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Thread: 29g Tank Progress

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    SCAPE Board Member Pro SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    29g Tank Progress

    So about a year ago I had never thought about having live plants in my tank, I only had one at the time. My 29 gallon tank at that time had black and red mixed gravel, a couple of cichlids and an overgrown plecostomus. I introduced myself to planted tanks with setting up my daughters 10g shrimp tank and fell in love. I decided to start converting my 29g over to plants and I even went out and picked up a 3.5g nano tank. Addicting stuff. So heres some progress shots from starting out up to now.

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    SCAPE Board Member Pro SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    Wider view

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    Water is Life 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! Zenzu's Avatar
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    Great progress. look like the plants are doing fairly well. Do you mind if I ask what lights you are using? It looks like you may be doing diy co2 to a powerhead are you dosing nutrients as well?

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    SCAPE Board Member Pro SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenzu View Post
    Great progress. look like the plants are doing fairly well. Do you mind if I ask what lights you are using? It looks like you may be doing diy co2 to a powerhead are you dosing nutrients as well?
    The lights I'm currently using are 2 clip on desk lamps from walmart with 23w 6500k bulbs, only $12 a piece. I wanted something simple for my start up while I find a good higher end light. I research everything I put money into so I want to make sure I get it right the first time. Thats also the story with the diy co2. I had it going into one of those 3 in 1 diffusers it was plastic and the threads got brittle and broke. I already had the powerhead so it was a quick fix for now. I'm planning on getting a pressurized co2 system but still researching that and getting my feet wet with co2. I am dosing Seachem Flourish and Seachem Potassium, half the recommended dosage twice a week at the moment. I was using the full dose twice a week but had some algae build up so I cut it back, added the powerhead for circulation, cut back on the light cycle a bit, and got a couple of siamese algae eaters. Plants seem to be doing good and my algae issue is almost completely gone. I actually watched that youtube video your in about the cutting and trimming techniques. Its helping me fill out the pearlweed in my 10g a little better. Will be propagating the anubias in there soon to fill out that spot a bit more.

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    SCAPE Board Member Pro SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    And tonight I took out the anacharis and put in some Sag in that corner

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    Water is Life 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! Zenzu's Avatar
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    23w cfl work great, don't feel like you need to upgrade to the newest and best thing. Remember what works best for you is what you should be using/doing. However as things start to progress the tanks needs will change be prepared by familiarizing yourself with the info below.

    Lighting determines how far you can go and with 2 23w CFL you should be able to grow most Ludwigia, Rotala, Hygrophila, Pgostemon etc. What will likely limit you is Co2 and nutrients since you are diy co2 this causes fluctuations which can bring on algae. You can try to keep it in check with h2o2 and Glut. It is tiresome and eventually you will slack, we all do. So it's better to get it dialed in so that's one less thing you have to worry about.

    The next thing to worry about is nutrients or ferts as most people like to call em around here. You can do liquid or dry. PPS or EI or lazy versions of either etc. Whatever your plants and tank are telling you it needs based on plant/algae growth.

    Once your tank is established it will require higher levels of nutrients to maintain growth. If you are not keeping up with dosing balanced nutrients plants will lock out, show deficiencies, stunt, die, algae will grow. Essentially a downward spiral. Same happens when you have high light, excess nutrients and no co2 the plants can't metabolize and starve to death.

    Now I'm not trying to scare you, but eventually these are issues you will have to face. Quality well rounded nutrients are worth the cost. If you end up going pressurized I would consider going for a full sized rig as opposed to paintball. You and I both know more tanks are coming. It's easier and more cost effective to run a splitter or manifold off a 20lb tank to 3 tanks than it is to run multiple independant PB set ups with spares for between refills.

    If you are getting eager to purchase more things, redirect that motivation and use it to plan your next step through research. Know what can go wrong so when you start seeing signs you can make changes to divert a disaster.

    When algae happens... remember. Everything except BGA can be killed by h2o2 via syringe @2-3ml per gallon. In most cases you can follow that up with full dose of excel (glut.) And over time you can work up to 3 times the recommended dosage with most plants if needed.... example extreme BBA outbreak (vals, crypt, erio, syngonanthus, ferns have a hard time tolerating glut.) Always have your filters and water circulation off when treating. Also don't treat algae in a shrimp tank. Shrimps don't particularly like the dosage of h2o2 and also aren't fans of glut.

    Do reasearch first then ask questions. More people are likely to help you when they can see you've made an effort to self educate. Good luck sir! Keep progressing!

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr dealend's Avatar
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    WOW... Zenzu just gave you his full life experiences. I agree with him, the key of having a great scape is having a balance in your tank, you dont REALLY need a fancy light, fancy filter etc. Of course good brand will give you a good product, quality or long term to use.

