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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm hanging in there!
I can provide closeups of any plant(s).
Some die back, but also new growth is present.
Day 2:

Day 9:

My parameters:
50g tank (36x18x19)
~100 watts standard fluorescent various plant grow tubes
about 10hrs full and 1hrs 50 watts (I have a glass canopy these lights sit on that has some incredibly stubborn hard water deposits, so I'm guessing I'm losing at least 25% wattage)
Eco-complete substrate
pH (power of hydrogen, fun mnemonic only) 7.2 without CO2 closer to 6.8 with CO2
GH (general hardness) 100 ppm
KH (carbonate hardness) 150
Dosing Seachem as per their Aquarium dosing chart (dry ferts on the way)
Flourish tabs spaced 4-6 inches
Water temp 81F
Ammonia ~0ppm, Nitrite ~ 0ppm, Nitrate ~30ppm
Fluval 305 sponges and bio media only
Hydor CO2 pressure reducer Hydor diffuser on 24/7 about 40 bubbles per min
Drop checker reads green with aquarium water KH standard on the way
Air stone during lights off
2 Male Electric Blue Ram (Boron and Xenon)
2 Female German Blue Ram (Freon and Krypton/Helion)
2 Rummy Nose Tetras
2 Emerald Green Cory
5 Scarlet Badis
9 Cherry Shrimp (fish food?)
1 Mystery Snail
My story so far: http://fwaquarium.blogspot.com/
 

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I like your scape, especially the wood. The tank will probably do better when you get the dry ferts. My guess is you need more Co2. When I used a drop checker with tank water it wasn't reliable. I run my Co2 at 4bps through my XP3 on my 55g.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Veloth. I wish much of the testing technology in this hobby were not tied to identifying subtle color shades. I've gotten away most of my life with saying that's green or blue and never worried about greenish blues and yellowish greens etc. A new drop checker and standard solution may arrive today and dry ferts in a day or two. Thanks so much for the interest. I'm so happy to be back to this hobby after years. I agree that piece of drift wood is pretty darn cool. It's uber large, but I decided to give it a go and make it the centerpiece of the tank. You can see a pic of only it in the tank and some details about where I got it here: http://fwaquarium.blogspot.com/2009/06/driftwood.html. Thanks for your thoughts!

I like your scape, especially the wood. The tank will probably do better when you get the dry ferts. My guess is you need more Co2. When I used a drop checker with tank water it wasn't reliable. I run my Co2 at 4bps through my XP3 on my 55g.
 

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I gave up on the drop checkers when I got my 75g, I just started the Co2 at what I thought was close then monitored my fish as I increased it. When they went to the top I backed it off a hair and left it there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey thanks for checking in! Today is day 17 planted and my 5th day on ferts using EI (my first significant attempt at a planted tank). I also added a Coralife F/W T-5 Aqualight Double Strip Light-36 today so I'm up to about 140 watts for a 50g tank. I'll post a new pic in this thread tomorrow and perkiness can be assessed! :rolleyes:. I'm having fun anyway! Thanks again.

Nice closeup (and thanks for making me hungry), the ferts should really perk things up in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
It's day 46 planted and here's a pic! It's especially interesting to compare to the pic of day 2 at the start of this thread! I've been pretty lucky I feel so far and have been having a blast. I've just been planting everything I can get my hands on to see what I can grow. It's about time for my first trim (especially the wisteria as you can see).

I noticed two ich spots today after being clean for a bunch of days. Sorta stumped by that, but in any case that's why you see the micron filter hanging on the front and UV in tank on the right. Most of my plants are doing great. I'm spot treating some algae on my driftwood and hope I can keep that under control.
I have a 4x39 CA light fixture now and I'm using Pfertz and I can say I'm enjoying the convenience and sexiness! :p I'm still using my Hydor CO2 disposable canister system. Please leave a comment/suggestion for the noob, that's me! I should name the tank? Do y'all name your tanks?
 

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Your tank is filling in nicely! Some people name their tanks some, myself included, don't. I call my tanks 55g, 75g and 20g. I guess it's some sort of artsy thing. Each to his own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ha, ha, artsy, yeah. I created a thread a couple of weeks back asking folks whether they thought aquascaping was more art or science. Hmmm, I still can't come up with a name for mine!:rolleyes: "Unmitigated Chaos" maybe. My wife would name it "Clutter", he, he.

