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40L High tech Aquascape from beginning to maturity


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Yeah for sure, or even in the filter. 

I'm flattered you think it's natural enough for them to hinder the view. Cheers

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24 minutes ago, Zebra said:

I'm flattered you think it's natural enough for them to hinder the view.

Yeah! That's because I can see beyond what the tank is now. Once those Buces start growing bigger, it's going to be a shrimps playground.

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Asassin snails would pop so nice in here heh? The red nose are just loving life ATM haha they keep treadmill swimming into the strong flow and look like they are having so much fun haha.

My Lfs has pacific blue eyes in stock ATM!!! They are such pretty little fish, I'm really tempted to get half a dozen or so to go in here haha but trying to be good.

My mailman must have stealth ninja posted some parcels today lol, when I took some rubbish out and checked the mail after dinner and found a few packages, one of which was my nano Sotching oxydators from newbreed.

I loaded one up with the standard 4.9% h202 and used both catalysts, They are soooo sleek and sexy, they way the light shimmers off the glass, just amazing German engineering, and after my dramas with the shrimp doctor it's great to get back to something analog and truly reliable. 


I'm thinking ramshorns or mts for the snail species.

Edited by Zebra
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Some pearling happening today on some of the fiss and new buce shoots, just after that nice lot of sun.

All the colours are really vibrant tonight :)



Now it's even gone a step past high tech hehe Loving it.

Can't wait for the bolbitus to start growing high light shoots which are much less transparent and more true light green, And they love to pearl, in such a short tank they will most likely hit the top and turn to emersed form making a big bush up out of the water, bolbitus is so highly underrated and imo the perfect choice as a background plant in this scape.

Tomorrow, Co2 and equipment discussion. 

Lights off.

Edited by Zebra
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So last night I unplugged the solenoid then shut off the main output valve on my co2 cylinder to once again test if that area would hold pressure overnight and seems to have held up fine since going over the main outlet with gas tape and re tightening the regulator yesterday.




As as you can see the output pressure only dropped 50psi overnight from about 850psi down to around 800psi, which is quite normal as co2 like most things contracts in the cold (Hense why we freeze co2 bottles before filling) And it's why our cold here overnight combined with the solenoid not proving heat to the reg being unplugged.- you'll notice on hot days the output pressure rises basically.



This morning I opened up the main valve again before plugging in the solenoid to allow co2 flow for the day, and after going over over all the connections once more with soapy water in a spray bottle to check for leaks, I'm satisfied this system is sealed.

On a side note I really don't like this style regulator, especially if you have to connect a solenoid, as the gauge and main chamber is offset in an opposite direction to the output flange on the co2 cylinder, (So to get a full tight seal you have to start with the reg on a kinda 45• angle then tighten down to straight position. Would much prefer an "inline" style regulator like the reg on my other smaller cylinder or the V3 regs.

Also on this specific regulator the thread that actually leads a connector to the co2 line (out to your aquarium) uses an ungeneric thread size which I have had to work around which has been really annoying not being able to just screw the solenoid straight into the reg, think the standard size is M10 same as the caps that screw co2 line down to bubble counters etc, I don't use inline solenoids, they are a poor design and afterthought at best putting loads of strain on the co2 tubing, needle valves and gauges etc. And you notice with more high end regs the solenoids will be built closer and closer to the actual regulator.

Edited by Zebra
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What lights have you got on there? Or is that tomorrow's blog?

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Yeah will do an equipment rundown tomorrow, ended up busy with a few things today.


Just wanted to share a great company I get some of my nice equipment from, Free shipping world wide on every order, it's as simple as that. 
Get in and grab some quality aquarium products today. They are currently having a sale including spring cutter scissors, and quality tweesers. 
5% off your first purchase when you use this discount code. 
This is one of the best companies I get my co2 equipment from, with good prices and great product range.
Cheers guys and gals.

Co2 Art


Hit this link for the discount. 


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One of the red nose noticing the new buce leaves, love how inquisitive shrimp are of new things in the tank "must be clean" lol


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Shots f  same lotus one day then the next :) everything has taken off prettt fast.



