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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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New to PlantedTanks, First Journal

I've been in the hobby for about three years now. I started with a Fluval Edge 6 gallon, but tore it down today because I didn't like the inability to move things around in the tank. I've had the tank for about 2 1/2 years and decided it's time to move on to better and more exciting things. The tank I tore down primarily had fish and a few low-tech plants. So for this new tank, I wanted to try shrimp and 'higher-tech' plants. The photo below is the 'first phase' so to speak of the journey. The plan is to have a carpet of HC and shrimp. For now, I don't foresee any other plant except HC growing in it.



The spec of the image above:
  • AquaTop 5.4 Gallon
  • Finnex Fugeray-R Ultra Slim
  • CaribSea Eco-Complete 20 lb
  • UP Aqua Shrimp Sand
  • Malaysian Driftwood(?)

The near-term goal is to find HC (during this hectic Christmas season) and start with DSM. I also have Amazonia II powder soil as the top layer above the Eco-Complete to help keep the HC rooted which is not in the picture yet.

The long-term goal is to submerge the tank once fully carpeted and buy a pressurized CO2 system including a drop-checker. Some other hardware required is a power head to give circulation, a CO2 atomizer, and possibly a heater set to 70F.

Any thoughts, questions, and suggestions are always welcome! A few concerns I have with this is the proximity of the surface of the substrate with the light. It's about 9-10 inches apart (varies due to the slopes near the corners).
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 01:49 PM
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You have a ton of soil il there. I'd pull out the Eco complete and throw in about 2 inches of aquasoil.
Keep us updated with pics of the hc, it's fun to watch it fill in.

Last edited by Couesfanatic; 12-25-2013 at 03:03 PM. Reason: Autocorrect error
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 02:40 PM
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"Too much soil"

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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Update with HC!

I have reduced the soil level of the tank by about 3 inches and added about 0.5 inches of Amazonia II powder. So it's been exactly three weeks since I have planted HC bought from substratesource.com. Highly recommend them. Great quality plants and fast/relatively cheap 1-2day shipping.


image url upload
(December 30, 2013)
Just finished planting the HC. Keeping the lights on for 10 hours a day from 9am to 11pm. Spraying regular tap water approximately 4-5 times a day without sealing the top of the tank.


image upload with preview
(January 5, 2014)
The leaves of the HC starts melting on 2-3 bunches of the HC. Surprisingly, the bunches are on the edges or corners of the tank. After panicking, I google what the causes are. I just hope that the melting is due to the hc adapting to a new environment.


pc screenshot
(January 12, 2014)
Growth of the HC overall is pretty slow. I read online that the HC may die due to low humidity. I decide to wrap the tank with saran wrap and reduce misting down to 2-4 times a day. Lights are still on 10 hours a day.


image ru
(January 20, 2014)
Noticed the leaves of the HC directly under the shadows of the driftwood died. Therefore, I decided to sink the driftwood even deeper into the soil to eliminate any sort of shadows in the tank. I am extremely excited about the growth of the HC. The ones in the center of the tank look like they're really taking off. The ones on the edges of the tank however are still pretty slow. The melting of the leaves have completely stopped. I believe they are regrowing new leaves. Lights are still on 10 hours a day and misting 2-4 times a day. I am hoping for a complete carpet within 6-7 weeks.
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