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Old 02-20-2013, 11:15 PM   #1
sashaz
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Low Tech, no co2, 10 gal planted journal


Found a lot of helpful information on this site and decided to start my own journal here. I apologize in advance for any mistakes - English is my second language. Somehow it makes me even more long winded, perhaps it's because I'm trying to explain things with limited amount of precise words and terms
For Christmas 2007 my husband gave me a fish tank - Tetra Starter Kit:
Original set up: Low light, Low tech, no Co2
10 gal.
Stock Filter: Aqua-Tech 5/15 model
Stock hood with lights: 2 aqua culture's 15w/120v Incandescent light bulbs
Heater: Tetra submersible is dead Rip 2007-2013. Long live Hydor 50w with adjustable temperature!
Water parameters:

Gh (Total hardness) as CaCO3 -124 mg/l (according to my city's report) and is equivalent of 7 dH
Alkalinity (bicarbonate) (not sure if it's the same as Kh) is 171 mg/l (according to my city's report ) and is equivalent of 23.94 German degrees Gd
pH- 7.4-7.8 (out of focet) 7.2 in the fish tank, after running through pit moss in the filter
Ammonia - Liquid test shows yellow, so around 0 ppm
Nitrite (NO2)- Liquid test shows pale blue, so around 0 ppm
Nitrate (NO3) - Liquid test shows yellow, so around 0 ppl
New set up: Low light, Low tech, no Co2
10 gal
Filter: Fluval C3
Stock hood with lights: 2 aqua culture's 15w/120v Incandescent light bulbs
Heater: Hydor 50w

Substrate: CaribSea Eco-Complete, Rocks: Serpentine + river rocks
Ferts: Flourish from seachem, iron enriched Plant Gro from Nutrafin.

Plants:
Brazilian Micro Sword (Lilaeopsis brasiliensis)

Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus)

Fissidens fontanus (Fissidens fontanus)

Marsilea minuta (hopefully it's minuta)
Petite Nana (Anubias barteri 'Petite')

(All plants are ordered through ebay)

Livestock:
Hopefully will have
Otocinclus (Otocinclus vittatus)
Already in aquarium
12 Chili Rasbora (Boraras brigittae )

6 Cherry Red Shrimp
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/my...ulata_sinensis

Last edited by sashaz; 10-28-2013 at 06:48 PM.. Reason: updated livestock list
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:13 PM   #2
sashaz
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Finally got time to write some more.
This is my first ever and only fish tank, so it went through a "Dark Age".
Big mistake from the start was buying fish without research and ending up with:
1 baby placo,
1 baby angel fish (hard to resist that cute little thing)
2 juvenile neon tetras,
3 guppies.
Second big and selfish mistake was to assume they will be fine even overstocked and overgrown as long as I don't add more fish and make daily small water changes.
Other than guppies, none of this fish are suitable for a 10 gal. Even neons, they need a bigger swimming space and a school of at least 5.
Then, the worst impulsive purchase of all times the "ugly and cool" dragon goby, he didn't even have chance to outgrow new home, died within first week from anchor worm.
Guppies multiplied like crazy, but fry were eaten immediately by angel or saved and given away. Finally male guppy died at about 2.5 years old and the females followed him shortly.
Neons got very shy and hid in fake plants a lot, I Think without guppies they were bullied by angel too much. Neons lived about 4 years.One of them was probably eaten by placo or angel, I never found a body.
Placo didn't grow past about 4 inches. He was getting so territorial, that poor angel fish got chased every time he swimmed across the tank... Also Placo learned to swim belly up when it was feeding time and did not clean algae as good as he used to...so I decided to help him... even though he ate tropical fish flakes I think he actually starved, poor fellow. There was no algae left at all for him once I started "helping him".
Angel outlived them all, died after 6 years in my fish tank. He lived to see the first batch of life plants purchased in 2012 (Java fern and Anacharis) and even helped to combat snails that hitchhiked on Anacharis. Awesome guy (or girl) but took Mayan prediction way too seriously and went belly up right on the day the world was supposed to end.

So here I was, with a brand new chance to make things right this time.Click image for larger version

