Rimless Starphire 33g growing up - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2011, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Rimless Starphire 33g growing up

It's been a long time coming - I ordered this tank from Miracles in Glass in October, hit a few bumps on the way setting it up and finally got things up and running in February. Hooray for my most amazing and dependable apartment-sitter who was taking care of it in March! In my nightmares I saw returning to an algae farm...

Tank: 33g rimless, Starphire glass front and sides (36x12x18)
Filter: Rena XP2
Lighting: 39W Giesemann Midday in Hagen Glo T5 fixture
Substrate: Flourite black sand and peat sprinkling on the bottom
Ferts: Excel, bi-weekly ferts

Flora
:
Anubias Barteri / Minima / Nana / Petite
Hygrophila Angustifolia
Echinodorus Angustifolia ('vesuvius')
Cryptocoryne Nevillii
Cryptocoryne Balansae
Cryptocoryne Wendtii green gecko
Cryptocoryne Lutea
Crinum Calamistratum
Java Fern narrow leaf
Java Fern trident
Tiger lotus lily
Blyxa Japonica
Lilaeopsis Mauritiana
Ludwigia Repens
Hygrophila sp. 'Araguaia'
Ranunculus Inundatus
Eriocaulon Parkeri

Fauna:
6 bentosi white tip tetra
2 phatom tetras
3 black rasboras
3 black neons
7 red zebra danios
5 celestial pearl danios
4 endlers
1 balloon gold ram
8 amanos
3 zebra nerites

There are still a few spots I need to fill, I am looking forward to a plant-ordering bonanza this week! I'd like to add downoi, staurogyne, marsilea to the foreground and definitely need more crypts to fill the left side.

Thanks for looking!


Feb set-up:











3 weeks:









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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2011, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Cool 7 weeks

7 weeks (I was gone for 3weeks, I love my apt-sitter!):

Before rescape:










After rescape:
(the flame moss glob in the left background should be ignored )


Tall crypt balansae needed for the background stat!
Yeah, right. They are growing soo slow...






Ranunculus spread:



Blyxa is getting brown patterns after I moved the light a bit to the front:
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 02:57 PM
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I think it looks good.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 03:21 PM
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I like it too. It's got a nice openness to it, but still has alot of character.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2011, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
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hot tiger lily of the day

Thanks guys! I tried to give it the open feeling but feel that I compromised the background-foreground transition in the middle. It's challenging to give depth to 12 inches and keep it open I'll add some midground plants later this week. Thinking crypts. Suggestions?

The tiger lily seems to be the hit of the day. Not so much with me, the color seems to be sort of blah, I was looking for that intense red-yellow-brown appearance. I don't know if that's the medium light, lack of CO2 or just the plant that I got. Thoughts?

I am new to this, need more feedback from you all pleeeeaaasssseeeee!



Line 'em up


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2011, 05:04 AM
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cool tank , like how the wood comes out over the water.

----gauny----
48g rimless "passion"
"What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others" -pericles

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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Experiencing crypt melt in one spot where I recently added anubias nana. Those crypts surely don't like being messed with in any way. Or is it allelopathy in action that Diana Walstad talked about (plants releasing chemicals that inhibit competing plants) by anubias? Or maybe they were just having a bad day? stress at work?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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Rescape!

Rescape! Critique needed!

The tank at 11wks:
Polygonum Kawagoeanum, murdannia, H. pinnatifida, and downoi were added in the interim. Erio and Hygrophila sp. 'Araguaia' didn't survive the lack of CO2. Well, I tried. After growing for a while the tank started to look a bit schizophrenic, like a terrible haircut. I do appreciate altered states but I wasn't getting it right.



11wks and 1 day:
I moved the plants around, balancing the reds, moving blyxa back, parting with the lily. The foreground isn't finished - the lilaeopsis will be replaced with a carpet of stauro and marsilea. Most of the stauro is creating a nice carpet on the surface right now, growing out anything that would hold it in soil.








H. pinnatifida, loving it:




New blue eye ricefish (they left a baby swimming in the qt tank):



Thanks for looking!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 03:32 AM
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Awesome tank man. Are you a Firefighter?

My 120 Gallon Shrimp Tank Rebuild finally started!!

New Journal:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...20-gallon.html

Old Journal:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...en-down-4.html

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-04-2011, 05:02 AM Thread Starter
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Not a firefighter, but definitely respect 'em! FDNY rules!
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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Some time has passed... 5 1/2 months

I've been fiddling with the tank a lot, practicing plant mind reading and developing the calves of steel planting marsilea standing on my toes. Should have worn my 3" heels, duh.

Lessons learned:

Downoi doesn't do well in the shade, at least in an excel-only tank. Killed them all like there's no tomorrow.

Hygro species like a LOT of potassium. And I mean LOADS.

