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PattyPedd
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female usa
CONGRATULATIONS on the baby!!! How exciting! Your tank sounds exciting too. I too, have rosie barbs and they are lovely, but as Peach said earlier, I wouldn't put a betta with them. They get rather nippy... ]

You are certainly doing your homework!! Pat yourself on the back! :88)

I have a 6 month old baby girl and I AM (we both are) sleeping through the night, so have faith!

Best wishes, Dutch friend!

Patty
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile AIM Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Thanks for the best wishes and the information Peach Fuzz & Patty, it looks like there won't be any betta then, maybe we'll get one in a smaller tank at some point.

Day 27: Just a brief little update, there isn't that much new to tell. All the fish are doing great, the cories are still slightly nervous when someone walks near the tank, and they've managed to uproot some of the Hydrocotyle. I'm going to keep an eye on them though and take a look around for their specific feeding requirements, because so far they "nose" around a lot and pick up some small pieces of food when they find it, but they haven't made the connection to feeding time just yet... I expect that will change soon enough though.

The rummy tetras are doing very good, there's 6 of them, 4 males, 2 females and this morning the males were all trying to impress the females to mate... They sometimes disappeared as a couple into the thick vegetation and I could see the males shivering intensely so who knows, in a couple of days there might even be some fry (which probably won't survive very long). And there I thought the mollies were a   bunch
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Day 27: second update. Damnation... it looks like the new fish brought Ich with them, I was just looking at the rummy nose tetras, one of the males has been a bit "off" for the past two days, not swimming in the school as much as normal, and now I noticed the tiniest spots on several of the others. So far the rummy nose tetras are the only ones to have it, but I'm sure the others will follow soon. Tomorrow I'll have to go get some medicine. Bleh, in 15 years of having aquariums this is only the second time I have a disease in my tank, I do not like it.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Fallout
 
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D-oh Sorry to hear that bonke, but fortunately it's the most common affliction in the home aquarium.

Slowly raise the temperature of the tank a few degrees, up to about 82. This will speed the life cycle of the parasite up, allowing more to be killed in a shorter time. You can turn the tank light off for a day or two as well, this eases stress on the fish and makes them easier to treat. Take our your carbon in the filtration system, and follow the directions on whatever medication you get. Be sure to read if there are special instrucitons for scaleless fish and/or tetras. You have both, so pander to them!

Good luck
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Day 29: Yesterday I started with the anti-Ich treatment, the one "off" rummy-nose had passed away during the night as I expected it to do. The evening before it was breathing very laborously and had problems with maintaining buoyancy, I guess not having eaten for a couple of days didn't help him either. This was one of the two fish that got damaged by the LFS woman just over a week ago.

The other fish looked a little bit better, I didn't see as many spots as the evening before, but there still were some. The other damaged rummy-nose looked worst of all, though still eating well and being nice and active. My wife picked up the medication from the LFS during the afternoon, and in the evening I took out the carbon from the filter and added the medication to the tank... How I hated the green look it got...

This afternoon when I got home the water had cleared up quite a bit and the fish had no detectable spots, I'm not sure whether the medication always works so fast or whether the fish were already on the mend before I treated them, but things look hopeful. Tomorrow I have to add some more medication according to the instructions, and I think I'll stick to that, better to be completely rid of the parasite.

I'm still a bit worried about the rummy-nose tetras though, most of them eat pretty good and have nice "pointy" stomachs after a meal, but one or two of them don't eat that well it seems, though all of them are very active and schooling nicely (the one that died the other day didn't school for two days). I guess the general view of them being sensitive fish turns out to be quite right.

The Rummies on the other hand are extremely lively, the four males are continuously baltsing and trying to impress the females. That's one kind of fish I can absolutely recommend! My wife has started naming some of the fish in the tank, the big female mollie has become "Wanda", the male is "mr. Big", and the damaged rummy-nose has been called "spotty". The cories are harder to name though, because they all look alike, they have now been officially dubbed "swimming pigs" They're a cute bunch though, I never had cories before, but I like them a lot... even if they uproot some of the plants
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Day 42: I just came back from a short vacation in my home-country (Netherlands). During the 6 days I was gone my wife has taken care of the aquarium and that worked out pretty good. Before I left there were two fish of which I thought they weren't going to make it, one was one of the most damaged rummy nose tetras, and the other was one of the 4 angelfish that I bought about 10 days ago from a department store...

Those angelfish were a story by themselves; I knew that at that department store they had a fish section, one wall of small tanks, 6 rows high and about 10 meters wide. So far I had managed to avoid it (I knew the fish there aren't treated that well), but since I had not been able to find angelfish that I liked I finally went there to take a peek. The situation in those tanks was even worse than I remembered; horribly overstocked, lousy filtration and many tanks had diseases. I counted about 10 dead fish lying in several tanks... They did however have a tank full of tiny angelfish (one inch), and they looked very lively and healthy... I guess they hadn't been there long yet. After some consideration, worrying about getting another disease (The Ich had cleared away in less than 2 days and didn't come back) I finally decided to go for them and bought four of them, one wild type striped one and three different kind of marbled versions. They were packed in a plastic box of the kind that I usually use for storing food in a freezer, and after asking I also got a bit of paper wrapping (it was COLD outside).

