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Clueless07
post Jul 10 2019, 08:49 AM

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Hi guys....bum into the beta fish thread at /k, then trigger my interest and decided to take up this hobby.
Hope to get some advice from the sifus here.

Intend to convert my existing dull 2’ tank into Iwagumi style planted tank.

user posted image

Currently there are like 8 small fishes, inclusive of 4 tetra.
Intend to move it to this vase for 2 to 3 weeks w the plant and hope they survive during the renovation duration.

user posted image

Then collected some stones from near by area - had just wash it an currently soaking w tap water.

FYI.... there are already few similar rocks inside the aquarium set up a year a go.

user posted image


being doing research the last week or so, intend to go for Iwagumi style with a school of tetra and perhaps a few prawn if condition permits.
a few rocks, with hair grass, and some MC on an island.

Equipment list....
1- Tank 2 feet- old
2- filter- external hang on filter, i think Dolphin- old
3- light - intend to purchase new.
4- substrate/soil- intend to go for ADA amazonia.
5- CO2 tank- seems like no choice with above set up?

anything i missing out?
any fertiliser needed?

do guide me along the way.
how about test kit? pH? ammonia, nitrates?

This post has been edited by Clueless07: Jul 10 2019, 09:18 AM
Clueless07
post Jul 11 2019, 12:01 PM

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QUOTE(junsheng @ Jul 11 2019, 09:42 AM)
not sure if u miss out anything but i will slightly guide u on the things u mention

1. if u decided 2 get new tank, get new crystal clear tank, factory made where the silicon glue finishing is not ugly
if u used old tank and to clean out limescale with product like mister muscle limescale removal, use toothbrush
avoid scrub with sponge which will cause scratch if there are fine sand / dust


2. the filter is fine but make sure it doesn't agitate the water surface too much which will cause u to waste CO2
but little water surface movement is also required for gas exchanges, ur fish nid to breathe

3. light for planted tank is quite a investment, and if u let your light on for 8 hours a day, u nid to change out after 3-4 years even it is LED
finnex, wave point, viv brand etc their LED lifespans is not gud u will see they start to wear out in the 2-3 years (light is not bright as last time)
fluval, eheim, twinstar etc their LED can last 3-4 years but driver die fast due to heat, hard to order the parts in malaysia
gud 1 like ADA & kessil will burn holes in ur wallet

i have tried mani brand, in the end i was convinced by ujelly to use cheap philips / orsam bulb, many brand are cheating consumers using the full spectrum marketing
which had not much effect compare to light intensity PAR, generally philips CFL which last 2 years or LED 3-4 years tat which produce 1300 lumens give 80 PAR at 13 inch height sufficient to grow HC
their spectrum is gud can match reputable brand like twinstar, then pair those with ikea fixture like desk lamp which can adjust height for adjusting the intensity
https://www.ikea.com/my/en/p/tertial-work-l...-grey-40450802/
https://www.ikea.com/my/en/p/hektar-pendant...-grey-80390359/

4. make sure you have plenty of soil, at least 1 inch thick
if you decide to buy caridina shrimp like crs or cbs then ADA soil is not gud, you will need shrimps soil tat debuff the water as they r very sensitive
if neocaridina like cherry shrimps or malayan shrimp or malaysian (banana) shrimp then you can go with ADA soil, there are caridina shrimp that is hardy too like amano & yamato
GH & KH is a consideration if u want shrimp, get a mesh bag of crush coral & lime stone (natural way) still need GH booster to dose in small amount time to time,
put it in your filter or under the soil to help your shrimp mold, filter is the best; but u cannot do that with caridina shrimps as they are very sensitive to water chemistry,
where you need to bus GH KH booster with test kit to ensure the correct of GH & KH parameter, including PH and nitrate test kit not those cheap type but the one tat roughly tell you the numbers

5. make sure you get a atomizer there are two kind one is inline used with canister filter and in tank which mean in aquarium tank, not the very cheap diffuser that produce big bubble

6. fertiliser is a must, for planted tank you can get it is liquid (expensive) or dry (cheaper) form
nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) are the general name
just search their chemical name like KNO3 gives N+K+NO3(nitrate) / K2SO4 gives K+S(sulfur) / KH2PO4 gives K+P+PO4(phosphate) u can get other chemical form tat gives NPK too
and micro nutrients like CSM+B or microplex note this part overdose will kill fish & mostly shrimps all kinds instantly bcauz of copper & iron just dose carefully
last additional iron, DTPA or EDTA (FE) chelated iron this is to enhance red leaves plants, not to be mistaken that it will cause green leave plant to turn red as those are done by nutrient limiting factor,
it just make the red leave more vivid red, which i don't think u nid this since u don't have any red leaves plant

dry form macro & micro nutrients can be brought in facebook, lazada or shopee or even some aquarium shop they do sell those
use this calculator as a guide on how to mix or dosing http://rotalabutterfly.com/nutrient-calculator.php
u can buy baking measurement teaspoon & liquid measurement cup ikea/tesco/ or baking shop etc for mixing into liquid form and syringe in guardian or watson for dosing
mix all with liquid separately store in their own bottle is cool dark place, mix in small batch like 500 ml bottle and dose in small syringe measurement dose like 5ml

since u r doing iwagumi suggest u to use estimative index dosing, dose twice per week for each macro & micro nutrients
if u decided to get premade liquid form, the web calculate will teach u to dose how much too

daydose
monNPK
tuesCSM+B
wedrest
thrNPK
friCSM+B
satrest
sunwater change 25% or 50%

if u r fairly new suggest u to do dry start method of planting monte carlo, you can guugle youtube video to get the general idea
the trick is to let the water VERY slightly below soil put a plastic food wrap over with few holes or small gap for breathing and 12 hours or more of lights
for few months or until desirable result, then submerge everything, reduce lighting hours, put many many co2 for first 2 -3 weeks then reduce the co2 and stock fish 

in the end u will end up something like this, my tank photo
user posted image
*
Thanks for your neat n comprehensive advice.
And your tank looks very good.

1. Yeah tank- using my old tank more than 10 years old. Not gonna buy a new tank for now.
Noted on the lime scale. So much build up and much scrTches already.
Might buy a new tank later.

2 I tend to agree the light is very much a gimmic. LED is so cheap these days-not so sure about the best K value then. The trick is to get a good mounting/holder.

3 noted on th soil.

Will visit Aquascape to get the soil, and more advice. May be the light too and few other accessories including ferts


Now.... is CO2 is a must for hair grass to grow well? It is quite an investment. Tablets or solution won’t give good result right?

And any advice to cycle th tank? Says I intend to flood it after planting. Keep a portion of the water of current tank?
I got a RO filter at home- should I use a portion of it to mix up in reducing mineral loading?
Tap water is 350ppm and after filter is around 20.

This post has been edited by Clueless07: Jul 11 2019, 12:37 PM
Clueless07
post Jul 12 2019, 11:55 AM

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thanks for the guide, certainly very useful.
will continue to post and update my journey here.

Went shopping at Aquascape Paradise.
Ouch.... a big hole in my pocket, much bigger than originally anticipated.

user posted image

Spend the entire evening to complete.

They recommend me to use power sand at the bottom, and Amazonia on top.

I fill up the tank with 25% water from old tank and 75% fresh. Added a few drops of good bacter and currently is cycling.

Will need to rework the soil, to have a slope from the back.

Now... is it right to on the light for 24hrs and leave the CO2 running?
Any ferterlizer needed?

This post has been edited by Clueless07: Jul 13 2019, 09:03 AM
Clueless07
post Jul 13 2019, 07:49 PM

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Yeah. No dry start coz impatience.

I would thought the power sand was excessive too. The guy wasn’t very savvy. Anyway.... pay to learn lo.
Even the light seems over kill.

Now let see how to avoid the algae grow. Any guidance?

Yes- I got refillable tank and regulator with solenoid.
These are not ADA. The diffuser ain’t too.


Clueless07
post Jul 15 2019, 11:11 AM

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Been cycling for last 48hrs.
Running 8 hrs light and CO2

Should I do a partial water change?
And how do I know if it is suitable to put back the fishes?
Clueless07
post Jul 16 2019, 08:49 AM

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alrite... just check ammonia and found it to be 0.4mg/L
did a 30% water change- guess will need to wait 2-3 more days before testing again.

got the nitrate kit as well- i guess not point to test now as yet.
Clueless07
post Jul 20 2019, 04:44 PM

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It is about a week now. With few water change, the Amnioum drop to 0.2, while nitrite still around 0.6.

Very tempered to put the fishes in. It is suicidal?

Also get my junior to start the small tank w the extra soil.

user posted image

Intend to make it a shrimp tank. Are they even more sensitive? Both NH4 and nitrite need to be 0?
Any other parameters to take care?
Also those plants... would it spread to the soils?


Clueless07
post Jul 22 2019, 05:03 PM

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QUOTE(junsheng @ Jul 22 2019, 04:53 PM)
Intend to make it a shrimp tank. Are they even more sensitive? Both NH4 and nitrite need to be 0? mostly no, depend on what kind of shrimp u get
Any other parameters to take care? GH, KH, PH, temp
Also those plants... would it spread to the soils? riccia if not tie down most of the time will float
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Ok... now i know is call Riccia... guess it will not bind to the nearby substrate as well?
if that is the case will put some MC to form the carpet.


Now back to my main tank....
Kena algea liao..... smile.gif realized it yesterday on the plant leave, and the glass wall as well.

so now doing black out for next 3 days- as read in the forum earlier.
the lighting was 6 hrs... guess need to reduce it further.

Quick one.... higher CO2 will help the algea or other wise


Clueless07
post Aug 1 2019, 09:38 AM

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user posted image

NH4 been around 0.1, while the nitrite been ever high despite cycling for a week and doing WC every 2 days.
Finally put in the fishes... start with 2 then the rest. They seems to be ok so far (about 5 days)

The dwarf hair grass havent been really growing fast enough... at least not as fast as i wished. So got 2 more pot and have it dry start separately- coz this things is freaking expensive ( compare to vegetable that we eat)
user posted image

The algea is not really gone- seems to start again although not as heavy as the first round. i had cut the light and CO2 to 4 hours
got to the LFS and bought a pair of otto... they come in delightful orange. Though they are super shy

So far they been sucking away at the leaves and substrates... but dont really clean those algea at the rock.
i've also observe they like the thin/fine one... and left those long or big lump out.
user posted image

There is Tetra... and there is weird shaped Tetra... though bought at LFS really have weird shape.


Lastly... i was joking with my friend ( also a fish enthusiast)....stating spend so much on fish and green which can be eaten.
He said.... u are wrong my friend- these are food for the Soul, Priceless!

This post has been edited by Clueless07: Aug 1 2019, 09:49 AM
Clueless07
post Aug 6 2019, 10:44 AM

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QUOTE(kizwan @ Aug 5 2019, 02:34 PM)
My first attempt. Not really happy how it turn out. I have other plants that I ordered through local shop.

My lamp is pretty weak only 4w. Is it really important getting higher wattage lamp?

Please critique & point any mistake I made. For now I want to see whether the plant grow or die. If everything goes well, then I'll add shrimps & small fish.

user posted image
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Bro, that is a 3' or 4' tank?
the light really does not look sufficient. If dont want to spend- perhaps get those IKEA study lamp to blast it?

https://www.ikea.com/sg/en/p/tertial-work-l...-grey-50355395/

user posted image
Clueless07
post Aug 7 2019, 10:07 AM

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QUOTE(accelerateOK @ Aug 7 2019, 12:24 AM)
Hi guys, I've been doing lowtech for quite some time already and recently i'm interested in doing carpet..bought monte carlo(MC) from Aquascape Malaya
and planted it on my sand substrate cos i was told that MC will survive even without CO2 and on sand..

I told them that the only fert i'm using is Flourish Seachem and it was enough but i've read somewhere that i'll still need CO2 and Excel will work as a substitute..few days later and after reading and researching a lot, i dont think sand alone will work as substrate for my MC so i've ordered ADA Aquasoil online..

Currently have a new 7.7gallon tank with me which i've not used yet (about 1.5ft(w) and 27cm (h) tank) and planning to transfer the MC to this new tank when my aquasoil arrives..

so here are my questions:

1. Is only Flourish & Excel alone will keep my MC alive and grow? (i know the carpeting process will be slower without proper CO2)

2. I've been using a lot HOB filter but lately been seeing people recommending the Dophin CF300 (canister filter) so is this good enough or will the current/pressure from this filter be too strong for my fishes? (planning to put Betta & i read that Betta prefers calmer water) Also heard people saying strong current will be bad for CO2 distribution throughout the tank.

3. I guess i cannot do the Dry Start Method (DSM) for my MC since I dont have a CO2 tank when i flood my aquarium later? (or will Excel suffice?)

4. If i ever plan to get a CO2..which is best to get budget wise and in the long run? (im in a tight budget & havent done proper research on this) Ive seen people mentioning refillable CO2 tanks, capsules CO, DIY (sounds tough to execute) & even buying fire extinguisher and fill it with CO2 ..and how much would it cost?

Thanks a lot sifus  notworthy.gif
*
Please take my noob comments... awaiting other sifu arrival.

2. for small tank- HOB is good enough. for such small tanks dont need to go for canister la, unless u want it to be neat.

3. dry start method for MC will do more good and (than, as corrected by kizwan!) harm. it give a head start and promote healthy growth. Dry start dont need to worry on CO2 la, lighting la, algae la.
it is infact best condition for plant to grow ( max out lighting- or natural sun light). Later when flooded... may be it will reduce the thickness a bit up to the balancing point of not having CO2.
if u flood it early- without CO2 and u dare not put too much light... the MC will take long to grow.

4. CO2 is best get canister. Pallet and liquid will be expensive to in long run despite cheap start up.
if really no money then DIY lo... but need to be discipline and the dosing wont be consistant. but if u only play play with limited budget can try la. then can decide later.
CO2 tank using fire extinguisher will cost around rm 100? though you have regulator.... the one with solenoid could cost rm 200-300 unless u get the manual type need you to put on and off on daily basis. do you have such discipline?
then there is diffuser... cost rm 30 or so.

Good luck trying and do share your progress here.

This post has been edited by Clueless07: Aug 7 2019, 11:04 AM
Clueless07
post Aug 18 2019, 07:15 PM

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This dwarf hairgrass is about a month old. The roots are growing but it is hard to spread much yet. Should I trim it to promote it spreading?

user posted image
Just to check. These are Apple snail which help to eat algae right? I’ve got a pair so hope it won’t breed like crazy.
user posted image


This post has been edited by Clueless07: Aug 18 2019, 07:16 PM
Clueless07
post Aug 20 2019, 02:22 PM

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Lol.... these recognition.
beware that it breed quickly ya... very fast out of control.


Clueless07
post Aug 21 2019, 03:06 PM

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The soil need time to release the NH3, and complete nitrogen cycle.

if ur lobster is there.... i think they wont make it.
Clueless07
post Sep 3 2019, 01:49 PM

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QUOTE(homicidal85 @ Aug 29 2019, 12:10 PM)
hey, your tank looks a lot like mine! my tank pic below. mine has been running for about 9 months now and my eleocharis sp mini is still not fully carpeting the foreground. the back however, looks stunning. fully carpeted, thick and healthy bright green. The only difference i can think of is the depth of the substrate. my foreground substrate depth is about 2 inches while the back is about 4 inches. not sure if this is the cause, its just my theory.

» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «

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Hey- great!

9 months still semi botak?
i would though 2" should be good enough for it to grow.....

I am still struggling with algea..... doing a 3 days black-out now. after that will plant 3 more pot of drawf hair grass.....
last time should not have so kiam-siap... as i bought only 2 pot.

Clueless07
post Sep 4 2019, 10:56 PM

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I think sand would not have enough nutrient. It wouldn’t grow well. Try get ADA or equivalent- there are people selling 3kg ( they repack it )

Easy plants... let see if any other sifu can tell.
I was at Aquacult Mutiara damansara. They have wide selection of plants, and the price is reasonable. They label on the CO2 demand and light demand- high or low.

For light. I think a little weak.

Btw.... I am starting a small vase tanks.
Low tech type. ... wish me luck.

user posted image

Was thinking to do it as beta tank. Though might be boring w a single fish.
Any other suggestion on what to keep? I don’t like guppy

Clueless07
post Sep 5 2019, 02:24 PM

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QUOTE(Spaceman_27 @ Sep 5 2019, 11:02 AM)
Rasboras are pretty cool, maybe you could add tetras. I see people use pea puffers in nano tanks and they're pretty cute, full of personality
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Yup... personality is the word.
i've got tetra on the other tank.
is Pea puffers could be found easily at LBS?

thinking to add few amano shrimps to balance the system... and more fauna activities
Clueless07
post Sep 6 2019, 02:48 PM

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QUOTE(MeToo @ Sep 6 2019, 10:50 AM)
I like that wood.

I'm looking for a few to display my swords. Kinda lean the swords against the wood, looks more artistic then using those traditional sword stand.

Any idea where i might find them, prefer to have a good selection.. oh i'm in the klang valley, prefer subang/pj area if possible
*
U should try Aquacult at mutiara damansara. They have a good selection of drift wood.

Check out their Aquascape and terrarium too, and hope u don’t get addicted.

Not sure if the size suits u.
If u need larger one. Then along the sungai Buloh road there are few nursery which sell them.

user posted image
Clueless07
post Sep 7 2019, 09:57 PM

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Finally got it set up.

Before fill up.
user posted image

End result
user posted image


So letting it cycle for a week first.
I’ve put a small piece filter cloth, and a thin layer of substrate from a mature tank to speed up the cycle.

The water also a mix of fresh water and from the another existing tank.

Would need to get some Amano shrimp later-to manage the algae. But it wouldn’t goes well with mini puffer right ? Puffer is meat eater as been told.

Any other suggestion?

This post has been edited by Clueless07: Sep 7 2019, 09:58 PM
Clueless07
post Sep 7 2019, 11:51 PM

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QUOTE(KiddTkl @ Sep 7 2019, 10:15 PM)
Amazing looking nano scape~ maybe to diy some type of stand to clip the light nearer to the middle so more lights on the foreground?

Pea puffer normally needs about 3 gallon/fish + good filtration as they r messy eaters. R u gonna put in a filter? any nitrite/nitrate spoke will kill them very fast. Mine died after 1 year cuz of that.. due to my negligence... If u r hardworking then maybe can risk it. Wonderful and cute fish.

I've done pea puffer with cherry shrimp before, can't get much baby shrimp but the adults was ok, and was heavily planted with some hiding spots. Maybe amano will be ok if your puffers are well fed. But the fish temperament is unpredictable so ymmv...
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Yup.... gonna DIY a wood base and add a 2” metal flat bar as stand to clip the light nearer to the front.
I don’t intend to do filter for time being....

What does pea puffer eat? If they eat a lot there there will be high Bio load. And if I feed less then the shrimp will be their meal. Aiks!


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