Goody's return to tanks,1st journal,two tanks.

Goodygumdrops

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Well guys,I've spent enough time on here,looking at all your tanks,sucking in information.I bought my first tank after a break of 15 years or so a couple of months ago.
I've kept fish before,specifically angels,which I had for years,but left my tank with my brother when I left home.
A couple of months ago I bought a really nice fluval tank with beech stand,heater filter and variuos other bits ad bobs for a bargain price on eBay and was fair looking forward to starting it off until I found you guys :twisted:
Anyhoos,after discovering that a bag of gravel (substrate) was £20 a pop and I needed 3 bags,£50 quid for a bit of wood etc,etc,I decided I'd take my time getting all the stuff and do it right from the off.
Turned out though my sis in law had a tank sitting in her late dad's house and of course I couldn't resist,so I took this 'free' tank.Haha.

So,have set up the basic tank in my little boy's room,he's almost 3 and I figured it would give him a bit of interest too (he says he 'actually loves it'!!).

This will be my journal for my first planted tank,which I suppose is essentially going to be a nursery/quarentine tank,leading onto the eventual set up of my main tank.Please be gentle,I have a 2 mega pixel :oops: camera,no tripod etc,and as I say,it's my first tank for years,so it's a bit of a hodgepodge,suck it and see affair :).As well as to talk about this to folks who share a common interest,it will also be good for me to keep a timescale on things.

Specs:
Tank:24"long,15"tall,12"deep
Substrate:Argos Playsand
Hardscape:Bogwood,slate and pebbles
Light:1 x 15w Interpet Triplus bulb 9 hours

Flora:
Java Fern
Windelov
Anubias Nana
Java Moss
Fissidens Fontanus,
Amazon Frogbit
Unidentified Stem Plant

Fauna:
6 x Honey Dwarf Gourami
2 x Veiltail Ancistrus
5 x Panda Cory

Water Change:50% Sunday and Wednesday,quick sand vac most days.
Ferts:Flourish,1ml twice weekly after water changes.
Co2:Excel
Filtration:Fluval 3+.

This is an old banger of a tank,can't quite believe how much I've spent on it over the last couple of weeks and I take my hat off to you guys,I can only begin to imagine how much all those high tech tanks run to.

Here it is:

grantstank.jpg


I have to say,I'm i love,both me and the wee one can sit and look at it for ever,even with no fish,Grant even said tonight that he doesn't want fish now!!
Picture isn't great,hopefully I can get my bro up with his new camera,but this is the start.And I know that this is and incredibly basic set up,but that is the intention with this tank.

Tank as at 29/12/08:

grantstank2.jpg


11th Dec:Added sand and water,filter.
14th Dec:Bogwood,Java Fern,Windelov,Anubias added
15th Dec:Heater added (got a bit ahead of myself!),Java moss added.
20th Dec:Flourish dosing started.
21st Dec:6 x Honey Dwarf Gourami Added.
24th Dec:Fissidens attached to bogwood,new Anubias added.
27th Dec:5 x Veiltail Ancistrus added ,3 lost already as of 29th Dec :( ,unwnown pinky/orange stem added.
04/01/09:5 x Panda Cories added,Hemianthus Callitrichoides 'Cuba' purchased for main tank.
07/01/09:Remaining substrate order arrived from AE,also Marsilea Hirsuta for main tank,and Excel.Excel dosing started on small tank.
 

Simon D

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Re: Goody's return to tanks,1st joural,two tanks.

Well done to you :!:

Have you got someting under the playsand? What's that darker patch to the right hand side?

I'd be interested in how you get on with planting in just sand, I use a simple pea gravel and think this helps flow of nutrients/ferts to the roots of the plants. Will you be using fert tabs to target feed the plants?

I'm a complete novice myself so will watch this post and replies from experienced planters with great interest.

Best of luck to you :D
 

Goodygumdrops

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Re: Goody's return to tanks,1st joural,two tanks.