At home I took about an hour to get them acclimated to my tank conditions by adding a bit of water from the tank to the box every 10 minutes until the box was full. They were back to nice color within an hour or so and three of them started eating as soon as I added some food. One of them however wasnt really interested in food at all and just swam around, it didnt eat for about a week, but since two days ago it has started eating nicely and I think it will make it no idea what was wrong with it, but it obviously has managed to overcome it.

In the 6 days I was gone the plants have grown tremendously! I just spent about an hour with scissors in the tank cutting and replanting, it looks great again I had to take a picture; the role of film is now half full, so expect those photos in another 2 weeks or so. I think Ill enlist in the aquascaping contest, I think I stand a nice chance if I say so myself

Since I took the active carbon out of the filter the tannins coming from the bogwood are no longer filtered out, and that is pretty clear when you look at the water, it was now a bit like a very light tea color, not too bad, but I thought it was slightly too dark for my liking. I think it also captures some of the light away, and I already am at the edge of what I need for this tank, so a water change was definitely necessary. Today I did a 10% change, and Ill probably do another 10% towards the weekend. I checked what a second light mount for this tank would cost, and I will probably get one after my vacation 100,- is a bit much, but right now the 1.3 wpg is a bit on the low side.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Day 60: Where does the time go, my tank has been up and running for nearly 2 months now. Things are going fairly well. First the two things that makes it only "fairly well" and not great.

One of the Corydoras has gone missing. About 1 weeks ago one of them was somewhat lethargic, though breathing very hard, when it would swim it did so very erraticly, not straight, but sort of spinning like as if it was in some sort of rollercoaster. At first I thought that maybe it had a bout of bad indigestion since I had started feeding them some shrimp pellets the day before (specifically made for ground dwellers according to the box), but then the next day I couldn't find him anymore and haven't seen him since. I guess there is a tiny chance he jumped from the tank, there are two holes in the back, triangular, about 2" wide and 1" deep that guide the hoses and electric wiring of the heater and lamps. Most likely however is that he died somewhere in the thickest areas of plants and then got eaten by the others.

The other less nice thing is that I have a small algea problem, about a week ago I did a water change and added some plant fertilizer to the tank, It's one of these Tetra bottles and it states that you should add some once a month... I think I'm gonna let that go for a while. Within a couple of days after adding the fertilizer a nice green wavy carpet started to appear throughout the tank, on the background (where I don't mind it all that much), on the bog wood, and worst, on the plants. It came so fast that the Otos and the mollies couldn't eat a dent in it, and for a couple of days I was slightly worried. Luckily the plants also kept on growing nicely and 2 days ago I did some major weeding, cutting off all the algea infested plant areas. Since then the mollies have been having an algea banquet and large clean areas have appeared on the background. The water is crystal clear again and the tank looks great.

On the plus side as well is that my big mollie female has given birth some time ago. It was a bit of a surprise since she never looked any thinner than before, but about 2 weeks ago I suddenly noticed one of her offspring hiding between the plants. It must have been only 2 or 3 days old by then and since the latest addition to the tank, a medium sized black angelfish, is a fish who likes to hunt things, I didn't give the little one much of a chance of surviving. After two days we didn't see the little one anymore and I thought the angel had managed to catch it. However, when I did the weeding the other day, I suddenly noticed the small one again, it's grown quite nicely and I think that within 3 or 4 weeks it'll be able to swim out in the open. My wife was thrilled. It was good to see her smile again... we've had a rough week since she miscarried last wednesday.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Day 72: I wonder if anyone is still reading this report, but anyway, here's another installment. Yesterday when I came home from work and checked the tank I saw a couple of really fat and energetic angelfish staring back at me. At first I was a bit worried, none of them was pooping at the time and I feared some sort of constipation. So I decided to observe them for a bit to see whether they would "do something" So while I sat on the chair in front of the tank I suddenly noticed a little grey fish, about 5 mm long or so and I thought "Wanda (the big black molly, my wife's named her) has given birth!". And indeed, she looked all thin again and was continuously being harassed by the male.

So the Angels had a lovely feast of molly fry, and considering how fat Wanda used to be and how fat the Angels now were, there must have been many of them. Meanwhile I had lost track of that one fry and since the angels were still in hunt-mode I did not give it much of a chance (though that one from last time has survived and is now swimming freely throughout the tank). Later in the evening I saw it again and then my wife felt so sorry for it that she wanted me to save it, since it was swimming at the surface, close to the background it was easily scooped out with a glass. In the next 5 minutes I managed to catch another 4 of them, while one dived away into the plants.

