Armchair Aquarist 10gal - The Planted Tank Forum
 6Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-16-2018, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
ursamajor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 141
Armchair Aquarist 10gal

Hello all,

I'm planting a new tank tomorrow! I have spent a very long time poring over this forum and others, reading books, and comparing notes with friends. I like to think I've learned a lot about keeping a planted tank. However... I haven't been doing a great deal of aquatic gardening. Hence the title of this thread. I'd like to keep this journal to document my work and bounce ideas off this community.

Here's what we're working with:

Equipment:
Aqueon 10gal tank
Finnex Planted+ Cliplight
Aquaclear 20 Power Filter
Pressurized CO2, aiming for 30ppm

Substrate:
Eco-Complete
Cosmetic gravel

Ferts:
EI (KNO3, KH2PO4, GH Booster, Plantex CSM+B)
I'll be starting off dosing weekly, targeting the low end of the EI spectrum. I think it should be fine, considering my plant selection. We'll see - I can always dose more! I'm using Rotala Butterfly to calculate my dosing regimen.

Plants:
Microsorium pteropus
Bucephalandra Sp. "Green"
Cryptocoryne beckettii
Ludwigia arcuata
...plus some assorted stems from another tank

All my plants are tissue cultures, bought from PetCo. I was pleasantly surprised at the selection they had available.

I'll update tomorrow with pictures once I have everything set up. Wish me luck!

Everything flows.
ursamajor is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-16-2018, 01:32 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
Phil Edwards's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 1,653
Heya Big Bear, welcome to The Planted Tank!

It sounds like you've got the makings of a nice tank there. If I may make a suggestion; get a Pinch/Dash/Smidge measuring spoon set. They're 1/16, 1/32, and 1/64 tsp which will help with dosing a small tank. Mine certainly helped me.

Regards,
Phil
Williak and Williak like this.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Phil Edwards is offline  
post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-17-2018, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
ursamajor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 141
Busy day today! I'm glad I tackled this over my spring break - it gives me plenty of time to fuss and agonize over every little thing. Here we are, freshly planted. The rocks stacked on the wood are temporary, until it stops trying to float away. I'm still planning on a nice black background to hide all those cords.

CO2 is taking some time to get dialed in. My regulator is quite touchy, and it seems to have two settings - wide open and off. At least I can confirm that my CO2 checker is working. It's showing nice and green. I bought a kit from NilocG that came with a calibrated solution - I highly recommend it for how easy it is to use.

Thanks for the advice Phil! I may look into that down the road. Right now I'm pre-mixing my ferts and dosing them in solution. Rotala Butterfly did all the math for me. Thing is, it works easy for macros and micros, but not at all for the GH booster. The stuff is not particularly soluble... A measuring spoon set would be easier and faster than trying to dissolve it in large volumes of water.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	10gal.16Mar18.resize.jpg
Views:	76
Size:	233.9 KB
ID:	838193  


Everything flows.
ursamajor is online now  
 
post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-17-2018, 01:26 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
Phil Edwards's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 1,653
Quote:
Originally Posted by ursamajor View Post
Thanks for the advice Phil! I may look into that down the road. Right now I'm pre-mixing my ferts and dosing them in solution. Rotala Butterfly did all the math for me. Thing is, it works easy for macros and micros, but not at all for the GH booster. The stuff is not particularly soluble... A measuring spoon set would be easier and faster than trying to dissolve it in large volumes of water.
Liquids via Rotalabutterfly are an excellent way to dose. Which GH booster are you using? Most of them use Calcium and Magnesium sulfate, which both aren't particularly soluble like you said. I normally just dump it in my tank and wait for it to clear up.

May I recommend moving that Java fern up higher on the wood? It likes to get flow around its base and will grow better for you that way. Also, forget what I said about the plastic divider, those rocks will do well enough. Looking forward to following your journey.

