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Seamingly

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Seamingly last won the day on September 9

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About Seamingly

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    Male
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    South-East Brisbane
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    Queensland
  1. When i arrived home yesterday, i was a little relieved to see i did not lose anymore fish during the day (well, none that i could find anyway). I tested the Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. Ammonia: 0.25 - 0.50 Nitrite: 0.00 - 0.25 Nitrate: 5 - 10 ***DISCLAIMER: my tap water unfortunately comes out at about 0.25 Ammonia and 0.25 Nitrite*** I also bought some pool chlorine test strips yesterday and proceeded to test: - the tank water (no chlorine found); - straight tap water; - the container in which the purigen was regenerated; and - a container of water with the purigen having sat therein, after 30 mins, 60 mins and 2 hours. Across the board, the chlorine came back the same - with 0 - 1 mg/L. I had a hard time telling if it was extending to 1 mg/L, as it could just be a slight colour change due to the wetting of the test strip. At the low end, it's a bit like telling a difference in colour between cream, bone, off-white, ivory and beige. In all though, my thoughts are that it might not have been the chlorine or purigen regeneration, and rather, may have been the overdosing of Flourish Excel. In addition to this, my thoughts are that if it was the chlorine, it would have wiped out a lot of the bacteria in the filter, so the Ammonia and Nitrite would likely be higher, and perhaps the readings are a result of the levels present in my tap water naturally, given the large number of water changes i have been doing, and also potentially due to the deaths of the fish that were in the tank for a day or so. Despite this, i'm still a bit shy of putting the regenerated purigen back into my tank, and rather, am considering buying a new packet and then speaking to the guys at Smiths Aquarium (whom i know use and regenerate on their shop livestock) about how they do it. Since my last post however, there was a huge amount of plant melt - another reason i'm thinking it was the Flourish Excel. Based upon the (likely) nil levels of chlorine in the purigen, i think it would have taken a much higher dosing of chlorine to kill of the plants so quickly. The plants affected were my Tiger Lotus (some leaves turning greenish from red, some leaves developed lots of holes), lattice holes and severe melt in my H. Tripartita, some melt in the glasso, melt in the stem plants. In addition to this, i took at look at my Flourish Excel bottle - and realised i'd used at least half (50mL) in less than 7 days. In theory, that amount should have taken 3 weeks in a tank my size at normal dosing - so it is likely my fault for being over zealous about eradicating BBA and not carefully recording just how much i was using and the frequency. Those are my thoughts, and likely constitute my conclusion of what i've done wrong. However, if any of you have other thoughts, please let me know. Pictures of plant melt for visual reference.
  2. TANK CRASH... (sorry, long post coming up - but thoughts and input sought) Unfortunately, the smooth sailing didn't last forever, and i had a mini-crash last night. I arrived home to find the fish stressed, with none coming out and also, a number of cardinals were dead and others struggling to swim and breath. In total i lost 5 cardinals. All 3 corys seem ok now, but i can only find 2 of 3 otos - but that is par for the course with my tank even when it's going well. The shrimp were also very stressed, but i haven't found any dead yet. I changed about 50% of the water twice in an hour, turned off CO2 and reduced water level to allow the spray bar to agitate the water. I also removed the purigen from my filter and threw in the bin in a fit of rage, disappointment and hurt (see reason why below). I checked Ammonia at this point (didn't think to do it initially) and there were between 0 - 0.25ppm. I think this may be due to the dead fish sitting in the tank during the day. I did another 40% about 1 hour later. By the time i went to bed around 10:30pm, the cardinals had started to come out a bit as per normal, and the shrimp seemed to have really perked up and were flitting about the tank. One thing of interest i did note, is that a lot of plants had lost their leaves, stem plants leaves were looking like melt, pinnatifida leaves were floating on the top (never seen any come off before), tiger lotus leaves had acquired a shiny green tinge - like the look of expired red meat. Causes of the Crash? 2 Possible causes - i'd appreciate any thoughts you may have as the most likely. 