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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone!
First planted aquarium, I've been a reef guy in most of my previous projects, but finally making the change to planted. I've been obssessed with how the ADA set ups look
and I've gotten a lot of inspiration from the post here (I've been a silent viewer). I am so open to any tips that you guys can give me.

Items:
Tank: ADA 60P
Lighting: Twinstar II 600SPendant with ATLEDTIS 60CM mount.
CO2: 5LB tank from Amazon (I'm going to get it filled later this week at Carbonics in downtown Houston. I get to keep my tank, they don't force exchanges).
ZRDR CO2 Regulator
Filtration: Oase Biomaster Thermo 250 (I choose this one because I struggled to find a solution for a hidden heater and I really wasn't sure on the Hydor inline one)
Heater: In canister filter with Oase
Soil: ADA V2 Amazonia (I still haven't been able to find power sand for base substrate additives)
Rock: 20LB Dragon Stone
Extras: I saw on JAAG's 60P journal that you guys recommended a yoga mat on the bottom of rimless to reduce stress on the seals so I ordered one. I also have jardli
inlet and outlet glass.
Plants: Unknown and uncertain.

supplies.jpg
suppliex2.jpg
suppliesx3.jpg
suppliex4.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I'm going to look at stands today. Anyone have any experience with the UNS Natural Wood 60P stand?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm going to look at stands today. Anyone have any experience with the UNS Natural Wood 60P stand?

I decided on this stand.

UNS-WOOD-STAND-WOOD-60U-Cabinet-2-1.jpg



I love the cut outs on the side which will go perfect with the canister filter tubing into the lily pipes. I got my CO2 tank filled today.
As far as substrate goes, do I need to use power sand or a substrate additive or can I just use the ADA substrate to get the base started?



I finally decided on two plants. The selection of local plants in Houston is dismal due to the Covid19 issue, so I clamped down and ordered some. (I wanted to support local business as much as possible.)
I am going with the Utricularia Graminifolia and the didiplis diandra. Hope these two are a good choice to go with the iwagumi concept. Can't wait to get some photos of the tank all set up!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks mate, I think the one thing I've learned from reading up on this hobby is patience. I wanted to rush into things when I was younger, but taking my time and getting the "right" piece has really paid off so far.
 

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I decided on this stand.
:eek: It's gorgeous!

If you go with power sand, be aware that it can get a bit ugly if it works its way up to the top from pulling up and moving plants around. That said, it is supposed to help with the longevity of your scape, so is recommended if you don't think you will be replanting / re-scaping very often.
 

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Looks like you're off to a great start! I f'ing love the Oase filters. The removable rod thing for cleaning the prefilter sponges is a game-changer. I started with Eheims, but I don't think I'll go back.

I think in regards to your question, you don't have to use power sand. It will help you keep things set up and thrive for longer by providing extended nutrients for, I want to say it's something like 6-8 months? Eventually you'll want root tabs of some kind (I've used Seachem and NilocG with success). So the other option is just to start of with root tabs right away and just use aquasoil. I've definitely had power sand (btw I hate it's called sand when it's literally rocks) pull up when rescaping and it can cause some algae blooms and such if left open to the water column. So yeah, keep in mind what your plans are. Being new, you may feel the itch to change things up frequently, so if that's the case, I might suggest the root tabs instead so you don't pull up bits of the power sand. If you think you'll leave everything for a long time and have the $$, go for the power sand.

For your plants, I might have cautioned you against UG. It's difficult to grow for many. If you get things right, you'll be set and it can look great. Other options for the classic iwagumi look that are similar might be dwarf hairgrass (sp belem is a classic, but there's others that have come up in my absence). There's always microanthemum monte carlo which is really great to grow, a little bigger that hemianthus callitrichoides (HC cuba) and easier to grow. If you want another grass looking, medium plant I'd suggest blyxa japonica, looks great IMO. Other smaller, leafy plants include staurogyn repens, bucephalandra, and anubias petite sp. For a pop of color, you can't beet any of the plethora of ludwigia or rotala sp (require lots of trimming with good light/nutrients/CO2) or alternanthera reinekii mini. Other more exotics include hygrophila araguaia or pinatafida (may not be the leaf shape you're looking for). Hope that's helpful. With your setup you should be able to grow most anything (though that will depend on water quality as well if you're using tap vs RO remineralized).

