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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This tank has been setup for just over 2 weeks now. The first week, my ammonia was off the charts and now it's finally somewhere between .25 and .50ppm. I'm hoping the cycle will finish sometime in the next week or two. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated!

The specs:

Tank: ADA 45-P on a custom mahogany stand

Lighting: 36w Archaea light w/ ADA 8000k bulb

Filtration: Eheim 2213 with Cal-Aqua filter pipes

CO2: Red Sea paintball regulator w/ ADA El Valve solenoid, Fabco NV 55 needle valve, Pollen glass mini

Heater: Currently using an in-tank heater but plan to eventually set up my Hydor 300 inline heater.

Substrate: Aquasoil Amazonia

Flora: I basically stuck as many plants as I could in order to shorten my cycle. I'm still not sure what plants will make the final scape as I still don't have much of a plan beyond getting it cycled. I have Rotala indica, Rotala rotundifolia, Hygrophila sp. 'tiger', Ludwigia repens x arcuata and L. guinea, Bacopa carolinia, E. tennellus 'micro', Pogostemon stellatus, narrow leaf java fern and Lilaeopsis brasiliensis.

Fauna: Eventually, I plan to add my school of 13 Boraras brigittae and cherry shrimp from an existing 12 gallon. I'd also like to add a small group of dwarf corys but the way this Aquasoil cycle is going, it could be awhile.



This is what the driftwood looked like before all of the plants were added. Any comments on the placement? I'd eventually like to expose more of it once I start switching out the fast growers.



Here's the tank after the initial planting. The large rock was to keep the driftwood from floating. It has since been removed.



Here's what it looks like now. I've had to trim once a week so far because the growth rate has been huge. I'm really impressed with Aquasoil so far, with the exception of the neverending ammonia spike.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks TexGal and Veloth! I actually trimmed just over a week ago and replanted all of the tops to try to increase plant mass even more. I can't believe how quickly everything hit the surface again!

My fingers are crossed that the ammonia starts dropping soon. I've never used Aquasoil before and hadn't experienced anything other than a silent cycle!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
The tank has consistently shown 0ppm on my ammonia test for the past 5 days so, my cycle is finally over! I guess 3 weeks isn't really that bad, compared to other nightmares I've heard. I'm currently acclimating the 15 Boraras brigittae I just moved out of their old tank.

I haven't had much of a chance to change the scape much, other than to do a huge trim. I also added 3 small Eriocaulon cinereum from another tank because I think they will be a lot happier in the Aquasoil. I have to say that I will never again use another substrate. I don't know how long this stuff will last before it needs to be changed but, I'm loving it!

On another note, I had always planned on taking down my 12 gallon JBJ nanocube but now that I've moved the rasboras out I'm thinking I want to keep it (my 3rd tank) as a shrimp tank. I promised myself I'd never have more than 2 tanks but it's hard to stop!

Here is an updated picture:



The chili rasboras:

 

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wow really cool looking fish! I wanted to get some Boraras maculatus, but now you got me thinking, they are pretty similar though. But i like that coloration against the green backdrop!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Mythin & Veloth. I've always loved the Boraras brigittae. They don't seem to school much, which was kind of a disappointment but their color makes up for it. I wonder how they behave in a really large school.

I'm planning on removing some of the stem plants soon. I'm trying E. tennellus micro, Lilaeopsis brasiliensis as foregrounds and so far, I'm not liking the E. tennellus. It isn't quite small enough and looks like it will take over the tank if allowed. I also have some dwarf hairgrass 'belem' coming in the next week and thinking maybe that will be the keeper. I love that it only grows to about an inch!
 

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nice tank, i like those little fish. i recently got a 45-P and still looking around for the right equipment. i might get some ideas from you. Just subscribed so i can see how this tank progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Updated picture after a large trim/rescape. I will likely be removing the driftwood as soon as I can find something more appropriate for the size of this tank. I think it makes the tank look too cramped. My Eleocharis sp. 'japan' doesn't look great, probably because I didn't get it planted for 2 days after receiving it in the mail. I'm hoping it will make it!



 

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I had the same problem with the first version of my tank, my driftwood was waaay too big. If you are looking for nice driftwood, that FishandTurtleJunkie guy on the forsale forum. I bought 30 dollars worth of manzanita from him, he gave me so much, all nano and pico sizes, and im itchin to use them, but I dont have a tank for them yet. I highly reccomend him though if you're looking for cool small sized driftwood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, the driftwood in the tank was actually part of a manzanita package from fishandturtle but I've used the rest to created a root stump for another tank and those were the smallest pieces I had. I'm now beginning to wonder if I should just skip hardscape, although I'd still like to find a nice, small branchy piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I just realized I haven't updated this in awhile. I'm maintaining the journal over on TPT as well and sometimes forget which one I've updated but I enjoy hearing different comments from people on both sites.

I started ferts about two weeks ago. I was worried about starting ferts because that seems like that is always the start of all my problems in other tanks. So far, nothing worse than a lot of GDA on the glass, which no matter how many times I scrape it off, it returns.

I also added Limnophila wavy and Ludwigia inclinata from Tex Gal, although I'm not thrilled about the placement of any of my stems at the moment. The Ludwigia guinea needs a trim and I'm thinking of moving it where my Rotala indica is currently.

I'm still looking for some type of hardscape but haven't come across the right thing. Other than that, I haven't changed much. I'll also be switching out my glass diffuser with something I can place lower in the tank.

Here's the photos:

FTS:




My hairgrass has pulled through, for the most part.
 

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When in a large school - 200+ fish in a tank - Boraras briggitae tends to form several small groups. But they don't stay together all the time - the groups break up and sporadically form again.

These fish feel best in a VERY densely planted tank. They are not shy in any other tank, just in a densely planted tank they feel so safe that you can literally catch them with a spoon.

The color of this fish is truly amazing. A very close relative with a comparable intensity of the coloration but with a little more black is Boraras urophalmoides. The red is a little more than it appears in the picture below. Note that the fish is a little higher (fatter) than the B. briggitae. Also B. urophtalmoides forms a very nice tight school most of the time.



--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've been getting lots of GDA on the glass and something very similar on the leaves of the plants. It's a slimy algae that won't rub off between my fingers. I replaced my ADA diffuser with one from GLA and placed it underneath my glass pipe outflow. I'm hoping that better diffusion will kill whatever this algae is! I've been playing with lifting the filter pipe and the bubble rate of the CO2 because I'm having a hard time finding balance. The fish have been gasping on occasion so I'm trying to find a happy medium between surface agitation and bps.

I'm very bored with the scape (or lack thereof) so, any suggestions would be appreciated!

Here's the algae I'm having a problem with on my Ludwigia inclinata (it's on several other of the plants as well):



My foreground has spread a little bit:



The new diffuser:



Full tank shot:

 
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