The Planted Tank Forum banner

45cm Ultum Nature Systems [One Month Update]

3159 Views 20 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Jeffww
Starting the hobby again. Keeping it small with a 45cm UNS rimless I picked up at ADG in Houston a month ago. Specs:

45cm 9 gallon rimless



Granite I got from a trip to Taiwan

GLA Gro-1
Kessil A80
Eheim 2213
Jardli Lily Pipes

S. 'porto velho'
H. 'monte carlo'
A. reineckii 'mini'

Rotala 'H'ra'
Myriophyllum 'Guyana'
Hydrocotyle 'Mini Japan'
Anubias 'nana'
E. tenellus
E. acicularis


Going for just RCS. No fish.

Going for a standard rock and stem planting with a mixed carpet. I think the tank will be filled on Sunday if my work schedule isn't too bad. All the equipment is just sitting in the closet.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Using Tapatalk I didn't even know pics had been posted!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
There aren't any pics, that's the joke haha
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Been busy and not much going on. Here are the ~40lbs of rocks I dragged over from taiwan. I was torn between this and hakai stone. But the hakai ended up being too dense to practically bring in my check-in. Also leak testing the tank. Bonus dog picture.


See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Acid washed the rocks with HCl to make them all evenly colored. And filled the tank. All the plants except the 'Monte Carlo' and Anubias are TC plants. I'll update again if anything interesting happens. I'll probably have to figure out something about the background. I was really lazy with planting the fore ground. Figured I'd let whatever roots, to root and then hack off anything that didn't in 2 weeks.

As for a word about the Kessil A80, it's a great light for a tank no more than 18" wide at its widest. I can see it lighting a 18" cube with med light easily. Any tank shower than 15" is probably going to be high light (Very subjective opinion). Color adjustment isn't the best but I think it's a nice light for a decent price. The shimmer on the tank is very nice too.


See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
45cm Ultum Nature Systems High Tech.

I really like the hardscape, although as you said the foreground looks messy. It should grow out nicely though, and look more calm. Although it may be worth planting everything well and properly so they have the best chance to grow well. Plants growing healthily is important part of having the tank succeed. IME rotting plants are usually the a huge cause of algae.
Anyway, looking forward to this growing out it should look fantastic, especially once the Rotala starts to peer behind the rocks.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yes. I will be keeping an eye on the monte carlo. The other plants in the back are planted better. I think the key to keeping this tank algae free is that the tank was planted with 0 empty spaces of soil in the back and that these plants are all tissue cultured/emersed grown and low on algae. I'm also going to do something a little different:

1. Follow ADA's guidelines of feeding only potassium and micro nutrients until the excess nitrogen in the soil has been depleted.
2. Using seachem advance for some phytohormones. Although I don't have any evidence, I think it will help the TC plants convert. Tissue culture plants are grown in a reach sucrose media that's supplemented with vitamins and phytohormones. I hope that the Advance will help them transition between the two environments.
3. Using seachem stability to reign in the amount of ammonia in the aquarium. ADA uses bacter and calcium supplements in their soil and for a reason I think.
45cm Ultum Nature Systems High Tech.

I have also been pondering about ADA's regime and may follow it for the next tank, because I use Aquasoil. The leaner dosing method may also be more favourable for tanks which are quite hardscape heavy, and as you said the soil itself already holds quite a lot of nutrients. There is a definite reason why ADA doses those exact mixes of nutrients at those certain times, so I'm starting to think the more heavy-handed dosing regime I use may be exacerbating algal issues. I've noticed specifically ADA do not dose phosphates for quite a while if at all.
Also, interested to here your experiences with the Advance, saw it at the LFS and it piqued my interest. Obviously it will be hard to determine whether it is infact the Advance which is helping rather than other stuff, but still interesting to see the results.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
All the plants are alive thankfully. Showing usual nyctinasty, which is a good sign. The E. tenellus is growing a lot faster than I thought it would, which may be problematic. The new stolons are very red/orange, maybe the leaves will be of similar color. Cool thing with having a point source light is that all the plants are growing towards the middle of the tank. We'll see how this makes them look in the long run. I got some tissue culture H. pinnatifida from petsmart...which doesn't look too good so I ordered some stems while those grow out.

