Ada 45f - Shallow, Mossy, Shrimp

Jack McCarron

New Member
Oct 16, 2018
11
3
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Palo Alto
Hey! Thanks for checking out my thread. This is my first tank. Please help me solve issues (described below) and teach me things!


Specs
Tank and hardware

ADA 45f (45x24x16cm) tank
ADA aquasky G 451 LED light
Hydor in-line heater
GLA GRO-1 CO2 regulator
JARDLI 10mm lily pipe outflow
JARDLI 13mm glass inflow
Shiruba XB-303 filter
bio media that came with filter
seachem purigen
Inline CO2 diffuser
Side-mounted cooling fan
2x double tap hose connectors
Drop checker with Fluval CO2 indicator solution

Hardscape/Substrate
Hunk of wood
ADA power sand
ADA amazonia
ADA amazonia powder type
ADA colorado sand

Flora
Riccardia Chamedryfolia
Monte Carlo
Hemianthus Callitrichoides "HC Cuba"
Phoenix Moss
Java Moss
Weeping Moss
Java Fern (needle leaf)

Fauna
Red Cherry Shimps
Pond Snails

Routine
Water change (50% every Sunday)

"Python" hose w/ sink adapter
Seachem equilibrium (1 tsp)
Baking soda (1/4 tsp)
Aqueon dechlorinator (2.5 ml)

Light and CO2
CO2 from 10am - 2pm (4 hours)
Light from 11am - 3pm (4 hours)

Water Parameters
Temperature 72 F / 23 C
4 dKH (baking soda with water change)
7 dGH (equilibrium with water change)

Fertilizer Dosing
Mon/Wed/Fri
KNO3 (1/16 tsp)
KH2PO4 (1/64 tsp)
K2SO4 (1/64 tsp)​
Tues/Thurs/Sat
Plantex CSM-B (1/64 tsp)​

CHANGELOG

10/23/2018
- replaced JARDLI spin outflow with JARDLI lily pipe outflow
- added inline CO2 diffuser
- put a foam filter guard (came with filter) on inflow​

Resolved Issues
Weak flow

I had poor flow through the tank with my original "spin" outflow. I chose it because it was the smallest outflow I could find that fit a 1/2" (or 13mm) hose, but the flow just churned in the back corner. I've now got a lily pipe outflow that gives much better flow and is small enough for the tank (10mm or 3/8"). I'm using a plastic reducer to go from 1/2" hose to 3/8".​

Ongoing Issues
Algae

I have quite a bit of brown algae (I think?) clinging to my java moss.
Current experiment to combat it is to work on dialing in CO2 while cutting back on lighting since they are both unknowns for me and are (as I understand it) big factors in algae growth. I switched to a very short photo period of just 4 hours because algae was getting out of hand. Since then, the algae is no longer blooming, but still present. Based on this youtube video
I am guessing that my CO2 was quite low given the upward growth of my HC
Dennis also has a fantastic video on gaseous exchange
that gave me the thought to increase flow and surface agitation by switching to a lily pipe outflow instead of spin type.

I've also switched my CO2 delivery from a hang-on-tank glass diffuser stone to an inline diffuser and finally gotten my drop checker in the mail.

Lighting-wise I'm still in the dark without a PAR meter, but I suspect the ADA 451 is just way too much light for the shallow flood type tank. Should I just buy a PAR meter?
Shrimp Death
Some shrimps have died since introducing them to the tank. :oops:

Water quality is good: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, <20 nitrate. I have not had time to really do a full day of measuring pH and its hard as hell to read the color chart, but it seems to be fairly stable at 6.6.

My hypothesis is I'm killing them by doing water changes straight from the tap with the Python, but I really don't want to go back to the bucket... I add Equilibrium, dechlorinator, and baking soda after the changes but even though I'm measuring it, it could be very error-prone since I can't guarantee I've done exactly 50%. My tap water is very soft (0kh, 0gh) with a super high ph (8.5).

On the positive side, I see some REALLY small white things that are chugging along through the water in a sea-monkey-like manner. Baby shrimp? I've also seen two molts so far. Not sure if that's a positive sign or not.​

Poor HC carpeting
My HC cuba is not doing so well
It grows upwards and keeps uprooting. As I mentioned in the algae section, this video
tells me what to do. More CO2.
Pond Snails
They're in there.​

More Pictures
 

Jack McCarron

New Member
Oct 16, 2018
11
3
3
31
Palo Alto
Does anyone have experience with Fluval indicator solution in a drop checker?

This solution says specifically to not add water so it ought to be completely independent from my tank's water chemistry other than gas exchange. It was deep blue before putting in my tank. It became a nice lime green during my CO2 period. Afterwards I took it out and placed it in front of a fan until it returned to deep blue. Then I returned it to the tank and left it overnight (8+ hours with no CO2 AND a large water change) but it returned to the green color pictured. How can this be? Are there variables involved that I am not understanding/accounting for or does it really mean that I still have above atmospheric levels of CO2 in my water?

I have decent surface agitation and a shallow tank. I would think that it would off-gas pretty quickly, no?
 
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Tuffryu

New Member
Oct 24, 2018
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United States
I have almost exact same equipment as well . I think the aqua sky light is good for high light plants like Cuba, but it may be too much for moss.

Great you tube posts! I'll check them out. i'm still fairly new to C02 and from what I've read it's good to crank it up at first and then start dialing down. Probably better without livestock. I'm assuming you didn't do dry start for this tank?
 

Jack McCarron

New Member
Oct 16, 2018
11
3
3
31
Palo Alto
I have almost exact same equipment as well . I think the aqua sky light is good for high light plants like Cuba, but it may be too much for moss.

Great you tube posts! I'll check them out. i'm still fairly new to C02 and from what I've read it's good to crank it up at first and then start dialing down. Probably better without livestock. I'm assuming you didn't do dry start for this tank?

Next time I will do the dry start. I would love to see your set up. How is it going for you?

Wow, i also just read your PH level...that's super high as you mention. That may be causing issues with your plants and livestock.

Yeah. pH in the tank is around 6.6 so it seems to drop just fine. Not sure what is dropping it. Maybe the tannins from the wood or the substrate? I heard from somebody at the fish store that the high pH would come down if the water was left out for a bit. I'm going to do an experiment and I'll share the results: test pH of tank water and tap water right now, then test the pH of the same samples in the morning.
 
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Tuffryu

New Member
Oct 24, 2018
4
0
1
United States
I haven’t started my tank just yet. I do plan to dry start so we’ll see how that goes. I’ll be sure to post the progress here.

Interesting point about the wood. I’m only using seiryu stone so I probably wouldn’t know much more about wood keeping.