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40g budget build

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Hi everyone
Due to plant stunting which i believe was due to micro toxicity ive decided to restart the tank
I named it a budget build since everything used in this setup is quite affordable and im keen to see what results can be achieved without aquasoil which i was previously using

Tank: ~40g 36x14x18 with DIY stand
Lighting: 2x 30watt cool white LED floodlights
Filtration: Sunsun HW-302 and Sunsun JVP-110 wavemaker
Substrate/hardscape: River gravel and sand with 'Blue pitch' stone, all from a landscaping place for dirt cheap
Co2: Co2art dual stage combined with Rex grigg reactor
Fertilization: Premixed dry ferts, EI dosing

7x Peppered corydoras and 1 trilineatus
1x Albino bristlenose pleco

Hygrophila angustifolia
Cyperus helferi
Rotala sp. green
Rotala rotundifolia
Rotala nanjenshan
Bacopa sp. Japan
Staurogyne repens
Ludwigia brevipes
Lobelia Cardinalis mini
Crypt wendtii brown
Banana plant

The tank is now a week old, the majority of the plants i used were taken from my emmersed grow out tub
Right now the plants are transitioning into their submersed form, especially keen to see how the h. angustifolia will come out since i havn't grown it with much success before
My only regret is using the river gravel which is simply too big in size and isn't ideal for planting in


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
2 Week mark
Most plants are doing good while others less so
S. repens and the bacopa have wrinkled leaves, S.repens and cyperus helferi especially are being blasted with GSA. Im dosing close to double EI levels for phosphate so thats weird. Also getting a little brown algae on some leaves but not too bad
H. angustifolia growing well, i'm going to trim it down together with the bacopa and ludwigia
Rotala sp green putting out lots of side shoots, its going to be very bushy


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Week 3
Big trim this week, most of the stem plants got a trim as did most of the cyperus leaves that were covered in GSA
Brown algae present but in manageable amounts, mostly on the Rotala green that i can see
The S.Repens isn't doing too great, wrinkled/cupped leaves, im going to wait a while since these plants were all emersed before doing anything with it
The star of the show this week was the banana lilly by sending out two surface leaves, they grew very quickly, one has already opened and is a nice green with brown specks

With regards to the hardscape i feel that the largest rock in front of the cyperus will need to go in the near future, its not large enough and as everything grows around it i feel it'll look out of place
I need to find some pieces of longer branch shaped malaysian driftwood and put them in its place with some moss attached, i think it'll compliment this scape better than the rock


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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've been battling staghorn for a while so ive been avoiding an update :D , started recently dosing glut to see if it can help, also lowered iron/micro dose
The tank is a bit messy right now, i've got several bits and pieces in the left corner that i need to get rid of

Main changes though are the addition of the driftwood, replacement of Rotala sp green with pearlweed in the center, planted a bunch of lobelia mini on the right side
Had issues with the h.angustifolia, it was stunting. I've recently starting misting Co2 with the wavemaker instead of using my reactor (suspect there was leakage) and the plants seem to respond well, noticeable improvement on different species however im not happy as it seems to be wasteful.

That glass container on the left is just aquasoil with monte carlo im growing for my shrimp tank


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205 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Looks good! How are you liking those LED lights? I've been eyeing them as a cheaper option for lighting lately.
They do the job well enough. I'm not convinced that something like a kessil light is worth paying 10x (or whatever it may be) of the price of a floodlight, the difference in performance cannot justify the price difference.
I would especially recommend them to a new person who's setting up a new tank with a limited budget, the savings on lights can be put towards co2 or substrate.
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