Newbie Tankard's Low-Tech Journals - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Newbie Tankard's Low-Tech Journals

Been wanting to start a journal for my 3 low tech tanks to collectively put the information in one place for myself to be able to come back to. so here we go first off some tank pictures as things stand today.

20 gallon:



29 gallon:



55 gallon:



These are all Low tech tanks with an aim for just over 20 par based on online calculations. lights on all three tanks are brooder lights hung with Great value brand daylight LED's from walmart. I've likes this approach so i can hang a shelf right above the tank and then hang the lights from that. Simple and adjustable, and i can switch out bulbs to increase or decrease light levels.

Ferts: dry dosing to tom barrs outline for low tech tanks linked here: https://barrreport.com/threads/non-co2-methods.2792/ i skip a dose about every month so far and that has worked thus far.

Substrate in the tanks is black diamond blasting sand, i really like it, i have cories in all three tanks and have no problems, and i really like being able to move plants when i want basically because i am still setting this up the way i want, slowly going to be adding driftwood to the tanks sometimes soon as soon as they sink, have a couple small pieces in the 55 now.

Flora: as far as what all plants i have i cannot say, there's too much variety for me to keep track of myself as i am still new to the hobby and i actually have a couple i am curious about the identification of so i can know more about their growth patterns. All plants i have are from the people on this forum and due to their generosity i have too many plants to memorize the names of.

Fauna: i have cories in all the tanks, embers and a betta in the 29 gallon, otos and a betta in the 20 and in the 55 i have just added the last 4 red rili shrimp from my fish store. hoping i have a male and female, we will hopefully see in the next couple months, they should be close to breeding age i think. these are my first shrimp.

Filters are an AC110 on the 55, an AC 40 on the 29, and an aqua tech 20-40 on the 20 gallon.

Algae:
Been dealing with hair algae in the 20 gallon recently first and did a 3 day black out and reduced lighting, switched to lower light bulbs and raised a bit.

hair algae in the 29 as well just reduced lighting and timers, will increase duration again in a weeks time little by little.

the 55 is the most recently set up tank but has been up for about 2 moths yet, i have a bit of staghorn which today i've noticed has begun to go away despite my doing nothing, i also believe i saw a tuft of hair in there as well but plants are still adjusting in that tank but are moving along.

goals right now are to balance the tanks and get algae down to minimum and try to get shrimp to breed. then someday perhaps eventually adding some more stock to the 55, perhaps just more cories, maybe a small group of neons or harlequins once the shrimp colony has taken off. 29 gallon is stocked the way i want for now and the 20 i think may get a small group of neons maybe 12ish someday.

soemtime i will post the actual dosing numbers i do for the three tanks but not today, had most of this post typed and the computer messed up and i lost it all so another time. that's all for now.

If there's anyone who'd like to advise me please do in anyway, assume i know nothing and tell me anything i might be missing, i appreciate any advise anyone has.


in the meantime could anyone ID these plants for me:

The grassy stem plant on the right i cannot remember the name of and i'm wondering if i should trim and replant growth as it is bent over and re-rooting



And here the ludwigia in the back center i was wondering what type it is, it doesn't seem to be growing as upright as other types i have. also the single stem between the ludwigia and rotala(right under the heater) i am unsure what it is.


Again thanks for any help anyone can offer.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Checked on the 55 gallon tank when I got home from work and a shrimp has become saddled which is good news, I only hope that when she is ready that I actually have a male in the other 3 and they try to mate.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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So something odd in the 55, now I've had two nerite snails up and die for unknown reasons, have checked parameters and all is well, and they have been eaten out of their shells for the most part. Had one a few days back and now had another today, additionally mystery snail has been closed up for days now but is on its side and I can see the door is held shut so it is still alive...shrimp are still acting okay. Only other thibg in that tank is peppered corydora. And they are all done as well.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 11:44 PM
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Not sure if this is your issue but if a nerite snail falls on its back, it cannot right itself and will die if not caught and repositioned. I've generally had great luck with my nerites but several months ago I had one that just could not stay on the glass. Every couple of days it would just fall off, I would see it usually in time and turn it over. The last time, I didn't catch it and found it dead during a water change. I've only had this problem with that one so far and I have about 5 or 6 others in different tanks.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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Investigated the 55 gallon tank further, the mystery snail was dead and has been for a while. Still don't have a clue what could have killed the three snails...the two tiger nerites weren't very old, they weren't that big and I've had them for a few months and thats it. Same with the mystery snail. Yet the shrimp are fine, actually now I see 3 have become saddled, so I really hope the 4th is a male and he can handle 3 ladies to please.

Ok another note I think that by the end of thw month that tanks(the 55) plant will have pretty much settled in for the most part. Still getting a lot of melted leaves that are coming off but new growth is present, maybe the end of the month I'll remove more dieing leaves.

Plan of doing water changes the end of this week on all three tanks and then fertilizing afterwords.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
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One of the shrimp in the 55 has molted. One of the females I imagine. Staghorn algae in this tanks seems to be on the decline as plants adjust and the old parts die off.

In the 20 gallon the hair algae is pretty much gone from what I can tell.

Still in the 29 is some hair algae, about every 2 days I have it stranding around and about flowing around. I have been manually removing every few days, given the context of a breakout this is very minor, surprisingly so far all algae I've had has been very minor amounts within context. I'm hoping in the next week or so that the 29 adjusts to the lower light level and the algae stops. It may have built up organics too, the slight sum layer has appeared and I believe that it is from excess organic wastes. Water change will fix that.

Thinking about dosing every 2 weeks instead of every week. Think I might do that for a month or so and see how that goes.

