AquaRank.com

FishProfiles.com Message Forums

faq | etiquette | register | my account | search | mailbox
# FishProfiles.com Message Forums
L# Freshwater Aquaria
 L# Planted Aquaria
  L# Diving into the deep end - My 10 Gallon Heavily Planted and DIY Projects
   L# Pages: 1, 2, 3
 Post Reply  New Topic
SubscribeDiving into the deep end - My 10 Gallon Heavily Planted and DIY Projects
Gomer
**********
---------------
----------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Small Fry with BBQ Sauce
Posts: 3602
Kudos: 1709
Votes: 106
Registered: 29-Mar-2002
male australia au-newsouthwales
EditedEdited 07-Oct-2010 01:25
Well over the past 6 years I've kept many different kinds of fish and use to have multiple tanks, but I've always been too chicken to try and make a densely planted tank. A few years ago I moved home and gave the hobby up. But recently I've set up and old 10 gallon tank I had laying around. Here are some pictures of it at the moment. It currently has a Bolivian Ram and 6 Rummynose Tetras with fake plants except 1 Anubias and some moss (I think its Java Moss but not sure...) along with a bunch of fake plants.





Now I want to convert it into a heavily planted tank and am looking for some advice. All this is new to me but I've been researching plants, lighting, fertilisers, CO2 (awesome post by frank in the CO2 sticky by the way!)and substrates. So I thought I'd post what I have in mind of doing and get some feedback and advice.

Firstly I've ordered an upgrade to my current filter system I've been running. I've been using an old AquaClear mini HOB filter and I've ordered an Eheim 2211 canister filter. Will decide when I get it if I'm going to run both or just the canister. I've also ordered ADA Amazonia Aqua Soil. Now one of my first problems is should I remove the sand and use only the plant substrate, mix the substrate with the sand or layer the substrate under the sand (or vice versa)? How should I go about it with the substrate?

I've heard of people using a small layer of potting mix/garden soil under their substrates covered with sand and then plant substrate. Would this be a good idea or should one stick clear of this entirely if they are a beginner?

I'm also looking to upgrade my lighting from a single 15w fluoro tube to compact fluorescents. I can pick up a 2x 26w compact set-up very cheaply online. I'll be able to run only one 26w bulb if needed, but I was wondering if running 52w on a standard 10 gallon tank would be overkill. It seems quite excessive. I'd assume having 5.2WPG would probably be detrimental for my Anubias.

From what I've read it seems if you're going to be running high lighting you'll need to use fertilisers and probably run CO2 as well to promote strong plant growth to hold back algal blooms/outbreaks. So I'm planning on making a DIY CO2 system using a 2ltr coke bottle and was thinking I should buy a CO2 diffuser to go with it. Also I've been looking at making my own PPS-pro fertiliser mix because the price of bottle ferts are ridiculous and at least this way I know what I'm giving my plants. Is this a good thing to do for a first timer and what test kits should I buy?

Also finally what plants would everyone suggest I buy? My local fish stores are terrible plant wise, so I'll be buying my plants online. I was thinking of using Lilaeopsis brasiliensis and Hairgrass as ground cover/foreground plants. Attaching another Anubias nana and some Java Fern to my two pieces of driftwood, and using Ambulia as one of the background plants. What other plants can I use considering its a 10 gallon and space is limited?

I plan on posting pictures later on what my tank looks like as it progresses and will be using this thread as a sort of journal.
Post InfoPosted 13-Sep-2010 00:28Profile MSN PM Edit Report 
Gomer
**********
---------------
----------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Small Fry with BBQ Sauce
Posts: 3602
Kudos: 1709
Votes: 106
Registered: 29-Mar-2002
male australia au-newsouthwales
I'm fairly sure I'm going to use an online store called AquaGreen and I've come up with a list of plants I might buy from there in a few weeks once I have all my equipment I need.

