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Thread: New member, bit of whinge, and some advice needed

  1. #1

    Default New member, bit of whinge, and some advice needed

    Hi guys,

    7 years ago I came to Australia to study, and stopped playing around with aquariums. Now, I'm still studying but at least I've decided to re-start this hobby again. It took awhile to realize that this is one of the rare thing I actually enjoy.

    5 minutes of whinging please, man it is so difficult here, especially in Perth. Back in socialist (not communist, more like capitalist now really contrary to normal belief) Viet Nam, I can get on my bike, take 30 minutes to a plant farm and choose from 100s of plants in selection. And the mosses? You name it, they have it. There are small streets full of aquarium and fish stores, with again 100 of fish types to pick. And the shrimps as well, cherries, bee, sulawesi? No problem, high quality ones at your call. Everything was available. And here I have trouble finding even mini fissiden or mini Taiwan, or well, blyxa japonica . So so sad . Of course, Australia does have bio diversity to consider, which is a good thing. And the environment here is well preserved, fresh air, birds singing in the morning, big big parks. Not to mention those lovely fields of flowers in spring, we surely don't have such scenery back home. It's almost heaven if you disregard the sad plants thingy or the 40+ degrees summer. Oh yeah, you guys have nice native orchids. I should get some for my dad back home. Any nurseries suggestions?

    Anyway, whinge's over. I need some advice on lighting with my current DSM tank.

    I have a 120cm x 36cm x 45cm tank currently dry starting with HC cuba, some red swords, lilaeopsis brasiliensis, a couple of rotalas (red, pink, orange color), AR mini and non mini, some US fiss + flame moss, and a tiny bit of ammannia gracilis. Maybe I'll squeeze some buces in down the line but they're low light so no problem.

    It's been going alright but I realized that the LED light coming with the tank is just not good enough (got it secondhand, can't find the brand but they are 50 lumen 0.15W in power, so yeah, weak). The growth is too slow compared to direct sunlight and even to others' dry start tanks. Can you guys suggest me a good lighting system for the tanks with 45cm depth and the mentioned plants collection? I can cough up tp $250 max since there's still CO2 and filter to consider. Is it possible for LED or am i still better with T5HO? I take a picture of the tank when it gets dark due to the unwanted reflection on the glass.

    Cheers,
    Huu

    PS: Please pardon the whinges, I've always wanted to do it really. I do love Australia, really nice country and friendly peoples. Hell, even the cops are friendly.
    I must also say that the aquarium community here is absolutely amazing. It's much much better than those *beep* back home, turning the hobby into a money fest.
    Last edited by toomuchalgae; 16-10-18 at 10:45 AM.

  2. #2
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    There's www.makemyled.com for local, good quality lighting.
    Being in WA you are kind of limited for greenery. www.aquariumgallery.com.au is the only one I know of, other people might be able to help further. There's plenty more stuff out there, it's just not as easy to locate.

  3. #3
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    Haha welcome!

    It's fine to be annoyed with the plants etc you had in Vietnam. The hobby is in it's infancy here and I think there is a good market for tissue culture products if someone can get the knowledge and interest to spark.

    Is the tank open or close topped?

    For open topped to keep a neat look and give you a very nice spectrum of colour, this light is good but out of your budget slightly.
    https://www.hinterfeld.com.au/produc...rful-led-light

    Otherwise consider the Chihiros A plus series which is much cheaper but is a more of a white light. I run the old Chihiros in my tank and am happy with it.

    If tank is closed with hood, ask makemyled for pricing for a single XB tube with power supply. This should be enough for your tank given width of 36cm.

    Can we have a picture of your setup?
    Last edited by Rebel; 16-10-18 at 11:21 AM.

  4. #4
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    I guess one cherishes fish and plants more if they are not so easy to come by. I feel it's a bit of a money fest here too though.

  5. #5

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    Hi and welcome to the forum

    Most native orchids are only found in the wild and it's illegal to collect them or to export them. However, there is a native orchid society in the eastern states that actually propagates native orchids and sometimes you can get bulbs from them, but you still can't export them. There is or was a couple of native plant clubs in Perth and some of their members kept native orchids. A Google search will possibly help you find a club/ society that might have some bulbs for you.

