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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Had a 20g when I was ~10 and managed to keep some Anglefish alive for at least a few years but got busy and you know how it goes. Now I'm 30 and have started to settle down (getting married in Sept!) and the itch to get back into it just won't go away. =)

Fell in love with the peacefulness of modern planted tanks and decided I needed one. Started doing some research and the setup I really want (a 90p rimless) was going to set me back a lot more than I was comfortable with.. Deciding I would dip my toes in slowly and experiment I picked up a Fluval Flora kit on sale the other day and have been reading like mad to get up to speed with everything; so much to learn and it's all so interesting!

Tank: Fluval 7.9g Rimless
Substrate: Fluval 4.4L (kit)
Filter: OEM with Aquaclear bio + charcoal media instead of the larger foam pieces - Aug 10th, replacing with Aquaclear20 as Fluval filter is getting so noisy
Light: OEMx2 Based on the recommendations I read on these forums, I picked up a second Fluval light
CO2: OEM... for now + Flourish Excel - Aug 7th, replaced with DIY CO2 + stopped dosing Excel
Ferts: Started on Aug 5th with EI dosing

Hardscape:
I can't remember, but it's "apparently" from Japan

Flora:
Eleocharis Parvula (Dwarf Hairgrass)
Rotala ssp. 'Colourata' (or Colorata in the US)

Fauna:
Danio Margaritatus (Galaxy Rasbora) x7 (down to 3, 3 jumped and found on floor, 1 is MIA)
Caridina Multidentata (Japonica Amano shrimp) x3
Otocinclus x2
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Aug 2


Had the co2 kit setup upside down initially, lol! The instructions on this thing are awful. I initially tried it the correct way but I wasn't sure how it was supposed to work and figure I had it incorrectly and flipped it as seen here.


Some algae already? Picked it out with the tweezers and haven't seen any more yet.
 

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Thank you for sharing with us your journey back into the fish/plant keeping world. Not an expert myself; however, in my opinion, I believe that the yellowing of the leaves is due in part to some nutrient deficiency. You did mention that you are familiarizing yourself with the EI method. Here are a couple links that can help you:

Plant Deficiency

http://www.aquariumslife.com/aquascaping/fertilizers-and-co2/aquarium-plants-deficiency/


EI Method

http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/2819-EI-light-for-those-less-techy-folks

Types of Algae and possible causes

http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm

Once you purchase the necessary nutrients from your plants (here's one place to get them from)

http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/

You can use this calculator to make your own dosing solutions or you could just simply dose using measuring spoons

http://calc.petalphile.com/mobile

Hope this helps.

Cristian
 

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Discussion Starter #6
^ Thanks!

Some updates,

~August 4th,
Grabbed dry fertilizers from http://www.canadianaquatics.com/ and started a EI dosing routine.


August 7th,









The rotala is growing like crazy but the hairgrass doesn't appear to be doing much.. I did some initially trimming of the hairgrass to remove brown blades but there's more and some are translucent?
 

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Hairgrass will take much longer to grow than Rotala, no matter what you do fert/co2. The span between your first post and last is only 5 days. I'd say under the best light/fert/co2, you should expect any noticeable growth to take at least 2 weeks, a filling of a 'lawn' in around 2 months. Sorry, it's just that slow.

Also, try to plant the HG so that the bottom of the blade of grass is barely sticking out over the substrate.

And... some melting will probably happen when you start HG, since most suppliers grow them emersed. The trick, of course, is not to let them die... :D gl!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
^ Patience is an attribute I have yet to acquire. :) 2 months, wow I wasn't expecting that.. I have seen vertical growth already (~0.5" in some cases) and there is definitely rooting going on beneath the surface. I pulled on a chunk of it and I could feel resistance that wasn't there last week.

August 9th,
Pic of the Galaxy Rasbora's and Amano Shrimp
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
August 10th,
Added an Otocinclus as I was feeling some slime forming on the glass.






My impatience got the better of me and I picked up some more dwarf hairgrass, this time it was cell grown. Planted the new stuff in bigger chunks than the original batch, looks so green! I can't wait until the entire carpet is that green. Also gave the rotala a 3" trim as it had grown substantially and was getting close to the spraybar.



