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Be Gentle, Im no expert (German Blue Ram Prep Journal)


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Hey all,
 My name is Dakota, and ive been in the hobby for approximately 5 years. I have tried different things and failed at different things, and have had great success with different things. Im a stay at home dad and absolutely love it. I love the aquarium hobby and love everything about it. But my true passion in the hobby is aquascapes and having it complement beautiful fish. 

My favourite fish has always been the German Blue Rams and absolutely fell in love with the behavior and the amazing colorations they have. This journal is gonna be my diary (lol) i guess you could say. I really appreciate input and can handle criticism.

Im no expert, But i am trying and i am learning as much as i can and have learned that the best way for me to learn is to do.

So here it goes....

This is my tank from a week ago... I have monty carlo growing on the bottom with Scarlett temple in the back right and an anubias behind the drift wood. There is my wife's Pothos plant on the top right. The tank is running an FX4 with a reduced flow rate. DIY CO2 Inector and a fluval heater. Will post additional Pic's. and then ive hung a blanched zucchini wedge for my oto's to the left.


Second picture is my tank today.Went to my LFS and ordered my GBR's aswell as traded the Black neons, assassin snails and a couple of sterbai cory's. All i have left is the 25-30 neons, 3 cory's and some otocinclus cats. I have added some Anachris to the left and some Java fern on the wood. Everything is starting to come together.



When i went to the fish store he sells the anachris in clumps, so i got a couple. But i got a hitch hiker and don't know what it is. Looks to big to be duckweed. Any Answers?



Top View of Mystery Plant.

My DIY setup which has served me well so far!


Now Schedule!
Please Excuse the handwriting. This is my maintenance schedule. It still needs some tweaking but i will work it out. EG= Easy Green EC=Easy Carbon WC= Water Change.


Then of cource my Aquarium Coop sticker on the front right! Love you guys!

So, This is just gonna be me keeping track of myself aswell as showing my tank off. I don't get a lot of guests at my house so, this is me being a good host as i welcome you guys into my home and passion.

Edited by Dakota
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hey sorry i didn't post yesterday i had a lot of things come up. Truck broke down and the tow truck company took forever to pick me up. Then i had to come home and clean. I will be posting pictures today and doing some water tests.

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Happy Sunday Guys,
Did a water test today, everything looks good in that department. Nitrates still a bit high for my taste and hoping the Anachris will help with that soon. Would rather dose EG and be more in control than have nitrates do what they want. Water change tomorrow. But took some photos for everyone to see. Added a blanched skinned and de-seeded zuccini piece for the Otos and whoever else wants to pick at it. Fed some nano fish food and 3 sinking wafers aswell. They are both the Hikari brand.




Took a nice photo of my neons schooling together.



My camera sucks at taking these pictures and makes it look like i have a terrible detritus issue. Scarlett temple is growing new roots above the substrate. Should i uproot and trim just below the roots and replant? or leave it alone? I have never grown scarlett temple.




Getting lots of new growth on the monte carlo. But not sure what to do about the brown bits on it. Looks like diatom algea and decaying plant matter maybe. Perhaps a large trim? or plant deeper?


Another clump of monte carlo. Lots of new roots.



best picture so far. Oto chillin on my anubias. 



Tried to get a good picture of my Amano shrimp but they didn't want to cooperate today. Maybe another day. Let me know what you guys think!

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So, Update:

Ordered my GBR's a couple of days ago and they should have arrived at the LFS yesterday and im having them quarantine them for 2 weeks before i get them.

Sorry about not posting in a while, for some reason this particular post would not load in correctly. I think it had something to do with my drivers. Updated them and then its fine.

But anyway, i will be posting some picks later for tracking growth of plants and of course some beauty shots. My wife has a 4k camera that i forgot about so i will be using that instead of my dinky phone so hopefully i can capture the plants and fish at a more true color.

I did a 20% water change on monday and my nitrates are staying around 40ppm so i need to fix that. I have a feeling its my filter media. Ive had some of the stuff in there for years. I haven't had the cash to replace a lot of it. What im probably gonna do is use some poly-fill where some of the coarse filter foam is and throw away the really old stuff. Eventually i want to get a mixed bag of filter to replace the ceramic balls i have in there. I also would like to use some activated carbon foam pads to help with water quality down the road ( not that its terrible now) would like some thoughts on the carbon infused pads inside a cannister filter.

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I must say this Camera is amazing!


Excellent Photo Of a new leaf forming on the anubias and an oto munching on the wood.


Monte carlo out front. Starting to grow more and hopefully it will grow 10 fold in the next couple of weeks. Still has some hair algae on it but nothing the oto's can't handle.


One of my Assassin Snails. I need to catch the rest of them and donate to LFS. they no longer have a prominent role in my aquarium. Need to get a new type of snail that is more socially responsible for the needs of the tank now.



Photo of the right hand side of the tank. Need to clip the fishing line that is floating around. bit of an eye sore.




bit of an action shot of my corys. You can see some hair algae on the monte carlo in the back some.



I love this shot. Seems like so much activity. Hoping my Scarlet temple will take off soon. Still need to get some easy iron. Its still growing roots above where it is planted. Not sure if i should trim and replant or leave it alone?



Beautiful fat neons. Fed Frozen baby brine and spirulina w/ regular brine shrimp aswell. you can see additional hair algae on the monte carlo.



Here is some monte carlo that just hasn't been taking off as fast as the rest. not sure why though.

Im hoping this will be a good environment for my GBR's that im getting. Opinions would be great! and any additional critiques would be very helpful.

Water parameters today is.
PH 6.6
Ammonia 0

Nitrites 0

Nitrates 40ppm

Dosed 4 pumps EG today aswell.



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