Journal of a Natural 16g tank

Discussion in 'Journals' started by daniel19831123, 26 Nov 2007.

  1. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    I've setup my 16G tank a week ago and thought it would be fun to document how everything is going and see changes in a few months time. Plants to go in the tank includes pogostemon helferi, bolbitis heudelotii, ludwigia repens, pogostemon stellatus, HC, java fern narrow and windelov, and one unknown plant at the moment. Will need help to id this plant sometime in the future.


    I decided to go with Diana Walstad Theory of natural aquarium. Didn't soak my top soil before using since I won't be stocking any fish atm and the ammonia leaching is good for my fishless cycling. I placed the tank on the shelf and pour the soil and top it up with some dupla substrate. I later found out that I poured too much top soil in the tank when I have a peep from behind. Some area on the slope came up to nearly 5 inches and this might caused some problems in the future with anaerobic spaces. After consulting with Diana, she suggested that I constantly poke the soil with a skewer stick or something long and pointy or the other alternative would be to grow loads of heavy rooted plants such as tiger lotus or sword. I will used the plants method but instead I will planting loads and loads of stem plants. If there is a problem they will be the first to show sign as they are normally pretty fast growing. Looking at the bright side, with this amount of soil in my tank, I would generates loads of DOC which will be beneficial for the plants. Diana reckons I could get away with growing difficult plants with no CO2 injection as long as the lighting is sufficient.


    Lighting is made using 2x24w T5HO luminaire purchased from EQJ trading. A total of 48w over 16 gallon tank. Taking into consideration my huge amount of substrate and the gap between the water and the light, it most probably work out to be 3.5-4wpg. I'm not sure which colour tube was used as I've requested for planted tank tube and the seller had changed it before it was dispatched to me.

    Filtration is achieved using eheim Ecco 2232 external filter.



    My other plant arrived today from a Germany company and I am very pleased with the quality of the plant. I've bought 4 but they have send me another plant for free. The downoi was enough to be separated into 6-7 CLUMPS (yes clumps not stalks!) to be planted separately. HC was enough to cover some of my foreground. The item that pleased me most is the bolbitis heudelotii. It not only came fully grown on a bogwood, there is at least 5 rhizomes on it with at least 25-30 leaves on the bogwood! Crypt balansae came fine in the packing as well. The whole package costing me 22 quid including postage at delivery (which I think is a very good deal considering that greenline charge 3.50 for each stalk of downoi. :D )

    I wanted to upload some picture but I can't seemed to get the picture onto the message. Can anyone advice me on how to do this? Thanks
     
  2. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Which German company is that? Worth remembering!
     
  3. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... :IT&ih=012

    this is the URL of the item that I bought. The plant was shipped in a styrofoam "box" made out of 2 styrofoam plates so unfortunately the HC and downoi pot was a little squashed. The plants was fine though. I strongly recommended the bolbitis purchase it so far the most worthy plant purchase ever considering the ridiculous price of this plant offered elsewhere in the UK.

    Edit. Damn just found out they have Utricularia Graminifolia today! Would have buy it together if they have listed it then!
     
  4. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    Still struggling with photo loading.
     
  5. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,266
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    I can't see that pic mate, have you tried photobucket?
     
  6. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    I used to use snapfish and for some reason the photo just won't load. I'm trying photo bucket now

    2011.jpg

    The tank when first filled with substrate and water on the 20.11.2007

    Yes Finally done it!!!
     
  7. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    Sorry for the poor quality photos as they are all taken with my 2mega pixel camera phone.

    2111.jpg taken on 21.11.2007

    Received snail from snailshop. Bought 4 golden apple and 6 malaysian mahogany trumpet snail. Got a little worried about the substrate with topsoil as I've accidentally poured too much top soil in the tank. Some place it measures up to 3.5 inches deep! Hopefully the trumpet snail will help the problem a little.

    Splt the mini pellia onto the mesh and secure it with cotton wool thread.

    bolbitisheudelotii2611.jpg photo taken on the 26.11.2007
    Bolbitis Heudelotti from german seller. Cost 10 euro. Which is a bloody good deal compare to greenline! There is about 6 rhizome on the bogwood. I was too excited when I got the plant, I forgotten to take photos of the HC, crypt balansae, and downoi when they first arrived in the pot.

    2611.jpg
    This is how it roughly looks like when it's in the tank. Although I bought 4 plants from germany the seller had sent me 5. The plant on the far right corner is yet to be identified.

    unknown22611.jpg
    unknown2611.jpg
    This is a close up of the plants.

    2811.jpg
    Received a whole lot plants from clive! Cheers mate. Added Pogostemon Stellatus in both corner in the front. Echinodorus madalengensis nex to the few stems of Alternathers reinekii(middle red plant) and a few clippings from bright green Micranthemum umbrosum between the sword and the unknown stem plant.

    Not planning to do any more moving for the next months or so. I'm planning to let the plant grow to fill the space before making further decision as to which plant shou;d go where. Just wish bolbitis grows like duck weed lol.
     
