This is why it’s best to let your plants grow in for the first month or two whilst awaiting for the tank to fully cycle before adding bottom feeder fauna.
Zozo’s superglue idea is the best, albeit tedious.
Less tedious is to cull your bottom feeders.
Less less tedious is to lower your plant...
Stocking candidates progress:
Thank you for waiting.
It took a while but here are the results:
1) Betta - single male
This LFS is a bus ride away from my place and they breed/sell healthy wow-wow bettas. Though at twice (or more...
I’d say get the largest tank you can afford. For a newbie, you gotta deal with water chemistry first and foremost. And a larger volume would help with stability, with less spikes of ammonia and nitrite, should something bad happen later, as all of us former newbies will testify about f**king up...
I was cleaning my two glass inlet and outlet pipes before restarting my recent 10 gallon and this breaking of glass fear was at the back of my mind.
I’m glad you have the situation under control, sure hate a tank suspended mid maintenance.
A reminder for us all to treat all things fragile and...
1) The 10 Gallon Stocking Dilemma
The human heart in conflict with... fish, haha! Sorry Faulkner fans. So, since we’re near the ding-dongs of doom (read: covid19), let’s do some elimination to narrow down potential stocking candidates.
First off, I’m gonna go the species-only way. Meaning no...
Let’s discuss stocking options...
2 zebra otos
6 pygmy cory
6 clown kili
1 horned nerite snail
10 cherry shrimps
or keep a species-only tank?
I saw two kinds of fish that made my fish-mind twerk the other day. First was some beige Japanese rice fish while the another was Tucano tetra.
Nice furry BBA.
Prepare Agent Orange, a.k.a Excel (hydrogen peroxide works too, but me like Excel, smells good!)
Syringe, loaded and ready, sir!
Supersonic bomber, ready for takeoff...
Die BBA, dieeeeeeeee!
Just grab a six pack and chill.
If it bothers you much, scrap the diatoms off.
Or get some otos to munch on them.
I’m already seeing bits popping up on my newly restarted tank.
A sign of more (other algae) things to come :)
Plants Update, Final!
Okay, I am not going to add more plants: exhausted my budget due to the bucep and Tropica cryptocorynes.
cryptocoryne crispatula at the back, with c.parva foreground right; xmas moss on stone, foreground; bucep (unsure which sp.) midground; floaters, a must :)
It's hard to critique without knowing what plants you plan to plant later. But just going on hardscape visuals then my vote is 3: the inward concave area creates an illusion of depth.
Keep us updated of your decision, and also when you start planting etc.
As advised by CookieS, use liquid carbon to spot-treat the BBA.
Excel works great, or 10% hydrogen peroxide.
Method: Use a syringe to uptake ‘payload’, bring it underwater as close to BBA. Release. Ahhhhhhhh. Watch them BBA turn colour.
Take some pics with your awesome camera for us here...
No aquasoil for me too.
Then work the plants around them. Sure, you’ll be limited but think about the joy of creativity amidst constraints.
There will be naysayers, you’ll need to allay this. Need constant vacuuming? Then keep less livestock. Can’t plant stem plants? There are lots...
I had to move a month back and in between living, the tank got sidetracked during the second half of 2019–my gf left me too, but she let me have the tank, so all is well—so today I did something I should’ve done months ago: restart my aquarium.
All flora and fauna perish. Sand in the water...
Second this. In sand, makes you insane, with all that vacuuming and what not. I keep mind super thin though to prevent anaerobic conditions which may lead to Cyanobacteria.
Still a good substrate for corydoras and other sand shifters.
So some updates after the rescape.
Spent a few bucks on a few moss on rocks, Java fern tridents on wood, snails and cherry shrimps.
FTS. There was an abrupt end to the ‘skyline’/‘canopy’ on the left most side so I decided to make the ‘uphill’ curve a bit more naturally sloping, much akin to...
Thanks zozo & Matt for the comments.
Well the Dwarf Papyrus/ Cyperus haspan was a rather impulsive project of the distant past. I was trying out various emergent plants for future planted tank use; so far I have success with Pothos and Wandering Jew (grows like wildfire out of the office nano...
Cube would be a challenge, especially if you have to consider rule of thirds etc. from three or four viewing sides.
Rectangle shaped tanks allows you more leeway with the play on depth; also, increased length allows you to play with more ‘white space’, making your scape look deceptively larger...
I found a nearby LFS which sells live daphnia :)
This has opened my possibility of adding lifestock which requires live food into my tank.
I’m thinking of Scarlet Badis for a start.
Any other suggestions, mates? They must be small, no bigger than 5cm preferably though.
