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SubscribeDiving into the deep end - My 10 Gallon Heavily Planted and DIY Projects
Gomer
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EditedEdited 26-Sep-2010 05:21
Looks to me like a species of Cryptocoryne, perhaps Cryptocoryne parva.


I don't think so. Its more like Glosso than a crypt. Has a runner with single leaves coming off it and roots off the node with the leaves.


Okay went to Bunnings and got all the materials to make the stand. They didn't even have the right fiberboard. Ended up getting a laminated chipboard and have constructed the stand and just need to attach the door now and will be ready to apply the undercoat and then the 3 coats of black gloss paint.

I'll be uploading photos in a second. Its a pretty dodgy job so far as the guy at the hardware store can't measure and cut to save his life! But its the best I could do with only a power drill.

UPDATE:

Here is a picture of the tank as of today. You can see there is some algae growing on the front and is taking over the Anubias leaves. Will be looking up if its safe to dip the Anubias leaves in 1:20 bleach solution to kill the algae and will be cleaning the tank tomorrow.



You can see that the hair grass and pear grass have both grown but the sunset hygro is losing its bright red colour. I'm going to halve the PMDD fert dosage and stop dosing phosphates to see if it slows the algae growth. Hopefully the lower nitrate dosage with the half PMDD dosage will bring back some of the colour of the hygro. I'm getting some baby apple snails (non plant eating kind) from Dangerous Dave hopefully this week with some amazonian frogbit. Going to use the frogbit as a nutrient sponge for the first few months until the tank matures.

Here are some pictures of the stand. Its very sturdy but I might add some metal corner braces or a support brace along the middle of the top. Better to be safe than sorry.




Front of the cabinet. The door needs to be attached. Going to prepare and paint the door before I attach it. I'm not going to attach a handle to the door. It'll be easy to open as there will be a 1.5 - 2 cm gap between the bottom of the door and the ground.



Rear of the cabinet. Cut two holes. Cut the bottom one by mistake thinking it was the top of the cabinet. But it might come in handy. You can also see the base has an overhang on the side. But where it is positioned when its in the kitchen it'll be hidden from sight hopefully. It'll also be harder to notice when its painted black.


I'm a little concerned about getting a glossy coat on the exposed chip board edges. I might try and put 3 or 4 coats of polyurethane on those edges to seal it then paint on top of that. It would be a big eye sore to have glossy black finish all except for the edges which would appear rough.
Post InfoPosted 26-Sep-2010 04:35Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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EditedEdited 27-Sep-2010 06:54
I applied the layer of paint primer yesterday and just finished the first coat of paint then. Its looking pretty good. Some mistakes here and there and its hard to notice the overhangs and bumps where the laminate cracked. In the right light they show up easily but when it has a beautiful tank on top of it I doubt people will pay much attention to the cabinet!



It should be finished in 3 or 4 days. Going to add another 2 coats of paint. By the end the rough edges of the chipboard shouldn't be too noticeable. I'm also going to get some metal braces to screw into the internal corners to give it some extra stability. Also have to get a magnet catch for the door. When I attached it yesterday it didn't close snugly.

Tonight I'm going to measure up the top of the cabinet and order some glass to be cut for my new tank!

I also performed a large waterchange this morning and halved the PMDD dosage and stopped dosing phosphates. I tested the tank for nitrates just then and they were at 2.5ppm. Considering the waterchange and the lower dosage of PMDD (all macro ferts except phosphate and micro mix) which is fairly heavy on the nitrates the plants seem to be going well. I'll be checking the nitrate levels in a few days before and after dosing my ferts and see if I'm dosing enough.
Post InfoPosted 27-Sep-2010 06:25Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
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There's a jungle happening there, good stuff

The Amazon Nut...
75 & 25g plant tanks.
Post InfoPosted 27-Sep-2010 10:45Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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Also got a bit of algae growing too MossMan.

Anyway another coat on and the door is attached. I'm happy with the 2 coats but will have to put some more paint on the edges of the chipboard as it still looks rough at some spots.

Post InfoPosted 28-Sep-2010 05:52Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
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Without jumping ahead into ferts of which I'm still learning...