Nothing under the sand,as I said,I replaced the lamp today and the difference is phenomenal.The dark area you can see is just a shadow,the light patch is the same depth over the whole length of the tank.
I used the playsand purely for budgeting reasons,plus the fact that I'm going to use eco complete on my main tank,so it's a bit of a experiment.
I figure that the mosses and ferns will be taking nothing from the substrate anyway,we'll see how it goes,I just couldn't wait to get my feet wet though :)
 

Simon D

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Re: Goody's return to tanks,1st joural,two tanks.

Get your feet wet???

Fill your boots girl!!!

Go for it :lol:
 

Goodygumdrops

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Re: Goody's return to tanks,1st joural,two tanks.

Well,my Flourish has finally arrived so I will start dosing that tonight.I'm a bit confused here,do I aslo need to dose Flourish Excel (Carbon supplement as I understand),or is it not necessary?(Remembering I have no added co2 and inert substrate).
Hopefully I'll start to see some plant growth with the new lighting and added ferts.

Btw,I managed to get a timer for my light last night and have set the period 11.30am to 8pm,is this ok?Too long?
 

GreenNeedle

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Re: Goody's return to tanks,1st joural,two tanks.

I know what you mean with the timescale thing. The part I have always found great with my journals is that I can look back at them and it is quite interesting just how much you forget how things looked before etc.

The shadow is normal with sand. You get a lighter band for about 3/4 inch all the way along.

I can foresee a problems though!!! This of course may be sorted out later.

Although I always tell people that there will be no anaerobic problems with sand in a planted tank this assumes that there are plenty of roots moving the sand around and/or livestock that disturb it!!!! With no substrate rooted plants then you will need to keep prodding the substrate and removing the hardscape from time to time as underneath the hardscape will get very bad.

I negate this problem normally by surrounding the base of hardscape items with root plants so that the roots that spread under the hardscape will save me the hassle of taking hardscape out.

Saying all that I am sure you will have a great time with it and do any relevant maintenance. You may think to yourself that it is expensive but you seem to have gone about it the right way. Research first and then buy. Those of us who added things as we went along (pre so much info on the subject) wasted huge swathes of money before ending up with the working solutions we now have. lol

As an example it has take about £2000 to get my tank to where it is now but if I were to setup an identical tank with the same equipment, plants, fish etc it would probably cost nearer £700!!! £1300 wasted on things on the way to getting the right setup. lol

Hopefully you'll end up with the correct setup from the start.

Good luck ;)

AC
 

Goodygumdrops

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Re: Goody's return to tanks,1st joural,two tanks.

Yep,I had planned on stirring the sand once a week,but admit I hadn't for one minute thought about under the hardscape.
Glad you pointed that out now before I had smelly problems later!I can now make a point of lifting and stirring once a week!!(All plants are planted ON hardscape,mosses,ferns etc so this makes for an easyish job).
I plan to get a few kuhlis and a little squad of dwarf cories,so these will help to some extent,being so tiny I won't expect them to do it all themselves though.
Being a small tank though,it won't be too much hassle to change the substrate if it all goes a bit Pete Tong,apart from finding the kuhlis that is!
 

beeky

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Re: Goody's return to tanks,1st joural,two tanks.

Everyone starts somewhere, and you've made a good start.

I'm not sure you'll have any problems with anaerobic areas. As you've nothing under the sand there's nothing to rot/go bad, but we'll see!

I was going to mention that the plants you have shouldn't be planted in the substrate, but looks like you've realised that anyway.

The Excel shouldn't really be necessary, but if you do add it it will help them grow and curb any algae.
 

Goodygumdrops

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Re: Goody's return to tanks,1st joural,two tanks.

Cool,thanks Beeky,I'll give it a couple of months and see how it goes with the Flourish.As a matter of interest,when can I expect algae issues to start on a new setup?
 

beeky

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Re: Goody's return to tanks,1st joural,two tanks.

About a week!

You'll probably find some brown (diatom) algae starting in about a week, but this is normal and should fade after about another week. If all goes well, that will be it, but if not, you'll find the brown gradually being replaced by the green fluffy sort.....
 

Goodygumdrops

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Re: Goody's return to tanks,1st joural,two tanks.