Tank Update: Day ‘I’ve lost count!’
The Betta went to fish heaven while the plants grew into a crazy jungle/swamp and the tank unfortunately fell into disarray from neglect.
So, a weekend back, the girlfriend decided to take matters into her own hands (literally) and somehow midway through her...
Dimmers help too. But floaters are able to absorb nitrates while your aquatic plants adapt to submerged growth. They also act as increased surface area for beneficial bacteria to multiply.
I use S.Natans and Water Lettuce in my tank. Duck weed helps too but I don’t like them as being too small...
Tank Update: Day 90
Several events happened since the last update:
1) Tank and cabinet had to be relocated due to water pipe leakage behind the wall :(
Current temporary location does not have enough natural light. It is shaded by a wall which is good for keeping algae at bay though.
Reminds me of that one time at the LFS when a family of newbies bought a nano tank with everything you need to set it up, including lifestock. LFS shopkeeper told them they could add the fishes that very night.
Go slow ya, and research lots to prevent future tales of despair.
I would do...
Hi JinTse, if this is your first aquascape project then have no worries about plant or hardscape placement. These take time and practice to learn, and you will develop your own style as according to your preferences the longer you dwell into the hobby.
Let the plants grow in (you have done a...
The trick with ottos is to carefully select them at the LFS. Because of their terrible living conditions in transit, you’ll need to look out for two things: 1) high activity; meaning that they swim fast when you try to net them 2) large belly; meaning that they are better fed than the rest.
Get some floaters to decrease light intensity and plant more fast-growing stem plants like Rotalas or Ludwigias etc. You’ll need about 70% (an estimate) of your tank surface area planted (at the start) to reduce chances of algae outbreak.
I would try to save current plants; uproot them when...
If you go Iwagumi, remember to have some fast-growing stem plants too. Those setups with just foreground plants and a few slow growing plants tend to get algae outbreak due to high lighting and CO2 injection.
I have outgrown Iwagumi due to the fact that fish tend to be a little stessed in such...
Rotala Butterfly has an EI calculator for premixed solutions. Perhaps you want to try and look around. If you know the ppm or concentrations of the NPK of Wondergro then just compare it to a premix product with similar values.
Tank Update: FTS Day 62
Was waiting for the lights to come on, enjoy!
We named the betta ‘Sky’. It’s enjoying patrolling its domain at the front of the tank, where none of its subjects dare to roam these days. Well, except Mario and Luigi cos these two ottos had first dips and they too chill...
Tank Update: Day 62
Finally found the final piece to my terrestrial plant ‘puzzle’! I’ve been looking high and low for these plants at my nearest local plant nursery and today I found them :)
Wandering Jew (Purple textured plant)
Sits pretty nicely sandwiched in the middle I’d say. Brings...
How many fish depends on how stable your plants have become established in the tank. Also, how much frequent water changes you are willing to spend on it. Plant more plants and increase bacteria capacity of the tank before you add the desired number you wish to have. My best advice is to let the...
Plecos in a planted tank? Hmmm, sounds like a salad buffet for them plecs. Perhaps trade them for ottos? The only pleco I’ve kept in a planted tank is starlight pleco, can’t remember the L number though but they stay smaller than bristlenose ones and did not munch on my plants then.
Just a mini open paludarium journal...
Once upon a time there was a tank...
Initially wanted it to be just emersed plants, but you know how our fingers are...
A coarse sponge attached to an acrylic stand attached to a lil branch, all via superglue...
Lava stones stuck together piece...
I only clean my filter when the flow gets too slow. And when doing so it’s just simply dunking the bio media in aged water, to remove detritus. I have a mesh at my inlet so most gets stuck there and are removed during weekly or biweekly maintenance.
I’d go with physical removal of large ones (remember to turn off filter while doing so) combined with spot treatment using 10% Hydrogen Peroxide solution (use a syringe and turn off filter too).
You may want to increase flow too in the tank, helps prevent dead spots and encourage growth of new...
Tank Update: Day 53
I added Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily) and Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreens).
Next and final plant? Perhaps a Wandering Jew; it’s one of my favourite terrestrial plant despite it’s rather sad (anti-Semetic?) common name.
Do recommend other plants that could grow out of water...
Tank update: Day I’ve lost count but less than 60?
Lucky bamboo + Pothos on the right. Perhaps Peace Lily on the left soon. Doesn’t look nice for now; maybe better in the future after a carefully fully thought-through re-scape.
An ideal life for any fish is surely not in an enclosed glass space.
It was in a worst living quarters at the LFS so the vase is a tad better I guess. Certainly will upgrade to something bigger in the future when it grows larger.
