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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have been reading you guys for the past few months and decided that I was done with the theory and that it was time to "take a dive"!

Here is what my setup looks like so far :

Tank = 20G high (24" x 16" x 14")
Lightning = Twin t8 15w (1 x lifeglo 6700k 15w and 1 x floraglo 2800k 15w), "underhood" so pretty close to water. 6 hours with timer to start
Filtration = Aquaclear 30 (media = 1 x foam + 1 x carbon + 1 x biomax) (i read I should get rid of the carbon and replace by either purigen or 2nd foam)
Substrate = ~2 - 2.5in flourite dark
Water temperature = 24

Plants so far : (very limited choice at the LFS... Mostly midground/background plants. Plus none of their plants had ID so I had to guess myself since the salesguy didn't know either...)

- Amazon sword
- Brazilian waterweed (egera densa)
- Valisneria (2 variety I think straight and giant)
- Anubia
- Java fern (not sure about this one. The salesguy told me this was java fern but I have my doubts... I'll post pics later if you can help with ID)

Plants planning to add :
- Java moss (no supplier around here...)

Tank is still cycling (day 3) so I'm trying to find some shrimps (cherry red or amano) to add in the meanwhile.

Here is first pic of the work so far :


Here are some question I have so far :

- is my lighning going to be alright for low light? or is it too much?
- Should I add nutrient now or wait?
- is seachem flourish comprehensive a good pick for nutrient (I believe it's micro and trace) or should I look into something else especially for macro?

Thanks in advance for your help and congrats on the great community! This forum is an precious source of info and knowledge!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Is this really java fern?


The reason I ask is I attached it to my driftwood (sales guy told me he thought it was) and in 24 hours it started decaying and turning yellow. I detached it and planted the roots in substrate but I am wondering if it will get worse or not (depend whether it's java fern or not ...)
 

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I'll answer your second message first because it seems urgent. No, that's not a java fern. I would guess a sword, or possibly a bulb plant like an Apongeton. I think it would benefit from a Root Tab direcly under the plant, going from the side, and it wouldn't hurt to start dosing Seachem (I think) Comprehensive liquid fertilizer. Hope that "java fern" comes back.
 

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Congratulations on "taking the leap"! Anything I say from here is meant "in a good way":smile2:

If you want to keep the lights I would recommend tossing the red light and get another 7700K or 6500K if you can get one, because the color temperature is too far into the red part of the light spectrum.

I had 2 T8's over a 10 gal. and they weren't enough. I would try to find a cheap LED like a Stinger or something comparable. I have a 12" - 2" substrate = 10" height and 17W and it wasn't enough on my 10 gal., that is lower than your tank.

I would set your timer for 8 hours and adjust up/down from there. Specific setups may vary.

I don't have carbon in my dirted tank in case it would take out things that you want to keep in there and the water is crystal. Big debate on this issue. In my experience, pulled the carbon (never put it in). In my experience the AC30 is ok. I had one when I started out. Now I have a Fluval U2. Sponge and flow are very important, plus cleaning the sponge in dechlorinated or tank water and 50% water change once a week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'll answer your second message first because it seems urgent. No, that's not a java fern. I would guess a sword, or possibly a bulb plant like an Apongeton. I think it would benefit from a Root Tab direcly under the plant, going from the side, and it wouldn't hurt to start dosing Seachem (I think) Comprehensive liquid fertilizer. Hope that "java fern" comes back.
I added the recommended dose of seachem flourish comprehensive yesterday (around 1.5ml for 20us gal).

I don't have root tab underhand ATM I was hoping my substrate would be enough for the moment... will check with LFS tonight if they have any. Should I trim ASAP the yellowish/decaying leaves to rescape this "definetely not java fern" plant or should I leave it be for a couple of days to see how things go?

oh and btw thanks for the quick reply!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Congratulations on "taking the leap"! Anything I say from here is meant "in a good way":smile2:

If you want to keep the lights I would recommend tossing the red light and get another 7700K or 6500K if you can get one, because the color temperature is too far into the red part of the light spectrum.

I had 2 T8's over a 10 gal. and they weren't enough. I would try to find a cheap LED like a Stinger or something comparable. I have a 12" - 2" substrate = 10" height and 17W and it wasn't enough on my 10 gal., that is lower than your tank.

I would set your timer for 8 hours and adjust up/down from there. Specific setups may vary.

