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Old 04-05-2011, 09:49 PM   #1
mattycakesclark
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RETIRED: MattyCakes 20H (56k)


8-11-12 RETIRED


Current FTS as of 1-29-12

GLA Atomic CO2 diffuser in action:





Hello All

This is my first journal of my first serious attempt at a planted tank. I will take you through the journey of my tankdom.

A little history:

I started out years ago, with a 20H and 29, and thought "hey, how about adding plants, they will keep my water cleaner and grow realllllly big" That was back in the late '90s - early '00s, still living with the 'rents.


Nothing really took off, but apparently my tigerbarbs liked the tank, as they would spawn often. The plants on the other hand, did not care for the way I treated them, poor light, poor substrate, poor nutrients. Hurricanes came, and the tanks were torn down (without power for weeks . . . )

About 2 years ago I brought my 20H and DIY stand out of the dusty closet. Started off with clown puke, few random rocks and some . . . plastic . . . plants for my g/f's wee one, with them "Glofish". Not to my liking, but good for me and the tank, that lady moved on

To suite my tastes I beefed it up with some hornwort, then some black mollies, then Albino BA Tetra. The hornwort grew ok, but I wanted MORE

Then I found this site!

After about a year of purchases, trading, swaping, and tearing it up:

Equipment:
20 Gallon Tall Aquarium
Eheim ECCO 2236 (loud, used)
5# CO2 with GLA setup, and GLA Atomic diffuser
Odyssea 2x24w T5HO fixture
Turface Pro - tan
no heater

Dosing
EI dosing (NPK CSM=B), with added Mg (low in tap)
50% weekly H20 changes (50/50 RO/Tap started 4/3/11)
RootMedic Complete tabs once and a while under the crypts

Fauna:
6 Albino Buenos Aires Tetra
3 Black Mollys, and countless youngings
3 Corydoras paleatus
3-4 Otocinclus vittatus
20-30 RCS
100000000000000000000 Ramshorns/pond snails/MTS

Flora:
Anubias barteri 'Petite'
Cladophora aegagropila
Cryptocoryne parva
Cryptocoryne wendtii *maybe other crypts too?*
Elocharis acicularis
Elocharis belem
Microsorum pteropus "needle leaves"
Microsorum pteropus "trident"
Taxiphyllum alternans

Water parameters: (as of 4/3/11 before WC)
(tap/tank)
T = 77.8 deg fahrenheit
pH = 7.7/7.4
GH = 9/9 degrees
Ca = 140/80 ppm as CaCO3
Mg = 20/80 ppm as CaCO3
KH = 7-8/7 degrees
TDS = 190 / 280 ppm
NO3 = 0.0/10.2 ppm
PO4 = 0.64/6.24 ppm

My goals are to even out my EI doing, lighten up on the PO4 and edge up NO3, although my plants are growing good, Just looking to see if I can get a noticeable improvement. Also, with the use of 50/50 RO/tap water at changes, I hope to lower my TDS and hardness.

Some photos

FTS:



BAT:




Molly tots:


Invertz:



GLA Atomic CO2 Diffuser:


Artsey-fartsey shots:



So when cleaning the tank for it's photo shoot I stirred up a puff of what looks like string algae . . . . any ideas? I am still fiddling with the CO2, tank is getting low (<600psi) and bubble rate seems to fade, but can not get a refilled till tomorrow night. Turned off the filters, pulled what I can, and hit with Excel, and will clean filter. Before it choked out my moss, and a sever hacking and Excel helped. About two weeks ago I plugged some DHG in there, might have stirred up substrate and too much mulm?
What exact type of algae do you think this is?


Goals:
  • New and cleaner filter hose setup, with less kinkage
  • Quite filter(used, replaced a lot in it, still loud), mouse pad under?
  • Trim and clean up leggy portions of moss and DHG
  • New inlet and outlet pipes
  • Set up a barrel and start using pure RO & reconsituting with GH (an exercise maybe in prep for a new spiffy ADA and CRS setup when I am not poor)
  • Have a blast!

Thanks for viewing!!!
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Last edited by mattycakesclark; 08-11-2012 at 09:16 PM.. Reason: tank retired
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:29 PM   #2
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I would say you get the "most improved" award.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:32 PM   #3
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kinda looks like thread or staghorn algae...boost the c02 or directly put excel on it...it'll die off quick like.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farmhand View Post
I would say you get the "most improved" award.
bahahah! If I find a photo of the old clown puke disaster, I will show you. Before I knew anything about planted tanks, there was a giant chunk of lacy coquina rock . . . . . .
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farmhand View Post
I would say you get the "most improved" award.
For sure Nice job this time around!!
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:55 PM   #6
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Nice improvements. Knowledge is power!
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:58 PM   #7
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Here is the old clown puke setup (don't mind the goober, she loves her nuggets)


I worked on it a bit:

10-30-10 FTS

11-20-10 FTS

4-3-11



ALGAE BATTLE ROYALE





Everyone gets algae, kinda like chicken pox. . . lol . . . just not as itchy and much more annoying
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:02 PM   #8
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Really nice outcome, I just ordered that diffuser also... nice seeing it in action!
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyke View Post
kinda looks like thread or staghorn algae...boost the c02 or directly put excel on it...it'll die off quick like.
After much research while I was hitting with Excel spot treatments, tweezering, and upping the CO2, I now believe it is clado. It has a coarse stingy feel, and branches just like my Taiwan moss, and is deep green. It is mainly on my prefilter and on the top branches of moss. The moss needs a trim, I will squirt it with Excel a bit more. The prefilter will come out the next day or so, and get bleached.

