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Old 08-03-2014, 08:50 PM   #1
Cap10Squirty
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10g Rimless


This is my first attempt at keeping a journal...for a planted tank. I figured that it would help me see the progress as I am also making my first attempt with the dry start method. I'll try to update about once a week since that's about all I'll be able to do since my fourth year of pharmacy school is keeping me real busy.

Tank Specs:
------------
Aquarium: Standard 10 gallon, upper rim removed.
Lighting: 2x13w CFL 6500k bulbs
Equipment: Not decided yet
CO2: Definitely, once flooded
Substrate: Hygroton clay balls, mineralized topsoil, play sand, black diamond blasting media
Hardscape: lava rock, and some random rock from a park
Plants: Hemianthus callitrichoides 'Cuba', Eleocharis belem, Hygrophila pinnatifida
Fauna: Will probably be some of my super red cherry shrimp whenever I flood the tank.

Goals:
This is a practice tank for the dry start method (and maintained once flooded), as well as a little living room display to show off some of my cherry shrimp

Pictures:
----------

8/03/2014




Question for anyone, with the dry start method, does a much longer lighting period, say 12+ hours really help since we're not concerned about algae?
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:19 PM   #2
lamiskool
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awesome start and yes you can have a much longer photo period since you dont have to worry about algae!
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:27 PM   #3
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Great start! Love the hardscape... Looks like a little valley between two mountains.

In my experience HC absolutely LOVES good light, I've grown a dense carpet with only excel. So don't feel pressured to do pressurized co2 (although it certainly does speed up the carpeting process if you can afford it)!

Only suggestion I would make is sticking to one 'type' of rock. Looking forward to how this comes together!

Good luck!
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamiskool View Post
awesome start and yes you can have a much longer photo period since you dont have to worry about algae!
Great, and I assume more intense lighting would be good too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pewpewkittah View Post
Great start! Love the hardscape... Looks like a little valley between two mountains.

In my experience HC absolutely LOVES good light, I've grown a dense carpet with only excel. So don't feel pressured to do pressurized co2 (although it certainly does speed up the carpeting process if you can afford it)!

Only suggestion I would make is sticking to one 'type' of rock. Looking forward to how this comes together!

Good luck!
Thank you for the comments! I have a ton of excel for my larger tanks, so I'll experiment with it. On my 20g I am running pressurized CO2...I was planning on this one going with the DIY CO2 route at first and supplementing with Excel. If that doesn't work then I might step it up to pressurized. I guess I'll have several weeks to get the DIY yeast/sugar/baking soda ratios down.

As for the hardscape, yeah I know...I wanted to use only one kind, and I also wanted to drop some money on some Seiryu stone but this is my practice tank for much bigger projects down the road, so I figured I'd throw in whatever I had. I plan on using the lava rock as a substrate for some moss...still deciding on what moss I should use that would fit the landscape.
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap10Squirty View Post
Great, and I assume more intense lighting would be good too?



Thank you for the comments! I have a ton of excel for my larger tanks, so I'll experiment with it. On my 20g I am running pressurized CO2...I was planning on this one going with the DIY CO2 route at first and supplementing with Excel. If that doesn't work then I might step it up to pressurized. I guess I'll have several weeks to get the DIY yeast/sugar/baking soda ratios down.

As for the hardscape, yeah I know...I wanted to use only one kind, and I also wanted to drop some money on some Seiryu stone but this is my practice tank for much bigger projects down the road, so I figured I'd throw in whatever I had. I plan on using the lava rock as a substrate for some moss...still deciding on what moss I should use that would fit the landscape.
Mini Christmas moss or mini pellia or whatever would be perfect. Both pretty pricy though!
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pewpewkittah View Post
Mini Christmas moss or mini pellia or whatever would be perfect. Both pretty pricy though!
Yeah, I can see that! I'll keep those in mind though...by the way, I saved the back corners for potentially a stem plant...I'd want to keep it short though. IV had good success with getting rotalas to bush out nicely. I might just stick more H. pinnatifida back there to give it that tropical look.
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:11 PM   #7
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I love the contrast with the substrate, looks cool! Hopefully it doesnt mix to much and cause a mess
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:55 PM   #8
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I love the contrast with the substrate, looks cool! Hopefully it doesnt mix to much and cause a mess
I'll need to be careful when filling and moving water around, but if it does it'll look natural in my opinion.