I don't have carbon in my dirted tank in case it would take out things that you want to keep in there and the water is crystal. Big debate on this issue. In my experience, pulled the carbon (never put it in). In my experience the AC30 is ok. I had one when I started out. Now I have a Fluval U2. Sponge and flow are very important, plus cleaning the sponge in dechlorinated or tank water and 50% water change once a week.
There is a 5500k at LFS but no other 6700k/6500k... It costed me 60$ CAD for the 2 t8 bulbs I think I'll return them and get myself a led ramp instead... But that would also mean removing the tank cover which I liked alot (gives a clean look to the tank IMO)

As for the timer the tank is in the living room and is exposed to a certain amount of daylight already so I don't want to bump it up too much (water is cloudy ATM and I'm on day 4).

Also when you say "sponge and flow are very important".
Sponge = are you refering to a sponge around the "water intake tube" of the filter in the tank?

Flow = I read lot of contradictive info about flow in low tech tank. Right now, there is some "flow" in the tank with the water return of the AC30 (you can see the bubbles in the pic). Is this good at all / enough?
 

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There is a 5500k at LFS but no other 6700k/6500k... It costed me 60$ CAD for the 2 t8 bulbs I think I'll return them and get myself a led ramp instead... But that would also mean removing the tank cover which I liked alot (gives a clean look to the tank IMO)

As for the timer the tank is in the living room and is exposed to a certain amount of daylight already so I don't want to bump it up too much (water is cloudy ATM and I'm on day 4).

Also when you say "sponge and flow are very important".
Sponge = are you refering to a sponge around the "water intake tube" of the filter in the tank?

Flow = I read lot of contradictive info about flow in low tech tank. Right now, there is some "flow" in the tank with the water return of the AC30 (you can see the bubbles in the pic). Is this good at all / enough?
Make sure none of the sunlight hits the tank directly or it will be too much.

sponge is the sponge inside the filter, at least for an AC30. Flow is already done for you by the "waterfall" on the filter, as long as you top up the water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Make sure none of the sunlight hits the tank directly or it will be too much.

sponge is the sponge inside the filter, at least for an AC30. Flow is already done for you by the "waterfall" on the filter, as long as you top up the water.
I will remove the activated carbon from filter and replace it with a 2nd sponde. Might get my hand on purigen though I heard good things about this product as a replacement to Activated Carbon in AC filters.

I also noticed one the the four "wings" on my impeller is broken while cleaning it, so I guess it affects filtering efficiency. I can purchase a aquaclear 50 for 50$CAD on amazon so I will probably bump up filtering capacity which shouldn't hurt I guess.
 

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I will remove the activated carbon from filter and replace it with a 2nd sponde. Might get my hand on purigen though I heard good things about this product as a replacement to Activated Carbon in AC filters.

I also noticed one the the four "wings" on my impeller is broken while cleaning it, so I guess it affects filtering efficiency. I can purchase a aquaclear 50 for 50$CAD on amazon so I will probably bump up filtering capacity which shouldn't hurt I guess.
In my opinion you don't need carbon or Purigen. Some people say carbon takes stuff out of the water that you want in there, and I just extrapolated to Purigen - I really don't know if Purigen does the same thing, but if you don't need it, except if you've medicated the tank and you want to remove the medication, why use it?

You can buy a new impeller from Hagen/Aquaclear. If you really want a 50, find out how many times per hour it turns the tank over. It should be less than, I'd say 9 or 10 x 20 = 200 gallons per hour.

Oh, and put a root tab under the Sword - they love it. Root tabs are the same thing as Florish Comprehensive but you put them under plants with large root development that feed from the roots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In my opinion you don't need carbon or Purigen. Some people say carbon takes stuff out of the water that you want in there, and I just extrapolated to Purigen - I really don't know if Purigen does the same thing, but if you don't need it, except if you've medicated the tank and you want to remove the medication, why use it?

You can buy a new impeller from Hagen/Aquaclear. If you really want a 50, find out how many times per hour it turns the tank over. It should be less than, I'd say 9 or 10 x 20 = 200 gallons per hour.

Oh, and put a root tab under the Sword - they love it. Root tabs are the same thing as Florish Comprehensive but you put them under plants with large root development that feed from the roots.
The AC50 is rated for 200 USgal/hour. My AC30 is 150gal/hour but I suspect it's not fully working because of the broken impeller. I have found replacement impellers for 29$ so I'll just throw the extra 20$ to get a brand new AC50 and call it a day.

I have also ordered Osmocote plus and some gelatin capsule so I should have enough DIY root tabs supply for a lifetime!

I also found an online plant provider that delivers to Quebec so I just ordered some java moss for my driftwood and Dwarf Sagitaria for foreground.

I will be done planting for now. The only last modification I might end up doing is switching those white/beige rocks... I might end up replacing them with another smaller piece of driftwood or grey rock they look much better imo.

Thanks again for your help/comments!
 
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