Since I don't have a spare tank (I did manage to talk my wife into getting one, a small one, which I will make once I get back from my vacation in New york in a month or so) I had to make some sort of temporary solution. I took a plastic box that's usually used for storing food in the freezer, it's about 5" x 4" x 3". I still had some stryofoam left from when I made the background and cut a ring from it, which would just fit around the top of the freezer box, giving it some buoyancy. Then I took my dremel with the smallest drill (about 1 mm) and drilled a load of holes in the sides of the box, giving it some possibility to exchange water. This is now floating in the tank, containing the 5 fry and some floating leaves from plants (to give the fry a bit of cover). The angels are continuosly harrassing the fry, but can't get to them, I guess the fry will get used to that in time, though it must be a bit scary for them The angels look magnificent though, flaring their fins and looking mightily alert, almost as when they're having fry themselves and are protecting it.

Oh and on a side note, I now have the photos of the planted tank, I've also posted them in the photo booth, but here's one of them as well, just in case someone IS actually reading this

[/font]
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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Yep, still reading. With great interest.

The tank looks great BTW , good job on the background !
Actually we have a very similar set up. I also have mollies, angels and rummies and they do like those fry

PS. I was very sorry to hear about the miscarriage, hope your wife is feeling better.


Some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue.

Remember that age and treachery will always triumph over youth and ability.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Good to see I still have at least one reader And thanks, me and my wife are indeed feeling better, we're now focussing on our upcoming vacation before thinking of a new "attempt".

Day 75: Recently the snail population in the tank has been growing almost exponentially, and that was getting a bit annoying since the most proliferate species of snail seems to be one that either eats plants or their eggs destroys plant tissue. In any case a certain plant species that I have, I think it's Hygrophila polysperma var. rosanervig "sunset", there is an awful lot of tiny holes appearing and the oler leaves are dropping like flies. I don't know the exact species of snail that's causeing it, but they have a very flat spiraled shaped shell, and they don't get too big, maybe 4 -6 mm in diameter (1/4 inch I guess). There must be hundreds of them so something needed to be done about it. And so I have.

My snail remedy consists of two pretty betta ladies, one is reddish with dark lines in the fins and the other is deep blue with a little bit of red (very pretty). Once released in the tank they immeadiately started exploring and especially the blue one has been very interested in the snails. I can already see about ten empty snail houses lying around and caught her picking on a snail several times so far. expect my snail problem to be something of the past in the near future

I also did another water test yesterday, and it looks pretty good, the water here in Finland is very soft, Hardness is about 3 or less and the pH of the water is around 6.5. When I get back from vacation I want to get some more light in the tank, it's currently only having 76 watts and I think I need some more to get some of the plants growing really nice in stead of just staying alive. I was also thinking of setting up a CO2 system, but with the softness of the water I may have to be a bit careful. We'll see then.

[span class="edited"][Edited by Bonke 2004-07-03 09:57][/span]
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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Bonke,

I wouldn't be too fast to blame the snails. I've had the sunset hygro before and gave up on it. Without sufficient light the leaves will just drop and float away.

I've had the same snails for some time. The wife made a game of catching them ! I actually just decided to leave them as I've noticed they will algae before a healthy plant and have yet to see one damage a plant. Ijust let my wife keep the population under control

How's the female betta working out ? I must admit I was never a fan of male bettas , but I think the females look great but wasn't sure about putting them in a large community tank.


Some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue.

Remember that age and treachery will always triumph over youth and ability.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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I guess it's possible light is a bit of a problem, but the thing is that the leaves are developing lots of little holes, they didn't do that before the snail population had grown to extremes. In general the Sunset Hygro is growing pretty well, with lovely pink tops, even with the relatively low amount of light (1.2 wpg)

At first I didn't mind the snails all that much, the firs snail I saw in the tank, after planting it and before adding any fish, was like a little celebration because it showed that at least something could live in the tank with the DIY background (I WAS a little worried). Now there's so many that I'd like to cut down their numbers a bit, picking them off one by one is not really an option, though I'm sure my Angels would love the crushed remains. That's why I added the two Betta females. They are doing well. In the beginning the angels and the male molly were very interested in them. Especially the molly was having some trouble adjusting, he actually tried mating with them, that fish has some serious attitude problems.

Now they're settled in just nicely, the blue one is the most active in snail hunting, the red one isn't that interested in them and mostly just begs for food when I get near the tank. After my vacation I will build a second (smaller) tank where we'll raise the molly fry, and once those are out I'm gonna get a male Betta and try to get some Betty offspring... Molly's are a bit too much like guppies for my liking Maybe in a year or so once the Angels are all grown up and have formed a pair I'll separate them to breed as well.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Najoha
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What a great diary!! Just came across it. I had a snail problem and LFS suggested a clown loach. Worked great and he got nice and fat. My mollies annoyed my red female betta to the point of stess and breakdown for the poor girl but she is happy in her own barrack now and my white girl is so bossy no other fish would dare mess with her!!
Please keep up with the diary, love to read others stories.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
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Welcome aboard Dutchman ! Soon as you said you were Dutch I thought, wahoo ! We're going to see a pic of a Dutch planted tank.... And sure enough there it was !

