Enchanted Forest, 9.3g - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Enchanted Forest, 9.3g

After what seems like an eternity of research and reading, I've ordered all the following for my first tank.

Ultum Nature Systems 45U Rimless, 9.3 gal
Current USA Satellite LED Plus, 20 inches
~5ltr AquaSoil
~3/4 PowerSoil Special (S bag)
Fluval Mini Pressurized CO2 20g
Seiryu Stone ~2-3lb
Spider Wood Driftwood, 4 pieces
Archaea Mini Heater 50w
Zoo Med Nano 10 External Canister

Eleocharis Parvula
Echinodorus Parviflorus
Alternanthera Reineckii Cardinalis
Staurogyne Repens
Rotala Rotundifolia
Cyperus Helferi

Coming soon will be:
5-7 guppies
3 amano shrimp

I bought the chems for EI dry dosing, but i might hold off to see how the powersoil and aquasoil do.

The Current Satellite Plus might be a bit much for this tank, since the substrate will only be 9-10" away, but I would rather have more than less and control that will timing and dimmer.

Still not sure about a dry start or not. I can see a little bit of carpeting with the DHG, but not a lot, so not sure if that is worth getting started before planting everything else.

All thoughts welcomed! I will post pics along the way.

Last edited by Lionheart; 06-05-2017 at 09:13 PM. Reason: Edited to reflect actual tank
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 09:25 PM
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Looking forward to seeing the setup! Looks like it'll actually be a "jungle" of plants!!! The flu also 20g might be too small for that tank size... maybe look into the 88g or paintball??


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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 04:03 AM
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Maybe go for a smaller DHG species like Eleocharis acicularis 'Mini', other than that you seem good. Depending where you want to put the Crypt you could also go for a smaller one there if you want to use it as a mid-ground plant, like C. wendtii or C. x wilisii.
With Aquasoil I wouldn't dose full EI. You can just try and follow the ADA dosing ppms (they're on the internet somewhere, Dennis Wong did a video about it) as those are specifically tailored to be used with Aquasoil. I dose 1/5th EI with Aquasoil and everything seems fine but that's an arbitrary figure I chose. PPS-Pro would also be good regime to try. You can probably get away without dosing for a month, but I would start after maybe 2 weeks, at least a little bit.
I wouldn't bother with a dry start, your carpet will fill out by the time everything else does.
Start with the light a bit weaker and ramp it up as the tank matures.


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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-29-2017, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for the advise!
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2017, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Got it up last night! Still need to add the CO2 today, but happy that I got this far.

Plant list includes:

Eleocharis Parvula
Echinodorus Parviflorus
Alternanthera Reineckii Cardinalis
Staurogyne Repens
Rotala Rotundifolia
Cyperus Helferi



1. Empty tank with markers for focus points, hills and substrate levels.
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2. ADA Power Soil Special ~ 3/4 of a small bag
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3. ADA Aquasoil ~3 litres
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4. Seiryu stones to mark the path (smashed them with a hammer to get a smaller size)
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5. Spiderwood that look like little trees, more stones
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6. ADA Colorado Sand for the trail
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7. Was pretty cloudy right after filling
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8. Clearing up...
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2017, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Water params @ 24hrs. I don't think I am going to do wc to let the ammonia establish the bacteria filter. The nitrates will always be a problem. My tap water is ~80ppm :-(. Added Seachem Stability today (forgot last night at setup).

gH 3
kH 3
pH 6.6 (which is amazing considering tap is 8.2)
Am 0.5
NI .25
NA 80 (tap water level)

Lighting so far is four hours on, 2 hours off, 4 hours on with light at @75-80%.

Last edited by Lionheart; 06-06-2017 at 11:51 PM. Reason: Corrected NI and NA labels
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2017, 10:23 PM
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Enchanted Forest, 9.3g

Looks pretty good for your first tank! I was worried about how you lined the sand path/riverbed, but it turned out pretty natural. Are you going to do fancy guppies?


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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2017, 10:28 PM
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That'll be a beautiful tank once established!
What moss will you use for the trees?

I have no idea of what I'm doing.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2017, 11:22 PM
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Enchanted Forest, 9.3g

Is your tap from a well? I highly doubt your nitrate reading from your tap is accurate. FDA regulates water companies to have nitrate at below 10ppm. If that is accurate call your water company to come do a sample. They will do this free of charge in case you are right and they need to adjust something.

I was getting readings of 20ppm on my API kit and the water company used a high tech measuring system and it came out to actually be 2.75ppm.


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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2017, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Haha Trail was an accident. I hated the way it looked prior to filling but it turned out like that itself!

Not sure if any moss. If I do, probably flame. I don't like the look of the Xmas styles much.

Guppies, yeah the fancy ones. Variegated I think they are called.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 02:01 AM
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Agreed about nitrates. Either a.) There's a problem with your test or how you're doing it, or b.) You need to contact either your water company (if municipal water), or health department (if well water). There's something wrong here...

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 02:34 AM
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if you are using an API test kit, chayos stated in another thread that:

"This test kit measures nitrate as nitrate ion or “total nitrate.” Other nitrate test kits that measure “nitrate-nitrogen” (NO3-N) will give readings 4.4 times LESS than this test kit.”
EPA limit for Total Nitrate is set to 45ppm.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
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I did use API master test kit and have also used their test strips with the same result. I live in Toledo OH which made national news 2 years ago because our tap water became undrinkable because of an algae bloom in Lake Erie. I will take your advice and have the water comp do a test. I'll never get a decent NA level with this tap water.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 04:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lionheart View Post
I did use API master test kit and have also used their test strips with the same result. I live in Toledo OH which made national news 2 years ago because our tap water became undrinkable because of an algae bloom in Lake Erie. I will take your advice and have the water comp do a test. I'll never get a decent NA level with this tap water.


I would also use a different nitrate test. Maybe seachem. More expensive but you just measure out a specific amount of powder into the test tray and now you have consistent nitrate test kits. With API you have to smash it on the counter to knock the powder loose and if you mess up even once you will never get accurate readings again.


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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-06-2017, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Today's readings (API Master Kit)

pH 6.4 (dropping)
Am 1 (rising, doubled from day 1)
NI 5 (drastic rise, at top of chart)
NA 80 (unchanged)

Assume the high NI is from the rising ammonia. Will add stability again. At this rate tank will cycle in days haha.

No ferts yet. I have the EI Dosing but have not started it. Not sure if I should start now or wait a little while.

Added CO2, pretty hard to get the regulator exactly right. Was running 2-3 bps for only half lighted time today.

Light is running 75% for 8 hours straight today. Still looking for advice on lighting routine and CO2 amount. No drop checker at the moment.

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