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ShadowMac

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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  • in reply to: Fish suggestions for 45 cm Planted Iwagumi #355375

    ShadowMac
    Member

    Thank you Byron. This leads to another question….fast current seems to be a subjective term. In nature we have a good idea what a quick moving stream or river looks like and slow one from the surface, but how does that translate to under the water or what we would see in an aquarium. I’ve seen underwater video of GBRs in the wild or tetras and thought the current was much faster than in any tank I’ve ever run. So how do we decide what is a lot of flow or not? I’m asking because maybe my flow isn’t fast. Its certainly not what I’ve seen of wild videos where some of the algae grazing fish live.

    in reply to: Fish suggestions for 45 cm Planted Iwagumi #355369

    ShadowMac
    Member

    no one has any thoughts on this?

    in reply to: anubias #352142

    ShadowMac
    Member

    You can also tie anubias to small stones. I use small lava rock that I purchased from a local garden supply store. A large bag was very inexpensive.

    in reply to: flora soil as biological filtration? #352141

    ShadowMac
    Member

    Biological filtration is just a fancy way of saying “the home for all the beneficial bacteria”. The bacteria functions as the catalysts for the nitrogen cycle, taking harmful ammonia and nitrates and converting it into harmless nitrates to be consumed by plants.

     

    Anything that provides a substantial amount of surface area (porous) can be used as a biofilter media as long as water runs through it. With a UGF, I’m assuming most any substrate can serve.

    in reply to: My Aquascape videos #352137

    ShadowMac
    Member

    Thank you, Matt!

    Depends upon what you mean by long term. The top scape ran for about a year and a half before I moved and took everything down. I entered it into the IAPLC and ranked 574 (pretty good for a small tank). I’ve only recently gotten both tanks back up and running (2 months or so) after my move this summer. The scapes can last as long I would like them to with regular care. Due to the fast growing stems they get trimmed every 3-4 weeks. If things get really overgrown I can do a massive trim and let it grow in all over. 

     

    If everything runs smoothly it takes about 4-6 months for a scape to mature. I probably have two more trims in the 90 cm tank to get the stems to line up and bush out. After that mark a good low trim helps freshen up everything with new growth. Everything will bounce back when that happens. They will have had a strong root structure established. When I took down the 30 cm tank the back literally came up as a clump of sod the roots were so thick. The stems held it all together…well except for the stones of course.

     

    I plan to run these for a year or so depending on how much I like them and if I get the bug to rescape. I’m REALLY enjoying the 90 cm, everything is so healthy so that may get a 2 year lifespan. The apisto borelli blue are great fish as are the axelrodi riesei. I’m hoping the apistos will spawn in there. If not, I may turn an old 20 gallon into a biotope and see if I can get a pair to spawn in there. I haven’t taken a stab at raising fry yet, I don’t think the killi fish count.

    in reply to: under gravel filtration? #352132

    ShadowMac
    Member

    You are welcome, George.

     

    If you plant crypts they would appreciate a nutrient rich soil. ADA aquasoil being one of the best, but also some of the most expensive. Seachem fluorite could be another option.

     

    The idea is to have a soil with a good CEC (cation exchange capacity). This means it will be able to hold and release nutrients to the plants. Plants with roots are particularly well adapted to capturing nutrients from these types of soils. Most baked clay soils have this capability. Sands and gravels do not, they are inert. Akadama is a pretty cheap option as well. It is a bonsai soil with a decent CEC, but has a tendency to break down and compact over time from what I’ve heard. I’ve used almost exclusively aquasoil and have been very happy with it.

     

    Your mosses and ferns do not care about the soil. Since your tank will be low on nutrient demand they would only need a little bit of fertilizing to the water column. Most any comprehensive store brand would be able to provide what would be needed.

     

    Root tabs under your crypts is a good idea, they will thank you for it.

    in reply to: under gravel filtration? #352117

    ShadowMac
    Member

    Hi George,

     

    RO water is the best way to reduce kH and GH, not necessarily pH. High pH is generally associated with a higher level of dissolved minerals. pH can be reduced to with RO but it is really because you are reducing the dissolved minerals and reducing the buffering capacity of the water. In simple terms, RO is just water where the minerals and other things have been removed/filtered out. 

     

    The fish you plan to keep aren’t particularly sensitive and should do okay if acclimated well. One way to reduce pH without using RO is to introduce organic acids like humic acid and tannins. Using peat in the filter or adding indian almond leaves are a couple options, but this will stain the water a tea color and will be removed by any chemical filtration thus negating the benefit. Again, I don’t think it is necessary to keep those fish. Your tap is probably just fine. If you use aquasoil that will buffer the water to a lower pH anyways. 

     

    From my understanding getting too hung up on pH isn’t the best practice. It is more about what does the pH represent. Are there a lot of basic ions in the water(high pH related to a lot of carbonates)? Are there a lot of acids? Is it too much CO2 (if using pressurized CO2 for plants)? These things become the real factors and can be indirectly measured by pH. 

