First time high tech and dirted, 29g
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > General Planted Tank Forums > Tank Journals


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-02-2013, 01:16 AM   #1
Axelrod12
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Axelrod12's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Milford, Connecticut
Posts: 631
Default

First time high tech and dirted, 29g


I figured I would start a journal for this tank. I'm setting up my first high tech planted tank. I also decided to give MTS a try for the first time after reading good things. I bought a bag of Miracle Grow Organic Choice Potting Mix and spent a good 1.5 hours sifting the large sticks and stuff out of it. Here's a picture of what the sifted dirt looked like and a strainer full of some stuff I sifted out.
Click image for larger version

Name:	sifted dirt.jpg
Views:	56
Size:	126.4 KB
ID:	184497
Click image for larger version

Name:	sticks.jpg
Views:	52
Size:	96.1 KB
ID:	184505
I let it soak for about 24-36 hours and dumped all the water out. Then I spread it on a tarp on a covered porch. It was wicked humid at first so the first drying cycle took about 3 days. I wet the dirt twice more while it was on the tarp and allowed it to dry completely.
Click image for larger version

Name:	drying dirt.jpg
Views:	51
Size:	143.6 KB
ID:	184513
I used play sand and made a border around the front and sides of the tank and then sprinkled muriate of potash, organic dolomite, and some bits of clay inside that. I soaked some larger chunks of clay in water and after adding about 1/2 the dirt to the tank I did my best to mix the clay in. I think it resulted in a little too much water in the dirt and made it difficult to cap with the rest of the play sand.
Click image for larger version

Name:	substrate.jpg
Views:	56
Size:	68.0 KB
ID:	184521
I did manage though and only needed to do one large water change to siphon the bits that escaped the sand cap out of the tank and clear up the water.

Lighting is three 2ft. sunblaster nanotech t5ho's which I managed to hang about 3-4" over the top of the water with an EMT lighting stand that I put together today. I just need to paint the EMT and chain black eventually.
Click image for larger version

Name:	nanotech.jpg
Views:	52
Size:	85.9 KB
ID:	184489
Click image for larger version

Name:	lights.jpg
Views:	50
Size:	65.4 KB
ID:	184473
Click image for larger version

Name:	light2.jpg
Views:	52
Size:	58.5 KB
ID:	184481

I have some plants in the tank already that I purchased in a package off a member on the forum. I wanted to get them planted to avoid further damaging them after shipping and floating them in a tangled mass for a couple days. I also have a piece of manzanita that I am looking into using for hardscape.

I purchased a Rex Grigg regulator set with an Ideal Needle Valve and Clippard solenoid off a local member here on the forum.
Click image for larger version

Name:	rex grigg.jpg
Views:	267
Size:	71.2 KB
ID:	184537
I'll be looking into a 5lb co2 tank at some point this weekend so I can get my first pressurized system up and running.

I had a few diffusers that I used with DIY co2 in the past but the only one I could find now is a ladder diffuser. They don't look so great in the tank so I'll probably look into ordering a glass diffuser. Any recommendations?

And I guess that's about where I'm at now. I'll possibly be doing the hardscape and moving some plants around this weekend. I'll do my best to stay updated with pictures.
Axelrod12 is online now   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-13-2013, 10:28 PM   #2
Axelrod12
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Axelrod12's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Milford, Connecticut
Posts: 631
Default

I delayed the scape a little but finally worked on it earlier today. I spent a few hours over the past week peeling the bark from my manzanita branches and got 99% of it off.
Click image for larger version

Name:	manzy peeled.jpg
Views:	33
Size:	93.5 KB
ID:	191298
I also ended up finding a 10lb co2 cylinder for a decent price and set that up with the Rex regulator and a ceramic diffuser.
Click image for larger version

Name:	co2.jpg
Views:	251
Size:	83.2 KB
ID:	191306

I guess you could call this a preliminary scape since I'm not entirely satisfied with it. But, from what I understand with dirt I don't have too long to settle on what I like unless I enjoy making a mess.
Click image for larger version

Name:	scaped.jpg
Views:	37
Size:	91.3 KB
ID:	191290

Stocking at this point is limited to a pearl gourami and a rubberlip pleco until I settle/find the rest. Oh, and I need to add a black background, might try to get that done tomorrow after work. Please feel free to make comments/suggestions on the scape, anywhere from hardscape to plants.
Axelrod12 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2013, 10:29 PM   #3
Fishmommy
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NH USA
Posts: 276
Default

Great start!


Sent from my gadget using Trippytalk HD
Fishmommy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2013, 01:17 AM   #4
tylergvolk
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1,081
Default

Nice start, looks good. Watch out for algae. Those lights seem bright. I would suspend those lights higher and reduce the photo period to 6-8 hours at or before first sign of algae.
tylergvolk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2013, 01:23 AM   #5
Axelrod12
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Axelrod12's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Milford, Connecticut
Posts: 631
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tylergvolk View Post
Nice start, looks good. Watch out for algae. Those lights seem bright. I would suspend those lights higher and reduce the photo period to 6-8 hours at or before first sign of algae.
Thanks I was actually meaning to ask that question. I know they are quite bright and also only 24" on a 30" tank. So how high above the water level should they ideally be to maintain high light, get high light to the sides of the tank, but maybe avoid algae issues, etc? Right now they're at about 3-4" when the tank is topped off. I'm running an eight hour photoperiod.
Axelrod12 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2013, 05:15 PM   #6
Axelrod12
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Axelrod12's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Milford, Connecticut
Posts: 631
Default

Background is up

Click image for larger version

Name:	backgrounded.jpg
Views:	28
Size:	108.9 KB
ID:	192434
Axelrod12 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2013, 10:45 PM   #7
Axelrod12
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Axelrod12's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Milford, Connecticut
Posts: 631
Default

A little update. Plants seem to be growing in nicely. I have a few new ones that should be coming in later this week so a small rescape will be taking place.

