20 Gal. Journal *very large images* Update 6/9/06 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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20 Gal. Journal *very large images* Update 6/9/06

Samantha's 20 Gallon Disaster Journal
a.k.a she will tell you of her algae growing success here!

Hokay.

So I went and cleaned out my old 20 Gallon tall from the attic and there it sat in its marvelous clean glory on its stand in my room. It sat there for several days. Finally the mother took me to Petsmart and we got two bags of Fluorite. I made the aweful, horrible, traumatizing mistake of.. gasp.. not cleaning the Fluorite at all. So here is what it looked like on day one:



Yikes. I turned on two filters and let them at it. I cleaned the filters every other hour or so to get out all the mud that collected in it. (I know I killed off bacteria but at this point getting the water clear was a little more important) After a day or so and a $52 dollar order of plants from Aquariumplant.com, it looked like this:


I was satisfied. Soon after that photo I got myself a piece of driftwood. Once I put the driftwood in, I decided I infact was not satisfied with the clarity of the water and did my third 100% water change. This time I scooped out every single ounce of muddy water out of the bottom with a ketchup holder for french fries.


It sat like this, a lot clearer, for a couple more days and finally the plants came in today! I was a little peeved UPS left them there in lord knows how hot weather (I live in the South - if the skeeters don't get you, the heat will) but otherwise the plants were MARVELOUS and are overflowing my tank.

For now I just tossed them in there and didn't really scape or anything like that. The water is too cloudy as it is for me to be taking any really good pictures. Here are couple. The first one is my night lighting. It's very pale but not blue. I'll get some better pictures hopefully tonight and post em for you. Sorry about the quality.

Once again.. just to make sure everyone knows.. those are NOT my daytime lights.


My lighting is four 14 watt bulbs that hang from the ceiling. I have around 2.1 WPG and I'm pretty satisfied with that. I hope this to be a low tech tank, but I'll attempt CO2 (if I can find a good DIY that works, tried it before and it didnt make didly squat) and try some ferts. Any help on explaining the ferts thing? I don't understand all the long posts on all these weird tests and KH and all that fun stuff. I'd greatly appreciate any help and an insight into the world of ferts!

Also, any comments are also appreciated! Be mean, be brutal!


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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
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By the way, does anyone know what the second plant is? Is it Rotala wallichii?
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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 02:49 AM
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looks like it

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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 03:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicksgirl7705

My lighting is four 14 watt bulbs that hang from the ceiling. I have around 2.1 WPG and I'm pretty satisfied with that. I hope this to be a low tech tank, but I'll attempt CO2 (if I can find a good DIY that works, tried it before and it didnt make didly squat) and try some ferts. Any help on explaining the ferts thing? I don't understand all the long posts on all these weird tests and KH and all that fun stuff. I'd greatly appreciate any help and an insight into the world of ferts!

Also, any comments are also appreciated! Be mean, be brutal!

though 4 x 14 watt bulbs get you to 2.1 gallons, 14 watts isn't gonna cut it. Each bulb (as you may have noticed) does not produce very high intensity light. What you're really looking for isn't watts, but lumens. 14 watt bulbs simply will not produce enough light to grow your plants. How about replacing them with some compact fluorescent fixtures?

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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 03:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thanks
though 4 x 14 watt bulbs get you to 2.1 gallons, 14 watts isn't gonna cut it. Each bulb (as you may have noticed) does not produce very high intensity light. What you're really looking for isn't watts, but lumens. 14 watt bulbs simply will not produce enough light to grow your plants. How about replacing them with some compact fluorescent fixtures?
Figured that. Kept telling my dad that but he just wants to procrastinate in getting me a Coralife.

But, he's probably going (actually I'm like 99.5% sure he is) to get me this - http://www.hellolights.com/241xcofraq1x.html.

What is better, 1x65 or 2x36? We didn't really know. Except for the 2x cost more, lol. Any help?

Also, if I got either of those, would I HAVE to dose exact amounts of ferts every day or so? The idea of ferts and measuring things I've never heard of scares me more than CO2!

Thanks for the help!
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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 04:13 PM
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LOL, IMO just go with one 65W that's what I ordered for my 20G tall, it's also what others have used for theirs, go check 'em out.

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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 04:18 PM
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Not sure about the lights, but I would definitely rinse that flourite, otherwise everytime you re-arrange you will get that cloudy mess. IMO.
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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicksgirl7705
Figured that. Kept telling my dad that but he just wants to procrastinate in getting me a Coralife.

But, he's probably going (actually I'm like 99.5% sure he is) to get me this - http://www.hellolights.com/241xcofraq1x.html.

What is better, 1x65 or 2x36? We didn't really know. Except for the 2x cost more, lol. Any help?

Also, if I got either of those, would I HAVE to dose exact amounts of ferts every day or so? The idea of ferts and measuring things I've never heard of scares me more than CO2!

Thanks for the help!
Both are fine. The 2 x 36 costs more because there are two bulbs. The idea is that you can use two different types of bulbs for optimal growth (for example, in a saltwater setup, you would use one actinic blue bulb to promote coral growth and one 10,000K bulb to balance out the blue light).

You don't have to dose exact amounts every day, though fertilization would definately help. CO2 is practically a must, since you will have more than 3wpg of light if you buy the coralife fixture. Otherwise, you are practically handing your tank to algae on a silver platter.

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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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I've since removed the fluorite and rinsed it. Learned my lesson!

Could the ferts be just something cheap from Petco or something like that? The only ferts I've seen like Flourish is very, very expensive..

Also, does anyone have any links to a good, easy DIY CO2 set up that has worked for many? I seem to be mentally challenged when it comes to CO2.
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-14-2006, 05:52 AM Thread Starter
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Finally got the water clear.

Dad ordered me a 1x65 watt coralife.. so this is temporary lighting.

Going to get some fish tomarrow and then ordering some cherry reds off vinnymac soon, hopefully!

Crappy picture, sorry.. and the glass is icky. =(

Is the plant in the left hand cornor supposed to have weirdish blooms? It's growing but the blooms are always brown at first then turn green..

Once again, crappy picture. This is my room. It's pink.

Any insight on the ferts would be very welcomed!! Also any comments I would love.. good or bad.
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post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-14-2006, 07:09 AM
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try T_om for cherries. he's a little cheaper, and you'll get a flipping ton more than you ordered. he's my hero. i hope to be like him when i grow up... him, a cowboy, or an astronaut
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post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-14-2006, 02:46 PM
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i dunno, vinnces shrimp are a hair over a buck each and i got extras with mine. plus they are AMAZING lookin now. but to each their own.

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post #13 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-14-2006, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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I was just surprised at how expensive they were in the total package. 26 dollars, I think. Couldn't find a place that charged less. =(
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post #14 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-14-2006, 05:26 PM
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Quick question. In the second of those last three pictures, the plant taking up the majority of the right hand side. Can anyone ID that for me? I have some, I know what I had thought it was, but now I'm second guessing myself. Thanks.
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post #15 of 57 (permalink) Old 04-14-2006, 05:42 PM
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samantha:
you will need ferts...for a dosing regime check out this link:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/wa...-regimes_.html

also mandatory reading is www.rexgrigg.com

then go to www.gregwatson.com (pmdd store) and purchase:KN03, KH2P04, K2S04 shouldn't run you more than about $20 and will last for at least a year or more...

dosing is easy and takes about 1-2 minutes for me every other day, on the alternate days, dose flourish this is for your trace elements...know it sounds difficult, but its really simple...

diy co2 set-up, either search on the forum or google it...all pretty much the same...though it may be easier to just buy a hagen/red sea c02 system IMO

good luck!
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