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Introduction and 4 gallon Eheim Aquastyle planted tank


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Hello fellow aquarist.

My name is Stuart and I've lived in Vancouver, BC for the last 20 or so years. I am a planted tank enthusiast and also have kept various freshwater shrimp over the years.

After some prodding from some friends and family, I finally have gotten my feet wet again. I took a 2 year break when my infant started grabbing things and I knew it was not a good idea to have high-tech planted tanks in my modest apartment. Thanks to a friend who bought my Eheim 2080, I was able to trade it for a BNIB Eheim Aquastyle 4 and some cash. It didn't take me long to start obsessing about a scape and 3 days later, I have a fully planted nano tank.

I hardscaped it with Dragon stone and ADA Amazonia. I was thinking of adding a small tree (but was unable to find a 'tree' small enough). So far the plant list includes:

Blyxa japonica

Staurogyne repens

Staurogyne stolonifera or 'Porto Velho' (not 100% sure of the ID)

Micranthemum 'Monte Carlo'

Micranthemum micranthemoides

Anubias nana 'petite'

Hygrophila 'Araguaia'

Proserpinaca palustris 'Cuba'

Needle Leaf Java Fern

Crepidomanes auriculatum (Taiwan Fern)

I added pressurized CO2 and a 10W heater today and hope to see some new growth soon. I'm not going to dose the tank with nutrients but I am buffering the water to offset the acidification of the water column by the Amazonia and CO2.

Other than that, it it a stock tank, light, and filter combo. This is the first time I have run such a system out of the box. I will have to wait for the tank to cycle before I add livestock. Without further adieu, here is a sneak peak.......

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I hope that 'my friends' enjoy my previous passion of aquascaping.

Best regards,

Stuart

Tankful in Vancouver!

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Fast forward a couple of weeks, and several trims later....I've been running into a few challenges over the last couple of days. Some hair algae has been growing on the older Staurogyne leaves, the Micranthemun 'Monte Carlo', and some Blyxa in the back. So.... I did a massive water change, removed all leaves with visible hair algae, and started dosing 1ml of Metricide 14 daily to stave off and further growth of algae.

I also was able to get my hands on a couple plantlets of Taiwan Fern which I nestled into a cranny in the largest piece of Dragon Stone. I also picked up a tiny piece of background to cover the back glass.

All I can say is I'm happy to be back in the game.

Here are a few more pics of the tank.

Top left rear:

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Front left Staurogyne:

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Top left Staurogyne:

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Side right Pearlweed (did 3 trims already):

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Top view of Pearlweed:

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Micranthemum 'Monte Carlo':

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Taiwan Fern view and Hygrophila 'Araguaia':

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Thanks for looking!

Best regards,

Stuart

Tankful in Vancouver

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What an exciting project, Stuart. Thanks for sharing. And welcome to the group!

It's been a journey with me. I started with CRS (thus the username), then Tigers, Green Baubalti, Cardinals, Blue Pearls, and then PFR's. I started focusing on planted tanks about 9 years ago. I'm hoping to stock this tank with Tigers and some type of micro rasbora. I'll make final decision once the tank parameters settle down a bit.

Best regards,

Stuart

Tankful in Vancouver!

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Welcome to TSS. Looks like you sure know what you are doing! I took a year off and so much changed, I can only imagine what 2 years feels like.

Thanks for sharing!

Hello Jem.

A lot has changed with all the hybrid shrimp being offered nowadays. I still think a nice colony of tigers may be in order (as the room it is in stays fairly cool). Thank you for the kind words.

Best regards,

Stuart

Tankful in Vancouver!

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Good Afternoon all.

It's been about a week since my last update and it appears that the tank is settling down finally. I'm still doing 90% water changes every 2-3 days depending on how quickly the biofilm takes to form a slick on the water surface. I believe this is mostly due to using the Amazonia and having the ammonia leach from it. I seem to have a Physa snail explosion at the moment, but they seem to be keeping any algae at bay.

The tank is still growing in with the largest gains being seen in the Staurogyne repens and stolonifera, the Micranthemum micranthemoides, and the Hygrophila 'aruguaia'. The Anubias petite is also adding several leaves a week. I only have 1 remaining stem of Proserpinaca palustris which seems to have taken well and is growing nicely. The only plants that seem to be lagging, are the Blyxa japonica and the Micranthemum 'Monte Carlo' (although they are rooting well).

My ammonia is finally zero and my nitrite has never budged from 0 (but I think this is a result of consistently dosing Stabilty). I think the tank is test subject worthy, but I'm still a bit leary as the tank has only been set-up for 3 weeks.

With that being said..... I'll move on with the pictures :)!

Front of tank:

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Shot of Anubias:

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Staurogyne stolonifera:

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Hygrophila 'araguaia' and S. repens:

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Top down view of Staurogynes:

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Top down view of Crepidomanes Auriculatum (Taiwan Fern):

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Thanks for looking!

Best regards,

Stuart

Tankful in Vancouver!

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Well it's been another week and I finally pulled the trigger and have great news! I got my nano fish today from April (however I am holding off on shrimp for now). I got the following fauna.

