Bobtastic's 1st Planted Tank Journal (240l)

Bobtastic

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Hi all!

I have finally gotten round to doing something without our new 240 litre tank! We've had it fo just over a month but haven't really done much with it. I started to cycle it bare, but have decided to scape if and see how we do once it's fully planted.

The dimensions of the tank are 100(w) x 140(h) x 42cm with 2 x 39watt T5 lighting. It also has a Fluval 405 filter and 300w heater and it looks like this : -

240lTank013.jpg


We had the pleasure of visiting TGM on the way home from a holiday in Angelsey. 2 bags of Malaya AquaSoil, 2 bag of Sarawak sand, 2 peices of wood and a lighter wallet later we were on our way home.

I first had to drain the tank as it was sat "cycling" for a while once I was left with roughly a cm of water (I wasdn't able to remover it all..) I started to add the Malaya. We contored the soil so that it was lower at the front and rising up to the back of the tank. We also positioned the two peices of wood.

240lTank001.jpg


After that we positioned a peice rock and added the Sarawak sand. We also added to larger pea gravel to give the effect of a path and to add so different texture to the substrate (I'm not 100% about it as I think the stones are a little too light in colour, but they were left over from setting up the first tank) so it looked like this.

240lTank004.jpg

240lTank005.jpg

240lTank006.jpg


Then came the delicate filling! I haven't got the plants yet and I didn't want to leave the filter not running until they get ordered and arrive. I place a plastic bag in the tank so that the incoming water didn't distroy the newly scaped tank.

240lTank008.jpg

240lTank010.jpg


This it the finished are tank pre-planting.

I hope you like it!

Here are an idea of some of the plants that we are planning to add (the list is... under negotiations ;) )

Vesicularia dubyana 'Christmas' + other mosses
Hydrocotyle verticillata
Hemianthus callitrichoides 'Cuba'
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis

there will also be so taller plants to go into the background.


Photo updates in progression to show "progress".

Aug 14, 2009
240lTank021.jpg

Sep 15, 2009
240lTank037edit.jpg

Dec 02, 2009
240lTank062.jpg

Dec 07, 2009 (cleaned sand of algae)
240lTank063.jpg

Jan 06, 2010
TankCo2Layouy.jpg

Jan 28, 2010
240lTank.jpg

Apr 01, 2010 (trim and replanting)
IMG_5191.jpg

April 26, 2010 (remove algae on rock and on dwarf grass)
100_0737.jpg

May 13, 2010 (changed direction of Hydro Korillia and added the Maxi-Jet powerhead middle right)
100_0744.jpg
 

Stu Worrall

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looks like a really nice scape in te making there bob. If it doesnt disturb the substrate too much you may find it lots easier to remove the wood if youre tying the moss on. Its very fidly once its in the tank. Like the graded path to the front as it gives it a nice sense of depth
 

Bobtastic

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blahblahblahblah... hadn't thought about that... I have a feeling that i might end up with substrate all over the show if I try to take it out...

I'll just have to give it a try insitute and if I have no luck or it looks shocking have to give it a try.

Thanks for the comments
 

Stu Worrall

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it can be done bob, just a bit more fiddly wrapping the cotton around the branches when its in tank. a stool will probably come in handy!
 

Bobtastic

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Lol, I'll need a stool for sure! Can I use regular common-a-garden cotten thread? Or do I have to buy a specific type?
 

Stu Worrall

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brown or dark green is the best but make sure its 100% cotton. ive had the nylon stuff in there before but it then stays forever and can stick out when you trim the moss back.
 

Bobtastic

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Ok, following the inspirational demonstration from Oliver Knott @ The Green Machine on Sunday I decided it was time to finally start planting my tank!

Plants arrived, all be it with minor blip in their delivery (namely that the original batch took 5 days to arrive due to a Bank holiday, but replacements were sent out). That meant I ended up with more plants than were originally ordered, tho some of them are still a little worse for wear and a couple have had to be thrown away... :'(

So, here is a picture of the tank with the plants waiting patiently in the tank pre-planting.

240lTank035.jpg

240lTank036.jpg


I had intented to take more pictures of as I was going along... but got caught up in the moment! Thanks to Oliver's demo had a better idea of what I had to do with the preperation of the plant b4 planting, tho it he made it look a hell of a lot easier to de-pot, trim and separate then I did. I'm gonna put that down to the Tropica plants he was using! Oh and the years of experience too... ;)

Here are some pictures of the finished planting (so far :thumbup: )!

