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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-22-2015 12:29 PM
Saxtonhill The 15 gallon with the hair grass





And the 20 gallon with an added anubias nana in center front (traded for this plant too)





neons in the 20 gallon


02-21-2015 07:39 PM
Saxtonhill Traded some guppies with a friend for some dwarf hair grass (Eleocharis acicularis). It needs brighter light, so I put it in the 15 gallon which is my shallowest tank. It has the light about 7 1/2 inches from the substrate. The substrate is 3 1/2 to 4 inches deep.



02-21-2015 02:56 PM
Saxtonhill Jcstank---Tom Barr's threads are great! I am just amazed and awed by the "Bucket of Mud" thread on that self-contained and lushly planted tank...wow, wow, wow! I was sad to see that thread come to a conclusion.


New growth continuing on the little red melon sword. (and BBA on the rock in the background ...that rock is coming out NOW ) The tank has some old potting soil in the base under the sand (sand substrate came straight from the old 10 gallon betta set up) and I also used some root tabs. I used a different camera this week and for some reason, the photo colors seem washed out.


02-14-2015 05:35 PM
Saxtonhill New growth starting on the little red melon sword plant. It might make it after all...



02-08-2015 05:59 PM
Jcstank I think your tanks look awesome. You have a good eye for the careful location of the rocks and substrate that makes it look natural like a slow moving river bottom.

Have you looked into dosing with dry fertilizers? Have you read Tom Barrs blog on EI? I've read that using the estimating index to fertilize your tanks even with a low tech tank can take the guesswork out of dealing with nutrient deficiencies, which one can ague is behind many algae issues in planted tanks to some degree. You may want to be extremely careful with upgrading the lights as I've learned even small changes can throw things off balance. Lights really are like the gas pedal on a car. When you increase light you make the plants consume more of everything, which can cause one or all of the Micos or Macros to become deficient. If your plants are missing one of these essential elements they can stop growing and invite algae to take over and it happens quick. I lowered my T5ho light just 1" and within two weeks I had GSA everywhere. Like you though I'm not new to tanks but I am to planted tanks. So far I have had really good success with mine despite some small setbacks from the learning process.

Also upper NY is not part of New England.
02-08-2015 11:26 AM
Saxtonhill The flower just unfurled overnight!


02-02-2015 12:28 PM
Saxtonhill I was working on water changes on the 20 gallon over this past weekend and wanted to post a photo if the long flower stalk that has grown from the center anubias plant! The photo was taken after I removed water but before I added the RO water...hence the puring waterfall from the HOB filter and the bubbles.





close up. I'm pretty sure this is an anubias nana narrow leaf. I trimmed off the yellow leaf a few minutes after this photo was taken.

12-31-2014 06:06 PM
hypsophrys After a long accumulation like this there's definitely nothing wrong with lightly vacuuming the gravel; good call. And 10% is just a reference point.

Don't panic on the Nitrates, they will come down.

Bump: Oh, regarding floating plants. Most probably won't thrive under your light (duckweed, perhaps, but you don't want that). Pennywort might do OK. The main thing is that you don't want to over-shade the Anubias. They are low light but that's pushing it...
12-31-2014 03:33 PM
Saxtonhill Over the weekend I purchased 4 gallons of RO water at Walmart (labeled as drinking water and in small letters as Processed by Reverse Osmosis and had green caps on the jugs)

I also purchased a T8 15 watt 6500K flourescent bulb and replaced the old T8 15 watt 8000K bulb which was several years old.

Out of curiosity, I tested the RO water:

TDS 7
PH 6.4
Ammonia 0 PPM
Nitrite 0 PPM
Nitrate 0 PPM
GH 3
KH 3


The water parameters of the 20 Gallon High tank after water change and replacing discarded water with 2 gallons of RO water:

Temperature 74 F
TDS 643
PH 7.6/7.7
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrite 0 PPM
Nitrate about 50 ppm (not good...obviously it was much higher before the water change! )
GH 25
KH 14

Worried about the Nitrate level being so high after a water change, I decided to siphon out another gallon of water off the bottom to get at some debris under rocks and along edges of rocks. Water was BLACK with decomposing material. Did not want to siphon around the plants as this material is supposed to be food for the plants?

