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  1. I run an ACO medium sponge and a Tidal 55 HOB on my 55 gallon.
  2. Post pics when you can!! I love reading about your tanks!!!
  3. So while I'm not fully cycled yet, I think we're getting close. After taking parameters yesterday I re-dosed with 2 tsp ammonia which I've found takes me up to about 1.5ppm in my 55 gallon tank. This evening ammonia was reading 0 and nitrites were only at 1ppm. Nitrates had gone up to 50. I'm not rushing out to buy livestock, but this feels encouraging!
  4. So last time I thought I was cycled I wasn't. My nitrites went close to zero. I re-dosed with ammonia and they shot right back up and stayed there for days. Today I checked and my nitrites and ammonia are a flat zero. No color change on the strip at all. So I've re-dosed with ammonia and we'll see where it is tomorrow 🙂 One relatively new development. I'm starting to see significant melt on two of my Anubis. I know that plant melt is something you have to expect, but I would have thought it would have happened shortly after introducing them to the tank, not nearly a month in. It's the two plants in the front two corners. On the other hand, my two crypts are doing great! No crypt melt here!
  5. I'd be careful pairing male bettas with guppies. They don't call them the Siamese Fighting Fish for nothing. The bright coloration and bigger fins on the guppy would likely trigger a lot of aggression. That being said, every betta is different so anything is possible. And your 20 gallon tank would certainly be better than say a 5 or a 10. If you try it I'd be sure to monitor things very closely and have a backup plan available if things get out of hand.
  6. I have it just as a Word file. Does that count? 😀
  7. I keep a log. It doesn't specifically call out plant growth, but I have it broken down into three sections. Action (things I did to the tank like water changes, added fertilizer, food, cleaned the filter, etc) Parameters (pretty self explanatory) Notes (kind of a catch all for other things I've observed) Here's an example from last week: 6/2/2024 Action · 60%+ water change · 3 tbsp Equilibrium · 5 pumps Easy Iron · 5 pumps Easy Green · 2 tsp Dr. Tim’s ammonia Parameters · Ammonia 1 · Nitrates 25 · Nitrites 1 · GH 150 · KH 180 · PH 7.6 · Chlorine 0 Notes · Temp 77 and 77.5 · Slurry for Equilibrium works much better. However cloudy water remains for a significant period of time. · Tannins significantly reduced. · Parameters taken several hours after water change and re-dosing. · Seeing some melt, but not extensive. Most on anubias in SE corner and buce attached to rock SE of bridge.
  8. Sorry, I'm editing out my comment. I said it in a moment of bad temper. I apologize if anyone read it and thought I was sticking my oar in where it didn't belong!
  9. It's just a more precise way to control the amount of ammonia. I've been using it to cycle my 55 gallon, as @whitecloud09 already knows 😄 I actually found 4 drops per gallon never quite got me to the 2ppm level. The dosing instructions also say one teaspoon = 100drops. That saved me some time standing over my tank!
  10. Oops! Mis-types. It's my NITRITES that are hovering just barely above zero. Fixed the original post. Today is 3 weeks since I first put water in the aquarium!
  11. I'll be honest, I'm loving my Tidal 55. I haven't had any problems with the bypass.
  12. One quick update - I think we MIGHT be close to cycled. I took parameters today and nitrites were hovering just above zero and ammonia was at a flat zero. The test only changed color by the tinniest bit. I re-dosed with ammonia tonight and I'll take parameters again tomorrow to see how things process. My first attempt at stemmed plants hasn't gone so great. The only one that's doing ok is the Pogostemon Stellatus 'Octopus'. The rest basically melted away. I've ordered a few more and I'm going to try again. I think part of the problem was it was the water was so dark with tannins that first time, I really couldn't see what I was doing. I did add a ball of Christmas moss that's hanging out over by the driftwood, and some fissidens fontanus that I tied to my "rock bridge" there in the middle using clear nylon thread. Been running pretty hard the past few days with work and family and stuff, but I'm trying to find time to enjoy my little aquascape. If it ends up that I am well and truly cycled then it becomes time to really decide what livestock to introduce first!
  13. I went from 5 gallon right to 55, but then when I get into something I tend to jump in with both feet 😄 From talking with my LFS and other commentary I've seen around the forum, long tends to be preferable to high for schooling fish. Not that it can't be done, but most schooling fish do better with a decent amount of horizontal space, allowing them to swim more back and forth. But there is something really fun about a tall tank. With the proper planning and research I think you can make either work. For me personally, I'd go with the biggest yo can get away with!
  14. I did another significant water change today, probably in the 60-70% range in my battle against the tea. It's cleared up quite a bit! I want to see how much the wood is still leeching into the water, but based on how much I've been able to get ahead of it with just two water changes spaced out over about 6 days, I'm hoping I can just let it run and continue to cycle. Afterward I reduced Easy Green, Easy Iron, ammonia, and Equilibrium. My stem plants in the back of the tank aren't doing so well. When I tried to put another root tab under one of them is completely uprooted and when I fished it out of the water all the lower stems had started to turn brown. I planted them when the tea was really dark, and I couldn't really see what I was doing, so it's possible I missed putting the plant on top of the root tab at that time. I would still really like some tall background plants across the back of the tank for aesthetic as well as practical purposes.
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