68L HighTech Style Planted

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xxBarneyxx

xxBarneyxx

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Enjoying this.
More of us should be doing journals.
Thanks, it's been a bit of a slow burner while I just let things grow in and save up cash for bits and bobs. Will be adding more pictures and interesting things once it is properly running.

Journals are definitely useful. Even when I wasn't posting them online I used to keep a record book for each tank or project to keep track of things like water parameters, when certain fish were added, etc.

It becomes a really useful resource if you do something similar in the future. For example I had completely forgotten how bad the hair algae gets using this aquasoil. Then I read back over a couple of the journals for tanks I had used it in and remember, hey this happened in every single one of them and eventually burnt itself out once the plant mass gets high enough.

I still learn a lot from looking over other peoples journals so will try and keep this one online and updated in the hopes it might help someone else. I always try and include the bad bits as well. All too often they get skipped over and it gives the impression to a new fishkeeper that everything is always perfect.

Maybe its just the way I do things but I have always found that a planted tank, no matter what method you use will go through a few ugly stages at the start until things get established and you get the balance right.
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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I'm a strong believer in having personal, real-life examples to hand, to support my own arguments and suggestions. Having your own Journal facilitates this beautifully.
It's often all too easy to Google something, or quote a scientific paper by someone else or even, in the worst case scenarios, to plagiarise someone else's work.
 
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So did a big clean up, replant and start of rescape tonight. Need a lot more plants for the mid and foreground. I do have another bit of wood to go in there but it is still floating at the moment and I'm out of superglue.

I have taken the slate and pipes out. It took up too much planting space and didn't look right with the wood. It will have a little slate in there still but will hopefully flow a little better.

Some before photos. Lots of hair algae but not bad plant growth.
20211004_203048.jpg

20211004_203056.jpg


And after clean up. Did a complete waterchange as well and will do this a lot more often now until it settles again. It looks a little barren but once the other wood is in and I get some more plants it should look ok (I hope).
20211004_230550.jpg
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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So did a big clean up, replant and start of rescape tonight. Need a lot more plants for the mid and foreground. I do have another bit of wood to go in there but it is still floating at the moment and I'm out of superglue.

I have taken the slate and pipes out. It took up too much planting space and didn't look right with the wood. It will have a little slate in there still but will hopefully flow a little better.

Some before photos. Lots of hair algae but not bad plant growth.
View attachment 144623
View attachment 144624

And after clean up. Did a complete waterchange as well and will do this a lot more often now until it settles again. It looks a little barren but once the other wood is in and I get some more plants it should look ok (I hope).
View attachment 144625
Definite improvement.
 
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Made a quick GIF using the full tank shots. I find this pretty useful as seeing the tank every day I didn't feel like there was that much growth. However looking at the GIF for the last 3 weeks it makes it easier to see how fast some things do grow. Going to be fun to do another one of these in 6 months time.

1.gif
 

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That’s a good idea, the gif images showing the changes over time.

Really does show what’s been happening and the improvements made.
Have to agree reducing the slates caves out did improve your tank, will you replace that area with another piece of wood or plant a nice large crypt or something?

But of course this is your tank and sorry for bombing ideas of what I might do as if that was my tank!! :X

Is neat scape though and once plants grow out and the pesky hair algae diminishes hopefully soon, it will look real nice.

Think I might copy that gif idea for future journals ;)

Hope you don’t mind me nicking your ideas :lol:
 
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Have to agree reducing the slates caves out did improve your tank, will you replace that area with another piece of wood or plant a nice large crypt or something?

But of course this is your tank and sorry for bombing ideas of what I might do as if that was my tank!!

No problem at all, very happy to hear any ideas.

My general "style" of aquascaping is "chuck it all in, mess with it for several months until I hit 'meh', its ok I guess" and leave it there :) Any suggestions are always welcome.

I do have another bit of wood to go in there. Currently soaking as it is still very floaty. I had run out of super glue or I would have just stuck it to some slate to keep it sunk.

20211004_190243.jpg


I do need to pick up a bunch of mid and foreground/carpeting plants. as well. Now I have higher output lighting and CO2 I can go for a lot of the bright/more demanding plants. Some nice reds and pinks to go in the midground/around the wood and then something nice bright and green to carpet the front.

Its a narrow tank so getting a good feeling of depth is difficult. Hoping the green/red/green layout will help with that.
Think I might copy that gif idea for future journals ;)

Hope you don’t mind me nicking your ideas :lol:
Please do. Its a really useful tool and its fun to watch as well :) Would love to see some time-lapses of other peoples tanks.

I use this site as its free, doesn't use a sign in and doesn't put on a watermark.
 

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No problem at all, very happy to hear any ideas.

My general "style" of aquascaping is "chuck it all in, mess with it for several months until I hit 'meh', its ok I guess" and leave it there :) Any suggestions are always welcome.

I do have another bit of wood to go in there. Currently soaking as it is still very floaty. I had run out of super glue or I would have just stuck it to some slate to keep it sunk.

View attachment 144668

I do need to pick up a bunch of mid and foreground/carpeting plants. as well. Now I have higher output lighting and CO2 I can go for a lot of the bright/more demanding plants. Some nice reds and pinks to go in the midground/around the wood and then something nice bright and green to carpet the front.

Its a narrow tank so getting a good feeling of depth is difficult. Hoping the green/red/green layout will help with that.

