Updating an old aquarium...

dcurzon

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I had an old Juwel aquarium, of approx 72liters. This was 2nd hand when I got it about 11 years ago, I'm not sure what era it dates to, but it holds water. For a short while, this was home to a rainbow crab, with a life expectancy of 4-5 years. As the years went by, Crab was relocated into a Juwel Rio 125 and lived for a good 11 years!! After which, the 125 was repurposed to house the RTShark, yoyo loach and tiger barb that probably shouldn't have been in the smaller tank.

The smaller tank, now looked quite old. I'd admired the new tanks that are available, but the pocket couldn't justify them, especially as I had this one available. I didn't think it needed a whole lot doing. But it did need moving. It had been in the boys' room, but during decorating, it was put in the lounge. The crabs 125 was on the landing, but I wanted the 125 in the lounge, and the smaller tank on the landing, so I moved them about. Heres the old tank, placed on the landing.
IMG_20200709_103140.jpg


I removed the big plastic hood and broken light fitting. I also had a couple of chunky office cabinets sat in the garage, and as I carried one past the tank to put in the boys' room, I realised that the other would fit nicely under the tank.
So hood removed, Nicrew 24/7 light unit fitted and new cabinet put into place. I then emptied it, got rid of the sand and put in some Tropica Soil Powder.
IMG_20200709_104544.jpg


Just ran some black electrical tape around the rim to help frame it (hide the stubborn water staining)

So this is the current set up on that tank...
U2 filter (ugly but silent)
Tropica Soil Powder (approx 7.5kg)
DIY CO2 - this is intentionally DIY to try to encourage some science learning for the child. Its the JBL ProFlora Bio kit, however we will be using science to improve this.

Jungle Val
Dwarf hairgrass "mini"
Egeria Densa
Lobelia Cardinalis
Moss Balls x2
a few bits of java moss glued to the wood
2x I have no idea what those plants are, might not even be aquatic (although came from LFS)

6 5 6 black neon tetra's

IMG_20200709_101325.jpg

This is the view from about a week ago. The Val is looking a bit battered, as I put in a ml of Flourish Excel and it was expected to knock the val back a bit.

Ferts - im EI dosing separate macro/micro, I've used the Zeus EI calculator for my mixes. Although the calc has been set up with the 125l tank figures, I'm using the same mix for this tank with a scaled dose (20ml in the 125, 10ml in this tank)
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dcurzon

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This morning I trimmed the Elodea Densa down to about an inch above where it was when I first put it in, which was about 10 days ago. I'll probably put it in mum n dads tank. Mum n dads tank has to remain low maintenance as its in a very tricky position to work on (embedded into a wall) and I can only get there every few weeks to do it.

IMG_20200713_124431.jpg


Val is definitely making a recovery, and the new shoot from it has grown several inches.
The Elodea or Egeria or whatever its called cuttings are in the ceramic ring just dropped at the front, so that's 10 days worth of growth.
None the wiser on the mystery plant, but if I can get into the LFS at some point, I'll take another look at the label.
IMG_20200713_124507.jpg


Looks like some diatoms are settling. I'd been doing about 20% water changes daily, but was away for the weekend.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
None the wiser on the mystery plant.......
but if I can get into the LFS at some point, I'll take another look at the label.

IMG_20200713_124507.jpg
They look very <"Ophiopogon (or Acorus?">) like.
The Elodea or Egeria or whatever its called cuttings
If you look at the leaf edges, Egeria densa has a smooth leaf edge, and E. najas a serrated leaf edge.

The main differences between Elodea, Egeria & Hydrilla is the number of leaves in a whorl. Elodea spp. usually has three leaves per whorl, whereas Egeria spp. and Hydrilla verticillata usually have four or more leaves per whorl.

I can't tell from the photo. The only one I could definitely discount would be Lagarosiphon major

cheers Darrel
 
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dcurzon

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I have a lot to learn on these terms, whorl for example. I'll try and take a closer look and see what we have, thanks Darrel

ive just had a closer look at the dhg, which was planted last Sunday. I tore it up and stuffed it in chunks using my fingers, like a pro, and I can now see evidence of it starting to grow out
IMG_20200713_133121.jpg

IMG_20200713_132905.jpg
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I have a lot to learn on these terms, whorl
Sorry, now I think about it it isn't probably a term in general usage.

