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My Tank setup

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by deanc8159, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    The plants ive tried are vallisneria, Java fern, Amazon sword a long time ago..

    The substrate is a fine-ish sand I think it's not natural, I added some gravel to bulk out the hill, I'm assuming my plants die as the roots suffocate? Or because I don't spread them out enough, I still have some dwarf valis alive so maybe spreading them out is all I need to do haha.

    I'll do more research later, thanks
     
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  2. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I think this tank is a good example of plants being an afterthought. Its important to plan ahead and build your tank to support those plans. I think the substrate is less than ideal and it looks like you have very dim lighting.
     
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  3. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I admit plants have been an after thought, the substrate was from when I first got the tank and went for the nicest looking and to change it all has seemed like a huge job so I hoped I could find ways around it, is there any solutions you'd recommend? Or a just a. Straight out restart? If so what substrate is recommended?
    As for lighting my condensation cover grows algae fast so it only gets cleaned every other water change usually. I will start cleaning that more often
     
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  4. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    deanc

    I think you have answered your own question.

    The best advice I can offer you is start from scratch again, you can leave that tank running and forget about the plants that are in there at the moment.

    Research is what you have to do and plenty of it.

    Substrate will depend what rooted plants you can grow.

    The lighting will depend on what plants you decide on.

    Then every thing will depend on what inhabitants you would like to have.

    I run a heavily planted Low Tech tank the substrate is 1-3 standard natural river gravel, my lighting is a twin fluro unit.

    Filtration UGF and an Eheim pro11 canister.

    Water change twice a week 30% water change.

    Fertilisers every day Seachem liquid and Seachem fert tabs every three months.

    Keith:):)
     
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  5. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I've been thinking about it all today,
    I can't really do a fresh start due to money/space constraints. If I had it my way I'd have a new setup, bigger tank and fresh start,

    But for the lighting my tank kid has 2 lights 'bright day white' and 'cool blue moon' both are 15 watt each so if had both running that would be 30w? Or does it not work that way?
    As for substrate I have api root tabs so I can use those to grow plants, aswell as tying something like Java fern to the bogwood? Aswell as Java moss on rocks etc

    These are all vague ideas but I'm sure I can get around problems. Even if it isn't ideal.

    I do about 25-30% water change each week

    I also have dwarf water lettuce (pistia stratiotes) which I thought when roots grow bigger will provide more cover in the top layer too (maybe pushed into the corner to stop them flying around the tank aimlessly) Id still like to keep some red cherry shrimps but not until plants are under control

    Thanks again for the advice
     
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  6. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Both
    [​IMG]

    White
    [​IMG]

    Blue
    [​IMG]
     
  7. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    For rooted plants its the Substrate that must be changed.

    I assume its a kit unit and these can often cause problems as usually every thing is done on the cheap.
    Lighting I have only every used twin fluro units 1 plant tube and 1 daylight tube.

    You can replace all that substrate with 3-4cm of 1-3 mm standard river stones.

    Replace those big rocks with a few smooth river stones (buy from garden suppliers) at a fraction of the price.

    Get more DW and attach plants to them.

    Filter I would like to know a lot more about it, medium used how often is it cleaned and how is it cleaned.

    Depending where you live all this could be free if you know where to hunt.

    You will also have to use liquid ferts if you want your plants to grow.

    There are several very good UK Aquarium forums that would often have all you require for sale at very cheap price.

