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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 05:44 AM Thread Starter
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New to the game

Hello all,
I am new to the FW planted scene and found this site by googling planted picotope. The reason I made a search for this is because I currently own a 3 gal JBJ Picotope. I used to be a big SW guy, with a 30g cube saltwater and a 8g Biocube. I left all that behind because I got bored after 2 years, but couldn't fully walk away so I purchased a 3g Picotope. This little guy lasted about 2 months until I finally decided, "I'm out of the SW game". I got out, completely washed out the tank and made it into a FW after a few weeks of cycling. I'm on here cause I would like to learn more on what I need, like better filtration system, what I need to keep my plants alive, and many other questions. I currently have the following:

25w Hydor Theo Heater
9w 10k bulb
Stock JBJ filter with a carbon pack (Advice on a low budget upgrade)
Mexican white fine gravel (I don't know, this is what was advertised at the store)
Hygrophila plant

Here are some pictures of when it was a SW tank
Heater was temporary


Now on to FW
First day I added plants


Second day didn't like the aquascaping of the plants


Close up


I take criticism well so away we go
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 06:28 AM
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Good start into planted djorijun um you might wanna get some plant friendly substrate. What do you have for Co2 ? Are you doseing with seachem flourish?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bagz_of_fish View Post
Good start into planted djorijun um you might wanna get some plant friendly substrate. What do you have for Co2 ? Are you doseing with seachem flourish?
Honestly this is one of the reasons I came on here to learn what else I needed. i've read other forums that the fish poop works well for fertilizer, but I've also read that it's not enough. Any suggestions would be helpful, IE substrate and dosing. So are you saying I need a different sub?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 06:41 AM
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Well for sub there is all kinds of stuff have a look in the substrate section for some good idea's. As for Co2 i use flourish excel on my 3gal seachem flourish. Have a look http://www.seachem.com/Products/Planted.html
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 06:47 AM
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You can also get some under gravel fertilizer tab, thats what i use. You called it Fish waste is good for your plants.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bagz_of_fish View Post
Well for sub there is all kinds of stuff have a look in the substrate section for some good idea's. As for Co2 i use flourish excel on my 3gal seachem flourish. Have a look http://www.seachem.com/Products/Planted.html
Wait so do you mean to just use flourish or flourish excel?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djorijun View Post
Wait so do you mean to just use flourish or flourish excel?
Well you could be using both. Flourish Excel is a carbon source for plants to use (Although in most cases, it is not recommended to use Excel in place of good 'ol Co2). Regular Flourish will provide you with much needed micro and trace nutrients. I'll let you find out what those are, I think others can do so much better than I can.

Here are a couple of links that should help you out with stuff, and definitely helped me when I got into the hobby. These websites have been up for years and the info on them is top notch.

Rexgrigg's site has lots of good info, and he has also started selling planted aquarium products.

Another good website is Chuck's Planted Aquaria Articles. I did lots of reading on this sight as well when I first started in the hobby.

But more than anything, use the "Search" button on the forums. I think you're best information will come from this forum. Read Read Read. I know its a lot of time and research, but I'm sure you're used to that having had saltwater tanks .

Good luck. If you have any questions as your learning, feel free to ask

Your tank looks nice, are those Wisteria stems? I suggest going through and looking at everyone's different setups and deciding on some scapes that you like. One company you'll hear a lot about that has come to be very popular recently is ADA. They make exceptional, and what some would argue "overpriced" products. But in any case, if you check out some of Takishi Amano's aqua scapes, you're jaw should drop a little on some of them.
As for suggestions, I don't have many. (I spent probably 2 hours just trying to decide which way to arrange the rocks in my tank. And I only have a 2.5!) Maybe you could move the rocks around to create a focal point using the "Golden Ratio" (Google it if you're unsure of what it is). Eventually you could try wrapping the rocks in Riccia, Mini Pellia, or some other similar plant.

Well, thats all for now, see ya

--
Glenn
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone who has helped so far, it is becoming easier to work on this now that I have the tools.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-25-2009, 06:46 PM
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yeh that looks like coral sand to me.... will make your ph sky high = dead fishys

if money is an issue, id get some tetra plant stuff, its in a yellow tub, and that goes under the sand, and buy like some white sand, just not coral sand lol

also if thats the filter from saltwater tank its gonna need to be completly cleaned and everything, and new filter media
the tank will then need cycling, which neons are too delicate for, try some black neon tetras


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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So after a almost 3 weeks of joining this forum I have made a few updates to my tank.
I replaced the light that came with the picotope with a desk lamp, and I'm running a 14w bulb that pushes out 36w of 6500k. I also purchased some driftwood, and re-scaped everything. I am looking into buying either the Zoo Med or the Toms filter, and a small CO2 set up.

Now looking into the CO2 setup, I'm looking for something cheap but everyone has different opinions about whats good to do and whats not and it's a bit confusing. I don't want to spend major bucks on a CO2 setup for a small 3g.

Here are some pics.
FTS


Close up front
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 05:33 PM
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Great improvement. As for co2, have you considered diy method?


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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I have but again, there are many to chose from and don't know which is the best/easiest solution.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 06:00 PM
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I used the basic yeast/sugar method the very first time I did it.
2 cups of sugar/.5-1tsp of yeast
https://www.plantedtank.net/articles/DIY-Yeast-CO2/7/
I also used another smaller bottle for a "gas separator"


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 06:06 PM
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I agree, looking really good. Big improvement in just a few weeks!

As for C02, [insert disclaimer about not being an expert here], I have seen some patterns evolving as to how people seem to do it.

1) DIY: It's perfectly viable for a small tank like a picotope. If you like to tinker, to make things your own, and to do it cheaply (maybe $50 or less for everything you need) this is a good option to start with.

2) Pressurized (paintball): Excellent option for a small tank. All you need is the appropriate regulator. In other words, one that is made to fit a paintball style air tank. Super compact system, lasts for months with no maintenance. Will set you back more, maybe $150 for everything. Consider the paintball kit that Red Sea makes. It's pretty good for starting out and comes with everything you need except for a solenoid (which isn't strictly necessary, though recommended).

3) Pressurized (regular tank): The most expensive option and for such a small aquarium, probably overkill. BUT, if you ever plan to expand to a larger tank you'll be thankful for the investment. Somewhat more expensive than a paintball type setup because you need to purchase the extra CO2 tank. Will last for what seems like forever.

I hope that helps some, I spent a lot of time researching and ended up with the paintball type system on my own tank. It's been running for 3 months and no need to refill yet. Shoot me a PM if you'd like some pics of the setup or what parts I got and where.


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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So I'm looking into the DIY version mentioned above, but just wondering what kind of diffuser are you guys using to get the CO2 in.
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