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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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Another opinion piece

Well finally broke down and began a planted tank. Been doing fish since I was a kid, but never started a real planted tank. Planted tanks are a totally different story, the process is already rewarding and fun!

Spec.

Tank size: 29 g.
Lighting: Single tube, 10k Coralife
Equipment: Rena XP3 Canister filter, Ebo-Jager 100 w. heater.
CO2: I believe it is an 8lb cylinder; Milwaukee brand regulator, solenoid valve, and bubble counter.
Substrate: Floramax live sand/gravel (additional bags to be added).
Parameters: Nutrifin KH/GH test: 100 mg/l. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals kit: PH 7.2, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20 mg/l, CO2 [per ph/kh concentration chart] 19-22 mg/l.

Fertilization: Seachem Flourish, approx. 2.5 ml twice a week.
Plants: Rotala rotundifolia (indica), Elocharis acicularis.
Inhabitants: 6 Otocinclus vittatus.
Additional Comments: Weekly water change(1/4)
. Three week old tank.



I still have a lot to do with this tank. I wanted to stick to everything native to a Honduran river marsh setup. But after I purchased the Rotala, I remembered that they were Asian. So I guess I can slip up on some other things. Can't find locality data for E. acicularis, but I love the bed look and it is naturally a bog/marsh plant.

I plan to create a full back wall of Rotala, and 70% ground cover in the front with the Elocharis. I have not yet decided on what middle ground plant I will add intermittently around the tank.





Fish will include a small school of Rummy nose, small school of Pygmy corys, 2 banjo cats, a trio of livebearers (likely marigold swords), and maybe some shrimp. At least at the genus level, all of these taxa occur in Honduras.

I just added the co2 tank a day ago and will likely spend the weekend learning how to control it. After a week or so from now, I'll add much more Rotala and Elocharis, and maybe some middle ground plants.

Any comments are appreciated!

Do you guys think my current lighting will suffice with my goals? I still have numerous things to tinker with here, such as a spray bar for the filter outtake.


Thanks
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 08:44 AM
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It looks like a great start. Love the piece of driftwood, lots of character. Don't let it get covered..would be a shame. Welcome to TPT.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterfaller1 View Post
It looks like a great start. Love the piece of driftwood, lots of character. Don't let it get covered..would be a shame. Welcome to TPT.
Thanks, there seems to be some great people on this forum!


That is actually three smaller pieces of driftwood (I believe it is ghost wood), I hand selected right out of a mature local shop tanks. I bought 'live wood', awesome indeed!

I'll probably pull the wood forward about 2-4" and just allow the grass to envelope it a little.

Thanks again!
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 11:00 AM
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i love the clipboard! (wierd huh?) I have a beat up old spiral notebook, marked with water drops managing mine! I think I'll switch. Lovely tank. Please keep us updated on growth and new hardware!

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Lol, thank you very much!

And, please excuse the water spots on the back of the tank. I haven't had time to clean under the background.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 12:19 PM
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I think you'll want more light. Especially if that's just a T8 bulb up there. One of the Coralife dual bulb T5HOs would probably be a good option since you've got CO2, or one of the Solar T5HOs from www.catalinaaquarium.com.

You need to break up and spread out those bunches of rotala- the bottoms are going to start shedding leaves otherwise. The hairgrass also will fill in more quickly if you break it up and spread it around.

I really like the arrangement so far, and that's a great piece of DW.





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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post

You need to break up and spread out those bunches of rotala- the bottoms are going to start shedding leaves otherwise. The hairgrass also will fill in more quickly if you break it up and spread it around.

I really like the arrangement so far, and that's a great piece of DW.

Thanks a lot for the input. I will definitely consider a lighting upgrade. I just prefer the classic hood to a canopy, at least for this tank/location.

I was just thinking about breaking those up the other day. I already am starting to lose lower leaves, but was debating with a friend of mine as to what exactly was causing it. Tight bunching was my initial thought. I'll do the same on the hair grass. I assume breaking up the bunches of Rotala will help me develop my back wall faster and more even.

Thanks again, highly appreciated!
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 12:52 PM
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The bottoms shed leaves when they don't get enough light. The bunching really blocks light from the bottoms, but honestly you're still likely to have that problem till you upgrade your light fixture just b/c your light level is so low with this one.





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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 05:00 AM Thread Starter
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I will be buying lighting tomorrow. What would you consider ideal for this system? I'm thinking two T5 fixtures?
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 05:23 AM
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Well,.. You have CO2, are you planning on adding ferts?

The light controls the growth of the plants,.. with higher light (Growth) you need higher CO2 levels, and higher Fert levels - it's all a balancing act.

A 29 is tough to light because of it's size,.. but something in the neighborhood of 2X24W T5 HO or 1X65W PC would put you in the med light range. At this light level you would need to add ferts, (This thread gives an awesome method for that https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/fe...-regimes_.html) but as long as you keep up on that it would be a great starting point for you.

Later if you want to get into really high light stuff you could add a second fixture.

HTH,
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 05:25 AM
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Oh,.. one other thing - Make sure to get a light with bulbs in the 5500K to 6700K range. That color spectrum is more useful to plants than the 10,000K or Atinic spectrum used for salt water tanks.

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 05:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input on the range I need. We were thinking 10k would be fine, so this is good to know.

I am already adding some basic Flourish to the tank. I also plan to use other ferts, including soil fertilizers.

I was actually already considering double fixtures.

Will be ph/co2 change in response to the light change? Well I assume so, as this will obviously affect co2 uptake in the plants. Balancing act, yes..question answered!

So..double fixtures of 2X24W T5 HO 5500-6500k? What rough price range do you think this would fall?

Thanks!
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
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Also, should I plug my solenoid in with my light timer? Will the co2 setup be safe to sit all night with all the valves open and just the solenoid not on?
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry for all the questions, but I have the chance to buy a nice used ph controller. Would this be a wise choice? It is a nice used Milwaukee for 40.00
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 12:32 PM
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I would as long as the probe works, or comes comes with some calibrating liquid, hell why wouldn't ya want a ph controller? and yes if you decide to not go with the ph controller, you can simply plug your solenoid in your light timer with all valves open and be set. just an idea, before i had a ph controller, i hade two filters, one running during the day, and then both running at night at lights off and kept my co2 going all day, so that pearling was almost immediate as soon as lights came on the next day. Its all about surface agitation.

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