Considering how much space my driftwood take up, I think I'll use mostly background stem plants along the back of the tank. The plants along the back of the tank I'm planning on using are:

http://www.aquagreen.com.au/plant_data/Limnophila_brownii.html
http://www.aquagreen.com.au/plant_data/Myriophyllum_muricatum.html
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/plantfinder/details.php?id=39
http://www.aquahobby.com/garden/e_polysperma.php

I was also thinking of planting some http://www.aquagreen.com.au/plant_data/Vallisneria_erecta.html on the left hand boarder of the tank. It sounds like an interesting species of Val to manage as it apparently grows only to the height of the tank and no longer. Would mean less trimming needed.

I was also thinking a crypt of some sort would look nice between the two pieces of driftwood. Maybe http://www.naturalaquariums.com/plants/cryptwendtii.html. I was also thinking some dwarf chain sword http://www.aquahobby.com/garden/e_tenellus.php and hairgrass would work well as foreground and ground cover plants.
Post InfoPosted 13-Sep-2010 04:42Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
**********
---------------
---------------
Moderator
Posts: 5108
Kudos: 5263
Votes: 1690
Registered: 28-Dec-2002
male usa us-colorado
Hi Gomer,
Thank you for the complement and the reminder, I need to up date that article to include the newer substrates.

Check the label, or write the manufacturer of the Aqua Soil.
Many substrates have been created since Mr. Amano has burst
on the scene with his magnificent tanks. Many of them are
enriched with nutrients that are like time release pills
giving off nutrients over a period of 6 months to a year.
They are designed for those who create these unbelievable
tanks, take pictures galore and then tear the tanks down
and rebuild it with a completely different look. Many
replace the substrate with each tank. If they recommend
that you replace the nutrients, or offer packages of
nutrients, then it is timed release and once the nutrients
are used up you have left over, what you could have had
in the beginning by using an aquarium based gravel and
spent a whole lot more.

Honestly, I like the tank you have pictured! I realize
that it is a blend of real and fake, but it is very
tastefully done, and the white sand is actually white.

If you are going to use potting soil, my advice to you
would be to get a hold of one of Diana Walstad's books,
ECOLOGY of the PLANTED AQUARIUM, and read it, cover to
cover -first. If not done correctly you will wind up with
a 10G septic tank. I tried it before I ever heard of the
Natural Aquarium or Ms Walstad 35 years ago and that
was my result.

With the new screw in compact flourscent lights
available today make sure that you use DAYLIGHT
labeled bulbs and skip the so called "plant friendly"
bulbs as they are both essentially the same
and one is considerably less expensive than the other.

I would NOT use a DIY CO2 system in your new tank. The
CO2 levels cycle up and down with each new DIY mix, and
the surging CO2 and resultant drop in pH will give your
fish and tank fits that few may recover from.
For tanks that small, I'd use the SeaChem Flourish
products. If you do put Val in the tank I would not use
their Excel product. For some reason I've yet to find,
the mix of the two result in withered Val, that eventually
dies off. While I note your comment about expense, when
used in a 10G tank you are only using an eye dropper full
or a part of a teaspoon full of fertilizer and it is
not inordinately expensive.

Frank


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 13-Sep-2010 15:42Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
**********
---------------
----------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Small Fry with BBQ Sauce
Posts: 3602
Kudos: 1709
Votes: 106
Registered: 29-Mar-2002
male australia au-newsouthwales
EditedEdited 13-Sep-2010 22:53
Thanks for the compliments Frank. Yeah I like how my tank looks at the moment but one of the main reasons for going planted is because with the fake plants my fish rarely move from the open spaces at the front of the tank. They stay clear of the stemmed fake plants as they are hard and nasty.

Oh and I received my eheim classic 2211 canister yesterday! Took awhile to set up but it was well worth it!

