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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. This is my first attempt at a planted tank. The Driftwood was bought from FishandTurtleJunkie, the rocks are from ch3fb0yrdee and the anubias nana petite and C.wendetii are from Bert H.
The substrate is aquariumplants.com own, and I also have their substrate fert tabs. I have a coralife 30" CF 65w 6700k light. I am using a HOB aquaclear 50 filter. I am not using CO2 but i am using excel for my carbon source and I am also using flourish 2 times a week.

Floura:
Hygro Angustifolia
Ludwigia Repens
Java fern Narrow Leaf
Cryptocoryne Wendetii
Cryptocoryne Willesii
Anubias Nana Petite

Also have Anubias nana, Wisteria, Dwarf Sag, and Java moss to be added soon.

No fish in there yet. Many snails though. Any suggestions on fish would be welcome

Hope you enjoy. Suggestions welcome
Thanks
 

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Very nice start for your first try! I like the curve of the driftwood on the right side of the picture. I also like how clean the background is and how it goes well with the substrate and rocks. Very monochromatic without being the very same color. Different shades of gray and black. That makes the plant colors pop.

My suggestion would be to add fish! [smilie=l: Seriously, I'd consider trying to find a focal plant that's different from the rest in color and/or leaf texture. Something that pops. It would look good in the cleared area on the mid/left side. Then add a foreground that intertwines from that area, around the center, and then back into the right side opening. Keep it curvy. It'll tie it all together, and if it's kept short enough, it won't cover your nice hardscaping.

My other suggestion would be to watch carefully for algae during this phase. Best way to prevent algae is to ensure your plants are growing well. If the Flourish liquid ferts aren't enough (I'm not fond of them to be honest), then consider using dry ferts. Even with a smaller tank, dry ferts will work.

Good luck with your new scape! You have a great start going. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
hey Complexity,

In my post I also said I had a few more plants on the way. I was thinking of taking my wisteria I will be getting and putting it just where you had said. I want to keep it short and bush like. Also I was thinking of buying dry ferts but I have my substrate tabs that I want to get through first. So I will just supplement a few ferts in the water column for my none root feeders. Of course this all depends on how well my plants grow. I have had over 4" of growth on my Repens before I trimmed and added my hardscape.

sunstar,

Thanks for the kind words
 

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I've combined root tabs and dry ferts, but I have a larger tank with deeper substrate which may make a difference.

A wisteria centerpiece will be interesting! Mine usually grows much too fast, but it might grow slower for you so you can keep it trimmed to shape. I can't wait to see how it looks when you get it and it grows in the way you want.

Have you considered trying any plants with red coloring? Plants with red in them are my own personal favorite so, naturally, I see a red plant as a centerpiece (I have a Red Tiger Lotus as my centerpiece). But you can put some gentle reds around the tank to not take over the centerpiece, but to just add some extra color. I think Hygro 'sunset' will look good. It's a very fast grower, but it trims up really easily. I think the colors would blend nicely with the greens and yellows you have now; plus, add a soft pink/red to the mix.
 

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Hygro is great. Mine is starting to go pinkish once again. Trims a charm, once you get it sending out off shoots you can sort of coax it into a bush.

The red tiger lotus can grow huge, but I have one in my tank, it's my center peice. the original plant I got was barely the size of a quarter, but it's grown out wonderfully.

I am trying out red cabomba too. So I agree here, reds are quite nice. Even a few red crypts are charming. I have a blassi which has a stunning magenta coloured underside.

root ferts I use are bits of jobes plant stakes stuffed under heavy feeders. Which seems to work for me. I used fert tabs and had a bad experiance (not the seachem type)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Complexity

How deep is your substrate? mine is atleast 3"
The Repens I have is a "pink" but my lighting being only 2 watts/gal I do not believe I will get the color. The Hygro sunset you speak of, how does it handle my lighting? Would I get full color? It might make a nice addition towards the back right by the Java fern. I was also thinking of Hornwort to give a different leaf shape. Maybe add some contrast.
 