Also, wash those rocks, haha. They are filled with clay like dirt in all those holes so take a hose or sprayer to those bad boys and don't stop until it comes out almost perfectly clear. I also recommend a bamboo skewer or other stick to dig into the holes and break up the dirt chunks. Otherwise you'll have muddy soil, glass, plants, and filter once you get everything filled.

Anyway, keep up the good planning and yeah, try to not move too fast! Planted tanks require time just like the saltwater you're used to, so don't make big changes too quickly. Looking forward to seeing your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Looks like you're off to a great start! I f'ing love the Oase filters. The removable rod thing for cleaning the prefilter sponges is a game-changer. I started with Eheims, but I don't think I'll go back.

I think in regards to your question, you don't have to use power sand. It will help you keep things set up and thrive for longer by providing extended nutrients for, I want to say it's something like 6-8 months? Eventually you'll want root tabs of some kind (I've used Seachem and NilocG with success). So the other option is just to start of with root tabs right away and just use aquasoil. I've definitely had power sand (btw I hate it's called sand when it's literally rocks) pull up when rescaping and it can cause some algae blooms and such if left open to the water column. So yeah, keep in mind what your plans are. Being new, you may feel the itch to change things up frequently, so if that's the case, I might suggest the root tabs instead so you don't pull up bits of the power sand. If you think you'll leave everything for a long time and have the $$, go for the power sand.

For your plants, I might have cautioned you against UG. It's difficult to grow for many. If you get things right, you'll be set and it can look great. Other options for the classic iwagumi look that are similar might be dwarf hairgrass (sp belem is a classic, but there's others that have come up in my absence). There's always microanthemum monte carlo which is really great to grow, a little bigger that hemianthus callitrichoides (HC cuba) and easier to grow. If you want another grass looking, medium plant I'd suggest blyxa japonica, looks great IMO. Other smaller, leafy plants include staurogyn repens, bucephalandra, and anubias petite sp. For a pop of color, you can't beet any of the plethora of ludwigia or rotala sp (require lots of trimming with good light/nutrients/CO2) or alternanthera reinekii mini. Other more exotics include hygrophila araguaia or pinatafida (may not be the leaf shape you're looking for). Hope that's helpful. With your setup you should be able to grow most anything (though that will depend on water quality as well if you're using tap vs RO remineralized).

Also, wash those rocks, haha. They are filled with clay like dirt in all those holes so take a hose or sprayer to those bad boys and don't stop until it comes out almost perfectly clear. I also recommend a bamboo skewer or other stick to dig into the holes and break up the dirt chunks. Otherwise you'll have muddy soil, glass, plants, and filter once you get everything filled.

Anyway, keep up the good planning and yeah, try to not move too fast! Planted tanks require time just like the saltwater you're used to, so don't make big changes too quickly. Looking forward to seeing your progress.




@ChemGuyEthan I wanted to say thank you for taking the time to look at my journey thus far and giving me some great advice.

Starting with the rocks, I decided to go with seiryu stone instead of the dragon rock. I'm going to hold on to the dragon stone for maybe a future or second project down the road. I'm in the process of hunting down the right stones for the look I'm going for. (More to come for sure with pictures)
I knew that water was a process all of its own, and I am still in the works of trying to figure out my long game with how I plan to keep parameters around my goal. With that being said, I did go ahead and purchase an RODI system. I went with the AQUATICLIFE twist in 100GPD system. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HRDE170/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_image_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Still waiting for it to come in from amazon! I also took your advice and plan to move in a different direction with plant choices. UG research has sort of frightened me. Do you have any advice on how you do your RODI and where I should store the purified water once its processed? I can't quite figure out where I'm going to store the water or how I'm going to do it just yet. I found a couple of ideas with storage, but I had no idea storage barrels could cost so much.

I purchased a TDI meter, and my local tap is very hard 300 ppm+. I did calibrate to consider temp and tested different times to make sure. Feels like I'm going through a never ending check list but I'm sure it'll all be worth it in the end.

