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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Planted roughly the same time in two different tanks. Thought some of you guys may find this interesting, plus I wanted a good way to track the progress of everything, so I figured just make a thread on it. :red_mouth

Tank 1 - my main (and first) 75 gallon plant tank. On that Im running two T5HO, daily Excel @ 1.5x recommended dose, no CO2. So probably on the low side of medium light, 8 hour photo period. Ferts are weekly Flourish Comp, a liberal application of Osmocote+ root tabs, and a heavy bio-load. Link to a journal link is in my sig.

Tank 2 - 20H, running two 23W 5000K CFL's, mounted vertical in aluminum dome reflectors, approximately 1" off the surface, so high to possibly very high light, 8 hour photo period. DIY CO2. Same fert regime (although Im prepared to go full EI or PPS if deficiencies start showing up)

Substrate in both tanks is 100% Black Diamond blasting sand, 3-4" deep.


OK, now let's get down to business! :bounce:

First plant up: Ludwigia Grandosa

Kopped six stems of this wonderful looking plant 4 days ago. Planted 3 in the 75, and 3 in the 20.

Here they both are, 4 days later.

75


20


Im going to make a few consecutive posts of different plants, that way the thread doesnt become a nightmare to load. Depending on the level of interest it generates, and the responses, I plan to keep this updated with progress reports.

Also I would be very interested in seeing pictures of these same plants in anyone else's aquariums, regardless of tech level. So please dont be shy about adding pics, advice or knowledge regarding anything. Primarily Im here to learn and have fun, and trust me when I tell you, I have a whole lot to learn! Thanks for having a look! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Proserpinaca palustris ( Mermaid Weed)

Had several stems of this in my 75 for a couple of months. When I first got it from LFS, it was totally green and the leaves were mostly round with just a hint of spikes on the perimeter. It went from that to yellowish brown with spikey leaves, and grew over 12 inches tall. Eight days ago I pruned them all, and replanted the tops in both aquariums. Here they are today, eight days after re-plant:

75


20
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
L. repens x L. arcuata - and Moneywort

Acquired both of these 3 days ago from LFS. Pics from today:

75


20

*the one tall stem in back left is L. Repens. Have a bunch of that in the 75, see journal for more details.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
For control's sake here's a few deets on the 20H. Much like this thread, its a total experiment. Im not the least bit worried about scaping or any of that stuff, just trying to get a feel for high light + CO2 in the cheapest way possible. Really Im just playing around here.

Here's a few pics. Frankly the whole set-up is ghetto as hell, Im almost too embarrassed to show it. :red_mouth




The CO2 line runs directly into the intake of an Aquaclear 30. The media inside goes bottom to top - sponge filter, sponge filter, bio media. According to rough PH tests Im seeing a constant 15 ppm, physical rate is slightly more than one bubble per second. I think it is pretty efficient diffuser for what I have. There is only a fine mist of visible bubbles that gets blown all over the tank, virtually no dead spots. Most of the bubbles you see here are from the plants, pearling upward.

 

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Interesting thread; I look forward to seeing it progress. In my experience the main differences between CO2 and lack of CO2 are overall plant size and (sometimes) growth rate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
How different do your plants look in person?
Im not sure I know what you mean?

Interesting thread; I look forward to seeing it progress. In my experience the main differences between CO2 and lack of CO2 are overall plant size and (sometimes) growth rate.
Thanks. Yeah Im already noticing significantly bigger leaves, and growth rate in some, in the 20H.


looks like a fun project. Where did you pick up the clamp lamps?
Got them from Lowes for like 9.95 ea, they're the 8" ones.

Are not the results expected?
Indeed! But Ive hit a snag...


Like I said earlier, this is my first time using co2 and very strong lighting. So the tank by itself is really and experiment, and more significantly, a big learning process. Several deficiencies are already evident. Im in the process of researching how to do dry ferts and get a full spectrum of those on the way. Hopefully within a week or so I'll have that sorted.

