Planting up my first ever tank :)
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:30 AM   #1
macph
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Planting up my first ever tank :)


Hi all, this is my first tank and decided to go the whole hog and plant it up. My menial budget allowed me to pick up a 54l kit -

FTS 10/06/14



FTS 03/03/14


60cmx30cmx30cm tank and hood
1x 15W T8
1x 320l/hr internal filter
1x 75W heater

Substrate is black sand with a layer of Laterite

Many hours of trawling photos and I settled on this peice of wood:
(Excuse the rock, still had a touch of buoyancy and i couldnt wait any longer!)



(Pic date 12/01/14)
I did mean to start this then but I wrote the whole post out then it crashed on me... twice. So i have only just got back round to trying again haha!

Next come the plants!

Last edited by macph; 06-12-2014 at 08:14 AM.. Reason: Updating FTS
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:37 AM   #2
NCSteve
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Nice looking piece of wood :thumbup:
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:54 AM   #3
macph
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I went for a selection box on the plant front, supposedly for 18" tank it included 46 plants:

according to the invoice...
1x Aponogeton crispus
5x Elodea densa
5x Vallisneria torta
5x Rotala indica
5x Bacopa monnerii
5x Eleocharis parvulus
10x Echinodorus tennellus
10x Sagittaria natans

I understand some of these wont grow at their best (or worst case, at all!) but i wanted to find the limits of my set up before I stuff it with java fern and anubias hehe

I am certainly no aquascaper but this is what I came up with:


(29/01/14)
Apologies for the poor photo, when it looks abit more respectable I will get the dslr out

I have since replanted the Rotala into more of a bunch, looks abit better :P

Be kind please!
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:19 AM   #4
macph
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCSteve View Post
Nice looking piece of wood :thumbup:
Thanks! It made the empty tank abit more bearable whilst the plants arrived!


So now in the present...
It has been nearly a week since planting, so abit of an update is in order:
There has been some non-movers (sag, DHG and chain sword).
The vallis had a couple of leaves brown and drop, hopefully just shipping damage, i will be keeping a close eye...
The fragile Rotala has lost many lower leaves to shipping, but is producing bright green growth, nearly an inch on one cutting
The Bacopa has also lost a couple of leaves to damage but has straighted up nicely and growth has begun in earnest.

But the star of the week has got to be the anponogeton (small runty little thing with 2 leaves in front of the wood behind the hair grass on the FTS)

This is what it looked like yesterday:


Water wise:
Ammonia is dropping nice and quick
Nitrite is off the charts
Nitrates 5-10ppm

doing some PWC to get the nitrite readable, but nitrates pop back up after as well, so its on its way
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:18 PM   #5
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Okay, been planted for 2 weeks now:

12/02/14


hairgrass and elodea are struggling but everything else is showing healthy growth in some form or other!

Schedule-
7hrs lighting
5ml Easylife pro-fito weekly
1ml Easy life carbo every couple of days


Cycle-wise-
Nitrites are dropping now, not very quickly but definitly dropping so the end is in sight!

Thanks for looking, any pointers in relation to anything greatfully accepted!
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:37 PM   #6
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Plants look good so far. You might want to try adding some more hardscape or adding more plants.

Have you read anything about CO2 or E.I dosing? These might benefit you in the long run and may prevent a potential algae breakout.

Your elodea is probably suffering from the higher temps you are keeping as they are a cool to cold water plant. Your DHG could be suffering from the fact it was grown emersed, lack of light, fertilizers/substrate and/or CO2. DHG can be grown in lower light (not quickly) but if grown this way, you will have to add some sort of fertilizer or CO2 to keep it happy.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForensicFish View Post
Plants look good so far. You might want to try adding some more hardscape or adding more plants.

Have you read anything about CO2 or E.I dosing? These might benefit you in the long run and may prevent a potential algae breakout.

Your elodea is probably suffering from the higher temps you are keeping as they are a cool to cold water plant. Your DHG could be suffering from the fact it was grown emersed, lack of light, fertilizers/substrate and/or CO2. DHG can be grown in lower light (not quickly) but if grown this way, you will have to add some sort of fertilizer or CO2 to keep it happy.
Thanks!
You were right about the Elodea, it has completely melted so i will certainly be adding more plants, but my current ones need a shuffle first, rotala i would like to swap with the chainsword at the back but i mustve done something wrong planting it as only 1/4 it survived and its only just coming through now :/ So i am going to wait to move that.

I have looked CO2, however I wanted to keep it low-tech, matching the low light (single T8), so the liquid co2 will do for now. I have looked at EI and to be honest i was alittle scared off so I went the all in one route, the pro-fito covers ferts apart from phosphates and nitrates. Once the bottle is done i will switch to EI but with only a 54l tank that will be atleast 18months haha
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:08 AM   #8
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Planted Week 3
Apart from the obvious hole, everything it looking good, even the DHG has perked up (a little). New plants on runners for the sag and vallis have popped up, should i detach if I am going to leave them in situ?

19/2/14


Picked out what looks like a tiny apple snail, so will be keeping my eyes peeled O.O

Cycle-wise, my off the chart (5ppm+) nitrites zeroed overnight, so it looks like im pretty much there, i will keep dosing and checking till the weekend when I can get some stock!

To be honest I dont know what im getting, i have several combinations in mind, i think it will just depend on what they have.
Something along the lines of this is most likely:
10-15 v.small fish e.g. chili rasbora/green neon tetra/ember tetra
Pair of Apistogramma borelli or similar
5 or so Amano shrimps

Another distinct possiblity would be a dwarf puffer tank (3-6?) as I will be taking my other half with me!
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:27 PM   #9
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Apart from snail no. 3 i picked out today, the tank does have some new life!

Took a drive the the not-so-LFS at the weekend to pick out something, from the vast array I settled on a pair of Apistogramma macmasteri to start me off. Yesterday I did have to put in a divider, due to constant harrassment from the male. I am hoping it is due to her not being receptive yet as they are both still quite small, rather than 'she' being a 'he' :/ If anyone could shed some light on this that would be great!
Picked up a few amano shrimp to keep them company too, they have settled in well too.

3x Amanos


Male Apisto



The (hopefully) female A. macmasteri
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:33 PM   #10
EntoCraig
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Awesome Apistos! The scape looks fantastic and the plant selection is great.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:50 PM   #11
macph
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EntoCraig View Post
Awesome Apistos! The scape looks fantastic and the plant selection is great.
Thanks! I just wish they'd get on, had to put a divider in so i can actually feed the female

Going to just be updating the FTS on first post unless anything drastic happens, new stock or whatever. Thanks for looking all!
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:11 PM   #12
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that male apisto is cool. You've done well for a first attempt and is good to have another member from the UK!!!
good luck...
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:47 PM   #13
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Good start!
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