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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey Everyone!

This is my first attempt at making a truly planted tank with all the special stuff. CO2, High Lighting, Fertilizers (Trying, anyways).

I'm really enjoying the black Flourite sand that I decided to go with on this tank, which is really high in the tank. I don't know why, but I've always loved the look of thick levels of substrate on tanks. The rocks are my personal favorite in this tank though.

Plants:
1 Anubias Nana
1 Rotala (Not sure what kind)
1 bunch of Micro Swords
1 Corkscrew Sword? (Maybe, forgot the scientific name)
1 Not sure what the stuff is in the front of the tank. Some sort of foreground cover though.

Fish:
2 White Cloud Mountain Minnows
3 "Gold" White Cloud Mountain Minnows
1 Red Glo Fish (Zebra Danio) (I had to rescue this guy from a friends tank, after his other two Glo Fish were eaten by his new African Cichlids)

It's got a 27 Watt desk lamp over it from Wal Mart. I'm running a Hagen Elite Filter with DIY CO2 coming into it. I'm also running a massive Tetra Water Wonders 10 Gallon Filter in the back of the tank. This guy is only temporary as it takes up every space in the tank practically. I've got an Eheim 2213 coming in the mail, along with some Glosso (Which will most likely replace whatever that ground cover plant is in the front of my tank), and the future sole inhabitants of this tank, some Red Cherry Shrimp. Thanks Niptek, looking forward to those!

Please comment and let me know of anything I might be doing wrong, or that you think I should do in the future!

Hope you like it.

Front tank shot:

Shot showing the light and DIY CO2 Bottle:

Good shot of that unknown ground cover plant in the front left of the tank and the rocks:

And an over the tank shot:
 

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Nice tank. I'd guess that foreground cover in the front is Marsilea quadrifolia. It could be Marsilea minuta, but it looks too big for that. When I had some in my tank it took a little while for it to start to spread, but once it did it spread at a decent rate.
 

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i second the Marsilea quadrifolia. it'll stay low, single-leaved in higher light, but will reach up an inch or so taller and gain up to four leaves in lower lighting. great little plant.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Actually that does sound familiar for sure. Do any of you have suggestions as to what I could be dosing? I don't have any fertilizer, and am unsure of how to get it. Dry Fertilizers are usually the way to go, aren't they? What should I be dosing, and when? Were do I get it all?

(Sorry for all the questions. :p)
 

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I've got a 5.5 that I dose with a solution I make from dry ferts. I add 1 tsp K2SO4, 1 tsp KNO3 and 1/4 tsp KH2PO4 to 1 L of water. Start by adding 10 mL of this solution. Test NO3 and PO4 every couple of days for a couple weeks to see where your levels are and modify the amount of the solution you put in the tank accordingly.

I got my ferts from rexgrigg.com
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Updates!

Hey Everyone!

Got my new Eheim 2213 Filter all set up today, as well as my DIY CO2 Injection running. I've got my Dry Fertilizers coming in the mail, and I think I'm going to dose with the PPS method.

(Think there's any better way for me to hide that nasty sponge? So unattractive.)

I added some Red Cherry Shrimp to my tank, and they are a blast! I'm really enjoying watching them run all over the place! (Hoping I have some Females and Males so that they breed!)

Also, I removed the 3 Gold White Cloud Minnows, added a bit of Blyxa Japonica to the right side that I got off the SnS.

Anyways, wanted you guys to see it, and had some questions about some stuff too.

FTS:


Right Side:


Front Shot Closeup:


Left Side:


Total Shot:


Alright, so here's my question, with all the surface agitation, is that going to be too much agitation to get rid of the CO2 being diffused in, or is it going to stay in the tank? I'm just unsure if the movement on top of the tank is enough to ruin the CO2.



Oh, and another question: Do you guys think I should remove that nasty Foreground cover plants in the front, or juts keep letting them try and grow? Pretty much it's Glosso, but it's obviously having some problems, and my MM is doing well, so...

What do you guys think?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah, I did move them around, or mo so, I split it up and spread it around so that they'd be doing the whole stem approach. Been doing much better since then, but I'll leave them be for now.

The Bulb is a 27W light from Wal Mart. I've seen it on this site a lot, so when I was looking for a lamp at Wal Mart and saw that one, I just grabbed it. It's Fluorescent though, for sure. I'll look into a reflector I could build for it, because you're right, it really only hits the center of the tank. (Which is why I also have that 13 Watt Spiral Light on it from my lamp behind my desk.)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
How do you like the Hagen Mini Elite Filter as a CO2 diffuser?
The Mini Elite is awesome! Works great, spits out all kinds of tiny little bubbles!

Got a quick question! I'm trying to open up my Eheim Canister so that I can add the Carbon Pad. (Finally got it in the mail.)

How do I open it, like how would I open it for regular maintenance? I don't see how I can detach the pipes and not have water going everywhere? Help me? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh haha, thanks for letting me know! I'll be leaving that out then!

Today, I saw the Cal Aqua Lab Efflux Nano Filtration Pipes, and I'm seriously considering getting those soon, as I think they'll look amazing in my tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Looking good fellow Washintonian :)
Thanks man!

So today, I ordered this guy online:

http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/group/4530/product.web

Also bought myself a 20 Ounce Paintball tank during the Black Friday sale.

Now, since I bought this, I'm sort of wondering if it was a bad choice, for a couple reasons. One: Since it's only a single CO2 monitor, is it going to be difficult to keep track of, cause this is my first try and pressurized in a tank? Two: Since it doesn't come with a Solenoid, do I just let it run all night and get some Aeration going on at night so that it balances it out? Or is it going to be bad not having a solenoid?