Doing 50% WC every day. Ammonia 1-2ppm. 0 trites, 0 trates. Hopefully the cycle will be in full swing by the end of this weekend. I may consider heating the tank to speed things up. The water is at about 70-75F most of the day.
That's an awesome looking dog, it's an Akita right? Tank looks great too, keep it up.
Yep Japanese Akita. Tank is coming along...It should be looking pretty different in a week.
2 week updates:
1. Swapped out the kessil A80 for a twinstar light. The kessil is good and gave me ridiculous growth and I liked the cooler colors. The rotala is already reaching the surface!) However, the geometry of the scape meant some critical areas were getting not enough light. I will keep it around for when I do an island type scape instead of the concave type.
2. Started dosing phosphorous today as I am noticing some hunger in the plants. Very lean dosing though, nothing close to EI. Still about 50% of what PPS-Pro would use. Starting to get diatoms, but that is OK.
3. Ammonia 0 but nitrites are sky high.
4. Glued h. pinnatifida to the rocks on the right. They are very obtrusive right now but once they fully attach and sprout new leaves (ones that grew in my tank rather than from the seller) I am going to do the following:
a.) Defoliate all the old leaves to force them smaller
b.) Lop off the top and reattach them lower down on the rocks.
c.)Prune them aggressively so that I can get a tight ridge of hygrophila in the mid ground right in front of the rotala 'h'ra'
I think this can be accomplished in about 1-2 months.

I think the tank will be cycled this weekend, at which point I'll be adding some half dozen amano shrimp. Will also trim some time this week to tidy up the foreground.

What's interesting is that the limnophila 'mini' is growing a lot slower than I thought it would. It's growing well; but compared to its full sized version it is growing rather slow. As for whether or not the seachem advanced helped anything? I think it did. Everything is rooting quite a bit. Almost, a little too well. I've never had anubias attach so quickly to rock.


See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Rotala got a trim. It should be back in 2 more weeks or so...

Algae under control for the most part. Porto velho went through a melt but new leaves are grayish/purple/ivy color so that's nice. Staghorn on old emersed growth which will be removed this weekend. Getting some spot algae now so will enrich my dosing schedule which right now is:

0.3-0.5mL Flourish Comp
2mL Flourish N
2-4mL Flourish P
1.5mL Flouish K
3mL Advance (I really like this stuff)

However the tank is running relatively smoothly (knock on wood).

Added about 20? 24? Amano shrimp and 4 otocinclus. They keep the tank clean but I do have to supplement both their diets. Also added 10 blue velvet shrimp. I only ever see 1-2 velvets at a time. I'll probably get more because I can't tell if they're dying. Amano and otos are flourishing.

I've also added an airstone on a timer at night. It really seems to keep the livestock more vibrant at night and in the day. I think it helped a little with the algae too.

Hygrophila is growing well attached to the rocks. Been slowly defoliating one or two big leaves every couple of days. Really just waiting on them to branch more so I can be more aggressive with it. They are firmly attached to the rocks now though.

Hopefully in a month I'll pull out the DSLR and my flourescent fixtures and take some real FTS. But for now it'll just be my crappy iphone pic.


See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Looking really good! All the added small details, liek the Anubias on the rocks, are what make this tank look so natural and beautiful.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Cool tank bro, how many amano's do you see most of the time?
1-2 per gallon. Always supplement feeding. Regardless of how many you get.
Did another trim of the myriophyllum as it was blocking off flow to the rotala. I think I will go ahead and change the output of the filter to the other side of the tank some time soon so that the flow will be improved. Also, in case anyone was wondering what I feed the horde of shrimpies in the tank I've been giving them a mix of:

glas garten bacter AE
glas garten snowflake (soy bran pellets)
BW pumpkin
BW grow
BW stout

Interestingly, the otocinclus really really love eating snowflake. I have some shirakura ebi dama special on the way too. I wonder if the otos will eat that also.
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.