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Total Novice First Tank

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by Di Sen, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. Di Sen

    Di Sen New Member

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    Hello All,

    I've just come across these forums and noticed the community here seems very welcoming and helpful. I'm a Canadian from Vancouver BC, living and working in Shanghai. A few months ago I came across an aquascaping video on Reddit and was blown away by the mixture of art, biology, creativity, and personal expression that goes into this hobby.

    I just a week ago decided to try my hand at a planted tank (I've never owned a fish tank in my life). I would really love to get some guidance from some more experienced aquascapers as I am finding the sheer amount of information on the topic a little overwhelming.

    Please have a look at my tank, which was planted 5 days ago, I'm not sure if the following info is relevant:

    • I'm using a Japanese substrate called Pure Soil Black
    • My tank is 20L
    • When I filled it up I added a few treatments (2ml) each, but as I'm located in China and not totally fluent in Chinese I'm not 100% sure what they are and if I need them.
    1. The first is called "Water Quality Stabilizer" and the English portion says it "Clears new water's Chlorine and heavy metal Toxins
    2. The second is called "Condensep Plant Nutrients" and contains "Important Macro Nutrients" and claims to "encourage rich green leaves"
    3. The Third is called "Bzo Bacteria" and contains "yeast and beneficial fungi" and "Removes harmful elements such as; Ammonia, Nitrate, and Hydrogen Sulfide."
    My goals for this tank are to learn the basics of water management and plant cultivation. Ok, I think my post is getting to long and I don't want to hit you guys with a wall of text. So many things to learn!
    [​IMG]
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  2. Glomeridae

    Glomeridae Active Aquascaper

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    Welcome! =)
     
  3. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Di Sen, Welcome to ASW (y)
    A good link to start ;) http://www.aquascapingworld.com/threads/if-you-are-new-to-planted-tanks-you-should-read-this.5025/

    If you don't know what you are adding to the water ?? Stop ;) Until you know, or can get it translated.

    With the tall stem plants at the back its better. To trim off the lower couple of leaves leaving 1" -- 1.1/2 " bare stem and plant next to each other leaving a small gap. This aides the starting of the root process and stops rotting.

    The hair grass at the front could be split into to smaller groups. Again this will help them to send out new runners and stop rotting in the middle When they have settled in, Trim them down to just above the substrate this will stop the algae attack on the old stems new lush growth will appear in a few weeks.

    The H Trip the bright green plant in the middle RH side is a fast grower it will need a lot of trimming. Just keep trimming the new runners to get a bushy growth on this plant.

    Great start;) Love the rocks :love:When the planting grows it will look fab (y)
     
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  4. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Di Sen

    Welcome to ASW

    With your questions try to keep to one topic per post then you should not get confused.

    If in doubt don't do it ask here first.

    What you have done so far is looking great.

    If you intend to by any inhabitants please check with us first if not it is so easy to have more problems than you can deal with at once.

    Keith:):)
     
  5. Di Sen

    Di Sen New Member

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    Thank you very much for the great link and reply! Do you suggest that I go ahead and pull every plant out of the substrate at this point to trim the stem plants and further separate the hair grass? Should I start trimming the H Trip and hair grass right away, or let it grow for a while first?

    Yes, sorry for the vagueness of my original post! I'm currently focused on getting the water treatment and plant growth going smoothly. I'm currently thinking that I'll add a school of small fish a month or two down the road, once i feel the tank is stable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  6. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Di Sen

    There is no need to be sorry at all.

    Please remember there is no such thing as a "Silly Question"

    The less complicated the question/s the easer it is to help you.

    That is the reason I suggested keep the topics separate its a lot easier to follow and answer your question /s very quickly without and confusion.

    I am positive Roy or one of the other plant experts will reply to your post very quickly.

    Keith:):)
     
  7. Di Sen

    Di Sen New Member

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    So I went ahead a took Greenfinger's advice and further separated the hair grass and replanted the stem plants with space between them (I also trimmed off the lower leaves).

    What do you guys think? Should I leave it as is now?

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Di Sen,
    Looking good (y) When the red stem plants gets some roots:whistle: You can cut back to within a couple of inches of the substrate. Leaving a few leaves on the stem.The old stems will grow new tops :D And just replant the cut off's as before

    The thinner green stems could have been cut back a bit more as you still have a lot of stem that was shaded so loss of leaves at the bottom. These stems may die back?? Leave them for now as the upper stem will get side roots. Then cut back and treat the same way as the red plant. All stem plants can be treated in this way.

    Leave the H trip For now as this will send out roots .Then runners just cut of the bits you don't want.
    The hair grass , Let it root in a bit.A lot of the green stems will die back :( This is when its time to cut it back to stop algae.

    From your photos :) Are you using Led lights ??? C02 ?? The more light the more C02 you need ;)
    Ho nearly forgot you say your tank holds 20lt ??? looks a lot bigger What are dimension of the tank ??
     
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  9. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to ASW!

