Marconis' 55g soil/low-light journal
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:59 AM   #1
Marconis
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Marconis' 55g soil/low-light journal


Hi guys, this will be my third aquarium with a soil underlayer. After battling algae problems for months due to nutrient imbalance and too much light, I decided to tear the tank down and swap out the dual T5-HO to a single and do things a little differently. I got a 1x54W HagenGlo, and am using an AC70 as filtration (might need to get a powerhead).


I placed a large plant order on aquariumplants.net over the weekend and am hoping they will ship this week. The list is as follows:

4 of : Cryptocoryne, Retrospiralis (Cryptocoryne retrospiralis)
2 of : Cryptocoryne, Undulatus (Cryptocoryne undulatus)
3 of : Cryptocoryne, Wendtii, Red (Cryptocoryne wendtii)
4 of : Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum)
4 of : Rotala Indica (Rotala roundifolia)
1 of : Sagittaria, Dwarf Subulata (Sagittaria subulata)(10 plants per order)
1 of : Sword, Amazon (Echinorodus bleheri) Pot Medium
6 of : Water Sprite(Ceratopteris thalictroides)

The hornwort is going to be used as a floater for about a month. I think the water sprite will be the basis of my background, with the others acting as mid-foreground. In my last setup, I had successfully created a nice dwarf sag "carpet" that I'd like to go at again in this tank. I started moving around the DW, and came up with the following: (I do apologize for the reflection in the photo, I forgot my T5 at my parents house ((was a Christmas gift)) and had to have the room lights on).



All of the dirt on the bottom is just what was left over from when I emptied the tank. What do you guys think of this arrangement? My next question is, do you think I should have tall plants around the large piece of DW on the left, or keep fore-midground plants around it?

Thanks!
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:33 PM   #2
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Got my plants early this morning, just finished planting/filling/cleaning up. All plants were in top-notch condition and well wrapped. I ordered too many Rotala, and way too much Hornwort, but it's okay. Not sure how I feel about the Spiralis...Dwarf Sag came a little tall, but once it starts running and sprouting new leaves I'm going to pluck the longer ones. Excuse that big rock holding the DW down. Here it is:









Thanks for viewing.
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:45 PM   #3
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I think it looks awesome. I have thought about ordering from them in the past. Keep up the good work.
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Old 01-28-2012, 02:37 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot. Do you guys think I have too much Hornwort at the top? I don't want to stop too much light from penetrating below.
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:18 PM   #5
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I don't think it's too much floating plants, but you'll have to monitor as you go along depending of the light you have in there. The floaties may help reduce the algae at the top of the tank... ???

I would also put the amazon sword towards the back... They tend to get rather big.

Looking good!
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:20 PM   #6
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I'm only keeping the floaters there for about a month until nutrients are in check and everything. I am going to keep the AS there for now, and just see how things grow in and will move accordingly.

Thanks!
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:46 PM   #7
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Better photos:



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Old 01-29-2012, 10:36 PM   #8
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Crypt melt is in full swing, mainly the Spiralis. Portions of the Hornwort have turned brown; I hope they will begin to thrive over the next few days. The Rotala looks like it will do well, as will the Water Sprite as I can see that "curling green bulb" at the top of a bunch of the stems, which indicated to me it is growing upward.

So far, so good...
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:36 PM   #9
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Cant wait to see the finish product.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:23 PM   #10
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Tank is leeching tannins like a mofo, but that is to be expected since I didn't mineralize or anything. One thing that is bugging me, though, is that my Hornwort is turning brown on some portions; I thought this plant should thrive in a setup like mine?

Any advice is appreciated, thanks.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:21 AM   #11
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Few hours after water change. Check out the growth on the Water Sprite; I think the Hornwort grew as well.** EDIT**Upon closer inspection, I can see new growth coming through the sand on the base of nearly all of my Crypts with the exception of the Spiralis, so the melting isn't the worst thing in the world. :-D. Happy!

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Old 02-07-2012, 05:35 PM   #12
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Not that anyone follows this thread, but my tank is rampant with algae (haven't had time to identify yet; brown and fuzzy at spots). Thought that at least the Hornwort would help with this, but oh well. I'm making sure to keep my blinds closed in the room to cut down on extra light. The good news is that my Water Sprite and Rotala have really taken off and are dominating the right side. The Crypts are melting (the Undulata very slowly), but I can see penetration of new leaves from the soil which is good. Dwarf sag is so-so...hoping to see some runners soon.

I'm doing a water change tonight, then I'll snap a picture tomorrow. Oh, and also getting fish this weekend (light stocking).
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:57 PM   #13
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Love the tank. Good luck in your fight against the algae! I also just started my tank and I'm sure I'm going to be battling it soon also.
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:49 PM   #14
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Thank you, appreciate it. Good luck to you as well.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marconis View Post
Not that anyone follows this thread, but my tank is rampant with algae -------- I'm doing a water change tonight, ----- Oh, and also getting fish this weekend (light stocking).
Bwahahaha that's what I get for lurking I guess LOL.
I've looked at the thread everyday you've posted an update since joining the frat and started the thread.
(imo) Tolerate the tannins until you can't stand it anymore then change the water in a big change ratio to brighten the tank. Seems to slow the algae. Floaters go a LONG way on reducing algae on a new tank too helping to moderate both light energy and ferts in the water column.

Thinking the tank is off to a good looking start (imo).
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