Low tech planted nano (5g) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2020, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Low tech planted nano (5g)

Have really enjoyed looking at some of the journals here and from the start of mine have taken a photo every day so the idea of keeping a journal really appeals to me. Why not make it public...

So let's start with details and day 1 photo;

Tetra active substrate under course eco sand.
Two hunks bogwood, one hunk Ocean rock
Rotala Green (couldn't get rotundifolia)
Monte Carlo
Dwarf Hairgrass
Ceratopteris Thalictroides
A. reineckii red
Heater keeping it at 25C
8w, 21 bulb led (18w + 3 blue), 7000-8000k
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2020, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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The water cleared up nicely and I started to see some plant growth.

Also, so since day one I was advised on another thread to remove the ocean rock as it was likely leaching into the already hard water. So I did, I also did a large water change. Maybe around 75%, basically everything I could remove with a jug. I did that on day 9.

Photo of day 9 attached.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-12-2020, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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I have recently learned that my local garden centre is open so I am likely to pop in there to pick up another fast growing plant to help fill it out a little more.

Finally got round to testing the water last night, day 11;

Ammonia was high(don't remember the reading right now)
pH 7.6
Kh 15
GH somewhere between 14-28(using test strips)
Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0

So I have very hard water, harder than I expected to be honest. I am now worried the crushed shell eco sand stuff could be making this worse?

Also no nitrate/nitrite has me concerned, thinking of getting some kind of bacterial starter/additive. I'll do a large water change tonight either way.

Photo from day 11 attached - The AR is doing really well as well as the Ceratop' in the back.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-15-2020, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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This is all a big learning curve. As I have no fish I wasn't bothering with dechlorinator, I read chlorine was not harmful to plants but didn't consider it's affects on nitrifying bacteria. So I ordered some the other day, turns out I ordered the wrong thing, had a few bits in my basket and deleted the wrong one!

Anyway, partial water change last night just to clean it up a little. Dechlorinator arriving today so will do a massive water change and effectively start again on the cycle with safer tap water 👍

Have noticed a couple of the plants in the back growing very pale green(think it's water sprite -Ceratopteris thalictroides) maybe the chlorine was getting to it, maybe it wasn't planted deep enough into the substrate to reach the tetra active goodness below, maybe without fish and circulation it's not getting enough C02 or the light is too much for the available nutrients/C02. I'll figure it out one way or another 🙂

Picture from last night, day 13 attached
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-15-2020, 12:26 PM
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Nice looking, 3 thumbs up. Coarse enough gravel to be well saturated by flow current, will get better once gravel surface area works up to a nice surface colony. Substrate layer is thin enough it will never go anaerobic/hard anoxic. This is your baseline, itís light on itís demand. As you increase bio-load increases those volume of nutrients.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-15-2020, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
Nice looking, 3 thumbs up. Coarse enough gravel to be well saturated by flow current, will get better once gravel surface area works up to a nice surface colony. Substrate layer is thin enough it will never go anaerobic/hard anoxic. This is your baseline, it’s light on it’s demand. As you increase bio-load increases those volume of nutrients.
Thanks for the kind words! It's slightly deeper at the back but not hugely. Looking forward to getting the water somewhat stabilised and testing regular so I can at least get some snails in there.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2020, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Did a big ol' water change yesterday, used tapsafe on the water this time! Tested parameters this eve 24hours later;

Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0

pH 7.6

Kh 10
GH 20

So starting the cycle from the beginning, will test regularly. Hoping breaking down plant matter will add ammonia but might drop some snails in there, if I'm monitoring ammonia+nitrite I can just to water changes if/when the get high. Be good to have something living in there to help keep it ship shape too
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-27-2020, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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So added 5x little Malaysian Trumpet Snails (half transparent shells, so young) 7 days ago and have been testing water ever since.

Still no signs of Ammonia, Nitrite or Nitrate. Was hoping decaying plant matter and now also snail waste would add ammonia by this point. Was I wrong am I just impatient?

Any who, having the snails has been great. Love how surprisingly active they are, eating stuff off all surfaces and burrowing into the substrate. My 2 year old love to drag me over to the 'dank' to look for 'nails'.

Tempted to do a fish in cycle, I have API liquid tests in the post (don't trust my ammonia test strips and boy are test strips expensive when you use them regularly!). I will stick it out another week or so and see if I can get some ammonia showing up, I don't even have fish food to try yet as haven't decided what I want to put in there.

'just be patient, just be patient'

Loving this 'proper tank' stuff so far 😁
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2020, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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API to the rescue! Accurate results:
Ammonia 0.25
Nitrite 0.5
Nitrate 10

The cycle is happening 😁
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