For the time being, doing plant comparisons between tanks wouldnt be worth much until I get this 20 dialed in properly. In retrospect I shoulda seen this coming :red_mouth

So with that in mind, here's a few pics of what's happening so far..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
The one plant that may merit a comparison right now is the L. glandosa. Here it is in both tanks today

In the 75 Gallon it's grown about an inch with some nice color



In the 20 it's practically exploding in deep red. (to the right with not much red is L. Repens)




Not sure what's up with the Mermaid Weed. It's still growing nice spindly leaves but the color has all but left. Hopefully better ferts will fix that.

Nothing much else worth posting about atm. Most of the others are growing some, but in a bad way for various reasons.

New growth on the L. repens x L. arcuata is horribly disfigured, and it was so pretty when I first put it in! :(




Anyway, hopefully I can get this tank dialed in soon with all the necessary ferts and stuff. Then do a more accurate comparison of growth rates and color. My 75 seems to be dialed in pretty well, I may begin a moderate EI routine on it too. There's a recent update in my journal if anyone is interested in seeing more on that (link in sig)

As always, thanks for having a look! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK Ive decide to abandon the whole experiment thing. Gonna try to just make a nice tank out this 20 while I get a feel for CO2. Currently having somewhat of a plant scape dilemma. Im about to make a thread on the scaping board for input.

Thanks to all who had a look. I do apologize to anyone who got their hopes up for an interesting experiment. The fact of the matter is, I dont know enough right now about the high-tech side of things to garner any sort of verifiable results.

So with all that said, here is how it stands today. I may make a journal or something to further chart progress. Wish me luck! :bounce:



When it started, first planting..

 

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Very nice experiment. Thats crazy how a low cost set up can archive. I mean the hc growth rate and the coloration of the L. Glandosa are just amazing. Thanks for sharing


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Even for that short time test it does verify that CO2, even DIY CO2 helps a lot with plant color and growth rate, as long as you have enough light. I found it interesting, primarily because it supports my belief that DIY CO2 is worth it for small tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Thanks guys, Im glad a few people found this interesting. Now that I think about it, the whole 20H set-up cost less that $100, that's everything but the plants and fish. I think that is pretty amazing. Gonna make a proper journal based on that pretty soon and document the progress of everything.

In the meantime, I did a bit of plant rescaping in which I took major liberties with a couple of things. Gonna be interesting to see how this turns out...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
FTS - Before (3 days ago)




After (today)




First of all, ditched the Mermaid Weed. It just wasnt doing well. Then I gave the L. Glandosa a pruning. Cut the three tops off from the red up and replanted them along the side. Then replanted two of the bottom stumps roughly where they were before. I swear within 4 hours one of them already had a tiny shoot of new growth coming out (the larger, left stem)

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Took one stem of bacopa from my 75 for the front left corner. It was about 14 inches long, with a healthy side shoot about 5 inches. I cut the top off above the side shoot (longest piece), then planted the side shoot (middle piece), then I planted what was left of the stump. It had a pretty large, healthy looking root system, so interested to see if that piece grows out or not.




The smallest Compacta you see next to it doesnt look so bad in person. Not that it looks good, it doesnt really, esp compared to the other two. I stuck a root tab between it and the bacopa stump, so hopefully that will help both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
These Baby Tears pearl so hard :bounce:




So does the HC, but the bubbles are kinda small and I cant seem to get a good pic showing that off.

I will update on how these latest plants do in a week or two. Thanks again for having a look! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Here's the latest.



HC and Baby tears are absolutely blowing up. Im about to move most of the Ludwigia to my 75. It's just getting too tall, too fast. Plan on re-doing the baby tears, thin it out some and maybe move it to the left rear, where the Lud is now.

Hoping to just make a decent looking plant scape out of what I have now. Any ideas or suggestions will be much appreciated. There is a nice sword coming up in the back right you really cant see atm for all the BTs.

 
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