Also, thanks for giving me feedback on the power sand. I did have some come in the mail, but like you have mentioned, seems like I may benefit from the root tabs that you mentioned so I'll also be swapping to those :)

You seem to be a fabulous resource for this project, and I thank you again :)

Look forward to hearing from you soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
:eek: It's gorgeous!

If you go with power sand, be aware that it can get a bit ugly if it works its way up to the top from pulling up and moving plants around. That said, it is supposed to help with the longevity of your scape, so is recommended if you don't think you will be replanting / re-scaping very often.



thank you for the feedback! looks like I may be swapping to tablets. they do look ugly, and I can see them coming up if I pull a plant or make a mistake ;o
 

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I would keep it simple. You don't need root tabs with ADA aquasoil. I've done at least 12 setups with ADA soil. With an iwagumi-type setup, water changes, co2 and light mgmt are going to be the most important things to pay attention to since you won't have heavy stems uptaking nutrients and removing toxins that cause algae. Seiryu stone will raise KH tremendously, but with good water changes you can regulate it.

BTW I'm using the same ATLEDTIS light bar on my current setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I would keep it simple. You don't need root tabs with ADA aquasoil. I've done at least 12 setups with ADA soil. With an iwagumi-type setup, water changes, co2 and light mgmt are going to be the most important things to pay attention to since you won't have heavy stems uptaking nutrients and removing toxins that cause algae. Seiryu stone will raise KH tremendously, but with good water changes you can regulate it.

BTW I'm using the same ATLEDTIS light bar on my current setup.



I'm getting comfortable with my understanding of water parameters, GH/KH, but still not understanding how I will manage my CO2 dosing. Can you give me any resources or advice since this wil be my first time dosing CO2. I don't want to be someone who just dumps co2 and hopes for the best. :S

I love the ATLEDTIS light bar! Looks very modern and sleek, :)
 

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I'm getting comfortable with my understanding of water parameters, GH/KH, but still not understanding how I will manage my CO2 dosing. Can you give me any resources or advice since this wil be my first time dosing CO2. I don't want to be someone who just dumps co2 and hopes for the best. :S

I love the ATLEDTIS light bar! Looks very modern and sleek, :)
This will probably be helpful for you: https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/blogs/choosing-co2-why/co2-system-101

I didn't know the first thing about CO2 until I read the article.

You should be able to measure CO2 levels by looking at how much your pH drops before your CO2 starts and during CO2 injection. You could also use a drop checker for a more visual indicator.

I'm not quite sure about your plant choices. UG and didiplis diandra are beautiful plants but if this is going to be your first planted tank maybe something easier might be more appropriate. I've not had experience with either plant myself, but I've read that they can be fairly demanding.
 

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Glad to be of any help @taylorwinhaha I have made plenty of, sometimes costly, mistakes so if I can help others avoid them I'll do what I can.

I would agree with @Asteroid that root tabs are not necessary in the short term. Amazonia and many other aquasoils have plenty of nutrients for, I think they usually say 6-12 months. Just keep in mind if you start pushing over a year with the same aquasoil, you may actually want to consider root tabs. But they are correct in saying it's not necessary from the start. The aquasoil will also remove the carbonates (KH) that leach out of the seiryu stone for some time, but if you monitor it, you'll notice them start to creep up after some time once the soil is saturated.

CO2 dosing is one of those things that sounds really intimidating from the start. And I think there's a lot of convoluted information out there in regards to measuring your levels. I still hold to the ancient ways of the drop checker. It is independent of water parameters that affect measuring by pH swings (there are numerous equilibria in a planted tank that affect pH; dissolved CO2, carbonate hardness, phosphate concentration, active substrates, and plant uptake to name some). I don't remember what type of diffuser you're planning on using, but assuming optimal flow and distribution then I'd start at a 1 bubble per second level and see where your drop checker ends up, then slowly go up from there. Keep in mind drop checkers lag behind by several hours, so give it some time before making changes again to the flow rate. As plants grow or other changes happen to the tank, you may need to change the flow rate, but the drop checker is just a good "at a glance" indicator of the levels in the tank. Though I admit I eventually take my checkers out once the tank equilibrium has been established, just one less thing in the tank.

