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20 Gallon Journal

This is a discussion on 20 Gallon Journal within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by MinaMinaMina Everything looks lovely! I love the tank that you're trying to emulate, and I think you're doing a great job. ...

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Old 10-14-2011, 11:42 PM   #91
 
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Originally Posted by MinaMinaMina View Post
Everything looks lovely! I love the tank that you're trying to emulate, and I think you're doing a great job.

I just wonder... I know you said your pH was unchanged at 6.8, but did you test the paver sand to see if it reacted with an acid? The paver sand I tried fizzed in vinegar, and so was unsuitable for my S.A. set up. And if it didn't react, what brand and type was it? If its neutral, I want to get some of the same kind. Just curious, and thank you!
You probably saved my fish! I completely forgot to test the paver sand before putting it in my tank. I just tested a little bit of it after reading your post and it fizzed! I guess I will be removing it on Sunday during my weekly maintaince. I am really disappointed because I love the look of the paver sand and it hasn't changed my pH the past couple of days that it has been in the tank. I am assuming it takes a while though. My search for a darker sand continues.
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:14 AM   #92
 
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I totally feel ya, man. My heart sank when mine fizzed. At least you didn't wash 75 pounds of it first, like I did! D'oh!
On an positive note, play sand has really grown on me. I use leaf litter on mine, and the tetras seem pretty comfortable with it, and the cories are thrilled. I think the floating plants help a lot, too. It seems to me that a lighter substrate is better tolerated if the light is dimmed sufficiently with floaters. Just my experience for a couple months into this tank. And, again, sorry about the paver sand. But good luck on your 20g journey!
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Old 10-15-2011, 10:54 AM   #93
 
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Calcareous substrates (like this paver sand) sometimes take a few days or even a couple weeks to "get going" but once they do, up goes the hardness and pH. Remove it sooner rather than later.

Playsand like the Quickrete brand from Home Depot or Lowe's is inert. I have it in 3 tanks now, and am planning a fourth.
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Old 10-15-2011, 03:36 PM   #94
 
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Thanks for the help guys. They layer of paver sand will be coming out tomorrow. I really don't like how bright play sand is, but minaminamina gave me a really great idea, thanks mina. I am going to use oak leaves and put them at the bottom of the tank and cover up the substrate. It turns out that this actually mimics the natural environment of the ember tetra that I am going to be getting, so it all worked out perfectly. My hunt for oak leaves now begins.
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Old 10-15-2011, 03:51 PM   #95
 
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I'm so glad!

P.S. I use two different kinds of Oak and I use Beech leaves, too. I like the variety of the different leaf shapes, makes it look more natural to me. I've heard Maple can be used, but haven't tried it. Maybe you know already, but just make sure they're completely brown, chemical free, and very dried out. Then I boil mine, and that also helps them sink. I bet your future whiptail will love it!
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:00 PM   #96
 
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I'm so glad!

P.S. I use two different kinds of Oak and I use Beech leaves, too. I like the variety of the different leaf shapes, makes it look more natural to me. I've heard Maple can be used, but haven't tried it. Maybe you know already, but just make sure they're completely brown, chemical free, and very dried out. Then I boil mine, and that also helps them sink. I bet your future whiptail will love it!
Since it is fall and all of the leaves are brown and on the ground, I figured this would be the best time to collect them. I plan to get a huge bag full of them so that I will have a nice supply until next fall. I read that you are suppose to replace the leaves every 2-3 weeks to prevent them from rotting so that is the reason for collecting so many. I will definitly be sure to boil them to kill any parasites. Do you have any pictures of your tank with the leaves in them? I would love to see it.
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:47 PM   #97
 
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My hard drive was recently replaced and I don't have many apps installed. I'm been meaning to get pix up, so I'm trying to get it figured out. This is one of the very few times I wish I had an iphone.

I've heard, though I'm not sure how reliable this is, that one could use leaves from any type of hardwood tree. If you use anything besides oak, indian almond, or beech, you'll have to post and let us know about it!

BTW, hello from a fellow Ohioan!
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:10 AM   #98
 
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On the leaves. Oak and beech are safe, and there may be others but I have not read of them so I would stick with these two. Almond leaves are OK too of course, you can buy them in some fish stores. But if you live in a temperate area where there are oak or beech trees, collecting the leaves in autumn is cheaper.

You should collect them from the ground, not the tree, as the ground leaves will be older and thus "dry;" leaves still on the tree may likely contain some liquid. Then wash them if necessary (I don't usually, but then I collect mine in the back garden so I know there are no insecticides, etc. on them). I would not boil them; dry leaves provide nutrients and infusoria for fish, snails and plants. They are especially good in fry tanks for this reason, as a good souorce of infusoria for fry. They will leech some tannin but minimally. Lay them out singly (not stacked) to fully dry, and when dried, put them in a plastic bag to store.

Byron.
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:32 PM   #99
 
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I collected a ton of leaves today. I'm pretty sure I have enough to last me until next year. I added a few to the tank today and it looks really nice. I'll upload some pictures later so you guys can see. How do you guys keep the leaves from floating. The plants are holding mine down right now, hoping they get water logged soon.
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:47 PM   #100
 
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I collected a ton of leaves today. I'm pretty sure I have enough to last me until next year. I added a few to the tank today and it looks really nice. I'll upload some pictures later so you guys can see. How do you guys keep the leaves from floating. The plants are holding mine down right now, hoping they get water logged soon.
They should sink in a few days, maybe a week or two.
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