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Old 08-31-2013, 06:26 PM   #1
machinelou
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Dirty South Planted Nano Tank Journal


Pictures from Day 1:





Tank: Aqueon Evolv4 (estimated capacity, 2.5 gal)
Substrate: Flourite Black
Light: SolarFlare LED (2 x 6700k, 2 x 10000k, 2 x 460nm [blue]), not sure how many lumens it's putting out
CO2: None for now, but may eventually do a bottle setup
Heater: None, but I'm seeing temps 79-81 degrees

This is my first attempt at a planted shrimp tank and my first nano tank. I wasn't sure if I should try to give the plants a few days (or weeks) to grow in the substrate before I added the water. Ultimately, I decided to just add the water immediately to hopefully get through the nitrate cycle more quickly. The tank is currently day 7 into its cycle.

In terms of plants, two are from the edge of a pond near my home. I'm not sure if they'll survive fully immersed but they seem ok so far. The rest are from my LFSs.

We have pretty hard water around here, so I added distilled water and then 1/4 tsp of a product called Continuum Basis KH recommended by the LFS, which after testing brings me to around 100ppm of KH (6-degrees) and a pH around 8.0-8.2. The pH feels a little high to me but maybe someone else can chime in as this is my first planted tank.

Water Parameters:
Code:
*blank values indicate the test was not performed
date (day)	pH			ammonia		nitrite		nitrate	
8/24	1
8/26	3	8.2 (evening)
8/28	4	8.0 (morning)
8/29	6	8.0 (afternoon)		0 ppm		0		0
8/31	8	8.0 (afternoon)		0 ppm		0 ppm		0 ppm
9/2	10	8.2 (morning)		0 ppm		0 ppm		0 ppm
9/5	13	8.2 			0 ppm				0 ppm
9/6	14				0 ppm
9/7	15								0 ppm
9/8	16				0 ppm		0 ppm
9/9	17	8.0 (afternoon)		0 ppm		0 ppm		0 ppm
9/11	19								0 ppm
9/12	20	8.2			0 ppm		0 ppm		0 ppm

Last edited by machinelou; 09-12-2013 at 09:33 PM.. Reason: larger pics
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:46 PM   #2
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I'm on day 10 of the cycle and I've been testing every other day or so. However, I still have not observed any detectable levels of ammonia, nitrite, or nitrates. Temperature has consistently been around 80 degrees (I can't get it any colder). My apple snail is doing fine and the plants are looking somewhere between exactly as the day I put them in, or better. Cycling is so boring! I can't wait until it's finished so I can put in a couple of cherry shrimp.

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Old 09-06-2013, 12:30 AM   #3
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Just remember that with DIY CO2 you can't control how much you're putting out. It's cheap for sure, but try starting off with a 1L bottle and then working your way up if it's not enough. Looking forward to it!
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exceliber View Post
Just remember that with DIY CO2 you can't control how much you're putting out. It's cheap for sure, but try starting off with a 1L bottle and then working your way up if it's not enough. Looking forward to it!
Thanks.. I haven't started any CO2 yet. I'll check out some different options after the tank cycles and I get some shrimps in there. Here's a pic from day 15 and it looks like the sides of the tank are starting to develop 'biofilm' unless it's just snail slime.

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Old 09-07-2013, 07:32 PM   #5
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Hate to be the bringer of bad news but I see about 4 plants that are not true aquatic plants, the two beside the moss ball called mondo grass and the two in the back which I believe they call African water fern or something, you should pull them because they will soon rot and ruin your water quality, plus they will look real bad when that happens.
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:37 PM   #6
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Awe Those were both marked as aquatic plants in the store and I bought them on impulse. I really just want something that will carpet. Maybe I'll look in the for-sale forums here. Thanks for the heads-up.

Last edited by machinelou; 09-08-2013 at 03:07 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mott View Post
Hate to be the bringer of bad news but I see about 4 plants that are not true aquatic plants, the two beside the moss ball called mondo grass and the two in the back which I believe they call African water fern or something, you should pull them because they will soon rot and ruin your water quality, plus they will look real bad when that happens.
Ive read this alot lately.. Why do they sell them?
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:08 PM   #8
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I really don't know why they continue to sell them, there are quite a few they sell as aquatic but are not. I assume they don't know because they are a corporation big chain store?
Headquarters needs some angry emails...
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