Lo Tec 10g step-by-step: as told with a ton of crappy pictures and failed logic - Page 2
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:28 PM   #16
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Lo Tec 10g step-by-step: as told with a ton of crappy pictures and failed logic


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Originally Posted by I3raven View Post
If 26watts for a 10 gallon isn't enough, how many watts would you recommend for a 15 gallon? I'm planning to start a 17 gallon planted tank and I'm trying to find enough light for HC growth, but minimal algae growth.
Well, it was not enough for me, diff things for diff people. You might want to give my setup a try as it gives you a choice of different bulb combinations in diff wattage on the cheap, you can run 1 or 2 bulbs and you can easily adjust the height over the tank. Lots of flexibility to find your own sweet spot


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Old 03-11-2013, 04:16 AM   #17
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I'll try and not be the guy that inquires and dumps. I see your pile o' plants and was wondering what you think would be good for my 10g with one small sword plant. I'm just a hobbyist with serpaes, neons and corys. Unfortunately my betta and 3 neons committed suicide into the filter and I believe it was because of the generic plastic crap i have in there. What is the survivability rate of your plants through the mail, or better yet how close to Chicago are you?
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:48 AM   #18
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Default Re: Frameless 10g on a budget: as told with a ton of crappy pictures

The best way to get plant recommendations would be to post a picture of your tank with specs (substrate, light, dosing, etc) in the general section of the forum.

I'm 3-4 USPS days away from Chicago, in CA.

Shipping plants, imho, is a trust-based deal. The buyer does not know if the plants were already junk even before they went into a bag. The seller has no idea if the plants spent 7 hours sitting on top of the mailbox in 10F weather. Then there is the USPS. Some of my buyers got dead plants from me and I have gotten some marginal ones from others. Things happen. It is how the parties resolve it is what counts in the end.

Most of us on TPT are hobbyist like you and I. We care more about the person on the other end then we care about the $10-30 we 'make' off the deal. The ones that 'hit and run' don't last very long. The reputation and my personal core values come first. Always.

It never hurts to ask for pictures of the actual plants. It never hurts to check the seller's tank or the iTrader rating.

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Old 03-11-2013, 07:24 PM   #19
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What is the plant growing out of the top in the back right corner?
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:42 AM   #20
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Default Re: Frameless 10g on a budget: as told with a ton of crappy pictures

It's Water Hacynth, a floater.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:25 PM   #21
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Default Sparkling gourami update

Yesterday, found 1 dead on the substrate in the 10g and 2 dead floating in the 17g . All from the last shipment on Fr. They did look emasculated, with no other visible damage. Much thinner then the 2 that I now have for 3 weeks. Still, a bummer

I pulled the remaining one from the 17g and moved it to 10g. Ghaa.

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Old 03-14-2013, 11:30 PM   #22
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The gourami I move expired last night. That makes 4 DOA and 4 dead in the tank over 4 days out oh 10 ordered. Not good .

All 20 corys from the same seller as the gouramies are doing well. So, no idea what gives.
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Last edited by OVT; 03-15-2013 at 03:25 AM..
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:11 AM   #23
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bummer to hear about the fishes!
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:10 AM   #24
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Sucks to hear. Is this from a local store, if so, PM me. Knowing your tanks, I can pretty much assume it was no error of your own.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:30 AM   #25
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Looks good.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:25 AM   #26
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2 weeks has passed since the first water change - enough time for the next assessment. I check the tank out, making mental notes of what I want to do with it the next day. The plants are taking off and the 2 sparkling gouramis doubled in length and are getting fat. Before I dive into my detailed account, some pictures:

Front - plants and more plants



Top:



Back:



Fauna:

These guys look like a pair in the making:



"The other woman":



Just too cute:



Getting a pic of gouramies is getting harder:





Dinner is served:



Flora:

Vesuvius is taking over the world:



I think tomorrow is a trim day...
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Last edited by OVT; 03-24-2013 at 10:48 AM.. Reason: rm pic
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:51 PM   #27
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Default Rants on planting a new tank

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Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
...Suggestion for the foreground...blyxa japonica can get pretty big, even in a low tech tank. The little bit you gave me is actually taking over my little 6 gallon and is about 4-5 in tall. I have found that Echinodorus tenellus is a good low tech plant but can grow tall as well...
I hear you, brother, and thank you for the offer. As always, you are right, as you will see in my next post. I purposely selected (a lie) the plants I planted - I might be mad, but I tend to do things for a (mad) reason. I also thank you for giving me the opening for the following collection of personal rants.

Rant #1: The real reason I planted what I did is simple: I had the plants. Even though I have e. tenellus in several tanks (you can see some in my picture of another tank in this thread) it can be either a blessing or a curse. But that's a subject for another runt.

Rant #2: I am blessed that this is not my first tank and that I learned along the journey the hard way: by hitting my head against hard objects. Repeatedly. And hard.

I have learned that this hobby takes patience, time, perseverance, effort, and patience.

Runt #2.1: All of us want to set up a new tank and have it win a contest. On day one. This forum is awash in pictures of beautiful, gorgeous, breath taking pieces of art. What gets lost in the flood is the effort and the time and the knowledge and the skills to create one. If you want a tank full of 'difficult', rare and expensive plants the day you first fill it - I will help you. For a price. You will have one long enough to snap a dozen pictures. After that, you are on your own.

