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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Kim's Journal 75g Planted Tank

This is my first planted tank in +/- 10yrs and my first high tech setup. I've been collecting and researching for almost 2yrs. The tank is located in my living room and I wanted a simple but lush design with only 3 plants one each for fore, mid, back ground.

The Plan

Equipment:
75g Oceanic tank
Coralife Aqualite 4 x 65w 6700K
Eheim Pro II 2026 canister
Root Therm 400 substrate heater
Visi-Therm Stealth Heater - 250W
Injected CO2

Decor:
Eco Complete substrate
Driftwood
Dark grey igneous rock
light river sand (for focal area)

Flora:
Glossostigma elatinoides
Blyxa japonica
Ludwigia inclinata var. verticillata "Cuba"
I realize this may be an ambitious selection but I am hard headed.

Fauna:
Otocinclus
Albino Ancistrus
Amano shrimp
Red Cherry shrimp
Cardinal Tetras
Lemon tetras
Apistogramma borelli

So I planned ahead, tested the tank, soaked driftwood for weeks, made a schedule for setup, ordered plants for a specific delivery date(from two different places).

Before I received the plant order I decided to play around with Carbo Plus unit. I was surprised by how large the unit was and yet it had a very hard time contributing measurable CO2 in the tank. I hooked up the injected CO2.

Image taken 12-22-08


I worked on the hardscape but the plants didn't arrive as scheduled. It became something of a saga but I waited and waited. The day at least one of my orders was guaranteed to arrive I went to a LFS and bought some sad leggy glosso from a LFS. I canceled the second order because it was going to be another two weeks before the plants got here.

Image taken 12-29-08


The ludwigia I ordered arrived as planned but was a bit slimmy and rough. I also think maybe it had been grown emersed. I started dissecting the glosso.

Image taken 1-1-09


I had discovered the plant give aways on APC and decided to jump on some Blyxa that was posted(thanks Niko). I also got to tour his fishroom and realized he was part of invertzfactory.com which I had been planning on purchasing some fish/shrimp from.

Image taken 1-4-09


I had some green fuzz algae show up on 1-7-09 so I cut back on the mid day burst and got 30 amano shrimp.

2 days and the fuzz algae is gone and 2.5 - 3 inches of plant growth in 7days. Things seem to be going well thanks to alot of input and encouragement from people here on APC.
Image taken 1-11-09


More to come! Comments and criticism welcome.
 

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Looking really good. Not much criticism at this point, sometimes less is more, IMO. Maybe a small midground plant all the way back on the left and right side to soften those gaps.

That looks like regular Ludwigia inclinata to me, or is it emergent maybe. :confused:
 

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Looks nice, none the less. For your sake I kind of hope it's something else because I've lost my infatuation with Cuba. I either can't grow it well, or when I do, it's too fast for my liking. Too quick to indicate problems, I personally don't have the time to be that on point with things these days, so my new fav in that category of shape and color is probably the more manageable Limnophila aromatica.
 

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Kim,

Unless you have played in Photoshop the tank looks VERY healthy.

This Glosso that you have in there seems way too tall. Is it trying to reach up to the light? Or you had it planted not really short? Usually when you plant Glosso you take 3-10 leaves that have roots, bunch them together and plant this whole tiny bouquet. You pepper the bottom with those "bouquets". And it all looks very low to the substrate - only 1/4" to 1/2" tall at most. What is happening in your case?

The tank looks somehow too ordered. But if I try to follow the driftwood branches with my eyes it seems that the layout has some hidden dynamic in it. Is that how you meant it to be?

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Unless you have played in Photoshop the tank looks VERY healthy.
Good!
This Glosso that you have in there seems way too tall. Is it trying to reach up to the light? Or you had it planted not really short? Usually when you plant Glosso you take 3-10 leaves that have roots, bunch them together and plant this whole tiny bouquet. You pepper the bottom with those "bouquets". And it all looks very low to the substrate - only 1/4" to 1/2" tall at most. What is happening in your case?
The glosso was very unhealthy when I got it. Very tall with tiny leaves very long singular roots. Alot of stems with decaying roots. I had to disect it. Now that the upper leaves have gotten larger and sprouted roots I am pruning and planting low plantlets which are now growing horizontally. Obviously time intensive but thats what I had to work with.

