This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. Dismiss Notice
  2. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
    Dismiss Notice

Three plants, three different styles.. help!

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by nikelodeon79, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. nikelodeon79

    nikelodeon79 Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
    First, I'm sorry this is going to be long... hopefully someone has the time to read it through!

    I am in the process of setting up three planted tanks, and I think I have things almost in order. I have posted on a few different forums... things have been suggested, and then when I ask further questions, my thread sort of just dies. Hoping to find the answers to my questions here.

    Basically, I set up one tank, ordered a few plants, then set up another tank and ordered a few more. Set up a third tank, decided it was going to be planted, and went crazy ordering plants I'm not entirely sure will work in ANY of my tanks. I think I sorted out which plants are going where... but feel free to comment if you feel I need to switch things around. I am still waiting on several plants to arrive and the tanks are in a state of being only partially complete and nowhere near scaped properly.

    In order to make this for easier reading, I'll separate the tanks into three separate posts within this thread.

    ETA: *sigh* I screwed up on the title, it should be "Three TANKS, three different styles."
     
    #1 nikelodeon79, Feb 10, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2012
  2. nikelodeon79

    nikelodeon79 Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
    26g Flat Back Hex

    Tank #1: 26g flat back hex
    Photo: http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii264/nikelodeon79/The%20Dumpster%20Tank/DSCF6534.jpg

    Lighting: T5HO fixture with two 39w, 6700K bulbs (78w)

    CO2: DIY - one two liter bottle

    Ferts: Pfertz medium tech + (nitrogen, micros, and root tabs)

    Substrate: shallow playsand

    Temp: 74*F

    ph: 7.6 out of the tap, 6.6 after CO2 injection

    Filtration: Eheim Classic 2215

    Fish: betta albimarginata, checker barbs, corydoras, and I might add some species of rasbora and a few otocinclus
    Plants:
    Blyxa alternifolia
    Ludwigia inclinata
    Ludwigia sp Cuba
    Rotala macranda sp Japan Red
    Echinodorus bolivianus
    Hygrophila species "Araguaia"
    Lilaeopsis mauritiana
    Ludwigia glandulosa
    Mayaca fluviatilis
    Staurogyne repens "Tropica"

    QUESTIONS:
    1) I've been told my lighting is too much in this tank and I need to raise the fixture as a result. True? Not true? Suggestions/recommendations?

    2) Will the fertilizer be adequate? I do also have some leftover ferts I previously ordered from Rex Grigg (KNO3, K2SO4, Plantex CSM+B, KH2PO4, Grumpy's GH boster) but I prefer the convenience of the pre-mixed ferts.

    3) Is it necessary to set up a pressurized system or would I be okay continuing with DIY CO2?

    4) I'm currently using a bubble ladder to diffuse the CO2, but am thinking buying the Ista mix max inline diffuser to use with my canister filter. Would that be better?

    5) I'm pretty sure my GH is super low, as the snails in my tank have translucent shells. I have ordered GH and KH tests (API) to check on it. I have started dosing with the GH booster... will that be sufficient?

    6) I believe my substrate is inadequate, but have set it up with the corydoras in mind. Is a substrate switch necessary?

    7) Please feel free to recommend any plant switches between this and my other two tanks.
     
    #2 nikelodeon79, Feb 10, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2012
  3. nikelodeon79

    nikelodeon79 Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
    20g long

    20g long
    Photo: http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii264/nikelodeon79/Nano%20Fish%20Tank/DSCF6564.jpg

    Lighting: Coralife T5NO fixture with two 21w 6500K bulbs

    CO2: DIY - one two liter bottle, diffused with a bubble ladder

    Ferts: Pfertz medium tech + (nitrogen, micros, and root tabs)

    Substrate: playsand

    Temp: 74*F

    ph: 7.6 out of the tap, 6.6 after CO2 injection

    Filtration: 2x Duetto50

    Fish: celestial pearl danio, dwarf spotted rasbora, corydoras habrosus

    Plants:
    Nechamandra alternifolia
    Persicaria/Polygonum praetermissum Ruby
    Persicaria/Polygonum sp Sao Paulo
    Rotala rotundifolia
    Glossostigma elatinoides
    Ludwigia sp Red hybrid
    Peacock Moss
    Blyxa Japonica
    Anubias nana petite

    QUESTIONS:
    1) Is my substrate adequate, or should I change to something else? Again, I set it up with the corydoras in mind.

    2) Is the fertilizer adequate?

    3) Please suggest any plant switches/substitutions.
     
