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Old 03-20-2012, 09:05 PM   #106
FlyingHellFish
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I see you place your HC Cuba in clumps as well, I did the same but am getting side shoots that don't cover the ground evenly.

Do an in-depth on the HC Cuba carpet if you can good sir.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:24 PM   #107
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riccia looks great, and IMO is the best thing to judge CO2 (better even then a drop checker).
but its such a HASSLE to keep in large amounts. trimming it often, and then when the bottom is rotten, retying the healthy top part. and all the floating riccia bits...
good luck.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:07 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Francis Xavier View Post
Keeping in line with the spirit of having things updated on the fly:



Riccia growth on Day 4: It's beginning to perk up and go vertical (a good thing).

Speaking of Riccia, it's an interesting plant: here's a species which is basically really moody. I've seen Riccia change color hues, growth appearance, etc. All based on where it is in the light cycle for the day and whether or not you gave it compliments when the lights turned on or not.
Any reason for the one riccia stone on the rock there? EDIT. looks more like moss. I can't Id it. Lol
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:31 PM   #109
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Any reason for the one riccia stone on the rock there? EDIT. looks more like moss. I can't Id it. Lol
No reason: I had an extra riccia stone I don't know what to do with yet, and since I went through the trouble of tying it, I didn't want it to just rot. I'll probably untie it and leave it on a cup on a window sill or something. It's only temporary.

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Originally Posted by @marko@ View Post
riccia looks great, and IMO is the best thing to judge CO2 (better even then a drop checker).
but its such a HASSLE to keep in large amounts. trimming it often, and then when the bottom is rotten, retying the healthy top part. and all the floating riccia bits...
good luck.
I hear you marko on the long-term maintenance challenges of riccia (good thing it grows quickly for replanting), but there's nothing quite like riccia for an absolutely gorgeous carpet mix: hence why I will use it and continue to master it in every layout I do for a while.

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Originally Posted by FlyingHellFish View Post
I see you place your HC Cuba in clumps as well, I did the same but am getting side shoots that don't cover the ground evenly.

Do an in-depth on the HC Cuba carpet if you can good sir.
Hey Flying, really the trick to carpet plants in the initial planting is to do two things:

1. Plant as Deeply as possible initially for glosso, etc.

2. To plant it well enough that it stays down, and dense enough that you have a high bio mass to start with.

Follow-up strategies are what leads to tight, clean carpets. For HC, practicing an aggressive trimming strategy will lead to a tight, clean carpet.

P.S. if you've found these techniques valuable, help share the information with new comers by linking back here in your own journals when you use my techniques!
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:34 PM   #110
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any advice on mini riccia? I just got some in, and saw it pearling well yesterday (yay).
they don't grow as fast as normal riccia right?
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:52 PM   #111
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So, I got to Day 5 yesterday of the water change cycle, and upon getting home I noticed the water was a little brown. Not super-brown, kind-of-sort-of tannin-ish-but-not-really color. I should further clarify to you about the brown color: more of a slight tint than an actual brown. In otherwords, not perfectly clear water.

What this signaled to me, is that I should be preparing for a diatom outbreak sooner or later (perfectly fine) and that any plants in the emmersed form are currently breaking down and melting (which you can see visibly behind the main rock), a totally normal process.

Because I didn't think ahead and only started to do a water change, rather than getting a picture of the tank with the slight coloration difference (which you probably wouldn't be able to see in a photo anyway), I got you an ever-famous-frank-bucket shot.



If you're feeling particularly motivated you can compare this photo side by side with the other bucket shot, showing the differences in water.

I drained the tank down a bit to:



Pro Tip: Exposure to air helps to kill some algae types. In general it's a pretty good preventative maintenance strategy to drain as much as you can on at least a monthly basis.

To spurn some extra aeration on fill-up: I turned the filter on at this water level:



Doing this as a regular practice helps to rapidly oxygenate the water during a water change, which is healthy for the overall environment (due-to-a somewhat long scientific explanation that involves oxygen levels at the microscopic levels, which you don't need to know to know that it helps and is free to do).

Total maintenance time: 11 minutes

Let's go back in time for a minute:

Setting up the filter

Okay, so i'm assuming that you know how to set up a canister filter, and if you don't, just go to eheim.com or the like: it's fairly simple.

