newbie philippines

mujacko2002

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Aug 22, 2007
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Philippines
MY FIRST POST ::p

Dear Everyone,

Mabuhay!

I hope that everyone is in A-1 condition as well as their planted aquariums. I've read almost everyday, ok i wont go to sleep unless i've read articles about planted aquariums eventhough i still have work the next day , this is one addiction i will never try to rehab. Ooop! before i forget i live in the Philippines.

Actually, i am planning to set up by late December a 75 gallon planted aquarium. And little by little i am collecting/accumulating the materials/gadgets i will be using for this major project of mine. And since i am quite an avid fun of organic veggies, organic shampoos and feeding my plants organic-based fertilizers i opted for a more realistic, practical and natural type of planted aquariums.

As a preamble to the 75 gallon, i tried my hand on my very old 25 gallon aquarium. And at the same time, i am putting all that i've read over the internet and the books which i read from bookstores about planted aquariums. (yes, i'll buy a book one of these days) Since, this kind of planted aquarium hobby is not popular here i have limited resources that will give me that things that i need for this hobby not to mention my limited budget . I am giving more emphasis on the soil substrate which i usually put in my land-based plants, that i will be using in my aquarium. I purchased this sterilized soil called PLANTASTIC Welcome to GreenHearts in the supermarket, this is the best i could find since soils made for aquariums are not available here.

Anyway, here's a pic of my 25 gallon tank which i just set up last September 18, 2007. The composition of the substrate are 3/4's plantastic (bottom), 1/2" very fine sand (middle), 1" beach sand (top). And as for plants i have swords, java moss, azola, the others i dont know their names but i bought this plants at my LFS. Source of my water is from a deep-well. As you can see, i put it outside my house where it is positioned to receive full-sun from around 9am-3pm. i just dont have the luxury to buy the lights and additional electrical expense as of the moment. I don't even have a filter or an air pump, i dont know if i could squeezed in a home-made CO2. i've searched the whole place and im looking for seachem liquified CO2 but i guess its unheard of on these part of the globe.

Yes, based on my readings, i am positioning myself to accept the challenges along the way like algae outbreak, tank overheating?, nutrient problems?, plants dying, God-forbid oxygen deficiency and what have you. As of now, i only have tetraPride as iron fertilizer for the tank. i am keeping my fingers crossed that somehow everything fall into places as i geared toward building a 75 gallon planted aquarium. If this one works then i have no reason to give up. And i will accept with an open heart, mind, body and soul all your suggestions/critiquing/advises about my set-up but please be gentle As for starters the aquascaping is terrible but i know i'll improve later. I'll be recording everyday advancements on these peculiar aquarium set up and posting it here.

wish me luck.

Godbless everyone.
 

mujacko2002

Prolific Poster
Aug 22, 2007
52
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6
Philippines
follow up :

hi there everyone,

this is just an update on my newly set up 25 gallon planted aquarium. Some of the plants are showing signs of life unfortunately i dont know their names but most of these plants were purchased from a reputable LFS called BIO-RESEARCH here in our country. Again, i am trying to experiment if i could do it without shelling a lot of dough because i don't have lots of it. Also, i am trying to see if the soil-less potting mix where i put in my land-based plants would work in planted aquariums. Most of these plants were purchased at a very reasonable price. I just setup this aquarium last September 18 and the aquarium i used is around 7 years old.

hardware:
3/4" soil-less potting mix
1/2" fine sand
1" beach sand
and a little bit of the usual aquarium pebbles
filters - none
lights- the ever faithful SUNSHINE

software
ferts-Tetra plant flora pride
food-dried bloodworms (i just feed 1x a day)

fishes
angel fish - 1
swordtails - 3
zebra danios - 4
fighting fish - 1
glass fish - 1
SAE - soon (3)
corydora - soon (2)

plants (i guess)
java moss
penny worth
jave fern
azola (floater) "actually i have another floater i just cant seem to remember the name

Just this morning i changed around 30% of the water and scrape some of the BGA starting to build up on the sides of the aquarium glass and im starting to notice some kind of brown algae on plants. One of the most fascinating to look at especially when the sun is shining on my aquarium the plants seems to be pretty much pearling a lot especially the java moss, its so cute . I've also noticed that the fishes are mostly at the bottom of the tank so maybe that suggests i dont have a problem yet with oxygen?

take care now you all and Godbless

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VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
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Jan 24, 2005
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You selected an interesting substrate material, but I think you could do a lot better by just using coarse quartz sand and silt from along a river or other body of water. Mix the silt 50-50 with sand for a bottom layer that is about half the total depth of the substrate, and top it with plain quartz sand. This gives you a nutrient rich substrate, but doesn't allow the nutrients to leach into the water easily. Also, before you use the silt, soak it in water for a couple of weeks, or, to speed that up, soak it in boiling water several times. That will get rid of ammonia in the silt.

