65 gallon tall planted

JoshP12

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Hello all!

I haven’t posted in some time not because I have given up, lol, but because I have undergone construction.

I automated my water change through the wall through 1 tube.

Behind the wall, I have my water change reservoir hooked into the tubes with a pump connected to a smart plug (so I can turn the pump off from the other side while I watch the tank fill). The valve system has one direction into a drain and the other is from the reservoir.

I attached my gravel vac to a little handle on the wall hidden.

After the minor flood, I rejigged the set to be much cleaner and siliconed the bottom of my framing from the unfinished to finished part. Yes, I said minor flood - baby cried and I forgot the reservoir fill valve on - I have to get the first one out of the way right?

I will be installing and overflow into my drain.

All that to say, I am watching the tank fill peacefully right now. .

Some choices that I have made:
1) Tropica power aqua soil + cosmetic sand from whatever brand the LFS has any suggestions?

2) I ditched all my hunted wood except for the two main pieces. My scape will be more heavily focused on plants with that primary piece of to the right with a sand bed around it.

I’m itching to get it up and running, so I am not going to play with diy soils one this one.

My next post will be about filter intake and outtake placement. I want to fill it and try out some locations to see the flow, and then I’ll upload some options for some feedback.

Cheers,
Josh
 

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JoshP12

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Well - the API XP FILSTAR M does not seem to have enough flow to use as the sole flow creator.

Regardless of where I situate it, I think I will need a power head of some kind.

Any ideas as to what I need to buy/how I can make it work?

In the attached picture I’ve attempted to quickly sketch out the proposed hardscape /sand around it and then the greenery which will be dwarf hair grass + rotala rotundifolia and hra some crypts etc.

Where would the ideal placement be for the intake/outtake and co2?

NOTE: in the picture my output tube is closer to the front and that is just because my tubing is long and I haven’t cut it yet - it would be placed, in my little trial here, in the back left.

Josh
 

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Kezzab

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The placement of tje intake and outflow is fine and will create a roughly circular flow around the tank.

If you were to add an additional pump i'd place it in the left back corner pointing towards the front glass, or just underneath your filter outlet.

I use a fluval cp2 for the same purpose.
K
 

JoshP12

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Thanks for the feedback @Kezzab,

Just a follow up:
1) Do you mean the current filter output placement or the one where I said it was more to the back? I thought about also maybe putting the filter outlet in the center of the tank instead. That left side is one of the primary viewing angles (as people walk downstairs) so I don't know if I want the tube impeding it (but I will for health of the tank).

2) Will the giant flora on the left impede the flow? I want a dense bush there.

3) I plan to get a power head (after seeing the flow) and again from (2), should it go infront or behind the bush AND should it go closer to the top of water line for gaseous exchange or in the bottom to create a current deeper in the tank?

4) CO2 diffuser - I have read lots and lots of thread about this - My current diffuser should be fine, but in terms of placement, do I put it under the filter intake or somewhere on the left near that big flora -- My fear which is happening in my 10 gallon is that the bush grows too large over it and then none of the CO2 bubbles make it to the top and, as a result, do not get dispersed to the rest of the tank. If I go with the output in the center, and throw the diffuser under my filter intake, then this may work really well. My thought is: if it is under the intake, THEN I have a concentration of CO2 over the sand cap ... lame ... although theoretically it will distribute.

ALTERNATE idea: what if I threw the intake in the back left with the CO2 diffuser on that side under the inlet, then my bush can absorb the non-zero CO2 that would have been over the sand cap AND the filter output will blow the bubbles around ... then I have this "dead spot" of CO2 in between the outlet and inlet, which is where the rest of the flora will be.

Another thought: after I determine the placement of the diffuser, throw the power head over top of the bubbles. If this idea seems more appealing to my learned friends of UKAPS, then I will move towards planning this.

EDIT: I added a diagram to maybe help with diffuser placement ideas -- I am keen on switching the inlet to conceal the hardware.

With regards,
Josh
 

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Kezzab

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I really do mean this in a helpful way: stop thinking and start doing.:)

It's not hard to move a filter outlet or powerhead or diffuser. Get the tank set up and experiment. Or just fill it with water and set up your equipment, no plants, and see what works.

You wont know until you try.
 

JoshP12

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Wow substrate makes all the difference!

Screwed in the slate so the wood doesn’t float (it took quite a bit actually to make sure they sink).

Base is fluorite with a sprinkling of the good stuff. Then a few inches of tropica powder soil!!!

Please share your thoughts!

Planting plan to come.