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I have my substrate sloped so it's about 3" in the front and probably 6"-7" in the back. Most of my heavy substrate feeders are in the back which is where I put the fert tabs.

2wpg isn't bad. I've talked with an online friend who said his 'sunset' was doing well in medium light. I discussed this with him because my sunset was appearing washed out with my 2.8 wpg (which is actually brighter since it's a TEK fixture with great reflectors). I plan to put it more to the side where it wont get the full light as it does when it's in the center.

So I think the H. 'sunset' should well for your setups. And if not, then you can trade it to someone else.
 

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I have found that the Hygro sunset needs potassium nitrate (aprox. 6mm weekly) and iron (aprox. 6mm weekly) if injected Co2 not used. If using injected Co2 more iron needs to be added to get the pink. For some reason for me and others it looses the pink color with injected Co2 but not with flourish excel.
 

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I have been adding a very tiny amount of potassium nitrate for the hygo and since then, yes it seems a little pinker and the lines more pronounced. I don't have a digital scale so I can't make the solutions yet. I would like to make the solutions.
 

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I just use a baby medicine measure to dose with ferts. You can probably add up to 6mm of potassium nitrate weekly.
 

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I use dry ferts for EI dosing and have started adding Iron on the days I dose micros. So I'll have to see if that helps with the color. It's definitely not a nitrate shortage so I'll have to see if it's the iron that it wants for the pink color.

I've also considered that my lights may be too bright for it. I have 2.88wpg with a TEK fixture. I'm thinking I may move it to my (soon to be setup) 29g which will have about 2.5wpg, but these are cheaper fixtures with T5 NO bulbs instead of the T5 HO bulbs in my TEK fixture. So the wpg doesn't exactly measure up the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am going to be trying dry ferts soon. I am going to be trying the PPS-Pro as outlined here on the forum ferts area. Seems an easy and effective way to dose for a lower tech tank. Seeing as I only have 2watts/gal and no CO2 I think this will work just fine to get the plants what they need and not too much more.
I am also looking for some sunset hygro and a few other plants at this time to help get some color contrast to my tank.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I added fish yesterday. I have 6 zebra danios to get this tank started. I also added some Marsilea Minuta in the front middle to right. Behind that I added some dwarf sags but it looks like crap. I have more coming to replace what I got. I also added a little java moss on the stump and DW to the left of stump. Also I have sunset hygro coming as soon as I return from vacation.
 

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your driftwood looks like its perfect for making a tree, maybe you could tie a little xmas moss onto it?
 

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I have a similar setup and 2wpg is not as low a light tank as you may think. With that light there are a large number of plants that will grow. I would even say that most plants will grow with that. I have a madagascar lace plant that is always putting off new leafs. Even after it went thought a dormancy period it has started to sprout out new leafs. Most I see go overboard with lighting, I did this too when I started. The setup that you have is IOM a good choice. You might compliment it with some co2. Excel will work but with co2 you will have more options and IMO better growth. You are off to a wonderful start.
 

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chagovatoloco are your lights T8s? Have read that the 2 wpg was based on the use of T12s. What kind of plants are you growing? What kind of Co2 are you using, diy or pressure?
 

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My lights are power compacts the same that the original poster has. I have pressurized co2 and I have had Christmas moss, Crinum Calamistratum, Madagascar lace plant, ludwigia repens and many common plants like java fern and java moss. I know the old rule was based on the old t12's, but most do not know that and think that 2wpg is low light. I just wanted to tell the poster that their is a lot that can be done with this setup.
 

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I have had sunset hygro with high light and CO2. I have dosed EI and added iron with the traces. My hygro was very pink/red with very pronounced veins. I never had any issues with it staying green. I don't have this plant now but it remains one of my favorites. It's very beautiful and grows like crazy!
 

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Looks like you are off to a great start. I think just need to add 1 cap full of Flourish excel when you do water changes.
 
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