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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-10-2020, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Forest City ON, Canada
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Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Hey Quag good to see an update.

These small high tech tanks always fascinate me. Hard to believe you can get so many species into a small footprint, but it works. They always look bigger to me than the actual dimensions.
Apart from a few species I typically keep, my first preference for any species in a smaller tank is physical size / structure. A lot of the plants I look for would be used as for-ground or mid-ground plants in larger tanks, and I use them as mid-ground or back-ground plants respectively. Plants like Ammania bonsai have small leaf structures, and are slower growing IME, perfect for smaller tanks. Blyxa japonica can be used as a focal mid-ground plant, where as in a 24" tall tank you could pile them up right in the for-ground. Super small crypts like lutea "hobbit" or parva are perfect for the front, or ground hugging hygrophila araguaia. Bacopa sp. "compact", blyxa, star. repens, hairgrass, chain sword, anubias, java ferns, mosses, gratiola viscidula, pogo helferi, for mid ground, and then any stems with smaller leaf structures for the back ground. No massive stems with 8" + horizontal spread on the top leaves for me.

Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
And you must have to keep the scissors sharp with ANY stem plants. I imagine they could take over the tank in no time.
Not too bad to be honest, I hardly ever just trim, for the most part I rip them completely out and never keep any bottoms. My groupings are typically only 5 stems for the most part, maybe up to 10 on the smaller leaved species.

Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
How do you like the soil? Besides the micros any changes to normal dosing?
Soil so far has been good. No algae issues apart from 2 weeks of diatoms. A little hair algae on the filter outlets but completely fine. I just keep the siphon tube right near any groupings I pull up and make sure to remove as much mulm as I can with my water changes. I'm not about to pull up any larger rooted plants like the crypts just yet, and I'm steering clear of stem plants that I've seen massive root growth on in other tanks (not entirely possible of course). I'm sure I'll have a few chocolate milk moments with the tank during deeper clean and re-scapes.

Only thing I've changed is dropping KH to 0.5 degrees instead of 1.0 degrees, but typically wallichii likes this, macrandra maybe not so much? They are both not fully growing as they "should" - about 75% transitioned from their dwarfism being stuck in their emersed state in the tissue culture cups.

Macro's are still based on the entire water volume and are front loaded at 10ppm NO3, 3ppm PO4 and 12 or 14ppm K (whatever comes from KH boosting + KNO3 + KH2PO4). No micros at the moment.

I remineralize my RO water to:
Ca 35ppm (1/3 from CaSO4, 1/3 from Ca gluconate, 1/3 from CaCL2)
Mg 12.5ppm from MgSO4
0.5 KH from KHCO3 (used to be 1.0)

No ammonia was present before my last water change, I'll try and catch the 4 amano shrimp I have from that little 5 gallon tank and move them over, plus I'm currently looking for some neo shrimp to get a colony going. I've also put out a few feelers on local club's web pages for some of the plant species I want - me and @Hendy8888 were discussing how all of our favourite Canadian plant retailers seem to have become "copy and paste" Tropica dealers. Nothing against any of the retailers (I like buying from / will recommend all of them) or Tropcia, it's just the variety on the common market is lacking lately. I'd have to purchase one or two species from 3 different websites each only to get 75% of the species I'm after, that adds up to more than I want to spend at the moment unfortunately. Thinking about setting up a personal farm tank....

"No Ice? Just Freeze Some Water"

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