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:43 PM   #3
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Tank was running empty for almost a week, and SURPRISE, it wasn't really empty. Planaria crawled out of hiding. That was good motivation, by the evening on a day of that gross discovery tank was emptied, everything was cleaned with water+bleach and new ideas for set up were already spinning in my head.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:04 PM   #4
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Eventually aquarium was drained. Ambitions skyrocketed when this site was discovered. With all the beautiful fish tanks I've seen, Flat and bare just won't do. And I've got "need more plants" disease.
January 17, 2013
This was a sad attempt at drawing a plan. Not at all true to scale and only vaguely resembles actual setup, but it was very helpful in deciding on what it is that I want
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:27 PM   #5
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January 23, 2013
After eco-complite soil arrived, and a trip to petco. Making a slope turned out to be more difficult then drawing one. Grassy fake plants were too much of an eye sore so later they will be gone, but for now they are there along with Brazilian Micro Sword. Dry start method begins, wood gets mold in 3 days and goes out.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:13 PM   #6
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Cant figure out how to continue text after attaching pictures, so for now I'm just writing new post every time, sorry. Also forgot to mention that Brazilian micro sward was from package by "Top Fin" bought at petco. Love the quality and wish they had more variety of plants .
Fast forward to February 13-th where I discover that even though plants are looking awesome and starting to grow new lives and send runners, after flooding tank half way, most of them float. Now it looks as if I have less plants then what I started with because they are pushed and berried very forcefully into the soil. I was afraid that it would die off from too much disturbance and change of conditions (as I decided to keep the water at half way point, but the plant is hardy and only few lives that got ripped off the rhizomes died off and floated to the top.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:12 PM   #7
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Now, for the first picture we are traveling back in time to February 4-th when I still had nice carpet going, and was deciding on a way to hide equipment + few changes on a right side. The idea with waterfall did not work, in a bucket where the wood and filter are for now waterfall made of silicon slowly got yellow-brownish tint from the wood. Its in the pores and on the outside and cleaning only made surface rougher which couses brown tint to grab even better. Don't even won't to find out what algae would do to it, so out it went. Rocks below it are staying, maybe I'll manage to brow some Fissidens fontanus on that mesh or if that doesn't work - some Anubias barteri "petite". For the right side some marsilea minuta would be nice. So February 4-th couple days, is when plants get ordered from e-Bay sellers.
Next pictures is a jump to February 15-th when plants arrived... most of them, still waiting for anubias. Once in a water there was actually more fontanus then i expected (will try to cover drift wood) , also it was grown with co2 and probably higher light, leafs looked smaller because of better conditions. 25 nodes of marsilea minuta.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:01 PM   #8
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Luckily I've learned from the first batch of plants to ALWAYS QUARANTINE.
Marsilea was pest free, but there was brown patina looking algae covering roots and some of the leafs, also some green stringy looking algae or strands of moss, that would have taken over in my algae vacant setup. Treating it with hydrogen peroxide. A good discovery! Tangled in the roots were few little bits of pelia, I secured them to a drift wood piece with nylon pantyhose.
Fontanus was in excellent condition and had no visible algae, which surprised me after seeing marselea. Nothing, just a few empty trumpet snail shells... But wait WHAT IS THIS?!! There were small pencil dots moving quickly along the sides and bottom of the container going in circles or hiding fast in the fontanus cluster. Only after the best 4x zoom that I could get from my phone camera that the shape of a bug got visible. Still have no idea what it is, but hopefully it's all washed out of the plant because I don't see them anymore.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:21 PM   #9
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And finally we're all up to date, here's today's picture. I was too suspicious of marsilea, it looked way too comfortable, with new nodes appearing so soon, almost like it's changing to immersed form in a shallow container. Algae or not, it had to be planted or at least be under more water.
Word of advice, don't drink coffee before planting if you the kind of person that gets coffee jitters
Poor thing, there is algae fest and some leafs are yellowing, hopefully it will survive.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:43 PM   #10
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just set pelia free floating, turns out it will not grow through and the leaves will die.
the motto of this hobby seems to be "never assume, always check".
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:16 AM   #11
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It's awesome to see how you have rebounded after all your sub par time with this tank. Good job so far can't wait to see it progress!
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:51 PM   #12
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mitchfish9 thanks for the encouragement. Will be updating as soon as there is any new developments
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:52 PM   #13
sonoralinda
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Your tank is scaped nicely. I like it. It's amazing what you can do with a 10 gal. It is possible to be very creative.

I need to make a divider in my 75 because I've had 2 angels pair off and they're being a little too aggressive. I was thinking, why couldn't you use the plastic needlepoint sheet that you make tank dividers out of and cut it into strips and use that under your gravel to hold the soil/gravel back. It might be a way to form "mountains" and keep it in place. sonoralinda
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:31 PM   #14
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Trail and error. I remember getting into the plant hobby. Couldn't grow or keep a plant alive. Now after 3 yrs out. I started again this year with the info I have gathered over the past year and my plants are not only surviving, but they're thriving=)
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:39 PM   #15
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sonoralinda: Congrats on getting angels to pair, they probably feel very comfortable in your fish tank if they are mating
Thank you for the compliments and suggestions. Yes, originally I wanted a steeper slopes that would go 2/3 up the fish tank glass. I suspect that your suggestion about mesh barriers would have worked, in fact, that's what i ended up doing with slope on the right side. Just didn't make it as steep, because there was only 10 inches of space from back to front and at least 3 inches of that were designated as a flat area in a front.There was just not enough room to bring it down gradually without making it look like stairs or decreasing cliffs.
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