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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, let me say that i am relatively new to the planted tank. I had a tank 5 years ago, 20 gal, 20watt and grew swords, bacopa and c. wendetti quite successfully, but it was an established tank with plenty of fish...

Anyway, the itch to start a new planted tank hit me about a year ago, and i have been biding my time and saving the money, finally I decided to just go for it. I ordered some plants on ebay, and as the pictures will show, they did not arrive entirely intact.

This will be the journal for my 6.6 bookshelf, a tank there has been some interest in on the nano subcat...

6.6 gallons, 15W aqua glow, no co2... dosing excel daily, about 1ml,...eco-complete and mulm from girlfriend's tank :) a lot of mulm actually... thinking about adding a pouch of purigen to the filter...

java fern
dying java moss
microswords
dwarf sag
dying amazon sword
c. wendetti

cherry shrimp on the way (too soon? probably... was too excited!)

Note: the pictures are not great, the camera is 5 mega pix but does not work well with flash off, so flash had to be on... messes up the lighting...

Please tell me what you guys think! it is pretty rough now, but i am optimistic it will fill in...

front


left


right


Some questions i have...

Is my moss to brown and dead to keep? there is some green, fresh growth, but not much... hair algae is beginning to cling all over the moss...:pout:

Is the sword on the left too far yellowed and spotty to live?

The left end of the tank is a little too 'busy' isn't it?

The micro swords are too large for a foreground I think... The dwarf sags are in the back, and arrived smaller than the microswords, which struck me as rather odd... I figured they may fill out nicely after a while...:confused:

There is beginning to be some film collecting on the surface of the water, with some small, and seemingly indestructible bubbles... is this bad? Methinks it is bad...
All comments are welcomed! Be kind, this is my first attempt at a decent 'scape!
 

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You've chosen some rather large plant species for a 6.6 gallon tank, particularly the Amazon sword, which can get 24" tall or even taller.

You're lighting is inadequate for that size tank too. The 3 wpg rule goes out the window for smaller tanks. Get another 15 watts over the tank if you can.

You need more plants to start with too. You'll want to dose some macro and micro nutrients as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am thinking about modding the light fixture to allow for two 11-13watt cfls... I'd like to keep the costs low, and maintain the decent look of the provided hood.



I'm a little afraid that they would be too far off in the periphery, and that too much light with no co2 would result in an algae disaster... i have a 20oz paintball tank, and i have seen regulators and needle packs on http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/239899/product.web for about 35 dollars, and Niko's reactor would make for a pretty cheap co2 setup...

check post # 45 @ http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...2-pressurized-co2-using-paintball-tank-5.html for details on this cheap paintball regulator/valve combo

I figured the sword was a little too large, it was supposed to be a smaller "variety" but this was likely just an ebay advertising gimmick.

I left out that i have been using regular flourish every 3 days or so... i have flourish iron as well, figured id dose 1 ml every week... Haven't had a full week pass since planting, but plan on 10-20% weekly water changes...

I can't really afford new plants or the co2 yet... perhaps in a few weeks or something...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
RCS have been added. All arrived healthy and seem quite happy in the tank. Thanks very much to epicfish! His shrimp come highly recommended!

I am a little worried about ammonia from the decaying moss and sword. I think i am going to pull the sword and move it to my GF's tank... I have some carbon in the filter to remove some of the ammonia but i don't think the carbon works quite as well as other filter media...
 

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It would be better to somehow mod another long tube in the light fixture. Adding lights on either end will only produce hot spots that you might find difficult to work with.

You could try DIY CO2. The Excel you're adding should work pretty well too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It would be better to somehow mod another long tube in the light fixture
Absolutely, I wonder why i didn't think of it. The flashing and reflector on the inside take up a lot of room, but they are primarily just plastic. i could likely fashion a reflector/fixture out of similar white plastic, and put another tube in.

Is one reflector for two tubes a bad thing? I think they would have to be spaced only a few cm apart at most...

I didn't want to do anything too drastic, such as swapping the whole fixture, but that may just be easier and more effective... I just see the stock as something that serves its function, and ought not go to waste... I got some research to do...
 

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Red Sea makes a CO2 yeast product that is only about 20-30 dollars and lasts for a month all is need is replacing the mix every month or so. or DIY which you can look up on the internet. also not good to have carbon in the filter and adding excel as the carbon will absorb the chemicals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update:

I have decided to leave the light be for a little while, i will upgrade when i decide to add a few more plants....

I thought i was losing lots of cherries when i found little white shells all over the tank, about 2-4 every morning... I thought the cherries were dropping like flies! I quickly checked the nitrogen levels- nitrates approaching 20 and nitrate between 1-2 ppm, quite high!

I got some tetra easy balance, and some jungle 'ammonia clear' tabs, which have totally stabilized my tank! ive had 0 in both nitrate and nitrite now for 3 days!

Also the shrimp are very happy! Turns out all the white casings were merely exos left behind from molting! Newbie shrimp keeper just got a lot happier! Now that the shrimp are content, they are not hiding anymore, and i counted them and could account for all except for 2 or 3 of them- which were likely just hiding somewhere! Also, about 5 or 6 of my ladies are showing a saddle! Babbies in a few weeks? lets hope so!
 

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since ur tank is rather small maybe you could try smaller leaved plants. it'll make your tank look a lot bigger. im a beginner also so i dont have much advice but a friend of mine told me macro and micro nutrients get way too complicated when i asked him what fertilizers to get to promote the growth of the stem plants in my 5 gallon tank. so i went to aqua forest in San francisco and asked the guys there. they recomended this new line of products from ADA for begginers in aquascaping. its called DO! AQUA. you could order it online somewhere but since its a new product they havent posted it on their site yet. i've been dosing this along with flourish excel. now my plants are doing great. i only have a 15 watt flourescent. i'd suggest you to get thinner leaved plants and to plant your tank thicker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I really need to take new pictures, because the tank is growing quite well now. I moved some of the micro swords back a few inches, and have removed the amazon sword. Now the vast majority of the plants are "narrow leaf" or moss. I have a rare species of fissidens on the way, and a very nice anubias petite, as well as a bit more java fern.

I have been dosing every few days with excel, and there are tons of new shoots. The sag. sublata is wilting, and a few of my crypts aren't doing as well as they were, but i am confident they will bounce back in a month or so...
 
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