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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Another Algae Eater Casualty

Found the missing AE Today, I suspected that it was on the way out as it did not eat and remained skinny the whole time. I dont attribute the death to params because the other AE is fat, very active and pooping up the whole tank!!

This is actually a good thing as i didn't want too many AE's because i want Ottos instead. So 1 AE and 3 Ottos should be good enough for suckers types.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Added 3 Ghosty Shrimp and 3 Amano Shrimps <*))))>{

This week I added 3 Ghost shrimp and 3 Amano shrimp, shrimps carry a small bioload and help with detritus, algae and debris. The algae eaters are doing very well but are leaving mounds of poop behind, I think they are eating the fungus off the manzanita? or brown algae that may not be visible to the eye.
Any way i hope the shrimps can help with cleaning cycle.. I'll be adding more in the future

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Stand & Filter Box Update...

Today John sent the pix for the filter Box and stand, after making some measurement corrections I think we are all done.

 Side Angle
 Front to Back Frost box
Inside view from top
Top Off

Saturday, June 16, 2012

JBJ Style Bubble Counter from Tongs

Ok I picked up the jbj style bubble counter from Tongs(its actually Mr Aqua), it cost more than I wanted to pay $26 after taxes but I figured get it now because many of the online stores have discontinued the JBJ. Besides, after shipping i'd be looking at about $20. So what is $6.00 for instant gratification. The cost of the toll road!!!

I Added silcone grease to the gaskets and teflon to the brass plastic connection so all should seal tight.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pulled down the Co2 System

Today I picked up the Aquaticlife Co2 Regulator and adapter from marine depot, look nice in person although I had to pick thru multiple units that looked damaged and worn!!!

Makes me wonder about quality control, Ill be checking on the warranty info and customer service asap!!

1 Algae eater casualty

Yep today I found 1 AE dead.. He was fresh but o wont speculate too much on causes, However I added Peat moss and it locked the PH down from 9.5 ish to 7.3 ish in a matter of hours and the other AE's seem to be doing well. The colour is there and im seeing a bit of interactive behavior.. They seem to hang around each other.. so far so good we will see in the next few days..

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Random Purchase <*(((((((>< 3 Chinese Algae Eaters

Yup I did it , F^%&* around and picked up some fish from walmart!! came in there looking for  privacy film and came out with 3 Algae Eaters!! Only @ $2.24 each... I had to do it..
I figured if i was going to get any fish it would be bottom dwellers that were reliable and cheap and that  I would want to keep for the long haul.. So here we go.
Oh i did a 50% water chang with DI water so hope my params arent too extreme...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Frosted Filter & Heater Box is Moving Along

Today John Buit the frosted filtration box that will fit neatly inside the stand. The Pix below have the box facing the wrong way so there will be a bit more room side to side from the front view. The top is very clean i cant even tell where it starts...

 All is left is to place a small plug hole on the correct side of the box and im all good. The plan is to hide the filter heater and inline Co2 Diffuser in the box with a little foam for noise control. I May frost the back with frost paper which may add a nice blend.

Co2 Cylinder picked Up

Today i also grabbed the Co2 Cylinder from a local paintball shop. The cost was $24.99 and I went with the 20oz with $4.00 fill so my total cost was 31.69. Just seemed to be the best route for me as I pass the shop a few time per week and one 20oz should last a minimum of 3-4 months, so that's only $12.00 per year. The 5lb was $55-$70 so it will be a few years before the saving differential would actually catch my initial savings.

Next stop is the Regulator, adapter and inline diffuser.......<*(((((((><

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Test Confirmed Completed Cycle !!

Ok since declaring that the filter is cycled I tested the Ammonia and Nitrate level maybe for the last time prior to fully setting up.

The Ammonia test looked Great @ 0ppm

The Nitrates Looked great with readings between 5.0 - 20+ Depending on how you view it. I remember some test kits say look thru the top of the tube but this API says look thru the side, but who knows how to read this thing correctly?? I just know the nitrates are rising confirming that the cycle is complete!!!
Top Down 
 Side View

Cleaned Waterlogged Manzanita & Tap Ammonia test

Ok today i followed up and brushed the Manzanita clean of debris after the Tap soak overnight. I then set them in the sun for a surface drying before I rerinse them in conditioned water and put them back into the bin.
Rinsed in Conditioned Tap Water
All waterlogged and cleaned

Im declaring the filter cycled so this time Im using a small amount of Carbon and Chemi-Pure to help remove the remaining tannins.