So here's a quick equipment rundown: 

36w tropical PL compact fluorescent on a timer set to 6hrs.

Standard glass heater 

ista co2 bottle and reg, 

Dici solenoid and needle valve,

Intense Bazooka co2 diffuser,

Glass hang on drop checker,

750 aquaone canister filter,

Sotching oxydator mini,

Im doing my own A and B ferts based on Kno3. Mon, wed, fri is NPK, alternate days are trace, Sunday is water change and when I don't dose anything, excel goes in Tuesday. 

excel @ 5ml / 200L mainly to convert Fe. 



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Progress Update:

I didnt plug the light timer in till a few days ago (sheer laziness lol) so the light has been running pretty full on 10+ hrs, plus sunlight, which as you can def see from the diatoms etc has been too much for most of the plants, so timer is on and set to 6hrs. From about 12-6pm, comes on just a few hours before the midday sun comes through the blinds and hits the tank directly, this way there is a natural ramp up/down lighting system :)

Thought id post a pic before water change this week.


I've noticed heavy melting on some of my buce since I put the sotching oxydator in the tank (which is quite typical of h202 contact with plant tissue) 

I installed it July 13, It should have lasted around 4 weeks from my understanding, but it's already empty, a few days back I reduced the catalysts to just one cause I'd noticed the solution running out very quickly.

I have triple checked that the plug is inserted correctly into the glass bottle, after water change I'm going to use half strength h202- 2.45% and see how that goes cause tbh buce us about as hardy as anubias, slightly more prone to melting but usually don't meant from silly little WP changes like gh temp etc. it's def the h202, usually if its only noticed on older growth it can be taken as rapid cell production and degradation, but I can't quite see close enough to tell whether or not the new growth is melting.

the melting on older leaves, most new growth seems uneffected.


Edited by Zebra
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Awesome looking tank and a great journal, very well done. Will be great to watch this tank mature over time.

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On 22/07/2017 at 10:22 PM, Zebra said:

melting on some of my buce since I put the sotching oxydator in the tank

Another thing to watch out for with Buce melt is heat. Too hot and they melt.

Not saying your temps are too hot, just adding info here for anyone that might be reading and wanted to start on bucephalandras. That's why they are great in shrimp tanks, that are generally kept cool.

Edited by jayc
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For sure,

I don't know actually, I've kept many buce varieties over years now and never seen it melt before from heat, we get 40c summers here (obviously it's not that hot in the tank but still) 

And being Victoria it's quite cold too most of the year, and up until the very heart of winter when I moved it inside and submerged it, I have grown it outdoors in tubs unheated aswell as anubias, they are actually very hardy and ime prefer neglect and plain dechlorinated tap water with no special lighting or anything, it's just then they grow at a much slower rate more like anubias.

I had a few tubs hidden away at the bottom of a dark green house last summer/autumn submerged and unheated.

My pellia melted hardcore too and it's very sensitive to h202, but otherwise quite hardy from my experience. I cut half of it out and just took the oxydator out for this week, will put it back with half strength 2.45% h202 this time.

Not saying the oxydator is bad or anything like that I love them :) just have to further recalculate as after more reading I've found the reaction time and intensity is also effected by temperature.

As it seemed to run through the h202 really fast the first time.

I cleaned up all the old melted leaves and diatoms, and the sponge filter, water change and ferts/ mironekuton.

(No bentonite lol) water is so clean and clear it's insane.

Forgot to take a pic after it was clean again lol I'll take one tommorow. 

Tons of fresh new growth now. 

Probabky lift the light up a bit too.



Edited by Zebra
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Pics from this morning. 

Water level is a bit low ATM I ran out of aged water during the last water change, I'll top it off today.

Yesterday dosed excel, and trace+ fe

Today dosed NPK+ my new secret shrimp shell k supplement, think people are going to love this product when I finally release it,

I've been researching it for a long time and trialling it for a little while now with some very promising results in both invertebrate moulting and shell condition/ color, as well as plants nutrient uptake and nutrients bioavailability in water.








Lost one of the red nose in there unfortunately, but I've had them for about a year now so could even be old age. 



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