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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
10/26/15

Hello planted tank friends. This will be my first aquarium journal that will be focused around my 7.5 gallon planted cube tank. I am fairly new to the hobby and have many questions but here we go. First a little background of my fish hobby. I have 3 tanks in total right now. I have a planted 10 gallon shrimp/endler tank with co2 that has been going for about 3 months. I haven’t had the greatest success with it but it is still going. Take a look:

I also have a 5.5 gallon tank with co2 that I am currently using as a nursery tank for the new cube. I have an Anubias Nana that will for sure be going in the cube and some other plants to take up nutrients and co2. There is also a betta in there. Here it is:

And now for the main show. I first started with a 2.5 gallon tank that I was dry starting some Dwarf Baby Tears in. I just used tank water to spray the baby tears and keep the leaves moist. Curious as to what you guys have used for dry starts. This was my first experience with dry starting and I was very pleased. Here is a picture of the 1st and 4th week:

After a long 4 weeks, the tank cracked somehow! I think I may have put the lid/light down to hard after spraying it, but one day I just woke up and noticed it was cracked. So I decided to “replace” the tank. I went to my local fish store and picked up a 7.5 gallon Mr. Aqua Cube, some rock, driftwood, and Amazonia soil and started the whole process over again with a nicer looking setup. Here is what it looked like on day 1:


Again I am really new to this hobby so I took a long time to create the hardscape and it still doesn’t satisfy my 100%. But I liked it enough to start the dry start period. The front will all be carpeted with the Dwarf Baby Tears from the 2.5 gallon, and as you can see, it grew quite nicely. I also had some Anubias Nana “Petite” in the 2.5 gallon that I transferred over to here as well. I am using the same light that was on the 2.5 gallon, Finnex Planted+ 12”. Here is a picture of day 3:


I added little bits of Dwarf Hairgrass here and there. We will see if those take off.

Now for some questions:

What do you guys spray your dry start with?

I have PPS-Pro dry ferts but I want to do E.I. Dosing in this new tank. PPS-Pro wasn’t working for me in the 10 gallon. Can someone help me out here using the same ferts that I have?

Any suggestions on plants that should go in here? I want to add some Java Ferns, Anubias, And Crypts, just not sure on what exact species of those plants I want.

I am not sure how often I will update this but I will try my best to do at least 2 posts a week. I have had an Instagram since I started keeping aquariums and it is fun to look back at my old stuff and see progress. Anyways thanks for reading.

Cheers,
Llama
 

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Great start, Llama!

Very nice hardscape. The rocks have such great character.
Since you mention that you'll be adding plants later, I'd recommend that you remove the two back pieces of wood. They tend to distract from the focal point rock and you can add plants in their place later.
The Anubias Nana 'petite' is in a prime spot for stems later on. I'd cluster them around the base of the main rock.
As for other plants you could use...hmmm. I love ferns, but I'm not sure of them with this tank. Rotala 'green', maybe? The light green of Rotala, divided by a dark green of a row of Anubias, then the carpet of HC punctuated with DHG could look pretty sweet. (If you do go with ferns, I think you'd have to add a moss to aid in the visual transition, I'd think.)

If you're using a nutrient-rich substrate like Aqua Soil, you can simply mist with water. Ferts aren't necessary.

I can't really help you with your fert question as my E.I. (estimative index) is a WGA (wild ass guess) most of the time.

You're off to a great start. Keep it up!

Oh, the DW in your ten gallon is off the chain! 'scape that tank, too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice!

I was actually planning on putting Christmas Moss on my driftwood. I like the idea of clustering the Anubias by the main rock. Do you think having Rotala 'green' (or something with a lighter color) mixed in/dividing the Christmas Moss and Anubias with the HC would be a good idea? Or do you think the branches will still be distracting?

Llama
 

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Looking at your tank today, Llama, I think I see what you see. Meaning, yes, I think the driftwood will work where it is. (Not that it matters what I think!)

You see, your rocks are so distinctive, that I could only see an iwagumi and nothing else. But now, a day later, I see the potential of this hardscape as it is and I encourage you to follow your instincts. You can grow plants -- that much is apparent. Just go with what moves you and I'm sure it's going to be great.
 

