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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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First Planted Tank

Hello everyone. New member here and a lurking newbie to the hobby. I recently started a new tank (my first planted). I wanted to take some of you along the journey and hopefully get some input.

So I have 4 black mollies that are in a 5 gallon right now. (I know shame on me but water perameters seem good with frequent water changes). They definitely needed a new home so I set up a new 20 gal long a week ago that has the following:

24” Beamworks 30W led
Aqueon Pro 100w
Aquaclear 50
DIY CO2 Setup

Eco Complete
Seiryu Stone
Seachem Flourish Tabs

Plants:
Java Fern
Dwarf Hairgrass

I’m not sold on how the Java fern looks but I figured I’d get a good beginner plant to start.

The main issue is the dwarf Hairgrass. This stuff came at LEAST half dead (my fault for choosing a slower shipping method). I’ve included before and after pics. I’m actually happy with how it has been battling back. I’m seeing more green each day. I hoping in a month it will be established and start to send runners.

The water perameters are decent for one week.
Ammonia: 1.5ppm
Nitrite: .5ppm
Nitrate: 10ppm
I’ve been adding a little bit of fish food to get the cycling going.

Just wanted to get your thoughts on the setup and if there is anything I can be doing differently.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 06:02 AM
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Can you go into a little bit more detail about your DIY CO2?

I have carpeted dwarf HG. It does well with pressurized CO2 at a consistent supply rate and around 25-30ppm. With a hang on the back filter, keep surface agitation minimal by keeping the tank's water level high.

I have bought dying tissue culture dwarf HG from a fish store in the past. I still planted it in one of my past tanks using aquasoil and it continued to turn yellow even though I was dosing all macros and micros. What helped was when I cut the dwarf hairgrass a couple of days after planting it so the tips were just barley above the soil. After that all the yellowing/dying grass was removed from the trimming and the HG began growing pretty fast and shooting out a lot of runners. Be patient with HG.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 06:55 AM
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I think you're gonna need a liquid fertiliser. Eco complete can't really cut it by itself. Maybe look into Seachem flourish?


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ADA mini M low tech with Cherry Shrimp and Dwarf Puffers
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 07:06 AM
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Eco-complete doesn't provide any nutrients for plants. You should dose the water with ferts if you aren't already.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 11:23 AM
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For my mini dwarf hairgrass I did the cutting method to help generate new growth and runners. Also dosed with a full spectrum of ferts and when I started with it was running citric acid and baking soda CO2. Planted in sand, so an inert substrate.

It takes time, but is possible with your setup if you can get nutrients to the grass.

Battling a bit of algae now, but one little packet from petsmart has turned into a full carpet.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 02:03 PM
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Much of this game depends on personal outlook and there are almost always several ways to go at any single item. So some will like a ready made store bought item for ferts but I like to go with dry ferts. One is that it is much, much cheaper since the ready made is mostly water and getting dry ferts and adding your own water does make it cheaper as well as much more control of what is added.
For ease of storage, ease of purchase and long term economy, I would suggest looking to this site:
Dry Fertilizer | Aquarium Fertilizer
Great guy to work with!
You can get a tub full of dry ferts that will last all year for the price of one bottle of ready made. Advantages? You add the fert that is needed rather than ALL the ferts in the ready made. So if your plants are getting plenty of nitrate from something like fish food, you are able to add one item like phosphate without running the nitrate higher. When you want more N, add N. When you want more P, add P? Not N,P, K and a long list of others, so that you need to do a water change to get the N back down!
Lots of different ways to go and we each have to figure out what works best for us.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-19-2018, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HGHTECH22 View Post
Can you go into a little bit more detail about your DIY CO2?

I have carpeted dwarf HG. It does well with pressurized CO2 at a consistent supply rate and around 25-30ppm. With a hang on the back filter, keep surface agitation minimal by keeping the tank's water level high.

