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Old 04-24-2013, 01:38 PM   #1
Ghostie
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40 Gallon- First High Tech


Hey all!
I am finally putting together a 40 gallon tank that I have had
sitting around several years. I was originally going to set up a low-tech aquarium, but have decided on a lowish-light injected CO2 planted aquarium. My goal is to have as low maintenance(for high tech) as possible.

What I have so far:

40 gallon acrylic aquarium
Coralife T5no 36" on top of aquarium
5 bags of Onyx sand over mineralized soil with dolomite and potash
Rena Filstar XP-L
Jager heater
Dual Stage Regulator(built by OldPunk!) with 5lb CO2 tank

For plants, I am thinking of glosso and dwarf hairgrass for foreground and midground and for the wide open are on the left. A few crypts and some fine leaved stem plants will go on the right.

For dosing and fertilization I will be going with the standard EI with pressurized CO2. NYC water is quite soft, with 1-1.5 kh, 1-2 gh out of the tap.
Water quality report: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/wsstate11.pdf . I am not sure about the Onyx with pressurized CO2 as it add slight buffering, any comments?

Right now I am working on the layout. The aquarium will be visible from three size, so I have to keep that in mind. I have some nice driftwood as seen in the picture. I need to find some nice rocks, which is proving difficult in Manhattan.

Any comments, ideas, criticisms would be welcome!
Thanks!
Rafael
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:02 PM   #2
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So I went ahead and ordered the plants. Here is the list:

Baby Tears , Dwarf (Hemianthus callitrichoides)(potted)
Glossostigma (Glossostigma elatinoides)
Hairgrass, Dwarf (Eleocharis acicularis) "Mat" (3.5"x5") (Sizes Vary)
Heteranthera Stargrass (Heteranthera zosterfolia)
Hygrophila Pinnatifida
Cryptocoryne, wendtii 'Florida Sunset'
Limnophila hippuroides
Rotala Wallichii
Vesicularia montagnei 'Christmas moss'

I need to find some nice rocks for the hardscape, but not much luck locally.

I also have the dual stage regulator in hand made by OldPunk.
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:17 PM   #3
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Hooked up the co2 yesterday and tested to see that everything is working.
Plants arrive today. Here is the updated hardscape.
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:30 AM   #4
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Did all the planting yesterday. It went pretty smoothly.
Stats as of today:
dKH 3
Ph 6.6 @one bubble a second.
I will up the bubble count a bit to get the proper co2 concentration.

I don't quite like the rocks in the middle and the left, but I am going to wait for the plants to grow in a bit while I think about what to do with them.
Do you guys start dosing right away? How many water changes should I be doing(besides the weekly standard 50%.)
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:39 AM   #5
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A week in update. No exploding growth yet! But the good news so far is there is no algae yet either.

The two happiest plants are the HC and Rotala Wallichii. The HC is growing and spreading and is nice and green. The Hygrophila Pinnatifida is slow growing, but the new growth looks good. The Stargrass looks happy.

For some reason the Limnophila hippuroides didn't like the aquarium and melted away, so it has all been removed. The glosso has new growth, but the leaves are fairly small and reaching up. Not much is happening with the hairgrass yet.

I increased the co2 pressure to 35 for the diffuser. I was having a hard time at 30 bar pushing enough co2 through. I also have a thread in the sediment area about the Onyx sand raising kH. So that is making it a little difficult to pin down the co2. Hopefully the Onyx sand will slow down raising the kH in a few weeks.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:57 AM   #6
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Nice looking tank! Can you maybe add some more background plants to the left side to balance it with the right side?
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:47 AM   #7
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I agree that the left side needs work. I think I am going to remove the rock. As for plants, I am not sure what I am going to put there.
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:07 AM   #8
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So right now my KH is 5 with a ph of somewhere between 6.2-6.4 for 94 ppm of CO2. Since I have no fish, I assume this isn't a problem?

Also, some of the stargrass stems were dying from the bottom up, I trimmed and replanted the tops. Maybe the Coralife NO T5 36" PAR is too low? The stem plants aren't growing as fast as I thought they would!

I never seem to get any pearling, may that be because the filter is very efficient at moving water? When I change water, and turn off the filter, the plants pearl like crazy. When I turn the filter back on is seems to stop.

The HC seems to be the happiest plant so far with the Rotala W. coming in second. The Christmas moss hasn't done a thing yet and the Hygrophila Pinnatifida is very slow growing...

Still no algae...
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:57 AM   #9
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Default 40 Gallon- First High Tech

Can wait to see how this one turns out. Good luck!
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:32 AM   #10
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nice start. be careful though with dhg, glosso, and hc....as the three will mix together over time if there is no barrier.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:41 PM   #11
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Thanks for looking! I don't mind if all 3 plants mix together.

So the new leaves of the Rotala Wallachi seem to be getting smaller and smaller. Also a few of the new stargrass leaves are transparent. Should I try to up my fertilizer dosing? I think My co2 is high enough at 60ppm. Maybe the 2 bulb T5no fixture isn't bright enough... What do you guys think?

I am still dosing 1/4 tsp KNO3 3x, 1/16 TSP KH2PO4 3x and trace 3x(amount suggested for 20-40 gal aquariums.) Do you guys think I should up the amount daily a bit?

kh 6
gh 13(Onyx sand sure raises these a lot!)

Still no algae.

Here is a picture of the dinky new rotala growth.
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:55 PM   #12
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So I doubled the dosage of nutrients starting Monday this past week. I was getting signs of deficiency(like yellowing older leaves and poor growth.) CO2 levels are high(60ppm) so I rulled that out. Plants seem to be responding positively. I think I still may need a little more light though. I am researching medium light options.
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:11 AM   #13
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Yeah, if you want more rapid compact growth additional light will be necessary. I've been getting pretty positive results on my 20 gallon high with a nova extreme double bulb t5ho. It puts me right at around medium light which is great for mediocre stems and fantastic for crypts and buces. Good luck! Tank looks great by the way!
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:43 PM   #14
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I upgraded to the 36" Fuge Ray. My plants seem much happier.

Several weeks ago the Up Aqua Super Diffuser broke(a seal popped somewhere) while I was out of town on a work trip. I replaced it with a basic glass diffuser. I had to up the bubble rate quite a bit to keep the CO2 levels the same.

This past week I also doubled the amount of dry ferts I was adding. I could also see a a positive change in the plants but also an increase of different algae(claphadora, thread and a few others.) So I may need to split the difference in ferts and check the CO2 levels again.

Last week I added 4 ottos from a previous aquarium. I also have 7 cories, but was unable to catch them!
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:46 PM   #15
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its looking really good. im guessing the T5NO was not hitting the correct color spectrum. the RAY II ought to turn the tank around significantly
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