The Piecemeal - a noob's odyssey into the unknown ~20gal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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The Piecemeal - a noob's odyssey into the unknown ~20gal

Hi All,

Have been lurking this form for the past couple months and this community has been quite helpful and love reading the tank journals so thought I would post my own. My only experience is with cichlids (Oscars) back in college in a 55 gal and a small 15 gal saltwater tank I failed quite miserably at, both about 10 years ago. Am a farmer at heart, always have a garden, now trying one indoors and underwater!

I work in Egypt now and decided is time to give aquascaping a try as I don't have space to grow plants outdoors in such an urban environment. Problem is, most quality equipment can't be purchased here. Hence the 'Odyssey', as I have been collecting pieces one by one over last couple months as myself, better half and friends travel to Europe and back for different reasons. Pack mules, I owe them big time . The filter and Co2Art regulator are from UK, lights, ferts, Amazonia and glass brought from Italy, tank/stand (found glass called 'crystal', assuming is the low iron type) custom made in Egypt for $200.

For plants was lucky enough to have a friend who is far more advanced at this than myself in Egypt, so all plants (i don't know the names, just picked them based on his recommendations as well as color, type of growth and shape) are extra cuttings from his tanks. After about a month will add some small fish, shrimp and a few snails.

Gear list
Lighting: Fluval Aquafresh&plant 2.0 LED 24''-34''
Filter: Eheim Pro 350
Regulator/solenoid/drop checker: Co2 Art Premium
Ferts: ADA step 1&2 (searching for local dry supplier), Bacter 100
Soil: ADA Amazonia
Glass: Cheap amazon inlet/outlet pipes
Tank/stand: custom made locally ~20 gal, copying ADA design

Am going for a mix of dutch and natural style of tank. Was a pain trying to plant them evenly into rows, so it didn't really happen, but at least are bunched by type! Think will need to add more carpet in the middle in particular. Any tips or suggestions welcomed!

The gear


Gear2


Some cuttings


After planting (10 April)


12 days later with no ferts yet, started adding day 13 (22 April)


19 days later w/ ADA step 1 ferts for seven days & minor trim (29 April)
kyle3, kyle3, Dman911 and 1 others like this.

Last edited by jimithy; 04-29-2017 at 08:51 PM. Reason: Trying to fix crap quality pics
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 07:19 PM
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Looks like you are getting some great growth without ferts, but definitely less coloring in the red plants. I guarantee you will see those carpeting plants pick-up the pace in the next 2 weeks. Welcome to the forum and good luck!

recognize the OODA loop within everything you do
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Alf2Frankie View Post
Looks like you are getting some great growth without ferts, but definitely less coloring in the red plants. I guarantee you will see those carpeting plants pick-up the pace in the next 2 weeks. Welcome to the forum and good luck!
Thanks! Good to hear the carpets will pick up, hope so! Am starting to see some of the reds come out now in some plants and shedding old less colored leaves, about 15 days into it now, but wondering if ferts help with coloration or just lights?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 08:04 PM
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Ferts will definitely help, you can also look at dosing additional iron in the future to bring out even more reds. Sounds like you also had some melting, this will go away soon if it hasn't already.

recognize the OODA loop within everything you do
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-28-2017, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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TDS after planting was 110, dropping to about 75 by day 10. Once I started adding ferts increased to about 82 by day 15. Still seems low though, wondering if this is an issue or is it just the plants soaking up all the nutrients? ? I use 50/50 RO/tap water at the moment.
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