Since you are using only sunlight for lighting, you will have very high light intensity, unless you limit the light with shade. This may cause algae problems if you don't use CO2. DIY CO2 is pretty simple to set up, and if you use 3 or 4 bottles, you have a good chance to keep the level of CO2 reasonably constant, which is essential to avoid triggering algae blooms. Good luck, and please let us know how this works out.
 

mujacko2002

Prolific Poster
Aug 22, 2007
52
0
6
Philippines
{i have so many updates to make}

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is doing fine. and thank you all so much for viewing, posting and giving suggestions/advises to my queries for that i will be forever grateful.

Here's an update of my 25 gallon planted aquarium. Though, im quite sad because my fighting fish is missing but i cant find any of his remains on the gravel or in the water. Just a recap, i have the following things in my aquarium:

Set-up
September 18, 2007

TANK
25 gallon-a 7 year old tank

PLANTS
indian fern
stellata
echinodorum bleheri
ludwigia repens
sagittaria subulata
echinodorus cordifolius
thai stricta
pennyworth
azola and zalvinia (as floaters)
anubias
cabomba (i thought it wilted away but it was growing slowly beside my india fern)

FERTS
tetra florapride
Aqua-VITA

WC
3x a week

SUBSTRATE (this is just a guess, im not good with measuring things)
3/4" PLANTASTIC "soil-less potting mix"
1/4" very fine sand
1" beach sand
--a little bit of the usual aquarium pebble just to hold the plants in place

HARDWARE
lighting-the ever faithful sunshine
filter-none
UV sterilizer-none
aerator w/ airstone-only in the evening

FISHES (overstocked)
pink zebra danios-4
swordtail-3
panda corydora-1
SAE (ordinary) - 3
otocinclus-2
fighting fish-1 (missing)
goldfish-1
angelfish-1
neon tetra-3 (1 missing)
rosy barb-2
otocinclus-3

I took these shots a couple of nights ago when i decided to buy an 18 watt flourescent to light up my aquarium in the evening because i am having a hardtime looking at my aquarium at night using only a flashlight imagine that

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here's a picture of my soon to have 75 gallon tank, picture of how intense the sunshine on my aquarium on a typical day and a shot how my aquarium looks like in the morning

IMG0048A-1.jpg


TO BE CONTINUED...
 

mujacko2002

Prolific Poster
Aug 22, 2007
52
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6
Philippines
IMG0049A.jpg

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@vaughnn
hey, can i take a peek of your aquariums? thanks so much for the additional information.

Please feel free to post anything about my setup. :)

Godbless everyone.
 

mujacko2002

Prolific Poster
Aug 22, 2007
52
0
6
Philippines
i have another question, actually, i got some pretty big information about these but i want to know more about it.

1) the base of my aquarium is a soil-less potting mix, do i have to add ferts whenever i would have perform WC?

2) Some of my plants are doing fine but i am having problems with my java ferns some of it are in the substrate and attached to stones. What do you think?

take care now you all
 

mujacko2002

Prolific Poster
Aug 22, 2007
52
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6
Philippines
this is just an update

View attachment 462

Originally, i just want these to be a super low-tech tank but it seems that its not going that way. Because im starting to perform WC 3x a week, adding ferts like flora pride (though my substrate is soil-less potting mix) and i have way to much fish occupants.

take care now and Godbless :D

IMG0063A.jpg
 

mujacko2002

Prolific Poster
Aug 22, 2007
52
0
6
Philippines
this is just an update

View attachment 463

Originally, i just want these to be a super low-tech tank but it seems that its not going that way. Because im starting to perform WC 3x a week, adding ferts like flora pride (though my substrate is soil-less potting mix) and i have way to much fish occupants.

take care now and Godbless :D

IMG0063A.jpg
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
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Jan 24, 2005
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Sacramento, CA
What you are trying is so far different from anything I have tried I have a hard time commenting on it. You have the tank outdoors, in sunlight, with a substrate I haven't heard of. It is interesting because of that, but any advice would have to come from someone with far more experience than I have. My single tank is just a 45 gallon tank with 72 watts of AH Supply lights, and a substrate of Soilmaster and river silt. Very conventional.
 

mujacko2002

Prolific Poster
Aug 22, 2007
52
0
6
Philippines
hi sir vaughnh, thanks for the response :p sir, where's the link to your aquaria?

the soil-less potting mix is made up of coconut dust, plant leaves and well-decayed manure. Actually, i've read the works of Ms. Walstad and Mr. Barr and what they've done is feasible for my current situation. Due to financial limitation and for practical reasons, what i am just trying to do is improvise and use what is around me. I just hope that it will work. :D

Anyone out there with similar experience?


Godbless everyone.
 

mujacko2002

Prolific Poster
Aug 22, 2007
52
0
6
Philippines
wow, you have a wondeful tank, how long have you been in the hobby?