What does anyone think about a red plant behind the rocks?
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Old 08-10-2014, 11:46 AM   #9
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Update: I noticed a little bit of algae on the sand - I need to be more careful over watering. I added more excel to my spray bottle of diluted NPK, so hopefully this will help out, along with not letting water pool. A few days ago I also moved a lot of the HC closer to the front so that I could add about half an inch of sand...I felt that the 1/4" substrate depth in the front might pose some problems down the road as far as carpeting plants coming undone.

On a side note, I am growing some Staurogyne repens and sp. 'Porto Velho' emersed. I'm thinking they both would look pretty nice tucked in and around the rocks. They went from submersed to emersed with no problem and within about 2 days I noticed new growth. I'll post pictures of that project later...

On another side note, I have read a lot of stories about people's dry starts looking wonderful and when it came to flood day...they did not have their CO2 cranked up enough...and within a short time their HC went downhill quick. I'd like to avoid that, so since I'm allowing myself about 2 months here for the plants to get settled emersed, I figured I'd play around with DIY CO2 some more before I ruled it out. I figured a 10g tank could probably benefit greatly from DIY CO2, and I had a few 2L bottles to spare so I've started testing. This is for my own benefit in the least, and if it fails, I'm able to cross it off my list as CO2 options. I have pressurized CO2 on my 20g long, and I see the benefits of it...I'd just like to give it a fair run for a smaller tank.

DIY CO2 experiment
Bottle 1 - 1/2 tsp yeast, 2 cups sugar, 1 tsp baking soda
Bottle 2 - 1/2 tsp yeast, 1 packet jello/ 1 cup sugar, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp baking soda
Bottle 3 - 1/2 tsp yeast, 2 cups sugar, 1 tsp baking soda

3x2L bottles -> check valve -> 2 L bubble counter -> needle valve -> glass diffuser

Started on 8/8, currently running at 156 bubbles per minute (2.6 BPS)..
Goal: Make it last at least a week....I'm sure 1 bubble per second would be enough to get a 10g in the 30ppm range?

Anyway,

I was goofing around with a red paint marker and tried to write, in Japanese according to some online translator, "The Rift"...hehe




Edit: you may be able to see it....in the rocks - I planted H. pinnatifida when I started and forgot about it...it is putting out emersed growth now. Also, I took some Christmas moss and tucked it in various places to see how it would do.
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:36 PM   #10
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This thing is looking awesome OP.
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:57 AM   #11
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2 Week Update:

Still getting bits of algae popping up in the puddles. I've been misting and venting the tank about 3x a day...just because I can. I guess I'll cut that back a little bit so water doesn't puddle up. A couple careful drops of H2O2 and Excel and the algae is gone.





Edit: also, the H. pinnatifida is growing in nicely. You probably cannot see it in these photos, but both plants have put out 2 sets of emersed leaf growth. They look like little ferns tucked between the rocks. I also added some Hydrocotyle sp. 'Japan' that I had a lot of extra from a recent order (Bartohog, thank you) and I wanted to see how quickly it would transition...we'll see.

Update on the DIY CO2...remember I'm giving it a thorough evaluation here before I decide on using it. I'm thinking it will be very feasible for a tank this size. I set up a chain of 3x2L reactors and hooked it up to my 40g breeder (why waste the CO2?) and it's been steadily producing 2-3 bubbles per second, but it looks like I'll be changing out bottles every 5-7 days. I recently got some wine yeast in the mail and am experimenting with it as far as longevity of the mixture. I just started it, so I'll post results on a future update.

Last edited by Cap10Squirty; 08-16-2014 at 12:00 PM.. Reason: forgot about the H. pinnatifida
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