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my first nano 'Swan H'

hellohefalump

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25 Sep 2008
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Newhaven, east sussex
Well... today my new opti white nano tank came in the post from Aqua Essentials. So the journal begins!

I've never had a nano before. My current tank is 100gals! This one is 2.5gals I think. This is also the first time I've used and opti white tank, Aqua Soil, kept shrimp, used a HOB, or used mini landscape rock.

Tank: Opti White 12*8*8
Filtration: Azoo Mignon 260 HOB filter
Lighting: 2X 11watt lamps. One from Sam (my undying thanks!)and one from ebay. Cheap alternative to Arc Pods.
Heating: tiny Hydor flat thing
Substrate: Aquasoil Amazonia powder
Ferts: TPN+
CO2: Easycarbo
Hardscape: Mini Landscape rocks
Flora: HC, P Helferi, hygro polysperma (this is temporary until I get some Blyxa Japonica. Hygro is in the tank at the moment for the sole reason that it's a fast growing stem plant)
Fauna: Cherry Shrimp (not yet there because I'm waiting for AS ammonia spike to go down).

From the beginning...

This got off to a bad start. My tank arrived just before Christmas, but unfortunately had broken in the post:
DSCF0258.jpg

Luckily, Aqua Essentials were really good about it and agreed to send me another one, after Christmas/New Year, as the large volume of parcels going through the post meant that some weren't being treated with very much care over Christmas!

My new tank arrived this morning, in perfect condition :D

I forgot to take a pic of the tank empty, but here's a pic of the tank with some Aqua soil powder in it:
DSCF0334.jpg


I put in the AS the 'normal' way. Thin at the front, getting thicker at the back. I then realised that my HOB intake goes down quite far and I couldn't have thick substrate in the back right corner. So I rearranged it so that the soil on the right side is low and slopes upwards towards the left.

I then messed around with hardscape arrangement. First I tried to break up my bigger rock into smaller pieces. However, I didn't have a chisel so I used two hammers. I used the claw side as a chisel and banged it with the other hammer. Needless to say, this didn't work. So I gave up, and I still have one huge rock, and one smaller one.

Here is the arrangement I came up with. I think it looks like a swan. Or at the very least, a duck or goose:
DSCF0339.jpg


Here is a small quantity of HC that I've been keeping alive in a small tank upstairs. Unfortunately, I didn't put a filter on it, thinking 'I have no fish in here it doesn't matter'. I just had a small powerhead for flow. So the HC is full of gunk and a lot of it is unusable. It turned out to be enough though.
DSCF0341.jpg


I meant to take lots of photos, but I managed to get so absorbed in the planting process that I forgot. Here's some pictures of the tank all done though:

DSCF0346.jpg


DSCF0345.jpg


DSCF0348.jpg


DSCF0350.jpg


DSCF0351.jpg


DSCF0352.jpg


Conclusions:
I really should invest in some planting tools. In my 100gal, I use my fingers and a sharp pair of scissors with no problems. Doing this tank has made me see the need for tweezers, curved tweezers, curved scissors and a rake.

The HOB is quite noisey, I think there is air trapped in it. I'm going to leave it for now and hopefully overnight it will have got better.

I love the opti white glass, it's so clear!

This took less time than I thought it would and I'm pleased with it. Can't wait for it to cycle and for the ammonia to go down so I can add shrimp!
 

Superman

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I love the these nano's and whilst I'm going to use it as a breeding tank for a while, I'm itching to set it up as a scape but am taking the time to take in information.
I do agree with you that there is a higher need to have planting tools even more so when in nano's that you'll be dealing with HC.

I think the large rock is a little overpowering and if you can't break it up, it might be an idea to put some sort of moss on it, like Christmas Moss that grows across ways rather than up (that's what I think anyway!).

I must say tho that the positioning of the P. Helferi given the rock positioning is spot on.
 

Mark Evans

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well your off to a flying start. great stuff!

everything seems to be in order, even though the largest stone is quite dominant , it still looks strangely correct. due to the smaller nature of the tank you may get away with out a heater. monitor the temps with and without. ambient room temp might be enough.

i'm looking forward to scaping mine when it arrives

mark
 

hellohefalump

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Thanks very much for your feedback guys! I can do with all the help I can get!

My partner has offered to try and break the big rock for me in a more manly way with correct tools, but I've said to leave it and I'm going to see whether it grows on me, or grates.