    Second, dont give up when you've failed. Keep going and learned from that. Most of the time people stopped when they see algae outbreak and dont know how to fix them. Too add Zenzu comment, hire some algae eater such as, shrimps, siamese algae eater , oto, pleco, etc..

    I used h2o2 or excell when i had the crazy outbreak ,that would be my last option if algae wont dissapeared within 2 weeks or so. Becarefull dont dose too much, you might kill other fauna inside.

    Im not an expert, i learned from the past,iam continuing to learn. What Zenzu commented are exactly what i had experienced. I started with 1 x 29 gallon and 1 x PB set up, now i have multiple tank and more than 1 PB setup. im planning to get 20LB, since its cheaper to refill and easy to get at hydroponic store.

    Best of luck.

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    SCAPE Board Member Pro SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the advice. I am always on this forum looking up tips and trying to gain some of your guys' knowledge. Thats why when i saw the algae beginning to start I tried to take a premptive strike based on what I've read here.
    I learned that based on the tank size my best bet would be either the siamese algae eaters or oto cats. Couldnt find the otos so i went with a couple sae. I also saw on here, like zenzu said, was to gradually increase my ferts to find the balance in my tank so I went to half dosage. Then i also learned that water flow pays a good part, hence the power head. Also learned that i could pass the co2 through the powerhead for a quick fix until i get another diffuser.
    Everything I'ved learned so far has been working, each day there is less algae and the plants are getting bigger and greener.
    And Dealend, I wont quit, this is a really fun hobby. I'm trying to take my mistakes as "earning my stripes". If you look closely in the front left corner of the tank you can see one of my mistakes. A tiny little remnant of some dwarf baby tears i tried starting in my shrimp tank. They dwindled off more and more so I tried putting them in this tank but they are still dwindling. I may try to revisit that plant again in the future but for now i think it is beyond my experience, lol.


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    SCAPE Board Member Pro SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    Was waiting for the tank to clear up some before I posted some pics so here it is....
    The tank went through a pretty major overhaul this weekend. Got a new stand for it (didnt build this one though) so I can keep the co2 tank and everything contained. Rescaped, added some plants, and put on a background while the tank was drained. Installed a Whale200 canister filter as well. Living was pretty torn up all day Sunday with buckets of tank water and plants everywhere, lol.
    I am REALLY enjoying this new layout for the scape and the background seems to make everything pop. Its hard to think that a little over a year ago this tank was all ornamental with red and black gravel, ugh the horror! Lol. Looking forward to adding more background and foreground plants and watching everything fill in.
    The first pic is what my tank used to look like before aquatic plants. The second is the scape you all never really got to see (havent updated this in a while) that I changed from. And the third is the new scape (pay no attention to the floating plants, lol).

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    SCAPE Board Member Pro SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    I realized theres other info I have left out since my last update:
    Like Zenzu suggested I upgraded to a pressurized co2 system (10g co2 tank, regulator with solenoid) instead of the diy co2 for better control. The lighting is now (2) 24" Current Satellite Led strips. The lights and co2 tank are now on a timer with an 8 hour cycle. Currently dosing Seachem Flourish, Seachem Potassium, and Seachem Iron twice a week. Flourish and Potassium are 2/3 recommended dose, Iron is full dose. I also added some Osmocote Plus to the sand substrate during the rescape.

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    SCAPE Board Member Pro SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    Water change, slight trim on the a.r. mini and ludwigia, planted some more s repens. The plants are looking good and starting to fill out nicely. Loving this re-scape.

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    SCAPE Board Member Pro SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    Been working my way into the more difficult plants now that I'm getting better equipment and a better understanding of the hobby.

    Got some Rotala Macranda from a tissue culture that is tranistioning nice to its submersed form and showing some nice color after only a few days.

    I'm also trying a second go at the Dwarf Baby Tears. I originally tried them back when I first started my 10g cherry tank but it started dieing, was then transfered to my 29g when I had diy co2 and different light and died off the rest of the way. This time I have better equipment and hope for a better outcome. I completely pulled out the pearlweed that was in the front left corner of the tank.

    I also threw some Riccia Fluitans tied to a piece of lava rock. I got a ton of it from the SCAPE meet and now have Riccia in most of my tanks, lol.

    The S. Repens I got from @geektom is doing nicely with the osmocote plus in the substrate. The S. Repens I recently added from a tissue culture is still a lighter green and is transitioning to fully submersed.

    The A.R. mini I got from @geektom is also doing well and the ones I recently planted from a tissue culture about a week ago have been taking off.

    The Ludwigia Pereunsis' color still hasn't bounced back from a break from ferts but hoping for the red to come back to it.

    The Whale200 canister filter is a beast and is keeping the water SUPER clean and clear and I couldn't be happier with it so far.

    Added in a couple of stray Buces on the driftwood I also got from the SCAPE meet yesterday, hoping to see some decent growth out of those.

