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Amanda

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  1. It had better be enough! I'm not buying an ADA solar rgb!
  2. Sorry if it wasn't clear in the post, I have both of the hygger and the fluval light running on it. The fluval is really narrow and doesn't seem to spread out as much as the hygger... I felt like I could light the whole tank (with the front unplanted) with the hygger alone. The fluval is stronger but doesn't spread enough to cover the entire planted area, so I think even without the front planted, the tank still benefits from the hygger on it as well. So the hygger is positioned toward the front and running at 40%, the fluval in the back running full blast currently 😬. And I've got both lights, so I might as well use them, right?
  3. The rest of my plants came in on Friday and I went ahead and planted. I've been really busy, so this has been my first chance to sit down and update. Here is a little planting map I made. It's not easy to read. Sorry. My planting varies slightly from the map, but I mostly stuck to the plan. I picked a lot of new plants I haven't tried before. This tank is basically just a large experiement. My planting choices expalined.. really long, feel free to skip. Starting in the foreground: Dwarf hairgrass- the green X's. I have 3 pots and they are each planted differently as an experiement. The first pot was split into 3 sections and planted during the dry start and I thought all of it died, but one of the plants in the middle does have new growth. Of the remaining two pots, one was split and the plugs were planted normally. The third pot was pushed down into the sand to see if the plant will spread from the pot like Cory recommends.. Buce-The red X's. I got 3 different varities, all farm sourced. There is kedagang green long, green broad leaf and Theia. Hydrocotyle tripartita Japan, 2 pots Monte carlo and dwarf baby tears - one pot each, just gotta see if either of these like my water and setup. Lobelia cardinalis- my first try with this plant. I have 3 bare root plants. Pogostemon Helferi Downoi- I wanted to try this because just to see. It came from a tissue culture cup, did not look good in the cup and most has already melted, so I don't have high hopes for it. Anubias- I have it listed there but I haven't added it yet and I'm not sure if I will... I have some in another tank I can grab if I decide it needs something there. Crypts- I've pulled 2 large tropicas from another tank. I got a new Hudoroi. I also got a retrospiralis that I mixed in amongst the background to add texture. There may be some other small crypts in there because I pulled a few small, unknown crypts when I grabbed the tropicas. Hygrophila compacta- I really love the way these look in other people's tanks when they are fully converted. I got a couple of really robust looking ones so hopefully they do well. Echinodorus Martii- supposed to be a smaller Amazon sword, but I'm worried it might end up smaller than I wanted. I wanted a sword that doesnt get too big and stays green since I already have several red plants. This plant came in really healthy... I could have split it... maybe I should have. Tiger lotus- I tried to leave a large area for this plant. I'm hoping for some good reds here. Rotala Red and Rotala Orange juice- I got a bunch of these stems. They are growing roots and new leaves already, but they growing somewhat horizontally, which is kinda annoying. Maybe that will help them fill in better? The I'm hoping for some discernable color difference between the two species, which will be stunning if I'm successful. Madagascar lace- I do not have this plant yet and I don't plan on adding one until I feel the tank is balanced. Algae all over a lace plant would be not good and this is really going to be my main centerpiece plant. This plant will be positioned to get really good flow from the filter, which I've heard is good. Ive also heard they like a cooler tank, so that is another plus with this setup. Hygrophila angustifolia- I like this plant and it has grown decently in my low tech tanks, so I'm really hoping for a dense background of this stuff. I got a ton of stems and a lot of it was already melted (and it came with duck weed!!!), but I got so much, I'm sure plenty will survive. The crypt retrospiralis is mixed in with it. The fissidens is doing great! Three weeks seems to have been long enough to get some attachment. The stuff on the wood is doing the best, but it looks like the rocks are doing OK. And that's all the plants! I'm running a fluval 407 canister filter. This tank is in my living room and having a quiet filter was my top concern, and this is indeed a very quiet. I've got a dual stage CO2 regulator from CO2 Art. The diffuser is a neo diffuser. I have two 48" lights currently. A Fluval 3.0 and a Hygger. I really like the Hygger as an affordable light, I have one on another tank as well, but it got a tiny splash when I turned on the filter and it acted kinda glitchy, even though it's water resistant (IP68?). But just this weekend, one of the big chain stores was having a crazy good sale and I snagged the fluval 3.0 for dirt cheap. And the hygger stopped flickering and seems fine again. I did not plant the front because I had only planned on running one light but this will give me more flexibility in the future. Here's some pics Right after planting 3 days later. I'm already getting growth and pearling The compacta is getting some color. My rotala is all weepy. I wasn't expecting that. I'm sure I can correct it with time.. the diatoms have already started... I tried a dark start hoping to skip this phase but nope.
  4. Oh yeah, that is beautiful! My husband and I both love endlers, so I will have to keep on the lookout for hybrids.
  5. They are petco endlers... they are black bar and tiger, that's all I know about them.
  6. I have definitely seen conflicting temps listed on different sites. But last winter if I let their tank go under 74 they stopped swimming and just huddled around the heater constantly. I love my guys, I don't want them to be unhappy. I think there are varieties that can go colder, just not my spoiled boys.
  7. I'm starting with a group of rainbow shiners I have. I want some hillstream loaches. We are also wanting cooler temp corydoras like pandas or hasbrosus. I'm doing a lot of quarantining and going to be adding stocking slowly. I've also got some red cherry shrimp from another tank that I'm eventually going to take down that I will probably add. White Clouds are a possibility. I have some endlers I wish I could add, but they don't like it under 74deg and I don't think they will be comfortable over the winter.
