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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I converted a 10 gallon into a low tech planted tank 1.5 months ago. I want to experiment a few things with this tank.

a) No CO2. I want slow, steady growth, low maintanance. I only want to trim the plants once a month or even two months. Can I grow most demanding plants under this condition? I am using Excel initially to speed up the grow-in process and plan to stop it once the tank matures.

b) Some plants are really weedy in my Co2 enriched tank. Apart from growing too fast, they have really long internodes(see discussion in Scolley's cabomba pulcherrima thread). I want to know if I can get more compact growth in this condition.

c) I want to use cheap lights, with "wrong" color temperature. Do the plants care?

d) Would it be an algae farm? :icon_bigg





Other stats about this tank:
plain aquarium gravel, no substrate fertilizer/additives.
2x15w screw-on CF bulbs in original incandescent light hood. 2700K(hence, the 'wrong' color temperature). $0.98 each in supermarkets.
25% weekly water change, dose N, P, K, CSM Plantex for trace. A few ml of Excel every few days. I thought I could get away with fish food only for NO3, but I measured 0 NO3(Sorry, Scolley, I know I promised no NO3 deficiency, wink, wink) today when I observed some rotala tips stunting.

Observations of the tank so far:
No plants are melting, even some demanding ones: rotala macrandra, tonina fluviatilis(week old). The macrandra is actually growing some nice red leaves.
All plants are free of any algae, except a little gravel algae and on a few anubias leaves.
Some plants are growing smaller leaves than in CO2 enriched tanks, for example, glosso, r. macrandra, lindernia rotundifolia. Just the effect I like, to make a small tank look bigger. They are otherwise very healthy, the glosso actually has SHINY green leaves.
The internodes are very compact: r. macrandra(compare the top and lower part of the stems), cabomba furcata, sunset hygro, etc. I have to wait a little longer on this one, after all, I let NO3 dropping to zero and it is supposed to compress the internodes.

This is mainly a shrimp tank, with a few small neons:






I will post updates here in the future.
 

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ooo, although i have no answer to your question, would you be willing to sell off a tiny sprig of that moss i live in palo alto ca and got to milipitas/san jose on the weekends. im talking small, like a piece the size of my thumb, or smaller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is the still relatively rare "weeping moss". Sure, I can give you some, but you have to wait a bit longer, because I don't have much of that stuff yet. Why don't you join the local plant club SFBAAPS, we have "plant swaps" every month or two, where we give away/exchange plants for free. The next one would be in mid march I think. I could bring some to the plant swap.
 

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oh cool, but the problem with swapping plants is that i just started and i dont have many plants yet. i was going to make a moss and shrimp nano and i was looking for some nicer looking moss than java moss, like taiwan moss or your weeping moss. ill look into that, by the way where did you get those cherries, i went to the octopus' garden in berkeley and they were a bit pricey although the amanos were 6$ for 3, they were labeled algae eating shrimp but im sure they were amanos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
fhqwhgads said:
oh cool, but the problem with swapping plants is that i just started and i dont have many plants yet. i was going to make a moss and shrimp nano and i was looking for some nicer looking moss than java moss, like taiwan moss or your weeping moss. ill look into that, by the way where did you get those cherries, i went to the octopus' garden in berkeley and they were a bit pricey although the amanos were 6$ for 3, they were labeled algae eating shrimp but im sure they were amanos.
Well, new comers don't have to bring any plants, you can just take home free plants :) Usually there are more plants than people can take, especially the more common ones. Some times people make special requests on the group mailing list for some plants before the plant swap. If you really want the moss NOW, try aquabid. I am actually expecting a shipment of mosses(Taiwan, erect, ...) from Singapore anyday now. I got my mail order cherry shrimp from a forum member here(DwarfPufferfish), you get 10% discount as a forum member(10 for $36 including shipping). Also got a few free ones from another member during SFBAAPS plant swap last time.
 

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hmm, i might join, but i have yet to get my liscence and it all depends where the events are, if its close to where im going or where i live i could probably go, if not i dont think i could get anyone to drive me.
 