    You can sometimes buy native orchids at the Kings Park wildflower show that is held twice a year at Kings Park. The last show was in September so you will have to wait until about March next year before they have another one. The show is held by The Friends of Kings Park and is worth going to if you can.

    Check their website for more details.
    https://www.bgpa.wa.gov.au/kings-park/events/festival

    There is a native plant sale coming up on Sunday 4 November between 8:30am & 12 noon.
    https://www.bgpa.wa.gov.au/kings-par...ition%5B%5D=is

    ---------------------
    Australia has strict regulations on what fish and plants can come into the country due to the potential diseases they can carry, and also due to the possible damage they do if they get into the wild. There are plenty of plants and fish available to shops, but most shops don't carry everything on the wholesale supplier lists. If you go into your local pet shop you can ask them if they can get certain fish or plants and they can check their supply list to see if there are any currently available. If there isn't, most shops will let you put your name in a customer order book and when the product is available they will order them in for you.

    There is more info on what fish can be brought into Australia on the AQIS website at the following link
    http://www.agriculture.gov.au/import...-live-fish-aus

    ----------
    You guys might find this statement funny. It's from the AQIS website and says:

    "Importing live fish to Australia
    Live fish may only be imported for the aquarium industry trade. Live fish for human consumption, pet food, aquaculture or as household pets are not permitted imports to Australia."

    ---------------------
    Perth Aquarium and Display Centre in Wangara use to grow their own plants and had a huge selection of them and might be worth visiting/ contacting to see what they have.

    Most of the shops in Perth get their fish from Aquarium Industries (https://www.aquariumindustries.com.au/) or Bayfish (http://www.premierpet.com.au/) and both these places carry fish & tissue culture plants that the shops can order in for you. These two companies are importers and do not deal with the general public so don't try to buy from them. You can view their website and see what fish are currently available and then ask your local fish shop to order you some in.

    Vebas Aquarium in Oconnor, Aquatix in Canningvale and Fish Place in Wattlegrove all use to import fish and I'm pretty sure they still do. They might be able to get some of the fish you want if the fish are allowed into the country.

    ---------------------
    I had 2 x 4ft long fluorescent globes on my 4ft tanks and the plants did well. They were T8 globes (standard fluoros) with a 6500K (K is for Kelvin) rating. I had the lights on for about 12 hours a day and the plants did well. You could run a couple of T5 HO (high out) globes on the tank for more light but the T5s produce more heat.

    If you want LEDs then get a couple of 50-150watt LED spotlights from Bunnings or a lighting store and hang them about 12 inches above the tank. Something like the following links. You can buy one from Bunnings, take it home and try it and if suitable grab another. Otherwise return it and get a higher wattage unit.
    https://www.bunnings.com.au/brillian...light_p4371422
    https://www.bunnings.com.au/arlec-10...light_p0014103

    ----------
    If you get bright lights then stress from tank lights coming on when the room is dark can be an issue. Fish don't have eyelids and don't tolerate going from complete dark to bright light (or vice versa) instantly.

    In the morning open the curtains or turn the room light on at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the tank light on. This will reduce the stress on the fish and they won't go from a dark tank to a bright tank instantly.

    At night turn the room light on and then turn the tank light off. Wait at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the room light out. This allows the fish to settle down for the night instead of going from a brightly lit tank to complete darkness instantly.

    If you have several lights above a tank, turn one on and wait an hour before the turning the other on. At night turn one off and wait an hour before turning the other one off.
    Last edited by Colin_T; 16-10-18 at 01:21 PM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kennett View Post
    There's www.makemyled.com for local, good quality lighting.
    Being in WA you are kind of limited for greenery. www.aquariumgallery.com.au is the only one I know of, other people might be able to help further. There's plenty more stuff out there, it's just not as easy to locate.
    Yeah, I had a look at them. Also the guy is on here and a lot of people in this forum are really happy with them not to mention the set up looks nice. The only problem is the set up being $350, which is really over my price range.
    Aquarium gallery has a decent selection but some of the nice plants are mostly out of stocks. Also, I remember them kind of ignoring my question about the missing $10 or something voucher when sign up online. They took the request but never did anything. I have a thing against that, but nothing major. Good thing is that they post plants quickly and they arrive in good conditions.