I just realised... I forgot to spread mulm under the soil! Would it work if I got a filter sponge from my other tank and gave it a squeeze into this one? I know the water would be cloudy, but that's really not an issue, since I have no livestock in there yet. I'm thinking the filter would filter out the cloudiness, as well as the bacteria?
 

Mark Evans

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hellohefalump said:
I forgot to spread mulm under the soil! Would it work if I got a filter sponge from my other tank and gave it a squeeze into this one?

personally I'd leave it. let it do its thing.

if you do get your partner to bash it up, remember that you want to keep the good face of the rock, so think how the stone will break when hit. look for fault lines or cracks before hand.serioyo stone is like a peice of beef....cut with the grain kinda deal.

ultimately, and I've done it, you can render a rock useless if you hit it wrong.
 

hellohefalump

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Thanks Mark :)

Well, I'm glad I took photos last night, because today the water has gone a bit yellow. I'm guessing that's the aquasoil.

Does carbon soak up ferts? Because I'm thinking of putting in carbon to sort the yellowness.

The HOB is still very noisey - anyone have any advise? I'm sure it's got air in it, but it's not shifting. I've tried turning it on and off and giving it a shake.
 

Mark Evans

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hellohefalump said:
Does carbon soak up ferts?

your fine with carbon. amano runs carbon a lot. strange you should get yellowing from AS though.

water change often in the first few weeks.
 

hellohefalump

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I'm planning on doing a 50% water change daily. It's only slight yellowing, not anything major, but I'll see what happens. I'm inclined to leave it alone for at least a week and see if it clears on it's own.
 

beeky

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Nice work. Has anyone done HC without CO2 injection before? Will be interesting to see how it develops.

Interesting close up pic of the AS powder. Bigger grain size than I was expecting. I was thinking it would be like sand grains.
 

JohnC

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beeky said:
Nice work. Has anyone done HC without CO2 injection before? Will be interesting to see how it develops.

Interesting close up pic of the AS powder. Bigger grain size than I was expecting. I was thinking it would be like sand grains.

in my 10L pico and previous 2L cubes i had it in it only went well when i added at least liquid CO2 (easycarbo). Although i neglected the overall dosing in both cases, the HC was healthy and spreading with the easycarbo.

John
 

hellohefalump

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Has anyone done HC without CO2 injection before? Will be interesting to see how it develops.
I'm not using no CO2 at all, I'm using easy carbo. I like the idea of it being an algaecide aswell, plus it keeps extra equipment out of the tank.
 

hellohefalump

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Caught the cat drinking out of the tank today. It has easy carbo in it and I've heard it's toxic - will the cat suffer from using the tank as a drinking bowl?

Things are progressing fine, the filter is less noisy, the hygro has finally stopped uprooting, and I think the HC may be growing a bit.
 

Superman

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hellohefalump said:
Caught the cat drinking out of the tank today. It has easy carbo in it and I've heard it's toxic - will the cat suffer from using the tank as a drinking bowl?
When/if you get easycarbo on your skin it does irritate a bit - it does me.
Best to keep an eye on the cat although, I would of those that it's diluted in the water it should be ok.
 

hellohefalump

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Thanks Clark I'll keep an eye on the cat. It's best she doesn't drink from it though because once the shrimp are in, shemight get excited and knock the whole tank down! Silly cat... they get fresh drinking water every day but they still prefer to drink out of puddles... and now fish tanks.

I will try and think of ways to thwart the cat!
 

hellohefalump

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Thanks clark, I don't often use test kits, but I thought it would be a good idea to monitor the ammonia from the aquasoil. How long does it usually take for the ammonia spike to go down?

Why do you say they cause more problems than they solve? Is it because they're not all that accurate?

I think I'm going to calibrate this one by testing the water in my big tank, which I'm sure doesn't have ammonia because the fish are all fine and the filters are very mature.

Good news today - my LFS say that if I can breed cherry shrimp, they'll buy them off me :D
 

Superman

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Yes, the common understanding is that they're not accurate.

In addition, I remember from cycling my tank that if you were to add an ammonia remover from the tank it would either
- change the ammonia into something that is undetectable but still harmful to fish.
or
- it would still show ammonia even tho it wasn't harmful to fish.
Either way the reading would be false.

I think they're good if you need to check to see if something's there like ammonia but I wouldn't trust using them in isolation. Say for example, pH then it's low then you go buy a pH+, but then ignored the fact that you inject co2, which will reduce pH. Just some people seem to think that their fish need a pH of x and then spend their money keeping the pH at that level, when it's pointless.
 
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