Try not to let the nitrates climb above 10 and consider adding flourish excel

The Amazon Nut...
75 & 25g plant tanks.
Post InfoPosted 03-Oct-2010 19:49Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi,
The pictures of the tank are great. I agree with Dr Bonke,
the Val looks like the "Jungle" variety, waaaay too much
for that small a tank. Even the Corkscrew variety might be
too much, but at least the leaves would not be so "heavy" and large looking.

The pictures of the empty tank and the hanging lamp remind
me of the DIY series that is currently in TFH.

Looking good...

Frank


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 05-Oct-2010 05:20Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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I've been throwing out the Val. Its growing great but the older leaves are getting covered in hair and other green algaes. Plus its way too big. I've only got 1 or 2 val plants left but will throw them out soon as I'm going to dose flourish excel soon which will hopefully help with the algae problems I'm having.

I went away for 4 days last weekend and in that time my tank was over taken by brown algae which looks like gunk. The driftwood is covered in it and the hair grass and swords are smothered in it. I've vacuumed out most of the stuff but its still an eye sore. Going to 1:20 bleach treat all my plants when I transfer tanks.

I'll hopefully be making my new tank this weekend and sometime next week will be transferring everything over. It'll be 50cm x 40cm x 40cm and will hold about 70 litres. Going to have to buy another filter as the Eheim 2211 isn't strong enough for the current tank! Might buy another 2211 or maybe a Fluval 105.

Anyway I'll post some pics tomorrow of my disgusting tank.
Post InfoPosted 05-Oct-2010 10:22Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi,
I'm surprised to read of the outbreak of diatoms (brown
algae). While that is absolutely normal in a newly set up
tank, it occurs with an excess of silica, combined with low
light. The diatoms, which are everywhere, feed on the
silica and you are seeing the result. Increasing the
strength of the light, frequent water changes to remove the
silica, and a trio of Otto's would take care of the
problem. The reason I'm surprised is that I thought you
were using one of the treated substrates and not regular
quartz gravel. Perhaps you have silica in your tap water?

Frank


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 05-Oct-2010 13:44Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
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I hear you on the Vals, too large for your tank, even italian vals will exceed 2 ft.

Val nano, thread-leaf val, or some type of saggiteria would be an ideal replacement

The eheim 2211 what size tank is it rated for ?

Welcome back Dr. Bonke !

The Amazon Nut...
75 & 25g plant tanks.
Post InfoPosted 05-Oct-2010 13:52Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
hca
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Agreed!!

in 5-10 gals, dwarf sag makes a great sub, for val as a background plant.

20's- taller sag or corkscrew or val nana...

save the bigger val for the 2 ft tall tanks.
Post InfoPosted 06-Oct-2010 02:42Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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EditedEdited 06-Oct-2010 04:09
I ordered the glass to be cut for my DIY tank this morning and I'll be putting the tank together tomorrow afternoon. Also going to the hardware store in a few hours to get the materials to finish my cabinet.

Here is the dimensions for my DIY tank. I plan on placing all the glass panels out on a solid surface. I'll attach the front and back braces before constructing the tank, will save on time later on. Then once the braces are set into place I'll raise the panels up to make the shape of the tank and holding it together with masking tape. Then using aquarium silicone running a bead along each internal corner and smoothing it off with my finger. Once the silicone is set after 24hours I'll trim it up making it look neater with a razor blade. After 72 hours I'll fill the tank outside and let it sit for 12 hours to check for leaks.



If everything goes to plan I should be ready to transfer everything over on Sunday or Monday. My plan for the transfer is as follows:

* Siphon tank water into 23 litre esky. Transfer fish to esky.

* Fill bucket with dechlorinated water.

* Make 1:20 bleach solution in second bucket.

* Bathe each plant in bleach solution for 2 - 3 minutes and rinse under tap to remove any bleach. Place in bucket.

* Drain tank as much as possible and move substrate into new tank.

* Level substrate with spatula.

* Set up canister filter, heater and DIY CO2 inside tank.

* Scrub driftwood clean and dunk leaves of attached anubias in bleach solution and rinse under tap.

* Position driftwood in tank.

* Plant foreground plants. Keep driftwood plants and foreground plants moist with spray bottle.

* Fill tank to 1/3 mark very slowly and carefully to avoid disturbing the substrate. Plant the mid-ground crypts and swords.

