My 1st Planted Tank-A Journey of 2 Years

Document the life cycle of your planted tank in details step by step
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Re: My 1st Planted Tank-A Journey of 2 Years

Postby Debabrata » Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:40 pm

Hats of to you sanam, your journey inspired me a lot. I learned many things from this thread. Keep it up.
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Re: My 1st Planted Tank-A Journey of 2 Years

Postby Drarnab » Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:19 pm

Hats off sanam.. Excellent experiment & write up. Brilliant execution & learning from mistakes. Kudos to your temperament. Just loved the whole story!

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Re: My 1st Planted Tank-A Journey of 2 Years

Postby kirandesai_678 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:51 am

SanamMarik wrote:Hellow Everyone, many of you are already aware of my 1st planted tank that went on for 2 years. But that thread contains too many discussions and comments to dig out the experiences I had. So, I was thinking to post my journey and the learning under one post for the ease to refer if needed. So I finally managed to get all the pics together and posting it today. I will try documenting the mistakes I made and the wins I celebrated so that anyone new to planted can be helped a bit.

So here it begins-

I started my planted journey not too long ago, it was 29-Dec-2013.
Day 1-Initially when I started the tank, I had no ferts and didnt evn have had the lights to support the plants and hence used a study lamp and a house hold cfl to lit the tank till I got the tubes.
Here is the tank details-
substrate- laterite topped with eetel maati(typ of soil in our area, remains v compact when wet) at 1/4th area(on the left in pic), topped with sand of 1" layer.
filter-sobo ipf 500l/h
CO2- no
photoperiod-10hrs at night, when I sleep. In day time, room remains dark.
That grass like plant is a terrestrial plant and I wasnt aware of it when planted... noob me... :D

Day 7 I started dosing on the 7th day. Initially my macro dosing was off the charts. it was like 8ppm N and 1ppm K. :| :|
I followed to many dosing calculator, had no measuring scale and all so had to measure with table spoon(not the correct way to do imo) and finally the result was like 8-} 8-} @-) @-)

Day - 8 I uprooted the terrestrial plants and planted H polysperma in its place.

Day 22-Then I got my tube lights and they started working good.
A pic with proper lights-

On Day 40, during WC I let the amazon Sword leaves out of the water for quite some time as I read some where then "Let the plants breathe from air during wc". I still dont understand what this means. Because I let them breathe from air for quite a longer time, the below pic shows what was the result.
I am not going to let my plant breathe from air, ever again. X( X(
In this period, I uprooted the spiral vals too as I wasnt able to control the propagation direction and planted Ludwigia brevipes in its place.

On Day 45, I switched the tank to sugar Yeast CO2 and had no idea on commercial Diffusers. So I passed the co2 bubbles through an ipf impeller. I removed the media so I could switch it off during dark hours. Also trimmed the damaged leaves of the Amazon Sword plants.

By Day 64, the tank went full of plants, I trimmed out most of the polyspema. I still love this below state of the tank. I could grow and propagate plants for the first time...those were the days of happiness :x but soon I had something big coming my way to handle, will show in the later pics ;)

On Day 83, I thought of trying some red plants, so from our blessed near by fishy market (Galiff Street Market) got hold of a plant which they named as "Red Hygrophila" and planted them happily... :D

It was Day 90 and the red plants were still not showing good health plus there was good amount of algae coming in. :(

On Day 91, I decided to try smthing new. Pulled out all the E quadricostatus and planted E tenellus in its place. The uprooting process was rough enough to bring the laterite onto the top of substrate and there started the day of grief all of a sudden.
Soon there was huge algal invasion and with my v limited knowledge and experience I couldnt figure out what to do initially. the below state of Art kept on going for over two months and I was so frustrated that at times I felt like dismantling it all and start from the beginning.

Day 158- Looking like a dirty swamp... :(( :((

On Day 164, which happened to be my birthday, I started using Glut and the tank took miraculous turn towards good. Then I thought to recalculate the dosings, so went ahead and learnt what ppm means and how to calculate it. and then made my own dosing calculator(which I follow till date). got a mini mechanical weighing scale to weigh the chemicals with much more accuracy. Branded Digitals were costing a bomb in the market so I didnt take them.

Day- 174 Here onwards, the journey was pretty interesting and rewarding to be true... :D as I had "Bramhastra" (glut) in my hand... =)) =)) =)) =)) =))
With the new recalculations, the new target ppm was -NO3 5ppm, PO4- 1ppm and K2SO4 30ppm.
Results were satisfying to me compared to the last two months what i have been seeing all the time-
Was then trying to make polysperma bush... :D :D

Day 183

Day 190, target achieved in a month's time. it was exactly 100days from the last major and 1st uprooting on the tank.

