The Planted Tank Forum banner

21 - 40 of 48 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
@somewhatshocked has the journal that gave me the rock pile idea. He's just using it to hold down driftwood in one of his current builds but I kind of liked the look. I am thinking of a small rock pile on the side that has the filter compartment. I'll wedge or glue ferns to the rocks, so that part of the tank will be the 'fern jungle'. The open side will have the driftwood and I'm thinking of a few crypts in that section as well. I didn't make it out to the local box stores to grab more plants last night, maybe I can this evening.

I am still thinking of some sort of moss since I'd like to add shrimp to the tank. I just need to see what is available in my area. Same with floating plants, the local box stores don't seem to carry floaters. I'll also have to figure out how to get some snails eventually. My tank in Maine had pond snails that came on a plant from the local Petco. Only the local Pet Supermarket keeps it's plants in water and I have not seen any 'pest' snails in those tanks. Pet Smart only has the plants in gel. I'm all for biodiversity.

Did another ammonia test this morning and there may be a small change, it seemed a lighter green than yesterday, but not enough to say it dropped any. I think I test daily and try to keep it around 2 ppm. Once it goes from 2ppm - 0 in 24 hours, is when I start looking at nitrite.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
The rocks came in and it wasn't quite what I expected. There was one large block that is probably 6 x 5 x 3 and it doesn't have the texture of lava rock. The rest of the bag was what I expected the rock to look like but there were only a couple pieces that were near 4 inches. The rest were all 2 - 3 inch pieces. So I'm kinda bummed that most of the rock was taken up by a piece I can't use in the Spec V ( I may use it if we set up a larger tank in the future though). The rest wasn't the size stated but I think it's fine for the Spec V. I made my little rock pile and did my first gluing of java fern ever. It went okay and I think it looks okay over all, outside of where you can see the glue, lol.

I planted some DHG, no idea how it'll do, and the reddish crypt. These are tissue culture gel packed and planting them was a mess. No idea how they will do since they may be planted a bit deep to get them to stay put. Also the DHG still has some gel that didn't wash out when I rinsed them. I assume it'll go away eventually.

Ammonia was holding steady at 2 PPM until this morning, hence my post. It was about .25 PPM. So things are starting to move at last as far as the cycle goes.

There's some algae on one of the ferns, it was there when I bought the plant. I may end up cutting those leaves off to get it out of the tank. My light cycle is around 8 hours a day.

Current picture:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
667 Posts
Looking very good.
I apologise for the differing experience with the rocks. Feeling guilty.
I think the fact I bought 2 of the bags gave me better results. I too had varied sizes throughout, but the amount of rocks allowed me to construct the tank while leaving the unwanted rocks alone.
You've got a nice scape here mate, good work!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #28
Looking very good.
I apologise for the differing experience with the rocks. Feeling guilty.
I think the fact I bought 2 of the bags gave me better results. I too had varied sizes throughout, but the amount of rocks allowed me to construct the tank while leaving the unwanted rocks alone.
You've got a nice scape here mate, good work!
Don't feel guilty! It's rolling the dice whenever you order stuff like this. It worked out fine and probably even better with all the smaller pieces since the tank is small as well. I can use the big piece in a larger tank in the future. Overall, I'd order again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
667 Posts
Don't feel guilty! It's rolling the dice whenever you order stuff like this. It worked out fine and probably even better with all the smaller pieces since the tank is small as well. I can use the big piece in a larger tank in the future. Overall, I'd order again.
Well I am glad you feel that way! I suppose the reason this is an overall cheaper method is also that the rocks haven't been aesthetically chosen. That is, it is less important for them to be 'pretty' rocks if they are used in fire pits. Though the disparity in sizes is slightly annoying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
321 Posts
Looks great so far. Wonder how the DHG and crypts will do in the sand though. Tissue culture is also fairly delicate (learned that the hard way hahaha) so I would expect some melt before they bounce back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
321 Posts
Crypts and most plants do well in sand. If anything, sand is ideal for Crypts - holds them down and allows roots to easily spread.
Cool, I've always assumed that they do better in a soil type substrate though. Then again I haven't had a great deal of experience with the hobby in general. I guess they will be fine as long as there are enough nutrients in the water for them!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #33
I have no idea how the DHG will do. It's one of those Topfin gel pack plants. No roots, so I had to stick it pretty deep into the sand to get it to stay.

