Setting up new tank - 25G flatback hex - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 11-16-2009, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Setting up new tank - 25G flatback hex

This journal will be text-only; last night I realized my digital camera has disappeared.

Under the Substrate thread "I'm confused" I talked about not knowing what substrate to use. In this tank I have decided to use a moderately coarse sand I got at a local landscape supply place; I filtered it through a large kitchen strainer, letting the sand that came through collect in a bucket which was tilted so that the silt-sized stuff ran out of the bucket and the water became clear. Today I bought pieces of flagstone, which is a thin-bedded sandstone. There is a bit of iron mineralization, not much - it might provide a few ppm of iron to the water. Being a geologist, I do not worry abot the stone. Tomorrow I will put in the sand and the flagstone in such a way to duplicate a ripple area. I will try to photograph the result with a film camera.
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 11-16-2009, 09:36 PM
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That sounds alright. Depending upon how fine the sand is you might see some compaction, but some plants ought to be able to grow in it OK.
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 11-16-2009, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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The sand is rather coarse and pretty well sorted - at least as much so as PFS - so I am hoping that compaction will not be much of a problem.
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 11-16-2009, 10:57 PM
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Awwww....sorry to hear about your camera! That really sucks!

I really like the FBH tanks, so if you can find your camera, I'd love to see it when it's done!

Kenny
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 11-16-2009, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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I thought I'd washed the sand enough! the tank had been dry for at least a year so I'd filled it halfway to test for leaks. When I lowered some sand into the foreground, the water clouded up. No sweat - I will drain the water out, put in the rest of the sand and s-l-o-w-l-y add the water! Then run the filter to take out any remaining cloudiness.
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 11-19-2009, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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Dry-start method

After 48 hours the water was still too cloudy to suit me, so I drained all that I could. Then I put some water back in, using some airline tubing with the water coming out onto a rock. As a result, the water is much clearer. The water depth is about 1 inch in the back, 2 inches in the front - I plan to use Tom Barr's dry-start method. Tomorrow I shall be ordering plants- Sagittaria platyphylla, Sag. subulata, Echinodorus Kleiner Bar (1 only), and Echinodorus tenellus. With the exception of the Kleiner Bar sword, I am buying a goodly number of each, enough to have a fairly thickly planted tank. The above is what I am getting from one vendor; I may investigate to see what another vendor can provide; I would like some Water Sprite, some Ech. quadricostata, and Ech. peruensis - not much hope of the last one! This will more or less be a New World biotope, not quite a SE U.S. biotope. Later on, I would like to put in Jordanella floridae, a fish I have successfully bred in the past.

No camera yet. I have pretty much given up hope. Perhaps the cat stole it.
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 11-19-2009, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Time to order the plants

I have found a dealer that has the plants I want, and grown submerged(!) and in the quantity I want, so tomorrow I will place an order. I always like to sleep on an expensive decision! Here is what I plan to get:
25 dwarf sag
15 larger subulata sag
15 Echinodorus quadricostatus
5 water sprite
3 Ozelot swords

There will be bunch plants in the tank also but I plan to get them locally.
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 11-21-2009, 01:38 AM
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This will be a nice selection of plants. What are your plans as far as co2? Is this going to be a low tech setup? I have done quite well with dwarf sag in a low tech tank. It was given to me my another member and it is a lovely plant. Ozelots are also amazing. I look forward to hearing more about the setup and progress.

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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 11-21-2009, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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Photo!



AS you can see, no longer a text only journal! I broke down and bought a new digital camera today - a Nikon Coolpix L20 if you are curious. The rockwork is not obtrusive and that is by design - it is meant to serve as a divider and a way to have an area of deeper substrate, not to be a true focal point. I'd like a small piece or two of driftwood to place right below the rockwork - maybe later. I checked the water chemistry today and it's not bad - the water is a bit bit hard and the pH is about 7.6 to 7.8. Once the plants go in the nitrites and nitrates will undoubtedly go up, they are at zero now. The water has 148 ppm TDS, nearly all of it calcium carbonate, and essentially no metals at all and no organic chemicals either. It is a good drinking water, and from past experience I know it can be very good for aquaria.

After I apparently finished the online transaction with Aquatic Plant Depot, I saw no concluding message and am wondering if the order went through. I wil check tomorrow.
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 11-21-2009, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sewingalot View Post
This will be a nice selection of plants. What are your plans as far as co2? Is this going to be a low tech setup?
The dealer no longer has the intermediate sag subulata so I added Sag. chilensis and a few Crystal Vallisneria for the heck of it. Also added a few Crypt. wendtii. Some of these, especially the crypts, will go into a 10 gallon tank that I am setting up - it will be using one of the expensive substates. In both cases I plan to use a relatively high tech setup - a 3wpg light and a DIY CO2 system.
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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 03:30 AM
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Very cool you got a new camera! Sadly, I now have to buy a new one...

It's refusing to work.
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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 06:23 AM
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I like the layout of the stone. You are right about the color of the sand. It is very lovely. I cannot wait to see this one planted.

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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 01:35 PM
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Lookin' good!

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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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The tank is getting a bit cloudy - totally expected, just part of the cycling! I now have a heater for the tank and will connect it later today; I also got a HOB filter, a small one - I plan to use a CO2 reactor and do not want to disturb the surface very much, and the fish population should stay very low. It also will go on later today. Gotta get a power bar first, I keep forgetting that whenever I go to Wallyworld.

Some sag will be coming in Wednesday, more plants a week after that.
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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosasaur View Post
The sand is rather coarse and pretty well sorted - at least as much so as PFS - so I am hoping that compaction will not be much of a problem.

Are you a fluvial morphologist or hydrologist as well as a geologist? I haven't heard anyone else here use "well sorted" when describing a substrate.
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