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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All,
Just want to share a 10 Gallon I planted yesterday and a little of the materials and process. I’ll update this thread as the tank matures.

Soil
Miracle grow Natures Care Organic Garden Soil. I dried, sifted, and capped an inch of it in the aquarium with 1.5” of 2-3 mm gravel. Ran and oxygen stone just because with a heater and blacked it all out for 4 weeks before adding plants. The idea was to remove some excess nutrients and tannins and give the soil a chance to break down. Heres what the water change looked like at the end of week 2 and week 4.

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Tableware Dishware Drinkware Liquid Ingredient


I just planted it yesterday with the following plants. Hygrophila Corymbosa, Hygrophila Angustifolia, Golden Nesaea Pedicellata, Ludwigia Repens, and Rotalla Indica. These are all fast growers that I think should do well under medium lighting for which I am running a 26 Watt Hygger-957 at 70% of max using a 5-4-5 siesta schedule. I think I planted heavily enough up front, and as I fill in the foreground and corners with some smaller plants, and the background fills in and matures I think Im going to like this one. Im going for a dense “mysterious” jungle. Im prepared to do some trimming.

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The only other equipment is a 50 watt heater preset at 78 and a glass cover. We’ll see how this one does, and I’ll keep you updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looks great! Your big water changes during the blackout effectively did the same thing as soak-and-drain cycles for the soil.
Yeah…that was the goal with the 4 week blackout and water changes. I just wanted to do it all in the tank so that the substrate was effectively set up from the beginning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Plants seem to have taken well. The H. Angustifolia pearls whenever the lights are on. I have a little hair algae at the tips and some diatoms throughout the tank. I put 6 Ghost Shrimp in today to help clean up and they are swimming all over munching on whatever they find. Ghosties sure are ugly, but it makes the tank look more natural to have some ugly critters in there. They are cheap enough, and once I get some fish they can eat the babys. Got quite a few snails and some Duck Weed that hitch hiked in on the plants. Trying to decide if I want to let the duck weed grow (I’ve read both good and bad.) The water is staying clear so far.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
2 Week Update.

It’s early still, but for a noob like me there are plenty of things to observe.

1.) I had to cut back the H. Angustifolia and Nasaea a few days ago. They were melting big time at the top. I’m wondering if those were emerged leaves. Regardless, I trimmed them and now have some new growth popping out at the nodes. Also had to thin out the H. Corymbosa. I had those packed in way too tight.
2.) I did away with the siesta and noticed the H. Angustifolia especially never stopped pearling. So I’m figuring there must be enough CO2 in the tank. I also cut back on the lighting by 10%. As cool as the pearling is, this isn't a high tech set up and everything I’ve read about lighting in low tech is to keep it as subdued as your plants will allow.
3.) Bladder Snails rock! The Ludwigia had a blackish film on the leaves making the leaves look dead. One day I noticed the snails all over it and by the next day the film was mostly gone revealing healthy leaves. I’m starting to see new growth now.
4.) Water is staying clear, no algae, shrimp are doing well. Got some water fleas and Daphnia and plenty of tiny worms starting to populate. It’ll be good eating for future inhabitants. Added a Crypt and some S. Repens and haven’t decided on what other foreground plants to put in there.


Plant Plant community Green Rectangle Terrestrial plant
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I found a chart Online where someone tested PAR on the Hygger 957 I am running in this tank. It’s 140 PAR at 11” which is about where my substrate sits.

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So essentially I have been blasting this tank with 84 PAR at the substrate running at 60%, and I’ve started to notice haze and hair Algae developing through the day so I cut lighting back to 40%. It’s allready clearing up. I’m still on the high end at around 50 PAR but Im going to see if it works. I realize I have some moderate to high light plants in there with the Nasaea and Ludwigia and they may be slower growing in the lower light. I’m wondering if I should just rip them out and replace them with some lower light faster growing varieties. No since in wasting time on them if they are not right for the tank. Any thoughts?
 

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You've got room in this tank to add more plant species without removing plants. Let the plants sort it out for you.
Tank looks nice.
With this high light intensity and a 12 hour photoperiod, you could try floating plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
You've got room in this tank to add more plant species without removing plants. Let the plants sort it out for you.
Tank looks nice.
With this high light intensity and a 12 hour photoperiod, you could try floating plants.
Thanks…I did get some E. Parvula going because I wanted a small open space like a meadow. As long as the Ludwigia and Nasaea keep growing and its not too slow for the realstate they consume then I’ll keep em. They are nice. I’ll bring the Rotalla forward some more at the first trimming so that will cover some more space. I may try some frogbit, and definitely another small foreground plant.
 

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Hi Roscoe!

I only joined APC yesterday.

From my perspective, your setup looks very good and I think I can see what you are trying to achieve.

You may be interested in My First Post.

There again, you may not be!

It depends on what each of us is trying to achieve...

Keep us posted!
 

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I tore down a 5 gallon I had (because my daughter liked it beter with rocks…let her see her dwarf frog better) and moved a couple of the plants over to this one. Added some Serpae Tetras too.
Looking very cute and lovely, Tetra is my favorite also. I had a 5gallon tank for my lovely tetras. In the beginning, tetra fish is not staying in the tank, it is jumping away. At first, I think my aquarium is not in a good situation for water temp, ph, Ammonia, or food problems. that's why I have changed the water, add a filter and some new food. But the problem is not solved. After all that I realized my 5gallon tank is not suitable perhaps. Then I update it into this Penn flax curved glass 10-gallon tank, And the water level keeps lower. Then the problem was solved. If your tetra stays in your tank without annoying, it's really good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So most of the plants lost all of their original leaves with the exception of the Crypt and the Rotalla. There was a period when every day I came home and had tons of leaves floating at the top. I would have been horrified had I not read that this is common. This must have been emmersed growth, because the new growth leaves look different than what was on the plants when I got them. So I trimmed the new growth from the tops and replanted. I pulled the Nasaea, because it just melted away completely. Zero Algae problems. Tetras still doing very well.
 

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Adjustment is tricky. No wonder people have trouble with plants! That's why I recommend starting with a small tank to gain experience and plants acclimated to the submerged form and their tank situation.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Adjustment is tricky. No wonder people have trouble with plants! That's why I recommend starting with a small tank to gain experience and plants acclimated to the submerged form and their tank situation.
Good luck!
The plants are still doing very well after the big melt off. The E. Parvula is sending out runners everywhere to form a nice carpet. Yes I’m glad I started with a couple of small tanks. The first one I was never really happy with (wrong light, not enough plants, wrong gravel etc). This one though I like.
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I haven’t been back to the forumn in a while, but wanted to post an update on this tank.

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I just did a massive trim and rearranged some stem plants because now that they have their submerged leaves and are stable I thought they’d look better in a different arrangement. The one plant that is hard to keep up with is the L. Repens at center right. A week from now it will be to the top and taking over the surface. It grows very fast. I ended up with the lighting back up at 60% for 12 hours a day. I felt like the plants were struggling a little at the lower light level. Its been that way for over a month now and the hazy water has not been a problem anymore, and still zero algae. So the tank is probably a little more in balance. It seems like maybe running a tank takes little tweaks as you go. And I’m not being very scientific about it with water testing and stuff. Just using the knowledge I’ve gained from this forum and adjusting based on how everything looks. So thanks all for the input!!
 
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