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20gl shallow tank - Plant Farm

Discussion in 'Journals' started by fablau, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Hello everyone,
    I am going to open a thread about a new 20gl tank I put in the garage a couple of months ago. I didn't think to talk about it on these forums, because the idea was just to have an extra tank to "store" extra plants.

    But at the end, this small tank became home for over 20 plants, and the growth results were so amazing that I decided to let you know about it.

    So, here is some information about the tank:

    1. 20gl Aqueon shallow tank (you can find it for around $30 at any PetSmart store here in the US)
    2. Substrate: BBS (black diamond blasting sand)
    3. Light: Beamswork DA FSPEC LED Aquarium Light Pent Freshwater 0.50W (tweaked with some aluminum screen to give around 50-60 PAR at the substrate). 8 hours a day.
    4. Filter: super-cheap air-filter
    5. Co2: 1.2 pH drop, 1 hour before photoperiod until 1 hour before the end of it. Regulator: cheap Milwaukee regulator. Reactor: Sera Flore Active CO2 Reactor 500 driven by a cheap but powerful 160 GPH Powerhead.

    Full1.jpg
    full2.jpg

    AirFilter:
    AirFilter.jpg

    Reactor:
    Reactor.jpg


    Plants:

    Rotala Rotundifolia
    Higrophila Polysperma
    Higrophila Sunset
    Limnophila Aromatica
    Star Grass
    Lobelia Cardinalis
    Java Moss
    Pearlweed
    Hydrocotyle Sibthorpioides
    Bacopa Monnieri
    Bacopa Carolianana
    Ludwigia arcuata
    Rotala Nenjasan
    Didiplis Diandra
    Oldenlandia salzmannii
    Ambulia
    Ludwigia repens
    Rotala Indica 'true'
    Althernanthera Reneckii
    Ranunculus inundatus
    Rotala Nanjenshan
    Bacopa Colorata
    Penthorum
    Oldenlandia salzmannii
    Staurogyne Repens
    Cabomba Furcata
    Ammania Senegalensis Golden

    All plants are growing great, with only one exception (strangely)... Cabomba Furcata.

    Also, I think I'll need to increase my trace dosing because I am beginning to see some Fe deficiency around and some wonky tips that I didn't have until the last week.

    Here are some interesting pictures:

    Hygros (easy weed, but useful to spot issues right away):
    Hygros.jpg

    Bacopas:
    Bacopas.jpg

    Bacopa Colorata (thanks Joe!) and Ludwigia Red
    ColorataRed.jpg

    Ludwigia Repens (grows like a weed):
    LRepens.jpg



    Rotala Nanjenshan and AR (I haven't been able to grow those plants in years with CSM):
    Nenjasan.jpg


    Pearlweed and Ludwigia Red:
    PearlWeed-LRed.jpg


    Rotala Rotundifolia and Ambulia:
    RotalaRotundifolia-Ambulia.jpg

    Stauro:
    Stauro.jpg


    AR (notice the nice roots. When you have those roots, plant is pretty happy despite leaves are not completely flat, trying to see if increasing traces is going to fix that... but that plant grows a lot!)

    AR2.jpg


    And it looks like Ammania is growing pretty well in this tank... slowly, but well:

    Ammania1.jpg

    Ammania2.jpg

    This Ammania was almost dead and completely deformed in my 75gl, removed the top and put in this tank, after just 3 days is already putting out new sprouts, I'll be curious to see if it'll flourish like the one above:
    AmmaniaNew.jpg


    And here is a final shot from the top. Notice the Aromatica how it is a little bit white, which could indicate a lack of Fe... I am going to increase traces in the upcoming weeks and see if that's going to fix it.
    FromTop-Iron_deficiency.jpg


    So... I am sure you are wondering how I dose, water change, etc...

    Well.... I am experimenting with just 60% water change every 2 weeks (twice a month). If I can find the right dosing, that'll mean half work for me (my goal: max results with minimum effort... is that yours as well?)

    So, I am dosing the following macros 3x a week:

    KNO3: 3.5ppm
    PO4: 0.4ppm

    And the following micros, 3x a week alternated with macros, based on Burr's ratios, version 1.0 (custom made trace mix, in ppm):

    Fe DTPA 0.075
    Mn 0.03
    B 0.013
    Zn 0.006
    Mo 0.0006
    Cu 0.0008

    But it looks like I need to increase those... so... I am trying to double the dose in the upcoming week and see what's gonna happen. Burr (Joe) suggested to increase Zn, and I am going to try that in the 75, whereas for now I'll just double the above in this tank seen that 99% of plants are growing well so far.

    Very interestingly I have ben dosing the same mix in my 75gl, but results were a little bit different. Most plants grow well in the 75, with some plants stunting a little bit. The same plants grow well in this 20gl tank, stunt in the 75. I am trying to understand why the difference. The two tanks are basically identical: inert substrate (the 75 uses old-recycled Eco Complete), same Co2 level, same light (PAR and photoperiod). The only differences are these:

    1. 20gl tank uses an AirFilter which gives more O2 (it could be beneficial to plants)
    2. 20gl tank has fresh substrate. The 75 has 9 years old substrate.
    3. 20gl is shallower, which means PAR increases faster toward the surface.

    If you want to follow me on my 75gl journal as well, here is the link:
    https://barrreport.com/threads/fablau-75-gallon-tank.14097/

    Thanks for following, and please, let me know your thoughts about all this. I'd love to talk about it ;)
     
    #1 fablau, Dec 2, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
    Nikolyator, deepgreen, LRJ and 10 others like this.
  2. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Fablau this is very interesting. Looking forward to see what theories develop here. The plants sure do look happy.

