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Bare-Bottom Planted Spawn Tank


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Hello All, I have repotted all the plants in my 80 L bare-bottom planted spawn tank, and I think it looks nicer than it was before ;) This is basically how I want it to stay, although I will be adding more plants once I get my perfect HM pair (one day :blink: ), So I have started a new thread about it and my updates will be starting here :(( I bought 2 packs of 6 drinking glasses from the $2 shop, and planted the plants in those. I have merged the 4 bunches of Elodea into 2 glasses, 2 plants per glass, and they are staying in the back corners of the tank untill I swap them for some more wisteria and some water sprite when the lfs shipment comes in next Friday. The 2 bunches of Wisteria have been divided into 3 bunches...2 bunches of 2 stems, 1 bunch of 3 thin stems. These have gone along the back of the tank, about 10cm from the glass back. The Java fern has been split into small bunches and planted along the inside edge of 2 glasses, to make them look bushier. These are positioned towards the front of the tank. I have aranged several rocks and pieces of petrified wood between the plants. I have attached a clump of Java moss to one of the rocks, but it won't attach onto it because the rock is too smooth...I will be changing the rock though :goodo: The filter is still the Fluval 2 , and the tank is still fishless cycling.

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I still need to get fertilisers. What do you suggest? I was thinking some kind of liquid fert with everything in it? I've never used ferts so your advice is more than welcome :goodo: Remember this will be a fry tank, are ferts ok with fry? :(( Also, will the plants really be needing the ferts while the tank is being fed ammonia? (fishless cycling) And there are several small snail hitch-hikers in the tank...and they are surviving 4-8ppm Ammonia !!! ;):) They sure are hardy :blink:

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Your plants will still need fertilising. Ammonia has nothing to do with fertilising plants. Plants can only tank up, the main nutrient needed for growth, Nitrogen, as nitrates, ammonia and ammoniums are unable to be taken up and can be toxic so dont over do it. Once the ammonia is broken down by the bacteria, the plants can take it up. Have you added a small bottle of CYCLE to the tank?

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Ja, sicher, Die 7 Kugeln von JBL ist super! Or, if you haven't ever had to scrub marble staircases in Frankfurt for a living... Yeah, sure, The 7 Balls from JBL are great. In little glasses, you can chop the clay balls in half and have 14 half balls! And those will get the plants off to a great start. You won't need any other form of fertiliser for at least 4 months and the balls will be trapped under the gravel.

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Yes, The tank has water squeezings of the sponge filters I have in my 12 litre fry tanks :(( so it is definately seeded. I hadnt squeezed those sponge filters for a few weeks for some gunk to collect in them, specificaly so I can seed the new filter. The last time I fishless cycled the tank, I did not use any CYCLE, and the tank fully cycled without it. I know the plants cannot absorb ammonia, but they should be absorbing some of the nitrates that the bacteria are producing. I was merely wondering whether the plants would cope with ferts and the ammonia cycle... The snails are surviving in the ammoniated water, so I assume the plants would be ok with the ammonia levels in the tank ;):goodo: Photos to come very shortly :blink:

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In little glasses, you can chop the clay balls in half and have 14 half balls!  And those will get the plants off to a great start.  You won't need any other form of fertiliser for at least 4 months and the balls will be trapped under the gravel.

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Thanks Bren :blink: Can I get these clay balls from a lfs? And how much do they cost?

Any body else used them as well? :goodo:

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:blink: I might look around abit for ferts, but where is your local petshop that stocks the clay ball Bren? What other ferts would be suitable for my set-up guys? Thanks. Please be patient for the pics, my computer has decided to be slow in uploading them to Photobucket :goodo: ...and my connection is broadband with ADSL!