1. Purigen Regenration gone wrong Over the weekend, i cleaned the filter and noticed the water was stained slightly from the tannins of the wood. The purigen was quite stained too, so even though it was only 2 months old, i decided i'd regenerate - following Seachem's guidelines. I bought some White King regular bleach (not splashless, not scented). Seachem recommend a 6% strength, but the White King looks to be only 4%. I figured it would only work less efficiently and provided a safety margin, so i following Seachem's guidelines I: - mixed 1:1 ratio of water and bleach and soaked the purigen for 24 hours; - mixed 1 cup water to 4 tablespoons (80mL Prime) and soaked purigen for 48 hours (so 40 hours more than the guidelines); - mixed 1 cup water to 2 tablespoons of Seachem Neutral Regulator and soaked purigen for 4 hours. I smelt it before putting back into the filter and couldn't detect any chlorine - instead it smelt more effervescent, almost like an Aspro Clear (as weird as that sounds). I then put it back into the filter on Tuesday night. I was a bit worried generally, having never regenerated or used purigen previously, so i checked on the tank on Wed morning. Didn't see any issues, but also (in hindsight) didn't see any fish around either - figured it was just because it was still dark and early morning). I put a couple of cory wafers in and left for work. When i came home that night, i found the tank in the mini-crash as per above. I noticed the cory wafers had not been touched during the day, which indicates to me, there was an issue in the morning which i did not pick up upon. Normally, they will be consumed within a few hours, or at least have been picked at and moved about the tank. My assumption is that i've messed up the purigen regeneration and that there was chlorine still in it. One thing i failed to do in hindsight, was to thoroughly rinse - instead, i just washed it out in the water + prime mix. I think i should have washed off in tap water thoroughly first. 2. Excel Over Dosing The other scenario i thought about afterward, was that I have potentially overdosed on Flourish Excel in order to try and kill the BBA. I have not been spot treating, and instead, using about 5mL per day for 120L tank. This is above the recommended dosage, about 1.5 times. I've heard others claim they use 3x dosage no worries. I do wonder if i've overdosed - was this what caused the plants to melt so badly and lose their leaves? I'm assuming chlorine can also do this, but i would have thought if the chlorine was so high to cause this, then potentially it should have wiped out all my fish much quicker than it did. Analysis After gathering my thoughts, i fished out the purigen from the bin (waste paper basket, so it's not actually covered in filth). I'll buy a chlorine test kit today - i plan on testing the purigen for chlorine, as well as the container in which i treated it. If those test come back positive, i know it was this that caused the crash. If they come back negative, i will suspect it was the Excel which may have caused one or two fish to die, and potentially, this was a domino effect over the course of the night / day to cause a crash and mini-cycle of the tank. Before leaving for work this morning, i planned on doing another water change, but the cardinals were out and about and more active, so i left it alone for now. I'll do another tonight to be safe. What are your thoughts on likely causes of the crash? I'm open to any input or advice you may have.
  3. One last quick post. Some picks of the H. Tripartita - you can see keeping a clean separation line between it and the glasso may be impossible. Also, my shrimp have been breeding, so i'm quite happy about that. Must be doing something OK.
  4. I came back a week later and was surprised to see just how much the tiger lotus had grown. Unfortunately, i also came back to some black beard algae on my hair grass and glasso at the front left of my tank. I tried not to worry too much. I did a bit of research, and have not been able to really find out what might have caused it. Some people say high nitrates, others high lights and others say it needs to be introduced. Given the amount the tiger lotus grew, it did block a bit of light reaching the bottom, but i'm not sure if that was the issue. My nitrates had actually decreased whilst i was away, measuring between 5ppm - 10ppm. Based upon this, i'm inclined to think it was introduced when i put the duckweed into my tank. The tank i pulled it from does have BBA growing on the filter, but i don't really mind it in that tank as it's only breeding cherry shrimp, so i've done nothing about. I think this might have been the cause of it. I decided to trim the worst areas (leaving a bald patch in my glasso) and spot treat the rest with Flourish Excel. I used about 6mL - 9mL for 3 days in a row. It started to turn pink / light red, but thought i'd still have a go at hydrogen peroxide. Not sure which is better - the Excel or H2O2. In any event, it seems to be changing colour from light red to very light pink / white, and is receding. I am continuing to dose the whole tank with Flourish Excel at 1.5 times the recommended dosage. I'll probably stop that soon though - as i'm pretty sure the BBA is dead. Doesn't look like anything else in my tank has been affected by the Excel or H2O2. Some pics for interest.
