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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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proofread my new tank! :)

Hi! My name is Ariel and I'm new to planted tank. I love fish people and there arent very many in alpharetta georgia besides marine. Forgive me for the very long post! This turned out to be a novel, but I like to be thorough.

I had aquariums and plants all through middle school and high school thanks to an amazing hobby enabler mother, though they all were taken down when I went to college. Now its been five years with no tanks and after the recent passing of my gerbils from college, the empty 20 gallon long they had lived in wouldnt stop looking at me. This time around Im an adult and have more money and a car to run for supplies in, I want everything to be perfect ;P

So! On to the tank proofreading! This tank has been set up for two weeks, planted for one. I cycled it with bacteria supplement and pure ammonia and plants, currently Ive been bringing the ammonia up to around two or three ppm every day (measuring with the api master kit) and its back to zero the next day. So currently Im just feeding the tank until I stock it, the cycle seems complete.

My lighting comes from an aquaic life 36" t5ho fixture with a 10,000k and a 6700k bulb set about four or five inches above the water, totaling 60 watts (Im bad and the 6700k is only a t5, not t5ho, do you think this might fry the bulb or the t5ho fixture?)

My substrate is eco complete. Temp is constant at 75. Hob filter tetra whisper ex 45, modified the intake with a saw and some glue to turn it 90į and stretched it a bit to the right with extenders for (possibly) better circulation (and the intake was too long for my shallow 20L). Also Im using my own bagged filter media, consisting of a heavy floss pouch with ceramic rings inside, no carbon. There is also a topfin 30 powerhead because there was little water movement despite the filter being recommended for a tank twice. Its aimed at my foreground where debris was settling on the plants.

Ive got a co2 setup, I just need to go get the actual gas, which has proven to be a trick. Meanwhile Ive been using api's co2 booster. I have a very nice quiet adjustable airpump a marine lfs gave me for free, I might use it to increase aeration at night and in case of co2 emergencies. There is a big piece of spiderwood in the tank, a piece of mopani I boiled to remove most of the tannins, and zebra rock. The spiderwood (water azalea?) was too big to boil.

I went a bit plant crazy and bought a lot... So far Ive got lace java fern, crypts, dwarf pennywort, hairgrass, microsword, dwarf baby tears, anubias nana petite (LOVE THESE), pogostemon, riccia, a couple marimos, and a tad of java moss. Too many varieties artistically speaking, but when in rome...

Im looking at keeping a big mix of fun dwarf shrimp from aquabid, maybe five endlers livebearers, a couple nerite snails, and maybe ten or so celestial pearl danios, still debating if theres room or need for a couple ottos.

Heres where things get dicey... My water out of the tap has a 0 kh. Im not sure why, maybe its the eco compelete, but the water in the tank has been a consistent 4 kh since i got the test last week. The ph out of the tap is 7. The ph in my tank was above 8 last week, but has been keeping at between 7.4 and 7.6 the last few days, maybe because the cycle is more mature. I'd like to increase the hardness to about ten for the sake of the livestock, but I do not want to increase the ph anymore. Crushed coral in the filter? That would be easy enough for me to obtain, but wouldnt it also increase the ph?

I think thats everything... the plants have grown in just one week! I bought the riccia on a little mat (I plan on making a riccia rock after it grows out more) and what looked sparse and sad a week ago is green and bushy! It loves being right in the flow of the powerhead. I rescaped yesterday and everything had new white roots, the crypts had finally stopped melting and had new growth.

As for algae, theres the faintest bit on the glass that some hitchiker snails have eaten the faintest trails through. I still need to buy a mag float...

What do you think? See any problems? Im sure somebody probably knows something I dont :P

If you made it through this book of a post, thank you! I dont know any fish people in real life! When i was a kid i lived by a big al's near fort lauderdale, and would hang out there whenever I could. Theres just a single marine store near me named pure reef (which is brilliant). I get test kits and things there.

Thank you
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 02:56 AM
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I have a daughter in Cartersville.
That NO bulb likely can't take that high of current for long, but I don't know this for sure.
You should have the light on a timer and for only 6 hrs till the real CO2 is up and "tuned".
That is over 100 PAR/w two HO bulbs in it at 12" from the sub.
It could stand to be @ 16" from the sub and if/when you have algae issues that is part of it. 60-70 PAR is sufficient for high light without algae problems given injected CO2.
A tank/w the amount of plants you see in the picture BML uses for their "Dutch" tank
can use higher PAR, but much less plants and algae will be there.
I had a similar fixture over a 10g tank(but it was on sale...LOL...) and Cladophora was in control of my tank. The 10g and the 20L are the same height.
Also unless you find a way to shade them the Crypts, Java Fern/moss and nana petite
will develop GSA on the leaves and cease to grow with that high of light.
Riccia F. is a floating plant. It is loosely connected between each segment and will grow up till it gets bouyent enough and then pieces will break off and float up.
But the dwarf pennywort, hairgrass, microsword, dwarf baby tears and pogostemon
should do well.
You might get by if you can put 18" between the bulbs and the sub.
Then again, someone/w that tank and fixture may reply and say I'm full of it...

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input! Youre right this is a lot of light! More than Ive ever had in a tank. My original plan for the lighting was to use an old coralife single strip 65 w compact fluorescent fixture, I just needed a new bulb for it. While waiting for that bulb to ship in the mail i had a single 18 watt t8 bulb over the tank. Lo and behold when the compact fluorescent arrived it turns out my fixture is fried and I cant get the bulb to light up no matter what I wiggled or scrubbed with a toothbrush. So, frustrated and tired of waiting for the mail, I just went and bought this fixture from the marine store near me. They only had this and led fixtures to choose from. I have been thinking of hanging it anyway, I will definitely watch the tank like a hawk for signs of too much light. My photoperiod has been nine hours.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thats what she looks like today. That should help describe the lighting more. The tank isnt very photogenic yet, the plants need to grow a bit more! And I still have a couple rocks weighing the spiderwood down, I hope it will waterlog one day. And the riccia got pulled out for the picture, that big square wasnt very photogenic either.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Just noticed the coloring is off in that pictyre, the wall looks white, but its actually a bright green.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 02:44 PM
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Such plants, So Ariel.
Much pretty, very fish tanks!

Ah, love your username.


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20 Gallon jungle tank
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 03:26 PM
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Aesthetically a very nice looking tank; I think it will grow in well over the next several months.

I might add some regular Pennywort floating at the top. It makes for a good nutrient sponge early on in a tank. At least, it seems to help my tanks get settled in well.

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75 gallon planted in progress Radion XR15FW x 2 w/Reeflink Oase Biomaster 600
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 05:35 PM
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I like the scape. But that may be because I plan a similar one soon.
I do 10g tanks because of my lease. But I am going for a look the suggest the side of a river and sloping out from there so what you have is actually close to that.
I have tons of streams near me so I intend to hand pick some river rocks in anything but round and have most of the bottom covered with them and only in between them will be sub(and under them of course).
But your tank is easy on the eyes. Nothing grabs you and forces you to look at it.
So your eyes can wander around anywhere in there.
But yea your at about 14.5" from the sub and it could gain another 4" and not hinder growth. Like you said, just watch it closely.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-17-2014, 06:06 PM
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looks awesome!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 12:26 AM
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I love the shape of the driftwood on the left, I can't find anything like that where I am.
Nice tank!
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 05:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! The driftwood is actually one piece with two smaller pieces stuck in there, the petland I bought it from way overcharged for it. Theres a lot of really nice pieces on ebay for good prices
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