Sunday, July 22, 2012

[MARINE TANK] 40cm Cube Braceless

So I finally have decided to take some pictures of my new saltwater setup. The sump that came with the aquarium is on the bottom left. However I wanted to have a refugium in my sump with some live rock and macro.

I also went to Bunnings yesterday and bought the following:
Socket BSp 1/2 inch
Vsocket 20mmx3/4inch
Ball valve 20mm
Vsocket 20mm x 3/4inch
PVC dn20mm
25mm tubing
2x Elbows
The end result is return piping to the sump with a ball valve and a 90 degree elbow to prevent gurgling. I will later post up a picture with it fitted into the stand.
They are not joking when they say the marine hobby teaches you some basics about plumbing.

End result is as follows:

I was told this green PVC cement is great for putting it all together.

For the skimmer, I have bought myself a Tunze DOC 9002 Nano skimmer. Will upload some pictures of this later on.

TIP: Teflon tape is great for screw in sections (wrap around the thread 6-8times). On the edges I always also apply some acetic cure glazing Silicon. This secures the pipe against any possible leaks. The Protek green cement is what you need to fit the pipes together and secure them in place. Always apply some silicon around the edges afterwards. It is apparently completely safe once it has cured.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

[SHRIMP TANK] Ottoclip Iphone Lens

Here are some pictures taken with the Ottoclip using the macro lens.
Quite impressed with the clarity and closeup. My marine tank has arrived so I will be starting a new section for marine as well in future updates.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

[SHRIMP TANK] Mini Pellia

It has been a while since I updated the news of my shrimp setup. I recently acquired a lot of female yellow cherries (Thank you BigD). They are going great guns!
I also now have over 20 snow white shrimp. They all seem to be coming out very nice and solid thanks to their solid parents. Only time will tell.
Above is a picture of Mini Pellia. The shrimp love this plant and seem to swarm to it. It is a rare miniature version of ordinary Pellia or Wassertang. (you know may the normal version as subwassertang.) I absolutely love this plant.

Exciting news for the week
1. My marine cube has arrived. Very excited about this! Will post some pictures up later for you marine fans.
2. I purchased the new iphone OLLOCLIP. Prepare yourself for some incredible macro shots in future posts to come.

Well that is all for this week until I find something more to talk about.

TIP: Ottocinclus and Siamese Algae eaters are great fish to keep in a planted tank. They will consume beard algae and many other forms of algae. Plecos are great for green dust algae and greenspot algae on leaves. Shrimp such as Darwin Algae shrimp and Cherry shrimp are great for thread algae. Watch out! SAE will eat WEEPING MOSS and NANO MOSS. They will however leave peacock moss alone.

Friday, July 13, 2012

[EHEIM OPAL] Before and After Pics

Here is an update of how the tank now looks before and after the addition of red plants.
I have ordered a Sera CO2 reactor to replace my inline upaqua CO2 reactor.
I have heard good reviews of the Sera model so we will see if it makes any difference to CO2 uptake in the aquarium

Forgot the tip sorry guys

TIP: Feed your fish low phosphate diets if you are concerned about algae buildup caused by increases in phosphate. PMDD dosing (Poor man's dupla drops) contains no phosphate but may exacerbate green spot algae.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

[EHEIM OPAL] Redify it

above: left - After planting the red stems. right - After planting the crinum -.-;;

Red Plants Galore

Made a purchase for Pogo Helferi (as i mentioned before) and some random red stems as my tank seemed to be lacking the red variety.
My package of plants arrived all at once today. Here is a list of plants purchased.

1. Pogo Helferi (Thanks to Hip aka Tony)
2. Rotala Macranda Variegated (Thanks again to Hip aka Tony)
3. Ludwigia senegalensis (Thanks to Liverpool Creek aka Jeff)
4. Rotala H'ra (Thanks to Liverpool Creek aka Jeff)
5. Ludwigia ovalis (Thanks to Liverpool Creek aka Jeff)

Although the plants at the moment look a bit messy they have arrived in very healthy condition and I am very pleased. A few days and they should straighten out.
I just hope they will not lose their red colour over time. Fingers crossed.
From today onwards, I will be dosing extra Iron.

