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Old 05-09-2013, 01:17 AM   #1
TorontoPlantMan
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10 Gallon Planted Aquarium Advice


Hey Guys, I'm a newbie here as this will be my first post and was hoping to get some feedback and help along the way as I build my first aquascape. I'm currently housing two Asian breed ram cichlid's which I can never seen to find any information about online, all I ever see/hear is about the german ones...anyway ! Here's what's in my tank

1. Lighting = 2 23 Watt Spiral Daylight CFL 1450 Lumens

2. Substrate= Seachem Flourite Dark

3. DIY Co2 with diffuser

And here's the plant's i'm currently housing with the fish.

1. Dwarf Hairgrass

2. MoneyWort

3. Amazon Sword

4. Java Fern

I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions as to what I could be doing to help my plants out. The dwarf hairgrass is really starting to yellow and i recently had one of my amazon swords completely melt away. I'm running the lights from 10am to 8:00pm. I'll upload some pictures to show what I mean and I'll also include my 20 Gallon high planted tank that i'm currently working on. Any suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated for the 10 Gallon.

And if anyone has any info on Asian Breed Ram Cichlid's i'd love to hear, Thanks.
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:43 AM   #2
thebuddha
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that ram in picture 2 is indeed a german blue ram. also, you may want to cut down on your photoperiod, 10 hours is a bit long. are you dosing any ferts?
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:50 AM   #3
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Really? At my LFS the owner told me their asian breed ones from his asian supplier and his german blue rams are a bit different. The "Asian" ones he has have more of a yellow body while the german ones he has are more of a baby blue body.

I was also told as long as i'm not running the lights for 12 hours or more then I should be okay. If 10 hour is too long, is their a time you'd recommend?

Also the only dosing I do would be with root tabs but i dont know if that's what you're talking about. Again, I'm fairly new to the planted tank hobby, I've had traditional fish tanks all my life but just recently sparked an interest in planted tanks. I appreciate the help Buddha
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TorontoPlantMan View Post
Really? At my LFS the owner told me their asian breed ones from his asian supplier and his german blue rams are a bit different. The "Asian" ones he has have more of a yellow body while the german ones he has are more of a baby blue body.
well, i guess the more i look at it, they do seem to have more stripes then the GBRs that i see at my LFS, plus they are the longer finned variety. but hey, they are all pretty much the same fish, with similar needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TorontoPlantMan View Post
I was also told as long as i'm not running the lights for 12 hours or more then I should be okay. If 10 hour is too long, is their a time you'd recommend?
i think the most common photoperiod here is 8 hours long. others do only 6 hours. 10 is probably okay, but you may see some algae issues arise from it...who knows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TorontoPlantMan View Post
Also the only dosing I do would be with root tabs but i dont know if that's what you're talking about. Again, I'm fairly new to the planted tank hobby, I've had traditional fish tanks all my life but just recently sparked an interest in planted tanks. I appreciate the help Buddha
yes, root tabs are a good type of fert for those crypts you have. your 20g looks awesome!

surely others will chip in during the next couple of days to offer advice to help out your plants. how long has the tank been up and running?
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:36 AM   #5
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What's the K rating on the bulbs? They sell daylight, 6500k has worked well for me.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:38 AM   #6
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Just a couple of things I wanted to mention - sound's like you're aquascaping. I'm sure it will be a beautiful tank.

The gravel seems a little large sized, like my gravel. I think that my gravel is ok, but it would be better if it was smaller, or maybe capped with something else.

I have a 10 gallon planted tank that I'm lighting with 2 13 watt CFLs, and they're bright. I have them vertically oriented in "brooder" dome reflectors, as opposed to your horizontally oriented CFLs, which may account for the difference in wattage used on the same tanks. Vertical orientation of spiral bulbs is optimal. I would keep an eye out for the first sign of algae - I have Cyanobacteria (BGA) after running for a year, and had a terrible bout with hair algae several months ago. If that happens, cut the photoperiod and raise the lights higher or lower the wattage or use a 60% window screen light filter.

I think that we are running tanks that are pushing high light with very little CO2, and plants only photosynthesize, in our case, as long as there is CO2 left. All the rest of the light energy is open for the use of algae (ugh).

