13gallon low tech - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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13gallon low tech

Low tech 13 gallon Aqueon widescreen aquarium, ~ 24" x 16" x 8.5".



Substrate 1.5" bdbs and small short on height rocks.
stock hob Aqueon 10
Fluval Plant light

Plants on order:
Marsilea Hirsuta
Cryptocoryne Wendtii
Rotala Rotundifolia
Vallesnaria Spiralis
Water sprite.

Last edited by Pocho; 08-14-2019 at 08:31 PM. Reason: wording
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2019, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Tap water parameters:
pH 7.4
Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate. Phosphate = 0ppm's
kH 4
gH 5
tds ~160

Placed rocks in substrate


Last edited by Pocho; 08-14-2019 at 08:33 PM. Reason: added more info
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Day 1
installed 8 Trive Caps into substrate
planted(condition recv'd from shipment):
water sprite(good specimen, multi-plants)
vallesnaria spiralis(one stalk, 3-4 brown with 4-5 green leaves)
crytocoryne wendtii(one healthy root system, all leaves don't look good, soft melted)
Note: filled only 2gals tap water with plants waiting for other plant shipment to arrive; dosed Prime accordingly for 2 gallons(.25 ml?)

Day 2
decided to fill more water for plants sake as remaining plants did not arrive as expected.
Note: total filled in ~12 gallons water(1.75" bdbs substrate and rocks accounted for a little more than 1gal of the 13gal aquarium)
Fluval 3.0 light settings set to 20% of stock Preset Plant settings for 6 hours
dose: Prime accordingly for new water, 6ml Stability, .5ml Thrive(felt sorry for plants)

Day 3
planted: rotala rotundifolia culture(practically all melted, a handful looks okay)
marsilea hirsuta culture(majority looks good)
dose: 3ml Stability

Day 4
tested water: pH 7.4, Ammonia 1ppm, Nitrite 0ppm
dose: 48 drops Dr. Tims Ammonium Chloride, 3ml Stability, 1.25ml Excel, 1.25ml Thrive, 1.5ml Trace
planted remaining marsilea culture
decided to use Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride Solution(48drops)
dosing Seachem Excel today to get plants acclimated to the use of it from this start up. Hoping I don't destroy my poor vallesnaria, crypt and whatever other plant that are reportedly affected.



Day 5
Water test: pH 7.4, Ammonia 2ppm, Nitrite .5ppm, Nitrate 10ppm
dose: 1.25ml Excel, 3ml Stability

Day 6
Water test: Ammonia 2ppm, Nitrite .5ppm, Nitrate 10ppm
dose: 1.25 Excel, 3ml Stability

Day 7
Water test: Ammonia 2ppm, Nitrite 1ppm, Nitrate 10ppm
dose: 1.25ml Excel, 3ml Stability

Last edited by Pocho; 08-23-2019 at 04:59 PM. Reason: change wording; add picture
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-21-2019, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Day 8
Water test: Ammonia 2ppm, Nitrite 2ppm
dose: 1.25ml Excel, 3ml Stability
observations: all jmo, rotala rotundafolia culture melting away, it was very small pieces that I salvaged from shipment; vallesnaria spiralis daughter shoot growing; crypticorne wendtii grows new leaves but those seem to melt after a couple of days; water sprite growing.





Day 9
Water test: Ammonia 2ppm, Nitrite 2ppm
dose: 3ml Stability, 1.25 Excel
topped off ~ 1gal. with .125ml Prime

Day 10
Water test: Ammonia .5ppm, Nitrite 2ppm, Nitrate 5ppm
dose: 1.25ml Excel, 48 drops Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride

Last edited by Pocho; 08-28-2019 at 08:56 PM. Reason: added
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Day 11
Water test: Ammonia 0ppm(yes, I tested twice as I couldn't believe my eyes), Nitrite 2ppm, Nitrate 5ppm(I figure my water sprite must be sucking up the Nitrates)
note: I think I'm near the completion of my cycle, just wanting for Nitrites to hit 0ppm, now.

