My experiment.... Aka..... My first "real" tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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My experiment.... Aka..... My first "real" tank

Well this will be my first "real" tank one that I'm taking the time to cycle and all. It is a Marineland 5 gallon hex tank with stock light and filter and a 75w heater. I decided to go with a dirt substrate so I used burpee's organic seed starting mix capped with some gravel from petco(went to every store I could think of and could not find miracle grow). The only plants I have at least for now is some java moss. Right now the tank is "trying" to cycle my ammonia has been at 4ppm for about 2-3 weeks also my phone went from 8.0 to 6.0 with in about a week after setup. When I first started it I did put hornwort I am the tank from my last but I'm pretty sure the high ph killed it. I hope to keep rcs.

I do have the stuff to start a 10 gallon if this works which I will do then also have a fluval spec v to use.

I hope I'm on the right track I really think I will enjoy this hobby!

I tried attaching some pictures hope it works.

Now let's see what the experts think lol
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Last edited by KD8ATF; 03-15-2013 at 02:18 AM. Reason: Forgot some info
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 03:24 AM
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Hornwort is a high ph plant... Other than that.. I got distracted.. sorry..


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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So am I on the right track? What am I doing right or wrong?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 01:56 PM
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is the stock filter undergravel? it may not be up to the task.

looking at the basic make up of that soil, i see:

http://www.burpee.com/ssm/organic-seed- ... .html#null

on the label it says 6-3-3
derived from: aerobically composted turkey litter, and hydrolyzed feather meal, and sulfate of potash

95% coconut fiber, perlite, humates and fertilizer made from turkey litter

i guess i would wonder about the level of salt being released by the sulfate of potash. I don't see the coconut fiber or perlite being harmful, unless the fiber has soaked up something harmful. i do wonder about what might be contained in turkey litter as well. Humates could defintally be causing acidity as well.

i suppose if it were me, i might try a different substrate and re-fill and see if there is similar readings. you could look at one of the safe start pruducts to superchage the cycle if you are worried about it taking too long.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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It is not an under gravel. I might just leave it up for a few more weeks and see what happends
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 05:29 PM
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I was wondering what sort of lights do you have? I think you may get stunted growth with regular lights in that tank. It looks tall so I'd add more lights - probably closer to 4 watts per gallon at the 6500K range. This is a guesstimate, but your taller tank will prevent light from reaching the lower depths. You can read more about PAR and other lighting criteria by googling it.

Now, the plant you have now, the moss, will probably grow stunted with your current light. Another thing about mosses is that they prefer colder water. If you don't have fish/invertebrates, I'd turn off the heater. You may get more growth with that, but it won't be great unless you upgrade your lights.

As far as the substrate, I think that gravel is a bit too big for planting. Plants need smaller gravel and/or sand to expand their roots easily. It will still work, but may take more time.

Another thing to consider adding is CO2. I am a low-tech type of guy so I'd either do a DIY CO2 system (you can google it, you need 1 bottle, plenty of aquarium hosing, sugar, yeast, and water). You can't go wrong adding extra glutaraldehyde (also known at Seachem Excel or API CO2 Booster).
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthmilmo View Post
I think you may get stunted growth with regular lights in that tank. It looks tall so I'd add more lights - probably closer to 4 watts per gallon at the 6500K range.
20 watts, hmm?

God, I wish that WPG thing would just go away. It's terrible useless.

Also, OP stated that he has the stock lighting.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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Well honestly I think I'm gonna scrap the whole 5g idea and go with a 10g I just picked up some miracle grow organic potting mix so I'm gonna start new with "better plants". Looking for suggestions with anything!
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