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Discussion Starter #1
Hello BCA!

Back in November 2012, I started my first planted tank. A 6 gallon Fluval Edge:



Then, having filled my quota of one tank at home, I set up a 20 gallon long at work.



My boss, having enjoyed my 20 long, has asked me to set up a couple of other tanks around our school and this 23 gallon long is the first of them. Many thanks to Shiyuu for the tank and Pat and Charles for the rest of the equipment and plants. Still have some plants on order from ThePlantGuy.org.

The idea here is to do a sort of dutch style scape, but with a little hardscape and a nice HC carpet extending from the back left through to the front right like a triangle. As always, plans change as you go along, so I would love to hear some suggestions. I'm also going to do a Dry Start in order to get a nice healthy HC carpet and then see if I can maintain the carpet in a non-CO2 setup. I have had some success doing this with UG. Will be interesting to see whether it works with HC.

Equipment:
23 gallon long 36x12x12
Beamswork 0.3 watt/LED light
ADA Malaya substrate

Flora:
HC
Lilaeopsis mauritiana
Rotala sp. nanjenshan
Ludwigia arcuata
Echinodorus 'Aflame' - from another project
Egeria Densa (on order)
Pogostemon stellata (on order)
Pogostemon erectus (on order)
Ludwigia brevipes (on order)
Juncus repens (on order)

Still looking for:
Ammania sp. 'Bonsai'
Pogostemon helferi (Downoi)
If anyone has either of these, I'd love some trimmings or offshoots. Would pay and pick-up, of course.

Fauna:
TBD, but probably some shrimp and shrimp compatible fish. Maybe CPDs and otos. Suggestions welcome!

Now for some photos.

Tank with substrate:



Hardscape and initial HC and Lilaeopsis mauritiana planting. A lot of die back and melting of the Lilaeopsis mauritiana, but it is putting up some new, healthy-looking shoots now:



I had some white fuzzy mould or fungus coating some of the HC. I'm guessing this came from improper washing of the portion. The AquaFlora plants come in a fertilizer. I'm guessing that caused the mould. I tried drying the plants out a little in case it was excess moisture that was the cause, but the mould kept spreading, so i gave it a good spray with some clean water effectively rinsing the fertilizer from the HC and that seems to have fixed it right up.

 
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You're basically my fish twin. I started with a fluval edge and just finished planting my 20gal long!

Not sure how much experience you have, but your tanks look very well well thought out.
The first tank, is that a top dog sellers light from ebay? I'm just about to order one and and would like your opinion. I was going to opt for the 30" light and just have it sitting on top not utilizing the legs. But it looks like you bought the 24" light? I just want to make sure the whole tank gets light and enough lumen to run a diy co2 setup. Thanks!
 

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Yeah, the Fluval Edge was the only tank my wife liked enough to keep in the house. (Not a huge aquarium fan.) Planting it was a pain, but all-in-all it is a pretty cool little tank.

The light on the 20 long is and 24-inch Odyssea HOT5 fixture from Charles at Canadian Aquatics. Plenty of light for this tank. Trying an LED fixture on the 23 long. Will be interested in the difference between the two during a dry start.
 

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Looking great! Everything still worked out, you still got the tanks at the school :p again great work with the 20g!
 

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Really like that 20 long, so can't wait to see this new one! Pogostemon helferi is tricky to get your hands on. I waited several months but got some from Aquarium's West's Tropica shipment. If no one has any trimmings, you can ask them!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Looking great! Everything still worked out, you still got the tanks at the school :p again great work with the 20g!
Thanks for your interest! My collection of tanks at school has increased. I now have this 23 (or 22) long, the 20 long, a 10 gallon, a 5 gallon and a 33 gallon soon to be setup.

This tank has been a royal disaster. I'm actually considering the total re-do! The HC is taking forever to fill in and a lot of the plants that I thought would take off in an emersed setup have either got mouldy, melted or otherwise descended into oblivion. The one real positive is the emersed growth of Juncus repens. That plant is going bananas. I carpeted the 20 long with UG in a couple of months, but the HC is not moving at anywhere near the same rate. I'm not sure if it's the ADA Malaya or the way I'm running the lights or moisture management. It actually has been quite frustrating, so I've spent some time setting up some other tanks - a 10 gallon cherry shrimp tank and a 5 gallon CPD and CBS tank, both planted and doing well.

Very open to suggestions on how to wake up the HC and can post what I'm doing at the moment if anyone thinks they can help.

Again, thanks for the interest. Despite the set backs with this tank, I still find talking about it to be very enjoyable.

Cheers,
Rob
 

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Really like that 20 long, so can't wait to see this new one! Pogostemon helferi is tricky to get your hands on. I waited several months but got some from Aquarium's West's Tropica shipment. If no one has any trimmings, you can ask them!
Great! Thank you.
 

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are you running co2? i thought hc needed co2

what is "UG"?
 

