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7G low tech tank Journal.
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ashwin1224
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:12 pm Post subject: 7G low tech tank Journal. Reply with quote

 I  setup  a  7G  low  tech  with  low  light  plants  in  early  feb.  Its  got  valisneria,  anubias,  hydro  "Honda"  and  java  moss.  I  used  18W  of  6500k  LED  lighting,  putting  about  1800lumens,  4  inch  above  the  water  surface  and  inside  aluminum  reflectors,  which  ran  for  10-12hrs  a  day  initially.  The  substrate  is  a  mix  of  inert  coarse  sand,  clay  pellets  and  contro-soil  about  2  inches.
 
 Initially  there  was  a  huge  algal  bloom,  with  all  sorts  of  algae  covering  everything.  I  reduced  the  lighting  to  9W,  reduced  the  photoperiod  to  about  8hrs  and  started  dosing  excel  in  large  amounts,  5ml  every  2  days.  In  a  week  or  two,  algae  had  gone  away  completely.
 
 3  weeks  had  passed  till  now,  most  of  the  java  moss  had  turned  brown  with  only  small  specks  of  green  in  some  places,  hydrocotyle  was  growing  but  very  slowly,  valisneria  plants  had  almost  40%  of  their  leaves  melted,  most  of  the  anubias'  leaves  had  wilted  as  well  leaving  behind  unsightly  skeletons.
 
 While  looking  for  reasons  why  my  plants  were  taking  a  hit,  I  found  out  anubias  and  valisneria  both  dont  do  too  well  with  glutaraldehyde(Excel)  so  I  stopped  doing  that.  The  plants  still  didnt  seem  to  recover.  I  figured  maybe  the  9W  of  LED  is  too  less  for  the  plants,  but  at  the  same  time  the  full  18W  had  wrecked  havoc  in  the  form  of  algae.To  counter  that,  I  built  a  timer  switch  powered  by  arduino,  which  keeps  the  lights  on  from  8  to  12  in  the  morning  and  4  to  8  in  the  evening.
 
 I  ran  this  setup  for  3  days,  and  there  was  noticeable  improvement  in  the  anubias,  and  by  now  the  Java  moss  had  been  showing  good  growth  in  the  form  of  several  new  fronds  as  well.  The  hydrocotyle  however,  wasnt  growing  as  it  was  with  high  excel  dosing  at  the  start  nor  did  the  valisneria  plants  stop  shedding  leaves.  Curiously,  the  valisneria  plants  seem  to  be  highly  prolific  with  their  runners  and  I  can  count  around  20  new  plants  coming  off  of  the  15  big  individuals  I  bought,  even  though  the  larger,  older  plants  are  shedding  leaves  constantly.  CO2  seemed  to  be  the  problem  here,  I  didnt  want  to  get  into  DIY  CO2  again  for  this  so  I  thought  fishes  would  be  the  best  solution,  they  would  help  with  fertilizing  as  well  with  their  poop.  I  went  ahead  and  bought  a  pair  of  honey  gouramis  and  2  pairs  of  male  guppies.  They've  been  in  it  for  two  days  at  the  time  of  writing  this  post  and  they  all  seem  healthy,  active  and  eating  well.  The  tank  has  HUMONGOUS  Swarms  of  seed  shrimp,  so  I  feel  the  fishes  are  gonna  have  the  time  of  their  lives!  Drinking  
 
 Now,  coming  to  the  main  questions,
   
     
     
  • Would  the  fish  with  their  CO2  and  nutritious  poop  be  enough  for  the  vals  and  hydrocotyle  to  flourish?
     
     
  • Or  do  I  need  to  increase  the  bioload  of  the  tank?
     
     
  • Is  the  photoperiod  and  light  good  for  its  inhabitants?
     
     
  • Would  adding  more  plants  help  with  the  balance  of  the  system  somehow?
     