    #3 nikelodeon79, Feb 10, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2012
  4. nikelodeon79

    nikelodeon79 Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
    75g Mbuna Tank

    75g Mbuna Tank
    Photo: http://s266.photobucket.com/albums/ii264/nikelodeon79/Mbuna%20Tank/

    Lighting: Coralife T5NO fixture with two 54w 6500K bulbs

    CO2: none

    Ferts: none

    Substrate: black blasting sand (I have eggcrate underneath because of the rockwork and to protect rooted plants from being dug up)

    Temp: 80*F

    ph: 7.8

    Filtration: Rena XP3, multiple Duetto100s and 50s

    Fish: Cyno. sp. Hara, Ps. saulosi, L. joanjohnsonae, I. sprengerae

    Plants:
    Vallisneria torta
    Amazon Sword
    Java Fern (philippine and trident)
    Anubias barteri coffeefolia
    Bolbitis H.
    Heteranthera zosterifolia
    Hygrophila sp Kompakt
    Hygrophila sp Tiger
    Limnophila sp Wavy
    Ludwigia brevipes
    Ludwigia inclinata
    Pogostemon yatabeanus

    QUESTIONS:
    1) Should I be doing ferts and CO2 on this tank? I do not want to lower the pH at all because this is a mbuna tank.

    2) Please recommend any plant switches you think are necessary.
     
    #4 nikelodeon79, Feb 10, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2012
  5. nikelodeon79

    nikelodeon79 Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
    Again, I'm sorry this is so long, but I've been doing so much reading and posting I'm just plum worn out! I figured putting everything in one place makes the most sense. Please respond even if you aren't able to address all of my questions! Any and all input is welcomed!
     
  6. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    9
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
    Hi,
    I can try and get the ball rolling with one or two thoughts. You should decide on what substrate to use before moving on. :eek:
    Try posting your questions on soil types on another thread. Here are a few general concepts and tweaks to get you on your way.

    Tank #1: 26g flat back hex does provide high levels of light. Increasing the distance of the light from the substrate, say 28" or more, will reduce the PAR value at the substrate reducing the problems that come with higher levels of light.

    Something else to remember is water flow, power heads and such. Those nutrients have to get to the plants somehow and adding water flow to stagnant areas is generally a good adea anyway. ;)

    I am not familiar with the "Ista mix max inline diffusers" but remember, you are dealing with yeast and yeast has a tendency to gunk up small openings over time. However, yeast generators are very capable of producing plenty of CO2 - just not always the most consistent levels of CO2. It takes vigilance on your part.

    IMHO, diffusion methods are where CO2 systems fail. Fortunately, some are quite simple and generally effective. Your Duetto filter should turn the trick, use it as mini CO2 reactor instead of the bubble ladders you are using. This will dissolve the CO2 and add flow. Remove all of the filter media, drill one small hole for your CO2 line, snap the filter back together, insert the CO2 line (add a check valve) and your good to go.
    Follow this link to; Modify Marineland's Duetto multi filter.

    Once you improve the levels of CO2 you will want to start dosing fertilizer according to EI. Pfertz are fine as long as you are dosing NPK and trace and the levels are non-limiting such as EI provides. When that runs out save the bottle for later if you like but start using the dry dosing method until you can roll your own pre-mixed solutions.

    Adjust your lighting, improve your CO2 levels, dose full on EI, throw in an extra water change a week until the plants become established and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Happy trails,
    Tug

    Tropica's study on Riccia and the affect of resource availability on growth. :cool:
    [​IMG]
    Diagram courtesy of John LeVasseur

    30-50micromol along the sediment is ample light for ANY species.
    [​IMG]
    Diagram courtesy of VaughnH/Hoppy

    [​IMG]
    Diagram courtesy of VaughnH/Hoppy

    ☯​
    Massaged PAR Data for T5HO lights
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/6036-Massaged-PAR-Data-for-T5HO-lights
    PAR at 0.8W/gal- or we really do not need much light
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7920-PAR-at-0-8W-gal-or-we-really-do-not-need-much-light
    The Drop Checker
    http://www.njagc.net/articles/co2dropchecker.htm
    One drop checker is good...
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7051-One-drop-checker-is-good-but-two-are-better.-(or-wet-killed-a-bunch-of-fish
    Measuring CO2 Levels
    http://web.archive.org/web/20080610123231/www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm
    The high light requirement myth
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7503-The-high-light-requirement-myth
    CO2 and Light Stimulate Growth, - Tropica
    http://www.tropica.com/advising/technical-articles/biology-of-aquatic-plants/co2-and-light.aspx
    All You Ever Wanted To Know About CO2 But Were Afraid To Ask
    http://aquaticconcepts.thekrib.com/Co2/co2_faq.htm
     
  7. Green Thumb Aquatics

    Green Thumb Aquatics Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
    as far as the mbuna tank, ph swings can be big in the wild, Tom has confirmed this with his vast knowledge... I would not be worried about PH, hardness is what you need to be concerned about, PH does not matter as much as some information would leave you to believe, also with more hardness, the water has a higher buffering capacity and will not lower the PH as much.. so I would definately recommend CO2, and ferts for this tank...