Driftwood in the garage is starting to sink little by little. Seems that the 2 small pieces in the 55 havr had no I'll effect on plants that I can tell. Planted it with ferns on it and water sprite right next to it and neither show any signs of I'll effect. Once I get a few of the bigger pieces sink and decide which goes where I will be rearranging the 55 with more driftwood. And then Probably the same with the other 2 tanks.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 12:44 PM
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I like the look of your tanks. Low tech can be a lot of fun, no doubt about it. Right now the only recommendation I have would be to get a packet of Purigen for each filter. That stuff's great for high-tech systems but is even better for low-tech. It looks like you're doing everything right so far; keep it up!

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie Tankard View Post
Investigated the 55 gallon tank further, the mystery snail was dead and has been for a while. Still don't have a clue what could have killed the three snails...the two tiger nerites weren't very old, they weren't that big and I've had them for a few months and thats it. Same with the mystery snail. Yet the shrimp are fine, actually now I see 3 have become saddled, so I really hope the 4th is a male and he can handle 3 ladies to please.

Ok another note I think that by the end of thw month that tanks(the 55) plant will have pretty much settled in for the most part. Still getting a lot of melted leaves that are coming off but new growth is present, maybe the end of the month I'll remove more dieing leaves.

Plan of doing water changes the end of this week on all three tanks and then fertilizing afterwords.
Are you using tap water, or remineralizing RO(DI)?
Can you tell me your KH and GH?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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I can't tell you gh kh off the too of my head but I can a little later.
I do tap water, in the articles I read I believe tom barr has said to just do tap and do larger water changes over time, like 50% once a month even. But the dose he recommends for seachem equilibrium is almost half (I think) of that witch is recommended in the ei low light doseage via the rotala calculator on his site. So my understanding is the seachem eq is dosed but at a lower amount.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Kh is about 100ppm and gh is about 250ppm.

Bump: The kh and gh provided is for the 55 I forgot to clarify that.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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Water changes are done (~50% on all three tanks) and the 20 gallon got a rescape with driftwood added. removed the purple cabomba, wasn't looking all that great after a few months in there. Flame moss got chopped up and glued to rocks(thin pieces like slate) so now we have mobile moss clumps that will hopefully bulk up in the next couple months. took one rock maybe 2 to the 55 gallon tank to add to the others i have dropped in there. and a couple crypts got taken from 20 gallon tot he 29 becasue the H. Japan clover is competing everything out and the wife like the clover in that tank.

FTS of 20 gallon post rescape and water change:



tanks all got their usual dosing after the water change.

other notes:
Besides the rescape in the 20 everything looks good hair algae seems to be gone and despite not having the nerites in that tank the algae situation in that tank overall seems good. nerites were removed to place an assassin snail in for pest snails. this tank also received the least amount of time for light right now as i haven't adjusted it in a long time yet its growth seems quite good.

the 29 gallon got more creeping jenny tossed in to adjust to submersed growth, the plant i have in the window sill keeps growing like mad, have been watering it with tank water after water changes. so i will hopefully have a lot more of it in a couple months once new growth starts and gets trimmed from the original immersed stems. i do like the look of the creeping jenny quite a bit bright green in contrast to others and i enjoy the simple stem look.

In the 55 vals are spreading fast, i have them invading some of the neighboring ludwigia now, so someday that'll have to be resolved. but i expect a rescape once my driftwood stays sunk, taking forever but i have a single long piece that i think i can use in the 55 that is about 4 ft long but we will see if i decide to use it all or cut it some. still got staghorn on the vals a little here and there. cabomba is growing but the tops are melting off several of the stems, which are just long enough i can replant them hardly. but the new growth and that below the "melt line" looks okay. water sprite seems to be taking off in several areas, many rotallas have good growth, 4 inches or more on a few. Hygrophilia has quite a bit new leaves, sometime in the next week or so i will probably be picking the old ones off. no more snail deaths since the occurrence last week. parameteres are good and shrimp are okay, so i have no idea what it was, perhaps i got the ones that were older, but the two tigers were small. oh well, not every question gets an answer.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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Came home today and in the 55 gallon the only male shrimp (Red rili cherry) I got is dead. The 3 females are okay. Parameters are fine, I think it didn't molt successfully but I'm unsure entirely as a new shrimp keeper. Additionally one of the peppered cories is pale and sticking to the bottom, being a bit lethargic but still eventually turned around for good. Medicated tank with melafix and paraguard. We will see how it is tomorrow.

In the 29 gallon the creeping Jenny has about a solid half inch of root growth growing at every node next to leaves. I have it just floating near the top which it is staying near the left side mostly and maybe it'll block the light a bit for a couple days before I stick it in the bottom and maybe that light reduction will help battle the hair/thread algae I have. It is minor amounts really but I want to prevent it regardless, already reduced light intensity and duration since it showed up and waiting for tank to rebalance.

Didnt get a good lol at thw 20 today but algae in it seems gone though it only gets about 5 hours of light right now since reduction. Proabaly increase after another week.

Posted in the WTB thread for Red Rili shrimp, they were kinda an off purchase to begin with and my luck would be to have the only male die. I can request the store to get them in but it could be a month or more. I should've got the plain red cherry shrimp, much easier to find. Oh well.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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The cory passed in the 55, not sure what the cause was, probably bacterial. Cant seem to find anything amiss with the tank that cpuld have caused it. All other livestock is fine it appears.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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An oto was found dead in the 20 galling tank. The scape in the 20 is looking good in the meantime.

Growth is looking up in the 55. I have a nutrient definciency in the hygro and I'm unsure about what it is, probably post separately to try to identify.

29 gallon tanks got all its new creeping jenny planted down this weekend. It all had about 3 inches of new root growth and new submerged buds formed and some parts had a few leaves of new growth already.
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