Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ammonia SPIKE!

top left: Riccia is growing well. There is something sprouting from it though. Gonna find out what it is.
top right: Hairgrass (left) Tricolor lotus (middle front) Lilaeopsis (right)
bottom: Christmas moss tied down to driftwood with fishing line.

Due to mucking around with my soil and planting the baby tears and wisteria the other day, I think this has resulted in an ammonia spike. I tested my tank for ammonia levels today and it is reading at an elevated level of 5mg/L. Nitrites are 0 and Nitrates are at 10.

Gonna have to do a few more water changes over the next few days.

Tomorrow I will purchase some Seachem Prime to allieviate this ammonia problem.

note: I have also added 15 pieces of coral to my tank to raise the kH. I am hoping for a kH level of about 2-4 so that I may start dosing my plants with CO2.

Got the following new plants from AL thanks to Tangyplant
Windelov Javafern (uncommon) - ive put this above the driftwood and held it down with a rock
Hemianthus micranthemoides (common) - planted far right of the tank and left side underneath the driftwood
tricolour lotus (uncommon) - planted towards to front (so that i may keep an eye on it)
xmas moss (uncommon) - planted on the overhanging branch right side
pygmy chainsword (common) - ive got some already so ive thrown this out
hairgrass (common) - planted front right side nearer the centre so that i may keep an eye on it

Saturday, July 30, 2011

RIP Pretty

Ive also uploaded a YOUTUBE VIDEO of cutie eating an algae wafer

Woke up this morning to find pretty had died overnight. Poor Peppermint pleco never did fully recover after acclimatisation. I was pretty concerned about him as he never came out and ate like the albino. I am not sure why he died but i presume he was sick. He has always been very skinny since the day i bought him and the Shopkeeper did handle him pretty roughly when taking him out of the tank. Oh well i felt devastated.

The banana lily has shot a stem all the way to the surface of the water this morning. I will be cutting it off and replanting it elsewhere as a new baby lily.

I am planning on getting some xmas moss into the tank. I discovered today that the Fontinalis I bought off is actually Java moss. Feel a little ripped off. I wont be purchasing again from them primarily for 3 reasons.
1. They sent Wisteria with bladderwort contaminants.
2. Their Fontinalis was Java moss (feel like i been scammed)
3. LFS sell plants with roots. I just got cuttings. I should have read the descriptions more carefully so this is a fault in my part as well though.

Friday, July 29, 2011


I have not opened my private blog to the public and any feedback is welcome.

I apologise for the lighting. The new bulb is a pink bulb for the plants. I will change it over in future to take better pics. The tank looks a little ugly now and I need to fine tune the design. It also needs some time to settle in.

This morning I have added 1/4 mL Flourish excel to my tank. This is one quarter of the recommended dosing for my 40-50L tank. I am being careful because I do not wish to stress out my CRS.

Now I have noticed a few changes.
1. The Banana Lily has sprouted this steep stem? I wonder what it is.
2. The Java moss under the Anubias plant has fluffy white algae growing on it. (well i think its algae). I will be keeping an eye on it for now.

edited: Ive done some reading about the banana lily and here is what i found
"Trim the surface shooting stem once the leaf has unfurled on the surface, close to the plant, then again nearer the leaf, allowing 5cm worth of stem... leave the leaf floating... the end of the stem will swell, and sprout roots - plant these and you have another banana lily, without banana's, that won't shoot for the surface, but will grow new leaves...
If you leave the surface leaves attached, they will draw all the life out of the bunch of banana's on the bottom, then the stems will rot off, and new bunches will form under the leaf... then you have new bunches of banana's to grow, instead...
I love my banana lillies - by the rate the leaves shoot for the surface you just know they're soaking up a ton of 'trates while they do so... the surface leaves make nice shade for neons, etc, too..."

Temperature and lighting upgrade

The Borneo sucker is not as shy as when he first came in. He is particularly very good at coming out at feeding time. Soon as I drop an algae wafer or crab bites in he comes out of his hidey hole to have a feed. Cheeky little fellow.

Ive noticed two problems with my tank
1. Temperature fluctuations
2. Lilaeopsis is dying

The following improvements have been done
1. New Eheim 125watt heater
2. New twin T5HO Lights
3. Upgraded my themometer with a Sera one
4. New plants!
5. A second Borneo sucker x 1

Wisteria Bunch 110250 1
Baby Tears Bunch Bacopa floribunda 110305 1
Fontinalis Bag free-fontinalis 1
Riccia Bag 110780 1
Aquarium Net - 3 inch net3inch 1
Borneo Sucker 3cm CAB300-03 1
Small Rock with Fontinalis 5-6cm 140805 1

I had to take my hood to Auburn and the kindly the shop owner has modified it for me in his workshop. Basically he cut out the existing ballast and added the twin T5HOs. The ballast cost me 100 AUD and the lights cost me 70AUD. I also got some Excel Flourish by Seachem to fertilise my plants.

