Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

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Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-05-05, 00:23

Nothing to do here so since I've been sharing my successes with planted tanks and fish keeping I thought I would share my great nano failure.

My smallest of tanks is my biggest of headaches. I so wanted this tank to be a mini show tank. Algae and death, parameter inconsistency, crashes. Ugh... This is my last attempt before I toss it in my driveway. I've been working on keeping the parameters stable with buffers and minimizing foods in the tank.

Past thread

Here is the tank. This actually looks good, ha! I've been cleaning it out EVERY WEEK. This is ONE week of accumulation. Dusty algae, slimy algae covering everything.
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After a front glass scrub.
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Water change and re scape. I've put some woods in that I've attached plants and mosses to some time ago with hopes of putting them back into this tank. Then put in 5 Amano shrimp , and now my fingers are crossed.
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If anyone wants to throw in their $0.02 about algae control, nano experience (good or bad), or just something to add along those lines please jump in.


Last edited by fishNAbowl on 2014-07-20, 23:51; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  cichlid-gal on 2014-05-05, 05:19

I have my dwarf blue panda guppies and a couple of snails housed in my 9G nano.  I had some algae start to take off in it when I first set it up as I had two lights on it (the Eheim ones that are for the setup).  I removed the 2nd light going down to one light only.  The light is on about 10 hours a day.

The substrate is a plant substrate so I do not add ferts.  About once a week I dose Excel at the daily dose.  I only have low need plants in the tank - cryptocorynes and needle leaf java attached to a big piece of wood.

I do water changes once a week, 50% out.  I clean the intank filter once every two weeks.  The tank has been up and running since January.  I'll get an updated pic later today after the sun comes up Smile.

EDITED TO ADD PIC (doesn't look much different from setup...LOL)
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  pbmax on 2014-05-05, 08:41

My only truly successful nano tank is a 3g picotope with amazonia 2. It has a carpet of m. minuta and some narrow-leaf ludwigia that does pretty well. I used to have a 13w CFL over it, but I have a 10" fugeray on it now.

It has a sponge filter and a 25w heater and some RCS in it. I change the water every few months at best, I feed the shrimp about once a week, and I add no ferts. I clean the glass about every 2 months and there's no other algae growth to speak of. I know right away if I've added too much food because I get a green water bloom - that's been the challenge with this tank. It's been crystal clear for the last 6 months or so, however.

I just tossed the contents of a 2.5g planted out under the rhodies yesterday... that one I never could stabilize. Nanos are a pain.  Suspect  I won't go less than 10g again, personally. And I keep my 10g tanks very low tech with minimal ferts to avoid frustration.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-05-05, 08:49

I like pictures :)please do share.

@ Donna, The current lighting is an AquaTop 7,000K LED, switched this with a FugeRay planted+ thinking the change in spectrum would do someone different. It hasn't. When I had the planted+ on it I played with lighting duration, intensity by attaching mesh to block lighting. I've trying no ferts, little bit of ferts, lots of ferts. There is a large (for this tank) canister filter & spray bar. I can adjust flow using a ball valve. So, I've tried minimal flow, high flow.... Humm

This time I'm trying full light from the AquaTop, and blasting CO2 into the tank, PH buffered by coral. Let's see what that does...

@ pbmax, you know... I think after this last attempt I may try low tech. No CO2, low light plants only and perhaps completely mesh out the AquaTop. I've been told many timse to keep the CO2 and fert constant. But most that I talk to are thinking the system is still new when in fact it's been running since last summer. It's got everyone scratching heads. Thanks for the input. It's reassuring that other fish keepers with experience have the same troubles.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  cichlid-gal on 2014-05-05, 09:37

My 10g tank just had a near green water situation I think.  I got one of the 10" fugeray planted lights at the auction and put it on the tank along with the single bright marineland that I'd been running on the tank.  I also think I overdosed by putting in too many of the root fertilizer tabs.  It almost looked like I was going to have green algae everywhere in the tank.  

