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Come on Wills clean your glass!!

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Little water change and a trim on this afternoon. All going well I think, looks like the shrimp have bred as loads of little shrimp running around. I did unfortunately syphon one or two shrimplets despite being very careful so need to get better at that. But with no predators in here they are going to get out of hand at some point.

I have got a green algae issue in here so I've turned the lights down as I dont want to cut the timer down as its in my office as I sit next to it so it comes on 15 mins before I start and off 15 mins after I'm meant to finish. So hopefully that will help. I've also noticed some plants are yellowing but I've not been dosing any ferts so far and had pretty good growth so far so taking this as the time to start it. To help with the algae I have scrubbed some of the wood but other bits are not really accessible without a bit maintenance session but I have also turned over some of the rocks in the foreground just to mean the algae covered side is now facing the substrate.

No more signs of the Mayfly Nymphs and I am keeping a close eye on it and like I say a lot of shrimplets in here so not a concern. Oh I checked on the monsterra today too and its finally sent out a root! so that should be getting going soon too.

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Think I've decided I do want some fish in here now so might go have a look sometime this weekend.

Is that a Perspex or glass tank?
I ask because the silicon? (assuming that's what it is), on the right side looks cream coloured, and cream coloured silicon is usually on its way out.

If it's Perspex then its the solvent and plastic and not an issue.
I think it’s the photo it’s optiwhite glass too so that might effect it too - tanks only 18 months old
I think it’s the photo it’s optiwhite glass too so that might effect it too - tanks only 18 months old
no problemo.

if the silicon ever turns cream or white, or gets bubbles in it, then it is failing. Same deal if the silicon gets hard and is no longer slightly squishy when you press on it, then it's starting to fail.
Not updated this (or any of my journals) for a while so thought I'd share the last few months. It's interesting looking at the last pic I didn't realise how much it's changed.

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The biggest thing with this tank has been the fish, it's not been a success by any means. I wanted to add a school to the tank and had a short list but when I saw some Rice Fish or Medaka at Wharf Aquatics I grabbed a group of 12, Wharf has been my go-to shop since I started up again in 2020 even though it's over an hours drive from my house - so when the guy said I'll give you a few extra as they are a bit skinny I didn't think much of it... but on the first night, I lost about 5 which I don't think I've ever experienced. Within the first week, I was down to 5 and I'm now down to 2 which have been there for about 3 months now, eating doing ok etc so I'll see how we get on.

I'm not sure how many I actually came home with but I'd guess at least 15. I suspect they have had some kind of internal parasite but I'm not sure what and I've not been sure what to treat them with as the tank has shrimp and snails in so I've just left it as everything happened so fast to start with.

It's certainly an interesting tank I've had a lot of firsts in terms of problems - Dragon fly nymphs, fish issues, duckweed haha! But I enjoy it for the plants and the scape, I've added in some Air Plants to the wood over the tank which do well and there is some mini monsterra and pothos growing out emerged. I'm impressed with how the Hydrocotyle Vulgaris and Lilliaopsis Brasiliensis are doing over time, I think you can see the growth in the pics, the Cardamynes emerged growth is great with some small white flowers and the Anubias sp. Coin is the best Anubias I've ever grown!

Not sure where I'm going to go with the fish, I do like Medaka but need to find a more reliable source - with the tank being a pond style tank and them thriving in hard cool water they tick a lot of boxes. But I am tempted to maybe go down the live bearer route - or I may just leave it as shrimp only.

Bit of an update here I suppose. I managed to catch the last 2 of the Rice Fish after that debacle quite easily without having to take the tank apart which was a relief. Since then I've added a few crypts to the tank to hide some of the root masses that are growing for the stems that have emerged from the water line. I get a lot of flowers from the Cardamine that has grown out of the surface which is really nice - quite fragrant for small flowers too.

This weekend I finally took the plunge with adding in fish and after monitoring them in an LFS for a couple of months now I got a group of 8 of the quite rare Microrasbora Rubescens. They are one of the 3 smaller schooling species from Lake Inle which means they will do well in my tap water as both are quite hard. I would love to share a picture of them but it would seem that they rather enjoy being amongst the vegetation as its taken quite along time for me to find them this morning.... but I do see the odd one dart out of the thicket in the middle of the tank. I suppose its to be expected of a fish from such a shallow, planted lake with floating gardens above so I'm glad I can provide some semblance of their nature to them.

From what I see of them they have coloured up from the shop and are a pinky red with an orange patch on the flanks - one or two had this in the store but most were silver/white.

I'll see how things go for a few weeks/months with these but I may add in a group of 12 or so Emerald Rasboras at some point too. I had the choice of both at the store but we agreed I was less likely to see Rubescens again which is why I went with these first.

For now though here is the tank and a shot of my shrimp :)
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Managed to get a couple of the new fish - sorry for dirty glass and grain I had to stay very still and zoom right in. But you can sort of get a good idea of the colouration of them.

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This is tonight after the water change - the light is going off soon so I didnt wait for the water to clear fully. This tank is doing great! Plants are going great, I don't regret the clear out of the right hand side at all it looks so much better.