Cheers,
Josh
 

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Kezzab

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Hi, shaping up! To my eye you will end up with a tank that might look like it has 2 separate halves.

If you built the aquasoil a liitle higher, then shifted your wood left, so that it pokes from the soil towards the sand, that will make it look like its emerging from your plants rathwr than sitting apart from them.

Id also push the soil back from the front glass and add sand right along the front. That will help integrate the 2 halves and give more sense of flow along the length of the tank.

You're not far off i reckon.
K

Edit: think about the wood pointing from bqck left corner to front right, and trying to create diagonal.lines from back to front, and side to side.
 
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If you lift out the right hand most piece of wood spin it 180 degrees clockwise when looking from the top and reposition it to the left of the remaining piece of wood, you should get a feel for what @Kezzab is suggesting (which I agreee with).
 

JoshP12

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Great suggestions!! I have kept them in my mind for future scapes ;). For this one, just because I had it all set with the slate etc I left it, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the feedback!!!!

I have my skimmer+ heater, and I have got an idea for planting + diffuser placement. Filling the tank for a dark start until the AI primes get here.

I will post an updated planting schema!

Josh
 

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JoshP12

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Just a tiny update! I will have the lights by March and I am getting my plants from one person, so all of those will be planted all at once after the lights!


I have a planting plan that I will post, but for now, I have been playing around with flow - although it is not accurate (because plants will influence it), it’s still ok.

I have 3 power heads, I can remove any (please advise if you think, but I think that decision will need to be made after planting and after fish.

The bottom one can feed oxygen into the tank, or not.

I posted a photo with the air being added.

After all of my reading, I think (and please advise) the air integration is best.

More bubbles = more possibility for bubbles to release oxygen into water column along their path + more gaseous exchange at the surface = more stable system

My only accommodation will be that I will probably have to pump in more CO2, but I think it will be worth high O2 levels, because then I can pump in more CO2 as my fish still have high oxygen.
 

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JoshP12

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Hello all!

Since I have time while I wait for the dark start to cycle + wait for my lights, I have some time with no stress about fish health - fishless for the win!!!

Thinking ahead (since I have gassed fish before by accident and never want to again) I have been thinking about how to retain high levels of oxygen at all times with good flow - this is especially important since I have a deep tank.

So I ran a test to find out what I think most of us “know” because it holds in principle but I wanted to “see” it.

DO probe calibrated.

I uploaded the graph.

I turned off the bubbler (which feeds into a power head - lowest in the tank so the rest spin those bubbles through the tank) and waited about 20ish hours and saw a dip down to 6.2 ish ppm of Oxygen (I say Ish because my calibration was good but come on, I am human - haha).

I turned on my aerator and you can see how quickly it cranks up to around 8.2 — it turned off just a bit before I woke up — it was at 8.0-8.1-8.2 this morning :). (The 7.7 you see displayed is the DO when I first ran the test).

With error, I think I am at equilibrium with temperature at 77/78 f and pressure on my area!

Healthy fish here we come? Forced pearling here we come?

I also think, I could not run it during on hours (for aesthetic) if my rate of depletion is slow (as we can kind of see).

Cheers,
Josh
 

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Wookii

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Hello all!

Since I have time while I wait for the dark start to cycle + wait for my lights, I have some time with no stress about fish health - fishless for the win!!!

Thinking ahead (since I have gassed fish before by accident and never want to again) I have been thinking about how to retain high levels of oxygen at all times with good flow - this is especially important since I have a deep tank.

So I ran a test to find out what I think most of us “know” because it holds in principle but I wanted to “see” it.

DO probe calibrated.

I uploaded the graph.

I turned off the bubbler (which feeds into a power head - lowest in the tank so the rest spin those bubbles through the tank) and waited about 20ish hours and saw a dip down to 6.2 ish ppm of Oxygen (I say Ish because my calibration was good but come on, I am human - haha).

I turned on my aerator and you can see how quickly it cranks up to around 8.2 — it turned off just a bit before I woke up — it was at 8.0-8.1-8.2 this morning :). (The 7.7 you see displayed is the DO when I first ran the test).

With error, I think I am at equilibrium with temperature at 77/78 f and pressure on my area!

Healthy fish here we come? Forced pearling here we come?

I also think, I could not run it during on hours (for aesthetic) if my rate of depletion is slow (as we can kind of see).

Cheers,
Josh

Josh, what DO probe/meter are you using there?
 

JoshP12

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Hi @Wookii,

They are Vernier brand! I noticed that as the temperature increased (in my tank) the max number DO reading that I saw decreased -- so it seems ok (but it could all just be compounded error based on the time I actually looked at it ;) ) !

