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Old 04-14-2019, 08:53 PM   #1
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Journey to lush plants in a low tech tank!

Hello! Thank you for viewing this, I will be using this thread for weekly updates about my 2 planted tanks that are currently struggling with algae minor algae problems. The first is my 10 gallon and second is an 8.8 gallon cube. I am dosing weekly with ThriveC and dosing the 10 gallon with some Flourish Excel as well. (No excel for the cube as it is heavily planted with anacharis). The filter in the 8.8 gallon is a Fluval 5-15 that I might change to an Aquaclear 10 or 20 because it seems to have lackluster flow and cleaning potential and will update if need be(leaning towards yes) if anyone has any other questions just ask! Click image for larger version

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Old 04-15-2019, 12:14 PM   #2
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Hello Shiina...

You're not giving yourself the best chances for success by selecting such small tanks. The water chemistry won't be steady enough for plants or fish. Because there's not enough water to resist changes in the chemistry. The nitrogen levels from the commercial fertilizers will change the water chemistry and this will allow algae to thrive in such an environment. You'll need to change most of the water every few days to create a livable place for fish or plants. When it comes to tank keeping, the larger the tank the better the chances for success.

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Old 04-15-2019, 01:42 PM   #3
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Those are great tanks for plants!

10 gallon or less is easy to maintain, cheap to fertilize / light, and simple to make changes!

Don't let the smaller water volume scare you, small tanks can be very nice:

10 gallon:



5.5 gallon:

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Old 04-18-2019, 02:29 PM   #4
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Those are great tanks for plants!

10 gallon or less is easy to maintain, cheap to fertilize / light, and simple to make changes!

Don't let the smaller water volume scare you, small tanks can be very nice:

10 gallon:



5.5 gallon:



Ahhh thank you Zxc!!! I have already gotten rid of my algae problem in the 10 in less than a week and I decided to rescape the 8.8 a little bit LOL! Fiddling around with a few things but so far so good! Iím looking forward to uploading more pictures on Sunday!! Also your tanks are absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!
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Old 04-18-2019, 02:41 PM   #5
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Ahhh thank you Zxc!!! I have already gotten rid of my algae problem in the 10 in less than a week and I decided to rescape the 8.8 a little bit LOL! Fiddling around with a few things but so far so good! Iím looking forward to uploading more pictures on Sunday!! Also your tanks are absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!
Looking forward to seeing your progress!
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Old 04-19-2019, 03:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZxC View Post
Those are great tanks for plants!

10 gallon or less is easy to maintain, cheap to fertilize / light, and simple to make changes!

Don't let the smaller water volume scare you, small tanks can be very nice:

10 gallon:



5.5 gallon:

Great looking tanks! To the op, the best advice I can give you with growing plants in a low-tech environment is not to overthink it. The standard crypt, Anubias, javafern, java moss, etc will all grow full and lush with not much but a weekly water change. Sometimes less is more!
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Old 04-21-2019, 01:47 PM   #7
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UPDATE 1: The algae in the 10 gallon has seemingly VANISHED and the plants are looking fantastic! One of My cryptocoryne Undulatas is actually growing quite fast and a single stem of ludwigia planted towards the front of the tank is actually growing new growths, and all algae that was on it has almost completely gone away! This tank give me minimal problems lately.

However, my 8.8 gallon cube is a bit finicky as of late.... in it I use a Fluval Nano filter 5-15 gallons, and I am starting to think that the filter is too small for the amount of water in it. Since the tank is roughly 9 gallons, and with the flow rate being just under 81GPH, I am thinking of upgrading to a Fluval Aquaclear 20 just for the sake of cleaner water! Any thoughts on this?
(Reminder that in it houses a single dwarf puffer)
In addition, I have rescaped it since last week. I came home today to find small amounts of green algae on the sand, I have Chemiclean at the ready, however, I am still debating whether Or not to use it just because I am insecure in my prognosis of whether it is actually Cyanobacteria or not. On another note, I think the tank could benefit from being dosed with Excel, but the anacharis would surely melt, so I am also thinking of replacing the anacharis with another kind of stem plant. I have also added 2 stems Ludwigia repens to the tank (mostly because my dojo loach in my 55 is constantly uprooting them������).
I apologize for my bad cam quality, iPhone 7 camera sucks butt!
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:50 AM   #8
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Today I am experimenting with the dimmer function of my timers! The timers default setting is 100 and Iíve set both tanks to 80 to see if my plants will grow better without such an intense light. Normally the lights measure 72 PAR at a depth of 12 inches!! YIKEs. And as you know, higher light intensities make plants use more Co2 faster etc etc... so perhaps dimming the lights a bit will Help with growth in both tanks, as well as help with the minor algae problems I am encountering in the cube!
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:58 PM   #9
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Today I am experimenting with the dimmer function of my timers! The timers default setting is 100 and Iíve set both tanks to 80 to see if my plants will grow better without such an intense light. Normally the lights measure 72 PAR at a depth of 12 inches!! YIKEs. And as you know, higher light intensities make plants use more Co2 faster etc etc... so perhaps dimming the lights a bit will Help with growth in both tanks, as well as help with the minor algae problems I am encountering in the cube!
I would dim (as you have done).

Lowering light is the #1 easiest way to get back on top of an algae outburst.
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:06 PM   #10
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I am going to give the dimmed lights a week and see if my algae goes down and if not, I might consider dimming it a little more. Lately tho I have thought about dabbling in making a yeast CO2 reactor! Haha. But i am trying to remain very low tech so that others can see that it is indeed possible to have success with bright lights in relatively low tech tanks.
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