Really the point here is to expose my secret for the setting up a canister filter for a planted tank.

It involves an easy first step, which we're all familiar with:



If you bought an eheim, it should come with Bio Rings (mechanical filtration), if you'd like to use the ADA version, it's Bio Cubes (which we'll have sooner or later), but for now just have a layer of mechanical. This helps to break down / catch larger debris in the filtration process.

The second step is pretty easy too:

Carbon. (Rinse before use always, large explanation as to why, but just know that you need to do it. Also, don't do it in any area where it can stain the surface, carbon stains stuff. Like, say, in the bath tub. I did that once and it took me like a month to clean the carbon off. Bad idea. Use a stainless steel kitchen sink or the like).



That's it. We're going to only use carbon and mechanical, at a ratio of 20% mechanical, 80% carbon for the first 30-45 days.

The reason you're going to do it this way is because during the set up, we need the extra purification power of Carbon. This helps to polish the water and remove any negative elements, which there will be the most of during this period.

After the first month or so, we'll no longer need to use carbon (it will have burnt out by this point) and we can switch over to biological to maximize our biological filtration (most important step in filtration for us).

Tips for Carbon
*has surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow on (which is why I use carbon instead of purigen in the planted tank, for a while, I / ADG used purigen in planted tanks, but long-term testing proved carbon to be better for this reason, though you can use carbon + purigen as well if you like, however if the choice is either carbon or purigen, go with carbon).

*choose the highest quality carbon you can get, this leads to the best results and the highest capacity for cleaning the water. NA Carbon is an excellent carbon source, and even better than NA Carbon is sources of Bamboo Charcoal (the best aquaria-related carbon, taken from bamboo).

*avoid carbons that are just powdered or "caked onto filter pads," these tend to come by default with filters, the eheim 2211 i'm using came with one, and they're largely useless. They help some to make the water clear, but that's all they do. You always want a carbon that comes in stick form or that is bamboo charcoal (these types are kind of jagged edges).

P.S. if you've found these techniques valuable, help share the information with new comers by linking back here in your own journals when you use my techniques!
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:54 PM   #112
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any advice on mini riccia? I just got some in, and saw it pearling well yesterday (yay).
they don't grow as fast as normal riccia right?
Hey gnod, I don't have too much experience with "mini" riccia. Riccia has many different forms it comes in, but they all largely have the same nutrient & planting (i.e. floats) requirements and habits.

P.S. if you've found these techniques valuable, help share the information with new comers by linking back here in your own journals when you use my techniques!
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:55 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by Geniusdudekiran View Post
Although I appreciate the tank for what it is, I have to say I think it appears to be a proof-of-concept rather than a planned aquascape. Well that's not fair to say actually, it was very, very well thought out. But thought out to prove that this could be done. But that's not to say it's a bad thing. I like it though. Just throwing that out there.
Hey Kiran,

I just have to ask for some elaboration on your viewpoint, because after reading and re-reading your post, I still have no idea what you're talking about, more curious than anything else.

P.S. if you've found these techniques valuable, help share the information with new comers by linking back here in your own journals when you use my techniques!
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:15 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by Francis Xavier View Post
No reason: I had an extra riccia stone I don't know what to do with yet, and since I went through the trouble of tying it, I didn't want it to just rot. I'll probably untie it and leave it on a cup on a window sill or something. It's only temporary.



I hear you marko on the long-term maintenance challenges of riccia (good thing it grows quickly for replanting), but there's nothing quite like riccia for an absolutely gorgeous carpet mix: hence why I will use it and continue to master it in every layout I do for a while.



Hey Flying, really the trick to carpet plants in the initial planting is to do two things:

1. Plant as Deeply as possible initially for glosso, etc.

2. To plant it well enough that it stays down, and dense enough that you have a high bio mass to start with.

Follow-up strategies are what leads to tight, clean carpets. For HC, practicing an aggressive trimming strategy will lead to a tight, clean carpet.
When you say plant as deep as possible initially for glosso, what does that mean? Can you elaborate on that? For glosso I always planted it so just the roots that are under the substrate. Is that too shallow?

I have an Eheim 2215 on my 10 gallon. I've been running it on this tank for almost a year. And to be honest, I can't remember what medias are in it. Terrible I know, can you tell me what a good ratio would be?

