Office Nano: 3 Gallon Iwagumi (coming to an end) - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #16 of 126 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Just an update here. It's been a slow process, but quite a learning experience. First off, as I mentioned, I killed all of my HC by letting it get too humid and then mold took over. If you want to see what HC looks like wilting away and dying, here is a time lapse video. This video covers a mere 2 week period.

Youtube: HC Dry Start Faulre

I took a couple of weeks off from the project after the monumental failure, mainly to make sure that all of the mold was killed, and so that the Fluval stratum could recover.

I replanted on February 26th (about a month ago), and I used roughly 1/3-1/2 as much HC this time. The plan was to take it slow, let the tank breath much better, and keep a very close eye on how the plants react to changes. I have found that at least in this small of a tank, you really need to leave it mostly open. I have the saran wrap loosely fitted with a 1" wide air gap, in addition to holes in it. I just wet it down every to every other day and keep the soil moist. It seems to be going quite well. It would be further along, except that I accidentally sprayed a little excel over all the HC, and then it just started shrinking hard and fast within a day. I forgot I had excel in the spray bottle from when I killed the mold. Within a few squirts I could smell it and I stopped right away, but it did NOT like that. I was able to recover it (that was about 2 weeks ago), and now it's growing like gangbusters.

Here is what it looked like on the webcam immediately after planting:



This is what it looks like right now (April 30th). It really started taking off just over a week ago, and it's doing really well! The HC is rooting all the way to the bottom of the soil (1" deep in the shallow areas).



Here is a better picture so you can see how it's filling in between the rocks.



I don't plan on filling with water until I have 100% coverage with the HC. It's definitely slow growing on the right side. I might spritz a tiny bit of ferts over there to see how it reacts. I've also seen almost no growth to the left of the big rock. That HC is in the shade. I've added a light (not pictured) to hit it from the side, so hopefully that helps. I can aways transplant some of the HC that's really thick if I need to. If I transplant, however, I'll have to wait at least 2 more weeks to let it root before I can add water.

I'm not in any hurry though. This is just a fun little science project on my desk at work. It's fun to see how much people drop in now to check out the plant growth though. One guy is obsessed with me getting water in it. It's quite funny.
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post #17 of 126 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 04:32 PM
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Cool little tank! I saw "3 gallon" and thought it would be a fellow Picotoper
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post #18 of 126 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 04:36 PM
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I am jealous, very nice setup. I am tempted to add a tank to my office but I am afraid I would not get any work done and would just fiddle with my tank all day.
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post #19 of 126 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 04:44 PM
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I had a similar issue with my dry-start. Great little nano. I guess it doesn't need to be that humid.
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post #20 of 126 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 04:58 PM
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I am jealous, very nice setup. I am tempted to add a tank to my office but I am afraid I would not get any work done and would just fiddle with my tank all day.
Wear a headset, fiddle your way through worthless conference calls - that's what I do!
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post #21 of 126 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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I had a similar issue with my dry-start. Great little nano. I guess it doesn't need to be that humid.
Yeah, I honestly don't think that HC needs to be humid at all. You just need to keep the soil wet. At least that's what I've found, but then again I'm working in a very small environment, so larger tanks may react differently.

One cool think about having a webcam take pics ever 15 minutes is that I can compare very easily what's happening. The most impressive thing is how much these plants grow over night in the dark. They grow a ton in the dark.
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post #22 of 126 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 05:01 PM
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Yeah, I honestly don't think that HC needs to be humid at all. You just need to keep the soil wet. At least that's what I've found, but then again I'm working in a very small environment, so larger tanks may react differently.

One cool think about having a webcam take pics ever 15 minutes is that I can compare very easily what's happening. The most impressive thing is how much these plants grow over night in the dark. They grow a ton in the dark.
Wow. Cool.