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I saw some nice Amazon Swords tank photos posted up on another forum today, and they looked so lush and full :goodo: Would they fit into my set-up in terms of being potted in shallow glass pots? Do they need a lot of space to divide or whatever they do beneath gravel? Are they easy to keep, low maintanence in your experience? Thanks in advance :blink:

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Black backgrounds are my choice. I use acrylic paint instead of the backing paper because i find it a bit too reflective, and i have difficulty getting all the air bubbles out if i oil it on. My suggestion would be to reconsider the slate on the base of the aquarium, only because it doesn't look entirely stable, and you don't really want fish and gunk getting wedged under there. perhaps give the slate legs? silicone some pebbles on to raise it off the floor a little so no fry can get wedged and the filter can more easily pick up the gunge? If you clip the wisteria down a bit and keep nipping out the new shoots, it should grow out instead of up :rant: bushier :(( The plants will do fine. They aren't too fussed on ammonia, but will happily utilise ammonium. If you have a lower pH, you should have a higher level of ammonium than ammonia. The plants should take this up through their leaves. Bit of new research being done on this as it tends to go against the way terrestrial plants function. Might be worth a search. There is an interesting article by Diana Walstead on it somewhere :)

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Stefan, this is just me, but I find that plants in non-porous substrate tend to rot. Everytime I've put plants in shot glasses or jars with no moving water through the gravel, they seem to go off. Just something to watch for.

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Bren, Mishy, the glasses are drinking glasses about 8cm deep, and the plants are only planted about 4cm deep into the gravel. It is good to know that Amazon swords do well in glasses :fish: Abbey, if I paint the back of the tank with black acrilic paint, will it come off easily if I dont like it anymore? The rocks in the tank will probably be removed once I have fry in the tank anyway, they are stable and there is no chance of fry getting stuck etc, I had the same rocks in my previous spawn with no problems at all. If the rocks stay, I remove the rocks during siphoning anyway. :( According to Sera brand, aquatic plants like wisteria can use their whole body surface to absorb nutrients... plants like anubias cannot. Either way, I will be fertilising with a liquid fert, easy to administer, and I wont have to dig the plants out of their glasses every 4 weeks to give them tablets :goodo:

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For a liquid fertiliser, I am thinking of Sera Florena, and slightly possibly sera floradepot... Has anyone used these products with good results? Can anyone suggest anything better? And I cant find a price list for sera products...what should I expect to pay for these ferts? Also, does anyone use sera Co2 tablets with "sera Co2-Start" ? Are these effective for long term use? or would I be better off making a DIY Co2 unit? :goodo: *scared of stuffing things up with future fry due to Co2* Thanks in advance :fish:

Edited by splendidbetta
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most people here use the seachem range of products as there ferts. Also looking at the size of your tank, investigate seachem flourish excel...it's a liquid co2 mix. find out the dosage info, and work out if thats cheaper then using the sera co2 kit. i use it in a 2ft tank and it works out cheaper that buying the systems with tabs every few months. (check out www.aquaticlifeaquarium, and join the members club free for 10% off). I don't like diy co2, inconsistent, and can explode in your room cuasing a smell to never leave.

Edited by lambo
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DIY can also back up and siphon inot your tank. ALWAYS have the bottle lower than the tank. You can scrape paint off glass with a blade. Be careful to keep it flat or you'll scratch the tank. You could use paint stripper, but I'd never use that near a tank. OT: Has anyone ever used paint stripper in bare feet? Burnie!

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Whatever brand of ferts you pick, use their range. Don't go for one of each brand (although the odd thing is ok if you check the labels and know what you need nutrient-wise) because you may well end up inadvertently overdosing on one thing or another. I use Seachem for my liquid ferts, and (through necessity) have Sera Florenette A for my root tabs. Root tabs are great for swords and anubias and all those annoying dont-bury-my-rhizome plants. DIY CO2 is reasonably easy, but you need extra bits on it to make it safer to use. An extra bottle and/or a blow-off valve would work well. I'll try to find the tuts. :) And yes, the paint comes off, you can use a razor blade or just hose it and wait for it to bubble and peel it off and wipe with a sponge :) I use Chromacryl (school paint)

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Thanks for your help Liam, Lisa and Abbey :) Can I ask which Seachem products you use as liquid fertiliser? And how much do you normally pay for it? And what about the sera florenett A ? I want to get some Amazon swords, anubias and banana lillies, so I will be needing some root tabs ;) Liam, I think I might be getting some seachem flourish excel, I dont want to risk DIY Co2 :yes:

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I used Seachem. Flourish, Flourish Iron, Flourish Potassium. I used clay root balls made by my LFS for root feeding plants. Some people use clay kitty litter as a substrate - a concept that always fascinated me. I don't know if you can get clay kitty litter here.

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