My First Real Adventure Into Planted Tanks - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
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My First Real Adventure Into Planted Tanks

Note: I have been posting this journal on another forum and decided to included it here too since I have found this wonderful forum. I will Include dates on the previous postings.

9/30/18

Howdy From Houston,

I have had MTS in the past and have been keeping all sorts of freshwater fish Discus, Arowanas, Mbunas, Rainbows, guppies, and many others. I have toyed around with some java fern with a diy co2 in a 40 gallon breeder in the past but that is the extent of my aquatic plant experience. I am in the process of planning/setting up a 90 gallon tank. I planning on growing some HC Cuba(using the dry start method), java moss, and perhaps the some sort of dwarf red plant with some assorted rainbows, cardinal tetras, and shrimp. I finally got my tank today, but I'm still figuring out a few things.

So far I have worked out I need/have:

1. The 90 gallon tank
2. 3 bags (9 Liter) of ADA Aquasoil
3. 1 eheim 2217
4. 1 5 or 10 lb CO2 Canister
5. Rocks for aquascaping

Things I'm trying to figure out:

1. Lighting...The dimension of the tank are 48"Wx24"Hx18"D. I understand that light penetration may be an issue at 24"...and that HC Cuba is on the substrate. I would be prefer to go with an LED lighting solution. Would a single Finnex Ray 2 or Fluval planted 3.0 be enough? Or would I have to have 2 of these fixtures to make it work?

2. A good regulator/solenoid choice. So far it seems in my limited research I should go with a
GLA GRO-1 Aquarium CO2 Regulator from green leaf aquariums. Are they any reliable options that aren't quite that expensive?

3. Ferts..I know nothing here and need to research this more.

Bump:

Bump: 10/7/18

Yesterday, we started the tank with the dry start. In the past week I have decided to go with 2 AI Prime Freshwater for lighting. Also picked up a couple of eheim 2217 for filitration. Lightgrate was placed on the tank floor to provide height. Then some black gravel was placed on the top for more height. Next the 27 liters of Aquasoil, rock, and wood. The Dwarf baby tears and java moss were planted. The Ai Prime Frestwater were mounted to the canpoy.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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10/10/18
Added some Christmas moss to the tops of the trees. I noticed the java moss on the trees is drying out is there anything that can be done other than flooding the tank?

10/12/18
Today I added another 6 pots of HC in the tank. I didn't do a good job spreading them out but it was a very long day. I also figured out a way to keep the tank wet and prevent myself from having to water the plants everyday(This is due to the fact the tank is in a business that is being setup and not yet open. Its kinda of a drag to drive for 30 mins each way to spend 2 mins just to water the plants and leave.) I'm gonna install a sprinkler system of sorts into the tank using a misting kit, a water pump, bucket, timer, and some suction cups. Will post pics when I have it installed. Also im gonna reduce the runtime of the lights from 12 hours to 10.

10/21/18
Well the sprinkler system was a BIG FAIL...Pump couldnt push out the water strong enough to make it work...But I figured out another way for keeping the tank moist...In addition to the tank lids I have been wrapping the top with cling wrap and I ran an air pump line into a bottle of water to pump in moist air constantly. Success?
I have dry fitted the PVC and plumbed in the dual ehiem 2217s. Please let me know if there is a better way to do this or if I forgot something important... I know the hoses on the white hose bibs need claps..have to run back home depot AGAIN.

11/12/18
The Dwarf Baby Tears are really sprouting roots and spreading out nicely. Other than airing out the tank every few day and a little misting not much has changed.
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Last edited by Harvest; 11-20-2018 at 02:45 AM. Reason: strange text
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
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11/19/18 All caught up now

So Friday I flooded the tank,drained,flooded, drained, and flooded the tank. Also added a new bonsai tree, java ferns, and some swords were added to the tank. During the final flooding I added the water a little too quick and it disturbed some of the dwarf baby tears. Today I added some more moss at the base of the new bonsai and did a 50 percent water change. Prior to the waterchange I tested the tank water.
The water parameters were: pH of 6.6
Ammonia of 4
Nitrite of .25
Nitrate of 5
So it seems to me the ADA Aquasoil did not fully cycle my tank. I didn't believe it when I came across that claim. Also I feel like the tank could use some additional lights to help the 2 AI Freshwater Primes. I noticed a darker V shape in the middle of the tank. Any suggestions? BTW some of the dwarf baby tears were pearling but not all areas.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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Tank Update and Questions

Water Parameters today:
pH: 6.6
Ammonia: 2
Nitrites: 1
Nitrates: 10

Looks like the tank is cycling.

