5G Low Tech Non-CO2 (Update: Day 37) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-26-2009, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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5G Low Tech Non-CO2 (Update: Day 37)

The original thread that started this tank can be found here:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lo...rr-method.html

Here is a recap thus far...

Setup:
Substrate: Flourite Black Sand
Lighting: two CF 9watt Coralife bulbs 8hrs/day
Ferts: Excel 1/day
Plants: Java Fern, Cardinal Flower (just found out this is not a true aquatic :\ ), Crytocoryne Ciliata (I think var. latifolia), Amazon Sword, Hygrophila Corymbosa

Day 6:
Water Perams. before WC...
PH 8.0 (my water's hard outta the tap)
Ammonia 0.25
Nitrate 5.0 (don't know where nitrite test is)

After WC:
Ferts: Excel 1/day, pinch of Nitrate, Phosphate, Potassium Sulfate, approx 2ml TMG

Comments on last thread:
"Welp, it's been 6 days and I ended up doing a WC one day early cause the plants were not fairing too good. I don't know if I was supposed to start out with putting ferts in the first day when I set up the tank, but I didn't. I was allowing the plants to get settled first and get used to the water parameters. I kept the two 9watt CF Coralife lights on it to test out how much algae would sprout with it vs plant growth. So far, I have developed a minor case of fuzzy algae (I think it's hair algae but it's not green). By minor, I mean that it's settled on some leaves and stems of the slower growth hygro. The filter's working OK. I didn't end up putting anything over it. You were right Homer, the grains are too heavy, and end up falling to the ground after only a little while of being disturbed (unlike that dang cloudy powder). The plant growth is minimal. I didn't notice much growth. Because of the deficiencies in the plants, I ended up putting some iron and nitrate in the water (I have also been dosing Excel daily). That's what I thought the deficiencies were in but correct me if I'm wrong anyone. It didn't seem to help much and I put too much iron in cause the water turned yellowish lol. Woops! :P This was before the WC. After the WC, I put a pinch of Potassium Nitrate, Mono Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Sulfate, a few dribbles of TMG, and a ml of Excel."

Pics:

Setup:


Day 6:


Plant die off on day 5:



Last edited by NightSky; 03-28-2009 at 02:35 AM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
 
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Ok, so it's been a week and I did a WC. I was really tired today (was running on 2hrs sleep) so I forgot to measure the water perameters but I stopped by Aqua Forest since I was in SF and picked up some more plants for the tank. Keep in mind the choices for my plants are mostly based on what I think will survive in there. I'm trying to cover all the bases on aesthetics (foreground, midground, bg, and color), but this aquarium isn't so much about looks as it is about testing out this method.

The plants are definitely doing better this week than they were last week. It seems the old leaves that were accustomed to the old water perams they were in died back and new, healthy leaves grew in place of them. I added some petite anubias nana that I had in my other fish tank. It's going through its die-off period but I'm hoping it'll pick up like the rest of the plants did this week. I noticed the plants had a deficiency in something that I couldn't quite pinpoint. I figured it was calcium so I put some of that in there about 3 days ago. I don't know if it really helped. I was really tempted to put more nutrients in there since I'm only putting it in once a week after WC but I held off because this tank is about being low-maintenance. There has been ZERO algae growth. There was a very minute amount of brown dusting on the glass but some of that was from the week before as I didn't wipe it off to see if it would grow, die back, or stay the same. There's some accumulation of debris on the substrate (some of it dead leaves and some of it the calcium I dosed which left white dusting everywhere).

The pic shown here is before WC and before prunning. I ended up cutting a lot of the sword leaves that were at the top of the tank and were getting burnt. I'll post an updated photo with the new plants and pruning later (it looks messy right now). So far, the java fern is the one plant not doing well. I believe this is due to the fact that it's under direct light with a prime spot in the middle and it's not planted in the substrate (it's tied to the wood). I did a major pruning of it to try to encourage healthy leave growth. If it doesn't end up picking up soon, I might stick it in my other aquarium and replace it with something else that likes a lot of light.

