TPD's 10 gallon adventure - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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TPD's 10 gallon adventure

I'm currently mourning the loss of yet another white cloud minnow, today, so to make myself feel better, I've decided to concentrate on the future, instead of the past. I present to you my "planted" 10 gal *cue horns*. Substrate is:

Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil, rinsed 5,000+ or so times, topped with play box sand, also rinsed 5,100+ or so times.

Current decor includes:

5 rocks from the creek out back, boiled 1/2hr., scrubbed w/ barkeeper's friend & toothbrush, then boiled another 1/2hr.;

Cocktail shrimp-in-stocking, for cycling purposes;

and 1 Once-potted cryptocoryne wendtii, sanitized with hydrogen peroxide dip. (probably should've kept it potted, for cycling purposes, but the sponge smelled so bad and I didn't want ANY snail eggs).

Future stock: 2 java ferns, 1 barclaya(?), and 3 mystery bulbs, all currently growing out in "planted" 3 gal; 3 blue platies, and 5 white cloud mountain minnows (if only the little suckers would quit dying on me.)

Feedback is appreciate and encouraged, since I am a hopelessly planted-noob, as well as a hopeless photographer. Forgive the blurry pics.
ETA: Tank came equipped w/ a 19 watt flourescent bulb. But, if I am to understand correctly, if I wanted to grow, say, carpet plants, I would need a halogen bulb, correct?

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-21-2008, 12:36 AM
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What shape is the bulb you have now? If it's a long tube that runs the length of your tank, it's probably a T8 bulb, and would work just fine growing some low-light carpeting plants, such as Marselia minuta or E. tenellus 'narrow'. If you upgrade your lighting, you'll need to also start CO2 on this tank.





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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-21-2008, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input; yes, the bulb does run the length of the tank. Good information on low-light carpet plants, b/c I think I'd like to dive into that, sometime in the future.

Small update on tank parameters: the shrimp/stocking is covered in white fuzz. I suppose that's a sign that the bacteria is getting to work, though my ammonia reading isn't all that high and nitrates are still non-existant. I only set up the tank last Wed., though, but it's only around 10 gallons of water. I'm wondering how long I can expect it to take to cycle?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2008, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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As the tank turns

Waiting for a tank to cycle is a fascinating process. Sort of like waiting for a pot of water to boil. Thrilling. In any case, I'm in the home stretch! Ammonia is practically zero, Nitrites have reached 10ppm and Nitrates are present. TPD is excited . As you can see from the picture, I've added another plant. This is the only bulb that sprouted out of the the 7-8 pk. of aquarium plant bulbs purchased at Petco for $3.99. It really gave me no choice but to move it from my 3gal, as the stalk/bud is, literally, reaching for the sky (just imagined how it looked in a tank almost 2x smaller than this one). Initially, I thought I was lucky enough to have gotten a barclaya, but now I think it's probably Aponogeton Undulatus. In any case, it's probably going to be a monster plant, so I placed it in the background. I expect that it will grow even faster in this tank - a frightening, yet fascinating possibility - seeing as there are trace amounts of ammonia present. The crypt wendtii is a sure indicator of just how much plants seem to love ammonia - it perked right up after a couple of days of cycling. I was sure that I was going to experience a huge melt after having unpotted it, but it's only lost some of the bottom leaves, so far (is it just me, or is it looking more green then bronze? Label said "bronze wendtii" when I bought it.) Fingers crossed that the tank has finished cycling by the end of the week. Then I can finally transfer my one (1) white cloud minnow to his new home, then go out and buy him some friends. Comments appreciated

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 05:58 PM
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Neat looking tank you have, i like your hilly substrate

I agree with Laura, a 19w flourescent over a 10g tank should be plenty of light for you, I have a 15 watt over a 20gHigh tank and plants grow well for me, not much luck with the carpet plants, but 4more watts over half the height should do you well for that! Marsilea minuta grows in my 5.5g with 14w of flourescent light, i have some in my 20 that is not spreading much yet, but what is there is not dying either.

As for the crypt, it looks like a bronze to me, the greens are pretty bright green in my experience, the bronze ones are a dark green on of the leaves, but the undersides usually shows the bronze color more.

Can't wait to see the tank with some fish in it! What is a blue platy? I don't think I've ever seen a blue one, sounds cool!


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 06:35 PM
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I'd definitely go for marselia if you want a cool foreground. I think with the light you have, you could go for some medium light stem plants like L. repens, which is a nice stem if you want some reddish tones. Tank's looking good! Also, mosses would look great, too.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-09-2008, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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I've been dying for some progress with this tank. So, even if it isn't live-stocked or fully cycled (big question mark, there), I've decided to go ahead and plant it. Other than the banana plant, which is currently keeping my minnow company, here are all the plants I have on hand:

1 crypt wendtii (front)
2 java fern + one daughter bud (mid & mid-right)
3 mystery bulbs (left, under HOB)
1 watersprite (back right)
1 aponogeton undulatus (back)

As you can see, the everything's a mish-mash right now. What I really need is some GROWTH, which will probably happen when I begin to leave the lights on for a few hours a day. I think it has potential, otherwise. Only, I didn't mean for it to look so colorful, but I think the blue background is to blame, for that.

It's interesting to try and add up how much money I've spent on plants/decorations for this one little tank. Overall, I don't think I've done too badly, particularly in comparison to the numerous plastic plants and other tank decor I've purchased over the years. However, plastic plants don't die. Which just makes the foray into the planted tank world all the more exciting, right? Right.

