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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've kept many aquariums and plants and done DIY CO2 with good success. Currently have 220G African with some low light plants (anubias 18" high 3 year old plant, java fern), a 580 Gallon pond/waterfall, new 3000 Gallon pond in progress for Koi and 25 years of fish keeping experience.

Never tried salt water (no interest in this at all) but high tech planted seemed like a cool project over the winter.

I cleaned out a 75 Gallon tank.


The plan is the following equipment (updated)
1. lighting - Catalina T5HO 4 bulb 216Watt total
2. CO2 10LB CO2 cylinder + GLA IDEAL CO2 Regulator JBJ bubble counter + GLA CO2 Diffuser 5000
3. Eco-complete 2-3" 160 LBS, I like the black look and reading here seems it's a pretty good off the shelf substrate
4. Filter (already have a Fluval 305) - may upgrade to a Ehiem 2028
5. Since I don't like tinkering everyday with anything, milwaukee sms122 PH controller plus it's looks like cool toy anyway.
6. light timer for 10 hours, may get night lights later.
7. Drop checker CAL AQUA "Double Check" Drop Checker from GLA
8. fish worry about this later once tank is doing ok with plants.
9. Dry Ferts from Hydroponics store and gram scale - plan on EI dry dosing directly into tank

Fish:
1. 16 Rasbora's - June 27, 2010
2. 10 Neons
3. 3 Otos
4. 4 RCS

5. 4 Blue Rams
6. 4 Corys
4. 2 glass shrimp

April 4 2011 rescapped a bit, still have not done drift wood but removed rocks for more room




Any suggestions or comments are welcome.

The DSM and equipment setup is the rest of the journel.
 

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That's lookin' good so far. I would love to be able to get my hands on a nice big tank like that with all the goodies.

I'd only say to be sure you get rocks big enough for a tank that size. Also, maybe check out a dwarf hairgrass foreground (I'm using eleocharis parvula myself). I've found it's pretty easy to grow, not too slow, and would give you a nice green carpet. You could also go for blyxa japonica in a tank that size, if you wanted. I'm partial to grasslike plants like that, but glosso and the like are always fun, if that's more your style.

Ah, and maybe start off running your lights for somewhat less than ten hours, to help with initial algae. Then gradually increase the photoperiod. Of course, I'm sure someone more experienced could weigh in on that.

Anyway, welcome to TPT! And good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I am sure I will have many questions as I go. Lights arrived today Catalinaaquarim.com had great deal on 216W T5HO for $179.

Also bought 60Lbs of Eco-Complete, I think I will buy another 60 Lbs before I get started.

Tank with Eco and new lights setup 2 x 6500K and 2 x 10K bulbs


Light Timer from Walmart - really cheap with 2 fully programable outlights 7 on/off settings per outlight. $22 CDN


Some rocks I will get started with



Next order is CO2 stuff
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Finally decided on the following CO2 equipment which I am waiting for now.
1. GLA Ideal CO2 Regulator, Bubble counter, solenoid and Ideal Needle valve

2. CAL AQUA "Double Check" Drop Checker

3. GLA - CO2 Diffuser 5000

4. Milwaukee PH Controller SMS122
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Little bit of progress. Spent many $$ and now waiting on UPS to deliver.

I went out and picked up a shinny new 10LBS CO2 tank ready to go but CO2 regulator order didn't show up yet. UPS had delivery for last 2 days and never showed up. (Good thing I work from home or I would have been really pissed waiting for them)

Pic of my CO2 tank but no regulator, drop checker, diffuser yet :(, but I did get PH controller Milwaukee SMS122 (new toy). I ran around testing water in other tanks and tap to see if my test kits were close. It seems test kits were pretty close.


Picked up gram scale (Walmart) and Marco's from the local "Hydroponics" store, really cheap 3 x 500 gram contains $15 cdn!!!


Also got 2 x HC (Baby Tears) pots from aquariumplants.com. I'm planning on Dry Start (DSM) after much reading. I planted small bunches, sealed the top with glass and plastic wrap, tossed a temp and humidity guage in the tank. I'm using Eco-complete 160 Lbs (wholly crap that was expensive). Temp is 69F and 60% humidity, I hope this is ok. Never seen any posts on these parameters for DSM setup.

I plan on being patient and using 8-10hour photo period for next 4-6 weeks and misting daily with water from my mature tank that averages 10PPM of NO3. I figure this is a light fert mist versus mixing up water with dry ferts and risk burning the plants.

Never done this before so will post progress and my success (hopefully) using Eco-Complete and mature tank water misting scheme.

Here's a pic of DSM Day 1 (looks good so far LOL)

Hard scape is temp for now just something to stare at while I watch plants grow. I work at home beside the tank most days so I can literally watch plants grow, LOL, won't that be exciting!!!

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Dry Start Method Day 7 - update Pic's

HC still looking very green and healthy. Only misting with water from mature tank with NO3 of about 10 PPM. Misted once with Flourish Trace in first 7 days.

Starting to see some growth and spreading of some of the plant clumps. Crossing my fingers, it's going well so far.


 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
DSM Day 12


DSM Day 14


DSM Day 14 close up


some plants are showing faster growth rates than others. All plants are doing well still. Still misting with approx 10 PPM Nitrate water from another mature tank. No ferts added at all except in week 1 added trace to the misting on one day. Since things seem to be doing well, I will stick to misting NO3 water from my other tank.

Hopefully anyone trying DSM can use my pictures to compare day by day to measure or compare how well there plants are doing.

My kids are getting bored waiting to fill the tank now. appears I have more patience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
DSM Day 18



DSM Day 20


DSM Day 20 Close up



Still misting with mature tank 10 ppm NO3 water and 10 hour of 216W T5HO. Growing well still.

Getting my DIY CO2 reactor ready, got it ready, need to test it and finish mounting it.

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I would estimate the plants have all doubled in size since day 1. Not bad but I agree very slow but otherwise very health still, I have seen DSM posts that said plants died or grew mold etc... I'm not sure if misting additional ferts would have helped but since I'm still waiting on CO2 gear to show at my house, I have the time to wait.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Filled the tank today. Now the fun begins, keeping algae away. I'm hoping the HC survies the transition to submerged. No fish yet so planning on saturating with CO2 now.

After filling the tank and starting to inject CO2. The HC started perling right away.




Added some Ludwigia and Cabomba stems thinking fast growing stems will help take up nutrients.

Added mature filter media from my other tank so the filter's bacteria is up and running.

Tank shot filled.
 

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Wow! You really have quite a bit more patience than I do *winks* WTG! Keep it up and keep posting pictures. Looks great so far!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Started to grow some algae in the gravel so I reduced photo period to 6 hours with only 2 x 54W T5HO bulbs.

Found out local aquarium society yearly auction was today with over 800 items for sale. I picked up many more plants to compete with the algae for nutrients.

PH controller is doing a great job of keeping the drop checker lime green. Need to put ph controller on timer to turn it off at night. Glass diffuser under the canister output does a good job of misting CO2 around the tank. Will likely move to a reactor that is external.

Picked up several plants I was looking for today for $34. Blyxa japonica, Ludwigia Inclinata Var Verticillata "Cuba", and several bucnches of Cryptocoryne (not sure species)

Here's a picture of the new auquascape.

 

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i just bought two potted HC from the samee place and it should come on like wednesday. im pretty new to planted tanks, and i thought the HC would look really nice as a carpet in mine. but i was wondering what the best way to grow it is. like the fastest i guess? haha im not very patient
 
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