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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
First and foremost, these journals are as much for me as sharing my experiences. In the past, I have had well detailed journals as well as ones I rarely update. Please understand that I will do my best to update.

Bear with me on the lengthy intro, some may or may not care to read. For me, it's a way of remembering as well as really trying to get this to work right.

Background:
This is my first attempt at a high tech tank in awhile. I actually feel that this is one of the most ambitious projects I am embarking on. Ironically, my first tank ever was high tech and high light. It didn't start that way but it ended up going there. I actually had 108 watts of T5NO over a 29, not raised with great luck for a long period of time. Then, out of nowhere it crashed. It crashed bad. It was almost as if someone put pesticides in my tank. Here it is at it's prime and it's crash, as well as the journal:




and then.....CRASH




Journal:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/t...alontsiawds-29-gallon-newbie-tank-update.html


After that, I just tried again and again, nothing worked. I kind of feel like this tank is cursed. I then just neglected it for a long time.

Crossroads:
At the same time, I found low tech, low maintainance tanks. I tried some natural style and some jungle ones. I could do so much with just a light and a filter. I used little to no ferts, just set a timer, watched it grow. These 2 tanks have never had any algae at all, no ferts, no care. It really made me change my mind about high light and CO2.

Rockscape:


Journal:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/t...bum/103106-10-gallon-low-tech-rock-scape.html


Dutch Inspired Jungle


Journal:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/planted-nano-tanks/143598-5g-low-tech-low-maintance-dutch.html


Anyway, the intial luck I had with my first tank, paired with constant struggles with high tech really turned me off. Having very simple tanks that ended up looking exactly how I wanted made me want to go low tech. However, due to my investment in this tank, I want to try high tech again.

Where I am at now:
After neglecting this tank (it's actually the same tank as the first pictures, and my first actual tank in general), I really tried to do something with a hardscape. The shallow depth of this tank were very frustrating and I could not make something I liked. I have always wanted a dutch tank but felt it is a very ambitious project. I will see as I go. I may not nail it but hopefully I get in the ball park.

Plan of attack:
First things first, I know that I need to really rethink how I do my tanks. The low tech stuff has made me realize how important balance is. I had a much more thorough plan of what I wanted to achieve than any high tech I have done. I plan to really pay attention and if and when problems arise, don't try to take an easy route. I want to actually learn what is wrong, rather than just clean it up.

The second is just learning how to grow many plants in one tank and hopefully have them all thrive.

Unfortunately, right now I am stuck using the plants I have (which is quite a bit between all my tanks). I don't have the luxury to totally start from scratch, I can only afford to use what I have, outside a few things here and there.


Now to the real part
Equipment:
-29 Gallon AGA Tank
-2x Coralife T5NO Lights, 36 watts a piece, 72 Watts Total
-Hanging light fixture with about 4 ft from tank to highest point
-Ehiem 2215 (I may add a 2217 impeller in the future)
-Coralife UV sterilizer, 9 watts (don't really use it)
-Ehiem Jager Heater
-20lb CO2 tank
-Beverage Regulator, solenoid, and Fabco Needle valve
-2x Autodosing containers with fountain pumps
-GLA CO2 Diffuser 3000
-Cal Aqua Drop Checker
-DIY Bubble Counter.


Everything has been cleaned super thoroughly to look and function like new.


First Pics






 

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Your tanks look fantastic. I love their setups and styles.
And I am very sorry for taking this slightly off topic but do you know if I am able to follow your journal or save it on here somewhere so I can have quick access to it? I'd like to stay updated as you update.

Thanks!
 

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Your tanks look fantastic. I love their setups and styles.
And I am very sorry for taking this slightly off topic but do you know if I am able to follow your journal or save it on here somewhere so I can have quick access to it? I'd like to stay updated as you update.

Thanks!
Go to the first post and click "Thread Tools" at the top, then select "Subscribe to this thread".

Nice tank! :proud:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Added 2 German Blue Rams today. One has issues- http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/fish/145507-gbr-has-pot-belly.html#post1482329

No need for pics, nothing has changed in 2 days. I will try to take pics when I see progress.

I have a small amount of BBA and BGA that existed before my rescape. I didn't make an effort to rinse my old substrate or get any algae of existing plants. My goal is to really understand plants instead of algae this time. Balance is my goal, something that seemed easy when things go right, something that seemed impossible when things went wrong.

I know....nothing to see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok, long day today. I am pretty sure my last tank crashed due to lack of nitrates. So, I bought a test kit and was at 0. Added some. Still at 0. Added some, still at 0. I read the directions but missed the part that I was supposed to shake the second bottle for 30 seconds. Tested, at 80+ PPM. I also dosed everything else, thinking there was a problem.

Secondly, I added more light, something I don't like to do. Some plants were just not coloring up. It helped some, not others. Not sure what the issue is right now.

Lastly, I added a HOB filter because I was going to use Maracyn to deal with the small amount of BGA I have. I would normally look for the source but this was already there, I didn't tear down my last tank, just redid and it was there. I bought Maracyn-Oxy and that didn't have any active ingredient list on the outside packaging and it won't work.