 I  will  update  this  thread  with  pictures  soon.
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ashwin1224
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:06 am Post subject: Re: 7G low tech tank Journal. Reply with quote

 Few  pictures!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 One  pic  taken  during  the  peak  of  algal  bloom.  Though  not  a  very  good  pic,you  can  see  just  how  bad  the  situation  was:
 
 
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sudhirr
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:56 am Post subject: Re: 7G low tech tank Journal. Reply with quote

 Hi  ashwin1224,  
 
 I  have  a  similar  sized  planted  tank  low  tech  with  almost  the  same  specs.  
 I  agree  18W  with  10-12  hour  photo  period  may  be  too  much.  But  you  have  not  mentioned  your  water  change  schedule.  
 I  have  a  huge  bio  load  as  well,  I  keep  6  adult  sized  mollies  and  4  zebra  danios  for  a  really  small  tank.  
 I  brought  the  tank  second  hand  and  replaced  the  lighting  and  the  filtration,  I  have  a  top  filter  which  does  a  decent  job.
 
 But  I  change  40-50%  of  water  every  3-4  days,  depending  on  the  filter  media  soliage.  I  am  dosing  excel  as  well,  but  no  ferts.
 Plants  in  the  tank  are:  Hygophilia  Corymbosa,  Bacopa  caroliniana,  Bacopa  monnieri,  Amazon  Swords,  Echinodorus  tenellus,  Echinodorus  cordifolius.  
 
 Stem  plants  love  excel  and  are  doing  well,  the  Echinodorus  tenellus  (pygmy  chain  swords)  are  also  doing  fine.  The  others  are  not  showing  that  much  interest,  neither  are  they  dying  as  well.
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sudhirr
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:08 am Post subject: Re: 7G low tech tank Journal. Reply with quote

 The  endlers  and  the  gourami  look  stunning.  Once  the  Hydrocotyle  Tripartita  "Honda"  starts  shaping  up  the  scape  will  look  stunning.  
 Its  an  interesting  stem  plant  that  needs  to  be  rooted  not  trimmed.
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ashwin1224
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:54 pm Post subject: Re: 7G low tech tank Journal. Reply with quote

                                                   
sudhirr  wrote  (View  Post):                

 The  endlers  and  the  gourami  look  stunning.  Once  the  Hydrocotyle  Tripartita  "Honda"  starts  shaping  up  the  scape  will  look  stunning.  
 Its  an  interesting  stem  plant  that  needs  to  be  rooted  not  trimmed.
                 

 Im  loving  the  hydro!  I  plan  on  adding  a  few  more  individuals.  The  plant  seems  to  have  sprouted  new  leaves  almost  overnight  once  the  fishes  were  added  and  wattage  of  the  lights  was  increased.  I  am  sure  it'll  start  growing  strong  really  fast.  I  am  also  planning  on  adding  a  few  more  plants.
 
 
                                                 
sudhirr  wrote  (View  Post):                

 I  agree  18W  with  10-12  hour  photo  period  may  be  too  much.  But  you  have  not  mentioned  your  water  change  schedule.  
                 

 
 I  do  25%  WC  weekly,  and  evaporation  top-up  every  2  days.  During  the  algae  bloom,  I  was  doing  heavy  water  changes  to  compensate  to  the  extra  excel.  Almost  50%  weekly.
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Da_vipin
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:07 pm Post subject: Re: 7G low tech tank Journal. Reply with quote

 Hi  ashwin,
 
 Ideally  for  a  lowtech  tank  you  should  have  avoided  using  controsoil.  It  wont  be  healthy  to  expose  the  nutrient  rich  bare  substrate  to  direct  light.  You  should  consider  adding  E.  Tenellus  or  Dwarf  Sagittaria  for  utilizing  the  full  potential  of  soil  and  covering  maximum  area...
 
 Also  if  you  are  using  internal  power  filter,  consider  upgrading  to  a  HOB  or  if  you  can  make  a  DIY  external  filter,  even  better.  The  amount  of  media  in  regular  internal  filter  is  seriously  a  joke.  Only  after  that  you  may  increase  the  bio  load.  But  still  not  recommended  owing  to  small  size  of  tank.
 
