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Old 07-03-2006, 09:49 PM   #1
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From a fishtank with live plants to a planted fishtank

Or, How MTS Begins

So, I'm getting back into the aquarium hobby after a 15 year or so break. I started by picking up a 45H + Stand for $50- Little did my wife know how much of a dent that $50 was going to make in out bank account!

One thing that I remembered was how much better my old tanks did with a bit of Anacharis growing in it! So I began researching plants. After pricing lights for a 45H, I couldn't justify to myself plonking down $100plus to bring my 45H into high light.

So, MTS strikes- It's so much cheaper to put lights over a 10 gallon. 2 20 watt CFLs from Wal-Mart into the incandescent fixture rated for 2 30 watt bulbs.

After going slowly, and making a few decisions I might make differently, today my 2nd tank takes life.

Substrate is sand, mixed with Zeolite and Laterite- If I had to do this again, I would likely buy a bag of Eco-Complete or similiar. I'm using Seachem tabs for substrate ferts near the plants I think could use them.

I'm doing PMDD, with a seperate dose of Potassium Nitrate/Potassium Sulfate. I plan on dosing 2 drops of PMDD daily, with Nitrate whenever it tests low or after a water change.

The livestock currently consists of 10 glass shrimp, with some MTS on the way. I *think* I have freshwater glass shrimp, as they are carrying their eggs- I understand the brackish/Marine versions don't carry their young like this, but I could be wrong.

I built the CO2 system (Seriously, anyone with a tank small enough for DIY, it really is trivial. Using the AP Master Test Kit to test for Nitrate is much harder, 2 liter, airline, I currently have it bubbling under a clay saucer- Theory is the bubble under the saucer has a HUGE surface area to volume, letting the CO2 diffuse rapidly.

And now for the part you're really interested in- I have a scrap of plant that was a hitchhiker with a fish that may be java fern or may turn out to be something else entirely. I have my trimmings from my java moss tucked into a nylon mesh bag- If it grows through that bag, it'll be a mountain of moss and, I beleive, oh so pretty. A temple plant and some Asian Ambulia, though, is what really, IMO, brings this tank into high light planted. I think I have a mixture of free low light plants that will stand high light, and higher light, low maintance plants that should allow this newbie to start to join the big boys.

And the best part is... the tank has room for more plants!

I think I'm finally moving from a fish tank with live plants to a planted fishtank!
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Old 07-03-2006, 10:33 PM   #2
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I do not have all the answers to all your questions.

What I will add is low light plants are out there...I have plants cresting the water line in a tank 30" deep at .6 wpg....its about choosing the right plants and patience.All I dose is a fert tab and I love the results.

Check out my mission thread if your interested.

Also...if you are going to post in the planted forum...you had better get us some pics on here either way you go
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50g tall fw planted at .6wpg
29g fw planted at 1.2 wpg
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Old 07-03-2006, 10:55 PM   #3
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I will, once I get around to fixing the digital camera.

And yes, I've been following your mission thread, and getting ideas for the 45 Gallon High tank. But this project gave me the perfect excuse to setup a 2nd tank. As well as play around with brighter lights.
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