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  1. Quite likely if they happen to swim near the intake or if they get pushed there by the filter current. The simple solution as mentioned is to either put fine mesh or a piece of sponge over your existing intake. You should have some survive if there's enough cover among rocks or wood for them.
  2. The Ista CO2 reactor plumbed inline will certainly slow the flow from the Fluval down a bit, as would adding an inline heater such as a Hydor. You can also lower the filter outlet a bit to reduce surface agitation if it appears to drive off CO2. I have an Eheim 2215 running on a 20 gal high tech and heavily planted tank, with an Ista CO2 reactor and the outlet value turned slightly to reduce flow. It hasn't been a problem for uprooting/damaging the plants, excepted for a couple of new and poorly rooted Blyxa. The shrimp will find refuge if the current is too strong or turbulent in certain places, though many species inhabit fast flowing streams - lots like you've got plenty of nature baffles in the tank so that hopefully won't be much of a problem anyway.
  3. G'day Ed, welcome to the forum. Awesome tank, you've got some really nice and healthy looking plants. I saw your other post about the plant ID - I might be able to help you out with IDs of some smaller plants, but haven't kept many larger plants (yet). Plenty of folks here to help you out though!
  4. Looks properly solid... and shiny! Can't wait to see the build progress
  5. Thanks for the responses and advice guys. The algae seems to have balanced out a little since when I posted this, and I managed to find two juvenile SAEs (smaller than the tetras) which are having a wonderful time with the algae! Might reduce the photoperiod slightly too, it's at 7 or 8 hours. I'll keep an eye on the CO2 input in response to the plants as they grow and keep testing the water chemistry. I'm guessing that I'm not injecting enough CO2 at the moment - didn't want to go too hard too fast - as I haven't noticed any noticeable change in pH from baseline. It's also a fairly high pH in my tank (need to retest this weekend) as I don't have a suitable soft, acidic water source... I was using some rainwater off the roof of the unit complex but then experienced a poisoning episode when using it 50/50 with tap water a few months ago - caught it quickly, did a 75% water change with tap water and didn't lose any fish, but they sure weren't looking too good! I live near the city on a fairly busy road and also near-ish to a freight transport railway... so there's probably all kinds of nasty chemical residues ending up in that water from the roof. I do appreciate that many people have great success with simpler setups, and I did as well when I was living with my parents where we had acidic, soft, nutrient rich non-contaminated rainwater. With the current setup I already had the T5HO lights for a while and decided that this would be the most successful course of action, after trying to increase plant growth with other methods. And I've wanted to experiment with high tech for a while now. I'll post some photos once things have balanced out a bit more. Cheers, Piet
  6. Awesome haha thanks for sharing! This hobby sure does get some passionate people
  7. Really nice! I like the simplicity and it's got quite a relaxing vibe
  8. Hi all, I've recently upgraded a few things in my 2ft (20 US gal) planted tank to get it towards the "high tech" end of the spectrum. It's running 2x24W T5HO bulbs at 6500K and 10000K along with pressurized CO2 on a solenoid running at about 1.5bps (for the moment) and is filtered by an Eheim 2215 with an inline CO2 reactor. Prior to adding the CO2 I was adding API CO2 booster (excel equivalent) and micro-nutrients, then gave Seachem's NPK a go, though dosing fairly conservatively and dealing with a lot of thread algae during that time. It currently houses 13 rummy-nose tetras, 2 black phantom tetras and 2 juvenile SAEs (smaller than the tetras) as well as 2 riffle shrimp and 15-25 Neocaridina shrimp at a guess. Moderately planted with Blyxa, dwarf hairgrass, a few crypts (wendtii, balanase, parva), Hygrophila difformis, stargrass, pygmy chain swords, and another stem plant species that I can't recall the name of. Since adding the CO2, growth has increased dramatically in the stem plants, but I am still battling with the algae. So much so that I had to severely cut back most of plants to remove the majority of the algae-infested leaves. Ideally I would like to use the Estimated Index for dosing but with Seachem's NPK that will become a money pit unto itself... and sourcing the dry ferts seems rather difficult here, especially KNO3. Regardless, my questions are more about the nutrient balance in a planted aquarium. Quite a few products that are sold as "complete" plant fertilisers specifically state that they are nitrogen and phosphate free, containing mostly potassium, magnesium, sulfur and calcium, and claim that sufficient N and P produced through feeding and fish waste. Is this likely to actually be the case in a high light system? My understanding is that ammonia is the primary driver for most algaes, at least in the spore stage and that plants are more likely to utilise N and P than algae, provided that other parameters are reasonably good for plant growth. Given the relatively high bioload, is it likely that the algae is benefiting from the immediate form of fish waste (ammonia) and then the plants will be struggling to find enough available N and P, hence I would need to supplement them directly with nitrogen? I haven't seen many obvious signs of deficiencies in the plants themselves, just an excess of algae on some leaves and an increase in green spot algae on the glass. Is that also a sign of there not being enough P in the system? If I dose according to Seachem's calculations and ideal nutrient levels I'll be using 100mL of each in under 2 months... but would providing less NPK than recommended contribute more available nutrients to the algae than the plants? Thanks for your feedback - I'm also interested in anyone else's experience with nutrient dosing and higher tech tanks... problems, solutions, stories, etc. Cheers, Piet
  9. You will definitely find that the red and yellow cherries will interbreed and within a couple of generations you'll end up with wild colours (greens and browns, some interesting mottled patterning and clearer bodies). This does have certain benefits though... Most fish when adults will at least try to have a nibble on the shrimplets, if not the adult shrimps, particularly the bright colourful ones, whereas the wild ones are more naturally camouflaged don't get harassed by the fish nearly as often. So you're best off picking just one colour morph of the cherry shrimp to preserve their colour. As for the fish, sounds alright to me but I would certainly wait for a good while before adding the Otos as they can be rather delicate and need a well established and stable environment. Any plans for live plants?
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  11. Welcome back to the hobby! They're nice tanks - I quite like the planted hex. Curious as to which direction you're going to be going with the 6x2x2 - planted community or Africans? Or something else completely?
  12. I'll just be happy keeping my tank under 30 degrees for a while... Not too worried about the little red light, but then again it's just one tank and only a little heater
  13. I also really like the natural layout, particularly with all the green macroalgae to soften it up. Much nicer than my first few attempts at live rock scapes
  14. Looks like a great home for the oscars! And from what seems to be the trend on Gumtree lately there'll be plenty of opportunity for adopting some oscars in need...
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