From what you've said I'll be sticking well clear of using garden soil then. Sounds like something to try in the future though, once I'm more experienced. Also I will take your advice and not try to use DIY CO2. From what I've read it'll cause frequent pH and CO2 level swings, with high output for the first week then dropping off quite rapidly. I think I will opt for no CO2 and seeing how things grow. I might even save up and buy all the proper CO2 equipment in a few months time.

Now for fertilisers, would using just Flourish be enough? Or is it designed to be used with all the other flourish products, like Flourish Nitrogen, Flourish Trace, etc. Wouldn't it be easier as I have a online source to buy all the dry ferts needed to use dry ferts? If its the case of using the complete range of flourish is best, that'll be a large initial start up cost, while using dry ferts would be very cheap.

The only problem with using dry ferts that I can see is the danger of over dosing and the difficulties in calculations but none of that phases me. I've got a few years of chemistry experience at university under my belt.

But if the only flourish I have to buy is regular flourish and flourish trace I'll consider it. Does anyone know what the dosage rates would be for daily dosage of a 10 gallon tank?

I asked the guy who is selling the CF lights and he said they are aquarium daylight CF tubes. I'm just going to stick with using them for the time being.

Here is a link to the substrate I'm going to be using.
http://www.adaaust.com.au/products/products-aqua_soil_series.htm


I think I'm going to put a layer of it down on the bottom of the tank, then mix rest of the amazonia substrate together with my sand and layer that on top of the pure amazonia substrate. The sand makes it impossible to vacuum the substrate but what I normally do at the moment is once a month I run my fingers through the bare parts of the substrate to aerate it and prevent anaerobic pockets from forming. This also dislodges a lot of the debris in the substrate and then my filters take care of that.
Post InfoPosted 13-Sep-2010 22:52Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
**********
---------------
----------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Small Fry with BBQ Sauce
Posts: 3602
Kudos: 1709
Votes: 106
Registered: 29-Mar-2002
male australia au-newsouthwales
EditedEdited 14-Sep-2010 07:13
Update:

The amazonia substrate arrived earlier today and I've spent the last few hours moving the fish out of the tank into an esky, draining the tank, removing the sand, adding the new substrate and then mixing the sand into it. Only problem is I didn't drain the tank completely (was about an inch deep water) and it unsettled the substrate and released heaps and heaps of dust.

After filling the tank back up and doing another 50% water change then adding the fish and driftwood it looks like this.



Got to love how they store the instruction manual inside the bag of substrate in a plastic bag, where it sits at the very bottom. Only to discover it after adding the substrate where it says to not disturb the substrate as it'll release dust/dirt that is stored within the gravel.

Going to have to push the planted driftwood into the substrate later, some leave after on the surface of the tank.

Hope this muck settles soon.

UPDATE: A few hours later and its cleared up a lot. Still milky and can't see the back of the tank. But at least I can see the fish. I've also dug the driftwood into the substrate a little which unsettled the dust again. Going to be a major pain adding the fake plants tomorrow. I'll take some picture tomorrow to show how its going.
Post InfoPosted 14-Sep-2010 05:42Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
**********
---------------
---------------
Moderator
Posts: 5108
Kudos: 5263
Votes: 1690
Registered: 28-Dec-2002
male usa us-colorado
EditedEdited 14-Sep-2010 09:50
Hi,
Your tank looks a little like mine did when I added
my substrate. I use 100% SeaChem Flourite, original
color. It's been in the tank for over 17 years, and
I'm not going to change it until I move again.
According to the literature for Aqua Soil,
it has chemicals in it that cause it to clear itself up,
over time. I'm guessing that folks who do what you did,
eventually, through the process of elimination, (water
changes) manage to get the water back to crystal clear.
Right now, about the only filter that would really work
would be a diatom filter such as this:
http://www.aquariumguys.com/diatomfilter.html
They are expensive and way over powered for a 10G tank but
would have the water crystal clear in less than an hour.
Problem is, we (I) don't know how much of what is in
the water column is "important."
I'd give it a few days and then resume regular
water changes.