    Keith:):)
     
  8. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Sorry for the delay. So I've kept the substrate (it seems fine) , upped the lighting to 2x15watt bulbs (however the White one blew today so I may look into a new lighting solution)

    Added some dwarf sag with root tanks below. All spread out evenly,

    Change my macro ferts to 'lush macro' http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&alt=web&id=251658933672

    Very cheep and in the week I've been using it my hair grass has bounced back with lots of new growth,

    The dwarf water lettuce is growing fine too. Providing some top cover for fish and shooting off runners (I went for 6 rice fish - oryzias)

    Also added some Java moss to rock and driftwood which seems to be growing fine

    Filter is an interpet pf1 not sure on specs but I run it on max flow with 1 mechanical, 1 carbon and 1 fine floss, this seems to be fine although if I could afford Id buy a canister filter,

    I have some smooth rocks already currently sunk into the front for some algae surfaces

    My main issue is lighting. Any ideas what changes I can do or can I swap out the bulbs for something better (see pics)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    deance

    I have never heard of that fert so I cannot comment on it at all except it plus it sounds very cheap.

    The next is "Carbon" its an excellent product if used correctly after medications etc.

    It is not meant to be in a filter for more that 2-3days depending on what you are using it for.

    I also believe it is capable of filtering out plant ferts.

    Have you changed that substrate yet?

    Keith:):)
     
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  10. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I was reccomded it by a friend, it's cheep but seems to be doing a good job.

    I was under the impression carbon was meant to stay in to filter out anything bad..? So I should remove it? Replace with another mechanical foam?

    Substrate is staying for now as the plants are growing fine in it. But if I get a new tank better substrate will be first in my list.

    My main question now is lighting. I've looked at t5 but due to size it's no good, my tank is 41cm wide, I had a look at LED strips but unsure of what I'm looking at for good lighting? Any advice?
     
  11. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    The use of carbon in the aquarium system


    Activated carbon is used quite commonly as part of the filtration system in aquaria. There are many myths and misunderstandings about its use of what it can or cannot do. Some of these myths have been repeated so often it has caused many to believe them to be absolute truths!

    Carbon is considered chemical filtration. The effectiveness of activated carbon is based on a three-step process:

    First is absorption. Static forces will attract particles absorbing them onto the surface of the carbon. Bacteria that settle on the carbon surface will further consume the waste.

    The second process is the diffusion of gases. Absorbed into the carbon the gases are detoxified (i.e. Ozone O3 into oxygen O2)

    The third process is called chemo sorption, where particles are irreversibly bound to the carbon.

    Carbon will remove a range of substances from water, including:

    Organic pollutants, some of which discolour the water with a yellowish tint

    Dissolved organic molecules - this is the primary reason to use carbon in most aquaria.

    Medications, antibiotics and dyes - this can be useful for removing excess/residual medication, but also means that carbon should be removed when using medications, to avoid removal of the medication during the treatment phase.

    Chlorine and chloramines

    Fertilizers containing minerals in cheleated form. These cheleates will be absorbed by the carbon as organics.

    Certain heavy metals - the amounts will depend on factors such as the solubility of the metal at the pH of the specific aquarium.

    Removed organic particles and substances absorbed by the carbon will remain biologically active. Trapped waste particles will still decay and remain part of the aquatic system. Once the Carbon is saturated it “can” release “some” of the absorbed substances back into the water. This is why it is best used on a short-term basis and/or replaced regularly. Indeed carbon is quickly used up and can be removed after just 24-48 hours.

    It is important to note that there are certain substances that carbon will NOT absorb any significant amount of, which include:

    Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate

    Phosphate

    Inorganic salts (like sodium chloride)

    Trace elements, making it safe to use in reef systems. The uptake of substances like iron, manganese, molybdenum, cadmium, zinc, and carbon dioxide are extremely limited and is insignificant if used only occasionally.

    The quantity of carbon needed for an aquarium is approximately 1 teaspoon of carbon for each 30 litres of water.

    I think this information will help you.

    Keith:):)
     
  12. EChord

    EChord Aspiring Aquascaper

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    You might want to consider some Malasian Trumpet Snails if you don't want to change the substrate. They'll at least turn it over and help prevent both compaction and anaerobic conditions from forming. Often they come in as hitchhikers on plants, so your LFS might have them breeding in their plant tank, and will likely be happy to give you some.
     
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  13. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks the advice Keith I took the carbon out and swapped with a mechanic foam.

