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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
"Sunshine Garden"

This is my first journal and my second aquascape. My first attempt at growing aquatic plants resulted in growing algae. With my lack of experience and my sub par equipment, it never went as planned. Now I'm giving it another shot.

This time around I may have better luck thanks to better equipment and a lot more knowledge. I've gathered bits and pieces here and there, such as a canister filter and LED lighting. My old Do!aqua Mini L will be back in service as well. I've picked up a 10 gallon aquarium stand from PetSmart and painted it white. I think it goes well with the rimless aquarium. I have a few small things I still need to purchase and do. I plan to hang my Finnex fixture so I can adjust the light intensity and give it an over cleaner look. That light is incredibly bright to be right on top of the tank. I also need to get some glass lily pipes and a glass hang on thermometer. Maybe even a drop checker to get a more accurate reading of my Co2 levels. So just a few more things to do.

I started my aquarium on the 2nd and 3rd of April. I got my plants on two separate days which made it difficult to plant everything at once. So I planted my Rotala Sp Green on the 2nd and the rest on the 3rd. I also wasn't happy with how much AquaSoil I had. I used 1 2L bag of Power Sand Special S and 1 3L bag of AquaSoil Amazonia powder type. It didn't provide a thick enough substrate, so I ordered another 3L bag of AquaSoil. However, by the time I got more AquaSoil, my plants were already planted and growing for a week. I ended up carefully removing my plants except the Glossostigma and added more AquaSoil. Probably added about 3cm more soil, especially in the back. It ended up taking almost the entire second bag of AquaSoil. Lesson learned, always have enough AquaSoil before ordering your plants. Anyway, let me continue with the specs and pics so I don't bore anyone too much.

Specs
Tank - Do!aqua Mini L 8.8 Gal
Stand - PetSmart 10 Gal Stand
Filter - Eheim 2213
Light - Finnex Ray 2 DD 7000K, 1st wk 8hrs/day 2nd wk 10hrs/day
Co2 - Paintball Tank, Azoo Regulator, 2 bps, Do!aqua Glass
Fertz - Brighty K 1ml/day, Brighty Step 1 1ml/day, Excel 5ml/day
Water - Tap water, 50% WC daily with Prime, SeaChem Stability for 1st/wk

Flora
Glossostigma
Eleocharis acicularis
Staurogyne repens
Hemianthus glomeratus
Rotala Rotundifolia
Rotala Rotundifolia Sp' Green
Hydrocotyle Sp' Japan (On its way)

Fauna
Otocinclus
Caridina multidentata

I'm undecided on fish at this time, it's either Ember Tetras, Ruby Tetras, Mosquito Rasboras, or Lambchop Rasboras. I want one species that schools well and I want them to get no bigger than an inch. I also want them to be orange/red.

Pictures


This is my inspiration. A tank from the NA Gallery.


My original design.


Stand being painted.


Freshly painted.


Setup


Power Sand Special S


Nice slope.


Rotala Rotundifolia Sp' Green


Prepped.


Hemianthus glomeratus


Glossostigma, Eleocharis acicularis, Rotala Rotundifolia


Nice looking Rotala.


Messy rock-wool.


DHG prepped.


2 pots of Glossostigma.


1 pot of Glossostigma prepped for planting.


Water parameters during the first week.No fish or shrimp yet!

04/12/2014

2 days after replanting with more AquaSoil.

04/16/2014

Added some tissue cultured Staurogyne repens. I also trimmed my plants.

04/21/2014

Once my Ammonia and Nitrite became undetectable, I added 3 Oto's and 5 Amano Shrimp. Also added a make shift thermometer from my other tank to monitor the temp better. I also removed my heater as my temp was too high. The growth has improved as well since the trim. Only issue I have is my Rotala wanting to grow horizontally instead of up, so I raised the light with some foam boards as temp fix. I guess there was too much light? Or maybe my very early trim made my plants send out side shoots to early. As soon as my Hydrocotyle Sp' Japan arrives I'm going to plant it in my mid ground to help give it an over grown look around the Glossostigma border.

04/22/2014

My Oto's and Amano Shrimp have been very active. Though even with me switching my lighting up to 10hrs a day I have literally no algae. The only remnants of algae were from the pearl grass I got but that quickly went away. I'm so glad there is no algae in my aquarium. I think with daily 50% water changes and all my herbivores, the algae has no chance to catch on.

04/24/2014

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Update - 04/24/14

Here's a quick update. So my Rotala has been growing horizontally and I didn't want it covering other foreground plants, so I cut off the long runners and replanted some of the cuttings in the empty spots. I think it looks better now. Hopefully my Rotala will start growing upwards. I may have too much light as it is. I've attached my light fixture to foam boards to raise it up some. I think hanging it will be the best way to adjust my light intensity.


I've bent some aluminum wire into hook shapes to hang my light. I just need to find a good way to mount it with some cable. Either conduit or maybe some aluminum pipes I saw at Home Depot.