    I met Darren the plant man, really nice guy, and some other people. It's always good to meet people with the same hobby.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    Haha welcome!

    It's fine to be annoyed with the plants etc you had in Vietnam. The hobby is in it's infancy here and I think there is a good market for tissue culture products if someone can get the knowledge and interest to spark.

    Is the tank open or close topped?

    For open topped to keep a neat look and give you a very nice spectrum of colour, this light is good but out of your budget slightly.
    https://www.hinterfeld.com.au/produc...rful-led-light

    Otherwise consider the Chihiros A plus series which is much cheaper but is a more of a white light. I run the old Chihiros in my tank and am happy with it.

    If tank is closed with hood, ask makemyled for pricing for a single XB tube with power supply. This should be enough for your tank given width of 36cm.

    Can we have a picture of your setup?
    Thanks for the welcome!

    Yeah I was a bit shocked to see the aquarium scenery here. But I do understand the needs to preserve the current biodiversity. With the huge range of lakes, streams, creeks, and waterfall here, it'll be a blast for native plants, mosses, and crypts section. It would be great to see more of those. Tissue culture sounds interesting. It would be nice to see it becoming more popular, especially to grow difficult plants and some mosses. I see the end prices on some moss auctions, that will change with tissue culture since everything will be available at good pricing and availability... eventually. At least on a for fun level, someone with access to a biology or chemistry lab can give it a try, success rate is unsure though.

    It's an open topped tank. I like to see the water surface for some reason. Yeah I saw your thread on Chihiros light as well. Have you tried growing light demanding foreground or red plants with it? It seems that the RGB specifically targets certain wavelength for plants growth. Does it mean it's much better at this than the A-series or is it just a little bit better? Well there's no 120cm size on A-series, maybe the 90cm should fit.

    Here's the potato pic. Pardon the light reflection. The far left corner has a red sword and the rest is HC Cuba (i hope), and lilaeopsis brasiliensis. Substrate is taken from 2-toned ever since Black Earth stopped producing.
    [IMG][/IMG]
    I wanted something like this, but I'm leaving the left part unattended, which should emphasize the right hand size where the two rocks nicely blend in with the plants. I'm still not sure how to plants there though. Maybe I'll just stick 'em in and see how they grows, then up root if not satisfied. Pretty sure I won't even get that close but I'll try. After 7 years I'm just another beginner.


    Quote Originally Posted by happyfins View Post
    I guess one cherishes fish and plants more if they are not so easy to come by. I feel it's a bit of a money fest here too though.
    That much is true. Back then I just bin the unneeded plants. Now they're all going to the emersed zone for future usage. As a matter of fact, I bought plants that can be grown emersed, multiply them and then start planting. A long process but the appreciation is there.

    I thought that was the pricing you expect in Australia and Perth to be specific. I saw something with a size of less than a 10 cents coin sold for $30+ but thought maybe it's because of strict custom and availability. Not to worry, once the hobby gets past its boom it'll be much cheaper for everyone. Some people were very nice and generous with me in terms of buying plants though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin_T View Post
    Hi and welcome to the forum


    If you have several lights above a tank, turn one on and wait an hour before the turning the other on. At night turn one off and wait an hour before turning the other one off.
    Wow, thanks for the welcome and the very detailed reply! That’s a small report length.

    So, no chance for exporting then. My dad was thrilled about “potentially” new orchids from Australia, well unfortunate for him then. I tried growing some simple ones from the shops but they died due to too much water. My dad and granddad use coal, barks, and coconut shells and water daily. I naively did the same and it was too late to repot by then.

    I’ll try to remember that for next March. Maybe by then my aquarium will be settled and I can move on to orchids. I must say you guys have some lovely native plants here. It’s a real shame they only stay in the country.

