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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - Long Road Ahead
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Long Road Ahead
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hobbit
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:08 am Post subject: Long Road Ahead Reply with quote

 Hi  friends,
 I  am  new  to  aquaculture  and  am  planning  to  start  a  "plants  only"  aquarium.  I  have  been  researching  on  this  topic  for  quite  sometime  and  with  all  the  information  available  I  am  more  confused  now.  There  are  few  questions  in  my  mind  but  before  that  let  me  tell  what  are  my  intentions.
 1.  To  setup  a  "plants  only"  aquarium.
 2.  The  size  would  be  22"x18"x18"  (due  to  space  constraints  cannot  go  more  than  22")
 3.  I  would  like  to  use  what  is  available  locally.  (Chandigarh)
 4.  I  would  like  it  to  be  a  DIY  as  much  as  possible.
 5.  Would  like  normal  soil  for  the  substrate.
 
 Now  coming  to  questions.
 1.  Is  plants  only  aquarium  a  possibility,  much  so  for  a  beginner.  I  would  not  like  to  add  anything  more  than  algae  cleaners,  even  not  them  if  possible.
 2.  What  are  my  options  for  a  clear  glass.  I  mean  the  brand  names.  From  online  calculators  I  figured  out  that  6mm  glass  should  be  enough  for  my  project  size.
 3.  Are  there  any  good  shops  to  source  material  from  in  and  around  Chandigarh.
 Thanks  for  the  help  in  advance.
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Binesh
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:58 pm Post subject: Re: Long Road Ahead Reply with quote

 Hi,
 
 light  hood  can  be  DIY,  not  the  bulbs,  co2  can  be  DIY-  please  read  the  forum  for  details.
 For  substrate  you  can  use  normal  potting  soil  as  the  bottom  layer  and  inert  gravel  as  the  top  layer  -  applicable  if  you  are  going  to  plant  stem  plants.  moss  and  ferns  can  be  grown  no  rock/driftwood.
 
 answers  -
 1.  I  assume  you  dont  want  to  add  any  live  stock,  would  suggest  to  add,  please  read  on  how  live  stock  helps  the  cycling  of  the  tank.  if  you  are  worried  about  the  headache  of  maintaining  the  live  then  there  are  many  hardy  fish  that  you  add  which  require  negligible  maintenance.
 2.  Clear  glass  would  cost  much  more  than  the  normal  glass,  i  find  the  normal  glasses  to  do  the  job  well.  6  mm  for  your  size  tank  is  good  enough.
 
 For  availability  of  local  stuff  in  Chandigarh  you  can  wait  for  local  members  to  reply.
 
 Good  luck   Thumb Up  
 
 Cheers,
 Binesh
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hobbit
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:21 pm Post subject: Re: Long Road Ahead Reply with quote

 Thank  you  Binesh  for  your  invaluable  inputs.  Since  it  is  going  to  be  my  first  setup  I'll  stick  to  normal  glass  as  suggested.  I  was  thinking  of  visiting  nearby  lake  and  rivulet  to  source  my  gravel.  Should  I  consider  getting  bottom  layer  soil  from  there  as  well.  During  my  recent  visit  I  observed  that  the  lake  soil  is  more  like  a  clay  whereas  rivulet  soil  has  a  sandy  texture.  Would  it  help  if  I  mixed  them  in  equal  proportions  before  starting  the  mineralization  process.  Any  suggestions  regarding  alternatives  to  Muriate  of  Potash  and  Dolomite.  Thanks  once  again  for  all  the  inputs  friends.
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dotfish
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:49 pm Post subject: Re: Long Road Ahead Reply with quote

 Dolomite  is  required  only  if  your  water  is  hard,   if  you  plan  to  use  normal  tap  water  this  can  be  skipped  safely
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hobbit
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:59 pm Post subject: Re: Long Road Ahead Reply with quote

 Thanks  for  the  info  Dotfish  any  pointers  on  Muriate  of  Potash,  any  alternative  or  Indian  equivalent  of  the  same.  Little  bit  of  ogling  at  Google  got  me  this
 "Potassium  chloride  was  historically  known  as  "muriate  of  potash,"  this  name  is  ...  as  being  an  alternative  to  sodium  chloride  in  household  water  softener  units."
 Since  I'd  be  using  soft  tap  water  can  I  skip  Muriate  of  Potash  as  well.
 On  the  side  note  I  have  started  mineralization  of  the  soil  as  of  today.  Can  someone  guide  me  if  there  are  any  added  advantage  of  using  mud  from  the  vicinity  of  the  lake  and/or  river  sand.
 Thanks  for  the  help  so  far  fellow  hobbyists.  Thumb Up
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dotfish
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:56 am Post subject: Re: Long Road Ahead Reply with quote

 I  couldnt  get  muriate  of  potash  from  my  local  fertilizer  shops,  all  they  have  was  a  NPK  mix,  so  I  went  with  lab  grade  Potassium  chloride  
 
 I  think  mud  will  be  better  than  sand  for  minerlizing  as  sand  is  nothing  but  an  inert  substrate  which  wont  contribute  anything  for  plant  growth,  plus  lake  mud  already  have  clay  in  that  so  you  can  skip  adding  clay  to  mud  later
 
 all  the  best
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hobbit
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:42 pm Post subject: Re: Long Road Ahead Reply with quote

