Low Energy ADA 45H

alto

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Exciting updates :cool:
(especially for me as I’d somehow missed this topic for ages :confused: :lol: )

Most sponges are excellent homes for “filter bacteria”, even with weekly rinsing some will keep holding on :)
Pretty much anything in the filter flow will end up populated with various microorganisms, most filter companies will supply media designated as biological, mechanical etc and the different shapes makes it easy to decide which is which, some media is designed with maximum surface area (for theoretical bacteria to “attach”), while others are designed the trap debris etc

Similarly, bacteria etc will end up populating various surfaces (rock, wood, plants, soil, gravel etc) within the tank
Some surfaces are less efficient than others, eg, glass marbles (lots of inaccessible volume and little surface area, also “slippery”) vs Eheim Substrat (pro) (the rough crinkly surface means more surface area, significantly smaller internal volume than a larger smoother particle) etc

There are lovely electron micrographs showing all the pores available for microorganisms in various media (though I’ve not looked at this in ages ... perhaps they also have data indicating what’s where these days ;) )

Obviously in planted tanks biomedia efficiency tends to be less critical than in fish only systems, and washing those “prefilter” sponges in tap or conditioned water is unlikely to make any difference
 

Mike Moran

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The shrimp will be doing a good job and as the tank matures ,your doing well, they will make a difference maybe not obvious just yet
Thank you. The main thing is they’re alive and looking busy and healthy. Just want to make sure I care for them properly
 

Mike Moran

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Them pre filter sponges just squeeze them out in tap water all the good stuff is in canister its self no good bacteria on the ore filter sponges your rsc are lovly mike
Oh thanks for the tip -will just do them under the tap from now on then. Will definitely save a few minutes. Hope you’re right about the shrimp breeding! At the moment though just happy to see them settled in and looking healthy. I have five and 3 are definitely bigger and redder than other two, who are smaller and a bit more see through, so I hope when if they breed the colours stay bright.
 

Mike Moran

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Exciting updates :cool:
(especially for me as I’d somehow missed this topic for ages :confused: :lol: )
Obviously in planted tanks biomedia efficiency tends to be less critical than in fish only systems, and washing those “prefilter” sponges in tap or conditioned water is unlikely to make any difference
Thank you so much for the info. I’ll definitely just rinse the pre filter sponges under the tap from now on, but I don’t suppose it did any harm while the tank was settling in. The shrimp seem pretty active and content so I’m hoping this is a good sign that everything is healthy in the filter.
 

Mike Moran

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So I grew a little impatient with the rotala rotundifolia I mentioned above which was looking a little weedy and sorry for itself. It looked pretty luscious in George Farmer’s low tech scape (think it’s a sticky thread in the low tech section here or maybe an article in PFK) so I was lulled into a false sense of security. How does he make everything look so Blue Peter ‘here’s one I made earlier!’ easy? :joyful: Whilst trying to work out what I’ve been doing wrong found a video of him giving his Rotala a pretty brutal prune with his ADA scissors. So I thought I’d follow suit and give it a go.......
C082A5F7-4F1A-4E8C-8B84-EBC092C39ABC.jpeg

Ta Daah! Got to say I’m pretty pleased with result :) what do you reckon? Even after just a few days the new growth looks much perkier, neater and more compact. It’s even looking a bit pink on the newer top leaves. I’ve heard that’s tricky to achieve in a low tech/low light tank so as a total beginner I’m feeling quite chuffed.
As a reward I squeezed in a cheeky extra plant ( just peeking out) at the back - a limnophila sessiflora after a chat with Andy at ‘Aquarium Gardens’ shop. He used it in their beautiful low tech tank and it looks really healthy with an interesting structure and leaf shape. I know it’s common as muck and ridiculously easy to grow. But so is grass, and it doesn’t make me love my garden lawn less. Hope it will make a nice foil for the Rotala which I plan to keep shorter now so it looks at its best. Don’t judge my foreground crypts...I know they look a bit ropey. They’re next on my first aid list.
 

Jayefc1

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Your plants are growing long and leggy at the moment because they are searching for the light with a 45h beining taller the light has deeper to penetrate so the plants will grow upwards when you start to increase the light intensity they will stay lower if that makes sense
Cheers
Jay
 

Mike Moran

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Your plants are growing long and leggy at the moment because they are searching for the light with a 45h beining taller the light has deeper to penetrate so the plants will grow upwards when you start to increase the light intensity they will stay lower if that makes sense
Cheers
Jay
Thanks Jay. Yes it does make sense but I thought I had to keep the light levels low to avoid algae with it being non-CO2...am I getting it wrong? The light is a Twinstar 450S which is lovely but very bright. The current photoperiod is 8 hours dimmed to just 20% I was recommended 30% but found I was getting lots of algae. I’m adding one squirt of tropica premium every other day and 8 drops of dennerle bio carbon elixir. I was using tropica specialised but swapped when I put the shrimp in as nitrates were already showing when I tested the water so didn’t want to add more till the plants were using them up. Ive definitely had less algae but now am I starving the plants of light?:confused: Or maybe the algae is because my light is too low and I just assumed it was because it was too high.
 

alto

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I’d gradually increase the light - 20% is low and given the 45cm tank height (plus distance to light), substrate PAR is likely Low to v Low

Looking at the Rotala (do you know which variant?) there’s a longer internode distance at base, then much shorter at the growing tip ... but I don’t know how much of that growth is from ‘in tank’ vs before

Can you post full tank shots? as well as closeups of various plants
 

Jayefc1

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As alto says 20% is very low with the distance to substrate id increase it by 5% each week till you get to about 50% for a low tech tank the twinstar is a strong light but is made for growing plants
Better growth means they will out compete alge
And ferts seem fine just remember as the plant mass grows so will the need for food
Cheers
Jay
 