Last question, I promise, what is the proper height relative to the waters surface for lily pipes?
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:27 PM   #115
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When you say plant as deep as possible initially for glosso, what does that mean? Can you elaborate on that? For glosso I always planted it so just the roots that are under the substrate. Is that too shallow?

I have an Eheim 2215 on my 10 gallon. I've been running it on this tank for almost a year. And to be honest, I can't remember what medias are in it. Terrible I know, can you tell me what a good ratio would be?

Last question, I promise, what is the proper height relative to the waters surface for lily pipes?
Excellent questions, Orchidman.

1. Glosso: plant it so that the leaves are barely breaching the surface of the soil. In a Nano tank especially, this will encourage runners being underneath the surface and the carpet will grow tight. Remember Glosso is a stem plant, and will respond well to trimming and excellent root nutrition.

2. An eheim 2215 might be a bit overpowered for a 10 gallon (reason being is that you'll have to half-cock the intake or output to not overpower the aquarium, and a 2213 will give you about perfect flow): while this isn't a bad thing, I might suggest a 2213 for a 10 gallon. The benefit to your 2215 is that you have more room for media, which is excellent.

3. As for media: I have some homework for you Orchidman, I want you to develop the habit of cleaning your filter every month. It's simple and easy when you get in the habit of doing so (often taking as little as 10 minutes during a water change).

When you clean the filter, I want you to have a 5 gallon bucket filled with aquarium water during the water change, and to "rinse" the biological media in this bucket to remove debris. You will see your flow rate increase exponentially after doing this.

At 1 year in, you should be running 100% bio rio + a packet of Tourmaline F for purification. Because your media has been running a while without a change, you cannot go 100% bio rio yet, or your system will crash. So, what i want you to do is remove the carbon you have in there, rinse the bio you have in aquarium water, and replace the carbon with more biological so you should have 20% mechanical, 80% biological. In one month, clean the filter again and remove the 20% mechanical for 20% more biological. Supplement Green Bacter to accelerate bacterial growth during transitions.

By staggering how you change filtration media, you will avoid a bacterial crash and avoid algae problems as a result of that crash. (having power sand as a bed for beneficial bacteria in the substrate is another redundancy method for having a beneficial bacteria base that is immune to these problems).

You should also take a spring washer (or equivalent tube cleaner) and clean out the gunk that is in the intake and outflow parts of the filter itself. Clean the tubing of algae with the same spring washer, etc and you will see another increase in flow of about 15-20%.

When you develop these habits, you will see less algae, cleaner water and higher flow rates.

P.S. I just took a look at your journal. You need to supply more co2 to prevent your glosso from growing upwards. Also, get in the habit of trimming it whenever it tries to go vertical and you will have a carpet sooner than you think.

P.P.S. if you've found these techniques valuable, help share the information with new comers by linking back here in your own journals when you use my techniques!
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:22 PM   #116
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Excellent questions, Orchidman.

1. Glosso: plant it so that the leaves are barely breaching the surface of the soil. In a Nano tank especially, this will encourage runners being underneath the surface and the carpet will grow tight. Remember Glosso is a stem plant, and will respond well to trimming and excellent root nutrition.

2. An eheim 2215 might be a bit overpowered for a 10 gallon (reason being is that you'll have to half-cock the intake or output to not overpower the aquarium, and a 2213 will give you about perfect flow): while this isn't a bad thing, I might suggest a 2213 for a 10 gallon. The benefit to your 2215 is that you have more room for media, which is excellent.

3. As for media: I have some homework for you Orchidman, I want you to develop the habit of cleaning your filter every month. It's simple and easy when you get in the habit of doing so (often taking as little as 10 minutes during a water change).

When you clean the filter, I want you to have a 5 gallon bucket filled with aquarium water during the water change, and to "rinse" the biological media in this bucket to remove debris. You will see your flow rate increase exponentially after doing this.

At 1 year in, you should be running 100% bio rio + a packet of Tourmaline F for purification. Because your media has been running a while without a change, you cannot go 100% bio rio yet, or your system will crash. So, what i want you to do is remove the carbon you have in there, rinse the bio you have in aquarium water, and replace the carbon with more biological so you should have 20% mechanical, 80% biological. In one month, clean the filter again and remove the 20% mechanical for 20% more biological. Supplement Green Bacter to accelerate bacterial growth during transitions.

