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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
note: wasnt sure where to post this thread :/

My plans in short: To have a low-tech, Low-budget, and possibly low-light planted tank for breeding Shrimps

Birth of tank: Dec 10, 2009
About Tank: Aqueon Deluxe 20G KIT: 24lx13wx17h (weird)
Bought it for 70$ on sale at petco.
Substrate: 1 20lb Bag of Eco-Complete Black. I actually DID NOT rinse this out, it didnt cloud at all...


UPGRADES:
Filter:AC30 HOB
Lights:Coralife Dual Bulb 28w T5
Ferts:
***As per Tom’s recommendations, dose the following once a week or once in two weeks for a 20 gallon tank. If you have a different sized tank, calculate the required fert dose accordingly.
1/4 Teaspoon of Seachem Equilibrium (for traces and Calcium + Magnesium). (1.42 ppm Ca, 0.42 ppm Mg, 3.43 ppm K and 0.02 ppm Fe)
1/8 Teaspoon of KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate) (5.27 ppm NO3 and 3.32 ppm K)
1/32 Teaspoon of KH2PO4 (Potassium Mono Phosphate) (1.61 ppm PO4 and 0.66 ppm K)

About me: Been in the aquarium hobby since I was 12, established my first 75G saltwater predator tank at the age of 13 as well as started working in the aquarium buisness and studying strict ichtheology hardcore until I discovered boys at the age of 16. Took down my 75, 90, 125, and 500G's, sold a few, kept a few, and moved out at the age of 17 to try and "make it in the city" then I joined the army. Alas, that didnt work and I came back broke and bored LOL! So Now Im 22, goin on 23 in March and am lookin to slowly get back into the hobby now that I've been laid off for a year I need somthing that I can enjoy doing and maybe make a lil money, but thats not the main reason. I wish to slowly (and cheaply) build my collection back up.

and anything else I might have forgotten...
NOW! PICTURE TIME!
***article can be found here: http://www.sudeepmandal.com/hobbies/planted-aquarium/low-tech-planted-tank-guide/#dosingfertilizer
 

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There is contraversy on the effects of AC, but I use it and it is fine. It all depeneds on your prefences. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Make sure that when you buy your new light you also grab some fast-growing stem plants to help avoid an algae outbreak. Good luck and have fun with it!

P.S. your cat is scary-looking... ;)
LOL! Shes a monster in a 5lb body, but thats another story!

Mom just came in the room and said she was glad to see me getting back into the hobby considering after the army i was kinda FUBAR with life. So knowing it is kinda like a "zen garden" thing to me, She expressed interest in giving me some money for xmas to put towards it. Hopefully whatever she gives me can get me a new light strip, my dry ferts, some "shop n swap" plants, and MAYBE have some left over for some oto's. I just wonder if the moss will last long enough till say Dec 26th in a bare bones as-is setup.

I really like the look of nanas, Hygrophila difformis(wisteria?), java fern, **HM, anubias, Ludwigia glandulosa, sunset hygro, and a couple of others I forgot about lol. If you have any of those in a week or two lemme know! ^_^

I was actually wondering, could the moss be established as a carpet? Has anyone tried it? (Im sure someone has)

**I do not know the full name, I just like the plant people all over identify as HM lol!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, java moss can be used as a carpet-type plant. All you have to do is tie the moss to some flat stones. I used some plastic netting-type material to secure mine. Here's a shot of my tank with the moss carpet on the right side.

Oh i love your tank, do you have a journal of it? lol. (Im having a manic-phase as of the last 2 weeks LOL)
 

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Nope, no journal. This is my first attempt at a planted tank and I just kind of dove into it headfirst. Everything you see was bought for under 50 dollars, or found in a local lake. Plants include Java fern, java moss, x-mas moss, and some newly planted Elatine triandra. I found the Juncus repens while walking my dog along with the unidentified long sword-looking plant in the middle and the stems pearling in the back left.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nope, no journal. This is my first attempt at a planted tank and I just kind of dove into it headfirst. Everything you see was bought for under 50 dollars, or found in a local lake. Plants include Java fern, java moss, x-mas moss, and some newly planted Elatine triandra. I found the Juncus repens while walking my dog along with the unidentified long sword-looking plant in the middle and the stems pearling in the back left.
Id love to be able to snag some local wildlife plants....but in baytown....i just dont trust the water 0_o

Do you know of any easily attainable stems i could grab a ton of? I wouldnt mind ordering them, I just dont know much of the companies have good reps in 6/7 years of me bein gone lol.
 

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Some stems you might try include most of the Hygrophilas, Rotala indica/rotifundia, Bacopas, Hydrocoytle/Pennywort, Najas sp, Ludwigia repens... look for a S&S thread where someone's doing a trim on their low tech tank. You'll just about always get a better deal/more/better condition plants from a hobbyist than anywhere else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Some stems you might try include most of the Hygrophilas, Rotala indica/rotifundia, Bacopas, Hydrocoytle/Pennywort, Najas sp, Ludwigia repens... look for a S&S thread where someone's doing a trim on their low tech tank. You'll just about always get a better deal/more/better condition plants from a hobbyist than anywhere else.
Was hoping to see some around/after xmas, as Im gettin some play money from the 'rents. :hihi: !!!