  8. I actually did a sorta-dark start with this tank. The first batch of fissidens I got was totally melted and I had to try to revive it for a couple of weeks while arguing with the seller. Then I ordered new fissidens from somewhere else, waited for it to arrive.... While all that was going on, I filled the tank with the hardscape and covered it to keep light out and it was almost a month. The only thing I didn't do was run the filter because I knew I still had to do the dark start and the bacteria would have died in the filter and made a mess while waiting on that process (and its too big to add on to my nanos in the meanwhile). So I hope that I have less algae because of that. It sounds like it was helpful for you! Algae isn't fun, and (almost) anything I can do to have less of it is worth a try.
  9. I've been working on a new tank for my living room. I started with nano tanks and this will be my first big girl tank. Follow along if you enjoy seeing new tanks get going. It's going to be fully planted and feature nano-ish, subtropical fish. I started with a stock 75 gallon marineland tank and stand from petsmart. I didn't like the stand, so I used resin and molds to make an aquatic plant and schooling fish design. I chose the particular plant mold because it reminds me of hygrophila angustifolia which I plan to put a lot of in the tank. I couldn't find a good fish mold, so I made one from hot glue and a little toy fish my kids had. (Unfortunately it's a clown fish, but probably I'm the only one that will see it in person and notice that detail.) I placed the fish so some looked like they were in a schooling formation and some are hiding in the plants... and there are a couple "hidden" on the sides of the tank. The hardscape is locally collected. We don't have cool rocks around here... mostly just sandstone and limestone. I chose sandstone. There are a lot of negatives to this choice, but this whole setup is pretty expensive, so I decided to save money on hardscape. I have lava rock in media bags under the aqua soil and then still used a ton of aqua soil. Probably 60lbs of fluval stratum in there. There is caribsea "peace river" sand in the front of the tank. I love the look of fissidens fontanus (pheonix) moss, so I'm attempting a dry start for the first time. To my amazement, it seems to be working! It's been about 2.5 weeks so far and I'm seeing new growth on the wood and rocks. I put the moss on most of the woods and rocks hoping some of it would take, and it looks like there should be a decent amount. I tried dry starting some hair grass too, but that was a fail. (look at that tiny, perfect fissidens) I'm planning on planting in the next week and flooding the tank. This has been a very slow moving project that started in June. This project literally forced me to repaint the interior of my house... just a thousand things to do and I'm finally getting close to being up and running and will post updates on this thread. And if anyone is interested in budget, I can give that info at the end too.
  10. @Patrick_G there are a lot fewer options in yellow! And the other issue is that even if I get the perfect combo picked out, there is no guarantee that the shop I buy it from is shipping the right plant... it has to be hard to differentiate all of these similar stem species. I do have my substrate well sloped to help get light on my stems. Hopefully I have luck.
  11. @Tihshho the reason I don't do full RO is that my unit is small. I bought it with the intention of mixing, and if I wanted to do full ro, I probably should have gotten a larger unit. I would also need quite a bit more space to store larger quantities of ro/di, which is another obstacle. The tank is a 75 gal, which is a big step up from my current nanos. I've always wondered how good aquascapers get such bushy stands of rotala without shading out the lower stems. It's impressive.
  12. @Tihshho Thank you for such a detailed response. I do understand that this an experiment and may not work out as planned. My RO unit is actually RO/DI with a mixed ion cartridge, if that helps. My tap water is off the chart in GH and KH, so when I mix it with ro/di it's still very high. In my low tech the ph is about 7.8 in tanks where I have mixed tap and ro/di. My rock is locally collected sandstone. It seems to be the harder version of sandstone and does not react with acids. In my past setups it has worked fine, but we shall see with this type of setup. (Investing in new equipment limited my hardscape budget.) I will be testing water and studying this combination during cycling. I will probably be under dosing the CO2 and see how the tank handles increasing dosing. I'm hoping I can make stems work. I've had decent success with my low tech plants. I'm using a combo of easier and more difficult plants so if it doesn't work for my fish I can just replant the stems with plants that work in my water. My background will largely be hygrophilia angustifolia because it grows decently in my low tech tanks. I will look carefully at the rotala h'ras I can find. Picking a plant for color is so hard because the tanks parameters affect coloration, so hopefully h'ra is a good plant to work with.
  13. I'm planning my first high tech tank. I really want to try a paring a red stem with an orange or yellow stem for part of my background. I haven't really been able to grow stems before, but with CO2, aquasoil, and mixing large amounts of RO water to cut my rock hard water, I'm hoping I can be successful. Can someone recommend a red stem and yellow/orange stem that complement each other and aren't terribly difficult to keep alive? These plants will need to be relatively hardy for stems. Even with RO, the water will still be moderately hard water with a higher ph (my water is 8.0 now but the combo of soil, RO, and CO2 should get me a bit lower). Below is part of a rough layout I've been working on. I've got the red triangle labeled as "Ludwigia" but that is not actually decided yet.
  14. @nooby All the denison barbs available from reputable retailers are tank bred and do not affect wild populations. Tiger barbs and denison barbs are very different fish and therefore having a preference is acceptable and no one should be made to feel bad for choosing a responsibly managed fish.
  15. I was just talking to my lfs owner the other day about denison barbs (I was thinking about them for my next tank). He was telling me the most important thing with them is a high oxygen content in the water. He said one time just doing a 60% water change they started rolling and were almost killed because of the low oxygen content of change water. He said he had to vigorously agitate the water to revive them. He said if there was a power outage they would probably start suffering within an hour. And he has kept them since the very first import batch decades ago. So even if you had an air stone, all of them in that small of a space was probably insufficient, especially if the water got warm. They are such beautiful fish but he talked me out of them at this time because I want something hardier. Sorry for your loss.
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