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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Tyler's 12 Long has been torn down and sold.

This tank started out as an Iwagumi setup but is now transformed into a lower maintenance tank.

Current Picture: 8/31/14




Current Setup 8/31/14

Mr. Aqua 12 Long Aquarium
Current Satellite+ 36” Light Fixture
MGOCPM + Black Diamond
Manzanita Branch
Dwarf Sag
Ludwiga Repens
Eheim 2215
Archaea 50W Heater
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
The Setup (Long Version)

The Setup (Long Version)

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The Aquarium ($78)
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I purchased the Mr. Aqua 12 Long Aquarium from Marine Depot. I’ve been eying this aquarium on TPT for some time now. I knew that eventually I just had to have one. I was very impressed when I first opened the box. The glass is thicker along the bottom of this tank due to its long rectangular shape. The clarity is very good as well. Overall, this aquarium is of a much better quality than the aquariums I've used in the past.

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The Light ($125)
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I purchased the light from the Marine Depot at the same time I picked up the aquarium. I was having a hard time deciding between Current Satellite+ and the Finnex Planted+. I ended up purchasing both, retired my T5HO fixture, and put the Satellite+ fixture on my 20L while I was doing the DSM on the 12L with the Planted+. Both lights are of great quality. I would recommend either or to anyone. The Satellite+ has more features and functions which can be nice but then again I am more of a simple kind of guy. After the DSM, I put the Satellite+ on the 12L because HC is not a very light demanding plant.

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The Substrate ($20)
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After some research, I decided to just purchase used Aqua Soil from two different sources on Craigslist. I mixed them together and I am hoping for the best. This route was much cheaper than buying new plus I have whole a five gallon bucket of left overs for my future endeavors.

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The Stones ($25)
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I purchased the Seiryu Stone from the same Craigslist guy I bought the Aqua Soil from. He just happen to have a crate of the stone laying around and I impulse bought a bunch because they were a good deal.

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The Plants ($25)
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Again, I purchased the Hemianthus Callitrichoides "cuba", and from the same Craigslist guy; however the DHG were stranglers that were found within the Aqua Soil. I found these almost dead. They were decaying away from being in storage in a bucket.

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The Filter ($110)
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In my opinion, Eheim is the best. They have a solid product that simply works. I already have two other Eheim canister filters so it was an easy choice for me. I chose the Eheim 2215 for two main reasons. One, the hose size is the same as my other 2213 canisters, and two, the flow needs to reach the opposite end of the tank.

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The Pipes ($15)
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I wanted lily pipes without spending a long of money. The best way I found to accomplish this was by DIY acrylic lily pipes. I already had all the tools to make it happen so I figured I would give it a go. I really enjoyed creating the pipes to my exact liking; however, they are not perfect like glass lily pipes are. Another huge factor for choosing acrylic over glass was durability. Glass lily pipes are very expensive and break easy. Acrylic pipes are much more durable if one does break I can just make another at very low cost.

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The Heater ($30)
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I chose the Archaea 50W heater because it was the smallest heater I could find without going inline. An inline heater will reduce the flow even more as the water is already passing through the reactor. I’ve had an Archaea 25W heater before and it broke for some unknown reason. This will be my second Archaea heater. I may decide to go inline at a later date.

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The Co2 ($100)
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I waited and waited for a deal to show up on Craigslist and eventually it did. I bought a complete co2 system from a guy who was getting out of the hobby. The deal came with the following items: 5lbs. co2 cylinder, basic beer keg regulator, solenoid, needle valve, and bubble counter. I’ve had this pressurized co2 system for about two years now. No problems, it just works.

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The Reactor ($10)
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I decided on the Ista Co2 Reactor because it would cost more for me to make a DIY Co2 Reactor myself. I’ve used this product before and it is a little loud for my liking but I am going to give it another go and see how it runs. I want 100% co2 dissolved before the water hits the outtake.

The Setup Grand Total: $538
 

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How many pots of hc did u start with? I have the same setup. The light is a great match with this tank.
Also, what setting are u using on the sat+?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
The Beginning Process:

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The Aquascaping
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I decided to give Iwagumi another go. I have tried it before and never had long term success. In the past, I had an Iwagumi setup going for a few months then algae took over. This time around I’ve to learn from my past mistakes and hope to overcome the challenge of a high tech Iwagumi.

I spent a great deal of time working the aquascape. I tried many different hardscape layouts before deciding on this simple three rock arrangement. While I am not 100% happy with this layout, I still think it’s the best one I’ve come up with so far. In the future, I might play around by adding different plants here and there but for now. It is what it is and I’m cool with that.

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The Dry Start Method
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I’ve always been an advocate of DSM. It just works for me and it works well. The HC was a no brainer. I purchased this health plant and broke it down for DSM. The HC quickly spread and multiplied but once it hit a certain point, it stopped. As I mentioned before, I found some decaying DHG in the used Aqua Soil I purchased used. I put it in a separate DSM for a few weeks and it perked right back up. The DHG has been multiplying slowly over the last several months. The DHG is located behind the rocks arrangement in my setup. The following are pictures from my DSM:

Started DSM: 1/7/14



Fill Day: 4/3/14



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The Fill Day
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Fill day was an exciting day. I had all my equipment setup and ready to go. I am excited to start cycling and find the balance. The flow in a tank like this is tricky because it is three feet long. I purchased the 2215 in hopes this will be enough flow to circulate the water properly.

