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Take your time. Use Blood and Bone (not the B&B plus which has caused our probs I think), lots of floating plants and lots of chain swords as well, good lights are a must and GO FOR IT.

Also check out Waynes tip with using bottle to put sand in. Best tip I have been given for years. Was too late for me though.

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Thanks Paul, am trying to toss up between this one and the one Matt uses, and which is easier and less fiddly :lol: I like the K.I.S.S Prinicple i learnt at woodwork in school *Keep it simple stupid* :lol: I still don't get why they have to have the last part of that in the saying though <_<

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Will you do anything different next time Paul? I think the optional layer of peat would be good, I really think that is where most of the CO2 comes from, the alkinity of the marble counters the acidity of the peat ensuring it continues to decompose and the acidity dissolves the marble releasing CO2 and carbonates. That's just what I came up with when I sat down and thought about how this substrate works, I noticed most of your problems went away when you began adding the CO2 suggesting the substrate wasn't providing enough.

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I remember you said you were looking at lighting options, thought I would bring this one to your attention. A fair few people on Aquariumlife have been experimenting with LED floodlights, they are cheap, correct light spectrum and last years with no need to replace the bulb, 2 20 watt ones would be sufficient for your tank one at the 1/3 mark and one at the 2/3 mark. If you do go with them you have to make sure it's at least got 6000k for optimal plant growth. I have two on order :)

An example

http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com.au/viewitem?itemId=260701485874&cmd=VIDESC&index=12&nav=SEARCH&nid=12721378083

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I stopped using the Dino products hoping the tank would be able to sustain itself. In the last week I have this growing.

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But saying that, the plant growth is astonishing. I now have two DIY co2 bottles going.

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Can you trim Amazon swords. This bloody thing is almost touching the surface now.

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I have noticed that all the algae is around the co2 diffuser. Is this a coincidence???? The glass and the weed is both affected at this end. Other end a lot better.......

Need to trim the weed out again. :-)

Ps. Have started using the Dino products again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some updated photos. Needs a good clear out again. Doing this every two weeks now. All plants going well. Most crypts have nice new leaves as well, these took awhile to get going.

Chain sword taking over. :-)

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Amazon sword now reaches the water surface.

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Angel I got of Matt.

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Other angel and other corner.

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Got one more full tank shot. Will post at the end of next trip. :-)

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On a whole, very happy with this tank. Still have a few issues with algae but getting on top of it slowly. This is all a learning curve.

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I did get rid of some types of plants altogether and I think this has improved the look of the tank.

With the Amazon sword, could I cut the whole thing about 5cm above substrate? Would expect it to melt then but would it grow back?!

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Looks good....

If you cut the sword.... it would either shoot out and grow up again or .... you could even trigger it sending out runners as a self preservation type move......

What are the small plants in the front? They look good as a low plant at the front....

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That is so cool Paul. the pics realy show how well it is comming along. I know what you mean about taking plants out now I have figerd out light needs I have to redo my 3 ft that I did not that long ago but at least we know the growing media works LOl.

Cheers

les

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  • 1 month later...

My new additions I scored from someone last night. I blame Adam. :-).

These are one of my all time Favourite fish but with my old substrate the ph was to high and they usually died not long after purchase. These guys still need to color up a bit but the tank they were in at the shop was with severons on these guys were coming off second best.

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One of my angels. Very fat.

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