Got my first fish at the weekend,6 Honey Dwarf Gouramis.I kow I probably should have waited longer but both filters were pre-used and I'm right on top of water changes,at least 50% twice a week,it's been more than that though.
Tank is looking lovely and clean,no great growth but everything looks green and healthy and it's nice to see new leaves unfurling on the anubias.
The Windelov is a lovely plant,and strange,it seems to reproduce by growing little plantlets half way up the leaves?I've found a couple of these blowing about after water changes and secured them to tiny slates to see if they grow (I can see tiny white thread roots on one).
Issues so far,I thought I was getting hair algae.I got some java moss of a member on TFF,covered a slate and a pebble then stuffed the rest into a crevice of bogwood to keep it secure.Bad idea.Algae central,thankfully,this has completely cleared up since I liberated it to get blown around the tank.
I also developed a white film on the surface,rapidly cleared though by opening the air vent on the filter full tilt,It came floating down off the surface like hundreds of bits of wet toilet paper but was soon gone,and hasn't returned.(Surface agitation,I have to turn the air off at night though for the wee one sleeping,but now I know I need it).
The goramis are magic,tiny and graceful,beautiful colour,hard to explain,not honey but a really soft creamy orange,and they are such fun to watch!
After being released,they hid behind the filter for about an hour,but they were soon out exploring.They're like little kids,they go round pecking at everything,eyeing things up and seeing where they can squeeze into.A couple in particular seem to have favourite spots,one likes to squeeze himself between the leaves on the anubias and sit there,another likes the coco cave,and at one point,all six were in the fronds of the Windelov like clown fish in an anenome!I sat and watched them for hours yesterday,I wonder what they think coming from a bare tank to all these nooks,crannies and hidey holes?
 

Mark Evans

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Re: Goody's return to tanks,1st joural,two tanks.

everything is sounding great goodygumdrops. thats good to hear :D

you certainly sound enthusiastic ;)

mark
 

Goodygumdrops

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Re: Goody's return to tanks,1st joural,two tanks.

I absolutely love it!And my little gouramis,they're sooo sweet!
Just this minute took delivery of my light reflector (Arcadia from Last Trading Post on eBay if anyone's looking for one) and spraybar,so more tweaking tonight.
I really must get a background for this tank,any suggestions anyone?I like the light,open look so not sure if I'd go for black,but I'd like to hide some of these wires.
Also,I need a suggestion for a stem,low-med light (15w over 12.5 gallons).Something that would contrast against the Windelov,ie,nothing too feathery,I'd like a bit of colour but don't know if this is achievable with my specs.
 

Mark Evans

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Re: Goody's return to tanks,1st joural,two tanks.

Goodygumdrops said:
Also,I need a suggestion for a stem,low-med light (15w over 12.5 gallons)
hygrophila polysperma. there's also a red variety, actually it goes pink. not very demanding neither.
 

Goodygumdrops

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Re: Goody's return to tanks,1st joural,two tanks.

Cheers,I'll look it up.Can I also pick the collective brain again,what is generally the best position for a spray bar?The picture on the box has it along the top,but would it maybe be better if I placed it along the bottom,with a seperate powerhead at the top for surface agitation?
 

Goodygumdrops

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Re: Goody's return to tanks,1st joural,two tanks.

Cheers Superman,I'll bear that in mind as I'm not sure I want to put more equipment in this little tank (ie powerhead),as I'm discovering that the current may be a bit much for the gouramies.(I will be removing the 2+ tonight).Talking about the gouramies,I can't believe how much they've coloured up in just a few days.They were all a lovely pale orangey fondant colour,most had dark bars running down their sides,I'm assuming these were stress bars as they have all disappeared now.
The orange seems to be intensifying around their faces,one has a beatiful red stripe along the tip of it's dorsal fin,and a couple,I'm assuming they're males,as they like to show off their fins a bit,are developing a translucent,opal blue colouring in their fins.They really are gorgeous little guys.
Recieved my frogbit,fissidens and peacock moss from Oatfish today,so time permitting,I'll plant up tonight,though I can see them floating in cups on the windowsill for a couple of days.I also got a v.sexy anubias on bogwood today from a TFF member so that will be going straight in.
Saintly,re the hygrophila,I had a look and wasn't too taken with the green one,and the pink one would be a bit too demanding for my specs I think,so I have plumped for Ludwigia Repens 'Rubin'.Even if I only get a bit of colour in the stems I'll be happy.
 