Quick question, when people refer to "3x the recommended dosage of Excel" do you think they are refering to the water change dosage (10mL per 20gal) or the "after water change" dosage (10mL per 100gal). I would hate to keel my RCS. I am spot dosing at 1/2 the water change amount. . . .
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:52 PM   #10
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I am not sure of the long term feasablity of this tank, high light, EI and being gone for a few days is making me lean towards a medium light setup, with a few days a week dosing. The TDS has dropped to 200, with RO/tap mix WCs.
I will be moving next month, so for now I am winding it down, and sending some plants to my buddies newly setup tank across town. The crypts are to the top of the tank, and showing real nice, and the RCS are quite for active and breeding.

Onto maybe another project come later this summer, a small (3) 10 gallon setup, for some shrimp fun (been bitten). I was thinking of three 10 gallon tanks, each with a 4x4x4 sponge filter (from SwissTropicals), tanks arranged side by side with the ends facing front (not best for viewing, but tighter?). I am looking to get a cost effiecent T8 or so fixture from HomeCheapo, but I need some advice. I have several concerns facing light selection:
-will I get enough light coverage across the whole front-to-back of the tank, if I run the light across all three tanks (as they will be arranged so the side is facing front)
-with proper coverage, what bulb type/number of bulbs/mounting hieght should I be aimg for for medium/low/non CO2 injected setup?

I will draw up a idea in MSPaint in a bit to explain.

Maybe lean towards individual lights per, but trying to be cost effiecient, any advice?
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:53 AM   #11
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Ok, fell off the EI band wagon. I just never seem to be able to make time, or stay on schedule. I know it is not hard, but with the household and the little one, I am gradually gonna switch this over to a less matenace tank.

With a move back in July, I gave a lot of my flora and fauna to a good friend, setting up his first tank.

I have loaded the Turface substrate with RootMedic tabs, attempting a more root ferting mode.

Right now:
Fauna:
RCS
Pond Snails
Ramshorns
MTS

Flora:
Dwarf Sag
Small crypts
Small sword
Ferns

Looks sad :/

Just started a dirt tank, and been working on a SW build also. Ha, time, where art thou?
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:37 AM   #12
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Back into working on it. Have been buying stems, trimming, staying on a routine.
Purchased new fish, as I have been fish-less for some time. Did not see the need for quarantine, as they looked quite healthy, and they all came from the same shop. After a few days, they all developed ich, so I upped the temp and used Kordon Ick Attack. . . Cleared up but lose 3 rummynose, 2 GBR, and one GW Killifish (carpet surfed through a tiiiiny hole).
Learned the lesson. Coulda zapped them all with a copper med in another tank and not dealt with two weeks of high temps.

Equipment:
20 Gallon Tall Aquarium
Eheim ECCO 2236 (loud, used)
Koralia Nano 240
5# CO2 with GLA setup, and GLA Atomic diffuser
Odyssea 2x24w T5HO fixture - Coralife 10k & ColorMax
Turface Pro - tan
no heater

Dosing
EI dosing (NPK CSM=B), with added Mg (low in tap)
50% weekly H20 changes (50/50 RO/Tap started 4/3/11)
RootMedic Complete tabs once and a while under the crypts

Fauna:
Rummynose Tetra
Golden Wonder Killifish (I know they get bigger)
Maybe some RCS/platy/mollies hidden and not yet eatten
1000000 Ramshorns/pond snails/MTS (less now)

Fauna:
Alternanthera reineckii
Bacopa caroliniana
Cryptocoryne wendtii
Didiplis diandra
Hygrophila polysperma
Hygrophila sp "Bold"
Limnophila aromatica
Ludwigia inclinata var. "Cuba" (working off emersed growth)
Ranunculus inundatus
Rotala mini sp. "butterfly"
Rotala rotundifolia
Sagittaria subulata
Syngonanthus sp "Belem" (failing, need to bring out into higher light)
random/unknown freebee stems

FTS

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Old 01-10-2012, 04:59 AM   #13
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Nice looking tank i hope my will ilke that sometime. lol
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:10 AM   #14
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Wow! This tank has seen so many different styles! :P

It's looking amazing!
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:34 PM   #15
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Major trim time . . . looks soooo empty.
New scissors and tweezers from GLA make triming and replanting stems a blast. I had some crappy tweezers, and it was an ever pain to replant with Turface. Not so anymore!!

Current FTS as of 1-29-12

GLA Atomic CO2 diffuser in action:


Also take a lookie at my lowtech RCS tank thread (the tank under the 20G), and my girlfriend's livebearer tank:
MattyCakes 10G x2 Low Tech.

Thanks for viewing!


EDIT: seems after my daily EI weekly water change, my rummynose bit the dust. I am not sure why, I suspect cold water from the water change. The photos above were after the water change, the water was 72 degrees - maybe too cold, but before the change it was 74. Not sure. Very saddening, I hate loosing fish.
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