Low Tech Tank Show-and-Tell (low tech can be lush, too! =) - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 2070 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 02:39 AM
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Location: Calgary, Canada
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Amazing set-up Tim! You have any critters living on the "land" part?

Here's my 20 gallon. Sort of my first attempt at plants. Set up for about 2 months now and the ferns and moss are growing like crazy. The moss have about tripled in size from when I bought it and the ferns are throwing off tons of shoots/roots. 15 watt Coralife bulb and pool filter sand substrate. 6 dwarf neon rainbows, 1 SAE (will be moving him to my bigger tank in the future) and 6 celestial pearl danios.

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post #32 of 2070 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 04:53 PM
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Location: Byron, GA
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I'll play along here. Here is my 75g low-tech tank. I do 30% bi-weekly WCs. No CO2, and no additives other than Prime™ during WCs

• 75g All-Glass tank

• Filtration - 1 x Fluval 104, 1 x Fluval 204, 1 x AquaClear 201 PH w/quick filter

• Lighting - 2 x 24" CoraLife F/W T5 Aqualights 1 x Odyssea 48" T5

• Substrate / Structure - Eco-Complete, Pool Filter Sand, Flourite, Tahitian Moon Sand (mixed) / driftwood and lace rock

• Flora - Echinodorus bleheri, Echinodorus barthi, Microsorum pteropus, Microsorum pteropus 'narrow leaf', Anubias barteri, Lobelia cardinalis, Hydrocotyle leucocephala, Cryptocoryne wendtii 'green', Cryptocoryne wendtii 'brown' and Sagitarria subulata

• Fauna - 12 x Puntius tetrazona, 15 x Hyphessobrycon eques, 4 x Hemigrammus ocellifer, 1 x Otocinclus affinis, 2 x Panaque maccus, 1 x Sphaerichthys osphromenoides, 1 x Crossocheilus siamensis and 1 x Hypostomus plecostomus




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post #33 of 2070 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 05:01 PM
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Nice low techs. Make sme wanna get chain swords for my 29 gallon. Now only if i could find them now! Great job every1
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post #34 of 2070 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 11:56 PM
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Location: Plainwell, Michigan
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Well here's mine with my new pebble substrate laid over established river stones. Water's still a little cloudy but a few water changes should take care of this. 75 G custom, 2x48" T8 daylight ecolux / 1x36" T8 plant grow bulb, a few swords, and crypt, a little grass and some other stuff. DIY co2 with canister 20 oz diffuser. 12.5 ppm co2. I think I need more light T5 here we come.

Last edited by tyler79durdan; 02-15-2010 at 02:38 PM.
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post #35 of 2070 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 05:37 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Urbana, IL
Posts: 45
-Lighting - 36w Coralife T5
-Filtration - Penguin 330 and a korilia pump
-Substrate - Eco Complete
-Flora - Brazil sword, Bacopa, Anubius nana, Anubius Barti, Tiger tiger lotus, crypt wendtii green and red, Java, fern, Wisteria, and a little bit of Java Moss
-Fauna - 2 blue dwarf gouramis, 6 glowlight tetras, 2 zebra danios, bristlenose pleco, unknown goby, 5 amino shrimp, tiger shrimp and cherry shrimp
-No c02 and I've starting cutting back on water changes. I've read none are necessary but am still keeping an eye on the water.

before the rescape:

after, should look better once it fills in:
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post #36 of 2070 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 06:41 PM
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Location: San Francisco, CA
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Hi, new to the Planted Tank!

9 gallon, 2wpg 12000k PC lighting, customized low-flow internal filter

3 inches pool filter sand amended with about 2%-5% by volume compost-based potting soil, and several small, dead, buried fish (great fertilizer!)

pennywort, eurasian milfoil, parrotfeather milfoil, variable leaf water hyacinth, dwarf hairgrass, cabomba caroliniana, java moss, duckweed

ottos, dwarf corydoras, kuhli loaches, flame rasboras, one german blue ram

glass shrimp, malaysian trumpet snails, california blackworms, true planaria, gutless planaria

I purposefully introduced planaria, shrimp, and snails to help break down the mulm so it could sift down into the sand and decay there. Cali blackworms help aerate(?) the sand, as do the mts. I haven't vacuumed this tank in two years! And the even the water hyacinth (eichornia diversifolia), which is rated very difficult and needing rich fertile substrate and high light, grows like mad.

