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Old 07-05-2013, 01:25 AM   #1
norbot
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2nd Planted Tank 20H


I've been meaning to start one of these journals since December 2012 when I started my first planted tank, never really got around to it. It started with one then I was stricken by mts and now I have 3 planted tanks an emersed setup, and a girlfriend still thankfully

Let me start by apologizing for the poor photography, water spots, co2 bubbles etc., all my pics are full of them

So it started in feb 2013 when I found this on cl for $40, I was mostly interested in the filter, but decided to use the tank

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Tried some derimming, it came out pretty sloppy but good enough for me, and much better than leaving the old black rim. Enough hard water haze to scrape and dose calcium for a year.........hours, clr and several razor blades got the worst of it

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In my ignorance I neglected to do any real research on dirt at this time. Unfortunately I forgot to take pics, but you would laugh at the ridiculous amount of topsoil, peat moss, kitty litter, sand, organic fertilizer and such I dumped in there, it was about 4-5" deep before the cap which was 3" of floramax! Yikes some serious stink emanated from this tank from that major mistake.

Here it is after the first fill, couple cfls at the time

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I began daily substrate poking and smelled some smells, it was definitely anaerobic, maybe even anoxic it was so deep. The plants didn't do as bad as I was expecting however, in fact they did ok

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Then I got the diatoms....bad. I had this happen in my first tank just awhile ago at the time, and they went away on their own after 2-3 weeks, the more I researched the more I would hear: "Oh diatoms are just common in new setups, they go away after awhile on their own" So I ran with that theory.....1 month......2.....3.......4 months later I still had diatoms

This was becoming a serious problem, smothering everything choking out the light. I figured it was due to the excessive amounts of substrate ingredients I dumped in, but I nearly shut the tank down because I just couldn't keep up. I thought of algae eaters but didn't want livestock as the tank seemed to be dangerous. Around this time I read diatoms can sometimes be related to low light, I figured sounds like bs but might as well try, so I found a 24" hagen glo t5ho for $20, not bad. About a week or two later the diatoms were turning white! I can't attribute this to the light change cause I also changed who knows what else, but I can't deny the apparent correlation either. Maybe it was more from lack of photosynthetic activity from the plants that allowed the diatoms a foothold? Just not sure, here are some diatoms for your enjoyment if anyone made their way through this jambled paragraph

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Everything was good for awhile,




ordered some gla ferts to replace the ghetto stuff I had been using: Hi-yield stump remover, fleet enema, potassium chloride, epsom salts, dabbled with calcium chloride ice melter, and flourish comprehensive. This stuff worked sort of, but I would always think of the salt in the fleet and the excessive amount of chloride I was adding. If for no other reason than peace of mind, I prefer the "real" ferts from gla, even though it is more expensive, for example I bought a lifetime supply of kcl for $20, whereas I got about 1/2-1 year or so of k2so4 for around $15 after shipping

As time wore on, the substrate settled down, the plants began doing better for the most part, I got some otos and a betta. I am still struggling with some algae and poor growth from a. reineckii, but it's only been about 2-3 weeks since I switched to gla ferts, so I am hoping to see improvement.
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Last edited by norbot; 09-02-2013 at 03:56 AM.. Reason: 2 became 3
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Old 07-05-2013, 01:34 AM   #2
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A few more:

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I am currently having problems with some weird algae on my anubius

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It almost looks like variegation, but its some gross algae, any ideas? Thinking co2/light issue but....

This wrinkled reineckii

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I feel like its a co2 issue, my problem is this is my first time with a diffuser and it seems like when I increase the bubble rate, all I get is bigger bubbles, thus I conclude that I am at max co2 I can attain with this cheap ceramic diffuser. I am considering a reactor, but if anyone has tips on improving co2 with ceramic diffusers, please let me hear it!

Well that's about it for now, thanks for reading if anyone's out there

edit: it appears I got some pics out of order, sorry, I'll get around to fixing it at some point
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Last edited by norbot; 07-05-2013 at 02:50 AM.. Reason: pics out of order
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:37 AM   #3
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Improving CO2 with ceramic diffusers? Why not stack 2 diffuses onto of themselves! Make the small bubbles even smaller! OK, I'm just bullsh*ting
You could always separate the CO2 output into 2 separate diffusers.
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:49 AM   #4
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Not a bad idea, I might try it, but the seltzer water might drive me crazy. Still undecided on reactor, probably couldn't hurt the betta to reduce flow a little more anyway
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:33 AM   #5
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Okay, got rid of the cheap diffuser and went with cerge's reactor=>immediate improvement.

The congensis made a full recovery and the wrinkled reineckii too. I moved a couple crypts around a little but I am thinking they are blocking out too much light, as I am seeing diatoms start to crop up again wherever there is shade....

Maybe I will add another light, but I am beginning to get bored with my tanks, which of course means it's time to start over! I will need to save up some money though so I'll keep this tank for awhile longer.

Here's a couple pics, not much has changed really.......I think the crypts are too big for this tank.....geez they won't slow down, they insist on being huge. Was trying to get the bacopa more visible, but it keeps getting diatoms on the lower portions

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Thanks for looking!
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:42 AM   #6
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I like your tank very much! You tell a good story about its journey too. Keep up the good work!
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:33 AM   #7
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Thanks Gooberfish! I like it too, but I am liking the idea of a new tank even more!

edit: FWIW my co2 has been running low lately. I've been keeping an eye on it and today I ran the 10# tank completely dry. I am using the cheapo azoo reg but, so far, I am completely satisfied with it. No end of tank dump and the bps always stays where I put it.

I was thinking, whenever I get around to replacing this aquarium, maybe I should make it a guinea pig tank....that is, try something extreme and see what the effects are.

For example I could squirt an entire bottle of fleet enema in there or put like 800 ppm KH2P04, or anything that could potentially become a learning experience for me.

Maybe I should try to see if my diatom theory is correct by blasting it with some serious light, idk.....the possibilities are endless.

This tank is sort of different though in that I dumped so much weird stuff in under the cap. Can't remember everything I used but there was:

Some organic tomato fert claiming it had some natural seaweed something or other.
Chickensh*t fertilizer with calcium
The little green miracle-gro balls
Jobe's sticks
Unscreened topsoil
A lot of peat moss
kitty litter
sand

Probably a few other things too. I don't know if that would affect my results, but I'm tempted to try to induce some algae or kill all the plants by overdose, just so I can see first-hand what you should not do. I would, obviously, remove the fish first though!

Then again I'm fairly lazy........
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Last edited by norbot; 09-04-2013 at 05:00 AM.. Reason: jinxed myself
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:52 PM   #8
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Ah! Heres one i havent read... But didnt pull much from it as its too advanced for me lol. I dose liquid co2 and ferts... But i know about diatoms! Lol.
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