Giraffa's 20l (first planted tank) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Giraffa's 20l (first planted tank)

Hi all,

First planted tank -- 20l. It's been up and running for about a week now, so just waiting out the cycle and being patient with a low bioload.

Here's a list of the equipment and livestock (what I plan for fish at least). I'm new to plants, so suggestions are more than welcome (for fish too). I want to stick with South American plants for the most part, although I have always loved Anubias so I caved on that.

I keep the tank at 80.5 degrees roughly. The filter is packed with biomedia (500ml of matrix, which is rated for 50g) because I want to make sure the tank is super stable (I eventually want to add a pair of German blue rams). Also a bit worried about the hardness of my water. Doing 50/50 RO/DI and tap at the moment... thoughts?



Equipment:
filter: Aquaclear 70 with inTank custom filter basket
media: 500ml Seachem matrix, filter floss
heater: Cobalt neotherm 75w heater
lighting: Finnex 24/7
substrate: 20lbs Caribsea eco-complete

Livestock (current and planned):
6 rummynose tetras (planning to do 10 rummynoses total)
10 cardinal tetras (none added yet -- probably next month after cycle)
2 German blue rams (none added yet -- going to let the tank run for a few months to make sure it's well established)

2 Anubias nana
2 Amazon swords

Dosing:
Flourish (twice a week)
Seachem Stability (just for the cycle)

Parameters:
Hardness: 300
Alkalinity: 120
pH: 7.2


Bump: And some photos...
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 10:42 PM
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That's too much light for those anubias. They will be covered in algae in no time.
You also have their Rhizomes buried which will cause them to rot.

You don't have enough plants either. Algae will over run a tank like this in very shortly order without enough plant mass. Also because plants take time to adjust this only makes things worse for you.

Get some cheap fast growing stem plants and fill that tank up. Once established you can start picking some more select plants.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 10:48 PM
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Very nice looking setup. I noticed you may have burried your rhizomes on the anubias, you'll want to make sure that's not the case by attaching it to your driftwood otherwise it will quickly rot the plant. Swords are nice looking plants just be aware they get very big. Another suggestion would be to eventually get a power head or circulation pump for the opposite side of your filter to get some flow on that end.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 10:51 PM
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The 24/7 is too bright to use without CO2, at least in the 24/7 mode. You can dim it, and you should.

And Philip is right. Fast growing stem plants, not anubias, should be the first plants in the tank. You can remove them later if you want, once the tank is established.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys -- the feedback is much appreciated. I've anchored the two Anubias to the driftwood to the right of the tank. I've got a Hydor Koralia nano (240gph, I think) that I can throw on the opposite end of the tank to increase flow; I've also noticed some surface film starting to build, so if I angle it right hopefully it can help break that up too. Any suggestions for fast growing stem plants?
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 02:56 PM
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I as well as others I think would suggest water wisteria. Mine grows well in low light and does very well when floated. If you do go with the wisteria and float it that would also help shade out some light.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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So, I added the Koralia nano to the opposite end of the tank...have it pointed towards the surface but still have some surface film (looks like an oil slick) -- any suggestions? Going to pick up some more plants tomorrow (will be looking for water wisteria).

Any thoughts on my water parameters? Should I be using a buffer to bring the pH down a bit?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 11:13 PM
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Your pH is fine. Don't mess with it.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 11:14 PM
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Let things settle down first, but definetly throw in as many plants as you can. That's definetly an algae farm waiting to happen.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 11:26 PM
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Less light, more plants.

Flourish comprehensive is a small portion of what plants need.


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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again guys. I'll stock up on a lot of plants tomorrow. Any other suggestions beside water wisteria?
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Here's the Anubias



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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 03:51 AM
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Judging from how bright your light look, I assume you're running at max setting/3PM. I'd suggest running at 9AM for the moment until you get more plant mass and the plants are settled in. Also for a tank with that height, 12PM setting is optimal without CO2. 3PM/max might be too much unless you have tons of fast growing plants. Lighting should also be limited to 6-7 hours a day without CO2.

I'm running some Aquaclear 70 on my 55G and the current it produces is really strong. Would put a lot of stress on most fish and even more so if you're planning to put in a powerhead. Might wanna take that into consideration. As a suggestion, for my 20G, I run 2xAquaClear 20, one on each end of the tank at reduced flow. Fish are happy, plants are happy.

For plants suggestion, Rotala indica/rotundafolia and duckweed would do a fine job.
As for surface film issue, the AquaClear filter itself is enough to break the film. In my experience, it will go away, along with the film on your driftwood, once the tank is fully cycled. The more I mess with it, the worse it gets. Daily 10% water change might help.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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For the photos I have it on the max setting, but through most of the day I keep it on the 24/7 timer. Like you guys suggested, I'll run it at 9am for now until I cycle and fully stock the tank.

The Intank media basket (AquaClear 70 Media Basket) and all of the matrix I have packed in it severely cuts down the flow from the AC... it's more or less a steady trickle -- I'm actually concerned with the flow being so slow that it might overflow one of these days (I have to keep the AC on its lowest setting and have thought about swapping out the impeller for a smaller model like a 30 or 50...). The Koralia might be a bit much (240 gph), but I have it deflecting off the front glass at an angle and the rummynoses seem fine with it so far, but I'll keep an eye on it
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 01:51 PM
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Looking good! Like everyones saying, either co2(I don't suggest DIY), turn down the lights, or get some cool looking floaters.
Dwarf water lettuce is an awesome floating plant that makes long roots giving you a different perspective. Riccia moss is another floater that grows quick and you can do some cool stuff with once you have enough (tie to a rock with fishing string, let it grow out, trim it to a perfect ball, sort of resembling a coral head).
Ludwiga repens and temple plants are easy and pretty.
Everyone needs java fern, there are a bunch of variations.
You can make an awesome easy carpet of dwarf sagittaria.

Ebay is a good spot to look for aquatic plants (as long as they're not coming from the other side of the planet).
Just order yourself a batch of dry ferts that you mix together yourself online for cheap (they last a long time).

I wouldn't worry about co2 until you know that you like planted tanks. That can be for your second aquarium. And yea, water changes go a long way. Algae is super annoying.

A DIY kinda GUY
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