Funds spent, tax not incl.:
crypt. wendtii - $4.99
java fern: $3.99x2
mystery bulbs: $1.99x3
watersprite: $6.99, incl. shipping
aponogeton: $3.99 - the only plant to sprout out of an 8-bulb pack
rocks: free

So, not quite $25.00. Not bad. Comments and insight are welcome, as usual. ETA: In spite of my best efforts, I still got snails I threw out the majority of them w/ the raw shrimp, though. I still see at least one. In any case, I've decided to live and let live, unless they prove to be a nuisance. Perhaps they'll disappear once they realize there's nothing left to snack on.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-18-2008, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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I've always wanted a rainbow fish :)

No growth update, but I did want to share some (sorry so blurry) pics of my new additions:



Threadfin rainbows!



...with minnow.



That minnow is a camera-hog.

I never thought I'd be able to find any of the miniature varieties of rainbow fish locally, but Petco got these pretty babies in a few weeks ago. I just added them this afternoon and I hope they live nice long lives because at $7.49 a pop they are, to date, the most expensive fish I've ever purchased (don't laugh).

And just cuz I'm so proud of how it turned out, my new 3 gallon terrarium.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-30-2008, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Small update

Just a few pics of what I came home to after vacation:







Current flora: same
Current fauna: 5 WCMMs, 1 otocinclus

Comments welcome
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-11-2008, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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After some rescaping...

Now that the semester's over and every exam has been graded, I've finally allowed myself to pay attention to other aspects of the tank aside from water changes. Here are a few updates:

The stalks from the aponogeton undulatus turned out to be the most fascinating thing about the plant. I was really hoping for a large, leafy background "cover," but that never happened and it's entering the hibernation stage anyway, so I cut away all those distracting shoots. Here are some shots of the results:

I decided I had to much of a rockscape. I needed more dimension an height, so I removed some of the stones and added a piece of recycled driftwood.

It seems as if I'm aiming for a watersprite garden, since it's turned out to be the most propitious plant in the tank. I don't mind it, since I think it's a pretty plant, but... I still think I need more variety. It looks as if I'll be studying up on new plants over vacation. And gosh, but I wish that banana plant would stop floating around. Can't decide if I want to chuck it or not...

The second oto has passed away, which is a shame. They truly are fun fish, just too damn sensitive for the 20% WC a week schedule I'm accustomed to, apparently. I'll think I'll try cories next; I'm usually pretty good at keeping them for awhile. In the meantime, the 5 WCMMs are keeping right along. I'm glad I discovered these adorable little fish; only wish I'd known about them, sooner. Comments welcome.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-11-2008, 11:51 PM
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Careful, Water sprite overtook my 10 gallon tank in less than a week

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Tank updates

After nearly forgetting I'd started a tank journal, here's some updates for anyone who's interested:

I feel as if I've nearly run the gamut of highs and lows w/ this tank. I had a nasty, soupy, slimy, clingy batch of BGA covering everything. This was after I'd managed to get rid of my BBA and hair algaes. Dosing w/ Marycyn and Flourish seemed to remedy most of the issues, though. So, on the bright side, I've learned about more algae prevention and eradication techniques than I ever cared to. On the dark side, it still comes back, time and time again.

Updated tank specs:
10 gal all glass; Tetra Whisper EX20 filter; brand new Sun-Glo T8 Flourescent, 15 watts; Schultz Aquatic Plant soil and sand for substrate

Plants:
1x crypt wendtii
4?X sunset hygro
3-4X rotala
2x pygmy swords
4-5 mystery plants
multiple java ferns
lots 'n lots of java moss
does algae count as a plant? If so, I've got some of most every variety: hair, maybe some staghorn, a little BBA, and the BGA is creeping up on me, again. Does 1x/week w/ Seachem Flourish

Fish:
5x WCMM
3x pygmy cories
1 otocinclus

The algae is better than it was some months ago, but it's still there. Lots of hair algae all over the mysery bulbs (long, thin-leaved green ones in the back), BBA creeping up on the sunset hygro, again, and I've started to clean out some BGA. I can always tell b/c of that nasty smell. Got some spotty green stuff on the back of the glass, too, that I can't scrape off. Frankly, this angers me, b/c of what I went through to get rid of it all the first time. Don't really know what to do other than increase the water changes.

I've changed the bulb just today, and I'll be changing it again as soon as possible because that "natural" yellow cast is just plain ugly. Any suggestions as to what bulbs I should try would be most appreciated. In the meantime, I'm trying a phosphate absorber in the filter. Haven't seen much of a difference yet since I've only added it a few days earlier, but I'm hopeful. Also cutting down on the photoperiod: from 10 to 8 hours. Any other tips? I'm really quite proud of myself outside of the algae. I kind of challenged myself with "harder-to-grow" plants and I seem to be doing all right, so I'd like to keep going down a somewhat successful path. Thanks for any input

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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New bulb, new pics

I like the new bulb so much I decided to take more pics. An Aquaglo T8 15 watter this time. It's new, it's bright, and it highlights all the nasty algae. But perhaps that's a good thing.

Also managed to catch on of my cories

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-06-2009, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Any advice or feedback? For instance, does anyone think the BGA will go away on it's on w/ the addition of a new bulb and a phosphate absorber? Seriously, you all know better than I do about these things.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 02:23 AM
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Any updates on this tank? Could I ask what happened to your threadfin rainbows? I'm looking into getting some more fish for my tank and those are the fish I'm fixated on right now. But I've been reading that they need to be in groups of at least 5 plus swimming room.

As for the BGA, I've read that a blackout period of 3 -4 days would kill it and also raising nitrates would help too. I think what causes (or one of the causes of) BGA in the first place is low nitrates. I'm not an expert and haven't had BGA (yet) in my tank so I never had to deal with it.

I'm sure searching with the terms "BGA problem" in the algae section would give you more than enough help on getting rid of/controlling it.
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