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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2015, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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First Planted Tank - Advice

So I just finished up, the water is still cloudy and i do not like the way the left side of the tank looks. Never having done plants before I did not realize java fern was so large/wide, I also think i may have too much of it. I have all kinds of ideas as to how to fix things but i wanted some experienced advice. I am not tied to the current plants I have so I'm open to all suggestions. Oh and flame moss comes in the mail some time next week for the Bonsai.

Let me know what you think.

Thanks

Tank dimensions: Finnex 20g M tank
21" L x 10.5" W (this does not include the aio filtration area) x 16" Tall

Substrate:

Just a 1/2" layer of crushed lava rock
Aquasoil Amazonia

Equipment:

Finnex fuge ray planted + 20"

Some time next week ill be setting up diy c02 and buying liquid ferts - any advice on ferts would be great too.

Plants:

Java Fern
DHG
Anubias Nana Petite - tiny guys tied to the driftwood
Hygrophila Pinnatifida - hidden behind the java


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2015, 04:50 AM
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If you have not bought fertilizers I wouldn't put anything other than Seachem or Aquavitro in my tank. I would pick up Aquavitro Envy and Propel. I would also dose Seachem Excel in addition to your DIY CO2. Your hair grass would love weekly doses of trace elements or more frequent water changes.

If your light on a timer? I'd go for 11 hours a day.

Did you consider a dry start for your plants? Hair grass really grows faster that way.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2015, 07:27 AM
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You have about 40 PAR in there. No way I'd use more than 7 hrs of light till you get the CO2 going. Java Fern and Anubias are low light(less than 35PAR) plants and need shade if in higher light. That is a very large Java Fern. They mostly come/w 3-5" leaves but do get that big eventually.
I do not know the light requirements of the Hygrophila Pinnatifida. So best you find out what it is. Then if it is higher than the Anubias and JF you can move it.
You can place a piece of fiberglass window screen between the light and the top of the tank to shade the JF and Anubias if the Hygrophila Pinnatifida are moved if it requires more light. Or it may be to your liking to let the Hygrophila Pinnatifida replace the Java Fern. But for the JF and the Anubias something has to be found to shade them or they will get thick coats of GSA(green spot algae,the same kind seen on the glass) on the leaves and die. DHG loves CO2 BTW.
As for ferts, store bought liquids are a serious waste of money and made strictly for convenience. In the 500ml bottle($5.99-to even higher)you get one tsp of whatever nutrient it is. In dry ferts you get 1/2 to 1 LB of it for the same money or a little more depending on which kind.
You don't "have to have" but a plant only can take in so much nutrients. Using them in the water cuts what they take from the sub you have making it last longer.
But if that tank is only 20g then a 500ml bottle of Flourish Comprehensive will last you
almost a year anyway. But it is incomplete. It has no Potassium or Phosphate.
API Leaf Zone has iron plus Potassium. Tetra Pride has Potassium and iron.
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...01&pcatid=4701
Look under additional info on that one above.
http://www.petmountain.com/product/a...leaf-zone.html
But all of these products are so diluted that most who use them suggest you use 2 x the recommended doses.
Do not confuse Sea Chem Flourish comprehensive/w Sea Chem Trace. Trace is for fish health. Look at this link to see it.
http://www.seachem.com/Products/prod...reshTrace.html
And this one to see there are others but all for fish.
http://www.seachem.com/Products/Fres...ace%20Elements

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Last edited by Raymond S.; 01-23-2015 at 07:38 AM. Reason: Additional info.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2015, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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@ James -

Light is on a timer - currently set to 5h a day

The tank is in a bay window which receives light from the north(left) west and south(right) so i was starting out with less light and planned to work my way up, Of course ill likely have to adjust with the seasons.

I did not even know you could dry start! Once i take these poor fish my wife dumped in the tank as a "surprise" back to the store i might consider draining and doing that.

side note - them suckers are pretty hardy, she just dumped them in the tank straight out of the bag, no acclimation into 2 ppm ammonia soaked water! Soon as I get home (hopefully they are still alive) there going back.