For the Record I Tested the Conditioned tap water ammonia levels and this is what I got. Around the 1.0ppm!! This may have helped with my cycling process but i wont be using tap in the main system at all!!

Ok Tonight i notice a huge boom in what appears to be Planeria or Hydro worms etc.. Ugly Parasites!!!
This came after I over feed the tank last night during the end of the 4th week(2 days before week 5)
This was an indication of overfeeding and poor water quality as could be expected with overfeeding.
The old Amazonia bin had some dead plants and a dead snail in it when i began, but the dead fish that i added earlier this week may have contributed as well. (BAD IDEA!!)

What did i do??
  • Filtered the water into clean bucket, the dumped out all the substrate (Old Amazonia and a little new Amazonia) and removed all the Driftwood.
  • I cleaned the Cycle Bin thoroughly to remove old debris and waste that was stuck to the bottom and sides.
  • Placed All the Driftwood into the Garage Sink filled with HOT Tap water to kill any other potential parasites allowing it to soak overnight.
  • Brushed the driftwood to remove the scum.
  • Tossed out ALL the old moss that i intended to keep but it lost its color with all the sut. I tried to rinse it to see if it was green underneath but it was dark brown. Not worth saving!.
  • Filled a clean bucket of Tap and placed an air stone in it with tap conditioner to season the water.
  • Tommarrow I will add the clean water to the bin (Water Change) about 1/3. 
  • Them I'll Place the cleaned Driftwood back into the bin and began very light feedings over the next few days.
  • May Add a small amount of Amazonia.
I dont believe tonights action could have done much damage to the bacteria population as im using most of the same water and the pumice filter is the main source of bacteria.
As noted a few days back my nitrates appeared to rise a bit but then seems to fall again prior to this, so the question is whether or not my readings where off due to Old Testing kits or my cycle was just fluctuating.

With planeria and Algae showing up i would think my nitrates would be very high so im thinking that the test kit may be off... We'll see next week when i pick up some test strips.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Green Algae Growth.. Cycle coming to an end?

Today I noticed more green algae on the rocks near the light... Another clue that my cycle may be ending, but i got a slightly lower reading on the Nitrate test..

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Finally... Increasing Nitrates!!

Ok I just tested the Ammonia and Nitrates and finally got an increase in nitrates to about 5.0 so i expect this to gradually continue to rise over the next few days, Im still feeding the tank with fish food so we'll see.
As for the Ammonia its reading 0 which is great considering the handfuls of Amazonia i dumped in last night (Which causes high ammonia spikes). This suggest that the Bacteria is growing fast enough to convert the ammonia additions.. Also i noticed some green algae showing up which is a good sign.

Also the Fungus still appears to be dying back, hopefully the waterlogging of the driftwood is coming to an end as well.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cycling Still 0 Ammonia & Nitrates??

Ok Monday marked the 4th week of the cycle process, after adding the remaining bottle of Special Blend to start the cycle and the water has finally cleared up (to the point where light now penetrates to the bottom), this took about 2 days to clear. However im still not getting any Ammonia or Nitrate readings.
Since starting the cycle I have never seen any ammonia spike of Nitrate spike, so im wondering whats happening.??

Recent Events

  • This week i saw copepods in the tested tube when checking for nitrates.
  • The fungus has grown on the driftwood and seems to be retreating slightly.
  • Yesterday i added a dead fish from the Kahoots pet shop in an attempt to get an ammonia spike. (the fish all looked healthy but one died)
  • Today I Tested for nitrated today had 0 (did not test for ammonia)
  • Today I removed the dead fish (it was roughly 24 hrs) from prior days introduction.
  • Tonight I Noticed PH was at 9.0)??!!!!!
  • Tonight I added 3 hand fulls of Aqua Soil again hoping for an ammonia reading and feed the bacteria as well as help to lower the PH.

This all Probably Dont matter as im adding Bacter 100 and NEW Aqua Soil to the tank upon starting.....

Also still a while before my stand is delivered so no real rush, but i wanna see something to confirm my filter is loading up with bacteria... <*((++++><

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Clear Stand Progress

Ok Got More Pix From John at AZ acrylics, a few surprises with the design, I really wish he hadnt put the bottom rails on and he needs to add the 2nd base piece for a thicker look, but Looks Great in all and very clean, should match the 60P perfectly..

Getting Excited!! <@(((((><