  5. I ended up going away for a week during the school holidays. My father came over and fed the fish whilst i was away, he fed them every 2nd or 3rd day - i had already put some food into a pill container with the day labeled on the top, this way i thought it would be the best way i could control the amount of food going in. I didn't want to come back to a tank full of algae. I did a big water change and cleaned the filter two days before i left. I did that just so i would have enough time to watch the tank and pick up on any issues before i left. I didn't want to do it the night before leaving, just in case the filter did have a minor leak or something else happened. Whilst away, all fertilizer dosing was ceased too - it would have been too much to ask my father to do that too. Prior to going away, i was dosing Seachem Iron 2mL every day and Seachem Potassium 5mL on Sunday and Wednesday. My nitrates were about 10ppm before leaving, so i also put a handful duckweed in the tank (which i pulled out of another small tank i have). I hoped that it would help reduce any potential nitrate build up that might occur whilst i was away. Here is a pick just before i left.
  6. Wow - I can't believe it's been a month since i last updated this post. Work and holidays got in the way, so thought i'd provide a brief update. I ended up receiving the Hydrocotyle Tripartita and Hygrophila Pinnatifida and put that in just after my last post update. Both can be seen down the right hand side of the tank. Ideally i wanted to keep a clean line between the glasso and H. Tripartita - but i don't think that is likely going to be possible now.
  7. Another short update. Over the weekend i took a trip out to Smith's Aquarium on Sandgate Road and picked up the last of the fish I intend upon adding - cardinal tetras. Without doubt, my favourite fish of all time, so i've added 28 of them. From here, i don't really have any intention of adding anymore fish or livestock to this tank. I have ordered some plants from a member here, and hopefully they will arrive in the near future - some Hygrophila Pinnatifida and Hydrocotyle Tripartita. The intention is to remove the pennywort (which appears to also be a part of the Hydrocotyle family) from the right hand side, and place the H. Tripartita down the right side. The H. Pinnatifida is to be planted in the back right of the tank, around the crypt at the back - i'm not sure of the type, but it has ruffled / crinkled leaves. Once they are in, i don't plan on doing anything else other than water changes and watching it grow. I have toyed with the idea of a 3 channel auto-doser for the fertilizer, but, that is something that is not urgent and really not necessary, so i'll wait until it's all dialed in before i spend any more money on this project. Overall though, i'm quite happy so far. Some pics for visual interest.
  8. Hi Granit Bay, I'm trying to get a hold of some Hydrocotyle Tripartita and Hygrophila Pinnatifidia. Do you have any available at the moment?
  9. Thanks MFF! My goal was definitely to focus on plants with this set up. Something i've been wanting to do for almost 20 years. It suits me well though, as my favourite fish (save for Discus) are generally small tetras.
  10. Over the weekend just been, i added some purigen to the filter and undertook the first filter clean since i started the tank. I took out the filter bag of seeded substrate and replaced with the ceramic noodles that came with the filter. The day after adding the purigen, the tank was looking nice an crystal clear, with a lot of the tannins having been removed too. Below are some of the most recent photos taken over the last weekend and this week so far. I'm quite happy with how it is coming along and in particular, the growth of the riccia, java moss and the tiger lotus. It's not until i went back to old photos that i realised just has much they have all grown. With the java moss, it is now sitting perpendicular to the wood, compared to the photo posted above when i first set up, and it was almost flat against the wood due to the string. I'm trying to source some mini japan plant to replace the pennywort on the right hand side. Apart from that, the only other major plan is to add some cardinal tetras. I was hoping for 20 of them, but am interested to know what you all think about that sort of stocking capacity. Oh, also, CO2 is now up to 3.8 bubbles per second and seems to be working well. I've also started dosing flourish iron (2mL daily) and flourish potassium (5mL twice per week). I think these may have really helped with the colour of the tiger lotus. Hope you enjoy and welcome feedback.
