Project Patience 10g Iwagumi Journal (Picture Heavy) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 03:30 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Charlotte,NC
Posts: 16
Project Patience 10g Iwagumi Journal (Picture Heavy)

So I have been lurking on this forum for a hot minute now and decided that i would try my hand at an Iwagumi 10 Gallon tanks with DHG to see how much trouble this little hobby could get me into. With all the information that is out there on Aquascaping I found myself quickly drowning in text about fertz, water conditions, substrates, latin plant names, and a sea of acronyms. I think i have gotten my head wrapped around most of the basics, but please correct me if i have missed out on anything. I would like this to become a visually relaxing tank to look at when i come home from work and would very much like it to succeed. Enough with the rambling and on with the specs!

Tank stuffs:
-Standard Petsmart 10Gallon tank
-10 Gallon Hang on the back came with the tank filter
-50 Watt came with the tank heater

-2x 13Watt 6400K Full Spectrum PL Desk lights

Substrate and Rock:
-Seachem Flourite 15 lbs.
-7x Granite rocks from local High School

CO2 Setup: combo Drop Checker and Diffuser (pretty sweet for $30 I think)
-Fluval bubble counter (about 2 bubbles per second)
-DIY yeast sugar CO2 supply (pics in a later post)

-Eleocharis parvula aka DHG aka Dwarf Hair Grass

-EI dosing K2SO4, KH2PO4, and KNO3 for Macro
-Flourish trace 1.75mL twice a week for Micro
-5x Root capsules in substrate for roots every six months

Tap Water Specs:
-pH 7.6 - 7.5 (man those colors are hard to read)
-Ammonia NH3/NH4+: 0.5 - 1 ppm
-Nitrite NO2-: 0 ppm
-Nitrate NO3-: 10ppm
(all tap water specs without Seachem Prime added)

Now for the Pics! Let me know what you think and any help with speeding up the spreading and filling in of the DHG would be much appreciated. The plants have been started submerged and have been that way for about 3 days now. I am starting to see the clumps send out what look like root runners. Thanks for all the info that I already leeched and all the help your post will provide in the future!

Fert mixing:

Mixed Ferts in Storage containers:

Hardscape with digi thermometer:

Petsmart DHG packs soaking prepairing for planting:

Top tank shot with 1/4 of the tank planted:

Top tank shot with about 2/3 of the tank planted:

Tank planted with drop checker in the water about 30 mins. after filling:

Bubble counter counting:

CO2 diffuser diffusing:

Please let me know if the picasa image links arn't working and i will try and upload the pic in a different place. Thanks again for all the info and please leave some advice!

Last edited by Project; 12-01-2011 at 03:36 AM. Reason: Title update
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 09:33 AM
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wow nice and neat man
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Charlotte,NC
Posts: 16
Thanks! I hope the organization leads to a tank of health. I usually don't do so hot with plants.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-14-2011, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Charlotte,NC
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Its been 8 days now since i started my DHG in my tank. I am starting to see runners and new growth already. I did my first 50% water change on the tank last night. I really need to find a better way to add the water back into the tank. Holding 4 to 5 gallons of water in a large jug above the tank while it siphons in is not going to cut it. If anyone has a better way they are adding water back in there tank, please let me know. Its not really possible for me to run a hose to my bedroom... maybe it is, but I really don't wanna go that route if I don't have to. Here are a few pics of the new growth in the tank. Let me know what you think!

This clump is right at the front of the tank so i can stare at it.

This clump is on the right side of the tank. It has new runners, but I see some browning. Is this normal and what is it?

This is a row of plants that are sandwiched between the two larger rocks and don't receive full light, but look like they have started to take root and grow a little.

Again, please let me know what you think of my arrangement and I hope that you can help out with a few of my questions. Thanks again!

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-15-2011, 12:03 AM
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You DHG is going really well. That's fine growth for eight days, considering the roots would have been cut/ torn and most the leaves were cut down. Now that the plant is getting comfortable, it will snowball and eventually it will go like wildfire.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Charlotte,NC
Posts: 16
Thanks for the info jcgd! In one of the photos i notice some browning. Is that just some of the DHG dying off because it couldn't make the transition to the tank? If it is, do I need to remove them or just leave them alone? I don't know if anyone else on this forum has a GoPro Hero HD camera, but i use it to record video in 1080p on race cars and some timelapse photography at the house. I am working on setting it up this weekend for an extended timelapse of my tank. If anyone is intrested I can put up a DIY thread on how to do this.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 03:26 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Charlotte,NC
Posts: 16
As I mentioned in the above post, I have been playing around with a good way to do a time lapse video of my tank with my GoPro camera. It looks like the only problem im going to have with this is the placement of the camera to get a good focus on the plants in the tank. Here is a quick 16 second video that is actually about 4 hours. I bumped the camera like twice cause i was doing some work around the tank while testing, but i think it still looks ok. Keep in mind this is a test and the final video should be several months worth of growth. Post up and let me know what you think.

