Newbie here with first (10g) and second (20g) tank! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie here with first (10g) and second (20g) tank!

Hey everyone!

I just want to share my first and second planted tank with everyone! I am new to aquariums, and any help you guys could provide will be highly appreciated!

First of all, the 10 gallon:

Version 1.0
I had absolutely no idea what I was doing AT ALL, but now I can look back and laugh at my mistakes, and entertain you guys as well.
Mistake 1: Gotta rinse of the gel off the glosso, and separate them before planting!!!! Knowing nothing, I just shoved the whole round clump, roots and gel, into the soil. Needless to say, it attempted to float away, and took me ages to get it half secured to the soil.
Mistake 2: Gotta remove the wire mesh off the bottom of the moss! Those 2 clumps of moss on the right are still attached to the wire mesh, probably a BAD idea...
Mistake 3: Let's just say the first 11 Cherry Reds were NOT happy about the uncycled tank and no water changes for the first few days (I swear I read somewhere it was 25% every week or 2)

Version 2.0
This time round, I fixed my glosso mistake, I removed the mesh wire from the moss. I was proud of my *ahem* very artistic arc de triumphe (more like arc de failure).
Mistake 1: Check plants for snails. Seriously, about 20 tiny snails popped up over night after about a week!!!! Must have smuggled in on that moss that was pretied to the wood.
Mistake 2: I still didn't learn that super frequent water changes are required for cycling tanks. These shrimps too were not happy, and eventually they went swimming with the fishes, if you'll forgive the pun.
Mistake 3: Morning sunlight is still sunlight! Sunlight BAD! After about 10 days (no water changes), the tank was practically green inside from hairy green algae.

Version 3.0
All right, after much more googling, including lots of info on this forum, it is vastly improved!
Improvement 1: All plants checked for snails, assassin snail acquired.
Improvement 2: Propped up a magazine on the left side of the tank to prevent sunlight. A tiny albino? cleaner fish (pleco?) acquired.
Improvement 3: Looks a damn sight better even with the mismatch of random rocks! Those marimo balls look super cute!
Improvement 4: Doing 30% water changes every 48-72 hours. The waste water goes to watering my potted plants on the balcony.

Oh guys, I am super sorry but I am not sure of the species of my fishes / inverts, because the fish shops in Hong Kong label everything in Chinese and have no idea of their english / scientific names. If anyone can help me name them, that would be awesome!

Current inhabitants:
6 orange guppies?
6 tetras (cardinal?)
24 baby Cherry Red Shrimp
4 endler's livebearer
2 tiny orange crayfish
1 Albino Cory?
1 baby assassin snail

Last edited by fishiez; 09-30-2016 at 05:29 PM. Reason: found out some names of the fishes!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Now on to the 20 gallon!

I fell in love with iwagumi tanks on youtube, so I knew I had to make one myself. The part that worried me most was the carpeting. At the time, I didn't want to do any CO2 injections, and it seemed that you don't have to worry about CO2 if you do a dry start.

The fish store I went to suggested I go with seeds (sorry don't know what species they are), and went on to sell me 6 containers of them (about the size of a quarter, 1 cm deep). It ended up to be WAY too many seeds, and lacking experience, I planted them all. I also got some eleocharis mini (I think they are dwarf hairgrass?). I left the top uncovered, and lights running 14+ hours a day.

So here's a pic of them as time went on

Day 0 (planting day):
Heavy regular misting of the soil with a sprayer, never soaked the substrate.

Day 1 (24 hours):
Continue heavy regular misting as I was afraid of seedlings drying out. No sprouts yet.

Day 2 (48 hours):
Some tap roots are developing, heavy misting continues.

Day 3 (72 hours):
Sprouts coming out, first leaves opening up, super pretty! Mixed in some organic seaweed to water spray, heavy misting. I notice there are some blue colored stuff on some leaves, which i promptly removed.

Day 5 (120 hours):
UH OH! There are some leaves that have turned an unhealthy darker shade of green, and falls of quickly if i touch them. I am guessing it is some mold? Or some plant disease infection? I have absolutely no idea as seed start information was hard to come by. Perhaps it was those blue stuff on the leaves that were the mold?

Day 6:
The dark green spots seem to be spreading, I decided to take some drastic action and cut out all the infection portions, and another extra inch just for my peace of mind. I am thinking that heavy misting, together with the densely planted seeds, might be causing stagnant water, which might be promoting the mold/disease growth. I decided to water from the bottom up. I poured around 5 liters of water into my substrate, so the bottom half inch of my substrate is underwater. Hopefully the moisture will work itself up to the dryer substrate and feed the roots. I only mist the Eleocharis in the back now. To further encourage fresh air to get in between my carpet, I use my hands to gently brush the leaves to open up more air pockets. Not sure if that helps deter mold, but I can say for certain that it feels REALLY GOOD to brush that dense carpet with your hands!

Post "surgery" pic

Day 7 - day 9:
Doing pretty well, haven't noticed any dark unhealthy leaves as yet, but continue to keep an eye out. The Eleocharis doesn't seem to be doing well, some bits have browned out.

Anyways, that's it for now, i'll try to keep this tank's progress updated!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 04:56 PM
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wow growing from seeds sound cool. how much did you get them for? a cheaper alternative than tissue cup planting?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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The seeds were 60hkd per container, around 7.5USD, it was the size of a quarter and about 1 cm deep. My tank is 3 sq ft, and I probably planted less than 2 square ft of seeds. I used all 6 containers, but I feel that 1 such container per 2 sq ft would have been enough, 2 MAX. I guess the shop was just trying to make more money off of inexperienced peeps.

I tried asking for the english name of the plant, but the guy had no idea. Next time i'll get him to write down the chinese name so I can google it after.

The great thing about seed start was how amazingly fast it carpets. It took 5 days to get a super dense carpet from seed. I'm going to give this tank another couple days before I flood it, hopefully the Eleocharis can use this time to grow some decent roots before CO2 becomes super scarce. It's also great for lazy people who doesn't like to transplant the seedling from another medium into their aquarium, although planting is half the joy of having a planted tank.

Oh, I also tossed a tiny bunch of these seeds into my 10gallon tank as an experiment, I didn't even bother to bury it in the substrate. It does sprout even when completely submerged.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 06:42 PM
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Wow those seed are amazing!

Does anybody know where to buy these in the USA? My monte carlo isn't doing too well
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Argh! Woke up to white mold spots developing again. I've cleaned them off as best as I could, and decided to flood the tank. I'll get a pic of the flood tank in a bit, but here's a pic of the white mold spots. If anyone knows what type of mold they are, or if they are indeed mold, feel free to say!

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