90L Dirtied Planted Tank

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I love the neos. They weren't really a common thing back when I had tanks before. Mine pretty much take care of themselves so long as the honey gouramis don't pick off too many babies. I think if it weren't for the DHG, they would have a much harder time of it, but seem to reproduce pretty successfully with that sanctuary for the little ones.
 
I love the neos. They weren't really a common thing back when I had tanks before. Mine pretty much take care of themselves so long as the honey gouramis don't pick off too many babies. I think if it weren't for the DHG, they would have a much harder time of it, but seem to reproduce pretty successfully with that sanctuary for the little ones.
I had considered using DHG as a mini carpet but decided for a crypt carpet at the front instead. It will take a lot longer to fill in though 🥲
 

The Sawbwa are here!​


Today I removed 12 sawbwa from my Fry tank into the 90L. I drip acclimated them for 35 minutes, and I didn't need to temp acclimate them as both tanks' temperatures were set to 22°C the night before. There are 3 males and 9 females.
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There were some other changes I've made to this tank as well. Firstly, I did a massive trim of the stem plants and removed a large portion of the floating plants. I then added my Cryptocoryne Undulatus from my 60L. The main plant is on the far right side behind the Rotala and a baby plant is with the Wendtii in the center. I'm hoping they will adjust ok to the new environment. Secondly, I removed the monstera and the unnamed terrestrial plant from the tank and replaced them with a peace lily which looks great. Again I'm hoping it adjusts well to its new environment.
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Lastly, I've lost 3 cherry shrimp since they were added, all to the same thing. WROD. Luckily the last death was a week or two back so I'm hoping for no more cases of WROD. I've been adding mineral blocks as well to help the shrimp. So far many have molted successfully and I also leave the old molts in the tank. But there is some good news about the shrimp! The baby lives!

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(pond snail for scale)

Perhaps I should name this one?
 

Growing in sorta​


The Sawbwa have been in the 90L for just under a month now and are doing well. Constant sparring and breeding activities which are a very good sign. RCS are doing ok, out of the 15 I got I'm on 11 now. All died from WROD. Been supplementing mineral blocks now and then just to help with molting. The 3 adult Sawbwa I have in my 60L will be added when the group in the 90L puts on a bit more size. I'm also contemplating putting my 3 Otocinclus in to help with algae and give them more space compared to the 60L.
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The Elodea and Hornwart are growing very well and quickly. Trimming is almost weekly. Still having algae problems, especially on the Crinum. Red tiger lotus is also doing very well. However, the original bulb still hasn't sent out roots yet.
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I've had a lot of dieback from the Hygrophila corymbosa (Siamensis 53B). Out of the 9 stems I put in around the tank only 4 are left. I have been looking for alternatives to fill in gaps if needed such as Hygrophila polysperma.
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The Anubias congensis is doing very well and new leaves are appearing all the time now.
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Pond snails are still a dominant presence around the tank. Ramshorns were also spotted a few days ago which must have hitchhiked over on the plants from Etsy.
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Lastly, the peace lily has grown insanely quickly. I think I've found my new favourite emersed plant.
 
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More plants!​

As I plan to tear down my 60L and turn it into a Paludarium I've been scavenging for plant trimmings to fill in gaps in the 90L. I let some Rotala H'ra grow for 1 month without trimming to get some amazing pinks and reds grown at the water's surface. I used these trimmings to fill in some gaps in the front right and the far back left to add some pops of colour. I also added some more Rotala indica to the existing group next to the pot. When I tear down the 60L the remainder of the Indica will also go into this tank. Some Ludwigia was also added to the existing group in the center.
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Two healthy crypt parva's from my 60L were also transferred to this tank filling in the gaps where the previous Hygrophila corymbosa compact was, which has also been moved to the center now.

RCS numbers have sadly dwindled. Out of the original 15, I believe I have 9 remaining. I'm starting to think I should have gone with Amanos instead, which I know thrive in my water conditions. I've added some cuttlefish bone into the filter in an attempt to increase hardness. I still get confused with water chemistry. I have a TDS meter on order to see a precise level of what my tank is currently at and from there, I will attempt to find a solution. I've also increased the temperature to 24°C as we slowly approach summer.
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Is the output on your light adjustable? Can you dial back the intensity?
 
