A New Start - continued progress

igirisujin

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21 Feb 2020
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Between Japan (Kyushu) and the UK (East Anglia)
Hello! Thanks for looking :)

I haven't posted an introduction yet, so I'll give brief one here. I'm from the UK, but have lived in Japan for the past 4 years. I have had planted tanks in the past, but in my last couple of tanks I had problems with plant health and algae. I haven't had a tank for the last couple of years, after visiting a local fish shop with my wife to get a goldfish, she encouraged me to try again with plants. This time my aim is to really keep on top of the maintenance, remove any decaying matter immediately and keep things healthy. I really want it to succeed this time.

I've had this small 25cm tank for a while now, and it used to house a Betta. So, keeping the budget as low as possible and using mostly bits and pieces from the cupboard, here we go again! Thanks for having me :)

Tank: GEX 25cm normal glass tank.
Filter: GEX HOB £7 thingy.
CO2: Do!Aqua mini pressurised bottles, solenoid valve, glass bubble counter, CO2 airstone.
Light: Lominie Asta 20 (Freshwater).
Substrate: ADA Amazonia (normal), cheaper brand powder, ADA La Planta Sand.
Hardscape: 'Seiseki' and wood from local store.
ADA plants: Willow moss, HC, Hairgrass, Hydrocotyl tripartita, Crypt. lucens, Rotala 'green', Rotala rotundifolia (??), Anubias 'mini'.
Ferts: Do!Aqua Be Green and leftover Green Brighty Special Lights.

Here's where the tank will sit when finished. It's quite likely we'll chuck this cabinet, as it's a little small for the junk crammed inside it! But for now, it'll do. I've got the CO2 and ferts sitting on the shelf below.
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Tank moved to the desk for planting. It's easy when it's so small!
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ADA Plants. Expensive, but all plants are in Japan!
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Wood out ready for moss. I had to use some small rocks under the wood for support, but they won't be visible once the wood is back in.
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Even though the light still hasn't arrived, it is due today so I decided to get on with the planting. I left the wood in a bucket of water last night, and I'm glad it did. It was pretty buoyant.

I'll update again in a bit! Thanks again for reading ;)

よろしくお願いします。
igirisujin
 

igirisujin

Member
Joined
21 Feb 2020
Messages
103
Location
Between Japan (Kyushu) and the UK (East Anglia)
Welcome. So lucky you have access to ADA plants and the upper eschalons of Planted Tanks

Thank you :)

Yes, the average aquarium shop here is much more geared to the planted side when compared with home. We're right out in the countryside, so most shops here still only carry the cheap-end Chinese and Japanese brands and plants, but the majority have at least a small amount of ADA or equivalent gear. A couple of places have the odd few pots of Tropica 1-2-grow, too, which works out at about the same price as ADA, here. Decent wood tends to be easy to find (even in supermarkets), but you still have to search around for nice rocks. ADA equipment here is also significantly cheaper than in the UK (i.e., not offensively expensive!), and more comparable to other brands. Mostly still not in my budget for this tank, though! Next time...!

ADA HC
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igirisujin

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Joined
21 Feb 2020
Messages
103
Location
Between Japan (Kyushu) and the UK (East Anglia)
Time for the planting.

Substrate slope. This will be a triangular layout, higher on the right-hand side. The left side is about 6cm, up to about 8cm on the right.
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Halfway there.
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A little more... Just need to fill in the gaps.
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igirisujin
 
Last edited:

igirisujin

Member
Joined
21 Feb 2020
Messages
103
Location
Between Japan (Kyushu) and the UK (East Anglia)
The light arrived as I was just finishing planting today. It's very solid, and comes with two lenses that disperse the light at different angles. I changed to the wider angle, to make sure the whole tank is lit. It's from a Shenzhen company and was pretty cheap, but seems to be good quality. We'll see how it goes. It's certainly powerful but dimmable, and gives a nice shimmer.