 I'm  currently  experimenting  DIY  CO2  with  wine  yeast  and  nutrients,  expecting  it  to  last  for  more  than  a  month  with  slow  &  steady  bps.  I'll  share  more  info  once  it  is  achieved.  I  already  have  2  pressurized  cylinder  setups,  dont  want  to  keep  cylinders  in  every  room  :D
 
 regards,
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ashwin1224
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:51 pm Post subject: Re: 7G low tech tank Journal. Reply with quote

                                                   
Da_vipin  wrote  (View  Post):                
Hi  ashwin,
 
 Ideally  for  a  lowtech  tank  you  should  have  avoided  using  controsoil.  It  wont  be  healthy  to  expose  the  nutrient  rich  bare  substrate  to  direct  light.  You  should  consider  adding  E.  Tenellus  or  Dwarf  Sagittaria  for  utilizing  the  full  potential  of  soil  and  covering  maximum  area...
 
 Also  if  you  are  using  internal  power  filter,  consider  upgrading  to  a  HOB  or  if  you  can  make  a  DIY  external  filter,  even  better.  The  amount  of  media  in  regular  internal  filter  is  seriously  a  joke.  Only  after  that  you  may  increase  the  bio  load.  But  still  not  recommended  owing  to  small  size  of  tank.
 
 I'm  currently  experimenting  DIY  CO2  with  wine  yeast  and  nutrients,  expecting  it  to  last  for  more  than  a  month  with  slow  &  steady  bps.  I'll  share  more  info  once  it  is  achieved.  I  already  have  2  pressurized  cylinder  setups,  dont  want  to  keep  cylinders  in  every  room  :D
 
 regards,                

 
 This  substrate  is  more  than  5  years  old.  It  had  a  pretty  nice  carpet  of  E.Tenellus  and  Monte  Carlo  previously.  I  had  to  tear  down  the  tank  because  I  was  moving  out  and  since  then  it  was  laying  idle  for  3  years.  I  dont  know  how  much  of  it  is  still  nutritious,  and  looking  at  the  poor  condition  of  my  Vals,  I  think  its  safe  to  assume  its  inert  now.
 
 I  got  this  filter  purely  because  I  dont  intend  to  increase  the  bioload  of  this  system  ever.  In  fact  once  the  plants  are  stable  and  growing  and  I  am  satisfied  with  the  scape,  I'll  remove  the  current  fauna  and  replace  with  6x  Galaxy  Rasboras  OR  a  few  cherry  shrimp.
 
 Regarding  CO2,  have  you  tried  getting  the  DIY  CO2  kit  from  amazon?  I  got  it  a  few  years  back  from  aliexpress  and  it  works  amazingly  well!
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ashwin1224
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:38 pm Post subject: Re: 7G low tech tank Journal. Reply with quote

 The  main  lights  are  on  only  between  8  to  12  in  the  morning  and  4  to  8  in  the  evening.  Im  home  only  after  8  at  night  so  I  never  found  the  lights  on  to  see  the  tank  when  I  get  home.  I  had  to  always  pull  the  plug  from  the  timer,  insert  it  into  the  mains  and  then  repeat  the  process  again  when  I  was  done.  To  cure  that,  I  added  3W  of  ambient  lights  to  the  setup.  These  lights  are  on  from  8Am  to  10pm.  Just  while  typing  this  post  it  has  struck  me  that  these  lights  need  to  be  off  when  the  main  lights  are  on,  I'll  update  the  code  later  tonight  lol.
 
 Here  is  a  GIF  of  the  timer  and  ambient  lights  in  action.
 
 

 
 The  lights  look  much  brighter  in  the  gif  than  what  they  really  are,  and  in  person  they  are  perfect!
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ashwin1224
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:04 pm Post subject: Re: 7G low tech tank Journal. Reply with quote

 Some  more  pics  of  the  ambient  lights  during  the  dark:
 
 
 
 
 Other  updates:  
 

     
  •  There  seems  to  be  early  stages  of  diatom  bloom.  Older  Hydrocotyle  leaves  are  getting  a  bit  brown-ish.  New  ones  are  bright  green.  
     