 

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Discussion Starter #10
August 12th,
Did a massive trim of the Rotala. It was growing so quickly I was worried that maybe its stealing co2/nutrients from the dwarf hairgrass and getting a carpet going is my focus. No basis for this but it logically made sense?

Sprung for a brand new Eheim Classic 2211 to get rid of the noisy stock Fluval. The Fluval was filtering well and provided good flow but the noise was annoying my wife which was a good excuse to get a canister. The Eheim is very powerful in such a small tank. A lot more room inside now and will be even cleaner when I get some lily pipes and an inline co2 reactor.



For reference, before the trimming began at all on Aug 9th,





And.. I'm seeing some DH roots & shoots on the sides from the original batch of HC. (Planted on Aug 1)



 

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Discussion Starter #12
August 14th,
More runners from the blades that sprouted just 2 days ago. Fingers crossed this is what's happening everywhere else that isn't up against the glass.


Adjusted the stone so that it was less symetrical and more flowing with the current. Not a great pic, too many tiny CO2 bubbles going on at that moment.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Time flies!

I ended up getting a 10lb pressurized CO2 system in late August and saw some excellent growth as a result of the stable CO2 + ferts.

Then I got married, went away for 10 days --- had a pet sitter feed the fish while I was away but unfortunately the return line on the filter snagged and only a trickle of water was getting filtered.

Returned to an algae fest:


Sept - back from vacation


Cleaned everything up with a toothbrush, trimmed, did some replainting of the rotella, added for java fern and some type of floating plant I can't recall and here are things Oct 1:


Oct 1


Oct 1

I was getting a ton of brown diatoms covering the grass which made it all look dead. Little did I know a bit of slight brushing with the toothbrush took most of it off!!

I'm currently using an inline co2 reactor which is insanely efficient at distributing bubbles around the tank but gives it that 7up look i'm not fond off. Looking at other options to get rid of that look but for now its working.

Added some baby white cloud minnows. I've lost a sad number of fish/shrimp in the past 3 months - mostly jumpers. I recently added a new power bar with dual timers so I could turn co2 on before the lights and I screwed up the clock on one of them so co2 turned on 2 hours before and killed an Otto and made a rasbora jump. Sad, but I'm learning.

Before I was running 12hrs a day CO2/Lights on and I've dialed it down to 8 hours (split into 4)

At the moment I'm running,

6am CO2 on
7am Lights on
10:45am CO2 off
11am Lights off
2pm CO2 on
3pm Lights on
6:45pm CO2 off
7pm Lights off

and green/brown algea is down but I keep getting these "dust ball" like algea in the DWG which is really annoying.. going to post up about that seperately. I've also changed up my fert solution formula.

http://calc.petalphile.com/

KNO3 13.887 g
KH2PO4 2.115 g
K2SO4 18.98 g
CSM+B 8.695 g

750ml container
20ml dose

To reach your target of 7.5 ppm NO3 you will need to add 13.887 g KNO3 to your 750.0 mL dosing container. Add 20.0 mL of that mix to your 8.0 US gal aquarium to yield
Element ppm/degree
K 4.73
N 1.69
NO3 7.50

To reach your target of 1.3 ppm PO4 you will need to add 2.115 g KH2PO4 to your 750.0 mL dosing container. Add 20.0 mL of that mix to your 8.0 US gal aquarium to yield
Element ppm/degree
K 0.54
P 0.42
PO4 1.30

o reach your target of 7.5 ppm K you will need to add 18.98 g K2SO4 to your 750.0 mL dosing container. Add 20.0 mL of that mix to your 8.0 US gal aquarium to yield
Element ppm/degree
K 7.50
S 3.08

To reach your target of 0.5 ppm Fe you will need to add 8.695 g Plantex CSM+B to your 750.0 mL dosing container. Add 20.0 mL of that mix to your 8.0 US gal aquarium to yield
Element ppm/degree
B 0.09
Cu 0.01
Fe 0.50
Mg 0.11
Mn 0.14
Mo 0.0038
Zn 0.03
dGH 0.02
Finally a pic from today:


Oct 3

It's been 3 months and it's almost a full carpet now so I'm pretty happy. Lots of learning experience I plan to put into my new project, a 120p. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well my 120P's stand is ready and I had to sell this tank today to make room. :)

Some final pics,
 

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