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  1. Thanks so much @Rube_Goldfish and @Beach Cruiser for taking the time to reply in such detail. The info you shared has made me much more comfortable in knowing what to do and expect. I setup another small tank with just water and a light this morning. Have removed RRF with submerged leaves one at a time, splitting them into smaller clumps and testing if they then float. If not, moved across to the new tank for now. Will keep an eye on them for a few days and if I see signs of leaf die off I will discard them. Have also moved across all the water lettuce for now to the new tank to see whether their shading of the alternanthera reineckii mini at the back of my tank is making a positive/negative difference to their conversion/growth (planted from tissue culture pot 2 weeks or so ago). Thanks again for the wisdom and experience shared.
  2. Based on the experience shared above, me being a freshwater newbie and something I remembered about my tank last night, I am rethinking having otos in this tank. Remembered last night that my 20L tank is actually probably closer to 12-13L of water once I take into account hardscape, substrate, water not filling all the way to the top etc. Hoping for a relatively light maintenance burden for this tank, so a lower bioload has its appeal, ie. maybe no otos after all Current thinking now - a small school of fish to start, plus a small clean up crew of snails. Then make a decision about shrimp in a month or few, once the tank matures.
  3. Thanks @Whitecloud09 for the cleanup crew suggestions. I had a quick look here in Sydney and there is a huge price difference between these two snail types! Looks like mystery snails can be had for about $5-10, depending on size. Little bit concerned with forum posts about how fast they can grow though, given the small size of my tank. Nerite snails, on the other hand, are $15-32 each! I have read they have a much smaller max size though, which may account for the popularity, price and generally being out of stock in a lot of places! 🙂
  4. Thanks @xXInkedPhoenixX for the recommendations and experience shared. So next steps look to be a test kit*** 🙂 and then once parameters confirm my tank has cycled I will get some schoolers (those ember tetras you suggested look cool). Holding off on the shrimp/otos, I am guessing that means I should: - remove the sweet potato as I don't need to extra biofilm atm - also get some cleanup crew snails to help look after things until the tank is matured enough for the other bottom dwellers? *** ran out of funds for this project and couldn't get the test kit earlier on, plus decided that I would just be patient with the cycling, so no need to do lots of testing and/or stress the results. Best two things I think I ever did with my marine tank were to be patient (4 months before adding inhabitants or corals) and stock super light (5 fish for approx 300L).
  5. I was looking to add some floating plants to my tank a little while ago and came across some red root floaters being sold by a local hobbyist. When going to pick them up I was offered as a freebie a few (what I was told are) water lettuce, which I accepted with zero knowledge (really interesting long roots on these). Both were put into my 20L shallow tank (5-6 weeks old, first planted freshwater tank). Red root floaters (RRF) placed inside a ring of airline tubing to keep them roughly in place and help them not be adversely affected by the surface movement from my HOB. Water lettuce just float free (though haven't really moved from much thus far). I arranged the RRF so that they are all floating and not stuck under one another – have been told and read that RRF like low surface movement and need to remain upright with their leaves above/on water to thrive. Mine look essentially the same, to my newbie eye, in colour and health as when I added them 10 days ago or so, other than what I assume is some new growth (new leaves sticking up out of the water) and the occasional separated leaf. They are not being tumbled or visually affected by the light surface water movement. HOWEVER, many of the floaters have leaves that are not sitting on top of the water, but slightly under it. I have tried removing some of them temporarily from the airline ring and floating by themselves > they sit the same way, so I have don't think the issue is them getting stuck against or under neighbouring RRF. Pic of my floating plants as of this morning below. Questions: - Does this look normal for how RRF are supposed to sit in the water? - Can I just carefully pull apart some of the larger "clumps" (bigger clumps seem to be the worst cuplrits for having submerged leaves) and, if so, is there anything I should be aware of before doing so? - The floating plants are blocking a fair amount of light from the plants below. Considering moving some of them into another container for a while, as the plants below are still in the early stages of establishing themselves. Is this a good idea and, if so, other than water and a light on the container, do I need to have anything else for the health of the floaters? Thanks for any wisdom or experience shared.
  6. Long time reefer, but first ever attempt at a planted freshwater tank. Going to try to record some of the ups and downs of my journey here. Have been dreaming about a tank for my study for a few months. Original plan was to have a small marine tank (already had 95% of the required gear and knowledge), but then came across some shrimp vids on eBay and started thinking about a freshwater tank instead. A few months of research, a few weeks of buying/selling gear, a few dozen changes of mind re: what I planned/wanted, and I was finally in a position to start cycling this tank. Luckiest trade was with a local hobbyist who was heading in the opposite direction – ie. he had been planning a new freshwater tank and decided to go marine. I got 80% of the gear for this tank from him and he got some of my surplus reefing equipment. 😊 So, here we go. Tank: 45 x 22 x 24cm (WxDxH), rimless, low-iron Filter: Seachem Tidal 35 Light: Chihiros WRGB II Slim Hardscape: dark Seiryu stone Substrate: Fluval Stratum aquasoil with a little bit of white sand Start: 8th May, 2024, fishless, dark start method for cycle, plants added in 4th week Plants, 31st May, 2024: - Foreground - monte carlo, hopefully, eventually, a lush carpet - Midground - staurogyne repens for green accent plants - Background - alternanthera reineckii mini for some red accents - Floating – red root floaters, water lettuce Inhabitants: current thoughts (very open to change) are a colony of neocardina shrimp, a few otos and maybe a small school of fish appropriate for a tank this size.. Pic attached is as of 6th June, 2024. Only inhabitants at this time are 3 small snails and 2 copepods (both hitchhikers on the floating plants), plus 2 pieces of sweet potato lol (added to start growing biofilm for future inhabitants)
  7. Thanks @xXInkedPhoenixX and @Whitecloud09 for the very warm welcome. Current stocking of the tank includes only a few small snails and two copepods (that came with the floating plants), plus two pieces of sweet potato lol (trying to boost biofolm in anticipation of inhabitants). With a caveat that I have already learned a heap and changed my mind a few dozen times about almost every element of the tank over the months of research and pondering, the following list is far from set in stone and open to change > my current idea for stocking is: * neocardina shrimp * 2 otos * then a few weeks later, assuming the tank is going well, a small group of some sort of schooling fish that will be happy with only 20L and 45cm to live in and add some more movement to the tank Welcome advice on stocking from anyone with more experience than me (basically everyone). Is the above a good/bad idea? Suggestions for changes or what type of fish, if any, would be suitable.
  8. Hi, My name is J and I call Sydney, Australia home. I am currently about 5 weeks into cycling my first ever planted tank, a 20L, 45cm shallow tank. Trying my best to be patient. 🙂 Have about a decade of experience on the marine side of things, but wanted a small system in my home office and decided to pursue something different. Looking forward to being part of this community and learning more about this amazing side of the hobby. Pic is from a day or two ago. Tried my hand at a rock only hardscape after finding the cool looking rock (I believe dark seiryu stone) on the right. Dark start method for the first few weeks. Then LFS had a sale on plants and so added my first plants a bit earlier than planned, about 2 weeks ago - Monte carlo carpet (eventually), staurogyne repens for green accent plants, alternanthera reineckii mini for some red accents toward the back of the tank. Then a local seller had some floating plants for sale a week ago and I grabbed a few of them too. J
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