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"Planing my first Aquascape" <- need help

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by Jurijs mit JS, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    Hy senior aquascapers :p
    in front of all:
    this will be my first real aquascape, stuff i done before was quite sucesfull but it looked more like "grandpa´s goldfish tank" without any real idea of fertilization and other stuff ..

    Ok, here a list of stuff i allready have:
    • 2x HQL lamp , each one is possible to switch between 80 or 125 watt (i am about to use dennerle bulbs with 3.200K)
    • water heater 100 watt
    • Dupla mat 40watt (some kind of heat pipe under the soil)
    • JBL Testlab
    • Eheim Ecco 2235
    • 30kg Co2 bottle (i know it is huge, but i got it for a very little money)
    • Dennerle pressure-reducing valve
    • magnetic Co2 night disconnection

    I hope it will be possible to use all the stuff above, because if not - it probably will blow up my budget :-s

    List off stuff i´m going to buy for this project:
    • 300 watt external water heater
    • 1500l/h capacity filter
    • tank 100x40x50
    • lilypipe in/out flow
    • co2 diffusor - simmilar to ADA style ..
    • tropica pn+ 5L
    • amazonia soil 18kg
    • dragon stones

    plants will be
    • glosso or hc for the carpet
    • hairgrass
    • blyxa japonica

    fauna will be
    • amano or dwarf shrimps (like white pearl)
    • otoclincus sp
    • any kind of schooling fish

    I have seen here at ASW a lot of beautiful tanks, all with healthy plants and nice scapes.
    One sort of them i like best, i think you call them "Iwagumi" :-\
    I love such clean and simple scapes as much as i like minimal musik and minimal designed furniture.

    The tank i want to use for this scape will be 100 x 40 x 40-55 ( 160 - 220 Liters / 40 or 60 galons)

    Here my first question: which tank height you think i should use?

    i tend to the bigger one, because it is bigger - more water - but it is deeper and im not sure if it might cause any problems for the small plants like glosso or hc .. see above how much light i have, there must be about 4wpg.. i dont know - tell me your opinion please.

    the question of the tank size is not as important as some other i have, here they are:

    i tried to find at ASW some rulez or some kind of "How to fertilize right?" but still looking for them :(

    in the pols i found out that about 1/2 of you use DIY fertilizer and the other 1/2 use ADA stuff. I cant say nothing bad about ADA - maybe that their stuff is a little bit expensive but finally thats all.

    The thing with the soil, i found a very interessting discussion about ADA AS only vs ADA AS + PS and i think not to need extra PS but the question i have: is ADA AS allready pre-fertilized or did i have to add something else to it?

    Ok before my first post will get too big and nobody of you will answer because its too long i will stop here and wait for any answers.

    big thanks allready now

    Jur4ik
     

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  2. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    The first thing I notice is that you put a 100W heater down?? You wil need more like a 300 on this size tank.

    Also the filter will be underpowered IMO for enough circulation. 700lph is not nearly enough for it. aim for approx 10x and then after you account for flow restrictions you'll be around 6x.

    With regard to the lighting I personally think 4WPG over this tank may be a little bit hard to handle unless you have expereience. With the filter you detail above it will definately cause problems. I am however a bit opinionated about the need for high lightso I will leave this to the peeps who have a more traditional view on higher light.

    ADA AS can be used straight from the bag. You can't put fish in for a few weeks though because it will leech ammonia for a while. Heavy water changes over the first few weeks should help you out there.

    As for a step by step guide to setting up a planted tank there are many around on the internet. Each will have its own views on what to do so read several and compare them. You will be surprised how different some people tackle this little task.

    Good Luck

    Andy
     
  3. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    will it be enough if i change my current filter against one with 1500l/h capacity or schoul i better use them parallel?

    new one will be maybe this one: aquaristic.net - JBL CristalProfi e1500

    you are right, the water heater ist little bit weakly.

    i editer the first post and made a list of stuff i´m going to buy.

    i can switch my lamps between 80 and 125 watt, so i can have 4wpg or 2,6wpg
     
  4. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Forgive my maths but on a 40USG tank if you have 2 lamps each of 80W-125W this makes 4WPG - 6.25WPG?

