Greetings APC! - Introductions and Greets - Aquatic Plant Central

Go Back   Aquatic Plant Central > Welcome Forums! > Introductions and Greets

Introductions and Greets New to aquarium plants? Or maybe just new to these forums? Start off here with a quick hello to introduce yourself.

Like Tree2Likes
  • 1 Post By Michael
  • 1 Post By hoppycalif
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-14-2017, 10:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 5
iTrader Ratings: 0
John Barrett is a regular member
:
Talking Greetings APC!

Hello all at APC! I have been perusing this site for about a month or two now and have finally registered. My name is John, I am 35y/o fella from Minneapolis, MN. I enjoy reading, stars before sunrise and long walks off of short piers(to see the fish and plants of course). I currently have a 20 gallon long with some corydoras-albino and laser green(I think, they were sold as emerald greens but do not look like it) that has been running for a few years with java moss, flame moss and hornwort. I have a 55 gallon that I am going to heavily plant and turn into a red cherry shrimp city and some malaysian snails with trumpets of course. Could possibly house a dwarf orange crayfish or two and maybe some otocinclus if needed. I would rather it be an invert/snail only tank. I intend to fill it with 40 gallons to have some emergent plants. I plan to use mineralized top soil with potash, dolemite, clay, etc...as someone near me sells it along with plants and RCS. Soil will be capped off with black diamond 20/40. I am going for low tech, low maintenance. I have some questions and will post them here and also ask, should I post these in the specific areas for each of these things instead?
I will list the water/light parameters first to get the idea of what I am working with. Since the tap water has killed some RCS I tried to keep a few years ago, I will never use it in a tank again so I am using bottled Buhl water(about $50 for 40 gallons but worth it IMO-I like stable water!). I want the best chance with the little shrimpy fellas this time around.
From their site-comes from a glacial aquifer encased in solid granite;
Mineral Content & Water Information
PH 7.4
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) PPM 228
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.41
Cautions / Anions, me/L 4.8/4.8

The following are provided in Parts Per Million (PPM)
Sodium 9
Potassium, K 2
Calcium, Ca 47
Magnesium, Mg 25
Total Hardness, CaCO3 222(=12.4GH)
Nitrate, NO3-N .2 (SAFE)
Sulfate, So4-S 11
Chloride, Cl 2
Carbonate, CO3 <1.0
Bicarbonate, HCO3 245
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 201(=11.29KH)
Total Phosphorous, P < 0.01
Total Iron, Fe < = Not detected / Below Detection Limit
I believe I did the GH and KH conversion correctly. Dividing ppm total by 17.9. Please let me know if I am wrong.

Lights-shop fixture, 2x32watt sylvania premium octron ecologic full spectrum 5000k, 1850 lumens each.

1-Do I really need a filter if heavily planted with very low bioload and checking TDS along with water parameters to know the need for water changes?
2-Are these lights going to be good enough for low and possibly medium light plants. Slow growth is fine by me.
3-Should I be dosing N, P and K off the bat? Possibly Fe? I would like to keep this minimal or even nonexistent if possible to avoid 25-50% weekly water changes.
4-Would this be low tech or el natural?

Any input would be greatly appreciated and I thank you all for your endeavors as I have learned quite a bit from many of you!
John Barrett is offline   Reply With Quote

Advertisement [Remove Advertisement]
Old 02-14-2017, 03:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
Moderator
 
Michael's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 4,444
iTrader Ratings: 0
Michael is a regular member
:
Default Re: Greetings APC!

Welcome to APC!

1. No, but you do need water circulation. This could be a simple power head or submersible pump. Personally, I like to have AquaClear hang-on-back filters or canister filters on my tanks, even if they don't have any filter media in them. They circulate the water, and I can put some filter floss in the filter to remove particles if I need it.

2. Maybe. Are these T8 tubes? The reflector in the fixture can make a big difference; most shop lights have poor reflectors. I think your lighting is only borderline adequate, but I could be wrong.

3. No, not at the start and probably never. With a good mineralized topsoil substrate, low light, and no CO2, fish food will probably provide all the nutrients the plants (and fish) need.

4. As described so far, I would call it a Walstad tank, also known as "el natural". I prefer "Walstad" because it honors Diana Walstad the originator of this method.
Michael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2017, 04:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 5
iTrader Ratings: 0
John Barrett is a regular member
:
Default Re: Greetings APC!

