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post #1 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-18-2018, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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I wanted to start a journal to document my first planted tank which is a 40 gallon breeder. It began as a 5.5g to a 10g which I bought a few low light plants. Then I got some more plants I didn't know, and ended up with too many plants and not enough swimming room. Thus, the breeder tank was bought at Petco's sale.

I have snails, platys, zebra danio, white skirt tetra, glofish, bronze cory cats, and amano shrimp. I have a 36" Finnex 24/7 planted+ light with eco-comeplete and black sand substrate. I use GLA dry fertilizers with the EI dosing method, liquid iron, flourish, metricide-14, equilibrium, and soon CO2. I never had more than flourish, but my end game was a dutch style tank and over time I upped my fertilizers and bought new plants.

Here's my tank prior, after 5 weeks of plants and some adjustments. At this point, I was just trying to keep plants alive haha.
After 2 more adjustments, and more plants plus CO2 in 5 days I have results in picture 2.
New plants were just planted this evening! My fertilizers are finally dialed in and my plants are starting to show newer and healthier leaves little by little. I'll update tank with pictures as things progress and I'll happily take comments, criticism, suggestions on how to keep making tank better.Attachment 870803Attachment 870805
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Last edited by Pwilly07; 04-23-2019 at 06:27 AM. Reason: Too many pictures
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post #2 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-20-2018, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
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Plants in have in the tank: Java fern, anacharis, red flame sword, broad leaf chain sword, ludwigia repens, pogostemon erectus, lobelia cardinalis, AR regular, bacopa monnieri, anubia, pennywort, rotala rotundifolia, lindernia rotundifolia, rotala wallichii, ludwigia mini sp red, cryptocoryne wendtii and becktii, ammania gracilis, limnophila heterophylla, limnophila indica, monte carlo, and dwarf sag.
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post #3 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-20-2018, 04:33 AM
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Looks pretty good! Will be interesting to see it fill in.

You have quite a mix of high and low-light plants. It can sometimes be difficult to keep them all happy at once.

What filters are you using?
What kind of CO2 method are you going to use? (DIY, paintball, full pressurized...)
And what injection method? (diffuser, reactor...)
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post #4 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-20-2018, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
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It's an ISTA CO2 setup with ceramic diffuser. I have aqueon quietflow 30, aqua tech 10-20, and sponge filter. I have sponge intakes and sponges inside filters. I know I don't have a canister filter and nor did I have $350+ for like a GLA nice pressurized setup. Will I be okay till I can upgrade everything?
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post #5 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-21-2018, 05:44 AM Thread Starter
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I'm no artist, but I have to draw things out to see them before I do them which is especially true with aquarium plants.Click image for larger version

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post #6 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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Day 4 of dutch tank. Added some dwarf neon rainbowfish today. Took some lower light pictures as to not stress the new fish. Oh and CO2 setup came in and so far so good!

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post #7 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 05:45 AM Thread Starter
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CO2 has been working nicely. I'm hoping it continues and plants are showing new growth already as they were grown submerged from the person I bought them from with roots!
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post #8 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 05:46 AM Thread Starter
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Idk why it won't let me delete a post??? Any ideas. It posted same thing twice
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post #9 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 07:28 AM
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I don't see a double post...

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post #10 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 06:01 PM
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Good start!

Have you considered a dark coloured background? A black background for example will really make the plants pop!


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post #11 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-24-2018, 04:28 AM Thread Starter
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There was one, but I deleted words and sent out asking how to delete it since it wouldn't let me.
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post #12 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-24-2018, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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Yes I have considered. It's another thing I want to look into. Any material types that are better for background? Like a black trash bag probably wouldn't look so great.

Another update on tank. I was able to check pH with CO2 on today and it was 6.9 and I'm normally at 7.4 with a kH of 5 so I had approximately 20ppm of CO2. Not too bad for a newbie, but I really want it around 25-30ppm.

Plants are really starting to take off. Ambulia is growing about an inch every 3-4 days. Bacopa is almost at top of tank on a few stems as is ludwigia repens. Even the pogostemon erectus and rotala wallichii are showing growth. Also was given RAOK of lovely lobelia cardinalis which was extremely healthy and rooted (mid ground right side of tank).

Lastly, I am seeing algae on the glass and it's getting worse by the day. Is CO2 going to eventually help with that as the plants keep growing faster and using more nutrients? I will post pictures tomorrow before cleaning off.
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post #13 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-24-2018, 01:35 PM
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I use acrylic black paint on the back of my tank and previous tank. Comes right off with a razor blade if you decide to remove it. I think it was about $4 for a tube at a craft store, then I used a foam brush to apply it. 2 coats.

My tank journal.

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post #14 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-24-2018, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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That sounds easy enough. Will see if I can reach around the back to paint. Didn't consider that when we put it on dresser fairly close to the wall. Maybe I can find a long handled brush and make it happen.
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post #15 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 01:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pwilly07 View Post
Yes I have considered. It's another thing I want to look into. Any material types that are better for background? Like a black trash bag probably wouldn't look so great.

Another update on tank. I was able to check pH with CO2 on today and it was 6.9 and I'm normally at 7.4 with a kH of 5 so I had approximately 20ppm of CO2. Not too bad for a newbie, but I really want it around 25-30ppm.

Plants are really starting to take off. Ambulia is growing about an inch every 3-4 days. Bacopa is almost at top of tank on a few stems as is ludwigia repens. Even the pogostemon erectus and rotala wallichii are showing growth. Also was given RAOK of lovely lobelia cardinalis which was extremely healthy and rooted (mid ground right side of tank).

Lastly, I am seeing algae on the glass and it's getting worse by the day. Is CO2 going to eventually help with that as the plants keep growing faster and using more nutrients? I will post pictures tomorrow before cleaning off.
I've painted which worked well and I've used stick on vinyl that is used for car wraps.

Regarding Co2, throw the Co2/KH chart in the garbage. Aim for a full 1 point drop in pH before your lights come on. Just as important is once you dial in that drop make sure it stays consistent day after day.

The other thing is get in there and clean all the algae you see. Don't let it get a foot hold, clean the glass daily if you have to, trim off effected leaves and water change, water change, water change. Maintenance is just as important if not more important then ferts and Co2.
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