Natures call: Alex's First Planted Tank

fish.com1

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Hi all,

My names Alex i'm 13 years old and this is my first post on Ukaps but some of you may know me from TFF.Just before i start my journal i would just like to say what a great forum this is. I have been looking through the gallery and journal sections and the tanks are first class. This is my first go at a planted set up. Enjoy.

Tank and Equipment:
Arcadia Arc Tank 35 litre/ 9 gallons
2x Arcadia Arc Pod 11 watts
50 Watt visi-therm heater

Set up and data:
Eco complete --sloped 2-7cm
Tropica Plant Nutrition+ - 1ml per day
Easylife Easycarbo - 1/2ml per day
Lights on for 8 hours a day - 14:00-21:00

General Water Parameters:
pH - 7.6
Kh - 9Dkh
Gh - 20Dkh

Maintenance:
Weekly 30% water change
Prune when necessary

Hardscape:
Bogwood

Plants:
Eleocharis parvula
Marsilea hirsuta
Anubias bateri var nana
Vesicularia dubyana

Stock:
Snowball shrimp

The tank was set up on the 23rd of last month. I added a classica powerbio 280 to the tank for water movement. The sponge filter is now over 3 months mature after sitting in my other mature tank. After the tank is one month old, if water parameters allow, I will remove the classica filter and add the sponge filter to the tank, then I will add the snowball shrimp. I have been doing weekly 30% water changes to combat algae and have also reduced the photoperiod to 7 hours and upped the easycarbo dosage to 1ml per day. I haven't got the Tropica Plant Nutrition+ yet but will be putting an order in on Aqua essentials soon to get some.

Anyway now for some pictures of the tank. Hope there not too bad.

Shot of the whole tank.


Different angle.
DSC02602.jpg


Close up of the moss and eleocharis.
DSC02617.jpg


I am hoping the marsilea will form some sort of a carpet.I am going to add some vallisneria soon most probably at either side of the tank at the back to hopefully form an arch over the water's surface. Anyone got any other ideas to improve the tank?

Thanks for looking any comments and criticism are welcome.

Alex.
 

Garuf

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I love the wood, Is the hairgrass growing on in? One thing I would say is that it's very bare, it needs a good wedge of fast growers in their to stave of any algae.
 

fish.com1

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Yes i am noticing a spots of brown algae (diatoms?) on the tank walls. I am thinking of getting some cabomba maybe or hygrophila polysperma temporarily for the backgroung to starve the algae? Got any other suggestions?
 

Garuf

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Yeah you get them in new set ups, where are you getting the shrimp from? I've not seen snowballs in the uk before.
 

fish.com1

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I am hoping (fingers crossed) that someone will have some to sell me on another, shrimp related forum. If not then I don't know... I've heard of people getting them shipped in from Germany but that sounds expensive.
 

Wayney

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My lfs had some in a couple of weeks ago, they looked quite nice i have to say. I would have bought them but my filter wasn't matured in time :twisted:

Nice tank by the way Alex :) keep up the good work
 

Garuf

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Sods law that :(, How's the tanks wayne? Not seen any news in a while?
 

Wayney

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Garuf said:
Sods law that :(, How's the tanks wayne? Not seen any news in a while?

Coming along now matey, thanks for asking. Just waitng for the glosso and hairgrass carpet to get going :rolleyes:
 

fish.com1

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Wayney said:
My lfs had some in a couple of weeks ago, they looked quite nice i have to say. I would have bought them but my filter wasn't matured in time :twisted:

Nice tank by the way Alex :) keep up the good work
Thanks wayne shame about the shrimp.
 

fish.com1

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Ok i am hopefully getting some cabomba tomorrow to plant at the back and starve the algae. Then in about a week i am hopefully going to get some more plants. Some more eleocharis for the foreground, I will probably just take the marsilea out. A nd then i am going to plant either some pogestemon helferi or staurogyne sp(any ideas which one?) with the eleocharis in the middle. And then i will plant lots of vallisneria all along the back and then some more gradually sloping down in height along the sides. Can you prune valllisneria to any height?
 

ceg4048

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fish.com1 said:
Ok i am hopefully getting some cabomba tomorrow to plant at the back and starve the algae.
Sorry, this will never happen because it's pure fantasy. Algae cannot be starved. You would do better to increase you water changes to at least 2X per week and 50% each time. you would also do well to cut your lighting in half.

Cheers,
 

fish.com1

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Thanks ceg.

I'll unplug one of the arcpods then, don't know about the water changes though. My mum says " i could be doing some ironing now" every week when were doing the water changes! Shame she doesn't trust me to do them by myself. :( It's not like im clumsy...

I'll see if i can persuade her. Do i need to get the cabomba tomorrow then?
 

ceg4048

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Hi,
Yes it's always good to get as many plants as possible, but that's a good thing for a different reason, not because of starving algae. More plants absorb more ammonia and more plants support more bacteria which also reduce ammonia levels. Cabomba and Egeria densa are really good tank start up plants because of their ability to consume ammonia and to support bacterial colonies.

Cutting your light will help more than anything else so if your mum won't allow the extra water changes you can still be OK.

Cheers,
 

fish.com1

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Got the cabomba today it was three pots for a fiver from pets at home. It's really healthy some of them have even started to flower. Theres loads too I could only just fit it all in. The tank looks much less bare now.

DSC02694.jpg


DSC02656.jpg


DSC02663.jpg


Thanks for looking. Please comment.
 

beeky

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Looking good. The cabaomba was definitely a worth addition.

I'd keep the marsilea - I want to see how it grows! I've always fancied trying it as it's a little different to the "norm".

Your're moss looks a bit brown. Is it dirt that trapped in it? If it is then get rid of it quickly otherwise it'll attract algae.
 
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