I panicked as I've never had that happen.  I pulled the new light (the fuge-ray), I did a big clean on the tank with a gravel vac and did a large water change.  I darkened the tank for a day and then ran short spans of light for a couple of days (where I did like 3 hours on 3 off 3 on in a day) and I seem to have staunched whatever was going on.  The tank has cleared.  I am watching that one closely.  Pics of that one will come too Chad.

Have you done a substrate clean Chad?

EDITED TO ADD PIC (this tank looks pretty dirty as it hasn't had it's weekly cleaning...oh well)
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  pbmax on 2014-05-05, 10:59

I had a brief green water bloom when I switched to the 10" fugeray also, but thankfully it didn't last long and it never came back.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-05-05, 12:02

I cleaned the substrate as much as I could with a carpet of dwarf chain sword on the bottom. Lots of debris accumulate over the week and I vacuum as much as I can out. I've never seen so much debris accumulate. There is a couple Malaysian trumpets in the tank but not enough to clean this mess. Perhaps I should dump another 20 snails in there to munch on the debris? Ive cut feeding down to just a couple blood worms a day for the remaining 2 puffers. I was going to remove them and just go fishless, then dump a bunch of snails and shrimp in.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  pbmax on 2014-05-05, 12:04

Dump some shrimp in and your debris problems go away, provided you don't have those puffers in there to eat the shrimp. Wink

I don't think more snails will help here; shrimp are more effective at mulm-elimination in my experience.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  KaraWolf on 2014-05-05, 12:51

my 2 gallon has massive hair and fuzz algae problems. I have mostly given up on keeping it clear. Though Friday I took a stick and ripped at the grass. Was amazed at how much of the fuzz algae came out because it was living on dead yellow grass. I actually don't feed nearly ever because the endlers are always picking at stuff in the tank and not too interested in any food.the hair algae comes out when I twirl a stick in there but never all of it.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-05-05, 23:58

cichlid-gal wrote:
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^ Awe, inspiration. Thank you!
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  cichlid-gal on 2014-05-06, 08:11

Thanks Chad and maybe adding some floaters to your tank to pick up those extra nutrients and give a little cover also. Both of these tanks have them.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-05-06, 08:39

I tried them. At one time the surface was covered with Salvinia. And eventually they just rotted out. At the moment I have the spray bar pointed up for surface current and on full power. Basically trying to see if high current will make a difference. I've been looking into lilly pipes. Maybe I'll try installing something that provides a gentle flow while still providing the same circulation, then floaters may do better.

I've tried everything Donna.  scratch still trying different system combo's.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  bronzefighter on 2014-05-07, 16:24

Maybe I've just had crazy luck, but my Spec V has been the easiest tank to take care of. I sort of...um...negelect it :|Aside from topping off evaporation, I did the first water change in like 3 months yesterday. I don't dose anything, and I forget to turn the light on (or off!) all the time. I do get a small amount of hair algae growing in the fissidens, but that's about it. Stock is a ton of RCS, which probably helps with any algae control, 2 otos, a single dwarf honey gourami, 3 celestial pearls, and few pseudomugil 'neon-red blue eyes.'

The tank still looks just like this, aside from the stargrass being pulled and replaced with rotala rotundifolia green, the hydrocotyle has tripled in size, and the fissidens has spread almost all the way across the top of the tank. only floaters i have is some stray duckweed and riccia.

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As far as your tank goes, what are you doing about ferts and lights?
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-05-07, 18:04

Thats super nice bronzefighter! I've been monitoring PH closely and making adjustments. 3 days ago PH was so low it didn't even register, added some buffer. Yesterday was at 6.2 maybe... Added more buffer. I am thinking maybe the low PH maybe contributing to the algae dysfunction? Ill check again this evening and update.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  bronzefighter on 2014-05-07, 18:30

Do you normally have low PH coming out of the tap? If not, what could be causing the PH drop?