Dosing a tank, correctly, requires you know how big the
tank is. Rather than knowing that it is a 10G tank, you
really need to know how much water is in the tank. Each
item in the tank displaces some water. Ideally, you should
have put the "soil" on the bottom of a dry tank, carefully
placed all the hard-scape (rocks, driftwood, etc.) where
you wanted it on the substrate, and then set a plate on
the top of the soil, and using a known capacity container,
poured the water SLOWLY into the tank, onto the plate.
That way, when the tank was full, you would know that you
were treating 6,or 7,or 8, or 9 gallons of water.
( ,I know - NOW he tells me. )

Dry chemical fertilizer can be purchased, component by
component or, premixed. It's called the PMDD method of
plant fertilization. If you go to the SeaChem website
http://www.seachem.com/Home/index.html
choose Products, then Plants, you will find the
information for their liquid fertilizers along with a
software program to download or use on line to calculate
how much of which to use for whatever size tank.
You might touch base with you mate down there, Keith.
He actually wrote SeaChem, and together, they told him
exactly what he needed for his tank, and now they are
amazing to look at. If you know what and how much he
uses for his size tank, it should be simple math to scale
it down for your tank.

In writing this reply, I've discovered that the sites I'd
saved for quick reference regarding the PMDD method and
dealers have all changed and are no longer valid. Either
the system is now considered "old hat" or no longer used
and folks have deleted or moved their information. Since
it's now 0344 in the morning and I have to work today,
I'll let you do the research!

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 14-Sep-2010 09:46Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
*********
----------
Fish Guru
Piranha Bait
Posts: 2511
Kudos: 2117
Votes: 359
Registered: 16-Nov-2003
male canada ca-ontario
Gomer, welcome back !

And going planted at that, welcome to the green side

You'll definately be happy with the Amazonia.

From personal experience, diy co2 worked extremely well for me. I had a hagen unit on a 29g, 1wpg tank and when the packets ran out I made my own mix. People said it wont help as the light was too little, tank too deep, and the hagen would only be good for a 15-20g tank. Well, I had a jungle for a year and a half and because I didn't know many local aquarists at the time, I was binning trimmings weekly. You can make a cheaper pop bottle setup, but the hagen unit hangs neatly on the back of the tank, taking up less space. There are tweaks you can do to make the setup more efficient = more co2 absorbed into the water. ( line a fine grain wood airstone affixed under the co2 ladder so that when the bubbles hit the ladder they are already microsize ) The co2 and ph will swing slightly but since you're not overkill with 2x 2L bottles on a 10g, you'd be fine.

I'll read everything over in more detail tonight





The Amazon Nut...
Post InfoPosted 14-Sep-2010 15:17Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
**********
---------------
----------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Small Fry with BBQ Sauce
Posts: 3602
Kudos: 1709
Votes: 106
Registered: 29-Mar-2002
male australia au-newsouthwales
Okay guys first thing is to show you what the tank looks like this morning! I ended up setting up the fake plants last night because the tank cleared up to the extent that I could see what I was doing.



Its cleared up almost completely! Though when I took the top off my AquaClear HOB filter you could see the sponges were very dirty and I don't want to know what's been trapped in my Eheim 2211 canister.

The amazonia soil is very light and soft (will crumble if you firmly rub it between your fingers) and it doesn't seem to be holding down my fake plants very well. A few are floating but who cares?! I'll have real plants next week and I can put those fake plants in a box somewhere!

I'm still unsure if I should use CO2. I would have to use DIY for the first few months until I can afford the fancy CO2 equipment and gas bottle if I chose to go that way. Also if I did choose to use DIY CO2 I'd have two 2L bottles, alternating them whenever the bubble rate dies down on the one currently being used.
Post InfoPosted 15-Sep-2010 00:55Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
*********
----------
Fish Guru
Piranha Bait
Posts: 2511
Kudos: 2117
Votes: 359
Registered: 16-Nov-2003
male canada ca-ontario
" I'll have real plants next week and I can put those fake plants in a box somewhere"

Once you go green, you'll never look back.

