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Preparations For A Planted Tank

Author Topic: Preparations for a Planted Tank  (Read 29976 times)

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TigzFish

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Re: Preparations for a Planted Tank
« Reply #100 on: April 29, 2013, 07:23:32 PM »
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Well, the UV kit is doing its thang... the water is even better tonight.  Problem is...

I can now see how dirty the glass in the tank is.  ::)

 ;D ;D ;D

Offline Resa

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Re: Preparations for a Planted Tank
« Reply #101 on: April 29, 2013, 07:28:03 PM »
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I don't know much about these UV kits.  Is it something that all tanks could benefit from?

Resa
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Offline Sue

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Re: Preparations for a Planted Tank
« Reply #102 on: April 29, 2013, 07:44:15 PM »
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Generally speaking, UV should not be used all the time. Yes, they do get rid of algae and bugs in the water, but this leaves the fish with nothing to build up resistance to if they are run full time and kill everything in the water. The danger lies in the fact that the bulbs have to replaced on a regular basis; if not obviously they stop killing things and if the fish are then exposed to a pathogen (from getting new fish, plants etc) they will have no resistance to the bugs.
Used on a less than full time basis to contol bouts of green water or to kill any bugs when the fish are sick is not a problem.

Offline Resa

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Re: Preparations for a Planted Tank
« Reply #103 on: April 29, 2013, 08:00:09 PM »
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Hi Sue,

Thanks for the info, I guess I don't really need one then.  Just thought I'd check in case I could do better by my fishies! ;)

Another question for you in particular, what do you think is the best temperature to keep a bettas water at, please?  Also, I've probably asked this before, but are there any fish, maybe smallish ones that shoal that would pretty much be alright in with Rafe, (25L)?  Or maybe some others you could suggest, just to give his tank a bit more life.

Thanks Sue,

Resa
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Offline Sue

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Re: Preparations for a Planted Tank
« Reply #104 on: April 29, 2013, 08:15:00 PM »
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I keep my bettas at 25-26o C

25 litres is a bit small for a shoal of anything. The problem with bettas is that they are so unpredictable. Any particular one could be OK with, say, a few male endlers, but if he turned out to be an aggressive one they wouldn't last long. Fish like dwarf corydoras are recommended tankmates but a 25 litre tank won't have enough floor space for a shoal of them.
In a 25 litre tank, any shoaling fish would have to be very small and I'd be worried that a betta would see them as lunch.

Sorry, not what you want to hear  :-\


After a month or two, I'll put a snail in with mine. I've always had snails with my bettas but this time I'm waiting because snails are badly affected by unstable water conditions in a newly cycled tank.

TigzFish

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Re: Preparations for a Planted Tank
« Reply #105 on: May 05, 2013, 06:41:42 PM »
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End Of Week #11

UV Kit

The UV was running for a full 28 hours (Sunday 28th through Monday 29th April) and as the water was nicely cleared, I added a segment timer and cut the regime down to 15 minutes per hour.  This to preserve the lifetime of the bulb as much as possible. Hopefully my 4,000 hours recommended will take me into March 2014 at the current regime.  The question remains as to whether switching the unit on and off on a regular basis has a detrimental effect on the bulb... jury is out on that.

Aquascaping (aka Fiddling with stuff)

This is a dangerously addictive thing to do, but I am going to be strong.

I have been looking more closely at other plant growth (now that I can actually see through the water properly makes a huge difference). So, I've decided to do a little bit of rearranging as some of the plants on the right are being swamped and are not growing too quickly at all. So, this evening I'm starting a bit of 'scaping. Now that growth patterns seem to be settled I can now see which plants will do better in front, middle or to the rear.

My end game (for want of a better description) is to remove the gravel completely in preference for just sand.  I was hoping that the gravel and sand borders would "blend", but to be honest it just looks scruffy.  Although it'll mean shifting stuff around, I'm hoping to be able to take cuttings of the smaller plants (Repens for example) to enable a larger physical area to be covered. I'll be starting on the left third because there's actually less in there to start with.  The fly-away Quadricostatus will be brought under control too.

Additions

I've managed to acquire two pots of Hygrophila polysperma 'Rosanervig' (Rosae Australis) (link), which have been sitting in my isolation tank since last weekend. It is quite tall already, some 11 inches, so will make a great background.  Apparently very easy to propagate, which will help me build up a nice bush.

Another acquisition is a large 4.9Kg lump of Ocean Rock, and 6 palm sized rounded stones of a pale pink colour. The Ocean Rock has some interesting holes and cavities into which will be placed some sort of plant-life.

This weeks photo's attached.

Offline ColinB

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Re: Preparations for a Planted Tank
« Reply #106 on: May 06, 2013, 09:14:57 AM »
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Lookin' good. I've got the H. polysperma in my isolating tank and it grows like buggery (technical term). If you keep cutting it back then it gets nice and bushy and spreads out and scoffs nitrates like there's no tomorrow. You can plant the cuttings and they take-off quickly, too. I have to kill it by throwing cuttings in the compost bin!