    Do you mean the total of both is 80W - 125W?

    I would run the 2 filters together. I would however put the 2 inlets together (the end of the circulation circuit) and one outlet (from the larger filter) in the same corner (the start of the circuit) pointing along the back. The other outlet (from the smaller filter) I would put in the other rear corner pointing along the side. This would give a further push to the circulation without messing it up and creating too much turbulence.

    If you are using a bubble diffusor you can then position it just forward of the second output and 6 inches below. The bubbles should then be carried around the tank by the current.

    [​IMG]
    The red squares are the outlets, red arrows their direction. The green squares are the inlets. The black circle is the CO2 diffusor and the blue arrows the circulation circuit.

    p.s. I've now put my blog in my signature which is a step by step guide to setting up a planted tank I did on another forum. The specs of this tank and yours will be much different but the principles are the same.

    Andy
     
  5. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    hit me if i´m wrong - it will be the best to clean the filters alternating ?!
    thanks a lot for the sketch

    i have 2 HQL lamps and each one can be switched between 80 or 125 watt.
    because of the size i think it would be the best to run them parallel, then i can switch between (total) 160 or 250 watt

    [​IMG]

    wpg question

    4 wpg if i calculate with the 60g tank, which i tend to

    i found this article about wpg rule and how amano manage it here: Lighting in Amano Aquaria ,at the bottom of the article is small calculator it tells me 160 watt would be amanos choice for a tank size 220l

    does the depth care?
     
  6. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth New Member

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    Depth only matters if it is above 24" in which MH or PC T5's are needed
     
  7. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    i´m going to use 2x HQL lamps - mercury steam lights as i researched on wikipedia it must be nearly the same as MH?!

    if it is so - i will choose the bigger tank with 60g
     
  8. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    as per aaron's reply below 24" doesn't matter. above that I don't think it need to increse too much.

    I tend to ignore Amanos 'ideals'. Not because I don't believe him but because he wants very fast growth. I prefer very slow growth. The majority want reasonably fast but also I think Amano tends to add more of everything than is needed. It also sells more gear. lol. Maybe Cynical but each to their own. lol

    I would clean the filters alternating BUt with externals its only going to be every 2 months or so for each one.

    Andy
     
  9. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    fast and slow growth - here we are at the point of fertilization.
    i will fert with co2 as much as needed. and will need to fert some other stuff.
    in case i use AS as the only substrate which other fertz do i need?
    in past i only used an "all in one solution" which i added weekly after water change.
     
  10. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    you can do the same i.e. Tropica Plant Nutrition+ but do it daily and with your light twice as much at least as the bottle. This is expensive though.

    I would personally go for dry powders as they are a fraction of the price, then mix them into solutions yourself. Use EI or another method.

    Andy
     
  11. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    i even calculated with an 5000ml bottle Tropica Plant Nutrition+ and twice amount every day , i wil have to pay about 24 £ every month!

    is quite expensive :(

    think i have to get into usage of powders & co ..

    as i found in your blog you use an external water heater, can you reccomend them? ofcourse in my case the 300 watt model :D

    regards :hi:
     
  12. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    With the external filters they are allied to the filters in a way. The 200W fits 12/13mm hose and the 300W fits 16/17mm so if you have a large filter you have to use the 300W anyway. lol

    The 200W will fit on your smaller filter I should think if it is the smaller diameter hose.

    I can recommend tem yes. It seems to keep the water temp much better than the internal one did. I would suggest getting one from a shop if possible or if the internet make sure it is a good reputable supplier and not ebay. These are quite fragile as they have a glass cylinder inside seperating the thermostat from the water and it can break easily.

    Powders should be easy to source. they are used in most domestic garden fertilisers and there are quite a few scapers in Germany. If not then aquaessentials.co.uk does the full range and they ship internationally.
     
  13. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    do you use those DIY ferts or Tropica Plant Nutrition+ ?
    and is it better to use an all in one solution like Tropica Plant Nutrition+ or to have several bottles with all ferts separated like dennerle does?
     
  14. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Personally I think the Seachem/ADA/Dennerle way of seperating everything into different bottles is more of a sales ploy in that they can sell many bottles rather than just one.