Mr. Barr if its not much to ask, what can you say about my current set up?

thank you so much for any response in advance

Godbless
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
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Jan 24, 2005
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Sacramento, CA
I set up my first tank in 1953, as I recall. It was a ten gallon tank of guppies and vallisneria. All inhabitants of the tank died during the hot summer. Then, I set up a 40 gallon tank in about 1966, first with salt water, which was a total failure, then as a planted tank. That tank was re-set up about every two months, as I kept buying more and different plants hoping one would grow. Later I had a 20 gallon tank, around 1980, again with no success at growing plants. In about 1998 I set up a 120 gallon tank, after reading about the use of fertilizers and CO2 on the internet. That tank succeeded until I had to tear it down and sell it when moving to a condo in 2005. Shortly after that I set up a 29 gallon planted tank, and switched to my present 45 gallon tank last year. Obviously I was a slow learner.
 

mujacko2002

Prolific Poster
Aug 22, 2007
52
0
6
Philippines
good afternoon:p

@vaughnh
for me, most of the time, it takes time before my brain processes the information that i put into it. It is also somewhat my handicap when it comes to computing things :( im just not good in math. Also, there's the aspect of financial constraints, when something goes wrong and i need to tear down the tank it would take years before i could set up another one. Actually, i loan from my company just to set up my current tank. ;) but i guess its all worth it (keeping my fingers crossed)

wish me luck

Godbless
 

mujacko2002

Prolific Poster
Aug 22, 2007
52
0
6
Philippines
good day to all!

I've been thinking about these lately, if i could use the ferts for my orchids to fertilize my planted aquariums?

thank you in advance for any response. :D
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
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Sacramento, CA
Fertilizers for terrestrial plants, including orchids, almost always contains urea or even ammonium compounds. If you use those in an aquarium you are inviting algae to bloom. It might be possible to use such fertilizers under the substrate, without causing algae, but if used in the water column it will only cause problems.

I have read reports where people successfully use ammonia for fertiliziing, but they do that by dosing very, very small amounts, which means they have to dose at least every day, if not more often. It just isn't worth the risk to try it.
 

mujacko2002

Prolific Poster
Aug 22, 2007
52
0
6
Philippines
good day to all!!

@vaughnh
wassup? how are your tanks doing? thank you for being a light to my path. :p and thank you for always responding to my inquiries, i will be forever grateful.

before anything else, its been cloudy and raining for 5 days now so my aquarium which is situated outside the house and exposed to natures fury is somewhat lacking in light because the sun is on vacation but my plants are i guess still the same nothing much have changed though my annubias are sending out flower stalks, a noticealbe new leaf from my java fern, my cabomba is alive and kicking, my indian fern is growing crazy, my amazon swords have new leaves :D, my bacopa seems to be at a standstill, oh my fishes are i guess happy for now. :p

I would just like to ask by what do you mean ?"It might be possible to use such fertilizers under the substrate, without causing algae" can i still do it? i've read also in the past, i already lost the website, ferts sticks (things that you insert in the soil) that most people use to feed their indoor plants can be used for aquatic plants just by using a bit of it and inserting it in the substrate, is this what you mean by it?

And just like what i mentioned before, since i dont have the luxury to buy pressurized CO2 etc. would it be logical and possible to just use for the meantime a DIY-CO2 for my soon to have 75 gallon tank? :D


thank you so much in advance for any response

Godbless
 

mujacko2002

Prolific Poster
Aug 22, 2007
52
0
6
Philippines
Hello! just an update of my 25gallon tank. Its barely a month now and im quite lucky because my plants are starting really show signs of life. I hope you enjoy the pics.

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I am so happy to find out that most of my plants are beginning to really show signs of life. my indian fern is growing like crazy and its starting to come out of the water. My thai stricta seems to be also coming out of the water. My pennyworth has 3 new leaves at present. My stem plants are growing nicely and i guess i need to trim some and put it somewhere in the aquarium. My water lotus has already attached itself to the substrate.

View attachment 466
View attachment 467
although this part is growing, there's some trimming and replacing to do. My angelfish is the boss even the new fighting fish is afraid of him/her.

View attachment 468
so here's the last of pics. Most of the inhabitants were ready for the photofinish.
I'll keep you updated folks. I am open for any suggestion/advises.

Current maintenance:
ferts-tetraflora pride
aquavital for fishes
water change-at the most 3x a week

i have a question, i bought this sera-C02 tabs but there was no instruction inside the bottle, i dont know how to use it. My instinct tells me to just drop in the aquarium and thats it......is that how it is?


thank you for any response in advance.

Godbless

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148142

Junior Poster
Feb 18, 2008
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0
1
mine i used sera floredepot which is a good substrate...a 60Watts light and DIY CO2 for my 35GAL see the bubbles they make...like my riccia
riccia.jpg