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New Member With A New Hobby And A Few Questions!

Discussion in 'Member's Aquarium and Fish Pictures' started by Dandyman3, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. Dandyman3

    Dandyman3 Member

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    Hello all, 
     
    I have recently joined the forums and enjoy seeing people's posts / previous posts and daily activity which goes on this site. Just recently 1-2 months now I purchased a 55l aquanano tank. There was a deal too good to miss, and we had tropical fish in the family before, so I thought why not. Originally, we had a smaller tank and it was just the very basic, a few fish, bit of gravel, and that did us fine. Was content with that at the time and had some fun. Now, I have brought the interest back to everyone and have being doing quite a fair bit of reading and browsing. 
     
    I was going to do Marine this time and take a plunder with that, but decided it would be much better off, to ensure I am 100% confident with freshwater and any issues which may arise. Eitherway, without further a do, after a few weeks of seeing something, trying this, trying that, I am at a point now where I have something I'm almost content with. 
     
    The first picture (furthest left) shows you my tank at the start. This was the first 'design' per say. I would say with that one, it was a good starting point. P.s. I had some bogwood already (seen in the middle picture) but removed this because of the huge tannin leak. Like a n00b I put the bogwood straight into the tank and later that day found out about the lovely brown colour you get and the amount of soaking it should have had. So at this point in the first picture, the bogwood was soaking in boiling hot water to try remove all tannins. A month later is pretty much the development onto adding the bogwood. In the picture the water looks surprisingly clearer than what it did. 
     
    With this middle picture, I was fairly happy. I liked the wood think it has some great shapes, the shrimp adored it, and the plants seemed to flow. It was good, but still wasn't the affect I was after. The tannin was too strong for the water even after following multiple forum advice and since I couldn't see the fish at all throughout the day I decided to remodel. And thus was the third picture.  
     
    FishOpt1.jpg
     
     
    What’s missing?
     
    Here I would say I am delighted but not ecstatic. I got some new bogwood with plants rooted to each one from a well established tank (rinsed thoroughly in my own fish tank water before adding). At this point I am liking the affect and looks a lot better from where I was originally. The middle one shows too much bulk and this one is simplistic. The problem is, I think it still needs something else. This is where hopefully I can receive some advice from many of you experts out there. I've had several plants which seemed to have died before after a few weeks in the tank.
     
    At this time, I am increasing the hours I leave my light on, usually it is around 3-4 hours so I am hoping this is going to help the plants photosynthesise. I am not sure if it was a lack of Co2 but the tank is in full light throughout the day. Funnily enough, I haven't had a piece of algae yet in the tank, not sure if this is the Yamato shrimps doing there job or if that was related to light.
     
    Most likely, I think some more plants are needed, preferably carpet plants to fill the floor space. This was the reason originally for the authentic plants but when you compare them to live plants, easy choice every time. I am not sure if I would need fertiliser if I increase the amount of plants I have in the tank? Seeing other aquascaping examples which are just sublime and then comparing to your own tank [​IMG]. I understand it must have taken them years to master and make such an aquatic landscape with natural growth etc. However hopefully with practice and advice, I should be able to achieve something like this. The 'planted' affect. 
     
    A great example of a similar tank to my own done superbly: 
    http://i.imgur.com/HpjGQtz.jpg
     
    If anyone could offer any advice on this, or the best types of plants which would match my current setup, it would be most appreciated. I am not sure if you can add multiple carpet plants in a tank like mine which is full. 
     
    I realise this post is getting quite long... so just briefly, a few other things which have concerned me. My plastic piping where the air stones are attached to, sometimes get slimy. From what my friend saw, they suggested the most likely cause of this is an overload of different combinations for the water. All the chemicals combined making some sort of reaction. However, on some of the larger stones, even they have a brown stain on them which looks like ‘rot’ almost, I am not sure if that was as a result of the tannin, but don’t think so, as when I took my air stones out after around a week they were covered in this brown looking material. In fact, not only does it sit in the bottom of the tank it has being all around my glass as well at the top where my LED light is based. I did have quite a few worms on the front of my glass and found out this was due to overfeeding (they multiply like wild grass)! I am only feeding my fish flakes at the moment and gave my shrimps a slice of cucumber for the occasional treat. 
     
    The tank in itself as well seems like it is 'black' inside. It is not a green algae looking colour but simply really dark if you look at it during the day. In the pictures you don't really notice it with my LED light beaming down. Could this be a result of the tannin? I am using activated carbon at the moment to try and crystallise the water (a few other things too listed below) but not having much look. I heard polyester from pillows is good, as long as they do not have any toxins or fireproof sort of materials which could harm the fish. Any other tips any one has to clear water would be brill. 
     
    A few things which may be helpful: 
     
    What is in my tank?
     
    Fish (to this day only two neon's have passed away so I now have 3 rather than 5 - 1 got stuck in the back of my filter [​IMG]and the other I found floating):
    • Standard Male Betta
    • Silvertip Tetra (3)
    • Neon Tetra (3)
    • Rummy Nose (3)
    • Yamato Shrimp (2)
    • Snails (free courtesy of live plants [​IMG])
     
    Filters and misc. (Majority of my sponges and filters are situated in the bank of the tank where there is built in compartments)
    • Aquaone maxipower head 101 (came with the tank) *Do I need a better filter than this? I haven't being able to find any recommendation
    • Valve pump powering two air stones
    • Carbon filter pads
    • Nitrogen sponge
    • Active carbon to try remove tannin from the water and clear it up
    • Fluval polycarbon cartridges
    • Aquaone Heater
     
    Plants
    • One of the bogwood contains Java leaves
    • Not too sure what the other two breeds were now like an amateur. Forgot to take note.
     