    Tropica PN+ is an all in one that includes the macros and micros (NPK+trace) in the same bottle although it can be a little low on phosphates.

    Many people in the UK including George Farmer use Tropica all in one ferts, but it can get expensive.

    I mix my own from the dry salts and then have a macro solution and micro solution and I dose each one daily before I go to work.

    Andy
     
  15. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    i found on ukaps.org a great article how to mix dry salt powders - and it isn´t difficult at all - and i can save a lot of money o:)

    i think there is pro argument for separating everything - if you have enough iron in your water you dont need to fert iron or if you have actually too much phosphats because of many fish you can fert less or completly stop fert phosphats ..
    ofcourse you are right, industry separating ferts earns more money because people think using 10 different bottles would help their plants more ..

    i even made a small (lol) list of stuff im going to buy for this project and calculated how much everything will cost.

    tank 100x40x50 - 62€
    filter 1500lph - 120€
    external heater 300w - 55€
    new bulbs - 40€
    2x lilypipe in - 67€
    lilypipe out - 37€
    co2 diffusor - 42€
    electrical stuff - 50€ (timers etc .. )
    tropica pn+ 5L - 100€
    tweezers - 20€
    amazonia soil 18kg - 60€

    total: 653€ = 521 £

    hardscape, plants and fish still missing^^

    i can save about half the price on ferts if i DIY and they will last many years :D

    slowly most of my questions are answered, maybe i have to ask George Farmer for some tips with Iwagumi style scaped tanks... hmm
     
  16. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    You acn ask George Farmer on all styles of scapes. He does more than just Iwagumi. Take a look at this latest in the showcase section of this forum.

    Your glas lilys and diffusro seem a little expensive!!! Have you tried Aquatic Magic? £25 for each set of Lily pipes and £10 for a Rhinox diffusor.

    I wouldn't worry about what is already in your water/substrate and then removing it from the ferts mix etc. What Tom Barr has tought us is that excess nutrient does not cause algae so we can just mix the solution and not worry if there is too much of something, just if there is not enough of something.

    There are many different solutions that can be made with dry salts EI, PPS Pro, PMDD, PMDD+PO4 and on UKaps there is one that replicates the Tropica PN+ recipe. different chemicals to the usual DIY ones but it means you can make an all in one at the same ration to the Tropica.

    Andy
     
  17. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    the diffusor i choosed is from the dennerle crystal line - buble counter and check vakve and co2 drop checker are allready included in this 42 € so it seems to be a good deal ;)

    about the lily pipes, yeah they are quite expensive, about 30€ each one, have to look where to buy what to save some shiping fee

    i pm'ed G.Farmer, i hope is not a sign of bad manners, when i´m lucky he will soon comment this journal [-o<
     
  18. George Farmer

    George Farmer Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hi

    Looks like an exciting project.

    My top tips would be to plant as heavily as you can form the start, as this will give you the best chance against algae.

    Get your CO2 up to 30ppm stable. Also I've found Easylife Easycarbo is useful in the initial stages as it helps plant growth and inhibits algae. Flourish Excel is the same product but more expensive over here.

    I would dose dry ferts, as it will work out much cheaper. You can dose very lean due to the Aqua Soil, especially in the first few weeks.

    Change at least 50% water 2x per week in the first 3 weeks.

    You can make up your own DIY batch of Tropica+.

    James' Planted Tank - All In One Solution

    For Iwagumi aquascapes, shallower tanks are better suited.

    For lighting - 7-8 hour photoperiod is generally enough, if there's high light. 10 hours for medium light.

    More flow the better...

    Good luck. Apologies for the short reply. I'm a bit busy... ;)
     
  19. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    huuuuuuuge thanks George :*

    so for iwagumi 100x40x40 is better than 100x40x50 .. hmm, i´m still thinking like a fishkeeper more capacity = better, but in this case fauna wont be maximized so it makes no sense to choose the bigger one.

    finaly i can save some euros on ferts because i need less :)
     
  20. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    you can save euros on the lily pipes still. The aquatic magic ones are £25 for the set not £25 each. That makes 30EUROS for each set

    Thats 44EURO cheaper than you have in your post above.
     

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