I'm starting a mini-m so it's not that big. I'm going to see if I can get away with taking the Saran Wrap half way off. Thanks!
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post #23 of 126 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 05:07 PM
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Wear a headset, fiddle your way through worthless conference calls - that's what I do!
I will probably break down next month. I have wanted to set up a planted Betta tank for awhile. You tank has given me some inspiration.
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post #24 of 126 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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I will probably break down next month. I have wanted to set up a planted Betta tank for awhile. You tank has given me some inspiration.
The nice thing about an office setup is that I have way more patience with it. I have my main tank at home, and it would be hard to have this much patience with it. This is like a hobby of my hobby.
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post #25 of 126 (permalink) Old 05-09-2013, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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The webcam is back live in the first post! It is updated every 30 seconds during the photo period, so if you want to see how it's looking, the last pic in the first post is always current.

The HC is really taking off now. I've adjusted the lighting a bit to help out 2 areas. I added an external light to the left of the main rock to help the plants over there take off better. There is enough light to sustain them, but they grow incredibly slow. I think they'll be fine when it fills in. I also took the Finnex light and turned it diagonally and put it mostly over the right side of the tank. Growth has been slower over there.

I've also pulled up some HC from the really thick areas and transplanted it to the left of the big rock and over on the right side to help fill those areas in faster. I'm going to be on vacation mid next week, so if it's filled in good when I get back on the 20th, it might be time to fill it up with water. I'm not in a rush though, as this has been a really fun experiment. The time lapse of the current growth is very cool, and I can't wait to see it fully completed.

Here is how it looks now from a better angle than the webcam gives. If you compare to the pic a few posts up from 9 days ago, you'll see that it's doing well.

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post #26 of 126 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 07:20 PM
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hey great job! im doing something similar to your setup. i was wondering if youre fertilizing WHILE youre doing the dry start? i just have fluval stratum and was planning on misting with water/flouish and excel maybe. what are your thoughts?
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post #27 of 126 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Fertilizing is unnecessary. All of that growth is without it. That said, it'd probably go faster with some root tabs. Last week I grabbed some ferts out of my fridge and fed them a little. The next day they were melting. If you look at the current pic in the first post, it's gone downhill fast.

I was pretty confused at first, but then recall that I put excel in my ferts to keep them from getting mold. I'm fairly certain that's the killer again. I feel like a total idiot for forgetting that. That's now 3 times I've halted progress and killed plants during this dry start. I'm a bit frustrated with myself.
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post #28 of 126 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 10:31 PM
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Fertilizing is unnecessary. All of that growth is without it. That said, it'd probably go faster with some root tabs. Last week I grabbed some ferts out of my fridge and fed them a little. The next day they were melting. If you look at the current pic in the first post, it's gone downhill fast.

I was pretty confused at first, but then recall that I put excel in my ferts to keep them from getting mold. I'm fairly certain that's the killer again. I feel like a total idiot for forgetting that. That's now 3 times I've halted progress and killed plants during this dry start. I'm a bit frustrated with myself.
wow im sorry to hear. that really is frustrating. i appreciate your advice tho because i was just about to fertilize with that same mix. why do you think the tabs would be better? doesnt flourish contain the same stuff and more?
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post #29 of 126 (permalink) Old 05-21-2013, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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wow im sorry to hear. that really is frustrating. i appreciate your advice tho because i was just about to fertilize with that same mix. why do you think the tabs would be better? doesnt flourish contain the same stuff and more?
I'm no expert by any means. I've killed my HC completely once, and almost killed it twice now. It's been 4 months and I still don't have water in it. As such, I'm not sure I'd listen to me.

This is just a fun little experiment, and every time it starts going well I seem to kill it.

So, flourish might work great. I just said root tabs because I know people use them.
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post #30 of 126 (permalink) Old 05-21-2013, 09:29 PM
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I'm no expert by any means. I've killed my HC completely once, and almost killed it twice now. It's been 4 months and I still don't have water in it. As such, I'm not sure I'd listen to me.

This is just a fun little experiment, and every time it starts going well I seem to kill it.

So, flourish might work great. I just said root tabs because I know people use them.
thanks! i'll try the flourish in the mister. you can track my journal if you want.
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