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Old 03-10-2012, 06:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New 46g NPT

I started this conversation on another thread, but I thought I'd break it out with a new subject.

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...-sunlight.html

Starting a new 46g bowfront El Natural tank - this will be tank #5 at my house and my 3rd El Natural tank. I started with 1.5" of Miracle Grow Organic, ~1" of very small gravel and a scatter of larger gravel I like. I got a really cool piece of driftwood - shooting for that submerged forest look.

Currently planted 1 amazon sword, 1 dwarf sag, 1 hygro compact, 3 dwarf hairgrass, about 6-8 bunches of giant hygro, 2-3 bunch of a narrow leaf Ludwigia and java fern.

I had one mismatched tetra in my 55g that win in a couple of days ago. Water before planting yesterday was ammonia 0, nitrite .25, nitrate 10. I am hoping with the plant in for 24 hours, things will be close to normal.

This is a tank for my oldest son who has autism. He told me he wanted a tank for his room. Stocking TBD according to his whims (with my veto of course).

Attached is a picture of the tank this morning.
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New 46g NPT

Nice start! It will be interesting to learn what your son decides to put in the tank.

Most people crave prefectly clear, colorless water in their tanks. But your tank shows the beautiful effect of natural sunlight shining through slightly cloudy water: visible shafts of light contrasting with the shadows cast by driftwood.
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New 46g NPT

If you look closely (contrast with window) you can see the slight ice tea color from the tannins. I know everyone doesn't like that, but I'm a big fan.
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New 46g NPT

2 more shots - one from outside after dark and one with the bog look taking shape with peace lilies, spider plants and philodendron. These provide "aerial advantage" over the submerged plants in terms of nutrient absorption.
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New 46g NPT

My son picked Tiger Barbs. Honestly - no influence from me. We went to fish shop and we talked about all of the fish that would work in his planted tank (i.e. no cichlids, goldfish, buenos aires tetras, livebearing rabbits, etc.). He loves cardinal tetras and I explained if he picks Tiger Barbs he couldn't get cardinals because they don't live together. So we got 6 really fat barbs. There is also one scissortail tetra (not rasbora) that was an odd fish out in my 55g transferred to this tank.

Interesting growth - the dwarf sag has shoots that have grown 6 inches already. The vals are growing quite a bit and whatever flavor of ludwigia I have is growing nicely. The giant hygro and the long leaf hygro haven't fared so well yet. I ordered them online and they were obviously grown emersed. I've had to do constant pruning of rotten leaves and ended up cutting back a lot of stem as well because at least 50% of the stems I planted rotted at the bottom. I think they are starting to make a recovery - I am starting to see some new growth which is good.

Again, this is a filterless tank, so I have to think about how much more bioload the tank can handle in terms of more fish before I add anything else. I saw a little bit of nitrites for a couple of days, but I think that has settled down as well.

So far, so good.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New 46g NPT

Your son has good taste, LOL!
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: New 46g NPT

Michael - the funny thing is, on another forum my avatar is a picture of a Tiger Barb with the tag "You can never have too many tiger barbs". I used to have a huge school in my 55g, but I have moved away from them just for variety. Nice to have some back in the house!
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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That's so cool. My father originally introduced me to fish tanks and helped me set one up in my room. I think I was 11. I was a big tiger barb fan, too!
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: New 46g NPT

Update: the peace lilies on top of the tank are growing like mad, spider plant growing a bit, philodendron not so much.

The dwarf sag and the vals are growing a LOT. Whatever plant I got that looks like some sort of ludwigia is growing very well. The long leaf H. corymbosa is starting to grow pretty well. The giant hygro has been losing leaves and I've had some rotting stems, but I am finally starting to see some new leaf growth. It was obvious when I got the plants shipped to me both hygros were grown emersed. The giant hygro is definitely going through some transition - I think it will be OK.

0 ammonia to date. I've had some stubborn nitrite at 0.25, so I've been doing water changes with a double dose of Prime.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: New 46g NPT

Still seeing stubborn nitrites at 0.25-0.5 with 0 ammonia and virtually 0 nitrate. I think the submersed and terrestrial plants must be sucking up any ammonia from the soil. Interesting thing is the Miracle Grow Organic I used was at least a year old and had been sitting open all of that time. Still - I think submerging the soil is still making it go through a transition period.

Another water change tonight and a double dose of Prime to take care of the nitrites. Hopefully it will calm down soon.
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