    …………………………………………………………….

    Yeah I do appreciate the bio-security idea. A few months ago there was a news in Viet Nam where the rivers were flooded with plecos. Some idiots had the idea of “releasing” the fish into the wild after they were done with them. By the time it made the news there were reports of pleco schools and individual fish the size of an arm. Needless to say, it messed up the whole river eco system since these things are extremely adaptive, breeds and grow fast. So someone came up with the idea of cooking them, apparently they taste good so maybe it reduced the damage by a bit since we do have 90 million people. Not to mention the snail outbreaks, which destroyed rice farms left, right, and center. Maybe if people were more aware of the eco system that wouldn’t happen.
    Ok that is a strange statement indeed. Some part of it makes sense but the other is confusing

    …………………………………………………………….
    I’m not too fussed with the fish. Some cardinal tetras are enough for me, though red zebras will be as nice. Next time I go to aquotix or vebas I’ll ask them about plants ordering then. I’ll just pick the one with the best fish.
    …………………………………………………………….

    I used T5HO before in my previous tanks. They work like a charm and are very cheap to maintain. Back then I used 2 Osram 965 and 2 10000K tubes for a 4ft with great results, replacing cost 5 bucks a year as well. Over here it should be 20 bucks replacement every year, which is still cheap. However, it is a pain to find reasonably priced T5HO reflectors here. Most of the ones being sold are for normal T5.
    LEDs are a curiosity, mostly because of their efficiency in generating light since it’s nearly electricity to light (via photon emission). It triggers my interest since I loved the chapter on photo electric in my undergrad. Not too much expensive if you compare the Chihiros 1201 (should be 200) with a T5 sets with reflector. The only thing left is ability to grow plants at least as good as the T5s.
    I’ll have to pass the flood light. 50W is too strong, blindingly strong and sometimes my housemate friends bring kids along. Adults are smart enough not to look but kids sure aren’t. Besides, hanging requires some DIY skills, which I’m hopeless for. The last time I tried to DIY filters, I wasted 2 really big PVC tubes so maybe not.

    Now that you mentioned it, I remember doing the same thing with lights back then. So that’s what it is. But it shouldn’t be a problem since the house has enough ambient light.
    Last edited by toomuchalgae; 16-10-18 at 02:40 PM.

  7. #7

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    So, it's been a while.

    I've put some plants in, they're A.R normal and mini, ludwigia arcuata, rotala rotundifolia, Hygrophlia polysperma pink sunset/araguaia (in front of the rocks),lilaeopsis brasiliensis, lindernia rotundifolia 'Variegated, ammannia gracilis, US fissiden and mini pellia (temporary there). My indecisive self haven't decided on LED yet. The flame moss was too fussy and is now retired and replaced by mini pellia. Right hand corner will be blyxa japonica since the Hygrophila costata died, which is a good thing eventually. I'm still looking for some plants between the rocks, should I go for green color since the back will the pink and orange or should I stick the rotala colorata in to complete the red corner.

    Also, is there a good way to dry start mini pellia? Should I use the blender method or should I put them when water comes in. The idea is that they'll be 3-4cm tall max when the tank is done and there a curve on top of those rock that I'd like to keep so no mesh and I don't think hair nets will do this time, or maybe superglue/resin + hair nets?

    I'm still very indecisive with lighting here. I was thinking about this with two 965 T5s and 2 more of red and blue tubes:
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/4ft-Aquarium-Light-120cms-Sale-4ft-4x54W-T5-Globe-Actinic-and-White-Large-Tanks/113254591690?hash=item1a5e7fecca:g:Hi0AAOSwnINbnwv Q:rk:2f:0
    Good cheap way to get lights, but for about 80 more I could get a Chihiros RGB (A plus 120cm is non-existent) or the new MML Chihiros with those fancy little gimmicks. Has anyone had experience with these light for 1- red red plants + HC growth, and 2- similar tank depth? I have yet to be convinced that the LEDs are worth it due to the lack of growth review, and the full strength MML is a just bit dear.