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are you running co2? i thought hc needed co2

what is "UG"?
I'm doing the Dry Start Method, so no co2 needed until I've flooded it. UG is Utricularia Graminifolia (spelling is quite possibly off). It's the grass-like carpet plant in the foreground of the 20 long. It is a very beautiful, albeit tricky, foreground plant.
 
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So that's what UG is. Very elegant. I am doing a DSM with HC in Malaya. First time. I'm sure more experienced forum members can help you out. Apparently the HC doesnt show leaf growth for about 2 weeks after planting. I suppose it's growing roots? Spraying with an excel/metricide solution is supposed to take care of mould. For me, it's only been planted a week but so far so good! I'm running 2 54w t5HO for 12 hour photo period.
 

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So that's what UG is. Very elegant. I am doing a DSM with HC in Malaya. First time. I'm sure more experienced forum members can help you out. Apparently the HC doesnt show leaf growth for about 2 weeks after planting. I suppose it's growing roots? Spraying with an excel/metricide solution is supposed to take care of mould. For me, it's only been planted a week but so far so good! I'm running 2 54w t5HO for 12 hour photo period.
Are you venting often? When I did the 20 long I had the tank sealed up tight and maybe let air exchange for a 1/2 hour every 3 days or so. This time I have left gaps in the plastic wrap. I'm definitely past the first 2 week period. I'm 2 and 1/2 months in. Other than the soil and the gaps in the plastic wrap, the only difference between this tank and the 20 long is that the 20 long has dual HOT5 lights and this tank is running a finned planted + led light.

I think I might try wrapping it up a little tighter and the excel mix mist to stop any fungus/mould. Thanks, Greenfin.

By the way, thanks for your journal. I read through it the other day and I'm interested to see how your HC comes along.

Cheers,
Rob
 

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I have my versa-top lid on. I cut the smallest gaps possible for my tubing/pipes and have stuffed saran wrap in those holes. One 2cm x 2cm hole, I left open. It's not air tight but I have plenty of condensation up the sides. The lid itself is condensation free. I was advised to do saran wrap but as I had the lid...When the tank was running I had almost nil evaporation so I figured the lid would do for the DSM. If it hadn't worked I would have gone all saran wrap. Dealing with the lid seemed way less "snap" (lose it) factor than dealing with clingy saran wrap each day. I only really open the lid to check the plants and give a few squirts of water. I'm waiting on some metricide so have just been using RO water for now. No mould on the plants yet but my toothpicks had mould.

Looks like I better do another journal entry pronto to keep up to date with myself! Ha! I've now wrote a small portion of it here on your journal! HaHa!
 

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Hmm, maybe the lighting is making a difference as far as heat generated. I'm not at all familiar with LED but don't they run cooler than t5s? Maybe the air temp is cooler in the 23? Could that make the difference? My HC was grown emmersed (aquaflora pots) if that's added helpful info.
 

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So, HC and I are done! We decided to go our separate ways. For some reason I kept killing the stuff, so it is on to bigger and better things!

Having killed almost everything except some crypt parva, some lilaeopsis mauritiana, and an amazing amount of juncus repens, I decided to scrap everything and go for a rebuild. I saved what I could, tossed the rest, and combed the substrate to remove all the scraps of debris that I could.

I picked up some lava rock and an interesting piece of driftwood from IPL in Burnaby, but other than the juncus and scraps of other plants I managed to salvage, the tank was going to look very bare.



Cue Ray (rwong2k10). He hooked me up with enough plants to fill the 23 long and hopefully, after a couple of months, some of my own cuttings to set up my next project. I can not say enough about Ray. He is very generous with his portions, very friendly and has one of the most beautiful planted tanks I have seen in person. If you ever get the chance to see Ray's tank, or buy some of his plants, go for it!

Plants in!



Flooding:



I also picked up my first set of co2 equipment from BaoBeiZhu (another awesome, easy-to-deal-with guy) and refilled the co2 canisters at North Shore Paintball. I ordered some black co2 tubing and a small powerhead to act as a diffuser. These should arrive tomorrow.

Current Plant List:
Juncus repens
Coral Moss
Ludwigia sp. red
Rotala sp. green
Ludwigia repens
Lindernia rotundifolia variegated
Sunset Hygro
Ludwigia lacustris
Glossostigma elatinoids
Crypt parva
Lilaeopsis mauritiana

Flooded (a little cloudy from the substrate and equilibrium):



Fauna?:
Thinking peaceful community
Albino pleco or two
Some blue rams
Maybe some clown killifish
And a school of harlequin rasbora

Seems like a lot to me, but AqAdvisor seems to think it is ok. I'd be interested to hear the opinions of BCA members in relation to stocking.

So that's it for now! Hopefully everything will settle in over the next few days and I'll start seeing some signs of new growth.

Thanks for looking,
Rob
 

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