8 days Seachem Stability as directed(intial dose and 7 subsequent doses)
Ammonia source, decaying plants and Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride.
Rotala Culture specimens just about gone, some Marsilea seems to be taken hold and the Crypt Wendtii is growing! Also propagated Vallesnaria Spiralis

dose: 1.25ml Excel, 2ml Thrive

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Last edited by Pocho; 08-28-2019 at 08:57 PM. Reason: changed nitrite value
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Day 12
Water test: Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 2ppm, Nitrate 5ppm, Phosphate 2ppm
dose: 1.25ml Excel

Day 13
Water test: Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 2ppm
dose: 1.25ml Excel, 3ml Trace, 48 drops Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride

Day 14
Water test: Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 2ppm, Nitrate 5ppm, pH 7.0
dose: .5ml Prime, 1.25ml Excel
w/c(3.0gal) to raise pH; cleaned hob bonded filter sponge and biological media with old tank water.
added new plant: Isoetes Japonica

Day 15
note: changed Nitrite values from days 10 to 15 to Nitrite 2ppm, I finally realized that the color of the test is closer to 2ppm than .5ppm. I find that the tint is more reddish purple than a light purple @ .5ppm. oh well, my aquarium most definitely not cycled yet.
Water test: Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 2ppm, Nitrate 5ppm, pH 7.2
dose: 1.25ml Excel

Day 16
Water test: Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 2ppm, Nitrate 5ppm, pH 7.2-7.4
dose: 1.25ml Excel, 24 drops Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride

Day 17
Water test: Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 2ppm, pH ~7.2 - 7.4
dose: 1.25ml Excel, 1.25ml Thrive

Day 18
Water test: Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 2ppm
dose: 1.25ml Excel, 24 drops Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride

Day 19
Water test:Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 2ppm, pH 7, kH 2

Day 20
Water test: Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 2ppm, ph 6.8, kH2
w/c 3gal.(25%) to raise pH, cleaned hob bonded sponge and biological media with old tank water.
dose: .5ml Prime, 1.25ml Excel, 2ml Thrive, 24 drops Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride
note: read article stating not to disturb filter sponge/media to let beneficial bacteria to grow, Yikes! as I've done it twice

Last edited by Pocho; 09-03-2019 at 05:41 PM. Reason: change Nitrite values
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Day 21
Water test: Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 5ppm+(.25ml tank water mixed with 4.75ml tap water(0ppm Nitrite) and Nitrite still >2ppm, this is tank water diluted to 5%); I've decided to change 90% water. I've read Nitrate over 5ppm w ill create a stall, we'll see

Last edited by Pocho; 09-03-2019 at 06:33 PM. Reason: added info
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 06:51 PM
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I don't think you need to clean the filter media if you are just dosing ammonia with no fish/snails. There is nothing you really need to wash off at this point...

Anyways glad to see your progress!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by united natures View Post
I don't think you need to clean the filter media if you are just dosing ammonia with no fish/snails. There is nothing you really need to wash off at this point...

Anyways glad to see your progress!

thank you for your input, I'm living and learning. lol
I'm not liking the API test kit for the most part because of having to color match the results when the water is out of balance. It's good when you have pretty much 0 ppm's but when your water starts to go off balance by quite a bit, the color matching tends to be a game of guessing if you're not well versed in it because the color of the test tube doesn't match any colors on the chart at the higher ppm scale. Geez, did I make sense at all with that, lol. Now I'm figuring I must have had 5ppm Nitrites for over a week or maybe 2 at that. Yikes!

I've seen water test on youtube where the test water results seemed to be solid colored(maybe because of cloudy water) but my test are clear tinted colored water and I'm having to guess which of the colors it matches up to on the color chart on the higher end of the ppm scale.
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Last edited by Pocho; 09-03-2019 at 08:07 PM. Reason: wording
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocho View Post
thank you for your input, I'm living and learning. lol
I'm not liking the API test kit for the most part because of having to color match the results when the water is out of balance. It's good when you have pretty much 0 ppm's but when your water starts to go off balance by quite a bit, the color matching tends to be a game of guessing if you're not well versed in it because the color of the test tube doesn't match any colors on the chart at the higher ppm scale. Geez, did I make sense at all with that, lol. Now I'm figuring I must have had 5ppm Nitrites for over a week or maybe 2 at that. Yikes!

I've seen water test on youtube where the test water results seemed to be solid colored(maybe because of cloudy water) but my test are clear tinted colored water and I'm having to guess which of the colors it matches up to on the color chart on the higher end of the ppm scale.
Yeah I had that problem too. When I used API test kits the water was clear-tinted, really hard to match colors
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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united natures, yes! and I see I'm not the only one, thanks again.

still Day 21 after water test I did the following:
w/c(10.25gal) ~80-90% of ~12gal. aquarium
Water test done after 10 minutes of w/c: Nitrite looks to between 1-2ppm(since it's hard to differentiate colors I did a 1/2 tap water and 1/2 tank water test culture and the readings looks to be .5ppm Nitrite so I multiply by 2 = ~1ppm Nitrite, pH 7.4-7.6 and kH 3.
dose: 1.25 Excel, 1ml Thrive(large water change so decided to dose, this is 1/2 dose according to directions for ~10 gal.)