Thank you Michael! I do have a spare Aqueon internal filter I could sponge over the intake. I also have a power head but at 750 gallons per hour I think would be a bit much. I do like the idea of being able to drop something into the HOB if need be. I will definitely look into this, thank you. The tubes are T8, I was just thinking I didn't post that and then saw your response. It just has the white paint for a reflector on it but I will also look into this. I may have to DIY it seeing as these are shop lights. In which case, not as good as real reflectors. I am not averse to getting another shop light fixture if need be, it'll fit! Thank you for the good news as far as ferts and being able to call it a Walstad. I wanted to but then I've seen some debates here and there on the matter of premineralizing vs. in tank mineralizing so I did not want to assume it was one or the other. Thank you again for your welcome and response!
John Barrett is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 02-14-2017, 07:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
hoppycalif's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
Posts: 5,249
iTrader Ratings: 20
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
hoppycalif is a valuable member of the communityhoppycalif is a valuable member of the communityhoppycalif is a valuable member of the community
:
Default Re: Greetings APC!

You should have about 40 PAR light intensity with that light on a 55 gallon tank. That is low medium light, plenty for a Walstad style tank. Any more light and you might have difficulty avoiding algae problems.

Commercial T8 lights are almost impossible to put good reflectors in. There just isn't enough distance between the bulbs and the housing where the ballast is located. If you use some of the individual "end caps" for connecting the bulbs, and have the bulbs supported by clips leaving enough room for aluminum reflectors shaped like \_/ (with the bulb in the middle, so you see a full reflection of the bulb on each side of the bulb) you can get as much as double that light intensity.
hoppycalif is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2017, 08:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 5
iTrader Ratings: 0
John Barrett is a regular member
:
Default Re: Greetings APC!

Thank you for your help Hoppy, that is great news! There is some space in there as they are made to hold T12 or T8 bulbs, can get my fingers behind them with a little space left. I do have the fixture laying on top of a screen cover as well. I was using it to keep any flies or other bugs from getting in it before as I was growing a few ficus in it during the winter seasons previously. The screen is bigger than the fine mesh stuff but still must be diffusing some of the light. I may just keep it off all together when the plants go in. If I decide to go higher lighting in the future it is good to know I have an option with these types of bulbs.
John Barrett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2017, 09:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
hoppycalif's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
Posts: 5,249
iTrader Ratings: 20
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
hoppycalif is a valuable member of the communityhoppycalif is a valuable member of the communityhoppycalif is a valuable member of the community
:
Default Re: Greetings APC!



These are the type of end caps I was referring to. Ebay and other online stores sell them.
And, these are the clips:
http://semperlite.com/products/lamph..._ProductID=297

Several years ago I made a hood/light fixture for a 5 foot long tank, using these to mount the bulbs. The ballast I got from a hardware store.
hoppycalif is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2017, 06:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
Moderator
 
Michael's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 4,444
iTrader Ratings: 0
Michael is a regular member
:
Default Re: Greetings APC!

The screen will definitely reduce your light, you should remove it.
Michael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2017, 09:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 5
iTrader Ratings: 0
John Barrett is a regular member
:
Default Re: Greetings APC!

I like it, simple is almost always better, when you can use it anyways. I have seen some of the DIY reflectors around on the net. I might try and see if I can put a "v" in between the two bulbs to get a reflection directly downwards from each of them. They definitely seem pretty bright! But then again I don't have any water in there right now. I am going to see how it goes and upgrade to the reflector setup if needed at this point. I have a couple of old T8 smaller lamps from old aquariums I can use to supplement lighting while getting that all together if need be. Thank you again for your help Hoppy. Michael, screen is going today! I have some leftover light diffuser paneling I am going to use at the edges just to ensure the light itself doesn't fall into the tank by mistake. Some extra peace of mind for now. I am thinking I may just get glass tops for it to make life easier. Thanks again!
John Barrett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2017, 09:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 5
iTrader Ratings: 0
John Barrett is a regular member
:
Default Re: Greetings APC!

Just replaced the screen and wow! It must have been cutting about 1/4 of the light out!
John Barrett is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

« Frustrated user | - »

Aquatic Plant Central > Welcome Forums! > Introductions and Greets > Greetings APC!

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:30 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.