Aquarium Setup • New Planted Tank - A sneak peak...

New to the world of cichlids? For discussion on how to set up new tanks, including placement, filtration, substrates, water, etc. No stocking discussions here.

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Postby cody6766 » Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:05 am

that's great work! I think I will do this as soon as I get cash flowing from my new job. I wait tables so it should come fast once training is done and over with. I'll get with you through PMs about stocking and tips if you don't mind. I have to run to work now. I just got on to make sure the internet didn't go away while I was sleeping :lol:
man, this stuff is addicting...

55 gal S/A tank - severum pair and ram pair
10g planted G. steindachneri grow out
10g planted
2.5gal pico reef
33g nano reef
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Postby blairo1 » Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:33 am

:lol:
No worries, feel free to PM me any questions. I'll help as much as I possibly can!
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Postby Dutch Dude » Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:47 pm

Heeey Blair,

WOW,...nice looking tank!!!! Good job Blair and looks good already!!! As mentioned earlier I also had the impression that the pieces driftwood were a bit small but after watching the video It's just perfect! And Blair,....one of my favorites,.....getting cold shivers from PF :wink: I'm very curious how it will look like at abouth 3 months and the plants are grown a bit. Did you cut back the roots befor planting them? That helps to develop a new strong root system. Ooh and Blair,...this is the tank were you were talking abouth a week ago with the new stand? Like to see that to :)

Great job Blair :thumb:
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Postby blairo1 » Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:59 am

Hehe, I thought you'd appreciate the Floyd track there Ruurd ;).

Man the plants in this thing are growing like there's no tomorrow. Good old Red Sea products and CO2 really do the trick. Some of the faster growing plants have thrown out an extra 2 - 4 nodes in the past two days!!!!!! Crazy huh. Even the slower growing plants are starting to take off, it won't be long and I'll be doing the first prune-back.

To answer your question, yes I do cut the roots back a little, but not much - with these I split a lot of them up from the bunches and whilst I do this I take some roots off. There are already roots poking out all over the place lol, spreading themselves out and starting to creep to other places. Good old carpet plants :).

This tank is on a stand but not my DIY one, I am yet to start this and didn't want to do it on a larger tank for my first go - the stand I build is going to be for one of the tanks in my lounge - I'm STILL waiting for a break in the weather and for some free time - I've been driving all over the country these last few days sorting things out. Rest assured that when I do go about the stand I will get photo's up and keep you informed, even if it does turn out to be horrendous :lol:. But yes this tank I just had to get up and running as soon as possible due to the fry growing at a phenominal rate and needing to be moved before I come to amsterdam.

Thanks again Ruurd! You Dutch should be the masters at these planted aquaria by now (generalisation lol) so any positives from our Dutch Gardener friends is a major plus in my eyes ;).

Blair.
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Postby blairo1 » Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:15 am

Just to compare.

Tank 5 days ago, then today (excuse the reflection):
Image
Image

So that's only 5 days growth, you'll notice the foreground plants have filled out and the taller plants at the back are really going for it! They're terrible pics and show you no depth or detail to the tank but it's purely so you can compare growth.

More pics:

Check out the new growth on the Hygrophila rosae Australis, comes out really red then turns a nice green as it matures. I'm a big fan of these plants, the leaves resemble oak leaves to me -
Image

One of the many algae patrollers -
Image

Thanks for looking!
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Postby intermediate_noob » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:52 am

Blair, I can only echo the praise coming from the forum. This is truly going to be an amazing tank and the progress you are showing really helps us "noobs" to see how things truly to progress (even if we think they are not).

This is going to probably sound like a stupid question, but how did you arrive at this design? Was it a calculated and intense process or a "Well I did not like that when I did it before, and I liked this, so I will do it like this..." ?

Lastly, what kind of shrimp do you have in the tank?
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Postby blairo1 » Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:00 pm

Thanks!!!

How did I arrive at this design, hmm good question. lol.

Well what it is, I can see in my head exactly how I want something to look - my strength is visuals, I'm terrible with numbers but with words and pictures I have a photographic memory - I can quite literally remember things exactly as I saw them, not only that but I can build realistic images in my mind and know how it will look in person.

