to ~7.4(a decrease of 0.2) at the moment to gradually adjust the fish and also see how the CO2 setup works. I got the pH controller to protect from overdosing the fish with CO2 but have also set up the bubble count to be low enough that even with a stuck solenoid it wont poison the fish before morning lights on. I want to protect my tigers since I am quite attached to them!thumbs2: Will post pics of the set up tomorrow.

06-13-2009, 09:29 PM
pH is now stable at 7.4 controlled by CO2 injection(0.4 decrease from tap). While I am sure I can bump it further to get maximum plant growth I am going to leave it as is to avoid stressing my tigers.

Biofilm is diminishing so I suspect it is the shrimp pellets that are causing the biofilm. I think I am reaching the end of the diatoms as new microswords are appearing and not being covered with diatoms. thumbs2:


06-13-2009, 09:48 PM
I just started looking at this thread... nice setup!! thumbs2:

06-13-2009, 09:51 PM
Very nice! Your tank is really looking great!thumbs2:

06-15-2009, 11:05 PM
Thanks for all the compliments. And the biofilm is without a doubt due to the shrimp pellets. I switched to hikari sinking wafers about 2 days ago and the biofilm is completely gone. The pellets are Omega-One brand which I had heard good things about. Oh well.

Tanks first trim will be coming up soon. I may have some rotala to give away.

Have to plan out my fertilizer dosing schedule. Preliminary will be to dose 1/4tsp FlourinMulti daily, 1/2tsp Excel daily, 1 tsp trace Monday and friday, 1/2tsp Iron Monday and Friday. Water changes will be on fridays where FlourinMulti and Excel will be at full dose.

06-22-2009, 03:12 PM
WOW! my jaw dropped when i saw this. i love tiger barbs and you basically created my dream tank. so jealous. i wish i could set something up like this. unfortunately im a student who goes to school out-of-state so there are just too many obstacles (moving back home for summer, long breaks when no one could feed the fish, limited budget, and the fact that a 10 gallon is the max allowed in student housing).
so basically i will be living vicariously through you and this thread thumbs2: .
i love your wood, and you cant beat that price. also love the plant choices. ive always thought ludwigia was a very nice looking plant.
i will def. be checking back here regularly.

06-22-2009, 08:20 PM
And the biofilm is without a doubt due to the shrimp pellets. I switched to hikari sinking wafers about 2 days ago and the biofilm is completely gone. The pellets are Omega-One brand which I had heard good things about. Oh well.


06-22-2009, 11:47 PM
Thanks Matt. Tigers are my favorite fish, they are incredibly intelligent and fun to watch.

Todays update: Technical!

Part 1:

So I wanted to split my single CO2 tank to run both my 29g and 20g tank. I wanted both to be pH controlled since I feel safer knowing that the pH controller will keep the fish from being poisoned. I have grown quite fond of my fish and losing them to CO2 poisoning would be tragic.

Anyways, this presents a problem. The regulator I have goes: regulator->Solenoid->Needle valve. There are plenty of manifolds on the market but they are all intended to be used after the solenoid, I need a solution that works before the solenoid otherwise I cannot have independent pH control.

So I went to Lowes and picked up 1/8th brass fittings and set off to build simple T split junction. Sadly, simple was not the case. To save money I simply bought another Milwaukee regulator since it comes with a solenoid, bubble counter and needle valve for much cheaper than I could purchase separately at my LFS.

Unfortunately, in my attempt to disassemble the regulator I discovered that it had been sealed with loctite. What should have been a 2 minute job with a wrench turned into a back breaking exercise in futility. After over 30 minutes of straining every muscle in my body I finally got it apart. And I still had to take another one apart! Fortunately this one only took 30 seconds to pull apart. I think the first one had extra loctite just to screw with me.

06-22-2009, 11:54 PM
Part 2:

With both regulators apart, the simple part began and I assembled a T split junction allowing me to run two solenoids, needle valves and bubble counters.

But anyways here are pictures:

It isn't pretty but it works with no leaks.

And a FTS of my 29g(using a powerhead to diffuse the CO2):

And finally my 20g:

06-24-2009, 01:41 AM
Moved some fish around today. My 29g is just covered in fish waste due to my platys. All they seem to do is poop and pop out babies. They also made feeding extremely difficult since they would bully the corys away from the food. Only the rams would stick up to them.

So I moved my two females into my 20g with the tigers. The tigers are still quite curious about their tank mates and are still following them around the tank. The good thing is if the females pop out anymore babies the tigers will gobble them up real quick. The tigers are also voracious enough feeders that they will keep the platys in line during feeding.thumbs2:

I wanted to keep the 20g a tiger only tank but this arrangement allows me to reduce the stocking in my 29g without setting up a new tank or euthanizing fish. I may return the 20g to a tiger only tank if I my gf wants my 10g.

