GLA 17g - My First Planted Tank
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:45 AM   #1
bubbless
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GLA 17g - My First Planted Tank


Hi everyone,

This is my first tank journal of my first planted tank, which is a joint venture with my hubby. =)

So about two months ago, we decided to try our luck with planted aquarium. Never having kept a planted tank before, I know it's going to be a long journey - full of mistakes, catastrophes, but hopefully a lot of learning. However, to make things easier, we are going to keep it low-tech (I am still learning what it's all about).

Here goes:


HARDWARE
17 gallon GLA rimless tank ($120)
2 clip-on lamps (2 x 26w 6500K) ($20)
Eheim 2215 (~$100 - had from a previous tank)
Flo-Aquarium Plant Lily Pipe Tank (~$45 Ebay - had from a previous tank)
GLA Aquasoil ($30)
GLA Nature Sand ($9)
Driftwood/rocks (collected from a local lake)



FAUNA
7 flame tetras ($1.27 each)
Shrimps (planned)


FLORA
A very kind plantedtank member game me the following:
Java fern
java moss
star grass
bacopa
cabomba
rotala colorata
ludwigia repens rubin
Ludwigia repens x Ludwigia arcuata
riccia fluitans
Nesaea crassicaulis
Limnophila Aromatica
brazilian pennywort

While the last three plants on the list require high light, I will still keep it in my tank and see how they fare. Am I right in thinking that I have medium light in my tank since there's 3wpg?


DOSING:
Still confused about that. I planted everything two days ago and don't know whether or not I should use any ferts and if so what. The leaves look pale, but I have only placed my cfl lights on the tank tonight so will have to watch for improvements, or the lack thereof. Any input will be very much appreciated! =D


So here are some pictures. Sorry about the picture quality. Ruined my digital camera so cell phone camera had to suffice. =(
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:26 AM   #2
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You have high lighting I say. You may want to add more plants in there or run c02 so the plants can make use of the good lighting. If c02 is out of the question, try just working with 1 light so you don't get an algae spike.

Also, is your tank on a leveled base? From the picture it looks a bit off. I don't think it's a huge deal with a tank this size but you generally don't want it leaning otherwise it could compromise the tank structure over a long period of time. Again, with this many gallons, it probably won't break or anything but a leveled tank is a prettier one.
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:26 PM   #3
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Looking good.

Last edited by Green_Flash; 10-19-2012 at 09:02 PM.. Reason: misc
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:00 PM   #4
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nice work!

what sand is that? I really like your scape
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:09 AM   #5
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fusiongt, can I just raise the light higher away from the water level to decrease intensity? Also, yes I noticed that it was not leveled but I was too lazy. Will get to it. =)

andrewss, it's nature sand from Green Leaf Aquarium.

And thanks for the kind words guys. It's encouraging.
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:41 PM   #6
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Default Update!

So the tank has been running for about two months now. Didn't clean the filter yet. There is slight thread algae growth on the star grass that will have to be manually removed. Gave the taller stems a trim yesterday and also replanted the riccia. I think it looks tidier now.

ANY CRITICISMS or COMMENTS WOULD BE MOST WELCOME! THANKS GUYS!

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Old 12-14-2012, 04:23 PM   #7
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looks fantastic!!! I cant believe this is your first!!! there is one thing i would do though. see that spot in the middle front of the driftwood, between the riccia and the stargrass. i would add another small stone of riccia there, to connect the two sides a little better..and you can trim your stem plant back and create a nice dense bush!
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:36 PM   #8
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Nice job bubbless!!! I like the way you are using the stargrass more as a foreground "hedge"...you don't often see that, so I commend you on your unique approach to that.

The only thing that I would "forewarn" you on is that this could be a nightmare to keep up with. To keep it manicured looking will require frequent attention, so keep that in the back of your head.

Nice choice of driftwood, and there is a definite "land meeting water" type of feel to it! Even the slight mixing of the two colors of substrate adds to the set up. Great job!
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:14 AM   #9
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Good start. You have plenty of light, perhaps too much without some co2 or glut. Props on the stargrass foreground, I used it that way in two tanks before. Even with lower light it never really grew very tall for me and stayed pretty managable as a foreground, hopefully you will be as lucky

with a tank that size some diy yeast co2 would probably work out really well for you at low cost. Dosing excel/other gluteraldahyde product would also work if you didnt want to do the co2(you should), or use both for great results, the occassional glut dosing will keep algae like blackbrush and hair/clado in restraint.

Since your plants are mostly those that do no rely on roots to feed, look into Estimative Index(EI) Dosing, that is if you havent already done so

Good job and good luck
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:46 PM   #10
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UPDATE: Added five White Cloud Mountain Minnows. They're so cute and lively. <3 (Sorry, my P&S camera doesn't take action shots well, so only adding one shot that came out clear and it even includes one of my flame tetras!

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Thank you orchidman. Because I wanted the stargrass to fill up most of the foreground, I didn't place another riccia covered rock in that space. But it doesn't hurt to try. As soon as I make the next trim, I will add it. =)

Thank you crazydaz. I will keep your warning in mind.

Thank you kwheeler91. I don't do co2 yet, but have started dosing with Leaf Zone Plant Food. I'm a little scared to start on co2, as it seems all new to me, but I will give the DIY CO2 a try. =)
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:35 PM   #11
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Wow, really nice work. I especially love how you transitioned from the sand to the darker substrate. The little bit of the soil on the sand with the rocks makes it look incredibly natural.

Are those plastic lids for your lights? If you are concerned they will scratch your tank, you can put little silicone pads on them. They are usually for small pieces of furniture. Also, I am wondering if they are wrapped in something to make them not rust. If that is the case, you may try painting them. I don't know if POR 15 is aquarium safe but I would think it is. That would be extremely durable and waterproof. I know people who have done the underside of their cars with it, even on the East Coast, and it hold up very well to elements.

I do really like your light setup though. It makes your tank look very elegant.
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:41 PM   #12
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Go for it! Your light isnt SOOO high that you need a super consistent co2 system so diy will work out great and you will see an amazing improvement in growth, even just running a single 2 liter bottle set up. I would try to do a gallon Hawaiian Punch style bottle though if i were you.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:25 PM   #13
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Thank you talontsiawd. Yeah, they're plastic lids (to stabilize the lamps so they don't slide sideways), and I'm using saran wrap to temporarily cover the front of the light clamp. I can't paint them because there is foam on the inside of the clamps. I was thinking of mounting a towel rod on the wall behind the aquarium and clamping the lights on it. Haven't found a decent one yet.

kwheeler91, I think now I will! I would love to see my plants grow more lush!
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbless View Post
Thank you talontsiawd. Yeah, they're plastic lids (to stabilize the lamps so they don't slide sideways), and I'm using saran wrap to temporarily cover the front of the light clamp. I can't paint them because there is foam on the inside of the clamps. I was thinking of mounting a towel rod on the wall behind the aquarium and clamping the lights on it. Haven't found a decent one yet.

kwheeler91, I think now I will! I would love to see my plants grow more lush!
You can always cut the plastic (maybe find some clear stuff) for the time being to make it almost unnoticeable. You could paint them, I promise. The stuff I recommended is brush on but if you take your time, it will look smooth. Does the metal rust though, you wouldn't have to paint them, obviously, if they don't rust, just figured the did since you had them wrapped up. Not trying to be critical, I think getting them right would be more attractive than adding anything, IMO.
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