I have bought dying tissue culture dwarf HG from a fish store in the past. I still planted it in one of my past tanks using aquasoil and it continued to turn yellow even though I was dosing all macros and micros. What helped was when I cut the dwarf hairgrass a couple of days after planting it so the tips were just barley above the soil. After that all the yellowing/dying grass was removed from the trimming and the HG began growing pretty fast and shooting out a lot of runners. Be patient with HG.
Thanks for the response. I’m using the DIY CO2 System that you typically see in eBay and Amazon using Citric acid and baking soda. (Posted a pic) Need to get a drop checker (getting that soon) but bubbles are around 1/sec.

Good tip on the HOB. 😉

Any recommendations on ferts besides the root tabs? Don’t have much of a selection around me so I’ll probably have to order online.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-19-2018, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oscarlloydjohn View Post
I think you're gonna need a liquid fertiliser. Eco complete can't really cut it by itself. Maybe look into Seachem flourish?


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I was looking at flourish. My thought on that is that it has the same micro nutrients as the flourish tabs I already have in the substrate just in lower quantities. Do you think it would still help?

Also do you have any other recommendation for ferts?
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-19-2018, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swarley View Post
Eco-complete doesn't provide any nutrients for plants. You should dose the water with ferts if you aren't already.
I have roof tabs in the substrate. As far as water column ferts, what would you recommend?
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-19-2018, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grobbins48 View Post
For my mini dwarf hairgrass I did the cutting method to help generate new growth and runners. Also dosed with a full spectrum of ferts and when I started with it was running citric acid and baking soda CO2. Planted in sand, so an inert substrate.

It takes time, but is possible with your setup if you can get nutrients to the grass.

Battling a bit of algae now, but one little packet from petsmart has turned into a full carpet.

Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk
Thanks for the tips. I cut the grass down while they were in the pots. Do you think I should go in and clip the remaining dead stuff?

What’s funny is that I have runners coming off the top of some of them.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-19-2018, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Hey guys. Looks like the roots are starting to spread a little. Noticed some new growth coming out of the substrate
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-19-2018, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwarbt View Post
Thanks for the tips. I cut the grass down while they were in the pots. Do you think I should go in and clip the remaining dead stuff?

Whatís funny is that I have runners coming off the top of some of them.
Yeah that can happen. Saw the pictures also of some new runners/ growth. That's great!

As far as trimming, you could probably take off 1/3 or so carefully at your next water change. Just be very careful as it's likely not rooted very solid, so even the slightest up motion while cutting could uproot at this stage. If you have curved scissors they really come in handy for this plant.

If you cannot easily remove the dead grass I would just let it be, as you could accidentally uproot the whole plant. The dead blades will melt off on time an new growth will come.

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-19-2018, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Grobbins48 View Post
Yeah that can happen. Saw the pictures also of some new runners/ growth. That's great!

As far as trimming, you could probably take off 1/3 or so carefully at your next water change. Just be very careful as it's likely not rooted very solid, so even the slightest up motion while cutting could uproot at this stage. If you have curved scissors they really come in handy for this plant.

If you cannot easily remove the dead grass I would just let it be, as you could accidentally uproot the whole plant. The dead blades will melt off on time an new growth will come.

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I plan on getting some on my next trip to the store, which may be tomorrow. I was thinking either let the dead leaves melt off naturally or getting some shrimp to eat them off.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-19-2018, 03:33 AM
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Unless the plan for your tank is you want shrimp, I would let melt naturally. I'm a fan of keeping livestock that you want because you enjoy them, and if they serve a second purpose then even better!



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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-19-2018, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
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Unless the plan for your tank is you want shrimp, I would let melt naturally. I'm a fan of keeping livestock that you want because you enjoy them, and if they serve a second purpose then even better!



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I do want shrimp. My only caution is the mollies. My mollies have had two batches of fry so far and from what I have seen, none have been eaten. So I'm hoping shrimp will do okay.

Last edited by schwarbt; 05-19-2018 at 06:29 AM. Reason: Multiple
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