* Fill tank to 2/3 mark carefully and plant sunset hygro.

* Turn on equipment. When tank temperature is the same as esky temperature transfer as much of the original tank water from esky as possible to the tank then transfer the fish.

*Fill tank to desired level and install the lights but leave them off for a few hours until fish are settled in.
Post InfoPosted 06-Oct-2010 04:01Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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They finished cutting the glass this afternoon and I've picked it up. Probably should have gotten a quote before I got them to cut it as it was a little bit more expensive than I predicted. But still cheaper than getting one built for me.

Turns out masking tape doesn't stick well enough to glass to hold the tank in place. Going to have to buy duct tape tomorrow. I'll attach the braces tomorrow morning and get the duct tape after work.

Does anyone know where to buy some foam sheet to place under the tank? I was thinking a big hardware store would have it but if not where else might I get some? I guess if the hardware store doesn't have any I'll ring around at my LFS and see if they can provide some.
Post InfoPosted 06-Oct-2010 06:33Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
hca
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Not sure where to get it over there- but I have gotten most of mine when I see remodeling/ contruction going on. They throw alot of foam scraps away , and dont mnd giving them too you.

Here its usually a 1/4-3/4 in thick piece of sturdy sheet foam insilation, used under household siding to help with insilating the home/ garage/ ect.... the scrap pieces are large enough for big tanks- usually window sized.
Post InfoPosted 06-Oct-2010 21:09Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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EditedEdited 07-Oct-2010 01:29
So I should be able to get it at a hardware store.

Anyway I've silconed on the front and back braces and it was pretty easy to do a neat job of it. Can't wait for the tank to be finished.

EDIT:

Just took some photos. First 3 are of the DIY tank and the attached braces. The braces are attached and its all laid out ready to be taped together and silconed up!









Here is some close ups of the brown algae stuff that has taken over my tank. It comes loose pretty easily if I brush my hand over the grass/driftwood.






Its ruined my java moss which should be growing like a weed but isn't getting any light. I think I'm just going to scrub the driftwood clean and not worry about the moss when I transfer my tank over.

Post InfoPosted 07-Oct-2010 00:23Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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I've constructed my tank. Was very easy once I got the right tape to do the job. Nothing better than some good duct tape.

Once I taped the tank together and got all the corners squared I noticed something very scary. One of the pieces wasn't cut perfectly straight. It left a large gap between the back pane and the side and bottom pane. Well not really large, but large enough to be scary. Its about a 2mm gap at the widest part.




Other than this the tank looked great all taped up before I applied the silicone.



I applied a generous bead of silicone along the entire bottom edge of the tank first, then up the inside corners. I added an extra amount in the bottom right corner where the gap is. I then ran a wet finger over all the silicone to make it concave and fill all the gaps. I also added some silicone on the outside of the gap and pressed it flat with a wet finger.

Here are a couple of pictures of the tank all siliconed up and the filled in gap.






I hope the tank turns out right. I'm not too sure what will happen with the gap. Nothing I can do I suppose. Anyone had experience with making their own tanks or doing repair jobs? Should I be worried about this? I suppose when I fill the tank in 3 days time to be extra careful.

Anyway I also bought the supplies needed to finish the cabinet. I'll be adding a shelf and magnetic latch for the door tomorrow. But I forgot to see if the hardware store has any foam sheets to use as a cushion under the tank. Guess I'll have to head back there tomorrow and check it out.
Post InfoPosted 07-Oct-2010 10:31Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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Bought some 12mm rubber synthetic sheet from Clark Rubber this morning and couldn't resist setting up the empty tank to see how it looks.

The blue is a bit off putting, might try and see how permanent marker works on the back of the matting. Might colour it in black if it doesn't degrade the material.

Getting so excited. Going to test fill it outside on the concrete floor of the balcony (with the mat under it) tomorrow morning and if all goes well I'll be setting it up tomorrow afternoon! *fingers crossed*
Post InfoPosted 09-Oct-2010 03:26Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
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I really like the glass, thick and sturdy. I hope that 2mm gap holds out. In the smaller tank you can get away with it. 40g or more I'd take that glass back !

