29 g - Fast Freddie.. Rescaping 7/11
Updates: p.3, 5 and 7, 8, 10
Here's a small summary of some of the tank changes in 2009
pic as of 7/11/09:
Here is where it all started back in November 2008:
Power strip, Ballast, and XP1 (I may run two XP1's on this. I have an extra)
1 minute after fill-up. I really like Eco-Comlplete. Crap! Forgot to level the tank!!!!! Beginner for ya.:
Right side- there is much more slope here than visible in frontal pics:
And thats it so far. More pics to come. I've gotten some great plant suggestions from another thread on TPT. I'm hoping to start pressurized CO2 by Christmas. Double DIY until then. I have seen some great results with DIY here on this site. Mark, you are the man.
OKay, opening a new tab to support the site with a membership, because I'm gonna need some more help! Thanks in advance for any comments!
Nice setup so far. Don't forget drip loops on those cords under your stand. :)
looking very nice. I love the scape. River themes are nice
What happened to your 24 gal?;)
EDIT: Nvm, found it:hihi:
Have any plans as to what you want this tank to look like?
I got some good suggestions here (like my hyperlink? hehe :) )for some plants that may suit my skill level. What do you think? I really like HM for ground. I was successful with it for about 2 years before I knew anything about planted tanks. The real determining factor will be whether I go pressurized by Christmas.
As far as fish, I want a lot more harlequin rasboras, and I've always thought Rams were really cool.
How is your tank coming? Ill check in on ya.
Wow that looks Crazy Awesome. I can imagine it with plants in... and WOW does it look good ;)
Until you get pressurized CO2, stick with medium to low light plants and keep your light low. Go ahead and fertilize. Personally, I believe the first thing to get is CO2; however, I ran my 75g with plastic plants and a 30" single flourescent strip light! Talk about low light! But it served its purpose to keep the tank algae free while I got the things I needed to go high tech.
Since I doubt you're willing to go with plastic plants until Christmas, then just stick with lower light plants while keeping your light low. Crypts are usually a good low light choice that look great when the lights are raised higher later. Keeping the lights low should work well to keep the algae at bay while you're waiting on the pressurized CO2.
Once you get pressurized CO2, the next step is to be sure you have dry ferts and are using a good fert program. I really like EI. It's simple, cheap and it works.
Next step is to get a LOT of plants to fill the tank. If you get smaller plants that will grow in, then get something like hornwort to stick in the tank while the other plants are growing. You do not want a low plant mass for the next step...
And that next and last step is to turn your bright lights on. Keep the photoperiod around 5-6 hours at first. You can run your lower lighting for about 9 hours so you can have something like 1.5hrs low/6hrs high/1.5hrs low totaling 9hrs.
At this point, you want to see if your plants begin pearling when the bright lights are on. You should get a blizzard of oxygen bubbled all over the tank at the end of the bright light time! If not, then work to increase your CO2. Inch it up until your drop checker turns yellow, beyond green. Inch it up very slowly until you know you've raised it as high as your fish can tolerate. Personally, I greatly prefer using a pH controller to ensure that the CO2 is constantly level, but a lot of people just connect it to the timer for the lights. If that works for you, great. If not, then invest in a pH controller.
The main goal is to give the plants MORE ferts and CO2 than they need so those two components do not limit the plants' growth. Then raise the lights and fiddle with the photoperiod to give your plants as much light as they need without giving so much light that you encourage algae. Upon seeing the first sign of algae, reduce your photoperiod for your bright lights and/or your low lights. Keep fiddling with the photoperiods until your tank seems to settle down with great plant growth and no algae.
The main key to preventing algae is to (1) turn on the bright lights as the very LAST part of the setup and (2) make sure you have a lot of plant mass from the very start of using those bright lights.
When you get this combination together, there will be very few plants that won't love your tank. And you will love it all that much more as a result!
Thank you SO much for your advice. I think you are completely right about keeping the lights down until I go pressurized. You've pointed out some things here (high plant mass, photoperiod) that I have not given a lot of thought to yet. Thank you for raising them to my attention.
