HC trimming - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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HC trimming

Any baby tears experts out there? I've got an ADA 45f that I've set up on my desk at work and I'm finally at zero ammonia and have ordered fish and shrimp! I'm trying to get back into the hobby slowly with a small tank.

The tank has ADA Amazonia powder, an Eheim 2211 and a Chihiros fixture from eBay and I've been running the Fluval 95gm CO2 system since I planted two little tubs of tissue culture HC on March 6th. No fish yet but the growth of the HC has been amazing! There isn't a hint of algae and it pearls all day.

I've got 12 Chili Rasbora and 10 Dream Blue Velvet shrimp on the way.

I did a big trim Monday hoping to keep my carpet from floating away. The HC is so dense. It's supposed to grow out rather than up and it is. My question is whether it's possible to trim enough to maintain it. It's like an inch thick solid mass.

Nobody in my office knows anything about planted tanks but they think it's really pretty. I'm hoping not to be really embarrassed when the plants float away, the fish die and it becomes an algae infested nightmare.

I'd appreciate any advice (or very specific instructions) anyone has to offer about the HC. Or about how to upload pictures...

Malaysian Trumpet Snails: JUST SAY NO!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 12:15 AM
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First off you need a place on the Internet to host the images... There is a gallery on this site but I don't think it was meant for all the images anyone ever posts...

Secondly that tank sounds awesome!

Did you do a dry start? I have an issue with the plants floating away as well. My otto's love to pull them up and then the Nerite snails say Oh look! a bedroom and sleep under them. Some have managed to root enough to stay put so I think its just a matter of time.

Good luck.

Yeah... I name my fish...
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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It really is amazing! I'm shocked at how well it's done. I've taken so many pics but they're all too large to post. I'm looking into image sharing sites. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I didn't do a dry start. I planted the HC evenly with long tweezers.

Nothing has lifted up yet but but I'm worried it will. It's so dense, like pushing my finger into a thick kitchen sponge. I see roots in the substrate at the front of the tank but that can't be enough to hold it down? I have curved scissors but they don't reach in far enough to make a difference. I'm just trying to figure out how this is sustainable. The growth has been amazing but maybe all the pictures we see of HC carpets are taken in the first couple weeks?

The fish and shrimp arrive tomorrow. Hopefully they won't be swimming in a swamp of floating plants.

Malaysian Trumpet Snails: JUST SAY NO!
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 02:41 AM
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As you trim it, the roots will grow like a lawn. It just takes time.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by angelsword View Post

This is a perfect playground for shrimp!

Yeah... I name my fish...
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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I'll keep triming and take your word for it. It just seems... Oh never mind lol. Maybe after a while I'll be an HC expert! Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it!

The fish and shrimp arrived today from Aquatic Arts. I drip acclimated them for a bit from their little bags until I filled a gallon pitcher with tank water. The fish are a little pale but they're young and probably stressed. They're swimming around but seem to like hanging out in the bubbles from the diffuser. The shrimp are having a great time darting and swimming around. They love the rocks because they're starting to have a bit of algae.

I like the pic of the little guy about to summit Everest!

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 09:25 PM
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trim it down to at least 1/2", maybe even down to the stems. you got some good growth going on, so it will bounce back quickly. keep up on the trimming.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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That sounds difficult but I'll stop in tomorrow and trim it again. It's hard to get the scissors into the thick mass.

It does bounce back quickly. I was worried about doing a trim right before the fish and shrimp arrived. I didn't want stems with no leaves when the fish came in and everyone was looking closely at the tank but the tops regrew in days.

Any thoughts on ferts? I haven't added any because the math involved in creating an EI schedule for a tank that has approximately 3.5 gallons of water (factoring in the rocks and substrate) was a little overwhelming. I guess the growth is good so maybe I don't need to bother. But now that I've got fish I won't let the drop checker get to yellow so maybe so growth will slow.

My other concern is CO2. I want it to be consistent. I turn it on in the morning and off when I leave but that's weekdays. I don't want to gas the fish and shrimp by leaving it on over the weekend. I've thought about putting an air stone on a timer in the middle of the tank when I leave on Fridays. Maybe I'm overthinking it. Will I have algae problems with no CO2 on Saturdays and Sundays?

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 04:37 AM
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I think you will need to invest in a CO2 system with a solenoid or run with very low CO2 at all times. Keeping CO2 levels consistent is very important as CO2 fluctuations can cause algae as well.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Consistent CO2 levels are my biggest concern. I'm willing to keep buying the Fluval cartridges. Is running less bubbles per second all the time a better option than having no CO2 over the weekend?

I'd be willing to invest in a better system but people in my office are already confused about the little 95 gm system. I don't think they're ready for what they'd think looked like a welding tank under my desk.

I was worried that running CO2 at night when the plants aren't using it might result in gassing there fish. Am I way off on that?

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 02:45 AM
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Its going to be a balancing act. I think option 1 is easier

option 1: Get a pressurized CO2 system w/ a solenoid. I think a paintball can option is not too big? and you could hide it far away under your desk and then just have a line to an inline diffuser on your canister filter. Easy, and would look good, but expensive.

option 2: gradually acclimate your plants to lower CO2 levels all the time. run a lower CO2 level all the time and run an airstone over the weekend. This would be a delicate balancing act that you would fine tune week to week. If surface degassing is high enough and CO2 is low enough, you should be fine.

I think having no CO2 over the weekend is inviting algae. But this is just an opinion. As for ferts, the aquasoil is very rich. You can start dosing fertilizer whenever you want but its not necessary right now. I would stick with an all in one fertilizer for an office tank. Something like Nilocg thriver, easy green, tropica ferts, UNS all in one.

Tank looks great. I would invest in some "wave" style scissors because you will be doing a lot of trimming
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