Very awesome tank, you sure put alot of work in there and it was worth it

The Amazon Nut...
75 & 25g plant tanks.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Good to see more people reading this thread I'll keep on adding my experiences.

Day 83 (I think): The past week I've been horribly busy with preparing for the licenciate exam that I had yesterday morning. I can't say I enjoyed studying 600 pages of review articles, but it had to be done. Now that is behind me I can actually put some of my attention to the tank again, and that's good, because in the 8 days since I last did something serious it has become a bit of a jungle.

I've mentioned before that I had a bit of a beard algae showing up, forget about that, it isn't beard algae but something called staghorn algae. In small amounts it looks quite interesting, but currently it is starting to show up on a lot of places and I don't like it one bit. I did some searches on the web and so far the only thing I've found that might help is adding nitrate and CO2... go figure that, treating an algae by adding nitrates. Supposedly this algae isn't too hard to get rid of, but I don't think I'll start the process until I get back from my vacation. Until then I will just try to keep algae levels down by mechanically removing it, which isn't that hard since it forms relatively compact tufts that come loose reasonably well. Besides that the plants need some serious trimming again, especially the Lymnophylla has grown halfway through the tank.

As for the CO2, yesterday I went to a hobby shop where they sell miniature airplane parts and such, and got a couple of gas-tank nipples, or whatever they may be called. They will serve nicely for piercing the coca cola bottle caps. I also bought 7 ft of gasoline tubing. Those nipples are made of stainless steel and the tubing supposedly is acid resistant, so they should make the creation of a DIY CO2 system quite easy. I may do that the coming week, but I won't install it until I come back from New York. My inlaws will be feeding the fish while we are gone, and that is as far as their knowledge about aquariums goes: fish need food.

Ok, I'm about to start the tank-weeding, first some breakfast and coffee.

Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Day 99: Today I came back from a 9 day vacation to New York. Me and my wife had a great time there and fell a bit in love with the city. Who knows, maybe one day in the future we might even move there.

Upon arrival at home I of course first checked out the tank, and to be honest, it looks awful. During the nine days that I was gone the staghorn algae has been growing like mad and it is now covering at least 60% of all plants. A bit later today I'm going to do a water test, hopefully it will give me something I can work with. A bit of searching on the web basically gave me nothing except that this algae should be countered by adding nitrate, so if my nitrates are really low then that is what I may have to do. I think I may have to boost my plant growth though, so I'm going to start setting up the CO2 system today so it should be up and running by the end of this week. This week I'm also going to the home improvement store to find some extra lighting mounts... add a couple more watts might help a little, finally I'm also reinstalling the active carbon for a few weeks. The bogwood in the tank is still releasing tannins that color the water, and I think it's keeping a lot of light from reaching the bottom of the tank.

I now have a digital camera so expect pictures of the CO2 installation, and the progress of the tank.

Oh and if anyone has any experience with staghorn algae and getting rid of it, please share your experience.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Day 105: No replies on the staghorn algae issue, it doesn't matter, some digging on the web made it quite clear that I indeed seem to have a nutrient problem. I guess in the Netherlands there's more nitrates in the water than here in Finland, since there I never seemed to have this problem. Anyway, I'm now on my way out of this situation. I found some nice sites on the web that gave good information on how much of everything should be about present. Tomorrow I'm going to find me the stuff that I need.

Meanwhile I've ordered an extra light mount and a sylvania glolux lamp, which should bring the wattage up to 114, giving me almost 2 wpg. If the installation is not too difficult I'll probably add one more later next month.

I've now also set up a DIY CO2 system according to the standard method. A minor change of the normal tube-through-cap method that I made, was that instead I used bulkhead fittings that are used in mini planed for the gas tank. I couldn't find any nylon ones so finally settled for stainless steel ones. Using these you completely avoid leaking of gas due to failed glue. They fit so nice and tight that no glue is necessary whatsoever. Here are some photos.

co2.jpg" border="0">

Now I still need to get a proper CO2 dispenser for in the tank. Currently I'm latting the bubbles gather in an overturned plastic cup and I can't say it's really optimal. I'll probably get that thingie next week.