    Just been battling a white spot issue but that's all clear now,
    I've been thinking about your substrate change suggestion. But if I were to chnage substrate would my MTS be okay?
    Haha echord I already have a booming population of Malaysian trumpets, recently buying some dwarf sag I had some common snails too which im not so happy about.

    Anyway back to aquascaping. I was thinking a fine dark gravel (suggestions?)

    Some more spindley driftwood?
    A nice big dark rock, with a dwarf hair grass carpet up front and dwarf sag at back ?

    Also looking at external filters to make scaping easier. What are your opinions on a Fluval 106 filter for 10gallon tank?

    Thanks
     
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  14. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    deance

    The fine dark "gravel" could be a concern being fine it could compress, I always prefer a 1-3mm substrate it will grow rooted plants easily and will not crush the fine roots like some if the fine substrates.

    Using a dark substrate dark green plants can stand out very well.

    Fluval 106 I only have Eheim canisters meaning I cannot comment on it for you.

    Warning beware of some filter claim a high GPH- LPH but this is with no filter medium in it.

    Drift Wood sounds OK being a small tank by keeping it simple KIS it will look a lot better than using big rocks and big heavy DW.

    Keith:):)
     
  15. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Why gravel brand would you recommend? And would 1-3mm be small enough for my Malaysian trumpet snails. I've grown quite fond of them :D

    Which eheim filter would you recommend? I'm still researching at the moment.

    I was thinking 1 nice big rock to the side with some spindly driftwood behind ? I'm not really sure Yeh haha
     
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  16. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    [​IMG]

    This is it so far, I'm thinking. Once the internal filter is gone I don't have to worry and keeping that side clear. My tough plan was a High slope from bad left to front right. Dwarf sag along back in s clump/row
    Largish rock in back left leaning to the right slightly, then thin drift wood nestled behind it coming across right. And a dwarf hair grass carpet up front left thinning out towards the middle
     
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  17. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    deanc

    Gravel brand I will leave that to someone who lives in the UK.
    MTS my knowledge of them is zero.

    https://www.eheim.com/en_GB/products/technology/external-filters
    Do your research there.


    My suggestion here is do a lot of research on Aquascaping for your size tank, then plan from that long before you buy any hardscape bits and pieces.

    Keith:):)
     
  18. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Sorry for that slow reply. I've been doing plenty of research etc.

    I plunged into a fluval 206 (a little over kill for my tank but i hope to go bigger eventually)

    Had a few issues with flow being too strong. Eventually sorted it with a spray bar and removed the end cap so the pressure was spread evenly
    [​IMG]

    I boosted my stock to 8rice fish they seem a lot happier in a bigger group.

    Substrate wise I am planning on changing to a dark Aqua soil (unsure of branding yet - LFS had a 5kg bag for £20 which may be an option) ----- next issue would be swapping substrates? I could buy a few water containers. Siphon all tank water out and remove this substrate completely?

    Finally lighting. I've been researching LED lighting. Figured cheapest way would be DIY, considering I will have to make a new aquarium hood soon as this doesn't fit because of the fluval pipes. I may try interstate some lighting into that.

    [​IMG]

    Once substate is sorted I'll start the scaping itself. Above is a picture of the tank currently.

    Thanks
     
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  19. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Deanc,

    Looking forward to seeing you new scape :)
     
  20. deanc8159

    deanc8159 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks. I think it will take some time. I keep seeing other scapes I like parts of which is annoying haha.
    My idea so far is swap out the sand with Aqua soil, take out all the ugly granite (I thought the looked nice at first. Now they just seem too un natural)

    Next move the drift wood to the left. Bank the soil up behind it and move the vallis into that Corner. Then from behind the driftwood try find a nice spindley part that comes across to the right, tie moss etc on that and lay a nice little carpet up front. Not sure about the pebbles up front. They're nice as algae surfaces for snails and shrimp if/when I get some
     
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