High Tech Spec V: Cave and Peak - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-01-2017, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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High Tech Spec V: Cave and Peak

So after my first low tech Fluval Flex I decided to try out a high tech tank. I found a Spec V for $50 so used that to start.

Hardware
Tank: Spec V (new version). Modified by sealing the two extra drainage slots on the bottom and middle section with silicone as described in many other posts. Also drilled 7 small holes in the pump outflow pipe to allow water mixing in the back compartment where there heater is placed.
Light: Finnex Planted + 24/7 SE
Heater: Hydor Theo 50W
CO2 System: CO2Art Pro-Elite Series regulator with integrated drop checker and check valve. 5lb tank and 60mm Bazooka atomizer. I placed the atomizer diffuser in the back compartment under the filter sponge. Also added a Aquatek Premium brass check valve higher up in the CO2 tubing to prevent water backflow all the way to the integrated bubble counter and check valve as a bit of an added safety measure.
Drop Checker: Nilocog
Filtration: black sponge with two bags of fluval biomedia (one taken from my established tank to start the cycle). Will add puregin as well once tank is a bit more established.
Dosing: Nilocog thrive and excel (higher dose for algaecide purpose not for CO2)

Substrate/Hardscape
ADA aquasoil powder with some lava rock underneath to build up slopes
Ohko/ dragon stone

Flora
Micros sword as background plant
HC foreground/carpet

Fauna
As of now just one zebra nerite snail that is testing the waters....
Plan for espei rasboras vs ember tetras. Any other suggestions????
Amano shrimp??

The bumpy road...
I set things up back in August and did a dry start with the micro sword and HC. Overall the HC did not do well. I think I made a rookie mistake and tried to plant it in to big of chunks and it never really did much over 8weeks. I added some more and removed the parts that melted and finally decided to flood the tank 3 weeks ago after I got my long awaited CO2 setup.

After the flood I realized that what was left of the HC wasn't really all that healthy and I got an almost instant outbreak of blue-green algae that I treated very successfully with H2O2 and removed the worst looking chunks of HC. I ended up getting a new supply of HC and basically replanted all of it with tiny individual stems and that seems to have worked much better then my attempt at a dry start. I have been blasting CO2 (drop checker yellow) and am doing 6-7hrs of max light and the plants are growing well and pearling. I just dropped the CO2 down to medium levels and added the nerite snail now that the water has cycled to help with some green hair algae that has started to creep up as well (also treated this with local H2O2 which works really well).

My HC seems to be growing more vertically as apposed to horizontally. Do I need to trim it to stimulate horizontal growth?

Thanks for looking and suggestions appreciated!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-01-2017, 07:03 PM
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Like it, I bought the old co2 art regulator right before they paused production and released the pro elite series (: I was rather disappointed.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-01-2017, 07:09 PM
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This guys is super smart, has some great tips for HC/carpet plants,

His youtube channel is my planted tank bible.


I think of aquarium keeping as 'meanness insurance.'
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-03-2017, 10:50 PM
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how's it going? any updates?
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-03-2017, 11:11 PM
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I think it looks pretty good already. Within 6 weeks I think it will look fantastic. I saw ember tetras in person for the first time today. They are really nice

Twin high tech 75's -
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2017, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Tank has been doing well the past few months. I have 6 ember tetras and 3 endler tiger guppies. 1 zebra snail and 2 very small amano shrimp. All the fish are doing great and the water quality has stayed good with 25% weekly water change. The micro sword is growing almost to fast for me to keep up with and likes to creep into the HC which is a bit of a pain. The HC is doing OK but is a bit frustrating as pieces like to continuously uproot (I think the snail does this?) and they just dont root well in the micro soil. Had to fight off some green hair algae but doing split photo period and direct dosing excel and hydrogen peroxide onto the algae did the trick!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-16-2018, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Wanted to do a tank update as I have changed quit a bit over the past few months:

After many months of planting and replanting the HC without the results I was looking for I decided to go in a bit of a different direction. I removed the HC and planted Hydrocotyle tripartita "Japan" and have trimmed on a regular basis to form a nice carpet. It grows very fast in the high-tech set up and I have to trim once a week. I also underestimated how fast the micro sword would grow and it became so thick that it lifted out of the substrate and was threatening to take over the small tank. I removed this as well and replaced with rotala nanjenshan which has filled in nicely. I added a lobelia cardinalis and narrow leaf java ferm in the corner. A small piece of moss has grown significantly as well and has covered the top of one of the main rocks and I have frogbit on the surface that I thin out at each water change that works great as a "nutrient export" similar to refugium on a reef tank. The ember tetras are still doing well but I lost two of the endlers so added a fancy orange guppy that is now the king of the tank!

As far as the equipment, I love the CO2 Art regulator and would highly recommend it. Has worked flawlessly and once I set the bubble count to where I need it don't have to adjust for months at a time. The heater on the other hand is not good and runs hot. I have it set at 72 and the tank is ~78-80. I am going to replace with an eheim Jager heater which I have had a good experience with in another tank.

Thanks for reading!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-17-2018, 04:56 PM
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Wow, I really love what you've done with this tank. Is that L. Cardinalis I see in the left corner? I'm thinking of getting some myself!

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Last edited by cbachmann; 05-17-2018 at 05:53 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Yes it is l. cardinalis. When I first got it is had a cool purple color on the underside of the leaf which is typical of emersed growth that transitioned to the solid green that you see in the picture. It grows at a moderate speed from what I have seen so far.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 10:02 PM
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I'm glad it stays small. I'm planning to plant it unde r some branchy-looking spiderwood, so I don't want it getting tooo tall.
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Originally Posted by klinger988 View Post
Thanks! Yes it is l. cardinalis. When I first got it is had a cool purple color on the underside of the leaf which is typical of emersed growth that transitioned to the solid green that you see in the picture. It grows at a moderate speed from what I have seen so far.
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