For now I'm doing some water changes, weed out as much of the filthy algae as I can and hope that the fertilization will help. To get an idea of what some areas of the tank look like, here's a photo of one of the cories resting on a nice algae bed:

[/font][/font][/font][/font]
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Day 108: Well then, today I've added some of the fertilizer. Over the past few days I've been trying to get as much information as possible and found a couple of nice sites. One site was particularly helpful, containing Chuck's planted aquarium calculator: http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/. On another site I found some good information on the chemicals that are best for fertilization. For Nitrates that turns out to be KNO3 and potassium is best given in K2SO4. During the weekend I couldn't find either one, but today at work I was able to acquire some of each, so I can now try it out and see if it helps against the algae or not. I've also added some tetraplant fertilizer (does nor contain NO3) for the trace elements, tomorrow I'll do a water test to see how it all turns out and then the day after tomorrow I'll probably add some more nitrate... depending on whether my tank has turned green or not.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Day 113: Quite a few changes have been made over the past few days. After adding the nitrate and potassium 5 days ago I had quite an increase in the free floating soup algea, it didn't quite completely turn my tank into a large container of pea soup, but it came close. I decided that now really was to time to start making some serious changes otherwise the whole tank was going to hell.

First thing I decided to do was get a new filter. The one I had been using so far supposedly had a capacity of 500 liter per hour, but it was an oldie and of some unknown brand, my feeling was that it did maybe 100-150 liter per hour and that most of that didn't go through the filter material. I also was in need of a better method to get the CO2 injected into the water, the upturned plastic cup did not seem to be very effective and most of the CO2 would still escape to the surface.

So yesterday I finally had the time to really do something about it and me and my wife went to the (not so) local LFS. The owners of the shop, an couple with their baby who are absolute aquarium addicts told me that the staghorn algae usually comes up when there's not enough nitrateand CO2, too much phosphate, and lighting isn't good. Pretty much what I had figured out myself (except for the phosphate). He suggested 30% water changes twice a week for a couple of weeks, lower the time that the lights are on, and get better CO2 injection.

I then continued to buy a new filter, the Eheim 2226, which does 950 liters per hour, a special SERA CO2 reaction chamber that is connected to filter outlet, a new plant (some Myriophyllum species), and 3 more Corydoras cf. copeii to increase the school from 4 to 7 (one had died about 2 months ago).

When I arrived home I started to set up the new filter and CO2 unit, I also added an extra 1 liter bottle of sugar/yeast mix to increase CO2 output. The filter sure created a strong current, doesn't matter, the fish will just have to grow some muscle . However, the filter made an awful noise, very much rattling, at first I thought it was just because of air in the impellor chamber, but it never ceased. After trying it out for a night it was still just as noisy this morning, and I called to the LFS. It turned out that this series of filters had a set of 500 units that had a faulty impellor, my LFS had recieved 50 of those units and I obviously got one of them. He replaced it for free and with excuses.

As a sidenote, when I took the old filter apart for cleaning and storage I found two vlack molly fry in it, they were somewhat skinny, but very much alive and are now in the small fry box that I have floating in the tank.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Day 116: We're now three days since the new filter and CO2 were installed, I have the feeling the staghorn algae is either not growing or maybe even dying off. I'm not sure though, it may be a bit too early to tell. I'm still waiting for the water to clear up though, it is a bit whitishly murky, and I'm not sure what's causing it yet, I guess it could be the waterbloom algae, but I'd think that should turn the water green in stead. The plants at least seem to be doing reasonably well, they're even pearling a little bit, especially near the evening there are continously bubble appearing at the leaf tips.

Today the new lamp arrived and I just finnished installing it... well preliminary finished installing, because the whole mounting feet were half a cm too long, so now the hood does not close entirely, I'll have to visit a DIY shop and get some material to put the whole thing 90 degrees off, then it should be fine. I now have 114 watts of light, and reflectors on all lamps, I may still add one more lamp next month or so, depending on how things go. For now I'm gonna keep on doing the twice-a-week 30% water changes and hopefully withing a week or two the tank is crystal clear and growing good. to be able to keep track of the changes I just took a photo of the tank, here it is:


In the center you canb see the little box with molly fry, unfortunately the two that I found in the filter didn't make it, I guess the sudden light, change of food and stree from angels trying to eat you was too much for them.[/font]
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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Bonke,

That's a great job on the aquascaping Looks terrific or iat least it will once the cloudiness and algae clear up.Really like the layout.

How are you doing with the Reineckki ? I'm having a terrible time with it, not looking good at all, with 2.2wpg and it in the brightest part of the tank it's still suffering.

Also the plant to the right of the water sprite,with the light green oval leaves, what is that? Looks kind of like a Ludwigia or Lobelia. Been looking for something that kind of size and leaf shape.


Some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue.

Remember that age and treachery will always triumph over youth and ability.
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Dr. Bonke
 
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Hey Bensaf,

The Reineckki used to be one of the best growing plant of the tank, it still grows pretty well, but it also is one of the worst algae infested plants of the lot, right after the Lilaeopsis and Hydrocotyle. Tomorrow I'm having the 30% water change again and then I'm also going to get the Reineckki a bit organized, and get rid of the algae infested leaves.