I also want to add that when I wanted to put a pair of rams in my tank, I was advised to get a bigger tank. Just something someone told me.

All the best,

Steven
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:41 AM   #7
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I have German Blue Rams and the Two in your pic do look a lot like mine, but the fins in you pic are different. I love my rams and have wanted to get more but have been told that two is all that my 29 gal can handle. They are vary active. If I were you I would put them in that sweet 20 gal you have going, I think that would make them vary happy.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:46 AM   #8
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Looks like most of your plants just need some ferts. I would suggest visiting your Lfs and getting some Seachem Flourish for your plants. You might also want to look into EI dosing if you want to run high light and c02 injection. Using high light and C02 will cause your plants to use more ferts. Do you have a bubble counter on your C02 setup and do you know what Color temp your bulbs are( 6700k or 10000K etc.)?
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:25 PM   #9
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+1 on the flourish. It always seems to help my plants perk up. Also, if you haven't yet, you migh want to look into a way to measure your CO2 levels. I use a drop checker to show me what my CO2 levels are. If you're not getting enough CO2 to your plants, then they won't benefit from them. Do you run that air stone a lot? If so, that surface aggitation will off gas much of your CO2.
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:22 PM   #10
TorontoPlantMan
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Firstly, I'd like to thank everyone for your help so far, You've all been very forthcoming with information which I greatly appreciate.

In the 10 gallon i'd like to add another layer of substrate as Django suggested, I do find now that it can be hard to get some of the plants placed properly and I'm thinking maybe it's making it difficult for my dwarf hairgrass to shoot runners?

In terms of the whole set up I'm on a pretty tight budget, I'm currently in College and living Downtown Toronto is quite expensive as opposed to other cities near by where the LFS have significantly cheaper prices. This is why i'm stuck using the CFL method at the moment.

I have not had an algae bloom or problem yet and the tanks been running for about a month now. All the plants in the 10 gallon I had in a previous 40 gallon LED tank where they were doing absolutely horrible which is why I transferred them to the 10 gallon. I'm a bit confused as to why you choose to place your lights vertically as opposed to horizontally? I thought with the lights being horizontal like they are on the majority of light set up's that this would provide an optimal light spectrum?

The two bulbs I'm currently using are 23 Watt Micro-Mini Spiral CFL's, Daylight 1450 Lumens, 6500k. No bubble counter, I have a bubble ladder but was told they are horrible and i'm better off just using the air stone. Quite often there is a large amount of bubbles at the surface of the water which i'm not sure is bad or good?

I truthfully don't know much about ferts or really understand them, I thought by having proper substrate that ferts were not necessary? Any help as to which ferts to use would be greatly appreciated.

I also attached a better picture of the Ram which i'll eventually end up moving both of them to the 20 gallon.

Any suggestions for ferts and a better way to diffuse/monitor co2? Thanks guys
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:24 PM   #11
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Here's the picture of the Ram
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:27 PM   #12
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Buddah, Thanks for all your help. I attached a picture for you so that you could see the Ram in a better light. The tanks been up and running for roughly a month, I will try bringing down my light period to only 8 hours and see how the plants respond to this.

When the 20 gallon really starts blooming i'll move alot of the plants over to the 10 gallon. I absolutely love the Roseafolia it's add's such a nice colour to the tank (Although it looks red in the picture it is pink!)
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:56 PM   #13
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I didn't realize the airstone was your CO2 diffusion method. That can be pretty inefficient because the bubbles are so much larger than they should be. You would probably have better luck running the CO2 directly into your HOB filter intake. I did that with my DIY CO2, and it worked well for me. As far as your bulb orientation, this thread has some great info http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...t=85667&page=2
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:11 PM   #14
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The air stone seems to work okay in terms of making the bubbles small, I really disliked the bubble ladder as it seemed to always fill up with some sort of "gunk" and it became a pain to clean it every couple days.

Very interesting thread there on the lighting. I unfortunately don't have a PAR meter so i'm still not too sure what to do for lighting. I guess i'll have to continue doing research. Today the dwarf hairgrass is really taking a beating, turning brown in some spots which wasn't happening before. I'll try to upload some pictures later tonight.

As for the cichlids, does anyone know how to sex them? I posted a pic, any help would be greatly appreciated.
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