Talontsiawd's Low Tech 20 Long.....New Pics 8/15/2011 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 06:12 AM Thread Starter
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Talontsiawd's Low Tech 20 Long.....New Pics 8/15/2011

Some of you may have followed my 10 gallon journal here- 10 Gallon Low Tech I had another 10 next to it that I was using for a farm tank. I got a bit bored of the 10 gallon. I was going to redo that but I just really wanted a larger tank.

Right now, it looks like an Iwagumi layout but I plan to plant it pretty heavily. I wanted some rocks but I hope that they slowly fade into the plants as it grows in. It really is not supposed to be a rock layout, I just wanted some hardscape and I like stone better than wood. I kind of plan to blend dutch with natural on this one, it won't be true to either, just take cues from both.

I am just using extra stuff I have. I already had the filter, heater, and I took the light off my 29 gallon. I may replace the light, not for something better but I may want to up my light back on my 29, we will see.
Abbreviated Journal
Hardscape Setup-08-17-2010
Tank Filled-08-20-2010
Initial Plant Selection-08-23-2010
DIY Raised Lights-08-26-2010
Initial Plant Selection-08-23-2010
Long Time, No Pics-8-15-2011

Equipment:

Tank: AGA 20 gallon long
Filtration: Aqua Clear 50 HOB
Light: Coralife 36 watt T5 light
Heater: Ehiem Jager Heater-50 Watts (have Aqua Clear 20 Heater if needed)
Substrate: Florite Black/Black sand mix
Hardscape: 3 locally found rocks
Stand: Sturdy Book Case
Other: 20% tint on back glass

Flora:
Comming soon

Fauna:
30+ Red Cherry Shrimp

I have an extra stand that I am not using right now but I even have that covered if I decide to put it somewhere else. Other than that, I tinted the back glass. I have no plans of CO2 or even really doing a fert routine, probably just some florish stuff on an as needed basis. I will also be dry starting this but not for any amount of time, just to make my life easier.

I am still learning this camera which doesn't seem to like fish tanks. It is also impossible to get a true front shot and my left side shots are going to be really close due to it being in my bedroom...






-Matt

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Last edited by talontsiawd; 08-16-2011 at 03:31 AM.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 06:45 AM
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They this one will be a good one to watch. I remember that you grew your plants so well in that other thread that I had followed.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrophyte View Post
They this one will be a good one to watch. I remember that you grew your plants so well in that other thread that I had followed.
Thank you. I miss that scape dearly but still have the tank up and running, just not where I want it. Your tanks are absolutely stunning.

What carpet plants would people suggest at 1.8 wpg, no co2? I don't think light will be a major factor at all. I want to do UG but I have tried it with no luck before and it is really expensive locally. I am thinking about planting a bunch of HC I have tomorrow, even though I don't necessarily want to, I have it and it would otherwise go to waste. I want something very low growing though in this tank (1 cm max).

-Matt

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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So I filled the tank. I was going to dry start the HC but then I realized, it would be easier short term to just let it grow in and have less trimming to do immediately. I put some of the plants in to see how well they color up. I am trying to pick my main plant for the background (well the sides around each rock). I actually have yet to try to figure out what each plant is, I will take some close ups and maybe someone can help me out. Two seem to be some type of Rotala and the other, I have no idea.

I haven't planted, they just are on weights. I want to see how each colors up in these lighting conditions.

I also have to raise the light somehow. I forgot how low this fixture sits when used on the rim (jacked it from my 29 gallon with too much light). I will probably use some sort of clamps and a cabinat handle on each side, I will show it when I do it.

My camera either really sucks or I just need to play with it for awhile. I have never had this much trouble taking pictures.

Anyway, here it is:



-Matt

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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I wanted to ask some of you more knowledgeable people about my heater. It's only 50 watts, I know I should be using 75-100. At first, it was always on but now that it has stabilized, it is not constantly switching on and off but doesn't stay on for more than a few minutes, and then is off for a few. I am not as much concerned about the day to day but I am concerned about after water changes, etc.

My house never really falls below about 75. My temp is 78. I don't know what the water temp is without a heater because I have yet to have an unheated tank.

I have an extra, 50 watts as well, but I don't want unnecessary clutter. If it is necessary, then I don't mind. I can't really justify a new one right now as I have 2 extra, and I haven't worked in almost a month. Sorry for the length, just wanted to know how to tell, outside basic parameters set in advertising and a few tables I don't know who wrote or how they decided on their numbers.

-Matt

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 08:04 AM
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If your house doesn't get below 75F, what the heck do you need a heater for?
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 08:17 AM
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depending of what you are gonna put in the tank, i dont think you need a heater

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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Well, as you can see, my tank is right by a window and I don't have AC, in Cali, which sucks terribly. However, even right now, my widow is open and it is around 60 out. However, the lowest I can ever remember my house being is about 70, heat is on a thermostat at 75 in the cold months.