Mike Moran

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20% is very low with the distance to substrate id increase it by 5% each week till you get to about 50%
Cheers
Jay
Thanks for the advice. The light was at 30% initially and I only dimmed it further last week so I’ve adjusted it back up and will gradually increase it as you recommended and keep you posted how it goes. Really appreciate the advice. Because I’ve never grown any of the plants before I didn’t even realise they looked leggy. I thought this was just what underwater plants looked like. But embarrassed I was proud of them now. So much to learn :oops:
 

Mike Moran

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I’d gradually increase the light - 20% is low and given the 45cm tank height (plus distance to light), substrate PAR is likely Low to v Low

Looking at the Rotala (do you know which variant?) there’s a longer internode distance at base, then much shorter at the growing tip ... but I don’t know how much of that growth is from ‘in tank’ vs before

Can you post full tank shots? as well as closeups of various plants
Thanks Aalto. It’s great to have advice from someone with experience as I’ve just been trying to learn from you tube and other peoples journals etc along with some great advice from the staff at aquarium gardens. I saw other successful tanks where the plants were growing under standard aquarium lights with low wattage LEDS so just assumed my lighting from the Twinstar was on the high side even so heavily dimmed. I knew I’d bought a deep tank and that might present a challenge and it’s definitely the foreground plants that seem to be least happy (except my staurogyne reopens) which looks healthy and compact with no algae at all. I’ll take some ‘whole tank’ pics later and put up a proper plant list (realise I should have done that at the very beginning) and you can see what you reckon. Thanks again for all the helpful advice. The shrimp definitely all seem to like higher light levels. They come running out to play straight away!
 

Jayefc1

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You shouke be proud of what you are achiving with the little experience its very much trial and error to start with and a lot of help from all the amazing people here most peiple dont realise the time and effort that has to be puy in to these lil underwater worlds and when they do they quickly fall short so your effort and patience will be worth it
 

Mike Moran

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You shouke be proud of what you are achiving with the little experience its very much trial and error to start with and a lot of help from all the amazing people here most peiple dont realise the time and effort that has to be puy in to these lil underwater worlds and when they do they quickly fall short so your effort and patience will be worth it
Thanks for the encouragement. Itis a bit daunting sometimes when I don’t really know what I should be doing, so all the advice everyone is sharing is really appreciated. Even though Im making some mistakes I’m really enjoying it all so the maintenance doesn’t feel like a hassle. Obviously water changes and glass cleaning not the most exciting way to spend an hour, but it feels worth it when the tank looks clean and clear :D
 

Mike Moran

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Six week tank anniversary today! And an exciting addition to share. I’ve added some beautiful little fish - Seven Neon Green Rasboras (microdevario kubotai) are enjoying their new home. As promised, here’s a picture of how the whole tank is shaping up with a close up of the new occupants.
79E1527F-A31D-49C2-ABB9-2834051755C5.jpeg
 

Jayefc1

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They are beautiful lil fish one of my favs they do like to be in larger numbers to feel safe if your going to put other fish in too personally i like them on there own with about 20 in a tank your size
 

Jayefc1

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all so the maintenance doesn’t feel like a hassle. Obviously water changes and glass cleaning not the most exciting way to spend an hour, but it feels worth it when the tank looks clean and clear :D
I actually enjoy the maintenance too it takes your mind of everything and is quiet relaxing t
 

Mike Moran

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They are beautiful lil fish one of my favs they do like to be in larger numbers to feel safe if your going to put other fish in too personally i like them on there own with about 20 in a tank your size
I love them too. They’re amazing little fish. Seem really happy in the tank too, very active and enjoying their food. Yes, I was planning to put a few more in, maybe 10 or so, but they only had 7 at the shop. But I will put a few more in in the future as I know they’re happiest in a bigger shoal. l’ll keep the number on the light side until I’m sure the tank is settled in and all the occupants are happy but so far so good. They seem quite content.
 

Monkfish

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The neon greens are really nice. I’ve never seen them in any of the shops near me but might have to seek them out now!
 

CooKieS

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I love them too. They’re amazing little fish. Seem really happy in the tank too, very active and enjoying their food. Yes, I was planning to put a few more in, maybe 10 or so, but they only had 7 at the shop. But I will put a few more in in the future as I know they’re happiest in a bigger shoal. l’ll keep the number on the light side until I’m sure the tank is settled in and all the occupants are happy but so far so good. They seem quite content.
Had them in my 45liters iwagumi, they were always very active (even at night !) and made nice ditters fishes for my ember Tetra that were VERY Shy in comparaison.

Nice lifespan too.

They can jump as every danio but it happened only once in my tank and it was during waterchange so fishes were frightened and I've saved the jumper. ;)
 

alto

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One of my favourite fish
Based on what has shipped over the last few years, I’d guess there are 3 different species/locational variants that come in under the M kubotai label

The fat one is a bit suspect - I’d be concerned that it’s more than just eggs ready to explode :eek:
(ie choose the more slender fish though it would’ve been cruel to leave that single fish behind and well beyond my own abilities)

They seem to be oxygen sensitive and it’s not uncommon to lose them singlely over several months (likely due to ammonia damage to gills during shipping)

They’re definitely much happier in larger groups and can display and spar and .....

Beware of them diving into an Eheim Skim 350 :eek: :oops: :oops: :oops: :sorry:
I’d left it running for maybe 10 minutes after transferring them between tanks - for however long it took me to catch the last and then realize I’d not unplugged the skimmer
It was late ... so then like a complete idiot I didn’t check the skimmer as I was SO CERTAIN none had gone near it
:dead: :dead: :dead: this morning
 

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