Armonious' First Planted Tank (10 gal) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Armonious' First Planted Tank (10 gal)

Well, it took a good deal longer than I'd like, but I finally have my first tank all together. It has been a lengthy learning process, with several ups and downs (read: algae), but I'm excited with my results for my first tank. It took significantly longer than I wanted to in order to get all of the equipment together, and even longer to get down proper plant growth, which I still sometimes struggle with, but it has been a doubtlessly enjoyable experience along the way. With the addition of fish earlier in this week, I now feel as though the scape is at least presentable.

I just wanted to say that I could not have done it without all the helpful individuals here on the forum as I read through droves of articles hoping to figure out everything that I could about this addicting hobby. The information found here far surpasses the knowledge that can be gained simply through book reading. Plus, it's way more fun on here than in any book I've read.

As it stands now, the tank is set up in the corner of my dorm room, with a 10 hour photoperiod. I feel fortunate to have enough space even for this setup. In the future, I may upgrade to a 60-P or 60-F, as that is the size of the stand I build, but we'll just have to wait and see. Anyway, without further ado, here are the specs:

Equipment:

Tank:
- AGA 10 gallon (DIY de-rimmed)
Light:
- Archaea 36W CF Light
Filter:
- Eheim 2213 with knockoff lily-pipes
CO2:
- Injected (5 lb. cylinder), Azoo Regulator
Fertilizers:
- Pfertz N, P, K, and Micros
Heater:
- Hydor ETH In-Line
Hardscape:
- Seiryu Stone (from Boink)
Substrate:
- 9L ADA AS Amazonia I (regular type)
Stand:
- ADA style (DIY)

Flora:
- Hemianthus Callitrichoides (dwarf baby tears)
- Eleocharis Acicularis (dwarf hair grass)

Fauna:
- 11x Paracheirodon innesi (neon tetras)


Just a note before I get to the pictures. I realize that the layout may not be the best in the world, as I'm new at this. I'm not entirely satisfied with it myself, so if there if something that you feel would have made the layout better, whether it be the addition of different plants or rearranging the hardscape, feel free to let me know. I plan on doing a re-scape here in a couple of months once I am finished with school for the year. Right now, I am leaning towards a mountainscape, as I have a decent bit more stone and I think that I think I could put to good use on that style tank. I'm not really happy with the pictures either, as my stone always seems to be washed out, and that is my favorite part of the layout, but these were the best that I could get with my P&S. I may borrow my roommate's DSLR at some point to snap some good shots.

Anyway, without further ado, a few images:


Under the hood, so to speak.














Again, like I said earlier, questions, comments, and constructive criticism are all more than welcome. I realize that the layout is far from perfect, and to be perfectly honest, at this point I am satisfied largely with being able to actually successfully grow everything in the tank without killing it off.

Last edited by Armonious; 04-01-2011 at 08:03 PM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 04:34 PM
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I wish my first planted aquarium looked this good. GREAT JOB!


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"99% of the time, a fish tank with plants will fail. Once you start a dedicated planted tank with fish, then you begin to succeed." - Geniusdudekiran
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Caton!

It didn't always look this nice however. I had a big problem with MASSIVE outbreaks of hair algae for the first two months. It actually ended up killing all of the HC that I purchased originally. Pretty much everything, save some hairgrass had to be ripped out and I started from scratch again. I would post the pictures, but I actually deleted them from my camera in frustration.

I also had a big problem with the water being stained yellow. i don't have any DW in there, and the Seiryu wasn't the problem. In the end, I put the blame on the AS. Granted, it is a great product, I just had a less than desirable badtch I suppose. I ended up doing roughly 50% WC every other day. After more than a month, the water was still bad. It would look nice right after the water change, but the next morning it would be back to bad. My solution: slap a little bit of Purigen in the basket of my 2213. Problemo gone! I love Purigen.