I'm looking into ferts and the EI method now, trying to get some understanding. Its a little overwhelming for a beginner.
Also, do you know a link that shows a SIMPLE explanation of what falls under micro and macro? Is there a spreadsheet template somewhere that gives dosing examples for different sized tanks? And one that aquarists can use to record their dosing schedule or is everyone doing this on their own? I'm wearing out the scroller on my mouse tonight and I'm a little overwhelmed on the whole ferts thing. No rush on an answer. It sounds like you are quite busy from your posts!
Macro - Your basic NPK (nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium) fertilization.
If you have dry ferts, here's a link explaining how much to dose and how often. Dry ferts last longer than liquid and they cost less in the long run. You can buy them here or here.
ZTM, you are so on-time man. Thats all I can say. You're making this too easy on me. I almost feel like I'm cheating on a test.
Settled down a little. I dug out the middle some and added some slope to the center and right side
I really like this wood
Is this too deep? its 5" in the back. I read it will build toxins if its too deep.
Okay, no pics for a while until I get some ferts and plants.
Thanks for the nice comments on my 75g. :smile: While I hated to tear it down, part of the fun will be adding new plants and watching it grow back in. I have a bunch of beautiful plants ordered so it'll be a lot of fun to see how they all do in my tank.
No problem on helping out. That's how I learned! I remember the days so well. I was so nervous about what to do, I had to have people hold my hand when I did simple things like plug in the CO2 regulator! If it wasn't for the help of everyone on here, I could not have the tank I have now. Even the scape design came from another member here who actually took the time to draw it out for me.
Just wait for the day when all of this stuff not only makes sense, but you can help someone else who's just starting out. It's actually a lot of fun to help others!
Zoo is right on target with the EI help. That's how I got started. Orlando at GreenLeafAquariums.com helped me by telling me exactly which ferts to get. I got them and then just followed the dosing schedule in the link Zoo offered. That's it! It's really that simple. This is how we all get started. No cheating. Just passing on the help we received.
Don't worry about feeling overwhelmed. It is overwhelming at first! Just take things one step at a time, and before long, you'll have it all together.
I do have one critique for your tank right now. Take it or leave it as everyone's tank is and should be pleasing to them and no one else (although we all generally enjoy each other's tanks). I would like to suggest that you remove the rock for now and move the driftwood over to the left at an angle. Measure your front glass, and put the center of the focal point 1/3 of the way from the left. So it's:
1/3 ---> driftwood <------ 2/3
That is the "golden" spot that is found to be most pleasing to the eye. It's also helps make things more natural by avoiding the feeling of having cut the tank in half.
Then, I suggest not placing the wood straight with the front glass, but at an angle. I think it would look nice to have the left side a little more forward than the right side. It doesn't have to be a big angle, but enough to break up the feeling of it being overly straight with the tank.
Then put the rock on the left side to counter balance the driftwood. If you add more rocks, make a nice grouping that starts off tallest on the right side and then gradually gets smaller as it travels to the left and front. However, be sure to keep the rocks from overtaking the focal point of the driftwood.
I hope that makes some kind of sense. And keep in mind that this is YOUR tank so whatever you do, it must please YOUR eye, not mine. This is just a suggestion for you to consider. There are other ways of creating a focal point without moving the wood. :smile:
Here, I did a little photoshop mockup of what I was thinking. The stream, if you want one, could run from the back left corner, under the dw, and curve towards the front/center.
Just an idea. :smile:
I wish I had photoshop:hihi:
I agree, dead center doesn't look too eye-pleasing:)
And to answer your question about the Eco-Complete building up toxins, I don't think it will, I think that's only for sand. But if you do want to prevent it just in case, you can get a Khuli Loach or...3, cause they like to dig around in the substrate. Or you could get Malaysian Trumpet Snails which dig around in the substrate during the day and come out at night. But be warned, they're hermaphrodites, so it only takes 1 to take over a tank:hihi:
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