    [​IMG]

    this pic was taken months ago, since i have put a largeish rock pile on the right where there are less plants, I am constantly pulling fry and juvies out of here, I dose heavy and it gets some DIY co2 with no ill effects.. it also gets Glutaraldehyde daily again with super happy fish who are always breeding... this was just after intial setup...

    I used a substrate that raises hardness a little as I have mediumish water, but even then ppms are around 180-210.... no probs with CO2...
     
    #7 Green Thumb Aquatics, Feb 12, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2012
  8. nikelodeon79

    nikelodeon79 Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
    Thanks! I actually ordered some Flourite Black Sand and am going to see how I like that when it comes in. I think I really need a darker substrate because my fish in the 26 are SUPER stressed (very light in color, always hiding) due to the bright light and light colored substrate. If the corydoras don't do well in the substrate, I will likely just have to set up another tank specifically for them with the playsand substrate.

    Okay, so according to the handy chart you posted, that will put me in the medium light category for this tank... is that sufficient to grow the plants on my list? A lot of them seem to fall in the "high light" category, at least on certain online sites.

    Now I just have to figure out how to mount the light higher. I may end up hanging it from the ceiling, which should be an interesting project!

    The canister filter does generate a lot of current, so I don't think there are any dead areas, but I have a lot of Duetto filters lying around that I could stick in the corners... would that suffice?

    Here is the mix max diffuser: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=24117 It's an inline diffuser that I plan on putting on the output hose of my Eheim classic canister.

    Thanks so much for this! I knew the Duetto could be used to diffuse CO2 but had no idea how. I actually just hooked up the CO2 line to the little air hole thing on the top of the filter once and that was ALMOST a disaster, but I caught it in time before all the yeast mixture had been sucked into the tank.

    I'm going to have to do some reading on the EI method.. I'm afraid it's been a bit beyond my understanding. :eek: I did dose dry ferts in the past on this tank when I had it set up as an all female betta tank. I had the same lighting, DIY CO2, and the dry ferts (dosed daily for some, weekly for others) and was able to grow plants fairly effectively:
    [​IMG]

    Sounds good! As far as improving my CO2 levels, do you feel I will be able to adequately do that with DIY? Is it just the diffusion method I need to be concerned about, as well as making sure my mixture is always fresh and generating a lot of bubbles? On larger tanks (55g) I have done two 2 liter bottles, and I do also have a few 4 liter bottles... should I continue using a single 2 liter or upgrade?

    I also plan on buying (hopefully in the very near future) an inexpensive pressurized setup, but I'm not sure which tank I should use it on. I fear if I do CO2 on the 75, DIY isn't going to cut it. I was originally going to get the Fluval 88g kit (and possibly adapting it to fit a paintball tank), but have been told it would not be cost effective on the 26g tank.

    Thanks again for all of the very helpful information! I'm off to read all the links you posted!

    I just ordered liquid GH and KH tests (API) from Drs. Foster Smith and they should be here this week. In the past when I've tested my water I believe it was pretty soft... and I think that's due to the fact that we do have a water softener since our tap water is regularly quite hard. I do have one faucet that does not run through the water softener, but it only has COLD water so water changes could be a challenge... I'd have to have water set aside in large, heated containers for that purpose but it's something I'd be willing to do, if necessary.

    In the 26 that has CO2 injected, I think I'm having a GH issue because the fish are acting strangely (swimming head down most of the time) and the snails have translucent snails. I added some Grumpy's GH Booster that I had on hand... that seemed to improve things slightly but I guess I'll see where I stand when I get the hardness tests in.

    I also am a bit concerned about my substrate.. I'm using Black Blast sand which is essentially coal slag. I've been told it's safe to use but it has raised the pH in my tank considerably (pH out of the tap is 7.6 and pH in this tank is now 8.2-8.4). That in itself isn't a concern, but the fact that something in the substrate is altering my water chemistry makes me worried about what effect it will have on the fish. I have a large shipment of mbuna due in this Wednesday and need to make sure the tank is safe for them before then.

    Okay, back to CO2. Am I correct that if I go with CO2 on this tank, I will need to do pressurized since DIY won't work on a large tank? I was planning on buying a pressurized setup but I was planning on putting it on the 26g, and I can't afford more than one (honestly I can barely afford the one!). Do you think I should put the pressurized setup on this tank and continue DIY on the 26 (and the 20)? FYI, the 26 is upstairs in my home, and the 75 and 20 are on a double stand in the basement.

    Thanks for your response and helpful info! It's nice to see a planted African cichlid setup... shows it CAN be done!
     
    #8 nikelodeon79, Feb 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2012
  9. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    9
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
    #9 Tug, Feb 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2012
  10. nikelodeon79

    nikelodeon79 Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
    LOL, I was afraid you were going to say that!
     