Regards,
Phil

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Phil Edwards is offline  
post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-17-2018, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
ursamajor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Edwards View Post
Liquids via Rotalabutterfly are an excellent way to dose. Which GH booster are you using? Most of them use Calcium and Magnesium sulfate, which both aren't particularly soluble like you said. I normally just dump it in my tank and wait for it to clear up.
I'm using NilocG's GH Booster. It's one factor I don't feel very confident about. My water all goes through a softener, so I'm guessing the GH needs a boost, but I don't really know how much. I would think it would be less than Rotala Butterfly's recommendations for distilled/RO water. The booster also contains potassium sulfate, which I'm not dosing with my other macros. My plan for now is to dose enough GH booster to bring my potassium up to EI levels and see how things look after a couple weeks.

Everything flows.
ursamajor is online now  
post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 01:39 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
Phil Edwards's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 1,653
If you're dosing GH booster to achieve a specific dGH I'd continue with that. If you're able to start dosing to a specific Ca concentration; I'd recommend up to 20ppm. Also, keep in mind softeners release Na as part of the exchange process, so you're dumping some amount of it in there at water change.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Phil Edwards is offline  
post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2018, 07:08 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
ursamajor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 141
1 week update

The tank seems to be doing well so far. I'm seeing new leaves on the Cryptocoryne and Bucephalandra, and maybe 1-2cm growth on my stems. I moved the java fern a bit and put a black backing on the tank. I like the new position for the java fern...not so sure yet what I think about the backing. It gives the tank a much darker impression, especially when the lights are off. I've seen some tanks with frosted backings, which I really like, but I haven't come up with a good way to do that. We'll see - I live pretty far north, and I have 24hr daylight to look forward to in a few months. It may be in my best interest to keep as much extra light out of the tank as possible.

@Phil Edwards - Thanks for the calcium recommendations. I've seen about a hundred of Seattle Aquarist's posts that say "needs more calcium" and I've been wondering what a good target is. According to Rotala Butterfly, the max levels I would reach at my current dosing are around 5ppm. I will increase my GH dosing. Also, what have you heard about using softened water? If I keep up with my water changes, should I keep the sodium at safe levels? Appreciate your input.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	10gal.24Mar18.resize.jpg
Views:	63
Size:	215.0 KB
ID:	840417  

Click image for larger version

Name:	buce.24Mar18.resize.jpg
Views:	62
Size:	191.2 KB
ID:	840425  


Everything flows.
ursamajor is online now  
post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2018, 04:55 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
vanish's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Longmont, CO
Posts: 960
The tank itself looks much better with the black backing, but I understand what you mean about it giving the tank a dark feel.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
vanish is offline  
post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 07:35 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
Phil Edwards's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 1,653
Quote:
Originally Posted by ursamajor View Post
@Phil Edwards - Thanks for the calcium recommendations. I've seen about a hundred of Seattle Aquarist's posts that say "needs more calcium" and I've been wondering what a good target is. According to Rotala Butterfly, the max levels I would reach at my current dosing are around 5ppm. I will increase my GH dosing. Also, what have you heard about using softened water? If I keep up with my water changes, should I keep the sodium at safe levels? Appreciate your input.
I don't have personal experience using a water softener, but I would expect salinity to increase over time just like in salt water tanks. You may need to reset it with RO or unsoftened tap water on occasion.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Phil Edwards is offline  
post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
ursamajor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 141
2 week update

Still seeing moderate growth on all plants. I added some riccia to the tank to reduce ambient light in the tank and provide a home for future shrimp. The new growth on my bucephalandra isn't looking the best - I'm seeing some yellowing of the leaves, loss of color between veins, and downward hooking of leaf tips. I think I'm still not dosing enough GH booster to remineralize my softened water, and am seeing calcium and magnesium deficiencies as a result. I increased my dose and changed my dosing method to dosing by mass.

New parameters should be:
Mg - 1.9ppm
Ca - 9.3ppm
K - 18.1ppm
dGH - 1.7

That's calculated by rotala butterfly for remineralizing RO water, and my scale is only accurate to the gram, so my actual dose is likely to be slightly off. I realize this is a bit low for both GH and calcium levels, but I figure these levels will all roughly double after a few weeks of water changes.

