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Old 02-10-2013, 10:26 PM   #1
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Yet another 10 gallon plant build

So, in an effort to begin a planted tank I took advantage of an empty 10 gallon tank in my garage. I've always wanted a sand substrate, but never could find exactly what I was looking for. I read somewhere that I could be able to use tube sand (essentially what is used to weight down vehicles during the winter) and it seemed like a cheap, viable option.
So, what began as a planted shrimp tank has evolved into the very beginnings of a planted shrimp tank. Possibly in the future I may add a small school of nano fish at some point.
Currently, it holds a few ghost shrimp for fauna. For flora, an amazon sword and a broad leafed ludwigia.
I'm excited to keep going on this journey. DIY CO2 is probably coming along with fertilizers, etc when more plants are added to this tank. This may not be incredibly pic heavy initially, but I'll be sure to update when things change, etc.
The tank has been cycled with some help from my already up and running 55's filter media, and along with some accent rocks, I believe I'm off to an alright start.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:44 AM   #2
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So, after a tragic accident involving a dislodged filter guard and the majority of my tiger barbs. I have temporarily housed the last remaining barb in the ten gallon. As an overly aggressive male he began nipping the majority of the rest of the 55.
He seems to ignore the ghost shrimp for now, and has been adapting to his new station. We'll see how this goes from here. I have to decide whether or not to regroup him with some new barbs or rehome him somewhere as the ten gallon just isn't a good idea in the long run.
I wasn't overly fond of the barbs after having them in the tank. I thought with their markings and habits they'd be an interesting fish to keep, but after awhile I just became bothered by their antics and random acts of violence in the tank. I realize they were a semi aggressive to begin with, but their docile tendencies erupting once every few weeks were wreaking havoc on the other tank mates.
I'll most likely attempt to rehome him, but for now he can just chill with some ghost shrimps.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:04 PM   #3
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Here's a picture of the current setup. I'm slowly integrating live plants. I still have one plastic plant up front for a little shrimp habitat, but that will be taken out soon.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:08 PM   #4
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That light does not look like it's going to grow anything.

What are the spec's of it?
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:57 PM   #5
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It's low right now you're right. It's only 10 watt cf's, I'll be looking into upgrading it soon. I figured that I could get away with it for at least a week until I figure out how tech I want to go with this build.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:05 PM   #6
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Have you ever done a planted tank?

I'm not sure if this is a journal thread or if you're asking for help.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:12 PM   #7
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It's pretty much a journal. I don't think I've even asked a question yet.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:18 PM   #8
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I'm gonna be following!
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:47 PM   #9
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No, worries. I'm sure I'll have questions in the future, but this is the first attempt at a planted tank.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:38 PM   #10
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Well the ghost shrimp seem to be holding well and have found some hiding spots amidst the tank. The tiger barb's colors have increased surprisingly. I thought he would appear less vibrant due to less stress from non-schooling barbs and less space.

I've replaced one set of bulbs that was seeming dim. It's increased the light coming into the tank. So, theoretically with the original hood and cf bulbs I should be pushing 20 watts into the tank. This should be enough for up to medium light plants I feel.

Not much has changed in the tank, but I'll probably post a picture later just for giggles.

I'm still not sure what I want to do about this barb. If I do find a new place for him, what do you think are some options for small tank fish? I don't really want to do a tetra again, perhaps rasboras? In think I've read that they could be in a tank that small.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:43 PM   #11
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Sorry for the lack of images associated with the tank, I realize it makes for a very boring build and journal thread. I've been busy with other aspects of life in general, and while I love my photography sifting through images and the like can be a major distraction to my own efficiency.
Anyway, just another short update, I'm not sure what happened between last night and this morning but the Ghost Shrimp are extremely active today. It's nice to know that they might be finally settling in and not be as nervous about moving around the tank as before.
I believe I'm correct in the assumption that the females are the larger of the sexes, and it appears that I have three or four of them approaching 1.5" in length. While this may be slightly exaggerated, they are quite large. I have several smaller ones that continuously move around as well.
The Tiger Barb continues to be, well, Barby. He swims around, surveying his territory, becoming slightly agitated when the cats appear at the edge of the tank and eye him up, but overall he appears to be in decent enough shape for the conditions. I really need to figure out what I'm going to do with him. If I still had a lfs around here I would look into donating him, but unfortunately the only quality one around here shut down a year or so back.
Anyway, that's all I have for now, thanks for checking in if you're reading this.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:47 PM   #12
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Here's an image of the cat enjoying the ghost shrimp. They're entertained for hours watching the little guys go back and forth around the tank.
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:40 PM   #13
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I think I'll be cutting back on the lighting time in the tank. Right now it sits at about seven hours, and I'm starting to see a small algal bloom on the plants.

This is one thing I've wondered about, do heavy planters set their timers so they are on the majority of the time they are home? I feel if you followed a natural light pattern cycle and you worked a "normal" 8-9 hour shift you'd miss most of the time with the lights on.

Would more plants help with controlling an algal growth? Should I start CO2? Any help in this early stage would be appreciated. I have sand substrate currently, and have researched some root tabs, etc. but have not pulled the trigger so far.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:06 PM   #14
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On my 10g with dual 6700k 13 watt CFL's I run them on from

ON 10am-2pm
OFF 2pm-4pm
ON 4pm-8pm
OFF 8pm-10am

Then I use root tabs, dose flourish excel, and flourish comprehensive and I see excellent growth!
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:12 PM   #15
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Awesome, I was assuming you could break up the photo periods, but I wanted to double check before I start I like to see my tank all lit up, but if I'm gone at class by the time I'm back it shuts itself off. Maybe I'll start turning it on later in the day so I can see it in the evening.

Are there any advantages to breaking up the photoperiods?
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:30 PM   #16
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Scientifically? No

IME? Yes, I tried it with my 20g and for some reason the spilt photoperiod seems to make them grow faster.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:02 AM   #17
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Hmm that's interesting. I wonder why that is, you think a longer photoperiod would allow the growing process more time to reach maximum potential for longer, rather than a short photo period.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trout11B View Post
Hmm that's interesting. I wonder why that is, you think a longer photoperiod would allow the growing process more time to reach maximum potential for longer, rather than a short photo period.
The longer photoperiod tends to encourage algal growth. I believe that plants have normal cycles of "activity" during the day and after a certain point of time they go into sleep mode. My cabomba and ambulia close up at or shortly before the photoperiod ends. So, additional light "past their bedtime" only benefits the algae.
IMO The split photoperiod is more of a convenience that allows you to view the tank briefly in the AM and again in the PM.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:36 AM   #19
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Nice, plants are just interesting creations aren't they.

So, a little update. I feel like something is wrong with the ludwigia. I'm not sure but I feel like everyday there is another leaf floating around the tank, I think there's some new growth near the tips if the stems, but I'm not entirely sure. I'll start monitoring that better as time goes on.

Has anyone had an issue like this before? I need to update my test kits as they are quite old and unreliable at this point, so I haven't been able to monitor all the levels like I used to on my tank.

Does this seem like a deficiency somewhere in the tank or show a need for a CO2 setup of some kind?
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:44 AM   #20
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Are you dosing any fert's? Or are you just using light's and CO2?
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