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Low Tech Plants - A Journal

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Ok so I promised Liverpool Creek I would post some photos up of my tank after I emailed them to him (a promise is a promise right?????)

My first tank was a 212 Litre 3 foot tank and 4 weeks ago I upgraded to a 6 foot tank (a lovely G Maher display tank).

I dont use any CO2 and only use Seachem Products (mainly flourish - small daily doses, Excel - daily dosage & a splash of iron if I think of it, same with trace). I do WC every week of about 25 - 30%, I never miss a week.

T5 lighting on only 7 hours a day (but there is also some natural light in the room too).

I do have a UV Steriliser.

My fish are freshwater - angelfish, rummynoses, Bolivian rams, Bristlenose & corys.

Recently added 2 x Siamese Algae Eaters & 2 x Clown Loaches (to keep any stray snails down).

Anyway, I thought I would share my results with you guys because I promised Jeff.

These plants all came out of my original 3 foot Aquarium (yep they were all squished in there - you can actually see the photo of that under my Angelfish Spawn thread) and they are loving the room - especially the swords - anyway, these photos were taken a week after the tank "swap over day". None of the plants seemed to have noticed the switch at all. I had trimmed the plants and removed any ugly leaves before re-planting them (and the swords were cut to about half of their original sizes).

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Ok I shall be back shortly with the update 4 weeks on and with some of Jeff's plants added.

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So about 2 weeks later I thought "time to add new plants" so placed my first order with Liverpool Creek - and the plants arrived earlier this week. It is also interesting to see how the existing plants are settling in.

I cannot remember the names of the new plants - I always go by what I like and trial and error - but shall see how it goes.

These pics are now approx 4 weeks after the intial new set-up.

First up I have tucked a red Ozolot plant in from Jeff - I am keen to see how that goes:

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Then I brought some green/pink stem plants for the back corner of my tank - so hope they will soon grow to make abit of height there.

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And last of all was a little surprise from Jeff - this one has turned out to be my favourite - it is a red val thing (have no idea of the right name) and has now shot out little flower stems of some sort. This is one plant that I will be getting again in my next order if it does well in my tank !!!!

I was planning on adding a Red Lotus but think I may not have room for one of those as they get so big?

Anyway, I shall update the journal again - as it is always interesting to see how low-tech plant tanks go.

I have thought about adding CO2 but am not brave enough to as I do not understand it enough, but if my tank looks healthy and green without, then I am a happy girl.

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Looks awsome i think a red tiger lotus would look awesome in there give a little bit of colour contrast.I have a few pups you can have one if you are ever up this way.I got this little red plant off jeff the other day ill do a search and get the name its my fav plant atm.Dont be scared of co2 its not hard i just run a yeast one cheap as and the plants love it.If you want any info just shoot me a pm.Its good to see a couple of people with planted tanks love em.

Cheers leigh

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Thanks Leigh, maybe next order I will get the red lotus too (I dont get up your way but thank you for the kind offer) - the Vallisneria caulescens that I did get - I researched and discovered they get quite big, so I would like some smaller reddish plants in the tank too. The CO2 - I am also afraid of it as (1) I have no idea how to set up such a thing (2) I believe it lowers your PH - I have low PH now naturally (6.4 - 6.6 for some reason) - and I have read Co2 can kill your fish if you do not know what you are doing? So guess I am reluctant and so keep doing what I am doing - but I have thought about trying the Sera one that you put tablets in - but have yet to find out more on that too.

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No worries susie.Co2 is nothing to be afraid of.Yes it does lower your ph but most fish you keep in a planter like lower ph and softer water.Im no expert when it comes to co2 (self taught) but i have never lost a fish to it [have kept discus in my planted tanks before.]I run a yeast setup on my tank and it is very easy to set up.Some people don,t like the yeast co2 as they say it is hard to control the co2 output and prefer bottled co2 as you control this with a solinoid.But for the price of setup im willing to live with this.

To set up all you need is a plastic bottle [atm i am using a 3lt juice bottle] some yeast.And some suger.

To make the brew i put hot water in a jug then add two cups of raw suger and stir till dissolved.then from this mix add a small amount to another cup and add water till it is luke warm.Then you put a teaspoon of yeast in this luke warm mixture and stir until it is dissolved.Now you let this sit until the yeast starts to react with the suger.

While you are waiting fill the plastic bottle with cold tap water to about 3/4 full.

The yeast mix will probably take about half an hour to start working.You can tell this by it frothing up.When this happens add it to the plastic bottle with the suger water mix and you are ready to go.

To get the co2 into the tank you will need to connect airline to the bottle.I do this by using and airline connecter[mine are little green plastic things that you join airline together with].You drill a hole in the lid of your plastic bottle a tiny bit smaller than the diameter of the airline joiner and force it through the hole from the inside of the lid.This forms an airtight seal.

Now you connect some silicone airline to this and run it to your tank.

The next step is the diffuser[this dissolves the co2 into the water]Some people just use an airstone but i run mine to a small internal filter[you know the ones with the little nipple on the outlet so you can attach an airline to to put air into the water]Well i attach the co2 airline to this and it shoots the co2 into the water in tiny little bubbles.

If you are worried about your fish you can dissconnect the c02 at night and run an airline to the same small internal filter.

This is what i do.When the lights are on and the co2 is running the plants create oxygen so the fish are fine but when the lights are out the plants actually use oxygen so this is why i like to use the airline at night.

It sounds rather complicated but it is not.Give it a crack your plants will love you for it.When i refresh my yeast setup again i can post up some picks if you like.

Cheers Leigh

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Thanks Leigh, sounds good, but not sure I am up for all that. I am one of these "buy it set up and plug it in " girls - I did not even do the plumbing for my own tank - I got Aquariums Alive to help me with the swap over from the 3 foot to new 6 foot tank - to connect the filter and UVS - I am terrified I would do it wrong and end up with water all over my floor. I am happy to do all the aquascaping and maintenance etc though - but not really the plumbing side of things. Your method does sound simple though. So do you have a bubble counter on that?????

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Oh and the name of that plant is Ludwigia glandulosa

Cheers Leigh

Ok this is listed as a difficult plant to grow unless you have Co2 and you have to have full bright light on all sides or else the lower leaves will go green and then die. Looks nice though - you obviously have got it right if it is going well for you :-)

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Just thought I would do a little update. I have removed the bubble wall - and just put the eheim bubble diffuser in the corner (have one each corner) - which I just turn on if I feel I like to see more movement in the tank. So the plants are growing OK, I shall add some more plants to where the bubble wall was, but have to think about what ones. I have some of the red val like plants in there which are starting to grow - but I am in no hurry.

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Great looking tank, I too have purchased plants from Liverpool Creek. Their plants are awesome and in great healthy condition and are growing really quick. I would love to go back for more but I don't think I'll fit them in. I'm only new to the planted aquarium but it's very addictive, they look great and the fish love them too!

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