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post #37 of 2070 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 08:42 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Harrisburg, PA
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My 1st try with plants

My first aquarium was at age 10, which was a loooong time ago. I had mollies and guppies and no plants.
I started my 2nd tank in Oct of 2009. My goal is to grow plants and raise some platy's. I did pretty much everything wrong, again.
Upon joining this forum (which I did after starting my tank,) I have learned so much from it's members. I've been too embarrassed to start "my journal," due to my wee tank size of 5g. Now I am asking for some help as I'm losing all my plants.
My plants are going downhill rapidly and I need some immediate advice please.

Original specs:
5.5g aqua tech kit from Walmart.
tap water using stress coat
cheap gravel, a few glass rocks and fake driftwood
Upgraded light twice to finally a mini cfl 50/50 (10k/actinic 03 blue) 20 watt Coralife
Seachem starter kit (Excel, Flourish, Iron)
Tetra test Laborett water test set (pH, KH, GH, NO2, NH3&4 with carbon chart
3 pregnant, berried, heavy, whatever it's called these days, platy's

hyrophila difformis & compact corymbosa stricta
java fern
banana plants
anubias (unk type)

Honestly my nutrients and ammonia levels were all decent. I never used the carbon chart though. My plants were all losing their lower leaves, with holes and dark spots at first.Then I changed to the cfl above, the plants started coming around, esp. my corymbosa stricta. I had a huge algae problem which my lfs owner helped me with. I was over feeding. I limited my lighting by just a few hours each day, stopped feeding to much and had great success.
**Last week my pH jumped to 8.25. I was dosing more excel and flourish as the plants started to go downhill again a bit. Nothing else changed.

Then I decided to upgrade everything on 1/20/10 to this:

same 5g tank
aqua clear 20 filter
12" 18w 1 lamp (10k/67k) satellite with a lunar light
flourite black
African rootwood
purple slate

green wentii
red wentii
crypt pecktii
African fern
java fern
banana plants

3 grown platy's
8 tiny adoreable babies ranging from 1 wk to 2 months)

pH 8.25
Nitrite 0.3
KH 6
GH 7
Ammonia 0
Carbon 1.0 (per chart)

I did a 40% water change this morning (5 days) mainly to try to eliminate the slight tan tinge and cloudiness.

I did rinse the flourite, and soaked the wood for 4 days. I followed lauraleellbp (thanks) post on changing the tank over without the need for cycling.

The only things doing well are my fish and banana plants. The fish love their new home. The other plants are melting away (some leaves overnight) and the others are browning. I had such high expectations with the new changes. I am so disheartened..

I leave the light sitting on the glass cover on for 10 hours. The lunar is on the remainder of each day. I am not using co2 and don't want to. I choose to use Seachem instead. I understand there will be changes with the addition of wood and the slate and substrate...I am in need of some advice please.
My real concern is the rise in pH from a steady 7.0 to 8.25 (even at the end of the old setup.) My lfs was stumped and suggested I use Seachem's neutral regulator. I did two days ago and the pH did not change. Then I read on another site that changing your pH chemically, is not a good choice. It should occur naturally. I am more confused than ever, folks.

The pictures of my NEW tank and it's problems will be uploaded later today.
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post #38 of 2070 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Tampa, Florida
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Here's my 29gal. I started it up last Novemeber and now I'm almost done, just need to add a school of 15x Green Neon Tetras (when I find some again...).

