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Old 12-19-2012, 06:49 PM   #1 
marktrc
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20L first log

i bought some plants and planned to use some other hornwort, anubias and anacharis from my sorority but the sorority caught some ich. i am currently treating that and will add plants from there in about a week or so.

in the mean time i have started my npt and am using my java fern instead of the floating plants.

i am using topsoil and maui dune sand. i found this great local gravel and sand yard. they sell rocks and sand at great prices. the topsoil is from home depot.

i dont even know the names of the plants i bought. one was a wrinkled leaf anubias. one of the other plants pretty much melted while in quarantine. another one was just labled teardrop. and i think one was named cardinal something lol.

i tried to make a crossroads theme with the rocks.

i know it needs more plants but like i said... they are being treated right now and will be added later.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:53 PM   #2 
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Good luck!

Just remember, it's best to wait several weeks/months before adding fish to ensure the soil stabilizes and anything nasty is leeched out.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:43 PM   #3 
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finally got this tank working right i think. wanted to share my experiences because i had alot of trouble with algae and sand.

1. i believe my first attempt had too little plants. having alot of plants from the start will help use up the nutrients and prevent algae.

2. even with the right amount of plants you need to change water alot during the initial set up. i dont think i was removing enough water with frequency. this also led to algae growth.

3. i think the sand i used wasnt helping. it was too fine and tending to stick to things and get kicked up. i switched to actual aquarium sand from petco. even though it might not be the cheapest, you dont need alot because its only a cap.

4. dont over stock or over feed. makes a big difference as far as algae growth.

5. if algae grows... mostly i had hair algae... keeping up with water changes and manual cleaning can clear up the algae. keep with it. at some point the algae starts coming back less and your plants will grow more.

other side notes. 1. i ended up using miracle grow organic. unsure if topsoil alone was giving me problems. i suspect topsoil would have worked
2. i did not use any snails. i am not sure if this led to alot of sulfur gas. i had to burp my sand once a week at least. push on sand with my hands lightly. i did use a chopstick to stab the sand at first but found pressing did the job better. i suspect the stabbing may have been releasing more nutrients up leading to more algae.

i know this photo has alot of glare and is only from the side of my tank but i think you get the idea of the plant growth. i think the fish like it.
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:53 AM   #4 
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able to take a night pic
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:46 AM   #5 
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I'll have to remember that pressing the sand to release gas thing. I have a huge anaerobic problem in one of my tanks despite the daily stabbing.

Your tank now is looking good!
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:03 AM   #6 
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get trumpet snails and they relese the gas pockets for u by burrowing n the soil
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:28 PM   #7 
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i wanted to make the tank without snails. once the plants grew in, you hardly have to burp the sand. i press around when i do water change. thats all thats needed. if you want snails then i guess not having to burp the sand at all is an advantage. but if you dont like snails then it is possible to make a planted tank without them.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:36 AM   #8 
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holy cow! look at the difference! I like it! Do you know what plants you have in there?
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:57 AM   #9 
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Your tank looks beautiful! love the 20L
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:04 PM   #10 
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i believe the real turn around plant for me was dwarf sagittaria. put in a few bunches of those and everything started going right. i have some anacharis, micro sword, anubias wrinkle leaf, anubias minima, anubias petite, wenditi, some kind of tear plant and at the end water sprite. all the other plants helped only slightly as i added then in at diff points.

so i think my main ones are dwarf sagi, anacharis and maybe micro sword. put in as much of the first 2 as you can if you are getting alot of algae. adjust light and water changes.

ty sea d and fishbitty.
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