Ben's high tech 20H - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Ben's high tech 20H

Hi everyone,

I transitioned to a planted tank 2 months ago. Previously this tank housed a very large, very messy goldfish with plastic plants. Once the goldfish kicked it, I decided to try my hand at plants.

Anyway, I posted over at Aquascaping too, but if anyone has any suggestions for how to design or modify this tank, I would appreciate it.

My plan is to eventually switch from gravel to blasting sand, but I want to make sure the plants, tank, and fauna are as healthy as possible before disrupting everything.

My wife will not get behind a new (larger) tank until she knows that I am serious about this one and make it a nice, attractive addition to the living room.

If I can get her on board for a larger tank, then I have no intention on changing substrate in this tank, I will just do what I can with it until the new tank is established.

Stats:
20H
33% RO water, 66% Tap
Pressurized CO2
GLA EI ferts
Sera Florenette Root Fert every other week
50% water change every week

4 Platies
2 Otos
4 Zebra Danios
4 Cherry Shrimp
1 Amano (the other 2 walk out and were eaten by my cats, boo)
2 Nerites
~12 various snails

1 Anubias
1 java fern
Several Java Fern windelov sections
1 struggling bolbitis
Rotala rotundifolia
Red Ludwigia
Water Wisteria
Crypt Wendii
Crypt Beckettii ???
Dwarf Sag
Ozelot Sword

Tetra Whisper 20
AC 70, with purigen in chamber

Zoomed AquaSun LED 18"
2 CREE Par 30 Spot light bulbs 9x2 watt, 6500K, 120 degree angle
7.5 hour photoperiod
Airstone run when CO2 is off

Most Recent water parameters
pH 6.8
Ammonia: neg
Nitrite: neg
Nitrate: 40ppm
TDS: 312
dkH: 8
dgH: 8
Temp: 75F

Pics in next post.

Ben

Bump: Here are pictures as of today.

Ben
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Last edited by benealing; 02-18-2015 at 04:55 PM. Reason: added info
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 08:27 AM
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Nice start! I would just do a dutch-ish style tank since you're looking to upgrade soon (hopefully). I'd focus on growing a few more variety of plants (maybe some nice reds) and worry about a hardscape in your upgrade tank. Maybe grab a large stem package off the buy/sell board. Generally more variety and plants are healthier and cheaper than your lfs. Good luck upgrading!
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Any suggestion on where to plant the new stems?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 09:15 PM
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I would probably move the sword up and over an inch towards the center and line the back right corner in an L shape . It really depends on how much work you want to do. The more centered the stems are on the light the faster you will have to trim them. It gets old when you have to trim every 12 days to keep them from shading out the surrounding plants. I love my stargrass I would suggest it to anyone looking for a plant that can be trimmed and planted into a thick bush.

Don't let a substrate change intimidate you, it's not as bad as it sounds if you prep good! When I changed out my substrate it took me around 40 min in my 20g extra high (22"). I got new sub. (Play sand rinsed well in bucket and MGOPS), a plastic bottle with the bottom cut off and cheese cloth covering the mouth so water can drain makes an easy scoop for old gravel, and some buckets for transfer of fish and substrates. Put fish, plants, heater, some type of filtration, and rocks/driftwood in a bucket to hold over until you are done. Just scoop out the old stuff, and put in the new substrate in. I didn't notice any problems with my parameters when I used this substrate combo in a nano so I felt comfortable adding my livestock back after I had finished adding my new substrate.

Good luck with whatever you decide to go with, I can't wait to see how this turns out it's looking great so far!


~Travis
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 09:24 PM
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P.S. Do yourself a favor and root frets between the dirt and sand cap (or 2/3rds down in a single layer substrate) while you are filling it. I use osmocoat + (white/pink bottle of pellets) and love the results it has gave me over the last 5 months without Co2. I have a heavy planted tank so I use 8-10 pellets a square foot. It might be excessive but I haven't noticed any issues with that ratio.


~Travis
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-20-2015, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion. I should be receiving a shipment of stem plants next week and I will post pictures of the set up. Most of the stem plants will be red varieties so i hope it turns out nice.

I am definitely intimidated about the substrate change. My plants are all relatively new (about 1-2 months). Would waiting longer allow them to become more healthy prior to the move or do you think it doesn't mattter?

As sad as it sounds, I am more concerned about the plants/shrimp than the fish. With the fish, I am neither here nor there.

Ben
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 12:28 AM
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I'm not a 100% on this but I would say ether way on transplants you should be good as long as a plant doesn't seem to be struggling to stay alive. The sooner you move stuff the sooner you will begin to grow roots that won't be uprooted and possibly broken during the transplant.

I just trimmed and replanted some stems with zero roots and they still look good and are already pushing roots on day 3. Just keep in mind that with stem plants roots will only grow out of the knuckles of the stem that produce leafs.


~Travis
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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That makes a lot of sense regarding the broken roots etc. When you changed substrates, did you hang a bag of the old substrate in the tank for a week or so to help with the biofilter? Would tetrasafe start be a good idea just to be extra cautious?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Smile

Here is the tank with the new stem/color additions. They need some growing, but I like having so many varieties in the tank. Plus, the fauna really seems to enjoy it.

Let me know what you think.

Ben
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-28-2015, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Changes

Here is from today. I made some changes to the background and equipment. I really like it.

Ben
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Major Changes

I changed substrate to blasting sand.

Added many more varieties of plants.

Still seeing what will thrive and what won't. No clear direction yet, just growing stuff.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 11:49 PM
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It's fine to just be "growing stuff". It looks like your getting really good at it.

Do you still have the crypt growing behind the wisteria? I was going to comment that "as soon as the wisteria filled in, you wouldn't be able to see the crypt behind it" and sure enough, you can't.

Very impressed with you "just growing stuff"
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you. Yes, there is still a crypt back there. In addition to the wisteria, there is water sprite over there too. With all the fast growing stuff, the crypt doesn't grow much, but it appears happy and I haven't heard it complain yet
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 01:36 AM
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Beautiful green plants! Love it!
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 02:07 AM
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Looking good! The background really made a big difference, everything stands out so much more. Im sure the plants will grow better in the bdbs too.


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