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The Plan
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I plan to EI dose the recommended amount for ten gallons which is the amount of water volume in the tank. I will keep the co2 at about 5pbs for the first two weeks. This will ensure there is plenty of co2 in the tank. I will also perform a series of water changes and adjust the photo period as follows:

Week 1: 3hrs of light 50% water change
Week 2: 5hrs of light 30% water change
Week 3: 7hrs of light 30% water change
Week 4: 9hrs of light 30% water change

By the fourth week my filter should be completely cycled. With the light being the driver and only limiting factor, I will be well on my way to achieving a healthy balance in this tank.
I plan to keep my journal update as this tank matures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Bga outbreak!

BGA OUTBREAK



BGA outbreak two days after fill. I believe the BGA was present during the DSM and I was not aware of it. Looks like I am in this for the long haul; hitting detours and road blocks. No worry though, I have my GPS. My GPS is TPT, you guys. After some quick research I purchased some EM - Erythromycin.

Although its recommended by many do 50% of the recommend dosage for BGA, I am going to do a fill and throughout treatment.

API EM
200MG Day 1
200MG Day 2
25% W/C 200MG Day 3
25$ W/C 200MG Day 4

I am going to do this for a couple of reasons.

1. I want to eradicate the bacteria with no hope for its survival.
2. My filter is uncylced so I do not have to worry about its bio.
3. I have another cycled canister filter on stand by once the treatment is complete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Recovery

Today, I applied the final dose in the EM treatment. I've kept my nitrates up too. Before I move forward with this aquarium, I plan to do 25% water change tomorrow, another 25% water change the next day, and then add a cycled filter. The BGA is virtually gone; however I'm worried after reading stories of it quickly returning after EM treatment.

The HC has taken a hit due to the short photoperiod and submersed transition. Many of its leaves have died off and it has turned a very light green color. They call this melting... During this coming week, I will increase the photoperiod from 3 hours to 5 hours in hopes the HC will bounce back. Regardless of the HC's overall decline, it still pearls in the health areas. This gives me hope!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ask and you shall receive.







The HC has been growing tall and thin due to week 1's 3 hour photoperiod. During week 2, I've increased the photoperiod to 5 hours and the HC is thanking me. Next week, I will increase the photoperiod once again.

Oh and I sicked my Assassin Snail on the pest snails whom somehow survived a very long DSM. GO GET 'EM BOY! lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
No sign of any BGA.

Nitrites are still high. I think the EM treatment had a impact on my cycle. Probably killed off most of the beneficial bacteria in the tank. After the treatment and two water changes, I added an already cycled canister. This probably helped but I dunno. As I wrap up week 2, I'm looking forward to increasing the photoperiod in week 3 from 5 hours to 7 hours. I can tell the HC is responding well to the increased photoperiod. The leaves look healthier and the melting stopped. Also, the roots are growing deeper as they are looking for nutrients to grow. I'm excited to trim the HC and grow this stuff like my fellow TPT pros!

The focus is healthy HC!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I'm in week 3 since the fill. Today, I saw diatoms on the glass and rocks. No worries though. Diatoms are normal for a recently started aquarium. The nitrite is up above 5 though and its starting to get me worried. I'm hoping it's going to start dropping soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As I end week 3, the nitrites have dropped to 0. Wahoo!

Today, I cleaned the diatoms off the rocks and glass. In addition, I've temporarily added 5 ram horn snails to help keep the algae at bay.

Tomorrow is day 1 of week 4 and, I'll increase the photo period to 9 hours.

The HC is getting quite tall. I'll have to start a trimming schedule soon to keep it rooted, and healthy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Okay, okay. Today, I mowed the lawn and accumulated x2 3.5" saucers of HC trimmings. I sold both of them on craigslist for $8 each. I took a long distance front side picture so you guys can not see all the HC trimmings floating or make fun of all my diatoms.





 

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hey nice tank!! I'm doing the DSM as well. All I have is HC, do you think the satellite+ saran wrapped is enough? Or should i use my 78w T5 12k light? Also how long did you leave the light on per day when you started your DSM? Thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
hey nice tank!! I'm doing the DSM as well. All I have is HC, do you think the satellite+ saran wrapped is enough? Or should i use my 78w T5 12k light? Also how long did you leave the light on per day when you started your DSM? Thanks!!
Thanks man. I appreciate it. Takes a lot of effort, but I enjoy it. From my experience, you want a lot of light during your dsm. More light than when submersed. So to answer your question, use which ever light gives more par. The satellite+ would probably suffice. I think I was doing a 10-12 hour photoperiod.

WOW! that's an impressive green rug you got there.
You like it? It's a work I'm progress. I'm pretty happy with it so far. Thanks for the encouragement.
 
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