Your tank is filling in nicely! Some people name their tanks some, myself included, don't. I call my tanks 55g, 75g and 20g. I guess it's some sort of artsy thing. Each to his own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Day 54



My first planted tank Day 54 with pics: I performed my first significant trim yesterday. I cut back the Rotala indica in the front about halfway down. I also removed a couple of Wisteria stems. It's so tough to trim. I'm so proud of the progress each little plant has made, silly I know. I'll learn. I've been using Pfertz fertilizers lately. For now the convenience is just really hard to beat. I'm still running a UV sterilizer. You can see the cable on the front right. I removed the hang on tank micron filter for the pictures. Both are in response to a couple of Ich nodules I spotted a couple of days ago. I added a Rotala wallichii yesterday. What else? Dealing with some unwanted snails. Spot treating algae with hydrogen peroxide. Added some more root tabs. I keep meaning to take a front shot so you can see everything at once, but I only think about it during the day and the natural light reflections are too much. Maybe I'll remember tonight. Having tons of fun! Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The good, bad, and the ugly.

The good, bad, and the ugly at day 60 of my first planted tank.
I still feel like my tank is a test bed for learning what I can grow. Some stuff is doing pretty well like my Vallisneria, two varieties of Rotala, the surviving ruffled sword is finally beginning to thrive, and my Amazon swords are doing well. My Ammannia gracilis is growing, but I can't imagine how folks get it as red as I see in pictures. Dwarf hair grass is looking a little ugly. The Anubias nana is finally free of brown spots and growing well. Wisteria grows too well, ha, ha. My mosses are in the ugly category I'd say. Bad includes the Micranthemum micranthemoides I planted. There may be some left, but it either got too hot in shipping or just died. I think there a couple of other plants that just died right away but I've forgotten what. I'm having great fun. Every time I look at the tank I'm amazed. I imagine eventually I'll begin thinking more about layout and design, but not yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
The ugly ugly.

Here's the ugly ugly, algae. The good guys are two Otos, some red cherry shrimp, an Amano shrimp, and a mystery snail. Also on the good guy team are hydrogen peroxide spot treatments and a new Hydor Nano to increase water flow. I've also shortened my very bright light cycle and reduced ferts temporarily. Below you'll see algae on my Anubias, driftwood, and in my moss.



 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I took a bunch of pictures tonight (see previous three posts with pics in this thread about tank location, plants, and algae) as a record of day 60 so if I can answer any questions or post any photo closeups please let me know. Also, if you have any thoughts or suggestions please let me know.
thanks!
 

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I think you are doing great! You're learning how things grow. Once you figure that out then you can work on placement. Lower your photo period and/or increase your CO2 and the algae will go away. Some people just decide to dose Excel along with any other carbon source they have. It keeps the algae away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Tex Gal.
I worry about Excel and Vals. I need to read more about it.
Day 78
Still working on dosing.
Some stuff growing well:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
My first planted tank. Started 92 days ago.
Still learning!
50tall glass (36 x 18 x 19)
Fluval 305 with sponge over intake (sponge removed, flow would reduce about every week)
36 inch BLACK SOLAR T5 HO - 4 X 39W
Eco-Complete
Hydor Pressurized CO2
Confused dosing, getting EI schedule established, no, still using Pfertz so maybe it's RMDD?
Flora:
Amazon Swords- look good (one leaf new or twisted, yellow leaf?)
Anubias Barteri- diminished brown spots, new growth, some black specks of algae, one leaf that looks rusted, make that two, yellow specks
Anubias Frazeri- good, new growth, one yellow leaf
Hygro Giant- significant die off when planted, current robust growth. Some removed.
Java Moss- improving
R. rotundifolia- robust, trimmings traded to LFS
R. wallichii- poor, removed
R. macrandra- Dead.
Ruffle Sword- two of three dissolved and remaining sample looks good.
Vallisneria- die off when planted, much new growth, runners (across front of tank, doh)!
Wisteria- half or more initial stems completely lost, submerged leaf patterns then wild growth, 95% removed
Dwarf Hair Grass- never looked good, removed.
Hygrophilia polysperma- good
Cabomba- good
Hornwort- robust backup biomass, 50% removed
Anacharis- robust backup biomass, removed
Ammania gracilis- good new growth with red stems
Micranthemum micranthemoides- dead.
Riccia fluitans- good
Hydrocotyle leucocephala- good (too good?), didn't realize those leaves could get so big, almost like lily pads
Fauna:
5 Scarlet Badis
2 Electric Blue Rams (two males in love)
4 Rummy Nose Tetras
2 Otos
2 Corydoras
3 Red Cherry Shrimp
1 Amano Shrimp
1 Mystery Snail
6-66 Pond Snails
5 new galaxy rasbora!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Latest pics at day 92. Wish I could show off my new galaxy rasbora. They are so cool, but the Badis looks awfully pretty. :p
BTW, I don't call this the "flying pig" for nothing! I neeeeeed to trim/relocate/etc.!
I don't think there is actually anything in here anyone would want, I think all my plants are of the easy to get easy to grow variety, but I'd be happy to send trimmings for postage only. Just let me know. I'm having a blast. It makes me happy just to stare! :cool:


 
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