Is the output on your light adjustable? Can you dial back the intensity?
Afraid not. The only feature the light has is an on/off switch 😅

I have been looking into changing the light. This one looks like a great alternative. An adjustable light will definitely help with dealing with the current algae problems
 
Afraid not. The only feature the light has is an on/off switch 😅

I have been looking into changing the light. This one looks like a great alternative. An adjustable light will definitely help with dealing with the current algae problems



Yea it has the dimmer so you can adjust the intensity. Should definitely help you quite a bit. This guy explains about light ramp up so you can't get to full intensity in this video, it's kind of interesting. I know it's not the light you're thinking of getting but some of the ideology will still apply.

 

New additions​

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After a constant battle with algae, I had to remove a decent amount of plants. All the Myriophyllum mattogrossense is gone along with a hefty amount of Elodea densa. New plants have been added to fill in the gaps. Java fern trident, Hygrophila polysperma, and Micranthemum Monte Carlo. A new light is definitely needed.

The RCS situation has only gotten worse, 3 only remain from the original 15. It's been about a week since the last death from WROD. Again hoping it's the last.
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4 Amanos have been added to help the RCS deal with algae. I am still considering moving the 3 oto's from the 60L into the 90L to help with the algae problem as well.
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It looks so good in the main photo! I'm so sorry to hear about your losses with the red cherry shrimp though :(:rip:
It can be so hard to get a colony going. Even so, keep an eye out for tiny shrimplets, in case any of them managed to reproduce before passing away. Or any of the remaining three manage to breed! Just be careful when doing maintenance and water changes, just in case! Shrimplets are so tiny and transparent, it can be easy to miss them.

If your water parameters are good, then yes, might be worth adding the otos, although they won't eat problem algae, and some of that especially on the (otherwise flourishing and lovely looking crinum!) looks like black beard or staghorn algae, from the entire tank photo at least... the other plants are looking a bit leggy, new light and maybe some ferts might be in order? Or some trimming, so they bush out more instead of growing tall. That works for garden plants and shrubs, think it applies to many aquatic plants too.

The use of Flourish Excel is hotly debated, with people adamantly against or pro... in this case, with these types of algae that I don't really think amanos and otos will be able to get rid of, I'd be tempted to remove the shrimp and otos, and do a course of Flourish Excel. @TwoTankAmin stands by its use and I have a lot of respect for his expertise and research skills, and I used it a couple of times before I joined this forum without any obvious ill effects, and definitely wiped out my algae problem so I could at least start from a clean tank again... but others are strongly against. Would have to be a personal decision. If you search the forum for Flourish Excel, you can find arguments for and against, and make your own decision about the best way forward.

Hope to see another update soon! I've been fascinated by your journey with dirted tanks and cultivated food/collecting wild foods, and inspired by a lot of it! :D
 
Nice to see you back on the forum and hope you're doing well :)
It can be so hard to get a colony going. Even so, keep an eye out for tiny shrimplets, in case any of them managed to reproduce before passing away. Or any of the remaining three manage to breed! Just be careful when doing maintenance and water changes, just in case! Shrimplets are so tiny and transparent, it can be easy to miss them.
I was hoping things would have improved. I did expect some deaths but not over half. I never saw any berried females or any mating behavior sadly. I had started to wonder if "High Grade" RCS was my Achilles heel of keeping neocaridina shrimp. The price has also put me off them now. I can get a fully grown Amano for £3.99 but a less than 1cm long RCS is £5.99:blink:. Amanos work well for me thankfully. Had the same trio going strong since 2021 in my 60L Paludarium.
If your water parameters are good, then yes, might be worth adding the otos, although they won't eat problem algae, and some of that especially on the (otherwise flourishing and lovely looking crinum!) looks like black beard or staghorn algae, from the entire tank photo at least... the other plants are looking a bit leggy, new light and maybe some ferts might be in order? Or some trimming, so they bush out more instead of growing tall. That works for garden plants and shrubs, think it applies to many aquatic plants too.
Not had any issues parameters-wise apart from an issue with TDS hardness a while back. I've since removed the cuttlefish bone and see a steady 160-200 reading on my TDS meter. Thinking about that reading actually the oto's may not be a good idea. I still find parameters confusing. Definitely, a new light is needed one that can be adjusted. I'm a bit iffy with ferts. A trimming is probably due. I do prefer to leave this tank alone as much as possible. The only plants I ever trimmed or removed were the floating plants, hornwort, and elodea.
Would have to be a personal decision. If you search the forum for Flourish Excel, you can find arguments for and against, and make your own decision about the best way forward.
I had seen some posts on that and had been tempted. But again I'm iffy about these types of things. :D I did see a post on Black-out treatment for algae on another forum that was interesting. I also had thought of just not turning on the light for a few days and just having natural light come through to see if it made any difference. But I think my first port of call is a new light which I'm hoping will be in stock soon 🤞
 
