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Old 03-29-2005, 11:59 PM   #1
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Evaluate a Newbie Planted Tank

So thanks primarily to this forum, I converted my "plastic" plant 29 gal aquarium to a planted one... the major changes I've done over the past month:
- Changed gravel over to fluorite.
- Changed lighting to 65 watt Coralife.
- Dose Fluorish Excel every other day and weekly other ferts.

Overall, I think my plants are doing ok. Of course, they're not growing like gangbusters as with the CO2 setups around here. I'll get into why I've been cautious and not dived into CO2 yet.... but I wanted an evaluation of my plants as I think they're the obvious indicator to what I'm doing or not doing:

My single Amazon Sword has given me 2 baby Amazons... and this 3rd one has yet to be separated:
(fake background taped onto back of my tank, so don't be deceived!)


Here's one of the baby Amazons, doubled in size the past couple of weeks:


This 2nd baby Amazon is growing in the back corner of my tank:


and I have this banana plant for less than 1 week... the largest front leaf bright from the reflection was totally non-existent just this past Saturday:


Microsword just purchased on Saturday. Next to it is my dying PondPenny (also referred to Creeping Jenny?)... the stems are thin and weak... I'd say it's the 1 plant doing poorly. My guess is that it didn't take the "tank transition" too well:


Can anyone help identify the Crypt on the left? It's looked worst when I did the gravel changeover... The Val on the right has been growing nice tall and slim, extending past this pic:



and I am pretty sure this is a Crypt (thought it might be an Anubias)... can anyone help identify this? Sorry for the blurry pic:


last but not least... my smaller of the 2 Vals... it grows thicker, not as tall and slim as the other one... back of it you can see some of my Wysteria... not showing you much of that cause it supposedly grows in anything as I also have Java Fern.


Measurements:
PH: 6.2
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20ppm
KH: 17ppm (On the first drop w/my test kit, the vial turns yellow... I don't see blue at all)
GH: 300pm

So judging from my KH, I think I'd need to increase it before I do CO2, correct? This is what's preventing me as I am afraid of messin' w/the water chemistry via baking soda, nor do I want to buy a bag of crushed coral. I've been reading about the ph swings and problems potentially caused by the DIY CO2... and yes, I guess u can say I don't want to spend on pressurized (haven't found a local welding shop yet).

Be kind to the n00bie as I'm barely a month old to the planted aquarium
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Old 03-30-2005, 01:47 AM   #2
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Your tank looks great. You should post one giving a overall view. I am not a fan of the disco gravel over the flourite but thats a matter of personal opinion. Good job.
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Old 03-30-2005, 02:01 AM   #3
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Wow, they look pretty darn good to me.
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Old 03-30-2005, 10:46 AM   #4
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3rd pic from the bottom, with teh 'crypt on left, vals on right'....call me crazy but that's not a crypt on the left, but another sword plant...melon sword maybe.

the 2nd pic from the bottom does look like a crypt though.
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Old 03-30-2005, 12:09 PM   #5
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Thanks for the compliments! A full-view pic will follow when I get home tonite.

Malkore: With my low KH, am I treading the danger zone if I did a DIY CO2 with two 2-liter bottles? I am rationalizing the amount of CO2 will not be as dangerous coming from 2 liter bottles compared to pressurized.
Also, from what I keep reading about LFS mislabeling plants... I don't doubt I may have a type of sword rather than a crypt I thought I purchased.
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:21 PM   #6
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I don't like thw water biuld up in the heater that is real bad. BUt, it looks good, Lets see and over all pic.
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:41 PM   #7
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tiptoptank: Are you referring to the moisture in my heater? Wow, I would not have noticed a subtle thing like that! I guess it's about time to change it... been surfing the threads and not too sure if those titanium ones are the way to go.

more pics:

here's the full tank view:



and I forgot about this plant... methinks it's Anubias Afzelii (Val on left, baby Amazon on the right)


I think the last plants on my list are Java Moss as I intend to tie them on a few rocks to fill some of the bottom... only thing is, I am worried the Java moss would take over my microsword.
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:49 PM   #8
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looks quite good. If you have the same sword I did (the one with the babies) it's probably going to get too big for your tank. I have a 46g and I felt like it needed more room to really be appreciated.
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:56 PM   #9
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that looks sweet... maintaining water chemisty and nutrients is the most important part of planted tanks. I've learnedd
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Old 04-18-2005, 11:25 AM   #10
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WOW, I have never met a quake2 player on any of these boards. You play online correct? Rocket Arena? WE should play I'm still pretty nasty
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Old 04-18-2005, 11:37 AM   #11
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That tank looks great keep it up 8) 8)
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Old 04-18-2005, 02:04 PM   #12
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Tiptoptank: Yea, I kindof thought it'd be unusual to use this handle on an aqua-forum... figured I'd eventually find another fps gamer online. Anyway, I'll PM you about Quake3... I don't want to go off on a tangent here . I play mostly ffa/dm.

... tank progress pics... we go from 3/30 to 4/14 below, my proudest plant is the banana plant which I had no idea what to expect.... right now I have 2 runners shot up to the surface w/lillies... only 1 runner showin below as I took my latest pic on 4/14!!!


From 3/30/05:


to latest pic 4/14/05 (couple of changes: split the anubias afzelii in the front, took Java fern from back corner to ontop of driftwood in front):



here's a closeup of the lilly that shot up to the surface (as of today, there's now 2 of em!!!):



I've read about snipping the stem of the floating lilly a few inches for it to grow roots to re-plant, but afraid to.... I'll leave it for now and will keep all posted if I do.
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