And, just because it happens, is your testing method reliable?
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-05-07, 20:41

Tap has always tested neutral. In all 3 tanks the PH will drop and does so without CO2. I have figured over time its decomposing plant matter and woods. One piece of wood I have in my 140 is over 10 years old SUBMERGED. In spots the surface of the wood is so soft I can attach plants using tooth picks. I digress, back to the 9.5; So, I am adding crushed corals to boost the PH back up. Its been 24 hours amd there is already a layer of algae covering all the plants and a layer of dust algae on the glass. So frustrating...
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-05-07, 20:42

I use a master test kit. API? ADI? Something like that.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  dwarfpike on 2014-05-07, 23:22

Can't say I've ever done a nano tank, and my algae treatments usually start and end with excel so won't be of any help, but I find your pH really odd. Maybe take some out, airstone it for a while and test it? Let the CO2 gas off and get a better idea?
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-05-08, 08:36

I'm on it... Going LOW tech.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  bronzefighter on 2014-05-08, 20:32

fishNAbowl wrote:I use a master test kit. API? ADI? Something like that.

The API one liquid one? Might want to check the expiration dates on the various reagents, just an fyi. anyways, any possible source of excess nutrients, intentional or not? fert dosing, weird substrate additions?
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  pbmax on 2014-05-08, 20:37

bronzefighter wrote:
The API one liquid one? Might want to check the expiration dates on the various reagents, just an fyi.

 I agree  I've had some of the reagents go bad on me in the past.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-05-08, 22:33

bronzefighter wrote:The API one liquid one? Might want to check the expiration dates on the various reagents, just an fyi. anyways, any possible source of excess nutrients, intentional or not? fert dosing, weird substrate additions?
HMM. No expiration date found.... It's my very 1st test kit and about 6years old... Is that old?

pbmax wrote:
bronzefighter wrote:
The API one liquid one? Might want to check the expiration dates on the various reagents, just an fyi.

 I agree  I've had some of the reagents go bad on me in the past.

Ugh.

Is there something better to test with out there I maybe interested in picking up?
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  pbmax on 2014-05-08, 22:36

Not in my experience...

The newer ones have dates on them, I think. Smile
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-05-08, 22:38

Okay. Ill go check out a new master test kit and see the time span on the date is. Thanks guys!!
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  bronzefighter on 2014-05-08, 22:40

pbmax wrote:Not in my experience...

The newer ones have dates on them, I think. Smile

From the Mars Fishcare (owners of API):

''Your question is one that we always welcome. All test kits have a shelf life in which the chemicals degrade. No competitor can say that a test kit will read correctly forever.

Mars Fishcare is the industry leader in testing without exception. Many of our solutions are used for both freshwater and saltwater testing while some are designed exclusively for freshwater. Many of our reagent bottles are used in various kits under API and PondCare brands. In some situations you will notice that two color charts are provided one for freshwater and one for saltwater while other kits have one color chart for both. The need for two color charts is based on chemistry. However you can read the lot number on any kit and determine the manufacturing date. The last four digits represent the month and year of production. So 26a1007 would be produced in October 2007.

Our determined expiration dates are established under extreme conditions. The test kits expiration dates are first established under constant conditions of 40 degree Celsius with 75% humidity for an extended period of time. Our retention samples, which we have for five years of every batch of every product that we make, are also kept in a room with elevated temperatures. This ensures that if the test kits or water conditioners are kept under less extreme conditions that they may exceed our established expiration dating but we suggest following the recommended expiration dating listed below. Some retailers feel using worst case conditions are too conservative, we do not. Some retailers and distributors of our products continue to insist that expiration dates not be placed on the product for this reason. We continue to evaluate this and requests like yours helps us to guide our decisions in the future, for this I thank you.

Test Solutions Expiration Date

PondCare Wide Range pH Test Solution - 3 Years
Ammonia Test Solution # 1 - 3 Years
Ammonia Test Solution # 2 - 3 Years
High Range pH Indicator Solution - 3 Years
Nitrate Test Solution # 1 - 3 Years
Nitrate Test Solution # 2 - 3 years
GH Test Solution - 3 Years
Calcium Test Solution #1 - 3 Years
Calcium Test Solution #2 - 3 Years
Phosphate Test Solution #1 - 3 Years
Phosphate Test Solution #2 - 3 Years
Copper Test Solution - 3 Years
KH Test Solution - 4 Years
Nitrite Test Solution - 4 Years
Fresh Water pH Indicator Solution - 5 Years



Anyways, I would just get either a new Master test kit, or even the quick dip strips. Some people hate them, but they seem easy enough to use, and are accurate enouigh for me.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-05-08, 22:43

Spot On Awesome bronzefighter. I'll definitely invest in another kit. I'll check out the strips too. I appreciate you posting the info!
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  pbmax on 2014-05-08, 22:53

My master test kit reagent bottles don't have expiration dates on them; I bought the kit about 4.5 years ago. My newer GH/KH and phosphate test kits, on the other hand (also API) do.

