"In the Beginning" - a beginner's 38-gal. low-tech journey - Page 4
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:07 PM   #46
jpalimpsest
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"In the Beginning" - a beginner's 38-gal. low-tech journey


Ammonia = 0.25ppm
Nitrites = 5.0ppm
Nitrates = 4.0ppm
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:17 AM   #47
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Post Day 20

Ugh! Still cycling!
But, YAY! plants

plant list:
Anubias, species unknown
Ozelot Sword Echinodorus v. 'Ozelot'
Java fern Microsorum pteropus
Crinum calamistratum
Java moss Taxiphyllum barbieri
Water Hyssop Bacopa Caroliniana
Argentine Sword Echinodorus argentinensis
Cryptocoryne undulata
Compact Sword Echinodorus bleheri 'compacta'


photos in order of appearance:
fts
left front
right front
left end
right end


* note: the planting material and baskets are tucked in the back of the tank to help with the fishless cycle *
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:47 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by jpalimpsest View Post
Ugh! Still cycling!
But, YAY! plants

plant list:
Bacopa Caroliniana
Looking great!! All of the plants look like they are doing well with the light.

Envious that you got some Bacopa Carolini.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:20 PM   #49
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I'm having some confusing water parameter readings. I posted a question here.

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Old 12-30-2012, 07:15 PM   #50
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Brazilian pennywort, dwarf sags, and crinum calimistratum need Co2 replacement like Seachem excel. Vals and moss are sensitive to the excel. Thus you would have to do DIY Co2 for that group. More info in the DIY section. I think the amazon sword would eventually out grow your tank. They grow massive roots. The crypts will need root tabs. You can make them with oscomote house fert or buy some at LNT.com

Can you get some stem plants like wisteria locally? That would help pull you ammonia down. Buying plants is risky now that it is getting cold. The anubias I know ships okay in this weather. Might want to post an add at this form for plants from member in VA.
Pennywort and dward sag grows like weeds without Co2 for me, and for many many people. You don't need C02 for those plants.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:21 PM   #51
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Post DAY 29 - more plants!

My fishless cycle is finally back on track My ammonia is dropping from 3.0ppm to 0.25ppm in a 12 hour period. I continue to raise it back to 3.0ppm daily with pure ammonia. I just need my nitrites (> 5.0ppm) to drop. I admit to obsessively testing nitrites more than once a day I'm so ready for fishies!! My nitrates are ~60ppm.


To keep myself busy, I ordered a few more plants from Bartohog. I'll probably have more than I need, but I couldn't resist. Mainly I wanted Brazillian Pennywort. I ended up ordering:
  • Brazilian pennywort Hydrocotyle leucocephala
  • Crypt. balansae
  • dwarf water clover Marsilea minuta
  • pennywort Hydrocotyle tripartita
  • Echinodorus angustifolia 'Vesuvius'
I'm not sure if the Marsilea minuta or Hydrocotyle tripartita will survive in my medium light, no CO2 tank. I guess we'll found out. My new plants will be shipped on Saturday and should arrive early next week.


I have had a mild outbreak of MTS. I think the ammonia and lack of food is keeping the population in check, but I do find and dispose of 1-2/day. Since I'm not planning to add any snail eating fish, I'll have to be cautious about overfeeding.


My final stocking list includes:
  • spotted blue-eye rainbowfish Pseudomugil gertrudae
  • sparkling gouramis (aka pygmy gouramis) Trichopsis Pumila
  • celestial pearl danios Celestichthys margaritatus
  • scarlet badis Dario dario
  • red cherry shrimp Neocaridina heteropoda var. red
  • amano shrimp Caridina multidentata
  • bamboo shrimp (aka wood shrimp) Atyopsis moluccensis
  • zerba nerite snails Neritina natalensis sp. Zebra
  • and apparently MTS
The largest thing in the tank will be the bamboo shrimp. I don't have a centerpiece fish, but I think I'm okay with that. I originally planned for a pair of apistos, but I decided the Scarlet badis may be safer with the shrimp.

I would love a school of glowlight rasboras Trigonostigma hengeli and dwarf cories Corydoras hastatus, but I know that larger schools of less species is better asthetically.

