45u Iwagumi - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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45u Iwagumi

Long-time lurker, first-time poster. This is my first attempt with a planted tank. I've kept a couple of reef tanks in the past, took a break and now here we are.

Equipment:
  • Ultum Nature Systems 45u
  • Twinstar 450ES (really wanted to get either the AI Prime HD or Radion Freshwater, but the Twinstar just looks more elegant and of course cheaper, hopefully it works well as I've seen somebody already having problems with it)
  • GLA GRO-1 with 5lb tank (still deciding on the diffuser but I'm probably going glass in-tank just because I don't want to introduce another 'point of failure' in the water line)
  • Eheim 2213
  • Controsoil
  • EI Ferts

Plants:
  • Micranthemum 'Monte Carlo'
  • HC Cuba

Still deciding on fish.

Playing with the aquascaping right now:


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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 02:49 PM
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very nice!
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 03:08 PM
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Looking good

As the plants will fill in you will have a 3 stone iwagumi left.

Maybe bank up the soil in the left back?

Some eleocharis acicularis mini would be cool around the stones.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Looking good

As the plants will fill in you will have a 3 stone iwagumi left.

Maybe bank up the soil in the left back?

Some eleocharis acicularis mini would be cool around the stones.
I ordered some more Controsoil and I will definitely bank it up a bit. I've been using some cut up black plastic folders to act as substrate supports. I will definitely research that other plant.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2017, 05:01 PM
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I ordered some more Controsoil and I will definitely bank it up a bit. I've been using some cut up black plastic folders to act as substrate supports. I will definitely research that other plant.
take your time and get your carpet established first.

then you can start playing around with taller growing plants or adding plants with different color and insert them in over the carpet that way it looks more natural and built in.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Planted the tank today. I don't think I did a good job planting, but it is what it is at this point .

I realized that my outflow pipe is too big, need to change that. I'm also trying to decide whether to leave the window blinds open. Might be too much light and I might get a lot of algae.

Testing out the Azoo surface skimmer. I'm still trying to decide if I will go with that long term. It sticks out like a sore thumb.

I'm just waiting on my GLA regulator to arrive and that should complete my setup for now

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Took a few photos with a proper camera.



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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 03:17 AM
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Split up the bunches into much smaller ones and you'll have a Carpet in no time


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 03:19 PM
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Definitely leave the blinds down.. it will cause algae problems at some point. + 1 for splitting up some of the larger plant clumps (they will root faster and you will have less die off on top of it carpeting faster)
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 04:24 PM
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Man it's looking awesome.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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TDS meter arrived today so I did another round of testing. I haven't quite figured out yet the proper parameters for a planted tank, so comments are appreciated.

Tank:
TDS 214 S per cm
KH 1
GH 5
Ammonia 0.25ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
Nitrate 10 ppm

Tap:
TDS 138 S per cm
KH 2
GH 3
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 02:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimrod19 View Post
TDS meter arrived today so I did another round of testing. I haven't quite figured out yet the proper parameters for a planted tank, so comments are appreciated.

Tank:
TDS 214 S per cm
KH 1
GH 5
Ammonia 0.25ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
Nitrate 10 ppm

Tap:
TDS 138 S per cm
KH 2
GH 3
What is your PH? Do you know if Ammonia ever got higher than 0.25 and if Nitrites peaked? The tank could be cycled then again it may have never started, how long has it been flooded for? Ideally you want ph above 6.5 when co2 is at its max, so without co2 a Ph around 7.5 is good, lower the ph the harder it is for the beneficial bacteria to grow, also if your KH drops to 0 you could run into problems with your PH crashing / co2 levels getting to high.

If you have a source of liquid Ammonia add enough to raise the level to 3ppm, next day test for nitrite. A day or so after the ammonia starts to drop the nitrite will show up. When ammonia and nitrite both hit zero 24 hours after you have added the ammonia the cycle is done.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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I redid all the tests today:

TDS 238 S per cm
PH 7.2
Ammonia 0.50ppm
Nitrite 0.25ppm
Nitrate 20ppm
KH 1
GH 6

I wonder if Controsoil is leaking ammonia, although I thought it doesn't compared to Aquasoil.

Bump: It's been 2 weeks since I flooded it.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 07:24 AM
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I would suggest sourcing some ammonia and dosing it to a level of about 3ppm, if 24 hrs later its back down around 0 and nitrites also read 0 you must be cycled.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-05-2017, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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I think I've finalized my equipment setup for now. Added a Jebao doser and hooked up an Apex Jr. just to monitor the tank.

I've read a lot of forum threads on CO2 enrichment and I'm actually surprised with differing opinions on the approach. I don't have livestock right now save for some amano shrimp, so I am experimenting.

My tap water PH sits at around 7.4-7.6 with a KH of 1. The tank because of Controsoil, sits at 7 PH and 4 KH when the CO2 is off. Considering the charts out there and the unofficial 1 point drop approach, I've decided to keep my PH at 6.5 when my lights are on.

Here's my equipment setup now. Messy cables on the top shelf I'm looking to add a leak detector switch to the Apex in a few days.


Shot of tank currently. I'm not liking the probes detracting from the look, but it will have to do for now.
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