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Old 11-20-2006, 01:46 PM   #1
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Like a kid in a candy store

It's the best way to describe myself. I am currently waiting on a load of Java Fern, Parva crypts and undulata crypts that I just purchased. Hoping to make my tank look like a forest. I also don't want to screw up the planting. Does anyone have any tips as to how to plant thes i the substrate? The Java fern is going to be tied to some driftwood. So i'm specifically looking for advice on the load of Crypts the I should have in the next day or two. Any thoughts for success? If you check my gallery you can see how sparsely planted I am currently.

I am still waiting on some crypt retrospiralis
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Old 11-20-2006, 04:27 PM   #2
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Planting crypts depends on the density of your scape. If you want them "close" together and want to give them some room for the runners, a couple of inches apart are fine. You will have to eyeball the distance between leaves as well since you don't want them overcrowding each other while growing out.
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Old 11-20-2006, 04:52 PM   #3
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My advice would be to be patient....don't try to plant the tank full now, or when everything grows in you won't have any space left! I have a hard time not filling in every square inch but the plants definitely do not like to be crowded, they need their space, and some will complain loudly if they are not getting enough room. I have an Aponogeton crispus that gets all stressed out, tattered and sends out flower stalks when it is crowded. Crypts aren't the fastest growers but they do look great when they fill in!
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Old 11-20-2006, 05:01 PM   #4
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I won't be packing it too tight. The tank already has 2 Java Ferns and 2 Anubias in it.
I will be adding 4 groups of crypt undulata red for accent and 6 groups of crypt parva for foreground. I will also be planting a hex 5 with narrow leaf java fern and crypt retrospiralis. The hex 5 will probably be a betta tank. I think just one male betta and maybe a japonica shrimp for that one. I guess once its all said and done I'll have to post some pictures.
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4 neon tetras
3 head and tail light tetras
4 white cloud minnows
2 marble hatchets
4 poleatus cories
1 freshwater flounder
1 japonica shrimp
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Old 11-20-2006, 06:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
I guess once its all said and done I'll have to post some pictures.
Yes, I believe it's mandated somewhere in the AA user agreement!

Sounds like a nice planting arrangement. I think I need a taller crypt for my 5 gallon hex as well....keep me in mind if that retrospiralis ever needs splitting. I have C. parva in my 55 and it is nice, bright green and spreads fast under my higher light. Also have C. wendtii "green gecko" and C. petchii and a couple more for which I don't know the names....lemme know if you ever want to trade some crypts!
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:12 AM   #6
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I definitely want to see pics! I'm doing a 10g in crypts, anubias, and java fern and I need some inspiration!
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Old 11-22-2006, 08:08 AM   #7
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Sorry Newfound He didn't get the retro crypt in. I will have to wait for that one. But I planted the rest last night and the fish are kind of going nuts trying to figure out what happened to their house. Pics will follow this evening.
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20 Gallon planted community
4 neon tetras
3 head and tail light tetras
4 white cloud minnows
2 marble hatchets
4 poleatus cories
1 freshwater flounder
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Old 11-22-2006, 09:23 PM   #8
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here are the pictures

Here are the pics of the new planting. I'm going to rig up a DIY CO2 system and judging from my nitrate readings ( just 10ppm) I will probably have to start a fert program real soon.
As you can see from thje castle I am in the middle of a diatom outbreak and of course the planting just stirred everything up so my water is a bit cloudy right now.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg full_view2_109.jpg (137.8 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg full_view_105.jpg (128.1 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg anubia_143.jpg (132.1 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg newly_planted_102.jpg (117.7 KB, 28 views)
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20 Gallon planted community
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4 white cloud minnows
2 marble hatchets
4 poleatus cories
1 freshwater flounder
1 japonica shrimp
4 Otos
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Old 11-22-2006, 09:27 PM   #9
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Nice Flushingfish! That Castle looks huge. Have you considered covering some of it with some moss? I think it would look great.

As time goes on, you will see if you need to rearrange anything due to growth. Don't be surprised if you see a tiny crypt leaf sprouting out of the substrate. You may want to consider potassium dosing with your nitrate. If so, get GregWatsons KNO3. It is cheaper and lasts a long time.
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Old 11-22-2006, 09:27 PM   #10
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Looks nice. I think it will grow in well.
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Old 11-22-2006, 09:38 PM   #11
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I do have plans for the castle to be partially covered with java moss but I want the tank to grow in for a little while and I will probably be upgrading the lighting a bit.
My wife's gonna kill me if I don't quit spending money on this. I'll tell her it's my xmas present.
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It swims therefore it is
20 Gallon planted community
4 neon tetras
3 head and tail light tetras
4 white cloud minnows
2 marble hatchets
4 poleatus cories
1 freshwater flounder
1 japonica shrimp
4 Otos
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Old 11-23-2006, 11:55 PM   #12
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Very nice. Just one thing on crypts, they can get huge as my Red Wendtii is testimony to. I agree that placement needs to be a little spaced in order to see how the plant will fill it's little space and crowding can be a bad thing. My crypt lucens is just a little crowded and now it has already began to throw out runners to compete with the Becketti.