The light green, oval leaf shaped plants are indeed Lobelia cardinalis. Over the years I've grown quite fond of those plants, and always have had them in every tank I had set up. They don't grow horribly fast, which makes them great for all areas of the tank, in the fron you can just plant the tips while larger plants are perfectly suitable for the middle of the tank, Once I even had a single plant as centerpiece in the back of a tank, looking like a big tree with a stem of nearly 2 cm. I've made a schematic of the tank layout, with the names of all the plants, that should make it a bit easier to identify them:


[/font]
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Janna
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The white cloudiness of the water indicates a bacterial bloom, presumably from a minicycle. This was probably caused by having a new filter. Did you run the old one alongside it?


They shade the glow of it with their mossy-misty costumes,
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Dr. Bonke
 
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Hi Janna, I don't think it's that because it was already there before I changed filters. The water has been slightly cloudy for 2 or 3 weeks now and this increased quite a bit after I added some nitrate to fight the staghorn algae. I'm quite sure it's the algae of the algae-bloom type.
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Dr. Bonke
 
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aactivation post, next weekend I should have some time again to write a real update
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Dr. Bonke
 
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Heh... that next weekend update became next year instead. There's a couple of things going on at the momnet which made decide to give this diary another update. In the photo booth I had a couple of photos about my breeding pair angels which were spawning on new year's eve. The couple did very well and managed to keep their eggs and brood safe until it started swimming freely. The next morning when the lights switched on the father became a bit confused about what was going on and ate part of the fry, mommy didn't like that very much and bit him several times before he realized that he was eating his own kids. The other fish also managed to catch several of them before the couple was fully organized, but during the rest of the day it was a magnificent sight to see that remaining cluster of fry move through half of the tank with the parents guarding over them. This morning however I got up a little bit later, and when I took a look at the tank, no fry remained. Whether the parents got confused again or not I don't know, but all in all the pair did a marvelous job together.

Now in the beginning of December, or was it even late november, the same pair also spawned and then I took away the leaf of eggs after the first night as, somehow the pair had gotten confused during the night and the female didn't want the male near the nest anymore. After the eggs hatched I had about 250 fry in a 5 gallon plastic tank. I had little hope for that nest, although I did have liquid food, I had no aeration or filter in that tank. The liquid food cause the water to go bad incredibly fast and even daily water changes could not keep up with the oxygen depletion and accumulation of waste in the little tank. Thus the fry started dying off rapidly and after 1½ week there was about 100 of them left. By then the airpump which I had ordered from germany had arrived and I was able to aerate the water, I also switched to tiny fry flakes as food. Unfortunately I then went on vacation for two weeks and had to leave the fish feeding to a friend who has no idea about this stuff.

Coming back from vacation the tank was nearly empty, only 9 little fish remained, but they looked healthy and are growing like cabbage, by now the biggest is about 2 cm, looking like a miniature (cute) little angelfish and is starting to show some color!

As I have all the expensive periods behind me for a while (dissertation, x-mas, vacation and such) I could now concentrate on aquarium stuff for a bit, and today I bought a second "real" aquarium. It is from the same series as the one I already have, so it is a Juwel aquarium, only this time it is a Rio 125:



The size is: 81 x 50 x 36 cm, which makes it about 32 x 20 x 14 inches and 33 gallons I believe (rough conversions)

It is quite a nice size, my wife is happy with the design (I'm slowly turning her into an aquarium lover as well ) and once all the current fry are large enough for bringing them to the LFS, it'll be perfect for having the angels separate and breed in there. But first I will have to decorate the tank. I'm going to make a similar background as I made previously, only this time thinner and a bit more planned I think, and then the aquascape will come next week... I'm still not sure how I will do it this time, but for certain it will have a bit of curly vallisneria in there (my wife isn't too much into that, but she has only seen it in the store, not in a nice aquascape ). I will write again in a couple of days to update the progress on the tank[/font]
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Bob Wesolowski
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Wopnderful post, Bonke! This was my first chance to read it and the narrative was outstanding.

__________
"To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research."
researched from Steven Wright
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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It's been a while since I posted about anything on these forums, and this particular thread hasn't had an update in months. Recently I've been a bit preoccupied with other things and Due to that the big tank has been suffering a bit. I've never been able to completely get rid of the algae problem in my tank, though most of the time only the slow growing plants were showing that. However, when I added three Yoyos to the tank to take a bite out of the trumpet snail population things went south. Although the yoyos were doing a great job at eating snails, algae growth increased.

Then, about six weeks ago, I decided to go for bottled CO2 instead of the DIY system I'd been using until then. From the moment I ordered the regulator and other necessary equipments I more or less started to ignore the tank. Except for some small water changes and cleaning of the front window I didn't do very much and pretty soon plant growth stagnated and the algae was having a party. I did a water test last week which showed me that nitrate levels were somewhere near 20, that kinda shook me awake, especially since in better days it was hard to measure nitrate concentration.