  •  Valisneria  isnt  growing  tall  but  it  looks  like  it  will  cover  the  entire  tank  with  its  runners!  It  has  completely  overrun  the  back  side  of  the  tank.  However,  older  leaves  are  wilting  and  new  leaves  arent  getting  tall.  I  wonder  whats  with  that
     
  •  Anubias  seems  to  be  shooting  new  leaves  pretty  quick  since  the  addition  of  fish.  Even  Hydrocotyle  is  sending  out  new  leaves  quick.
     
  •  I  am  thinking  of  adding  Rotala  Nanjenshan,  Bacopa  Monereri,  and  some  crypt  sp.  in  the  coming  few  weeks.  Before  that  I  want  to  add  Hydrocotyle  sibthorpioides  to  the  system.  H.  sibthorpioides  because  I  have  a  near  endless  supply  of  it  growing  emersed  in  my  garden,  I  only  hope  these  plants  survive  in  submerged.
     
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sudhirr
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:48 am Post subject: Re: 7G low tech tank Journal. Reply with quote

                                                   
ashwin1224  wrote  (View  Post):                
Some  more  pics  of  the  ambient  lights  during  the  dark:
 
 
 
 
 Other  updates:  
 

     
  •  There  seems  to  be  early  stages  of  diatom  bloom.  Older  Hydrocotyle  leaves  are  getting  a  bit  brown-ish.  New  ones  are  bright  green.  
     
  •  Valisneria  isnt  growing  tall  but  it  looks  like  it  will  cover  the  entire  tank  with  its  runners!  It  has  completely  overrun  the  back  side  of  the  tank.  However,  older  leaves  are  wilting  and  new  leaves  arent  getting  tall.  I  wonder  whats  with  that
     
  •  Anubias  seems  to  be  shooting  new  leaves  pretty  quick  since  the  addition  of  fish.  Even  Hydrocotyle  is  sending  out  new  leaves  quick.
     
  •  I  am  thinking  of  adding  Rotala  Nanjenshan,  Bacopa  Monereri,  and  some  crypt  sp.  in  the  coming  few  weeks.  Before  that  I  want  to  add  Hydrocotyle  sibthorpioides  to  the  system.  H.  sibthorpioides  because  I  have  a  near  endless  supply  of  it  growing  emersed  in  my  garden,  I  only  hope  these  plants  survive  in  submerged.
     
               

 
 Stunning  pics  @  ashwin1224.
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ashwin1224
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:53 pm Post subject: Re: 7G low tech tank Journal. Reply with quote

                                                   
sudhirr  wrote  (View  Post):                

 Stunning  pics  @  ashwin1224.
                 

 Thnx!
 
 Got  around  to  digging  a  nice  5x5  inch(ish)  mat  of  H.  sibthorpioides  from  my  garden.  The  area  these  plants  live  does  not  get  direct  sunlight  for  most  part  of  the  year  and  even  during  the  time  it  does,  it  only  get  its  for  an  hour  or  so  in  the  morning.  Yet  these  platns  have  formed  a  lush  carpet  in  the  ground.  Motivated  by  this  I  decided  to  try  and  plant  them  in  the  tank.  
 
 Several  websites  claim  these  plants  need  high  light  and  high  co2,  at  the  same  time  there  are  plenty  of  sources  which  claim  that  it  can  live  without  CO2  as  well  and  under  moderate  lighting.  Right  now  Ive  tied  down  two  approximately  2x2  clumps  of  the  plant  to  rocks  and  placed  on  my  substrate.
 
 
 
 Diatoms  have  been  gaining  a  foothold  in  my  tank  it  seems.  The  older  hydrocotyle  tripartita  leaves  have  turned  into  a  murky  brown  color,  this  bloom  corresponds  with  the  addition  of  the  extra  9W  bulb  with  the  timer.  I  am  currently  hoping  that  it  dies  down  on  its  own.  Pic  of  the  most  affected  individual:
 
 
 
 Note  how  its  still  sprouting  new  leaves  on  multiple  branches,  and  they  are  bright  green.
 
