British Columbia Aquarium Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

So, after having gone cold turkey from my MTS about year ago, finally stumbled across a beautiful planted tank picture about a month ago which forced me to relapse and want to get another planted tank set up again. But this time I wanted something a little more challenging. I'm done with java moss on driftwood :p My new setup is going to be super low budget (full-time student) but hopefully I can get decent results :S.

I'm planning on doing DIY CO2, with maybe a glass bell if I can find one cheap, or make one myself if I can find a place in the tank to hide it :p.

Lighting I'm aiming to do 30-40Ws, maybe 2x 15W or 20W bulbs? I wanted to do 20W bulbs cause its a 10 gallon but I don't know if that'll be too much light, and I don't want to deal with algae X_X.

This part is the part I'm most concerned about. I'm planning on doing the Walstad type substrate, with just like an inch of potting soil and another inch of maybe play sand, or white sand if I can find it. And maybe try to scape with some big rocks/Manzanita if I come across it.

And that's pree much as far as I've gotten on the pre-planning. Now my question to everyone is... Does anyone see potential problems in my plan if I'm trying to grow a carpet of HC and maybe Fire moss/Riccia? I'm trying to keep to low-moderate level difficulty plants. Any suggestions with pictures of other plants would be very much welcomed too. Or any suggestions or comments about anything else too :p.

Thanks for looking!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
I've been successfully growing Java fern in my low tech tank (no soil, just gravel, aqua glo 20 w and no frets). Might want to look into that since they're nice small-med sized plants.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Is that expensive? Will I know how to keep track of how much I dose the tank with? Will it be safe for shrimps I may want to have in the future?

Barrage of questions ended :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
I just switched to pressurized CO2 so I have a big bottle of yeast that I no longer need. You can have it if you wish to go with DIY. I'm also getting rid of some stem plants that I bought from King Eds when I started in the summer. These plants were what I used for my trial & error period. I can give them to you for you to do your trial & error. From my experience, the tank stabilizes after about a month. In short, you may lose some plants in the beginning so I would suggest not investing on expensive plants just yet.

Anyway, PM me if you're interested in my offers. I'm being generous now because people in the forum have been generous to me too so I'm simply passing it on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,838 Posts
jirunta, in the co2 sticky in this section there is a write up about both metricide and excel.

personally i bought a medicine syringe from save on foods, comes with a bottle stopper that perfectly fits an airline tube to help draw liquid from the bottom of a bottle. that way i dose the exact amount needed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
695 Posts
Hey guys,

So, after having gone cold turkey from my MTS about year ago, finally stumbled across a beautiful planted tank picture about a month ago which forced me to relapse and want to get another planted tank set up again. But this time I wanted something a little more challenging. I'm done with java moss on driftwood :p My new setup is going to be super low budget (full-time student) but hopefully I can get decent results :S.

I'm planning on doing DIY CO2, with maybe a glass bell if I can find one cheap, or make one myself if I can find a place in the tank to hide it :p.

Lighting I'm aiming to do 30-40Ws, maybe 2x 15W or 20W bulbs? I wanted to do 20W bulbs cause its a 10 gallon but I don't know if that'll be too much light, and I don't want to deal with algae X_X.

This part is the part I'm most concerned about. I'm planning on doing the Walstad type substrate, with just like an inch of potting soil and another inch of maybe play sand, or white sand if I can find it. And maybe try to scape with some big rocks/Manzanita if I come across it.

And that's pree much as far as I've gotten on the pre-planning. Now my question to everyone is... Does anyone see potential problems in my plan if I'm trying to grow a carpet of HC and maybe Fire moss/Riccia? I'm trying to keep to low-moderate level difficulty plants. Any suggestions with pictures of other plants would be very much welcomed too. Or any suggestions or comments about anything else too :p.

Thanks for looking!
It seems to me that you are looking for a low-tech planted tank, low maintenance, low light setup..
By low tech, it usually implies no Co2 and no fertilizer and low light.. plants growing slowly, low amount of maintenance and water change far in between. This may be important if you are a full time student and you would rather spend time studying than doing work on your tank.

Speaking of Co2: With DIY Co2 (yeast method), are you prepared to make a new batch every 3-4 weeks? It doesn't take long to do it but nevertheless something to consider.
Pressurized Co2 setup may be too expensive especially if you are on a budget.
As others have said, you can also dose liquid carbon instead of injecting Co2. For liquid carbon you have a choice of Flourish Excel or Metricide 14 day. They are fine for shrimps as long as you don't super overdose the amount. My cherry shrimps are fine with over twice the recommended dosage of Excel or even Metricide and that is dosing at the same amount as Excel.
With a low tech setup, will injecting Co2 or adding liquid carbon help and be necessary? probably not necessary although that is really dependant on your setup but will definitely not hurt.

Speaking of light: Again, low tech is low light so no Co2 necessary.. you can get by with the natural amount of Co2 present in the water in it's natural state, around 5 ppm. So keep it at around 20 watts or less for your 10 gallon.

Speaking of substrate: Diana Walstad soil method capped with sand.. that sounds good. 3 of my planted tanks ran on soil until recently. It's good, just remember to be careful when you uproot plants or you can cutt off at the base.. You will learn a few tricks and know how to deal with soil.. not that difficult at all and it's cheap. Plants grow well on soil.

Speaking of plants: I don't think HC grows well on sand

Speaking of fertilizer: With low tech, you don't normally need to fertilize since the nutrients are supposed to come from fish waste, fish food, bacteria break down byproducts, etc.. but I think it is still a good idea to supplement with Trace elements once a week or so. There is Flourish by Seachem or you can get CSM+B (cheaper and will last you a long time).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I don't mind replenishing the CO2 every 3-4 weeks. In fact I was prepared to do it in smaller intervals too if I needed. And me and my dad just made a wicked CO2 bell from an old used filament bulb that I can't wait to use. If I decided to still go the DIY CO2 route, could I go with higher wattage lights to grow lush plants?

Good to hear about the substrate issue :p! Definitely gonna get me a bag of potting soil and top it up with my sand. Do you think if I just did sand, and skipped to soil, the substrate would still have enough macro/micronutrients for good plant growth? I'm having seconds thoughts about soil because of all the readings I was doing talking about if soil got into the water column and the nitrogen spikes it could cause and stuff.

If I did go just sand though, I might try those fertilizer clay balls I read somewhere to give the sand some nutrients. Sad news to hear about the HC not growing well in sand though :( That's kind of a bummer, but oh well there are other plants out there I wanna try and tinker with :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
695 Posts
If you go the DIY Co2 route then in a sense you can afford "higher wattage light to grow lush plants" or saying it in another way, the higher light will necessitate the addition of Co2 because you don't want to be deficient in Co2 and even nutrients at the higher light level. Just focus on making your plants grow happy by satisfying their needs: light/Carbon/nutrients. If the light level is your gas pedal, then the faster you go you will need consume more carbon and nutrients, making sure you do not fall short on those. That's why if you increase the light level, you may find yourself needing to artificially add fertilizers to your water and provide more carbon by injecting Co2 or doing the liquid carbon method.

I have no experience in growing plants in sand alone so I will let the people with experience chime in on that. I think you should be able to grow certain plants but I believe some more specialized or difficult plants will not grow well in sand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #15


Update on my tank. Thanks for the advice everyone. The stem plants I got from a bca member. Thank you very much! They're a place holder and cyclers for the moment until I get the plants I really want to. They've spent the last 3-ish days in a bucket with no heater X_X, sorry guys. That's why some of the leaves are brownish and dying. Hope they turn out alright.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top