Light- Coralife 2x18 watt T5NO
Filter- Eheim Ecco 2236
Heater- Hydor ETH 200 watt
Substrate- Flourite black

Assorted Crypts (C. balansae, retrospiralis, mixed Wendtiis, ciliata)
Narrow leaf Java fern
Hygro kompakt
Anubias nana 'petite'
Lilaeopsis mauritiana
Nymphea lotus

Tiger shrimp
Assorted snails (Nerites, Pond, Ramshorn)
15x Axelrodia riesei (Ruby Tetras)
10x Corydoras pygmaeus
(soon to add 15x Green Neon Tetras)

Tampa Bay Aquarium Society - Next meeting Monday, Oct 13, 2014 @ 7:15pm- See ya there!
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post #39 of 2070 (permalink) Old 01-25-2010, 11:20 PM
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Location: Plainwell, Michigan
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itrack4u, I might try cycling half of my water into a 5 gallon bucket, then starting a distilled water drip overnight to slowly lower your pH. You can creat a drip by tying a knot in an air hose and starting a siphon. Place the gallon jug or bucket of distilled water(equal to the amount you removed) above the tanks water level and let gravity work overnight. Slow means 1-2 drops per second. Do this so the fish can acclimate to the new water conditions. If your tap water is 8.25ish, distilled water should be 7, realistically you could get it down to 7.65 with 50/50 mix. When are you testing your pH. The time of day or night will effect the pH slightly but certainly not 1.25 degrees. You should get a water report from your water company. They may be semi-annually cleaning the system with chemicals. If your tap water is 8.25 out of the faucet, you might consider 50/50 tap/distilled mixes when topping off. Also IMHO, I would never change 40% of my established water in a 5 gallon tank unless something bad happened like over fertilizing, or something like that. Just remember that if you can get the pH down with distilled water, you can get it down further by doing the same process again after you get it down to 7.65. doing another 50% change would bring it down to 7.325. Be careful though, distilled water is pure and does not contain the trace minerals and elements we see in tap water. These elements are vital to support life! Get yourself some easy fert, and take the guesswork out of the equation. Just remember that we chose this hobby because its relaxing and fun. Just go with the flow, and don't expect to see results instantly. Overnight or 24 usually works for results. Also i only use 'aqua-safe' tetra brand tap water conditioner, stress-coat is worthless.
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post #40 of 2070 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 10:14 AM
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Location: Warren, Mi
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what kind of intake and return plumbing are you using for your filter? The intake and return don't look like my Ehiem. I'd like to find a spray bar like that that would work with my filter.
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post #41 of 2070 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 12:16 PM
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Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 73
Thanks for your info, tyler79durdan
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post #42 of 2070 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 07:02 PM
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Location: NH
Posts: 45
I'm looking at this thread with interest as I have a couple of tanks in which I am reviewing my lighting/planting, in particular, my 120G, my 75G and my 29G.

archer772: Is your tank 5ft or 4ft long? What's the total wattage of your 4 t5HO's?

J.B.: What's the total wattage of the lights over your 75G?

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post #43 of 2070 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 08:33 PM
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Location: Caro MI
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My tank is 4x2x2 and I have reduced the wattage for now, I had 216 watts but am down to 108 for now but hope to go back to 216. I have the lights about 9 inches above the water and they are spaced evenly accross the canopy so I hope I can get back to all 4.

120 Gallon Planted tank with Angels, Cardinals, Julii Cories, LF Albino Bristlenose Plecos and a mated pair of Double Red Cockatoo Apistos
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post #44 of 2070 (permalink) Old 02-02-2010, 03:56 PM
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Location: Vancouver, BC Canada
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Here's my 115g Amazonian Riverscape, my 90g Amazon flooded forest, and the 70g SE Asian stream/pond aquascape. All three were set up last July, when I moved the 70 and 90 from another room, although the 115g and 90g plants and fish came from the former 90g and 70g setups that moved into the larger tanks, and the 70g was from scratch as I wanted a SE Asian setup.
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Byron Hosking, MA
Vancouver, BC Canada
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post #45 of 2070 (permalink) Old 02-02-2010, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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wantsome- I bought the "after market" Eheim "installation kits," since I personally can't stand the green ones that come standard with the Eheims.

archer- even 108 watts of T5HO is pushing the light over your tank, you won't be able to run 216 unless you upgrade to a high tech setup with pressurized CO2 (I know b/c I run 108 over my own 90gal, and have to really closely watch my photoperiod even just running 2 bulbs...)

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