The inhabitants are doing great too - the Red Dwarf Rasboras are a great looking fish, really coming out of their shell recently and some really interesting behaviour. I've never seen a schooling fish display like they do, a lot of schooling fish will flare their fins up and swim side by side on the spot but the right way up. But these guys do that way of displaying but they go nose down and hover in mid water vertically with their red flash intensifying - its not just once or twice I've seen this but multiple times a day (bear in mind I sit next to this tank 40-50 hours a week :) ).

I've worried in the past that I've neglected this tank but its arguably my most successful ever. I dont do weekly water changes, and when I do I maybe do 15-20% but no more. Living in a city/county that consistency has high nitrates from the tap to get a yellow 0 reading in a nitrate test is a massive achievement and something I've never managed. I think its down to 2 maybe 3 elements and I'm not sure how it adds up - first its got terrestrial plants a Mini Monstera and a Pothos, plus some Air Plants on the wood, but that wont be doing anything... second the aquatic plants grow out of the water with big stems, lots of leaves and flowers, its a Cardamyne Lyrata which came from a bunched generic supplier - I mention that as the Cardamyne that Tropica sells I feel is a different plant, it looks different and more delicate than the one I have but I'm more than happy to let it grow as its doing. The third thing is I added a bag full of Seachem Purigen to deal with tannins from the wood when I first set the tank up, I can't believe its still doing anything but one of the benefits of the product is that it reduces nitrate so potentially helps. I'm going to try and take all three of these lessons (terrestrial plants, emerged aquatic plants and chemical filtration) for all of my tanks - my upcoming Mbuna tank is going to be challenging for this but I have some ideas!

I tried to get some shots of my Rasboras but they were not playing but I liked this one of one of my Cherry Shrimp :)


So yeah in short one of my favourite tanks I've ever kept :)

Very nice setup Wills, i really like how the wood climbs up and over the tank 🙂 whats you thinking in adding the 2 small lights? (For the monstera?)

I dont think id get any work done if i had a fish tank next to where i was working lol
Very nice setup Wills, i really like how the wood climbs up and over the tank 🙂 whats you thinking in adding the 2 small lights? (For the monstera?)

I dont think id get any work done if i had a fish tank next to where i was working lol

I'm thinking of putting some moss on the wood at the left at the water line and seeing if I can get it to grow up the wood as well as into the tank which I think would look cool. The two small lights are for the Monstera and Pothos because they grow above the main light unit and I have a problem with the Cardamyne stems getting so long out of water and then just dying off, since I've done it the stems are growing a lot better over the top of the light.

I find it really good to work next to, especially this one. The Puffer tank I'm a bit on the shelf with... both tanks are super calm but this small one is always active, good planting, like the scape but the puffer tank often looks empty, full of algae... I'll stop myself from moaning now but yeah I need to make a decision on this tank soon as it does not bring me joy in the way I want it to right now.

This is my office though, pics a bit old but you get the idea :) Really want to get an other tank to the right of the sink you can see on the right side of the pic, same sort of space to the left but I want to get the fish idea first before I dive in. Thinking of a shell dweller tank or maybe dwarf puffers if I can get a big enough shallow tank in there...

Bit of an update on this tank, I had/am having a bit of black brush algae and weirdly some staghorn algae which I thought only came from Co2... so I've added some new plants and cut out most of the worst affected plants. I also reduced the flow of the filter and cut the amount of time the lights are on which does seem to be helping. I've added a little clump of taiwan moss to the big branch on the right, just on the waterline, I've read that if I trim it aggressively underwater it will start to climb up that branch which I'd quite like as the wood has never aged even though its been out a year, still very yellow I was hoping it would grey off over time.

Fish, shrimp and snails are doing great! I did remove some of the larger snails to my puffer tank and since then the population seems to be on the up again.

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My school of Red Dwarf Rasboras have gotten their confidence now and I see them most days really active - never see them all at once but very certain they are all still present and correct. You can see some of the stems of the plants that have the black beard algae on here too.

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I've been keeping up with a bit of maintenance on this tank but lat night had quick a big chop back, I've got quite a lot of cladophora algae in here and it had taken over the right hand third of the tank so I've removed nearly all of the dragon stone, not sure if I'll put any back in or not... I do have a decent chunk of them around but got a couple of other things.

The tank does have a good variety of algaes in here as well... black brush, staghorn, bit of green on the glass and the cladophora that I mentioned (though is that a true algae?) I've added my old favourite Limnopilla Sessilfora as well to try and help. I had to take out 90% of the Valis I had in here as it was really failing to the algae, I might try and get some Valis Nana which seems to be more available these days.

Chopping the plants back has made me realise I think I have lost some of my Red Dwarf Rasboras, I think I can see 3 (there should be 6) but as I type this I think I can now see 4... the tank is still super dense with plants and they just live in there and swim around in pairs, so I'm not 100% all 6 are in there or not. The Rosy Loaches are too fast to count properly but confident all 12 are present and correct. Shimp seem to have taken a hit to the population since I added the Rosy Loaches, but I suppose its more mouths isnt it I am feeding more these days so hopefully it will bounce back.


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