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HelplessNewbie's 10g kids' aquarium


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Hi everyone, glad to be part of this supportive group! Me and my family are new to the hobby.

Here is an attempt to chronicle our adventures in learning!

Our 10g:

- start date: May 31, 2023 (~6 weeks)

- fish-in cycling (because we didn't know any better, and still waiting on first cycle)

- gravel with plants, fertilizing with ACO Easy Green and Easy Root tabs

- Living: 1 lone surviving green neon tetra female, 1 blue metallic guppy male, 1 XL amano shrimp

- Dead: 9 green neon tetra; Windelov java fern (almost dead), Monte Carlo, dwarf sagittaria, moneywort1 red female betta, 1 gold mystery snail

- 1 diy mini pump filter with nylon pot scrubbers, with optional co2 line for alternative means of diffusion

- 1 nano sponge filter

- 1 medium sponge filter

- 1 TopFin heater that came with the starter pack

- custom greenhouse panel lid with Hygger COB LED submersible light to replace TopFin hood and built-in light

- diseases encountered: ich, probably columnaris, fungus; see https://forum.aquariumcoop.com/topic/33278-cant-find-2-of-10-green-neon-tetras-in-tank/

- home automated light control, leak detection and mitigation

Screenshot_20230720-201206.png

Edited by HelplessNewbie
added links to my related posts; updated lid
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Hi @HelplessNewbie

Dying plants happeneds to every one, especially when your starting off with planted tanks.

Java Fern, Dwarf Sag, Cryptacoryne, Swords, and Anubias are all great beginner plants. One thing to keep in mind is that almost all plants (especially cryptacorynes) are going to look like they are dying when you first get them. Its called plant melt. Plants will melt back when you first get them because when the plant farms grew them, the leaves are typically grown out of water. In this case the plant is esentially shedding its old leaves for fully aquatic leaves. Best you can do is cut back on the stems completley and continue to give them the adequate nutrients. Plants like anubias and java fern in my experiance dont tend to melt back for some reason. Whereas plants like cryptacorynes will always melt back. When you see a new plant starting to die - you can immeidtaley cut off its stem to speed up the melting process. It will grow back with even more lushes leaves.

Another plant tip: Plants with rhizomes (anubias, java fern, bucephalandra) and other free floating plants, feed from the water column. These guys will benefit from the use of easy green (which you said you already use, so great!) Its important to know when planting plants with rhizomes not to burry the rhizome in the substrate. You can instead glue it to decor or just plant the roots.

Anubias-01.webp.61882fcc6c33bb96dbe634612cbd17ed.webp

For plants like amazon swords, cryptacorynes, vallisneria, and dwarf sag they feed from their roots. They wont care for liquad firtilizer but instead enjoy root tabs, like easy root tabs from aquarium coop. (which you also use so great!)

 

Sorry to hear about all those sick fish. Seems like a lot of illnesses in such a short period of time. Perhaps it could have been the source for these fish, maybe the store you buy from just dont supply healthy fish. 

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@FrozenFins, it seems this tank is our guinea pig. We had read about diseases, quarantine, melt, lighting, water column vs root feeder, emersed vs submersed, etc; but nothing could prepare us for how we would feel once we saw all these things happening! I am relieved to know I have your and others' experience to count on, especially when at times we couldn't help ourselves from interfering and possibly making things worse.

The ability to recognize when intervention is required in this particular hobby, will have to be honed with time and patience, I guess!

Thanks for commenting, and happy hobby-ing!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tank looks great with all your new plants! And good job cleaning them before you put them in, too - you’re way better at this new tank business than I’ve been. The only thing I’d offer is to remember that making changes in your system - whether it’s adding fish or plants, or taking them away - is going to change the way your system balances itself. I’d wait awhile before you make anymore big changes and watch your numbers till they level out. 🙂 (please, keep in mind I’m totally new at this myself, I can’t really add detail to my suggestion, and it’s probably something you already knew anyway, but maybe someone else would read this and need to know.  Also,  someone with way more experience may come along and say I’m wrong. I’m OK with that and welcome the correction! )

My question was, how much work was the reverse respiration? And how much hydrogen peroxide did you have to use? I’m working up to a large plant purchase for my tank and am considering doing the same thing… but I’m curious!

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On 8/6/2023 at 1:13 PM, Vicki said:

I’d wait awhile before you make anymore big changes and watch your numbers till they level out

Yes, please keep repeating this to me! *shrugs shoulders, as nearly-teen daughter ("fish police") looks disapprovingly at all the changes being introduced*

On 8/6/2023 at 1:13 PM, Vicki said:

how much work was the reverse respiration?

