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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - Planted aquarium newbie - low tech planted aquarium
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Planted aquarium newbie - low tech planted aquarium
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kaushik_thebirdman
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:30 pm Post subject: Planted aquarium newbie - low tech planted aquarium Reply with quote

 Hello  all,
 
 After  a  long  struggle  with  a  little  pond  and  fountain  which  I  can  gladly  say  is  still  a  work  in  progress  (http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=34774).
 
 I  decided  to  try  my  hand  at  a  planted  aquarium.  I  have  always  had  fish  and  usually  some  plants  or  the  other  (  I  cannot  stand  the  plastic  plants  and  even  though  they  would  rot  I  would  always  replenish  ).  This  time  around  I  read  about  setting  up  a  proper  planted  aquarium  in  which  plants  would  thrive  and  decided  to  give  it  a  go.  
 
 So,  here  are  my  specs
 
 30"x12"x15"
 1x24  watt  T5
 compost  topped  off  with  washed  river  sand
 well  water  -  softer  now  due  to  rains  -  dont  have  specs
 half  moon  betta,  8  grass  shrimp
 
 I  have  a  waterfall  filter  and  an  option  for  a  CFL  inside  the  hood  also  but  not  using  both  yet.
 
 I  have  a  lot  of  questions  -  but  I  thought  I  would  post  this  and  ask  my  first  question  -  
 
 1.  The  shrimp  seem  keen  on  uprooting  the  grass  although  Nidhi  assures  me  in  another  thread  that  they  only  eat  the  algae.  Maybe  they  are  just  being  boisterous  and  the  plants  are  not  able  to  take  it.  I  mean  right  in  front  of  my  eyes  within  seconds  of  replanting  one,  a  shrimp  pounced  on  it  and  lo  behold  the  grass  was  floating  up!  Who  should  I  give  up  on?  The  shrimp  or  the  grass?  Maybe  the  soil  is  not  right  for  grass  and  I  dont  want  to  start  disturbing  the  setup  now  -  not  until  I  am  sure  I  know  how  to  handle  plants  and  then  I  can  destroy  and  rebuild  a  better  one.  Any  other  deeper  plantable  carpeting  varieties  available?
 
 Thanks  for  all  your  suggestions.
 
 Warm  regards,
 
 Kaushik
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Nidhi
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:11 pm Post subject: Re: Planted aquarium newbie - low tech planted aquarium Reply with quote

 I  see  that  the  DHG  leaves  are  already  wilted,   I  guess  the  shrimps  are  feeding  on  the  dead  leaves.
 One  thing  you  can  do  is  trim  off  the  leaves  of  the  Dwarf  hair  grass  after  replanting  them,  the  sand  grain  size  seems  to  be  Ok  though.
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kaushik_thebirdman
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 1:43 pm Post subject: Re: Planted aquarium newbie - low tech planted aquarium Reply with quote

 I  went  through  many  threads  and  looked  up  a  few  shops  online  for  plants  (sreepadma,  aquaswild,  aquashoppe)  
 
 How  come  the  really  easy  ones  like  ambulia,  ceratophyllum,  hydrilla  etc  are  given  a  miss  when  enthusiasts  setup  their  planted  aquaria?  In  fact,  I  am  pretty  sure  that  no  one  has  mentioned  hydrilla  in  their  list  of  plants  anytime  in  the  near  past.  
 
 Am  I  missing  something  about  the  choice  of  plants?
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Nidhi
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 7:08 pm Post subject: Re: Planted aquarium newbie - low tech planted aquarium Reply with quote

 You  have  a  valid  point  Kaushik,  yes  we  sometimes  oversee  simple  things  in  life..  so  most  common  plants  like  you  mentioned  don't  come  into  mind  as  we  have  the  habit  of  looking  for  the  exotic  types..
 These  plants  are  easy  beginners  plants,  and  are  easily  available  locally  (hobbyists),  or  you  can  collect  them  from  a  nearby  lake  if  you  are  lucky..
 These  plants  literally  have  no  value  for  money  as  they  are  pretty  common,  and  people  usually  don't  bother  buying  these.  So  generally  online  stores  don't  stock  them..
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kaushik_thebirdman
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:05 pm Post subject: Re: Planted aquarium newbie - low tech planted aquarium Reply with quote

 Thank  you  Nidhi.  Completely  agree!  
 
 I  was  lucky  enough  to  collect  a  few  of  my  plants  in  an  unpolluted  stretch  of  the  cooum  river.  Of  course,  I  do  not  expect  spectacular  looking  planted  aquaria  that  I  see  very  often  in  IAH  threads  -  but  -  my  fish  is  happy!  
 
 And,  unlike  the  fiasco  with  the  hair  grass  -  which  was  one  of  the  few  plants  that  I  did  purchase  -  the  other  plants  are  all  doing  well  in  the  aquarium.  BTW  -  even  the  hairgrass  is  doing  rather  well  under  the  sun  (It  just  did  not  get  enought  light  inside  I  guess)
 
 One  aspect  of  all  the  plants  that  you  find  commonly  are  that  they  are  tall  plants  -  none  are  the  carpeting  variety.  Do  you  have  any  suggestions  for  commonly  available  and  easy  to  maintain  (hydrilla  level  easy,  I  mean!!)  for  the  foreground  or  midground?
 
