Daximus' Dirty 30! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-21-2011, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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Daximus' Dirty 30!

Here is how it stands today! The following thread is how I got here.
Attachment 37169







OLD THREAD BEGINS HERE:
I figured I should start one of these so I can see what works for the next time! The tank looks way better in person, but aquarium photography skills are not my strong suit.

Attachment 36390

I have had many aquariums before, but this will be the first one I've ever had with 100% living plants, and I'm loving it. The tank is a 20 gallon tall "kit" tank, retrofitted with a florescent light. The light is a GE Plant and Aquarium, that's all I know about it. My only fertilizer is too much fish food and half dose of API Leaf Zone every two weeks. The rocks are just rocks, but that's not going to last. I'm in the process (thanks to the Fraternity of Dirt folks here) of putting together an "el natural" Miracle Grow dirt special to move all this into long term.


Please, feel free to question/comment/heckle...I want to learn. Thanks!

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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Update! The tank pictured above was my 20 gallon planted in plain old gravel. I have since updated and transplanted into a "dirty 30" tank. My new tank is Miracle Grow with a little clay covered in Black Rock. The tank is a standard 29 gallon tall. I have a 17 watt 8000k in the hood and some additional 10w 6500k CFLs to help out. I would hang some lights, but it's in my "man cave" so I want to keep the light contained (it's football season after all). I dose a smidgen with API Leaf Zone and too much fish food a la Walstad style. The pump is the same Whisper 20-40, and I give it an two hours of bubble aeration at night. I still can't name half my plants. The fish are 2 Angels, 3 Corys, 1 Betta, 17 Neons, and a Shrimp or two.

I set up the tank on a Friday with plants, added fish on a Saturday. My chemistry hasn't got out of whack yet. I've done 25% water changes everyday just in case.

Here are the pics!


Setting up! (the little cave thing is for my Betta, he loves it)
Attachment 36632

Boiled driftwood and most of the plants inside.
Attachment 36633

Cycling on night one (ran multiple mature filters to set up)
Attachment 36634

Front today (a little cloudy, and my camera sucks)
Attachment 36635

Left Side
Attachment 36636

Right Side
Attachment 36637

The whole thing (with my ghetto lights)
Attachment 36638

Just for grins, my two week old 5 gallon planted. One of the plants has flowered up above the tank!
Attachment 36639

I'm so glad I found this forum. Thanks to all the Dirt folks! Love my dirt tanks!

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-28-2011, 02:55 AM
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Oooo I like your bettas. Mine is all red with a bit of blue flecked across him. I should be posting pics of him soon enough. Might get him a few shrimps for neighbors, right now he has a refugee rainbowfish in there that was almost gobbled up by my parrotfish. Once he grows bigger I will return him to the 30gal.

Your plants are looking good. I've only had my dirt tank for a week now and already its my go to substrate.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I love dirt, this tank is 10 days old. I don't do too much to it and already some of my plants have grown significantly. I don't think I'll ever do anything besides dirt again.


So I figured I had better update things a little. I got rid of my crappy CFL situation when I stumbled across a 17watt T8 fixture for $5 at a garage sale. So now I'm running a 17w 8000k T8 in the middle of the hood, and a 17w 6000k T8 on the front of the hood where the "door" should be. It's tilted slightly backwards. I have seen a lot of people with amazing tanks and their lights hung up above, unfortunately that wont work in my situation. This tank is in my basement "man cave" and I don't want any light "escaping" my tank.

I got another order of plants in, something I can't pronounce back by the filter intake, some dwarf grass on the left, and a couple piles of java moss that I hope will attach to some lava rocks and my driftwood. I was bored on Friday, so I decided to try some DIY Co2 and giv3 my new plants a little jump start. Making one of those DIY Co2 setups is incredibly easy. I'm not sure that one 2 liter Co2 maker is enough for a 30 gallon, but I'd rather under do it than gas my fish.

Not sure what the really bright green plants are on the left-back and extreme right side, but they have grow like 3 inches in a week. I like them a lot. My Madagascar Lace has shed it's beat up leaves and grown a new one in record time, I can't wait until that one really gets going. Hope my dwarf grass does well...I'm hoping it will kind of carpet things...we'll see.