  11. Green Thumb Aquatics

    Green Thumb Aquatics Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
    75 gallon, high light, DIY CO2.

    [​IMG]

    you will probably not need a ton of CO2 for that tank since you dont have really high lighting, DIY should be easy to maintain. I would use the pressurized on one of the tanks where you need more consistent CO2
     
  12. nikelodeon79

    nikelodeon79 Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
    That picture makes me feel A LOT better. I've been feeling super overwhelmed with trying to figure this all out and not spend a ton of money, and in thinking that I needed to set up expensive CO2 systems on three tanks... that coupled with the fact that I now need to figure out how to do water changes on three tanks without using my tap water (due to the water softener).... I was about ready to throw in the towel!
     
  13. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    9
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
    Mid-range light should be fine. With CO2 available, plants can adjust to the mid-light levels. Most of your problems might have to do with the water softener. For help with dosing EI wet's calc is very helpful.

    As plants grow in, water flow will become more of a problem. By then you might pick up something smaller then the Duetto filter, a Koralia maybe.

    Not bad that, but a great deal of the CO2 might be lost as the retune flow moves across the surface of the water. Dutchy has a pressurized setup and the CO2 goes out through the return into a spray bar just below the surface. Most everyone else (that's me) seam to introduce the CO2 beneath the water surface by 4" or more. It might not mater, but I error on the side of frugality. It is yeast we're working with after all.

    On a side note and maybe more to the point, it is difficult to stop the flow of CO2 from yeast generators. When necessary, I fail to see how that would be possible with the ISTA max mix off of your main filter.

    Good question. If yeast cultures are well maintained they can provide CO2 for quite sometime. I have heard some poor quality pressurized systems run low on CO2 before an average yeast setup does. As mentioned, pressurized CO2 provides you with more control and better stability (if you use good quality equipment). Paintball setups, well I can't say, but marginally better then yeast getups if that. Size and number of yeast generators does improve on their stability and our ability to control them. Maybe four, four litter generators (each pair with there on diffuser). Rotate old cultures for new regularly until you can afford a quality dual stage regulator and metering valve.

    As Tom would say,
    A good high grade CO2 system is well worth every penny spent and can go a long way to resolving issues, and it should also last a lifetime. Add a good needle valve to this and a good solenoid, then you are ready to go!

    Nice pic GTA.
     
    #13 Tug, Feb 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2012
  14. nikelodeon79

    nikelodeon79 Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
    So, instead of using the ISTA, I'd be better off just modifying the Duetto filters? I can always sell/return the ISTA if necessary.

    The pressurized systems I was looking at are:

    1) Aquatek off of ebay: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&toolid=10001&campid=5338187531&icep_item=330686456389

    2) Milwaukee MA957 off of ebay: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&toolid=10001&campid=5338187531&icep_item=350529648590

    3) Matheson 8 series dual stage regulator with Clippard mouse solenoid and AS-1200 needle valve from a private seller.
     
  15. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    9
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
    For yeast setups, the Duetto would be better IMO. The same goes for dual stage regulators. Left C would be the one to ask, but I like door number three.
     
  16. nikelodeon79

    nikelodeon79 Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
    Quick question: Can I skip the part about turning it into a surface skimmer? For some reason I'm just not understanding that part of it....

    Also: I'm not sure what I did with all of those little black things that came with the Duettos. If I can't find them, is there something else I could use in their place?
     
  17. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    9
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
    As long as the Duetto is placed horizontally and the water intake is pointed up you will be ok. I rarely use it as a surface skimmer anymore, but this position allows the CO2 to gas off at night. I can not remember what if any problems it will cause in any other position. I still have a small spray-bar attached to it (nothing as elaborate as in the op) but it should work without the spray-bar as well.

    If you can not find the little black thingamabob you could just fit the air hose into the opening or if you have an old air stone you no longer need, crush off the stone and you are left with a little blue thingamabob. Actually, it works better then the black one Duetto provides.

    I should go back and edit/update that thread.


    Another old thread of mine on yeast generators, DIY CO2 primer for planted tanks
    John LeVasseur also has some very good information out there on yeast in case you're interested. I lost that link to John's artical, but it should be easy to find. I particularly like and use the bulkhead fittings on my yeast generators.

    Horizontally, as in dangling horizontally out of a skyscraper.
    [​IMG]
     
    #17 Tug, Feb 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2012
  18. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    9
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
  19. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    9
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
    Another option would be to run the ISTA through a dedecated pump under the tank. If you still have the ISTA max mix. :eek:
     
  20. nikelodeon79

    nikelodeon79 Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:51 AM
    I raised the light fixture and changed the substrate to Flourite black sand. I'm very pleased with the results. The tank is no longer glaringly bright and the fish are much happier. I also have the Duetto ready for CO2 injection when the drop checkers arrive.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice