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Old 01-20-2013, 05:45 PM   #1
Algae Grower
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My planted tank.

I've finished replanting my main tank. It's still work in progress and will take another 6 months to look as planned.

It's a 120L tank with a 1400L/H All Pond Solutions External filter and DIY 4x24W T5HO light.

The idea was to spend as little money as possible, so the substrate is potting soil/compost capped with play sand. HC was dry started from one small pot in a smaller tank over 12 weeks and replanted into this tank and grew emersed for another 4 weeks.
Other plants include Bacopa Caroliniana, Cabomba, Ludwiga Glandulosa, Hair Grass and Sagittaria.

Tank has been flooded for almost 5 weeks now and I only use Excel for carbon dosing until I put together a CO2 extinguisher system. No other fertilisers are being used.

For the first 2 weeks maintenance included daily 30% water changes to control algae. Diatoms have been easy to control and only appeared in the first week.
For the last 3 weeks 30% of water was changed every 3 days to make sure that ammonia is at 0. Filter media was taken from another running tank but I want to make sure that there are no surprises.

Plants are pruned every week and as need during the week.

Three weeks ago 1 small swordtail and 10 red cherry shrimps have been introduced to keep the filter alive. Two weeks ago 3 Siamese Algae Eaters and 1 Otto were added. Fish are not fed at all so light duration was increased from 8 to 9.5 hours to allow some algae to grow.
There are also a few pond snails. Even though they were not welcome (came with plants) they are doing a good job and don't bite the plants. Twice a day I check for and remove snail eggs and so far they have not been a problem.

I still haven't decided what other fish to keep in this tank and I'm thinking about changing the background plants. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:18 PM   #2
Rich Guano
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Tank looks really good! Excellent growth and vibrant colors.

I beg to question... You mentioned you used "potting soil". There has been discussion lately regarding the differences between "potting mix" and "potting soil". Have you an opinion here?
Have an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out.

Think outside the glass box.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:24 PM   #3
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I think it looks really good. The carpeting is so lush. I'm with rich....tell us more about your potting soil.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
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"Semper Fi"
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:43 PM   #5
Algae Grower
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Thanks for your comments.

I live in the UK and use a mix of Homebase Organic Compost, play sand, Pond Soil from Dobbies and John Innes #2 Potting Soil (I had all these at home already). It's working very well and plants grow like crazy but also requires a lot of maintenance in the first few weeks. Especially uprooting any plants causes debris to release and takes a bit of work to clean up.

As for potting mix vs potting soil, I haven't really researched the two enough to make a judgment and it seems to me that different companies use the two names interchangeably. It's always best to check the ingredients.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:47 PM   #6
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Looking great!
It almost reminds me of huge wabi-kusa(sorry, Kiran)
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hc cuba, planted tank, siamese algae eater

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