I also wish I could get an assassin snail to take care of the MTS, but I think I would rather have the zebra nerite. Plus, I'm told the MTS can benefit the tank if the population is carefully managed.

That's all for now!
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:48 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by jpalimpsest View Post
I'm not sure if the Marsilea minuta or Hydrocotyle tripartita will survive in my medium light, no CO2 tank. I guess we'll found out. My new plants will be shipped on Saturday and should arrive early next week.
I have both of these. They should both grow well for you. I dose ferts and am doing DIY CO2 (moving to pressurized next week), so that's helping my growth, but neither requires high light or CO2.

MM seems to spread and grow relatively slow, but I'm not giving it a ton of light, and I am getting steady growth. I have a 27W power compact about 16" above the substrate, and it's not directly over the area pictured below, so it's not exactly getting blasted. Just know that it's a slow/steady grower.

I have Hydrocotyle tripartita japan and it grows and spreads fast. I'm thinning it out every week. I really like both plants, and they are mixed as my "carpet"

The time between the two pics below is almost exactly 1 month of growth, and I've removed more hydrocotyle than is in the tank it's easily quadrupled in a month.

11/29/2012:



1/1/2013:

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Old 01-08-2013, 01:25 AM   #53
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Talking Day 32

My plants from @Bartohog arrived today! They are all green and healthy I've planted them, but I'm not positive about the placement of a few. I used pieces of plant weights to anchor some of the plants that didn't want to stay in the substrate.

More great news, my tank is fully cycled and ready for fish. I'm shopping around for source options.

In not so great news, ALGAE! I need to get some algae eaters in there, but I can't get the shrimp or snails I want locally. Hopefully the algae won't get too out of control before I can stock a clean up crew.

Now for some photos (please excuse the algae):
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:45 AM   #54
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Very pretty setup! Loving the wood.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:57 PM   #55
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looks great. any updates
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Old 05-07-2013, 05:13 PM   #56
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Looks like the Hydrocotyle tripartita japan (Marsh Penneywort) is thinning out. Are you dosing with Excel? Have you checked you nitrate levels. It flourishes with KNO3.

To get KNO3 locally I use Spectricide Stump Remover. Found specs that show that is 100% KNO3. I make a solution with 1c water and 1 Tbs KNO3 and then dose 20 ml daily when dealing with algae.

Another thing that keeps algae (BBA) under control in my 29G is having a siesta period of 3hrs. Thus lights on 3hrs/ off 3hrs/ 3hrs on. As I didn't have BBA for years until I got a plant that had a little.

Usually algae is from an imbalance of Co2 due to poor ciruculation etc. Wasn't the case for me.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:18 AM   #57
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looks great, very natural
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:15 AM   #58
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Post update

It's been months since my last update.

This is a 38 gallon tank with a Fluval Aquaclear 70 filter. Lighting is a Deep Blue Solarmax T5 with a 6700K and 10000K bulbs. I'm doing 20-25% water changes weekly. No CO2. I occasionally add root tabs and Seachem Flourish Comprehensive micronutrients.

Flora include various crypts, various swords, anubias, java fern, mosses, African onion plant, Brazilian pennywort Hydrocotyle leucocephala, dwarf water clover Marsilea minuta, and pennywort Hydrocotyle tripartita. I can't remember the name of the plant left of center on the wood.

Fauna consists of 7 blue-eyed rainbowfish (gertrudae), 8 rasbora espei, 2 sparkling gouramis, 6 celestial pearl danios, 3 flagfish, 2 endlers, 5 otos, a pair of German blue rams, and a few amano shrimp.

I had a major hair algae epidemic that uglied the tank for a month or two. I finally introduced a trio of flagfish and it was gone within a week. They love it so much that I purposefully chose plants with hair algae the last time I added plants to my tank. It was gone by day's end.

About a month ago, I lost several fish. Some of the plants suffered too. Water readings (ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, and pH) held steady. I have no idea what happened, but it's been about a month ago and things seem stable again. The pennyworts and mosses are still recovering. I just replaced the bulbs in the fixture. Hopefully that will help.

This photo is post water change and not the best, but knowing myself, if I don't do it now it's not going to happen for another 6 months.

Gentle, constructive criticism is welcome.
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