10 gallon Dragonstone Tank

KeyeNewen

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This is my 10 gallon Dragonstone Tank. Pretty proud that I have finally been able to get a carpet of Hemianthus Callitrichoides (Dwarf Baby Tears). Wanted to share my success story.
I haven't added any livestock yet.

Below are the specs of this tank:
Tank: ADA 45P (45x27x30cm)
Lighting: Chihiros RGB45 (45cm) - Lighting on max setting currently (118 PAR - THANK YOU VaughnH!)
CO2 System: GLA Pro-3 (Same system used on my two little nano tanks, 3 manifold system)
Heater: Hydor In-Line External Heater 200W
Filter: Eheim 2213

Soil: ADA Aquasoil Amazonia Normal on bottom, topped with Powder on top layer.
Dragonstone
Hemianthus Callitrichoides (Dwarf Baby Tears) (Dennerle Tissue Culture at CK FishWorld)
Echinodorus Tenellus (Pygmy Chain Swords) at Tissue Culture BucePlants

Below are some pictures from start till now:
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KeyeNewen

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Thank you. Had a couple strands of hair algae last week, remove during water change. Little algae on top of some rock currently. Filled tank on Oct 15, water change every day for first week. Planted HC on Oct 22nd, water change 4x second week. Planted Pigmy Chain Swords third week. Water change 3x third week. Water change 2x fourth week. Currently on fifth week. Light on for 7hours a day. CO2 via inline diffuser at 1.5bps, drop checker bright neon yellow. Only reason I didn't plant everything at once because i could not find any healthy plants at lfs the week I decided to fill the tank.
 
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KeyeNewen

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Murphy's Law. Saturday morning tank had a bunch of hair algae and green algae on glass and stones. Removed all hair algae with toothbrush. Brushed algae off rocks, cleaned glass. Drained tank all the way down. Refilled with new water. Was my regular maintenance day so remineralized RO was ready. Lowered light from 118 PAR (number 7 setting) down to 101 PAR (number 6 setting). Changed lighting schedule down 6 hours instead of 7 hours. Dose 2.5ml of Excel.
 

KeyeNewen

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Tank had some algae problem for a bit. Many scrub session and water changes later, tank seems to stabilize the last two weeks. Slowly moved CO2 from 120bpm down to 60bpm last three weeks. Also slowly moved light intensity down from maximum of 7 down to 4 during this time period. Added some otos, neocaridina (bloody mary) about two weeks ago. Just added caridina (CRS) last Thursday.

Question is, would I be able to cut my EI dosage down to about 25%? I used the calculator on the Rotala Butterfly calculator to mix two 500ml bottles for my solutions. Did almost a 80% water change prior to putting in the CRS. I was dosing full 100% EI 3x a week with the neocaridina and have switched down to one 50% dosage yesterday for CRS (caridina). My want to cut down on the amount of weekly water changes since EI recommends 50% but everything I read on shrimps recommend 10-20% water change weekly or every other week. I don't want my plants to suffer to much. Lights are on 6 hours a day. Not really looking for growth anymore just to maintain the plants current health. Prior to adding the CRS my Nitrate level was 40ppm using the API master test kit. Ammonia and Nitrite was zero. Will test again later tonight. Thank you for looking!

Current pictures of tank below.
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Lakshmi Jagnnathan

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Did you measure the PAR in the tank, or was the 110 PAR that started the Algae issue an estimate based on the manufacturer's data?
Assuming the algae issues are resolved now, what substrate PAR and photo-period are you running now?

I've seen Tom Barr's data that said ADA lights are pretty low PAR...like 40-50(at substrate). Also seen reports that 100 PAR is OK so long as CO2 and nutrients are there.
I assume at higher lighting the balance is more critical.
I also wonder which is better: Higher PAR + shorter photo-period VS Lower PAR + longer photo-period.

EI dosing has much more nutrients than PPS method or the ADA recommendations.
There was an analysis by Tom Barr on contents of ADA ferts....and based on ADA recommendations, I compiled the attached dosing chart for EI, ADA and PPS....you can see how EI is up there in terms of of nutrient dosages. I'm not suggesting one is better than the other...merely that there is a wide range across these 3 dosing methods.

I use Seachem Equilibrium to reconstitute RO water(to get gH=6) so I do not track K(K2SO4) dosing....Equilibrium has tons of it, and you can't overdose K anyway, since it has no link to Algae(my understanding anyway)

Dosing.JPG
 

KeyeNewen

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I actually measured the PAR in the tank, I borrowed it from VaughnH (Thank you). I was able to take PAR measurement from Levels 1-7. I'm still running lights for 6 hours a day. When I lowered by EI dosage down for the CRS my plants suffered, then increased my EI dosage but a bit my CRS wasn't very happy and had a couple death so I moved my to a dedicate shrimp tank. Will take updated photos this weekend.
 