Ikea Vase (3.3 litre)
clear plastic container cover
various herb stems and pothos vine and Salvinia natans
one little pretty show betta
Lid acts as cover plus holds herb plants upright.
Currently feeding the lil fellow Attison’s Betta Food.
I got bored with nothing to do during the weekend. My office and home tanks are low tech planted, growing slowly, so I thought let’s try setting up some terrestrial plants in my lil balcony garden.
Ikea planter box + 11 mini pots of assorted succulents (to be repotted)
Think I’ve caught MTS for a second time. Dang them doctors, said the ‘D’ vaccine gonna work the first time.
So, against the advice of my shrink, I’ve been setting my subconscious loose on a tiny space, a lil corner of my desk which could fit a 5 gallon or 20L tank max.
Is the curve for T8 similar to T5?
I found another thread with similar graph
Also, is T5NO similar to T5 lights?
This is giving me hope back again...
I have an office desk light which seats about 40 cm above my desk.
It has a T5 18W bulb.
I have space for a tank of the following dimensions: 36 x 26 x 22 cm.
Will the light be suitable for a low-tech tank?
(Apologies if this post reads out like a GCE O-levels Maths question haha!)
It would be perfect if you could plant some Amazon Swords at the background. But these are heavy root feeders and would require aquasoil for best results. Perhaps you can plant them in the sand and use root tabs, that could work?
Scarlet Badis (Dario dario) are micropredators in their natural habitat and thus would require live feed. Lest, they'll slowly decimate and succumb to malnutrition and, eventually, diseases.
Those aside, they are awesomely cute nano fish whose interesting hunting behaviour will have you...
Tank Update: Day 5
So I carried over the pothos idea to my office tank. Took a little vine and dipped the stem (sans leaves) into the water.
Before I did this, I tested the water for nitrite and nitrates, to see how the cycling is doing.
Zero nitrite. 40-80ppm nitrates.
I’m not going to do...
You just have to wait and be patient. Looks like your tank has started cycling. I would only do water change if the nitrates go too high (>80ppm) but since you have no lifestock (I assume) in there, that’ll be fine.
You may want to do the following to speed up the process:
- dose liquid...
Tank Update: Day 36
I have this little pot of pothos on my balcony and suddenly an idea hit me :)
Snip one long creeping stem...
Dump into tank.
Wonder if new roots will grow and if the submerged leaves will survive...
If it creeps upwards over time, it’ll look super cool!
Tank Update: Day 4
H. tripartita and Fittonia has grown up and out of the water :)
Some leaves of the Cryptocoryne plant are yellowing so will trim them soon. But overall they look like they will survive.
Some little hitch-hiker plants on the moss. Any new growth is good news :)
Tank Update: Day 3
I went back to the office (on Saturday) to check on the tank and to also keep up with the dosing regime of Stability and Excel.
No burning so the 7W light should suffice. Let’s see if they wilt come Monday without misting for a day.
I meddled with...
1) Threw away the burnt L.hippuridoides and salvaged the Bacopa.
2) Changed the light bulb from 10W to 7W and angled it so that the plants don’t get direct light.
3) Went to the nearby florist during lunch break and got myself real emergent plants. They were placed in the open...
Finally got everything planted with the sand in too :)
Doesn’t look pretty but I hope things change when they grow in.
Some green will be good for stressful times at work.
Hopefull these two grow well emersed.
I’m not touching anything in this tank. Just gonna let things unfold until...
Tank Update: Day 1
I had fixed myself a budget going into this one. It was initially $100 but I raised it to $120 to provide a bit of leeway.
I couldn’t get a lot of plants of my liking due to this. Even the soil and sand approach had to be reconsidered.
I eventually went for the aquasoil at...
I do have some Salvinia Natans from my current tank at home. I’m thinking of scavenging other plants but have decided not to; everything’s running slow and steady in the current tank so I don’t want to disrupt the balance.
Here is the plant list I have planned for:
@Konsa Thanks for the advice. It makes sense not to stock a pea puffer. I completely forgot about the low maintenance part.
I’ve decided not to go fully planted.
Here’s the plan: fill the breeder box with aquasoil and grow stem plants emersed.
Use sand to grow rhizome plants immersed. Then use...
It's hard to move forward when I was uncertain about what to stock in this tank, so I've decided on a single pea puffer. I'll seed the tank with a couple Ramshorn snail once the tank is cycled so that the dwarf puffer can have some munchies.
This way, I can go full...
This crossed my mind too but I would like to perhaps introduce some tiny livestock further down the road.
But I won’t discount the suggestion entirely; I may fall in love with emersed growth from this little experiment and go full emersed-retard! :p