note: the w/c disturbed and uprooted Japonica Isoetes and the roots that sits under substrate had white balls, I figure this is the spore sac. I've lost 3-4 quills since planting. Crypt Wendtii and Marsilea Hirsuta seems to be doing well. Vallesnaria Spiralis, Water Sprite not so, as well as the little culture of 3 strands of Rotala Rotundifolia(so very litlle /stringy). Afraid to position hob over the baby Rotalas and I've seen the others go bad in the current, maybe they just died being so scrawny/little and the current swayed them to much

Day 22
Water test: Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite ~1ppm
dose: 1.25ml Excel

Day 23
Water test: Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite .5ppm, Nitrate 10-20ppm
dose: 1.25ml Excel, 12 drops Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride
note: easing up dosing Ammonium Chloride, will gradually up to 2ppm in future

note: I realize I erred a bit from the start. Wanting to follow the directions of 2ppm Ammonia, I had plants and a reading of Ammonia @ 1ppm before adding Dr. Tim's dosage for 2ppm(48drops, should have dosed 1ppm, 24 drops as having 1ppm prior). Then mismatching the API Nitrite test tube color/chart which led me to add Dr. Tim's(24drops) a couple of times before it was needed. Still being quite anxious as it seemed the cycle stalled(as I've read it could take a couple of months to complete the cycle) I learned to dilute the tank water with my tap water of known parameters to have a better color match up for the test tube/color chart and to use the appropriate multiplying factor for the actual reading.

Day 24
Water test: 1ppm Nitrite
dose: 1.25 Excel

Day 25
Water test: .25 Nitrite, Nitrate 20ppm
dose: 1.25 Excel, 24 drops Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride
note: lost more Japonica Isoetes quills, Crypt Wendtii, Marsilea doing okay, Water Sprite somewhat okay as I trimmed back some weak stems. Rotala culture just about gone(1 strand left). Lost 2 of the 3 Rotala strands after the big water change on day 21

Day 26
Water test: 2ppm Nirite
dose: 1.25ml Excel

Day 27
Water test: .5ppm Nitrite
dose: 1.25ml Excel, 24 drops Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride

Day 28
Water test: 1ppm Nitrite, Nitrate 20+ppm, pH 7.4
dose: 1.25ml Excel
note: brown diatoms on rocks, a couple of hair algae that I tried to remove

Last edited by Pocho; 09-11-2019 at 11:08 PM. Reason: added more info
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Day 29
Water test: 0ppm Ammonia, 0ppm Nitrite, 40+ppm Nitrate, pH 7.4
w/c 50%(~6gal), cleaned glass, hob filter and brushed rocks of diatoms(?), light substrate vac
dose: .75ml Prime, 1.25 Excel, 1.25 Thrive, 48 drops Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride

Day 30
Water test: 2ppm Nitrite
dose: 1.25 Excel

Day 31
Water test: 1ppm Nitrite
dose: 1.25ml Excel

Day 32
Water test: Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 40+ppm
note: brown algae on rocks and some hair algae on plants. Removed dead leaves with hair a algae, cleaned brown diatoms? off rocks, w/c 50%(6gals), rinsed hob sponge media with tank water.
dose: .75ml Prime, 1.25ml Excel, 1.25ml Thrive, 48 drops Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride.

Day 33
Water test: Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 1ppm

Day 34
Water test: Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 40ppm
w/c ~50%(6gal); no cleaning or rinsing
dose: .75 Prime, 1.25ml Excel, 48 drops Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride

Day 35
Water Test: Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 40-80ppm(2hrs. after w/c Nitrate 10-20ppm)
w/c ~50%(6gal), light vacuum substrate, cleaned glass, hob sponge filter, rocks
dose: .75ml Prime, rescaped Marsilea as lot of it was turning brown
note: seeing a lot of small white worms that might be detritus worms, substrate has quite a lot of debris(dead leaves, etc.). After w/c, water column still has debris in water.


Day 36
Water test: Nitrate 20ppm
w/c 30%(4gal)
dose: 1.25ml Excel, 1.25ml Thrive

Day 37
Water test: Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 40ppm
w/c 50%(6gal)
dose: 1.25 Excel
note: I feel my tank has cycled, it took about 30 hours to de-Nitrite into Nitrate possibly due to vacuuming substrate, cleaning glass, rinsing hob filter sponge and I'm beginning to think I could have use filter media for bb.

Last edited by Pocho; 09-21-2019 at 06:01 PM. Reason: wording
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