I kept the two males in my 29g. Hopefully the dominant male will mellow out and stop bullying the other male.

06-24-2009, 01:43 AM
I like your tank:)

06-24-2009, 01:43 AM
Tank is looking great!! thumbs2: thumbs2: thumbs2:

06-25-2009, 02:45 AM
Thanks for the compliments.

Came home today to find the solenoids were unpowered due to the power strip being flicked off. But it did give me a chance to find out what the pH of my water is completely devoid of all CO2: 8.1. Once the solenoids were back on the pH was back down to 7.1 within 4 hours.

For people considering planted tanks with anything but low light I want to share some advice I have learned. Your CO2 system should be set up before your lighting is ever turned on. CO2 is not something you should "wait and see" if you need because you will end up needing it 9/10 times. And when you do realize you need it, you have a tank full of half dead plants and wildly growing algae.

06-26-2009, 01:04 AM
Growth update:


Tigers and platys are doing great together. Tigers leave the platys alone and vice versa.

06-30-2009, 11:47 PM
Posted these elsewhere in the forum but forgot to post them here.

FTS with new black background:

07-01-2009, 12:19 AM
good stuff. I live just outside of philly as well.

07-16-2009, 12:16 AM
Well its been awhile and time for an update: Slated for tear down.

I am going to tear down the tank. The tank has been knocked off balance for some reason and now I am dealing with nearly every algae in the book plus I lost two tigers and the others are showing signs of some disease. I also do not like the scape of the tank so overall I do not like the tank. So I am going to tear it down and start all over. My plan is to remove the larger piece of driftwood and get rid of all the plants. I would RAOK them but they're covered in algae.

I am not sure yet of what my plants will be. I might make it a sagitaria and microsword jungle. But the tank will be nuked. Fish will be moved into my empty 10g with the filter and the 20g tank will be filled with a 5% bleach solution. The fish will spend at least 4 days fasting in the 10g to rid them of any algae. The 20g will simply sit with the 5% bleach solution for the duration, ensuring sterilization and allowing the chlorine to dissipate before I rinse the tank. All filter parts, except for the media will be rinsed in the bleach solution as well.

I am not sure what to do with my platys. I regret adding them to the tank since ever since then the tank seems to have been going downhill. I dont want to add them back to my 29g since that tank is so much more peaceful without them and I dont want to bring whatever disease is floating in the 20g into my 29g. Time will tell what their future holds.

I will probably tear down the tank Sunday and work on its reincarnation next week. I will post pictures.

07-16-2009, 01:52 AM
thats so sad. i really liked the tigers and the tank. hope everything starts to turn around for ya.

07-16-2009, 02:10 AM
Good luck with your reconstruction, PP!

07-16-2009, 04:31 PM
In your opinion, what caused all of the algae?

07-17-2009, 12:46 PM
In your opinion, what caused all of the algae?

I am not sure, I had good CO2 levels and fert schedule. Nitrates were kept at 10ppm by dosing them back in.

I just cleaned out the filter and it helped increase flow a lot. My radican sword is doing poorly so its leaves are a host to algae and the large piece of driftwood also has plenty of algae on it. My best guess would be that decreased flow in my filter combined with my sword plant allowed the algae to proliferate. Depending on how the tank does by Sunday I may not tear it down completely but rather remove the large piece of driftwood in the back and the radican sword. This will open the tank up quite a bit and make the tank look bigger.

I am not sure why the radican sword is doing poorly, it grew rapidly up until about a week ago and just stopped. It isn't getting some nutrient even though I dose daily with a comprehensive fert and twice weekly with micros. Oh well, it doesn't look all that good in the tank anyways.

This tank's algae problem contrasts with the algae in my 29g. In the 29g the algae covers nearly every square inch of the glass but the plants are pretty much unaffected. The difference I think lies in the 29g higher flow levels since it has about 300gph compared to my 20g's 100gph.

07-17-2009, 05:18 PM
I'm not sure how long you had the tank for but i do know that all tanks go through a really nasty algae phrase.At one point i was ready to tear down my old 20gl because the algae was so thick in there it was disgusting. I had BGA, hair algae, knot algae, diatoms, and normal green algae. I decided to get 2 otos to try and help it out. I would cut any parts of the plants that had algae on them and scrape the glass with a cleaner in the front to get rid of the algae where i could. between the plants, the otos, and my efforts, a few weeks later the tank finally settled down and the glass was clear as day and very little algae could be found. Algae is a part of the maturing process that all tanks go through and sometimes you just have to rough it out for a little before it goes away.

