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Discussion Starter #41
Driftwood

Driftwood

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Lake Superior $0

I found this piece of driftwood on the shore of Lake Superior. I took it home and poured boiling water on it and then put it through the dish washer. I plan on soaking it.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
I have almost everything ready to fill this tank. I just need to test out the parts I ordered for my Ehiem 2213 filter and leak test my de-rimmed 20L.

I plan to launch this bad boy this fall right when the weather starts to cool down (September). I don't need another tank running in this summer heat. Between now and then I will be aquascaping with the driftwood and some rocks until I get it just how I like it. This also gives me time to do my plant research and decide what plants to get and where I should place my plants.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Aqua Design

After looking through the forums and getting inspired, I've got a rough idea of how I will do plant placement.

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Please comment!

I'm looking for make changes for the better.

Thanks.

Also, where is says stems, I need ideas for different colored stems that do well in low light.
 

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I think your planned 'scape looks good, but I'd probably plant some dwarf sag on the left side too in front of the Crypts and let them spread towards each other.

For stems I'd be inclined to go with a Rotala or Ludwigia species to get some red. I had some R. rotundifolia/indica do well under low light. I'm also a fan of Hygros, specifically wisteria. Can become a nice mid-background plant and gives a different shape than a lot of the rounder leaf stems.

I really like the driftwood btw. Nice north shore find. Also funny you picked up the rock from Gertens, I used to work there.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
I think your planned 'scape looks good, but I'd probably plant some dwarf sag on the left side too in front of the Crypts and let them spread towards each other.

For stems I'd be inclined to go with a Rotala or Ludwigia species to get some red. I had some R. rotundifolia/indica do well under low light. I'm also a fan of Hygros, specifically wisteria. Can become a nice mid-background plant and gives a different shape than a lot of the rounder leaf stems.

I really like the driftwood btw. Nice north shore find. Also funny you picked up the rock from Gertens, I used to work there.
Thanks for the advice.

I am also a fan of wisteria. I might try an incorporate that into my scape. My plant choices are all subject to change depending on what is available. I am trying to buy locally from TPT members.

Also, I agree with your idea to grow sag in from of the crypts on both sides. It probably would be more pleasing to the eye.

I also really want to try some parva but is grows so damn slow. lol might be fun to give it a shot tho.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Water Parameters / Water Changes

I want to take some time to talk about considering my water parameters and water changes in another aquarium of mine.

Here is a picture of my Fluval EBI Shrimp Tank after a complete trim:

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My tap waters pH = 8.3.
Fluval EBI pH = 7.

Where I live, water changes straight out of the tap creates large pH/Co2 swings. This promotes algae and unhappy inhabitants. I learned this the hard way. It took me while to figure out that I need to age my tap water before adding it to my tank. I went through a serious BBA stage with this tank. Today, I do water top-offs and water changes with aged tap water after the tanks light turns off for the night. No more algae!
 

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Where I live, water changes straight out of the tap creates large pH/Co2 swings. This promotes algae and unhappy inhabitants. I learned this the hard way. It took me while to figure out that I need to age my tap water before adding it to my tank. I went through a serious BBA stage with this tank. Today, I do water top-offs and water changes with aged tap water after the tanks light turns off for the night. No more algae!
This is the most profound thing I've read here today, thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Plant List

Wanted Plant List:

X6 Jungle Vals
X3 Green Crypts Wenditi
x4 Anubias Nana Petite
x1 Brazilian Penny Wort
x5 Green Cabomba
x5 Water Wisteria
x1 Narrow Leaf Java Fern
x3 Red Crypts
x3 Ludwigia Repens
x1 Red Root Floaters

Let me know if you can help me out.

Willing to take alternative plant suggestions.

Thanks for looking.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Dirting My Tank!

MGOCPM + Dolomite + Murite of Potash + Red Clay
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Border + Cap of Black Diamond
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Added Driftwood + River Rock
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My Little Helper!
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Tank is looking great so far. I just got a 20l today and stumbled across your tank searching if its safe to de-rim a 20l. Funny thing is your layout is alot like I had in mind!
 