Day 192, again trimmed it mostly and one can see that the "Red Hygrophila" was still not doing well with new fert dosing regime. :-\ :-\ :-\
Added Anubias for the first time and came to know abt a species name to be Nana just a few months back... :D :D

Day 202- It was I who read somewhere that gda can be killed with overdosing NO3 and the result is as below, more gda and green water... :|
At this point Glut was useless, only measure was rapid wc and Time... ;)
After all Nature rules Bhramhasta too :D :D

Day 206 - did lots of wc and while doing so, the water inlet to fill up the tank accidentally got angled towards subs and it was a mess again. capped it with extra sand and did a few wc back to back.

Day 250-Once the things were back under control, thought adding some more fishes and check how it goes. As anyone would guess, a single little ipf plus too many fishes...did not go well at all...tenellus was again into algae zone and other plants is a pic-
Also, Did a few changes to the plant positions too. here onwards started learning how to plant in groups

Day 269-Took out most of the fishes...and this is how the tank became healthier again

Day 297 (around 10months old tank and substrate)
With so many aquascapes seeing all the time, I thought of giving it a try. but then which one? 8-| 8-| 8-| 8-|
Finally decided to go for Dutch Style coz its the least expensive one plus the other thing that motivates me is that its said to be the toughest of all styles. That made me conclude, if Dutch is done, others are done too for the plant growing part. So there it started. Being completely new, I wasnt much aware of the rules and all. Just had the idea that plants are to be in clumps in different colors. then I got plants from Sreepadma and got started towads learning dutch step by step. Fist aim was to bring out the best of the plants I had in mind and the top priority was the L Aromatica Purple.
In the meanwhile also started Discus Keeping, from the batch of 9, 2guys were not growing for quite some time so decided to check how do they do in planted... /:) /:)

Day- 324 Initially I just sat bak and let the plants take their shape slowly. Also upgraded the diffusion to cigarette bud :D :D :D

Day-355 Days passed by and did the 1st trim after the plantation and this is how it looked :ymhug: :ymhug: :ymhug:
In between I aslo changed the diffusion technique...used a inverted ipf head to to the diffusion was the results were quite effective i gues...
BTW, the Discus were again taken bak to their main tank as the pigeon blood was getting too much peppering. Blue guy is now an adult has has paired up with his lady... :P
the other one didnt grow at all and died eventually.. :(

At One Year completion, the tank looked like this and I was happy...but I back then didnt know which direction I was heading, which I now know :P :P :P
Year One Completion ;;) ;;) \:D/ \:D/

Day-374 Take a look at the Downoi in the shade of Reineckii. It indeed gre well in shade too, dat too in a low tech(but high light imo) tank

Day 377- A peculiar thing was observed, holes in the tripartita leaf....after much investigation and consulting with seniors, came to conclusion that snails were eating them. Yes, snails do eat plants, in the recent past they ate up most of my buce leaves... X( X( X( X( X(
The pin holes that come up is due to K deficiency but these holes didnt seem like pin holes at all.
For the Java fern I noticed translucent new leaves and made me worry. Finally with much searched and consulting to seniors got to know its jst the way they grow lol :)) :))

On Day 380, trimmed the AR and to catch the snails used cucumber... =)) =))
One can see a thread tied to the slice and as cucumber is generally lighter than water, so inserted a one rupee stainless steel coin to drown it... :D :D
This did work to some extent bt is quite a slow process... :ymsigh: i-) (-|
So after a few days of practicing this, i let the snails be...and started looking for else options...
Finally I now use Puffer fish to control snail population...they are the best and their habitat being Ganges, I release them when done. and again buy one when required from Galiff... :D

Day 385 One of the most values possession- Downois :x :x

Day 397-I wanted to have M Hirsuta from the begining of my planted days and finally got them from a senior hobbyist... its known to be a slow grower, however my experience has always been quite different... :D :D
Also implemented an idea to shape the carpets as shown in the below pic... =)) =))

Another view of the tenellus barricade.

Day 407, seeing the partition to do well, implemented for the other side too. Added some DHG and Cuba too...

This is how it looked from a little Distance...I wish I had a rack for this tank... :( :(

In the meanwhile, I wanted more tanks and the result was-
The 4 small planted tanks were initially made to keep Betta but soon transformed into Planted tanks. In those tanks, I performed DIY Substrate experiments ovr more than a year time and still doing... :p :p
Will post the results in another thread once i am done with the experiments...might take a while :)

Bak to the topic-

Day 421- Got L Inclinata from a senior hobbyist. Its known to a very easy Hi-tech plant coz it required gud amount of co2. I thought of giving it a try with my sugar yeast only and could make it grow for around a month but later on lost it because I wasnt able to refresh the brew every sunday and with depleted levels of CO2 it faded away over the weeks. M hirsuta was also doing good and filling the space at good pace...

Day 427 A week Passed by and I was Happy to see Inclinata doing well... :D
Also Introduced Riccia...And stopped Using Glut as someone said its a shortcut. I wanted to learn the hard way plus I had riccia, so bye bye to GLUT.