 Thanks  .Fish  for  your  help,  it  is  much  appreciated.  Mineralization  of  soil  is  in  progress  and  I  am  documenting  the  process,  hoping  that  it  may  help  someone,  someday.  Can  you  please  further  elaborate  on  lab  grade  KCl  any  brand  names  and  what  kind  of  shops  sell  them.  I  will  check  with  local  fertilizers  shop  tomorrow.  I  tried  lake  mud  but  found  it  to  be  very  sandy  and  also  have  issues  in  transporting  the  muck  back  home.  So  I  am  sticking  with  the  soil  dug  out  from  our  kitchen  garden.  It  is  quite  clayey,  no  chemicals  or  fertilizers  have  ever  been  used  in  it,  only  manure  has  been  used  to  periodically.  I  am  also  contemplating  mixing  river  sand  to  make  it  more  loamy.
 Attaching  two  pics  of  the  soil  before  and  after  drying  for  further  guidance.
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dotfish
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:51 pm Post subject: Re: Long Road Ahead Reply with quote

 I  used  RANKEM  brand  of  KCl  ,  To  get  these  I  think  u  need  to  look  for  shops  who  supply  chemicals  to  schools  and  labs.
 Regarding  mixing  sand,  it  wont  be  the  right  thing  as  i  said  earlier  ,  just  have  a  look  at  this  discussion  happend  below
 Link  To  Discussion
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sandeepraghuvanshi
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:08 pm Post subject: Re: Long Road Ahead Reply with quote

 Make  sure  that  all  fertlizers  etc  are  washed  out  from  soil,  repeated  washing  will  take  it  out.
 There  is  article  on  APC  from  Aaron  tablot,  check  it  out.  it  is  s  good  one.
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hobbit
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:11 am Post subject: Re: Long Road Ahead Reply with quote

 Thanks  .Fish  &  Sandeep
 @.Fish  I  did  go  through  the  link,  however  if  I  may  clarify  further,  I  want  to  add  sand  to  reduce  clayey  attribute  of  the  soil  I  am  using.  I  do  intend  to  use  gravel  as  well.  I  am  apprehensive  that  if  I  used  soil  as  it  is,  it  may  compact  later  on.  Please  advise  if  it  may  effect  adversely.
 @Sandeep  I  am  following  Aaron's  method  to  the  word  "D"  http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/modules/Forums/images/smiles/grin.gif.  I  have  already  washed  soil  thrice  before  1st  drying  cycle  even  though  no  fertilizer,  except  manure,  was  ever  used  in  the  soil.  
 On  the  side  note  I  want  to  add  that  normal  tap  water  we  get  over  here  is  chlorinated,  I  hope  it  will  not  effect  the  plants  adversely.
 More  over  what  would  be  best  choice  in  terms  of  lighting  since  my  tank  size  is  20"X17"X18".  I  wanted  to  use  CFL  but  I  read  few  posts  suggesting  against  its  use.
 Thanks  for  all  the  guidance  friends
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:56 am Post subject: Re: Long Road Ahead Reply with quote

 Why  don't  you  use  PLL....the  expense  is  not  much  different.
 you  can  get  the  lighting  done  in  approx  Rs500  with  2  pll  of  36  what  each  which  will  give  enough  light  for  a  high  light  set  up
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sandeepraghuvanshi
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:06 am Post subject: Re: Long Road Ahead Reply with quote

 There  is  no  problem  with  using  CFL,  in  longer  runs  they  are  more  expensive.
 But  even  CFL  are  getting  cheaper  now.
 However  a  major  advantage  is  that  mix  and  match  is  easy  with  CFL,  at  any  time  you  can  simply  change  the  bulb  of  whatever  intensity  you  want,  however  with  PLL  you  would  need  to  change  the  starter  unit.
 I  am  using  a  mix  of  20  watt  to  50  watt  in  my  tanks  
 This  tank  is  run  on  CFL
 http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=30779
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:14 am Post subject: Re: Long Road Ahead Reply with quote

 @sandeepraghuvanshi  Thats  a  nice  tank  u  got  there
 
 Me  too  uses  CFL  after  finding  out  my  T5s  are  reaching  only  the  middle  and  the  plants  on  the  corners  are  not  growing  as  the  way  plants  in  the  middle  are  growing.  Once  with  2  CFLs  I  noticed  a  good  change  the  way  plants  in  the  corner  started  growing
 
 @hobbit  Where  did  you  read  about  CFLs  are  bad  in  planted  tank?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:29 pm Post subject: Re: Long Road Ahead Reply with quote

 @  .Fish  I  read  it  here  http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=142827  and  few  other  places.  From  what  I  read  I  understood  that  CFL  when  used  horizontally  has  poor  light  penetration,  results  in  algae  outbreaks  and  are  not  cost  effective  hence  they  better  be  avoided.  It  sounded  strange  but  I  assumed  that  those  guys  knew  what  they  are  talking  about.  As  a  result  I  was  shifted  my  focus  on  T8  lights  less  than  18"  long,  but  was  having  problems  in  finding  those  with  decent  wattage.
 All  said  and  done  I  would  like  to  know  what  is  prevalent  trend  when  it  comes  to  the  lighting.  IMHO  I  am  biased  towards  using  CFL,  but  only  if  it  is  not  going  to  be  an  unpleasant  experience.  Maybe  somewhere  down  the  line  I'd  also  try  to  figure  out  how  different  CFL  brand  names  and  wattage  correlates  to  different  wavelengths.
 Thnaks
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:51 pm Post subject: Re: Long Road Ahead Reply with quote

 The  only  issue  I  have  with  CFL  is  heat  they  produce,  as  I  have  a  hooded  cover  it  really  becomes  an  issue,  other  than  that  I  found  they  are  doing  fine.  But  again  that  my  experience.  I  found  lighting  for  plants  is  big  confusing  subject,  so  I  went  ahead  and  experimented  Very Happy  Turned  out  quite  well  I  must  say.  Anyway  good  luck  and  let  us  know  how  things  progress  at  your  end.  Thanks  for  the  links
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