How I am setting up my Planted 10G, Input, and feedback please - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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How I am setting up my Planted 10G, Input, and feedback please

Hello folks,

I hope I am putting this in the right place.

First allow me to introduce myself, my name is Bryan. I have been into aquariums for about 20 years off and on. Most of my experience is with reef type salt tanks. I have managed tanks from 2.5 gallons to 20,000 gallons.
I have only done one freshwater tank. It was 20 years ago, and i think it did well.

I have been lurking here for a few weeks, and appreciate all that everyone puts out there. This sight has been enourmously educational for me. Thank you to all that post.

My goal with this project is to set up a simple, low maintenance beautiful planted tank. I hope to not have to use Co2. I want to stock it with many plants, some celestial pearl danios, a pair of gardeneri, and varous species of shrimp.

My plan is to set this up dry(?), and allow my plants to become well established before filling it up. I need some input on a good carpet type plants. I would especially appreciate the opportunity to purchase cuttings from someones tank.

I have already purchased the following items:
10G tank with Glass top
Miracle Grow Organic choice soil mix
Black Diamond Blasting powder
8.35" work lights with reflectors
14w Daylight spiral compact flourescents
Some granite looking rocks
Some freshly harvested drift wood.

I am hoping for some feedback as I go along and document my setup.
I will also be documenting building a stand and canopy for this.

I am attempting to keep this as simple, inexpensive and duplicatable as possible.

Here are some photos.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 04:38 AM
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Heya Oz,

Welcome to the forum and allow me to comment on what you got going here. Hopefully my two cents will stop you from experiencing pain and suffering down the way that the majority of us felt when switching from being a reefer to an aquatic farmer. I'm going to take your post one point at a time and explain how/what I would do in order to avoid hiccups. I have no doubt that this will churn up the waters and get a bunch of advice coming in from all over the forum.

Pretty much what I'm going to do is go down your shopping list and look for possible issues that I can help you avoid.

I know that you're going to line the bottom of your tank with your potting mix and then cap it with your sand but you can expect to have some possible algae issues right out of the gate because you are going to have an abundance of free-floating nutrients in your water and unless you plant very heavily (this is important) you aren't going to have the plant biomass required to absorb all of the nutrients. Now if you plant heavily, and I strongly suggest that you do, there is the issue with nutrient bonding for uptake. If all of your plants have all the nutrients they require accept Co2 you're not going to have the uptake required and this is going to lead to algae also. A better way to look at this is think about your salt water/reef tank... imagine trying to grow your LPS/SPS without managing your calcium, Mg, or carbonates. It just isn't going to happen because these elements are key to allowing your reef to flourish. Even though the freshwater planted tank is easier (some would disagree) Co2 is the only nutrient that is truely required to ensure constant nutrient uptake and plant growth and without it algae will again grab a foothold and most likely take over. Worst case scenario with miracle grow is that with that many nutrients in the water you will probably be hit with green water right out of the gate. However, I'm not a dirt guy and I'll let someone who has more experience chime in on that.

Driftwood that has been harvested needs to be boiled and cured prior to entering your tank or your inviting parasitic issues. There are tutorials online regarding numerous methods used to cure driftwood. Put in the time and research and find one that works for you. You may also see white fuzz on your driftwood when it gets put into your tank.. not to worry this will go away in due time without treatment. I refer to this as a driftwood cycle but its completely fine.

Setting the tank up dry prior to filling it with water is a great idea and one that a lot of us wish we would of done but live and learn hehe. Two points to look at when taking this approach though come down to common sense really. Make sure that the plants you are using have an emersed/immersed form and don't forget that when you fill the tank with water that there will be a die off period while these plants transform to their submerged form.