Thanks for any help you guys can offer!
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
AHHHH!

I'm in a total state of destruction! My shrimp are dying, my plants are covered in algae, and my heater doesn't even seem to be working! Here's some pictures...





My tank is so infested with black hair algae, it's not even funny. I don't even know how that happened, but I don't have a master test kit, so I haven't tested my water conditions yet. (That's defintetely in the future.)

I feel like I've tried everything to get rid of the stuff! I've done over-dosing of Excel, Bleach treatments, even (attempting) to get pressurized CO2 into the tank. All of these have failed.

I'm almost to the point of just tearing down the tank and starting from scratch in an attempt to rekindle the flame that once was!

I need help!

My CO2 regulator that I got from ThatPetPlace is crap, and I'm totally returning it to them and getting something else, like an actual regulator with a solenoid and everything. I can't even get the other one to seal on my cylinder. UGH! Nothing can go right!

HELP!
 

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It looks like you killed your vallisneria with the excel overdosing. But that's the least of your problems, it seems.

I think you need CO2. BBA normally occurs when you have inconsistant CO2 or a severe lack of it. I'm not clear whats going on with your CO2 situation. I know you have the equipment, but is it working?

At this point, I would manually remove as much algae as possible. Bleach treatments arent going to help unless you pinpoint the imbalance between ferts, lighting, and CO2. Are you dosing ferts?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yeah, the vallisneria is definitely dead. I pulled it out today.

I really want to get constant CO2, but whenever I do DIY CO2, I get extremely inconsistent flow, which is definitely what created the BBA. I am going to send that regulator back to ThatFishPlace and get something else. I'm considering their actual full regulator, or maybe GLA's, but I really don't have the money to spend on either, so I might just have to go with DIY for a while and try and get a more reliable flow. Perhaps Jello or something?

I removed a bunch of the algae by hand just now, so hopefully that will help my problem slightly. I am dosing ferts, by the PMDD method. Maybe I ought to try something different for that too?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hey everyone!

I've decided to get back in the game! I've successfully defeated (for the moment) a massive battle against BBA. I'm taking as many precautions as I can to make sure it doesn't come back. I'm planning on ordering a CO2 Regulator from Sumo tomorrow, as well as all the necessary equipment I need to get pressurized CO2 running in this tank. Hopefully that will help me take this BBA out of the situation.

But here's the deal: I'm going to replant this bad boy and it's going to be a lot different than it was before. As of right now, it's just empty. The decorative rocks and the gravel, that's all. I've ordered some UG and some Dwarf Hair Grass for the set up and I'm way excited for it.

Problem is, I've read that UG is going to require a much smaller KH than I have. So give me some help! I need to know if you guys think that my tank/environment is going to work for UG and Dwarf Hair Grass. What do you guys think?

Here's some tests that I did today, from my Master Kit as well as a KH test I had.

PH: 7.6
High Range PH: 8.0
Nitrite: 0 PPM
Ammonia: 0 PPM
Nitrate: 0 PPM
KH: 10 Degrees

Thanks for any help you guys can give!
 

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Hey everyone!

I've decided to get back in the game! I've successfully defeated (for the moment) a massive battle against BBA. I'm taking as many precautions as I can to make sure it doesn't come back. I'm planning on ordering a CO2 Regulator from Sumo tomorrow, as well as all the necessary equipment I need to get pressurized CO2 running in this tank. Hopefully that will help me take this BBA out of the situation.

But here's the deal: I'm going to replant this bad boy and it's going to be a lot different than it was before. As of right now, it's just empty. The decorative rocks and the gravel, that's all. I've ordered some UG and some Dwarf Hair Grass for the set up and I'm way excited for it.

Problem is, I've read that UG is going to require a much smaller KH than I have. So give me some help! I need to know if you guys think that my tank/environment is going to work for UG and Dwarf Hair Grass. What do you guys think?

Here's some tests that I did today, from my Master Kit as well as a KH test I had.

PH: 7.6
High Range PH: 8.0
Nitrite: 0 PPM
Ammonia: 0 PPM
Nitrate: 0 PPM
KH: 10 Degrees

Thanks for any help you guys can give!
Before you conisder UG consider the floowing:

1- You need to have consistant CO2 setup and running wether it be a couple of DIY bottles you swap out or Pressurized

2- Have a good fertilizer schedule setup, what will you be using for ferts?

3- You can lower PH and such by mixing 50% RO water and 50% dechlorinated Tap water

UG is one of hte harder to grow plants, very sensitive IMO to accliamtion of hte new tank once you put it in leave it alone it may take upto a month to start growing.

Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hey Craig! Thanks for posting! Your tanks look gorgeous, so I know you know what you're talking about!

1 - Yeah, I agree. I'm going with pressurized because I still think that the inconsistent DIY method is what ruined me and set me down a path to BBA. I'll make sure that I have my Sumo Regulator up and running before I start planting.

2 - I actually was going to ask for help in this division. What would you suggest I do for Ferts? I have these ferts on hand right now:

Plantex CSM + B
Potassium Sulfate
Magnesium Sulfate
Mono Potassium Phosphate
Potassium Nitrate

Back when I was trying to use them before, I think I did them wrong. Do you have a suggest for a method I should use? I was doing the PMDD method before hand and that didn't work out all the well.

3 - What is RO? How do I go about doing this?

And yeah, I'm worried about my ability to grow UG, but I know that I wanted to give it a chance. It's such a beautiful plant, and I really want to give it a shot, no matter how long it's going to take.

Thanks a ton again, Craig.
 
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