Foam sheet, I get mine at the dollar store as well as black construction paper for a simple background. Also like to put a piece of plywood (or more recently, laminated pressurized particleboard) under the tank as a support. When it has to be moved from point a to point b it makes it easier to carry and takes all the pressure off the glass.

Make sure to level up the stand if you haven't, may need to level it again after the stand is in it's spot in case the floor has high or low spots. This will also help distribute the pressure to the glass evenly.




The Amazon Nut...
75 & 25g plant tanks.
Post InfoPosted 09-Oct-2010 16:42Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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Yeah the glass is 6mm thick and the tank feels very sturdy.

Filled the tank up outside on some spare laminated chipboard I had left over from the cabinet with towels all around incase it blew out. All was going well and I filled it up to my desired level and didn't notice any leaks. Went inside to have breakfast and heard a crack... I jumped and sprinted outside expecting water to be spurting out of the edges of the tank. But it turned out the screen door wasn't completely shut and the wind made it click closed.



Anyway I left the tank like this for a good hour to test for leaks. Then I drained it as much as I could and went inside to begin getting things ready for the transfer.

After a good 4 hours I have the tank pretty much all set up. Still have to wait for the tank to clear up before I can plant my sunset hygro and the remaining half of my val and hair grass. And the girlfriend isn't very happy because the kitchen looks like a swamp with muddy water all over the lino and wet towels everywhere!



Post InfoPosted 10-Oct-2010 03:53Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
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The tank is lookin really good !

I can imagine your girlfriend being cross, tap tap tapping her foot at the mess lol. Clean up tomorror, buy her dinner, all will be well

The Amazon Nut...
75 & 25g plant tanks.
Post InfoPosted 10-Oct-2010 04:43Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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Thanks mate. Yeah I got round to cleaning the kitchen up quick smart after she scolded me.

Its clearing up nicely. The back of the tank is really bare now. I need to find some nice stem plants to fill in the empty spaces but the trouble is every LFS around here hasn't got any decent plants what so ever! Probably will have to buy some plants online again.

Also my eheim 2211 canister is doing a good job circulating the water in the tank so I'm happy I won't need to buy a second canister.
Post InfoPosted 10-Oct-2010 23:30Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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Tank has cleared up a lot but the water still has a slight cloudiness but that is to be expected since I added the extra ADA Amamonia II substrate I had left over from when I got it and it'll be leaching ammonia into the water and causing cloudiness for a week or two. But here are those pictures I promised.



First here is the tank. I like the position of the driftwood and where I have my plants (for the moment). What you cannot see is there is a lot of empty space at the rear half of the tank for plants to go. So I'm going to be wanting some bigger plants to fill these spaces up and then some more stem plants to fill out the corners and rear of the tank.




Here is what the whole set up looks like. I'll be storing away the power board in the bottom of the cabinet later on. If I find I need a bit more light due to the light unit being about twice as high from the substrate compared to the old tank I have a spare 18" light which you can see sitting under the phone.

Any ideas of what plants I could get?
Post InfoPosted 11-Oct-2010 05:12Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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EditedEdited 12-Oct-2010 06:26
Because the LFS around my area have a terrible selection of plants I'm going to be ordering plants online again. Going to be trying a different store than what I used the first time because I'll be ordering some fish as well.

I was thinking of getting 1 bunch of the following plants:

Bacopa caroliniana
Hydrilla verticillata
(Similar in appearance to Anacharis/Elodea but not illegal in my state)
Ludwigia repens "Narrow Lead"
Wisteria

When I get them I'll replant the Sunset Hygro in a tight bunch and plant each bunch along the rear of the tank. Hopefully I'll create a nice tall boarder along the back of the tank and the crypts and swords will fill out in the middle ground. I'm also looking to buy some Java Fern to attach to the driftwoods and also have some Anubias nana which is being posted to me from a member on a plant forum which I'll be attaching to the driftwood as well.

Oh and I've been dosing Flourish Excel for 4 days now and the Val is looking stronger than ever. I'm dosing full dosage as well. Appears this species of Val is not sensitive to excel!
Post InfoPosted 12-Oct-2010 06:23Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi,
Wow! Looking Great

A suggestion, for later... With the all glass cube you
might want to think of switching to glass intake and
output tubes like those used in the tanks for contesting.
In a tank like this, the intake glares at the observer,
glass would disappear and blend in with the glass of the
tank.
It has the potential to be a stunning tank, I'd hide the
hardware or make it all blend in to the scene

Frank


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Post InfoPosted 13-Oct-2010 06:08Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
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Agree with Frank on the tips, you're doing a great job.
Definatly a little show tank there Wait till the plants realize it's Amazonia (kills all the other substrates out there) and go ballistic, it'll happen !

