DownLow_FL's Low Tech 11 Gal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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Post DownLow_FL's Low Tech 11 Gal

Greetings all,

This is my first planted tank build. Hopefully documenting my progress here will increase my chances of maintaining a healthy ecosystem with the assistance of those here with more experience and knowledge than myself. With that being said, let the battle begin.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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First off, I'd like to give a huge thanks to the folks at Nahacky's Aquarium in Melbourne. They had everything I needed in stock and special ordered everything that wasn't.

Tank:

Aqueon 11 Gallon Frameless

Filtration:

Fluval 107

Lighting:

Lominie Asta 20 Freshwater

Substrate:

Eco-Complete Red
Sakrete Leveling Sand (Found a 1/2 bag of it just laying in the road right in front of my house. Score!)
Red Lava Rock

Plants:

Java Fern
Dwarf Sagittaria
Anubias nana petite
Rotala indica
Java Moss

I placed lava rocks at the back right corner to give slope for the Eco.

Made a divider for the sand/Eco transition and sprinkled a bit of Osmocote Plus for good measure.

Did the pour and added the spider wood hardscape to eyeball how I wanted everything.

Planting complete.

Another angle.

Filled and filtering.



I'm really pleased with the results especially since this is my very first aquascape. So far so good. I'll post more details soon.


Cheers!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 09:14 PM
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Very nice job. 👍
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 10:06 PM
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looks great - interested to see how it grows in!

I am thinking of purchasing that light myself for an 8 gallon cube, so very interested to see what kind of results you get and what you think of it.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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7 day update and the snails finally appear!

Thanks for the feedback!

I'm experiencing some melt on the Dwarf Sagittaria and the Rotala indica. The java moss and java fern are starting to turn a little brown. On the plus side, there is some new growth on the tops of the Rotala. No signs of algae yet.

Light is on a 6 hour photo period turned down to it's lowest level, but decided to raise the intensity to 50% today and will continue to monitor the plants for changes. I'm really happy with the color temperature.

Biofilm is growing on the spider wood even though I soaked it for two weeks prior to placing it in the tank. Did a 30% water change yesterday and added Purigen to the filter to clear up the tannins. That stuff works awesome!

I've been dosing 2 mg/L of ThriveC twice per week and will maintain that for the time being.

Water testing done using the Fluval Master Test Kit, API GH and KH Test Kit and HM Digital TDS meter. Those color ranges are very hard to interpret, so I recorded what looked close.

Water parameters:

pH = 6.7
Ammonia = 0.3 ppm
Nirite = 0.5 ppm
Nitrate = 20 ppm
GH = 3
dKH = 10
TDS = 434






Biofilm




New leaves

From the top



Hopefully raising the light intensity will help the plants that aren't doing so well.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Corrections to my previous posts:

Rotala species planted is rotundifolia not indica and ThriveC dosing is 2 mL not 2 mg/L.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
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Talking 21-ish Day Update: ZERO algae, lots of snails.

I was away for a week and left the tank unattended with cling wrap over the top to minimize evaporation. It worked very well.

Returned to find no more melt, new leaves on all plants more snails and zero algae. I'm very pleased with the progress so far. Guess bumping up the light intensity helped a bit.

Water parameters:
pH = 6.7
Ammonia = 0 ppm
Nirite = 0 ppm
Nitrate = <5 ppm
dGH = 2
dKH = 10
TDS = 438

Granted this is a fishless cycle, but I'm still amazed at how consistent my readings are, especially after no maintenance for 2 weeks. Gotta love well water and my water softener. Did a 50% water change today via siphoning substrate, some light pruning and added two plants I just purchased from my LFS. One is the normal sized Anubias nana to add a little larger leaf structure to the foreground and the other was a stem plant labeled Ludwigia "red stem". Photo is attached below for identification assistance.

I've also decided to supplement my ThriveC dosing regime with Excel. I'll be adding 1 mL/day to see if it will give the plants a little boost. If all parameters are still looking good after a week, I will probably take the plunge and stock with fish. I'll be asking for advice in the Fish forum.



FTS

Ludwigia repens perhaps?

From the top
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 08:51 AM
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Looks awesome! Any plans for shrimp/fish?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I'm looking into stocking it with a pair of scarlet badis and S. axelrodi. I think my water is too soft for keeping shrimp without adding supplemental calcium.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 08:45 PM
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Beautiful! I have the same tank!v
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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A Month and a Half Later...

I have to say I'm glad and surprised that there is no zero sign of algae in the tank.

Scuds are literally everywhere and I used them to feed the three scarlet badis I received last week that are in quarantine. Those little fish are fun to watch.

I rearranged the plants since my last post. I did a major hack job to the old java fern leaves, removed the new growth and attached them to the driftwood, placed the ludwigia right under the light and the rotala to the fright right corner. I can't believe how red the leaves got in such a short time. However, in he past few days I've noticed a change in the appearance of the new leaves and other things. I wish I took photos when they were looking stellar. I'll post a thread in the Plant forum with photos to see if I can find out what the problem is.

I'm now doing a 50:50 mix of tap and RO water. It's a bit tricky because the RO water I'm purchasing has a really low pH with no buffer and my tap has a neutral pH with a high KH. I've been able to get a good balance to far. I'm starting to get biofilm on the water surface, which I find strange since I'm not feeding fish and dosing pretty lightly in my opinion. I did a 50% water change and it was back the next day, but not as bad.

Parameters before water change:

pH = 6.0
Ammonia = 0 ppm
Nitrite = 0 ppm
Nitrate = 5 ppm
GH = 6
dKH = 4
TDS = 374

FTS

Ludwigia (leaves looking a bit wavy)
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 01:56 AM
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Beautiful. You could call the tank the Fosbury Flop.

Cheers
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