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Thread: Journey of CALM's Aquarium

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ACalmADDFreak's Avatar
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    Journey of CALM's Aquarium

    So it has been a 3 Days now of starting my first Aquarium and now I am into the stage of getting the Nitrogen Cycle going.
    Below is Day three. Cloudiness Mostly cleared up, put in my hardscape, and my plants.
    Brazillian Sword, Peacock Fern, Utriculria graminifolia.
    Lava Rocks, Arizona Slate, Flag Stone.




    55G Update
    Started Out
    fab4f34d72700ed18b57c7d8b941ab5c.jpg
    1.25 Months
    65aab29062c4cd21c9ff37feb5b081b8.jpg
    Last edited by ACalmADDFreak; 04-12-2017 at 02:07 PM.

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    SCAPE Board Member 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr MARIMOBALL's Avatar
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    Is your substrate just sand? You will need more plants to prevent an algae breakout.
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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ACalmADDFreak's Avatar
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    Yes, I have a slight worry that the plants may get unanchored probably should have done gravel underneath. I read that sand is a great substrate. As for number of plants this is all I can really do for this month other than fish.

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    SCAPE Board Member 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr MARIMOBALL's Avatar
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    Sand is not great, but I can work for the Amazon sword. It may take a while for it to grow with just sand. The UG will nott do well but yet again I have seen it growing on lava rock under the right conditions. Keep an eye on your photoperiod with a light plant load.
    Last edited by MARIMOBALL; 01-01-2017 at 11:01 PM.
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    SCAPE Member Super Duper Master Scaper swoof's Avatar
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    Should probably wait a month before fish anyway to let the tank cycle some.
    Please don't quote my posts it is unnecessary , I will still read the thread without the extra "you have been quoted on SCAPE" notification email.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ACalmADDFreak's Avatar
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    Any suggestions on type of cheap substrate to add to my sand for the plants? I was just reading about using miracle grow soil as an option or is there a type of gravel people recommend instead?

    Swoof yeah was planning on waiting at least 2-3 weeks for my cycle to finish.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ACalmADDFreak's Avatar
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    So I will update soon a picture but there isn't much difference.
    Anyways a week has gone by since I have added plants and tried to start my nitrogen cycle with fish flakes.
    Plants have undergone their acclimation to the water but after adding fertilizer and carbo boost starting last saturday.
    The UG are still showing bright green 1 of 8 sections went white, so it probably is a goner.
    The Sword 2 or 3 of the swords are growing new Leafs.
    The peackock ferns...(semi aquatic).....1 died immediately, the others are alive but i cant tell how they are doing they are still bright green on most of it but no noticable growth.
    Did a 30% Water change to try and lower the PH and water Hardness by adding R/O water. It didn't drop as much as i was expecting from 8.2 with 30% of RO water at 6.4 should have been a drop to 7.6ph
    Currently my water stats.
    PH: 8.0
    Ammonia: 0.25ppm
    Nitrite : 0ppm-0.25ppm
    Nitrate: 0ppm

    So question any recommendations of giving my nitrogen cycle a kick start?

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ACalmADDFreak's Avatar
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    Week 2 Update
    To get my Nitrogen Cycle going I got 5 Red Cherry Shrimp, and 3 Pygmy Cory
    Added Tropical Flamenmoos. Most of the peacock ferns have died. Swords are doing really well. Most have grown a new leaf. UG are just hanging out.
    Water Stats:
    Temp: 76F
    PH: 8.0
    Ammonia: .25ppm
    Nitrite: .25ppm
    Nitrate: 1-2 ppm20161203_194017.jpg
    Last edited by ACalmADDFreak; 12-07-2016 at 04:23 PM.

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr Nick Shades's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, peacock ferns are not aquatic plants. They do great in humid environment terrariums, but they will inevitably die when they are submerged.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ACalmADDFreak's Avatar
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    Yeah Unfortunately i learned that after i bought it and i started seeing it "wither away"

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ACalmADDFreak's Avatar
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    So random fact of the day. I was watching my tank and I noticed one of my RCS just swimming laps over and over. I was concerned it may have been ill especially since it looked pale. But I wake up the next morning and find a molted shell. I find I still have all 5 RCS alive. Then I saw the one that molted and noticed its color was back.
    Lesson:
    If RCS swim laps and look pale it maybe molting.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ACalmADDFreak's Avatar
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    Week 4
    Ph8
    Ammonia:0.25
    nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 5
    I believe I am cycled!!!!
    Did Lose 1 RCS Today :-( to the Cycle stress. It was to be expected to maybe lose at least 1.
    Last edited by ACalmADDFreak; 12-22-2016 at 09:52 AM.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ACalmADDFreak's Avatar
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    Updated picture at 4 weeks.

    Last edited by ACalmADDFreak; 12-22-2016 at 09:52 AM.

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr Zackariah's Avatar
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    Looking good. And you are definitely cycled.

    As you continue on in this hobby you will see there are a lot of "ford vs. Chevy" opinions. As far as your Substrate, Using aqua soils is better no doubt. But you should be fine with sand. Get some root tabs if you need more nutrients for heavy root feeders like swords and crypts.


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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ACalmADDFreak's Avatar
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    Thanks Zackariah,
    I have root tabs in the sand by the swords to help with nutrients during the first week of the Aquarium. I realized that Sand doesn't hold Nutrients very well but makes sense :-)

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ACalmADDFreak's Avatar
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    Week something.

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted gladiator's Avatar
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    Have you tried to use a bag of carbon?
    Carbon will clear up your tank in no time.
    Also there's this liquid called Turbo Cycle. It cycles your water in less than a week.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr turtlehead's Avatar
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    Tetra Safe Start +
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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ACalmADDFreak's Avatar
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    Yeah. Thanks guys for your suggestions. My tank is cleared up after my 33% water change from vacation and api safe start helped finish my cycle a week before vacation. Right now I have added 3 Zebra Danios. I rearranged my hardscaping because the pygmy coryies were getting a little stressed do to the very active Danios and now the RCS and Pygmies are loving there new hide out. when ever they swim now they swim in a full group to keep the danips from being "playful" with them.


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    SCAPE Board Member 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr MARIMOBALL's Avatar
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    You could have used irganic dirt and gravel for about the same price of sand and you would have had better results. Or not stock the tank with live stock and invest in substrate. I suggest you group the amazons together but don't line them up for a more natural look and choose only one type of stone.
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