8G Iwagumi - Dry start
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:22 PM   #1
Dan110024
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8G Iwagumi - Dry start


After tinkering around with basic plants in inert gravel for a while, I thought I'd step it up and go high tech. Space is an issue for me at the moment, so I had to stick with the 8g tank which has proved a challenge for the selection of plants.

Initially I was leaning towards dutch planted style. After some thought, I came to the conclusion that I'm not going to get the look I want in such a small tank. Iwagumi seems to be the way to go when making a small tank look not-so-small. I think that I have carefully chosen the right plants to suit the tank and style. Australia doesn't have the best selection compared to the US.

I may have gone a little overboard on the plumbing side of things. I've put in a couple of quick access couplings for water changes. One inlet and one outlet. Being such a small tank, it's always been a pain not disturbing things during water changes. Hopefully this works and I don't need to mess around with the tank during water changes.

The Eheim 2215 is way oversized for an 8 gallon, so there is a gate valve to restrict the flow. I'm not so keen on building up too much back pressure on the pump, so I've tee'd off a tube going back to the suction side of the pump which will recirculate the excess water flow. I'm hoping this one works, too.

To keep the tank clutter to a minimum, I've put together a DIY inline heater and a Cerges' CO2 reactor.



Equipment
Filter: Eheim 2215
Light: Maxspect Razor Nano
Heater: Fluval Tronic 100w (DIY inline)
CO2: CO2PRO Professional
CO2 reactor: Cerges' DIY

Flora
Hemianthus Callitrichoides
Hemianthus Glomeratus
Bacopa sp. Japan
Eleocharis Acicularis

Substrate/Hardscape
Aqua Soil Amazonia
ADA Power Sand
ADA base additives
Seiryu stone

The plumbing isn't finished just yet. Waiting on a flow meter and some temperature sensors to arrive from eBay . Being a refrigeration technician by trade, I like to know what's happening with everything.
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I first purchased some seiryu stone from a shop which didn't have much character. My LFS then started stocking it and I got first pick. Ended up with some much nicer stones. I had a bit to play with in the end.
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Unfortunately, the single point light I'd purchased doesn't do too well when there's a big rock in the tank blocking a portion of plantable substrate. Instead of being dead centre, I've moved the light to sit above the main rock to minimise shadows around it. I will have hair grass growing up around the back of the rock. Hopefully there's not too much light falloff to the right of the tank where the HC and baby tears will be. I will be mounting the light on a white backdrop that I'm going to mount on the desk behind the tank. I don't like the look of it hanging on the glass.
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Carefully adding water
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I ordered the Bacopa Japan before the rest of the plants as an eBay seller, and only shop in Australia I could find with Bacopa, was running out. I'm waiting on my LFS to order in the rest of my plants. Being a stem plant, I'm hoping the Bacopa does ok in a dry start, especially seeing the seller grows it submerged. Time will tell..
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I'll update the post once I plant the rest of my plants when they arrive.

Last edited by Dan110024; 08-22-2014 at 06:51 AM.. Reason: .
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:42 PM   #2
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Looking pretty good! That was the perfect place for that plant.

I might suggest raising the smaller stones in the foreground up out of the substrate a bit more, once your plants grow in you'll barely see those stones anymore unless you're extremely diligent with your trimming.

And I can speak from experience that bacopa plants grow very well above water. Got mine to flower even, haha. Just keep in the humidity and you're good to go.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:29 PM   #3
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The height of those rocks did cross my mind. I'm hoping I'll stay on top of the trimming. I might see what I can do when I go planting the rest.

Does it matter how much space there is between the Bacopa stems? They're probably 1cm apart in some places. I'm not sure if that's too close together.

I checked your tanks... I never knew Bacopa flowers like that! It's beautiful.

Last edited by Dan110024; 08-21-2014 at 08:39 PM.. Reason: .
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan110024 View Post
The height of those rocks did cross my mind. I'm hoping I'll stay on top of the trimming. I might see what I can do when I go planting the rest.

Does it matter how much space there is between the Bacopa stems? They're probably 1cm apart in some places. I'm not sure if that's too close together.