The Amazon Nut...
75 & 25g plant tanks.
Post InfoPosted 13-Oct-2010 23:25Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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EditedEdited 14-Oct-2010 02:14
Frank I would love a set of glass lily pipes for the intake and output of the filter. But with the height of the water in this tank and how its built it wouldn't work with a lily pipe output. The output cone would sit above the water level.

But I'm going to look into getting a lily intake and try and hide the heater. The I might even be able to track down a clear spraybar somewhere (haven't had any luck yet). Still I would like to buy a long lily pipe intake as the current ugly green intake was cut to fit my 10 gallon and doesn't reach deep as I'd like in my new tank.

I switched the intake and spraybar around as the spraybar was flattening the hairgrass on the other side a little. I'm ordering in a stack load of various stem plants for the back of the tank today and they should get here early next week. I'm going to have to throw out the Val as it has started to melt. Going to give it some time and see if it'll remover but I doubt it. Flourish excel and Vals just don't get along.




The tank is a little cloudy still as I had to attach the new Anubias nana to the driftwood and it stirred up the gravel again.

I'm not sure why my sunset hygro has lost all its pink (except for a slight pink colouration along the veins of the leaves). The tank has low nitrates of 5 - 10 ppm. Is it because I don't have bright enough lights?
Post InfoPosted 14-Oct-2010 02:11Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
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When a plant is uprooted, trimmed then put into another tank, it needs a recovery as well as an adjustment period. It could be a couple months-ish. The reddish color is now coming back on the newer leaves in the middle of my sword. I'm sure your hygro will also recover

The Amazon Nut...
75 & 25g plant tanks.
Post InfoPosted 14-Oct-2010 02:45Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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EditedEdited 14-Oct-2010 03:40
Okay thats good to know. Its growing and thats all I need. I don't mind if it doesn't regain its bright pink leaves as its nice how it is anyway.

I ordered a bunch of plants today from livefish.com.au along with 10 Glass Shrimp and 10 Cochu's Blue Tetras. I also bought some plants off a member on another forum.

Here is a list of the plants I'll be getting next week:

From LiveFish:
1 x Bacopa caroliniana bunch
1 x Hyrdrilla verticillata bunch
2 x Ludwigia repens bunches (1 regular & 1 narrow leaf)
1 x small Java Fern

From member of aquarium site:
6 x Rotala najas stems (Can't find any info on this plant but I'll link a picture they have)
6 x Rotala wallichii stems
4 x Staurogyne sp. 'Low Grow'

I'll be planting the Bacopa, Hyrdilla, Ludwigia and both Rotala sp. along the back and maybe a little down the sides of the tank. I'm going to hide the heater and intake behind plants. I'll also attaching the Java Fern to the left side driftwood somewhere. If its big enough I'll be cutting the rhizome up into two pieces (at least 4 leaves each) and attach them on different branches of the wood. I've been using rubber bands, which are ugly but they are very easy to use. The Staurogyne is a low growing carpet plant and I'll be using it to fill up spaces around the tank.

I might have to rescape the tank a little and move the driftwood, Crypts, Swords and some of the foreground plants around. But I'll try and keep anything where it is if I can. Can't wait for these to get here!!

Also planning on trying to track down some clear tubing to replace my eheim tubes in a few weeks. But I might not end up having to do this if I get thick enough growth along the back to hide the intake and the cords/piping along the back of the tank!
Post InfoPosted 14-Oct-2010 03:37Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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Let me just say I absolutely hate ADA Aquasoil! It terrible to work with! If you try and rearrange plants, driftwood or rocks it'll stir up dust and make your tank look like a dust storm hit it!