While I was in town I picked up a triangle at Hobby Lobby to scrape the sides of my tank. I saw an ADA View video where they used a triangle instead of a razor to clean the sides. It seems to work really well for a lot less money than ADA's razor.

Update - 04/24/14

I've switched to a 50% water change every second day and everything is looking very healthy with no algae.


I also planted some Hydrocotyle Sp' Japan I got in the mail today. I've also reduced my photoperiod to try coach my stem plants upwards. Has anyone else had Rotala grow horizontally?
 

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Really nice setup, it looks like it'll fill in nicely.

As for fish, I really like Harlequin Rasboras, or Lambchops if you prefer their slightly different marking. I don't know why, but they just seem to be a "classy" looking fish to me, they look really nice in a full planted tank. I had a school, and though they are mostly a silver/black coloration, as they grew to full size, their bellies really colored up into a nice orange. I think a school of 6-8 would look great in your tank after it cycles and fills in a bit. They're one of my favorite schooling fishes..
 

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Ahh this is awesome! Looks so great, very keen to see it grow.
Only today was I looking at the ADA Book and online, drooling over all their products!

Did you put any ferts/substrate additives underneath the sand? Or do you think its important to?
(Still new to all this if my question is a bit stupid lol)
 

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I like the triangle idea. I use what so many others use - old credit cards and hotel room key cards. They work well on algae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone! It looks like I'm off to a good start :)

Really nice setup, it looks like it'll fill in nicely.

As for fish, I really like Harlequin Rasboras, or Lambchops if you prefer their slightly different marking. I don't know why, but they just seem to be a "classy" looking fish to me, they look really nice in a full planted tank. I had a school, and though they are mostly a silver/black coloration, as they grew to full size, their bellies really colored up into a nice orange. I think a school of 6-8 would look great in your tank after it cycles and fills in a bit. They're one of my favorite schooling fishes..
Yes, I'm leaning towards Lambchop Rasboras. I watched some YouTube videos of them schooling and I really liked how they stick together. My plan B is Ember Tetras. But they seem to be a little more skittish. My water quality is great right now. Just waiting for those plants to fill in some more.

Ahh this is awesome! Looks so great, very keen to see it grow.
Only today was I looking at the ADA Book and online, drooling over all their products!

Did you put any ferts/substrate additives underneath the sand? Or do you think its important to?
(Still new to all this if my question is a bit stupid lol)
I love ADA products. Their stuff is truly high quality but unfortunately they're pricy!

As far as fertilizer goes I just use 1ml ADA Brighty K and 1ml Green Brighty Step 1 for now. I plan to add Green Brighty Special Lights to my dosing. My substrate is actually just ADA Power Sand Special S. It already has stuff in it to populate beneficial bacteria and help keep the substrate from becoming anaerobic. And on top of that I just use ADA AquaSoil Amazonia Powder Type. I've heard good things about AquaSoil and it seems to work really well!

I like the triangle idea. I use what so many others use - old credit cards and hotel room key cards. They work well on algae.
I used to use a utility knife blade but it would get rusty and it was quite dangerous if you slip, haha. When I've got some extra cash though I'd like an ADA Razor set but for now I'll be sticking to the triangle :)

Is your rotala sp green curling downwards as well? Mine does that as well. I think that when you cut it constantly, it'll learn to grow upwards instead of horizontally.
Yes, a few of my Rotala Sp' Green stems were turning down, almost like it was self propagating. I cut the horizontal tips off and replanted them and everything seems to have grown in very dense. I think with it being so dense the stems are starting to head up :)

Update - 4/29/14

When should I trim my Glossostigma?


From the top you can see my Rotala is growing in very dense :)


I've heard the Finnex Ray 2 DD 7000k can be a bit too blue for some but mine doesn't seem so bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Week 3 - 4/30/14

Lovely pearling from my Rotala :)


No filters with this photo.


Hydrocotyle Sp' Japan has been doing this since I planted it!


Last pic before I trim my Glossostigma down just I bit.

I'll follow up with an after pic this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update - 05/04/14

Here's an update with a few pictures. I trimmed my Glossostigma down just a little to help it carpet better. I've also started week 4 which will put my water changes further apart. Last week I was doing a water change every 2nd day. Now I'll be doing one every 3rd day. My basic water parameters are flawless. My 3 Otto's and 5 Amano's are doing great too. There is also no trace of any algae. I hope everything stays well balanced when I add fish in a week or so. I just have to source a good place to get them. I'm thinking Lambchop Rasboras will be my main attraction. I like their small size and they seem to school well. What would be a good group size? I was thinking 9 or even up to 13.

Water Parameters - 5/04/14
  • Ammonia - 0ppm
  • Nitrite - 0ppm
  • Nitrate - 0ppm
  • PH - 6.4/6.5 during photoperiod







 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
How do you like the Azoo regulator? I'm deciding whether to pick that one or an Aquatek Mini regulator for my paintball co2 tank.
It's been working great so far. I've had it for a couple years without anything going wrong. With the Azoo you have to buy a separate adaptor to attach it to a paintball tank. At this time I don't have any experience with the Aquatek regulators. Hope that helps! :)
 
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