Ferts:
Excel 1xday
pinch of Nitrate 1xweek
pinch of Phosphate 1xweek
pinch of Potassium Sulfate 1xweek
pinch of Equilibrium 1xweek
pinch of calcium once during week

Day 13

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 10:36 AM
 
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Thumbs up

Looks like it is coming along really well. Thanks for sharing. I just wanted to say, java ferns are one of those plants that can really surprise you. Just when you think it is totally dead, it will produce plantlets. I have java ferns in my 40 gallon and 10 gallon, I noticed that over time the leaves turned so dark brown that I thought they were pretty much dead and I should remove them. I got lazy and left them in the tank. Much to my surprise little plantlets sprouted out of the dead/dieing leaves. I removed the plantlets and attached them to small rocks and they are still alive today. It is interesting that the pictures of leaves that you posted pretty much match what my leaves first looked like when I set up my low tech tanks. Overtime though the probem(whatever it was that was causing the leaves to show those colors), appeared to subside. There is still an odd leaf that will sprout and turn yellowish/brown. I dose ferts once a week like you so I am not sure what it is due to, but it is not as bad as when I first started. I think some die off of plant leaves is natural and to be expected.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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I did see a little plantlet starting to grow out of one of the bad leaves. I cut it off though when I was pruning. >_<

Here's an updated photo with narrow leaf ludwigia, christmas moss, and a clover type one whose name I don't remember (I don't hold out much hope for the moss with me dosing Excel but I can hope!):

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2009, 01:17 AM
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Such amazing growth for a non co2 tank setup.

Without Algae, death of mankind would be inevitable.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks sewingalot. Keep in mind I added some plants as well in that last pic. ^_^

I've been having some deficiencies in the plants. I tried adding more micro nutrients, but that didn't seem to do much. I also started skipping adding Excel every day since I thought it was becoming too concentrated in the water and making the thinner leaved plants... thinner. I don't know how else to put it. :P I noticed a small amount of BBA growing on the wood (very minor). I didn't want it to over take the tank so I put my 9watt on for a few days. I did my weekly WC and have put the 18watts back up to see if the plants can outgrow the algae. I added a little more nutrients to the tank this week because the plants always seem to do the best the day after WC/nutrients. I decided to plant the java fern in the substrate since it wasn't growing well and attached the christmas moss on the wood to take its place.

Ferts:
approx. 2ml Excel 1xday (sometimes skip day)
approx. 1/6th tsp. Nitrate 1xweek
approx. 1/6th tsp. Phosphate 1xweek
approx. 1/6th tsp. Potassium Sulfate 1xweek
approx. 1/6th tsp. Calcium 1xweek
approx. 1/6th tsp. Magnesium 1xweek
approx. 1/6th tsp. Equilibrium 1xweek
approx. 1/6th tsp. TMG 1xweek
approx. 2ml Iron 1xweek

Day 20


And for fun, a night shot
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 01:20 AM
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[quote=NightSky;806618]
Ferts:
approx. 2ml Excel 1xday (sometimes skip day)
approx. 1/6th tsp. Nitrate 1xweek
approx. 1/6th tsp. Phosphate 1xweek
approx. 1/6th tsp. Potassium Sulfate 1xweek
approx. 1/6th tsp. Calcium 1xweek
approx. 1/6th tsp. Magnesium 1xweek
approx. 1/6th tsp. Equilibrium 1xweek
approx. 1/6th tsp. TMG 1xweek
approx. 2ml Iron 1xweek

This is confusing to me, for most use ferts like Potassium nitrate(KNO3), that has positive and negative ions. Thus they are absorbed better by the plants. You have so many individual ferts. I think you need some sulfate to add with the calcium and magnesium in order create a balance.

Why did you decide on these? Seems it would have been cheaper to ust buy CSM+B, Iron, Potassium nitrate and Flourish excel. When your ferts run out check out Rex Griggs site.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-17-2009, 03:57 AM
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I did not read the original thread, what theory are you testing? I personally only dose when I see a deficiency in my mid tech 90 I call it mid tech because I use pressurized CO2 Your dosing regime does seem a bit complex for a low tech.

I am no Aquascaper either, but here is my 2 cents.

Your tank feels plainer, there seems to be a back, and a foreground. I would consider tucking the left side of your driftwood behind the sword and in front of the (l reopens?) and leave the front top in about the same place. It might add a little more depth for you. It looks good however, keep up the good work.


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'mid tech'
46 bow front low tech
10 gallon No tech
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-18-2009, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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[quote=Hilde;807834]
Quote:
Originally Posted by NightSky View Post
Ferts:
approx. 2ml Excel 1xday (sometimes skip day)
approx. 1/6th tsp. Nitrate 1xweek
approx. 1/6th tsp. Phosphate 1xweek
approx. 1/6th tsp. Potassium Sulfate 1xweek
approx. 1/6th tsp. Calcium 1xweek
approx. 1/6th tsp. Magnesium 1xweek
approx. 1/6th tsp. Equilibrium 1xweek
approx. 1/6th tsp. TMG 1xweek
approx. 2ml Iron 1xweek

This is confusing to me, for most use ferts like Potassium nitrate(KNO3), that has positive and negative ions. Thus they are absorbed better by the plants. You have so many individual ferts. I think you need some sulfate to add with the calcium and magnesium in order create a balance.