I started getting pressurized co2 components for the new 75g, I can say it's been an expensive venture so far. With 40g and under diy can accomplish alot. Even if you don't get 30ppm even 5 to 10 will make a difference in plant health and growth rate.

The Amazon Nut...
Post InfoPosted 15-Sep-2010 12:20Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
**********
---------------
----------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Small Fry with BBQ Sauce
Posts: 3602
Kudos: 1709
Votes: 106
Registered: 29-Mar-2002
male australia au-newsouthwales
EditedEdited 16-Sep-2010 00:19
Ordered my plants and ferts today! Also ordering an upgrade on my lights, some test kits and equipment for DIY CO2 (ceramic diffuser and airline) later today when I get paid.

I ordered some hair grass and pygmy chain sword for the foreground, going to use one of the driftwood as a divider to separate the two. I got some pearl grass (Hemianthus micranthemum), two smaller crypts (C. beckettii and C. wendlii) and a sword plant (Echinodorus parviflorus) to use as midground plants. For background plants I bought a species of native ambulia (darwin river ambulia - Limnophila brownii), sunset hygro (Hygrophila polysperma) and a native val (viagra val - Vallisneria erecta). The viagra val () has broader leaves which are more rigid compared to other vals. Apparently it will grow to the water surface and no further which will be handy and propagates using runners.

I'm not too sure on these background plants as the tank is very shallow with the new deep substrate. Its only 18cm (6" deep at the rear of the tank now. I guess I'll be trimming these plants quite often.

Can I ask a question about trimming plants? Considering the water is only 6" deep at the back, I assume the cuttings of the stem plants (i.e. the hygro and ambulia) I'll be getting will be taller than the tank. Should I trim them when I get them and plant the top sections? Or should I plant them and let them cover the top of the tank a bit if it isn't blocking too much light for the other plants?

I ordered some dino dung, fertiliser tabs which are small blocks of clay with chelated iron and other trace nutrients in it, alot like laterite to place under some of the plants. I was thinking placing them under the stem plants, crypts and swords. Or would it be worth cutting some up (they are fairly big) and scattering some under the hair grass and pygmy chain swords as well?

I'm also going to order online some java fern and anubias nana to attach to my bare driftwood piece in a week or two. When it comes to it how should I attach them to the wood? I was thinking the usual way would be a rubber band or thin cable ties? Or would it work removing the wood for a day and letting it dry then attaching them using super glue on the rhizome? I assume it wouldn't be toxic and I know you can use it in the tank without ill affects.

Also does anyone know ways to attach moss species to driftwood efficently? I was thinking of adapting a way people attach Riccia, which uses unravelled shower sponge (seen below) wrapped around a thin part of wood to hold the moss down and then remove the material once the moss has had time to attach to the wood. Or would the moss attach to the material (plastic) and become a mess when you try and remove it? What other ways could I attach moss to wood?



I should be getting the light and other equipment next Tuesday and the plants either Tuesday or Wednesday. Getting pretty excited.

P.S. Oh and how can I make a hole in the lid of the 2L coke bottles for the DIY CO2? I don't have a power drill, should I go buy a budget brand one from the hardware store? Or is there some other way I could pull this off?
Post InfoPosted 15-Sep-2010 23:59Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
**********
---------------
----------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Small Fry with BBQ Sauce
Posts: 3602
Kudos: 1709
Votes: 106
Registered: 29-Mar-2002
male australia au-newsouthwales
EditedEdited 16-Sep-2010 07:28
I was doing browsing of plant forums and found someone mention that they like ADA Aquasoil (stuff I'm using) because they can cycle their tanks using just the substrate as it leeches ammonia for the first few weeks. Well I went and did an ammonia test and it was 2 to 4 ppm. I quickly did a 50% water change its now down to ~1 ppm.