6 - Celestichthys margaritatus (Galaxy Rasbora/CPD)

8 - Microdevario kubotai (Green Neon Microrasbora)

2 - Poecilia wingei (Endlers) - Unfortunate Stunt Men

1 - Boraras urophthalmoides (Exclamation Point Rasbora)

3 - Corydoras pygmaeus (Pygmy Corydoras)

And now for a couple photos.... The fish are still skittish and my photography equipment and skills are lacking.

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Thanks for looking!

Best regards,

Stuart

Tankful in Vancouver!

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Welcome back!  Good to see more of the west coast shrimpers coming back : )

I love my eheim aquastyle - by far the best nano cube kit out there and the only one with a decent light!

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Welcome back! Good to see more of the west coast shrimpers coming back : )

I love my eheim aquastyle - by far the best nano cube kit out there and the only one with a decent light!

Well..... I'm glad to be back in the aquatic realm. I just don't know how I'll do with shrimp yet. I'm hoping to get some blue diamonds on the weekend.

My Endlers have both jumped out (I believe as a result of lower than ideal temperatures and Low PH).

All my other fish seem happy and healthy.

Best regards,

Stuart

Tankful in Vancouver!

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Beautiful.

Were you able to save the endlers? I have nightmares about stuff like that.

I highly recommend lids ;)

Unfortunately, with the additional CO2 line and the heater, the hand crafted lid does not fit. Both Endlers were gone, although I was only able to find 1 corpse. I just ordered a Hydor 25W heater for the tank, so this should help with the temperature swings, as my bedroom is usually on the cool side.

Best regards,

Stuart

Tankful in Vancouver!

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Well..... I'm glad to be back in the aquatic realm. I just don't know how I'll do with shrimp yet. I'm hoping to get some blue diamonds on the weekend.

My Endlers have both jumped out (I believe as a result of lower than ideal temperatures and Low PH).

All my other fish seem happy and healthy.

Best regards,

Stuart

Tankful in Vancouver!

Male endlers are notorious jumpers .  If one is harassed which is usually the case with male endlers they juimp.

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Male endlers are notorious jumpers . If one is harassed which is usually the case with male endlers they juimp.

Thanks for the tip, Louie. I'm going to pick up some shrimp today. They are called 'Super Blue' Neocaridina. I've been having challenges with my pest snails eating my Staurogyne, so I am meticulously removing them one at a time.

Best regards,

Stuart

Tankful in Vancouver!

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Another update...... Here are a few pics of my new 'Super Blue' Neocaridina (thanks to April) and a bonus 'Super Tiger'.

'Super Blue' Neocaridina:

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And a pic of the 'Super Tiger':

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Best regards,

Stuart

Tankful in Vancouver!

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I have some sad news, my 'Super Tiger' has passed. All my 'Super Blue' Neocaridina (which I suspect are 'Blue Velvets') are doing well. Here are a few more Pics taken by a friend.....

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Thanks for looking!

Best regards,

Stuart

Tankful in Vancouver!

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  • 1 month later...

It's been a number of weeks since my last entry. Some things have changed plant wise and critter wise.

Most of the Taiwan Fern was decimated by BBA. I also had to cut out some BBA from the Anubias and Narrow Leaf Java Fern. The Staurogynes have been melting and I pulled the Pearl Weed as it was looking lanky as a result of aggressive trimming (I believe the Metricide was causing the melting). The 'Monte Carlo' has been slowly growing in. I also added Micranthemum umbrosum for plants.

I also added 10 Blue Wizard Neocaridina that I picked up at the auction.

Equipment wise, I've added an Eheim Mini Up filter for added circulation and better CO2 diffusion. I'm still doing a 75% water change every 5-6 days. I stopped dosing any ferts in hopes the plants have sufficient nutrients from the ADA Amazonia.

With that being said, I will move onto some pictures... Enjoy!

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Thanks for looking!

Best Regards,

Stuart

Tankful in Vancouver!

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That's a lovely tank, Stuart.  The blue shrimp show up beautifully!

I've got the blue shrimp bug now. I've set up a group buy through a local forum and am receiving 10 more high graded "Blue Wizard" Neocaridinas on Saturday.

Best regards,

Stuart

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Blue Wizards are just a cobalt blue pheno of Blue Diamonds, right? How true do those breed?

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Not 100% sure yet. My source says he gets 90% true and 10% blue/grey rili-like pattern and about 1% chocolate. But I have not had any babies yet.

Best regards,

Stuart

Tankful in Vancouver!

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I love the Aquastyle, trying to get my hands on another. I believe it's no longer being sold here in the US for some reason. Did you find the Eheim mini-up ended up taking a lot of space? How is your bio-load with your current stock? Looking to add 2 Black Bar Endlers in mine, but I do still have the lid on (my Rocket killifish have thankfully not attempted jumping despite being known for doing so).

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I use the mini up as a semi-permanent add-on filter. It does take up a fair bit of space. It also helps to minimize surface biofilm closer to water change day. I currently have:

17 Blue Neos

6 Galaxy Rasboras

5 Kubotai Rasboras

1 Exclamation Point Rasbora

And several ramshorn snails

I find I have to meticulously siphon off detritus during WC's and rinse all filter media during WC's as well.

The plants seem to help keeping ammonia and nitrites at zero.

Best regards,

Stuart

Tankful in Vancouver!

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