This shot is 2 months after I did my total replant. As you can see, there are some areas where the HC still needs to spread to, primarily on the back corners where I ran out during the initial planting. I think I need to give it a nice trim before too long, but I can't really tell when it is ready. Anyone have any tips on that topic in particular.

Last edited by Armonious; 04-01-2011 at 07:27 PM.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 02:55 AM
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wow that growth looks fantastic. looks like you got your ferting down really good. i noticed in my tanks when i got my ferting down everything came into place. good job
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 03:00 AM
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I think that is regular hair grass, cause my dwarf hair grass is half the hight of that? Awesome tank though!

20 gallon planted
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 06:25 AM Thread Starter
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@ doubleott05:
To be honest, I am surprised at how little ferts seem to affect this tank. It recently went through a period of 2 weeks without any ferts at all. I was away on spring break and just left everything on with my timer. This was before I had the fish, obviously. Normal fertilizing schedule is really just as I remember to do it, which tends to be every other day or so, but I have been known to let it slip to 4 or so days when I am busy/forgetful. I am actually having a problem with some yellowing at the moment, which is best seen through the last picture. But since I just got back from spring break on Sunday, I am sure it'll clear up within a couple weeks.

@mgiorgi1221:
Any clue what sp. of hairgrass it would be then? I put Eleocharis Acicularis because that was what it was labeled as when I purchased it. I suppose it could be Eleocharis Parvula, but I'm not sure. I was under the impression that E. Acicularis got to be up to 12" tall or so, which mine will do if I allow it to grow out that tall, where E. Parvula stayed around 3" with slightly darker, broader leaves. Anyone have any insight on that topic?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 06:11 PM
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Very, very nice setup. As stated above, I wish that my first tank (or my latest for that matter) looked this great! You've obviously got a handle on this whole process!

Best of luck and keep up the great work.

Charlie

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Just because it's dirt doesn't make it low-tech.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks CAM! You can tend to get to know a decent bit about planted tanks from a few years’ worth of reading, but it seems like to me at least, the real experience is gained by actually having the tank.

I first got into planted tanks when I was 15 (I’ve been keeping aquariums since I was 12), but the combination of me not wanting to part with a tank of African cichlids combined with a lack of money to set up something like this led to a long period of reading. I began gathering supplies over the middle of summer, as my old setup was far too large to bring to my university. Yet, I wanted a tank, so this little 10gal became my new little tank away from home.

Like I said earlier, however, it hasn't always been smooth sailing. Right now, the tank seems to be on an upswing, and though it didn't come out quite the way I envisioned (though I doubt it ever does), I am thankful for all the knowledge gained in the process, and can't wait to set up a new layout.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 07:07 PM
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Wow, amazing! I wish my tank looked that good. Do you like the Azoo regulator? And also, do you have a bubble counter?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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@karatekid14:

I am pretty impressed with my Azoo regulator so far. It took me a day or two to actually get the correct adjustment on the regulator, but once I got it set, it has been solidly there for good. At first I was worried that it may fluctuate throughout the day (floating I believe it is called), since that was a problem that people sometimes tend to have with cheaper regulators. However, as I mentioned, this one has performed flawlessly for me so far. The solenoid click on and off nicely and runs nice and cool. On the short, would I buy it again. Yes.

I had a bubble counter at one point. However, when I was setting up the tank initially, a dropped it on the floor and it shattered. In my opinion, they really are just cosmetic, so I didn't end up getting a new one. Heck, I may get another in the future, because I do like how the look, but there are other things that are on my list before that. I'm probably going to upgrade to an inline diffuser by Up-Aqua before too long, as I dropped my cheapo nano glass and ceramic diffuser, and it now has a crack in it. Granted, it still works, perhaps even better than before the crack . However, I'm worried about when it does, inevitably break. Aside from that, the inline will be one less thing in the tank, and from what I hear they are more efficient as well, which is always a good thing in my book.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 08:30 PM
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Thanks!
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Not a problem. If you have any other questions, feel free to post here or PM me.
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