Potassium levels seem high to me - with water changes considered I will end up just above the upper end of EI ranges. Not sure what effects this will have. Should I increase NO3 and PO4 dosing to proportional levels? What about micros?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	10gal.31Mar18.resize.jpg
Views:	51
Size:	267.5 KB
ID:	841985  

Click image for larger version

Name:	buce.31Mar18.jpg
Views:	49
Size:	43.7 KB
ID:	841993  

irishspy and irishspy like this.

Everything flows.
ursamajor is online now  
post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 02:33 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
Phil Edwards's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 1,653
Looking good. Keep it consistent and you'll do great with those plants.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Phil Edwards is offline  
post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-03-2018, 04:31 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
ursamajor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Edwards View Post
Looking good. Keep it consistent and you'll do great with those plants.
Thank you, I appreciate hearing that.

Today I embraced the collectoritis and added some susswassertang to the tank. Got a big clump from one of my wife's coworkers! I hadn't even heard about it until a few days ago, and I'm not entirely sure what to do with it. For now I have a few clumps wedged into my driftwood. Does anyone know if it will attach over time, like moss? Or do I need to tie it in place?

Everything flows.
ursamajor is online now  
post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-26-2018, 04:05 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
ursamajor's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 141
5 week update

Looking for some feedback...

The tank is doing alright, but it's not where I want it. Some of the cryptocoryne in the tank is melting, and I'm not sure why. It waited several weeks to start melting, and the only major change I made was to add a few harlequin rasboras. The plants most severely affected are right in the middle of the tank, directly under the light. The plants on the periphery of the tank look great.

Some theories... The lighting is much stronger in the center, so maybe I have enough nutrients to support plants on the periphery, but not the middle? Or maybe it has to do with circulation. I notice the water movement is better around the edges than in the middle.

In any case, I have been aggressively trimming leaves that start showing holes and melting. The plants are still putting out new growth, which I notice is much darker.

Also, I'm noticing some yellowing on the leaf tips of the crypts. Sign of nutrient deficiency, or something else?

Other changes:
Added 5 harlequin rasboras. They're doing great.
Added 3 cherry shrimp and 1 amano shrimp (2 weeks after adding fish). They are not so great. 1 cherry shrimp died, and the amano is MIA. I'm disappointed - I don't like killing livestock. Not planning on adding any more for a while, at least until the tank is more fully matured.
Added a bunch of java moss
Removed the susswassertang. It didn't really fit with the overall feel of the tank.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	10gal.25Apr18.resize.jpg
Views:	54
Size:	282.8 KB
ID:	849905  


Everything flows.
ursamajor is online now  
post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-26-2018, 06:26 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
irishspy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Los Angeles, third door on the left
Posts: 359
I'm not an aquascaper by any means, but the tank looks fine to me. Most of the plants I see there are slower-growing, even with CO2, so I'd wait and see how it fills in for a few more weeks before adding anything.

As for the amano, he may not be dead: I hadn't seen mine for weeks, then, one day, there he was grazing on some algae. Being aquatic bugs, they're great at hiding.

Question: I see you have a small pre-filter sponge on the HOB's intake. Do you find that clogs quickly? I have to clean mine out almost weekly, or it chokes the flow to the filter.

----
2x20-longs, one heavily planted. Platy rancher. They. Won't. Stop. Breeding.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
irishspy is offline  
post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-26-2018, 10:12 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
Phil Edwards's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 1,653
Sometimes it takes a bit for Crypts to melt and sometimes they never do. Don't worry about it. They'll come back. Yellowing leaf tips is a deficiency, but I can't recall which one offhand. My suggestion would be to get rid of the Riccia. It's a nutrient hog and once even a tiny little piece finds its way into a plant group it's in your tank forever. It's the most invasive decorative plant I know of.

Cheers,
Phil

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Phil Edwards is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome