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7g planted tank

1002 Views 14 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  K.A.T.
Soooo, this is my first attempt at a planted tank. All comments / suggestions are appreciated!

No-name tank of ~ 7g with lava rock, Flourite black sand boosted with Tropica Nutrition capsules.

Fluval 207 (overkill...) with lots of bio material, purigen, matrix. Temp controller Inkbird. Made in PRC LED (Sunsun 301) 14w - 950ln, now at 8 hours photoperiod.

The tank is running for a month now, cycled with ammonia and prodibio bacteria. Went through the diatoms phase, now it's at green algae stage.

Dosing with Seachem excel only, as I'm sure that some of the nutrition tablets made it to the surface. No CO2.

Only epiphyte plants:
Anubias Barteri Nana
Spiky Moss
Java fern - Microsorum Pteropus 'Windeløv'

A few days ago 10 neocaridina and 4 snails were added.

Water parameters:
Temp - 75
GH - 6
KH - 5
PH - 8 (can't get it down no matter what...)
NO3 - 1ppm
PO4 - 0

Pics.

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Hello!

Your tank is all slow growing plants and you are are not dosing any fertilizer. The nutrition capsules should all be buried in the substrate, but none of the plants should be in the soil. So right now the only fertilizer they are getting is whatever is leaching out from the soil and whatever that snail is producing (not much). Plus that light is probably bit on the bright side for moss, fern and anubias only tank.

My advice is to find a way to dim your light, quite a few lights allow for an inline dimmer like a nicrew dimmer. This may or may not work for your light. Other options include raising your light up a bit, or using some tape to cover up some but not all of the diodes on the light. You will also want to use some low doses of a complete fertilizer so your plants can get more then just whatever leaches out of the nutrition capsules buried in the soil.

You mentioned the capsules are floating around.. so if you did not bury them in the tank but just kind of dumped then in, I would do a big water change to try and get rid of any floating around. They are not really designed for water column dosing.
 

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Wow, your plants look like they all survived the diatom stage, congrats! It looks like there's still a few here and there but your snails and shrimp would love that. The green algae actually looks kinda cool on your lava rock. It's surprising you're struggling with your pH being so high with all inert rocks and substrate, are you filling with tap water and does it have high pH?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello!

Your tank is all slow growing plants and you are are not dosing any fertilizer. The nutrition capsules should all be buried in the substrate, but none of the plants should be in the soil. So right now the only fertilizer they are getting is whatever is leaching out from the soil and whatever that snail is producing (not much). Plus that light is probably bit on the bright side for moss, fern and anubias only tank.

My advice is to find a way to dim your light, quite a few lights allow for an inline dimmer like a nicrew dimmer. This may or may not work for your light. Other options include raising your light up a bit, or using some tape to cover up some but not all of the diodes on the light. You will also want to use some low doses of a complete fertilizer so your plants can get more then just whatever leaches out of the nutrition capsules buried in the soil.

You mentioned the capsules are floating around.. so if you did not bury them in the tank but just kind of dumped then in, I would do a big water change to try and get rid of any floating around. They are not really designed for water column dosing.
Hey there, thanks for the feedback.

When I set up the tank, I did not place the whole capsules in the sand. I started by laying half a inch of the sand at the bottom of the tank and then opened 5-6 capsules and scattered all around the tiny fertilizer grains that were in those capsules. Then I added some 1-5 inch of sand on top of the first layer. This, supposedly, would prevent the fert grains to directly mix with the water... But, I'm almost certain that when I later buried the rocks, some of the fert grains surfaced in the process. But not much, since my NO3 and PO4 are almost zero.

Do you see any lack of nutrients in the pics? I thought they are doing OK, that's why I have not yet started any fert dosing. But, I agree with you, I'll start dosing at low levels.

I took your advise and switched the legs of the led light. They are in Γ - like shape and can be used in both ways, so now the light is some 5 inches further from the water level than before. Light intensity in the tank decreased a lot.

😉
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow, your plants look like they all survived the diatom stage, congrats! It looks like there's still a few here and there but your snails and shrimp would love that. The green algae actually looks kinda cool on your lava rock. It's surprising you're struggling with your pH being so high with all inert rocks and substrate, are you filling with tap water and does it have high pH?
Thanks! I am not 100% after the algae or plant matter cause this is what the shrimps and snails need! Just watching out so that it does not get out of control.

I am using RODI plus equilibrium for water changes, and I do a lot of them (50% 2 times a week) cause the tank is new. BUT, after dosing RODI with equilibrium to get around 4 dGH, my pH jumps to 8 and I don't know why. Same results with several batches of RODI water. I opened another thread for this, but no one has figured out why this is happening. Seachem says equilibrium would not raise pH. Go figure.
 

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Your tank looks great! I like the balance and overall vibe. And as someone else said, the green algae looks nice on your rocks.

For the Ph issue, have you considered adding some alder cones or teak/mango leaves? These would leach some tannins, thus making your water a light brownish hue, but they would also have the effect of lowering your Ph a bit.

Also, how are you liking the Fluval 207? Easy to maintain? How quiet is it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Your tank looks great! I like the balance and overall vibe. And as someone else said, the green algae looks nice on your rocks.

For the Ph issue, have you considered adding some alder cones or teak/mango leaves? These would leach some tannins, thus making your water a light brownish hue, but they would also have the effect of lowering your Ph a bit.

Also, how are you liking the Fluval 207? Easy to maintain? How quiet is it?
Thanks! I am thinking of using small volume of peat pellets or sphagnum moss to lower the pH. Haven't decided yet.

The 207 is super quiet, super efficient and super easy to maintain. I'm very happy with my investment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I love love LOVE your moss growth!! Is it growing off of lava rock? How did you get it to start? It’s beautiful ♥
Thank you, the moss is growing like a weed and the shrimps are very busy cleaning the algae from its leaves.

I just glued it to a couple of small lava rocks with gorilla gel. It seems that it likes the flow and light that it gets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Tank update & new pics...

Green algae is now almost gone, especially on the rocks. Some hair algae is growing on the moss but this is fine because shrimps and snails are feeding out of it. Moss is growing pretty fast as I mentioned in previous posts.

I see brown hair under one anubia leaves - is this new growth - roots?


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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Tank update...

The tank is doing fine considering that there is no CO2, no fert dosing except for Excel. Plants are using whatever nutrients are released from the few Tropica Nutrition capsules added to the inert substrate. Regular 50% water changes with RODI water treated with the Seachem combo for planted tanks (equilibrium and buffers).

Plants and inverts seem happy. Moss is growing nicely and I can see new growth under several java leaves. Shrimps and snails are working overtime consuming algae. Added a couple of small (!) catappa leaves in the hopes that these may regulate pH which remains at 8+ levels no matter what measures I take, plus in the mid term would provide a feeding source for the shrimps.

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