Lucky I stumbled across this. Looks like I'm going to have to do daily water changes until it stops leeching ammonia or until my bacterial colonies catch up. I would have had no idea it was leeching ammonia as my fish weren't showing any signs. In fact my fish have gotten more colour, especially my rummy's. Having not found this information I think the ammonia would have gradually increased until it became deadly and wiped my fish out.

Also thank god my tank's pH is ~6.5, which means most of the ammonia is in it's less toxic, ionic state (i.e. ammonium [NH4+]).

http://www.thekrib.com/Chemistry/ammonia-toxicity.html

Guess I'm gonna have to check the ammonia and nitrite levels every day for a while now.
Post InfoPosted 16-Sep-2010 07:27Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
**********
---------------
---------------
Moderator
Posts: 5108
Kudos: 5263
Votes: 1690
Registered: 28-Dec-2002
male usa us-colorado
Hi,
Plants such as the Anubus are best (IMO) attached to the
driftwood using plain cotton thread, generally black or
brown. Tie the plant snug to the driftwood but not tight
enough to cut into the plant tissues. As the plants grow,
the cotton thread will fall apart, and by the time the
thread falls apart, the plant's roots will have anchored
the plant to the driftwood. After time the plant grows
over the thread so you can no longer see it.

You can attach the moss in a similar fashion, take a bunch
of moss and tie it to the driftwood by wrapping it several
times and then tie it off. Again, the moss will over grow
the thread and the thread will disappear from view.

Frank

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 17-Sep-2010 06:22Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Megil TelZeke
 
**********
---------------
Fish Addict
Posts: 863
Kudos: 890
Votes: 393
Registered: 21-Jul-2003
male usa us-northcarolina
To make a hole in the top of the lid without having to buy a power drill, use a large nail (Just make sure the nail had a slightly smaller diameter than the airline tubing) and a hammer. Though a power drill is a good thing to have around the house for other projects and would make a cleaner hole.

On a side note the 10G seems mighty small for a sword.

Post InfoPosted 17-Sep-2010 20:52Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
**********
---------------
----------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Small Fry with BBQ Sauce
Posts: 3602
Kudos: 1709
Votes: 106
Registered: 29-Mar-2002
male australia au-newsouthwales
EditedEdited 17-Sep-2010 23:08
http://www.fishchannel.com/fish-species/plant-profiles/Echinodorus-parviflorus-Tropica-2.aspx

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/plantfinder/details.php?id=40

I 'should' fit. When I first get it it will be small, but I don't mind if it outgrows the tank after a few months. I can just replace it.

I'm going to buy a power drill this weekend. Should be getting everything later next week.

When the new plants get here I'm thinking planting from the front to the back would be the best bet. Move the fish to the esky and drain the tank as much as possible. Plant the pygmy chain swords and hair grass evenly across the front. Plant the mid ground plants. Fill the tank up 1/2 to 3/4 then have a look and plant the background plants. Then finish the filling and add the fish.

This sound about right?
Post InfoPosted 17-Sep-2010 23:04Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
hca
********
-----
Fish Addict
Posts: 783
Kudos: 434
Votes: 211
Registered: 06-Mar-2004
female usa us-illinois
For me its easier to plant back to front... with the water and hardscape in place.

When I have done a larger than normal water change- if I have moved any plants around recently- a few always seem to come loose.
Post InfoPosted 18-Sep-2010 00:50Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
**********
---------------
----------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Small Fry with BBQ Sauce
Posts: 3602
Kudos: 1709
Votes: 106
Registered: 29-Mar-2002
male australia au-newsouthwales
EditedEdited 22-Sep-2010 05:51


Wow that was an experience! Took a whole 6 hours to plant the tank. My back is sore and the kitchen is a mess.