That's good info, bronzefighter!
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  bronzefighter on 2014-05-08, 23:00

pbmax wrote:My master test kit reagent bottles don't have expiration dates on them; I bought the kit about 4.5 years ago.  My newer GH/KH and phosphate test kits, on the other hand (also API) do.

That's good info, bronzefighter!

Thanks! I found it after almost buying an old API kit on sale, but then I thought back to all the reagents that i use in my lab, and how many of those have expiration dates...etc etc. Anyways, I thought it was just useful info!
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  dwarfpike on 2014-05-09, 00:13

Could also go with a digital one as well.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-05-09, 00:15

dwarfpike wrote:Could also go with a digital one as well.

D I G I T A L ? Hold the preSs - got some researching to do.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  dwarfpike on 2014-05-09, 00:17

They are very nice, a little spendy, and have to center them with distilled water every so often.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-07-21, 00:11

Most are aware of the trouble I have been having with this tank. At one time this tank was looking pretty good in my opinion.

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Nearly a year of unstable water parameters, never ending algae. I am at my wits end with this fish death trap.

One more try...

During the break down.
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Total brake down. New substrate, a neutral sand. New light is a small fixture from Finnex. Little 10 " planted +. Removed all the woods in the tank. Replaced them with stones. Glued Anubias petite, and a mini form of African fern onto the stones.

Going to wait a few days testing parameters before adding fish.  I am thinking the new rocks and substrate will keep parameters more stable.

Still debating on the type of fish but pretty set on a species of shell dwelling fish.

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Any input appreciated. Mind is still open to stocking possibilities. PH is still neutral until I know exactly what will be stocked.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  Guest on 2014-07-21, 01:47

Nice

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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  PokeSephiroth on 2014-07-21, 02:27

Looks great! Stocking: 1 giant clown loach  lol! 

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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  Anthraxx on 2014-07-21, 03:20

that is going to be one awesome shellie tank. personally id say get multies, similis, or any species of brevis. you may even be able to get a small group of dither. as for ph id stick with whatever you got. even if you get africans i wouldnt worry about the ph. it tends to get you into trouble as far as africans go. our water is alright most of the year and ive never altered ph myself. GL to ya but as i said, this will be awesome for shellies. just pick up some escargot shells, a lot of high end grocery places sell them, i go to cost plus world market for them myself.

on a side note: what kind of glue did you use for plants? i really hate rubber bands and they never seem to work for me anyways, i ask because im actively setting up a similar tank to your own Smile
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-07-21, 08:28

SiRWesDragon wrote:Nice
Thanks Wes.

PokeSephiroth wrote:Looks great! Stocking: 1 giant clown loach  lol! 

Could you imagine... To bad there isn't a dwarf type Peacock Bass, lol.

Anthraxx wrote: what kind of glue did you use for plants? i really hate rubber bands and they never seem to work for me anyways, i ask because im actively setting up a similar tank to your own Smile
Thanks Anthraxx. I appreciate all your input in both my threads on this subject. At lunch today I'll start hunting for escargot shells .
The glue used is super glue.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  cichlid-gal on 2014-07-21, 09:16

I really like the look of this tank Chad.  I found on my smaller tank (the Eheim I had set up) I had to keep the lights on less on it and do water changes a little more often.  When I did them once a week by the weeks end my nitrate count was up so often I would throw in a smaller change in the middle of the week.  I had fry in the tank though so I was feeding a little more often too.  Doing your testing and keeping your water parameters in check will help with the algea issue and watching the amount of light the tank gets also.  

I can't wait to see the final stocking on the tank.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-07-21, 09:44

Thank you Donna. This new light is much smaller than what I was using. The way it's attached it's also higher. I am impressed with the light though. It's brighter than I thought it would be. Perfect illumination if you ask me. It has planted tank spectrum so it should be okay for these lower light plants.

