Sandy cove - First tank 60l

Discussion in 'Journals' started by rolexbene, 14 Jan 2012.

  1. rolexbene

    rolexbene Member

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    Ok so after seeing a lot of great tanks on this and other forums I have decided to build my own.
    I have kept fish before but never a planted tank so I sure it will be a learning curve, but I have done a lot of research and think I am prepared. I am going for an Iwagumi style tank with a strrp bank towards the back.
    I live in London, but whilst visiting my home town in Devon I went to the river and picked up some interesting looking rocks, I also went to the beach and collected a small amount of course sand. I guessing these rock may not be as interesting as some of the usaul Iwagumi style rock with all there nooks and crannies, but I think it will bring a good sense of satisfaction to know that the rocks and sand I have come from home, Also the added bonus of saving money. On this note I will mention that I am a student and have NO money, the way I see it is I will try and sell some assets and this way pay for some of the expensive things I am buying. I was going to try and grow with miracle gro organic, I even bought some and started leaching it but my gut instinct told me it was going to cause me problems. Right so, so far this is what I have...

    60L 60x30x40cm Tank from recycling center £10
    ADA Aquasoil £35
    Hydor 300w inline heater £25
    Overhead 36w fluorescent light £25 - (Might retrofit another 36w lightbulb in to this if I need it)
    Eheim 2222 Filter £26
    10mm Glass Lily & Inflow pipes £20
    Plants - Greenmachine £40

    Total spend £180


    I managed to aquire a large bit of 20mm Ply the other day for free so might have a go at making an ADA style tank at some point in the near futre, I also plan to get a pressurised Co2 system soon but might if need be make a DIY yeast one for the time being. I am growing via the Dry start method so Co2 will not be necessary for a few months till I fill with water (or will it?).

    Ok so this is roughly what my initial setup looks like.
    6697012225_f0feb9ae39.jpg
    tank1 by Bene Tanser, on Flickr
     
  2. rolexbene

    rolexbene Member

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    Ok so today my plants arrived, I ordered them from TheGreenMachine.co.uk as I heard good things.
    Unfortunately they were having problems with supplies so they took about 2 weeks to get here :?
    Being on a budget I choses my plants from the Budget section of there website, what I ordered were...

    5 x Hemianthus callitrichoides 'Cuba'
    3 x Eleocharis acicularis 'Hair grass'
    1 x Anubias Bonsai
    1 x Ludwigia Repens 'Diamond Red'

    Like I said before these cost me around £40 including postage, to me this seems expensive but hey what do I know.
    So I got to work wetting the soil with a couple of jugs of water and and then thoroughly spayed down the higher parts of the soil with a spay gun, this was about 80% of the soil as I had made such a steep bank.
    I then cut up my plants for planting, the Cuba was incredibly fiddle to do, the root and leaves were so intermingled I had to be incredibly ruthless with a Stanley knife blade to get anywhere, I think I might have over ordered on the Cuba as I started to run out of soil to plant in, but hey at least it will grow faster. I planted the Hair grass at the back and around the rocks and initially left it long, but then decided to cut it down to about 1-2" long. can anyone tell me what the benefits of cutting it / not cutting / cutting roots are?
    I am very glad I orded the Anubias Bonsai, it looks lovely. It kinda looks like it is going to flower, I am not sure if Anubias Bonsai's do flower but it has a strange conical shaped bud like thing on it.
    anyway here is a picture of the tank so far, sorry for all the mist, bit difficult to take pictures when the cling film is on, would there be any benefit of adding Co2 in this dry stage?

    6697012791_9556541eda.jpg
    tank3 by Bene Tanser, on Flickr

    6697012521_7092af41da.jpg
    tank2 by Bene Tanser, on Flickr
     
  3. Lewisr

    Lewisr Member

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    Looks like a promising start, I found the plants responded better to leaving a bit of a gap in the clingfilm and not sealing it entirely. However completely sealing it has worked for many other people but it is something to bear in mind.
     
  4. omen

    omen Member

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    Really like the terraced style, and looking forward to how it grows in. What sand/gravel are you using for the foreground?
     
  5. rolexbene

    rolexbene Member

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    Thanks for your kind words, the sand at the front came from a beach in Devon called Slapton Sands. The beach where operation Tiger was held, the code name for the full-scale rehearsal of the D-Day landing (Little bit of random history). I went there Kayaking in the summer and was blown away by how nice the sand was, it has so many different elements to it, even has tiny little micro clam shells about 2-3mm in size. I collected some and then sieved it so I just got the smallest stones.
    This is kind of what it looks like up close (not my photo), my stuff was taken from much nearer the sea where the stones are much finer.
    slapton_sands.jpg
    Slapton_sands_pebbles.JPG
     
  6. sussex_cichlids

    sussex_cichlids Member

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    looks great was not to sure on the rocks in first photo they dint look very natural placements

    I found this excellent guide written by the master of iwagumi Takashi Amano

    It has a load of useful info hope you enjoy reading it as much as i did

    A Study of Iwagumi
     
  7. rolexbene

    rolexbene Member

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    Yeah I know what you mean I changed them around and got the bedded in better and now it now looks better than the first photo, as you hopefully can see in the other photos. thanks for the link to the article.
     
