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  1. I purchased a complete aquarium set, useing low iron white glass on the front and sides, allowing viewing of plants and fish in 100% natural colour. Matching cabinet, arrived with unexpected grey & black striped doors. T5 Lighting – 4 x 54w & one strip LED night light Nautilus 1400 Canister Filter 200w Glass Heater x 2, temp set at 25 degrees Aquarium: 150 x 60 x 65cm 398L Aquarium has been set up since December 2017. Substrate: bagged Glengobal pond mix, mixed with a cup of ironic iron sand & a handful of slow release native fern mix prills. Terraced and sloped toward the rear using new plastic unprinted corrugated signage board, then capped with at least 3cm of fine aqua one natural grit (just shy of 20kg) Planted heavily, here is my best guess (as they were sold under fanciful names) -Hygrophila Polysperma Corycombosa, -H.P Difformis, -H.P Sunset, -H.Polysperma (Blue or narrow leaf). Unidentified plant maybe Rotala Walliichii (red pine)?, Tropical Lilae St, Louis Gold, Elocharis Acicularis (needle rush), Echinodorus Melon sword?, E.Tenellus, E. Unknown little thing ;-). And plants just hanging in there: Didiplus Sandra (star grass), Bacopa Monnieri (dwarf Baby tears), Cryptocoryne Wendtii and 2 lilaeopsis, Brasilinesis & Nova Zealandae (if there was a difference its lost now). Of course I also spent a wad of money on non aquatic plants I watched some rot, then tried to i.d the rest and hawked them out if they were unidentifiable. Month one, I added 7 Otocinclus, that is all they had at the pet store, 1 was dropped from the 2nd story tank on to the tiled floor, that poor sod died after 2 weeks. The others are still with me I believe hard to find them all in one count, I have 3 different subspecies marked by different size, spots and dorsal fin size, also 1 ventures out more by day the others under the night light. Month two: I added 10 tiger barbs from a different pet shop 3 hour round trip and it was an unreal, untidy smelly mess. I took home 10 Tiger Barbs (tetrazona) and when added they where exhibiting signs of early ICH so I raised the temp high & fed frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms & mosquito larvae (which I bred) 3 weeks later (approx) I added another 20 making 30, they spent a week in a plastic tub set up as a quarantine tank (I know thats not long enough). Questions for any readers: 1/ I have read that ottos can not be with Tiger Barbs, it has only been a short time but the tigers exhibit no interest in anything but food, dominance behaviours & perhaps some mating rituals? Will I loose my ottos or have I got enough water & distraction to keep them otherwise occupied? 2/ People have commented on the lack of fish stocking, I was happy to leave it low but now am considering if I should either get 6 equally sized barbs sachsii or padamya or 6 Botia Striata, I have 3 excellent hide holes built in at construction time (bet they are full of snails) I do have snails, but not disproportionate to expectations. 3/ I purchased a cellulose capsule making machine and have been making my own root tabs, which I push under using pinsett/long tweezers these are working well. I have apart from the initial fill been using R.O.R.I water and have only now just started adding in a mix of some aged & dechlorinated tap stuff (I wouldn’t drink the Levin goop) and now I have some black algae appearing on the foreground lilaeopsis. I am not going to co2 and even excel carbon, which I have used in tiny amounts which will be too expensive. Any ideas? Or should I just wait & watch. 4/ I have 4 species of Hygrophila Polysperma -I am wondering about the possibility of this family of plant releasing anti-competition chemicals or is it simply a matter of these being hardier and the other plants perhaps not so much? Thats it, only low res photos loaded, but enough for you to get the picture (pun intended) please feel free to comment. Thanks Tony 2 month tank If only the tiger stayed this still Tiger lily Tigers in the grass I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate
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