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fhqwhgads said:
hmm, i might join, but i have yet to get my liscence and it all depends where the events are, if its close to where im going or where i live i could probably go, if not i dont think i could get anyone to drive me.
I believe that the next one will be in the East Bay (Oakland area). It gets rotated on a regular basis so that traveling won't be too much of a hassle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Actually Eric, the last one was in Oakland, you missed it. The March one will be in San Francisco
 

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Wow, is that Tonina, Rotala macaranda and Cabomba pulcherrima?! That is amazing considering you're using 30w CF bulbs on a 10g. It makes me wonder if the stories about the Tonina were myths. :proud:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Raul-7 said:
Wow, is that Tonina, Rotala macaranda and Cabomba pulcherrima?! That is amazing considering you're using 30w CF bulbs on a 10g. It makes me wonder if the stories about the Tonina were myths. :proud:
The cabomba is c. furcata, supposed to be one of the most difficult per Tropica :). I just put a new Tonina sp 'Belem' stem in there couple of days ago, we will see how it fares relative to T. fluviatilis. There are still many myths in this hobby, but it depends on who you listen to. After you are on the forums for a while, you can weed it out easily, I found that Tom Barr is almost always right :icon_bigg

supaoopa said:
NIce! So is glosso ok growing in just plain gravel? I have a bunch leftover from planting a 10 gal foreground and would love to throw some in my 29 gal with plain gravel.
sure, you can grow anything in gravel(aged with mulm is better), or no gravel at all if one chooses to(stem plants), if water column is fertilized properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Raul-7 said:
So T. fluviatilis is doing well for you? You may want to try to L. inclinata too. :wink:
Still too early to tell with T. fluviatilis, but it is not melting at all. While the T. fluviatilis in my CO2 enriched tank is already sending out new stalks. But the idea of this tank is a slow tank, so I have to be more patient.
I have many different L. inclinatas in my CO2 tank: L. inclinata, L. inc. 'green', L.inc. var 'Cuba', L.inc. var 'Pantanal'. Only the 'pantanal' is relatively slow, the rest are ABSOLUTE weeds. I am going to put a stem of 'pantanal' in the 10g once I propogate enough stems in the main tank. :icon_bigg Actually I already put a leafless 2" stub in the 10gallon hoping to see it sprouting new leaves, so far nothing, man, slow tank is really slow, LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Urkevitz said:
Nice tank, the 2700k's really bring out the greens in the plants and the reds in the shrimp.
Thanks, but I think the credit goes to the camera setting, not the bulb :icon_bigg
Honestly, the light looks quite yellow, but I can live with it if the plants grow fine, and they do. I used the white balancing function on the camera. Basically I point the camera to a sheet of white paper lit by the aquarium light,then I press a button on the camera telling it that the object is supposed to be white, the camera calculates the color and subtract it from photos being taken.
 

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This is a good experiment Shalu... I think we should be striving for "least" lighting levels, not highest. High levels , high maintenance. The only thing I really think would be a good assist in it is CO2. Even the low light tanks can benefit in small amounts.
Never did like Excel at all when I used it in any of the small tanks I did. I dont trust it.

Look forward to updates. :proud:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
moss wall

I took most of the weeping moss off the driftwood and made a moss wall:


I used the screen kit mesh and small suction cups from Home Depot. People usually use mesh with larger holes for that but I did not find a suitable one. It might take longer for the moss to grow out of the mesh, but I am sure it will. Will update later as it progresses.

I had a crazy idea of tying some Anubias nana 'petite' and windlov java fern to the wall, hoping to create the look of a lush tropical mountain cliff when the moss wall matures. I hope the java fern stays small without CO2, otherwise I will have to take it off later.
 

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It all starts with light and I guess 30-watts over a 10 gallon tank isn't bad - close to what I have. An anubias frazeri would probably do well and not care about the substrate, bulb temp or CO2. I like the leaf shape of that variety and it get a bit taller than most.
 

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i think san frans a bit too far for me, but if you have any extra weeping moss in the future, id be glad to buy it from you. just name a price
 
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