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Old 01-14-2013, 01:18 AM   #16
angelsword
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You have really taken your time with this tank. I have the same one and wanted to do what you're doing. I decided I preferred instant gratification and had it planted and filled in about a day.

Did you switch the stock bulb? You can get a 9 watt 6,500K bulb at home depot for a few bucks. Make sure you get the one that says G23 base if you decide to get one.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:59 AM   #17
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yeah I switched it to a 6500k. I'm thinking about instant gratification now. I'll probably just order a few more mats and fill up the tank.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:04 AM   #18
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I've never done a dry start I I can't offer advice on that. I've also never gotten a carpeting plant to take hold and spread well. There may be a connection there. Maybe if I get another Picotope someday I'll try it.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:17 AM   #19
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what kinds of plants did you have in yours? did you have trouble getting the carpeting plants to root or to spread?
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:40 AM   #20
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I don't have a carpeting plant in mine. I can't figure out how to post pics from my phone but if you check my recent post I just posted some in another picotope thread.

I have a rock covered in Riccia, valls, anubias nana, blyxia and pellia. I know none of those are spelled even close to correctly. Again, because I'm on my phone. Hopefully you can future out what I meant lol
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:27 AM   #21
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For a dry start, make sure things are not too wet or you will get mold and possibly clado. Just keep the light on for about 10 hours a day and wait. A dry start is a lot easier then going submersed right away without CO2. Good luck!
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:19 PM   #22
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Cladophora is something that you're only going to develop if you bring it in on new plants. It won't magically appear - especially in a "dry" environment like that. So I wouldn't worry about that. Wouldn't worry about mold, either, as it's something you can fix with a quick spritz of Excel in some water.

To make things fill in more quickly, break those plant groups up and spread them out. Use a checkerboard pattern for planting.

Keep the water line just at the surface of the substrate and mist your tank a couple times a day at minimum. Use airline tubing (as a siphon hose) or a dropper to remove any excess water.

Make sure there are ferts in your substrate - usually in the form of root tabs.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:21 PM   #23
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thanks for the tips. ill give that a shot. I also ordered some more HC to speed this up.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:42 PM   #24
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So I went ahead and bought some more HC. My plan is to let it grow a little and root for one more week and then fill up the tank.

I noticed that the plants on the right side appear to be browner looking. They haven't really melted except in a few spots but they look more withered where the ones on the left are nice and green. I'm kind of hoping that filling it with water and doing some changes will filter whatever the problem is or at least spread nutrients, light, water, etc. more evenly and maybe resolve it.

Here is a pic so you can see what I mean about the side to side health of the plants.



I'll update when I fill it.
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:52 AM   #25
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Judging by the picture, I would recommend MUCH BIGGER STONES. The power and composition within the Iwagumi style is in the character of the stones. If the stones fail to bring character to the aquascape, generally the whole aquascape will suffer.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:11 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tex627 View Post
Judging by the picture, I would recommend MUCH BIGGER STONES. The power and composition within the Iwagumi style is in the character of the stones. If the stones fail to bring character to the aquascape, generally the whole aquascape will suffer.

I know. I had great aspirations for this first tank but now that I've got it started I'll settle for just having it grow in nicely. I had some bigger seiryu stones but took them out when I heard that they mess with the pH.

At this point I'd like to just get the tank filled and growing in so that I can at least have healthy plants for a rescape or tank upgrade in the future.

Any suggestions on why one side is browner than the other?
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:30 PM   #27
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I'll be filling the tank hopefully tomorrow and have a few questions I was hoping might be answered here.

The tank has been getting light for about 10 hours per day for the past 2 months and I know doing that with it filled would likely cause some algae. Should I just cut the light right away or slowly go down to 7-8 hours?

My filter has never been run and the media is all dry. 1st do I need all 3 layers of filter material? 2nd should I soak the filter media first?

Finally, I'm a little worried about fertilizing. I have Flourish, Excel, and Seachem Iron. I was going to follow the directions on the bottles and try for a homemade type of EI with 40% water changes weekly. Do I need NPK too or will my HC and DHG survive without them?
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:00 PM   #28
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I think if you cut the hours down it suddenly it would be completely fine. Don't know much about the filter but if you are worried about no BB then add Bacter 100 or something of the sort to get a headstar. DHG will survive without fertilization, don't know bout the HC.

Very nice start so far!
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:07 PM   #29
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So I filled the tank last Friday and its been going okay so far. The HOB that came with the tank really disturbs the plants near where the intake is, and it doesn't stir the surface of the water much. I have been testing the ammonia to see when it comes down and it was still at 4 ppm yesterday morning. How do I know when the tank is fully cycled?



I also ordered a co2 diffuser and I'm going to get some DIY going to move things along faster. Unfortunately it looks like there are spots developing on the HC. They are hard to see in the picture but they are little black spots.



I plan to do a water change each week and see how it goes. So far this is how I dosed:

Water Fill:
-33 drops excel
-6 drops flourish
-4 drops iron

Day 2:
-6 drops excel
-4 drops flourish

Day 3:
-6 drops excel
-4 drops flourish

Day 4:
-4 drops iron
-6 drops excel
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:47 PM   #30
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So I guess no one loves me since I haven't gotten any replies here but I'll do another self-satisfying update anyway.

The browning on the leaves has faded and it appears that any leaves on the HC that died are kind of breaking off and the rest of it is coming back healthy. The DHG that I got grown submerged and then tried to convert to emersed for my DSM is coming back with a few bright green blades growing out. I received the rest of my Seachem products and will be starting a EI schedule tomorrow...I did a big WC today.

Ammonia is steady at 2.5ish ppm with nitrites at 0 and nitrates around 20-40 ppm which is good per the little book that came with the test kit.

I also picked up some RCS who are all looking good. When I first got them into the tank they were grey and tweaking out. They have settled in and their color has come back. It looks like one of them molted its skin and no victims yet.

My CO2 diffuser came today so I'll probably be setting up a DIY tank today or tomorrow. I also put in the heater that I originally bought since the shrimp will do better with it.

I was also looking at the zoomed 501 since the cheapo HOB that came with the tank has developed an annoying rattle and the tank is in my bedroom.

Pic of one of the shrimps

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