So, to make a long story short, I probably was a bit overstocked. The angel fish had grown in the past year from small inch-sized fish into 5-inch sized saucers, the yoyos had gotten bigger and fatter and all the other fish also had stayed alive. I decided to get rid of two (of five) angels and also get rid of the six rosy tetras. I've always felt that the rosy tetras had been a miss-buy. Even though the were baltsing a lot, they only did that when no one was within 5 meters of the tank, or if you'd be very very still, otherwise they'd just disappear into the plants. Also, I've now received the CO2 regulator, and two days ago I bought myself a 13 liter CO2-cylinder. I've set up the whole system and it does something like 1½ bubbles per sec.

Now, two days later I can slowly start to see the difference, the plants have started growing again and seem to be pearling (though I'm not certain yet whether it's the plants or the algae). I hope to see some more improvement in the next few days. Meanwhile I've started a series of water changes to lower the nitrate level. Wish me luck
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
bensaf
 
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Martin,

Great to see you back, I've missed you anyway . Thought you'd gone for good.

Sorry to hear the tanks having problems, hope the Co2 helps out. Let us know.


Some days you're the pigeon and some days you're the statue.

Remember that age and treachery will always triumph over youth and ability.
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Bernard, I'm still around, though lately I've been mostly just lurking a bit and reading a few of the messages here and there... I haven't really had much time on my hands lately and as my own tank was looking horrible I didn't really feel that I deserved to give any comments on other people's tanks.

Anyway, it's now been nearly a week since I added the CO2 and removed a few of the fish, and the difference is starting to show quite nicely. The water has cleared up a lot, the plants have started growing again (sunset hygro has become nice and pink again and the myrriophyllum grows about 2 cm per day it seems). Algae growth hasn't stopped completely just yet, but it seems to have slowed a lot. I hope the improvement will continue over the next weeks.
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Dr. Bonke
 
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Finally! I've had the CO2 up and running for over a month now and at first things in my tank did not improve at all. On the contrary, algae growth actually increased.

At first things seemed to go into the right direction, plant growth started up again, and from the early afternoon onwards the tank seemed like a big airstone, so much pearling happening all over. I hoped that the increased plant growth would start to outcompete the algae growth, but the opposite seemed to happen, day by day the water became greener and less transparent up to the point where I could not see the back of the tank anymore.

At that point I had enough and took some more drastic action and dropped the photoperiod down to four hours a day. Last thursday before I went on a 4 day trip the water had already cleared up considerably and the algae growth on the plants had come to a stop. Yeserday evening, when I came home, I took a quick peek and the water was crystal clear, I could see through the length of the tank again and the tufts of staghorn algae that had started to grow had now died off, turning very stringy and white

Needless to say that I'm pleased with the progress and now I can finally start increasing the photoperiod again and figure out a proper fertilization schedule. I'll probably come with some photos next week or so
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mattyboombatty
 
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Dr. Bonke,

This is a real nice diary that you have going! It's really interesting to watch the progress on someone else's tank...especially one that encounters some troubles and manages to still keep a great looking tank. (I think I remember reading it when you first posted, but I'm not sure that I posted much at the time)

About the algae - Have you ever used the pH&KH method to approximate your CO2? If so what did you come up with? I've found that if my pH is up over 15ppm, then algae has a real hard time establishing itself. The other things I've noticed in correlation with the staghorn algae was a combination of high PO4 and moderate nitrates. If I can keep those under control, then my plants usually take care of themselves.

Last edited by mattyboombatty at 22-Jun-2005 19:51



Critical Fertilator: The Micromanager of Macronutrients
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Dr. Bonke
 
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15 May was my last post here in this thread, since then the tank has been through quite some stress. After I switched to bottled CO2 I slowly managed to get rid of most of the algae in the tank. There is still some growth, but at the moment it is fairly good under control. However, the road to this point has not been a smooth one. During the past 5 months I have had a period where I was not really all that interested in my tank anymore, mostly due to the algae problem and generally I had too many other things going on to put a lot of effort in the maintenance of both tanks. I just fed the fish, that's where it ended. This resulted in two periods where the plants nearly filled up the entire tank, leaving very little space for the fish to swim. Basically, what I had was a big glass box of green, nothing much else could be seen. Halfway during this period I once removed a lot of plants, but otherwise didn't do anything special.