It is part of the botanical terminology about <"plant leaves">. Leaves can be alternate (single leaf at a node), opposite (two leaves at a node) or in a whorl (more than two leaves at node).

cheers Darrel
 

dcurzon

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Definitely 4 leaves per whorl, so Egeria Densa. I'll edit my first post for accuracy.
I'll try and pop into LFS at the weekend to ID that mystery plant, it may well be as you suggested, just so hard to tell :/

Small update today... I have 5 FIVE black neon's.

Now, I'm getting on a bit, but I was reasonably sure I had 6 of them. This morning, I have 5. Its possible that I did only have 5 to begin with (Pets at Home "x many for £y" but I cannot remember), however I'm pretty sure it was 6.
Spent quite a lot of time checking the floor, the stairs, the cabinet, any possible place a leaper could have got to... and also had a search around in the tank (and 20% wc), and there's no sign of any carcass.

Mystery disappearing fish.

I took a bubble count from the JBL... they propose that their mix can potentially last up to 40 days.
I was seeing 1 bubble per 8 seconds, so yes, I can believe that 40 day suggestion!
I made a quick mix of my own just for comparison, with brewing sugar, wine yeast and yeast nutrient.. just a small version, and saw 1 bubble per 3 seconds (this will likely increase after a few days) so I'm interested to see how long that lasts for. Meanwhile, the JBL had a teaspoon of brewing sugar added to it, and it's bubbling away into a bottle of water, now also at 1bubble per 3 seconds. Really I ought to buy some more airline and connect the 2 together.

Wilko, right cheap for brewing supplies :)

500ml coke bottle, 4 tbsp brewers sugar, light 1/2 tsp wine yeast, light 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient. No idea if this will fizzle out quickly or slowly. Thats why we try
 
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dcurzon

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IMG_20200714_173637.jpg

That doesn't look too far off to me.
The 500ml is just bubbling away on a bottle of water so I can see what it reaches and how long for. It's currently running at 68bpminute.
I've no idea what the JBL is outputting, I should probably have put a counter/gas separator in line. I might disconnect it later and put it in the bottle of water and see.
 

dcurzon

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Unable to edit the above. The funny round green JBL diffuser was letting out some big bubbles around the connector (nice tiny bubbles elsewhere from the stone), on closer inspection, the diffuser was broken at the pipe connector so I pulled it out and used some superglue gel to fix it back in and try to prevent the bigger bubbles.
JBL kit is outputting 85 bpminute (air pipe hanging in tank).
 
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dcurzon

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the home brew test stopped bubbling overnight. I don't know much about these things, but I've added another teaspoon of sugar and it seems to have started again, so it looks like I need to consider excessing the fuel. Maybe the brewers sugar is too easy for the wine yeast to process.

In other news, the 6th black neon reappeared late last night. Maybe he'd gone on a day trip. At least I'm assured that I haven't actually gone senile yet.

The glued together diffuser/stone is crap. So I stole the glass diffuser from the other tank. I really need to get a few of these as spares. I shoved a short length of pipe into the venturi of the U2 overnight just to help with overnight co2 buildup. Still a nice pale green colour.

I need to get some RCshrimps.
 

dcurzon

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I like the idea of using jelly... to sustain the yeast with an amount of available sugars...
Obviously pressurised is the best way to go... but still, can't beat a bit of home science. I managed to find jelly at Lidl's during my shop :)

Found a local lad selling RCShrimps as his colony had gotten a bit big, 8 for £5, so grabbed a bag. There was 11 in there of varying sizes. So now I have some shrimpy's.

An observation on the Egeria Densa, where I lopped off the top and replanted (shoved in a bio ring), the lopped off tops are growing very well indeed. between half and an inch per day. Which is good as they'll be going to mum's tank.
However, the ones they were lopped off from, haven't grown any more since being cut back. Will these grow a new 'crown' and pick up again? Or are they now stuck at that height?
 

dcurzon

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IMG_20200717_082748.jpg

The leaves of the lobelia cardinals behind shrimp are well coated with diatoms... I guess the options are
Leave them in and see if the shrimps deal with it
Leave them in and see if it just goes away
Pull them out and give the leaves a gentle scrub.