I tried to embed the video but i don't think it will work on the forum. If anyone can tell me if it is possible. I will post up progress videos
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-20-2011, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Charlotte,NC
Posts: 16
Well, the DHG has now been photo cycling for a full 13 days now and i am starting to see growth and spreading across the entire tank. In some of the areas that are shaded due to the location of the rocks I am seeing more vertical growth than horizontal, but i would think that is logical. I also had a fellow forum member help me out with an issue that i was having with my DIY CO2 diffuser this week(Thanks again jaafaman!). I was noticing a buildup of some white substance on the ceramic disk and had noooo idea what it was. I made a DIY thread about how i constructed my CO2 setup and was told that without a prefilter bottle, I would get a bacteria build up on my diffuser. Sure enough i was getting the build up. I removed the diffuser yesterday and cleaned off the build up and will construct a prefilter later this week. Here are a few photo updates. I hope that all of these photos and information about my "discoveries" aka mistakes will help others with their first or future tanks.

As you can see. Growth is headed up and out.

In this photo you can see how two of the plants "root runners" are starting to merge. This is slowly starting to happen across the entire tanks.

Here is a photo of the entire tank in its current state. Compared to the first photo, I feel that it's making fairly good progress.

Please leave me a reply and let me know what you think about the tank. I enjoy the comments and it really does help a beginner like me have a great first tank and want to have more! Thanks again to jaafaman!

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-20-2011, 02:22 AM
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Very nice! The tank will look great once all that hairgrass grows in.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Charlotte,NC
Posts: 16
^ Thanks swissian! It has been a pretty sweet tank up until this week. It looks like the battle has begun! I now have what looks to be about three types of algae in the tank now. All of them starting at about the same time. I posted some photos up in the algae section of some of my tanks new unwanted guest. I'm still kinda undecided about how to deal with all this algae and I don't wanna do anything that will get the tank too far out of the normal dosing regime I have going, but I think that may also be apart of the problem. I decided this week to bump up the dosages of my fertz to 1.5 times the NKP and micros. I also just added two more DIY CO2 tanks to up my diffusion into the water. I have also been thinking about reducing my photo period from 12 hours down to about 8. Let me know what you think I can do to get through this. I'm trying not to let this outbreak get to me, but I really wanna get this problem dealt with as soon as i can. Well enough about the algae. The growth in the tank is still going well. The runners are really starting to reach out now and I hope that in about a month or two I will have a really dense layer of DHG! Here are this weeks progress pics!

Here is this weeks front tank shot!

This should give you a better idea of how well the DHG is filling in.

You can see at the front of the tank how the root runners are really taking off well.

I haven't taken an above the tank shot in a bit so here it is. If you look at the first few you can tell how much growth has really taken place.

Now the algae.... This is a pic of all three in one shot. It looks like Diatoms, Hair algae just starting at the base of the rock and I dont know what the other green one is on the rock.

Here is the other spot of Diatoms that has developed on the glass.

Thats about it for the weekly update. Leave a post and help lower my blood pressure over this algae "issue". All your help is greatly appreciated!

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Charlotte,NC
Posts: 16
Wow! It's been a month since I last posted an update. Work has been keeping me really busy and I hate to say it, but my tank has been suffering because of it. In the last post I left off with the start of my algae troubles. I ended up counting no less than three different types all starting up at the same time. Diatoms, Hair algae, and Blue Green Algae. I think there are several contributing factors to the start of all three that could have been easily avoided right from the start. One: My desire for rapid growth and quick fill-in time led me to the decision to put my tank on a 12 hour photo period. In my opinion, I could have gotten away with that long of a photo period for about a week or two, but not much longer than that. If I start another tank (Who doesn't thing about starting another tank?) I will start with an 8 hour period and head down to the 6 hour range after about 2 to 3 weeks. Two: My cost cutting measures led me in the DIY CO2 direction. This wouldn't have been much of an issue if i had put a prefilter bottle between my diffuser and my sugar/yeast bottles. Not having the prefilter allowed lots of bacteria to grow on the ceramic diffuser disk and get introduced into the water. I have now purchased all the parts for a paintball CO2 setup and as soon as one more fitting arrives this week, I will cease the use of the DIY CO2 setup. Three: The HOB filter didn't really help the whole situation. The water filtration and agitation didn't really seem satisfactory for the tank. I have now purchased a rather small HOB canister filter rated for 15 to 20 gallon tanks that circulates the water much better and provides adequate surface agitation for the entire tank. Enough with the up date and on to the photos!

Here is a photo of the tank from about three days ago after I finished cleaning out diatoms. You can see I added an Oto to the tank. He should be fat right now. My tank has been like an all you can eat Diatom buffet.

Here is the HOB canister filter I purchased, that is actually hanging on the side of the tank rather than the back.

This frontal photo is from tonight. You can see the difference from the above photo and how much Diatom growth there is in only 3 days.

This last photo is from above the tank and will give you an idea of how well the DHG has filled in. I am having to trim it up about once a week now. (Two weeks if i get lazy...)

I hope that some of the information that i have provided in my postings will help others with starting there first tanks. I am by no means a master at this hobby and would love any advice or help. Please leave me comments and feedback about the tank, I would really like to hear what other forum member have to say about it.


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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 04:27 AM
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Just came across this - hey for a first aquascaped planted aquarium, this is really good work!
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 05:30 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: California
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Looks good; how do you like the hair grass? Can't decide whether or not to use it for my carpet.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 06:34 AM
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sick tank, the dhg looks great, do you trimm it to keep it short?

sunsun pimp #62
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 05:08 PM
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Great first time scape! Really liking your carpet, so lush I maybe could suggest trimming the front DHG lower than the back to try to create more depth but that is of course only a suggestion and entirely up to you....looks great as it is.

Got any stocking plans?
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