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Thread: 1st planted tank: Olinda

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Victoria, Melbourne
    Posts
    111

    Default 1st planted tank: Olinda

    Hi all, it's been about 25 years since I last kept a tank. Stumbled across this forum some months back, which reignited the passion.

    This thread will follow my first attempt to get back in the game.

    All assistance and comments most welcome.

    A big shout out to Adrian from EA, who supplied all the gear; and to Wolfgang (while in Melbourne) - a 25 minute conversation covered about 3 months of research - what a wealth of knowledge. Both are fantastic advocates of the hobby.

    Tank: YiDing 60 x 30 x 30
    Lights: 2 x 20W EA custom LED's, and 2 white LED strips (from Bunnings) for display. Fixture built by my handyman father in law
    Fliter: EDEN 501 with inbuilt heater (oh boy, getting the Eden heater fitting was an ordeal - that story at a later time...)
    CO2 kit: Up Aqua 1lt cylinter, Max Aqua regulator, Ista Max Mix reactor

    Hardscape: Amazonia New, Malaya powder (cap), pool filter sand.

    Scaping pics:




    Filled for cycling:






    Will now wait for cycle to complete and then plant. (Will likely get some filter gunk from a mates tank to kick off the process. Do we still do stuff like that?)

    Scape is based on inspiration from a number of sources: TGM's 'Tributary Aquascape', the stream that runs through Olinda up at the Dandenong's here in Melbourne, and the little tank that sits on Adrian's counter in the shop.

    Thanks for looking.

    Cheers,
    Dirk.

  2. #2

    Default

    Looking good, but the big mound of substrate at the front right works against you in terms of your aquascape's depth.

    Why not plant it now?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Adelaide, South Australia
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    Default

    Looks beautiful, mate!

    Unfortunately you're going to run into the problems I did when I tried this kind of scape when it comes to trimming/ re-planting time... only perhaps worse, as you have three layers of substrate! The different layers will mix, and you then lose the effect you've achieved with the substrate contrasts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Victoria, Melbourne
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    Default

    Craig - yes, was concerned about creating high front, and experimented with different depths. The tank's in a corner, and will largely be viewed from the left front corner, as per the last pic. I was attempting to create depth from that corner - along the path line. In terms of planting - from the many threads i've been reading through, one of the common themes seems to be a large ammonia spike at tank startup, caused by leeching from the aquasoil; and the source of initial melting for some of the delicate plants. I discussed this with Adrian (EA), who recommended - initial fill-empty-fill, complete water change every few days for approx. 4-6 weeks. Test. Plant. Could shorten the cycle time with filter gunk from another tank - so i'll explore this as an option.

    Neville - Yep - that will be damn annoying. Took me hours to get the thing looking like it does.

    Thanks for looking and the comments guys. Cheers, Dirk.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    St Lucia, Brisbane
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    4,285

    Default

    Well done, and welcome back to planted.
    I have to agree with Craig there, the upward slope on the right front really work against your depth. Since its early stage, play with the hardscape more until you are 100% satisfied before you plant. Also, if you can find another rock to replace the white one on the right? Something more similar in the colour with the rest will flow better.
    Unfortunately your sand and soil will eventually mix, the trick is to get some BBQ lava rocks from buntings, tie them will mosses and line them along the margin of sand and soil, that will soften the valley and also present soil from running down to your sand path.
    As for plant choice, this will be perfect for different mosses and few stems.
    Different people have different ideas when to plant, there is no right or wrong, the idea to let the tank cycle first is perhaps preventing new plants from melting with initial ammonia and nitrite burn. That's a good way of doing it unless you have abundance of plants ready to be used and planting heavy to start with to counter the ammonia spike.
    aLan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Victoria, Melbourne
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    Default

    Thanks Alan - will re-think that slope from your and Craig's comments. The white rock was meant to be a focal point and an offset from the sand path.

    Thanks for the tip re maintaining the sand path - what a great idea. I have used some vinyl dividers - in the substrate to maintain the slopes, and along the path. Hopefully these will also help.

    As i'm only just starting out, and was planning on letting the tank cycle before planting, i've no plants yet to counter the ammonia spike. No hurry. If there's one thing i've learnt from this forum, it would seem patience is the key to success.

    Oh man - I wasn't expecting initial comments from you, Craig, & Neville - big hitters - I feel honoured. You guys have certainly created some amazing tanks. Kudos to you guys.

    Thanks for looking. Cheers, Dirk.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Victoria, Melbourne
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    1st water check - 1 week from 1st full water change.

    Tap water: PH = ~7.6, GH = ~50ppm

    Tank water: PH = ~6.4, Ammonia = ~2ppm, Nitrite & Nitrate both reading 0, GH = ~36ppm

    Thanks for your interest. Cheers, Dirk.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Victoria, Melbourne
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    Default help with fuzzy stuff on driftwood...

    Just over a week from filling, my driftwood has developed grey fuzzy stuff all over it... Can someone help identify? How do I treat?





    Thanks. Cheers, Dirk.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    campbelltown 2560 NSW
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    i think thats fungus it mostly happens on driftwood thats new in a tank

  10. #10

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    I recently just added driftwood to my 250L tank. The wood came from the local river, fished off the bottom of the mud at low tide and soaked in the bathtub for over a week until it became waterlogged and sunk. I have a video of the waterlogged log and was wondering whether I should be worried about fungal problems. Most of the tannin from the log (which was extremely dirty after years in muddy river water) has been drained but we will be overseas for two months and I am worried the tannin process will play around with the PH levels in the tank.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7-hqtqt61U

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    St Lucia, Brisbane
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    leave them alone, harmless. just fungus from new setup. will dissapear in few weeks with cycling. Or when your tank is fully cycles, chuck in 2 ottos, they will devour them in no time.
    aLan

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sydney, nsw
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    187

    Default

    It's normal. If you really don't like the look of the white stuff you can brush it off. Otherwise it should disappear after a while

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Victoria, Melbourne
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    Default

    Thanks Tetra, Tony, Alan, Philip - seems general consensus is fungus. Will stop worrying. Paranoid about an algae outbreak. From what you're all saying, seems I just need to have a Bonox and relax... nothing to worry about.

    Thanks for your interest. Cheers, Dirk.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Gold Coast, Queensland
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    1,820

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    Or cherry shrimp. Mine love it too! Lovely tank!

    Quote Originally Posted by NewFishTank View Post
    leave them alone, harmless. just fungus from new setup. will dissapear in few weeks with cycling. Or when your tank is fully cycles, chuck in 2 ottos, they will devour them in no time.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Victoria, Melbourne
    Posts
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    Default Algae, oily surface, brown stuff in tubing - is this what it's all about?

    Hi all,
    While this tank was cycling, empty, it was pretty much pristine - other than the white fungus stuff from my previous update.

    2 weeks in to planting and I have the following

    This sort of thready/strands of algae - all over the place


    Some melt on anubias, and black type algae


    This brown tufty algae over plants


    oil slick on water surface


    and inside the filter tubing, patches of dark brown and dots of white/grey stuff


    Surely this isn't normal?

    Any suggestions?

    I've only just started dosing fertz this week - using the series of Microbe-Lift products: Nitrogen / Phosphorus / Potassium Day 1; and Iron / All-In-One Day 2. Dosing as per bottle instructions. CO2 is 3bps - On 1/2hr before lights on, and off 1/2 hr before lights off. LED's are on 7hrs.

    I haven't stocked livestock yet - Ph is still reading pee yellow and less than 6 even with some rocks of marble, and a dose of BiCarb+Epsom Salts. I figure i'll tackle the Ph once the other issues are under control.

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