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igirisujin

Member
Joined
21 Feb 2020
Messages
103
Location
Between Japan (Kyushu) and the UK (East Anglia)
Planting is finished :)

I've set the CO2 at around 1 bubble per 10 seconds. I wonder if that's enough? There are a lot of tiny bubbles going around the tank.

Also - I can't work out how to upload smaller images to imgur without losing quality. I managed it earlier on, but now I can't seem to do it!

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alto

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Joined
24 Dec 2014
Messages
5,992
set the CO2 at around 1 bubble per 10 seconds. I wonder if that's enough?
Definitely increase to 1 bubble per 2-3 seconds

All the tiny bubbles are just air (that was trapped in the tap water)

Tank looks great :)
(as does the light)

I suspect that filter is slightly underpowered for the tank (it looks much like one I have), so try to visualize the current

With that CO2 set up stored below the tank level, make sure you have an effective check valve so that water cannot enter the CO2 regulator (initially I might leave the CO2 running at a low rate 24/7 ... I tend to do this on my Nano tank as it receives significant ambient light, plus kitchen lights)

It may be photo distortion, but the light seems slightly off centre - farther from the filter side, note that filter is likely shading significantly (again, my very similar filter does)
 

igirisujin

Member
Joined
21 Feb 2020
Messages
103
Location
Between Japan (Kyushu) and the UK (East Anglia)
Definitely increase to 1 bubble per 2-3 seconds

There was quite a lot of mist from the airstone, but I'll have a look and bump it up a bit tomorrow - lights off now, we're 9 hours ahead ;)

I suspect that filter is slightly underpowered for the tank (it looks much like one I have), so try to visualize the current

Very possible. I thought that when I turned it on. I was concerned it would disturb the sand at the front and blow it around as I've seen happen before, but it seems ok. Flow to the back-right corner is a little slower, so it's something to watch out for.

With that CO2 set up stored below the tank level, make sure you have an effective check valve so that water cannot enter the CO2 regulator (initially I might leave the CO2 running at a low rate 24/7 ... I tend to do this on my Nano tank as it receives significant ambient light, plus kitchen lights)

Should be ok on the positioning front. I have a new check valve one it (one of the few things bought new), and large loops in the tubing between the valve and the regulator that should keep water from entering it should the valve be iffy.

It may be photo distortion, but the light seems slightly off centre - farther from the filter side, note that filter is likely shading significantly (again, my very similar filter does)

Yep, the light is slightly off centre. Due to the wood shadowing the Rotala at the back, I adjusted the light position a bit to compensate. The filter is mostly in the shade, but shouldn't affect the light reaching the carpet.

Thanks for the thoughts, they're appreciated :D
 

igirisujin

Member
Joined
21 Feb 2020
Messages
103
Location
Between Japan (Kyushu) and the UK (East Anglia)
CO2 bumped up to 1 bubble every 2 seconds, starting at 9am. Lights on for 7 hours at midday. I moved a small amount of Eheim Substrat Pro over from the goldfish tank, just for a boost. The water surface was a little cloudy/oily this morning, so I did a 60% water change and re-dosed.

Let's see how it goes :)
 

igirisujin

Member
Joined
21 Feb 2020
Messages
103
Location
Between Japan (Kyushu) and the UK (East Anglia)
Day 3, and the plants look to be setting down. I'll continue the 60% water changes and dosing for at least a week, I think. It's pretty easy in such a small tank, but cleaning the glass will likely be a more delicate exercise.

