My first planted aquarium Petco 6.6 Bookshelf Iwagumi (Full Tank Shot 09/27/2012)
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:10 AM   #1
SaltyNC
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My first planted aquarium Petco 6.6 Bookshelf Iwagumi (Full Tank Shot 09/27/2012)


Current State of Aquarium (September 27, 2012)


Full Tank Shot (September 10, 2012)


State of Aquarium (August 25, 2012)

Boraras brigittae feeding on Instant Baby Brine Shrimp product

I'm new here, and I've really enjoyed looking at all of your beautiful tanks, and trying to absorb all of the great information.

My tank is the seemingly popular Petco 6.6 gallon bookshelf. It looks like several of us are starting with this tank, and others have used it as their starter tanks in the past. I really look forward to following the progress of others' tanks. I picked mine up about a year ago on sale, and I put in the substrate and some locally collected rocks, but then I let it sit until I could acquire some of the plants I wanted to use. When I went into Petsmart and saw they now carried DHG and other quality plants, I picked up a couple of packs and got started on my tank.



My initial layout is using Flourite and some quartzite rocks. There are kyanite crystals in the quartzite, but these are all sealed completely with no kyanite exposed, and these same rocks have caused no issues in my son's aquarium, so I think they should be safe.

Here is the tank after my initial planting after one week of growth.


Specifications:

Tank
Petco 6.6 Gallon Bookshelf Aquarium
Material: "Acrylic" (actually another type of plastic)
Dimensions: 8.13" D X 24" W X 9.25" H

Lighting
Single 18" Hagen Life-Glo T8, 15W, 6700K, 960 Lumen
Distance above substrate: 8 inches
Estimated Par Value using Hoppy's PAR chart: 75 (medium light) -- I hope my interpretation is correct

Substrate
Flourite
Osmocote inserted 2 beads per square inch beneath substrate

Dosing
NPK (very limited N and K now -- N from fish waste and food and K from GH boost)
Flourish
Flourish Excel (once plants move to submerged state)
Stopped Excel dosing after pressurized CO2 added

Flora
Eleocharis Parvula (dwarf hairgrass) -- primary carpet
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis (microsword) -- texture change for base of rocks
Pogostemon Helferi (downoi -- little star) *To be ordered (maybe)
Anubias Nana "Petite" -- accents near rocks -- Removed due to scale
Background behind the rocks
- cryptocoryne wendtii 'green' (will remove if it gets too big)
- Hemianthus glomeratus -- like fine leaf structure of these stems -- these will take awhile to fill in behind the rocks.

Fauna
Nerite (Zebra) snails (added 08/13/2012)
Amano shrimp (added 08/13/2012)
Otocinclus algae eater (added 08/12/2012)
cardinal or ember tetras or tiny rasboras to be determined -- most likely Boraras brigittae (to be added)
Boraras brigittae (added 08/21/2012)

Added Pressurized CO2 end of July, 2012, 1 BPS
Increased to 2 BPS Aug, 2012
CO2 Tank: Kegco 5 lb aluminum tank
Regulator: Aquatek
Glass check valve and in-line bubble counter: AquaticMagic on e Bay
Backup Check Valve: Cheap plastic LFS check valve

I'm assuming I'll need to upgrade my lighting very soon as I move to the submersed state and for some of the plants on my wish list.
Lighting has remained the same. Due to very shallow tank depth, standard T8 lighting is sufficient. I would like a longer bulb to prevent low lighting near the ends of the tank.

I'm open to any and all suggestions as I'm a complete newbie at this, especially on plant suggestions and light upgrade suggestions.

If this goes well, I would love to do an ADA MINI style aquarium or perhaps a 12G Long.
I have decided to now do a larger ADA tank such as the 60-P.


Thanks so much for all who take the time to share your knowledge.

Salty

Last edited by SaltyNC; 09-28-2012 at 02:59 AM.. Reason: Update
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:27 AM   #2
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I don't think you NEED better lighting, 6700k normally covers all your non-picky plant needs, otherwise you will need to upgrade. I LOVE these 6g tanks so I look forward to the progress.
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:25 PM   #3
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Off to a good start. I wish my Petsmart carried quality plants.
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:36 PM   #4
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that's an amazing first planted tank!
i wouldn't upgrade your light unless you're going to be injecting CO2.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quentin View Post
Off to a good start. I wish my Petsmart carried quality plants.
Thanks, Quentin. There are several PetSmarts near me, and they vary quite a bit. Some have the more desirable plants in the small sealed bags like I used, and most of these plants have been in excellent health. The way they grow their dwarf hairgrass makes it very easy to cut and propagate. But there are others near me that have aquatic plant tanks, and most of those plants look terrible. I went to lift a plant out of one, and it was covered in a heavy mat of algae.

Salty
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatB View Post
that's an amazing first planted tank!
i wouldn't upgrade your light unless you're going to be injecting CO2.
Thanks for the kind words, CatB.

Salty
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Old 06-28-2012, 06:23 PM   #7
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Does anyone have suggestions for plants to go behind the rocks. I would like to hide the HOB filter, but do you feel like stem plants could detract from the iwagumi-style layout in my tank?
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Old 06-30-2012, 04:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyNC View Post
Does anyone have suggestions for plants to go behind the rocks. I would like to hide the HOB filter, but do you feel like stem plants could detract from the iwagumi-style layout in my tank?
For a first tank, I would say that is one of the best layouts I have seen. It has amazing proportions and focal points. Kudos to you.

I have not worked with it (any plant for that matter haha), but I believe a lot of iwagumis use Vallisneria Nana. You could plant that on each side of your tank behind the rocks.

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Old 06-30-2012, 05:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trenton View Post
For a first tank, I would say that is one of the best layouts I have seen. It has amazing proportions and focal points. Kudos to you.

I have not worked with it (any plant for that matter haha), but I believe a lot of iwagumis use Vallisneria Nana. You could plant that on each side of your tank behind the rocks.

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You are much too kind, Trenton. Thank you so much. I'm subscribed to your scape, as well. I know it will be amazing.

Salty
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:52 PM   #10
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Default Week 2 Update

I'm trying to update my progress once a week, at least here in the initial stages. I have some anubias nana 'Petite' arriving after the heat wave passes, and I have added some cryptocoryne wendtii 'green' behind the rocks, so that their leaves will provide a backdrop. I'm not sure if the crypts will stay. I'm really thinking I want some stems with fine leaf structure for behind the rocks. I'm experimenting.

Below are several angles of the aquarium. As always, all suggestions are welcome. Thanks!
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:23 PM   #11
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I thought it would be neat to see one more picture that gives away the layout's true scale. Nano Nano. The Money Pit.

Salty
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:13 PM   #12
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Default Week 3 Update

It's week 3 of my dry start, and I'm starting to see some nice root growth where the dwarf hairgrass is touching the glass (plastic ). Here is an iphone pic of the root growth.


I went out of town for a few days, and even though I kept the humidity high in the tank while gone, the plants seemed to miss the twice daily misting. My crypts suffered the worst. I will be trimming up the crypts and giving some of the longer dwarf hairgrass a haircut next week. As soon as some anubias petite arrive next week, I plan to clear up one scratch and flood the aquarium.

Below is week 3 on the dry start.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:57 PM   #13
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Looking really good!
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:50 PM   #14
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Thanks DishyFishy! I'm really looking forward to flooding the tank next week. Dry start is a great method, but it requires patience, and I'm getting an itchy trigger finger.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:33 PM   #15
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Lol I know, patience is hard! I can't wait to see it with fishies in there.
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