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Nice growth with the hc. Im curious how many times do you mist and is it always covered up?
Mine started turning yellow after misting 2-3 times a day :(

Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Airriick, I do small mists throughout the day, unless I know I won't be home for a long time, then I will do a big mist before I leave. I try to not have water pool on the surface. And the tank is covered with cling wrap all day.

Hope this helps!

Llama
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
11/1/15 Update

Hello Everyone,

Not much has happened this week. The HC is doing good for the most part but it has had a little melting (I think) in the front section of the tank. My theory is that I had to much water and it was pooling up near the bottom of the slope. But anyway, here are the updated pictures after 1 week of growth:


As you can see, not much has happened.

I did a good amount of research about dry ferts this week and have been experimenting a little bit in my 5-gallon nursery tank. I bought these small measuring spoons that can measure up to 1/64 of a teaspoon. Here is my dosing schedule for the 5:

Wed, Fri, Sun – Macros
1/16 tsp of KNO3
1/64 tsp of KH2PO4
1/64 tsp of K2SO4
Thur, Sat, Mon – Micros
1/64 tsp of CSM-B
Nothing Tuesday and 50% WC on Wednesday

So far the growth in the tank is doing well. The new growth is a little light/yellow so I will be adding a bit more KNO3 next week and also some Flourish Iron. Also, the algae is keeping to a minimum which is good.

However, I am not quite sold on doing dry ferts for the cube. I want to use the ADA ferts just because I feel like it will make my life a lot easier and I can use the special shade solution for my ferns, anubias, and moss. The only thing that is holding me back from that is I’ve read many places that you need to use whole ADA substrate line (the powders you put under the substrate) in order for the ferts to work well. So my question is, has anyone used the ADA ferts with just Amazonia Aquasoil and have gotten good results?

Anyways, off to my LFS to go check out some plants, and maybe even buy some!

Llama
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Big Update

11/15/15

Sorry for the long absence, I know all of you have just been dying to see what my tank looks like ;) Well the dry start was not working out, for some reason the baby tears just all melted and died off. So I decided to just throw them out, scratch the dry start, and fill up my tank with new plants! This is my official Day 1 for the Mr. Aqua Nano Cube. Here it is:



I went to my store and bought way more plants then I needed. In the tank there is Eleocharis sp. ‘Mini’ which I believe is Dwarf Hairgrass ‘Belem’. There is also Pogostemon Erectus and Rotala ‘Indica’ in the back. To finish it off I have Alternanthera Reineckii ‘Mini’ and Marsilea Hirsuta as midground plants. For being my first aquascape, I am very happy with the result. I have a 12” Finnex Planted+ on there, we will see how that does. I have the Planted+ Cliplight as backup if there is too much algae. I am running a Shiruba XB-303 canister filter and a AquaTek Mini Regulator with a Fluval diffuser. I am dosing the ADA Ferts starting with Brighty K and Green Bacter, I will start with Step 1 in a few weeks or so. Well thank you for reading (if anyone is) and now it is just time to wait, trim, replant, and repeat!

Cheers,
Llama
 

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11/15/15

Sorry for the long absence, I know all of you have just been dying to see what my tank looks like ;) Well the dry start was not working out, for some reason the baby tears just all melted and died off. So I decided to just throw them out, scratch the dry start, and fill up my tank with new plants! This is my official Day 1 for the Mr. Aqua Nano Cube.
Cheers,
Llama
I know it's been a while, but any update on this? I'd like to see how it turned out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I know it's been a while, but any update on this? I'd like to see how it turned out.
Sorry for the delayed response. I sort of forgot about this thread and wish that I stayed up with it, follow my instagram account to see the progression - @LlamaFins. The tank reached 6 months old a couple weeks ago and I decided to take it down. I felt that it was time for a rescape, I just haven't got around to it (stay tuned because I do plan on starting a thread for it). This was my first real aquascape and I have to say I was pretty happy with my outcome. Anyway here was the final product! *cries*


 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Looks great! Simple and clean. I went to go follow you on instagram and realized I already am! haha What do you have in mind for the rescape? I'm planning my rescape out. Just need to collect some plants.
Thanks for following. And I really wanna try a true iwagumi setup. But I've also been thinking about more low light plants as well, maybe a driftwood, moss, anubias, and fern kind of setup but not sure yet.
 
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