We used 12 bottles of 1 litre seltzer water (reverse respiration does not use hydrogen peroxide) in a large tote that I had previously checked for water tightness. We weighed down the plants with lingerie laundry bag, mesh, colanders, a pillowcase with heavy things on top. After placing the lid askew and covering loosely with heavy blanket, we left them overnight (~16 hours). When I woke up, we soaked them in plain water for 30 mins to 1 hr, then rinsed under running water.

I missed the tip to just use zip bags, to save on space and seltzer water. I will do that next time.

Hopefully, the plants bounce back!

Edited by HelplessNewbie
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Welcome to the hobby. Your learning curve is very typical and you’re doing a lot of really good things based on some sound research. 
 

Your tank does appear cycled. If you add some easy green and 2 hours later check your strip. Then check the strip the next day. If you see your nitrates fall overnight I’d say you’re cycled. The next step is maturing the tank. This is not only building up nitrifying bacteria but also other useful biofilms that will help your tank bounce back from changes that occur such as local water municipalities changing their mix as the seasons change, over zealous feeding, or adding more fish. 
 

I look back fondly at my sons sponge Bob tank. Have fun and welcome to our community! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

As expected, a lot of the plants melted back, including the 2 types of fern. Only time will tell if the ferns grow back.

We apparently overdid the Reverse Respiration soak on the guppy grass and hornwort. We only have a few strands left of those.

We also took some plants to populate a 3rd tank. So, the tank looks bare.

Sad photo to follow later.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Success in quieting the ACO battery powered air pump! Otherwise, it sounds like a small airplane everytime one steps into the room.

20230904_193322-COLLAGE.jpg.5d2bf019e74ae43e39b3be8d77b2fb0b.jpg

left: before changes, right: after stuffing into large glass vase with polyfill and sealing the top with tape

It's not pretty but it works.

Screenshot_20230904-194929.png.0c8120735d05468102f4b703ffd4b106.png

Edited by HelplessNewbie
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On 9/4/2023 at 4:38 PM, HelplessNewbie said:

Success in quieting the ACO battery powered air pump! Otherwise, it sounds like a small airplane everytime one steps into the room.

This is a fun one, might be useful too. I can also see how having a rubber mat to insulate between the glass and the stand would help as well.

 

On 8/17/2023 at 10:21 AM, HelplessNewbie said:

We added some potted anacharis, which underwent reverse respiration soak for 1.5 hours.Screenshot_20230817-131952.png.68a16f151feb0129d32923daf10760d3.png

The little pots you have for the plants. Are those filled with sand or what media?

(Sidenote: I'ma need to hear the tale of whoever discovered that T-Rex! 🙂 )

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On 9/6/2023 at 10:17 AM, nabokovfan87 said:

The little pots you have for the plants. Are those filled with sand or what media?

Those are filled with wood pellets with a little triple phosphate fertilizer and a smidge of ground pyrite, topped with coarse sand. We had some good progress with that type of substrate in our planted 20g, so we continued to use it in the tiny pots.

Yes, it was from Mark's Shrimp Tanks video you oinked that we learned how to quiet our air pumps. That was one of the most practical tips I have encountered so far. The only difference is we stuffed our jar/vase with polyfill.

The poster above the tank was about Barnum Brown (Mr Bones") who discovered first documented remains of T-Rex. You can tell my kid is really into dinosaurs!

Edited by HelplessNewbie
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  • 7 months later...

Tank front and side views yesterday.

Screenshot_20240503-090851.png.07494d87ef3f7c1326dced5b5bf5d21a.pngScreenshot_20240503-090900.png.b088b620982c2a3b6fa98774cbeab61d.pngScreenshot_20240503-090903.png.201a1fa94d6bb09ccf57a60a5accd758.png

Very little done to the tank. It is recovering from hair algae and minor bba, which is why the lighting time was reduced, and some areas shaded.

This is the family's oldest tank, with our oldest wet pet Terry, the green neon tetra, at 10 months. This is the only tank with rotala rotundifolia and Windelov java fern still growing. I like how the anubias nana petite took to growing inside the clam shell to which I glued it.

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  • 1 month later...

Tank photo today

Screenshot_20240624-162003.png.81912b1c0df85e711ddb1f820bdf211a.png

 

Tha anubias congensis on the rear left has nutrient deficiency. Will step up the application of Easy Green fertilizer.

Small areas with black sand (BDBS) in a tray have been added for the Bolivian ram.

The tank now has reached 1 year since completing its cycling!

 

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