Dry Start 2 Gallon Hex - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: NC
Posts: 87
Dry Start 2 Gallon Hex

Well, I decided I couldn't wait to purchase a new tank, so I grabbed the old hex out of the garage, dusted it off and got started on a mini project to pass the time.
When I do set up my 6 gallon long tank (or 12 ) I'm going to want to do an emersed start, so I figured this would be a good tank to practice on.

The filter is an old Azoo Palm Filter.

I went with a florite layer on the bottom, sloping up to the rear. I wanted some different rocks, but could not find any in the sizes I was looking for, so the hardscaping is pretty minimal.

As I mentioned, I'm going for an emersed start for the tank, so I broke down some Micro Sword and Green Crypts that I had left from my large 150gallon after I sold everything off. They should fill in really nicely.

I decided to go with a layer of sand on top of the florite, i'm sure this will drop in between the cracks as time goes on. The sand is also covering the root tab ferts that I put in.

You can see the larger crypts are in the back with the micro sword in the front. I'm giong with the 10watt color/plant bulb replacement for the stock fixture. We'll see how it works out, may upgrade later. Here it is all set up. The light is on a timer with two 5 hour photo periods. 7am - 12pm and 5pm -10pm. I added the timer after the picture.

I'm going to be misting with a mixture of water and excel to help with root growth. I still need to do a little modification on the hood to accomodate the filter (make a small half moon cut), and then as well to the stock plastic lid (not pictured). I will probably just trim it down for the filter intake and return.

Now for some questions:
I want to use C02 on this tank, and I already have a DIY yeast reactor. Can I plumb the dispenser into the bottom of the Palm Filter so that it mixes witht he filtered water and returns to the tank that way? I've always used bubble counters before and this tank seems too small for any sort of in tank diffuser.

For Fauna, I was thinking some Horned Snails and shrimp. I'm pretty sure this setup will be too small for fish. Any thoughts?

How long should I go emersed? I was thinking 6-8 weeks depending on root growth.

Thanks for checking out my tank! Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by HokieFish; 08-11-2012 at 12:50 PM. Reason: edit
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: NC
Posts: 87
Day 3:
Well, not much new to report. I moved a couple of the microswords so that I have an open area for moss in front of the two rocks. Like I mentioned this is going to be more of a practice run, and I might try to move it to my office after it is up and running and I'm ready to move on to a larger tank. One thing I wish I had done was put a layer of the black sand around the walls of the tank before adding the flourite. too much to do to fix that now, and once things fill it I doubt I'll notice it. Especially when I go to flood the tank and it starts to settle in.
Still need some input on the C02 and what you think of the tank. Thanks for looking!
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 09:11 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: American Fork, UT
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looks good so far, DSM is the way to go! be careful with dosing, make sure its extremely diluted, i dont think its necessary to dose on DSM but be sure to have co2 handy for once you flood, a paintball setup would be nice and cheap for this operation

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Posts: 87
I've looked at the Paintball sets, but I'm going to start out with DIY. I picked up my diffuser, bubble counter, and drop checker today.
I'm seeing a little bit of melt on the crypts, so I'll have to keep an eye on that.
I still need to pick up some ceramic filter media for the HOB, get hoses for the Co2, and do the hood and lid mods, maybe this week I'll get to those. Due to the tank size, I'm thinking about using a moss ball in the open area. I had also toyed witht he idea of having a bamboo chute coming out of the tank in the back as well. We'll just have to wait and see if that is possible.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: NC
Posts: 87
I have been brain storming about the lighting for the tank, and the small tarnished reflector in the tank hood doesn’t seem very efficient. I think my mini project for this afternoon is going to be to increase the reflectivity of the empty space to squeeze a little more juice out of the light instead of having it absorbed by the black plastic.
I remember seeing online where people had glued mirrors in hoods like this to reflect the light downward. I was actually thinking of trying this, but then came across this reflective tape that I might try. Simply line the entire inside of the hood. Any thoughts? I’d also thought of spraying the entire inside with Chrome Krylon.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2012, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: NC
Posts: 87
Day 5:
Things are looking nice and green in the tank. Humidity is high judging by the amount of water collecting on the plastic wrap that is covering the tank.
Still haven't worked on the light fixture yet, been pretty busy at work.
I'm starting to realize why everyone says the hardest thing about emersed is the waiting. I really want to put water in the tank, but I'm dedicated to solid root growth, so it's going to have to sit for at least another 7 weeks.
Thanks for looking at my progress.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: NC
Posts: 87
Day 10:
Everything is lush and happy. The waiting game is tough, but I am sticking with it. The crypts are putting forth a lot more roots than the micro sword. I haven't really seen any root growth with the micro sword, but I guess that will come with time. Co2 parts came today. I am going to try to do it with a DIY co2 kit, but I do have a backup regulator waiting in the wings should I need to go that route.

Since it is the only thank I will be running, can anyone suggest a shrimp type that won't multiply? Thanks.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: NC
Posts: 87
Day 56:
Flooding day!
Everything appears to be going well. The plan is to flood the tank today. I'll be sure to snap some pictures to share with you guys. Sorry for the lack up updates until this point, but there really hasn't been much to report other than really good crypt growth.
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emersed growth, hexagon, pico tank

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