I trimmed some of the java fern leaves to remove a bit of the algae that was growing on them. It's not 100%, I just snipped off the worst parts. Gonna need to get a mag float to clean the class. I'm seeing algae growing on it. Of course using it will likely uproot the DHG, sigh. It'll be nice when I can get some snails added to help with that stuff.

Ammonia is around 1 ppm today, so the cycle is doing it's thing. I have not tested for Nitrite yet. I will probably do that soon, once I see that all the ammonia is consumed in a day.

Outside of that, it's just slow and steady while I wait.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,970 Posts
Once the grass starts to root a bit, you could then consider breaking the clumps up a bit and spreading them out. That'll help things look thicker and spreading will make a bigger impact.

In terms of glass cleaners... there are smaller versions than Magfloat. Both Vertex and Two Little Fishies/Magfox are options that I have experience with. Have seen other "nano" options on various retailer sites.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #35
Thanks for the info @somewhatshocked

I didn't have time this weekend to check the tank and ammonia was 0 yesterday morning. I added some and it dropped to about .25 PPM over night. Things are getting closer! Not much else to really report. The plants all seem to be doing okay IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #36
Ammonia was 0 with my last test. The nitrite test was deep purple > 5ppm right away. I'm still waiting the 5 minutes but I'm not expecting it to become lighter, lol. I do have some hair algae starting to grow in spots. I have a glass cleaner coming tomorrow, so hopefully that will help some. Being able to add some snails, etc will really help but I gotta wait on the cycle still.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,970 Posts
You can add Pond and Bladder snails right away if you want. They're able to handle ammonia concentrations that are surprisingly high. Some Ramshorns also do well but they're a bit more sensitive.

Depending upon how heavily you plan to stock, you may not have to dose much ammonia. 1PPM would be more than enough to handle a couple dozen shrimp. Maybe even a few small fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
659 Posts
Crypts and most plants do well in sand. If anything, sand is ideal for Crypts - holds them down and allows roots to easily spread.
Do you think crypts prefer sand over a coarser substrate? I've had some Crypt balansae in STS with a thin soil underlayer for over 5 mos now, and they're really not doing much. The leaves have gotten a little longer, but they're not putting out any new ones. However when I had to move one of the crypts awhile back, it had grown a lot of roots. Or maybe they're just that slow?

Getting some crypt parva, so wondering if the smaller ones do better in sand than STS?

Enquiring minds....
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,970 Posts
Honestly, I think Crypts do well in almost anything. C. wendtii has done well for me bare root and weighted down with a rock.

Sounds like you're just experiencing some slowness or they're still adjusting.

C. parva has grown great for me in pool filter sand, Flourite sand, Amazonia and regular gravel. Gravel was the toughest to plant in. It ought to be fine with STS as long as it's getting what it needs.

Recently had a huge bunch of it I planted in Controsoil (quickly becoming my least favorite buffering substrate) melt when the soil bottomed out with nutrients after two months. First time it's ever melted on me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #40
You can add Pond and Bladder snails right away if you want. They're able to handle ammonia concentrations that are surprisingly high. Some Ramshorns also do well but they're a bit more sensitive.

Depending upon how heavily you plan to stock, you may not have to dose much ammonia. 1PPM would be more than enough to handle a couple dozen shrimp. Maybe even a few small fish.
Good to know about the snails. The LFS nearest me had a bunch in their tanks but refused to give us any because they are a 'pest' snail when we stopped by a few weeks ago. We have a tiny tank with some plants in it and were looking for some to help with things. I kinda know where the guy is coming from since they can be a pest to some and if you don't know what you're getting into... lol.

I can see if I can talk them into giving me some if they still have any. He was talking about trying to consolidate them all and wipe 'em out.

It's nice to be getting closer to the 'starting line' for livestock.
 
21 - 40 of 48 Posts
Top