I replaced the siphoned gallon with 1 gallon of RO water. The parameters of the 20 Gallon High tank after this change are as follows

Temperature 74 F
TDS 590
PH 7.6
Ammonia 0 PPM
Nitrite 0 PPM
Nitrate 40 ppm
GH 23
KH 13

I don't want to change out any more water until next week. This was more than a 10% water change but I felt that I had to get the Nitrate level down.
I also removed the sad little red melon sword which was not doing well despite and was starting to rot.


**** Question: Should I be adding some nitrate loving plants like frogbit? Frogbit is a floater..just how big do these plants get? Anacharis? Or just more plats? I'm thinking they'd have to be low light plants that don't mind hard water.
12-29-2014 09:54 PM
hypsophrys Ok, good
12-29-2014 05:55 PM
Saxtonhill [/QUOTE]When you say "planted" the Anubias - hopefully that means attaching them to a rock?[/QUOTE]


Yes, the rhizomes are above the substrate and most are attached to rocks by a small dot of super glue.
12-28-2014 12:08 AM
hypsophrys Keep up the WCs and don't worry about dosing. Under a single T8 (very low light), you'll never need to dose fertilizers IMO.

To Kathyy's point about nitrate, WCs will help bring it down while replenishing other nutrients which might be limiting growth.

If, after another month of regular WCs, you're still having algae issues, you might consider using Flourish Excel (half dosage to begin with, daily).

It will take Anubias time to outcompete algae, but low light is to its advantage, generally speaking. With slightly more light, stem plants can help with that, but under T8 you're pretty limited.

A 6500K light will be an improvement, certainly.

When you say "planted" the Anubias - hopefully that means attaching them to a rock?
12-27-2014 04:23 PM
Saxtonhill Thanks hypsophrys and Kathyy! I really appreciate your experienced input. I sure would like to eventually keep some RC shrimp in this tank (and eventually move the neons to the 20 gallon long when it is set up and properly cycled) . Per your advice to change the water parameters slowly on the 20 gallon high aquarium, I've done about a 10% /15% water change each of the past 2 weeks. PH is hovering around 7.5. Nitrates are still on the lower side of 30ppm. I haven't dosed any plant ferts in this time frame.

Also per your advice, I'm going to get some gallon jugs RO water from Walmart's today to start mixing into the this week's water change and then test the water to see what the KH and GH values are

While at Walmart's I am going to look at new T8 florescent light bulb for the hood. I am thinking of getting a 6500K to replace the old 8000K that is presently in use?


Two weeks ago, I ordered some more anubias and the UPS man put the box into a snow bank beside out garage door. Fortunately, I was home at the time or that would have been the end of the anubias. Some of the leaves got nipped by the cold, so I floated the plants for a week and a half to see if they would revive. They all began to send out new roots, so today I trimmed off a few bad leaves and planted the anubias.

12-13-2014 06:59 PM
Kathyy
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypsophrys View Post
Sorry to hear about your mom...

I would focus on water changes almost exclusively right now. Get your TDS and hardness matching the tap water, to start. No ferts except a couple of root tabs, for now.

Change your light bulb, and see how the plants look in a month.

You can keep RCS in your tap params, IMO. If you want to optimize it for them, you could start mixing your WC water with RO and shoot for cutting KH and GH in half.

I'd be more worried about the neons eating shrimplets than the water hardness.

HTH
Agree with the above. If the tank hasn't had water changes then go slow. I changed about 10% when I started taking care of the tank again and my male Congo tetra wasn't happy. Continued to make small changes and he perked up. Topping off likely increased the hardness of the water more than the rock dissolving. Changes in hardness can be hard on fish. Once tank hardness and tap water hardness were the same I started making bigger changes.

30ppm nitrate is fine for a planted tank. Algae is more apt to be a problem if there is too much light and/or not enough nitrate, phosphate, potassium and the minor nutrients so the plants cannot grow well.
12-13-2014 06:37 PM
hypsophrys Sorry to hear about your mom...

I would focus on water changes almost exclusively right now. Get your TDS and hardness matching the tap water, to start. No ferts except a couple of root tabs, for now.

Change your light bulb, and see how the plants look in a month.

You can keep RCS in your tap params, IMO. If you want to optimize it for them, you could start mixing your WC water with RO and shoot for cutting KH and GH in half.

I'd be more worried about the neons eating shrimplets than the water hardness.

HTH
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