As far as storing RO water, I've seen others use a big 55 gal (or smaller if you want) trash can from a hardware store, $55 from Home Depot for example. Then you can use a submersible pump (can be found cheaply) and some tubing to pump the water into the new tank even from a distance. You can make it a little more "idiot" proof by adding something like a float switch to make sure you don't overflow your bucket/trash can. Just remember you need a drain nearby for the RO system to work as it discards something around 2/3 the volume of water as it produces of RO.
 

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I decided on this stand.

View attachment 900173



I love the cut outs on the side which will go perfect with the canister filter tubing into the lily pipes. I got my CO2 tank filled today.
As far as substrate goes, do I need to use power sand or a substrate additive or can I just use the ADA substrate to get the base started?
Good choice! I bought this one too which you can see in my journal. They sell out fast so make sure you buy it immediately or have notifications on for when they are in stock again. I waited two months for mine. Love all your choices so far though!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Good choice! I bought this one too which you can see in my journal. They sell out fast so make sure you buy it immediately or have notifications on for when they are in stock again. I waited two months for mine. Love all your choices so far though!


Hence my absence lately! I just got the notification that it will be here on September 4th!

This makes things feel very real. I have all the components ready to go, just waiting on the stand!!
 

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lookin good! love ada tanks! wish they would make the 60p a little deeper front to back..

what is that co2 diffuser? she's a big'n:laugh2:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
lookin good! love ada tanks! wish they would make the 60p a little deeper front to back..

what is that co2 diffuser? she's a big'n:laugh2:
It's the Jardli Co2 diffuser off of amazon! I think I'm going to downsize for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ada 60p 11/28/2020 **updated**

ADA 60P UPDATE

Alright so this is just a short summary of what has happened since I started this project.
I always knew that I wanted to have heavily carpeted tank with shrimp as my end goal, but to be aesthetic and sort of the image that I had in my mind...


ISSUES: Original scape had 20lbs of seiryu stone. The problem that I was having immediately after I flooded the tank was a huge rise in GH.
I kept testing my TDS/GH and after water changes (RO/DI TDS 0) it would be perfect at 125-130 (after remineralizing)(, or about 6-7GH (This was my goal parameters for the plants and eventual livestock.)

Every day I thought that the ADA soil was leeching solvents because it was new...... so I soldiered away at heavy water changes, and hoped that it would eventually stop.
It didn't, and after 3 weeks of water changes, I decided to do some research. Seiryu stone was the culprit. This was exacerbated by the already acidifying effects of the ADA soil,
and the dosing of pressurized CO2. I was in trouble before I even began. .

The acidic water was causing the seiryu stone (which is almost completely calcium carbonate) to dissolve at a much faster rate, increasing the GH from 125- overnight to 200+.
A cascade effect was occurring. The buffering capacity of the soil was being depleted. I knew that this planted tank would eventually crash at a much faster rate and I would be opening myself up to significant PH swings. So I removed 98% of the seiryu stone, and added spider wood. The current photo shown is 2 weeks after removing the stone. I haven't had any swings in GH at all. It's maintained a solid 125-129 TDS/ GH of about 6.5-7 ever since. PH remains 6.4-6.6 w/ active co2 injection and levels out after photo period to about 6.8.

Plans:
I have a big bundle of Christmas moss coming that I plan to cover the spider wood with. I'm not sure what else to add to the base of the spider wood where the zip ties are holding it in place until it water logs. I was thinking java or anubias? Any suggestions would be lovely!!

I also have red root floaters coming. Behind the spider wood is a very small air stone to supplement gas exchange for the shrimp at night. I slowly acclimated them to the co2 at about 2BPS. They graze all day, with no issues. I plan to swap the lily pipe to a spin pipe or just lower it in the tank so that the red root floaters don't melt/die.

Spider wood fungus looks disgusting but the amano shrimp are enjoying it. I'm hoping that this doesn't last forever!

Hardware additions:
Not pictured, but coming this week is the twinstar algae nano+. (not sure how much this helps, but my partner got it for me during the black friday sale)



Can anyone help me with dosing fertilizers? What brands I should go with that are shrimp safe?
 

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