@ Raymond -

I may give the java to a friend. Its much larger than i had estimated.. Looks small on youtube That said, the Hygrophila Pinnatifida from what i can find doing quick searches at work say, low to medium light with a few sources saying medium to high.. So ill assume the low end of medium light? planted off to the side in the back ill assume it will be ok. What plants would anyone recommend to take the place of the java? Ideally something that will not get so tall as to drown out the hygro P and be hardy enough to survive my learning curve?

Thanks for the info on the ferts. I was honestly leaning toward the seachem for the very reasons you stated but you have given me that little push i needed to just do it right the first time. Where is a good place to purchase dry ferts?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-2015, 07:45 PM
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Subscribed. I love the bonsai! Where did you get it?

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... and I'll take a tank or two.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-24-2015, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevamortner View Post

@ Raymond -

I may give the java to a friend. Its much larger than i had estimated.. Looks small on youtube That said, the Hygrophila Pinnatifida from what i can find doing quick searches at work say, low to medium light with a few sources saying medium to high.. So ill assume the low end of medium light? planted off to the side in the back ill assume it will be ok. What plants would anyone recommend to take the place of the java? Ideally something that will not get so tall as to drown out the hygro P and be hardy enough to survive my learning curve?

Thanks for the info on the ferts. I was honestly leaning toward the seachem for the very reasons you stated but you have given me that little push i needed to just do it right the first time. Where is a good place to purchase dry ferts?
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=795498
This may overwhelm anyone. But...check the kits.
The EI or PPS Pro kits/w bottles. Everything is there you just add RO or Distilled water.

http://greenleafaquariums.com/aquarium-fertilizer.html

http://aquariumfertilizer.com/index....ditU=1&Regit=2

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-25-2015, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Bonsai came from bonsai driftwood

Thanks Ray, After over complicating everything i read about ferts in a few different ways, I mostly get it now.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-05-2015, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quick picture at 6 weeks, Playing with algae now.



The moss on the driftwood came from a small clump mixed in with the flame moss i ordered. Is it Christmas moss? The stuff grows amazingly fast.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 03:48 PM
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I've not tried to learn to tell the different kinds of mosses from each other so
I'll leave that part to others but whatever your doing it's working.
Looks great. The Java were too big.
And I'll add this...at one point I had over 14 different types of plants in one of my 10g tanks
and none were doing well. But admittedly I was trying to use high light without CO2.
So I cut the light and now things are working out better but my learning curve cost me
most of those plants and then some. Mostly though I think that it looks better to have
less types of plants in smaller types of tanks.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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Yea, I do plan to setup a low light tank in the very near future which is the only reason i have the java fern, dwarf sag and "christmas?" moss at this point, I wanted to see how they grow. The java fern gets covered in gsa near the tops but it doesn't really bother me. It propagates like mad and the rhizome has doubled in size in the last 6 weeks its fun learning about the plants. I am an extreme hands on learner so i can read the forums till i'm blue in the face and not absorb a fraction of the things I learn in just a weeks time with my arms in the tank.

My plan for this tank at this point is to end up with the tree on a small slope (which I have extra soil for will cycle outside the tank first) Id like to let the anubas nana continue to grow underneath it eventually hiding the roots. Dhg will obv be carpeted from the rocks to the far left, front to back and the hygrophila pinnatifida will run on the left side of the rocks from the back of the front most rock sloping upwards to the top of the back of the tank turning slightly toward the current location of the java fern.

I do not really have a plan yet other than leaving it bare for the "stick" in the middle of the tank. I've considered getting rid of it, adding some flame moss to it, hell I've considered trying to get algae to grow on it and see what happens. I had a piece of driftwood in a tank a few years back that got covered in what i believe was beard algae, It was green, thick, slimy and impossible to remove however really pretty.

I also have to do something about that ugly green spraybar at some point.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 12:40 AM
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That bonsai tree looks awesome with the flame moss.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2015, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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My first time trying shrimp. I just found a bunch of tiny shrimp this evening, Excited!


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