  8. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    That plant a the back right looks like Rotala wallichii or poss Didiplis diandra, not seen Didiplis diandra 'in the flesh' so not 100% sure.

    Good start, Dam. Once it fills out it should look cool. Nice lot of colour in there too :)

    Sam
     
  9. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    I thought i was rotala wallichii too. The leasves are too fine for didiplis diandra. Quite a bonus from that seller then lol.
     
  10. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Indeed! Nice plant that one, I've only had it once and it didnt do very well cos I neglected the tank but its got a great colour in high light and I love the 'full' shape it has with little stem showing. I found mine produced side shoots quite readily, so would think it would take well to being pruned.

    Sam
     
  11. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    Just hope they won't be coated with algae before I can even prune them. Just added 20 neon tetras in my tank. Got them for 9 quid! Quite a bargain I reckon.
     
  12. Ray

    Ray Member

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Switzerland
    I'm very curious to see how this turns out - at 3.4WPG I'd have thought you would surely have algae problems and C02 defficiency without any C02. When I left my 2WPG 25L with no CO2 or liquid carbon for a fortnight nothing much grew except the algae. Now I'm dosing Easylife Carbon Pro things are moving and the algae stopped. I thought the point of Walstead was that they had to be low light tanks?
     
  13. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    low light but supplement with sun light. I've read through the book quite thoroughly and I thought I will give it a shot with some alternative method. Supposedly, the soil is only meant to be 1 inch thick and top up with gravel. I put mine to be 3 inches at some part of the tank (although this was done accidentally but I can't be bother to correct it). I was hoping that the decomposition of the organic matter will produce enough CO2 to sustain the plants. I might need to change the amount of plants in the tank but eventually I might need to grow some moderate orr slow growing plants rather than all fast growing stem plants due to the CO2 retriction. The CO2 provided in the tank at the moment might be just sufficient as some of the plants are just showing signs of growth but as more growth occurs I might need to supplement more of it. Before the pogostemon stellatus and the other plants arrived, the tank only had ludwigia, HC, bolbitis, rotala and downoi in the tank. All the HC portions that were planted in the tank were pearling! Even the bolbitis was giving some bubbles on the underside of it's leaves. But now that all the other plants is in place, I can only see one bubble after an intensive search all over the tank.... I've added some neons tetra hoping that with more bio loads, that will cultivate more bacteria population and increase the CO2 level by a bit. Can't say for sure what will happen so just keep an eye on it.
     
  14. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,266
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    Hi Dan, what is the gravel that you are using? looks interesting.
     
  15. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    Loads of top soil from westland. And top up with Dupla substrate. Decided to be cheap on this project lol
     
  16. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    just look around the tank and found some fuzz algae started growing on the bolbitis (as expected from a new tank). My initial plan of wanting to use crypt balansae to shade off some of the light might not work in time. Guess I will either have doese some excel or remove the plant in the tank and grow it elsewhere till there is some coverage in my tank where I can put the bolbitis. Currently it's receving head on 3.4wpg light 12 hourly. Or shall I physically remove it for now? The crypt are just showing sign of growth... Thank god that there is other plant that was affected.
     
  17. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    Just bought 3 striped japonica shrimp to my tank. I've also bought a Canon IXUS 950IS so that I can put some presentable pictures on this webpage. Will take some quality photos (I hope I can) and load it up once the camera arrive. All stem plants have shown some sign of growth including the HC, pogostemon, helferi, pogostemon stellata, ludwigia repens and sword. Bolbitis hasn't grown muchs besides throwing 1 leave out so far. Rotala Wallicii doesn't seemed to grow much as well...
     
  18. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    Just some pictures with my crappy camera phone before I get my proper camera!

    Pogostemon Stellatus from top
    pogostemonstellatustop.jpg
    Pogostemon stellatus from side
    pogostemonstellatustop1.jpg
    Ludwiigia repens
    ludwigiarepens.jpg
    Tank overview on 01.12.2007
    01122007.jpg

    Added 6 octocinclus in the tank today. Never seemed to appear anywhere in the picture. No matter how hard I tried to locate them, I can always find a mx of 5....
     
  19. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    It's going to be interesting this one.

    Is that Pogostemon stellata a renamed Eustralis or a different plant entirely?

    Regarding the R. wallachii, I have something similar which I thought to be Mayaca fluvitans(sp?). It's got red tips to the leaves/needles and it's very soft and feathery to the touch. Anyone got pictures of Mayaca for an id? I'll try and post a pic in the plants forum tonight.
     
  20. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    Just moved some of the plants arounf my tank. Decided to make pogostemon stellatus as the focal point thus moving it to the centre of the tank. Eustralis stellata and pogostemon stellata are the same plant. Pogostemon stellata is the right name to use now I think after some clever people found out that it was put in the wrong family. So far so good in this tank and every plants seemed to grow well. It's just that I can't seemed to get HC to stay in the substrate. They seemed to be spreading alright and then all of a sudden I will see a plant or two that goes floating around. I think my trumpet snails are responsible for them as they burrow through the soil....
     

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