I was woken up this morning at 8am by the post man knocking. My plants arrived along with some aquascaping scissors and clamp I bought on ebay. Let me say I got more plants than I thought I would. Dave at http://www.aquagreen.com.au/ (where I got my plants from) even chucked in a few extras! He threw in a red tiger lotus for free but I didn't use it as its leaves are 5 - 10cm wide and will take up half the back of the tank. Plus every leaf was in poor condition and was pretty unsightly. If I had a larger tank I would have given it a shot.

Also got a small amount of something. lol. Might be HC, not sure. Will post some close up pictures tomorrow and hopefully someone can ID it for me.

The Hemianthus micranthemum (Pearl Grass) was in a huge clump and was so delicate it broke apart when trying to untangle it. Ended up throwing out 3/4 of it. I think it was grown floating or under very high light and grown horizontally along the substrate. I cut off a few small stems that were manageable, which you can see in the middle back region in the pic. Hopefully it'll grow higher and fill the middle region of the tank.

I love the sunset hygro (back left corner). Its beautiful and hopefully it goes off! Would love to fill in the empty spaces along the back of the tank.

The hairgrass was such a hassle to separate. The two "bunches" that I got were in sheets. It must have been grown in a thin layer of sandy substrate. I managed to break off many small clumps and tease the roots a little and after over an hour managed to get it all to stay in the substrate and not float away.

Wow, I got so many pygmy chain swords! But decided to throw out over half of them as they were mostly made up of dying leaves and roots. But after cleaning the remaining half I still have plenty and when they grow and send out their own runners I'll have bucket loads. Hopefully it'll form a nice carpet on the right side.

Pretty unhappy at the state of the crypts I got. The Beckettii is of a nice size and is in the middle of the tank, but the Wendlii was tiny and most of its leaves were dissolving. But it did have some runners which I've planted in random spots. I removed the bad leaves and I hope it recovers and fills out a bit. Got to find a spot for it.

The Val is so long and was such a hassle to plant. They want to float more than the hair grass did!

Such a great learning experience! Will take some more photos tomorrow when its cleared up. The DIY CO2 is going great too. The diffuser I got is producing micro bubbles which are being sweeped around the tank and sticking to everything. lol
Post InfoPosted 22-Sep-2010 05:39Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Dr. Bonke
 
**********
---------------
-----
Moderator
Posts: 366
Kudos: 215
Votes: 36
Registered: 15-Apr-2004
male finland
Hi Gomer,

Good to see a diary thread again, I've just read it with pleasure. Your tank has cleared up nicely after the substrate "event" and I hope your plants will work out for you.

The Hemianthus is really quite easy to grow, I used it myself as a foreground cover for some time, as under high light it will mostly grow sideways and can be easily trimmed with scissors. It grew so much that I pretty much started to consider it as a weed. I don't think you'll have much trouble with it.

The sunset Hygro is very pretty, but I'm not sure how your fertilization looks like. If you dose nitrate into your tank, the Hygro will unfortunately lose that lovely pink color and becomes a rather drab light green instead. The pink is a really good indicator of how much nitrate is available in your tank. The more pink the plant, the less nitrate in your tank.

Finally, the Vallisneria looks like a giant Val to me. I used to have that in a 100g tank and the leaves would grow into four foot stretches! if you're not careful with that it will completely block out the light for the rest of your plants. Trimming can be done, but if you just cut off a leaf halfway it will start to decay fairly fast, so generally you should do that near the root system.

I wish you all the best with your tank, planted aquaria are in my opinion amongst the most beautiful pieces of nature we can bring into our homes when done right.