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TigzFish

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Re: Preparations for a Planted Tank
« Reply #107 on: May 09, 2013, 08:19:15 PM »
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Here's a taster of my re-scaping efforts so far.  I've dug out the gravel from the left third of the tank (pain in the rear that was), removed all the plants that were there and recreated from scratch with added decor.  I've added one pot of Polysperma and have been replanting bits across from the right side of the tank.  I have another pot of Polysperma to add into the back, and more Repens to carpet in the open area.  I'll be expanding this theme across the tank over the next couple of weeks.

Pics attached.

Offline ColinB

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Re: Preparations for a Planted Tank
« Reply #108 on: May 10, 2013, 07:34:54 AM »
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I like that Ocean rock.... (any more info on that available, please?) and it adds a more 3-D look to the tank which I like, plus interesting exploration activities to keep your fish amused. What's not to like?

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TigzFish

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Re: Preparations for a Planted Tank
« Reply #109 on: May 10, 2013, 12:49:15 PM »
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Apart from it being a large and heavy lump of rock, a piece from a much larger lump, the colour and shape attracted me right away.  I pulled this from a small collection of assorted rock, stones and pebbles in my local Maidenhead Aquatics @ 2.99 a Kg.  Despite the cost, I spent 20 on that and the 6 pale pink stones, I am over the moon with how it looks.  Sometimes I simply have to impulse buy, I am weak and feeble  ;D

There is a nice formation at the base that the fish can swim through, a large crevice at the top where I have planted my Anubias barteri var. angustifolia and a little Eleocharis parvula.  There was a neat little hole on the left side, so I pushed in a stem of Staurogyne repens for good measure.

It's truly awesome what nature can do to rock over many centuries, the shapes can be really incredible.

As it's a calciferous rock, I was informed that it would affect pH, KH and GH slightly upwards, but I don't think that will cause me any problems.  My Cotswold rock I used to use in my small tank did that too, but I never used vast amounts of it to worry.

I really do like the contrast in colours between the green of the plants, white and pale pink.  With the Polysperma in the background also having some light pink leaves, it all looks rather sweet.

Offline ColinB

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Re: Preparations for a Planted Tank
« Reply #110 on: May 10, 2013, 01:38:58 PM »
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Cheers Dave. I've never seen anything like that in my local MA so I'll have a closer look next time I'm in.

p.s. I, too, am a weak and feeble creature. :)

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TigzFish

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Re: Preparations for a Planted Tank
« Reply #111 on: May 12, 2013, 10:56:37 PM »
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End of Week #12

Black Neon Tetras (x5) and the replacement Glowlight Tetra were transferred from 3 week isolation on Saturday and have settled in nicely.  I also added another 3 Assassin Snails to complement the work done so far by the first 3.  Pond snails are definitely on the decline.

Next new residents were added to isolation on Sunday, in the form of Golden Pencilfish (x5) and Penguin Tetra (x5)

I've got hold of some more stones and smaller and rougher piece of Ocean Rock for the next stage in reshaping the Roma tank during this week.

This weeks pics attached.


TigzFish

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Re: Preparations for a Planted Tank
« Reply #112 on: May 19, 2013, 11:17:00 PM »
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End of Week #13

Nothing of note to report this week, I've basically done nothing to the tank.  I'm on a few days off from work over this coming weekend so will have time to get stuck in and complete my intended mods.  Rock, stone and pebbles await!

Pics attached.


TigzFish

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Re: Preparations for a Planted Tank
« Reply #113 on: May 27, 2013, 04:40:43 PM »
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End of Week #14

I delayed the photos for a day as the water was a bit mucky after a couple of days digging out the rest of the tank.  I've now added back in the extra pieces of stone, large pebbles and the second bit of Ocean Rock.  For now I've not added back the wood as I think I'm going to use it all in my 64ltr instead.  There are still a small number of plants to put back in, which I'll be doing this evening and tomorrow (extra day off work).

I lost a Black Neon Tetra too, found it when the lights came on this afternoon, no apparent damage.  :'(

Now that I have the rest of the tank dug out, and new decor in, I am definitely happier with the rocky look, it feels much more natural (even though it doesn't resemble a real habitat).  Removing the dark wood and the dark green mass of Java Moss has lifted the visual brightness of the tank a great deal.

Pics attached.  I'll followup with some more detailed images.

TigzFish

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Re: Preparations for a Planted Tank
« Reply #114 on: May 27, 2013, 04:43:02 PM »
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Added some medium sized close-ups of the left, middle and right sections.  The left section has been replanted since May 9th and is filling out very well indeed. Previous pics are [HERE] for comparison.


Offline ColinB

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Re: Preparations for a Planted Tank
« Reply #115 on: May 28, 2013, 03:45:59 PM »
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That certainly looks different.... and good. I like the rocks.

Have you thought about any floating plants to offer some shady spots?

Sorry about your Black Neon.  :(

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TigzFish

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Re: Preparations for a Planted Tank
« Reply #116 on: May 28, 2013, 04:15:42 PM »
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Thanks Colin, yup I like the rocks too. (Note to self, don't bugger about with it again).

Have you thought about any floating plants to offer some shady spots?

I hadn't actually, any suggestions?

The Echinodorus "Red Special" [link] I have now cut right back and replanted in the back right corner of the tank.  The biggest leaves were over 30cm long and 10cm wide, so quite a monster. It should grow up and over the right side rock quite nicely.  Considering the size of the leaves, this will provide a pretty large umbrella in a few weeks time.


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