Nice to see you back on the forum and hope you're doing well :)

I was hoping things would have improved. I did expect some deaths but not over half. I never saw any berried females or any mating behavior sadly. I had started to wonder if "High Grade" RCS was my Achilles heel of keeping neocaridina shrimp. The price has also put me off them now. I can get a fully grown Amano for £3.99 but a less than 1cm long RCS is £5.99:blink:. Amanos work well for me thankfully. Had the same trio going strong since 2021 in my 60L Paludarium.

Not had any issues parameters-wise apart from an issue with TDS hardness a while back. I've since removed the cuttlefish bone and see a steady 160-200 reading on my TDS meter. Thinking about that reading actually the oto's may not be a good idea. I still find parameters confusing. Definitely, a new light is needed one that can be adjusted. I'm a bit iffy with ferts. A trimming is probably due. I do prefer to leave this tank alone as much as possible. The only plants I ever trimmed or removed were the floating plants, hornwort, and elodea.

I had seen some posts on that and had been tempted. But again I'm iffy about these types of things. :D I did see a post on Black-out treatment for algae on another forum that was interesting. I also had thought of just not turning on the light for a few days and just having natural light come through to see if it made any difference. But I think my first port of call is a new light which I'm hoping will be in stock soon 🤞

Thank you, it's nice to be back!! And to feel so welcomed! :D :drinks:

A three day blackout treatment while you wait for a new light sounds like a great idea. The fish and plants will be fine, but algae will struggle. Just need some black bin bags to do it too! Plants might look a little pale once you remove the bin bags, or whatever you use, but they'll be okay, especially once you add the better light. But definitely worth a try, I remember doing one too, and it did seem to help at least knock the algae back.

My most persistent algae was hair algae though, and that's at least easy(ish) to manually remove with a bottle brush, and time for the tank and plants to really get established. Staghorn and black algaes aren't so easy to manually remove, but would definitely suffer from a lack of light.

There's also hydrogen peroxide spot treatments, but that's one I've never tried and has to be done really carefully, so would need to research it carefully before trying it.

Hope whatever approach you take works out for you! Do update with how anything you try goes though, please! It's all useful data.
 
Just a quick FYI re Excel. I only use it for the carbon it supplies to the plants. My understanting is that some algae cannot use it. I do not overdose it and I do not use it to try an kill algae directly. I tend to jungleize most of my planted tank. But in a couple that are more lightly planted I may not add it at all.

\/ Is Flourish Excel™ safe to use with marimo moss balls?

A: One side effect of using Flourish Excel™ that hobbyists have reported is that certain types of algae growth tend to lessen when Flourish Excel™ is dosed in an aquarium. Black beard algae seems to be particularly affected. Marimo moss balls aren't actually moss, but are actually a type of algae. Because of this, many people have been concerned about using Flourish Excel™ with marimo balls, however, the majority of the feedback we have gotten is that Flourish Excel™ has no negative effect on marimo balls when used according to directions. Here is a link to a forum post where aquarists are discussing their experiences with Flourish Excel™ and marimo balls.

Because some people have observed reduced algae when using Excel, some people try to use it to treat unwanted algae. We do not produce or market it as an algicide and using it as spot treatment where it is overdosed or applied directly to a plant can cause damage.

With marimo balls or any sensitive plant you can begin with a small dose and increase slowly over time after observing for any negative reaction. If the moss balls are the only plants or the tank is sparsely populated, reduce the dose accordingly as they are low-light, slow growing plants and will not use as much carbon as other faster growing plants.
from https://www.seachem.com/flourish-excel.php in the FAQs
 

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