    Subscribed.
     
    Nikolyator likes this.
  3. Chad

    Chad Member

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    Awesome tank! I look forward to seeing how this progresses. I will be starting another 20 shallow soon. I love the tank size.
     
  4. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thank you guys! Yes, this little tank is perfect for growing plants. I might want to take another one looking ahead...
     
  5. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    I to will need to follow!
     
  6. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thanks David, your plants are in this tank as well ;)
     
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  7. nicpapa

    nicpapa Guru Class Expert

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    Haha i saw you start the garages tanks... :)
    you know that it never stops to one tank..
    I start from one and now i keep , 1x180lt ,3 x 100lt, 3 x 80lt, 1x 60 lt , 1 x50lt, 3x 36lt, 3x 30 lt , 1 x 10lt and some buckets.... :)
    And im going for more... i dont have the money now.
     
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  8. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Ouch, I am afraid of that Nic! It is a terrible addiction, I know... I will try to control myself! :)
     
  9. slipfinger

    slipfinger Article Editor
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    Looking forward to following this Fab.

    Looks like you are using a pH controller?

    Do you have regular AR or AR 'mini' in the tank? I have been finding that regular AR is still growing without issue in my 75 where as the the 'mini' has some stunting and twisting. I'll post a pic later to show the difference. I am currently dosing basically the same level micros as @burr740 and @Greggz. Greggz are you dosing burr version 5.15 daily or just .15 Fe daily?
     
  10. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    I am dosing the Burr V5.15 .15 Fe daily. It turns out both Burr and I were tossing in an extra dose sometimes on macro days. Just kind of experimenting. So that led to let's just see what happens if it's dosed everyday?

    Also just started dosing an additional .075 Gluc every other day. So far so good, but this is just week two.
     
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  11. slipfinger

    slipfinger Article Editor
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    Oh boy I thought you were just dosing Fe daily, not the complete mix. I'm dosing V5.15 every other day but I doubled my Fe to .3 ppm the beginning of last week.

    I stopped the Gluc a while ago, not sure if it was a bad move or not, but my pipes stay much cleaner for longer......
     
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  12. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    For awhile I was dosing Burr micros at .15 every other day along with an additional .15 Fe from DTPA 11%. And as mentioned tossing in an extra dose on macro day every so often.

    When I mentioned this to Burr, he said I should try dosing ALL of the Fe from micros, and drop the DTPA. So rather than a large dose every other day, I just thought why not provide the same dose every day. Don't know if it's right or wrong yet, but like I have said, nothing has rebelled so far.

    I guess it's similar to the way many were testing the lower limits of micro dosing, now there are some of us (like you) testing the upper limits a bit. Still a work in progress, so it will be interesting to see how the increased dosing affects different tanks.
     
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  13. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Yes, I am using a simple Milwaukee controller, but helps mostly to constantly measuring the pH and be sure to have at least 1 pH drop (actually 1.2-1.3)

    The AR is the regular one. It is my understanding the mini is more picky and more difficult to grow.
     
  14. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thanks for the details Greg. Do you have any Java Moss in your tank? Or other mosses? How are they growing with this new ferts regime?
     
  15. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    No mosses at all. Have considered covering some of my large driftwood with it, but have never got around to it.

    May give it a try soon though.
     
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  16. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Very nice fab! Looking forward to seeing it grows. It is amazing what having a second tank affords. Even when all I had was a spare 20 I couldnt imagine being without it.

    That's some top shelf engineering with the Sera haha, what size is the pump?

    You asked about mosses, I have Christmas, Fissidens, China and Mini-christmas, all seem to appreciate higher dosing just like the plants.

    This past week I went up to .3 dtpa+.1 gluc, with other micros adjusted accordingly, still adding a half dose on macro days. Seeing only positive results so far...except for Pantanal which was starting to act up again, which is why I made the increase to begin with :(
     
  17. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    As I discussed with Burr earlier today, strangely my Pantanal started acting up in week two of higher micro dosing. In week one, it took a turn for the better. So who knows. It likes drama.

    And it's very interesting this whole higher micros experiment. Quite a change from 6 months ago indeed. Crazy stuff.
     
  18. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thanks Burr.

    Yes, so far so good, I have doubled dosing in this small tank as well as in the 75 (in the 75 I have also increased Zn). I see most plants getting even better, but others look a little worse, but it has been just a week. Java Moss is one of those. I have to wait at least another couple of weeks to re-asses the situation.

    Glad to know your mosses are doing fine with this dosing regime. So, I see basically you dose micros every day, right?

    About the Co2 pump, here it is, 160 gph:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CBEMREO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    It works great. I got the idea of delivering Co2 that way from Pikez (thanks Vin!)

    I'll be curious to see if your Pantanal will get better with even higher traces... pushing to the extremes!
     
  19. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    Do you ever get CO2 buildup with that pump? At the end of the day I usually have a bubble pocket about 1.5 inches below the plastic rotating fins. Just curious if you experience this. Im curious about your injection rate, would you be able to measure your mL/min?

    Edit: I took a reading and I’m putting 11 mL/min through a similar reactor.
     
    #19 Kyalgae, Dec 9, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
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  20. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    No really, no buildup. I don’t know how much I pump but I will measure and let you know. I get about a 1.2 pH drop, from pH 8 down to 6.8. I will get back to you about this.
     
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