Experimental 30cm Cube

Libba

New Member
Joined
12 Jan 2021
Messages
12
Location
Australia
As this is my first post here I'll begin with a very brief intro:

I have recently decided to get back into planted tanks after having a break for a few years. My first planted tank was 40L in which I began to learn about how to keep plants alive under water. My current circumstances will have me spending more time at home so I've decided to delve a bit deeper into this hobby.

I picked the 30cm size because it requires less upfront financial commitment. The goal of this tank will be the experiment and learn about how to grow healthy plants and to avoid algae. I'm less interested in the aquascaping side of things and more interested in the science. Since the majority of the research material I have consumed has been from Dennis Wong's excellent website I'll first be attempting his method (rich substrate, lean water column dosing). It's going to be a reasonably high-energy system because I want to be spending a lot of time on the maintenance and tinkering and I want fast results. Equipment and plant list as follows:

Gear:

30cm low-iron cube
Chihiros WRGB 2
Sunsun603b with glass skimmer
Cheap unbranded CO2 regulator and 2.6kg gas bottle with twinstar diffuser
ADA Amazonia version 2

Plants:

HC Cuba
Staurogyne Repens
Pogostemon Helferi
Rotala sp. Green
Rotala Bonsai
Rotala Colorata

I'm currently dark-starting the tank while I wait for my plants to ship in about 3 weeks. The plan is to hopefully use tap water which is 7.2pH, 3dgh and 3dkh. The Amazonia has buffered the water down to 6.4ph. I bought the Amazonia before doing any research and have since read that the version 2 is lacking in nutrients. Once the nutrients from the Amazonia supplement sticks run out I will try to enrich the soil with osmocote while dosing APT complete.

If anyone has any suggestions about how I could do things better please let me know. I'll update in a few weeks once plants are in.

20210112_192331.jpg
 

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,582
Location
Bracknell
The goal of this tank will be the experiment and learn about how to grow healthy plants and to avoid algae. I'm less interested in the aquascaping side of things and more interested in the science.

Hi @Libba

Welcome to UKAPS! It's good to have another member from 'down under'.

You and I presently share the same current objective - "to grow healthy plants and to avoid algae". The science is fascinating. My background is in the physical sciences but I'm thoroughly enthralled by the Life Sciences embodied in the aquatic world. I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I'm doing.

JPC :)
 

Libba

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
12 Jan 2021
Messages
12
Location
Australia
Something interesting happened with this tank in the early stages. I originally had a sand substrate in the tank before deciding to switch to a soil substrate. I'd been cycling the tank using ammonia and had about 1ppm of Nitrite in the water. When I changed out the substrate I kept the water because I didn't want to lose the presence of nitrites. This water was heavily stained with tannins from the driftwood. Within 24 hours of adding the ADA Amazonia the tannins were completely gone and the water was crystal clear. I'm not sure about the mechanics of how this happened but my only guess is that the Amazonia "absorbed" the tannins from the water.
 
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