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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-31-2008, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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my discus setup journal

Well, being thoroughly bored at work I thought I would start this up now rather than after the plants go in!
Setup will be -
rio 300 (filter removed)
overhead luminaire ( will modify this to have blue led's as moonlight)
Purity on tap HMA
fluval 404
300w heater
FE co2 setup with digi PH controller
Im also going to use either baking sheet or tracing paper as the backing for the tank
hardscape is mainly redmoor with a few rocks of some description to hold it down
substrate - sand and fine black gravel, gravel will cover a growing substrate of aquatic compost
plants, well so far I have purchased 3 pots of HC, 3 pots of pogostemen helferi and 3 pots of lilaepsis novae. As well as this I will be transferring various crypts and anubias barteri nana into this tank. Also I have quite a bit of Java moss on order for the wood. Im not 100% on a background plant, I have some vallis which is growing in my other tank, and I might get some swords as well.
Inhabitants, upto 8 discus, a large shoal of either neons/cardinals/serpaes, my cherry shrimp and amanos. Algae eaters then Im probably looking at 5-6 otos I think, maybe even some cories
Im going to grow the HC, novae and pogostemen emersed as the tank wont be positioned until probably mid -feb when the smaller tank gets moved. Heres a couple of pics of progress so far. I spent 3 weeks soaking the wood to try and get it to sink with no success, so screwed in a large piece of slate to force it to sink



you should just be able to make out the divided area for the sand which I put in last night
The two straight pieces of driftwood im not 100% sure on yet, so Im always open for opinion on the hardscape. Ive made a substrate divider from the plastic you get from the inside of a new formal shirt as I want the sand to be bare and something the inhabitants can rummage through, this should also help with stopping the plants spreading into areas i dont want.
looking at the pics, im actually thinking of putting the straight driftwood pointing up towards the right side of the tank, coming from behind the other wood. so as always, opinions, criticism, praise all welcome
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-31-2008, 11:14 AM
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I love the idea of the hardscape and substrate. I am always skeptical of dividers though I understand why you want it. I have sand in several of my tanks, and work to keep it separated from the substrate. I just get concerned about lack of flow in the substrate due to the plastic. The other concern is anything named 'Rio', just a personal preference there. They have a bad rap in the sw community. Have you considered looking into mineralized substrate? Good luck with it. I will be watching for updates.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-31-2008, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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ive read a few views on the dividers, so ive done it at the front which is easy to get to which will hopefully be easy to swirl around every so often to give it an airing. i purposely chose the wood and the sand like it is it give an appearance of the sand disappearing into the distance, and the sand is all less than 1" in depth. i have read up on the mineralized substrate, and this is why ive chosen to go for aquatic compost rather than branded substrate - more for money reason than anything else. With a relatively large footprint the tank has it would be expensive (especially in the UK)
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-31-2008, 11:49 AM
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I asked about the substrate, only because I did this with my first and second tanks, which were nanos. It worked great initially, but as I had to disturb or remove plants, the compost soil would work it's way up through the gravel, causing water clouding and other issues.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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well 4 hours planting tonight and the tank actually starts to look like something. heres pics of the progress

compost in - used 10 litres of blagdons aquatic compost


all wood back in

gravel in, used 5 bags of micro black gravel from warehouse aquatics




pogostemen helferi in

lilaepsis in


HC in

FTS


ive taken the luminaire from my 3ft tank and hung it inside this tank for lighting. i will trun the light on before i goto work and turn off when i get home every day, around 10hours lighting. ive clingfilmed the top as well, and im going to keep a bowl of hot water in the tank to help humidify it. So now the countdown begins. i will take pics weekly as an update
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 11:44 PM
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what size tank is that?
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 11:50 PM
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The downoi doesn't lend well to emersed growth. Your best bet would be to grow it under water until the HC fills in, if that's an option.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 11:58 PM
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Love the wood and having the bare sand in the front.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-03-2009, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris127 View Post
what size tank is that?

Chris - its a rio300. works out to around 79 us gallons. i was advised that downoi should be ok emersed? Well, we shall see how it goes luckily mt LFS seem to get this in quite regularly so if it doesnt take emersed i can buy more and put it in the other tank until this one is ready

i wanted a completely bare area for if i get cory's more than anything, but again we'll see how it goes
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-03-2009, 10:00 AM
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It looks awesome. The divider gives it a nice clean look between the sand and substrate.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-03-2009, 10:47 AM
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I'm really intrested to see how your lilaeopsis does emersed since I want to attempt growing it in the near future.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-05-2009, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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well my java moss turned up today from japan, so im going to try and grow some of this emersed just as an experiment. The rest of plants i give a very light misting of a diluted fertilizer solution just to stop them drying out. Ive read HC loves excel so I might try misting the HC with a solution of this as well
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-05-2009, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulm View Post
i was advised that downoi should be ok emersed? Well, we shall see how it goes luckily mt LFS seem to get this in quite regularly so if it doesnt take emersed i can buy more and put it in the other tank until this one is ready
Well, I've grown it emersed, and it will live, but the new emersed leaves look like crap. It's a very different looking plant above water, and not in a good way. The terrestrial leaves didn't melt when I flooded the tank, but I trimmed them after a few weeks anyway because they were ugly.

Also, I wouldn't bother spraying HC with Excel. Excel is a liquid carbon source and algaecide for plants, and your plants are getting plenty of carbon straight out of the air, and you shouldn't be growing any algae.


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