    Things seem to be going good for the tank at the moment.

    Check out the cool effect on the tank when the white light is turned off too.

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    SCAPE Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr geektom's Avatar
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    Super cool! Any yes- that is some clear water!
    I am an old dog trying to learn some new tricks...

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    SCAPE Board Member Pro SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    Did a water change yesterday, the tank is coming along nicely. It needs a trim but Iím waiting for the mini meet before I do that. The A.R. Mini and Rotala Macranda is growing like wildfire. The Rotala Macranda appears to still be transitioning, getting more and more red by the day. The Rotala Bonsai is slowly taking off, the tissue culture I got wasnít in the healthiest shape. The dwarf baby tears appears to be another failure in this tank, got one tiny little patch still alive, lol. That plant lives up to its reputation!


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    SCAPE Board Member Pro SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    29g Tank Progress

    Itís been a while since Iíve done an update on this tank, itís gone through a pretty major change in the last few weeks. I removed all of the hardscape, removed all moss, and removed the anubias nana and nana petite. I learned the rule of thirds and have decided to go with a Dutch Style aquascape.
    Substrate: Inert Black sand, Osmocote Plus, root tabs.
    Lighting: 30Ē Finnex Ray2 on timer, 3 hours in morning, 5 hours at night.
    Filter: Whale200 External Canister Filter with sponge prefilter.
    200 watt adjustable heater set to 78 degrees.
    MaxiJet400 Power Head for increased flow
    10lb co2 tank, regulator with solenoid, glass ceramic diffuser on timer synced with light.
    Plants:
    Rotala Macrandra
    Rotala Walichi
    Rotala Bonsai
    Ludwigia Peruensis
    Lidwigia Super Red
    Cobomba (Fanwort)
    Pogostemon Erectus
    Pogostemon Helfiri (Downoi)
    Spiral Chain Sword
    Lobelia Cardinalis
    A.R. Mini
    S. Repens
    Red Root Floaters
    Bucephelandra I got from Zenzu at his meet, I believe he said it was Black Mist
    Livestock:
    23 Neon Tetra ďgive or takeĒ
    10 Harlequin Rasbora
    1 German Blue Ram
    1 Siamese Algae Eater
    6 Otocinclus
    1 Kuhli Loach
    10 Amano Shrimp
    20-30 Cull Orange Pumpkin and Red Cherry shrimp
    EI dosing Macros and Micros, dosing for a 20g tank 2 times a week, Iron 2 times a week. Moving dosing up to 3 times a week starting today.
    I am loving the coloration and layout of the tank so far. The Cabomba is living up to its reputation as a VERY fast growing plant, about 1 inch of new growth daily! I just did a trim on the background plants, so the Rotala Macrandra isnít showing as much of the red it was a week ago. The extra dosing of Iron has been helping all the red plants. The A.R. mini is looking very healthy. The Pogo Erectus, Pogo Helfiri, Rotala Bonsai, and Lobelia Cardinalis are still freshly planted from tissue cultures and are doing well. The Ludwigia Super Red is still transitioning to the tank, got it a couple weeks ago from CK Fish World. Itís a nice looking bronze right now, but continues to show more red daily. I am loving how the Spiral Chain Sword is coming along, I can see that becoming itís own focal point behind the A.R. mini. The Rotala Walichi is going slow right now, itís new to the tank as well from BeachBum at zenzuís meet. Thereís new growth, but I hope to see it start filling out more soon.
    I am feeling really impatient with this tank and want everything to grow and fill out like yesterday! Lol.



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  20. #16
    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr dealend's Avatar
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    like the progress. the tanks is looking good. i noticed the triangle setup on foreground plant.

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    SCAPE Board Member Pro SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dealend View Post
    like the progress. the tanks is looking good. i noticed the triangle setup on foreground plant.
    Thanks. The triangle setup for the S. Repens helps, just like the set up of the AR Mini, points to the Rotala Macrandra, one of the focal points. While the Downoi helps draw attention to the plants in the back left. Just can't wait for it to fill in more.

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    SCAPE Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr Bongox3's Avatar
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    Great thread and very cool tank.... for the record, I super miss keeping oscars - the big guy in the first pic looked awesome...

  23. #19
    SCAPE Board Member Pro SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bongox3 View Post
    Great thread and very cool tank.... for the record, I super miss keeping oscars - the big guy in the first pic looked awesome...
    I love Oscars. I knew I wasn't going to be able to keep him to begin with, they get way too big for a 29g. He was rehomed to someone with a 75g tank. One day I will have a nice big tank with a pair of Oscars.

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    SCAPE Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr Bongox3's Avatar
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    Me too! Wonderful fish, with great personalities (when not destroying everything I’m sight!!!)... would love to keep em again, but feel bad seeing in less than huge huge tanks... ahhhhh someday.....

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