Good flow around the tank is magic. I changed to ADA Lily pipes, put the outflow towards the front and a bit of hair algae that developed all disappeared. I think it's the position of the outflow rather than the pipes, but they do look nice and the lily does move water gently and nicely.

The most negative aspect of a planted tank: no, it's not the money or the time commitment. It's that you are pretty much stuck with skittish bottom-dwelling fish forever as there's no way to catch it. How long do tetras live again?

Comments and suggestions are very welcome.

5 1/2 months










Baron Harconnen




Cool rice fish

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 05:49 AM
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The tank looks beautiful. I like your fish selection as well. Props.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 04:30 PM
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Looks beautiful! Did you change your fert dosing at all? What is it now if you don't mind me asking? I live in NYC too and will be setting up a 40 gallon soon. Do you have to add baking soda to the water to raise the kh?
I hope I can make mine look as nice as yours!

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 11:23 PM
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Nice! It's very jungle-y and beautiful. I didn't know that black rasboras existed too. Those are neat looking.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the nice comments, guys! I was going for the jungly look and am glad it turned into a somewhat ordered leafy chaos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostie View Post
Looks beautiful! Did you change your fert dosing at all? What is it now if you don't mind me asking? I live in NYC too and will be setting up a 40 gallon soon. Do you have to add baking soda to the water to raise the kh?
I definitely changed the fert dosing over the months. I started with EI dosing and slowly modified for the needs of my tank. I used (and still do but much more infrequently) nitrate and phosphate testing kits to help me figure it out.

My baseline dosing schedule was based on 1/4 regular EI dosing (to account for excel) twice a week.

These are recommendations for a CO2 tank -----> dosing for an excel tank

Nitrates 10-30ppm ------------------------- 5ppm
Phosphates 1.0-2.0 ppm -------------------- 0.5ppm
Potassium 10-30 ppm ----------------------- 5ppm
Iron 0.5-1 ppm ----------------------------- 0.25ppm
Mg ---------------------------------------- 1ppm (for soft NYC water)
(you can also use dolomite to increase kh and gh long term, baking soda/Eq need to be redosed)

So, I started the tank with this dosing regimen. Then I built up my fish load, stopped ferts and measured N and P in the tank/tap water over 2 weeks. I found out that that my tank was providing more than plenty N and P so that I wouldn't have to dose them at all. I could just add K and micros to match their amounts in approximate correct ratios to create a balanced nutrient- non-limiting environment. AND I wouldn't have to change as much water since I wasn't overdosing.

N:P:K:Fe --- 10 : 1 : 10 : 0.5 or so

So my current dosing schedule is:

N runs 10-15ppm from the fish load and food, don't dose
P mostly runs 0.7ppm or so, water here has high phosphates, dose every 1-2 weeks depending on the look of plants.
K dose 15ppm 2x/wk to match/slightly overdose N; a have a lot of hygrophila in the tank that loves K and develops characteristic small holes in leaves if K drops a bit low
Micros dose to 0.25ppm Fe 2x/wk
Iron dose another 0.25ppm/ 2x/wk (I have flourish iron which has gluconate as chelate and doesn't hang around long)
Seachem Equilibrium dose to 1ppm Mg with a water change (and omit dosing K early next week since it has a lot of K in it). NYC water is very soft.

I change about 20-25% water once every 2-3wks.

I had issues with any algae twice in 6mo (bba and hair algae): both times when the water movement was poor. One of those times I also was dosing P since I didn't have the kit and didn't realize how much P tap water has here. Both times all algae disappeared when I corrected the problems.


This is a bit more involved and hands-on than EI. But I like being hands-on and really understand what I am doing and why. It's awesome fun


A few words of advice for a new tank set-up that I think are very important they are often repeated by the long-timers in the hobby but are seemingly often ignored in setting up a new tank:


    • lighting set-up largely determines the nutrient and CO2 needs of the plants refer to the lighting sticky by Hoppy when setting up your tank. Go with low light for a non-CO2/non-excel tank, medium for an excel tank or CO2 tank and high for CO2 tank and MEASURE the distance from the light to the substrate rather than relying on w/g. It totally breaks down for T5 bulbs. (I have 39W for a 33g tank about 18in from the substate, giving me medium light).
    • plant densely from the beginning and use a lot of fast-growing plants. You can always replace them with others when your tank stabilizes (and algae doesn't take hold).
    • ensure a good flow of water in the tank Amano places his outflow about 1/3 from the front glass, with inflow nearby, ensuring good water movement throughout that prevents algae growth and nicely distributes nutrients (and CO2 if one uses it).
    • watch the plants, keep a journal and you will figure out their needs. Some like more iron, others are just nutrient hogs and their neighbors might suffer. The plants will tell you. Keep learning.
Let me know if you have more questions and god luck!

3g low tech - betta, hygro
5g low tech - RCS, endler hybrids, flame moss, stargrass, java fern
33g excel tank - little fishies and many plants
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