     

    What type of chemical media are you using? Carbon will sequester organic material, not necessarily inorganic nutrients utilized by plants like nitrate, phosphate, and potassium. It can sequester some chelating agents used to bind trace elements so they dissolve. For most planted tanks carbon filtration is not necessary. If you plan to have plants I would not use anything like a phosphate or nitrate remover, even if you don’t I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Good husbandry like regular water changes and good biofiltration will take care of most things. A good amount of biofiltration is always a good idea. I’m not a big fan of UGFs. Kind of a PITA if you ask me. A gentle hang on the back filter (HOB) or in tank filter would be just fine. Those fish don’t like a ton of flow. 

     

    For the plants you listed you will not need much light, especially for that small of a tank. You could find a cheap small LED on ebay for your purposes. You want low light to avoid algae and stress to your fish since your focus is a few low light plants and the fish. 

     

    Best of luck,

     

    Shawn

    in reply to: Live Food Cultures and Feeding Live Foods. Please advise… #348838

    ShadowMac
    Member

    Thanks for mentioning the snails, that is one thing I had heard and forgot to mention. I can pull some snails as I have them running around my tanks somewhere. 

    in reply to: Live Food Cultures and Feeding Live Foods. Please advise… #348835

    ShadowMac
    Member

    Thank you, I will add Grindal worms to the list. When I purchased the vinegar eels I had no idea how small they are. Interestingly though, the porkchop rasboras gobbled them up. I will also give the brine shrimp a go. I plan to set up a shelf in my garage for keeping live food cultures. Daily feeding and maintenance shouldn’t be too difficult of a routine. I have been aging my tap water. I’ve been a little concern that changing out 50% of water and harvesting so many to feed will tap out the culture. Any concerns about feeding too many?

    in reply to: Live Food Cultures and Feeding Live Foods. Please advise… #348832

    ShadowMac
    Member

    *Bump*

     

    I would appreciate advice and comments from those out there who have kept and fed live foods before. Even a “your plan sounds good” would be nice :)

    in reply to: Fish compatible with dwarf shrimp? #348224

    ShadowMac
    Member

    Thanks for the replies. I don’t mind if they eat shrimplets as long as they leave the adults alone. If the adults are left alone most shrimp can out produce a modest number of predators within a tank. 

     

    I plan to keep small fish. Too bad, I really like dwarf cichlids…but people like to buy shrimp and they do well keeping things clean in heavily planted aquascapes. 

    in reply to: Dario Dario “Scarlet Gem Badis” #348216

    ShadowMac
    Member

    Thanks for the responses. I’m looking for a small fish that won’t be as brutal to a shrimp population as my EBR’s. These little guys will probably eat shrimplets but leave adults alone. I would actually appreciate them cutting down the number of offspring in my smaller tank.

    in reply to: Looking for Good Freshwater Aquarium Magazines #316742

    ShadowMac
    Member

    If you ever become interested in taking your planted tank to the “next level” I would suggest reading the free online magazine at http://www.aquascapingworld.com and/or subscribing to ADA’s aquajournal. It is available in digital only for those who speak English. It is available from http://www.coverleaf.com 

    in reply to: In Need Of Expert Guidance For Worsening Fish Illness #347675

    ShadowMac
    Member

    I do have to disagree that ferts cause issues. CO2 can, however the signs are generally the same as other water quality issues which manifest as behavioral changes. Testing nitrates weekly, or regularly at all is pointless in this type of a planted tank with high dosing of ferts, which come no where near toxic levels. Supportive evidence of this point is that the shrimp are fine which would rule out ammonia, nitrite, CO2, or ferts.

    this is definitely an infectious process. From another source someone mentioned a protozoan could be responsible for what i thought to be bacterial. If this is true, then that is actually a relief because the same treatment for the “worm-like” parasite and the protozoan would be the same.

    I will try API’s General Cure tomorrow and update this thread in a couple days to hopefully report positive progress.

    I agree with the antibiotics, avoidance if at all possible.

    In retrospect you are right 3 months is not a long time, I have been running it with established filter media, so considered it ahead of schedule on that timeline. Like I said, many other things signal to no water quality issues without testing.

    Thank you for your response, plaamoo.

    in reply to: Quarantining A New Fish? #347638

    ShadowMac
    Member

    as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…

    although i don’t know if they say that in the UK /biggrin.gif” style=”vertical-align:middle” emoid=”:D” border=”0″ alt=”biggrin.gif” />

    Quarantine tanks do not need to be complex. A bare bottom tank with a heater and a basic HOB filter and/or airstone would be sufficient. I have some sand and a fake tree stump with caves to make the fish “feel” a little safer.

    I have failed to quarantine in the past and have always paid for it. It catches up to you eventually.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)