  8. rolexbene

    rolexbene Member

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    I have two questions if anyone can help please give me some advice.
    Would there be any Benefit of using Co2 at this stage?
    I have one of thoughts little ultrasonic humidifiers, should I place it in the tank to create more humidity?
    Thanks in advance,
    Bene.
     
  9. sussex_cichlids

    sussex_cichlids Member

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    Im not sure i was considering this ive read some were this method is used in horticulture in a controlled environment say like a commercial tomato plant do diffuse small amount of co2 to raise the co2 in a polytunnel similar to how we do in a fish tank to increase the growth speed and fruit size
     
  10. rolexbene

    rolexbene Member

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    Ok think I might give it a go with the Co2 can't do any harm right? I noticed you have bought plants from Java Plants, when it say "dwarf hairgrass £1.27 per 5 plants" what does 5 plants mean, is it 5 steams or 5 pots? I am guessing stems.
     
  11. sussex_cichlids

    sussex_cichlids Member

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    depends what your buying with grasses it will be individual plantlets but with steam plants it will be per steam
    you can see the tall hair grass in my journal Three Peaks taken before i planted it may give an idea
     
  12. rolexbene

    rolexbene Member

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  13. greenink

    greenink Member

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    No need for CO2 will have that in abundance in the air - is pretty much the whole point of an emersed start.
     
  14. sussex_cichlids

    sussex_cichlids Member

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    wouldnt say there no need for it mike it definitely not needed for an emersed start but you can try it it wouldn't hurt
    and here i can backup my claim that its used with hydroponics so if you have got some spear to experiment with not going to hurt and never know he may get a faster growth rate using it then if he ant

    http://www.hydroponics.net/learn/co2_calculator.asp

    CO2 is an odorless, invisible, and non-flammable gas. It is also safe for humans in the maximum concentrations recommended for plant growth. The average level of CO2 in the atmosphere is about 300 PPM (parts per million). If the level decreases down below 200 PPM in an enclosed growing area, plant growth slows to a halt. Through the years of testing and research, the optimum enrichment level of CO2 for plant growth has been agreed to be about 1500 PPM. With CO2 enrichment, under good conditions, plant growth rates and flowering will increase 20-100%. CO2 can be used from seedling right through harvest.

    Taken from http://www.hydroponics.net
     
  15. greenink

    greenink Member

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    There's me learned! Always good to be proved wrong.
     
  16. rolexbene

    rolexbene Member

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    Just a quick update, bought a Co2 regulator (this one http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/tmc-v2-pressure-regulator-din477-p-5803.html) today but only paid £25 for it new I have been told by people in the Co2 forum that it is of reliable quality.
    Also I managed to get a 2kg fire extinguisher from ebay for £10, it looks new ;)
    Also got my glass diffuser, liked the look of the spiro ones, but now think it is to big and the clip on it broke right away, cheap chinese rubbish, anyway will make do. All in all a pressurised Co2 setup for around £40
    Here are some more pictures, I am hoping the Co2 will fit under the table once I press the handle.
    6711474617_3ef85edbbe.jpg
    DSC_2844 by Bene Tanser, on Flickr
    6711474877_041fc68978.jpg
    DSC_2847 by Bene Tanser, on Flickr
    6711475309_7599af9d71.jpg
    DSC_2845 by Bene Tanser, on Flickr
     
  17. sarahtermite

    sarahtermite Member

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    I love these rocks - and great that you collected them yourself. I'm not so far from Slapton, so maybe a little field trip is on the cards..... :lol:

    Looking forward to seeing how this develops - but the plants are already looking great.
     
  18. rolexbene

    rolexbene Member

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    Well if you looking for gravel Slapton is good, but my rocks came from a place called Hembury woods, amazing place especially in the Spring/Summer when the trees are green, got a good river with all the rocks you could ever need. I just picked the most jagged rocks I could find as most are smooth river rocks...
    This is a pic I took last time I was there.
    6716965301_28686e2c02.jpg
    223461_10150238128989579_757574578_8710319_4502791_n by Bene Tanser, on Flickr
     
  19. rolexbene

    rolexbene Member

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    Got a few questions if anyone can help..

    When using pressurised Co2, is there a massive need for specialist Co2 tubing or can I just use regular air line tubing, have any tests been done on it in the past (past threads)?

    Does room temperature affect plant growth? Guessing Cuba is quite warm.

    From looking at my tank can anyone give me a rough idea of how long my HC will take to give me a full carpet?
    feeling impatient already. :lol:
     
  20. gmartins

    gmartins Member

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    co2 tubing is much better. regular air line will do for a short period of time, I suppose. but in the long run co2 will corrode it.

    cuba is fine with room temps. I have some emersed cuba outside in the garden now (around 14-15ºC) and it is doing great. It flowered the past month - such a tiny little flowers, barely visible :)

    With lots of light I would bet 1-2 months.

    cheers,

    GM
     

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