07-24-2009, 02:54 PM
Well tank hasn't been torn down yet. I am awaiting my dry aquarium ferts(N,P,K) before I do anything. At the moment my plan is to remove the large piece of driftwood, do a major trim and algae clean then begin the EI method of ferts. I suspect that the source of my algae has been a lack of phosphorous since none of my fertilizers provide it which has led to poor growth. Should be getting the ferts today so I will probably spend the afternoon cleaning the tank, doing a large water change, etc.

And a small equipment review of the Milwaukee CO2 regulator I have: The regulator works great, the solenoid works great, the needle vavle is garbage. If I have it set to anything less than a constant stream of bubbles, the bubble count will vary widely. I came home this past weekend to find the tank's pH at 7.8 since the bubble counter went from roughly 3 bps to about 1 bubble per 5 seconds. Extremely annoying. So now I have the bubbles cranked up and am relying on the pH controller to dose the tank. Its playing with fire since should the solenoid ever stick the tank will likely become deadly within hours but I have no other option till I replace the needle valve.

07-26-2009, 01:34 AM
Well tank is hopefully on the right course. I removed the large driftwood, trimmed the plants, removed the sword, cleaned the front glass and did a 25% water change. Today I did a major treatment with H2O2 to kill algae. I also started dosing dry ferts. Here is a pic:


07-26-2009, 02:13 AM
Looks good. I hope it cooperates with you this time.

07-29-2009, 01:14 PM
Tank is doing great. Algae that I treated with H2O2 is dead and not returning. Plants are perking up and the algae on the front glass that was not treated with anything is dying on its own.

Tigers love the addition of their new friends. They are all happily swimming around the tank.

08-20-2009, 10:53 PM
Its been awhile. Tank has been chugging along. I seem to have an abundance of diatoms. Have to find some more otos, my lone oto just cant keep up.


My 29g:

08-20-2009, 11:20 PM
What type of lily is in the 20g? It looks really beautiful

08-20-2009, 11:42 PM
Lovely tanks!

08-21-2009, 12:29 AM
What type of lily is in the 20g? It looks really beautiful

Its a tiger lotus. I hope to get a flower at some point.

08-24-2009, 06:23 PM
So the 20g is in need of a rescape, the rotala on the left really looks bad to me since the bottoms are choked with diatoms and algae while the tops continue to grow. So my plans are to rip it all out and replant it with trimmings from my 29g which are algae and diatom free. The driftwood is now fully water-logged so I can remove the rock and fit some more plants in there. I am getting some microsword today and I intend to retry planting them.

My new tiger is getting its butt kicked by the dominant green tiger. Hopefully, with the major rescape today it will be able to fit in. I am dosing with melafix to help heal the damaged fins he has recieved from the constant fighting. I am thinking that I need more females since I believe I only have two in the entire school of 8.

08-24-2009, 07:35 PM
Looks good to me!

08-24-2009, 07:40 PM
nice tanks thumbs2:

08-25-2009, 02:03 PM
Well the rotala on the left is all ripped out and discarded. I replanted it with trimmings from my 29g. I also planted a bunch of microsword and trimmed the lotus a bit. I also added an AC20 powerhead to bump up the current in the tank. I now have about 230gph of flow. I will post pictures tonight since it was a cloudy mess last night.

08-25-2009, 02:08 PM
I really like that lillypad i have one just like i think they are cool looking. NICE tanks

08-25-2009, 11:03 PM
Ugh, I hate my camera. Its close to 4 years old now and has no image stabilizer meaning that taking a non-blurry picture requires me to set it on 10 second timer, speed up the shutter and hold my breath. Out of 20 pictures I took, 3 were not blurry. Oh well.


And a second FTS with slightly slower shutter, showing that the tank really isn't that dim:

08-25-2009, 11:08 PM
Great looking tank! Pictures are very good.

08-26-2009, 12:35 AM
Looking great! I love the lotus and the vals!

08-26-2009, 01:30 AM
Thanks for all the compliments. The tiger lotus is currently growing a daughter plant as we speak so look for a RAOK in the near future!

08-28-2009, 11:53 PM
Added blyxa japonica. Love the look of it.


09-22-2009, 12:28 AM
Well its been about a month since I updated. I have had problems with algae despite my CO2 injection that I have determined was due to excessive phosphate dosing. I was probably at 3 - 5 times the recommended dosages which is why no amount of CO2 was preventing the algae. I have since course corrected and added some nerites to help the oto in his clean up duties. Did a massive rescape on the 29g since I was losing a lot of plants to algae so I removed a huge chunk of rotala and did a peroxide dip on a lot of the remaining plants. Now its just waiting for the plants to grow back. It shouldnt take long since my new DIY CO2 reactor is working wonderfully.


FTS of my 29g:

09-22-2009, 05:05 PM
Very, very nice looking tanks and pictures Postal. thumbs2:

09-22-2009, 05:20 PM
Nice looking tank!