    Anyway, new tank photo here.

    hoca2

  8. #8
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    Looks like decent growth!

    For mini pelia, don't grind it up. Just lay it up and keep it moist for it to grow emersed.

    For foreground plants, any of those lights will be fine. Just need CO2 dialled in nicely.

    For red plants, it's a complex topic. It will be easier to grow true red plants with a nice light with 'full' spectrum like the RGB or the MML offerings. Twinstar is superb and so is the AI prime freshwater. Light is not the only thing with reds, you need to be good with your ferts, co2, maintenance because light needs to be fairly high intensity.

    That dutch scape has very difficult plants in it. Including styro purple etc.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    Looks like decent growth!

    For mini pelia, don't grind it up. Just lay it up and keep it moist for it to grow emersed.

    For foreground plants, any of those lights will be fine. Just need CO2 dialled in nicely.

    For red plants, it's a complex topic. It will be easier to grow true red plants with a nice light with 'full' spectrum like the RGB or the MML offerings. Twinstar is superb and so is the AI prime freshwater. Light is not the only thing with reds, you need to be good with your ferts, co2, maintenance because light needs to be fairly high intensity.

    That dutch scape has very difficult plants in it. Including styro purple etc.
    Is it so? I was comparing the LED to outside sunlight and it was really slow, hence the urge for upgrading. Maybe I'll keep it while thinking about new lights.

    I didn't know what to do with the mini pellia so I stuck it there for transitioning. I'll keep it that way then. How long do you think it'll take to attach? Maybe 3-4 weeks? Summer is coming and I need to either water in soon or wait for awhile. There's air con and the house is cool but I had first hand experience with high temp and transitioning HC, not a pretty sight.

    Yeah I was afraid of that. There were talks about iron, then low nitrates etc. The least I can do is get decent light and CO2, setting the basics. Fertilizers will be considered later when things start going. The spectrum has something to do with light wavelength corresponding to plants needs, red and blue to be exact so as long as the light source has overlapping wavelengths it should do the trick. In this case LEDs do perform better since it's almost straight energy to designated photon wavelength. A marvelous technology, shame that it's not growing fast enough. We could solve part of the energy crisis if we all use LEDs

    What's styro purple in full name? Google only showed fake purple ones. I never knew

    By the way, I learned that snails loves lilaeopsis brasiliensis with a passion, half a take away box gone in one night.
    Last edited by toomuchalgae; 05-11-18 at 11:34 PM. Reason: grammar

  10. #10
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    With mini pelia, it won't do well if the temperatures go beyond 26 or so for very long. Don't stress it etc.

    low nitrates/high light can definitely be done for pinnatifida, rotala and some others. But it's for experts only. Otherwise you will end up stunting and algae soup.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by toomuchalgae View Post
    I was comparing the LED to outside sunlight and it was really slow, hence the urge for upgrading. Maybe I'll keep it while thinking about new lights. .
    Comparing intensity or spectrum. On both counts, LEDS are woefully inferior. Sunlight is very powerful and you can induce algae very easily by positioning your tank incorrectly to receive any sunlight. Mine receives some indirect sunlight and I keep the CO2 running to make sure I minimize algae...

  12. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    With mini pelia, it won't do well if the temperatures go beyond 26 or so for very long. Don't stress it etc.

    low nitrates/high light can definitely be done for pinnatifida, rotala and some others. But it's for experts only. Otherwise you will end up stunting and algae soup.
    Ah I see, I'll be careful with that highlight then. May have to get some ice cubes on 40 degrees days in the morning. Housemate comes back at 3 with aircon so it should be alright.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    Comparing intensity or spectrum. On both counts, LEDS are woefully inferior. Sunlight is very powerful and you can induce algae very easily by positioning your tank incorrectly to receive any sunlight. Mine receives some indirect sunlight and I keep the CO2 running to make sure I minimize algae...
    I was comparing the growth rate, which I shouldn't have but hey why not. I had a tank before with a bit of direct sunlight from the top (outdoor tank, has transparent roof but some light leaked in) but it was still ok, surprisingly. The tank was 60cm tall so maybe that helped.

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