    My water changes are weekly and here is the set of my last results just a week ago:
     
    pH: 7.6
    High pH: 8
    Ammonia (NH3/NH4+): 0.2
    No3: 0
    No2: 0.1
     
    Any advice you could offer I would be most grateful. Apologies if this is not in the correct topic pool. 
     
    Thanks [​IMG]
     
     
     
     
  2. Ninjouzata

    Ninjouzata Two Eels Are Better Than One
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    [​IMG] to TFF! Hope you enjoy it here.
     
    The tannins are not harmful at all and are actually beneficial and preferred by some fish. Some do dislike the tea color though and soak it beforehand. I just wanted you to know it wasn't bad of you to put it in there :)
     
    Can you get a picture of the brown slimy stuff you're referring to? I imagine it's algae of sorts, probably diatoms, which is common in newly set up tanks (how long have you had this by the way?)
     
    If you can take some pictures of your other plants and post them someone should be able to ID them for you. A FTS (full tank shot) would be great if you are looking for suggestions on how to scape it.
     
    What type of lighting do you have? This will determine what sort of plants you want to put in the tank as some require higher lighting than others.
    Some plants don't need ferts or co2 but all can benefit from those. Carpet plants usually are best in high lighting with co2, unfortunately.
     
    There are two things I'd like to touch on though I realize you didn't ask about them. I would not be feeding flakes to your betta (I realize this is difficult if you're giving it to the other fish) as they can easily cause bloat.
    He'd really be better off with a high quality betta pellet :) HERE is more info on bettas as well, if you want to read it. I'd love to see some more close-ups of your betta by the way!
     
    I am not all that experienced with shrimp but I would recommend switching from cucumber to zucchini/courgette as it is more nutritious. :)
     
    The other thing I am concerned about is your stocking, while groups of 3 is okay it is a lot better to keep them in groups of 6 (of their own specie) as in the wild they can be in groups of hundreds to thousands.
    Along with this, the silver tip tetras and the rummynose tetras are not quite suitable for this tank. They each get to 5cm and are fairly active so would be better in a tank with dimensions of 60x37.5x30cm.
     
    Sorry for being a bit negative, I just thought it'd be good for you to be aware of that now rather than later.
     
  3. Dandyman3

    Dandyman3 Member

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    Thanks Ninjouzata and thanks for the prompt reply! 
     
    Yeah, I read about this and saw people mentioning it. Some people themselves prefer the affect and say it has a calming affect or increase of hormones for fish… because it feels more natural. I got tired of not being able to see the fish though! [​IMG]
     
    The tank has been up and running since the 26th May (didn't add the fish first until cycling complete). Getting a picture was quite hard, cleaned the tank recently, but here are a few I managed to snap. You will see one attached which is this awful brown material in one of the pictures and then the second looks to be of a dry white substance? 
     
    brownstuff.jpg whitestuff.jpg
     
     
     Full picture of the front of the tank attached (in better lighting). Bogwood with java fern is one of them but the other two… 
     
    Tank.jpg
     
    It is and was described as “Ultra bright low energy consumption LED lighting, for fish and plant growth”. The Output from my plug is 12v (1000ma) and it says this on the front of the light “346+11m 3c4b 12 led” assuming that it is putting out about 12v. It is very bright... 
     
    In that case, I would hopefully imagine that should be ok, but I know there are certain types of plants which maybe some fertilisers will be good enough to host some. 
     
    I am feeding them this food at the moment. I must admit I have looked at that page thinking what the best food for them would be, haven’t noticed them in my local store though, will have another look when I’m there next. If I added this food, would I reduce the amount of flakes than for the others almost or feed them the same diet? At the moment with the little lightning bolts of the silvertip tetra’s who know when food time is… lol 
     
    Betta.jpg Silvertip.jpg food.jpg
     
     Yeah, read a few things on them, and Yamato are probably one of the basic ones to start with. I hope to get different type of shrimps and have seen a forum member who has a great picture of a blueberry shrimp who will hopefully pop along and offer some info [​IMG].
    I am going to try get them some algae wafers because they really do love them. 
     
     With the groups, I am aiming to get more, but don’t want to add too many whilst I plan to add a few more plants to the tank. I was developing my group of Neon’s but with losing them for whatever reason, seems like I need to source another place for them. With these all tetra type, they all get along excellently, I haven’t seen one outbreak between them yet! The silvertip and Rummynose group together more often than not and my neons too. They seem to be a friendly tetra bunch. In terms of size was, I was informed that 10 gallon was a minimum size for these I believe and with mine being 12 gallons, they seem to love the space in the tank at the moment but thanks for making me aware. Will probably stick with my 3 and 3 of silvertips and rummynose because they seem paired brilliantly. 
     
    No worries at all this is the sort of info I am after! Thanks a lot
     
     

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