This is the lights I upgraded to when started with Dutch Approach apart from the Blue one. Blue tube was added on Day 442... :D :D

Day 443 With start of Temperature rise, I faced issue with Downoi, not to mention that filter was incaple to handle the bio load too, so there may have been multiple reason behind the detoriation, which i cant really figure out unless I get hold of a time machine to go back and check now... :p :p
Also the drifts have always been suggested to me by fellow hobbyist, so thought of giving it a try and hence you can see a guava branch from my garden in to the tank. It was processed properly though for around 2-3 months before introducing it to the tank. :D :D
BTW Inclinata is still there... :D :D
Here are a couple of pics -

Day 449-Tied some fissidens on the wood which did grow well but for a v short time as the temp was rising then...
M Hirsuta also completed carpeting the designated area by then...
Inclinata was nearly gone by then...

Day 472- Did major Pruning in between and removed most of the AR from the left. Planted Java Fern with doubt if it will die or not but it did better than before... :D
Fissidens were growing but v slowly... :(

Day 506, removed the Tenellus carpet as it was there for a very long time and wanted to do something new....take a look at the debris that was accumulated where tennelus was...
Removed most of the plants too after a while. and that twig too X( X(

Day-569 Planted new Plants and the intersesting one was Wallichii. Another one was Tonina Fluviatilis. Back then I didnt know the kH of my water, so, went ahead to see if I could grow them somehow.
Other normal ones were Polygonum Sp Pink and H Angustifolia
Also added H Polysperma 'Rosanervig'. I wanted this too for a long time... :D :D

Day 583- Walicchi was growing very fast amd other plants too took off towards good except for the tonina.
The next day I pruned Walicchi and it never gre back as healthy as before and before I could figure out why, I lost the plant.
Later on this year(2016) I have been playing with Walicchi Mexicana and finally figured out its all about N levels.
In the mean time thought of trying broom stick diffusion technique :p

Day 638 -Added R Indica and L Slender. both the plants are easy but doesnt tolerate Micro deficiency at all.
Remember the "Red Hygrophila" from the market? Finally came to know it was Ludwigia Glandulosa and why I failed earlier. lol me... :D :D :D
This plant does well in high light and high CO2. CO2 was an issue earlier but not now, as I upgraded to DIY Pressureized CO2 that is the Citric Adid -Baking Soda system. things took up speed from here.
Coloring of Glandulosa- I carried out an experiment of it by varying the PO4 levels and observed that they color up great in PO4 is above 6ppm. I dosed 2-3ppm fr a couple of week and the colors went brownish and wasnt looking appealing. So I again raised the PO4 to 6ppm and the colors were back.... :D

Another Upgradation that I did was a Sunsun 1000lph canister. that really helps a lot. If one have a v good filter working, the tank might forgive a few mistakes... ;)

Day 639- A Pic of Plant L Palustris/Ovalis. I am not too sure. whatever it is, i loved the colors, looked to me like budding roses. PO4 again are high in this case too.
Take a look at the Downoi Leaves, they are to slim. thats because of the extra blue spectrum I put in. I observed this closely during the substrate experiments.

Day-661, Sadly I dont have a better Fts coz I actually let go of the tank and was concentrating on a bigger one.
and the tumbler in the front with black stuff is spagnum moss and water, was checking if that can grow plants and can be used in immersed setups as a rooting media.... :D :D
The Glandulosa colors.... :ymhug: :ymhug: :ymhug:
Also added a H Pinnatifida to check out if I can grow it...

Day 688 took out the MC carpet and put it in the immersed.
Pinnatifida, is a hardy plant however lower levels of NO3 can b observed on its leaves. from my observation, if the NO3 levels are lower, the saw/threaded shape wont be prominent. It felt like the plant is using the N particles on exreme need basis to no fancy stuff can be expected. Upon increasing the N the leaves became normal again... :)
Another two plants to talk about are Val Nana and Limnophila Butterfly- Val Nana is not like any other val, its completely Resistant to GLUT/H2O2. I dont use excel so couldnt try with dat but I guess it would be resistant to that too.
L Butterfly, this plant in my opinion is suitable for a bit larger tanks with good depth. a sigle stem becomes v fluffy and bushy without trimming or anything. gives a lot of side shoots. It is a beautiful plant if looked from a distance imo coz I dont like its leaf shape much....

Year TWO- Tank completed two years. Didnt touch the scissors for I dont know how long. but did WC, dosing and CO2 normally and the result was as below-

A few days after this, in Jan 2016, I finally dismantled the tank and replaced with a slightly bigger one. So, the story ends here finally.

I hope you have enjoyed the story of my two Year's journey.

Please let me know any case of any doubts or questions or any details I might have missed out to tell.
Also feel free to share suggestions or any observations you have come across in similar circumstances... :)

Note: I will update the thread if I recall something important. :)
What is glut which you are mentioning "ur bramhastra"

I loved your dutch style tank. . Wishing to make same in my 5 feet x 1.5 feet tank

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