Front (again...my camera sucks I think)
Attachment 36858

Right Side
Attachment 36859

Left Side
Click image for larger version

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New light (woohoo!)
Attachment 36861

That's about it for today!

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-01-2011, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Holy cow! DIY Co2 works waaaaaay better than expected. That is all, pics coming soon as my second light kicks on.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-04-2011, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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Well I had to rearrange my 30 a little. Moved the driftwood off to the right side and moved my "mossy rock" to the middle. I'm hoping my java moss just needed more light. I have a heck of a time getting that stuff to grow. The driftwood, being such and odd shape was really cause some no flow zones in the tank.

The rest of my plants are coming along great! DIY Co2 definitely helps...even if it's just a little bit. I'm cutting down my light cycle on this tank, fighting off a wee bit of floating algae.

Anyways, here is tonight's pic via cell camera since I cant find my other one. Picture looks horrible after I stirred things all up.
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And just for fun here is my 5 gallon dirt Betta tank. I "re-scaped" it with black rocks after seeing so many amazing black rock nanos around here. Glad I did.
Attachment 37117

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-04-2011, 02:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daximus View Post
Holy cow! DIY Co2 works waaaaaay better than expected. That is all, pics coming soon as my second light kicks on.
Yeah I heard it works really well, might set up another tank sometime to try it out. Right now I want to run strictly dirt to see the growth.

As for the java moss you could always look into liquid ferts, I've heard that with dirt tanks the water column doesn't always have enough nutrients for the plants not rooted, at least for a newer tank. I just got some java moss myself, I'll see how it does for a week then decide from there


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-04-2011, 02:45 AM
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WOW! Your tank looks amazing!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-04-2011, 02:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishchickadee View Post

As for the java moss you could always look into liquid ferts, I've heard that with dirt tanks the water column doesn't always have enough nutrients for the plants not rooted, at least for a newer tank.
All I have to dose water column is some API Leaf Zone...I think it's just Iron and Potassium...I'm not real smart on the ferts, lol. Thanks for the tip, makes TOTAL sense, I will investigate further!



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Thanks! I need to spend some time practicing my camera skillz...it looks better in person. Of course, it still looks like poo compared to 90% of the tanks on this forum, but what can do, lol.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-04-2011, 03:00 AM
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haha tell me about it, I'm not all that camera savvy either! I think we all feel like our tanks could be better in some aspect or another, just keep in mind that your tank is doing really well and will only continue to look better (thats the mindset I try to keep with mine otherwise I'm going to start pulling my hair out lol)

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-05-2011, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Tonight's update!

Water change and mild trimming. Also figured out another new way to disperse my DIY Co2. I had been feeding it into the powerhead on the right side. This worked well enough, except the tank got a soda pop look to it. And like someone said, if you have bubbles, the Co2 is not dissolving. Well, mostly by accident I placed my Co2 output line with small airstone below the rigged sponge filter on my powerhead. I didn't think much of it and went about my water change...filler her up and turned everything on. Then I remembered that I need to replace my Co2 output...but much to my delight it was slowly leaking bubbles directly up to the sponge. The bubbles were sticking to the sponge (no doubt due to the powerhead applying a vacuum) and just resting there. They would eventually disappear only to be replaced by new bubbles. Awesome! No bubbles are reaching the top of my tank. The flow of the water into the sponge through the powerhead is diffusing them as fast as my little DIY Co2 can make them. Kick ass.

So here's the tank tonight!
Attachment 37170

And my white angel...
Attachment 37171

My black angel...
Attachment 37172

One of my three Corys (mine don't school good, lol)
Attachment 37173

I was gonna get a picture of my neons...but getting them together for a pic is like hearding cats...y'all seen a herd of neons, lol.

All plants are still doing exceptional, except my Java Moss...it's still sucking. That is all.


Oh...and here is Fido, my Betta with anger management issues...
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-05-2011, 12:56 AM
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Definitely lookin good those angels look super nice!!

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