Please do. Its a really useful tool and its fun to watch as well :) Would love to see some time-lapses of other peoples tanks.

I use this site as its free, doesn't use a sign in and doesn't put on a watermark.
Yum!
No guessing as to what you're having for your tea tonight.
 
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Sorry this post is mostly for myself. Quick shopping list so I don't lose it :)

Any suggestions for smaller mid tank plants accepted though, particularly bright reds/pinks/oranges.

Floating plants
Phyllanthus fluitans - Red/brown to green, should flower.

Background plants:
Ludwigia palustris - (bright red, standard ludwigia size)

Midground Plants:
Alternanthera reineckii Rosanervig - Mid to back broad leaf, slow grower - make sure to get Rosanervig or mini variants or it will be too big.
Cryptocoryne beckettii - Small crypt, red stem, green leaf. Good around gaps in wood. Can be grown on the wood.
Cryptocoryne wendtii - Another small crypt, darker green colour then Beckettii
Echinodorus Reni - Small red to green coloured Echinodorus, broad, rounded, leaf.
Anubias nana - Grow on wood, slow growing, may flower, DO NOT PLANT RHIZOME.
Bucephalandra Kedagang - Small Red stem,small green broad/long leaf. Can get a blue shimmer on leaves. Can be attached to wood.
Cryptocoryne albida Brown - Very small (low growing) red/Brown leaf Crypt

Foreground/Carpet Plants:
Pogostemon helferi - Small crinkly green leaves.Front Mid-foreground, can carpet with side shoots.
Staurogyne repens - Small green leaves, compacts and will bush our well and spread. Keep tall stems trimmed back to encourage spreading.
Dwarf Baby Tears Glossostigma - Very low growing, small leaf, spreads well needs good conditions. Main carpeting plant to fill out front.
 
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Ordered another £40 of plants (after my Mrs reminded me that I said a planted tank would be pretty cheap to put together...). This should hopefully fill out the middle and foreground of the tank.

After the last big clean and water change the hair algae is coming back a LOT slower. The combination of the filter cycling and plant growth really starting to kick in is taking care of it as expected. Going to give a very minor clean up when I put the new plants in but suspect the hair algae phase is now done with.

More things to Check/Buy:

I need a new test kit. I haven't actually starting cycling this tank properly yet as I did not have a test kit to do so. I suspect with the amount of ammonia that the aquasoil chucks out and with me doing minimal water changes, it is probably a good way through the cycle already. If it goes like a lot of tanks I have set up like this in the past, once I get the rest of the plants in the "cycling" part will go pretty quickly (combination of there already having been ammonia being processed to cycle the filter and the plants dealing with the rest).

The other thing I need to sort before getting fish is my drop checker. I'm not 100% sure my 4dhk solution is still any good as the colour seems to be sitting at 35-40ppm CO2 consistently. Now this could be possible as I'm running it high while there is no livestock. There also isn't a lot of plant mass yet so its not getting depleted as fast as it will be later.

It's easy to test, I can just turn the CO2 off for a couple of days and see if it drops back to lower levels. Just haven't done it yet because at this stage my main priority is getting the plants properly established and growing fast.

The plants are really starting to grow in well. Lots of new growth and good colouring. Really starting to bush out as well from the trimming and replanting.

It's been quite awhile since I set up a new tank and honestly forgot about the "ugly" stages at the start while your plants look half dead. For a bit there at the start I was actually starting to worry, but looking back at my old notes for other tanks it is all going along a pretty identical path.

One of the odd things I have found with planted tanks as well that the less plants you have the more it seems to struggle. Once you have a pretty good plant mass going all the plants seem to do better. It doesn't make any sense but my heavily planted tanks have always seems to thrive better then my lightly planted tanks.
 

Ch4rlie

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One of the odd things I have found with planted tanks as well that the less plants you have the more it seems to struggle. Once you have a pretty good plant mass going all the plants seem to do better. It doesn't make any sense but my heavily planted tanks have always seems to thrive better then my lightly planted tanks.
This actually may makes some sense, the amount of ammonia and nutrients that comes out of the aqua soil is pretty high and this may overwhelm the low number of plants and therefore they’ll struggle to start with but obviously if one has more plants then the ammonia and nutrients will be dealt with more quickly and under control until equilibrium is established and then the plants will start to thrive more.

Hope that makes sense. It’s my hypothesis anyway and may be wrong but in my mind this makes sense.

But otherwise all sounds good and coming along nicely.

Btw the drop checker solution, would replace this rather than fluctuate the co2 to see if drop checker is ok as this may cause an undue algae outbreak and is asking for trouble perhaps. Does not cost much for this anyway really.

Look forwards to seeing some updated pics!
 
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This actually may makes some sense, the amount of ammonia and nutrients that comes out of the aqua soil is pretty high and this may overwhelm the low number of plants and therefore they’ll struggle to start with but obviously if one has more plants then the ammonia and nutrients will be dealt with more quickly and under control until equilibrium is established and then the plants will start to thrive more.
Yeah this might actually be a big part of it. Though I have noticed it on tanks before with inert substrates. Could be a bit of survivorship bias as well though I suppose. If you only have 3 plants in the tank and 2 of them die its a big deal, if you have 30 plants in the tank you might not even notice losing 2.

Will be putting up more photos as soon as the new plants arrive and are put in. I'm hoping they turn up today but it might be tomorrow.
 

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