The tank gets natural light (not direct) so I got the timer set to click on around noon. I'll definitely keep a close eye and make adjustments as needed.

Water changes in this tank is pretty simple. If I have to up changes to 2x per week I am okay with that. I just want it to look nice.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  dwarfpike on 2014-07-21, 12:34

I told you all the effort would be worth it, looks great. The colors of the escargot shells would look good against the rocks and plants as well.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  DMD123 on 2014-07-21, 13:40

Love the old retro tank!
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-07-23, 22:52

DMD123 wrote:Love the old retro tank!

Thank you DMD123! This was a $7 garage sale find and 1st reseal job. Put a bunch of work into it, that's one reason I am so determined to make something work in this thing!
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  LuminousAphid on 2014-07-24, 14:12

Looks really good, those clean rocks almost give it a reef look--for now. In my experience with rough stone it will slowly age and get darker, and will probably start growing some algae... mine grew some bba but my little siamese algae eater takes care of it. Is it seiryu stone? Here's what my seiryu stone looks like after a few months;

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You might ask Roy about what he does with his stones, he posted something a while back about getting the quartz and grain to stand out in seiryu stones with some kind of treatment. It might turn out looking better than mine
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LuminousAphid
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  cichlid-gal on 2014-07-24, 17:06

Roy wrote an article for the GSAS newsletter called Darkening Seiryu Stones....February 2014, page 5 for those that have access.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-07-24, 21:35

@LuminousAphid, Yes they are Seiryu stone. I would be okay with them darkening just no algae for a while please. This tank has seen enough... lol!  All these plants were in this tank when it was all nasty. The fern looking pretty bad and was beginning to brown.  I cleaned off as much as I could and clipped the browning leaves before putting the plants back into this tank. Right now all the remaining algae is turning brown and dying which I am relieved to see.


cichlid-gal wrote:Roy wrote an article for the GSAS newsletter called Darkening Seiryu Stones....February 2014, page 5 for those that have access.
I do remember that article. I think that look would be awesome  in this aquascape against the light sand. You have an awesome memory. If I would have thought of that I may have choose to try it!
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-02, 19:46

UPDATE:

1st, I want to thank all for their time providing  information while I was making decisions on the type of fish I was going to add to this tank. I want to thank the few I have been PMing, and texting for bearing with me while I was being wishy washy, LOL (you know who you are Wink ). Was a tough decision. I don't know anything about African cichlids and this was a spontaneous decision... I am starting to really like African Cichlids and the Frontosa species is calling my name, LOL.

My 1st African cichlid tank.
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The fish and shells came from TheFishPimp. He has an awesome place and is a super cool dude. Thank you TFP! These originally came from FishLoverRon which is cool because his colony was the 1st Multi colony I've ever seen at his home and it sparked my interest. So it's funny how things work out.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  dwarfpike on 2014-08-02, 19:52

How's the algae been? Back wall looks thick in the pics. I know it's a concern with that tank.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  Anthraxx on 2014-08-02, 20:28

LOVE IT! seriously, those shells are really nice too. good mix of escargot, gold mouth turbos, whale/shark eyes. id work that back glass algae personally, but leave it on all rocks and shells. its a really nice look to have the shells looking all grungy like they do in the wild.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-02, 21:08

Thanks guys!

This wasn't suppose to be a 'planted' tank. I guess the pull was automatic. Before I knew it there was 2 plants and moss?!?! Guess I cannot control myself... That being said, no algae developed until I put just a weeeeee bit of Excell in (DOH) ... I - WILL - NOT - FERT!

There is a small pleco in there. So I left the algae incase he wanted some food. But eventually I will clean it up Smile
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  cichlid-gal on 2014-08-02, 23:06

Glad you are enjoying your new group.  Clapping 
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

Post  dwarfpike on 2014-08-02, 23:25

I don't blame you with the plants, even when I did a full on blackwater tank ... it just didn't look right without a little green in there despite the lack of it in the biotope I was doing.
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Re: Evolution of a nano 9.5 gallon long

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