Why did you decide on these? Seems it would have been cheaper to ust buy CSM+B, Iron, Potassium nitrate and Flourish excel. When your ferts run out check out Rex Griggs site.
Yeah, I know it's a mixture of different ferts. I was just trying to figure out fixing a deficiency but it doesn't seem to be working. You can see that my dosing regime has changed throughout each week because I'm seeing what works best and what doesn't. This is an experimental tank after all. I'm looking for best results/best ferts mix. I am using Rex's ferts. I had em' from back in 05 when I first started planted tanks (I've been a member here for a while but got a new username). It would be a lot easier using CSM+B. I use both equilibrium and TMG because I'm not sure I'm getting enough traces from just one or the other (this is in regards to the deficiencies).

lumpyfunk, thanks for the suggestion. That's a good idea. Aquascaping is the least of my concerns with this tank (I'm more concerned with getting plants I think will survive but might have more interest to them rather than crypts etc.). As stated above, I'm trying to figure out what I'm lacking because there is a deficiency. I'm experimenting pretty much. I don't expect anyone to follow my regime of course. Oh, and I'm testing the Tom Barr non-co2 method with a twist (I'm only using one substrate and modifying ferts and lighting).

I got some sweet looking Koi Swordtails today (I couldn't resist. They looked so cool!). I'm probably going to end up putting them in my other tank, though.

Here's some really bad pics (I couldn't get any better ones):



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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-28-2009, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
 
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Just a small correction to my above post. The ferts I have are from Greg Watson (back when he used to be the guy to go to for ferts). RexGrigg sounded familiar to me because he was a prominent user here (is he still around). Got the Greg/Grigg confusaled. :P

Update:
Growth is good. It's been steadily growing well. Nothing has died, though the petit nana took a long time to adjust (finally shooting out a few leaves, thank goodness). The christmas moss doesn't seem to be growing, however it's not dying... maybe I just don't notice the subtle growth. I changed the inhabitants. I have a platy, sparkling gourami, and 4 dwarf cories in there (I know, that's a lot of fish!). I'm going to be setting up another tank soon, though so I still have to rearrange the stocking after that tank gets going, so not all the inhabitants may be permanent.

Day 37


A calcium top look down


Corner shot
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 01:19 AM
 
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Can I just say to me this tank looks great. Howdo you like the sand? I'm about to set up a similar tank. 55 gal low tech planted. I like the dark background, but unsure about sand in general....
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-07-2009, 02:56 AM
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Holy crap, those fish are beautiful. I want some!

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2009, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
 
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First of all, sorry for not getting to this earlier! I thought no one cared about my tank so I stopped posting updates and checking it. My bad!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sewingalot View Post
Holy crap, those fish are beautiful. I want some!
They were a pretty penny too! Just a few days ago, I saw some at a Petsmart for more than half what I paid. They didn't have as stricking colors but they were still Koi Swords! I put them in with my platies and one day my male disapeared. Looked everywhere and couldn't find him. Have no idea what happend. Sucks too cause I was gonna breed them! He was just maturing getting the tail and wham! Gone.

Katydid, if I'm too late, I apologize. I'll answer your Q anyways. I like the sand but one thing to keep in mind it's a PITA to get it clean! I washed it out about 10 times and after all was said and done, my water was still cloudy. Took a couple of WC's after setting up to finally see some clearness. It is sort of difficult to keep clean. The parts where there are no plants, a lot of detritus can build up and be hard to get at without sucking up some sand in the process. Oh yes, and thanks for the compliment. Appreciate it. I don't think it's an eyesoar. I like it but I know what standards are held for planted tanks, so I know where it stands along those lines.


Latest news on the tank:
I accidentally set my filter to the lowest flow. This caused a lot of detritus buildup and of course algae followed. I was planning on taking this tank down anyways. I'd like to rearrange it. I'm not sure when I'll get to this though because I'm also at the beginning stages of setting up a paludarium. *sigh* My addiction starts again.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-04-2009, 10:39 PM
 
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Not too Late, I ended up with some soil and mostly stream like aquarium gravel.

Could you tell me with teh lighting you have how much wattge per gallon is that? I was getting really ecited about adding plants, but then I realized I had not enough wattage......

I really like the wood in the tank too, did you get it locally? manazanita or driftwood?
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