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Have lots of questions - help appreciate

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by PunkRotten, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. PunkRotten

    PunkRotten Junior Poster

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    Hello,


    So I have 2 planted tanks. I have a few questions. I will post my tank specs first and questions after.


    10 gallon

    (2) Two GE 15 watt CFL bulbs (both 6500K), lights on a timer for 8 Hrs daily
    Eco complete substrate
    Daily excel dosing (2x recommended dose)
    Weekly fert dosing of potassium nitrate, mono potassium phosphate, and seachem equilibrium (which is a powder that contains iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese etc)

    Weekly water changes of 25-30%


    29 gallon

    Coralife dual T5NO bulbs (6500K, and colormax bulb), lights on a timer for 9 Hrs daily

    Eco complete substrate mixed with regular play sand
    Daily excel dosing (2x recommended dose)
    Same fert dosing schedule as 10 gallon tank, but higher amounts
    Same water change schedule as 10 gallon





    1. How come my moss and java fern don't attach to my wood and rocks? They seem to grow away from the wood and rocks they are on. The moss grows kinda fluffy and thick and when I cut it, it is like in mats and not stuck to the wood at all. Only thing holding it is the string.



    2. What is an easy carpet plant? Could I try dwarf baby tears in a 10 gallon with only excel as C02 supplement? And I was thinking of trying marisilea minuta in the 29 gallon. Anyone know how well this plant grows?


    3. If I use a DIT CO2 unit, what is the best way to diffuse the C02?
     
  2. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

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    As for #1. For the moss, its possible you're puting it on too thick. its better to use many small thin applications than trying to stick one big clump on. As for the java fern, it takes time. It might take a 3-6 weeks for everything to start adhering.

    #2, I don't have experience with marisilea, but I believe its farily easy, you could also try dwarf hairgrass, or if you want real easy dwarf sag (Sagittaria sublata). As far HC, with excel it can work, but it does not compete well in competition with other plants for CO2

    #3 I am going to assume you mean DIY. Pressurized is always best for control. You don't need pressurized CO2 with excel. CO2 will speed things up, but it also can speed up problems and algae (I know this). If you're really itching to try CO2, I would do only 29G and keep using excel in the 10g, where excel is more economical to use.
     
  3. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    I have heard C. parva is an undemanding foreground plant. I have had success with hairgrass, but both tanks had pressurized CO2. HC was a pain in the @$$ (PITA).

    Definately pressurized is the way to go. I've seen a small fluval CO2 system that uses disposable cartridges for cheap, like $23. I read some positive reviews on it, but have never used it myself. I did the DIY thing and it was a PITA. I am thinking of trying the fluval system for a low tech moss tank. It isn't automated, which is a downfall for me. You have to prime it every day, then it delivers the primed amount throughout the day. If i end up trying it i will post about it. for $23 it can't be that great, but also for $23 its worth a try.
     
  4. PunkRotten

    PunkRotten Junior Poster

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    I have had the moss and java fern growing for around 6 months. This is how it grows. It just doesn't attach to anything. I tried dwarf hairgrass on both tanks dosing excel and it didn't work well. I got a few plants still in the 10 gallon and they did send off a few runners at times but it never really took. Alot of the time they would uproot looking like they had poor root systems among other things. I can't really afford a good C02 system. That s why I wanted to try a DIY unit. I bought on of those Nutrafin Natural Plant System C02 units from petco. It is basically like a DIY unit just looks better. I know I could probably make one cheaper too.


    Which is why I might return it. Plus the diffuser is like a ladder. Some say it helps a little but doesn't make use of most of the C02. So would a power head be a better method to diffuse it?
     
  5. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

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    The ladder is junk.

    This will be much more effective using pressurized CO2. Flow and CO2 dispersion in a small package.

    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/5809-Needle-wheel-DIY-modifications

    How much light is on the 29G? Sounds like the 10 gallon is two screw in 15W CF's, which depending on the reflectors may or may not be a lot of light. I did a similar setup and found out I needed A LOT of plant growth to keep algae down. I didn't have problems with moss adhering to rocks but the moss was quite shaded by stems.

    I got a feeling the issue may be too much light not enough CO2 (even with excel). When plants fragment its frequently a CO2 issue. Stick to an 8 hour photo period as well.

    Bottom line, decrease the light, continue excel see what happens. Or go pressurized. I'd also decrease the light going pressurized and only increase lighting if necessary. Its better to start with too little than too much.
     
  6. PunkRotten

    PunkRotten Junior Poster

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    I added tin foil all under the hood in the 10 gallon. Some guy on another forum did some PAR testing and found that using tin foil on lights increased the intensity. I do feel they are getting more light this way too cause I can see the difference in growth. I get no algae in either tank. I had some brown algae in the beginning now it's all gone. I do get a little string algae on my moss in the 10 gallon. I have been picking it out but it is still present.

    On the 29 gallon it is dual bulb T5NO 18 watts each.
     
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