Over the past week I've developed Green Dust Algae on the lower 2/3 of my front pane of glass. You can see the tracks my single nerite left in the pic haha.
Click image for larger version

Name:	GDA.jpg
Views:	44
Size:	143.8 KB
ID:	199865
Also starting to see some diatoms:
Click image for larger version

Name:	diatoms.jpg
Views:	30
Size:	111.4 KB
ID:	199873

I'm not too worried about the diatoms. I'm guessing that the GDA is caused by my lighting being to bright. I measured today and my 3xt5ho fixtures hang just over 4" above the water surface. I'm thinking of raising them up a touch and also possibly reducing the photoperiod from 8 hours to 7.
Axelrod12 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 09:41 PM   #8
Axelrod12
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Axelrod12's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Milford, Connecticut
Posts: 631
Default

Plants came today and the new scape is in. I've never worked with HC before so I'm hoping it stays down and doesn't give me too hard of a time. Next time I'll plan my scape more ahead of time so I can do DSM if I want. Lesson learned.

Also try to ignore the two clusters of Persicaria in the front and in the back. They are most likely temporary in this tank.

Click image for larger version

Name:	newscape.jpg
Views:	32
Size:	122.2 KB
ID:	200753

My initial thoughts. There is a bit too distinct of a separation between the Blyxa and the HC. Not sure what I can do about that but I'll try to play around with the Blyxa placement later. Maybe plant a couple of them in the back to the right of the C. Spiralis?
Axelrod12 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2013, 10:32 PM   #9
tattooedfool83
Wannabe Guru
 
tattooedfool83's Avatar
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: North Providence, RI
Posts: 1,814
Default

Give it some time to fill in, the hc creates like a forest clearing. Great looking tank man
__________________
tattooedfool83 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2013, 07:01 PM   #10
Axelrod12
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Axelrod12's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Milford, Connecticut
Posts: 631
Default

I did a decent trim on the L. repens, R. walichii, and M. mattogrossense. The L. Repens 'Rubin' is next and I'm gonna replant the tops to fill in the area a little better. Also some of the HC seems to have started growing in a little. Other pieces are giving me a hard time staying down.

Click image for larger version

Name:	trimmed.jpg
Views:	18
Size:	98.5 KB
ID:	207873
Click image for larger version

Name:	hc.jpg
Views:	19
Size:	131.0 KB
ID:	207881
Axelrod12 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2013, 07:58 PM   #11
jfynyson
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
jfynyson's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: NC
Posts: 783
Default

Looking nice. I hope you have a better experience than I with the HC. Mine was going great, with good root growth but my issue was the fish kicking them up so I gave up and will do glosso at some point.
jfynyson is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2013, 08:04 PM   #12
Axelrod12
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Axelrod12's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Milford, Connecticut
Posts: 631
Default

Theres not much for stock in the tank right now and I'm going to avoid the bottom feeders until the HC fills in better. I do have a rubberlip pleco in there now though. He doesn't move around much but is possibly the culprit on some of the uprootings.
Axelrod12 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2013, 09:05 PM   #13
Axelrod12
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Axelrod12's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Milford, Connecticut
Posts: 631
Default

Well it looks like some bunches of HC are starting to grow in nicely. However, others seem to be melting away. The smaller bunches are doing the worst. Is it possible I broke them up too small? Or maybe they didn't have enough roots to pull through?

I've also been looking around for stock for the tank. The initial plan was threadfin rainbows and either aspidoras or Y. Sidthimunki for the bottom down the line. I haven't been able to find threadfins anywhere locally and none of the LFS seem to be having luck ordering them. I did stop at one LFS today and since I'm a sucker for catfish ended up coming home with 8 of these guys though, so the stocking plan is probably going to change, I'm just not sure what to fill the rest of the tank in with now:

P. Buffei
Click image for larger version

Name:	P. buffei.jpg
Views:	23
Size:	131.4 KB
ID:	210217

That may go down to 7 soon though one of them doesn't seem to be doing so great and is in QT. He's doing the whole can't stay upright thing. Oddly enough though he gobbled down a frozen bloodworm that I dropped in there.
Axelrod12 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 09:41 PM   #14
Axelrod12
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Axelrod12's Avatar
 
PTrader: (12/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Milford, Connecticut
Posts: 631
Default

Update time. I've been having issues with the pressurized co2 and have had it practically off for 1.5 weeks now. Ordered an ista reactor to replace the diffuser. That should be here tonight and I'm hoping it will fix my issue.

In the meantime I've been dosing excel periodically. I'm not sure if the excel is the cause but my ludwigia repens 'rubin' has almost all melted. I did receive some alternanthera reineckii recently though so I may just replace the few 1" stems I salvaged with that.

I Also had some of the M. mattogrossense weaken and break apart. This should regrow easy enough though.

I also possibly gassed some fish today killing my rubberlip pleco and one p. buffei , reducing my stock to
1x pearl gourami
6x P. Buffei
2x otos

I'm still not sure how I'll fill in the rest of the stock. I would like to replace the P. Buffei, not sure if I will find them locally again anytime soon though.
Axelrod12 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 09:59 PM   #15
ccar2000
Planted Member
 
ccar2000's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Littlerock, CA
Posts: 223
Default

Can I suggest a pH controller for your pressurized co2 system? They can be pricey but will take out most of the guesswork. I have ab Aquatic life on my 46G bowfront. Might also be a good safeguard if you are using a single stage regulator as well.
__________________
Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end. Sonny: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
ccar2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:16 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012