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Blink's 25 Gallon All-In-One Solana Cube

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Time for an update, there has been lots going on and not all of it good.

I lost some fish as the tank decided to have a little cycle... I thought I prepared well enough to head it off at the pass but I guess sometimes nature just wants to break the "rules"

Things have been stable for the past two weeks though, which is good as I had an opportunity to add some livestock that I just didn't feel I could pass up.

And with no further ado, on to the photos cause I know you are all photo addicted.

Obligatory full tank shots

Front

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Side, feel free to ignore the splashes and equipment, I forgot to remove them

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Now for some detail shots

My Hemianthus micranthemoides or glomeratus if you'd prefer

It's not getting enough light but it's still growing well and I'm not ready for CO2 yet, so I've not cranked up the light

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My dwarf sagittaria field of dreams... all of these plants melted badly and I feared I would lose most of them but with only a couple exceptions they all came back and several are desperately needing a trim which is gratifying

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And now for some livestock

Here are my new rainbows, Melanotaenia maccullochi

They are still a little shy and not really displaying any color but I'm sure that will change as they get used to their new home

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Here is the male by himself

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And a terribly reflective pair shot

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Here are my Blue eye forktails, Pseudomugil furcatus

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And to close out this journal entry, a few cheesecake shots of the other inhabitants

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What is the cichlid in the last photo Blink? looks an awefull lot like a German Blue ram. But not quite. Dwarf SA cichlid?

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Thanks for the kind words, I'm hoping to have my CO2 working soon.

I finally found a tub of P.Helferi (thanks Liam) so the field of dreams now has helferi mixed in, mostly at the front. I'm hoping I've planted it right but I guess we will find out in a week or three when it grows or dies lol

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Condensed Update time!

A Week ago - Things are growing slowly but steadily, the HM is enormous and will need trimming tomorrow.

Dwarf sag is good, I've added some downoi in the very front of it, it seems to be growing, at least it didn't melt yet. Swords are coming back but the spiral val just doesn't seem like it's going to come back, it's all yellow and sickly so I think tomorrow it'll get yanked out.

The fish are all good, except two, one of my CPDs and one of my gold ring danios are both getting skinny and fading away. They seem to eat, but just keep getting thinner which to me says internal parasites so off to the LFS for some meds tomorrow. Any suggestions for brand?

Today's update - First, my sick fish seem to have recovered after a couple treatments of Seachem Metroplex, hooray. They're both eating like pigs and look to be gaining weight.

On the bad side my Furcatas were getting aggressive and have been taking runs at everyone so they've been rehomed, but unfortunately not before they killed one of my nicer CPDs... I'm about 95% sure it was the bigger furcata who wouldn't stop flaring up at all the other fish, ramming them and charging across the tank if ANY fish went near the female Skull Creek.

The CPD had a furcata sized bite taken out of his pelvic/anal region and by the time I found him he was alternating between swimming funny and floating, his gills were all bloody and his butthole was missing, it was pretty reminiscent of jaws.

After a short rage session we gave the poor little CPD some clove oil and Everclear, a fish wake if ever I've heard of one.

Enough bad news, back to the good stuff! I've finally gotten off my duff and gathered up all my pressurized co2 bits and put it all together. No leaks first try, everything is working as it should and I've got fish flavored soda pop! The bubbles look kind of terrible but I will move the diffuser into the rear sump section under the circulation pump once I know everything is stable and working as it should. I do want to get a solenoid, but that can wait since I've put myself on a bit of a budget and I wanted to get running, er bubbling NOW.

I removed the bigger chunks of driftwood on the right, in behind the HM and trimmed the hell out of the HM but now I'm getting some black bush algae on my dwarf sag so hopefully the gassy stuff will help fight it off because I'm getting really tired of dealing with this fuzzy black poop.

The swords are throwing runners like mad and even the spiral val seems to be making a comeback which is pretty gratifying... I'd almost pulled it out but at the last second I thought I'd let it keep trying a bit longer.

I haven't got any photos because there is a surprise coming as soon as it gets waterlogged enough to stop trying to imitate shamu.

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Updating again, you'd think I'm trying to be consistent.

CO2 has been running 24/7 at about 1 bubble per second and just showing green on the drop checker and I am impressed.

My dwarf sagitteria has shown visible growth and my pogostemon helferi has taken off!! A couple of sprigs have literally tripled in size. The swords and vals all look healthier and the HM turned into a huge bush which I've now chopped back to about 3" tall.

My java fern is even growing happily and looks great.

I'm kicking myself for having taken so long to get the CO2 running but now, even with my comparatively low light I can tell I'm going to have to do a lot of trimming and gardening, hooray!

The fish all seem happier with the removal of the furcata rainbows but I found an oto which had jumped. There is a 1"x1/4" gap at the back of the tank where the lid isn't quite snug and he somehow made it out of there to become fish jerky.

The new shamu log is in and still trying to float but I've got it wedged under the pump outflow tubes so hopefully it finishes waterlogging and sinks. Fingers crossed, I really don't want to have to screw it to a tile and tear the entire tank up just to get it placed.

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Does your Sag do this?

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The runners are above the sand and then the plantlet has to root into the substrate from above. PITA.

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I haven't really noticed the sag doing that but my swords do it all the time and yes, it's rather annoying because the spindly little roots never seem to grab no matter how well I try to replant it.

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Sooo, long time no update and it's time for a big one.

This tank has been taken down and replaced with a Fluval Studio 600. I loved the little cube but I didn't have the floor space for some of the plants I wanted and it was always cramped looking so even though the new tank is still 18" deep it's a full 18" without the overflow compartment in the way and it's 24" wide which really freed up a lot of space.

I also found the filtration was never really what I'd call good in the cube, the water always seemed dirty and even daily changes of the filter pads would leave them black by the next day. Cutting back feeding right to the point that I'd feed a couple kibbles at a time and make sure the fish ate them all before tossing in more and vacuuming the substrate didn't help so I figure I'll give the Studio a try... Expect a new Journal tomorrow and this one will probably become a nano reef soon.

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