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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well after starting up a 10g a few weeks ago I just don't like it. I've learned a lot here the last month about starting right and scaping. I'm going to take my time getting this one going and eventually transfer all my plants from my 10 to this.

Tank-standard 20 gallon long back black painted
Lighting-2 13 watt cfls in clamp lights on PVC rack.
Substrate-Rinsed mgopm with clay balls capped with black diamond blasting sand
Filter-One ac20, One ac30 eventually upgrade to an Eheim 2215.

I'm putting this tank on an old bar in our basement I removed the sink from and put a new top on.

Val
Dhg
Crypts

Stock: unknown

FTS: 2012/11/14

IMG_7033 by iadubber, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is only enough light for the ferns. I think with 3-25 watt or 2-32 watt cfls everything but the Dhg will survive

I don't use heaters anymore but have fish that are only a few dollars.
Not sure I agree on that, the tank is only 12" deep, add substrate and we are 10". I did change my mind and might go to 3 13w 6500k cfls in clamp housings.


Here's where it's home will be in my basement. I have to finish out the counter this weekend. I'll probably hang a curtain or something over the hole where the fridge was. I'm going to keep the battery backup, power strips, and timers in there.



I picked up some pvc to make a light stand, clamp lights, blasting sand, and some other goodies.

The MGOPM is on it's second soak today. I'm going to go look for some rocks this weekend.

Now I'm thinking about getting an Eheim canister.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Painted the counter black. I'm looking for some black fabric to wrap the whole cabinet in.

I still need to paint the PVC light rig black.

Found a few rocks at my local landscape company. Not as unique as I was wanting, but I think it'll work. They were boiled and passed the vinegar test.

Trying to convince the wife into a 2215 canister instead of dual AC20s. It's not going well, so I might just have to stick with the AC20s for now.

Here's the layout I want for the hardscape.

IMG_7026 by iadubber, on Flickr

I'm really surprised at how much dirt was lost in the rinsing process of a full bag of MGOPM. I hope I have enough to accomplish what I want for substrate shaping. I want to go higher in the back corners and slope them down. Maybe have Crypt Wendtii in the front right and DHG in the front left.

I decided against ferns and anubias in this tank. I just don't like them in my 10. I'd rather have all rooting plants for a cleaner look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a question on soil depth. It's hard for me to explain how I want the substrate to look. I want it higher in the back corners coming down to a slope in the middle.

Am I going to be ok having maybe a 1.50-2" dirt in the back corners coming down into maybe .5" in the middle? Then topped with sand. Will this cause any problems inside the deeper parts of the soil?
 

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Soil depth want higher in the back corners coming down to a slope in the middle. Maybe a 1.50-2" dirt in the back corners coming down into maybe .5" in the middle? Then topped with sand. Will this cause any problems inside the deeper parts of the soil?
Should have no problems for the el natural way the substrate is about 3in high.

I found putting reptile coconut bark under my dirt kept it from getting compressed by the sand, which would have lead to anaerobic condition.
 

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I have a question on soil depth. It's hard for me to explain how I want the substrate to look. I want it higher in the back corners coming down to a slope in the middle.

Am I going to be ok having maybe a 1.50-2" dirt in the back corners coming down into maybe .5" in the middle? Then topped with sand. Will this cause any problems inside the deeper parts of the soil?
I think anything 3" in depth or less will be ok. Most of my tanks are raised to roughly 3" maybe more in some places and ive never had a problem
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Why did you rinse the mgops ? Dry sifting to remove the wood chunks should have sufficed. You probably washed all the nutrients away...
I was trying to avoid brown water which I got in my 10 gallon when I set it up. Going on two months on that tank and I still am having tannin issues. I doubt most nutrients were washed away. I put the dirt in a tub filled with water, skimmed off all the floaters, filled up again skimmed off, and now it's drying.
 

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I was trying to avoid brown water which I got in my 10 gallon when I set it up. Going on two months on that tank and I still am having tannin issues. I doubt most nutrients were washed away. I put the dirt in a tub filled with water, skimmed off all the floaters, filled up again skimmed off, and now it's drying.
I hear ya. Mine stopped leaching tannins a week ago, either that or the Fluval 305 I hooked up to it is doing a fenomenal job...:hihi:
 

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I'll check it out. I don't even have dirt in this tank yet.
The purigen is expensive ($18).

What did you top the dirt in the tank with tannins? I have found river sand to be the best. I got it a landscaper co $3 for a 50lb bag. Doesn't need a lot of rinsing and stays clean. Also the color is brown.

Eheim filters are my favorite for they are so quiet. Some don't last long though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I didn't rinse my sand or dirt last time.

I picked up some crypt wendtii and microsword from PetSmart today in thoughts I'd start my dry start tonight. Now I keep reading on how many problems people have had with dry starts in controlling humidity etc. I had plans to move my DHG, crypt wendtii foreground, and do the microsword midground all dry started.

Is dry starting as easy as getting my substrate in which is already damp, cap it, plant my plants, and get some more water in the substrate? Put some saran wrap over most of the top to keep as much humidity in. Then spray the plants as it starts to dry up?? I've read that some sword dies after flooding. All confused, and now I have $16 in plants to figure out what's going on. thanks!
 

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I didn't rinse my sand or dirt last time.

I had plans to move my DHG, crypt wendtii foreground, and do the microsword midground all dry started. All confused, and now I have $16 in plants to figure out what's going on. thanks!
Rinse the sand at least 1x

I don't have the patience to do a dry start. I just know that those plants need to go in dirt as soon as possible. I would get a moisture meter to check the moisture. They are cheap. If you can't find 1 at a hardware store try Ebay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I may just do a normal start and move my AC20 from my 10gallon to this tank. I picked up an AC30 to add to this tank as well. I'm just short one heater and I planned to retire the 10gallon anyways so i'll probably take the heater from that for now.
 

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I don't bother with heaters anymore. For I found with my 29g the water stays near the temp of the room. Haven't checked my 20G. The plecos, only inhabitants, seem to be doing okay without a heater. My 10g needed a heater for there was great fluctuation in the temp of the water.
 
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