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Old 11-17-2012, 12:24 AM   #1
zynniv
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First Planted Tank!


Sup guys! So I've been lurking around TPT for about a month now, and have finally decided on a set-up for my first tank. I was looking for something small that would easily fit on my desk, and found a great deal on eBay for an Aqueon Evolve 4. Its not much to look at yet, but hopefully by this time next week it'll have changed a lot!



I decided to try something similar to the Walstad method for the substrate. I flooded Miracle Gro Organic Choice potting soil to allow the lighter debris (wood, leaves, etc) to float to the top and scooped them off. After several sessions of mixing the bucket and allowing it to settle, I drained off the excess water and the dirt was ready. I capped it with some Petco black aquarium sand and then used some airline hosing to SLOWLY fill the tank, letting the water drip down the driftwood. Five 50% water changes later, and I finally have clear water!

I seeded the filter on this tank with some ceramic bio rings from my African Cichlid tank to try and speed up the cycle a bit. Plants have been ordered and will hopefully come this week :

Dwarf Hairgrass
Java Moss
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Red'
Sagittaria Subulata (Narrow Leaf Sag)
Rotala rotundifolia (Rotala 'indica')
Echinodorus tenellus (Pygmy Chain Sword)

As far as livestock, I have two assassin snails coming with the plants to take care of any surprises that may be hiding with the shipment, and I plan on stocking a small colony of Neocaridina shrimp, most likely RCS (since it's my first shrimp tank as well).

Thanks for reading, if you have any questions of recommendations I'd love to hear them!
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:45 AM   #2
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Great start! I did dirt as well with my evolve 8. Can't wait to see this progress
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:14 AM   #3
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So I'm still waiting on the plant delivery, but I've noticed there's an odd fungus/algae growing on the sand. I've heard that its normal for new driftwood to grow a clear fungus for a few weeks, but I'm not sure if that's what's going on. Anyone know what this is and if there's anything I can do about it?
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zynniv View Post
So I'm still waiting on the plant delivery, but I've noticed there's an odd fungus/algae growing on the sand. I've heard that its normal for new driftwood to grow a clear fungus for a few weeks, but I'm not sure if that's what's going on. Anyone know what this is and if there's anything I can do about it?

Yeeeap. Just happened in my tank a couple months ago. Boiling the wood can help, as can baking it. I just stuck mine in a hot garage for.. about two months? Possibly less. Just put in back in my nano about two weeks ago and none of that fungus has come back.

I decided to do that because after 4 months of being in my tank, it didn't stop with the fungus and I was tired of cleaning it off everything.

Don't be discouraged though; most of the time it'll clear out on its own. I was just unlucky :P.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:38 AM   #5
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thats normal it will clear up in a couple days
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:53 AM   #6
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yeah It goes away after about 2-3 wks happened in my Dirted tank on the sand and on the driftwood on my 40 gal
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:54 AM   #7
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I used water from other established tanks with mine but my media/filters were all new so it might go away faster with you if your using established media for bacteria growth
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:44 PM   #8
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Plants came in the mail today. I'm glad I ordered some assassin snails along with them, because I pulled almost a dozen baby snails out of the DHG/java moss while I was getting them ready to plant!



Next step is to get some foam to put in the filter compartment so I can actually fill the tank all the way.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:08 AM   #9
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looks great
Have fun with your dirted tank
I'm slowly discovering that I didnt know jack about dirted tanks when I put mine together, they are a lot of fun and will be doing things a lot different next time
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:57 PM   #10
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Welcome to the forum nice start!
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Crob5965 View Post
looks great
Have fun with your dirted tank
I'm slowly discovering that I didnt know jack about dirted tanks when I put mine together, they are a lot of fun and will be doing things a lot different next time
Thanks. What would you have done differently? Help me not make the same mistakes you made, haha.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:18 PM   #12
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Thanks. What would you have done differently? Help me not make the same mistakes you made, haha.


This is definitely a great place to see how others did it in the past and what they would change to make it go easier.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:18 PM   #13
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Out of the two assassin snails in this tank, one has been wandering around since I put them in the tank, and the other had moved maybe two inches. I'm thinking the slow one was sickly, because I watched this unfold last night:


And today's aftermath:


Looks like I have a BAMF cannibal snail! Should I removed the shell/remains of the dead snail now, or wait a couple days and let Hannibal snack some more?
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:21 AM   #14
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Thanks. What would you have done differently? Help me not make the same mistakes you made, haha.
I would have used a different Cap 1st off I used play sand and it was too fine and a lot off the dirt floated to the top. also I had a lg CAE which likes to burrow that wasnt really very well thought out purchase.
Also I tried to buy fast growing low light plants like Wisteria to get the tank going and it ended up taking over and I had to pull it out which made a terrible mess.

All in all I rushed into it and although I love my tank I have definitely figured out what not to do through trial and error.

I ended up adding an additional cap of pool filter sand which is coarser and doesn't get stirred up as much.

also Just know what plants and decor you want in the tank and plant them and walk away. I like putting my hands in my tank way too much and might wait a while until I do another one.
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