60l Starter Tank

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Bluefinllama, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. Bluefinllama

    Bluefinllama

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    Hey guys, I'm new here and recently aquired a 60l Akwaria starter kit and a few other goodies (this hobby is going to get expensive, I can already tell).

    I've read up a bit on "A New Day's 65l" thread and it has already been very helpful but I would love to get some personal feedback as well so decided to post this thread - I have already made a bit of a mistake by buying a terrestial plant (Dracaena Sanderiana I believe - the salesman in the petshop couldn't tell me what plant it is but said it was growing well in his own tank).

    I got the tank on 02/03/2021 and added some NTLABS Tap Water Safe for the Chlorine as well as Filter Starter and a few of the flakes that came with the starter kit so as to start the cycling process.

    I accidentily broke off a piece of the filter that came with the starter kit (Sunsun HJ-752 600l/h) and bought a cheap replacement (Sunsun HJ-1152 1200l/h), I'm using the included pipe extension thing and have it directed toward the glass to lower the flowrate of the water. I've also added an airpump for some oxygen and today I took out the Dracaena.

    I bought 2 Amazon Swords (I believe 1 broad and 1 narrow leaf), 2 Marsilea Hirsuta and 2 Eleocharis parvula today which I've temporarily just placed in the tank in the little pots they come in, added some Seachem Flourish & Seachem Flourish Excel and will be deciding on placement etc soon.

    I took a reading just before adding the above and here are the results:

    [​IMG]
    I believe we're almost there and will soon be able to add some fish, but before I do so I would please like some advice.

    1. Should I change out the substrate which is currently a coarse gravel to something finer (possibly sand)? I would like to get some form of bottom dwelling algae eater like a cory / bristlenose / otto / loach (small varieties of these) etc. Which of the algae eaters would you suggest?
    2. I would like to have a betta as my centrepiece - what other fish if any would be a good idea (I've been thinking of neon tetras, galaxy rasboras (not sure if the temperature would be fine), etc. Any ideas for something nice and shiny would be appreciated.
    I apologise for the long post - I'm a bit excited and enjoying it since I've always wanted a tank - my dad had many when I was young, but a bit long ago to remember too much.

    And here is a photo of my tank as it currently sits:

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Hi @Bluefinllama and welcome :thumbup:

    Congratulations on your tank, it is indeed very exciting! Yes from the readings it seems to be almost cycled.

    Yes I would change the substrate to perhaps something like pool filter sand (very well rinsed) with root tabs OR and active aqua soil substrate eg Langa / ADA Amazonia (pricey though but more options for plants). The marsila is unlikely to take off in an inert substrate (eg sand or gravel) but your other plants should grow.

    Algae eaters in a 65L probably ottos, nerite snails and/or shrimp (but a betta might dine on shrimp). Tank too small for bristle nose.

    Corys, most loaches etc are bottom feeders but not algae eaters. Perhaps look at khuli loaches, should work great in a 65L with a betta. Also not algae eaters but add interest to the bottom level of the tank.
     
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  4. OP
    Bluefinllama

    Bluefinllama

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    Thanks for the feedback!

    I'm going to venture a guess that if I change the substrate I will have to continue cycling the tank? Does Seachem Flourite work well, the idea of a black substrate is quite appealing to me, but I see the Langa Aquasoil is also on the dark side so probably not a huge difference.

    I also forgot to mention the 2 little marino moss balls in the tank with my initial post. Ottos look awesome and I wouldn't mind them at all - would it be better to get them first and the betta later?
     
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  5. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Yes with the change of substrate you will loose some beneficial bacteria and will set the cycle back a few days but now is the time to do it!

    Flourite black/ dark is kind of halfway between an active substrate and an inert substrate (has properties of both) but note that Flourite black sand is totally inert like gravel or pfs.

    Perhaps add the betta first then the ottos when there is something for them to feed on and you’re sure the tank is properly cycled/ a bit more mature?
     
  6. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    PS if you want to do carpeting plants then an active substrate is the way to go. But if you’re not set on it you can get away with cheaper options for sure.
     
  7. OP
    Bluefinllama

    Bluefinllama

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    Went with the Langa as suggested, the white gravel is out, the Langa in and got a little piece of driftwood with moss on as well as an anubia growing on a piece of rock which also went in.

    Tank is filtering now so I can see what I'm doing, need to get the amazons, marsileas and hair grass out of the pots and rock wool and into the new substrate.
     
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  8. OP
    Bluefinllama

    Bluefinllama

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    So all is planted now, hope I did it right - one issue however, the Langa Aquasoil decimated my KH & PH.

    Nitrates = 18
    Nitrites = 0.25
    GH = >4
    KH = 3
    PH = 6.6
    CO2 = 20

    As far as I can gather, a water change should raise the GH, KH & PH?

    I'm also sure that 2 passengers came along with the rock & driftwood, saw a tiny little snail and something shy in the driftwood, probably a shrimp.
     
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  9. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Those readings are not bad at this point for the fish you intend to keep. You could add half a teaspoon of crushed coral to help buffer / to stop pH from free falling. But don’t necessarily blame the Langa though. What type of driftwood is it? New mopane for example could be the bigger culprit.

    Post pics!
     
  10. OP
    Bluefinllama

    Bluefinllama

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    Well, the driftwood was sitting in a tank with fish in it and moss grown on it as well, so my first inclination is that it's probably not the driftwood, but I might be wrong. Wish I could get a better glimpse of what I believe to be the shrimp, only saw it very hastily retreat into the driftwood though.