I was ultimately looking for relative change more so than extremely, extremely accurate readings.

Josh
 

JoshP12

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Back from the grave!

I have an updated planting layout, and I would definitely take any feedback on plant choice/positioning etc. In particular, the epiphytes AND where could I put moss?

I will write the plant list here just in case it is hard to read with my paint photo.

In the order they appear: S. Repens, Crypt (red/bronze colored), Vietnam H'Ra, Rotala Rotundifolia, Ludwigia Repens, Sword, Crypt Parva, Anubias, Buce Arrogant blue + Montleyana, Java fern (small clippings that I will just put in background to see if they live).

I uploaded a photo of my old 10 gallon which is growing some of these plants out for me -- it has turned into a jungle. It has Rotala Rotundifolia, colored crypts, anubias, Ludwigia repens and the java fern clippings ... but it has a giant chunk of moss (java) -- can I use it (of course I can, but should I/where?)?

Thought: leave the entire right side empty of plants?

On that picture of just the right hand side, I noticed some build up of an algae-like substance on my bubbler tube ... but I dark started entirely -- any thoughts what it is? -- It could be algae, but I am just curious. The rest of the gunk I think are bacteria sheets!

The following is a summary of the experiments that I did to help me learn more about the tank, feel free to skip the next part.

So, about 5ish weeks ago, I flooded the tank to see if I would experience an ammonia spike from the off-gas from the substrate. I didn't notice much. I loaded the substrate up with my root tabs (probably 25 or so) and boom ammonia spike (yes)! The cycle began -- this whole time no lights (as I am waiting on them to come next Friday) -- and I removed 1/2 the media from my 10 gallon and plunked it into the canister. Then I repeated this process until my 10 gallon had almost 1/6 of the original media --- ps ZERO ammonia spike on the 10 gallon ... the power of plants. My cycle was "done" in about a week. I did a 60% water change and loaded up more root tabs into my substrate. At this point, I observed the ammonia spike and the mini-cycle ended in 3 days.

This was now a phenomena that I could predict, expected, and know how to deal.

Now, I have to accredit @dw1305 for my chemistry journey below, as he was intricate in my understanding.

So, I decided to check out some other stuff. Oddly, my GH was dropping -- how could Ca and Mg go down without any flora/fauna around - my substrate. The Ca and Mg, through ion exchange, was being absorbed into my Tropica Powder soil. I made the connection that that is what the process of remineralizing soil is referred to as (except instead of adding the ions through the water column, it is added as dolomite lime ... because you are baking it and submerging etc) -- this further solidifies the idea that stuff takes up nutrients through the water column, which we "know" but it is cool to make the connection for real.

Well what Ion was forcing the exchange -- a source of H+ from rain water when the Tropica Soil was formed in nature BEFORE it became rolled up into little balls - lol.

No wonders, my pH was dropping like crazy - my substrate liberating H+ into the system and nitrification.

Further, with this increased concentration of Ca and Mg in the substrate, I noticed (also from nitrification) that my KH was dropping like crazy - it went in around 4dkH and within a week was down to 1/2 or 1 dkH. These minerals were absorbing the CO3 from my system and into the substrate. At this point I realized that it might be a good idea to plunk some Dolomite lime root tabs into the substrate just to keep everything stable - which I am still toying with the idea (please advise me!!!) -- but I am not sure how they will respond to the pH swing from injected CO2 -- it might be bad.

Ok, so now I am preparing my water to be a nutrient pack-a-punch for when I plant: but I notice I have little phosphate in the water column -- color tests sucks but they suck all the time, so they acted a good "relative change" barometre. My root tabs have so much stuff in them that I should detect phosphate - further it is the lowest concentration of the NPK - so if I detect it, then I have the rest by default. The micros - they are fine.

Ok, no phosphate, no phosphate, no phosphate -- what's going on? I am thinking that the phosphate is bound up in my substrate -- so I did a test -- I dosed dry phosphate into the column, immediate test and then performed subsequent tests to see color change (there is lots of error here) but what happened is what is expected - the color lightened and phosphate was removed from the column and had nowhere to go but into the substrate, bounded up with calciums or ions etc.

So, I am convinced that my substrate has a lot of nutrients that is readily available for my plants to take up.

I should add that I exclusively (aside from some squirts of potassium) dose that 10 gallon with these root tabs.

Side note: amongst this, I did the O2 test and that was super cool - bubbler for the win.

Currently, I have my betta living in there - he loves it.

Yesterday, I did a water change and only added 4 root tabs (since I have livestock so I cannot be crazy anymore) -- and my pH has not plummeted as quick :).