By staggering how you change filtration media, you will avoid a bacterial crash and avoid algae problems as a result of that crash. (having power sand as a bed for beneficial bacteria in the substrate is another redundancy method for having a beneficial bacteria base that is immune to these problems).

You should also take a spring washer (or equivalent tube cleaner) and clean out the gunk that is in the intake and outflow parts of the filter itself. Clean the tubing of algae with the same spring washer, etc and you will see another increase in flow of about 15-20%.

When you develop these habits, you will see less algae, cleaner water and higher flow rates.

P.S. I just took a look at your journal. You need to supply more co2 to prevent your glosso from growing upwards. Also, get in the habit of trimming it whenever it tries to go vertical and you will have a carpet sooner than you think.
1. so thats what it is! i have always planted mine so just the roots are in the substrate!!!

2. yeah at one point i had a 2213 running on it, but it broke, and instead of buying anew filter, i just used the 2215 i had. and yes, the quick connect on the output line is half closed to reduce the flow.

3. before coming across this thread, i hadnt realized how important cleaning the filter could be. i will try to establish a habit of changing it once a month!

is there a substitute i can use for the bio rio, maybe something cheaper and easier to get without having to worry about shipping?

what does tourmaline F do? green bacter helps your bacteria correct? i dont use any ADA additives. maybe there is something i can use instead? or would i be alright just not using either one?

thanks for looking at my journal!!!!! thats awesome that you would take the time to do that! since the alst picture, i took all the glosso out. i have growing emersed that i may add in soon though, with the new planting technique you told me about. i added new shrimp about a week ago so ive been running co2 less than normal, but i need to do research to find out how much co2 would be safe with RCS. im actually going now to update the thread, with a FTS and other info, so if you have a chance, check it out!

thanks soooo much for all the help! it would have taken me a week to find that much good advice elsewhere!
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:05 PM   #117
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1. so thats what it is! i have always planted mine so just the roots are in the substrate!!!

2. yeah at one point i had a 2213 running on it, but it broke, and instead of buying anew filter, i just used the 2215 i had. and yes, the quick connect on the output line is half closed to reduce the flow.

3. before coming across this thread, i hadnt realized how important cleaning the filter could be. i will try to establish a habit of changing it once a month!

is there a substitute i can use for the bio rio, maybe something cheaper and easier to get without having to worry about shipping?

what does tourmaline F do? green bacter helps your bacteria correct? i dont use any ADA additives. maybe there is something i can use instead? or would i be alright just not using either one?

thanks for looking at my journal!!!!! thats awesome that you would take the time to do that! since the alst picture, i took all the glosso out. i have growing emersed that i may add in soon though, with the new planting technique you told me about. i added new shrimp about a week ago so ive been running co2 less than normal, but i need to do research to find out how much co2 would be safe with RCS. im actually going now to update the thread, with a FTS and other info, so if you have a chance, check it out!

thanks soooo much for all the help! it would have taken me a week to find that much good advice elsewhere!
Orchidman, before I answer your follow up questions, please allow me to ask you a couple questions.

1. What is your mind set for your planted aquarium? What do you want from it?

2. May I ask How much money you have spent on your aquarium and what is your budget? (if you like, you can PM me a response to this one, or if you are comfortable you can post here).

3. Do you know what the difference is between these tanks in money spent and results?







P.S. if you've found these techniques valuable, help share the information with new comers by linking back here in your own journals when you use my techniques!
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:30 PM   #118
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Hey, just wanted to say I really appreciate this type of effort on your part for the hobby. I think a lot of us newbies will benefit from seeing a "start - to finish" process instead of a random tank build.

About the HC Cuba: Many times I have seen lush carpets with little details about the growth. One picture would be the clumps of HC and the next would be a carpet with the last picture being a lush carpet.

Can you take more pictures of the HC spreading, I did the same thing as you and many others yet I'm having these bare spots.
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:29 PM   #119
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Undeniable urge to do a Mini M setup but everything out of stock. Can't wait til stock comes in. Lots of good info here even outside of the carpets...very good read and looking forward to more updates.
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:39 PM   #120
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Very soon freph, keep up in contact with me and we can get you taken care of on the order side of things.

P.S. if you've found these techniques valuable, help share the information with new comers by linking back here in your own journals when you use my techniques!
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