I guess that means my heater is fine. I like my tanks on the warmer side and I can say that even when my house is say 78, my tanks don't get that warm. In the winter, it's a bit colder but not much, my house is around 75 but my room window is open at times. I don't want to ditch the heater just for consistency though.

-Matt

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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So, for the first time, I want to do a comprehensive plant list. In my first scape of my 29 gallon, I could grow basically anything. Now, it's having some issues which I am trying to figure out. I have found that many "high light/co2 only" plants do pretty well in lower light and no co2. They don't color up as much but they can look pretty good.

Here are some pictures of plants I have in. I want to see how well they adapt to the lighting conditions before planting. Then I will take trimmings and start to plant.

Here is what I think I have, I could be totally wrong on some. I am only 100% sure about 2 plants. Most are on the "rare" side, I have two places I go that are plant specfic, Aqua Forest Aquarium and Albany Aquarium.

1. Ludwigia sp. Cuba. I am 99% sure on this one. It has not fully adataped and is getting more red. I doubt it will get to it's fullest but looks good for what I want. Let me know if you think it is this or something else.


2. Something sp. Japonica. No idea, I just know it ends in Japonica. It looks similar to Rotala Green but is more lime colored and spikier. It does not change color at all either, it just stays that green. The unique thing about it is that it grows downwards with high light. CL posted a picture where someone basically planted this from the top of the tank and it grew downwards. The second picture shows what I mean.




3. Rotala macrandra. First off, when I bought this plant, it had way larger leaves and was blood red. This plant is incredibly hard to grow for me. It actually does better in my non CO2 tank. It is a red orange right now, getting a bit more red. One thing about this plant, if it isn't liking it's conditions, it turns green. However, it looks horrible when green, unlike some other plants I have. It will look halfway dead and still have some red mixed in with the green. Very hard for me to grow but I may give it a try.




4. Rotala singapore? It also looks like Rotala rotundifolia or Rotala indica in the pictures. This plant will go from green to red, depending on the light. One thing that may be unique to whatever Rotala I have is that when it is green, it looks great, when it is yellow it looks great, when it is red it looks great. It just doesn't have to color up to look good and doesn't look bad if it looses it's color. It will almost always be green at the bottom of the tank and just changes colors as it grows up wards. It doesn't seem to mind being green in low light either.


Sorry, long post, I just want to be as descriptive as possible. I have never done a full plant list before and I want to. I usually don't do any research or pick out a plant from looking online, I just see something interesting and buy it, never really ask for the name.

Thanks to anyone who can help me out.

-Matt

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone want to help me out. I want to be cool and have a fancy plant list in my title lol. Anyway, if anyone knows, I will be very thankful.

-Matt

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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I needed to raise my lights and I didn't want to do a light bar or hanging lights. For those who have a Coralife T5 normal output light, you know how low to the tank these are. Because I am using a HOB filter, I need to keep the water level high. The lights are just too close to the water. Secondly, the spread is terrible as well. I only needed to raise the lights a bit so I did a bit of DIY. I felt like sharing as this idea could probably be modified for something else as well. It was easy and only required a few tools most people already have.

What you need:
4 Clamps found in foutain section of OSH for reducing water flow through tubing
2 Cabiniate handles

Tools:
Hack Saw (or Dremel would work)
Drill
Screwdriver
Vise (you can get away without this but it will save a lot of grief)

Picture of supplies:


Step 1:
Cut the clamps with a hacksaw to make the clamps U shaped:



Step 2:
Drill hole in top of clamp. You probably want to use a punch and a pilot hole, I didn't do that though.



Step 3:
Attach handles. You will either need to cut down the screws or buy shorter ones. I cut mine down



Step 4::
Put Zip ties on handle so light doesn't move.


Here is a before pic from this thread:


Here is after:


Comparison on tank:
Before:


After:



This took me about 30 min tops. It is super easy. I may change the handles to something nicer looking. The clamp bolts are long but I like the "utilitarian" look.

Anyway, every other time I have done a custom light stand, I got a lot of questions but they were much harder to make. This is something anyone can do if they have a light that doesn't have legs and need a wider light spread or reduced light. It could even be adjustable with longer bolts and spacers.

-Matt

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-27-2010, 01:42 AM
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where did you get those clamps and handles?
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-27-2010, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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I got both at OSH. Clamps are called "Restrictor Clamps" and made by a company called Sunterra. Here is a link but they were like $3.50 locally http://www.amazon.com/Sunterra-30042...SM?tag=yes2-20

Handles are just what you would put on a cabinet. You can find those anywhere but I just got the cheapest at OSH that were not chrome or plastic.

-Matt

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-27-2010, 03:01 AM
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Really cool idea! You should post that in the DIY section too. Great job.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-30-2010, 08:00 AM
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great idea with the clamp to raise the lights!

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