Your lights are fine for intensity but I didn't see a kelvin rating on the container. For maximum growth make sure you're rocking somewhere between 6500 and 10000 for good growth AND back those lights off of the tank. You will not want the lights as close to the tank as you have shown in the picture. Having your lights that close will also contribute to our on-going algae battle that you're going to be fighting without Co2. Plants, even high light plants can grow in a lot less light than we seem to think is considered high light and this is all possible because of the efficiency of today's bulbs BUT you do not need to mirror the light intensity required by a salt water reef tank... not even close. A single bulb in your fixture will feed that tank with enough light for a low-tech tank.

Lastly, get rid of the glass lid and make a DIY screen. There is a link in my signature or just click here to see how to make them. The reason for the glass removal is that you are going to get tired of cleaning it, proper light coverage is going to be skewed once a bunch of gunk gets on it, and a screen will lower the light intensity therefore cutting down on the chance of getting algae.

In summation here:

With light less is more. Get used to Co2 because its a staple of any successful planted tank. Read up on proper low-tech methodology or get cozy with the EI dosing method. All in all, have a good time with it and for the love of god give us a journal!

Sorry if this is hard to follow and for any typos you may see.

Cheers from Austin,
Abe


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Abrium,

Thank you for such a detailed response. I appreciate your input.

I was hoping to be able to avoid co2, but I may have to rethink that idea now.

What's the opinion on the paintball co2 setups? Should I just go ahead and spring for a real bottle, and good quality regulator and gauges?

I can make up a screen, I have done that before. Easy. Thanks.

I think the lights are somewhere in the correct spectrum. If not, I will get some that are. These were 4 for about $5.00 at Home Depot.
I left these guys on for 4 hours last night and the reflectors were barely warm to the touch. Gotta love the spiral CF bulbs.

The driftwood has been baking in the Guadalupe river bed all summer. I doubt there are any parasites still living in it, but I will treat the wood.
It's all cypress which is not very sought after by bugs as I understand.

Any feedback on what plants would transition from emmersed to immersed well. This is probably where I need the most input.
Plants seem to be my weakest area. What do you recommend for a good carpet plant, a good mid height plant, and a tall plant for the background.
I really want to have everything well established before filling her up.

Anyone else have any suggestions, critiques?

Thanks
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 10:38 PM
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I'm not a Co2 expert, I got lucky and found a complete 10 lb pressurized system with an extra tank on craigslist for next to nothing so I'll leave it other gurus on whether or not purchasing a paintball setup or buying new is better.

As far as plants go everything I will tell you will be completely subjective because its all based off of what each person likes. If you really want it all filled out before you fill it up I would go simple and probably not more than 4 species. My carpet would be dwarf sag which transitions well, I'd have some java fern, wisteria, and I'd look for some color somewhere but I don't know a good plant that transitions well and provides good hues at the same time. You could also do water primrose which will grow emersed, submerged, and will break the water surface to become a beautiful floater and the best think is you can find it locally its all over texas just look around the edges of bodies of water for a nice pinkish plant floating across the surface of the water.


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 11:36 PM
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You may want to try a type of lotus, tiger lotus are bigger ones, tigers have some spots I believe, the smaller ones don't, they are a pinkish-light brownish sorta kinda color. I do not know however how they do emersed.

For carpeting in a ten gallon, a small cryptocoryne (parva grows really slow FYI), a small echinodorus, such as a chain sword might be good, a type of dwarf hairgrass,

For midground in a ten low light, you are limited because most mid range plants are too big and foreground plants are too small, but thats JMO.

Background I like crypt wendtii, I'm sure you have other likings but I would go with cryptocorynes or a stem plant of you liking.

Thats kinda all I got, lol.


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 12:24 AM
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Hi Ozzi, looks like your off to a good start. Just thought I'd offer some input on CO2 (if you decide to go with it). I use a 12oz paintball tank on a 5.5g aquarium and find that I have to refill it once a month, which is already getting on my nerves. If I were you, and had the space, I'd just go ahead and get like a 5lb tank, you'll save trips to fill it up, and money in the long run. By the time I bought a paintball tank adapter and fill it up every month, I have ended up spending more. Works for me though b/c of space constraints.
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