I think with weekly water changes, this tank will be stable.

Next thought: in my remineralize mixture (my water is soft), I am thinking of adding phosphate as opposed to just Gypsum/Epsom salt/Potassium bicarbonate.

NOTE: Those are 3 power heads Koralia 240 and another nano --- all down the side since the tank is deeper to try to get a wave-like push instead of a larger power head focused. I LOVE the flow -- when I placed my diffuser on the left the CO2 bubbles were distributed beautifully, even reaching the substrate. The betta is fine with the flow so it is a slow but large.

Also: TDS 260 ish ... 4kH 5GH +/-


Thanks for reading!!!

Josh





 

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JoshP12

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Well, aquascaping is hard and takes lots of practice.


I decided to clear the jungle - I had no idea how many plants could jam themselves into a 10 gallon tank.

I have not yet purchased other plants but I don’t know how much space I have anyways.

Also it turns out that I had way too much flow - the plants blew around! I am down to just the canister filter.

I like it :) - albeit it looks NOTHING like my diagram - but I tried.

In the future, I would probably make sure all the stems are the same size - lol.

I think I’ll still have room for the buce and S repens.


Also, a question: even with my canister only, the plants are still blowing - once they root will this stop?

I will begin tracking my journey now: photoperiod 7hours with a ramp. AI primes set to maybe 20 percent overall MAX. Co2, I’m rolling with 2 bps to start and I’m monitoring the ph drop in the tank (but that won’t be accurate since I loaded it with root tabs) — will be watching the drop checker as lights turn on.

Cheers,
Josh
 

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JoshP12

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I re directed my flow: instead of one major direction I have a push and pull action happening on the plants - they are straight!

I also changed my diffuser location - I’ll update how it goes today!
 

JoshP12

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I’ve made a post in the co2 forum about my most recent dilemma, but to keep my journal comprehensive, I have quoted it below. (If anyone has an answer you can post it here - I will quote you in the original thread).
Hello fellow friends of UKAPS,

I am having an internal dilemma regarding this issue.

In my journal, I mentioned some observations that I have made with dissolved oxygen (using a probe, I was amazed at the impact that my bubbler had on levels, albeit this was done in a tank free of plants and fish).

I can provide several links, but I am going to make some statements based on some things I have read:

1) Tom Barr prefers the use of “sealed-Ish” wet-dry filters in his sump for gaseous exchange - many people fear for driving off co2. He further claims that his high levels of co2 are possible because of his DO levels which are around 7-8 ppm (nearly maxed).

2) Ceg (who I have not met but love reading his posts) uses a spray bar and time and time again suggests flow distribution and surface agitation increase overall health of aquarium. His spray bar waterfalls onto the surface of the water column. I’ll be honest, I am considering a spray bar and if I had one I would consider removing the bubbler. These same ideas are echoed by several well-respected members on UKAPS.

3) Dennis Wong extensively talks about the necessity for gaseous exchange for stable aquarium.

4) ADA Lilly bar positioning making a little vortex to make gaseous exchange more possible.

5) Henry’s law to discuss equilibria.


Now, a bubbler (the one I have is embedded into my power head) will increase gaseous exchange at the surface and as a result ensure high DO levels but also force my dissolved co2 to get to equilibrium of 3ppm—unless I pump it in faster.

I have 2 options:
1) run it during photoperiod + at night (all day)
2) run it only during night (not during photoperiod)

The only benefit to 2 is that I will not off gas co2 and my co2 tank will last longer — what this also means is my DO levels may decrease during this time (except the oxygen released by plants will probably keep my levels high enough, if I pick option 1).


What I am interested in is having a healthy system.

If I do not have sumps/spray bars/have a fast-flowing shallow tank (like a river or stream), is using the bubbler a “nice” equivalent alternative.

I attached a picture of the bubbler in the tank for a visual.

So, I think the answer is that both strategies will work - but which one will be better?

I am posting because I have not yet read a thread where some one is advocating for option 1, and I don’t think it’s that outlandish (but if it is, please let me know, ha).

Cheers,
Josh
 
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JoshP12

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So, I found some s repens, some buce, and some pogo erectus.

I am seeing new growth but also a relatively large die off - is this normal?

I have the co2 set - I think - green on lights on - large ramp.

As of right now, algae free, but no pearling which I am not hung up on - but I want for fun.

All of the new growth is healthy in colour — but my stems aren’t coming in strong and luscious — do I just need to wait or should it be like that from the get go?

note: we are about 2 weeks since planted and
Josh
 

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