The tank looks somehow too ordered. But if I try to follow the driftwood branches with my eyes it seems that the layout has some hidden dynamic in it. Is that how you meant it to be?
I agree it looks very static. right now the Ludwigia stems are planted individually. I was thinking they could use as much light and space as possible until acclimated, especially since I think they were grown emersed (or its not cuba). I was thinking i would work with groupings the Ludwigia irregularly to create an ebb and flow to play off of the driftwood limbs.

I'll keep working on it.

Kim
 

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Very nice work, Kim.

Can you please explain, how you setup the roots and how you balanced them? Did you use any wires to tie them up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Ravi.
Can you please explain, how you setup the roots and how you balanced them? Did you use any wires to tie them up?
I attached slate to the bottom of a couple of the pieces and buried it in the substrate. The others are wedged with rock. There is no wire right though there is one piece I might tie down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Kim's Journal 75g Planted Tank

Week 5 update

I intended to edit my first entry (like Edward did for "starting new aquarium") but I just can't figure that out apparently.

Tank is cycled and quickly depletes nitrogen
Plants mostly doing well. See glosso traing pictures. But Ludwigia is showing some curved and cupped new growth.

some minor rearranging of driftwood, plant prunning/repositioning/and training
Image taken 1-17-09


NOW- Glosso tending horizontally with prunning now that it is healthier (glosso was tall and pale with tiny leaves when purchased, sucker!)


BEFORE- Glosso healthier after being in tank for 10 days, time for prunning now that plantelets are developing roots
 

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It's possible that the curved growth is a calcium deficiency. Do you know your GH and are you using anything to boost it, like GH booster, Seachem Equilibrium or calcium sulfate? If your source is tap water with a decent degree of GH, you may be ok with regular water changes, but tap water's GH is not always made up of an ideal ratio of both Ca and Mg, which is where the booster comes into play.

Also, are you dosing any ferts at all? With that amount of light along with pressurized CO2, nutrient uptake should be fast enough to require constant dosing, otherwise you may continue to see strange things happen or even loss of plants. If you haven't started yet, take a look at the PPS-Pro subforum in the Fertilizing forum. That's about as easy as it gets for high tech, similar to using the entire Seachem Flourish line but only two bottles to deal with, much cheaper, and a little math and mixing every few months.

As far as editing your original post, this may be one of the forums that only displays the edit button for so many days.
 

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Yes the time has come. The time to start adding fertilzers. The glosso looks very healthy and you should keep it that way :)

I hope now you don't run to the store to get test kits and start on the long path of calculating, measuring and mixing and telling your what your plants what to eat, how to behave, and what their political views must be.

Either way if you choose EI/PPS or the "straight and narrow path" it is going to be fun. Look at that tank! It's already vibrant! You are about a month away from a lush jungle!

Nice! :D

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
jaidexl - My Kh has been 5 and GH 8. I use RO and equilibirum. im going with pps-pro (mixed the solutions today).
I thought calcium defic. as well until I double checked hardness. The tank has been completely depleting nitrogen. I have been adding some as well as potasium.

I am running half the lights for 6 hours with a 2 hour mid day burst.

I am going to start the pps-pro regime tommorrow but am unsure of whether to start with the full dose or some lesser amount. Opinion?

Thanks,
Kim
 

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Everything looks great. With ferts, I like to start off with 1/2 dose and gradually increase as plants need it to avoid algae outbreaks.
 

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Well, if politics is off the table, let me ask you.... what religion are you going to raise your plants in?
LOL!

Kim, also check the plant a few hours from lights on. I've got no experience with L. inclinata, but I know some of my other Ludwigias are all mangled first thing in the morning and a few hours into the photoperiod. I always figured it was a normal "day blooming" sort of thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Week 6 Update

Plants, fish, and shrimp all doing well. Been dosing pps-pro. So much plant growth the tank eats up all nitrogen. Have been supplementing Seachem Nitrogen I had on hand to raise to 1ppm over one week.

Some minor algae growth but cleaning crew keeping it in check. Some glosso still tending upward though otherwise very healthy looking. I'll increase mid-day burst from 1hr45min to 2hr 15min and lengthen regular lighting from 7 to 8 hours.

Image taken 1-24-09


ancistrus and shrimp on driftwood


ancistrus close-up


cherry shrimp


Thanks for looking!
 
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