It's hard to explain I guess.

But I just knew how I wanted this tank to look, I didn't have any particular plant species in mind, just the type, layout and shape that I had seen in my minds eye. So with this I go out and I find the plants/driftwood that fits what I have already seen. When I set this tank up I quite literally just put the plants in where I knew I wanted them and didn't change a single thing, apart from one tiny bit of driftwood that I turned over :lol:.

I'm really dead serious, that's just how I do it. With the tanks before I'd tried SO many different layouts as I'd be sitting there staring at it and then think, yeah, that needs to go there, that needs to move here and I need to get something that looks like that. Voila.

So with this tank I went through all of these layouts in my head, before setting it up. I thought, well I could have the driftwood there, but that would make the visual weight heavier on one side than the other, or I could have it there, but that would make it look too symmetrical.

Then with plants, I want plants that look like that there, but how will they fit in with my filter inlets, can I hide it, how about creating layers through carpet plants, or leaves that break throught the "canopy" etc etc.

So essentially just the same except I go through it all in my head rather than physically.

It sounds completely nuts but that's just how my mind works, maybe I belong in a padded cell. It's the same with words, you can (although you can't as it's over the net) say any word to me and because I can see it in my mind, I can spin it round and speak it back to you in reverse instantly.

Weird? or Wired :lol:.

Sorry that doesn't really help but that's how I work and how this tank evolved.

In regards to the shrimp they are Amano Shrimp (Caridina japonica). Good algae eaters and very entertaining, they like to swim in big circles around the tank :lol:, they're awesome swimmers.

:thumb:
Blair.
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Postby 2wheelsx2 » Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:39 pm

Looks nice. What's the lighting in the tank? Are you/will you be dosing macros? Looks like you're getting good growth.
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C02

Postby mbunareunion » Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:26 pm

Blair - what a great tank. look great - plant selection and presentation are well done. what kind of CO2 setup do you have going? have contemplated one for my rainbow/barb/krib tank for awhile but have not done it. Best. Mbuna
Mbuna Tank - 30 g with 4 Yellow Labs and 6 Male Mbuna

Office SA Apisto Tank - 12 g Eclipse with 1 Apisto bitaenitiata (M) and 4 Harlequin Rasporas
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Postby intermediate_noob » Fri Feb 23, 2007 6:34 pm

Blair, thanks for letting us into your mind for setting this up, and no you are not crazy. It is called gifted. You have an artistic knack for this. I wish I had half that creativity. I started my first planted tank just recently and I think it looks like #%$&, nothing seems to come out right.

Anyway, remember that you are not crazy and you have a gift. You should go into business doing designs for people!

Have a good one and thanks again for keeping us up to date with your project.
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Postby jacquief » Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:24 am

Hi Blair,
Your tanks are amazing! :) You certainly do have a gift for this. They put the planting in my community tank to shame! I must pull my finger out now. You have enthused me to take the planting more seriously rather than just dumping them in and hoping for the best. Had a look at your photobucket album too, great pics! :thumb:
Jacquie
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Postby blairo1 » Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:41 am

:oops: :oops: :oops:

WOW!!!!

Thanks intermediate_noob, thanks jacquief.

I really don't know what to say, you've REALLY made my day.

I'm my biggest and worst critic, nothing I've done ever really looks good to me, all I can see is area's that need improvement. What you have so kindly said is how I often feel about other peoples tanks, never my own.

It's really nice to hear that I'm doing ok, that some of what I do is able to inspire people and I really can't thank you enough for your incredibly kind words.

I'm going now before I get emotional (I'm a guy, that isn't allowed to happen lol).

:thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

All the best,
Blair.
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Postby blairo1 » Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:49 am

^^ another reply above :)

mbunareunion
Thankyou for your kind words, I really do appreciate it.

The co2 set-up I use is about as simple and cheap as it gets, but it works :lol: - it's a fine silk mesh over a tube, this tube fills with CO2 and slowly dissapates through the silk screen, to make use of this I place it just underneath a powerhead, so that the saturated co2 is pushed through the whole tank...... works a treat and cost me almost nothing. When the plants are larger I will have to invest more, potentially, into a larger unit, but for the next couple of months what I have used will be sufficient.