I dont know if anyone noticed in my long-winded posts, but Does anyone know if my moss will be okay as-is, no ferts, just the T8 bulb that came with the kit and heater until I can mass-buy more plants? Should I cut the light off to reduce algea? I obviously dont have any now, but Im trying to prepare. Just the moss ball and a female betta is in the tank, so Im not sure how fast algea would propogate with that light. Its seriously been too long, and too many pill bottles later for me to remember this :icon_frow Amazing how meds alter your memory/thinking >_>
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Your moss should be fine with your current lighting. Mosses as a whole are pretty hardy and not very light-demanding.

If you end up with some algae, just cut your photoperiod back. The moss should still be fine.

You might separate out that ball just a bit so that the strands in the middle can get some light, too- otherwise those might die off.
 

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Id love to be able to snag some local wildlife plants....but in baytown....i just dont trust the water 0_o
Lots of plants can be collected around H-town and Baytown. Ludwigia, Bacopa, Limnophila ( introduced), Hydrocotyle, Fissiden moss, Eleocharis ( Hair grass), Polygonum, Vallisneria, Sagittaria and Nymphae are just a few species to mention. If you go further east into the Chambers county towards Anahuac I am sure you will find a few. Here is a thread about collection trip in Houston.
Collection Trip
First part was around IAH and second stop was in Baytown.

Bhushan
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thanks a ton laura and houston!

Im glad I picked somthing hardy. Fertz, filter, and lightstrip are on order today. Light is from amazon, Ill post specs later. Filter is a AC 30/150. and fertz are the dry kno3, and kh2po4. That leaves me with 15$ left over after all is said and done. (She doesnt count shipping in my 100$ budget. I <3 mom lol!)

I know it is mid December, but i might go trumpin through some marsh today...alone...cause my husband hates me LOL. I figured I'd go see what I could find........

I found a few places on ebay that ships free stuff. (Only reason EBAY is because my mom is payin fer it all and she isnt computer saavy enough for me to explain paypal and all that /facepalm)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Update!

UPDATE!

So my mom gave me 100$ to use towards my tank as an xmas gift! Since majaority of everything I got online, she decided to pay for it now so there would be a possibility I could have it before xmas. She is paying for shipping, and not including it from my 100$ gift.

Stop #1: Lighting
I decided to go with a CoralLife 24" Double T-5 Strip W/14W Colormax & 6700K Plant Bulb - 40$ (50$ shipped) Amazon.com

Stop #2: Filtration
I was going to go with an Aquaclear50, but decided to go with the Aquaclear 30 since I have a powerhead in the shed I will use if needed. - 30$ +free shipping, NEW from Ebay.com

Stop #3: Fertz
I looked around at a couple of sites at dry ferts and decided to go with Aquariumfertilizer.com for my kno3 and kh2po4. -8$ (14$ shipped)

That Leaves me with 22$ leftover. I was stupid and just realized I thought I only had 16, but mom was payin shipping, so I had 22. Im not gonna press her for a couple of bucks.

Stop #4: Petco
I figured I'd spend the last 16$ locally and since we were passin a petco on the way home from Spec's. I decided to pick up some plants and 2 O-Cats. The guy up there was flirtin with me (really obviously LOL) and gave me a plant for free ;3. So I got 3 of the "green ones" for the price of 2, a purple one, and the 2 O-cats. I also got some pond snails from him so I was happy lol.
3 "loose plants" - 2.99/ea
2 o-cats - 1.89/ea (I think, mom trashed the reciept)

So:
Light:40$
Filter:30$
Fertz:8$
Petco:13$ (I rounded up)
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Total: 91$

NOW...PICTURE TIME!


I thought it looked like java ferns....or crypts I have no idea. One has plantlets growing from the tips of the leaves...should I plant the "big" ones in the ground?


Un-named plant #2:


Green plant with some purple/red thing, also unlabeled. I really hope it is aquatic, as it looked aquatic. They are sellin those damn white and green stiped plants that I know arent aquatic thoguh >_>


Moss Ball with female betta:


Oh and The o-cats went into my 5 gallon since I realized it had some brown algea growin in it. (No live plants though) I plan to move them over to this tank when it gets safer for more fish, and they have something to nibble on though.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Plants #1 and #2 are java fern, so good buys. And you don't want to plant them in the substrate, they need their rhizomes exposed (that's the green "stem" the leaves grow out of). They'd do best tied onto a rock or driftwood.

The purple/green plant I've no idea what is but unfortunately I'm pretty sure it's not aquatic. I can't think of any aquatic plants with that shape and color, and that purple is pretty memorable.
 
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