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Old 12-28-2012, 10:30 AM   #1
Vayurules
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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Default Vayu's 20 Gallon

Well, last night was an interesting one to say the least. I've never broken down a tank before, so it was a learning experience, and I was it up as I went along. I had to capture my pleco in absolutly disgusting water. He is right now in a gallon fishbowl. I didn't take pictures as I broke it down or set it up sadly. I do have before and after pictures though. (In the attachments.) The tank with blue gravel is the before and the tank with natural gravel is the after.

Previous equipment:
TopFin 20 Power Filter
Marineland StealthPro 100w Heater

Current Equipment:
Fluval AquaClear 30 Power Filter
Marineland 100w Visi-therm heater
TetraWhisper 20 Air Pump

Well guys, next update will probably be once I order, then recieve plants. Until then, Vayu
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20 Gallon Rio Orinoco Biotope (High):
  • 1 Clown Pleco

Last edited by Vayurules; 01-03-2013 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:09 AM   #2
Vayurules
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The tank is now cycling, dosed ammonia before I left for a short vacation to New Orleans. I was able to test just before we left, ammonia was at 4 ppm. Hoping I have some nitrite or nitrate once I get back.
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20 Gallon Rio Orinoco Biotope (High):
  • 1 Clown Pleco

Last edited by Vayurules; 01-03-2013 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:10 PM   #3
Vayurules
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Well, I'm now back from the trip, and I left my hood open, so I had quite a bit of evaporation. I did test, I still have plenty of ammonia (4 ppm?), very little nitrite (.25 ppm) and a nice amount of nitrate (7 ppm?) See for yourselves! I only added Tetra SafeStart, and let it run.
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20 Gallon Rio Orinoco Biotope (High):
  • 1 Clown Pleco
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:15 AM   #4
Vayurules
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Well, I was genuinely surprised this morning. I added a new Deepblue sponge filter and a new air pump to power it yesterday. (Another 25 dollars of my precious budget down the drain) But, I works like a charm, and my ammonia severely decreased overnight from 3ppm to 0ppm. Nitrites are still in the 5ppm range and nitrates are about 60ppm. After a speedy 10% water change, nitrites read 4-5 ppm and nitrates read about 30ppm. Dosed ammonia, hopefully it will convert overnight.
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  • 1 Clown Pleco
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:25 PM   #5
Vayurules
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My tank ate up that ammonia like a soup sandwich. It was 4ppm, but overnight it decreased to 0ppm. Did a 50% water change to bring down my 70ppm of nitrate. This also decreased my nitrite to 3ppm. I'm hopping I can dose about 2 more times, let it process all of the nitrite, small water changes like crazy, then add fish. I'm hoping to get a ride to a a home improvement store to pick up some peat pellets. I did order plants, but shipping is a b****. $13.99 live plant 2 day shipping for $10 worth of plants. I did also order a 40 pack of SeaChem Flourish tabs. So I'm now about 200 dollars down, but it's been a fun journey.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:08 PM   #6
C. King
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The shipping on plants is so $$$! Costs more than the plants themselves. I live in a remote area, and the large chain pet store nearest me (130 miles round trip) only has a very limited selection of ratty, half dead plants. bummer! Your tank sounds like it is doing great, though!
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20 gal; well planted
2 angelfish
4 cherrybarbs
5 cardinal tetras
1 dwarf gourami
3 oto catfish
1 bristlenose pleco
1 crown tail betta
2 rasboras
1 cory cat
a few shrimp
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:12 AM   #7
Vayurules
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Well, the 4 chain swords (Echinodorus tenellus) I ordered were not in stock. I'm just going to delay my order so I don't have to pay for live plant shipping again. And thanks C. King! I haven't tested the water yet today, which I can do after school. Hopefully the bacteria ate all of the ammonia.
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20 Gallon Rio Orinoco Biotope (High):
  • 1 Clown Pleco

Last edited by Vayurules; 01-08-2013 at 05:17 AM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:25 PM   #8
Vayurules
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Well, I was correct on my tank eating that ammonia. It was dosed to about 4ppm... It's now 0ppm. But I repeated my 50 percent water change to bring down the nitrates and nitrites. Now that I have time to take pictures, I took some for you guys. The first pic shows all of my equipment, the stand, and the tank itself. The fish bowl being my pleco's temporary home. The second pic is of my still unplanted tank. (Sorry for the glare, bad iPhone camera and middle of the day.)

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20 Gallon Rio Orinoco Biotope (High):
  • 1 Clown Pleco

Last edited by Vayurules; 01-08-2013 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:07 PM   #9
wooferkitty
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wonderful looking set up can't wait to see it with plants in it
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:38 PM   #10
Vayurules
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Thanks woofer! I hope to be able to add my Pleco soon, he's getting bored in his gallon fishbowl. The airline tubing and my obnoxiously blue sponge filter in the corner will be covered by plants by Friday. Finally! Plants!
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:26 PM   #11
Vayurules
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My tank is now cycled! I don't think 2 weeks is a record breaker for fishlessly cycling, but that's pretty fast. My clown pleco is right now happily rasping away at a piece of driftwood in his roomy 20 gallon home, and I plan to get him some Oto friends this weekend at a pet sore I've heard of around town. My live plants will be here tomorrow, and for you people that are curious, my order has: 2 Small Amazon Swords (Will trim regularly), 4 Chain Swords, 2 Corkscrew Vals, and 3 Saggitaria Subulata.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:04 PM   #12
Vayurules
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Well, plants are now in the tank. I would post a pic, but entered into the January TOTM instead. Once it's over I will post more pictures. Sadly, I'm afraid one of my Sagittaria is dying, just because it looks pretty bad. I am only using Flourish tabs right now, do I need CO2 for these plants?
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:22 AM   #13
emc7
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Sags are low light. Hopefully won't need Co2. I love sponge filters. Ugly suckers, but you can't beat them for biological filtration.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:27 PM   #14
Vayurules
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Well, after a week, I've lost both Corkscrew Vals and a Sag, but all of my plants look rough... But on a good note, my pleco is still thriving. The tank looks great with with my peat filtration, just a slight tint, but it makes all the difference. I'm looking to buy some Cardinal Tetras to start towards my final stocking. I'll just have to buy a separate tank if I ever decide to to breed my rams for profit.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:59 PM   #15
C. King
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The tank pictures of before planting look beautiful! nice driftwood, too. Are the plants getting correct light? There are specific types of lights, and a little research online will show you correct wattage, hours of light needed, etc. I was suprised by how much care is needed when I switched over to live plants. Also, I have found that somefish store plants are doomed from the start, and have begun to expect about a 50% survival rate when I get new ones. Of course, that could be because I am still learning about plants, myself. I have had fish for years, but starting a "natural" aquarium has been a whole new learning curve! Look forward to seeing your completed tank in the contest.
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20 gal; well planted
2 angelfish
4 cherrybarbs
5 cardinal tetras
1 dwarf gourami
3 oto catfish
1 bristlenose pleco
1 crown tail betta
2 rasboras
1 cory cat
a few shrimp
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