What I Got So Far

noobfish

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So here's the tank so far. This all started with my wife allowing our 9yr old son to get a pictus cat and 4gal SpongeBob tank (per the employee this was fine 🙄). I've never kept fish, but I knew that couldn't be right. So I picked up an Aqueon LED 29 Kit. Not great, but came with filter, heater, and light so worked with my little knowledge. I've since upgraded the heater to an adjustable model.
I started with black and white gravel and plastic decor. Then I found this place and after reading through thread after thread realized I had some work to do. I knew very little about cycling and with a GREAT deal of effort I got through a fish-in cycle. I've added in black sand and mixed with the gravel. And lately I've been replacing all the plastic with live plants and natural decor.

Parameters:
33"L x 14.5"W x 21"H
0 Ammonia
0 Nitrites
5 Nitrates
6.9pH
10.5dGH
2.8dKH
79°

Plants/Decor:
Gravel & Sand Substrate
Dragon Stone
Mopami Wood (sp?)
Java Fern
Cabomba
Val Contortionist
Wisteria
Dwarf Sag
Broad Leaf (can't remember the name)
Floating Red Root
Amazon Sword coming soon

Stocking:
Pictus Catfish
BN Pleco
2x Bolivian Ram
2x DTs

Originally had 6 DTs, but mouth rot took 4. Waiting to see what we have with the rams. If 2 males then one will be rehomed. A funky community to be sure.

I know it's not very good, but I'm trying. Hoping to start a ~75gal after the new year. Thanks to all here for the knowledge and ideas you share!
 

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noobfish

noobfish

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So in testing today some parameters changed. Now I have...

6.5pH
10.1dGH
1.2dKH

Other params stayed the same (nitrates dropped slightly).

Any idea why these are all dropping? I did a water change 2 days ago. Only added prime and flourish.
 
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Colin Burns

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you can also check some online shops which provide great material that you need to keep your looking tip-top all year-round. Hope the suggestion helping you
 
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noobfish

noobfish

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I've added the amazon sword, so I think my planting is complete (afraid if I keep going the fishies won't be able to swim).

At what point do you start to consider CO2 injection? Some of my plants aren't doing the best, looking at you cabomba and val. Wondering if I've over-planted for the available nutrients. Is there such a thing? I add liquid flourish at weekly water changes and I've placed flourish tabs in the substrate, generally between closely placed plants.

I plan to upgrade lighting soon as I'm just using the LED lights on the hood that came in the kit. Can't find the kelvin rating, but the LEDs only come in at 5.5W. Anyone have any experience with the Aqueon Optibright+ or the Fluval Aquasky?
 
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noobfish

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Got home from work and about half the red root I put in last week is dead. Not sure what the problem is here. Any ideas?
 

Colin_T

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Plants dying can be from lack of light, lack of nutrients, or the plants were damaged during transport home or to the shop before you got them.

Most aquarium plants like a bit of light and if you only have the light on for a couple of hours a day, they struggle. If the light doesn't have a high enough wattage they also struggle. Try having the tank lights on for 10-12 hours a day.

If you get lots of green algae then reduce the light by an hour a day and monitor the algae over the next 2 weeks.
If you don't get any green algae on the glass then increase the lighting period by an hour and monitor it.
If you get a small amount of algae then the lighting time is about right.

Some plants will close their leaves up when they have had sufficient light. Ambulia, Hygrophilas and a few others close their top set of leaves first, then the next set and so on down the stem. When you see this happening, wait an hour after the leaves have closed up against the stem and then turn lights off.
 
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noobfish

noobfish

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Plants dying can be from lack of light, lack of nutrients, or the plants were damaged during transport home or to the shop before you got them.

Most aquarium plants like a bit of light and if you only have the light on for a couple of hours a day, they struggle. If the light doesn't have a high enough wattage they also struggle. Try having the tank lights on for 10-12 hours a day.

If you get lots of green algae then reduce the light by an hour a day and monitor the algae over the next 2 weeks.
If you don't get any green algae on the glass then increase the lighting period by an hour and monitor it.
If you get a small amount of algae then the lighting time is about right.

Some plants will close their leaves up when they have had sufficient light. Ambulia, Hygrophilas and a few others close their top set of leaves first, then the next set and so on down the stem. When you see this happening, wait an hour after the leaves have closed up against the stem and then turn lights off.
Lights are on from 0830 to 2045. No discernable algae growth. But light is only 5.5W.
 
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noobfish

noobfish

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Have the AquaSky up and running. Its only 18W, still 3x's what it was. And it's got a wider spectrum. Starting at only 70%. I'll slowly increase up to 100, as long as I don't get an algae outbreak. Hopefully this does the trick and my plants cheer up!
 
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noobfish

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A few pics with the new light.
20210807_084453.jpg

20210807_084608.jpg

The caves no one uses.
20210807_084620.jpg

Floaters still aren't looking too good.
20210807_084646.jpg


Hopefully as time goes on plants improve more. Now, if I can just get on with another tank I'll someday get to empty this one and fix the mistake that is my substrate 😣
 
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noobfish

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Great news! I just got an email from my LFS saying that all Fluval lights will be 25% off this weekend. Impeccable timing 🤬🤬🤬
 
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noobfish

noobfish

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Light seems to be working. Cabomba and Wisteria are exploding, Val is looking better too!
Still need to tinker some more with intensity and duration, brown algae is kicking up.
 

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