    Photo of the whole tank - I hope it grows out properly:
    [​IMG]

    Better image to see the driftwood:
    [​IMG]

    The rock with the anubias growing on it:
    [​IMG]

    I've dialed the heater down to 22C but the tank doesn't want to get cooler, it seems to stay at 28C.
     
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  11. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Nice! I particularly like the anubia on stone :thumbup:

    It looks like mopane driftwood but great that it has been in a tank for a while. If it’s not leaching tannins into the water anymore (brown tint to the water) it probably won’t affect pH much anymore. Just keep an eye on the pH to see if it remains steady.

    Great that most of your plants are low light tolerant as the light doesn’t seem very bright on the pics. This means that you can give a long photoperiod probably without running into major algae issues. Other plants that should do well in there include cryptocorenes and susswassertang
     
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  12. OP
    Bluefinllama

    Bluefinllama

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    Yeah the water seems nice and clear, shrimp still hiding, possible I won't see it ever again, do you think there's a chance it will survive in there with just the bit of moss and maybe whatever algae might grow?

    Would 8 hours of light be sufficient you think or should I extend it since the light is so weak? It seems to be this little light.

    Appreciate all the help!
     
  13. HugBug

    HugBug

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    Welcome, and enjoy your new tank!
    A new day is the queen of planted tanks so definitely lots of great advice above.
    Regarding the weak light, when I was running my weak 8W light I had it on for 10-12 hours a day with no major issues.
    The weaker the light the longer you get to enjoy your aquarium with the lights on.
    Obviously there's a point where the light might be too weak to penetrate enough for the plants, but I reckon you could probably get away with starting at 10 hours easily enough.
    Obviously if you notice any issues or major algae growth then adjust it to a shorter time. But I reckon 5W would be just fine for 10 hours a day.
     
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  14. OP
    Bluefinllama

    Bluefinllama

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    Thanks! I have seen the planted tanks in her thread yes, they look amazing!

    I will go up to 10 hours then and see how it goes, definitely need to figure something out with the KH & PH though, today we're standing at the following:

    Nitrates = 18
    Nitrites = 0.25
    GH = >7
    KH = 0 :(
    PH = <6 :(
    CO2 = <15

    The water doesn't look brownish so still not sure if it's the driftwood - reading up on the Langa Aquasoil it does indeed seem to drop PH, most descriptions stating to below 7, but by rinsing it first it didn't release any ammonia which is nice.

    Will get some crushed coral tomorrow and hopefully raise it up a bit.
     
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  15. OP
    Bluefinllama

    Bluefinllama

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    So I've got some algae growth in the tank now it seems:
    [​IMG]

    I was also able to spot the shrimp, tiny little translucent (probably feeder?) shrimp and it was playing around the marino moss balls. Temperature still doesn't want to drop, I think the pump is the culprit.

    Moved the driftwood to the front right - hopefully the pump cools down a little bit:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
  16. HugBug

    HugBug

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    How hot is the room temp? My tanks rarely drop below 25 now during summer. Some days I can't get them below 27.
    The heater can only raise the water temp higher than the room temp naturally makes it. It doesn't cool it. Doesn't work like an air conditioner. So if your room temp is hot then adjusting the heater won't do anything to lower the water temp.
     
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  17. OP
    Bluefinllama

    Bluefinllama

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    Yeah, I turned the heater down just in case it might have been a malfunction - I have not seen it on at all except when I added water initially, since then the light has been off permanently. Room temperature is at 27C right now and my tank is 28.5C. So I guess the pump raising temperature by 1.5C is probably not that bad.

    Edit: light as well I guess. I have a thermometer outside of the tank, but didn't think about looking at that temperature until you asked it makes complete sense that the water would be warm, but my mind didn't grasp it until you asked :p
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
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  18. OP
    Bluefinllama

    Bluefinllama

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    Okay, had a major breakthrough with the snail and shrimp, there is at least 1 tiny shrimp (hopefully more), but also one which is quite a bit larger and I was able to get a few (not too great) photos of it - shrimp photography is difficult :D :

    [​IMG]

    Macro + flash:
    [​IMG]

    And then this little snail:
    [​IMG]

    Hoping it's a netrite, the colour makes me think it could be, but at that size who knows?

    I'm just glad there's some activity in the tank, conditions can't be that bad if these guys are at least a bit more active.
     
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  19. Beachless

    Beachless

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    I believe thats a bladder snail. I'm not a fan of them.
     
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  20. HugBug

    HugBug

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    Snail is a bladder snail. They stay small. They're gorgeous and fun, but breed like mad and you'll have tons in no time. They're great cleaners though. I have some in my planted tank.

    Second shrimp Pic looks like a ghost shrimp.
    Can't see the first Pic clearly enough. I got ghost shrimp a few weeks ago and am really enjoying them. They can be really hard to find at times though, literally seem to disappear they Camouflage so well!
     
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  21. HugBug

    HugBug

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    This is a photo of one of my ghosts. You can see if it looks the same as yours.
    20210224_144157.jpg

    A Pic on white substrate to make it easier to see (the brown stuff under her is eggs)
    20210131_213544.jpg

    This is a whole bunch of bladder snails on a small baby marrow / corgette - you can see how small they stay (this is a mere fraction of what's in my 65L tank, all started with one or two that snuck in)
    20210205_072425.jpg
     
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