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21 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well where to start? This tank is my first planted and has been setup about 2 months. In that time I've done almost everything wrong at least once, but have learnt hard by my mistakes.

Luckily I was keeping a journal, to some degree, at my website Dwarf Shrimp but here's a basic rundown.

  • Elite 60 litre tank and stand (paid £20)
  • lighting unit (150 watt metal halide, suspended 30 cm from water surface) (paid £23)
  • cheapo compressed co2 system with diffuser (paid £20)
  • cheap heater (free)
  • Eheim powerhead with sponge attachment.
  • Oliver Knott Active substrate (similar to ADA ammazonia II) at a depth of 2" with sand underneath. (probably £30 worth)

Now to start back in February i had a large rock which I'd cleverly covered in Marimo, doesn't it look nice and fluffy?

I add some Dwarf Hairgrass as a background plant.


I get hold of some HC Cuba, great!


Trouble strikes! Marimo, is in fact Clado! Oh no I've just dosed my tank with the worst algae there is.

I treat with h2o2 and Excel, 90% is destroyed very quickly, the last 10% takes forever to obliterate.

I get all my Co2 and ferts wrong like a newbie and leave the 150W MH on way too long. Here comes algae:


I persevere, i keep removing the algae i find, and any java moss that appears to have infested the rock. I get the ferts nailed (thanks to here), and begin dosing with Potassium Phosphate and Potassium Nitrate.

The HC Cuba takes hold and spreads well. The Hair Grass grows aggressively, even moreso with weekly trimming, it fills in well.


I'm still not content though, that rock it's the cause of all these issues. I go to the LFS looking for some driftwood to replace it, but 3 lovely pieces of Jaderock catch my eye.

I immediately could see an arrangement in my head so quickly rushed home to set it up.

Obviously a bit of a bare patch now, but looking good. Algae is down to almost zero levels and the shrimp are thriving!


I love the greenness and am looking forward to it being fully covered, along with the crystalised green in the rock it pops, it almost certainly has a kryptonite feel and so i christen the tank "Krypton".

And so that's today, and I've caught up, 8 weeks over 1 post. For more info on what I'm doing visit the site in my sig, I go into more detail there.

It's a fun hobby, and I like to think that by the end of this process I'll know what I'm doing. Note to all, never split open a Marimo ball!

21 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Since the large rock was removed, not only have i seen absolutely no clado or java moss, but the green spot algae that I was getting, usually 3 days into the week, on the tank walls also is not there.

This may also be due to not dosing any magnesium during ei, as that seemed to make it peak, but i still think the rock was to blame.

To encourage growth of the DHG I cut it down last night real short, maybe 1 1/2", I was amazed at how densely it is now packed, it felt like cutting the end of a broom.

Still looking forward to full coverage, however I find my HC goes through periods of growth, then separation (and replanting) and then it freezes for a while. All of a sudden there is then more growth.

I've also made some pins to hold down the HC into the substrate from paper clips. Appears to be working in the really dense areas that were getting too buoyant during pearling.
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