Martin
Post InfoPosted 22-Sep-2010 07:46Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
**********
---------------
----------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Small Fry with BBQ Sauce
Posts: 3602
Kudos: 1709
Votes: 106
Registered: 29-Mar-2002
male australia au-newsouthwales
EditedEdited 23-Sep-2010 05:05


The tank looks clearer today. Woke up to some plants being uprooted but was easy enough to fix. I think the hemianthus and sunset hygro has grown a little. One or two of the hygro stems are touching the surface now. Not sure if they've grown or slipped a little out of the gravel?

I'm not much of a fan of the Val. Its much too long. I'm going to go look in a few LFS this weekend and see what stem plants they have. If I see something I like I'll be thining the Val out and only keep the smallest ones I have and move them to the centre and replace their position with something I find.

My Bolivian Ram is an absolute spastic! Whenever I put the plant tongs into the tank he freaks out and thrashes about knocking up a few chain swords or hair grass then lays on the bottom panting. Bloody retard.

Now I got about a 10cm runner piece of this plant with my shipment. I decided to cut it up into smaller more manageable pieces and see if it grows. Anyone able to ID this plant for me?

Post InfoPosted 23-Sep-2010 04:57Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Megil TelZeke
 
**********
---------------
Fish Addict
Posts: 863
Kudos: 890
Votes: 393
Registered: 21-Jul-2003
male usa us-northcarolina
Looks to me like a species of Cryptocoryne, perhaps Cryptocoryne parva.

Tank looks good btw, can't wait to see it as it settles in and grows.

Post InfoPosted 25-Sep-2010 17:07Profile AIM PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
**********
---------------
----------
Ultimate Fish Guru
Small Fry with BBQ Sauce
Posts: 3602
Kudos: 1709
Votes: 106
Registered: 29-Mar-2002
male australia au-newsouthwales
EditedEdited 25-Sep-2010 23:06
Getting good growth from the pearl grass. Its almost doubled in height, but that is probably because the stems are straightening up to face the light. I've thrown half the Val out and trimmed the rest back. Not too fussed with it as they keep on uprooting themselves.

I'll add another photo later today to show you how its looking.

I'm also planning on making a ADA style cabinet and new tank to move the tank into. Going to the hardware store now to buy the materials for the stand and start working today. Main reason I want to do this is the drift wood is too big for this tank. The larger piece only just squeezes in and pretty much touches the back and front glass planels. Makes planting a major pain in the arse! I've got no where to plant my mid-ground plants (crypts and swords).

My DIY tank measurements will be 500mm L x 400mm D x 350mm H (18.5 gallons). The current tank dimensions are 510mm L x 270mm D x 250mm H (9 gallons). This will give me much needed space for mid-ground plants and then give me room for more background stem plants!

The stand I'm planning to make is a simplified version of this stand I have found on another forum.

http://www.aquariumlife.com.au/showthread.php/21900-Raie-s-ADA-style-4ft-mdf-stand-COMPLETED-9-4-10

(Here are some pictures of it if it won't let you view as a guest)





I'm not going to have the ADA style light stand, but will use my current lights. Will probably use my 18W fluoro reflector with my 72W compacts as the tank will be deeper and taller. Get some light on the front plants as well as the back.

Should only take me today to construct the stand and a week or so to put the under coats of sealer then a few coats of blank gloss paint. I'm only going for a one piece door as its a small stand and will not have a handle on the door probably. The door won't reach the ground, it'll have a 2cm gap between the bottom of the door and the ground created by the base of the stand. I'm also going to have to build a shelf in the stand as the tank will be higher and the inlet and outlet pipes for my eheim canister won't reach.

I'll be taking pictures of the stand and provide construction notes as I go. Hopefully it'll turn out beautiful and will be completed in a month or two.
Post InfoPosted 25-Sep-2010 23:02Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
# Pages: 1, 2, 3
Post Reply  New Topic
Jump to: 

The views expressed on this page are the implied opinions of their respective authors.
Under no circumstances do the comments on this page represent the opinions of the staff of FishProfiles.com.

FishProfiles.com Forums, version 11.0
Mazeguy Smilies