  11. Prior to adding the fish and shrimp, i did a 60% water change in the morning. I then added the fish and shrimp in the afternoon and later tested the water that night. I was a bit shocked to find my Ammonia to be about 0.25 and nitrites around 0.50. I figured it was due to the adding of the tank mates, and they had both subsided by the following day. Out of curiosity though, i tested my tap water that following day and found out that it contains both ammonia and nitrite around 0.25 each. I'm not sure how this works, but my house is quite old (1950s), so maybe it's the old pipes or something? Interestingly, i found after watering the garden that testing after this, both ammonia and nitrite were back to 0. So, i'm assuming it something to do with the water sitting in the pipes for a while. Unfortunately, i probably can't afford to be watering the garden for a long time prior to each water change - so i figured i would just do smaller water changes in the future. I then did a water change, 1 week later, and sadly, within 2 hours of doing so, one of my julii died - quick quickly too. I noticed it's left gill looked very red, almost like it was bleeding. I'm not sure what caused this, and since then, all other fish and shrimp seem ok, with no other losses.
  12. I found during the firs week i was getting a bit of algae growth - not sure if it was green hair or bba, but it was dark hair-like. I decided to stop using the flourish, given i already had some nitrates in the tank and not many plants. After stopping for about 2 weeks, and after rubbing off and removing a lot of the algae, i have noticed that it is not returning quite as badly. As of this week, i have just started to re-dose Flourish. 14 days after setting up, i went out and bought some inhabitants - 10 cherry shrimp, 3 otocinclus and 4 julii corys.
  13. Every night would check Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. I found it hard to tell the colours of the test tubes and in the end, resorted to taking photos (without flash) of them - i found it much easier to compare colours this way, rather than in person. For the first week, ammonia was still low, and nitrite started to rise a bit. The Ammonia peaked at about 2ppm after a few days and then slowly subsided as the nitrite took off. 13 days after setting up the tank, the ammonia and nitrite had hit 0, with the nitrates between 10 - 20 ppm. During this time, i also added some more glossostigma and a few ocelot amazon swords. I also saw my first instance of pearling occurring.
  14. Once the plants were in, i sat back and started to monitor the tank. When i set up the filter, i placed some substrate from another tank that had just cycled (set up about 4 weeks prior to this one) in a filter bag and into the filter. The main aim was to try and get this one to cycle as quickly as possible - like everyone, i'm impatient for adding fish. Over the next week, i kept watching and monitoring the plants. I also started to dose with Flourish, about 0.25mL per day. I also kept tab on the the Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH and KH. I monitored the CO2 drop checker and would cross-reference that to the pH & KH to see where i was sitting. I find it very hard to determine the pH using the colour charts, and the CO2 drop checker helped as a bit of a reverse cross-check on my pH. Given KH is easy to gauge, if i was ever unsure where the pH was likely sitting, i'd just check the drop checker. Overall, i've been running low amounts of CO2 and have struggled to get the lime green colour that is considered ideal. Ultimately, this usually meant my pH was between 7.0 - 7.2. I initially set up my CO2 with about 1.5 bubbles per second, and every 2 - 3 days would slowly adjust. I was in no real rush to gas-out the tank, despite there being no livestock. These pics of plants were taken about 5 days after being added. You can see there is some cloudiness and dsicolouration to the water, which was a combination of the bacteria bloom and also the driftwood releasing tannins.
  15. The following morning i was up and managed to get the filter installed with the CO2 kit. I've kept them out from under the cabinet for now, so i could monitor everything. Initially, there was a leak from the inline diffused - i just hadn't screwed it up tightly. The tank was running well, however, i noticed a bit of evaporation over the following few days. After closer inspect, i found a very very small leak in the eheim inlet, where it connects into the bottom of the canister. Given this was installed a manufacture, i assumed it was not something that i could deal with. In the end, i had to take the filter back for a replacement, with no dramas from the replacement so far. I also managed to head out and find some plants, including a red tiger lotus and some tissue cultures of glassostigma.
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