Good news is that my temperature has stabilised and i have fine tuned it to exactly 23.5 degrees celsius. Bad news is that im broke LOL

Lastly I have done a few things to my tank. I have attacked the Riccia to the left side via onion netting. I have also attached the Fontinalis to the branches of the driftwood with nylon. I have also covered the intake of the filter with netting but it looks ugly so it may not stay there for long. The reason for the netting is so that when my shrimp become berried, I do not want to have to worry about shrimplets being sucked into my filter.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Crystal Shrimp hunting

top left: peppermint pleco (PRETTY)
top right: CRS hiding under the Anubias
bottom left: Shrimp taking off
bottom right: Shrimp having a feed on Hikari wafers

I have made the following new addition to my aquarium

1. 8 x Grade A Crystal red shrimp
2. 1x Peppermind Pleco (I have named this dude PRETTY)
3. 1x bunch Java moss

I have also given away my 3 neons to prevent overstocking. The tank is probably coming very close to being overstocked.
The shrimp have found refuge under my anubis plant. I have added some java moss below it so they may feel more comfortable.

Now I have to adjust a few parameters. The shrimp from what I hear prefer the following conditions.

1. Ammonia 0
2. Nitrites 0 (this is a good change! I am now fully cycled)
3. Nitrates 5
4. gH 3
5. kH 0 (this is good for CRS)
6. Temp 24 (have elevated this slightly - sorry Cutie!)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Shopping for a better filter

top left: New EHEIM filter setup with Air bubbles! Soon Cutie (Borneo sucker) will be out and about.
top middle: Ugly hanging around

top right: Ugly having a t8 tan

Today me and Ash (my wife) went shopping around for a better filter. I want a new filter due to the following reasons:

1. So that there will be better flow for Cutie inside the tank
2. So that i can increase my stocking rates
3. So that there will be better oxygenation as the Eheim outlet can shoot a stream of bubbles into the water.
4. Addition of bioballs, carbon sponges, Biocylinders and other media.
5. EHEIM filters JUST ROCK

Cutie has been hidden behind the internal filter for 2 days now and I am getting a little worried about him. He is JUST NOT COMING OUT! =(

Anyway I have made the following additions to my tank today
1. 1x EHEIM 2213 external canister filter
2. 1x Albino Pleco (I have named him UGLY as he is just so goddamn ugly and so cool)
3. 1x Juwel Reflector for the monolux hood

Water parameters are:
1. ammonia - 0
2. nitrites - 5
3. nitrates - 0
4. pH - 6.4

It seems I have bypassed the ammonia spike as my plants are actively absorbing the ammonia. The nitrite spike is to be expected. Hopefully it will drop soon enough. I have already seeded my internal filter with gravel from my LFS in Blacktown.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Here comes Cutie

Above left: The Borneo sucker chilling with my SAE
Above right: Newly purchased Banana Lily plant

Today I bought a Borneo Sucker from City Pet Aquariums in Blacktown. I have named him Cutie.

Anyway I have made the following additions to my aquarium.
1. Added one small Borneo Sucker
2. Added one small Banana Lily plant

Some interesting information on the Borneo Sucker
Hillstream Loach
Alternative Name(s): Borneo sucker, Hongkong plec, Chinese plec
Scientific Name(s): Beaufortia kweichowensis
Category: Coldwater
Maximum Size: 10cms
Minimum Tank Volume: 90 litres
Minimum Tank Size: 3ft
Water Temperature Range: 18-24°C
Water pH Range: 6.5-7.5
Water Hardness Range: 0-0 dGH

Changes Ive made to make my Borneo Sucker more comfortable
Due to its requirements I have adjusted the flow of the internal filter so it points directly above the water and ripples the water. I will also be upgrading my filter to an EHEIM soon.
I have also adjusted my temperature to 22 degrees celsius.
I have also purchased another sucker from to keep this one company. It will be arriving next week.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Adding Gravel + driftwood

Ive added ADA Aquasoil II and some driftwood to the tank.
I have the following plants in my tank

1. Lilaeopsis Maritiana (l think)
2. Anubis

and the following fish
1. 3 neon tetras
2. 3x Siamese Algae Eaters (from fish rock Eastwood)

I always have been confused as to the difference between Siamese Algae Eaters and Flying Foxes. Some people say they are the same thing but I think SAE have a darker line running through the middle. Anyways... that is off topic

Monday, July 11, 2011

Purchasing the New Aquarium

New Aquarium Details
1. Juwel Rekord 600 with monolux hood '
2. Standard 15watt bulb
3. Standard Juwel 50 watt heater
4. Standard Juwel stand
5. 53-60 Litres

I bought this tank and stand from Auburn aquariums.
I was after something small and modern and this seemed to be exactly what fitted my tastes.