"Natural" 10G | Full Sun - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-26-2005, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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"Natural" 10G | Full Sun

Like many of you, Iím toying with Walstadís low tech planted tank approach (Perhaps itís time for a low tech forum?).

Iíve placed a 10G in a corner location that receives direct south and west light, and the tank is just low enough below the window sill that the substrate is basically shaded. Iíve probably got about 8 total gallons when you factor out displacement from the filter pack sand (over potting soil) substrate and that fact that Iíve left two inches at the top to discourage suicides.

An Elite power head with small internal sponge moves the water around, and Iím injecting CO2 at the moment but will yank it when the plants are well established. Said plants are Ludwigia repens (covering the entire bottom for now, but I will probably cull the foreground and backfill with ground cover later) and Lemna minor and Salvinia natans up top.

In addition to strong sunlight most of the day, I have suspended an 18W twisted CF in a poultry breeder pendant about 6Ē over the water surface. Itís on about 12 hours/day and helps with dusk and dawn transitionsÖsort of.

I have seven tough guppies in this unheated tank that seem happy as clams thus far.

The photo below tells only part of the story, but I like it in an arty sort of way. Iím compiling a front view time lapse series to show the Ludwigia growth and will post when the first plant reaches the surface.

Iíd love to hear how others are doing with Ďnaturalí setups, especially if youíre using full sunlight. You want to talk about pearling!!!

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-26-2005, 11:59 PM
 
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WTH is that in the picture?
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 12:02 AM
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all I see is floating duckweed with the reflection of spiral CF bulb.


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I will do aquascapes after I collect all the plant species and grow them to perfection.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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LOL...like I said, I'll get to the time lapse later. I just thought this was an interesting view of the tank...

I knew I'd get that sort of feedback...LOL
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 04:00 PM
 
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interesting setup hoffboy, thanks for sharing

does Seattle have "strong sunlight"? lol.

How many days of full sun does your tank actually get? What are your min/max temps over a 24 hour period?

I'm setting up a 29G in front of a S. facing window with no supplemental lighting. On average, it will probably get around 3 hours of direct sunlight per day and bright indirect light the rest of the time. Its an open tank with no background and a glass canopy. I really like the look/feel of an open top without all the lighting hardware. I'll let you know how it goes.

good luck!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 04:20 PM
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Would like to see a whole tank shot.

I'm preparing to set up a low tech tank (after reading Diana's book ) in my bedroom. Will be a small nano style, but very long.... somewhere in the region of 36"x6"x6"... very panoramic!
It wont be getting direct sun though, as my room faces the wrong way.... am gonna go for some sort of spotlighting from above (halogen desk lamps?) as I too agree that this style of setup would look wrong with any sort of hood/light fitting on it.
Principles of aquascaping will be soil substrate with black coarse sand on top (so it basically looks all the same).... very bumpy and irregular with mounds and valleys. Additional small pieces of rock maybe, covered (perhaps partially only) in very small mosses (to create more, higher hills). Mosses and minute grasses in/on the substrate, and trying not to have any tall(ish) plants in there... more of an underwater hilly landscape, that will be populated by shrimps.

I can't wait.

Regarding time lapse... I've taken shots of my planted tank from exactly the same angle (full tank front) to show a progression of time. It's scary how fast those damn weeds grow! Almost an inch a day!


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Green
does Seattle have "strong sunlight"? lol.

How many days of full sun does your tank actually get? What are your min/max temps over a 24 hour period?

Yeah...I guess 'strong' is relative. And in Seattle we only average 58 sunny days per year, so I'm not exactly living on the edge by exposing this tank due south and west. I wonder what the ill effects are of intermittent direct light vs. overcast and diffuse light?

You know, I don't actually have a thermometer on this tank, so I'm not sure about the temperature. The 'guppies' I have in this tank are actually a cousin of the guppy and VERY tolerant of temperature swings and water quality, but I should probably still get a thermometer in there before summer hits.