Maybe I'll give them a scrub. I know they are slow growers, but it must affect their ability to use the light
 

dcurzon

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I nipped to the lfs, the unknown plant he said is a Japonica.
I picked up a cryptocoryne of some description and a draconea.

Impulse purchase and looked crap in the tank, so the draconea has gone into a large vase.

So I'm starting to realise my mistake. LFS plants at least are submerged, but not well labelled (labelled on outside of the plant tank and not on the plant) and not a good selection.

The japonica have come out and the crypts have gone in.

So my mistake?
I dont know much about plants, and haven't got local access to many. I don't have any social circles of people who do know. I need to stop grabbing random plants, and instead, take some suggestions from the vast pool of knowledge on here.
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
Japonica. I picked up a cryptocoryne of some description and a draconea.
So Ophiopogon japonicus and not an aquatic, the Cryptocoryne should be all right, but I'm going to assume that the other plant is a <"Dracaena"> and another non-aquatic.

cheers Darrel
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
So my mistake? I dont know much about plants, and haven't got local access to many. I don't have any social circles of people who do know. I need to stop grabbing random plants, and instead, take some suggestions from the vast pool of knowledge on here.
No, it honestly isn't your fault, surely it isn't too much to expect that a plant sold for an aquarium will actually grow underwater?

Have a look at the <"Tropica"> easy selection and at Aquarium Gardens and Aqua Essentials as plant sellers. They are all <"forum sponsors">.

cheers Darrel
 

dcurzon

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Hi all, So Ophiopogon japonicus and not an aquatic, the Cryptocoryne should be all right, but I'm going to assume that the other plant is a <"Dracaena"> and another non-aquatic.

cheers Darrel
Sorry yes, the dracaena is what I've now shoved in a vase, and the 2x japonica I have removed from the tank, and put the 4x scrawny looking crypts in instead (1 pot contained 4 frail looking things... On the plus side they did have some roots, which I trimmed a bit before shoving them in)

Having looked at your suggestion of jello, I've now got a bottle in the fridge with jello mixed with both granulated and brewers sugar setting... 👍
 

dcurzon

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Popped round mums, water change, some random plants and a dose of leafzone. Fed the fish a few times until they weren't all that interested anymore then popped a £5 bag of 11 RCS into mums tank.
Absolute carnage.
The 2 golden barbs went immediately into seek&destroy mode :(

Have managed to convert a wifi/Alexa/Google RGB led strip controller into a single channel led controller, so on my next visit I can set their lamp to mimic sunrise/sunset, and have Alexa do it automatically.
 

dcurzon

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IMG_20200721_213315.jpg

A week on from previous tank photo.
The Egeria trimmings made it to the surface, the original plants haven't grown upwards, however they have some side shoots now.

I'm away on a break next week, and the previously mentioned new shoot from the val has thrown its own new shoot right in the middle of the grass. Contemplating snipping it and moving it before it takes a good hold, it's growing quickly.

Some of the dhg has got some longer straggling blades, shouldnibtrim down or let it spread more first?

Shrimps seem happy foraging around, spotted a few moult casings, which must be a good sign.

Crypts are not suffering from crypt melt.

👍

on a side note, this cabinet doesn't have a back, so there is a (very) small amount of sideways movement if I'm cleaning glass etc (as an example). I'm wondering if I should largely drain the tank, manoeuvre to a position where I can work on it, and add some bracing? Although the movement is minimal, so maybe I'm just overthinking it.
 
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dcurzon

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Not too much to report...
I had a bit of a trim up of the plants at the back.
Looks like I have possibly 2 berried cherry shrimps in there.
Plants to the side I've left to run a bit wild, they no longer have that artistic looking twirl to the top as per previous photo, but I've left them in case I become a shrimpy grandfather, and I put a couple of bits plants that were struggling in the other tank in to float for a bit see if they perk up.

Grass is looking straggly now, but is growing so that's something!
IMG_20200805_082124.jpg
 
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Wolf6

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I love black neons, used to have a fairly large group (30ish) as a teen :) playful fish. Glad to see the happy cherries :p In regards to your previous post, I would definitely brace it, if it moves a bit too far and everything folds...
 

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