Nothing is bad, I just don't like making 3 changes in 48 hours, especially when I messed up. I am trying to learn more, not make more mistakes. That and I can't figure out for the life of me to get decent pictures on this camera.

Atleast you can see the growth. I am not ready to really do placement but things are growing and I am almost to that point. I will hopefully be able to start really "scaping" this in the next week or too.

I also didn't have time to take pics before bedtime


Anyways, pics:



 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So, for whatever reason, whenever I update my journals now, something bad happens. After my nitrate test fiasco, I messed something up with my timer on my autodosing and it put 2 weeks of ferts in my tank. I am in the middle of a 80%+ water change. Luckily, these fish are hardy and don't seem over stressed. I hope I can sort of "reset" and get everything in order.
 

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I am upgrading my 29 gallon tank to high light and pressurized CO2 so I will be following along with your thread. :)

When you have time, I was hoping you could answer a few questions...

1. I am also using an Eheim 2215 on my 29 gallon tank, and you mentioned you would like to use switch the impeller with a 2217 impeller. I am considering upgrading to a 2217 filter since people say the 2215 will not provide enough flow once it is fully planted. What effect does adding a 2217 impeller to the 2215 filter do with regard to flow? How similar would the flow be from the full 2217 canister filter setup versus the upgraded impeller? (I ask because obviously it would be cheaper to upgrade the impeller versus the entire filter setup. :))

2. What kind of fertilizer regimen are you using? I've read through all of your previous threads but I don't remember seeing that information anywhere. (I may have just missed it.)

Thanks for the info, and I look forward to following your progress! :icon_smil
 

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I am upgrading my 29 gallon tank to high light and pressurized CO2 so I will be following along with your thread. :)

When you have time, I was hoping you could answer a few questions...

1. I am also using an Eheim 2215 on my 29 gallon tank, and you mentioned you would like to use switch the impeller with a 2217 impeller. I am considering upgrading to a 2217 filter since people say the 2215 will not provide enough flow once it is fully planted. What effect does adding a 2217 impeller to the 2215 filter do with regard to flow? How similar would the flow be from the full 2217 canister filter setup versus the upgraded impeller? (I ask because obviously it would be cheaper to upgrade the impeller versus the entire filter setup. :))

2. What kind of fertilizer regimen are you using? I've read through all of your previous threads but I don't remember seeing that information anywhere. (I may have just missed it.)

Thanks for the info, and I look forward to following your progress! :icon_smil
I think I just found an answer to my question #1! :)

Someone did a test on flow rates by switching 2215 and 2217 impellers and here is what they found:
http://www.aquascapingworld.com/forum/equipment/526-eheim-2215-2217-facts-diy-performance-mods.html
Same data posted here but with different discussion: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/equipment/63687-eheim-2215-2217-facts-diy-performance.html

The only difference between a normal 2215 setup and 2215+2217 impeller is about 20 gph. The difference between a normal 2217 filter setup and a 2215filter+2217 impeller is about 50gph (152 gph vs 202 gph respectively). And the difference between a normal 2217 and normal 2215 filter setup is 66 gph (202 gph vs 136 gph respectively).

It took me a few minutes to let the numbers sink in, but based on this information, I think I might choose to just upgrade to a full 2217 setup.

I'm not sure if you had already seen that information, but I thought I would share what I found for completeness and since I asked the question here. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok...This is why I don't do journals much. I just neglect updating. I wanted to show my grow in process but I just don't have time.

Anyway, things are growing in well. I haven't really found a "design", just letting things grow right now. I really have not changed much of the layout, just let the plants grow.

I am going to trim tonight, it's not tidy like I am trying to achieve, I want everything to grow as big as possible so I have trimmings, then get it how I want to.

Anyway, here is the progress.





 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
looking good. whats the carpet plant?
HELANTHIUM TENELLUM.

Here is a picture of it in my last tank, it colors up:



I am not getting the color I want in general on this tank but it is just green in this tank. It grows really fast with CO2 but it is a bit tall. I may or may not keep it. I have another grass that only grows about 1/4 as tall, not sure on what it is called though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I know this tank really has not come together and I don't update it enough. Unfortunately, not a great update.

I was having some major BBA issues and I am not sure why. Some people say that having multiple fixtures of the ones I have can cause this problem. I am planning to get a new fixture soon but wanted to try something new. Unfortunately I do not have shots after, will come soon, but I did have to trim the plants back quite a bit because of algae issues.

However, I did go DIRT! It wasn't actually messy at all, surprisingly. The only messy part was cleaning my old substrate. The dirt went in with no mess, and no issues after capping or planting. Just made sure to fill the tank slowly. Here are some pics:

Torn down


Soil I used:


Cap:


Done:



Full shots tonight
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok, I am not even going to try to say this looks good. Only a front side shot. I have a plan and I think it will look great but I can't even begin to explain at this point lol. Once things start to get more than a few inches tall, I will be able to begin to show what my vision is. Sorry for the poor quality update, I just like keeping track.

Front side only:
 
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