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Discussion Starter #54
I purchased a plant package from a local guy last night.

Needle Leaf Java Fern
Water Wisteria
Bacopa
Water Sprite
Red Crypts
Red Root Floaters
Ludwigen Repens

Thanks, Soup12, this is the guy you want to buy from!

I planted the order and filled the tank today. I got everything roughly laid out, and I order two more plant packages expected to arrive next week.

I have big plans for this tank and a lot more plants I am going to add. This picture doesn't look like much but once everything is added and fills in, it will looks amazing! I hope...

Here is what it looks like so far:

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Mind the rocks in front. Some of them are just holding the piece of drift wood in place. This is not the rock arrangement I am going to keep.

I submerged that piece of drift wood for over two months and it wouldn't water log. I gave up because it was time to fill and now I have the challenge of figuring a way to hold that thing in place. I'll figure something out that looks good.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Thanks. I'm having a lot of fun with this work in progress.

Today I super glued small river rocks to the bottom of this driftwood to weigh it down and hold it in place. While i had the driftwood out of the tank, I attached some moss with thread.

Today, I also got all my filter media inside the canister. I seeded the media with used media from my filter on my fluval ebi.

So far, so good!

Looks great! Lots of potential with that hardscape.

And I agree, Sean (soup) is an awesome guy.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
Finding The Balance!

My Plan: My goal on this tank is to focus on growing plants. I want my plants to be healthy and lush. In order to do this, I need to find the balance.

Fertilizing A Dirted Tank: I am planning to does 1/3 or 1/2 the recommended EI dosage for the first month or so. I read somewhere it is not necessary to does full EI with a dirted tank; furthermore, dosing the water column will pro-long the life of the dirted substrate. Once I get healthy plants growing consistently, I can tamper with my fertilizing.

Injecting Co2: Today, I plan to setup my pressurized co2 system. How much Co2 should I inject? I am not sure... I don't want co2 to be the limiting factor, furthermore, while I have no fish in this tank I can inject as much co2 as I want.

The Gas Peddle: I like to think of lighting as the gas peddle of a planted tank. More light=more growth=more co2=more ferts. In this tank, I have all low light plants. Currently, I have my light suspended high above the tank because I have x2 39w 6700K T5HO bulb on this 20L. The photo period is 6hrs. Low light - 15-30 micromols of PAR - CO2 is not needed, but is helpful to the plants

Currently on this tank (Approx.):
Par=20 at the substrate.
Par=40 at the top of my tank

This should give me enough time to make corrections along the way. If I see algae it will not stand a chance! If I need to add increase light intensity to get better growth, I can just drop the light thus raising the Par.

Stay tuned for more exciting stuff! lol
 

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Discussion Starter #58
Research

After doing some research, I've decided to start this tank out without injecting Co2. I have another tank (Fluval EBI Shrimp Tank) that is low tech, low maintenance, and I love it.

So, I've decided to go that route, but if I have trouble along the way I have pressurized co2 and excel on hand. :cool:

I plan to do 50% w/c x2 per week for as long as it takes to remove NH4 + tannins. I'll do these water changes after the light goes off for the night to avoid co2/pH fluctuations.

On another note, I'm going to EI dose 1/2 the recommended amount and see how things go.

When I get some algae and I know I will, I have a plan of action:

1. Reduced W/C amount/frequency
2. Adjust Lighting
3. Add Some Algae Eaters
 

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So it looks like you're going the "Tom Barr low tech route"?

I'm doing the same, except with Excel. Starting off with a half-ish EI schedule and seeing what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #60
So it looks like you're going the "Tom Barr low tech route"?

I'm doing the same, except with Excel. Starting off with a half-ish EI schedule and seeing what happens.
Right now, I am thinking low maintenance so yeah I guess I am.

I would like to get to the point where I can dose once a week and water change once a month. However, with a new tank it's better to slowly decrease water change frequency over time. I will start with 2x/week for a week, then 1x/week for a month, then x1/2weeks for a month, and finally 1x/month thereafter.
 
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