erie's 20gal long - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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erie's 20gal long

I have been a member of TPT for a while now and have never started a journal. This time I thought I would be different. Over the years I have had a few planted tanks but none of them that successful, and finally I had to take a break. 10 years later(why does it always seem like its 10 years?) I thought I would give it another try, but this time I was going to do everything right, and it was going to be EASY. I took advantage of the $1 per galsale at PetCo and got me a 20gal long tank, a good filter, a c02 tank and regulator, new heater, good substrate, new LED light with timer and all the test kits that I need to keep a handle on my tank.







The tank, lights and the substrate showed up first, so I decided to take the opportunity to dry-start my elatine hydropiper. Over the next week the rest of the equipment came in and I got the tank setup, and ready to be filled. I waited until the weekend so I could stay up late and monitor for leaks . . . other than some crappy check values no leaks.





Now that I have the tank filled, I took all the measurements from my tap water and the tank. Then I added enough ammonia to get my up tank up to 4ppm to start my fishless cycle. See this is going to be easy. I still have a lot of questions about fertilizers but I decided that I will go with the baseline recommendations printed on the bag of fertilizers I got from greenleafaquarium.com, then I thought I would start my journal, everyone would say “Wow looks like your off to a great start” and help me fine tune my fertilizers.

It seems my tank had different ideas on how I would start this journal.




Here is what information I have to start my spreadsheet.









Some of my remaining questions are:
  • What do I do about this new algae
  • 1/32 is a REALLY small measurements so, can someone show me a guide to convert my ferts to a liquid soluion?
  • If I start Sunday with a 50% WC change what do I dose on Monday, and at this stage how much with so little plant mass.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
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Today’s water parameters:
Ph 7.2
TDS 77
Gh 4
Kh 4
Ammonia 4ppm
Nitrate 5.0ppm
Nitrite 0ppm

I skimmed the surface to remove the film and manually remove some from the plants.

Going to decrease my lighting to 5hrs.
Not sure what to do with the ferts for today.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 07:20 AM
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Your best bet for ferts is to buy a small scale that measures in grams. Then use rotalabutterfly.com to calculate dosages based on what you want to follow (EI, PPS, custom, etc).

That spreadsheet you're using is nice to keep track of all nutrients since some ferts dose the same nutrients (KNO3 and K2SO4 both dose K).

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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erie's 20gal long

I did buy a scale but I not the right one, it could only measure down to .01 gram. So I ordered

[URL][https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0012TDNAM/ref=ya_aw_od_pi?ie=UTF8&psc=1/URL]

The scum that was on the plants and surface ‘seems’ to be less than it was last night. I am hoping it was just the substrate leaking crap in to the water.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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So it seems like the daily scum is just now a thing, I have been skimming it off the top daily and doing about a 40% WC.



I will post my numbers later on tonight.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 02:44 AM
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Add a little more surface agitation and it should help with the scum. Some will complain about some co2 loss, but for sake of sanity just give it a try.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 04:24 AM Thread Starter
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So here are my numbers for today:

Before WC:
PH (Tap) 7.47
TDS (Tap) 59
NH3 <dropped sample>
N02 0ppm
GH 4
KH 3
N03 5ppm

After WC:
PH (Tap) 6.67
TDS (Tap) 69
NH3 0ppm
N02 0ppm
GH 4
KH 2
N03 5ppm


Note 1:My Ph tester, sometimes it locks on and the numbers is stable, but other times it feels like if I left it in the water long enough, it would slowly go to 0. Is that normal?

Note:2 Seems my cycle is finishing up


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamo33 View Post
Add a little more surface agitation and it should help with the scum. Some will complain about some co2 loss, but for sake of sanity just give it a try.

This is a pic after I have cleaned off the scum, so you think I need more than that?
https://i.imgur.com/NBiMuep.mp4


And finally happy plants

Last edited by erie; 03-25-2019 at 05:06 AM. Reason: Added video
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 11:59 AM
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You actually have a decent amount going already, agreed. Experiment a little bit with it and see what results you get. A bit more agitation could do the trick, otherwise I apologise for my inadequate advice.
I suppose then the most common acum removal is a surface skimmer. And some people on here use paper towel I believe to soak it up. Remember water changes will remove your ferts as well, so a water change to remove scum is slightly annoying. You're doing good mate


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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Update:

So I took Jamo33's advice and moved the output of my filter so that it would create extreme surface agitation, it did have an impact. Over 24 hours and the tank surface was scum free, but it seems that I was still creating the scum in the first place, the next morning I woke to find this all over the plants.



So then I started down the path of getting a fluval surface skimmer (Fluval-A240-Surface-Skimmer) but I was having a hard time finding one that I could get 2-day shipped, so I decided to create one myself. After a trip (or two) to home depot I had myself a handy little skimmer, and my scum issue was resolved.




Ok I admit is not that little, but it does work. It wont last long as it does not auto-level with the water level, the real skimmer is on its way.


My plant order came in from Aquarium Plants Factory, and all of them survived the move and are all doing really well.
Here is the list so far :
  • Micranthemum Umbrosum
  • Bacopa Caroliniana
  • Mayaca Fluviatilis
  • Lobelia Cardinalis
  • Ludwigia sp. 'Super Red'
  • Elatine Hydropiper
  • Cyperus Helferi

I am not trying to create any aquascape yet, heck I can grow anything, other than algae, then I will be happy.
So here is the FTS



And plant growth is great its been, but I need some help with my two new 'friends', I hope that these are diatoms and green algae.



And finally my favorite plant so far.


Full res link:
Link

Thanks for reading.

Last edited by erie; 04-04-2019 at 03:09 AM. Reason: fixed hi-res link
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 10:59 AM
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Top work! Love the DIY skimmer, very useful in a pinch! Sorry the agitation didnt work as well! Looking great mate, very well done indeed!!


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