Just check the number of posts on HC, DHG, MM et al. The Dry Start? for 6 months!?! Screw that. I want my pay back and I want it now, just like the other guy. The difference is I actually know what it takes to grow HC in a low tech tank and I am not willing to pay the price. I plant a bunch of blyxa that you cannot give away and I have an instant green tank.

Yes, most of us will not look twice. Big deal, Blyxa. HC and DHG is what you want to show off to 'earn' your spot up front. And you set yourself up and fall on your face. And you leave the hobby to fail again in something else because "patience, perseverance, effort" are not in your lexicon. Instant gratification is.

You, and many others, have seen my tanks in person. None of them is perfect or without problems or ever finished. But then again you know how many plants I've sold. How many R. macrandra and Nesaea Red I gave away to others to try out, to reach higher. How many of those people have ever gotten back to me with stories of success? Maybe 2. Max. Sooo, I did not want a bunch of R. macrandra rotting in my tank. But, talontsiawd, you just might now me better then I know myself - I just might end up with a 10g 100% planted with healthy, red r. macrandra ... eventually.

Nesaea red, in my tank:
(do you see much algae? That's a 65g 18" tall tank with 324w of t5ho @ 12 hrs/day)



and in my kitchen sink:



R. macrandra, in my kitchen sink:



Guess this plant, in that color:



Rant #3: The plants that I expect to be the 'anchor' plants (larger rosettes) get planted first. They define the planted part of the scape, I want to give them a head start on developing the root system and I do not expect or want to move them around the tank. In this case, I want to keep the red tiger lotus and the banana plant.

The rest of the tank gets planted wall to wall with as with much variety of fast growing, cheap / disposable plants as I can get my hands on. My goal is to get to a stable tank as soon as possible. I also try to select plants that have different growing patterns to serve as my indicators.

For example, I expect to pull out some of the Blyxa to check for the root development. I want long healthy roots that indicate that the substrate is not too compacted, has decent levels of 02 and nutrients. Short and/or decaying roots will point to problems that will need to be addressed.

L. repens and S. sessiliflora use a lot of nutrients from the water column and don't really require that much light. If these plants fail to show decent growth then my dosing is probably out of whack.

Vesuvius is a rosette plant that has shallow roots and reproduces via aerial runners. If that plant fails to stay put, then the substrate might be too lose for it. If the roots start to rot, then I need to check the cleanliness on top of the substrate (organics). If it fails to start sending out runners, then it does not have enough food.

Water Sprite, besides being a great nutrients sync, does not have to be planted. If its roots that I put on top of the substrate start to rot then check the organics.

HM is a relatively slow growing stem in low light and can be rather 'touchy'. If it's not looking great then maybe my circulation fails to deliver the nutrients it needs. It is also a great thread algae 'magnet': if I start seeing it then I will tone the flow down a bit.

Floating plants like Brazilian pennywort serve several purposes. First of all, with their access to atmospheric co2, they are not co2 limited. They should take off the fastest in a lo tec, no co2 tank, unless something is really wrong. By being fast growers they are also my defense against drastic swings in a small tank. Moreover, floaters tend to have well developed, fine and dense roots - the perfect place for the string/thread algae to make the first appearance which provide me with the early warning system on flow and nutrients.

Another important role of floaters (and water sprite) is to give me tools to adjust the amount of light reaching the planted plants. If I see GSA - I drop in more floaters. If things are looking stable, I can remove some to gradually increase the level of light without messing with the light fixture. If the tank is rock stable, then I am in a decent spot with my initial light / fert / flow combination.

As the tank matures, I will start replacing the initial plants with something more interesting and / or demanding. Depending on the overall health of the tank I can either increase or decrease my re-planting pace. So, the selection of the initial plants allow me to gauge the state of the affairs and to nudge different parameters towards my golden middle.

As a side note, I have not used a test kit at all yet. I only test the water if things start going south overnight.

Last edited by OVT; 03-24-2013 at 10:57 AM.. Reason: continue
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:12 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OVT View Post
talontsiawd, you just might now me better then I know myself - I just might end up with a 10g 100% planted with healthy, red r. macrandra ... eventually.
You may, but my guess is it will be Orange r. macrandra, still can be really attractive though. Only reason I bring that up is that you should try throwing in some plants you consider really hard to grow. Some, not all, will do much better than you think in a low tech with enough light. They will grow slow and not color up as much, but they still can be really attractive, especially because they often grow more compact.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:49 PM   #29
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Default Re: Lo Tec 10g step-by-step: as told with a ton of crappy pictures and failed logic

You are right, it will be mostly green with some yellow and orange highlights, unless it is trailing right under the lights. I was actually thinking to try Nesaea Golden first as a accent plant. Stay tuned.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:44 AM   #30
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Vesuvius swords? Oh no, now I'm tempted to buy another package from you! I just need to put you on payroll and you can send me all your plant trimmings. I'll see what I can keep alive until you send more

Your rant #2.1 was very timely for me. My first high tech is not quite the walk in the park I thought it was going to be. Thanks for that.

And yes, I am jealous of your tank. So green. So lush.
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