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Old 07-11-2015, 05:16 PM   #1
jacobsears
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Ludwigia Carpet


I set up this tank back in May(?) I believe. It started out as a bit of an experiment. I'd been using my 7.5 gallon Finnex cube for reef tank until I tore it down and moved everything over to a standard ten gallon. I sort of forgot about it for awhile, until one day when I saw some ludwigia growing in a ditch near my house. I went back later and dug up a 10x10 inch piece of the stuff. The roots were really dense and held onto dirt like a roll of sod. I took it back, put it in the tank, and let it grow emersed for about a week before I flooded it. The only substrate was the 1.5-2 inches of dirt that was stuck to the roots, plus some gravel to fill in the corners. It was basically a dirt tank without a cap. A few things floated up when I flooded the thing but the water stayed surprisingly clear. A few months later, repeated trimmings and high light has caused the ludwigia to stay very short and compact. It's also beginning to turn red.

At some point along the way I added an airstone, which was later replaced with an Aquaclear 20. A few days ago I added a cheap co2 system, which I think I'm going to return. It's just too much of a hassle for me. I'll probably just use diy excel instead. I've been doing frequent water changes, as the tank is still fairly young. I don't dose anything. Lately the water has been exceptionally clear and the glass free of algae. I get a bit of that green spot algae from time to time, but nothing else. As far as livestock goes, I've got a random assortment of snails, four white cloud mountain minnows (which have been breeding) and two black neons. I sort of rescued them from a friend who was tearing down a tank.

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The leaves are much more red than orange. My iphone does something weird with the light.

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I expect the leaves to grow back smaller and smaller as I continue to trim and re-plant. I really need to go back and find some pics of what it looked like originally. The ludwigia looks like an entirely different plant now.

Last edited by jacobsears; 07-14-2015 at 12:25 AM.. Reason: editing
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:34 PM   #2
JEFF9922
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I wish I could find some wild plants , I dont think any rivers in oklahoma would have anything
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:39 PM   #3
jacobsears
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEFF9922 View Post
I wish I could find some wild plants , I dont think any rivers in oklahoma would have anything
You might have some luck looking for plants growing emersed. I see a few different species pretty regularly but never actually in the water, only in damp, shaded areas around ponds or ditches.
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Old 07-11-2015, 10:25 PM   #4
akwi
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Wow... I want that O_O
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Old 07-11-2015, 11:34 PM   #5
burr740
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That's amazing
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Old 07-11-2015, 11:41 PM   #6
holoublahee
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That looks awesome! Keep us up to date, it'll be cool to see how it keeps growing.
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Old 07-12-2015, 12:53 AM   #7
Midnighttide102
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That's great looking I wish I could keep my lugwidia short like that mine grows to the top of tank weekly I am about ready to rip it out
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Old 07-12-2015, 01:42 AM   #8
caseym
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What type of bulb are you using in that lamp?
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Old 07-12-2015, 01:58 AM   #9
jacobsears
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Quote:
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What type of bulb are you using in that lamp?
Two lamps, each with a 5000k 13 watt cfl bulb. At one point I had four lamps, but it seemed unecessary. Everything grows fine with just two.

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Old 07-12-2015, 06:43 PM   #10
Harrisgo
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Very cool! You said you got it from a ditch, how deep was the water? I wonder if you could mimic this effect by growing the Ludwigia in a super shallow tank/tub, say two to three inches. Really like how it looks. Nice post.
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Old 07-12-2015, 08:07 PM   #11
jacobsears
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Quote:
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Very cool! You said you got it from a ditch, how deep was the water? I wonder if you could mimic this effect by growing the Ludwigia in a super shallow tank/tub, say two to three inches. Really like how it looks. Nice post.
No water, it was dried up. Just damp soil. I think it would look cool in a wider, shallower tank.

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Old 07-13-2015, 04:47 AM   #12
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Here's a shot from June 6th for comparison, a week or two after the tank was flooded.
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Old 07-13-2015, 06:45 AM   #13
CannaBrain
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Very cool project!
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Old 07-26-2015, 11:10 PM   #14
jacobsears
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I just got back from California this morning, I was out there for two weeks. While I was gone I had the lights set on a shorter than usual ten hour photoperiod. It also seems as if I accidentally forgot to plug one of the two lamps into the timer. The lower light caused the stems to grow taller and greener than they had been. The carpet that I had going on turned into a forest.

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I trimmed it all down (picture below), but it's still not as red or as dense as it once was. Not to worry though, it should be all back into shape in a week or two at most.

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I figured while I was here I could post some pictures of a few of my other project tanks. Below is a picture of my ten gallon and adjacent five and half gallon tank. The 5.5 was actually just planted this afternoon with trimmings from the ten gallon. They're both planted with the same type of ludwigia that's growing in the 7.5 gallon cube. I let it grow out more naturally in the ten gallon, and I plan on doing the same in the five and a half.

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And here's my ten gallon crypt tank. It's just starting to recover from the initial melting that it went through a few weeks back. I've got another 5.5 gallon tank next to this one that's waiting to be flooded. I'm sure it won't be long before I'll see something at the lfs that'll give me a reason to fill it up. I really just need to find some good looking plants. The selection has been sub par the last few times I've been.

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I've also got a 2.5 rimless reef tank that I don't know what to do with. Maybe something with shoal grass? I'm not sure though.

Last edited by jacobsears; 07-27-2015 at 03:59 PM.. Reason: editing
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Old 07-28-2015, 01:27 AM   #15
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A few big changes today- first of all I returned the co2 setup that I had and ordered a gallon of Metricide 14 to use instead. At one milliliter per day, a gallon should last ten and a half years. Go big or go home, right? In the long run, this has to be the cheapest possible way to do carbon in a tank of this size.

Then I ran by the lfs and picked up a few things. I added two otto cats, ten cherry shrimp, and a couple of bronze wendtii. I'm hoping the stems will give the crypts enough competition to keep them from taking over the tank too quickly. Once they get big they'll be impossible to remove. I'm excited to see the cherry shrimp breed, but that will likely take a few months. The ten that I got were exclusively juveniles.

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You wouldn't believe the mess I ended up with after planting those two crypts in what is essentially a dirt tank without a cap. Pulling up the stems was bad enough.

While I was at the lfs I also picked up a bottle of Flourish Comprehensive. I figured I might need it down the road now that I'll be dosing carbon.

Last edited by jacobsears; Yesterday at 01:16 AM.. Reason: editing
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