Then about 3 weeks ago I took a good look at the tank and just felt very ashamed at what had become of it. I spent several hours weeding and cleaning, and as a result it looked somewhat presentable again. Since then I've been maintaining it fairly well, and it is starting to show. The plants grow very nice and the water is chrystal clear. Yet, I'm still not too hapy with it as it is. The sword has grown quite immense over the last few weeks, each new leaf is bigger then the previous. I've now come to the point where I think it will have to go. Furthermore, my angels are turning into cows. They eat from almost every plant, from the sword, the sunset hygro, the lobelia cardinalis and the Bacopa. The only times they don't do that is when they lay eggs, which happens about every 2-3 weeks or so. But outside those times they ravage my plants. So I think I will move the couple to my fry tank and then get rid of the others (black one and the 7 in the fry tank). I'm thinking about replacing them with some diamond gouramis.

In any case, here's a photo of what the tank looks like at the moment.

Dr. Bonke attached this image:
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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hm... picture was 99k, I guess just too big... another try

Dr. Bonke attached this image:
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
mattyboombatty
 
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Wow Dr. Bonke, that looks great. It really looks nice - I can't see any algae and it sure doesn't look like the angels are feasting on your plants. I love the look of the overgrown sword, it compliments the way you have scaped the tank well with the "full" part on the left and an open space in the middle and a veil of vals on the right. Those crypts in the front left are looking nice too. Well done!



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LITTLE_FISH
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Dr.

Your tank looks very nice. I can understand that after all this hard work to get it set you got very frustrated when the algae took over. But I am glad to hear that you got it under control now. I am trying to imagine how your cows moo in the tank .

I agree that the sword is huge, maybe it is time for it to go. Your tank looks very much like a classic Dutch style, but – if you don’t mind – I have one suggestion.

I would change the way you use plants to create streets (for example with the Mayaca Fluviatilis and the Alternanthera reineckii ( ? ) right next to it). I would set the streets to go in an angle to the back and not so straight, otherwise it appears as if they are just groups of plants placed next to each other. Also, try to avoid of having two or more streets right next to each other. I know that is easier said than done, but I have faith in your abilities. BTW, did you know that your original log was an inspiration for my own [link=Planted Tank Log]http://www.fishprofiles.com/files/forums/Planted%20Aquaria/64425.html?200510240910" style="COLOR: #ff6633[/link]?

Good luck and keep us posted, I am glad you revived the log.

Ingo


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seventh_son_of_ed
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Great Log Great Pictures and Great Aquarium.

Face up make your stand and realize your living in the golden Years
Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
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Thanks for the constructive comments people, I always very much appreciate those. Matty, Although I like the look of the sword and love it's color, especially the color of the new leaves, which start out as nearly pink, it really is getting too big for the tank. At the moment it is now shading half of the A. reineckii, and with a new leaf coming up every 4 days it is only getting bigger and bigger. It will have to go... as soon as I can get my courage together to rip the tank apart

In the photo the damage to the plants doesn't seem to be all that bad, but that is mostly because the plants grow fairly fast. The angels usullay rip the plants appart and then let them be for a few days, before grazing them bare again. It leaves the plants just enough time to recover a little so it doesn't look too bad from afar. Up close they look terrible, ezpecially the sunset hygro and the lobelia cardinalis look awful.

Ingo, I agree with your points about the "streets". It isn't my particular intention to have the plants grow in such straight groups. For the moment is it a temporary solution to keep an eye on what I have to work with. When I remove the sword, I think I will also remove most of the lava rock that is lying around. Initially I put those in to make some elevated terraces in the tank, but the cories decided that teraces are useless. in a matter of weeks the front of the tank was equalized in substrate hight, compared to the back. The lava rock is now just taking up space that I could use to grow plants. When that's gone I will have more space to palace the plant "streets" under an angle, as was the intention originally.

There are many things I have planned for the tank, it will be some months before I will have that all figured out

Post InfoPosted 26-Jan-2006 11:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
tetratech
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Dr. Bonke,

Thanks for reviving this log. It's always fun to read someone's else experience. I applaude the detail and the result you achieved with the tank. I must admit I didn't see this log originally and glazed over it just recently.

Is the black substrate on top regular gravel? Sorry if you've already addressed that. The Hygro Sunset is a tough plant. Many seasonal aquarists have trouble with it and it also seems to be an algae magnet. I had success with it for a while.

I had Angels for a while in a planted setup and it really doesn't work. Big schools of small fish seem to fit in with the scape and are less destructive.

My Scapes
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Dr. Bonke
 
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Bah, messed up the Quiz again. Anyway, I think this weekend I'm going to rip the big Sword out of the tank, so most likely it is going to be a huge mess for a while. In the past two weeks it has kept on making new leaves every third day and each of them has reached the surface of the water. It's now shading approximately one third of the tank and it simply has to go. IT's a shame really, I like the look of swords quite a lot, and this one has a lovely color, especially in young leaves, which are a soft pink until they start stretching out. But in they just get too big. Maybe in another 10 years or so, when I'm having that 1000g tank I've always wanted, I will give them another try. Until then my experiments with Swords are over.

Maybe next week I'll have the courage to post a photo of the new look of the tank, without the sword and without most of the rock I put in there when I started out a year-and-a-half ago.
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