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Thread: Got any advice for my aquascape?

  1. #1
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Bear in mind that i'm getting more plants (anubias, java ferns, lillies, etc) and that what's in there now was just planted today, what do you think?

    background: ludwigia sp., Ludwigia inclinata'Cuba', and a mystery plant from the lake (wooo...)

    middle: sagittaria subulata, hydrocodyle

    foregroud: Elatine tiandra

    Anubias nana var. petite will go on the big rock when my package arrives from malaysia. Where should I put the Java "windelov" fern and the regular anubias nana? I want to take weeping moss and let it grow on the tops of all the rocks. Think snow-capped mountain peaks. Where should I put the banana lillies?

    in about 2 weeks the background plants will grow tall agian. I got them today and cut tops off to encourage lateral, bushy growth.

    I'm dosing potassium nitrate, magnesium sulfate, phosphate, and potassium. Also dosing Flourish (traces) and nutrafin chelated Iron. I'm injecting carbon dioxide. You should see the co2 ladder in the back

    What do you think? I'm very proud of it (It looks bad... but the plants aren't rooted yet). It's my first time with aquatic plants.









    the inhabitants are 10 cherry shrimp (hope the breed soon!) and 5 neons.

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    StifflerMichael's Avatar
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    Looks like a good start! It's always hard to tell how things will turn out until a few weeks and months have passed IMO. A few questions: what kind of lighting do have? How are you you dosing the nutrients (amounts, frequency)? Why are you dosing the magnesium, do you have soft water (just curious, I've never dosed magnesium). Are you using a DIY CO2 system (I assume you are)?

    Those Ludwigia should look really nice when they settle in, my L. repens grows really fast, and has great color, I really like that plant. Pennywort is one of my favorites too. IME those banana plants can be a pain, they send up some huge leaves which cover the surface and block light from below. I've never heard of this Elatine tiandra.

    IMO I would have left the growth tips on those stem plants, I wouldn't begin pruning them until they grow all the way to the surface and thus well established. If you then cut those stems about halfway, then replant them...then keep repeating this process, you'll end up with a huge mass of bushy plants. And not have the worry of losing the plants all-together after trimming (which has happened to me a few times, for some reason or another, the trimmed plants refused to make new growth points).

    BTW, those cherry shrimps are awesome, they will breed like crazy if given some moss or dense planting. Have fun with them!

  3. #3
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    I've got 2 19 watt screw in PC's with aluminum foil reflectors behind them. Very ghetto

    I'm using ghetto ferts! I dose weekly and then do a 50% water change. 1/32 tsp. grants stump remover for nitrate, 2 drops Fleet enema for phosphate, 1 ml. flourish, 5 ml. chelated iron, 1/2 tsp. no-salt for potassium, 1/4 tsp. epsoms salt for magnesium. That was BEFORE I added all these plants (and i'm still not done with the plants) so those numbers will probably change, or i'll just dose those same amounts twice a week instead of once.

    I dose magnesium because... I was told too! I do have soft water. I use well water and the ph is about 6.0 and there virtually no kh or gh at all. That's before I add any ferts. or co2. co2 will make it drop even further. I'm going to run a few tablespoons of crushed coral to increase the gh, kh, and thus ph.
    I'm using the Hagen nutrafin co2 system. I don't want to fool with DIY stuff because this is in my bedroom and I don't want bottles of sludge cluttering up the place. I like to keep the no3 levels around 15-20 (i'm happy with 10-20, really)

    I mispelled it. it's Elatine triandra. Here's a pic of it. Great foreground plant.

    http://www.plantedtank.net/forums....t-1.jpg

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    StifflerMichael's Avatar
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    JLAP, if I could offer up some advice: I would avoid using crushed coral to increase the GH and KH. There will be too much flucuation in GH and KH levels. Instead use sodium bicarbonate to increase KH (baking soda, be sure that's the only ingredient). I also have low KH water, and I use baking soda to get my levels up to 5dH. I don't have a lot of experience raising GH levels, but you might want to look into using salt mixes for african rift lake cichlids: it might be cheaper and easier to find than pure chemicals, and should raise GH and KH levels.

    I think 10ppm nitrates is a good number, I personally am not comfortable with numbers higher than that, and don't find it to bring any benefit to my plants.

    Also, how big is your tank? I'm guessing it's a 29 gallon, in that case your fertilizer dosing might be a little much. It's good though that you are doing 50% water changes weekly, that will definity help to buffer any over-dosing affects. If you start getting algae problems, I would seriously consider cutting back on nutrients, especially the iron and fluorish (which contains iron also, assuming you didn't mean fluorish excel).

    Have fun though, that's what I really mean to say It's so cool to see so many posts about aquariums lately.

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    You have more exp. in plants than I do. I'm a reefer myself. Why not use crushed corals in the filter? I don't understand how it would fluctuate since it's constantly dissolving at a fixed rate (esp. since the co2 injection will be constant)

    It's a 10 gallon. how much of each fert do you think I should add? I could do 1/16th tsp. of no-salt and epsoms. can you OD on Mg and K?

    sorry. I use 1/2 epsoms and 1/4 no-salt. I've got a sheet with this stuff written down on it.

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    StifflerMichael's Avatar
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    Hmm, as far as the crushed coral: In a reef tank, you have an excess of crushed coral, if you added more crushed coral, the pH, etc would not go much higher. However, you will not add an excess of crushed coral in your freshwater tank, therefore the levels will vary as the amount of crushed coral varies (as it dissolves). I admit, I've never tried this method in my tanks, but I don't think it will work as well (be as stable) as adding the salts to defined concentrations

    Like I said, I think you MIGHT be dosing too much fertilizers. The problems is, I have no idea how many ppm of each nutrient you are dosing too. If you can figure that out, some good numbers are 0.1ppm iron, 10-20ppm potassium, 0.5ppm phosphorous, and 10ppm nitrate. It is possible to overdose these nutrients. Overdosing nitrates and magnesium could have an ill effect on your fish. Overdosing phosphorous, and iron could lead to algae blooms and overdosing potassium (which is difficult) can lead to stunted growth in some plants.

    I should have mentioned before, my all-time favorite planted tank advice website is Rex Grigg's site: URL=http://www.rexgrigg.com/]Rex Grigg's site[/URL] Take everything he says to be the gospel, you will not go wrong!

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Hehe, don't have those test kits yet. I need them.

    I guess i'll just play it by ear. That's what i've always done and it's always worked out. If I can grow coral I can grow plants ....maybe

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    StifflerMichael's Avatar
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    I agree, if you can grow corals you can grow plants! They aren't the same thing, but I think corals should be difficult to grow!

    Really, just keep reading around and experimenting. Rex's site is a very good source, and so is Steve Hampton's site. I've also learned to do everything just playing it by ear, I hardly ask for advice. I like to mess up without the whole world/forum knowing!

    But if you have problems in the future, feel free to ask me for some advice. I'm pretty confident (well, more than non-confident!) I know what I'm doing with the aquarium plants.

    And if you are succussful, show us the pics!

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