Th08tu's 20G planted - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Th08tu's 20G planted

Hey everybody, so after the recent crash of my 20 gallon reef tank, I've decided that instead of investing more money into a failing project, I would try my hand at a planted tank.

So here is what I have:

- 20 Gallon display tank
- 10 gallon sump fuge with return
- HOB overflow from display
- Kora nano powerhead
- 2 15 W heaters
- 24" 2 X 18W T5HO (1 10000K, 1 Actinic)
- 24" 65W Coralife PC (10000K)
- Original Hood from 10 gallon, with 2 life-glo screw in PC bulbs over sump
- 14 Kg Flourite Black
- Lava rocks

I tore down the 20 gallon reef, scrubbed out the tank, cleaned out the sump, and painted the back glass black.
Then I put in the flourite black, two bags and slightly angled it, making it a little deeper at the back. Next I placed a few lava rocks in the tank, which were "live" in the reef tank, so I am hoping the die-off from that will start my cycle.
Then I took three baskets of glosso, separated it, and planted it in the tank. Finally I filled the tank and got everything running.





Look forward to any comments! or suggestions!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 07:11 PM
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That's a ton of light you are running there. You are going to need CO2 asap or else it will quickly turn into an algae farm. You are also going to need some ferts. Water column and substrate ferts are my recommendation. I have had great success with glosso using the Rootmedic complete tabs.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Great thanks for the help! Isn't it funny how light that is considered low-medium for a reef tank is considered high for planted....

Anyways yesterday I decided to rig up my DIY CO2, I used a 4L bottle, with 1 tsp yeast, 3 cups sugar, 1/2 tsp baking soda. It is bubbling away right now. I ran that into a small 591 ml bottle half filled with water, and then from that into a Maxi-jet in the sump. It hasn't done anything yet, so I am pretty sure there is a leak somewhere so I have some investigation to do.

I think I am going to avoid fertilizing the substrate as I want to see how well the flourite does. But I am fine with dosing the water. What do you recommend for dosing? is there a product that is considered best? Also where do you usually buy your dry ferts?

As for my readings, my ammonia is at 1.5ppm, nitrite 0 and nitrate 0, so the cycle hasn't really started yet, but I think I am going to pick up some ferts soon so I don't have a problem with algae...

Keep the posts coming!! I'm gonna need lots of help!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 05:42 PM
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You can do the ei dosing method with dry ferts which is the cheaper method or you can use some liquid ferts. There are many lines of liquids, I myself use the flourish line. Rootmedic has some pfertz and some others if i'm not mistaken.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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I like the idea of ei dosing, however is it possible to buy those products at any local stores. Call me old-school, but I hate ordering stuff online, and try to avoid it. Where do you guys get yours?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 05:53 PM
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The DIY CO2 should make a big difference if you can get the leaks all sealed up. Fluorite itself is inert so any root feeders you decide on will suffer without some sort of substrate fertilization. However, fluorite has a really high CEC value so a little bit of substrate ferts goes a long way when used in conjunction to fluorite.

For water column ferts I use Root Medic's Macro and Micro liquid ferts. The owner Justin/Over_Stocked is a sponser and frequent user on here. I have had great success with his ferts and will continue to use them until I upgrade to a much bigger tank. Currently I'm dosing 5 tanks with Root Medic products and they all are growing great.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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So after doing a little more searching I found the Flourish Plant Fundamentals pack. It contains Flourish, Flourish excel, and Flourish Iron. I think I might try this to get my feet wet, see how it does, and then fine tune as I go. Also I realized that most of my reef test kits can be used in freshwater, just with new colour cards, so I was kind of happy about that...
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 06:13 PM
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Seachem's line is great to get started with. A little expensive in the long run but great for getting your feet wet. I started out using them also, but got sick of having to dose 5-8 bottles. Go for it!


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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OK so I went to the lfs yesterday to pick up the seachem, and today once I get home I am going to figure out the dosing requirements of my tank. I am still a little hazy on the part so I might need to ask a few questions in a bit.
I was wondering what everybody thought of this idea though. Initially I was going to fill my sump with bioballs, which would provide me with more than enough filtration, however recently I have been thinking of turning it into a shrimp fuge. So what I would do is put in gravel, a few plants, and of course so RCS. I think I would prefer this method, as I would rig it up in a way that every so often a few shrimp would make it into the display tank, and could either be food, or clean-up crew for my tank. Also I would reverse the photoperiod of the shrimp fuge, so that way I would have less of a CO2 swing with lights out in the display tank.

My worry with doing this though, is that I would not have anywhere for the beneficial bacteria to grow. With using Bio-balls, I would have lot's of BB, but an ugly sump. (Not that you see it that much)

I know this is something I have taken from having a reef setup, where I would use the sump as a place to grow pods and macro-algae, I just am not sure if this transitions over well to freshwater.

My last question for now is whether or not, dead live rock would work for bio-media? In the reef tank, that is exactly what it is used for, so I figured since I have a whole bunch of it now lying around, it would be perfect instead of having to purchase more stuff....
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