Three days ago I decided to rearrange the tank and add a couple of large rocks I dug up in the garden. Well lets just say it turned my tank into a brown soup. I've done probably 1000% waterchange over the last 3 days and my tank is still murky and I can't see the the plants at the back! I'm on the verge of pulling all the substrate out and throwing it away. If you pull a crypt/sword plant out or run your finger through the gravel it stirs up a heap of dust and makes the tank murky. If you move a bit of it around it makes the tank look like you dumped and stirred a handful or two of mud into the water!

Its giving me the s! I feel like I should remove all the gravel and wash it out thoroughly but doing this will remove a lot of the nutrients in it which is why its pricey to begin with!

To make matters worse I'm not happy with the position of the driftwood but if I rearrange them it'll make the tank even worse! Also it clogs up the fine filter pad in my eheim canister and I have to clean it every day!

Post InfoPosted 18-Oct-2010 14:10Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
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Gomer,

I remember reading with aquasoil to plan the tank setup beforehand, so as to re-arrange things as little as possible after setup. It makes a mess, plus too much fuss will cause it to break down into mud. Still, it's an amazing substrate



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75 & 25g plant tanks.
Post InfoPosted 18-Oct-2010 15:46Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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Yeah I know that but it isn't meant to be this bad. I've read that there are some bad batches of ADA aquasoil floating around which either contain too much dust in them and they cloud up the water too easily.

It shouldn't be this bad. I performed two more 50% water changes this morning and cleaned out the filter again and its cleared up a little bit finally. I also ordered some eheim double taps for my canister as filter maintenance is too much of a hassle at the moment. Bought them from the UK for 40 aussie dollars which is pretty good considering the cheapest I've found them in Australia is $55 each and I got two for $40!

Also got those plants from someone on another forum this morning and I'm not very happy! I paid good money for these. $25 for 3 bunches of plants and I open the packet and find the cuttings are all 5cm long, the plants are unhealthy and some aren't even new growth cuts, they're old pieces which have the tops cut off with only tiny lateral new growth stems. Needless to say I sent the person a long and angry email. Especially since I could have bought 15 - 20cm bunches of these plants for a similar price! The Rotala wallichii only has 0.5 to 1cm of nice growth on them and the rest of the pieces are old leaves which are thinning.

I found I couldn't plant most of the Staurogyne 'low growth' stems which were 2 or 3 cm long, but I was expecting this and have most of them floating and hopefully they'll grow a little more then I can plant them. I have the R. wallichii floating and maybe these can recover. The Rotala najas looks nothing like the pictures of thick healthy stems. I was given only tiny side shoots which aren't looking very healthy.

Lets just hope the order from LiveFish gets here this week, otherwise I'm going to be very pissed off.
Post InfoPosted 19-Oct-2010 03:13Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
DaMossMan
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Sorry to hear you're having a rough time of it Gomer

It will get better, hang in there !
The forum you bought the plants, is there a feedback system ?



The Amazon Nut...
75 & 25g plant tanks.
Post InfoPosted 19-Oct-2010 04:23Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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EditedEdited 20-Oct-2010 03:33
I'm not sure if there is a feedback system but I was going to leave a message in her thread but I don't have enough posts yet to access the trading forum.

I got a reply back from her and she apologised. Apparently she will send me new cuttings once her plants have grown out a bit.

Haven't heard anything from the store I bought my plants and fish from. So I'll have to wait another week for them I guess as they only ship them on Tuesday and Wednesdays. At least it'll give my tank time to settle down a bit and I'll hopefully have my double taps by then!

Update:

Just got an email from the store. They sent the order today, so hopefully I'll be getting my plants, fish and shrimp tomorrow.
Post InfoPosted 19-Oct-2010 21:22Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi,
You might think about purchasing a diatom filter. With
a one micron system, that water would turn crystal clear
within an hour or two of turning it on. Then you could
disconnect it, clean it, and set it in the closet till the
next time. There really is nothing like using one of those
filters for polishing your water.

http://www.aquariumguys.com/diatomfilter.html

http://www.diatomfilter.com/products/diatom_d1_filter.htm

I think you would be absolutely amazed at what this type of
filter can do, there really is nothing else quite like it.
I've got one that is 20+ years old and I use it every once
in a while on my tank- the rest of the time it sits, broken
down, and dry on a shelf in the closet.

Frank


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 20-Oct-2010 14:32Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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Got my order today. The plants for the most part were healthy and the fish and shrimp were fine. Took me 90 minutes to prepare and plant all the stem plants and during this time I was acclimatising the fish and shrimp.

I didn't have enough air tubing to use the drip method so I pegged the bags to the side of the tank and every 5 minutes added 5mL of tank water with my fert dosage syringe. Worked pretty well so far. As soon as the bags were pegged into place my Bolivian Ram was trying to eat the shrimp through the bag!

I fed my fish some bloodworms before I started planting to fill their bellies so they'll hopefully stay away from the shrimp. I have about 10 ghost shrimp and 1/3 to 1/2 of these are berried with lots of eggs. But they are quite small so hopefully they hide well enough and the ram leaves them alone.

I'll take some photos in a few hours when I turn my lights on.
Post InfoPosted 22-Oct-2010 01:58Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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EditedEdited 23-Oct-2010 08:03
Okay finally got round to taking a picture of the tank. I'm a lot happier with how it looks now than before, but I feel its too cluttered and has too much going on in there. I like how the rocks look on the left hand side but I feel I need to remove one of the pieces of wood. This would also give me some space to plant my swords better. They are currently in the middle behind the front piece of wood and are heavily shadowed by the background plants, which isn't good.

Anyway, here is how the tank looks.




The 9 Cochu's Blue Tetras are very active. I'm not going to be getting any more Rummys which is a shame. I would rather 6 Blues and 10 Rummys than the 9 Blues and 6 Rummys. The Blues don't school as well. They do however keep to the top region better than the Rummys, but the Rummys are now venturing higher because they feel safer with the Blues I suppose.

The stem plants were in okay condition when I got them. The only thing that ticked me off was the Ludwigia was all curled over and made it a pain in the behind to plant and the Bacopa! Wow... That was so buoyant it just kept on floating to the surface! Had to use a bunch of lead wire that came with the bunches to weigh down individual stems. I'm going to wait for the Ludwigia to straighten out a bit before I rearrange the stem plants. Need to separate up the Ludwigia and Bacopa as they look too similar and the whole right hand side looks the same.

@Frank - I looked into the prices of diatom filters and they're just too expensive at this point in time. They would definitely be worth the money for a display tank. Will look into saving up for one. Anyone know how long the diatom dust lasts for these diatom filters?


UPDATE: Pulled the plants off the smaller rear piece of driftwood and attached them to the other piece. Only using the larger, branched piece of driftwood now and moved it back a little and replanted most of my Echinodorus parviflorus and moved my Staurogyne cuttings behind the hair grass but in front of the driftwood. It looks alright. The tank still looks cramped and now I'm thinking it might be the rocks taking up so much space. But I'm not going to rescape now. Just going to let the plants settle.
Post InfoPosted 23-Oct-2010 02:38Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Gomer
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EditedEdited 25-Oct-2010 01:27


Tank has cleared right up! Need to trim most of the plants at the back soon. There is a lot more Java Fern on the wood than you can see.
Post InfoPosted 25-Oct-2010 01:26Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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EditedEdited 25-Oct-2010 07:14
Hi,
A couple of things...
First, when planting stem plants, most will plant them
in groups of three in a hole rather than one stem/hole.
They don't work loose and float to the surface as readily
that way.

Second, the filter medium for the diatom filter is
Diatomaceous Earth. As the diatoms die, their skeletons
settle to the sea bottom where they form diatom ooze which
over time becomes massive deposits of diatomite. That is
mined and ground into a flour like consistency and marketed
as a filter medium for commercial uses, swimming pools, and
aquarium filters. The powder is available in packages
from a part of a pound to hundreds of pounds.

http://www.aquatichouse.com/FILTRATION%20MENU_files/diatompowder.asp

My filter takes one cup of the powder to coat the filter
bag. Depending upon the condition of the tank the filter
will strip and polish the water within a few hours to
crystal clarity. They are NOT designed to be run 24/7/365.
They clog easily, and will burn up the motor. When loading
the filter with the powder, you should wear a face mask
so you don't inhale it. You should also wipe off any
powder or dust that is spilled. The diatom's skeleton is
made of silica (glass) and has been tied to Silicosis of the Lungs.
Once the filter does it's task, you can back
flush it, or simply discard the dirty medium.

Frank

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 25-Oct-2010 07:13Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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