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newbreed

First Attempt at Planted Tank Setup

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newbreed

So I was lucky enough o have a few days off last week and had made a decision to attempt a planted tank setup.

 

I had a beautiful 24x18x18 tank setup that I won in a raffle in 2013 going to waste as a BBA Jungle. It needed a makeover!!!

 

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I had a half hearted attempt with plants a year or so back so managed to dig out an old basic CO2 system. In my usual impulsive way, when I bought it I bought two spare refills, which have finally come in handy!!

 

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And I had, for the first time in my life really, planned ahead. The following plants were delivered on the planting day!!

 

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GotCrabs

How do you find the Co2 kits? Are they alright? What plants have you got and where from?

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newbreed

I had also ordered some ADA Amazona Powder soil and some ADA Power Sand to get things started off well! Thanks Tech Den! Superfast delivery made it the day before planting day!!

 

I had picked up a bargain on my travels of some volcanic soil. Due to the grain size in the powder substrate, I checked with some plant people and, following their advice, decided to use some bags of this volcanic soil (I used Black) under the powder to get better water flow to the plant roots.

 

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I had picked up some coreflute a month ago and had placed this behind the tank to give it a solid backdrop.

 

So I started to set it up and couldn't see what I was doing due to the cloudiness in the water!!

 

I was out there first thing second day, determined to get it laid out. This is what I saw as I went off to work the second day!

 

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And this is how different it looked last thing that night!!

 

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Funny to think it, but I was stoked!!!

 

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OzShrimp

looks like its gonna be awesome

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newbreed

I had recently bought an Up Aqua Pro Z Led light which will now be used to it's potential. (Though considering the new Kessil now!!)

 

I had the eheim 2213 that had been running on the tank previously hooked up to another tank to keep it running. I connected it all back up.

 

I have some lily pipes on order, due later this week. To try and make it look the part.

 

So after three days this is how it has come up....

 

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Top View

 

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I know it's just stems and not a scape, but I am really pleased with it!

 

Once it has been running for a month and I get a good handle on its water parameters, I might decide to add some shrimp.

 

Depending on algae growth, the ottos may have to move in first!!!

 

Though I am only running the CO2 unit for four hours a day. Probably not ideal but has to be better than nothing I think!!

 

What do you think, not bad for a newbie???

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newbreed

How do you find the Co2 kits? Are they alright? What plants have you got and where from?

 

I find these really easy to use, the hardest part is remembering to manually turn it on and off each day. Thank god for alarms on phones!!

 

I will list the plants later in week, as I cant remember them all now!!

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petfish

looks very nice, good job, won't be long and you'll be trimming and selling/trading/giving plant cutting pack's ;)

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jayc

Somebody has been busy.

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Shrimpy Daddy

Hey mate,

 

How did you managed to setup two tank in such a short period of time? I guess you must be flat out by now.

 

Did you cycle the tank for two to three weeks before putting in the plant? If not, I will suggest you hang the light higher/ dim it (if it is dim-able). Or else, your plant will start melting and algae will bloom starting from the second or third week.

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newbreed

Hey mate,

 

How did you managed to setup two tank in such a short period of time? I guess you must be flat out by now.

 

Did you cycle the tank for two to three weeks before putting in the plant? If not, I will suggest you hang the light higher/ dim it (if it is dim-able). Or else, your plant will start melting and algae will bloom starting from the second or third week.

 

Ok, guess I didn't ask enough questions!

 

I set it up and planted same day, so guess I am expecting algae and melting soon!!!

 

The light isn't dimmable, but there may be a way to diffuse the light for the next few weeks.

 

Thank you so much for this valuable feedback.

 

Oh, and in answer to how did I set them up so quick, I am a bit of a hoarder of aquarium goodies, so buy stuff as I see it and don't throw it out if there may be a good use for it.

 

Luckily all tanks, lighting was here and ready to go. All online shopping done weekend before, and I had two whole days to myself going tank set mad!!

 

 

looks very nice, good job, won't be long and you'll be trimming and selling/trading/giving plant cutting pack's ;)

 

I hope they survive long enough to pass some on to others!!!

 

Somebody has been busy.

 

Hehe, the joys of being a procrastinator, you think about it for a long time, then BAM, done!!

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ineke

Great work Jamie. I am not good with plants but I would be stoked if that was my tank!

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Disciple

Great tank man have you decided what livestock will be put into the tank

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Shrimpy Daddy

Oh, and in answer to how did I set them up so quick, I am a bit of a hoarder of aquarium goodies, so buy stuff as I see it and don't throw it out if there may be a good use for it.

 

Luckily all tanks, lighting was here and ready to go. All online shopping done weekend before, and I had two whole days to myself going tank set mad!!

!

 

Every time when I setup a new tank or revamp a tank, it takes me at least 1 week to prepare all the layout material and plants. After that 1 to 2 days to setup a new tank and 3 to 4 days to revamp and tank. After that, I will be horizontal for one whole week. LOL!!! Either my body is utterly useless or you must be much younger than me. ;)

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newbreed

Its amazing the power of caffeine and knowing I should be doing other things, i.e. housework and cooking.

 

I think it helps that, as I really don't understand aquascaping concepts yet, it was more important to get them all to fit in!! I did go overboard!!

 

And as I knew I was going to attempt it, I had time whilst driving to mentally arrange the plants beforehand. Thankfully the idea married up quite well to reality.

 

Also, I am running it in two light cycles on for four hours in morning, off for eight, then back on for a further five of an evening. I had hoped keeping it to short bursts may limit algae without distressing plants too much.

 

I forgot to stress that the canister that is on this tank has been running for over 18 months on another tank, so it is full of cycled media. Will that assist in limiting the algae and melt do you think??

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Shrimpy Daddy

Don't do short burst, it does not help unless you change the temperature and do total blackout to fool the plant. It will cause more algae. You should keep it dim such that it could reach a maximum of 50% respiration and 50% photosynthesis. This will make the plant keep producing sugar and at the same time use the sugar and nutrients for growing.

 

The melting is usually caused by NO2 or excess NH3 (it is fine with a little NH3). You can't prevent it, unless you have a cycled tank.

 

If you keep your light dim enough, you will only have diatom bloom but just at area where nearest to the light; if your highest point is plant and they are doing well, diatom will not grow. However, if your light is strong, you will get GDA, GSA (high NO3), spirogyra (NH3 is not cleared by bacteria on time; sometime test kit can't tell), BBA (because you are injecting CO2; may help if you use warmer colour lighting) and Rhizoclonium (extremely high light and high NO3).

 

Daily dosing of PO4 will help you reduce green algae but will reduce plant's leaf growth. But too much will cause GDA and Cynobacteria.

 

Sounds like a lot right? To make it simple, keep the lighting low. In this way, you will be able to react to algae bloom faster before it takes over your tank.

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jayc

Hehe, the joys of being a procrastinator planner, you think about it for a long time, then BAM, done!!

 

Fixed that for ya.

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newbreed

ShrimpyDaddy, Thank you! I will have to pay some more attention when I return home tomorrow and figure out the lighting to be more appropriate.

 

and

 

jayc, you are a miracle worker, I feel more organised already!!! lol

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Shrimpy Daddy

You are welcome.

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