 Thanks
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Nidhi
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:13 pm Post subject: Re: Planted aquarium newbie - low tech planted aquarium Reply with quote

 Kaushik..Glossostigma  elatinoides  and  Hemianthus  micranthemoides..
 I  just  saw  that  your  lighting  is  just  one  24w  T5,  is  it  correct  or  a  typo  mistake..?
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kaushik_thebirdman
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:41 pm Post subject: Re: Planted aquarium newbie - low tech planted aquarium Reply with quote

 Yes  Nidhi,
 
 One  24W  T5  is  correct.  I  hope  I  have  calculated  my  volumes  correct  -  4320  cubic  inches  is  about  70  liters  or  18  US  gallons.  
 
 I  was  told  2W  per  gallon  but  I  also  read  that  it  is  not  an  absolute  number  and  the  lighting  that  I  decide  to  put  in  will  depend  on  many  variables  including  the  plants.  
 
 So  I  started  out  with  one  24W  T5.  I  have  a  CFL  holder  in  the  lid  and  I  was  hoping  to  supplement  with  a  CFL  at  a  later  date  if  the  plants  did  not  do  well.  But  so  far  so  good  -  all  the  plants  seem  happy.
 
 Too  low  for  18  gallons?
 
 Thanks
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kaushik_thebirdman
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:54 pm Post subject: Re: Planted aquarium newbie - low tech planted aquarium Reply with quote

 Could  you  also  help  me  ID  the  purple  plant  in  the  middle  of  the  aquarium  (sorry  about  the  blurry  photo  -  phone  cam)
 
 These  in  the  sunlight  have  started  to  turn  green  -  The  ones  in  the  aquarium  seem  to  be  almost  dormant.
 
 Thanks.
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Nidhi
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:33 am Post subject: Re: Planted aquarium newbie - low tech planted aquarium Reply with quote

 Your  tank  volume  would  come  to  around  23  Gallons,  As  said  earlier  watts  per  gallons  is  just  an  estimate.  I  would  recommend  at  least  50-60  watts  of  lighting,  better  if  you  could  use  36w  X  2  PLL..  No  doubt  your  Hair  grass  melted  due  to  low  lighting..
 No  idea  about  the  plant  though..  a  better  picture  would  be  helpful  to  ID  it..
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kaushik_thebirdman
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:01 pm Post subject: Re: Planted aquarium newbie - low tech planted aquarium Reply with quote

 Thanks  Nidhi,
 
 I  just  saw  your  fern  planted  tank  thread  (figuring  my  way  around  the  forum!)  -  fantastic.  
 
 One  of  my  grass  shrimp  is  berried  -  I  have  moved  the  betta  back  to  his  bottle  (I  hope  fish  curses  do  not  come  true!)  -  Additional  lights  might  stress  out  the  shrimp  at  this  point?  Thinking  very  hard  about  disturbing  this  setup  including  lights.
 
 I  also  went  exploring  the  Palar  river  this  weekend  and  collected  a  few  plants  -  I  will  use  the  suggestion  of  lighting  in  the  new  setup.
 
 WR
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Nidhi
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:05 pm Post subject: Re: Planted aquarium newbie - low tech planted aquarium Reply with quote

 Thanks..  The  lights  wont  stress  the  shrimps  if  they  have  lots  of  hiding  places..
 Please  share  your  collection  pics..
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kaushik_thebirdman
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:01 pm Post subject: Re: Planted aquarium newbie - low tech planted aquarium Reply with quote

 It  is  raining  like  the  dickens  here  so  never  got  to  replant  these  guys  after  I  got  back  from  the  office.  I  have  attached  a  few  photos  here  with  what  I  think  they  might  be  (if  I  had  a  faint  clue!).
 
 I  also  found  a  few  grasses  growing  on  the  moist  river  bed.  My  biologist  friend  said  it  would  be  impossible  for  those  to  be  aquatic  grasses  but  I  thought  -  hey,  if  they  can  grow  emersed,  why  not  immersed.  Will  post  photos  of  those  later  -  they  are  all  wilted  now  because  of  my  carelessness.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:08 pm Post subject: Re: Planted aquarium newbie - low tech planted aquarium Reply with quote

 Bah,  one  can  only  post  three  pics  per  post  -  here  goes  for  the  remaining  two.
 
 I  also  have  a  large  anubia  like  plant  which  has  a  white  flower  with  a  yellow  center.  Unfortunately,  he  is  out  in  the  rain  so  will  probably  have  to  photograph  tomorrow.
 
 I  also  have  what  is  called  "vizhal"  in  tamil  (the  kind  of  reeds  that  one  uses  for  roofing?)  -  those  white  flowers  that  you  can  see  in  the  photo  of  me  prospecting  the  river  above.  I  do  not  know  the  name  of  these  grasses.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:37 am Post subject: Re: Planted aquarium newbie - low tech planted aquarium Reply with quote

 Good  collection..  2nd  in  the  1st  set  may  be  some  kind  of  hygrophila,  1st  in  the  2nd  set  may  be  Ambulia  in  emersed  form..  you  can  only  know  when  it  grows  submersed.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:21 am Post subject: Re: Planted aquarium newbie - low tech planted aquarium Reply with quote

 And,  here  is  the  big  one  -  It  is  still  raining  but  I  managed  to  run  out  and  snap  it  during  an  interregnum.  You  can  see  the  sepals  of  the  first  flower  at  the  bottom  left  half  of  the  pic  and  an  emerging  flower  near  the  top  left.
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