Crinum Relocation

I have decided to relocate my crinum to the back of the tank. It was not an easy task. Uprooting the plant without disturbing the HC around it was difficult. Planting the crinum was even more difficult! The roots just refused to stay underneath the substrate and I ended up clouding the tank afterwards.

TIP : Got an oil slick? Oil film on top of the tank can be easily removed by placing towelettes on the surface of the water and pulling it off. Another way would be to use air bubbles from a ceramic diffuser.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

[EHEIM OPAL] New Driftwood Platform Arrangement

above: Full tank shot

above: left tank shot and right tank shot
above: my three little children SAE. Right is pearling HC

above: left is a split Erio with new growth. Right is a split Erio that is struggling to survive as it had no roots when it was split.

Get ready for a LONG UPDATE.

New arrivals purchased in on the way
Firstly I have several new plants coming in the following week which I am very excited about.
1. Rotala Macranda Variegated
2. Pogo Helferi
3. Ludwigia Senegalensis

To make some room for these plants, I have trimmed away some more Staurogyne tropica on the left side of the tank. I have been unsuccessful with Pogo Helferi in the past and hence I am trying again. I got a gut feeling I will fail to grow this plant again. It seems to do better in higher pH tanks with gravel. It is worth a try anyhow.
I did have Ludwigia at one stage but lost it all when I rescaped my tank. Hence I am buying a new bunch to add some red colour to the left back corner.

Rescape of Driftwood
I pulled out my old driftwood on the right half of the tank and replaced it with better looking driftwood (I hate goldvine). These pieces look a lot better and have been arranged in platforms for growing Mini Pellia (see pictures). I just love this plant and cannot get enough of it. Although I do love fissidens as well, it tends to gather algae hence I have switched to Pellia.
Hopefully it will grow in nicely.

Update of Eriocaulon Splitting
If you remember from a previous update (see June19 - 2012.) I made a mistake when I split my Erios in half. The pieces fell apart and I ended up with three. Fortunately, the individual pieces are growing new leaves so the split was successful. I am still brainstorming as to how I will scape these plants so they show their full beauty.

Carbon Tax
Got hit with a large increase in my Electricity Bill this week. Up by over $100 a quarter. Unfortunately the carbon tax has not been applied yet so I have to be prepared for another increase in the coming months.
It gave me an idea for a meme.

Finally we finish with an update TIP.

TIP: This week's tip is on red plants. I find that red plants require more light and if you do not have adequate light they will turn green. A good example of this is the Proserpinaca in my tank. If you look carefully at it, it goes red at the tips as it grows closer to the light.
I have a shrimp tank with low Nitrates (measures 0 on my test kits). The red plants in that tank are bright red (see pics). This raises another point. Nitrates should be low to achieve a good red colour. It is important to also keep a relatively high phosphate level especially with Rotala Macranda (1-2ppm). The higher phosphate levels will also keep greenspot algae under control. A too low nitrate level will cause wasting away of lower leaves in this plant, but not in all red plants. So in summary:

How to achieve red plants
1. High lighting
2. Low Nitrates (<10ppm) but not too low
3. Some phosphates (1ppm ideal)
4. Adequate micronutrients (or you get stunting of new growth)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

[SHRIMP TANK] Full tank shots

above: left- 2foot starphire cube right- right 3 foot new setup

above: left - 2 foot cull aqua one right - Juwel Rekord 2 foot

An update for those of you wondering what my shrimp tanks look like. Well here they are.
I do have more tanks but these are the ones that are display quality.

The tanks are still undergoing some changes. I have recently bought a large custom made acrylic breeding box that I will be hanging in the 3 footer. Some good news. I am now selectively breeding snow whites. More on that later on.