I watched Green Aqua videos on YouTube solidly for hours yesterday, and as a result decided to trim the emersed leaves off my Crypt. lucens above the crown. Hopefully some nice new leaves come back soon enough. I'm also not 100% on the placement of my Anubias nana 'mini'. It may stay, or it may end up just moss.
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Here's a shot from the top. As the light is a single LED spot, there is some shadowing (outlined in red) that I hadn't anticipated. Will be keeping an eye on it. I had hoped that the Rotala planted in that area would remain red and grow up to the surface, with the Rotala 'green' slightly lower in front.
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igirisujin

Member
Joined
21 Feb 2020
Messages
103
Location
Between Japan (Kyushu) and the UK (East Anglia)
Quick update. I put 5 Cherry Shrimp in yesterday. I know it's early, but I want to keep on top of waste and algae management. Previous algae battles have me really scared about messing up again this time. I'm wondering whether the shrimp will have a go at the white fluff appearing on the small piece of wood too. I was looking for a couple of Nerite Snails to eat the BBA that seems to have survived the wood-scrubbing from the previous setup, but I couldn't find any locally. Need to keep on top of that BBA to make sure it doesn't come back.

I'm still doing daily 60% water changes before CO2 on, and dosing straight after.

I'm struggling to keep the Do!Aqua CO2 stable. I set it to 1 bubble per 2 seconds, but when it comes on, it blasts hundreds of bubbles through in the first few seconds. Seems like a waste of CO2, but I don't know what to do. After that, it settles at 1bps. I'm thinking to just leave it at 1bps, but that seems like a lot for a 9L tank!

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The HC, Hydrocotyle and stems pearl well
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Side shot
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Cherry Shrimp and white gunk on wood
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Thanks for looking. As always, any observations, advice or comments welcome and appreciated!
 

igirisujin

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Joined
21 Feb 2020
Messages
103
Location
Between Japan (Kyushu) and the UK (East Anglia)
As for the CO2 bubble balancing and issues with the solenoid, I had a reply from Green Aqua. Their advice was that the Do!Aqua system I'm using isn't compatible with solenoid valves, and can't handle the pressure buildup when it switches off. They advised to run the system 24/7, which I will do from today.
 

igirisujin

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Joined
21 Feb 2020
Messages
103
Location
Between Japan (Kyushu) and the UK (East Anglia)
I decided to get a new diffuser today, when I saw the new DOOA ones from ADA in the shop. It looks really nice - but I've decided I won't be using it. It's far, far inferior to my simple airstone I was using before, so I switched back immediately. The bubbles were so large from the DOOA diffuser that they just go straight up to the top of the tank. The small bubbles from the airstone get blown all around the tank, and through the filter. Very disappointed.

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Here are some videos for comparison:

Airstone

ADA DOOA Diffuser (10mm)

Just a couple of shots showing availability in two small local shops here. We don't have any main ADA dealers in South Japan.

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The new lights are in, but mostly on an order-only basis.
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CooKieS

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19 Jan 2016
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Location
France
Crazy...in 2020, Ada still can’t make some decent co2 diffuser...

bought one 4 years ago, it was like yours, big bubbles and made some annoying hissing noise.

do you have access to neo /twinstar co2 diffuser? They’re cheap and works like your airstone
 

igirisujin

Member
Joined
21 Feb 2020
Messages
103
Location
Between Japan (Kyushu) and the UK (East Anglia)
Crazy...in 2020, Ada still can’t make some decent co2 diffuser...

bought one 4 years ago, it was like yours, big bubbles and made some annoying hissing noise.

do you have access to neo /twinstar co2 diffuser? They’re cheap and works like your airstone

Yeah, it does make a noise. I guess that's why they called one of them the 'music glass'.

I haven't see those brands here, but I'll keep an eye out. I'm using the airstone again now, but I'll see how it goes. It's quite ugly!
 

igirisujin

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Messages
103
Location
Between Japan (Kyushu) and the UK (East Anglia)
Did you presoak the diffuser?
- 1 hour in a rush, overnight is better

I've never heard of pre-soaking a diffuser - I've always just put them straight in. I've tried two Do!Aqua ones in the past, and some cheaper options. All of them have been OK.

I'll leave the new diffuser sitting in the tank today, and connect it up tonight to check it again. Thanks for the suggestion.
 
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