After watching a King of DIY(Joey) video I order some led flood lights to help increase lightning. I have attached a pic of the current lights and how they are spread out on the canopy.

There is also some weird white mucus like stuff on the driftwood and substrate..What is this mold?biofilm?algae? Please let me know what this stuff is..
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 01:53 PM
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Looking great!

I can't say for the substrate, but the gunk on the wood is pretty common in new wood. I believe it's some sort of fungus that feeds on the sugars, although I could be wrong on the exact cause. Either way, it should be pretty easy to remove and will stop growing once the wood is out of nutrients - probably in a month or so.

It should also be fish safe - some of mine even seemed to enjoy eating it.

Journal
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 05:07 PM
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Nice job Harvest, I'm loving the tank.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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Tank Parameters:
pH: 6.8 ( this is higher due to the decrease in c02 from 5 bubbles per sec to about 2)
Ammonia 2
Nitrite 5
Nitrate 10


So many of my local LFS had black friday sales and despite my apprehension I wandered out and bought more plants and livestock.
I picked up : 15 red cherry shrimp
5 Amano Shrimp ( they were sold out almost) will pick up more next week
5 ottos
7 bosemani Rainbow
14 congo tetras
2 roseline sharks
3 pea puffers
1 betta fish
some wisteria
2 types of red plants i dunno the names but they look awesome

Since my water parameters were not idea for adding fish I bought some bacteria in a bottle to speed things up.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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Fish and plants looking happy. Installed the LED floodlight while performing a waterchange (50%). Started dosing Easy Green fert today. I purchased a KH test kit and figured out my co2 ppm based on the kh/ph chart. Then I upped the c02 again. Also Installed an eheim autofeeder today. 2 Trips to home depot and 1 trip to a LFS. Whew im tired.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-27-2018, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Tank Parameters:
kH: 53.7
pH: 6.6
Ammonia: .5
Nitrites: 5
Nitrates: 40

According to https://aquariuminfo.org/co2calculator.html my dissolved co2 is 22.7. I very slightly adjusted the co2 up. I didn't want to go too high as I will be away on business for a few days.

Those Nitrites are still high. I have hit the aquarium with 2 bottles of bacteria this weekend. Wonder how long its gonna take to drop?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-27-2018, 12:44 AM
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Been watching but have refrained from commenting.
Looked a bit rough until you flooded and planted more.

But, I really like the look of this tank.

NH3 @ .5 with a pH of 6.6 not an issue. Ammonium not so bad.
NO2 is an issue and addition livestock doesn't help, nitrite is not a pH dependent issue, it's toxic @ any pH.
Bacteria in a bottle? Sometimes works, sometimes not so much.

Bacteria that transition NO2 to NO3 are the slower one for sure.
Patience is sometimes difficult, I know.

I wouldn't play in the charts for CO2, target a 1.0 or greater drop in pH and roll with it.

Tank is looking good! Ferts will come soon!


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
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Water Parameters:

KH 53.7
pH 6.6
Ammonia 0?
Nitrites 0?
Nitrates 0?

I got back in town and checked on the tank. My fears about the nitrites were unfounded? I can't believe Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates all dropped to Zero. I will retest in the AM. Since the water parameters were fine I decided to forgo the waterchange. I have upped the Co2 a lil more since I haven't really observed any pearling and the moss on the bonsai tree is still kinda brown. I did notice some brown algae on the side of the tank and went to the LFS for a cleanup crew(40 amano shrimp, 20 red cherries shrimp, and 5 ottos). I also noticed a rainbow fish in overflow area so I had to fish him out. Then I installed some stainless steel mesh over the holes of the overflow to prevent this from happening again. The bad news is I can't seem to find my betta "lil red".
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 04:25 AM
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Is stainless steel mesh something that is safe for a freshwater tank? I ask as I would never use something metallic in a reef tank for fear of any leaching, but I am just now setting up my first freshwater tank. Perhaps there is less concern?

In any case, I'd suggest using something like this plastic mesh canvas material: https://www.consumercrafts.com/store...anvas/33900-20

The black blends in very nicely with the black overflow.


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
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As far as I know stainless steel is fine....that being said the black mesh blends better..hmmmm

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