 Valisneria  seems  to  be  doing  some  strange  trick  by  becoming  a  carpet  plant.  
 
 
 
 Here  you  can  see  it  sprouting  from  underneath  the  driftwood,  its  runners  traveled  from  all  the  way  back!  but  non  of  the  plants  is  gaining  height.
 
 
 
 This  the  jungle  the  plants  have  created  behind  the  driftwood.  I  read  that  excel  has  done  this,  however  many  places  claim  that  if  you  keep  a  steady  supply  of  excel  going,  eventually  the  plants  get  used  to  using  it.  Im  hoping  for  the  same,  since  after  stopping  excel  theres  multiple  small  patches  of  algae.  I  am  currently  doing  1ml  every  two  days.
 
 Bonus  pic  of  honey  gouramis!
 
 
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sudhirr
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:49 am Post subject: Re: 7G low tech tank Journal. Reply with quote

 @ashwin1224,  the  picture  of  Hydrocotyle  sibthorpioides  that  you  shared  looks  very  much  like  Corriander.  
 But  jokes  apart,  these  look  beautiful.  I  am  sure  the  algae  is  under  control.
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ashwin1224
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:21 pm Post subject: Re: 7G low tech tank Journal. Reply with quote

                                                   
sudhirr  wrote  (View  Post):                
@ashwin1224,  the  picture  of  Hydrocotyle  sibthorpioides  that  you  shared  looks  very  much  like  Corriander.  
 But  jokes  apart,  these  look  beautiful.  I  am  sure  the  algae  is  under  control.                

 
 My  mother  said  the  same  thing!   Chuckle  
 Unsurprising  though,  since  both  the  plants  belong  to  the  same  family,  Apiaceae.  In  fact  H.  sibthorpioides  is  also  used  for  cooking  and  has  a  similar  aroma  to  coriander!
 
 It  seems  the  bloom  was  at  its  peak  when  I  took  those  pictures  two  days  ago,  today  the  the  leaves  appear  brighter  with  only  but  a  slight  brown  border  on  the  edges.
 
 Its  too  early  to  say  anything  about  H.  sibthorpioides,  however  the  fact  that  its  already  growing  new  leaf  buds  is  encouraging.
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ashwin1224
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:14 pm Post subject: Re: 7G low tech tank Journal. Reply with quote

 While  cleaning  my  room  recently,  I  came  across  an  old  DIY  CO2  system  I  had  setup  a  few  years  ago.  Even  though  I  didnt  want  to  get  into  the  mess  of  it,  I  just  had  to  set  it  up  because  I  love  doing  things  like  this  lol.  To  my  utter  surprise  the  damn  thing  still  worked  perfectly!  No  leaks  as  far  as  I  can  tell  in  a  day  of  work!  Its  constantly  giving  out  1bp/2s.  I  made  a  mess-up  while  setting  it  up,  and  accidentally  added  about  50gms  of  baking  soda  directly  into  the  acid  mixture,  so  I  think  I  will  have  to  redo  the  mixture  again  in  a  day  or  two.  Will  update  the  thread  with  pictures  in  a  week,  till  then  enjoy  this  gif!
 
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ashwin1224
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 5:26 pm Post subject: Re: 7G low tech tank Journal. Reply with quote

 Small  update:  Tank  is  doing  great!  Hydro  Honda  has  died,  and  Sibthorpiodes  isnt  picking  up  too.  But  moss  and  anubias  are  growing  good.  Valls  seem  to  be  recovering  as  well.  Two  of  my  guppies  died  for  unknown  reasons,  I  suspect  they  got  a  disease,  they  didnt  show  any  symptoms,  and  other  fishes  are  doing  fine  even  after  3  weeks  of  their  demise.  
 
 Added  four  Green  Fire  Tetras  to  replace  them  and  to  balance  the  nutrients  in  the  tank:
 
 


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