Lakshmi Jagnnathan

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So it sounds like at around 60 PAR for 6 hrs, the algae issue is OK?

Did you know which fertilizer component was causing issues for the shrimp? Was it the planted CSM+?
 

KeyeNewen

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I'll double check my notes later tonight to see what the PAR rating is currently running at. Yes light is on for 6 hrs per day. Algae issue has been better, most of the rocks are clear now. I have one or two small strands of bba or brush algae left. Probably will squirt of H202 later on it when I get the chance to do my weekly water change maintenance. When my PRL CRS died, my nitrate was around 10-20 PPM using API test. I use the API master kit to do my testing. Colors look almost the same to me for the 10-20PPM. My TDS was a little high 210 (TDS meter). GH was at 6-7ish, KH was at 2-3ish. I've been using RO water remineralising it at 100TDS using Salty Shrimp products (50TDS with GH+/KH+ then added GH+ up to 100TDS). When I test the remineralized water reading were 4 GH and 1 KH. From my understanding I need some KH for stable CO2, but CRS likes low 0-1 KH. Hope that makes sense. I lost a total of 4 PRL CRS within a two weeks time frame, they were fine for a month prior to that. I was using 40% of the recommended EI dosage at the time of their death. I was doing 20% weekly water changes. My Bloody Mary Neocaridina are fine, there are 3 berried females in this tank. Hoping to see babies soon. Will provide updated photo either today or tomorrow. Currently dosing 33% of recommended EI dosage with 20% water change now. Side note, I have my a berried PRL CRS right now in my shrimp tank, hope to have some babies soon and eventually if I can get a healthy colony of PRL CRS going I will try to re-introduce some back to this tank at a later date. I'm fairly new to high tech, EI dosing, shrimp raising, and learning to test. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

Lakshmi Jagnnathan

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Thanks for the info.
If shrimp need 0-1 kH and are sensitive to 10-20 ppm of Nitrate....that makes it pretty hard to keep them in a planted tank.
To me, the 0-1kH is a deal breaker, since it's almost impossible to keep kH/pH stable, especially since kH gets consumed and needs to be replenished every few days.

I'll check if there are other shrimp that can run in a more classic planted tank setting.
BTW, this is the ADA recommended water parameters:
kH =2 to 4
gH = 5 to 8
pH = 6 to 7, ideal for plants is 6.8.
Temp = 76 to 78.
I got the above in a pdf document from AFA, the ADA distributor in SFO.

If you reverse calculate the pH range and the CO2 being 25-30ppm, you'll see that you need kH of 3.

Maybe the "Amano" shrimp are more tolerant of the water parameters....but if red cherry shrimp need kH<=1, then I guess I can't add them once my tank is cycled.
I'm seeing a kH drop of 1(fro 3 to 2) in about 3-4 days....so I add kH.
 

KeyeNewen

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Checked my notes yesterday in regards to PAR, light setting is on 5, 81 PAR on front tank, 85 PAR in rear of tank.
Actually the Bloody Mary Shrimps are a type of cherry shrimp. Their water parameter is fits the kH of 2-4 and gH of 5-8. The problem is not with the Bloody Mary Shrimps (neocaridina) I have in this tank. You shouldn't have any problem with cherry shrimps in a planted tank. The problem I'm having is with the cardinia (Pure Red Line, Crystal Red Shrimps), cardinia requires lower kH 0-1. Below are some updated photos. I see roughly 10 Bloody Mary Shrimp babies right now. Have another couple berried Bloody Mary Shrimps in the tank.

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Lakshmi Jagnnathan

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Good to know. Thanks!
I like the full red color of RCS anyway, so that works for me.
I've set my PAR at ~60. It's 50-70 depending on location, so about 60 average across the substrate.
Hopefully that avoids or minimizes algae issues.
Perhaps after the tank is more mature(2-3 months?) I'll bump up a little bit.
 

Allwissend

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Is that hydra?
No, not hydra... just staghorn algae.. coming from the same hole though :p
In otherwise healthy aquariums, staghorn indicates an increase in organics... need to vacuum the substrate, wash the filters etc. Remove visible, spot dose with excel or easy carbo and if problem is corrected it should not return.
 

KeyeNewen

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Thank you for the advice! Will turn off pump and spot dose Excel later this evening. I vacuumed the dwarf baby tears and changed out new filter pads in my canister last Saturday, tried H202 but it didn't seem to do anything. Was wondering what else I needed to do. Now I know:) I didn't vacuum the pygmy chain swords (Echinodorus Tenellus) though, every time I try the would end out uprooting all the plants. What's the best way to do that?
 

Allwissend

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You can try and use a larger diameter substrate cleaner and with very slow flow. Moving the cleaner vertically up and down will not displace large amounts of substrate so maybe the swords will stay in place. If this does not work, do it in batches. Divide the aquarium in 3-4 areas and every week do a deep vacuum in another area and replant.
 
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