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dr.tran 05-21-2012 07:38 PM

dr.tran's 29 gal high tech tank (not 56k friendly)
I started about 5 years ago and I was a complete noob. I didn't know much and I relied on some information I read over the years which wasn't always correct and I had a very rough start. But finally in the end I am starting to finally grasping it. Special thanks to kotoeloncat, mrkookm, and WfxXx. They have always tried to help me and kotoeloncat was nice enough to show me in person. Of course plantedtank forum has helped me tremendously as well. So I like to show you my 29 gal tank from its humble beginnings to what I have now.

Winter 08
Here's my stats
29 gal tank
2x 65w compact florescent lights for a total of 130W
DIY co2 with a glass diffuser
Modified EI dosing with just P and K dosing
Fluorite red

Trying to cut corners, I started off on fluorite red and used DIY co2. At the time I was very interested in keeping shrimp along with my high tech tank so I remember a post that said they don't dose N or micros because it may kill shrimp. So I actually tried to EI dose for a while without micros or N.

Looked good at first.
lol at first.

Then I decided to add a full EI dosing and collectoritis got me bad.

Too many plants to name but I grew them reasonably well. I had problems with certain plants which made me get a bunch of test kits and I kept trying everything.
Next phase in next post

dr.tran 05-21-2012 08:10 PM

Now I still had problems with a few plants like toninas in that I can keep them alive but they never thrive. Such a shame. Spent so much money on toninas. So after getting some help from some members and being inspired by kotoeloncat, I decided to get serious. So then I got pressurized co2, aquasoil and many many thanks to mrkookm for sharing his secret gH boosting formula.

I tried to aquascape before but now was all about growing plants well. Forget about scaping there was none. Trying my best to grow it without algae and the best colors possible.

Summer 09-Winter 10
Using 65W over 29 gal tank for 8.5 hours a day
Full EI fert schedule
Pressurized co2
0kh 8gH


I then tried a 20 gal long for experimenting with lower lights and higher levels for color changes. I had even more success.
Finally it was beautiful.

But then I got into an accident and gotten very sick in my last overseas class before I graduated. So then I took a year away from the hobby. All my planted died and all I really had left were shrimps.

dr.tran 05-21-2012 08:34 PM

So after some time away, I wanted to start up again but this time small. I had great success on a 20 gal long, so I wanted to do a 10 gal tank. But collectoritis is a chronic condition. After my 10 gal tank got too full, I went back to good old 29 gal tank.

Current stats
130w 8.5 hours a day 4.4 wpg
Modified experimental fert schedule
Used aquasoil
Pressurized co2
Cascade canister filter
Hagan elite mini filter as the co2 injector
0 kH 10 gH

I started off on EI dosing and with just 65W over it but I gotten lots of algae. Black brush, green dust and some new plants I bought came with some spirogyra. Man I really really hate spirogyra. I couldn't black out my tank because then it will also help kill my new tonias and erios. Especially my erio type 3. So I decided to lean the EI and increase my co2 and lights to encourage my plants to use up the rest of the ferts in the water column. I also added more plants to help suck up the nutrients.

Eventually because I didn't want to do water changes, bad knee, I wanted to use a PPS system so I can just top off the tank. After some adjusting, I came to a somewhat hybrid solution. A custom fert schedule that works with 4.4 wpg along with high co2. I don't use drop checkers anymore because co2 misting isn't dependent on the co2 thats dissolved but the gas co2 that is in contact with the leaves. That and if co2 gets trapped under the drop checker, its giving an inaccurate reading. Rather I just pay attention to the plants and fish. Just enough so that I don't kill my fish.

I'll give more details about my experimental fert routine once I completely nail it down. I have very little algae and I am working on how I can fert every single day with both micros and macros because my plants respond so quickly with such high lights. They can show changes in my fert schedule very quickly.

Its current state as of an hour ago. I have to trim it soon. But again no aquascaping just trying to make sure I can grow my plants to its best. Almost done. As soon as I can get just 2 more of my plant species growing at its best, I am going to working on scaping this baby. Erio type 3 and rotala indica 'bonsai'.

Been a hell of a road but I wanted to make sure I can grow it very well before I start scaping. I tried in the past but failed because of algae and my own inexperience. But so close now.

Thanks for reading guys

DvanK 05-28-2012 06:34 PM

Looks very colorful. Are you gonna put your apistos in there?

dr.tran 05-28-2012 06:44 PM

Thanks. I finally learned how not to overexpose my photos. lol

I'm not sure yet. I want to but I was afraid I may co2 gas my fish. I have some microrasboras and CPDs in there right now. Too bad CPD are egg eaters.

2in10 05-28-2012 08:35 PM

Great story, and beautiful plants

dr.tran 05-30-2012 07:13 PM

Thanks I'm working on scaping this monster of a plant box

dr.tran 10-19-2012 02:17 AM

Man I really should update this thing more. Just did a full trim and will take a picture in a few days. But I wanted to say is that for a while I ran out of co2 and I was away. The only thing that was there was my lights as it has a timmer. Wow! even without co2 or ferts, it grew like crazy. Just amazing. I had to take some drastic measure and I chopped out as least half the tank. Threw away a good 2 or 3 pounds of plants. Its really surprising what aquasoil can do.

ekimf 11-09-2012 08:12 PM

Dude you have some nice plants! I like the red plants. Let me know if you ever sell any! I'm also in Queens I've been looking for more hobbyists locally to see if they are down for trades and sales!

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