Sunday, October 8, 2017

"20.5L The Raintree Canopy": Algae Bloom & How it was controlled

As expected, under the high-intensity lighting, algae and fungus developed very fast during the first week. Fungus also covered all over the driftwoods. I was not so worried about fungus because it will naturally disappear when tank matures and also it is easy to clean the fungus using algae eaters such as Otocinclus/Shrimps or Horned Nerite Snails.

Blue Green Algae was also seen on every branch and covered the mini fissidens. It might due to the water circulation since the canopy is quite big which probally on the way of the flow direction. 

Blue Green Algae

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

"20.5L The Raintree Canopy": Aquascaping Setup

It might be the time to put up the summary for the tank specifications:

Tank Size:
36cm x 22cm x 26cm (High Clarity / Low Iron Glass)
Gross Tank Volume:
ADA Aquasoil New Amazonia (<3L)
Filter System:
Eheim Classic 150 (2211) 
+ 13mm GUSH inflow/out flow Lily Pipe
Filter Media:
Bio Media Filter
28-29°C (Day) / 27-28°C (Night)
Twinstars 360E, Temp: 7050K, 17W, 1100 Lumen, 
Full spectrum LEDs for optimum color reproduction
Light Duration:
6 hours (0800hrs- 1100hrs, 1800hrs-2100hrs)
Pressurized Co2:
OceanFree Co2 System + CO2 diffussers
Co2 Duration:
6 hours (0700hrs- 1000hrs, 1700hrs-2200hrs)
Carbon Supplement:
Seachem Excel: 0.5ml daily
Seachem Florish: 1.0ml weekly
Seachem Iron: 1.0ml every other day
Seachem Potassium: 2.0ml every 2 days
Other additives:
Seachem Prime
Water Change Regimen:
50% weekly
Water Parameters (Cycled):
Tested using API Test Kits
pH = 7.0
Ammonia = 0 ppm
Nitrite = 0 ppm
Nitrate = 5-10 ppm
Rotala Rotundifolia
Anubias nana 'petite'
Fissidens Splachnobryoide
Neocaridina Davidi 
Caridina multidentata
Otocinclus affinis

Step-by-Step setting up the tank was summarized as below: ^^

Leveling of the cabinet and tank were carried out before water flooding. 

The tank was cleaned properly before placed in the position.

Plastic mesh was placed at the bottom so that the force would spread around and the rocks would not damage the tank. Pagoda rocks were chosen in this setup. This type of rocks can be found quite easily at any LFS in Singapore. As can be seen, an island was created at the corner of the tank.

Lava stones were placed at the bottom of the "island" to create the height for a better sense of depth and also to create a good environment for beneficial bacteria in the future. 

ADA Aquasoil (normal type) was put on the island after that. 

Lastly, Sudo Bottom Sand was placed in the tank. I chose Sudo Bottom Tank since it had warm colour and matched the idea of the layout i.e. warm tone. It looked quite nice at the time of setup. 

Water was introduced into the tank using traditional method. :P

Rotala Rotundifolia were planted on the island. Those beautiful stem plants grow very fast which would help to minimize algae outbreak at the beginning stage. Rotala Rotundifolia were planted quite densely at the background.

I attached Anubias nana 'petite' to small lava stones using superglue and placed them under the canopy of the tree. It would be good growing under the shady area there. 

Finally, the "tree" was placed in the tank. It fitted nicely in the tank. I feel it was a bit crowded with all equipment and stuff in the tank though. I would find the way to minimize that clutter in the future once the tank becomes more stable. 

A snap of the final product Tada! :D

I will update more on the coming days. Thanks for reading. ^_^

Sunday, October 1, 2017

"20.5L The Raintree Canopy": Preparation for The Tree

A dream was about to come true. I can arrange and re-arrange again and again,  the bonsai driftwood in the tank, just to daydream about what I could create with it.
The bonsai driftwood  fit nicely in this nano tank
Fissidens Splachnobryoide (mini fissidens moss) was chosen as the "raintree's leaves". The reason was mini fissdens would grow slowly and spread over the surface rather than grow too bushy like other mosses. It stays short and hence, less maintenance in the future.

Fissidens Splachnobryoide was chosen to bring life to this driftwood
However, I have never tried to grow it before and therefore, not so sure about how it would turn out. Some say this moss is quite difficult to grow since it needs a cooling environment with good lighting. Whereas, others have also been successful growing it under a non-chilled environment in a low-tech tank. In my case, it would be mixed of those two: high-tech tank with no chiller and lean fertilizer dosing.

A tub of mini fissidens in loose form was prepared for this mission
DSM (dry-start-method) was used to start growing mini fissidens on the bonsai driftwood. I just tried to turf loose-form mini fissidens into branches of the driftwood. Thereafter, water was sprayed on it time to time during the setting up. Few centimeters of water was left in the bare tank and wrapped over by Clingwrap. To keep it moist, water was sprayed over the wood 1 to 2 times a day then the tank was wrapped back again. The tank was left outdoor (not direct sunlight) for about a week.
Spraying water on driftwoods to make it wet

Mini fissidens moss was placed on the bonsai branches

Tanks was then covered and left outdoor for about a week
After a week, the moss seemed to adapt to the new environment and I could see some new tiny leaves grown out. The tank was then brought indoor for flooding, it is the transition period for the moss to grow submerged and meanwhile, I was gathering the rest of necessary equipment. There was no CO2 injection at that time. This is a kind of low-tech tank with low lighting to minimize algae.
The tank was brought indoor and it was ready to be flooded

The tank after being flooded
The "Tree" looks quite interesting at this angle.
The bonsai driftwoods leached out lots of tannins even I already boiled it before it was used. It is a good time to soak it a little bit more.

Tannin leached out, the tank looks like a bio-top setup
 Next step will be aquascaping! :)