I checked your tanks... I never knew Bacopa flowers like that! It's beautiful.
I think the spacing is fine. My understanding of this particular species of bacopa is that it forms tighter groupings like a bush rather than longer stems like the rest of the family. So planting it close together and keeping the runners trimmed should help with that.

I was pretty excited to see the little purple flowers! I was gone for a week and left the thing unattended other than a timer for the light, came back and there were flowers, haha. They have since withered away, maybe the recent heat wave here...but it was cool to see. I think they'll only flower when grown emmersed like that, I'm not sure they flower when submersed.
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Old 08-28-2014, 09:52 AM   #5
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The Hemianthus Callitrichoides and Hemianthus Glomeratus arrived.

I'm hoping that the HC and HG planted on the higher level of the substrate (which is pretty much all of it) doesn't dry out. At the same time, I've got a small pool of water in the bottom right of the tank which I'm trying to get rid of, while not drying out the rest of the tank too much.

Just waiting on some Eleocharis Acicularis to place around the back of the large rock.

Due to the rock on the right casting a shadow across part of the HG, I've setup a spare light I had. Hopefully, once it's grown to length and submersed, it will get enough light when it rises up above the rock.

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Old 08-28-2014, 08:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan110024 View Post
The Hemianthus Callitrichoides and Hemianthus Glomeratus arrived.

I'm hoping that the HC and HG planted on the higher level of the substrate (which is pretty much all of it) doesn't dry out. At the same time, I've got a small pool of water in the bottom right of the tank which I'm trying to get rid of, while not drying out the rest of the tank too much.

Just waiting on some Eleocharis Acicularis to place around the back of the large rock.

Due to the rock on the right casting a shadow across part of the HG, I've setup a spare light I had. Hopefully, once it's grown to length and submersed, it will get enough light when it rises up above the rock.

Attachment 362738

Attachment 362746
Looking good! If you're diligent with your misting, the HC on the high levels will grow without you needing to keep a puddle in the bottom right corner. The HC will likely mold cause it's too wet and hasn't transitioned to emmersed growth yet.

I have a new emmersed with HC on a hill that was doing great! Then we had a heat wave here in SoCal the past few days and it's dried out quite a bit. I'm hoping I can bring it back from the brink... But all I've been doing is keeping it misted in the mornings and sometimes at night if it looks dry. I also keep it covered in cling wrap except for a corner. I'll keep it that way for another week or so, then start opening it up a little more. HC grows really well emmersed, as long as you keep it at the right humidity level.
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:33 PM   #7
Dan110024
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Originally Posted by ChemGuyEthan View Post
Looking good! If you're diligent with your misting, the HC on the high levels will grow without you needing to keep a puddle in the bottom right corner. The HC will likely mold cause it's too wet and hasn't transitioned to emmersed growth yet.

I have a new emmersed with HC on a hill that was doing great! Then we had a heat wave here in SoCal the past few days and it's dried out quite a bit. I'm hoping I can bring it back from the brink... But all I've been doing is keeping it misted in the mornings and sometimes at night if it looks dry. I also keep it covered in cling wrap except for a corner. I'll keep it that way for another week or so, then start opening it up a little more. HC grows really well emmersed, as long as you keep it at the right humidity level.
The puddle isn't something I'm trying to maintain. The problem is getting rid of it while still spraying the rest of the tank. I've tried sticking some small tube into it and sucking it out, but it's kind of hard without getting it in your mouth and it's too restrictive to siphon. I'm worried some sort of algae is going to start growing there. Might give it another crack this weekend with an absorbent towel or something.
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:35 AM   #8
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Ah yes, I figured you weren't intending to keep the puddle and didn't mean to imply so, despite what it sounds like from my response, haha.

DSM with hills like that is definitely a little more tricky (from my admittedly limited experience), just gotta keep an eye on things and I think it'll be fine.
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Old 08-29-2014, 01:33 AM   #9
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I did a dry start with hc...And hills I figured a trick!
I propped the lower side up with books lol so it stayed level. Light at an angle. Totally worked!
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:51 AM   #10
Dan110024
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Ha! That's a little creative. That could very well work with the puddle I have although I'm sure gravity might have something to say about my big rock precariously sitting there.

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