2wheelsx2
Thanks!

Lighting is two 30w strips, one that is predominantly blue spectrum, the other red. I will upgrade with t5's as this only gives me approx 1.2 WPG, so this growth I'm getting is pretty crazy huh, given how low the light level is. That's what using the right spectrum does for you...... I'm aiming for a minimum of 2WPG when I upgrade, again not for a couple of months.....

I have to say I'm not all that up on the planted tanks :oops: I'm still a newbie really - this is the first tank I'm taking really seriously (in terms of planting). So please, explain what you mean by macros :lol:.

I dose with a daily replenisher for trace minerals that deplete rapidly, as well as another weekly dose which is more for iron etc. As well as this there is the flourite type substance mixed into the substrate. With the substrate enricher comes the essential bacteria for good root production - it is the same in all plants, the first bacteria to establish itself at the roots WILL BE DOMINANT, the product I used ensures that the first bacteria TO establish, is a productive and useful one.....

Blair.
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Postby intermediate_noob » Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:42 pm

blairo1 wrote:The co2 set-up I use is about as simple and cheap as it gets, but it works :lol: - it's a fine silk mesh over a tube, this tube fills with CO2 and slowly dissapates through the silk screen, to make use of this I place it just underneath a powerhead, so that the saturated co2 is pushed through the whole tank...... works a treat and cost me almost nothing. When the plants are larger I will have to invest more, potentially, into a larger unit, but for the next couple of months what I have used will be sufficient.


Are you using a DIY CO2 setup or a pressurized system? I have really been debating on whether I should event venture into what the planted tank community call a "high tech tank" where there is CO2 etc, but after seeing your results, I am beginning to get the interest again.

Are you using any type of CO2 monitor or anything? And do you leave your CO2 on all day? Sorry for all the questions but when you see something like this, you have to get all the information you can! Especially from someone who makes it seem so easy!
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Postby 2wheelsx2 » Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:54 pm

blairo1 wrote:
Lighting is two 30w strips, one that is predominantly blue spectrum, the other red. I will upgrade with t5's as this only gives me approx 1.2 WPG, so this growth I'm getting is pretty crazy huh, given how low the light level is. That's what using the right spectrum does for you...... I'm aiming for a minimum of 2WPG when I upgrade, again not for a couple of months.....

I have to say I'm not all that up on the planted tanks :oops: I'm still a newbie really - this is the first tank I'm taking really seriously (in terms of planting). So please, explain what you mean by macros :lol:.

I dose with a daily replenisher for trace minerals that deplete rapidly, as well as another weekly dose which is more for iron etc. As well as this there is the flourite type substance mixed into the substrate. With the substrate enricher comes the essential bacteria for good root production - it is the same in all plants, the first bacteria to establish itself at the roots WILL BE DOMINANT, the product I used ensures that the first bacteria TO establish, is a productive and useful one.....

Blair.


I see. I was especially curious, because I have about the same lighting level (actually slightly less) on a 125 and I am not seeing your type of growth, but then I was originally not thinking planted, and so I used plain gravel, and never got the lights up. After my foray into planted tanks, I thought, heck, since I could do it with the 20 gallon, why not with the 125 and started planted, ran into algae problems and spent a couple of months fighting that. Now I have it under control (got some DIY CO2) and will be getting pressurized CO2 for this tank, so will be trying to get 1.5 wpg in this tank. Anyway, enough rambling, here is how successful my 20 gallon is, which sucked me into the whole planted tank thing:

Image

That's with Florabase as substrate, CO2 misting and Estimative Dosing with macros and trace.

Oh, with macros, I was talking about nitrates, phosphates and potassium, specifically. Since your wattage is currently still low, you might not need it yet. Depending on your nitrate levels from your bioload, you might never need it. I only dose Potassium in my 125 gallon, since the SA cichlids give me plenty of nitrates. :D

If you want to bone up on planted tanks a bit more, go to plantedtank.net or one of the other planted tank forums. Plenty of nice folks and useful information there too. And I am sure they'll welcome your cichlid experience too.
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