Let it take a natural course and see where the plants "fit" when you see how they will grow for you. I have gone through a few and I am closer but I am not quite at a point where all of my plants get along.
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Old 11-24-2006, 09:35 AM   #13
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[quote="Jchillin"]Nice Flushingfish! That Castle looks huge. Have you considered covering some of it with some moss? I think it would look great.

My wife won't part with the castle but I'm growing attached to it myself. Besides it has 3 different caves built into it for the fish to hide in and hang out.
On the subject of ferts, is there any product out there that's a little bit easier. Maybe an all purpose kind of fert for right now until I dial in what my needs may really be. I mean the plants haven't even been in for a week so I'm sure some levels are still stabilizing. I am already working on a DIY CO2 set up. I may run that through my HOB filter but I here I have to take out the Bio wheel first.
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It swims therefore it is
20 Gallon planted community
4 neon tetras
3 head and tail light tetras
4 white cloud minnows
2 marble hatchets
4 poleatus cories
1 freshwater flounder
1 japonica shrimp
4 Otos
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Old 11-24-2006, 09:58 AM   #14
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The problem with "all purpose" ferts is that they have a fixed ratio of ferts. This means that if you tank needs more of one of the ferts then you need to dose more of all the ferts. This can cause some severe imbalances, which often lead to unhealthy plants or algae outbreaks. While having four different ferts to dose sounds like a lot of work, it's actually easier in the end since it gives you more flexibility.

Something you could do, would be to mix up some small solution batches for the week. You'd still have a set ratio of ferts, but since you'd be dealing with a smaller amount, it wouldn't be quite as problematic if your ratios are off. You'd just mix it up differently for the next week as necessary. You'd still need to have two separate fert solutions since you can't mix Phosphate and Iron, or the Iron will percipitate out of the solution and become unusable.
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Old 11-26-2006, 11:30 AM   #15
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Well I installed my CO2 system yesterday. I know some folks will poo-poo me cause I was too lazy and impatient for DIY. I purchased one of those ready made jobs with the bubble ladder. Right now I have it installed as per instructions and the bubbles have started. My question at this point would be am I better off running the line through my HOB intake or leave it as is? How would I tell which is better? I may have rushed in to this just because I was over enthusiatic.
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20 Gallon planted community
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3 head and tail light tetras
4 white cloud minnows
2 marble hatchets
4 poleatus cories
1 freshwater flounder
1 japonica shrimp
4 Otos
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Old 11-27-2006, 08:08 AM   #16
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anyone?
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20 Gallon planted community
4 neon tetras
3 head and tail light tetras
4 white cloud minnows
2 marble hatchets
4 poleatus cories
1 freshwater flounder
1 japonica shrimp
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:51 AM   #17
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Test your KH and pH and calculate the CO2 levels. It's best to test right at lights on, mid photo period, and right at lights off. This gets you the range of CO2 levels throughout the day. You want fairly steady levels above 30ppm at all times. If you aren't achieving these levels, then it's time to switch to a better diffusion method and/or add more CO2 generation bottles.

The Hagen system is really only sufficient for maybe a 5 gallon tank out of the box. The packing claims that it can be used for up to a 20 gallon tank because they are targeting much lower levels of CO2. Their CO2 generation bottle is only about 1 Liter. You'll want about 2 Liters of CO2 generation per 10 gallons of tank. Powered diffusion is always going to get better results than passive diffusion. The Hagen ladder is one of the more efficient methods of passive diffusion, but using your HOB to diffuse the CO2 would be powered diffusion and should get you better results.
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:07 AM   #18
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Thank you Purrbox
But I would have to remove the Bio Wheel. Correct?
Is there a formula for converting the KH and PH into a ppm reading of CO2?
Just for the record I am looking into upgrading my lighting so I will have to go to add more CO2. I am still going to set up a DIY system through my HOB intake. Like I said impatience got the better of me.
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It swims therefore it is
20 Gallon planted community
4 neon tetras
3 head and tail light tetras
4 white cloud minnows
2 marble hatchets
4 poleatus cories
1 freshwater flounder
1 japonica shrimp
4 Otos
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:52 AM   #19
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If you are going to inject CO2 into the tank, then remove the biowheel. It doesn't matter whether you are using the HOB to inject CO2, the biowheel is excellant at gassing off that CO2 you are working so hard to inject.

I would recommend downloading Chuck's Planted Aquarium Calculator. It's got the calculations for CO2 and dry dosing. There are also a bunch of online charts out there that you can use if you would prefer. They are all using the following formula: CO2 (in PPM) = 3 * dKH * 10^( 7-pH ).

If you're going to inject CO2, you should aim for 30+ppm reguardless of whether you have a low light tank or a high light tank. The reason is that low fluctuating levels of CO2 will encourage BBA. By keeping the CO2 levels above 30ppm you should be able to avoid this.
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:55 AM   #20
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You need to remove the bio-wheel any way. The surface agitation it causes will gas off you CO2.

Here is a nice article about PH, KH and CO2 levels. Measuring CO2 Article

*edit* Joy beat me fastest fingers in the mid-west.
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