On clear days I probably get 2-3 hours of direct sunlight before a tree provides shade for most of the afternoon. In the evening another hour or so of low direct comes through.

I'm starting to see some green algae down low on the glass near the tops of the plants. We'll see how bad it gets.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 06:28 PM
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You guys would be surprised at how bright it can be here in the winter time. Yes, it rains a lot. But, on clear days in the winter (which, there have been a lot of this year), the sun is very low in the sky and can be totally blinding.

I like the setup hoffboy. Looking forward to seeing a full tank shot so we can see that field of Ludwigia up close. If you ever find yourself with a surplus of those "guppies", I'd be very interested in some for my backyard pond.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Two Pics

OK, y'all have talked me into posting the full frontal shots. The second is pretty lame because I didn't want to wait for dark, so sorry about the reflections and whatnot. At least you can see how much redder these plants have gotten, and a bit of an increase in height. You'll can also see that I've added the cabbage, duckweed, and fauna. The little power filter is just out of frame to the left.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 09:28 PM
 
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That's pretty cool. I set up a 5 gallon in a window with no light or filter, I have some ferns, hygros, and anubias in it. Plants seem to be doing ok, growth is slow, but they are definitely growing.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-27-2005, 11:22 PM
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Interesting setup.

Am I right in assuming that tank is viewable from multiple sides, or at least both the largest (front and back) sides?

If so, then I would not go for a "background" and "foreground" style aquascape.
If you can keep the Ludwigia relatively low, I'd leave it as it is and add more floaters like the cabbage that produce long roots.


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2005, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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I have the short end against one window and the long Ďbackí against another so you can view this tank from a long or short side. Iím thinking that the back left corner will be tallest and that the front right might eventually be left bare for a corydoras or two. I like the idea of keeping a full carpet too, so Iíll have to see what direction my gut pulls me in. Iíve heard itís best to cut the tops of Ludwigia, remove the bottoms, and replant the tops in their place. Can anyone confirm?
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-28-2005, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffboy
I have the short end against one window and the long Ďbackí against another so you can view this tank from a long or short side. Iím thinking that the back left corner will be tallest and that the front right might eventually be left bare for a corydoras or two. I like the idea of keeping a full carpet too, so Iíll have to see what direction my gut pulls me in. Iíve heard itís best to cut the tops of Ludwigia, remove the bottoms, and replant the tops in their place. Can anyone confirm?
Ahh I see.... I realise now. It's the reflections (in the second pic) that made it look like the room continued behind the tank!

The full carpet idea I think would only look right if the tank is viewable from at least 3 sides... i.e a pedestal setup. Now that I know that tank is in a corner, I would go with your original plan.

Ludwigia is the same as any stem plant in terms of cuttings so yes, you would have to replant the tops, which depending on growth rate, could get very laborious with a full lawn!. See the Trimming Cabomba thread for recent discussion on this.


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-31-2005, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffboy
I have the short end against one window and the long Ďbackí against another so you can view this tank from a long or short side. Iím thinking that the back left corner will be tallest and that the front right might eventually be left bare for a corydoras or two. I like the idea of keeping a full carpet too, so Iíll have to see what direction my gut pulls me in. Iíve heard itís best to cut the tops of Ludwigia, remove the bottoms, and replant the tops in their place. Can anyone confirm?
Hey those L. Repens look familiar?!?

Depends on how they are planted. If enough light gets to the bottom of the stem, they wont loose their leaves. But in my tank. they are so tightly packed together, lower leaves are sheded. In month or so, i may have to replant the whole bunch to keep a certain look going.


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-31-2005, 07:09 AM Thread Starter
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Yep, Marc, these are the smaller pieces that you sent. The bigger pieces, and the babies tears, are in my 25T and doing great, although the L Repens has lost most of its red in that tank, due to relatively low light. I've got 8 White Clouds in that tank that are having a ball playing in the tall stalks. Thanks again for the great deal!
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