Goodygumdrops

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Another little update.At the weekend I bought 5 veiltail ancistrus,absolutely beautiful but I have lost 3 of them so far.Could be various reasons,I was cringing when the guy was catching them as he was practically scraping them off the glass with the net,so stress and actual damage I am hazarding may be the main culprits.One of them though (and I never noticed this till I let them out into the tank),had a huge distended belly,so some sort of problem there (bacterial or parasite?).I expected this one to die and it didn't let me down,the others had appeared healthy though.
So I have two left which I am keeping my fingers crossed for,they were swimming about fine this morning so the next week or so should tell.I really like these fish,so if these ones survive,I think I'll try and find a private breeder for the replacements.
My gouramies are in rude health,quite little characters and not in the slightest bit bothered now with me farting about at water change/farting about time.They swim round my hands and check me out with their little feelers,I'm quite attached to them already.
Plants,Oatfish,I have added your Fissidens to the large chunky arm of bogwood,so if that manages to start spreading up that,it should look lovely and delicate against the java ferns which are attached to the back of this piece.(The peacock moss is still floating in a cup as I'm going to have to be creative with attaching it to the coco cave).Out of the frogbit you sent,I'm guessing it doesn't travel too well,a lot of the leaves broke of and started browning,but I have 3 pieces which are now developing roots and new leaves,and with this stuff,I guess that's all you need for starters!
I'm seeing some slow growth on the java ferns and the windelov (keeping an eye on some windelov babies which I'll pull off and attach to bogwood soon).
One of the plantlets that I found after a water change is neither windelov or java fern as I thought,so must have been a hiker,I'm thinking it may be vallis,once it gets a bit bigger I'll post pics and see what you lot think,it's growing anyway so a free plant is always nice!
I was a bit shocked at the price of the Ludwigia I wanted for a background stem,minimum order of 5 plants was taking me to about £26 quid,so I took myself to PAH and bought an unidentified stem pot plant for £1.95.I got 15 stems in this pot,some of which were already developing roots,so fingers crossed.I'll need to put more batteries in the camera and get a photo up for id,at the moment it's a pale pink/green,with pinky/orangey veins on the leaves.(I'm hoping it stays like this!).
The rest of my Eco Complete and a bag of Moon Sand has been ordered for the main tank,so once that arrives in January,work will start on that,Excel is also coming with this order so it will be interesting to see the effect on growth rates.
All in all,tank is looking great (I think lol),I'm enjoying it immensely anyway,more than I even thought I would,water is sparkling,no issues apart from my blinking ancistrus and the gouramies are messy little buggers,the sand could actually do with being vacced 3 times a week so I'm thinking of changing to roughly 30% 3x week.
 

Ray

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Nice journal. I'd put the spraybar at the top to circulate water accross the surface then down the other side, across bottom and into intake. Back to front or side to side is OK.

Just one thought - does your florsh excel contain NPK or just traces? If it does not contain NPK then you may get deficiencies, depending on what is already in (or not in) your tapwater.
 

Goodygumdrops

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Thanks Ray,tbh,unless this tank develops issues,I think I'm going to keep the spraybar for the bigger tank(thanks for the advice though,I'll put it where you suggested on the big tank).Re the Excel,I have no idea,I haven't got it yet!
I'll take it a step at a time and if any deficiencies arise,I guess I'll get the necessaries to treat them.Everything looks fine so far,the only thing I can see giving me problems is this new stem,I'm surmising anything with a bit of colour in it usually needs something extra?Iron?I'll keep an eye on it for the mo anyway.
(Btw,I can recommend ancistrus for cleaning up your anubias!The one I got at PAH had lots of brown algae covered leaves and it's pristine now!).
 
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