240lTank037edit.jpg

240lTank038.jpg

240lTank039.jpg

240lTank040.jpg

240lTank041.jpg

240lTank042.jpg

240lTank043.jpg


Comments, suggestions extremely welcome!!
 

chilled84

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if that is HC get ready for failer. If you dont fail happy days. U defo will need co2 or a regular input of easy carbon for HC. I have spent ablout 40 pounds flus tring to get HC to take off. Its a terribly hard plant to grow and conditions must be right. Ph must be too. plus temp. I find lower temps was better. But every tank is different. And the wood will harber hair alague realy easy if you dont have enought fast growing plants to sap all the left nutrients inside the tank while plants are settleing and growing, wich for HC can be months before you see it takeing off. But its well worth it. Its looking realy good. Just be carefull with the water conditions as wood of all types can change the chemistry very easy. :D
 

Bobtastic

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I'm adding liquid carbon, but I know what you mean about the HC, some of the pots where looking pretty dier, but I put that down to the problem with the travel time and being sat in the pot for so long.

I'm hoping to add pressurised CO2 at some point, but I'm concerned about the pH as it's low from the tap to start with (6).

Already suffering from hair algea... It's been growing more on the moss than the wood tho. As it's my first proper planted tank, it's all trial and error atm.

Thanks foe the info. :thumbup:
 

chilled84

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But im one month into my first planted tank too. Im trying to grow HC too. But it a real pain without co2. Im running a co2 optimat at mo with easy carbon nutrients from bottle. I wish to one day i will run presurised. But cost is high for that. My HC would be bright green when i buy it and even thou it went sraight into the tank it always seemed to go like coulerd after two too three days they if will drop away and die. As for hair alague it will grow on the plants first usualy then it will transfer around your tank. Keep the flow running good and it will also help to slow it down. Adding easy carbon at recomemded dose is good and does help i find.
 

dsandson

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oh, thats starting to look really good. I love the way the hydrocotyle is planted around the bogwood... which is very impressive too!

I hope you havent missed it but you'll need some ferts to use alongside the easycarbo. I'd recommend TPN+ as an easy way to start, then maybe look into IE using dry powders.

Also be sure your flow is adequate. You have a lot of low level plants, so the flow down at the substrate will need to be good, as HC is very greedy for co2, or easycarbo in your case.

You've made a great start. Just keep an eye on whats happening and try to adjust accordingly. Oh and pressurised CO2 really is the way to go on a tank that size!

Dave
 

Bobtastic

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Yeah, I'm also adding TPN+ atm. The way that the level of the bottle has dropped already I'm thinking I'm gonna have to move over to dry powder and pressurised CO2 b4 I bankrupt myself! ;)

I keep meaning to ask about flow, I'm concerned that there isn't enough (or any!) flow at the bottom of the tank. Other that lowering the filter outlet (which I don't really want to do) what other ways are there to get more/better flow down there?

I'm sure I've seen power heads (in the TGM tanks), are they the best way to go? I don't really what too much flow cos it might disturb the substrate...

Can anyone recommend something?
 

Nick16

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chilled84 said:
if that is HC get ready for failer. If you dont fail happy days. U defo will need co2 or a regular input of easy carbon for HC. I have spent ablout 40 pounds flus tring to get HC to take off. Its a terribly hard plant to grow and conditions must be right. Ph must be too. plus temp. I find lower temps was better. But every tank is different. And the wood will harber hair alague realy easy if you dont have enought fast growing plants to sap all the left nutrients inside the tank while plants are settleing and growing, wich for HC can be months before you see it takeing off. But its well worth it. Its looking realy good. Just be carefull with the water conditions as wood of all types can change the chemistry very easy. :D
yeah HC isn't the easiest, however some can just get it right and it goes wild!

spell checker is your friend :lol:
 

Mark Evans

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Bobtastic said:
Can anyone recommend something?
if you want HC to grow, you need to go down the road of CO2 and EI. both at high levels (fish safe co2) given theses conditions, you shouldn't fail with HC.

korolia power heads are great option for flow.
 

BINKSY1973

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Bobtastic said:
I keep meaning to ask about flow
Sorry if i have missed it, but what filter are you using?

You need to turn your tank over at about ten times an hour, so your looking at 2400l per hour.

Cheers Gordon.
 

Bobtastic

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Does turn over apply only to the filter or is that movement around the tank?

For example if I added an another power head to move water around will that add to that?
 

BINKSY1973

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Bobtastic said:
For example if I added an another power head to move water around will that add to that?
In a word yes, just add the litres per hour of the powerhead to that of your filter, until you reach your target flow rate.

Cheers Gordon.
 
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