    As a beginner, I would say your primary goal is to learn to grow the plants. Once you get this down you can concentrate on aesthetics. Observation will be your best tool for understanding what you need to do. Experience will give your observation context and meaning. Only one way to get experience....by diving in. Persistence is the last ingredient to becoming a true aquascaper. Failure, algae, etc. are all part of the learning process.

    We are glad to have you and look forward to helping you along your journey. best of luck!
     
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  10. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Di Sen

    It will not be very long until you have a good understanding of plant growth plus how and when to trim your plants.

    You will have a good carpet/lawn of grass very soon.

    Keith:):)
     
  11. Di Sen

    Di Sen New Member

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    I don't know the exact dimensions, the instructions it came with only say it's 5 Gal / 19L. It's actually quite narrow, I think the pictures just make it look bigger than it actually is. I'm using LED lights and adding a little Co2 every day.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for sharing the other angle. That is quite a narrow tank. Not bad for your beginner goals, but a narrow tank is very difficult to scape in. If your interest continues in the hobby you will one day want to trade it in for something with more depth front to back.

    I noticed the CO2 canister, I assume this is one you prime each day and leave it? It won't provide a constant supply and will make tank management with higher light difficult. Good CO2 setups utilize a regulator, solenoid, needle valve and bubble counter on a CO2 canister to provide a constant supply throughout the light cycle. There is a good article in the ASW magazine outlining the components. (someone do me a favor and provide the link...I'm unable to at the moment)
     
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  13. Di Sen

    Di Sen New Member

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    Yes the Co2 canister primes into a very simple tube type thing inside the water, you can see it in the pictures within the original post (on the right hand side of the tank.

    I'm assuming the article you mentioned is here: w w w .aquascapingworld.com/magazine/September-2008/September-2008/Pressurized-C02-Injection-Systems.html

    I've looked at a few of these types of setups and they see a tad pricey, can I get by with this low budget setup for a while? In the future I would like to get a proper nice sized tank, filtration system, and Co2 system. However as I still don't have any experiencing in successfully growing plants and caring for fish, I feel investing a big chunk of change at this point may not be the wisest decision.

    Once I feel more familiar and confident with what I'm doing, I will definitely be willing to spend more.
     
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  14. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    you dont need a CO2 system with low light but you have higher light and some stems that may require a good supply. it will depend upon your diligence and the setups efficiency. generally systems like this make things more difficult.
     
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  15. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Di Sen

    Roy runs a very good DIY unit he can certainly point you in the right direction.

    Use this tank for the learning curve and once you have mastered that art of plant keeping you can certainly expand your Aquascaping knowledge.

    One thing you must learn first is "Keep It Simple" KIS and you will have plenty of hrs enjoying your Aquascaping hobby.

    Keith:):)
     
  16. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Di Sen,

    Thank you:) It is a narrow tank.You have done a great job on the scaping in the space you have (y)

    A DIY yeast system would work well with a bell in your 20l
    The yeast mix will need changing every 3-4 days but gives you a constant supply of Co2 ;)
    One photo of my bell system :) Its in a 24 Lt cube
    001.JPG
     
  17. Di Sen

    Di Sen New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies guys, much appreciated.

    So I cracked and purchased a proper Co2 setup, I just couldn't help my self. In my haste I broke the neck off my glass diffuser, no worries I managed to attach the tubing to the remaining "stub" the neck.

    Shadow I was looking at your tank pictures, stunning man!

    A couple questions, should the "bowl" section of the glass diffuser be filled with water (mine has a little inside i believe)? I have the valve set to produce the smallest bubble stream possible as I have a small tank; is that about right or should i crank it up a bit? I currently leave the light on about 15 hours a day.

    [​IMG]
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  18. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Di Sen

    Now the fun begins mastering the Co2 unit and the lights, take it slowly and listen to all the good advice you will be given, from the various members who are experienced in setting up and using Co2.

    Keith:):)
     
  19. Ed Villagracia

    Ed Villagracia Active Aquascaper

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    Welcome;)

    i think the diffusion [2lines of bubbles] of your co2 via your glass diffuser is not enough
    it should be lot of fine bubbles coming out all over the glass diffuser. just my opinion.
     
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  20. Di Sen

    Di Sen New Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Wanted to check it to give an update and ask some more questions:) I've changed a few things, I feel my tank is to small so I removed the large rocks to give me more area to experiment with plants. My H trip plants all died :( I believe I prepared and poorly planted them. I've definitely learned a big lesson in plant preparation, next time I will do a much more thorough job at removing the cotton wool stuff and separating before planting.

    Please have a look at my new pictures. Does anyone know why the leaves are melting away on the red stem plants? The tops seem to be looking good, but the lower and mid sections look terrible?

    Right now I am giving 8 hours of light a day, with both the light and c02 on the same timer switch. I am not adding any ferts and doing a 25% water change every third day.

    I add tap water that I first let sit in a bucket for 48 hours + before adding.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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